Friday, August 9, 2019

A Wish Fulfilled

Jasmine's Wish Released in Print!

Cover designed by Erika Szabo
It has taken a long time for me to fulfill my angel's wish, but I finally did.  Now, thanks to the efforts of the very talented  Erika Szabo at Golden Box Books Publishing, the four book collection is available as one book in print!  This beautiful cover is not one I had even dreamed of, and yet it is the perfect one for the collection.  When someone creates from the heart, it touches everyone.  The funny thing is Erika offered to help me create a picture to use for a book sleeve that I was hoping to have made to hold the four books in the collection.  

Shook Studios
My plans for the art work did connect the completed project with the original version of Voices In My Head. I was trying to connect the book covers from the first editions to the final ones.  I could not decide for sure about how to put it on the box nor how to have the poem displayed. Someone was not pleased with this idea (an angel from above?).  For what ever reason, I was inspired to ask Erika for her opinion.

Because Erika designs with her heart, she knew I was going at it from the wrong direction.  The volumes needed to be connected in spirit not artwork.  Her beautiful concept joined my heart to my daughter in heaven.  The perfect dress for the collection.

Unfortunately, the company could not make less than 1000 sleeves, which is way more than I will ever need.  Erika, undaunted, suggested putting the collection together as a single book in print (it was already up as an e-book)  through Barnes and Noble.
It is now available in both print and an e-version with this cover through Barnes & Noble.  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/jasmines-wish-cindy-j-smith/1131104570 and I will consider having it available for signed copies if anyone is interested.

Reading the blurb above the poem on the back cover brought back a memory of Jasmine.  As I said, she was always a captive audience for my poems, mostly by her choice.  She loved being read to and was raised on Dr. Seuss and Mother Goose so poetry was something she loved.  Also, I had 4 older sisters and we were all Girl Scouts so I knew lots of silly songs which I used to entertained her.  Growing up in the 60s, I also knew the ones from the radio like Purple People Eater, Yellow Submarine, and my personal favorite, They're Coming To Take Me Away.

On our many trips, we would always check out the tapes at the gas stations to find new things to listen to in the car.  One time I found a tape of silly songs and my favorite was on it.  I bought it and played it.  She was laughing at the songs, most of which I had forgotten, but when Take Me Away came on she went silent.  I turned to look at her and her eyes were huge and her mouth hung open.  I asked her what was wrong, I thought she was having an issue with her diabetes.  She found her voice and said, "they are singing your song."  It was at that moment I realized my child had thought all the poems I told her that she did not see in a book were written by me!  I had never even considered the possibility of that happening.  I had to burst the poor child's bubble and explain that if the poem came complete with music I did not write it.

I love you Jasmine,  hope this collection I am sending with all my heart pleases you.





Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Short Story #2

STALKER


I love doing landscaping
Luckily I even get paid to do it
I knew as soon as I woke that day
Something wonderful was going to happen

It was a very hot morning
I'd been replacing bushes for hours
The new owners wanted flowering ones
Gotta keep the customers satisfied
They picked ones that will accent the place
I leaned on my heels to stretch my back
Something pulled my eyes to the door
There she stood
A goddess come to Earth
Simply gorgeous!
She must be the daughter
Oh how the sunlight dances upon her hair
It's long and a perfect chestnut brown
Deep auburns mingle with the darkest brown
Seems to flow in gentle waves down her back
My heart is in my throat
I can't remember how to breathe
She turns and notices me
Her lips curve into a delicate smile
She waves at me and I wave back
Her eyes sparkle with mischief
A hint of desire in them as she coyly looks at me
Then she runs off
I shake my head and turn back to my work
Wish these bushes would need more attention
I must see her again
I finish and she hasn't returned
My heart aches with the desire to see her
I go to the door to report the completion of my work
The lady of the house walks out to inspect
We chat and I ask if the girl was her daughter

"Yes,"  she replies, then shakes her head.
She just turned 15 and thinks she's an adult."

"She's so beautiful.
Kids want to grow up too fast these days."

