Here’s the review: –>
What has always interested me about Horror’s subgenre, Hauntings, is the focus of spinning a morality tale. Certainly, an author works to enhance the creep factor, done by Horror’s inversion of normalcy, but within the spectrum of haunted fiction there is always a sense that a message is trying to get through. (Apropos to “haunting” itself?) An author of that sub-genre is challenged with two fundamental questions: What do I want to say? What message is so critical for a soul to split the veil between worlds to tell it?
The questions above—both asked and answered—are what makes for powerful, extraordinary fiction. (Will anyone ever forget, “That’s a big Twinkie”?) There are some things that we, humanity, will always wonder about. Those are the archetypal topics often found in “haunted” fiction.
For me, I used Stir of Souls to discuss two critical messages. One, an ongoing sickening act found in the human flesh trade, the stealing of intersexed and pre-surgery transsexual teenagers for the darkest of tastes; and two, the loss of a relationship.
It’s no secret that the Michelle Robbins books are arguments against the loathsome criminality of childhood abuse. I believe that only Ides of March and Rockin’ the ‘Nog don’t contain these elements. Everything else I’ve produced for Amber Quill (Allure as well as Heat) touches on the lifelong consequences of childhood abuse. As such, it’s no surprise that Stir of Souls reaches into this often-painful area as well.
There, I discussed Kleinfelter’s.
Kleinfelter’s is a genetic complexity of the male/female chromosomes. Basically, a boy baby is born with two XX chromosomes. Thus, he is (in layman’s terms) half boy and half girl (ie: XXY). For some this is the Holy Grail of perversions. Criminals steal these teens and market them to the highest bidder. The villains have also have been known to hormonally induce lactation in order to fulfill this perversion’s highest fantasy.
When I read about this, I screamed in horror and had nightmares for months. As a survivor of the Triple Crown of childhood abuses, my mind cringed from the reality. In many ways, and with respect to different perversions, poor Sven’s story could have been mine.
This phenomenon is horrible, horrifying, and sickening. It must be brought to light and expunged. As such, it was a perfect topic for Horror/Hauntings.
Atop of that, I was in the midst of severing the relationship I’d written about inside In Training. Nothing negative or anything, my Seth and I simply faced divergent life paths. I wish him nothing but the best, as I’m sure he wishes the same for me.
Both he and I are metaphysically based and our views on life are somewhat skewered for a different reality. The life questions of “why” are often viewed through a different lens than many. In our understanding, we know people in “this” life just as we knew them in the past life…and the future one. People will always find familiar souls; with those souls the challenges of “this incarnation” are faced, experienced, and resolved.
So, it came to pass that both he and I realized that what we’d needed to learn from each other had been learned. Consequently, it was time to move on to the next life lesson but make no mistake, it’s hard. I will miss him and will always search for him. Such is the connection I believe that exists between us.
For Stir of Souls, I delivered that metaphysical lesson via the ghost’s visitations to our hero, Luis. For me, was there anything more important to say to the living than how much you love them? I can’t think of a thing beyond that. Readers will find that message in the chapter’s headings as well as narrated via what transpired between Luis and Seven.
I cried my way through Stir of Souls but by the end of the story I felt a sense of peace, a sense of healing. I had the strength to move on with my life without regret. It is my hope Stir of Souls reaches out to you, dear readers, and touches your hearts as well.
The answers for many life’s questions and challenges is simple. LOVE.