Sunday, November 23, 2014

I'm Sharing the Spotlight With Eternally Yours!

This week, I'm the Featured Author at Cleve Sylcox's blog and Eternally Yours is the featured book. Have you read my love-after-death romance yet? No? Why not? It's garnering top reviews and promises to leave you breathless. 

Want a sneak peek? I'll oblige. Here's a scene I've never shared before. Tim died of AIDS and has been haunting a church ever since.  

Jodie scanned the stained glass windows, the giant crucifix, and the sacristy, doubt clouding her mind. She’d expected an apartment or a house, not a place of worship. Had she somehow misinterpreted the coordinates?

“Are you angels?”

The question came from the darkened apse, and Jodie shielded her eyes from the lights overhead to block the glare as she stared in that direction. “I’m sorry?”

A slender male figure floated forward, his face drawn with anguish, eyes wet with tears. “I said, are you angels? I’ve been asking God to send me a sign. I thought you two might be it.”

“We are in a way,” Luc replied from behind her.

Luc! she chastised him silently. You can’t tell him that.

Why not?

Because it’s not true.

Sure it’s true. Not the God part, but we were sent for a reason.

Jodie sighed. The God part is why you can’t let him think we’re angels. You shouldn’t mess with someone’s religious beliefs.

Oh, for Chrissake!

He’s been through enough pain in life, she added. Don’t compound his agony by uncertainty in the hereafter.

All right, he said grudgingly. Aloud, he told the spirit, “We’re here to escort you to the Afterlife.”

The worry lines in Tim Regan’s face eased. “Then I’m forgiven? I won’t spend eternity in hell?”

Jodie smiled. “No, Tim. That much I can promise. You won’t spend eternity in hell.”

Tim sighed and stopped inches from where she hovered. “I screwed up my life so badly. Drugs, alcohol, sex. Kenny was my saving grace. And even for him, I couldn’t stop.”

Hoo-boy, could she relate! Not so much with the drugs, alcohol, and sex part. But she knew all about screwing up her life, despite the presence of her saving grace. If she could live her life over again, she’d do it differently. She supposed Tim Regan felt the same way.

“Kenny forgave me, you know,” the ghost whispered. “I just couldn’t forgive myself.”

Jodie’s heart wept for this poor man’s misery. When she placed a companionable arm around the broken spirit, Luc’s snort tickled her ears. Ignoring her trainer’s mockery, she crooned, “Come on, Tim. It’s time to go home.”

Sniffling, Tim nodded. “Thank you.”

“For what?”

“For offering me hope. I’ve had so little hope since I betrayed Kenny. It’s nice to know that I can be forgiven, no matter how foolishly I lived my life.”

Now you see one reason why this book is leaving readers sitting back and absorbing what they've read and how it affects them. Stop by Cleve's blog, please. Let him know you appreciate him featuring me and my special story this week!

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Gifts for the Book Lover on Your List

I did this list last year for writers and had a lot of hits from interesting places, so here we go again with more fun items--this time for all book lovers, be they readers or writers or both.

1. Bookmarks with LED Lights: Love to read at night but worried about keeping your bedmate awake? These lights shine just on your book, save your page, and will last for 10,000 hours.

2. NovelTeas: 25 Teabags with quotes from world-famous literature

3. Book Lovers Scrabble: The classic board game with a "novel twist." Play a traditional game or add the Plot Twist cards for extra points and lots more fun.

4. Open Book Nightlight: Open the "book" to turn on the light, close it to turn off.

5. I Never Read Without My Glasses T-Shirt: Features two filled wine goblets for the "glasses" part.  

6. Bookshelf Pocket Watch Pendant: It's a necklace; it's a pocket watch. It has a picture of a bookshelf on it!

7. Charles Dickens Tie Clip: Because who doesn't want an author's head keeping their tie tacked down?

8. Stack of Books Ornament: A stockpile of books on a string for your favorite book nerd, student, or graduate.

9. Great First Lines of Literature Mug: All the classics on one mug!

10. Paddywax Library Soy Candles: Choose from an assortment of classical authors including Jane Austen, Edgar Allen Poe, Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain, and Leo Tolstoy, each with unique scents.

