Monday, June 06, 2016

All I Ever Needed to Know About Being a Healthy Person I Learned from Paranormal Characters Who Challenge the Status Quo By Lynn Crandall

 They do exist. And they’re not going anywhere.

My tag line for my Fierce Hearts series suggests something unknown lives among us and these unknowns belong on the planet just like other forms of life.

In the case of my books, what exists are were-lynxes, a colony of them. Each of the ten were-lynx shifters live and work in the world of humans. From physicians to private investigators and schoolteachers, to investigative reporters, bankers, receptionists, and architects, each were-lynx works, lives, plays without detection of their secret identity.

The “undetected” is of supreme importance. Keeping their true selves secret is mandatory, enforced by an ancient law among the were-lynxes in the world, and for good reason. History tells the colony that when anything “different” is discovered, humans feel threatened and typically destroy the threat. So the colony members create a family of their own making. This concept is a way to explore what makes a family, one that is truly supportive and promotes growth as an individual. The concept challenges the notion that biologically linked individuals need each other and provide a safe space. It’s not true for many of us and reading about paranormal characters who help one another no matter what, suggests there is family for everyone if we expand our definition.

In paranormal romances set in the present in our own world, secrecy is a common aspect of the characters. That secrecy can wear on the characters as chronic stress. This stress is something to consider when doing characterization. Even though not human, paranormal characters face similar challenges as humans and can be highly relatable characters. Even though paranormal characters are different and commonly have special abilities, they deal with not only problems peculiar to their species, but to things like insecurity, loss, grief, brewing anger at past experiences, and more issues readers can relate to. But just as with many humans and perhaps more acutely, they fundamentally long to be seen and loved as who they really are. Often they’ve learned so thoroughly to protect themselves from being discovered, they present a range of defenses, perfect character traits for flawed, relatable, and interesting characters who engage readers. But more than that, they can challenge readers’ beliefs about the world and open them to new ways of seeing it.

In creating believable, interesting paranormal characters there is no shortage of ways a character can present in his or her world. An empathic character could potentially help others process difficult emotions. But that same character most likely would be so sensitive that she would suffer from the cloud of free-floating emotions that follows her everywhere. How does she manage all the input she gets without losing her mind? It’s not a far-fetched dilemma for sensitive people to relate with and perhaps learn something new about themselves or a sensitive friend. Or how does a character who’s a genius but socially awkward navigate relationships, both paranormal and human? How does a telepathic character find peace when complex human thoughts bombard him all the time? These inner conflicts are grounded in our reality but when presented in a paranormal character can prompt awareness in a new way. This experience in my own reading of paranormal romances has been eye opening and rich.

For me, paranormal characters offer new opportunities to explore themes of diversity, self-doubt, faulty beliefs, mindless defenses, broken hearts, and how individuals triumph or falter. A beautiful and apparently self-confident were-lynx can manage her life being truly different. But what happens when memories of the pain of her molestation as a child get louder when she tries to develop a love relationship? She can shift into her were-lynx form and race on all fours through a dark meadow, the sounds of nature soothing her soul. But that only takes her further from engaging meaningfully with her true love. Her fictional character can illustrate how coping mechanisms take us over but can’t heal our brokenness.

Characters that are strictly human can illustrate the story of a lonely heart or a deep-seated anger and do it well. But I feel paranormal characters are expressly equipped to entertain while also presenting food for thought in a very easily digestible manner and in so doing can also encourage self-acceptance and imagining a better life. It’s happened to me while reading about half-demon heroines who struggle with her innate traits, and a group of shifters who provide meaningful friendships and help one another become true to themselves.

As with all characters, paranormal characters need inner conflicts as well as exterior conflicts. When you’re a shifter with special abilities, you can employ them to deal with exterior conflicts. But you’re still different and live under the threat of discovery. Paranormal characters are dealing with a lot of stuff. Such characters offer authors opportunities to explore inner turmoil in ways readers can see themselves and challenge their status quo.

Unstoppable blurb:

Reeling from Project Powering, the recent battle between the evil Nexus Group and her colony of were-cats, were-lynx Lara Monroe is struggling with not only thwarting the group’s plans to take over the world and eliminate her colony, but also her own traumatic past and aching heart. Through her work as a veterinarian equipped with a special healing touch, she can help animals. Animals she can trust not to tear open her heart. As the colony’s unofficial go-to for help with emotional issues, Lara is eager to use her healing touch to help colony cat Booker Chase process grief and his PTSD. But as the focus of her unrequited love, Booker unknowingly beckons her to ask for more than friendship.

A formidable were-lynx and a physician, Booker nonetheless has his hands full helping patients who were seriously injured in Project Powering. Though his healing touch is powerful in healing physical injuries in his patients, it’s useless to help him heal from the loss of his wife or the retriggered PTSD he incurred while serving in Afghanistan. Now that his good friend Lara is standing by him in his emotional struggles, he is finding there is more to his connection with her than he realized. But dare he open his heart to her?

In the epic conclusion of the Fierce Hearts series, while the colony faces constant threats in attempting to end TNG, will Lara and Booker survive to take their second chance at love?

Fierce Hearts Box Set
Lynn Crandall

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Crimson Romance

Date of Publication: May 30, 2016

Cover Artist: Crimson Romance

Book Description:

This bundle includes 5 individual books: Secrets, Book 1, Cravings, Book 2, Heartfelt, Book 3, Probabilities, Book 4, and Unstoppable, Book 5

Five suspenseful paranormal romances, five stories of supernatural tragedy, triumph, and love in one beautiful bundle.

