The worst film I’ve ever seen starred Ryan Reynolds, which I didn’t think would be possible (except for The Green Lantern, which I consider a mulligan). Buried proved me wrong. Ryan Reynolds in a coffin in a desert for the entire movie.
I couldn’t even finish the dang thing. My pulse was erratic, my palms sweaty, and my chest far too tight to breathe normally for an hour and half. Once again, my claustrophobia got the best of me.
Lots of people are claustrophobic to varying degrees. Mine is bad enough that I can’t swim properly (freestyle requires you to put your face underwater…yeah, so not happening). I always leave my face sticking out from under the covers despite the cold Alaskan winter nights, and I’ve never worn a Halloween costume with a mask. Watching people crawl through tight cave tunnels leaves me physically ill. But these sensations are so primal and powerful I can’t ignore them.
I believe that a story’s dark moment should be like that. So gritty and real and unflinching that you can’t help but squirm a little in your seat as you read the scene. I know I’ve gotten the story’s dark moment right when I’m sitting at my desk fidgeting and shifting and trying to look away from the words I just put down on the page. My Sinclair boys have left me with those sensations more than any other characters I’ve written to date.
Maybe it’s their dysfunction or their tyrannically insane father, but Flynn and Connor have both pushed me past what I thought were my hard limits as an author. In Red Moon, Flynn may not be physically trapped, but his role as his father’s soldier and now as the alpha of a new pack means that he’s a victim to responsibility. The role he must fulfill is slowly suffocating the life out of him and he knows it. Connor fights his wolf for physical control of the shift in Blood Moon. I can imagine little worse than being trapped within a body without command of its functions, so of course I forced Connor into that nightmare. Flynn and Connor must face these battles though if they intend to keep the women they love safe.
Perhaps being brave enough to face that place of fear is what makes for true heroes. So maybe this Halloween I’ll go for one of those Grim Reaper black-out hoods or a zombie monkey mask. After all, if I can’t handle it, I can always use the experience as inspiration for my next hero.
Flynn Sinclair understands pack loyalty — for years as his Alpha father’s enforcer, he has done things in the name of duty that he can’t ever forget. But the vast expanse of Alaska offers him a peace he’s never known. Alone, removed from pack life, he can focus on his research and try to forget his life before.
But duty has a way of inviting itself in, and Flynn finds himself doing two reckless things in one week: leaving the safety of Alaska to save his brother Connor’s life, and unwittingly falling in love with Evie Thompson, a woman who doesn’t deserve to be drawn into his terrifying world.
Connor carries news of their father’s descent into madness, and it looks like neither geography nor Flynn’s attempts at disengagement will put off a confrontation. Flynn had finally begun to believe that he might deserve something good in his life — something like Evie — but to move forward in the light, he must first reconcile with the dark.
Dana Patterson never regretted the simplicity of her life in Alaska until she moved in with playboy Connor Sinclair. On the surface, Connor is the darkly seductive owner of Vegas’s hottest new casino. But in private, she gets to see a vulnerable side that no one else knows about — and the combination makes him a temptation she isn’t willing to resist any longer.
After Connor openly sides with his brother Flynn in the battle against their unstable lycanthrope father, protecting family and friends becomes a necessity. Having Dana move in with him was the chivalrous decision; sharing his bed with her was not. Dana may think Connor’s everything she’s ever wanted, but his scars run deep, and he can’t bear the thought of hurting her.
But war changes everything — and exposes dark secrets. As Rupert’s true plans come to light, Connor must decide whether he is truly the monster his father created, or the man Dana knows is hidden within the beast.
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