Fractured Legacy by Skye Callahan
(Darkness Bound #1)
Publication date: October 22nd, 2013
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Kaylyn Anderson's fascination with abandoned places and dark creatures kindled her work as a paranormal investigator. But when dreams begin to distort reality, she questions what is real and pulls away from everyone she trusts. The opportunity to investigate the Teague Hotel--a long-abandoned landmark that has always piqued her curiosity--provides a chance to redeem herself. Unraveling the hotel's secrets won't be easy, but Kaylyn soon finds herself the target of a dark entity that has been trapped in the building for decades.
If Kaylyn stands any hope of defeating the spirit, she'll have to accept that her fears are real and convince fellow investigators that she hasn't lost her mind.
Excerpt from Chapter 1
"Why don't you tell us about the box?" Cole said, her voice calm and steady despite the marionette-like stare of Mr. Edwards.
"It's my box." He repeated.
"Fine. Alright. It's your box. I just want to know more about it, like the carvings. Do you know what they are?"
Mr. Edwards cocked his head and squinted at the younger sister. "Carvings are something made by cutting wood. An object or design formed by cutting and shaping a material such as wood or stone—"
Kaylyn had heard enough, but as soon as she took a step forward, Cole glared at her.
"The guy has gone dark. His power ring has faded." She kept her jaw clenched, wondering how much—if any—of the conversation the man actually understood by now. "Let's just grab the jewels and get out before his head explodes."
"There are no explosive devices in my head, Kaylyn."
She bit her lip, she certainly hadn't offered her name. "Okay, Mr. Edwards—"
"Sure….” She choked on her words as the man's lips turned up into what she assumed was supposed to be a smile. “Gib, what's going on here?"
"You’re trying to take my box."
"Yeah," Kaylyn nodded. This conversation was getting redundant fast. "We got that part. We're quick like that, you know."
"I do know. You thought you could find my box and take it away. But, I won."
"So you did, Gib." Cole took a step forward, but marionette-man hunkered over the box like it was his heir.
Cole took another step. "Where's Mr. Edwards?"
"He took a vacation. He's probably sipping Mai Tais on the shores of Maui right now."
"That's a quick trip."
"Yes, anything is possible when you use your imagination. You two are particularly familiar with that, aren't you? Losing yourselves in a slightly altered unreality."
Kaylyn shook her head and stumbled backward. For a dimwit, he had down the creepy intuition and dictionary memorization.
Interview with Jonah:
Skye: Hi Jonah, thanks for agreeing to be interviewed.
Jonah: I don’t recall having much of a choice in the matter.
Skye: Um… well, tell us a little about yourself.
Jonah: I’m originally from Minnesota, I moved around a lot and now I do research for Aicil and manage the office in Ohio.
Skye: Can you be more specific? Tell us about some of the creatures you’ve tracked down for Aicil!
Jonah: *Grimaces* I’m not at liberty to openly discuss our work.
Skye: Fine, are you at liberty to discuss your tattoos?
Jonah: You’ve been talking to Kaylyn again, haven’t you? You shouldn’t listen to everything she says.
Skye: Hah, I’m the one person in the world she can’t lie to.
Jonah: We’ll see.
Skye: (He looks like he’s holding back a smile, but I can’t really tell. Hmpf) You’re just as bad with cryptic statements and secrets as Kaylyn.
Jonah: Yes, but unlike Kaylyn I’m willing to concede when I know a secret could get people seriously hurt. Any more questions?
Skye: *pauses* Are you ever wrong?
Jonah: *smirks, then his face hardens and becomes unreadable* Yes. I was wrong to let Kaylyn take the Teague Hotel case, and because of that, I risked both of our careers and her life.
Skye: Any thoughts on what will happen with you two?
Jonah: I’m sure we will continue to berate each other for the foreseeable future. She and Cole seem to have a knack for attracting trouble. Whoever decided that assigning those sisters as partners should have his head examined.
Skye: Wasn’t that Carlisle?
Jonah: Case and point. Are we done?
Skye: Fine. Go back to work.
Skye Callahan was born and raised in Ohio and has seen enough unbelievable stuff to feed a lifetime of paranormal stories. When not writing or working at the dayjob she hangs out with her ethnomusicologist husband and pet ferrets, reads, and takes long walks through the cemetery.
Building Paranormal Ideas from Legends
Paranormal stories rely on the author's ability to create a world that encourages the reader's suspension of belief.
I don’t do a lot of plotting, but making sure your characters paranormal abilities (and inabilities) are clear and consistent requires some planning. You don't want to get halfway through the book and have to explain how/why a character suddenly gains a new ability or inability (unless of course you have a good reason to do so). That's like knowing that the character has a cell phone in his/her pocket, but when they are locked in a room, they can't figure out how to call out for help. Likewise, a vampire who can suddenly "glamour" a victim two-thirds of the way through the book when he's never had/used/mentioned that ability is equally problematic.
When I need inspiration for paranormal or supernatural characters, I look for old myths and legends to see where the creatures originated. Creating a basis for supernatural occurrences within historical beliefs creates credibility with the reader. There is a reason certain stories survive, and a reason why certain supernatural elements - ghosts, vampires, werewolves - are so widespread. And understanding when and why legends originated may give you hints into how you can adapt the legend for your own purposes.
The paranormal entities in Fractured Legacy aren’t derived from one particular legend. But there were some old myths that influenced the decisions I made while writing. For example, there are a number of legends that reference the vengeful spirit of a mother who lost her child. In Japanese folklore, the Mu-onna has been known to protect children, but she may also try to merge with them—to do so she must put the child’s soul to sleep. You’ll have to read Fractured Legacy to see what aspects of the legend made it into the story.
Don't just set out to be original or do something different—give your mind a few pieces of kindling and let it do the rest as it tries to make sense of the legends and stories. The originality will follow as your imagination fills in the gaps.