First, a bit about both of our authors:
Lee Bice-Matheson is the author of Wake Me Up Inside, Book One, in the Paige Maddison Series. It was the recipient of the Literacy Award from the Readers' Advisory Panel, Orillia Public Library, and the series continues to be included in the Battle of the Books, Simcoe County. Lee is proud to say she coauthored Destiny's Gate, Book Two, and Shine Your Light, Book Three, with her son, J.R. Matheson. Lee has degrees in Honours History and a Master of Library & Information Science, both from Western University.
J.R. Matheson has been writing fantasy and horror since he was old enough to hold a pen. Collaborating on the Paige Maddison series has reignited his passion for creative writing. When he’s not weaving tales with his mom and coauthor, Lee Bice-Matheson, he can be found drowning in scientific publications and talking incessantly about his research at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto, Ontario, where he is a clinical pharmacology PhD student. Some may claim that science and the creative arts are at odds, but J.R. feels they are one and the same.
It’s been a while since you were on my blog. What has the writing team of Lee Bice-Matheson & J. R. Matheson been up to?
How did you come up with the idea of the Paige Maddison Series?
I started out as a storyteller creating bedtime stories for J.R. He loved them so much, one day, he suggested I should write them down and share them with the world. My husband also encouraged me to write them down. Our family often hiked along nature trails, and I didn’t want us to be eaten by bears, so I would create animal stories and say them aloud to scare off any nearby wildlife. When our son was in Grade 10 and living in France on an exchange, I realized that I must have something to do in my off-hours from working in my husband’s office. In fact, he said to me, “You’ve done so much for J.R. and me, why don’t you finally write some of those stories and publish them.” I enrolled in a post-graduate writing course. At the end of the course, we were asked to write an outline of a novel, or to write a short story. I chose the novel … and my mentor, Cheryl Zach, said ‘you can go into writing novels.’ I was thrilled. During this course, I lost my parents (nine months apart), my father-in-law, my maternal grandmother, and many more loved family members, and my best friend. They say write what you know most about. I chose to write about family relationships, unconditional love, loyalty, death, and afterlife. I began to write about ghosts and spirituality, naturally.
Give us a summary of books one and two.
Wake Me Up Inside, Book One, is a ghost story centered around Paige Maddison, a strong teenage heroine. Paige is disturbed by nightmares of places she has never seen, and visions of a girl haunting her dreams. She is angry because she must move with her parents to an estate called O'Brien Manor to help her estranged grandparents, one of whom is in ill health. With the help of her friend, Bradley Adam Parkman, they begin to piece together a stone tablet that holds the key to supernatural events occurring on the O’Brien Estate. Paige bears the burden of solving a family secret. Will Paige uncover the mystery of O'Brien Manor before it's too late? It's a page-turner and will leave you feeling haunted.
Destiny’s Gate, Book Two: ‘Live from a place of love. It conquers all that is evil.’
Shaken by the haunting on the O’Brien Estate, Paige hopes to put it behind her. When Paige’s premonitions, nightmares, and ghostly visions return, however, she realizes there is no way of getting back to the normal she once knew. Try as she might to adjust to her new life at the O’Brien Manor, dark forces begin to brew on the grounds of the haunted O’Brien estate. But where there is darkness, there is also light. Paige soon learns that she is not only being watched over by guardians of both the spirit and mortal realms, but also being called upon by a greater power beyond her wildest comprehension. As her world is turned upside down, Paige faces a life-changing dilemma: Should she embrace her special gift and fulfill the destiny that is unfolding before her? Or will she succumb to the evil that surrounds her and deny her true identity? Destiny’s Gate follows the young heroine on her personal journey of discovering inner strength, undying loyalty, and the profound power of unwavering love.
Tell us about book three, Shine Your Light.
Our third novel is written as a standalone. Paige understands who her arch-nemesis is and that her family is its target. She fights against the ultimate evil with her friends and risks it all to fight for the good of humanity. It is a supernatural, spiritual, and ghost mystery series. After the release of SYL, we’ve been referred to as: ‘the Nancy Drew of the realm of high spirits and dreams and visions,’ by John Robert Colombo, Canada’s Master Gatherer, and author & anthologist of over 200 books.
