This is the first in the Ghost Walker Series.
I love Christine Feehan books, just let me say this up front. But, I can only take them in small doses under normal circumstances and usually rate them around a four stars. Partly because of the romances that tend to boarder a little too closely on damsel in distress is rescued by handsome prince patterns. Don’t get me wrong, her females are stubborn, to the point you sometimes want to reach in and shake their heads to see if there’s anything up there. Strong, however, would be going too far. Willful maybe. The men tend to be more typical of chauvinists than truly romantic or protective, save for in the bed, which there is a lot of. Even then some of them could stand to sit back and let her teach him a thing or two instead of fainting to his touch.
This series is lining up to change that particular problem. The main female lead in this book is strong, educated, but not stupid or stubborn. She uses her considerable brains and doesn’t let him change her thinking and not to her undoing either. Yes, there’s some rescue, but as much on her part (and maybe a little more so) as on his, which is refreshing. The character is well balanced, as is the plot, the romance, the seduction and the emotions.
Lilly is her own person in every regard with realistic human reactions and emotions. She is rich, but that fits into the story line. She couldn’t do what she does without the power and privilege, but she wasn’t bred to it, which grounds her in reality. She’s physically scared and has typical female views of herself as too lacking for a man like him.
Ryland, her male counterpart, is a soldier. A Special Forces leader and this, too, is very well done. As a former military spouse I can say from experience she was dead on with this character. Men in his position, who do the job he does, are very much like what she portrays. And I don’t mean that in a bad way, gentlemen! He’s strong and tough and tries to keep himself all he can be and cares about his men and what is happening to them. He tries to step up and take control and it goes pretty good, but for Lilly, who is having none of it. Again, the emotions, reactions and everything about his loyalty and behaviors drilled into him are very realistic and well done.
The sex is pretty graphic, but that is the way Feehan writes and she’s good at it. Be prepared for plenty of it, but it didn’t feel like nearly as much as in some of her books. This one I got in an audiobook, the performance was great and the narrator had a very sexy voice (male). I wouldn’t listen to the sex scenes in public though, even with the headphones on!
***I think a man would like this book just as much as the ladies. There was a very nice balance between story, character and animal attraction (and of course the results of that - it is Feehan after all). But a man would enjoy the storyline, action and bravado as well as the tasteful, manly romance. I'd certainly recommend the book or audiobook, for appropriate ages of course.
The creek is such a different place in the winter. Only the sound of water gurgling over rocks is the same. Gusts of wind moaning through the boughs of the trees and the caw of crows in the distance break the stillness. The smooth waters are still tempting, but oh so deathly cold. Numbness would set in quickly; hypothermia fast on it’s heals.
I’ve often wondered at a death so sure and swift. I’m morbid that way. The winter creek is not terribly familiar to me. I cannot remember knowing it as a child. I would see it last as the fall leaves drifted to float away in the current and see it next when the leaves were just opening to the warmth of spring.
The snow covered mountains tower around like expectant ancestors, pines swaying in the breeze. It’s calming even now, even in the cold, the wind tugging at my jacket and turning skin to tingling ice. I see myself there, in the waters depths, at the bottom of the deepest pool. That is where my soul finds peace, security, safety, where no one can touch it or break it.
A murder of crows flies over in the deep grey sky, high lighting the dimness of the place. The shadow of its summer existence that is winter. The old Craft place, it’s failing structure out lined in snow, the lonely deserted graveyard staring down from the knoll over looking the creek.
This is a different experience, but I can’t help but see the parallel. Our own souls are much like this, our personalities too. We have mirror images within ourselves that differ in only the details, but the details are what make that startling difference. Light and dark, day and night, the good and bad that lies within us all.
Do entities, spirits, houses, places haunt us? Or are the times experienced there, the best of times, the worst of times what haunt our psyche? Is it guilt for what we did or didn’t do, that we were happy there when so many around us cannot find happiness? Or is it what we had between us and another that others did/do not possess? Or perhaps it is these energies that give entities their life, their existence. Does deep seated love of a home give the house its energy, personality, pooling like a primordial soup until the soul of the place is born?
Or is it perhaps something that is always there, in existence, looking for a place with enough sustience to settle down into, like a hermit crab and a shell. How does it choose the location, the home or house into which it settles? Is it a possession? After all, it is a free entity – a soul of sorts – settling into a body of its choice. Are they like all of us? Some predominately good, some predominately bad, all with a past, emotions, experiences of their own? Can they pick up and move from one place to another at will? Or is there something that anchors them there, that has to go away in order for the entity to be freed to move on? And is there a beyond for them? Or do they wander here once born, moving from one existence, one possession to another?
