Talent and Lowery Book 1: 13 by Amy Lignor
In 1902, in a dark room on the fifth floor of Carnegie Hall, thirteen people came together to continue a tradition that had been set in stone thousands of years before.
In 2012, Leah Tallent is Head of Research at the New York Public Library. Stoic and stable, brilliant and cynical, she has forever enjoyed her existence among the book stacks. But even with her unparalleled intellect, there was no way to know that on the historic steps between America’s famous lions, she would become involved with a crazy man on a fanatical quest.
Gareth Lowery has spent his life searching for the ultimate artifact that he is certain exists. His life’s pursuit has been to retrieve twelve keys hidden by men whose job it was to protect the single biggest secret ever kept. To find the keys he must enlist the help of an unwilling guide who, unfortunately, knows much more than he bargained for.
From the first page to the last word, this fantastic duo become immersed in a whirlwind treasure hunt with historical and passionate repercussions. From the strange and eerie Winchester House to the blustery darkness of Loch Ness, Gareth and Leah will quickly learn that the theory of duality is correct: For every bad there is a good and, for Heaven, there most assuredly exists…Hell.
Leah glanced at the staircase leading to the main floor of the library. She could see Gareth out of the corner of her eye. His head was bowed and his eyes were shut tight, as if he was contemplating the jail cell that awaited him.
Talk about complete confusion. Leah should run; she knew that. But the sixth sense she’d trusted all her life was telling her to stay. Reaching across the table she picked up the heavy book. Checking to make sure her “kidnapper” wasn’t making any new threats, Leah began thumbing through the pages; dark and light sat side by side, and she attempted to decipher clues from the past.
From Egyptian handwriting that reminded her of a book she’d once read about the lost Library of Alexandria, to a strange map with Latin text that looked like it came from the secret vaults of the Vatican Library, Leah found herself sucked into every amazing page. There were unbelievable signatures at the bottom of each sheet that she couldn’t wrap her mind around: Plato, Socrates and, oddly enough, one that she could’ve sworn read, Merlin. The librarian in her was exhilarated beyond belief.
Leah paused when the strangely familiar words met her gaze. On the ‘good’ side of the book, there was a hand drawing of Christ dying on the cross. But above it, instead of scripture, were the words to the song, Rock of Ages.
“Without the book,” she began. “Without these clues…how could you possibly have found the first six?”
“I thought I was going to jail,” came Gareth’s sarcastic reply.
Leah tried not to smile at the man who now sounded like a petulant teenager. Flipping through the ‘evil’ side of the book, she quickly passed over the strange scenes of slithering serpents, and victims with mouths open wide in silent screams. She’d rather not dwell on those; she feared knowing too much about the worst possible side of humanity.
But when she came across the familiar slanted handwriting, she stopped dead in her tracks. On the ‘dark’ page, opposite the sketch of what she’d assumed was ancient Alexandria, was a childlike drawing done in white chalk. The lines looked like rooftops; spires and steeples rose up into the blackness. Scrawled on each triangular eave was the number ‘13’ and, on the largest one, there as a chalk outline of a human being. A bullet-hole had been drawn dead center in the person’s chest.
Leah blocked out the sirens that erupted inside her brain, and read the words at the bottom of the page:
To me, a book is a message from the gods to mankind…A. Crowley
Closing the cover of the strange book that’d been buried for over a hundred years in the basement of her favorite place, Leah turned to the defeated man sitting quietly beside her. For the first time in her life Leah had no idea what she was doing. It was as if Crowley, himself, was daring her to solve his riddle; taunting her with the fact that she just wasn’t as smart as he had been.
She sighed heavily. Like her father, Leah had to go further than the rest. She had to excel. It wasn’t a choice—it was a necessity for her. Research, books, words…they were like a drug. She absolutely had to know.
If her father had been sitting beside her, Leah knew exactly what he’d say. He’d tell her that a gift had been dropped in her lap—a chance to literally step away from the books, go into the unknown, and solve a mystery that a true historical ‘devil’ had left behind.
Making a mental note to find a psychiatrist for herself as soon as possible, Leah reached over and touched Gareth’s arm, causing him to practically jump out of his skin. “You own a laptop?”
He grunted. “They have some at my hotel…why?” His eyes came alive with hope.
The computer clicked and beeped inside Leah’s brain, searching her own database for the answer to the first clue that she knew was designed to take her into the darkness.
Standing up, she stretched her back and grabbed her leather coat. Turning, Leah stared into the confused green eyes. “Let’s go.”
