Dreamscape is finally picking up steam. I was worried for a while there. Dr. Judith told me she had a larger review when she posted a smaller bit on Goodreads recently, but this just leaves me speechless:
Dr. Judith’s review at Book Binge ~ 5 out of 5!
Unable to deny his own translucence, Dr. Jason Bowen determines his lack of physical substance could only mean one thing-he’s a ghost. Murdered more than a century before, Jason haunts his house and ponders the treachery that took his life. When Lanie O’Keefe arrives with plans to renovate her newly purchased Victorian mansion, Jason discovers, ghost or not, he’s still very much a man. Despite its derelict condition and haunted reputation, Lanie couldn’t be happier with her new home, but then she has no idea a spirit follows her every move throughout the day and shares her captivating warmth at night. Jason soon discovers he can travel through Lanie’s dreams and finds himself reliving the days before his murder with Lanie by his side. It took one hundred and twenty years for love to find them, but there’s that insurmountable little matter of Jason being dead.
This is the second novel by Rose Anderson I have read and reviewed and once again I think Ms Anderson has written a novel that is intriguing by its aura of mystery, a combination Victorian/contemporary ghost story, and at the core, a very erotic love story. There is not doubt in my mind that this is one heck of a novel, one that had me introspective and thoughtful when I finished, a kind of wonder that someone could have crafted such a wonderful book. That same sense of wonder is with me whenever I come out of the theater after watching one of those movies that seems to grab me by the shirt front and hold me captive throughout. That is the same feeling I had when I finished this tale.
All that being said, this is a story that tells of a heroine whose own early years were filled with hurt, emotional wounds caused by the neglect of a drunken mother and the derision of an uncaring community. The stately Victorian mansion seemed to inspire her to dream of a world of tradition, family, affluence, and romance. The stories of the ghost who lived in the shuttered environs of the Bowen mansion also piqued her interest, especially after she began to dream about the young boy who lived there, whose mother had died when he was young and whose father had been killed in a freak accident. The dreams continued off and on throughout her growing up years but were especially intense after Lanie purchased the Bowen mansion, spending her small inheritance to refurbish the old house and its yard, gardens, and fountains. She then began the construction of a new free clinic. She was a doctor and the free clinic was one of her most insistent goals. In fact, in the dream life she enjoyed with Jason Bowen, her ghostly dream lover who was also a physician, Lanie was a woman ahead of her time in that she was a doctor also. But Jason was a ghost who had been murdered by his wife of four months in order to gain his extensive wealth. Now as a ghost, mourning the fact that he had not real future with Lanie, he needed to find out how he died. In their dream life together they were seeking not only the facts of Jason’s death, but ways to possibly change the future by preventing his death.
Throughout this story there is the tension Jason feels as he falls in love with this real woman, dealing with his feelings and the awareness that there was no future for them. He also had to face the need to remove himself from her awareness and through her friend he tried to do that. Lanie, nevertheless, always seemed to have the sense that she and Jason not only had a limit to their time in the present world but that when he died in her dream life, he would be gone there as well. So the reader is kept on the edge as these two parallel lives unfold for Lanie and Jason as well as for her friend Lexie and those who are alive in her dreams but who have been dead for over a century.
There are twists and turns and surprises galore in this novel, not the least of which is the ending which absolutely flipped me on my head and left me with my mouth hanging open. Certainly not what I expected. It was a more than satisfactory resolution, but to say I was shocked is to put it mildly. Suffice it to say that throughout the novel the reader has the sense that this century-old horror is going to repeat itself, that there seems no possible way that Lanie and Jason can realize a happy ending together short of Lanie’s death, or that the evil perpetrated by Jason’s wife and relatives is inevitable. I had the feeling that I was reading a Greek tragedy where things begin as they go on . . . worse and worse. Yet the author has come up with a resolution that is not only surprising in the extreme but absolutely perfect for the story.
This story will perplex and stretch the reader’s belief in the power of love, and while we all know that death is final there remains that remnant of belief that somehow we’ll find a way to reach across the Great Divide of death with the power of love. Perhaps that is the winsome hope upon which this novel is predicated as well as the fact that there are those who believe in re-incarnation, the reality of dreams or the possibility that dreams can reveal deep truths about ourselves we would otherwise miss. Whatever the truth may be or wherever it lies in regards to life and death, this story will feed that hope that somehow death is not quite so final. There is beauty here, with the joy of mutual discovery between Jason and Lanie, the frustration of the heart that can often twist a person’s spirit, the evil that grows out of the love of wealth, the kindness and gentleness which can come from friendship and deep respect, and hope that deep and authentic loving can keep alive under any set of circumstances. It is all here and Ms Anderson has woven it all into a novel that is beautifully written, well-edited, and put together so that the parts of the story flow together seamlessly. It is a novel I have no difficulty calling a work of art.
So readers who love erotic romance wrapped in the mists of dream and fantasy and time-travel will find this to be a delightful reading experience, an entertaining way to spend some time, and an exercise of the mind and imagination. This novel is already on my favorites list as well as my “to read again” list.
