At The Edge of Chaos Back to Blog

This is a story. Maybe it’s even true.

My brother once told me I’m insane. He wasn’t spouting off the way bothers will with their sisters. He meant it. We don’t talk much anymore. Could be he’s right.  If he is, I’m not the best judge, I suppose.

The problem is that there’s always been something pressing in on me. Even when I was a girl, when I sat quietly, completely motionless— it’s not an easy thing to do, to sit without moving  —I’d feel a weight on my chest and back.

The same thing happens now and I wonder if there isn’t something inside me trying to get out, and that’s why I notice the pressure at all.  Once or twice I’ve asked friends if they feel that way too. But they just look at me the way my brother did that time. I’m careful about what I say anymore.

The thing is, what if they don’t notice because they’re never still enough to feel the chaos beating all around them?

My bedroom has a sliding glass door and there are nights when there’s no moon to be seen. Once when I was in bed, warm under the covers with the cat sleeping on my legs, I looked out the window and there was something looking back at me. I saw its eyes blink, and for half a heartbeat I felt like I was falling into a hurricane.

The county where I live is slowly, and sadly, becoming less rural. Every year, the city bumps up against the country with harsher insistence. Look at pictures from thirty or forty years ago, and there’s nothing but open space where now there are houses.

Old-timers notice the change, but newcomers don’t. How could they? They have a different picture fixed in their heads. They move here and the pressure is normal for them. They don’t see.

Those eyes I saw, they weren’t human eyes. The human eye doesn’t throw back light. The eyes weren’t close to the ground, and they were too high up to be a coyote. Besides, the coyotes and foxes don’t come that near the house. There aren’t any wolves around here and the eyes were too high up even for a mountain lion, which we do have.

When I saw them, the eyes, I mean, the pressure bore down on me like chaos. Trying to get out. Or maybe, I thought, as I lay there in bed, unable to move, maybe that sensation came from whatever was behind the eyes.

Later that night, I dreamed I saw a man turn into a wolf. If you think about it, that’s not so unusual. If you think you saw a monster, it makes sense you’d dream about it afterward.

At night, if there’s no clouds or fog, I can turn off all the interior and exterior lights and go outside, bundled up against the cold if it’s winter, to see a sky so filled with stars it takes my breath. I have to be careful to stand away from the nearest neighbor because they have exterior lights that dim the sky.

I look up at that sky and think about all the people who can’t see the world the way it used to be for every soul on earth. If you’d been alive a thousand years ago, you’d have seen too.

In the city, though, the sky is never really dark. But that doesn’t mean the stars aren’t there.

When you live in the country, you do see wildlife from time to time, but it’s important to remember that there are animals you shouldn’t see, and if you do see them, it means they’re sick. Rabies is endemic out here.

I was out one night watching Polaris, Casseopia and Orion, and since I’m human and see about as well in the dark as you, I didn’t see the dog until it was too late. Five hours in the ER waiting for the shot.

There’s this boundary, an invisible limit all of us bump up against, and we’re on the side that obscures what else is there. Too much light. Not enough of the dark. At the boundary the leading edge of chaos presses in.

You can’t see it, touch it or taste it or hear it, but if you stand still you can feel it. The chaos is all around us, pressing against us and trying get just a little more space. I wonder, sometimes, what’s going on beyond that light that blinds us to what’s bumping up against our lives.

On nights when the moon is full, for several hours silver light shines in my bedroom window and keeps me up, it’s so bright. Most city people don’t notice the sheer power of that cycle of light. You fall asleep with the moonlight shining in your window and when you wake up, the moon is in the western sky instead of the east.

Last night was the first night of the full moon, and I tossed and turned for a while with the light in my eyes. Eventually, I gave up and went outside. The chaos was there. Waiting for me, and I embraced that wide, dark sky of stars and moon.

Carolyn Jewel is the author of this story (which you may or may not have liked. It was a risk, I totally understand that. I had a professor once who said he preferred his students to take risks, and that if we did and crashed and burned, that was OK. So here I am, at Month of Monsters wondering if I’ve crashed and burned. If you got this far, maybe not.) She writes paranormal romance for Grand Central’s Forever line. My Forbidden Desire Cover of Carolyn Jewel's My Forbidden Desire (June 2009) is book two of a series Ms. Jewel supposed to be naming pretty soon. (Got any good ideas?) She is working on finishing up the third book now. Or, she would be if she wasn’t doing this blog. Demons and witches! Get your demons and witches here.

