Novella #1 in The Haunted Heart series
"Let us be grateful to the mirror for revealing to us our appearance only."
Still grieving over the sudden death of his lover, antiques dealer Flynn Ambrose moves to the old, ramshackle house on Pitch Pine Lane to catalog and sell the large inventory of arcane and oddball items that once filled his late uncle's mysterious museum.
But not all the items are that easy to catalog -- or get rid of...
Since Alan died, Flynn isn't eating, isn't sleeping, and isn't spending a lot of time looking in mirrors. But maybe he should pay a little more attention -- because something in that 18th Century mirror is looking at him.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Mr. Lanyon's prose which, as I've come to expect, is beautifully descriptive without being excessive, such as when describing the falling snow "The leaden clouds had split open and miniature clouds were floating down, landing on sagging fence posts and peeling window sills." What lovely imagery soft fluffy clouds of snow gently floating down from above. I could almost hear that encroaching silence as the world is muted by nature's blanket. Notice how he sneaks in a reference to the building's state of disrepair with "sagging fence posts" and "peeling window sills." Those six words go far in setting the scene.
I don't wish to ruin the story for you by going too far into what happens, but I can say that you're sure to be on the edge of your seat in parts and very moved, perhaps even shocked at how Flynn's loss has shattered him. Having recently gone through my own grief, I found his reactions very believable, while wishing that Flynn would realize that the future can hold so much for him. And speaking of the future, of course there's what many of us long for most the sweet stirrings of maybe something possible between Flynn and Kirk something that neither man could, nor would yet consider or put into words.
I highly encourage you to read The Haunted Heart: Winter. It's the start of something wonderful not only for Flynn and Kirk, but for us as readers as well. Thank you Josh Lanyon.
TJ for Reviews by Jessewave
Rating: 5+ stars out of 5 DIK
Readers of earlier Lanyon stories will find themselves in recognizable territory, but this book is definitely the beginning of something new. I purposely didn't read anything about this book before it was released. I read both the 2012 short stories and Blood Red Butterfly and enjoyed them all, but I was really looking forward to a new Lanyon book that was (a) longer and more developed; and (b) in the style of his mysteries, which I enjoy the most of all his writing. I am not a huge fan of ghost stories, but I figured I would trust him on this, and I wasn't disappointed... a classic ghost-story setup, which I guess falls within paranormal romance. So yes, but emphasis on the ghost, since everything else is non-paranormal. Plus, there is the mystery part. So paranormal-mystery-romance? With an HFN? Or, let's just call it a Lanyon. ;) Whatever we call it, I give it a grade of B+.
Sunita for Dear Author
I felt Flynn's grief as clearly as you did. One of the reasons I like his books is because I always admire how much Lanyon can achieve with so few words. That quote about snow on Alan's eyelashes make me choke up a little.
"If I closed my eyes I could remember snowflakes in Alan's eyelashes and his breath warm against my face.
I like a variety of writing styles I can admire, let's say, Carole Cummings for her lush writing style in Aisling and her other series, and I was tasting the words on my tongue when I was reading Ash's musings in Alexis Hall's Glitterland, but I also love the restraint Lanyon shows in his works, especially because he can achieve so much with very few words.
Sirius for Dear Author (B+)
"I love his characters, I love his mysteries, I love his quirky sense of humour. I. Loved. This. Story!! I sunk into it like it was my favourite armchair!
This book, for me, felt like coming home. The style, the content, the cover everything just worked beautifully!
Go! Buy the Book! You will love it!!"
"I'm eagerly awaiting the next book in the series, and am even more eager to stop freaking out every time I have to look in a mirror. This was a short, scary, and equally funny and heartbreaking.
Once again Lanyon has lured me into a world where I can never quite guess what is coming next. Read with the lights on, the mirrors covered, and--if you can manage it--a big, strapping man to help you fight off the ghostly tremors."
"GAHHH! Sometimes, I read Josh Lanyon and I just think “damn, now THAT’S a pro”His stuff, the stuff you know he took the time to get right, is just GOOD. It flows. It’s crafted, but feels effortless. And everything about it is money.
I loved this book. I suspect when you write as many books as Lanyon has, it’s tough making everything entirely original. This book has shades of some of his others (shall we chalk that up to his “style”?) and the story feels ‘done’ already. But the writing is so gooood! I was immersed in it. Like nothing else was going on I was right there…on page and I could NOT be bothered with anything else.
I always love his characters and his couple. He gives just enough to feed your hunger, but never enough to make you full--leaving you wanting MORE."
"I love Josh Lanyon’s work, and I didn’t realize how much I missed his writing until I was reading it again. His writing style and sense of humor comes through loud and clear in this story.
I don’t think I have to sit here and wax poetically about the writing in this, but I will anyway. :) Josh Lanyon may have taken some time off, but his skills didn’t take any such vacation. Even in a novella he manages to paint a full picture of Flynn. We get the basic idea that he and Alan not only grew up together but were so in love that they hadn’t been with anyone else. They were soul mates and they were going to be together forever. I am so looking forward to the next story in the series because I can’t wait to get to know Kirk better; those are some deep waters in that man.
This new book is a homerun for Josh, and I can’t be any happier to have him back. So if you loved Adrien English, or maybe you got hooked on Holmes and Moriarity, then I think you will be as happy as I am to get caught up in Flynn and Kirk while they find themselves and each other."
"Not only has author Josh Lanyon written an incredibly scary little tale but also, once again, he has woven multiple layers into each page of text that made this so much more than a simple ghost story.
Yes, this was a well-done paranormal/horror/mystery/romance novella. And if you think for one moment that Lanyon did not pull off every one of those category markers with aplomb, think again. I have read most, if not all of this author’s work and I can say, without reservation, that this one is right up there with his finest novels. The careful and gradual way in which each of his characters is unwrapped, their lives laid open and just a hint of the darkness that holds them tight in its grip is revealed is simply delicious! We learn about Flynn and Kirk, bit by bit, just as they learn about each other. Never rushing, the author allows this slow dance to drift along, constantly springing one shocking surprise after another about both Flynn and Kirk’s shadowy pasts. By novel’s end, the small revelations that explode on the page about each of these men grab you by the throat and hook you in deep
The Haunted Heart: Winter is the first in a new series, with each subsequent season to reveal new adventures for these two men. Honestly, I have never wanted a spring thaw so badly! Once again I find myself using the word, fine literature, compelling story lines and intricate characterization in the same breath as the name Josh Lanyon. This is one author who does not fail to deliver a topnotch story and The Haunted Heart is no exception. My recommendation? Read It!with the lights on."
JustJoshin Publishing Inc.
JustJoshin Publishing Inc.
JustJoshin Publishing Inc.