Page Count 256

With her penchant for premonitions, Michelle Slade has always had trouble connecting with other people, and a horrific attack five years ago only made her isolation worse. But working to help defenseless animals with her rescue organization, Cats Alive, has given her new purpose and joy in life. When several homeless cats start vanishing into thin air, she's determined to get to the bottom of this mystery.

Casey Mitchell has always kept his private identity as a were-lynx secret. But he's drawn to Michelle, and when he begins to help investigate the odd circumstances surrounding the cats' disappearance, he uncovers a powerful businessman's diabolic designs on the unassuming woman.

Now both he and Michelle are in grave danger, and their survival depends on trusting each other with secrets better left unspoken. Will these two lonely souls triumph and find true love…or lose everything?

Book Trailer for Secrets

Secrets Excerpt:
Casey sat up in bed, the dream he’d been having still alive in his head. He rubbed his hand through his hair. Sweat beaded on his forehead. “Oh, my God.” His heart thudded hard and fast in his chest. He glanced at the clock on his nightstand, sucking in deep breaths of air. Four in the morning. Loneliness heavied his heart.

The dream had been so real, so terrifying. So unusual.

He set his feet on the cold wood floor and sat still on the side of the bed. He took in the room, his room in his house, and sorted through the images in his dream as his body reactions calmed.

He was accustomed to dreaming as his lynx form. Dreams of running through fields with the speed and exhilaration of freedom made frequent nighttime appearances. But this, this dream made him shiver. He dropped his head in his hands and lived through it again.

He saw himself standing in his human form with Michelle in her backyard. Darkness enveloped them comfortably and above a starry, moonless sky contained their moments of shared solitude. He’d brought her warm hand to his lips, the scent of her skin heady and alluring. She’d laughed, delighted when he pretended to take a delicate nibble of her skin.

Casey balled his hands. The moment of togetherness in the dream thundered through him as he revisited what happened next.

He’d lost control. He’d done the unthinkable. He’d shimmered, right in front of Michelle, into his lynx form. Horrified, he’d stood there as his purest self and her screams echoed fiercely against his heart.

Page Count 226

Were-lynx Kennedy's world implodes when she's sent to a facility for illegal and torturous experimentation. Only after she's rescued does she learn she's been living a lie for 22 years. She can count on nothing from her past - not her parents, her surname, or her safety. Only the brother she didn't know and his colony of were-lynxes offer any semblance of stability. Suspicious of everyone and unsure of her path forward, Kennedy reluctantly starts to realize that charming were-bobcat Asher Monroe might be her only hope.

Sportswriter Asher has been trying desperately to ferret out the truth behind why the sinister Nexus Group has been kidnapping and experimenting on were-cats. But he's also willing to use his special mind-controlling ability to discover whether the gorgeous Kennedy is a threat to the colony or simply a lost soul.

As their need for the truth takes them into escalating danger, they discover explosive secrets that could bring Kennedy and Asher together - or rip them apart forever.

Book Trailer for Cravings

Page Count 222

The daughter of an alcoholic single mother, Asia Blue learned young that if she wanted to survive, she'd have to take care of herself. Tough and independent, she never encountered a challenge she couldn't conquer . . . until Asia discovered she was a were-lynx. Befriending sexy fellow were-lynx Conrad Pike and finding a colony helped her adjust to the startling revelation and get through college.

Now an investigative reporter, Asia faces an entirely different sort of problem when her mother goes missing and she suspects the mysterious Nexus Group . . . who seem determined to wipe out her colony. She reaches out to Conrad, now an investment banker and serial heartbreaker, for assistance, and they must once again join forces to save their colony - and her mother.

Will this strong-minded duo risk opening up their hearts and owning up to their long-simmering attraction?

Book Trailer for Heartfelt

Page Count 222

Bubbly were-lynx Tizzy Sands mapped out her life years ago: she'd teach kindergartners, eventually marry, and start a family. But when cancer stole her dream of having children, her focus changed. As a member of a were-lynx colony that faces constant danger from the nefarious Nexus Group, her goal now is helping the colony defeat them--and steering clear of any romantic involvements.

With his genius IQ, Quinn Arons isn't the most socially skilled were-lynx in the colony and can't imagine party girl Tizzy would give him a second look. But although his past mistakes and childhood experiences haunt him, he can't accept Tizzy's fear that cancer will return and claim her life soon. Instead, he decides to show her that life is what you make it.

Now they're working as partners to prevent Nexus from launching its Project Powering, but can Quinn convince Tizzy there's more to save here than just their world?

Book Trailer for Probabilities

Page Count 234

Reeling from the recent Project Powering battle with the evil Nexus Group, were-lynx and veterinarian Lara Monroe struggles with thwarting the group's plans to eliminate her colony while dealing with her own traumatic past. Still, when her fellow colony cat - and secret crush - Booker Chase needs help, she's willing to use her special healing touch to help him survive his emotional hell.

A formidable were-lynx and a physician, Booker has his hands full helping patients who were seriously injured in the battle. But nothing can repair his soul, broken from the loss of his wife and the PTSD from his service in Afghanistan . . . or can it? Now that his good friend Lara is standing by him in his emotional struggles, he's finding there is more to their connection than he realized. But dare he open his heart?

In the epic conclusion of the Fierce Hearts series, the colony takes its biggest risk of all to shut down the Nexus Group forever - will Lara and Booker survive to take their second chance at love?

Book Trailer for Unstoppable

About the Author:

Lynn Crandall lives in the Midwest and writes in the company of her cat. She has been a reader and a writer all her life. Her background is in journalism, but whether writing a magazine or newspaper story or creating a romance, she loves the power stories hold to transport, inspire, and uplift. In her romances, she focuses on vulnerable, embraceable characters who don't back down.

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Lynn said...

Thank you for hosting me on your blog!