Jen Braaksma is a writer and book coach. After ten years as a journalist, she spent nearly two decades in the classroom as a high school English and writing teacher. Now she helps other writers develop and share their stories. With a focus on fiction and memoir for writers of every ability and experience level, she loves to assist in shaping stories exactly how the author wants them, from inception of the idea through revisions.

Growing up in a Christian/Protestant environment, Jen has always been interested in spirituality and the binary contrast of good versus evil. Combined with her time spent among teens and YA literature such as The Hobbit, Shadow Hunters, and Harry Potter, it became the inspiration for Evangeline’s Heaven, her first published novel. A believer in true love and soul mates, Jen lives in Ottawa, Canada with her husband, two teen daughters, and four cats.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Perfect for fans of the Supernatural and Lucifer—Evangeline is torn between truth and love as she shakes up the Heavens. 

War is ravaging the Seven Heavens. Lucifer, supported by Commoners, the lowest class of angels, is rebelling against God’s plan to exile them to the new Earth. When Lucifer departs on a desperate mission, he leaves his daughter, Evangeline, to defend their home in First Heaven. Fiercely loyal and trained to fight, Evangeline stands ready to do her father’s bidding against the class of angels her mother belonged to.

But a crisis of faith changes everything. Evangeline overhears the archangel Gabriel and his son Michael’s discussion about Lucifer’s true plan—to find the Key to the Kingdom and claim the power of God to control all the Heavens for eternity. Refusing to believe her father capable of such treachery, Evangeline sets off to alert her father. But as she battles through the Heavens, Evangeline is shocked to discover new facets of her father and of the cause she has unwaveringly fought for.

For the first time in her life, she begins to question. Are her father’s motives pure? Is her half-breed heritage of Commoner and Dominion blood as abhorrent as she thought? With the fate of the Heavens hanging in the balance, she must decide who she’s going to be: her father’s daughter, or her own person.

TALKING POINTS

  • Evangeline is a strong, fierce, independent young woman, learning to see the world for what it is, not what she wants it to be
  • Young people often underestimate their own skills because they never think they measure up and are too often comparing themselves without seeing their own value
  • How the people in our lives help shape us but do not define us
  • Family is more than blood; it’s who we can count on and trust
  • How grief can shape young people and their memories of lost loved ones
  • Evangeline’s complicated relationship with her mother’s memory
  • A thoroughly-researched account of angel lore based on the Christian Bible
  • Angels as one-dimensional, wholesome messengers of God in society yet so complex and dangerous in the Bible
  • Good vs. Evil: Why the binary is so intrinsic to inspiring, young adult stories that last
  • The teenage struggle to separate others’ expectations from their own desires
  • Magic of Retelling: How stories evolve and change, and are a collaboration of the author’s and reader’s imagination
  • Writer’s Craft: The highs and lows of finding time to write only to realize it doesn’t make sense and learning where to ask for help

TIMELY TIE-INS

October

  • TeenTober

PRAISE

“Jen takes us on an action-packed journey through several Heavens where Christian truth and tropes are turned inside out. But for all the swords and wings, this is an earthly and universal story: a daughter’s faith in herself and love for her father.” —Richard Scrimger, author of Irresistible

“Jen Braaksma’s Evangeline is an engaging, complex protagonist who knows her worth but struggles to find her place. Torn between love and truth, Evangeline’s story will take you on the journey of a lifetime.” —Alison Levy, author of the Daemon Collecting Series

“Fast-paced and beautifully written, Evangeline’s Heaven will make you question everything you thought you knew about angels and leave you wanting more.” —Lenore Borja, author of The Last Huntress: Mirror Realm Series Book I

“Evangeline is a principled character who leads us on an emotionally charged journey through a heaven we recognize only in name. This story is as thought-provoking as it is rewarding. Full of unexpected twists and turns, Evangeline’s Heaven will have you racing to the finish.” —Max Turner, author of the Night Runner trilogy