Paige Maddison is only 17 years old, but many know her spirit is ageless. She holds the gift of seeing beyond the layers of our reality, the courage to battle the evils that threaten to tear those layers apart, and the key to an ancient mystery that will decide the fate of the spirit realm, and our own, for another century.
In Shine Your Light, Paige finds herself precariously balanced between the mortal and spiritual realms, even while being haunted by events of the past. Surrounded by powerful allies, old and new, she discovers the true power of friendship―and the impact of its betrayal―as she faces her greatest challenge: the Prince of Darkness himself. The Ultimate Evil.
When a black moon looms over All Hallows' Eve, and the battle for control of an ancient Grimoire threatens to destroy the world as we know it, Paige will be put to the test. Will love and goodness win the day? Will the strength and magic of her Celtic ancestry, the First Nations People, her Spirit Wolf family, or even divine intervention be enough to help her prevail?
Paige’s visions tell her that she is the Chosen One―chosen by fate, God, or perhaps the universe itself ... but is she worthy? The ultimate battle between fallen angels, humanity, and the upperworld is about to be fought on Earth’s battlefield.
What if they've made the wrong choice?
Here's a peek at Shine Your Light:
Peggy hugged me for dear life and sent me on my way. As I ran down the gravel road to the O'Brien estate, I heard her say, "'Shine your light, Paige. Shine your light. People have been trying to shut it down since the day you were born."
"I will, indeed, Peggy. Thanks to you," I replied in kind. Then I was off to cleanse myself. How could I battle evil if I did not ensure evil was not attached to me or to my soul?
What’s next for the Paige Maddison Series? Are you working on book four?
I have recently announced that my co-author and son, J.R. Matheson, is retiring from the Paige Maddison series. He is in his PhD working on research: how cannabis effects driving behaviour. We support J.R. 100% in his endeavours and we’re very proud of him.
I am rebranding the Paige Maddison series and have begun working on book four. It’s bittersweet as I miss J.R.’s input, but it’s also an exciting time.
Do you always write as a duo? Have either you or J.R. Matheson written books on your own? Do you find writing together easier or harder than writing solo?
I wrote Wake Me Up Inside on my own. J.R. wrote a book when he was 10 years old. The TV series Lost came out, and it was similar to J.R.’s book; he tossed it in a drawer where it sits to this day. I am hoping one day he’ll revise it and then release it. I loved it! That’s why I asked him to be my writing partner. He is very talented. We wrote books two and three together via emails, skype calls, on family holidays, using dropbox, and texting one another through the day to ask questions here and there about the storyline. We managed to write the books together, scene by scene. We respect each other and think along the same lines too. We challenged each other in a good way. We never had a disagreement, and we’re closer now than before. I will miss writing with J.R. I loved it more than writing solo. But he has encouraged me to carry on, as my husband has, and so many readers have, too.
What else would you like readers to know?
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to our supporters and book buying readers of the Paige Maddison series. We wouldn’t be continuing this journey if it wasn’t for you. Also to our new readers, we hope you enjoy Paige’s spiritual awakening.
Please leave honest and constructive reviews for any of your favourite authors on Goodreads, Amazon, Google Play, Barnes & Noble, or any online bookstore. It is one of the main ways to give feedback to help authors understand how their work is being received or how it could be tweaked to make it better. We appreciate all feedback for the Paige Maddison Series.
Here is our latest review: 5 STARS - I recently had the pleasure of reading Shine Your Light. It was refreshing to read a well-written novel void of sex, drugs, and smoking. Avid readers of all ages will enjoy Paige Maddison's adventures with her loyal friends. If this book was available in our schools, I feel the students would find it to be a great read and learn important life lessons from it. My great-granddaughter is turning 13 this year and I think she will find Paige's spirit wolves, out of body experiences, and Archangel Guardians fascinating! What a great book! L.W.
Where can readers find you and your books?
Twitter: @BiceMatheson @justinrmatheson
Shine Your Light: Amazon, Indigo, B&N, Friesen Press