KH: Please tell us about your series, Warriors for Light. What worlds encompass the battleground between good and evil, and what are the ultimate stakes?
LJ: Warriors for Light is a dark fantasy/paranormal romance series. I’m lucky in that series are common in this genre. It also allows me to have strong secondary storylines—more than one—and vibrant secondary characters. The series takes place, here, now, and on Earth. But not the Earth we know…or is it? Reviewers have called it a fantasy romance, a paranormal romance, and an urban fantasy romance. It actually crosses all three genres.
Now, with the rise of the Dark Lord and his demons roaming Earth, human norm society has been turned on its head. Belief systems are in turmoil. It’s become a world where the young Eagle Scout next door just might be a were-eagle, or your favorite running back is a werewolf, or—gasp—your benign-looking Senator is an evil black magick mage. And humans, who have always viewed themselves as being at top food chain, suddenly discover themselves prey.
Each book centers on the eternal struggle of good versus evil with love complicating—or is it simplifying?—the hero’s and heroine’s choices. To paraphrase Captain James T. Kirk, “Good can triumph over evil, but it must be very, very careful.” The Warriors for Light series and real life share similar fates. We struggle against odds. We see the best and worst of people in crucial moments.
KH: Tell us about Deva Morgan and Padraig O’Neill, and why you have chosen to launch your series with these two characters?
In Warrior’s Rise, Fae-human half-breed, Deva Morgan starts the book as a barkeep. She soon discovers her destiny is to lead the Army of Light against the Dark Lord of the Abyss and his minions, to save Earth and Otherworld from the forces of evil. While she has been trained all her life as a warrior, Deva is filled with self-doubt about her abilities. Her magickal abilities grow with her need and confidence. However to fulfill her destiny and walk in the Light, she must find love to center her and counterbalance this power.
Padraig isn’t what he seems. Oh sure, he is a full-blooded Fae warrior and has been sent by Queen Graciela of Otherworld to protect and train Deva. He is also aloof, a racial snob, and doesn’t understand why or how the Goddess could chose a half-breed as the next Cáidh Arm—the Goddess’ all-powerful Holy Weapon. After all, the first Cáidh Arm was a full-blooded Fae whose power was second to the Goddess. Whereas he is positive, Deva’s interment power surges will get them all killed. Oh, did I mention Padraig is also haunted by the death of his identical twin and he is Queen Graciela’s eldest son and heir to the throne.
Both Deva and Padraig must learn to trust and get past their guilt.
KH: What predisposes Deva Morgan, a half Fae-half human, to be chosen as the Goddess’ Holy Weapon for Great War between the Light and the Dark?
LJ: The Dark Lord, ruler of the Abyss, has designs on ruling Earth. Who is the Goddess’ chosen to lead the Army for Light against the Darkness? A half-breed barkeep named Deva Morgan. If there were anyone seemingly more ill prepared than she, I haven’t met her. Yet the Goddess has chosen wisely. Having a foot in each world helps keep Deva centered. It’s these very human qualities—the ones most supernaturals and the first Cáidh Arm denigrate—that keeps Deva securely in the Light. While she gains power and the Goddess’ blessing, she knows that as a half-breed she isn’t fully accepted by either of her races. Yet, her humanity, strength of character, and Padraig at her side ensures she stays in the Light—unlike the first Cáidh Arm.
Q: Your bio references your background working for the CIA and how it prepared you to write this series. What did you do for the CIA and how do you apply that in battle for the Light?
LJ:Working for the CIA and being an army brat combined have shaped my view of the world. Life isn’t always black or white, most of the time events, people, and choices are shades of gray. Not everyone is who he or she seems. A power Senator is actually an evil mage. A half-breed barkeep fights to save our world. An evil demon may not actually be evil or a demon. As for Deva, she learns with power comes hard decisions and the realization that in war decisions are hard and costly in lives and result in emotional scars.
KH: The war for the Light looks to be a long one, with multiple battles and multiple books. All a good thing for your fans. Given that many of the main characters reoccur in the books, what character do you see that will have the most profound change over the course of the series? Which one will have the most shocking change?
LJ: I believe readers will sigh over several characters. The gargoyle Fritz’s story is one. Sabina’s growth is another. And they will grin at what happens to Grace, the first Cáidh Arm—but that will be in the last book of the series. To say more would ruin their stories, and they deserve better than that from me. LOL
KH: The world of your stories is populated with old myth and new: angles, demons/daemons, shape-shifters, witches, druids, and gargoyles and I suspect there will be more. What has been the most fun to write and what type of research do you do for creating your characters?
LJ: I love history. I’ve studied Greek, Roman, Germanic, Norse, and Celtic myth, along with several religions. I’ve taken all of this, mixed it together, and turned it upside down. In most myth, and fantasy, there’s good and evil, but not shades of gray. I like taking a truly evil demon, then giving them a soft spot.
KH: Thank you for sharing with us and I understand you have two more books in the series out as well: Dragon Child and Absolution. I hope you’ll come back and tell us more about those books in the near future!