Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Author Spotlight: Lydia Rodriguez-Clement

Lydia Rodriguez-Clement
Today I'm happy to welcome paranormal-romance author Lydia Rodriguez-Clement to the blog:

1. Tell us a little about yourself.
Let’s see. What can I say? Well, just like my main character Sarah, I live in San Antonio, Texas. I also come from a large Hispanic family, and I have a wonderful supportive husband, five children, and a dog. Yep, I said five children. Large families run in my family.

2. When did you start writing, and why?
I started writing back in high school. My English teacher really encouraged me to write after a poetry assignment. She had liked my poetry so much that she entered a couple of them into the Pegasus Poetry Competition. Unfortunately I didn’t win. I know, I know. My heart has mended since then. But that was when I started writing my short stories, which she read aloud to the class every other Friday. From then on I was hooked. I loved the way I could express myself through the stories, give out a message, and have people really understand and like them.

3. What do you write, and why? What do you enjoy about what you write?
My primary genre is Paranormal Romance, but I would like to give Contemporary Romance a shot in the near future. I LOVE writing Paranormal Romance, because you can do absolutely anything in them. You are only hindered by your imagination.

4. What is your latest book or series? Any forthcoming books?
My book THE GUARDIAN is the first installment of what I hope to be a series. It is actually a revised version of Angelus, so DON’T read that one. My progress for the second one is slow, but I do have three chapters done already. And like I mentioned earlier, I would like to start on my Contemporary Romance somewhere in between.

The Guardian
5. "Welcome To My Worlds": Tell us a little about the world of your latest book or series.
This contemporary story takes place around the beautiful Riverwalk in downtown San Antonio, Texas where we have people that are born with a special gift - the ability to see Angels. They are called ‘Seers’, and they are pretty much a secret society. The dark veil between our world and the Angels’ is thick, and many events happen without us even knowing. Some events take place in dark shadows, in out of the way places, or kept hidden by Angels who stay invisible. But these Angels are no ordinary Angels that people usually think about. These Angels are soldiers…warriors. They engage in epic battles with demons and Fallen Angels. The primordial battle between good and evil in this story is one that goes back three hundred years. They fight with swords, spears and battle axes like ancient armies, but with one major difference, powers. They have been given powers beyond imagining. Teleportation, power over the elements and the ability to stop time, to name a few. All of these are shown in this story when one Angel dares to love a human woman.

6. Introduce us to some of your characters. What do you like about them?
Jacob is my hero. He is a Guardian Angel who gets abruptly reassigned to a new post. I really like him, because he is so relatable. He fights and loves with every fiber of his being. Sarah is the heroine who has lived a very sheltered life. I like her, because throughout the story you can actually see her grow as a person. Caleb is Jacob’s best friend that is also his Captain. That is a really hard relationship, but somehow they always seem to work things out. Now the bad guys are Seth and Samuel. They are Fallen Angels who focus their hatred on Jacob. Samuel wants to rule Jacob, while Seth wants to overpower him. I like Seth, because he showes that evil can come in sweet and handsome forms.

7. A fun fact you would like your readers to know about you or your book.
Hmm? A fun fact about me or my book? I’m not sure if this is fun, but I do LOVE to eat peanuts while I write. I ate while I wrote this book and I eat peanuts while I’m writing the second book. What kinds? All kinds! Chocolate covered, salted, roasted, spicy, and limon.

Where to find Lydia:
Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

The Guardian:
THE GUARDIAN is a story about how Sarah's spiritual beliefs are reaffirmed when the existence of Angels and Demons are horrifically revealed. Never had she dreamt that her mundane life would be caught in not only a struggle to stay alive in this clash of worlds, but also in a sadistic plan by the Dark Angels to lure Jacob, her own Guardian, to fall.

The Guardian is available at:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the Author:
Lydia Rodriguez-Clement, a native Texan, grew up in the beautiful city of San Antonio where this story takes place, and where she attended a local college and university. It was in high school, however, where she was told she had a flare for writing, and decided many years later to persue this noble art. She has been married for 19 years, and has five children and two dogs. Her family life keeps her very busy, but after surviving Leukemia, with the help of God, family and friends, she followed her life long dream to write a book.

