Aurora visited us last in December of 2018 when she published the first book in The Council of Twelve series – Soul Taker. We chatted about the book, the series, childhood memory, and her exceptional website/blog – The Writer's Treasure Chest, and she shared an excerpt from Soul Taker. If you missed it, please go HERE.
A lot has happened since then, and we are beyond happy to have Aurora back. She is kind enough to answer a few more questions and share an excerpt from Bounty Hunter.
Aurora Jean Alexander grew up in a family involved in politics and was blessed with an excellent education in several countries. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in BA. Currently, she lives in Southern California, all by herself, with three cats. A. J. Alexander is the author of 'The Council of Twelve' series, with three published books. The fourth book will be published soon.
4Q: Let's start off with your newest book, Aurora. Demon Tracker has a fantastic cover. It's generating a lot of excitement. What can a reader expect when they pick up your novel?
AJ: Demon Tracker is the third book in 'The Council of Twelve' series and introduces Zepheira to the reader. Zepheira is the best Demon Tracker working for the good side. She is hired by 'The Big 7' to find a lost demon and angel and find them quickly before the angel will be lost forever. During her assignment, she meets Archangel Uriel, the 'Fire-Angel,' and gets involved in the eternal fight Good versus Evil.
4Q: Can you share a bit about Book # 2 – Sundance.
AJ: The book starts with 'little Cara,' a human child given to her parents with the 'warning' they will lose her when she turns seven years old. After Cara left this Earth, she joins the 'School of Divine-Army,' where she is educated until she turns into an angel, the first warrior angel in over 300 years. With her change, she earns her name, 'Sundance,' and becomes a very gifted warrior and a protégé of the 'Council of Twelve.' Sundance is extraordinary as a warrior and a person highly interesting to the bad side. The book ends with a thrilling cliffhanger.
4Q: Tell us about the "Big 7".
AJ: The 'Big 7' are seven warrior angels who form the personal guard and assistance to Archangel Uriel. Each of the Archangel has a personal guard of either five or seven angels, except for Michael. He has the resources of eleven Archangels, if necessary. Zepheira was hired by 'The Big 7' and consequently met Uriel.
4Q: When I read the descriptions of your novels, angels figure prominently in the stories. Do you believe in angels? Is this part of the inspiration for your stories?
AJ: The inspiration for my stories does not mainly base on my beliefs in the existence of angels but were more built as an act of 'silent rebellion.' I grew up catholic and, to this day, the 'ground staff' within the catholic church are men. The preference of the male species within the Bible attracted my attention already when I was a child and introduced to religion. In all stories, legends, tales, and narratives, men were the main protagonists. Even the commonly known Archangels are all male: Michael, Raphael, Uriel, Gabriel, and Lucifer. I figured the strict 'gentlemen’s club’ could do with a little female support. And with a smile on my lips, I decided to make sure my favorite Archangels would switch their angel robes with some jeans and t-shirts. I turned them a bit more modern and made them meet a few fascinating women, not to be seen as a competition, but as a female supplement to their enormous power. And, I added a few more Archangels – just for fun. There’s not too much tradition left within these books. But one thing stayed unaffected in this book series: the highest of all, the Creator of Heaven and Earth.
4Q: What is the most difficult part of your writing process?
AJ: In many ways, writing comes easy to me. Writing a series with planned thirteen books is entirely different. When I write one story, I have to be aware that in an earlier book, a particular ‘event’ had taken place differently, an agreement or disagreement was already set, or a person had a different eye color. With every book written, I have to concentrate more on not clashing with happenings and events in earlier books. One of the things that helps me very much and seems to be a blessing is the drafting by hand. When I type my stories into the computer afterward, I can catch plot twists or gaps easier.
4Q: Anything else you’d like to tell us about?
AJ: I am working very hard on publishing the fourth book in the series, End of this month or early February. Bounty Hunter is another book that adds to the slowly growing ‘Council of Twelve’-family, and another story I’m quite proud of. Even if someone does not know the first three books, Bounty Hunter would still be a pleasure to read.
The book blurb says:
When Centriel roams the Earth in a dark mood and atypical despair, in a mountain clearing, far from humankind, he unexpectedly discovers a runner, followed by a petite hunter. The way the woman treats the giant fugitive amuses the Archangel, but he quickly learns that neither of them are what they seem to be.
Simin Arnatt is an extraordinary woman. Her occupation as a Bounty Hunter takes her all over the world, as she follows her prey to the most unusual places. She would have never expected to meet the famous Centriel while on a hunt. When he offers to help her, she feels the enormous attraction, but she knows, with the secret she holds, she could never dare to hope for love.
Neither of them could guess that with her next assignment, Hell is breaking loose…
An Excerpt from Bounty Hunter.
(Copyright is held by the Author. Used with Permission)
He didn’t think it was necessary to hide in the rough mountain terrain as no human being could see him anyway.
He was sitting, watching some birds playing when a man unexpectedly broke through some bushes near the forest. He was breathing heavily. The man was tall and muscular like a male model. His clothes were torn and dirty. His elegant shoes were in shreds and his feet were bleeding.
