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Soul and Shadow Paperback – March 16, 2012
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About the Author
Susan Jane McLeod has been writing since she was seven years old. At age eleven she won a county-wide essay contest and her professional career was launched. By the time she was nineteen, her poetry had appeared in several magazines, including American Girl and Seventeen. She also won an honorable mention in The Writer. She grew up in Rochester, New York, with her three sisters and one brother. In her early thirties she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and given a 50-50 chance to live. She survived only to have the cancer recur, necessitating more surgery and an aggressive course of chemotherapy. Today she is cancer free. The best job she ever had was managing a bookstore, surrounded by her passion: literature. Susan has published several short stories and two novels. The first, Soul and Shadow, is an award-winning paranormal historical romance. The second, Fire and Shadow, is classified as paranormal suspense. Both have garnered impressive reviews. Susan believes strongly in several causes and has raised money for the American Cancer Society, Foodlink, and the House of Mercy homeless shelter. She still resides in Rochester and will always call it home. She can be contacted at http://www.susanjmcleod.com and https://www.facebook.com/SusanJMcLeodAuthor
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Top customer reviews
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Lily, a grad student and research assistant to a highly regarded professor in the field of Egyptology is in the right place at the right time as a new exhibit arrives in town. It is the mummy of Amisihathor, more commonly known by the locals as Amisi, a songstress in the temple of Hathor on loan from the Cairo Museum. As an artist, Lily has done many paintings and illustrations of ancient Egypt, and as she gazes at the art of the sarcophagus, she is overcome with feelings and images alien to her. An eccentric woman behind her appears to have connected in some way, too. She is there to speak to Lily. She has seen Lily's art and believes she will be able to communicate somehow to learn the fate of Amisi. There is some confusion about her tomb and burial.
Susan J. McLeod has written a complex and entertaining story with many pieces and characters interwoven from both the ancient time of Amisi and the current life of Lily. The relationship between best friends and colleagues Lily and Katy is fun. Romance is in the air and Lily is falling hard for the Kent, son of Dame Ursula Allingham, who found the tomb ... the lady she met at the museum. There is a mystery surrounding Amisi, but there is also a mystery surrounding the Allingham family. More discomfiting is the mystery of Lily's dreams since meeting them. Her dreams are so vivid, and as she draws, scenes come to life as though she has really seen them. How can this be?
When Lily's ex-boyfriend moves back to town lines are drawn and pressure applied. Will Stephen reclaim his relationship or will Kent keep him at arm's length from Lily? Why does her mother ignore Lily's feelings for Kent and keep pushing her toward Stephen? Theft, romance, secrets, betrayal, friendship and Lily’s psychic revelations meld together well. A beautifully written final chapter. I enjoyed this book so much with it's multiple fleshed out characters in both settings that I wasn't ready for it to end. I was very glad when the following page was a preview of the next book featuring Lily and Katy.
However, as I read to him and we both began to enjoy the heart of the story, I knew Ms. McLeod was going to give us a run for our mystery solving abilities. The main character, Lily was certainly able to channel people from an alternate world but she was still as American as apple pie, and the daughter of a mother who wanted to manage her life. Her mother, ex fiancé and good friend Katy were not part of that world she was able to hear from. (And "apple" pie was not the problem she found herself in the center of.)
Reading a book silently and reading one aloud are not the same. I vocalized my shock when this author did her writing magic on us and we both said, "Oh My God!" few times. Not to say I got complacent at any point in the story because that would be impossible as the read doesn't slow you down at any point. I won't spoil it for you. It deserves a five star rating. Enjoy!
As I read this book, I found myself charmed by its coziness and easy, yet articulate prose. Then McLeod weaves her magic subtly, and before long, readers will find themselves hypnotized by the deeper world that underwrites this book. Through Lily’s intermittent visions, we find more than just Egyptian legends wrought of shadows, we find stories within her soul that imperceptibly draw the reader into a paranormal realm embarking upon the true meaning of life and sisterhood and brotherhood, as well as a haunting metaphysics of how the past begets the present.
I look forward to continuing the series to see how Lily’s interesting webs untangle themselves, but more notably, to gain a deeper look into McLeod’s beautiful and intricate underworld.
Yours in literature,