Scars and Baggage and Small Towns

Ternekill is a small sleepy town in the Catskill Mountains of New York, with a lot of secrets and I love writing about small towns. Having grown up in a small upstate New York kind of town I know what’s it like living there. I am intimately familiar with small towns and with a writer’s imagination, I take this fictional small town of Ternekill and expose just a few of the secrets riding my two favorite guys from “My Soul He Seeks,” Ravol Nova and Byron Shepley. “My Fate, My Destiny” takes you a little further into their relationship and the depth of their commitment, one to the other. They do face challenges. But then again, it would be a pretty boring story if they didn’t.

MyFateMyDestiny_smRavol is a werewolf, no secret there. He’s been very up front with Byron about that part of his background. But up to this point Ravol has refused to allow Byron to witness his change from human to werewolf. Nor will Ravol agree to change Byron into a werewolf. Just one bone of contention between the two lovers.

Ravol carries a lot of baggage, including the death of his first love, Francesco. He’s a secretive man who tries to keep his life compartmentalized, but Byron is making that harder and harder to maintain. Notwithstanding, Ravol has a lot of baggage because of who he is – a part of the ancient Zhalazti tribe nobility that carries with it a great deal of responsibility and tradition.

Byron may be human, but he has his own set of secrets and full load of baggage he carries around with him, not the least of which is that he can communicate with the Ternekill House ghostly ancestors. Ghosts that are a sure part of his heritage and tie him quite closely to the town of Ternekill. More so than either Byron or Ravol knows.

But soon, some of those dark secrets for both Byron and for Ravol are about to be revealed Some revelations are expected, others not quite so much. Ravol’s past is about to meet his present with a life-altering, perhaps murderous climax. Secrets, if left to fester can kill. Secrets if finally revealed and faced can ultimately heal.

I love genealogy and dabble in it regarding my own family. Digging into the families of Ravol and Bryon and doing the research, fictional and not-so fictional is always exciting. And Ternekill reminds me of some of those smaller town in New York that were lost in the aftermath of flooding from Hurricane Sandy that destroyed forever certain quint towns where I picnicked, and did some steamy parking too.

Oh, yes, there are secrets among those back roads and small towns. And in “My Fate, My Destiny,” a few more of Ravol’s and Byron’s dangerous secrets will be revealed as the past merges with the present.

 

Read an excerpt from “My Fate, My Destiny.”

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Link to purchase on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CXLWS75

Currently a #kindleunlimited selection

Tracking Backstory for My Soul He Seeks

Tracking Backstory for My Soul He Seeks

MySoulHeSeeks_smBrainstorming for this story started with word association. No, back up, it didn’t start there. It began with the image of a man. Hispanic, gypsy. What did he do? What’s in his soul? And so I dug deeper. Music is in his soul. What kind of music? There was no other answer. Flamenco. In researching, one line resonated with me, and with Ravol. Flamenco is at the very heart of the gitano culture with strong roots in Andalusia. And thus Ravol Nova was born.

Ravol possesses a dark and mysterious history. Rumors about his relationship, and the murder of his lover, Francesco, haunt him unceasingly. For me, this past came to life through a video on Youtube. Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch/?v=Y6slgaVCSxM. A duel of guitars in a sense. But for my story the duel started between a young Flamenco guitarist and a Flamenco dancer. What better inspiration could I find for the dancer than this Youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXBctPuGIfU. Joaquim Cortes. Wow. Perfect. I had the passion and the pain of my backstory.

The foundation of Ravol’s dark haunting, is the murder of his passionate lover, Francesco, that has colored his life so deeply. But there was more, a lot more, because as I got into writing the story, I realized Ravol actually was a descendant of a lost gypsy tribe, the Zhalazti, which has its roots in Babylonian origins. (My story, “Run to Ground”, provides the foundation for the Zhalazti in more detail.)  And thus there is magic– a special magic he must harness and use in an effort to bring peace to his life. And he will use any means to find that peace. To that end, he acquires a special musical instrument. Enter, the young, auction house researcher, Byron Shepley, who has a very dark and somewhat disturbing history with the mansion Ravol now lives in. And it is on a dark and stormy night these two men will finally meet.

These fictional facts represent the foundation of “My Soul He Seeks,” as both Ravol and Byron, in seeking resolution to their past histories, may discover a light of love shining through the darkness shading each of their souls, even though there is nothing remotely simple about the attraction they soon share.

“My Soul He Seeks” is a story of redemption and resolution in many ways. It is also about sacrifice and revenge.

One last little tidbit about this story. I needed to name my town…something special. Ternekill wasn’t just something I pulled from my black hat and pasted into the story. I starting researching names. I thought about the town and the story and the people.  The word “terne” I discovered is a Delaware Native American word for…wolf. What better name could I choose? Especially with Ravol’s history as descending from the werewolf clan, the Zhalazti? Having grown up in central New York near the Catskills, I finished off the name of the town with the word, “kill.” Two meanings, one the obvious–to murder, or kill. The other goes back to the roots of the area, and the early settlers of New York – the Dutch. Kill refers to a river or a creek. Kille, meaning riverbed or channel. Thus, the town’s name of Ternekill. There is reference in the story to a dark spot in Ternekill history regarding the Ternekill Creek.

Did I mention I love creating backstory?

Read the excerpt I posted last month for “My Soul He Seeks.”  Discover where this all leads in the sequel, “My Fate, My Destiny,” releasing June 26, and currently available for pre-order on Amazon.

 

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