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Sneak Peek: Waiting in the Wings

Since I've plunged back into WAITING IN THE WINGS, I thought I'd share a little peek at what I've been working on. This is Book III of the Afterlife Series. In this particular scene, Xavia Donovan (remember her from IN YOUR DREAMS?) is meeting with Uriah, her Elder Counselor to discuss her relationship with Children's Services agent, Osiris Cavanaugh.

Xavia sat on her grammy’s porch—well, the Afterlife version anyway. On the condensation-frosted lemonade pitcher, a water bead slid from lip to base. Her eyes tracked the descent while she considered the brevity of life. How much time had she spent here—lost here? In this realm beyond the sun and moon, where day never turned to night, time, as measured on Earth, didn’t exist. Employees in the Afterlife didn’t sleep or eat or use a bathroom. No longer flesh and bone, denizens of this place consisted of swirling energy: walking, talking mini-galaxies of electricity.

“Xavia?” Uriah’s espresso-dark voice woke her from her reflection.


“I asked you about your friendship with Osiris Cavanaugh.”

“What about it? I like him,” she admitted with an edge of umbrage. “He’s gruff and confused and pretty screwed up about some things, but he’s generally harmless. And I think I can help him. Already, his aura’s softened up, and he’s lost the noxious smell he used to walk around with. We’re working on getting that vile alarm under control, too.” A glimmer of doubt crept into her psyche, and she cocked her head to study Uriah’s solemn, black-lined eyes. “I have helped him, haven’t I?”

“What do you think?”

“I think…no, I know I helped him come to terms with some of his issues. Mind you, he’s a looooong way from perfect, but we’ve made progress together.”

Uriah nodded. “I happen to agree. As does the Board. Are you willing to continue working with Sergeant Cavanaugh?”

Her first reaction was suspicion. Was this a trick?

Past experience with the Board and its Council of Elders had taught her to tread lightly. “Is there a reason I shouldn’t be?”

“No. But he does take up a lot of your time. Do you think you can continue to handle your Probation workload while dealing with the sergeant?”

A bitter laugh escaped her tight lips. “Are you for real? That’s what has you worried? My workload? I have a staff of twenty in my department. If I find myself in a time crunch, I can always spread the wealth. That’s not a problem. And I’m pretty sure you know that. So why don’t you cut the crap and tell me the truth for once? Do you guys want me to work with Osiris or not?”

“We do.”

“Fine. Great. Peachy. I’m happy to help. Was that so hard?”

“We wanted to make sure the sergeant’s issues didn’t unduly burden you.”

Forget treading lightly. Now they’d pissed her off. “Since when do you care? With all the crap you’ve thrown at me since I got here—punishing me by forbidding me to ever see my son, pairing me up with his killer, reuniting me with my son who’ll never recognize me or fully comprehend the link we share, and then stealing both of them from me when we made our peace between us—now, all of a sudden, you want me to think I matter to you?”

Uriah’s placid expression never wavered. “You do matter, Xavia. Every one of our charges matters to us. You may not always understand or approve of our methods, but we do what we think is best for you. For all of you. Tell me, knowing now what you didn’t know then, would you have preferred to never see your son, or learn the fate of his killer?”

“Of course not.” Regardless of the pain she’d suffered finding them both, knowing them on this side of life had taught her so much—and given her a peace she never would have found without them. “I understand why they were both crucial in helping me come to terms with what happened in my life that led to my suicide on Earth. So now, I want to use what I’ve learned to help someone else: Osiris. That’s a good thing, isn’t it?”

That question earned her another nod. “We’ve already established it is. I just want to make sure you’re up to the task, should your…challenges become more…challenging.”

“Let’s call a spade a spade. You mean, when I find out how Osiris and I are connected. Why not tell me now? Get it over with. Let’s rrrrip the Band-Aid off the wound and air it out, shall we?” She leaned forward and wheedled, “Come on, you can tell me. Was he my master on the plantation? The one whose family I killed by cooking up the wrong antidote to the poison I fed them? The one who ordered me hanged as a warning to other slaves?”