I unequivocally feel that this Tallent & Lowery 13 story is one of the best suspense, adventure books I’ve read in quite some time. I was immediately immersed into Gareth Lowery’s search for the twelve hidden keys that supposedly opened the gates of Heaven. Ms. Lignor planted twists and turns throughout her story and kept me sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to see what was around the next corner of Tallent and Lowery’s adventure. This story is best summed up as National Treasure meets The Da Vinci Code. Honestly, I can see this story being made into a movie because it was that amazing to read. I’ve read that this will be a seven part series and I’m already eagerly waiting to read book two. I highly recommend this book and know you won’t be disappointed. This is a 2013 must read!!! – Night Owl Review “Top Pick”
Curse of the Bibliophile Says 13 is:
“5 Stars! A fantastic adventure that will have you hooked from page 1!”
The Da Vinci Code with HEART! Awesome Start to What I think will be yet another incredible series from Amy Lignor! — Amy Ferris, Bestselling Author, Marrying George Clooney
“Snappy dialogue, fast pacing and attention to detail complete the formula for this successful novel!!” 4 ½ Stars (RT Rating) —Romantic Times
Amy Lignor is a truly amazing and gifted author. Tallent & Lowery “13” immediately grabs the attention of the reader. Infused with emotion and “edge of your seat” adventures, the spider web of this plot is entirely believable! –Mad Hatter Reads
Fact: Amy Lignor ROCKS! I absolutely adored 13! I loved the smart plot and how cleverly it unfolds. The originality of it all is breathtaking – I could NOT stop reading! —Literary Circle
“Indiana Jones meets DaVinci Code!!! Amy produces a book with locations, plots, webs of deceit interwoven perfectly! Escape the drab, dull books with THIS series!!! Massive THUMBS UP. —ROMCOM
“Get ready for a thrill ride with Amy Lignor’s “13” – the Tallent & Lowery adventure series! Sharp writing, witty dialogue, and a quest that rivals everything you have EVER read!” —Susan Fleet, author of “Natalie’s Revenge”
“Amy Lignor’s storylines are AMAZING!” –Tiffany’s Bookshelf
About the Author
The daughter of a career librarian, Amy Lignor’s first love has always been books. She began her career in publishing as the Editor-in-Chief of Grey House Publishing. Working in the industry for twenty years, she is now the Owner/Operator of ‘The Write Companion’, an editorial house offering authors a range of services.
Appointed the Editor-in-Chief of a brand new traditional publisher–Hallowed Ink Press–Amy somehow finds the time to do it all while still putting out the most amazing series that has received every ‘Top Pick’ readers can think of!
Her popular YA Series: The Angel Chronicles (Until Next Time, Gilded Wings & A Privilege), introduced her to fans who now wait with bated breath for the next ‘Tallent & Lowery’ suspense/thriller to arrive.
Inducted into the International Thriller Writers Organization, Amy is also a writer/contributor for various magazines, companies, and review organizations; Authorlink, The Feathered Quill, Suspense Magazine and more.
AMY’S SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:
Check Out Amy Lignor’s HIT YA Series at:
My Interview with Amy Lignor
I would like to welcome Amy Lignor and thank her for taking the time to give me this interview. We will be finding out about her and her book The Hero’s Companion, Volume #3 in the ‘Tallent & Lowery Adventure Series’.
Before we begin the interview, Amy, can you tell us a little about yourself and your novel?
Absolutely. The ‘Tallent & Lowery’ adventure series began with 13 and then moved on to The Sapphire Storm. There will be seven in all; and they are stand-alone adventures, although it’s far more fun to find out the background of the characters. The Hero’s Companion is the newest adventure that leads Leah Tallent & Gareth Lowery into a whole new puzzle which links some pretty amazing locations together. It is by following a very odd map to a very odd artifact that Leah and Gareth must do in order to save Leah’s father from certain death. Not only do the readers get a new adventure, but they also uncover some serious secrets that are embedded in Leah’s past.
When it comes to me, I’ve been in the publishing industry for about twenty years now. I began my career as the Editor-in-Chief of Grey House Publishing back East. Now I write and review for several magazines, as well as run a company called, The Write Companion, where I focus on editing novels for debut authors in order to help them further their career, which I love to do. I’m also the new Editor-in-Chief of a brand new imprint just hitting the industry called, Hallowed Ink Press. I am an avid reader and love history and things that could never be explained from the past. Working out puzzles is a lot of fun for me, and that’s what ‘Tallent & Lowery’ is all about!
Now on to the interview.
