Paradigm by Yvonne HeidtParadigm by Yvonne Heidt is a spine-chilling paranormal horror brilliantly fused with an endearing romance.

Work can be hell. Especially when you’re working nights in the most haunted sanitarium in the USA. Jazz Miller is in charge of special effects. Her job is to orchestrate the creepiest and most terrifying experiences for thrill-seeking tourists. But not all of the disturbing occurrences that take place on these tours are part of the show. There is something more sinister at work.

Missing her ride one night, Jazz is inadvertently locked in the chilling building…alone. The experience is terrifying, and she barely survives the shock. But the horror doesn’t stop at one night. Something had found her that night and it won’t let her go. Thirteen years later and at her wits end, she tries to escape its malignant clutches one last time. California seems the perfect destination, it’s sunny, warm and home of her best friend Billy. But the ominous entity can’t be shaken so easily.

Gypsy Tanner is the host of the popular television show Paradigm, an investigative series that not only takes a deep look into paranormal occurrences but also enlists experts in the field to try and help the victims. Her last investigation was a particularly difficult and ominous one. When disturbing things begin to happen afterwards, she is convinced that something may have stayed with her. 

When Jazz and Gypsy meet, the attraction between them is electric. It’s hard to ignore the pull they feel toward each other but how can either focus on a new relationship under these circumstances? If bad things happen in the dark, can their love be the light that frees them from the malevolent shadows?

The Characters

Jazz is a lonely woman. After her initial haunting, she continues suffering physical and emotional torment for thirteen excruciating years… essentially alone. She has been abandoned by her mother and her girlfriend, her father is an alcoholic and her only close friend Billy lived so far away.  Forming relationships was an impossibility due to the fear of her haunting, fear of abandonment, fear of causing someone else pain. Having taken care of herself for so long it is truly wonderful seeing her internal walls slowly eroded by Gypsy as she finally finds someone who will care for her.

Gypsy Tanner has spent most of her life focused on her career and is a very successful celebrity. She hasn’t had a serious relationship in quite some time after also suffering through a bad breakup. However, she is instantly drawn to the enigmatic yet charming Jazz. She shows incredible patience with her and works hard to knock down some of her own walls as she simultaneously dismantles those Jazz has erected.

Additionally, the supporting cast of friends add a comedic tone to the book that brightens some of the darkness. Tangie, Gypsy’s talented personal assistant is a riot and Jazz’s friend Billy and his boyfriend Jorge are endearing as well as humourous.

The Writing Style

Heidt builds incredible tension throughout the story as the hauntings that Jazz endures escalate in intensity. The pacing was excellent and well balanced between the horror of the poltergeist experiences and the evolution of the relationship between Jazz and Gypsy. Both story lines weave in and out perfectly and keep you rapt on multiple levels.

The Pros

I am a HUGE fan of horror so when I find one in lesfic, you know I can’t download it fast enough. And this book doesn’t disappoint. The horror elements are very well done and thoroughly effective in setting your heart racing and generating goose bumps. The characterization is wonderful which pulls you in to the story even further as you really want them to escape the horror and find happiness.

The Cons

Some readers may find some of the haunting occurrences disturbing. Some of the horrors the poltergeist inflicts upon Jazz have sexual implications such as being held down and immobile in bed and there is an instance where Jazz believes a sexual act occurred.

Michelle's Favourite BooksThe Conclusion

If you are looking to get your heart racing on multiple levels, then this book is what you are looking for. The creepy factor is off the charts and the romance is equally exciting. It’s an incredible combination and impossible to put down.

Excerpt from Paradigm by Yvonne Heidt

She saw shadows in every corner and in each open doorway, and it was hard to keep convincing herself her eyes were playing tricks on her. Logic refused to take hold when she heard scuttling coming from someplace behind her. Her mind refused to attempt to explain the noise.

Jazz was not at all ashamed of being terrified.

She wanted to cry with relief when she saw the neon green exit sign and the glow in the small reinforced window lit by the parking lot streetlight. She escalated into a full sprint, hit the door’s metal bars at full speed, and was knocked back several feet onto her ass. The phone flew out of her hand.

This can’t be happening.

Terror battled her denial as she crawled to where it landed, but as soon as she reached for the phone, the screen turned black. She trembled when an evil demonic laugh was followed by a dragging sound from one of the rooms on her left.

Don’t turn around. Don’t look.

Jazz got up and pounded on the doors until her knuckles split. She noticed the blood seconds before she felt sharp claws skitter down her neck to the base of her spine.

And she began screaming.

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