I have set aside two almost completed novels to work on the 2/3s completed third book in the Talon series. I need bran candy!
The first book in the series was based on a series of four Halloween short stories featuring offbeat Bryce Briscoe and cold as ice Medical Examiner Dr. Giles Talon, who just happens to be a grim reaper with a hot side to him.
I wrote a novel based on these four short stories in the third person and submitted it to The Golden Heart contest in 2012. For my first time entering a novel in a contest and not really used to writing romance I did better than I thought I would.
Next came a major rewrite of that novel, changing it to the first person viewpoint of Bryce, a girl who has been labeled a "freak" all her young life. In book one, Talon: An Intimate Familiarity, Bryce is struggling to survive on her own in the city of Revere. A guy from college, her one and only real friend in the city, tells her about a night clerk job opening at City Morgue, and though it's right up her alley she doesn't get it, at first. But she meets elderly Medical Examiner Dr. James Everett who befriends her, takes her under his wing and gets the job for her. Then she meets frosty yet preternaturally handsome raven-haired Dr. Talon, he of the ice blue eyes and icy demeanor. They have a volatile relationship from the get go with Dr. Everett acting as a buffer between them. Yet Bryce is attracted to Dr. Talon and gradually realizes that he ahs been on the periphery of her life since she was a little girl- but how can it be? He hasn't changed an iota while she has grown up.
Book One is about Talon neglecting his duty to train and instruct Bryce in her role. he leaves her floundering and confuses her, and angers her. Bryce rides an emotional rollercoaster as she's drawn toward the handsome doctor and he repeatedly pushes her away. Yet she has erotic dreams where the doctor visits her apartment. And oddly enough, the grim reaper seems to be shadowing her, too. As she struggles to understand what is going on in her life she finds herself drawn into demon realms that terrify her, yet she discovers heretofore unknown things about herself.
After s near fatal accident Dr. Talon begins to reveal things to Bryce but he has to disentwine himself from the evil spider Dr. Liliya Romanenko's possessive web. Meanwhile, Talon impregnates a willing Bryce before he's completely free of Liliya who goes ballistic and knocks Bryce into a terrifying realm.
By the end of the first book, Bryce knows she is Talon's chosen portal, the doorway through which the souls he harvests pass through into Heaven. And to escape a demonic beast she crosses through herself into Heaven to slam the door closed to keep it out when she has no other choice-which sets off a furor in Heaven because no other portal has ever done such a thing- allowed herself to die to protect the portal that is her. But Bryce isn't just your ordinary portal- she's also half spirit, a gift from her Guardian angel who gave her the special glow that allowed Talon to recognize her as a potential portal before she was even born on earth. She's unique and that's why Talon and Bryce have such a volatile relationship- she's more than he's ever had to deal with before, and she's really not fully aware of who or what she really is.
At the end of the first novel they are locked out of Heaven while debates rage as to what to do about both of them. But Talon and Bryce have formed a bond despite the difficulty they have getting along, and they have a baby boy on the way. Talon has struggled throughout this first novel to understand human nature and be more flexible. He is not a human being, he is a supernatural being, yet he discovers what human emotions are all about in this novel while desperately trying to understand his portal whom he is fiercely protective of and bound to.
Relationships are hammered out and established that will carry through into Book Two, Talon: A Sense of Familiarity.
Book Two begins with Bryce having just moved into Talon's brownstone home in Revere. His household staff- Adrian Fox and Vera Cotton are Guardians he has allowed to take on human form and they help him to protect Bryce. However, with their relationship established and the new little reaper conceived, the demonic realms are attacking Talon and his portal more fiercely. Bryce is learning what abilities she has in the other realms- she can shoot jets of pure white energy from the palms of her hands, she has her own guardians she can summon, she is a supreme healer, and later she wields a blazing sword of blue fire...and she can fly once she gets her angel's wings because she is both a portal and an angel as she gains more of her spiritual gifts.
After a terrifying attack on Bryce Talon decides to take Bryce someplace she really loves where they can celebrate her twenty second birthday. Her friend and fellow City Morgue clerk, Ed Wrisley, is consulted by Talon and he gives the chilly ME an idea how to thrill Bryce by suggesting he take her to Camden Lake where she spent summers with her family. It's her favorite place. So he makes all the arrangements and they go tot he lake for a week to celebrate her birthday. Bryce has never had a good relationship with her family-parents, older sister and twin older brothers. At their first romantic dinner they are interrupted by her parents who happen to be vacationing at the lake. Bryce is upset and wants to be left alone. Talon persuades her to work on her relationship with her family and she reluctantly agrees. They are attacked at the lakeside cottage, and Bryce is injured by a demon disguised as a rogue reaper- he pierced her hip with his scythe, placing a toxin inside her that will drive her to murder Talon in time. They are still locked out of Heaven and on their own, but Dr. Everett who passed away in Book One and took his place in the Heavenly Council, and who has a special place in his heart for both of them, returns to earth in human form to help Dr. Talon devise an antidote to the poison. Meanwhile, Talon has proposed to Bryce during a romantic canoe and picnic day while dressed in vintage clothing, giving her a stunning ice blue diamond ring. And then he buys her a lakeside cottage for her birthday after she falls in love with it.
