About the Book:
Jasper Andrews is in over her head. God and the Devil have disappeared from Earth, leaving humanity without hope. Il Separatio, the Entity of Neutrality, tries to restore peace through the intervention of its children, the Order of Vespers. They are tasked with maintaining the balance between light and dark, ensuring that no faction becomes too powerful. They think Jasper is the key to harnessing the power of Il Separatio, protecting the Vespers and maintaining the balance. —- Eighteen-year-old Jasper Andrews finds herself drawn into this superhuman world when a freak explosion exposes her to groups interested in secret abilities. When her family is killed under unbelievable circumstances, Jasper is the only suspect. She flees police custody and heads to New York City to lose herself in the crowds. Jasper wants revenge, but being chased by the police and superhuman bad guys, slows her down. While she’s in hiding Jasper becomes more volatile; she begins manifesting traces of her siblings’ abilities and begins to lose control. The Order of Vespers has decided she’s too dangerous and too important to leave unguarded and capture her. Before she can escape, the killers strike again, this time taking children directly connected to the Order. Jasper is forced to choose between her vendetta and the lives of the Vespers and humanity.
About the Author:
Elyse Reyes grew up in the Bronx, NYC, lived in Los Angeles and now resides in south Florida. She has played every role possible in the non-profit world: environmental justice advocate, researcher, special education teacher, recruiter for an MPA program, program director for a lupus organization, and nonprofit consultant. She believes life is about having experiences that will make great stories. Twist her arm hard enough and she’ll try just about anything once. As a writer, Elyse is obsessed with pithy dialogue and dry humor. She dabbles in different genres including: new adult, paranormal, urban fantasy, science fiction, bizarre, and non-fiction. Her major influences are diverse. Kevin Smith, Jon Stewart, Chris Hardwick, Jim Butcher, Karen Marie Moning, Christopher Moore, Brent Weeks, and Chuck Wendig are current favorites. Elyse loves chatting with her readers, so once you finish one of her novels, please leave a review, follow her on Twitter and Facebook, and drop her a line.
Can you tell us more about your book “Order of Vespers” What is it about?
There are two big ideas at play. It’s a different take on the concepts of good and evil, the role of moral ambiguity, the separation of morals, ethics, and religious creeds, and the nature of human beings. The story is told through the life and experiences of Jasper Lee Andrews, our protagonist. We see a relatively normal high school senior who has everything familiar ripped away in an instant. She’s thrown into an unbelievable world and the reader gets to follow her as she navigates it to the best of her ability. Sometimes it isn’t enough and she loses control.
Who do you think would be interested in this book, is it directed at any particular market?
I consider the book to be in the young adult/urban fantasy/crossover market. It’s a book my friends (in their 30s) would read. I’ve also had a number of high school students enjoy the story as well.
If you like complex characters, fast paced action, urban fantasy, and feisty characters, you’ll dig Order of Vespers.
God and Devil have disappeared from earth; this surely would have created a global chaos. Can you tell us more about the world and the people of your book?
I tried to create a world in which the mundane and supernatural exist side-by-side. It’s set in modern day New York City, where I grew up. The majority of members live within the Order’s headquarters, but they interact with humanity as they go out into the world for school, work, or play.
The people in the world of the Vespers are probably too human. Their fears paralyze them. Sometimes they don’t overcome their disdain and bias toward others. Sometimes violence is the only solution. The characters struggle with the ramifications of these issues. Jordy’s vices are coffee and punching things. Mikael likes bad 80s movies and Twizzlers. Jasper’s still figuring it out.
The individual characters came to life through their quirks. Jasper has a deadpan delivery, while Mikael vacillates between a shy puppy and Zoltar. For anyone who was born in the 90s or later, that’s from a movie called Big with Tom Hanks. Check it out.
Anyway, Jordy is a trained killer who likes Beyoncé and dislikes horror movies. Here’s a secret that’s not in the books. Mikael once convinced Jordy that The Babadook was a movie about Slavic mythology. Needless to say, they tussled after the first major scare. It was all in good fun. They were at the gym the next morning and Jordy took his revenge by putting Mikael through his paces. Brothers we adopt, I tell ya.
While it isn’t obvious in the first book, Jasper had a great relationship with her family. She was the snarky one and used to being in a little bit of trouble, but she was still the baby of the family.
I can’t tell you anything about Mikael because it’s already a solid part of book two.
Jasper Andrews, the protagonist is drawn into a world of superhumans who have numerous secret abilities, but she is forced to run to protect herself and others. Can you share any intense scenes with us, any that you thoroughly enjoyed writing?
Oh, goodness. There are two scenes that get me every time. Jasper singing to Jude makes me cry. It was one of the few ways Jude showed vulnerability to anyone, admitting he was afraid and needed comfort. She was able to provide that to him one last time and say goodbye in her own way.
If you haven’t had a chance to pick it up yet, I’ve created a page on my website where you can read the scene I described above.
Alongside “Orders of Vespers” do you have any other books, or plans to write more?
Order of Vespers is my first full-length novel. I’m actively working on two projects: the second book in the Vespers Series and a book called Indie Author’s Guide to Surviving Conventions. My to-do pile includes three projects: an urban fantasy novel called The Academy, a new adult coming of age story called The Other Side of Normal, and a non-fiction project called Conversations on Lupus.
Tell us more about you? You have many very different roles in your life. Which job have you enjoyed the most and why?
Goodness, that’s a tough one. The funnest, most fulfilling job was as an outreach coordinator for the Bronx River Alliance. I grew up in New York City, went to NYU and was never very outdoorsy. All of a sudden, I was in charge of educating someone about a polluted river we were trying to clean and convince them to canoe in it. The job and my coworkers helped shape the adult version of Elyse. I laugh at all the wrong (and most of the right) times. I question everything and never stop until I’m satisfied or need a nap. Determination should be my middle name.
If you were not able to write, is there any other creative medium that you would use, and why?
I’m not terribly creative. I colour and play bass for fun when I’m not writing, so I’d likely continue on with those.
Out of all the books in the world, and all the authors to choose from, which book and author would you suggest to be your favourite and why?
Lamb by Christopher Moore. It’s a poignant and hilarious take on the life of Jesus as told by his best friend, Biff. It is one of the few books that laugh and cry every time I read it.
What guidance would you offer to someone new to the writing work, or who was trying to enhance their craft?
Just write. Like anything else, if you don’t do it, you won’t improve. Journal, blog, comment on message boards. Get used to expressing yourself through your fingers.
If you must buy a book, my one recommendation is a grammar book. You can tell stories with poor grammar, but no one will read it. I still use my grammar book, take vocab quizzes once a week, and love my thesauri.
Where can our readers find out more about you, do you have a website, or a way to be contacted?
I’m available online via my website and social media accounts. You can find out more about my work, my website, upcoming appearances, and my dog on any of the below. However, if you don’t love my dog, I’m not sure we can be friends. #DogJonSnow is the best.
Please join my mailing list. I’ll send you at least one short story based in the Vespers world before the end of the year.
Thank you and can’t wait to hear your feedback!
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