With: Susanne Matthews
**Congratulations to Bn100, the winner in Susanne’s giveaway!**
Good day. This is my first visit to Just Paranormal Romance, and I hope it won’t be my last. It’s a pleasure to be here. Please comment at the end of the post with your name and contact information for your chance to win one of two electronic copies of my first paranormal romance suspense novel, Echoes of the Past.
Born Mohawk, raised white, forensic pathologist, Michelle Thomas is trapped between two worlds—this one and the spirit world where the ghosts of those who’ve drowned speak to her. Haunted by crippling nightmares of her own drowning death and erotic dreams of a phantom lover, she strives to make sense of her life. When two suspicious deaths occur at the Lake of the Mountain Resort, she’s sent to investigate. She’ll face the greatest challenge of her career when her past and her present collide. One of these men is her future, but which one—the rich and powerful Mayor Ron Davies, or Tony Steele, the hydrology professor who may be responsible for his students’ deaths? Charged by the spirits of her Mohawk ancestors to atone for her previous sins by protecting the Lake of the Gods, can Michelle solve the murders, save the sacred waters, and fulfill her destiny?
When people think of paranormal romances, vampire tales like Twilight or stories about magic, witches, werewolves, ghosts, demons, angels, or zombies leap to mind. While all of these have enjoyed some notoriety of late, both in book and movie format, my interest has always been with myths, especially those dealing with lovers torn apart by a cruel fate. What has never appealed to me is the horror side of paranormal movies, and despite the fact I can write some pretty gory murder scenes, I’ve never been interested in frightening my readers that way. No, I’m drawn to the softer side of the paranormal and the idea that love is forever.
In 1972, playwright Richard Collier (Christopher Reeve) becomes fascinated by a photo of Elise McKenna (Jane Seymour), a turn-of-the-century stage actress while staying at the Grand Hotel in Mackinac Island, Michigan. As Richard’s obsession grows, he learns from a friend that time travel may actually be possible through hypnosis. Richard travels in time to meet Elise, and the two appear destined to be together. However, Elise’s jealous manager (Christopher Plummer) attempts to keep them apart.
If you haven’t seen the movie, try to find it. I bawl my eyes out each time.
Another film that brings me to tears is The Lake House with Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves. In this story, two people discover they are living in parallel universes where they occupy the same house, but two years apart. Here’s the main idea:
A lonely doctor (Sandra Bullock), who once lived in a beautiful lakeside home, falls in love via letters with its latest resident, a frustrated architect (Keanu Reeves). When they discover that they are living two years apart, the pair must unravel the mystery behind their incredible romance. They make arrangements to meet, but he doesn’t show up and the story goes on from there. No spoilers!
Again, if you haven’t seen this movie, I highly recommend it.
So, when I decided to try my hand at a paranormal romance, I wanted something similar, but where to find the inspiration?
On a wedding anniversary weekend, my husband took me to the Lake of the Mountain Resort, near Picton, Ontario, and I fell in love with both the location and the Mohawk legend that was key to explaining away the lake. I used it as the reason behind the existence and loneliness of Michelle and Tony, the lost lovers in Echoes of the Past, reunited to end a curse, save the Lake of the Gods and put nasty drug dealing killers in jail.
Since Echoes of the Past was well-received, I decide to try my hand at a similar novel—that is one based on a Native American myth. After reading many, I came across a Sioux myth about a chief’s daughter and the chief of the wolves. This myth wasn’t exactly what I wanted, but it only took a few tweaks to get it the way I needed it to suit the story I had in mind.
My books are written with my heart. When I decided to write Hello Again, I had just suffered the loss—not death—of a close friend. I was down and depressed and needed to put those emotions on paper. Within a few weeks, I was able to realize that there were other ways that person could be part of my life, in a different role, and my spirits rose, my optimism increased, and Hello Again was born. Using the Sioux myth about lovers torn apart by the cruel actions of a jealous person, I created my story, set on a First Nations’ reserve—what Canadians call their indigenous people—near Regina, Saskatchewan, reuniting those two lost souls once more.
For Charley Winters love means loss and pain. She’s spent the last five years struggling with her grief. Existing, not living. Drawn to Saskatchewan, she travels west take the job she’s always wanted. But life gets complicated when she’s rescued from a vicious tornado by her dead husband’s double, a man who makes her feel things she hasn’t in years. Add to that a native myth, a shaman, a green-eyed wolf, and her husband’s ghost … Can she lift a millennia old curse and find joy and love again?
There you have it, a story of love that goes beyond the grave and fights to survive against all odds.
Thanks for dropping by. Don’t forget to comment. Happy Reading!
Please comment with your name and email for your chance to win one of two electronic copies of my first paranormal romance suspense novel, Echoes of the Past.
Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST May 13th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with a subject title of JPR GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway. Susanne will be out of the country, so prizes will not be mailed until June 6th.