Destiny's Shadow

Ann Gimpel
Destiny's Shadow
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Publisher
Liquid Silver Books
Release Date
February 2013
ISBN
9781931761352
Genre
Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance

SUMMARY
A ranger for the U.S. Park Service, strong, competent Moira Shaughnessy is in serious trouble. Fleeing from her cheating husband, a Native American shaman, she stumbles into the arms of a man she never thought she'd see again. He hurt her once by choosing his druid heritage over her. Can she take a chance on him now?

Pursuing very different motives, both men follow her deep into the backcountry. Moira is caught in the crossfire between Celtic magic and Native American shamanism. A freak blizzard compounds her problems, taxing her survival skills to the max. Against the specter of almost-certain death, the sweetest, purest love she's ever known rises to the fore, engulfing her in unbelievable passion.

Book Review by Rho (reviewer)
Mar 08, 2013   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
189 people found the following review helpful
DESTINY'S SHADOW is a story weaved in fantasy and mystery, but it was the backdrop of the Sierra Mountains that was so effortlessly entwined into the heart of the book that made it hard to put down.

Moira Shaughnessy, a U.S. Park Ranger, is running from her cheating husband when she runs right into the arms of the first man she ever loved. She hasn't seen Tim in years, but the reason behind the dissolution of their relationship hasn't changed. Tim is still a Druid and still has a vow of chastity, so there can be nothing between them.

Tim hasn't ever forgotten Moira and still loves her. Now that she is suddenly back in his life, he is not going to let her go, no matter the vows he took. As he follows Moira on an expedition across the Sierras to win her over, he could not foresee what happens next.

Deep in the Sierras, Moira and Tim have to survive not only a freak blizzard, but other weird occurrences that may be as a result of Moira's supernatural husband, and in the midst of it all, they rediscover a love and passion that never went away.

There were many things I really enjoyed about this story. I thought the author did an excellent job with Tim and Moira's previous history and the way it was weaved into the story. They had a lot of hurt between them but their love for each other was obvious.

In my opinion, the best thing about DESTINY'S SHADOW was the setting that the author created as a background. I am by no means an outdoorsy type of woman, but she made it so appealing I wanted to pack up and go hiking along those mountains to see the majestic setting firsthand. It was obvious in every description that this author has a deep love for those mountains and it was definitely infectious.

My only complaint about DESTINY'S SHADOW was that I felt like it was too short to accomplish everything that was it was trying to. I felt as if the introduction of Moira's husband's abilities, plus the rekindled romance between Moira and Tim, as well as the battle with the elements and the possible loss of members of Moira's crew were all too much to get through in less than 100 pages of story. And because of that, I felt like there were parts of the story that weren't developed enough for me to truly appreciate them.

DESTINY'S SHADOW is my first book by author Ann Gimpel, and I was drawn in by the unique story line and amazing world building, so I definitely do not think it will be my last.
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BOOK INTERVIEW on March 2013
Interview by Rho

Hi, Ann, thank you for you for being here to discuss your writing, especially your latest release, DESTINY'S SHADOW. It was quite a ride!


Thanks so much for hosting me. It's truly a pleasure to be here at TRR. My goodness, you asked some really, um, in depth questions.

Q: Thank you! : ) How did you come up with the idea for DESTINY'S SHADOW?

I've spent a great deal of my life with a pack on my back traipsing through the Sierra backcountry in every season. Those hours have been mostly "alone" time since backcountry travelers usually have their own pace. Stories always ran around in my head during backcountry trips. A few years ago, I did something different: I came home from a trip and sat down at my keyboard. Three months later, a rather long novel emerged. It wasn't very good, but it was a starting point. I suppose that was a long winded answer to your question. I get my ideas—most of them anyway—either in the backcountry or from dreams.

Q: What kind of research went into creating the fantastic world created in DESTINY'S SHADOW?

LOL! Thanks for the compliment! The research was of the up close and personal nature. I've been to nearly every nook and cranny of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. I know Baxter Pass well. I've skied it in winter and hiked it in summer. I live in the Eastern Sierra, so the descriptions came from firsthand experience.