Read on for an excerpt from The Guardian:

The Frat Party was not hard to find. All the cars that were parked along the sides of the street, and the groups of students walking toward the loud music made it no secret. About two houses down, Sarah found a parking spot she could squeeze into, but she made sure she took her sweet time. It was all too obvious that she was trying to prolong the inevitable awkward introductions that come with blind dates. She leisurely got out of the car, and started her stroll to the house only to find Gen running toward her with a huge smile.

“Hey Girl! You made it!”

“I said I would. I keep my promises.”

Gen stopped to inspect Sarah’s clothes, “Jeans and a purple shirt?!”

“Hey! If I’m gonna go through with this I might as well be comfortable. Besides, it’s a new blouse not a shirt, and I even curled my hair.”

“Okay, I guess it will have to do. You could have at least worn make-up.”

“I’ve got lipstick on! Do you want me to go? Because I have no problem going back home. I could really use the sleep!”

“No, no, no. I’m sorry, you really do look good. Don’t you have like a mini skirt or something in your closet?”

“I’ll pretend I just didn’t hear that Gen.”

Gen smiled, and grabbed Sarah’s arm, wrapping it around the crook of her own arm. It had a sisterly feel walking together like that, but Sarah had a feeling that Gen was only doing it just to keep her from running back to the car.

“Gen, I’m very nervous about this.”

“Don’t be nervous, you will do just fine. Come on.”

They walked together arm in arm toward the front entrance of the house, and were met by two young men waiting for them in the front yard.

Nevertheless, leaning against the outside wall right by the front door was Jacob, and even though Sarah nor anyone else for that matter could not see or hear him, he loudly said, “Do not be troubled Sarah, I am here.”

Then, Gen began the dreaded introductions.

“Sarah, this is Dominic. Dominic, this is Sarah.” Gen nudged Sarah toward him.

The music inside the house, suddenly started blaring again, and they found themselves having to talk a bit louder just so they could hear each other.

“And this is Jeremy, my date!”

“What was his name?! Jacob?!”

Again, Jacob’s attention was on high alert.

“No, Jeremy!”

“Oh okay. Nice to meet you both!”

“Okay, me and Jeremy are gonna go inside already! You guys can get to know each other better out here! I’ll tell the host to turn the music down just a little!” Gen shouted.

Sarah forcibly grabbed Gen by the arm and pulled her close enough to whisper in her ear.

“Gen, please don’t leave me alone out here.”

“It’ll be fine. He is real cute huh? With that blonde hair and hazel eyes, just look at him!”

“Yes he is, but still.”

“He looks like a male model. I know, you’ll thank me later.”

Gen just smiled, and walked up the stairs with Jeremy fading into the crowd before the door could close behind them. Sarah glared at her with an angry face, but as soon as she turned toward Dominic, she wore a fake smile. Much to their surprise the music’s volume was indeed turned down.

“Wow. That’s better. Now we don’t have to yell.” Dominic said trying hard to start a conversation, but Sarah did not say a word. She just glanced around at people going into the house as if she was looking for a way to escape.

“I know what you’re thinking Sarah. I was thinking the same thing earlier.” Dominic paused.

“Yeah, and what is that?” Sarah asked skeptically.

“Double dates or blind dates are a nightmare.”

Sarah smiled and looked down embarrassed.

“No now, don’t be embarrassed. Like I said, I was thinking the same thing. But then, I saw you and I think we could have a good time. If you would just let me in a little?” Dominic asked.

“I’m sorry if I’m coming off like a snob… it’s just that I don’t go out much.”

“It’s alright. You kind of took me by surprise though.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, you’re Gen’s friend and she is kind of wild. So, when I heard I was being set up with one of her friends… well… I was bracing myself for meeting someone like her to be honest. But you are a wonderful surprise. You see, my friend Jeremy seems to think that I work too much. So, he sets me up on blind dates. But, they’re the kind of girls he likes, the wild ones. I, on the other hand, am real tired of the wild girls. And these Fraternity Parties are no place to meet decent girls either.”

