By K. L. Romo
Supernatural suspense author E. V. Lind melds action, art, and otherworldly intervention in her ghostly thriller ONLY WHEN I SCREAM (trilogy book two).
Ivy Anderson had her entire life ahead of her. At eighteen, fueled by her passion for classical paintings and the Grand Masters behind them, she planned to tour the great galleries in Europe before starting college. But everything changed when the serial killer Oliver Symes abducted and tortured her. Although she escaped, that one night would define the rest of her life.
After twelve years of building up both her body and spirit, Ivy now leads a reclusive life. It’s no wonder she recoils from relationships, watching for danger at every turn. But she loves her career as an art conservationist—she is a master at restoring old paintings to their former glory. Working for the preeminent Jasper Boyle is her dream come true.
Ivy’s current project is out of the ordinary. Jasper is counting on her to impress their new client, Drake Colton, a millionaire who could make or break Boyle Studios. But there’s a catch—Drake won’t let the painting leave the premises. Ivy must perform the restoration at his home, a Gothic mansion on a cliff at the edge of the ocean, an hour’s drive from her studio in San Francisco.
When she gets to the house, Ivy’s warning bells go off. Her safety is always foremost in her mind, and the creepy house, not to mention the foreboding Drake Colton, makes her uneasy. But Jasper makes it clear that this account is a priority. Ivy has become an expert at hiding her scars, both physical and emotional, and her years of self-defense training make her confident she can handle any situation. She’s also learned that the only one she can count on is herself.
But Ivy isn’t prepared for the spirits that also live in the house, guarding Drake Colton.
Then a letter from Oliver Symes again blows Ivy’s world apart—he plans to pay her a visit. But how can that be when he’s serving a life sentence?
Lind says the premise for the novel was inspired after a visit to New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.
“It was during my first visit to New York that I visited the Museum. I lost myself in room after room of great paintings, but one stood out—the artist had rendered a Spanish nobleman so beautifully that I thought he might walk off the canvas and mingle. His eyes had such depth, as if he was watching us. He was the seed for my story,” she says. “I wondered—what if the subject of a painting had been murdered? And what if someone had mixed his blood into the paint? ‘When art becomes blood’ stuck with me.”
Interestingly, alternating chapters in the novel’s narrative are letters written by the young first mistress of the mansion, Amelia Colton, to her family in England in 1887. Through these chapters, readers get intriguing glimpses of the Colton family history and the tragedies that occurred in the house as the background for the supernatural phenomena.
ONLY WHEN I SCREAM is an interesting blend of thriller and ghost story. Lind “loves blending the past and the present, solving mysteries, and unraveling secrets.”
Writing the novel also required extensive research in art conservation techniques.
“I bought and borrowed books on the subject, read thoroughly and made lots of notes, and studied online restoration and conservation videos. There was so much to learn, and I hope I did it justice.”
Lind’s research has taken her to old homes and cemeteries, where she sometimes experiences supernatural phenomena.
“When I was researching for the series, we visited a cemetery on a hillside overlooking an old riverside town, filled with both old and new graves. It was incredibly peaceful. We went from grave to grave, paying our respects to the dead and reading the abridged stories of their lives, when we saw one grave off to the side. It was immaculately preserved and, oddly, birds of several species and some wild rabbits had alighted on the grave,” she says. “Curious, we wandered over to it, and the animals scattered. It broke my heart when I read the headstone—the grave belonged to a one-year-old child who’d passed many decades earlier. We couldn’t help but feel that the animals were there to play with the child’s spirit or at least keep him company.”
What is Lind’s favorite supernatural story of all time?
“I’m a big fan of Barbara Erskine’s novels, and the way she blends her stories of the past together with her characters in the present. Her novel, Midnight is a Lonely Place, has always stayed with me.”
What about the next book in the trilogy?
“Only When I Die will be a little different—the ghosts are from the not-so-distant past. I’m still working on the novel at the moment, and the characters are still evolving for me.”
Lind has written more than 40 books. When asked about her secret to being so prolific, she says, “Writing is now my full-time occupation, and I have an active imagination. I learned to write fast when I had a traditional job and juggled my writing around family commitments and work. But I had a dream of being published. I compiled a spreadsheet and plotted where I could sacrifice things that weren’t important—like watching TV—and turned those hours into writing time.
“Scheduling my writing time taught me good writing habits along with strong writing discipline. It also taught my kids that when you have a dream, and you work hard for it, it will eventually come within reach. For the past 12 years, I’ve adhered to strict Monday through Friday ‘office hours,’ and meet daily word counts.”
If you crave both thrills and chills, ONLY WHEN I SCREAM is the perfect book to satisfy your hunger for supernatural suspense.
E. V. Lind is the pen-name of an award winning, multi-USA Today bestselling author of more than 40 titles. E. V. has always been captivated by the supernatural and enjoyed chilling suspense movies and has often been drawn to visit old homes and even older graveyards for all the untold stories that lie within. Add to this a fascination with what makes criminals tick, a love of crime and suspense novels and you can understand why E. V. now writes suspense with a supernatural twist.
From Lisa Gardner to Barbara Erskine, E. V. is inspired by stories that hook the reader from the first page and take them on a thrilling journey of mystery, crime solving and things that go bump in the night.
To learn more about E. V. Lind, please visit her website.