- When did you start writing? A lot happened in my 13th year, actually, which opened up the door to writing for me. A hideous family vacation was taken that year, where my family stayed with friends for a week and we actually had to go to bed at night quite early so their cat wouldn’t be disturbed. That’s when I wrote my first short story: My Life: A Comedy & Tragedy. (I loved sarcasm). I continued with creating humorous stories before delving into a series called ‘The Angel Chronicles,’ which came about from a much more dramatic situation that year – my grandfather’s passing.
- What/who inspired you to write? My grandfather, who was the epitome of wit and storytelling; and my mother. She is a career librarian and I was always captivated by books and the library. I loved doing research – which is what she loves to do – and she just always surrounded my sister and me with books. Instead of video games or movie actors, writers became my idols.
- Who has been the most supportive? God, everybody. I have to tell you, I am extremely lucky. From my incredible family to my amazing daughter to the fans, the publishing companies I’ve worked with, other authors and reviewers – everyone has supported me and I completely owe them for that
- What writers inspired you and what about their work do you most like? I love Poe. People categorize him as horror, but his relationships and the emotions that he showed to the world literally made his stories unforgettable. When it came to romance, Jane Austen still holds that gold medal for me. And when it came to pure fantasy, I think J.K. Rowling will remain the bar that everyone will strive to meet for a good, long time. Dean Koontz is also a huge inspiration for me. This is a man who can write one of the most frightening scenes you’ve ever been a part of and then insert a dry joke out of nowhere that will have you laughing while you’re ready to scream out loud. That is an amazing gift!
- What is your favorite piece of writing by them? From Poe it’s, ‘The Masque of the Red Death’. Unfortunately, the premise of classes and society versus poverty fits now even more than it did then. With Koontz, I love everything, but Odd Thomas is that witty character I remember long after the book is over. For Austen, ‘Pride & Prejudice’ will always be the one closest to my heart, and ‘Harry Potter’ is, like I said above, a staple for the literary world.
- Have you collaborated or plan to collaborate in the future? I have not as of yet; however, I am working to create an anthology with young adults where they will each write a short story or poem in regards to the topics and emotions they have to face being a girl in this world. I’m very excited about that. But…if I could get Koontz to ever want to collaborate, that would be a dream come true. LOL
- What future projects do you have in store? The ‘Tallent & Lowery’ series from Suspense Publishing will be seven books in total, so there’s a great deal more in the adventure, suspense, puzzle realm to come. And I will be working on the anthology, as well as a fantasy novel.
- Are you currently working on a project? I’m currently working on editing Books #4 and #5 (The Charlatan’s Crown and The Double-Edged Sword) for Tallent & Lowery, while writing the sixth. I’m also working on a fantasy/historical based on Stonehenge.
- What is your favorite piece of writing from your own work and why? Oh…boy. Well, ‘The Angel Chronicles’ YA trilogy I wrote was based so deeply on my life that I feel strongly about that angel/warrior duo, and miss them a great deal. When it comes to absolute fun, though, ‘Tallent & Lowery’ has been a dream to write. Leah Tallent is a character I truly understand and identify with. She’s a whole lot of fun to be around!
For the lighter questions
- Do have any writing quirks? I have to have a fan on in the room at all times when I write. If it’s too quiet, I can’t write at all, and the humming noise allows my mind to shut out everything else.
- Do you snack while you write? No. Even chewing would be too loud. (LOL) I feel like the characters are speaking directly to me when I write; they’re leading me down the path of the adventure, so I don’t want to miss anything.
- Do have a special place that you prefer to write? I always write in a room that’s painted emerald green in the house. It’s a den/bedroom. There’s no particular reason why; it’s just extremely comfortable, like a safe, jewel-colored cave.
- Do have certain amounts of time that you have set aside to write each day? No. Like I said, these characters will talk whenever they feel like it. So sometimes I can write for a full weekend straight. Sometimes I’m down and not writing for a week straight. Other times I get an idea at 2:00 AM, wake up immediately, put the coffee on, and start right then and there until I have nothing more to say.
- Do you listen to music when you write? If so what type of music (genre and/or songs)? Nope. Just the fan. (LOL)
- Anything you would like to add? I love debut authors. I work very closely with many of them because I do not want people to give up when it comes to writing. This is a very difficult industry to break into, and I know many will simply stop because it’s far too hard to put up with the criticism and ‘thanks, but no thanks’ letters. Believe me, when you’re meant to write, you’re meant to write, so you just have to remember that becoming an author is like a marathon – all you have to do is breathe and keep on going.
Purchase Links for the print & digital versions of ‘Tallent & Lowery’:
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/amy-lignor
Thank you so much for having me on today! Happy Holidays to both you and your fans!!