The Sound of a Second
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Scandinavian expatriate Gunnar Ahlgren had been content to lead a lonely but accomplished life in familiar London. Blinded by a cruel practical joke as a teenager, the 35-year old Brit overcame his disability thanks to his keenly honed hearing, becoming a top sound engineer working with famous musicians. Love and friendship alluded him though, as a string of paramours only felt sympathy instead of admiration and his job kept him busy from all but his sister and father.
Yet, just when his sister stopped her incessant failed matchmaking attempts and he finally found peace over the death of his mother, Gunnar was forced to accept a paranormal gift that put his life into hyperdrive. In Scandanavian folklore, a Vardoger is a doppleganger that exists in time a few moments before the real self, and seeing one's Vardoger is considered a harbinger of doom. Believing he has had contact with his Vardoger and somehow survived due to not being able to physically see his double, Gunnar saves himself from a falling billboard, saves his sister from a kitchen accident, saves a rock star from committing suicide, and saves Roxanne, a girl about to murdered, with whom he feels an instant connection. There is a good reason for that connection—not only is there chemistry and true feeling between them, but Roxanne has supernatural gifts of her own. As does the rock star, A.J. Rhodes, who clings tightly to Gunnar after his intervention.
When A.J. insists Gunnar work the sound at his upcoming concert in Roxanne’s hometown of New Orleans, he and Roxanne accompany the star, only to be confronted with yet another gifted individual, an employee of Roxanne’s father who is the daughter of voodoo queen. The quartet compare their gifts and marvel at the amazing coincidences that seem to have brought them together. But their budding friendship turns precarious upon meeting the twin brother of their fourth, who introduces himself with violence, a selfish motive, and the idea that other universes exist and that these four friends’ special abilities hold the key to opening the portals to those realms.
Seeking a better understanding of their abilities, their seemingly predestined kinship, and the possibility of other worlds, the four turn to a colleague of Gunnar’s sister, an Oxford Professor named Nigel Snow with an intimate knowledge of the paranormal. When he joins the group, more secrets and powers are revealed, and the five set out on a cross-America journey to seek their sixth prophesized member. They find their sixth, a gifted but embittered lesbian stung by lost love, in Los Angeles and forge a hard-earned yet trusting friendship with her before the group reaches its final destination of the alleged portal between two versions of Earth. An unexpected surprise awaits the group at the door, however, and death appears possible if they elect to walk into the other universe. Despite the danger, some choose to enter while others are forced. In the end and leading into Book Two of the Senses Series, whether the friends have lived or died and whether the next dimension is heaven or another version of Earth is revealed.
LGBTQ, urban fantasy, metaphysics, paranormal romance, voodoo, adventure