You’ll LOVE Reading Rose!
Agatha Christie, Michael Crichton, and Ken Follett are three distinctly different storytellers but they never disappoint me. All three write in exquisite detail and fill my imagination. By giving me sights and smells and hidden insights, they allow me to immerse myself in their imagery. I get to see what they saw in their mind’s eye when they crafted it. I consider myself a complex person. As a reader, I love getting in the writer’s head.
More than 20 years ago I fell in love with a book by Australian author and illustrator Graeme Base entitled The Eleventh Hour. It was a children’s book bought first for my daughter and then for my son on their eleventh birthdays. The book was a puzzle that told a story but hinted at a larger story behind the scenes. It was filled with codes to be broken and logic to be deduced and it took our family nearly three months to crack. It was fun but uncovering the clues weren’t necessary to telling the story because you’d eventually figure it out at the very end anyway. I enjoyed it a lot. I suppose that contributed to me writing a few reader-interactive novels myself.
My first puzzle book was Dreamscape. It’s a story within a story with a classic breadcrumb trail of clues in every chapter. Like The Eleventh Hour, the clues aren’t necessary to understand the story, the ending says it all. They’re just there so the reader will go..wait a minute..is Rose hiding a clue here? Loving Leonardo isn’t exactly a puzzle book, but it was created to stir one’s imagination beyond the storytelling by allowing the reader to see through the main character’s eyes by way of the various artworks mentioned.
Taking a page from the three aforementioned authors, when I create stories with paranormal elements, I weave realism throughout. I enjoy the challenge of crafting stories that make the impossible plausible. My goal in every paranormal story is to suspend the reader’s disbelief. My interest in history comes to the fore in my historical novels and I carefully construct scenes and period dialogue so my readers are transported to that time. I also have a keen and ofttimes absurd sense of humor. Readers will discover a good dose of wit layered into my tales as well. And always tucked here and there, are insights into the ultimate meaning of existence through symbolism and metaphor. Why? Because I read too and I love stories that make me think. The following are simply random bits from my seven novels — small introductions in a few sentences.
Setting the Stage:
Jenna cries as she scatters her grandmother’s ashes into the sea. Nearby in his Selkie form, Alex is oddly affected. Neither know her tears have unleashed an ancient charm. Forgetting he looks like a seal, he swims near.
The woman must have felt his presence for she looked up from her grief. Meeting his eyes, she looked startled to see him so close. She rose slowly and backed away.His heart ached to watch her go and he found the feeling both perplexing and extraordinary. Then and there, he knew he had to meet her. Taking a breath, he plunged under the water and swam to the far side of the cliff where the sea cave sat undetected. On dry land now, inside the dark chamber, he peeled away his waterskin. And where flippers were a moment before, a man’s arms and legs appeared. Shaking out his spotted skin with a snap, he rolled it into a tight bundle and headed toward the passage.
The Witchy Wolf and the Wendigo (book 1 Ashkewheteasu)
Setting the Stage:
Ash, an immortal Native American shaman, has recently entered the modern world. Here, quite unexpectedly, he ends up kissing Livie in the restaurant parking lot after a dinner date. Never exposed to beer before, Ash is a little tipsy.
His lovely dark eyes sought hers and the passionate yearning reflected there made her feel dizzy with want. He spoke in his language again and she shook her head, not understanding. He smiled, picked up her hand and kissed her palm. Closing her fingers around the kiss as though it were a tangible thing, he told her, “You make me burn for you Livie, but this is not the place to love you as you deserve.”
Not knowing how to respond, she took a breath and let it out slowly. If not for the fact she barely knew him, she’d ask him to come home and finish what he’d started, inebriated or not.
The Witchy Wolf and the Wendigo (book 2 Eluwilussit)
Setting the Stage:
Ash uses the birdstone to take his consciousness to the spirit world and there meets the spirit of Nawkaw, his old mentor. Nawkaw has extraordinary news for him.
Everything as far as his eyes could see was a pure version of what he knew in the living world — every blade of grass, every leaf, all of it — edged in the white glowing light. Walking on, he found Nawkaw as his younger self, standing up to his calves in sparkling clear water. Spear raised, body poised, Nawkaw too was edged in white light as was the fish he quickly speared and tossed on the bank. Ash found himself thinking the waters of the spirit realm must teem with spirit fish, for he had caught and eaten thousands in his long lifetime alone. Seeing Ash, Nawkaw’s face broke into a happy smile. “So the bird has flown you to us. And I only explained how the magic worked once before I died!”
I believe we were all aware of a sexual tension growing in the intellectual-rich loam. There were little things at play now: the way Ellie moistened her lips and looked at us with eyes that lingered from one to the other. The way Luca’s irises had darkened from snow shadow to moon shadow as he looked upon her. The way I’d catch myself with a reminder to breathe as my eye was drawn to these small distinctions. Like da Vinci’s sfumato, our mutual attraction hung in the air, and I was struck by the notion that the smoky quality depicted in his art was desire. Desire like this.
Loving Leonardo – The Quest
Setting the Stage:
Luca has gone missing. Nicolas is desperate to find him before Conte Bruno does. With the help of Will, a man who knows his way around the darker corners of Victoria’s London, Nicolas delves into the seedier corners of the dockside. In this scene, Nicolas asks the serving girl if she’s seen a highborn Italian traveling with three servants. Quite unexpectedly, he finds someone else.
I turned to Will, my very words sounding stupefied to my ears, “Bloody hell, that impetuous creature over there is my wife dressed as a man.”
“Oh Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. Pardon me for saying it sir, but whatever was she thinkin’? These men aren’t out for a bleedin’ tea party, they’re murderers!”
I seriously doubted much thought was involved. Our man sits within our grasp and my hands were now quite tied.
Setting the Stage:
In her waking world, Lanie knows Jason Bowen as the Victorian era ghost who haunts her house. At this point in the story, she’s entered her dream world, a world where Jason is very much alive and well in his time. In one world she loves a ghost and feels the hopelessness of that fact, in the other she loves a man doomed to die.
His eyes searched hers. He needed her to know. “I will love you through time. I will love you in your dreams and in the waking world. No matter what happens, no matter when.” His lips found hers, and kissed her sweetly.
They were only words, weren’t they? If so then why could I see it, why could I feel this so acutely? I clicked send and waited.“You’ve got mail” burst forth from the speakers. I discovered I had been conditioned to have an autonomic response to seeing the envelope and hearing the computerized words. Like Pavlov’s dog, I began to salivate.
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100 Things Blogging Challenge! For 100 days, I’m posting a little something from my chosen topic of Words & Quotes of Love. There are 15 entries to come. Here’s one for today:
“We are each of us angels with only one wing. And we can only fly while embracing each other.”
~Lucian De Croszonza
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