Saturday, March 5, 2016

A spirit plane in chaos

Posted by: Sonya Clark
RED HOUSE, the second book in the Roxie Mathis paranormal series, is back on digital shelves.


There’s high water everywhere and she’s about to drown on dry land. 
Roxie Mathis lost her home and her livelihood to a devastating flood. The trauma of almost drowning has left both her life and her magical abilities in disarray. The return of sexy sorcerer Blake Harvill has her even more confused. 
Hired to evict ghosts from a bed and breakfast, Roxie’s confidence takes another hit when she encounters a violent spirit she’s crossed paths with in the past. When innocent people are trapped in the house, Roxie’s going to have to tap reservoirs of power she’s never touched before. In magic, like physics, everything has an equal and opposite reaction, and Roxie can only hope her desperate spellwork won’t kill her – or conjure up something even more dangerous.

Like the first book in this series, Mojo Queen, Red House was first written and published several years ago. The rights reverted back to me and I'm finally getting Roxie back out there. The flood that destroyed Roxie's home actually happened - the Nashville flood of 2010. That catastrophic event wreaked havoc all over Middle and even parts of West Tennessee. Mojo Queen had just come out and I was thinking about a second Roxie book at the time. As I read about what people were going through just two hours from my home, staring in horror at the pictures of areas of Nashville I'd visited that were currently under water, and checked in with relatives - I began to wonder about all that energy and power unleashed by Mother Nature. That energy had a tremendous affect on the land and the people. Could it affect the spirit plane too? Red House came out of that one question. Roxie realizes that the spirit plane is in chaos because of the natural disaster. Ghosts have drifted from their usual haunts, including one deadly specter who's taken up residence in a bed and breakfast. Roxie's hired to evict him, but as usual, things don't go smoothly for the intrepid paranormal investigator (who luckily also happens to be a witch).

This excerpt is the moment Roxie realizes that the flood left more than just a physical mark on the land:

*

I drank the last of the tea and tossed the ice into the grass, then set the book aside, along with my glasses. Drawing into a sitting position, hands resting lightly on my thighs, I did a slow grounding. Despite having spent a great deal of time here, I still wasn’t as familiar with this plot of land as I was with my own. Opening myself up, I reached out to the energy around me. The earth below, the sky above, streams and underground water sources, trees and vegetation - all of them flowed together into a natural rhythm. Beyond that was the man-made energy of the city itself. Point and counterpoint. Or if not that, then at least two separate rhythms that somehow managed to work together, like an improbable mash-up of two radically different pieces of music.

I expected all of that and had felt it before. What shocked me was the bang and clatter of something atonal, chaotic. Hard bop on meth, instead of cool jazz or trance blues. Concentrating on the discordant notes, it overtook everything else until its rattle was the only thing I could feel. A rushing wildness, dark and hungry, pulled at me. It pressed against my chest and tugged at my limbs. Fear exploded in my gut, followed quickly by recognition. That recognition saved me from what might have turned into a nasty panic attack. Reaching for calm, steady earth, I pushed away the chaos and took slow even breaths.

It was the flood. The land, the people, every source of energy in the area had been traumatized by the flood. There hadn’t been enough time yet for any real healing, so the menace still lurked just beneath the surface of things. And if it was at all present, that meant it could continue to affect things.

My breathing got a little out of sync as fear nibbled at the edges of my thoughts. I had to distract myself or pretty soon all I’d be able to think about was my destroyed home. Hard bop on meth was not really a good analogy for this area. Well, the meth part worked. What other musical analogy might work to describe the flood’s leftover energy? I struggled to come up with something but the best I could do was “redneck Rammstein.”

*

Red House is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and Kobo. You can read the first chapter here

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