Today is the release of The Complete Angel Island Series - a box set that includes all three of my Angel Island companion novels, Waiting for the Storm, After the Storm, and Take Them by Storm. For this week only you can get the set for just $2.99 - that's all three books for the price of one! If you're curious about the series and haven't started it yet, or if you've read one but not the other two, now would be a great time to give them a try!
To celebrate the release of the box set, I'm dedicating this week to posts about the series. Today I'm kicking things off with some fun facts from the books.
- There is an Angel Island (which I didn't know until recently; I believe it's in California), but my Angel Island is a fictional place in the Thousand Islands area of Ontario. It's a combination of Amherst Island and Wolf Island (two real islands - my Grama was born and raised on Amherst Island), and just plain old imagination.
- Waiting for the Storm wasn't the first book I set on Angel Island. In my teens, I wrote a book about a girl who spent the summer with her grandmother on Angel Island, where she made new friends, discovered some family secrets, and fell in love. That book will never see the light of day, but I fell in love with my own fictional island and wanted to use it again. I chose the name 'Angel Island' because I was obsessed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I went on a kick where every story I wrote incorporated the name Angel in some way - haha!
- A few reviewers assumed I got the name Ezra from Pretty Little Liars, but I actually just started watching PLL this month (side note: I'm obsessed). I’ve always loved the name Ezra. There was a band in the 90s called Better Than Ezra, plus Larry Mullen Jr (the drummer from U2, my favourite band) has a son named Ezra.
- All of my characters carry some small trace of me, but Charlotte is the character who's most like me. She's a book blogger, she loves to write, her family is her life, and she has a lot of the same anxieties I do. It seems kinda narcissistic to say Charlotte is my favourite character since she is so much like me, but I feel very protective of her and she has a special place in my heart. I loved watching her grow, change, and learn throughout the series, and become braver and stronger than she ever thought she could be.
- I wrote Waiting for the Storm in 20 days. It's the fastest I've ever written a novel. I started it less than a year after my Grama died, when I was still drowning in grief and trying to focus on work to take my mind off how much I missed her. A lot of my books are emotional, but this is the one that truly feels like I cut myself open and bled onto the pages - Charlotte's grief, her anxiety, her dad's depression, that was all very real for me.
- Angel Island may be fictional, but Tyendinaga, the reserve River is from, is a real place. I live just a few minutes away from there, so I thought it was fitting. River is a proud member of the Mohawks of Bay of Quinte.
- Anyone who's read my women's fiction book The Game Changer, will likely recognize Bellevue and a few of the characters in Take Them by Storm. Bellevue is loosely based on the city I live in, and Loyola College, where Sadie and River go, is based on the college I went to. As much as I love Angel Island, it was a lot of fun diving back into Bellevue and having Sadie meet a few of my other characters.
- I didn't set out to write a companion series. I had the idea for Charlotte's story and it poured from me with ease. I can't remember when I realized Ella would get her own story. She was horrible to Charlotte in the first book, and in my mind, she kept demanding a chance to redeem herself. I thought the books would be a duology, but then there was Sadie, and I knew she'd get her own story, too. She was just supposed to be a secondary character, a friend to Ella when she desperately needed one, but she ended up being a show-stealer and I knew she deserved her own book.
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I hope you enjoyed my fun facts about the Angel Island series! Be sure to come back tomorrow to see some pictures related to the stories.