Q: The bulk of DESTINY'S SHADOW was set in the backcountry of the Sierra Mountains. What is it about that location that made it important for this story?

I wanted Tim and Moira to face a life-and-death challenge as a way of anchoring their love for one another. Part of writing a story and having it feel "real" to the reader is being able to visualize the scenes as they unfold. For me that means I have to place my stories somewhere I've actually been. Between the remoteness of their location and the unexpected storm, my protags were forced to rely on each other. Nothing like a crisis to bring out the best—or worst—in someone. Tim and Moira had an opportunity to test one another's mettle.

Q: In DESTINY'S SHADOW, you've got a druid and a shaman going head to head. How did you come to that combination of foes?

Oh my, but I wish I had that kind of control over my stories and my characters. I shouldn't admit this publicly, but I don't. Stories come to me in scenes. The first inkling of this one was Moira walking in on her cheating spouse. The rest of the tale grew from there. I've always been fascinated with Celtic belief, ritual and practice. This isn't the first time druids have shown up in my tales, nor variants of Celts. I have the greatest respect for Native American practices as well. That the antagonist in this story was a Native American shaman doesn't mean I don't respect them or their Earth-linked practices.

Q: Our heroine in DESTINY'S SHADOW, Moira, had been involved with both the druid and the shaman at one point. Please give us some insight in to Moira's character that will help us understand how she fell for the two magical men.

Funny, but she asks herself the same thing at some point round about Chapter Two. Her first love was Tim. She didn't know all that much about his druid background at the time, only that she was drawn to him against wisdom and reason since he was reticent to do much more than kiss her. I believe the same magical underpinnings that drew her to Tim also drew her to Ryan, her shamanistic husband. Unfortunately, Ryan's magic had a dark, perverted aspect to it. Moira didn't find out about that side of him until after they'd married. As the story opens, she'd fallen out of love with Ryan long before she caught him cheating, but isn't sure what to do about it.

Q: Tim, the hero in DESTINY'S SHADOW, is a druid who had to take a vow of celibacy and has secrets that ultimately ripped him and Moira apart ten years prior to the start of the book. What was it about him that made him the right hero for this book?

Tim is an awesome male hero. Hell, I'm half in love with him myself. (Ssssh. Don't tell my husband!) He's principled and to borrow a term from Moira, heartbreakingly beautiful with his white blond hair and blue eyes. As a man, Tim is true to his calling and his values. Losing Moira once nearly undid him. When she shows up at his clinic out of the blue, he swears he will not lose her again. Tim is willing to risk all for his love. This makes him the right hero for DESTINY'S SHADOW.

Q: What did Moira feel upon seeing Tim again after so long? How about Tim?

Moira was stunned. She realized in that moment, she'd never stopped loving him. Old hurts make her cautious. He picked his druid heritage and commitment over her before. Why would he make a different choice now?

Tim had time to get used to the idea Moira might be a patient in his afternoon clinic since he authorized the receptionist to add her name to the afternoon roster. Seeing her sends him spiraling into a memory of the night she walked out on him. He realizes he's just lost the professional objectivity he needs to treat his patients and goes for a brisk walk. By the time he returns to the clinic, his mind is made up. He will not repeat past mistakes that drove Moira from his side.

Q: How have they changed in the intervening years and how did that affect the present?

The biggest change is maturity that allows all of us to better appreciate the other one's viewpoint—to see things through their eyes, rather than our own. True to his vows, Tim has remained celibate. Moira is reeling from her failed marriage. Both know deep in their souls they've never met anyone more perfect for them than the other. Ten years have given both the grace and maturity to pursue their hearts' desire.

Q: What is the most romantic moment in DESTINY'S SHADOW?

It's hard to choose, but this is one of my favorites. Enjoy!

"Know what you mean." He reached for her, catching a shoulder as she moved past him. "I know we have work to do. We might not get out of here alive, but I want to tell you something important."

She swung around to face him. Something about his tone brought her emotions close to the surface. "What?"

He smiled. "Ach, mo ghrá, mellow out a bit. Let a fellow make a proclamation of love without feeling it's an imposition.