Changing the subject, she says "These look fantastic!
They will bloom this year, right?"

"Glad you like them, you made good choices.
They should bloom next month.
I'll come back for a few weeks to fertilize, just to be sure."

"That will be great!
Here's $250 for today, as agreed.
I'll pay for the upkeep weekly, if that is ok?"

I take her check, and smile accepting her offer
My mind goes back to thoughts of her daughter
I so want to see her again
Then I glance at the check--wait a minute!
"This is too much! I think you made a mistake."

"No, you did marvelous work and everything is neat.
It's just a tip to show my gratitude."

"Thank you. And I am very grateful. I've never had a tip before.
Well, if there is nothing else, I'll be going.
I'll come back next Saturday morning if that is convenient?
Just water these for about an hour every other evening."

"Okay, see you Saturday."

I left, smiling.
Saturday, just seven days and then
I WILL see her again
My angel, my soulmate

It has been two weeks and I haven't seen her again
Where is she? Is she worried our love will be denied?
She must know we are meant to be together
Tomorrow I will wait down the road
Surely she must come out sometime
I see her coming now
She's on her phone
Her voice is like music to my ears
She laughs at something
Who has the right to make my love laugh?
Oh, but her laughter rings in the air
It dances with the beat of my heart
She sees me, she smiles then hesitates
What's wrong?
She looks worried
Then her face brightens
She remembers who I am

"HI" she says, "You're the gentleman who put in our bushes a few weeks ago, right?"

"Yes, I believe I saw you that day.
I've been back fertilizing the last three weeks but I never saw you again.
Thought maybe you were a dream
It was hot that day."

“I went away to riding camp,” She giggles.
I go every summer so I can learn to ride horses."

"That explains why I hadn't seen you.
"I'm Paul."

"I'm Angelique, but my friends just call me Angel."

"Can I call you Angel?"

"Yes, well it is nice seeing you again
I must be going. I'm meeting my friends at the mall."

"The mall?  That is a pretty long walk from here."

"Oh, I catch the bus on the corner, it should be there any time now.  Gotta run, bye!"

"Have fun. I hope to see you again."

I watch her walk away
Her body sways in the most sensuous rhythm
She looks back over her shoulder and waves
Yet her eyes tell the truth
They burn me with the heat of their desire
Every week now I watch her as I work her parents landscape
She has been writing in a notebook
It must be important for she pauses a lot
I love how she nibbles on the pencil while she thinks
Her head tilted slightly
I finally call over to ask what she is doing

"I am writing my first novel," she says.

Then she runs over and animatedly tells me about it
Just to experience being so close to her enthusiasm,
Makes my heart race
Her mother calls from the door

"Gotta go, thanks for letting me tell you about my book
"You are so easy to talk to."

"Any time, any time at all!"

Again she smiles and looks back at me
Beckoning me with her eyes
Begging me to have her
Images of her flood my mind all day
Finally home I let my fantasies free
In bed my thoughts race
My dreams are filled with Angel
My Angel
I must find a way to be with her
She's my world
On Saturday I finish my work
She walks over to talk for a minute
She said she was on her way to the mall again

"Mom and dad grounded me, but they’re not home, so . . ."
Then she laughs

"I could give you a ride if you want."

"Would you? That would be great, it is so hot!"

I smile. Finally!
I open the door for her
She is surprised it is so clean
"I bet you thought it would be dirty because of my job."

"No...well...yes, I guess I did"

"I'll be a minute.
I need to wash up before I get in.
I have water back in the trailer."

I watch her as I clean up.
She is looking around.
Glad my supplies are out here.
I climb in and slide the bottle in my door's pouch.

"You do keep it nice in here," she mentions.

"I try. Please put on your seatbelt, this thing beeps if you don't."

"Sure, sorry I don't usually forget that."
She smiles at me, her eyes sparkling.
Wow I can't believe she is finally here.

I pull away from her yard and head to the highway
My doors lock automatically
She jumps.

