Felicitas’ life is thrown into chaos when she begins to have dreams of Raine Zadock. Not only has she never met him, but the intimate night in her dreams shows a positive result on her pregnancy test. She doesn’t dare tell her controlling father, Melvin Rebold, the town’s most prominent Baptist minister or her passive mother Sharon. The only person she can confide in is her grandmother Rosie, however her father forbids her to have anything to do with her, claiming she’s insane and speaks with the dead. But, before Felicitas can confess her secret, she mysteriously vanishes. During the search to find her, news of her pregnancy surfaces along with a cryptic Nocturnal Journal that cast an accusing finger on a secretive stranger.
A week later, she is found wandering the woods but with no memory of where she has been. An angry Detective, her boyfriend and her parents are furious with her and of course do not believe her story of becoming pregnant in a dream.
After her father threatens to send her off to County Mental Health, she runs away to her grandmother’s house, all the while haunted by her father’s continual warnings about the woman. True to her father’s description, Rosie seems a bit eccentric and shares wild mystical tales of dreams and other dimensions. Together Felicitas and her grandmother trace their roots back ten generations and make a disturbing discovery that someone very close to her is not who they seem.
“You keep torches in your trees?”
He didn’t answer. Instead he held the flame high lighting the grove of ghostly looking trees. Their massive gnarled trunks grew within inches of each other creating a large circle impossible for anyone or anything to enter. The thick branches void of any leaves entwined with the boughs from the neighboring tree creating an impenetrable barricade. An ancient well sat in the center protected by the trees. A fog hugged the ground surrounding the well. Water spilled softly over the top like a fountain. Esther realized what Reed meant by no one being able to fall into this well. It was impossible to get anywhere near it.
“What is this place?”
“I don’t know.”
“What do you mean you don’t know? You have to know, you brought me here.”
“I don’t know what it is though. I have my ideas, but….”
“What do you mean you have your ideas? Do you think it has something to do with Taz disappearing?”
“I don’t know.”
Esther was becoming impatient. Her quest for answers superseded any crush or would-be relationship. Now was not the time to be charming. She would grab him around the neck and choke the answers from him if need be.
“You do too know. You thought it was important enough to check out. I want to know why. Tell me what you’re thinking.”
Reed continued to hold the torch in his hand. It lit his face, outlining his strong features. Usually Esther would be nervous in his presence; tonight it was Reed that seemed anxious.
He stepped up close forcing her against the trunk of a tree his face directly in front of hers. She swallowed hard, taken back by the unintended intimacy of the moment.
“Promise me you will not tell anyone about this place.”
Emotion choked the voice from her throat. She managed a hoarse whisper.
“I think it’s some sort of gateway.”
She swallowed hard.
“Gateway to where?”
Reed bit down hard clenching his jaw. “I know it sounds crazy, but I think it is a passageway to the afterlife.”
A cold chill passed through Esther as terror invaded her. She glanced at the vapor hovering near the well and the gnarled trees standing vigil and she began to tremble. This was too much. She wanted to turn and run as fast as she could, removing herself as far from this bizarre place as possible. Instead she grabbed Reed’s hand.
“Okay, I am scared to death right now…I may pass out at any minute.”
Reed’s lips gave way to a smile.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t bring you here to scare you.”
“Then why did you being me here?”
Reed moved in pinning her closer against the tree. He placed his mouth close to her ear and whispered as if he feared being heard.
“To see if there was water. When there is water there is activity…..it means they have come.”
Esther wanted to scream and run like a banshee through the woods. Reeds words made her legs shake uncontrollably. She wished she were anywhere but where she was, yet the intimacy of the moment made a fire burn in her belly.
“Who are they?” she whispered back
She didn’t know why, but his next words chilled her to the bone, and for some reason she wished she had not asked the question. It’s better not to know some things, because sometimes with certain knowledge comes great misfortune. Yet, she had asked; and, he had whispered back into her ear. She never could have dreamed that the two words he spoke would change her life forever.
I really enjoyed this book. I wasn’t expecting the fantasy portion (I know, I need to read the synopsis better, but it sounded good!) but it added a nice twist to the story. The characters all seemed realistic and it was nice to see Felicitas’ father as a somewhat bad guy for a minister. I like how Felicitas stood up for herself and stuck to her principles. Her friend Esther seemed somewhat gullible, but that is what made her character interesting. I have to say I had no idea where the story was going to go or how it was going to end, so that was a bit of a surprise. I’m not sure if I loved or hated how it ended and part of me wants another book to see how the story continues!
I give the story 4 paws and suggest checking it out next time you are looking for something to read.
About the Author:
Joining the ranks of best-selling authors, Denise Daisy is described as one of the purest storytellers of all time; pulling of romance, suspense and a touch of fantasy, all in the same piece. Denise’s novels include, The Secrets of Moonshine, Haytham The Secret in the Rubble, both books are a part of her popular Moonshine Series. The third installment The Storyteller’s Secret is due out in 2013.The Haret is the first book in The Haret Series, and, Thirteen for Dinner is a stand-alone suspense thriller.She lives in San Diego with her youngest daughter Journey. She free-lances as a hairstylist and make-up artist. She is very active in the community, directing and teaching for the national CYT, children’s theater. During her free time she enjoys hanging out with all four of her daughters, Autumn, Brittany, Kendall and Journey or taking a sail with her real life leading man Scott Dazey.
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