I strongly believe that a place, a house or other location/structure can have a soul, a personality all its own. I know it from personal experience several times over. The occupying party/parties must fit with its needs and who or what it is in its essence. That's why some people are not comfortable in a place when another is, that's why some have experiences that are negative and others have positive experiences. That place was already occupied. The entity living there was there first, that is its home. Whether it is the structure or location itself that has an essence, or if there was an essence that settled there, that place belongs first and foremost to them. They must accept the new occupants and live in harmony with them. If the new additions are not a proper fit, then they must be dealt with much like anything else.
It’s a lot like when something moves into a location or home where we are already there. Wildlife for instance. We accept them and live in harmony or we make it unreasonable for the other and it leaves. This is all that the occupant of these places are doing, they wish to be accepted, in harmony. Either they accept you or they don’t, either you fit into their existence or you don’t. It’s no more right to expect them to leave than if someone moved into your home and expected you to leave without resistance because they suddenly decide to be there.
Think about it. How many times have people tried to “exorcise” a ghost? What right do you have to ask them to leave? They were there first after all. Or is it all in our heads? Are the ghosts, entities, spirits that haunt us our own subconscious? Is it our guilt or our desires or a result of any number of emotions? Or perhaps our own existence haunts us, our own perceptions of ourselves and our surroundings, our past and present and dreams. Maybe it all soaks into the environment around us to manifest in an external form that is more easily seen, lurking at the edge of our vision and consciousness.
What if? What if it is the result of residuals of someone else’s subconscious? Someone else’s hopes, dreams, demons soaked into the environment before we ever arrive. They are just residual emotions that manifested and were left behind by their creators. Wouldn’t that be an interesting twist?
Whatever they are we deal with them on different levels of consciousness and belief. Some don’t believe at all and ignore what is around them. Others are sensitive to their environment and cannot ignore it. Others approach it with cautious curiosity and then still others simply acknowledge and accept it as a part of their normal existence. I’ve lived in places that were sentient in their own right. I am of the latter persuasion, that they were there first and so long as we are both sharing the same place there’s little reason we would not get along sufficiently to both our benefits. I’ve never had a problem. We’ve existed in harmony with a rhythm all our own, each accepting the other as part of our natural environment and the relationship flourished as a result. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we treated all our environments with such mutual respect?
December 12, 2012
It's FINALLY here!
Throughout history, myths and legends of extraordinary creatures have been told and retold. Fantastic tales of demons and banshees, gryphons and dragons, and of course, magic. Stories that every child grows to learn are nothing more than fantasy…or are they?
Beyond the world you see lies a hidden realm, the Mythrian Realm, inhabited by all of the creatures you’ve been told are mere fiction. Only one thing lies between humans and the truth: the Nexus. A magical barrier erected millennia ago to separate the two realms, it has stood the test of time. Until now...
Lindsay, Tell us a little bit about the story behind "Breaking the Nexus."
~For Mythrian Sha Phoenix, magic is nothing new. But when she stumbles upon a portal on the verge of collapse, her fate will forever change. Pulled through the portal into the Human Realm, she lands in the middle of Detective Connor Flynn’s brutal murder scene. Soon it is obvious someone is using blood magic to try to bring down the Nexus. Together, Connor and Sha must work to unravel the secrets before the barrier falls and the realms collide.
Hmm... Sounds like there's some chemical magic in there too... and knowing Lindsey ~ lots of it!
~ Well, I love reading romance because no matter what may be happening in my life, I can always count on my books to end happily ever after.
So, it's only natural to write what you know?
~ The day I met my husband was the day I truly began believing in happily ever after.
So why did you start writing?
~ After hearing me complain a few too many times that I had “nothing” to read despite the hundreds of paperbacks scattered around the house, my husband began suggesting I write my own stories.
~ When I finally took his advice I discovered that although I enjoy my day job as a software engineer, my true calling is to be an author.
So why do you write what you write?
~ My sister drilled into me an appreciation for fantasy and mythology, something I try to bring to my books.
And how did "Breaking the Nexus" come about?
~My debut novel, Breaking the Nexus started as a book written for NaNoWriMo and has grown to so much more. It was the conduit that introduced me to a fantastic group of independent authors who have changed my life in unimaginable ways.
When you're not writing, what other things do you like to do?
~ When I’m not writing, I’ve found a passion for blogging and interviewing fellow authors. I also love reading (of course!), baking, crochet, sewing sock monkeys, playing video games, and all sorts of random crafts. I have an incurable love of rubber duckies and stuffed animals, and I believe nobody should have to grow up if they don’t want.
