the seventh

M.L. Harveland on “The Seventh Soul”

1. What is the name of the book and when was it published?
Book Name: “The Seventh Soul”
Published: October 27, 2011

2. What’s the book’s first line?
“The dark figure straightened–she had finally arrived.”

3. What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”.
Seventeen-year-old Lenora Kelley and her father Tom move to Cambridge, England to begin life anew after her mother’s untimely death. Immediately after moving into their new home, Lenora experiences unexplained events: disembodied voices, vaporous breath on her neck, mysterious footsteps, objects moving independently, and icy, unwanted caresses.

Frightening dreams bring her dangerously close to the malevolent spirit that threatens her very existence. However, these aren’t mere dreams, but powerful psychic abilities that Tom has cleverly hidden from her.

Enter the Cambridge Society for the Paranormal (CSP), a world-renowned, yet secret society that studies and investigates paranormal activity. Lenora joins this eclectic group to hone her newfound abilities and eliminate the evil spirit threatening her life. Adding to the mix is Ian, a handsome playboy and gifted medium who teaches Lenora about the paranormal and unwittingly captivates her heart.

CSP’s investigation uncovers a former tenant who was an accused murderer that was hanged to death in 1917.  Lenora reads chilling accounts of the man’s life, taking her into the early 1900s and the life of a young orphan, turned murderer. Soon, the hauntings become more sinister, forcing her and Tom to vacate their apartment.

Then, when life couldn’t be more complicated, in walks Nicholas, a mysterious stranger who haunts her dreams and mesmerizes her reality.  Nicholas quickly becomes an affable distraction, and she quickly falls for him, despite Ian’s warnings.

Sinister hauntings, night terrors, tales of murder, and a spine-tingling finale make up what is now Lenora’s ParaNormal life.

4. What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?
Ever since I was young, nightmares have plagued my sleep.  Long ago, my grandmother advised that I write them down with the hope that they would go away.  A couple of years ago, I had a persistent nightmare that woke me in the middle of the night for an entire week.  Because the nightmare was so vivid, it was impossible to return to sleep. Consequently, I sat up, night after night, writing my recollections of this strange nightmare about a girl who was followed by a man in black, and whenever she came in contact with him, felt an indescribable surge of fear, losing consciousness after touching his hand.

After several days of recording this nightmare, the story simply developed a life of its own.

5. What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character? Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of?
Lenora is unafraid of pushing ahead, regardless of whether it means that the situation will end poorly for her.  Though strong, she is a bit clumsy, most certainly flawed, yet willing to admit it.

The closest fictional character I can think of that might remind me a bit of Lenora would be Lyra Belacqua from Philip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” trilogy. Lyra is impulsive, speaks her mind, and is extremely independent.

6. What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?

If someone loves a good ghost story with a historical twist, or simply wants to be entertained…or sleep with the light on.

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