"Don't your parents' cars have auto-locks?
I thought all newer vehicles did."
"I don't know why I jumped; of course they do."

I have to get her attention.

"How is your novel coming?  Is Elsise any closer to finding Jonathan?"

"Oh you remembered!"

That was all it took, she began talking in earnest about her book. 
Her voice is so soft but the way it plays in my ears is like a symphony.
While she goes on her eyes are on me.
I love girls with manners, look at the person you are speaking too!
I jump in here and there, glancing at her just enough to show I am listening.
Slowly, I let my hand wander to her leg
Fear filled her eyes
I could almost hear her blood racing

She pushed it away, "I can walk from here."
Then she looked out the window and realized I had driven out of town.
Her eyes began to water and her body trembled.

"What is wrong with you?  You know how I feel.
You feel it too.  We must be together!"

She fights and tries to open the door
Child locks keep her inside
She tries to move but the seatbelts have locked in place
Her arms are all she can control
And she is trying to reach me
She rakes her nails down my arm
Why is she fighting me?
I shake my head,
So disappointed, but I am prepared.
I pour the chloroform onto a rag
Forcing it over her mouth I whisper

"I did not want you this way
But I will take you anyway I can."
I pull into my driveway
Living in the middle of nowhere has its perks
No nosy neighbors to see anything
I carry my bride over the threshold
This time I am prepared
I have the shackles already installed
She will learn



Website:
http://indiebooksource.com/books-by-cindy-j-smith/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/cindysvoices
FB:  https://www.facebook.com/CindysVoices/
GOODREADS:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6505989.Cindy_J_Smith
Pinterest:
https://www.pinterest.com/cindyjsmith1/

Portfilio Links
https://view.joomag.com/golden-box-book-publishing-cindys-voices/0568888001561494976


http://pubhtml5.com/ahsh/nmba 

Karina on yourtube
https://youtu.be/1X_homli7oU

https://www.ebooknetworking.net/blog/bookshelf/?bs=bCdYOpgww

Friday, July 12, 2019

Hometown

Memories of Home

When you hear some one say they were from New York, this is probably the first picture that pops in your head. Then someone mentions Niagara Falls, and you remember that it is also in New York.  

Actually there are hundreds of miles of gorgeous countrysides between these two iconic places.  I was lucky enough to be raised in this "in-between" section.  My hometown was closer to Buffalo and the Falls.  I have never been to New York City. 

Growing up in the country, lots of things effect how you turn out.  For me, it is my connection with water.  My first memories are of living on Lake Road and going down into the gully that bordered our yard.  The sides were steep but the reward of a slow moving creek was worth the slow descent.  My sisters and I spent many a summer's day down there wading and catching minnows and crawdads.  It was cool and refreshing.  I can almost hear the water as it hit the rocks.

Going to Conesus Lake was always a fun time.  We would go to Long Point Park for picnics.  The cool water gently rushed to the pebbly shores.  Funny that mentioning it has me back there listening to the waves.  I remember  swimming lessons there each summer before the High School put in the pool. The park had an amusement part which opened in the evenings.  An arcade, carnival rides and even a skating rink offered a child a virtual smorgasbord of fun.

Conesus outlet flowed near my home on its way to meet the Genesee River.  I loved walking to Ashentee and looking over the bridge to watch the waterfalls.  It was magical.  If the water was running fast, the spray would blow up and reach you.  Ashentee itself was private property, but before I knew that I would walk down and watch the falls from the front side. There was a water wheel on one of the buildings, but as far as I can recall, it was no longer working when I was young.
Amanda Castilla

Michael Coyle-Gilbert

Shaernar Cherew-Gordon

Amanda Castilla
 Paper Mill Falls, which is also along the outlet, is now a park. I never saw it in person.  At the time I lived there, it was well-known to be be private property.  Some friends  were kind enough to get me current pictures of the area.  What a beautiful place, sad that I didn't have the
Michael Coyle-Gilbert
Peggy Fly
Peggy Fly
opportunity to experience it first hand.   Unfortunately, no one was unable to get a picture of Ashentee, I will have to settle for the ones I have in my mind.

