Title: The Legend of the Light Keeper (Light Keeper series, #1)-Kelly Hall Publication Date: March 25, 2015 Publisher: Booktrope
After a hurricane destroys her home, Lily Jordan is ready for life to get back to normal. That would be easy if her mother’s recent engagement hadn’t landed her in a house along Southeast Texas’ most haunted ghost road.
The secluded scenic road is steeped in rich history and legends, but when Lily is given an old diary on her birthday, will she find that those legends hold more for her future than she’s bargained for?
With the help of new friends, Hunter and Owen, and forbidden love, Talon, will she uncover dark secrets from the past and find the key to her own gifts? Is it fate or circumstance that brought her to her new home?
Normal gives way to the paranormal in book one of the Light Keeper series where mystery and suspense will keep you guessing until the very last page.
- Do you believe in ghosts?
Yes, I also believe in varying degrees and types of hauntings.
- What are some of your favorite ghost stories?
It’s hard to name a popular one, there are so many, but for me I really love hearing other people tell their accounts. It’s fascinating to me to listen to someone’s experience and be able to see their emotions when they tell them.
- Have you ever been to a haunted house?
Yes, I have. I have a friend I grew up with that lived in a house where I experienced things when I would sleep over. Sounds, seeing apparitions, windows closing on their own, and she even had her own claims of poltergeist type hauntings. Her mother always said the house was haunted by a little girl and one of our other friends believed that the little girl followed her home one night. There have been other places where I felt things but I think that most houses will take on the energy of the people who once lived there. I believe that our emotions and energies leave imprints.
- What inspired this story?
I really just wanted to write a book that no one else had ever written, about something that I was familiar with. I thought it would be cool to take a hometown legend, in this case the legend of the Bragg Road Ghost Light, and make up my own explanation as to what the Light is. It was always just an interesting story to me and I was skeptical about it existing as more than just debunked headlights or swamp gas. Then it was about a year after I started writing the book, that I had my own experience with the Light, while on a drive down the road with my family. It was something I can’t explain and something I’ll never forget.
- What are some of your favorite spooky books?
Well, while my book doesn’t have any vampires, I usually tend to lean toward books about or that include them and funny enough, they aren’t that scary. I love The Mortal Instruments, The Morganville Vampires, and The Vampire Academy series just to name a few. The scariest book I’ve ever read was Pet Sematary by Stephen King. That really creeped me out.
- Did you do any research for this story?
Since my story is written about a real local ghost road legend, I did do research on the road and the theories. I then took a lot of those and molded them into my own story, weaving little threads of them throughout, but taking creative liberties with them as well. All of the legends and historical events spoken of are real, but not all took place directly where I wrote them to. When world building I had to simplify things a bit. There are little nods to my hometown throughout, such as places that inspired me, but only someone from my hometown would probably understand them. That was fun to do.
- What are some of your favorite paranormal films/tv shows?
I love paranormal TV. I love anything that tells me about history and legends and I also love TV series like The Originals, Vampire Diaries, and Bates Motel. As far as movies, I love all kinds but I have a deep love for classics and old Hitchcock and horror films. Arsenic and Old Lace is one of my favorites because it deals with the macabre serial killing aunts, but does so with humor and I love Cary Grant. I also love psychological thrillers.
- Will this be a series? If so how many parts?
Yes, this will be a series of five books. I’m very excited about it!
- How do you feel about love triangles?
I love them! I love seeing one done in a fresh way with fresh dynamics. There is a rather strange one in mine and there will be more of that in the books to come.
- Tell me a little about your book, something that is NOT in the general synopsis?
Lily’s new friends Owen and Hunter are brothers. They live with their Granny and are the only other people living out on the road with Lily and Talon and their parents. Owen has feelings for Lily that no one can understand. They learn something really interesting about each other and it makes things much more confusing for poor Owen.
- If you could describe The Legend of the Light Keeper in 3 sentences what would they be?
Lily is a not-so-normal girl seeking normalcy who learns that her new home holds deep secrets of her powers and lineage. She’s thrust into a new living arrangement and quickly falls for her soon-to-be step-brother. Strange things start to happen and all comes together when she’s given an old diary for her birthday that leads her to her purpose and her new power.
- What do you want the reader to take away from this story?