“Yeah, Gen can be pretty wild. But I’m the exact opposite of her. I think that’s why we get along so well. We kind of balance each other out. But I completely understand the whole setting up dates thing. It does get tiring. Gen thinks that I work too much too. I probably do. Oh and I also go to school, oh but not here. I go to the same university as Gen. I’m getting my degree in Pediatric Nursing. I guess it’s because I really like kids and helping people. So, what do you do?” asked Sarah nervously.

‘How embarrassing. I’m already starting to ramble. I’m such an idiot.’ thought Sarah.

“I work for the DA’s office. I’m actually the Assistant D.A.”

“Wow. Impressive. You must be like the youngest Assistant D.A. in history.”

“Something like that.”

“So what are you doing at a Frat party? Isn’t that like against the rules or something?”

“Nah, not if it’s your alma mater. I think? I’m real tight with the campus police anyway.” he said with a chuckle. “So, now you know why I get set up on blind dates a lot. My work hours can get a little crazy. I guess I got lucky to finally find you.” Dominic said with a smile.

Sarah thought to herself, ‘Maybe this won’t be a waste of time after all.’

Jacob, however, just stood there leering at Dominic with his arms crossed. “Be wary Sarah, I can smell a liar a mile away.” Jacob said as he took a closer look at this new ‘distraction’ .

“So you don’t go out much huh?” continued Dominic.

“No I don’t. It’s been getting difficult to wiggle myself out of a lot of parties. Gen can be very persistent.”

“I guess you weren’t so lucky this time.”

“It seems to have been a good thing. What do you think?” asked Sarah as she looked down at her feet.

“Oh yes. I think this is definitely a good thing.”

They both smiled and looked at each other for a couple of seconds. Sarah was genuinely starting to have a good time.

‘Maybe I could let my guard down just this time.’ she thought.

“You want something to drink?” asked Dominic.

“Sure.”

“I think we will have to go inside for that.” Dominic peered into the window to assess the crowd. “By the way it looks in that window, it’s pretty crowded in there. Here… hold my hand. That way we won’t lose each other.”

Sarah took his hand as they walked inside together where the music was much louder. They only made it a couple of feet inside when Dominic stopped.

“It’s just too crowded! Stay here while I go get us some drinks!”

“Okay!” Sarah agreed.

It was a typical frat party with groups of people clumped together talking and laughing while others danced. Even the stairs in the back of the room was lined with people that were either going up to the second floor, or passing drinks up like a relay. Sarah stood there alone enduring a few bumps and pushes from either side of her. She wished Gen would find her just so she could have someone to talk to as she waited. She detested these kinds of awkward situations, she felt very out of place.

The unfolding of the flirtatious scene had left Jacob in pieces, he could not just let her go. He agonized over the thought of leaving, but he just couldn’t bring himself to do it.

“I have no other choice, I must do something. If this man is really meant to be with her, then, seeing me would be of no consequence to her. Right? Right.”

Jacob had quickly rationalized it all in his mind, and decided to materialize into flesh and blood again.

‘Man, this feels awkward just standing here all alone.’ Sarah thought. ‘Why didn’t I insist on going with him to get the drinks?’

As is her shy nature, Sarah looked down at her feet to avoid any eye to eye contact. Then suddenly, she felt a chill go down her spine.

‘Whoa, where did that come from?’ she thought. She inconspicuously glanced up, and her eyes immediately found her gorgeous mystery man across the room.

“Oh my goodness, it’s him from the shop!” she excitedly whispered to herself.

Jacob materialized unnoticed in the back of the house, and started walking through the crowd of people with ease. It was as if a path was being paved directly toward her, and they both felt the electricity building up between them. He had planned to pass by her to see her reaction, but that same force he felt before was leading him right to her.

“Oh my Lord he’s coming over here.” she said nervously under her breath.

He tried to blend in with the students by wearing a black short sleeve shirt and black jeans. The shirt laid over his strong shoulders and chest perfectly, leaving his muscular arms exposed. After all, he was not just an Angel, he was a soldier, a Guardian.