Wow. Here’s another very nice review for Dreamscape —
“He was part of my dream, of course – but then I was part of his dream too.”
– Through the Looking Glass – by Lewis Carroll
Summary: Jason Bowen was murdered over a hundred years ago by his wife and her lover. Ever since then he has haunted the house he lived and died in. Lanie O’Keefe buys the deserted house and moves in with plans to renovate it to its former Victorian beauty.
Jason is drawn immediately to Lanie’s looks and her mind. Unknown to her, he follows her through the day and lays with her in the bed at night. He starts having feelings and physical sensations that he hasn’t experienced since he died. Then he realizes that he can travel through Lanie’s dreams and surprisingly those dreams are about the day’s prior to his own murder.
Review: The whole book is like a dream itself. The reader flows almost seamlessly from dreams to happenings in the present day. You become part of the dream. Only occasionally did the shifting from the present to dream/past become confusing.
Jason is the kind of ghost that you would want to be haunting your bed. He is handsome, kind, considerate and focused on Lanie. She is beautiful, smart, and totally unfazed by the realization that her house is haunted. In one scene Jason decides to test Lanie’s reaction to a possible ghost by slowly opening a squeaky kitchen cabinet. She watches without a sound or any hint of fear. Then she calmly makes her tea, sits down to make her to-do list for the house renovation, and only occasionally look up to see if the cabinet moves again.
The main mystery of the book for me was not how Jason died, but how Lanie and he are going to get their HEA. The ending was a pleasant surprise for me.
Overall: This is a very clever story with a dream hero who will make you believe in ghosts and in the power of the mind.
There were great comments on this review too —
- I like the sound of this one! There aren’t many ghost lover stories out there right now. Thanks for the heads up!
- Carla- “Oh, man!” This is precisely why I need to stop reading what other reviewers have to say about novels. My TBR file is the very definition of exponential growth. I want to know how Jason and Lanie make it work! (TBR means to be read)
I can’t tell you how happy an author feels when they get good reviews. 🙂
I finally employed the use of Microsoft OneNote to help me organize my inbox the other day. Any author or would-be author reading my blog today, check out this fabulous organization tool. I snagged this little bit from a review so you can see –
OneNote: an excellent, easy to use tool for students, writers, people looking for a way to organize notes, or anyone who needs more flexibility than MSWord provides in the creation of documents. Go here to try for free microsoft-education-products_OneNote2010 and prepare to be wowed.
I was wowed. Still am. I got lucky and happened to find a free-for-students full-use version a few years ago. I’m guessing since my download, they’ve gone over to a “limited use” free version.
A few posts back I talked about getting my feet wet in the published-author world. So much information comes my way by the week that my feet weren’t just wet, I was treading water up to my chin. I use the OneNote for my magnum opus and it organizes everything for me – pages, family pedigree charts, links and notes of all kinds. Every tab sorts things for me. Here’s a smidge of what I see:
Pretty cool huh?
Well, seeing how it works for my larger writing, I thought I’d employ it to organize the wealth of information burying me right now. I have it sorted into categories like Guest Blogs, Interviews, Things to try, Tips (my friends Missy and Michelle have their own subfolders here!) and lots more folders and subfolders (23 to be exact. The magnum opus has 34. Yes it is a huge series with a tremendous body of knowledge packing its pages. One day I hope to finish it!). I started last Thursday and have managed to dissect and delete a full third of my inbox folders. Yea! I’ve been trying to discipline myself to whittle away at least 10 saved this or that’s a day. I might be done late next week! In the process, I’ve found several things I’d saved to read again and never got back to. In my first two months of being an author, I had no idea what I was reading. Even the terminology escaped me back in April and May. They make sense now! Having these tidbits organized has allowed me to set in motion several large projects I’ll blog about in the future as they take place. I have some fun and interesting stuff coming. 🙂
Speaking of fun. I was invited to join a Twitter Hop-along. What’s that, you ask? Here’s the gist – every interested person “follows” every other interested person on Twitter with the goal of making some new contacts. I’ve made a ton of new contacts from it. I don’t yet know what this is going to gain me in the long run. I’m not a big tweeter — updates and notices only. But if nothing else, when I post updates etc, more people will see the tweet. Maybe some will be curious enough to look me up. As far as Twitter goes, I’ve gotten a few surprises along the way. Yesterday, a very well-known romance author followed me! I’ve been a fan for years and have her books on my bookshelf too. I swear sometimes this whole experience gets downright surreal. Maybe one day my books will be on her shelf. 🙂
More fun ~
Seven Things You Might Not Guess About Me
- People tell me I’m a good cook
- I love cutting paper – snowflakes, leaves, strings of paper animals and dolls etc
- I collect 1930’s Hall Lipton teapots
- I own a pair of Converse hightops with flames on them. And I wear them too!
- I’ve won blue ribbons for my pickles
- I love throwing parties
- I play Scrabble with a 9-letter tray but not for scores. I play for the “prefect looking board” (try it!)