This story is an introduction to my series. I really want the reader to get a good feel for the characters, understand their situations, and relate to them. This is a series about learning to embrace your inner gifts. Like Lily, we all have some special gift inside of us whether it’s that one is really good at a hobby, loves to read, or is empathetic to others. I want my readers to realize that it is okay to be themselves and let their inner gifts shine. Once we learn to embrace our talents and gifts and what makes us unique, that is when we really begin to shine and that’s when great things happen. The Light exists and it’s in us all.
Thank you so much for this opportunity. ~Kelly 3.5/5 Stars
***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review and in participation with this tour.
The Legend of the Light Keeper is a chilly tale of mystery, murder, and heartbreak but it is also one of self-discovery, faith, and hope. Combining the spooky aura of legend and real life tragedy, The Legend of the Light Keeper will have you hanging on to every clue, hoping to solve the dizzying puzzle of the Light and its connection to Lily.
- The Legend of the Light Keeper centers on the ghost stories and speculation about the Light on Ghost Road in Bragg, Texas. Based on a series of eye-witness encounters with this paranormal phenomenon and the history of Conquistadors, oil, and railroad greed, the story is all the more haunting because it is based in fact and you can read more about the legends with a quick internet search.
- The history of the Light and Bragg, Texas is rich and intoxicating. There are so many secrets and uncertainties that it consumes you and it’s easy to get lost in the strength of the atmosphere. Lily’s heritage is as shadowed as her abilities but as the truth outs, everything is connected in a seamless, wonderfully clever way. The diary, the forbidden romance and intrigue of the past add a bit of daring and drama that ups the adrenaline propelling the story forward.
- Lily lost everything in the hurricane but she is resilient, thoughtful and strong. Lily thinks of others before herself, is constantly concerned about their welfare and takes serious risks. Unafraid to get dirty and hang with the boys, Lily is adventurous and willing to try anything whether it be mudding or camping out in the woods with poisonous snakes and creepy neighbors. Lily is conflicted about her past. She’s terrified. She doesn’t know what’s going on with the Shadows and the Light but one thing she does have is faith. Lily recognizes the Light as truth, answers to riddles of the past, and hope. Lily can see what others do not and her beliefs are unshakable. Lily gets scared, she crumbles, she cries but that makes her all the more real and compelling in her vulnerability.
- Talon is charming, helpful, warm, and the rock Lily needs to get through the mess the Light has brought into her life. His past is full of regrets and secrets that permeate the plot, lurking beneath the surface. Talon is playful, constantly teasing Lily one moment and chasing away her fears in the next. He accepts her wholeheartedly and becomes a friend that Lily can count on.
- Together, Lily and Talon have an easy, magnetic connection. They flow together. The romance is more casual than longing looks and heated touches. It’s natural, almost like fate. It feels inevitable, potent and tethered to the Light.
- Secondary characters are memorable, lively and have unique qualities that each compliment and build the story. Owen and Hunter are double trouble. Hilarious, full of boyish pranks and inexhaustible energy, they bring a light cheerfulness to the gloom and doom of the Light and Lily’s Shadow attacks.
- There are two main story arcs, that of the mystery shrouding the Light and the blossoming love between Talon and Lily. So much focus was put on building and maintaining the chemistry between these characters that the Light felt like it took a backseat to their romance. As the story progressed, concentration on the Light and the ghostly aspects increased but Lily’s preoccupation with Talon’s feelings towards her was a distraction.
- Lily’s ability to see Shadows was introduced with little explanation other than she’s always seen them. Counterbalanced with her power to see loved ones’ spirits on the brink of death, while there were poignant, beautiful scenes of loss and love, there were hardly any background stories of Lily’s battle with the Shadows. A clearer picture of Lily’s history with the Shadows, how they interacted with her, how they altered and shaped her life might have laid the foundation for Lily’s crippling fear of the dark. Instead, Lily’s panic attacks feel like overreaction for a good part of the story.
- It was farfetched that everyone simply believed Lily’s stories. The woman in the Light, the Shadows, her insistence that her nightmares were horrifying depictions of the past were all accepted with wide eyes and a promise to hunt for the truth. Lily had just met all of these people, Talon, Owen, Hunter, Granny; they had no basis to trust her especially on something so subjective as ghosts and dangers in the dark.
Kelly Hall was born and raised in Southeast Texas, and lives in a small town just a stone’s throw from the ghost road where her Light Keeper series is based. When she’s not busy writing, or spending time with her husband and two sons, this self-proclaimed creative junkie dabbles in many different forms of art, including cake decorating and mixed media.
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