They return to Revere. Her father who has pancreatic cancer dies just after they arrive at his hospital room- and he sees his daughter and his future son-in-law in their supernatural forms, and crosses through Bryce who allows him to see the baby in her womb. He tells her the baby has red hair and pale blue eyes. Bryce continues to mend fences with her remaining family. Meanwhile the toxin is still affecting her. Talon and Dr. Everett frantically work on an antidote at Central Hospital.
Talon and Bryce host a huge Labor Day weekend get together at their Camden Lake house with Bryce's mother, sister Brittany, Brittany's good-for-nothing boyfriend Josh and their two babies, plus his five daughters from five previous girlfriends), Dr. Everett, their household staff, Ollie and Ed Wrisley and his girlfriend Tessie, whom Bryce knew from the secondhand clothing store where she used to work. Things go well until little Savannah drowns after she slips out of her life vest. Dr. Talon struggles to save her life, but when it looks as if she is too far gone Bryce infuses the tiny girl with a big dose of her own spirit, bringing her back, but placing herself in danger by running her own spiritual battery low. Dr. Everett has to whisk Bryce to Heaven for an emergency visit to her Guardian Angel who gives her a big dose of spirit- but even this big dose of spirit does not stop the toxin from driving Bryce to kill Talon in the near future. She has killed hi once before but was unaware of the fact that she was the being who had killed him. She used her healing powers to bring him back and that is what she has to do when it happens in the present time (time is elastic in the demonic realms). She kills the man, the being whom she loves- and then she struggles to bring him back like she did once before.
In one last climactic battle- a distraught Bryce abrades the tattoos Talon has given her that allow him to track her every move so he can find her quickly wherever she may be-and she is taken by a brutal demon who wants to kill Talon. She is badly injured and tortured when her longtime friend whom she loves dearly, Ed Wrisley is murdered before her eyes and she can do nothing to save him. Another human is also murdered, one who Talon once had an affair with. It is almost more than Bryce can emotionally and psychologically and physically cope with- and then Talon arrives. It is in this scene where Bryce leaves her mortal body and takes on her own incorporeal form to battle with Talon against the demons who murdered her best friend. And it is here that Talon kneels before her and acknowledges her as the superior being- which doesn't sit well with Bryce at all.
At the end of this book Bryce gives birth to Talon's son and finally sets a date for their wedding.
Book three begins thirteen days before the Valentine's Day wedding. Talon has gifted Bryce's mother, sister and all the little girls with rings that help to protect them. Demon activity has increased as the wedding approaches- and Brittany's boyfriend is killed when a demon causes him to lose control of his vehicle and he rolls over several times in a ravine. Talon realizes that he failed to protect Bryce's sister's boyfriend and feels guilt about that oversight. And then they have additional devastating news...one of the little girls, the one who nearly drowned and was infused with spirit which allowed her to see Talon, Bryce, Adrian, Ollie and Vera in their supernatural forms, has removed her ring and been killed by a demon.
Meanwhile, Talon has offered the late John a position as a Guardian. As a guardian he will be allowed to assume a new human form and have a second chance at being together with Brittany and his seven little girls because Talon and Bryce are pretty certain Brit will fall in love with him all over again even tough she won't know he's really Josh. Talon did the same for Wrisley near the end of book two after he was murdered, he offered him a position as a guardian who will protect little Cayle Risley Talon, Talon and Bryce's baby boy. So Wrisley now resides in the brownstone with Adrian Fox, Vera Cotton and Rosemary Mullen who is Cayle's nursemaid. Josh agrees and becomes Cameron Lake, a high school friend of Josh's who's been working as an orderly in pediatrics at Central Hospital. As such he has to attend his own funeral in order to meet Brittany and the girls and begin to form new relationships with the eight females he loves so they ca all be together again- his big concern being that the state will take his five oldest daughters and place them in foster homes.
Bryce performs a risky maneuver when infant Cayle is kidnapped that infuriates Talon and stuns Dr. and Mrs. Everett with its boldness and dangerousness- but it works. She's upset when everyone is angry with her- and when Bryce is upset bad things happen so Talon has to suck it up and calm her down.
If there is one thing that never goes bad in their relationship it is the intimacy they share- they are both exclusively passionate about one another so the making up f their differences always sets them back on track.
Talon is busy fighting demons and putting all the necessary arrangements in place to get Cameron/Josh relocated closer to Brittany and the girls- buying an old farmhouse and renovating it so there will be plenty of room for a large family, a couple dogs and some cats and horses. He's also working to help Bryce's widowed mother find a new love and a happier future, and worked to help set her troubled twin brother's back on track.
And now the wedding day is approaching and Bryce will face the worst demon yet, one who nearly destroys her...
I really need to finish this third novel before I do anything else!