I’ll admit I’m not a fan of the idea. Free will and the ability to control my own destiny… those are two tenets I grew up with. Two rules I believe in and rely on. So it wasn’t easy to write a story about someone who had those things stripped away. In 40 Souls to Keep, Jase must save forty people. His mission is undeniable. He can’t fight it, and believe me, he’s tried. I knew his reward at the end of the book would need to be epic. Something invaluable that made all his suffering worthwhile. I believe I did right by the man, but that will be up to the readers to decide.
Jase’s gift is unique. Other characters in the book are “chosen.” They lose their memories and receive mysterious tattoos—their own headcount of people to save. Yet Jase is the only healer. I thought long and hard about using this particular power. Maybe because it’s the sort of mystical gift I’d like myself. He’s a modern Lachesis, the thread-measurer, but rarely understands why he’s been called on to intervene. Why was he chosen?
Therein lies the mystery. And I do love a good mystery.
I’m also partial to grounded characters. Lucas, Macy’s protector and Jase’s reluctant partner, is as rational and straight-forward as they come. His job demands it. Yet he soon discovers that the mysterious (and handsome) Jase is no more than a puppet on a string, dancing to the tune of some higher power. You can imagine how that goes over. The fun part—and the most challenging—was crafting the story so that Lucas’s eventual suspension of disbelief was… well, believable.
Fate and mystery. They would seem to be at odds, but after writing this book, I do wonder. I hope readers will wonder as well. Do we make our own paths, or are they forged for us?
Share a thought about the book (or fate, mystery novels, Naples, Florida, the beach versus the pool, why it always rains when you’re on a tropical vacation, or why bikinis are evil). I will choose one commenter from today to receive a free copy of 40 Souls to Keep and will announce the winner here on Friday morning.
Thank you, and I hope you enjoy the book!
Seven years ago, Jase awoke with the mystical power to heal people—and no memory of his past. The only clue to his identity is the number forty tattooed on his arm. Driven by a mission he doesn’t understand, Jase follows his visions to those he’s meant to save. He is convinced that the fortieth person he’s drawn to—a little girl named Macy Pearl—is the key to finally learning the truth…
Social worker Lucas Jacobson has made a promise to protect Macy, orphaned when her parents were brutally murdered. So when Jase shows up in Naples claiming he’s there to heal the child, Lucas is wary, despite his attraction to the enigmatic stranger.
Then Macy is abducted, and Lucas has no choice but to trust in Jase. Scouring the city from its glitzy resorts to its seedy underbelly only deepens the mystery—and draws the two men closer. But Jase is certain of one thing: if Macy dies, a dark fate awaits them all.
Available at Carina Press HERE.
Libby glimpsed her true calling when her first story, an A.A. Milne /Shakespeare crossover, won the grand prize in her elementary school’s fiction contest. Her parents explained that writers were quirky, poor, and often talked to themselves in supermarket checkout lines. They implored her to be practical, a request she took to heart for twenty years, earning two degrees, a white-collar job, and an ulcer, before realizing that practical was absolutely no fun.
Today she lives with her husband and four children in an old, impractical house and writes stories about redemption, the supernatural, and love at first sight, all of which do exist. She happens to know from experience.
Libby’s first novel, State of Mind, was nominated for 2011 M/M Book of the Year by Authors After Dark.
Find Libby online at her: