To find true love…you only have to travel through time!
FALLEN ANGEL, Book II in the Tales of the Sweet Magnolia series by Amanda McIntyre
A hunger gnaws at Angel Marie Sutter to find the man behind the soulful music she heard played on piano at the Sweet Magnolia. Following her heart, desire takes her on a fantastic journey. When she becomes a witness to murder, she finds herself under the forced protection of a scarred detective. Her gentle healing brings the past to his present in timeless passion, but will she be able to hold onto this precious gift, or will a killer take it all away?
Shado Jackson is a lone wolf undercover cop carrying guilt over the death of his brother. When a mysterious, beautiful woman becomes eyewitness to a murder, his job is to protect, not fall in love. But when his brother’s killer again threatens to take what’s precious from him, Shado must find him before time runs out.
FALLEN ANGEL is a time travel romance that also blends in some murder/mystery. How did you manage to balance all these elements?
I guess the readers will decide if I balance them to their satisfaction, LOL, but the truth is, I love a good story, just as most of us do. I like pulling in the unpredictable, the elements that make you think a bit, use your imagination. Even now, I’m an eclectic reader, but I sharpened my writing teeth on stories written by Alfred Hitchcock and Edgar Allen Poe, and while I do believe that love is the most powerful force in the world, it faces many challenges on the road to the Happily Ever After. To me, that’s what makes a an interesting story!
What would you say is your favorite thing about your hero, Shado Jackson?
Besides my mental image of how he looks?<g>There are so many aspects about Shado that I admire. His tenacity, his loyalty, his caring about people in a quiet way–on and off the job. Here also, is an alpha male in every sense, who by the unexpected presence of one woman (the right woman, perhaps) his vulnerable side is exposed and he must face all the emotions that his kept buried inside of him, making him feel unworthy of being loved.
Do you have a favorite scene in the book you would like to share with us?
This is Shado and Angel’s first meeting…
Shado kept his eyes on her face, valiantly trying to avert his attention from how her flimsy dress swirled around her shapely legs. To the untrained observer, her fresh-scrubbed face and shoulder-length blonde hair might be the epitome of innocence, but he saw what the average citizen didn’t. He assessed the expensive rabbit fur jacket she wore over her vintage Western wear dress and those boots—they were the real deal. She smelled expensive, like a kept woman. Her down-home country garb didn’t fool him for a minute. That rat Espinoza would do whatever he had to in order to stay under the radar. He held her gaze and circled around her, causing her to turn toward the surveillance camera in the van. “You’re kinda pretty.” He tossed the remark, adding a wicked grin for good measure. Acting was not his forte, but with any luck, he might distract her a bit. Maybe get her to talk. “Where’d you say you were from?”
She looked at him with a cool expression, indicating she was onto his game and not in the mood to play along. With the response of a woman confident around strange men, she pinned him with a no-nonsense look. “Listen, mister, whatever you’re trying to sell tonight, I’m not interested in. I’m interested only in finding the Magnolia…except now it’s called the Imp….” She snapped her fingers as though trying to summon the name from thin air.
“The Imperial?” he answered and glanced toward the van.
She pointed her finger at him. “Yes, that’s the name.” Can you please tell me where it’s located? A very nice man told me it was across from a Christmas tree lot…whatever that is.” A friendly smile lit up her face, and Shado had to stumble through his thoughts to come up with a response.
“You know, I suppose to some people, it’s considered a house of ill-repute,” she leaned toward him and whispered. “I would have expected it to be located farther from town.”
Shado regarded her with mute surprise. She was, if nothing else, straightforward. He could play along and see how far this would go. He pointed to the building behind her, rising high in the star-laden Reno sky. “You’re a short walk from it, actually. Just across the street, right in the middle of town, where it’s always been.”
She followed his gaze and longing came over her face, not unlike when seeing an old friend. But in the next instant, her expression fell. She swallowed, her gaze fixed on the building, and then she brushed her cheek. Was she crying?
Shado tapped his earring and raised his voice. “There’s the Imperial. She’s a grand old dame. I hear Madam has only the finest women for her call girl service.”
She turned to study him with a curious expression. “There’s no need to yell. My hearing is quite good. And pray tell, what is a call girl service?”
