This fifteenth self-published book, a novel, evolved from a NaNoWriMo 50,000 word novel in 30 days challenge. It was quickly written for the paranormal/romance genre. It was entered in the Romance Writer's of America Golden Heart contest in 2013, so it must have been originally written in November 2012. It didn't win of course, but it received a better grade from the judges than I expected.
During 2013-2014 Talon, a favorite of my daughter's, had a major overhaul and was split into three novels. The first two novels in the series are written and the third is partially written.
It was revamped and written from Bryce's POV. A lot more detail and information was added to fill in gas in the original story, and the relationship between Bryce Briscoe and Dr. Giles Talon is more volatile and strained in the revised novels. He is an inhuman, supernatural being who has a dearth of human emotion. Bryce was born human and, being a temperamental redhead, is loaded with emotion. She has always been different from her peers, different from her family members and she has struggled to find her true self. She moves to the city of Revere hoping to carve a new life for herself but she is poor and starving when she lands a city job as the night clerk at City Morgue thanks to a classmate who steers her in that direction, and some help from the kindly, elderly ME who takes her under his wing and sort of adopts her. Her friend Ed Wrisley works the same job on second shift. Then there is the cold, rude, harsh but uncommonly handsome Dr. Giles Talon, who comes in to assist with autopsies.
Bryce begins having erotic dreams about the handsome doctor, and he is easier to get along with in her dreams, however, in person, he never has a kind word for her and wounds her constantly emotionally- although he is always there when she needs rescuing from sticky situations.
A gypsy fortune teller told Bryce, when she was nine-years old, that she would marry a tall, dark, handsome man of medicine. She also told her that she would die several times although her lifeline was unusually lengthy and prominent. She was told that she would bear one child. Then the gypsy foresaw Death and stopped the reading, sending Bryce away...into her destiny, for she meets the chilly doctor at the soda shop where she is indulging in her favorite treat, a root beer float. She recognizes him instantly from the gypsy's description, and her own undeniable pull toward him, even though she is a child and he is an adult.
Bryce has also been surrounded by supernatural experiences all her life. It unnerves her a little to realize that she has been shadowed by the grim reaper since childhood. He frightens her somewhat, but not as much as he scares most people. She's realized that he seems to be her protector, only she doesn't understand why.
The reaper's jealousy of her friendship with Ed Wrisley, and his protectiveness of her, lead to a near fatal accident for Bryce that leads Dr. Giles Talon to finally reveal the truth of who she is to a recovering Bryce- he is a grim reaper and she is his chosen portal, the doorway through which the souls he harvests pass through on their way to Heaven. She is rapidly approaching her 22nd birthday which is when she must assume her duty alongside him, only Dr. Liliya Romanenko has been busy keeping Dr. Talon distracted with a steamy, scorching love affair so that he has been negligent in training Bryce properly to assume her role.
Bryce is floundering. Her relationship with Dr. Talon remains volatile, full of misunderstandings and poor communication- yet they have discovered a powerful passion exists between them, and they cannot remain apart from one another.
This first novel is about Bryce's struggle to make a life for herself as she deals with lonesomeness, poverty, the joy of a close friendship with the elderly medical examiner, her grief at his passing, a series of accidents and injuries, jealousy, awakened passion, and the terror of being drawn helplessly into other realms where demons and beasts desire to destroy the gateway to Heaven that she is.
Meanwhile, she is carrying the reaper's child, a little earlier than planned- and together, they are shaking up Heaven with their inability to get along, and find themselves shut out and on their own.
My favorite scene in the book? On New Year's Eve, Bryce is alone, mourning the loss of her friend and benefactor, Dr. James Everett. They had planned on celebrating the New Year together and she had been happily, and excitedly, anticipating a wonderful night, but he has died. She is sad and lonely. And then she notices the reflection of the grim reaper behind her in her window. Turns out he doesn't want her soul, he wants to take her on a date. On New Year's Eve, Bryce and the grim reaper stand at the top of the world and watch the aurora borealis together-and it is one of the happiest, and rather romantic, moments of her difficult young life.