Spoken like the true heart of a writer!
Check out Lindsey's wonderful blog: http://lindsayavalon.blogspot.com/p/breaking-nexus-blog-tour.html
And the Blog Tour and Release Day Party at Facebook Events:
Lindsey always has lots of fun and giveaways, so stop by, say hi and lend your support to her debut novel:
Breaking the Nexus
We often think of superstitions as something of the past, though plenty of small ones are present and observed in the modern, up to date world. In my line of writing I often explore lore and superstitions. They are a treasure trove of details and ideas for use in all sorts of ways. But imagine living with the multitude of them on a daily basis, deciding many aspects of daily life. What a labyrinth that must have been.
In a way they enriched the world around the believer. The middle ages, for instance, were a miserable time in many ways. Short life spans, famines, wars, plagues, violence. If one were to research a particular superstition they will usually find that they were beneficial in some way. It may not have been the power of any one thing believed in, but it may have prevented behavior that was in some way risky or even detrimental. Many simply gave hope and hope can often prove to be a means of self-fulfilling prophecy. If one believes that something is going to happen it often will, whether it is some act of fate or destiny or the subconscious steering us in that particular direction.
It certainly would make life more interesting. Imagine many of these superstitions put to use in today’s world. Though there are places where they linger and intertwine in the lives of those with one foot in the present and the other in the past. The deep Appalachia’s for instance. There are places where some form of sitting up with the dead still takes place. It was once believed that if the body were left unattended before the burial took place it could be occupied by a demon who would borrow it for ill intent. Therefore, the body was not left unattended, but vigil was kept from the moment of death to the completion of the burial.
Mirrors – and in some cases all reflective surfaces – were covered in a house upon the death of an individual so the soul would not get trapped in it’s own reflection or become confused thinking the mirror a doorway and get trapped trying to leave. In many cultures this was practiced along with all the windows being opened to provide easy exit. The later practice would have more practical applications if the person were ill – in airing out their room and the house and encouraging cleansing not only biologically, but also psychologically.
Many look down their noses at superstitions of long ago, but they had their place in their time. In the places they are still practiced they may still have their purpose. Even as heritage, practiced out of respect for bygone eras and the ancestors that lived them. So long as they do not produce harm (like burning the wife with her deceased husbands as in India) what is anyone to judge if they make someone else feel more at ease?
Meaning of the size of a group of crows:
One for sorrow, two for mirth,
Three for a wedding, four for a birth,
Five for silver, six for gold,
Seven for a secret not to be told.
Eight for heaven, nine for hell,
Ten for the devil’s own sel’. (seal)
Someone had asked me recently if I believe in ghosts. As someone who started out life in a haunted house and who has lived in several since, I was not hesitant to say that I do. Being a writer whose subject is often along paranormal lines I have often tapped into that belief in some very unique ways.
After all, what is a ghost? It is my feeling that the word itself is a general term, for the definition of a ghost can vary from one belief to another. I lost two brothers when I was a young child. One before I was even born. While I didn’t know him, he still haunted my life. Not in form, but in memory, essence and in the empty space he left behind. Though I’d never known the space when it was filled with his presence before he died, it was a very real and hollow place in our household. It had the resonance of a huge bell, doubled by the matching space on the other side of it by the second brother. He died when I was four, just long enough to know his presence in my daily life, just long enough to feel the empty space for the rest of mine.
This effect was multiplied for my sister, who was sandwiched in between the boys in age and thus suffered not only the hollows on either side of her, but the repercussions throughout the family itself, being intimately tied to all their memories.
So they haunted us all, for some of us stronger ghosts than others. There were occasions when it was their spirit in the corporeal, but more often and intently it was what was not there. An indefinable memory of what had been kept alive by those who cherished their memory to the point of their own determent, not to mention the other members trapped in that household of hollow places.
There are many kinds of hauntings. The filmy spirituous kind are the least harmful and often the most feared, which is ironic considering the nature of the others is far more destructive. Memories and anxieties slip quietly in and do their dirty work while we aren’t looking, eroding away relationships and courage, drive and ambition, all the things that allow us to move beyond the past and thrive in the future.
Just as we are haunted by the bad, we can be haunted by the good. It is how we take this haunting that determines whether or not it is beneficial. The good things than have come and gone can drive us to seek more of the same, or it can drive us to mourn for what is lost. Our own outlook will determine which path we choose to follow.
We are all haunted in some way, on some level. It is up to us to decide if our ghosts are to be tolerated, embraced or expelled. Choose carefully and with a clear view of what you want the future to hold.