He chuckled. The little pigeon was a hoot. She had this county-bumpkin thing down to a finely tuned fiddle.
“Don’t piss off the dove,” a voice issued in his earpiece.
Shado regarded her with interest, searching for any sign she was a plant sent by Espinoza. “Madam Lee employs discreet women to entertain her clientele.”
She searched his face. “Not everything has changed, it appears,” she muttered softly as she glanced back at the Imperial. Her mood shifted with a friendly smile, but he detected a hint of sadness. “I must be going. Thank you, sir, for your kindness.”
“Tail her,” his earpiece urged.
Shado nodded, and as she walked away, took a moment to appreciate the gentle sway of her hips and the sassy way her dress flounced with every step. He couldn’t remember the last time a woman’s gait had enticed him. He mentally slapped himself from his musing. “Uh, Merry Christmas. I hope you find what you’re looking for.” He sauntered behind, following her the few steps to the tree lot, and paused to watch her cross in the middle of the block without so much as a glance. Whatever her purpose, it was clear she was focused on getting to the Imperial.
The low rumbling roar of an engine caught his attention, and he looked up in time to see a sleek, dark-colored vehicle emerging from the wintery mist like a demon from Hell. The driver couldn’t have stopped if his life depended on it. Where the hell was a traffic cop when you needed one? His gaze shot to the woman blithely unaware she was about to become road kill.
Shado took off, head down in a race to see who would reach her first. He lunged, grabbing her around the waist, and yanked her body around. Holding her tight, he tried to protect her head as they both hit and rolled across the frigid asphalt. His head slammed against the curb, and he squeezed her close as the car whizzed past. The heat from its tires blew like a dragon’s breath against the side of his face.
“Jackson!” His boss’s voice screamed in Shado’s ear.
“I’m good,” he bellowed in response without thinking. He tried to hang onto the squirming woman trying to free herself. His cheek was on fire from sliding across the pavement.
How did you come up with the concept for the Sweet Magnolia series?
The first book in the series, Wild & Unruly was my first time-travel story in this series. It was actually one of my first stories and I rewrote it into a full novel for this series purpose. As is often the case, as I was re-writing this, I began to realize that I didn’t want to create your “average” time-travel story. There had to be more to it than simply an item that transports a person through time. That’s been done. I wanted to add in something else, something I hadn’t seen before and that was to include two things—desire and fate. And yes, there may be physical items included within the context of the story, but they have no power, really. The power that makes it possible to travel backwards or forwards in time is simply the deepest part of a person’s psyche—their soul as it were and what their innermost desire is. My tag line for this series is “to find love, you’ve only to travel through time.” Now that’s not to say that love cannot be found within your own time period, but for some, it requires a greater search. I tend, I’m afraid, to not make the road to love an easy one for the characters in my books<g> In fact, I have a writer friend who says she doesn’t want to come back in a second life as one of my characters.<g>I write “character-driven” stories, no matter what genre or blended genre story that I write.
If you had to summarize the Sweet Magnolia series in a tweet, what would you say?
“To find true love, you’ve only to travel through time!”
I’d like to know what your favorite time-travel romance is, whether book or movie—one random winner will be chosen from the comments (on Friday) to receive a special holiday gift from Amanda McIntyre!
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About the Author
Amanda’s father was in the publishing business. From her early days reading of Vampirella and Alfred Hitchcock, to writing a Fine Arts column supporting music education, her quirky zest for experiencing life has provided fertile ground for her creative story ideas. These have transpired into a number of published works in contemporary, paranormal and historical women’s fiction, as well as non-fiction books. She is published internationally and in both eBook and audio formats. Readers describe her work as “superbly sensual, powerful, and character-driven.” She enjoys taking readers on a ride, with a few twists and turns along the way, with the belief that life and love is messy, but overcoming the obstacles makes the HEA even more sweet. She loves to challenge her characters and readers to look beyond the ordinary to the extraordinary, where anything is possible! Besides loving to travel, watching BBC, she has an avid fascination of the Great Lakes and its lighthouses, and a penchant for walking in old cemeteries and abandoned houses! My website is www.amandamcintyre.net and I love to hear from readers at firstname.lastname@example.org.