Jul 1, 2009

Query for Eden's Gate

Zander Jaden hasn’t had a full night’s sleep in three years. Ever since his mother’s death, the minute the sun goes down, he feels eyes on him, watching him, and waiting. In a desperate attempt to get some rest, he swallows an entire bottle of prescription sleep-aids. After his supposed suicide attempt, Zander is committed to Edensgate State Psychiatric Hospital, a massive sprawling building in the Kirkbride style, now mostly defunct.

He meets Rafe Nazario there, and the two boys become fast friends. Zander confides his problems in Rafe, and in turn, Rafe details the reasons he finds himself there in Edensgate. As they grow closer, their routine is interrupted by the arrival of Dominick O’Brennan, the son of an infamous mafia family from Boston. Dominick despises Rafe and Zander from the start, and does everything he possibly can to make their lives miserable, up to and including stealing Zander’s file from the hospital and taunting him with information. After Rafe and Zander have a fight, however, Dominick moves in, and Zander falls into bed with him.

After Dominick is released from the hospital on the word of his family, Rafe and Zander are finally free to explore their own relationship, with the ever present night-watchers a constant irritant. As Zander tries to find a way to free himself of his curse, he begins to delve deeper into the history of Edensgate – in fact, history presents itself to him clearly in the form of a girl who died there sixty years ago! – and he discovers the powers within him, passed down by his mother, that will help him be free of the night-watchers once and for all.

The only thing standing between Zander and total freedom is once again Dominick – after his family found themselves unable to deal with him, they recommit him to the hospital, and this time, he’s not so forgiving. Knowing Zander’s paralyzing fear of the dark, Dominick nearly kills him when he locks him in the unlit basement for three days.

Time is running out when Zander recovers from Dominick’s mischief, however, for he knows that the power of a solar eclipse on Halloween night will give the night-watchers exactly what they need to obtain their goals – to leave their bleak home and overrun the Earth. Dominick’s acting strangely, Rafe is concerned, and Zander just wants to get some sleep. With the help of the ghosts of Edensgate and a doctor who works there, the two boys work to stop the night-watchers before they can use the hospital as a launch-pad for the destruction of the human race.

The fate of the world is resting on the shoulders of one young man in a mental hospital, and all Hell’s about to break loose at Eden’s Gate.

Query - Winter Roses Never Die

Dear Literary Editor,

Although endearing in a way, Jennie is rather too imaginative and naive for someone of thirty-four. As she lives in a small country town where most of the inhabitants are earthy and provincial, her whimsical, shy nature stands out even more than her colourful array of shabby chic clothing. When she breathlessly relates to her library co-workers of meeting a handsome man (in a wheel chair) in an abandoned winter cemetery beside a rose-covered grave, her credibility is stretched to the limit. And then when she describes hearing disembodied singing and music that seemed to follow her down the cemetery path, her long-suffering associates begin to doubt her integrity and sanity. However, she hasn't even told them the whole story of what she experienced. She is convinced a beautiful lady with sloe-shaped green eyes was reclining on a twig-like branch of a wattle tree. The lady's eyes held such power that Jennie went into sensory overload and couldn't move. Only when she was able to recite her favourite prayer (asking for the protection of the Holy Blood) did the vision disappear.

The two focal points of the old, abandoned cemetery where most of the story is set are the blood red roses growing over the co-joined graves of Charos and his mother, and the blood red cloak worn by the statue of the Christ. Both signify the healing and transforming power of selfless, unconditional love. Jennie discovers through her 'inspirationals' that the power of the human soul is in the blood and is triggered by the emotions. Humankind does not know how to tap into that power, but The Family do through their spiritual awareness - an awareness that was taken away from most of humanity but which Jesus came to restore. The difference between Jennie's two favourite men, Jesus and Charos, is that while the vampire-like Charos must take human blood to live, the Blood of Jesus was given on His death so that humankind would throw off their guilt and forgive themselves and find healing and spiritual life, which before was denied to them - through their guilt and lack of spiritual knowledge. Like humanity, Charos has also been cursed - along with his enigmatic people called The Family - and they are also partly dead. But unlike humanity, the power of their spirits is still intact and, hence, their knowledge and understanding of spiritual/supernatural?power. It is?this power, contained in?the soul, which has been lost to them. Their souls have been captured by infernal spirits which live off the power and energy from these souls. The only way The Family can keep physically alive and powerful is by absorbing human blood. The roses growing over Charos' and his mother's graves are actually his transformed mother, transformed through her selfless love and compassion for her son. They are blood red, the radiance of which helped him heal of his terrible burns inflicted by The People. The blood red of the roses signify her love for her son and the energy and comfort which she gave at the expense of her own life-force. The blood red cloak worn by the statue of Jesus in the cemetery also?symbolises the transformed nature of the Christ through His compassion and selfless love for us. He gave His Blood to bring comfort, life and healing to?humanity - the same way that Charos' mother did when she was transformed through the same selfless love for her son into the roses which never die.

Jennie's initial quest is to discover the identity and true nature of the enigmatic man in the wheel chair, to liberate him and the rest of his (non-human) Family from the evil that holds them captive on this earthly plane and which prevents them from being able to feel and be truly alive.? Most importantly, she wants to win the love of this man, Charos, and bring him back into her life and that of their beautiful child, Julianna.?

Combined with this outer quest are Jennie's spiritual experiences which seek her out as opposed to?her outward efforts to find love and happiness.? In the process she discovers that the inner world, the Kingdom of Heaven,?is?such a treasure trove of inspiration, love and happiness that she is tempted to abandon?her seemingly impossible outer quest.? However, as part of her growing process, she discovers she's not the only one fighting terrible battles?of insecurity.? Everyone, no matter how powerful they seem or how perfect their life appears, is fighting the same battle - even the seemingly invincible Charos.? She realises that even though she doesn't need his love for happiness, he needs her love and human power to regain his soul and freedom.

At the end of the story, Jennie's faith and love are victorious. Through her courage and faithful love, Charos is redeemed from his soulless existence, and he and The Family are free to return to their own plane. He, however, chooses to stay with Jennie and their daughter. But it is only when Jennie is able to demonstrate a more perfect and deeper love through compassion and understanding of his past suffering and his insecurities is she able to disarm those insecurities. Only then is Charos able to say the words Jennie has waited years to hear: I love you.

Winter Roses Never Dies is a paranormal romance combined with elements of mystic Christanity, 87,000 words in length, for the adult reader.

Thank you for your time and consideration of this project.

Yours faithfully...