"I think I half fell in love with you when we were just kids. Even then you looked like one of those ancient Valkyries with all that blonde hair and your golden eyes. I've never seen eyes like that on anyone." Color rose in his face, but he kept talking. "It's not just your beauty, though. You're strong and self-sufficient. Not afraid to tackle anything on your own terms. It's why we butted heads so often. That, and our Irish tempers and my druid vows." The rosy hue deepened, bringing a golden tone to his tanned face. "I want to marry you, mo ghrá. As soon as we can. I'm not making the same mistakes I made ten years ago."

Moira felt the corners of her mouth twitch into a smile. Joy whooshed through her. She reached out a gloved hand to stroke his face. "I'd like that too," she murmured.

Q: How sweet! Your background is as a clinical psychologist. How does it aid you in creating your characters, especially in this book?

I think my psychology background is a tremendous help. I've spent so many years listening to problems and helping people find a way out of dark places, it's given me the utmost admiration for the resilience of the human spirit. I think my characters feel both real and congruent. I understand not all my readers have liked them, but we have that reaction to people, too. There are some who resonate for us and some who don't. Why should characters be any different? When I started writing, the characters were the easy part. I had to teach myself to plot and pace. That was harder.

Q: The majority of your books, including DESTINY'S SHADOW, are rooted in fantasy or the paranormal. What is it about those genres that call to you as writer?

Ah, that's an easy one. In fact, it's the easiest question you've asked so far. I've always read scifi and fantasy. They've been my favorites since I was a girl. I love different worlds that take me out of myself to another dimension. For what it's worth, I write science fiction, too. How did romance sneak in, you might ask? Well, I went on a long road trip and started reading Karen Marie Moning. I was hooked. Think I polished off her Fever series—the first five, anyway—in about five days. That's when my love affair with the paranormal romance genre began. It's wonderful for me because I've been able to combine my love of fantasy with my love for romance.

Q: Out of the stories you've created, which character has been the most difficult for you to write? Why is that?

Um, it's not the characters that give me fits. It's plots. I've tried to use novel plotting software, but my characters just laugh in my face. They live in my head while I'm writing about them and they're all a bunch of headstrong bullies. What I meant was they know how their stories will unfold. If I'm nice, they let me in on their secrets. If I push them, they sulk. I've found leaving a dish of treats next to the computer works wonders—so long as the dogs don't eat them.

Q: What's next for you? Please share with us any upcoming projects you would like us to know about.

The next paranormal romance novella, Out of the Shadows, releases March 4th. There are several coming after that. Magic's Daughter and Dancing in the Flame in April and Alpine Attraction in May. I have a "new adult" fantasy novel, Fortune's Scion due out in July and Earth's Requiem, the lead off volume for an urban fantasy trilogy set in a dystopian near future, will be out around Christmas. Oh yes, I have an erotic romance short, A Matter of Honor, releasing around April 2nd from Musa.

Wow, you sure have been busy! Thanks for such great insight into DESTINY'S SHADOW! I sure hope we get to do this again soon.


Bio:


Ann Gimpel is a clinical psychologist, with a Jungian bent. Avocations include mountaineering, skiing, wilderness photography and, of course, writing. A lifelong aficionado of the unusual, she began writing speculative fiction a few years ago. Her short stories have appeared in a variety of webzines, magazines and anthologies. Three novels, Psyche's Prophecy, Psyche's Search and Psyche's Promise are available in print and e-formats. Ann's paranormal romance novellas are available from all major e-book distributors. A husband, grown children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out her family.


Website: http://www.anngimpel.com
Blog: http://anngimpel.blogspot.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/anngimpel.author
Twitter: @AnnGimpel


Backlist:

Psyche's Prophecy

Psyche's Search

Psyche's Promise


A Time For Everything

Gabrielle's Cauldron



GIVEAWAY!!!

Ann is graciously giving away 2 copies of DESTINY'S SHADOW (digital)! Sweet! Thanks, Ann!


ADDITIONAL GIVEAWAY!!!

TRR is sponsoring a prize! Each comment you make gives you one additional point each to win this prize:



SINNER'S HEART by Zoe Archer (paperback or ebook) – review to come soon! – International winner!


Mechanics:

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Contest ends March 31, 2013.

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