Shadows of Destiny by Gale Minchew, opens with the main character Analise in the throes of a terrifying nightmare.
“I was drenched in sweat as if I had been running for hours away from some unknown enemy I couldn’t really see. My throat felt scratchy and raw. My chest was tight, and a burning sensation filled my lungs. Tiny pinpricks of alarm stung my arms and legs.”
This recurring dream plays out over the course of this suspenseful, paranormal, young adult novel. The dream features a young woman with a child that is only a few days old. She sees this dark-haired, striking young woman place the tiny bundle in a cardboard box. It is clear the woman is under extreme duress. Nonetheless, she takes the child and makes her way to the steps of magnificent church with stained glass windows. There, she places the child on the steps of the church.
At this point, Analise feels a connection to the scene and she struggles to understand why she is drawn to it. Toward the end of the dream, Alalise senses an ominous presence; something threatening. A dark shadow approaches the young mother and fear grips Alalise. The scene ends with a struggle between the dark, shadowy figure and a guardian. Here-in lies a mystery that Analise will attempt to unravel and find meaning in. Her Destiny is to solve this mystery.
Analise Michaels has lived in foster homes her entire life after her parents abandoned her. When the story opens, she is eighteen and beginning her senior year in high school. She lives with Rose Michaels. Rose adopted Analise and finally provided a real home. Rose is wise, kind and has special gifts that Analise will need to rely upon. It is through Rose that Analise learns that she too has similar gifts. Rose, a guardian angel Constantine, and another guardian help lead Analise through this an array of challenges giving advise and looking after her interests.
The mystery takes place over the backdrop of senior year activities at Jefferson High School. I enjoyed the drama this setting created. Prior to her senior year, Analise had been just another girl in school. For some reason, during this final year she is noticed and sought after by the quarterback of the football team. This sets up a rivalry between Alise and the spiteful girlfriend of the quarterback, Melissa. Melissa’s clique has a well-defined pecking order. They generate firestorm of dramatic interplay using jealous sneers, taunts and backbiting antics as a form of intimidation. By contrast we see a joyful Analise and her peers designing and building floats for a completion between high school classes. One of the highlights is a mysterious masquerade ball. Who was that girl and the guy with her? Young people who read the story will readily identify with this part of the story, its characters and the various interactions between school mates. Interwoven with campus politics is the mystery we found at the opening.
Shadows of Destiny gives the reader a unique blend of suspense, and mystery that includes an exciting cast of human and other worldly characters. I think it is fitting to learn the author is a licensed psychologist who is involved in child custody and related cases.
I encourage you to pick a copy.
Gale Minchew is a licensed psychologist who resides in East Texas with her husband and two children. In her professional practice, Dr. Minchew specializes in issues related to children and families. However, over the past couple of years, she has consulted with adults and children who have experienced a broad range of paranormal phenomena, as well.
Gale Minchew Website
Amazon.com link for Shadows of Destiny