Blue Heron Press
394 pages, softcover
394 pages, softcover
Available from Amazon
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Women’s Fiction, Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Mystical
About the Book
The Angel Connection by Judith Anne Barton tells the mystical tale of two women born a century apart, but whose destinies are mysteriously linked by long held secrets. In the vein of The French Lieutenant’s Woman and Outlander, this compelling novel straddles historical and contemporary fiction. The Angel Connection is a timeless love story told by two female protagonists who transcend the boundaries of time and space and are hurtled toward their inevitable collision.
In 1996, newly divorced TV journalist Morgan Reed finds herself at a personal and professional low, and escapes to pastoral Bucks County. There she discovers her new home is birthplace to the Pennsylvania Impressionist movement. Morgan impulsively buys an old haunted church rectory and is drawn into creating a documentary about the local painters of that era. She also gets pulled into an unsettling love affair with her fellow filmmaker, which raises the ire of her adult son. In 1895, in the same Bucks County Church Rectory, Evangeline Laury, the beautiful and restless wife of a zealot preacher is torn between her role as obedient wife and her birth as a talented painter in the hands of a charismatic local Impressionist who soon becomes her lover and soul mate. Evangeline struggles with her duties, but the desire for her lover and her art come at a cost, and an unspeakable tragedy makes her a virtual prisoner of the rectory. Bound together as they try to martial universal forces beyond their control, Morgan in 1996 and Evangeline in 1895 both struggle to fulfill their needs for creative expression, true love and familial duty. As Morgan uncovers the drama that unfolded in the old house 100 years earlier, the two women’s pasts meld into the present, igniting karmic embers and bringing a shuddering retribution. Where does one story end and the other begin?
What inspired you to write The Angel Connection?
Disillusioned by my own recent divorce, yet still a romantic at heart, I was inspired to write the perfect love story -- one that I would fall into as a reader. Like my modern day protagonist Morgan, I had just relocated -- escaped is more like it! -- to a quaint historic village in Bucks County Pennsylvania. The achingly beautiful countryside, coupled with the spirits of artists who had flocked there for centuries seeking a muse, set the stage for a compelling, timeless, mystical love story. My immersion in yoga and Eastern spiritualism sparked the idea for parallel universes: two creative women, born a century apart, living in the same house, unable to reconcile their artistic passion with the obligations of family and the longing for true love. The intriguing prospect of re-incarnation was in place.
You include photos of the characters and places presented in your novel. What was the thinking behind this?
While writing The Angel Connection, I scoured local antique stores, pouring through boxes of old photographs, searching for images that captured my novel’s 1895 characters as I imagined them. I also took photographs of the existing locations where in my imagination, parallel seminal events took place in the story one hundred years apart. In some cases I sepia-toned the photos. I believe the pictures of the people and places from the 1895 story will add an intriguing richness to The Angel Connection; bringing the characters vividly alive for the reader, so that the question will often be posed: Did this really happen? Kind of similar to The Bridges of Madison County.
What story elements did you include to help distinguish The Angel Connection from other novels?
First: authentic intelligent, flawed, creative female protagonists conflicted between artistic fulfillment and domestic obligations. Next: passion, mystery, heartbreak and tragedy, deep human connections, beautiful locales, mysticism, and powerful karmic redemption.
My readers will ride an emotional roller coaster, falling deeply in love, not just with the characters from 1895 and 1996, but with the historic and evocative locations where Angel and Daniel, and later Morgan and Victor live out their passions and their destiny. The mystery will keep the reader turning the page with one hand, and wringing out a hanky with the other; struggling along with the characters to understand powerful universal forces beyond their control.
Who will like this book?
Women of all ages who are searching for the quintessential love story that is character driven. I believe women readers like strong, intelligent female protagonists who must struggle to gain creative and personal fulfillment. Women who want at least three good, sopping cries, and a page turner of powerful paranormal suspense. Women who seek out sophisticated writing and lyrical prose, against the bucolic lushness of Bucks County, Pennsylvania and Giverny, France.
The Angel Connection resonates with themes similar to John Fowles’ The French Lieutenant’s Woman, the novels of Diana Galbadon, the relatable characters of Nora Roberts, the karmic threads of the recently released Sea Change by Karen White.
Even though Angel and Morgan are separated by over a hundred years, what connects them, aside from the physical location of Bucks County?
Both women struggle with the universal conflict of all women: how to balance personal fulfillment, relationship, family and career. Both are artists, yearning for creative expression. Both seek enduring passion, both are loving mothers.
Judith Anne Barton is an author, actress, playwright and award-winning television journalist. The Angel Connection is her first novel. After a successful career in broadcast journalism in Philadelphia that spanned over a decade, Barton moved to Bucks County, PA where she worked with her mentor, the late JP Miller, author of the classic The Days of Wine and Roses. Her first play Opening Night received its world premiere at Philadelphia’s Lantern Theatre Company, and was named a finalist in the Sundance Film Lab competition. She is the co-author of The Best Letter Book Ever (book and CD-ROM), and is also a published poet. Barton now resides in Los Angeles where she also pursues an acting career in film and television. Her sons, William Wheeler (The Reluctant Fundamentalist) and Thomas Wheeler (Puss in Boots, Puss in Boots II) are successful screenwriters.
Visit Judith Anne Barton Online
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