Author: Jordan Taylor
Title: The Places We Say Goodbye
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: July 18, 2016
Category: Lit/Genre Fiction
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Orientation: Bi, Gay
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
COUPON CODE: Get 20% off preorder on NineStar Press website with coupon code “preorder”
* (Good until release day)
Flep has a great job as a New York City production designer, a blossoming relationship with Torin, and the potential joy of becoming a stepparent to Torin’s two young daughters. Nothing could be better—yet his life is crumbling from the inside out.
Ever since moving in with Torin, Flep has dreamed of muddy trenches, bullet-riddled bodies, and endless horrors which only grow worse and spill into his day-to-day life. Traumatized and sleepless, he slogs on: a soldier afflicted with post-traumatic stress. Only, Flep has never been a soldier, let alone been to war.
Fighting for his sanity, Flep turns to unlikely sources for help—even phantoms from another era. It could take a family from 1916 to illuminate his waking nightmares, but the truth may come at the price of losing his new family along the way.
Jordan Taylor is the author of numerous novels and stories from the bestselling Angel Paws shorts to the historical fantasy series Lightfall. An avid reader and writer, Jordan also enjoys photography and graphic design, old bookstores, researching World War One, travel, and tweeting about her smooth fox terrier.
Jordan Taylor © 2016
All Rights Reserved
All Rights Reserved
Sunday, June 19
Shouting voices mixed with chaotic noise, resonating in blackness. An explosion launched me sideways. I felt the rush of heat, heard the blast that obliterated screams. It left my ears ringing and my heart racing, yet I saw nothing.
My throat constricted with panic as I fought to call for someone. Someone I had to find.
Then I woke up.
Wednesday, June 22
Cold tonight. What else? Remembering is like writing a message in sand already covered by the tide.
There were two men beside me, all of us watching for something. What did we see? Darkness?
Odors remain. Cold and fear remain. A reek of death. So afraid. Then the explosion. Or was that from last night? All nights?
Thank you, Amélie, for the advice of starting this dream record. I need it since details fade as soon as I wake.
Find a pattern. All different. Yet all the same. For months now.
Torin asleep beside me. I type on the screen of my tablet, the bedroom darkened by blackout blinds.
More of the dreams. Cold that stung my eyes, freezing their moisture. It burned my lungs, made my throat ache and my hands and feet numb. Acrid, smoky odors mixed with something dead. Like the smell when I was ten and my mom poisoned rats in the basement of the rental dump we lived in. They died in the air ducts. The first time heat came on, blowing nauseatingly into our faces, she said she’d leave the rats alive next time. Same smell in the dream. But worse. So sickening that it nearly blotted out smoke and cold.
I smell it now, longing to get up and shower it off.
Why are my feet frozen? The bed feels warm, almost hot with Torin against me. For once, I did not wake him by thrashing or yelling in my sleep. He must be nearly as sick of this as I am.
Tingling needles of cold in my toes and fingers. Like being out in the City too long in winter. Walking through snow in Central Park. Waiting in line for a show in January.
I can’t climb from bed now that I managed not to wake him all night. Or did I wake him and not know it?
I hate these dreams messing with us.
Safe bet that Torin would mention it if I kept him up though. A chronic extrovert, he is accustomed to bringing his suffering to the attention of those around him. And finding something to debate in the matter. I mean that in a good way—if you ever read this, Torin.
Thursday, June 23
Running. Dozens of others ran with me. I was shouting…something.
Crashing, grinding death sounds. The din of a thousand men screaming, a world self-destructing.
Sound stays with me this morning more than anything. My ears feel as if they are bleeding. I cannot hear the City outside, or white noise inside. I hear only carnage.
Sunday, June 26
I keep thinking of accidents. Natural disasters, derailing trains, even plane crashes. Sometimes there’s fire. It could be a gas explosion. A car wreck. Every night, even if only a fragment—some odor or sound, one bit or another—it’s the same.
Not an accident. I know what it is. I know what I have faced in darkness—what has trashed my sleep, invading my life, my relationships, my work—for the past four months. Yet, I do not understand.
How can it be possible that, night after night, I dream of war?
*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie in exchange for a fair and honest review. ***
Flep has been having dreams/nightmares ever since he moved with his boyfriend Torin and his daughters, Isabelle and Carine. He has no clue what to make of it all, until at a dinner party he was invited to by Amélie, Torin's ex-wife, he meets a college student who tells him about past lives and regressions and puts him in contact with a psychiatrist. That only exacerbates the problem, though, so after talking with Amélie, he decides to dig a bit further into the issue and travel to France and England in search of his past, with the possibility that this will put an end to his relationship with Torin.
My heart broke so many times for Flep during this book and really, I wasn't too sure I wanted him to end up with Torin, because he was a selfish bastard at first. However, Torin really made up for it, so that's good. I really loved Flep, he was a fantastic, complex character, patient and understanding, and a bit of a pushover at first, but once he realized what he needed to do to make things better, he showed a determination and strength that endeared him to me even more.
This book was amazing and while I'm not fond of multiple POVs, in this case, it worked great because we got to see all the nuances of what Flep was going through and how it affected others through Amélie, Isabelle and Torin's eyes, as well as Flep's.
Amélie was a bit of an acquired taste, but her behavior has understandable all things considered and I loved seeing Isabelle, Carine and Amélie learn to love Flep.
The dream sequences were brilliantly worked into the story and I loved how Jordan Taylor managed to bring it all together in a very emotional read that had me in tears in several parts, so please stock up on the kleenex before starting. The book, which was well-written and interesting, kept me riveted from start to finish. This is not a romance, it's a story about love and going well and above to keep a promise to a loved one and about learning to be more tolerant and not to take others for granted, and above all, it's a story about family. Definitely a must-read!
Rating: 5+ Stars!!!
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