When I started writing Roxanne’s Ghost I had no plan of messing with the chronology of time. What fascinated me was parallel stories within a story. But as my tale unfolded, time bent by itself. And it worked. It’s only now, with hindsight, that I question what time-travel and time-bending actually is.
When either concept is mentioned, sci-fi movies immediately come to mind. In these, use is made of fantastic contraptions to travel through time, from a telephone booth in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure to a Delorean in Back to the Future. Reality
In reality, no such equipment is needed, as time is relative. We all know the three dimensions of space: length, width, and depth, but what we seem to forget is that time is the fourth dimension. Time has no meaning without space and the two act together as the space-time continuum. Whatever happens, it involves both space and time.
Have you never wondered about people disappearing without a trace? Could it be possible that they got lost in time without intending to? But what about time bending to take a person from now to an alternative now in the past or the future? This is not the same as time-travel. Time seems to bend itself.
The next question I ask myself, is whether it is possible to be in the same place but at a different time – sort of on a different level or in a different dimension? Here is but one article – and there are many – on research findings into the levels of time: http://fqxi.org/community/articles/display/139
Can one be in two places at the same time?
So…is it possible to be in one place at two or more different times? Is it possible to move backward and forward in time when space remains constant? I would say that if one accepts that time isn’t flat (linear), then anything is possible.
Why am I telling you all this?
In Roxanne’s Ghost, Ben’s wife, Roxanne’ presumably dies in a car accident, but because her body is never found, her oddball sisters claim she is still alive somewhere. They make it their mission to find her and bring her home. Book 1 Find My Love is here: https://tinyurl.com/yytourk6
The Roxanne’s Ghostduology, Find My Love and Worthy To Love, is a spooky paranormal romance, in which my main man is being manipulated by the female members of his in-law family. I love the trope ‘nothing is as it seems’, and incidentally, runs through all my work. I love ‘things that go bump in the night’ and unexplained stuff. In short, the paranormal and creepiness drive my novels. People love to be scared, and what is scarier than a strange house in the dark of night? Sort of Gothic, isn’t it? That’s why atmospherics like the weather (thunder and lightning), shadows cast by fire against a wall, dancing candle flames, creaky doors, and so on, play such a strong part in all my writing.
Ben, the male lead
My main man in Roxanne’s Ghost is Dr. Benjamin Arnold, a completely fictitious person. He is a veterinary surgeon, a widower, and father to a little girl called Amber.
Ben looks a bit like this, only with bright green eyes. A typical outdoorsy man, he is nicely suntanned and athletically built. To top it all, he has something about wearing a shirt and is just about always barefoot.
(Can anyone tell me who he is?)
Roxanne’s Ghost is set in modern day South Africa, just outside a tiny village named Wellington in the Western Cape region. It is about an hour’s drive from Cape Town itself, in the heart of the winelands.
This picturesque little town nestles at the foot of the majestic Hottentots Holland Mountains and is surrounded by vineyards. Weltevreden is the name of the farm where Ben lives. It used to be a winery in the past, but for reasons unknown, the vineyards are gone in Ben’s time. It is situated off the Ceres road, about 5km outside the town.
As the main man, Ben is the ultimate reluctant lover. He is a bit confused about his feelings. Considering himself strictly a one-woman man, and he still thinks of himself as a married man – although he made peace with his wife’s death -he is not ready for a new relationship yet.
The Conflict Souring His Life
His in-laws. You see, his wife died tragically in a car accident, leaving him alone with his four-year-old autistic daughter. His housekeeper, Ethel, took care of the little one since her birth, but she is now too old to mind a young child with problems, therefore Ben needs a nanny.
He dislikes his sisters-in-law intensely because they seem to have a plan for him now that his wife is out of the picture, but Ben dug his heels in and will not allow them to arrange his future for him. Their plan seems to revolve around him marrying again – one of them, no less
This is where Jessica James comes in. She is a highly qualified young woman, sent for an interview with Ben for the nanny position. AlthoughBen made it plain that ‘only older applicants’ will be considered, she never the less arrives at Weltevreden on – wait for it – Friday the 13th.
Jess is immediately aware of undercurrents in Ben’s house, which half scares her to death. She tries to hide her fear from Ben. And Ethel isn’t helping. She tells Jess she will never leave Weltevreden. Grief, who wants to hear that? Then she starts to see visions, of a woman bearing a remarkable resemblance to Millicent. What is she to make of that?
Ben put his attraction to her eloquently in words. ‘Jessica, before you came, my life was in order. Now I will never be happy again, wanting what I can’t have.’ And this is at the heart of his problem. He should have insisted on an older woman.
The problem with the sisters
But the problem becomes clear shortly after Jess got to Weltevreden. Roxanne’s identical twin sister, Millicent, arrives for the first anniversary of Roxanne’s death. The other two sisters follow in the morning. And they are not happy with Jessica being there at all. Fancying themselves at some sort of dark witches, they put all sorts of spokes in Ben’s wheels. Even though he tries to throw them out, they just won’t budge. And they have a bad influence on Amber.
Ben asks them what their purpose is for being at Weltevreden. They claim that Roxanne isn’t dead at all, that they will find her and bring her home. Millicent even has a psychic in tow to make sure Roxanne doesn’t slip through their fingers
How is Ben going To Fix His – And His Daughter’s – Life?
Ben accepts that he has to move past the pain of losing his wife, but he isn’t in the market for a new relationship. Not yet, anyway. He wants to be left in peace, with no one pressuring him into what he isn’t ready for. A sexy young nanny like Jess, will be too much of a temptation, therefore he can’t employ her – he is only a man. His only condition is that his sisters-in-law are not part of his new life. If the only way to avoid them is to move away from Weltevreden, then so be it. He can set up practice anywhere.
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