His fathomless expression never wavered.

“Was he the Gestapo officer who turned me in? Or the spy who told them where to catch me on that last trip to Alsace?” At last, she noted surprise register in his eyes for a glimmer. “Ah, I’m close, aren’t I?” Leaning back again, she pushed the swing into rocking on the humid South Carolina air. “Don’t sweat it, Uriah. I’ve learned so much about this place in my time here, I could probably do your job now.”

WAITING IN THE WINGS will be released in March 2015.

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Throwback Thursday: April 1999

Can I just say how much I loved the dress I'm wearing for my girl's communion? Seriously. I miss that dress (and the figure that went into it). And look how little the smarta**, er, I mean, my son was.

Ah, memories...

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Guest Blogging Today!

I'm over at Classic and Cozy today, discussing something I discovered while taking my morning shower. 

Join me. Share my inanity.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

If Ben & Jerry's Made Ice Cream Flavors About My Books

What? You haven't thought of this? Come on...

How cool would it be if Ben & Jerry's contacted you and said, "Hey. We want to make some flavors that are linked to your books."?

It could totally happen!

Or maybe my doctor needs to adjust my meds again. But I have thought about this. Not a lot. Mainly over the last two hours or so as an idea for my daily blog post. But here's what I came up with:

The Bonds of Matri-Honey: vanilla ice cream with ribbons of honey roasted peanuts and caramel.

A Little Spice of Heaven: vanilla ice cream dotted with Red Hots candies

A Rum for the Money: chocolate ice cream with bits of crushed rum balls

Nut Buddy's Darkling: dark chocolate ice cream with peanut butter and caramel

Nut Buddy's Business: vanilla ice cream studded with chocolate covered peanuts

Nut Buddy's Praline: vanilla ice cream with pecans and caramel

Eternally S'mores: vanilla ice cream with graham crackers, chocolate chunks, and ribbons of marshmallow

In Your Cream: coffee ice cream with ribbons of vanilla cream and chocolate chunks

"Chai!" Sings Adonis: chai-tea flavored ice cream with chocolate chips

Duo in September: vanilla and chocolate. Natch!

Dream Union in October: pumpkin ice cream studded with chocolate chips and cinnamon sugar 

Carameling for Mother's Day: vanilla ice cream with salted caramel

Doubling Cupid: chocolate ice cream with brownie bits

And, of course, I have no intention of neglecting my historical romances, written under my alter-ego, Katherine Brandon

Kismet's Angel Food Cake: vanilla ice cream with multi-colored sprinkles and birthday cake chunks

Kismet's Raspberry Revenge: vanilla ice cream with swirls of raspberry

Kiss-Mint's Salvation: mint ice cream with mini Hershey's Kisses

Eclairs of Love: vanilla custard-style ice cream with chocolate fudge ripples

Which one's your favorite?

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Monday, November 17, 2014

'Tis the Season (for Catalogs)!

I always know the holidays loom when I come home to a mailbox jam-packed with catalogs.

Now, admittedly, I do a lot of online shopping. But I have my go-to places. For clothing, I love Boston Proper. Shoes are DSW. Occasionally, I buy my coffee from Kenoza. Just about everything else is Amazon. And I also receive catalogs from my favorite retail stores: Ulta, Pier One, and Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Why do I get catalogs for items I'd never shop for? I don't order cheese or fruit or meat online. I have no interest in toy trains, jigsaw puzzles, crafting supplies, or American Girl stuff. Yet, every November, immediately following the end of the election paper blizzard, the catalogs start arriving. Fast and furious. And...eclectic.

Are you a collector of fancy mustard? I bet there's a catalog devoted to you (and it'll probably wind up in my mailbox next week). Wanna send a goat to Africa in someone's name? There's a catalog for that (and yes, I got it already). How about a catalog of nothing but cuff links? It exists. Know how I know? Because it came in Saturday's mail!

I can't wait to see what shows up today.

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