Centriel looked up and watched curiously how the man turned halfway around to search the trees behind him. His eyes were wide and sparkling with fear.
Centriel wondered if the man was trying to escape some wild animal. If that was the case, the man needed help and of course Centriel would be there to support him. That was an angel’s duty.
But what happened then was not what he expected.
An amazingly beautiful woman stormed out of the forest. She wore a black leather outfit, had hair of silvery white and chocolate brown skin. She wore sunglasses and a tiny backpack.
In her hand, she held a crossbow which she pointed at the man.
Centriel watched the man fall to his knees, fold his hands behind his neck and sob like a little boy. “I won’t move a finger,” he cried. “Please, don’t kill me. I promise I won’t do anything.” He stood back up, stumbling.
The woman stared at him with pure contempt on her face. Without a word, she grabbed a pair of handcuffs from her belt and threw them to the man. Still crying, he picked them up and clicked them on his wrists.
The woman carefully watched him with her crossbow still in position.
The man secured the handcuffs slowly, almost too slowly. It seemed he still hoped for a chance to escape. The woman stood like a statue with no sign of impatience. Centriel found this remarkable.
When he sent out his senses, he realized, with some surprise, that the man was not human.
He also sensed something unusual about the woman but couldn’t put his finger on what it was.
When the handcuffs finally clicked around the man’s wrists, Centriel found out that they must have been magically strengthened. The man fell back to his knees, tears splashing down his face; a face that suddenly seemed to melt away. His entire form grew in length and width. His shoulders widened, his legs became more muscular, as did his abdomen. His biceps and triceps bulged, and his head widened. His face formed a kind of snout and wiry brown fur grew all over his head which sprouted enormous horns on the side and became a bull’s head.
“Holy smoke,” Centriel thought, “a minotaur.” No wonder the woman kept her distance. Human form or not, this hybrid kept his strength. If he had reached her, he could have broken her apart like a twig.
For some reason, this worried and annoyed Centriel at the same time. He looked at the slim features of the woman in question and frowned.
She looked fragile and still, she had recently hunted down a minotaur.
If Centriel hadn’t seen it with his own eyes, he hadn’t believed it.
He wondered if he helped her if it would turn out to be a fight. “Probably yes,” he finally decided.
“Well, I figure in that case I should thank you.”, the woman said dryly, frowning directly at him.
Centriel froze in shock. “You can see me?”
She snorted. “You’re hard not to see,” she replied sarcastically.
Centriel grinned. “I guess I was right. You are not human.”
She didn’t reply. She held her crossbow in her small but strong hand, concentrated on the minotaur and made no sign of lowering her weapon.
Centriel got up and stepped a little closer. He needed to protect the girl. But what worried him was the disparity of the two opponents.
Also, he was curious. “How come you followed him? I thought minotaurs normally live quite discretely and stay among their kind, trying to keep out of trouble and the public eye.
The woman sighed silently. “You’re right. Normally they do. But this one isn’t as decent as the others. For some reason, which I’m still trying to understand, he started to kill unpredictably.”
She nodded. “I got the order from his father to hunt him. His dad is the eldest of the tribe. I’m afraid he’ll be paying for his crimes most unpleasantly. But he won’t be my problem anymore.”
Centriel’s curiosity grew. “You’re always this cold and without the slightest compassion, aren’t you?”
The woman nodded. “Yes, I have to be.”
Centriel was about to ask another question when the minotaur in front of them groaned. “It is tons of fun to listen to you guy’s flirting, but could you please postpone your courtship dance until later? These handcuffs hurt.”
Centriel hid a grin while the young lady unmercifully replied, “You will have to suffer a bit more. We’re going to travel back to your place the traditional way.”
“What does that mean?” the minotaur asked between gritted teeth.
“I’ll wrap you up like a burrito, throw you onto my donkey wagon and walk,” she replied, with a serious face.
Centriel almost laughed but held it in, when the minotaur screamed, “You can’t be serious!”
Centriel looked at the woman and politely offered his support. She began to think and finally asked insecurely, “Would you do this for me?”
The Archangel smiled. “Why not?” he responded and added, “Of course there is a condition linked to my help.”
“Of course,” she replied knowlingly, rolling her eyes. “What do you want?”
Centriel smiled. “Your name.”
She hesitated for a second, almost frozen, before snorting a little and shaking her head. “Sure. Please forgive me for not introducing myself properly. That was very rude. I’m Simin Arnatt, bounty hunter.”
Centriel studied her unusual yellow eyes for a moment and nodded politely.
“It’s nice to meet you, Simin Arnatt. My name is Centriel.”
Thank you, Aurora, for being our guest once more. Wishing you continued success with your stories.
Thank you so much for having me once more, Allan! I really appreciate the opportunity and your ongoing support.
For all you wonderful readers and visitors wanting to discover more about AJ and her stories, please follow these links:
Alexander Books - BookBub
Smashwords – About A. J.
Alexander, author of 'Demon Tracker', 'Sundance' and 'Soul Taker'