“Heaven help me he looks so good in black.”

Jacob’s mind was also racing, ‘All right, my plan of action… to pass right by her, and walk straight out the door. Then, I will observe her reaction to determine her response, if any, upon seeing me. That is my plan. Why then am I so nervous? And to make this situation more difficult, she looks even more lovely tonight.’

An odd sensation caught Jacob’s attention as he walked through the crowd; the palm of his hands felt like they were sweating, so he inconspicuously wiped them on his jeans. ‘It must be the heat in this domicile, and being among all these people that makes the skin damp, nor does it help me that she is biting her lower lip again.’

Sarah’s heart was pounding as she recalled the way he made her feel the first time they met. The electricity was so intense that she froze as he came closer, and he was smiling a most Angelic smile. When they caught each other’s gaze the loud music, and the screaming crowds all faded to the background. It was as if they were the only two people there. When he finally stood in front of her, she summoned the courage to speak one word, “Hi.”

“Hello.” Jacob replied and then thought to himself, ‘What am I doing? I was to walk pass her.’

“I remember you from the ice cream shop.” Sarah said nervously feeling the heat in her cheeks.

“Oh… yes. You were my waitress.”

“That’s right. My name is Sarah by the way.”

“It is a pleasure to finally meet you Sarah. I hope you can forgive me for abruptly walking out that day. That was very rude. I had just remembered that I had to be… somewhere else… and I was late.”

“Don’t worry about it. There is nothing to forgive.”

“Thank you. You are too kind.”

“So… what is your name?”

“I’m sorry. I don’t know where my manners are, my name is Jacob. And may I say that you look really beautiful tonight.” he said as he gazed deeply into her eyes making her feel like he could see her inner most secrets.

Sarah was speechless. She thought to herself, ‘Could this be the meaning of my dream? I really think I was meant to meet him. Plus, he said I was beautiful. I didn’t imagine that, did I?’

“So, do you attend this University?”

“Oh, no. I actually go… um… somewhere else. I’m studying to be a Pediatric Nurse.” she said still wary enough not to give out any personal information.

“A Pediatric Nurse? Yes, I can see that. You can see the selflessness, the generosity, and the tenderness in those mesmerizing eyes.”

In total silence Sarah stood there, all she could do was smile.

Jacob felt her contentment, and so her silence was understood. It was at that precise moment when he lost his battle with reason and caressed her cheek once more.

Sarah as usual closed her eyes, and exhaled her long sigh. This time, it was far more intense for Jacob since he physically touched her with his own hand. In his mind, he thought it had to be nothing less than a miracle. He was simply astounded that he could actually feel her warm, soft, precious skin. It was truly amazing.

It was at that moment, she realized the familiarity of his touch, but before she could open her eyes, and utter a single word, Jacob’s face changed. His eyes narrowed, and his jaw tightened disappointingly, as he noticed Dominic coming back with the drinks.

Jacob looked down at the ground and regrettably said, “I’m sorry I have to leave so soon. I didn’t mean to interrupt.”

“What? Why?” a confused and lightheaded Sarah asked.

He swiftly walked away leaving Sarah shocked, and puzzled wondering why he had to leave her just standing there a second time.

“Hey, sorry I took so long!” Dominic yelled.

Suddenly, all the noise from the party came crashing back like a thunderous wave, sounding even louder than before.

Sarah realized just then why Jacob left. Everything from that evening was quickly coming back to her. She had forgotten all about Dominic.

“Let’s go back outside so we can talk!” Dominic shouted, gesturing to the front door with a tilt of his head.

Sarah turned toward the door, and walked out to the front lawn in a slight daze.

Dominic carefully handed the drink over to her and she immediately took a big gulp. She thought that the drink might help her shake off the unsteady feeling.

Now invisible again, Jacob stood by to observe Sarah’s reaction to their brief encounter.

“Are you okay Sarah? You are awfully quiet again.” Dominic asked curiously.

“Um… I think the music was too loud in there. It gave me a migraine. I’m sorry Dominic, but I think I’m going to have to call it a night.”

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