Carolyn (okay, me! it’s me!) also writes historical romance. Indiscreet is an October 2009 release from Berkley Sensation. (In stores now!) Cover of Carolyn Jewel's Indiscreet I got a very pretty cover and I hope it’s not too jarring to see that kind of cover on this kind of blog. With this story, you get a Regency hunk, a unusually educated young lady and the Ottoman Empire. Plus England. All in the same book. How can you resist? (Please don’t.)

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21 responses to “At The Edge of Chaos”

  1. Lindsey Ekland says:

    Hi Carolyn, loved My Forbidden Desire, second only to My Wicked Enemy. Uncertain about a series title maybe Fiendish Pleasures or Fiends and Witches. Or maybe not so literal and go with Unholy Bliss. I have faith you will come up with a appropriate title.

  2. Morning Glow says:

    Wow! I read Indiscreet and LOVED it (got an ARC from Ann Aguirre’s blog). I was so happy to see such a strong female lead.. even when she was second guessing her abilities to pull something off, you could tell she was still going to try her best and make it.

    And man, you have such wonderful covers! I couldn’t tell you which of those two I like better…

    Thanks for stopping by! It was great to read your post!
    Morning Glow
    ohmorningglow AT aol DOT com

  3. Edie says:

    I loved this story! I’ll have to buy your books.

    How about the “Forbidden series”? I don’t know if that fits your next books. If it does, it could be FORBIDDEN LOVE (LOVER), etc.

  4. Sayde Grace says:

    This was great! I loved it, and I’m off to BAM now to look for them! Great cover!

  5. Minna says:

    Ooh, more books to TBB list…

  6. Michele says:

    Hi Carolyn!! Going to have to grab my copy of INDISCEET this weekend. Loved MY WICKED ENEMY and FORBIDDEN DESIRE 😀 Didn’t realize you were working on a third book in the series. Can you give any background on who the characters are in this next book and when this book is tentative to come out?

  7. Thanks everyone! Now I have some ideas for series titles, some of them are not bad! And thanks for the compliments on my books. You guys are my BFF’s, okay?

  8. Michele:

    Thanks! Yes, I’m contracted for two more books in the Unholy Forbidden Bliss series (hmmm, might need some work on that). They’re scheduled as back-to-back releases in June and July 2011. (I’ll be writing some short stories set in the world in 2010 — different than this one! to tide people over during the wait.

    Book 3 features Durian (the assassin) and book 4 will almost for sure be about Iskander (former blood twin).

  9. Valerie says:


    Love the post!!! More books for the wishlist!! Whoohoo!!!

    I’m really enjoying the posts here, it’s all great fun. Thanks for coming by and sharing your story with us.

    in Germany

  10. Carol says:

    Loved your post. I find the full moon hard to resist too. 🙂

    As for a series title . . . what about Fiendish Desires?

  11. Nancy Gilliland says:

    More books for the TBB list. I hope I can make enough money to buy them all someday. Loved this post.

  12. Jane says:

    I haven’t read “My Forbidden Desire” yet, but I loved “My Wicked Enemy.” Looking forward to reading your historicals, too.

  13. Amy Kathryn says:

    I obtained a copy of My Forbidden Desire but I have to get My Wicked Enemy so I can read in order.

    Glad to know that there will be more in the ??Possession?? series….

  14. Diane Sadler says:

    interesting blog today. I loved the cover, too.

  15. Raonaid Luckwell says:

    Hi Carolyn, I’ve been eyeballing your books for some time. I’ll have to definitely pick it up.

  16. Pat Cochran says:

    “Forbidding Forces” is my suggestion for a title.

    Pat Cochran

  17. Loved the blog! I love the moon as well, I am constantly taking pictures of it.

  18. Karin says:

    Very ineteresting story at the beginning of the blog, Carolyn. I once had a professor tell me the same thing about writing when I was in a creative writing class with her. It’s really those willing to take risks that push society forward. Your books look very interesting.

  19. stacey smith says:

    I like your story now I’m wanting to know what happens nect.

  20. Thanks for the great comments and suggestions! @stacy smith, me too.

  21. Deidre says:

    I loved the story and for the series, perhaps Bewitched Love or Bewitched by Love.