Saturday, November 2, 2013

ReGuarding Grace by Karen A. Leppert


When a new student arrives at Mansfield High School, Grace Evans feels an inexplicable kinship with the boy. Strange feelings are not new to Grace, who has experienced lapses in time accompanied by injuries that defy logical explanation. As much as she tries to ignore this latest mystery, Grace cannot deny her already-troubled life is getting darker and more dangerous and wonders if this new boy knows her secret.

Jack Elliott has always known what he is and believes his life is one of destiny and fate because of one person: Grace Evans, a young woman who has haunted him since the day she was born. Everything…his education, training, sacrifices…has led to this moment, but Jack‘s skills are about to be tested beyond his wildest imagination.

Jack Elliott is an Amalgamate.  He is a person who most psychologists would diagnose as having Dissociative Identity Disorder.  In his world, however, it is not a disorder; it is an asset.  It is not the result of extreme abuse or trauma.  His personality did not fracture to protect him.  He was born with his alternate personalities, or “alters”, and they are assets, not liabilities.  His job is to guide people through Integration, but again in his world that means something different from ours.  His job is not to help people subdue and absorb their alters.  His job is to guard people and keep them from getting injured during their black-outs and when the time is right, introduce them to their alters, stay conscious when their alters come out, learn to lead their alters, and work with them.  In his world, some alters have special abilities such as ESP, enhanced strength and speed, or higher intelligence.  And, in his world, guys work with guys and girls work with girls.  But he’s been connected to Grace Evans since the day she was born.  And he just has to be her Guardian—despite the rules.

Grace doesn’t know she’s an Amalgamate.  She just knows she wakes up in strange places, or finds herself in her room but with leaves and twigs in her hair and bruises she can’t account for.  Oddly, the new boy in school seems interested in her and he seems to turn up at the strangest times.  She could swear he’s sleeping in her room.  He has a unique scent and she smells it in her room when she wakes up, especially if she wakes up with twigs and leaves in her hair.  Susan Fairchild knows exactly who Jack is, what his mission is, and what’s going on when Grace blacks out.  And she doesn’t want him to succeed in integrating Grace.  She has her own Guardian—Phineas.  He’s the alter of Peter, a friend of Grace’s.  Of course Grace has no idea Peter is an Amalgamate.  Phineas has told Susan that the host does not have to lead the alters in a body.  He’s convinced her she can become strong enough to eventually subjugate Grace and take over as the leader of Grace and the rest of her alters.  Even Jack doesn’t know how much danger Grace is in.  Oh, and then there’s Clare.  She’s another one of Grace’s alters, and her talent could get them all killed.
Ms. Leppert has added a paranormal twist to an already fascinating psychological disorder that is so rare, not everyone in the psychiatric community believes in it even when they see it.  I have a good friend with whom I shared a psychologist at the VA in Chicago.  Our doc did not believe in DID even though my friend suffered from it.  “John” was a fifty-plus year-old man when “Joan” manifested herself.  She was in her early teens when she first showed up.  “Dr. F.” thought she was just an excuse for John to dress in drag.  I’m not sure whether it was John or his wife who convinced Dr. F. that Joan was real, but John does not remember what goes on when Joan controls their body.  The two of them have different food allergies.  One can cook but not bake; the other can bake but not cook.  They communicate via e-mail.  I spent the night with them, and stayed up late chatting with John’s wife. The next morning Joan woke up and wanted to know what John had for supper the night before.  She also started to tell me some news John had already imparted the night before.

Back to the book.  The characters are well-drawn, three/four/five… dimensional people you can root for.  There is action and emotion.  It’s a really good book.

Length:  413 Pages
Price:  $5.95

You’ll notice I always include the publisher’s buy link.  That’s because authors usually receive 40% of the book price from the publisher.  Editors and cover artists usually receive about 5%.  When you buy a book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or another third-party vendor, they take a hefty cut and the author, editors and cover artists receive their cuts from what is left.  So, if a book costs $5.99 at E-Book and you buy from there, the author will receive about $2.40.  If you buy the book at Amazon, the author will receive about $0.83.
Downloading the file from your computer to your Kindle is as easy as transferring any file from your computer to a USB flash drive.  Plug the USB end of your chord into a USB port on your computer and simply move the file from your “Downloads” box to your Kindle/Documents/Books directory.  I actually download my books using “Save As” to a “Books” file I created on my computer that’s sorted by my publisher, friends, and books “to review,” and then transfer them to my Kindle from there.  That way, if there’s a glitch with my Kindle, the books are on my computer.  Your author will be happy you did when he/she sees his/her royalty statement. 
Thanks for visiting.  RIW

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