If you follow the outlet from Ashentee, you find it flows under the road to Geneseo and the 5Arch bridge.  The way it flows in my memories is how it appears in this, my high school senior picture.  It is just a gentle babbling brook.  I
used to go there and wade out to the larger rock shelves and sit listening to the creeks tales.  Many a day I spent enchanted by the water's song.  I found peace there, the water seemed to take my worries and carry them away.  Peggy, my dear friend from high school, sent this more recent picture for me.  I

Peggy Fly





don't remember ever seeing the water flowing that hard.  Perhaps I just don't want to remember it that way.

Pictures take me back to a more peaceful time.  I am still amazed that even pictures have a way of washing away my troubles.

CASCADES

Babbling brooks
Sing songs of old
Returning peace
To young and old
Cascades release
A gentle spray
Washing all
Life's woes away
Leaving those
Who venture near
So peaceful
Smiles reappear


Website:
http://carternovels.com/author-cindy-j-smith.html
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/cindysvoices
FB:  https://www.facebook.com/CindysVoices/
GOODREADS:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6505989.Cindy_J_Smith
Pinterest:
https://www.pinterest.com/cindyjsmith1/

Portfilio Links
https://view.joomag.com/golden-box-book-publishing-cindys-voices/0568888001561494976





Monday, June 17, 2019

Short Story

DEATH OF LOVE



As I looked in her eyes, I watched love die. Her tears killing the sparkle before they formed rivers on her cheek.  I felt my heart break as I realized the pain I had caused her.  She slowly turned and began leaving.   My world crumbled with every her every step.  One stupid act has lost me the best part of my life. 


Justina and I met in kindergarten.  She was the cutest girl in the class.  Her long brown hair shone like silk and had gentle curls like waves on the lake.   Looking in her hazel eyes accented the feeling of a peaceful shore. Her smile was a beacon, welcoming me home. Strangely I knew right then she would
be my wife.


Sean sat next to me on our first day of school.  I looked into is bright blue eyes and was lost.  It seemed I was floating in the sky, free from worry.  Then he smiled and I was complete.  I was his.
By high school, Justina and I were inseparable.  We took the same courses and followed our dreams.  I wrote and she painted pictures.  We were each other's inspiration.  Two halves making a whole.



Sean and I loved to be outdoors.  We would visit the shore and get lost in the rhythm of the waves.  Or, we'd take long walks through the forest listening to the animals.  It seemed their contentment was contagious.  We were one.


When we announced our engagement, no one was surprised.   Justina  picked the perfect venue.  We were married on the beach at dawn. Dressed in multicolored chiffon, she looked like Aurora, the goddess of dawn.   Our married life beginning with the day.  Our love shining bright with the sun.  Friends and family surrounding us in a cocoon of happiness.

Sean looked so handsome the morning we married.  He walked up the beach to me dressed in a white pirate shirt and jeans.  His smile lighting the way.  My heart fluttered in my chest as he took my hand.  We said our vows,  the prayers and promises our hearts wrote to each other.

Since I did web design and Justina did game programming, we were both able to work from home.  This gave us plenty of time to enjoy each other and work on our artistic endeavors.  A few of my poems and short stories were published in anthologies.  Justina's paintings were the real works of art.  Every time she had a showing, she sold out.  She could make it seem like the canvases breathed with life. 

I love reading Sean's poetry.  It seems to play my heartstrings, creating songs in my mind.  My paintings, however, became bigger sellers.  I soon found myself in demand.  I started having shows in two or three different cities each month.  Sean would come with me if he could and we would sight-see for a few hours each trip.  I loved sharing everything with him.  It made the times I went alone seem to last forever.

It is the week of our 10th Anniversary.  Justina was asked to go to Paris for a show of her work.  What a great opportunity for her, right?  I cannot go.  I have a few clients who need met them in person.  Their appointments have been set for a month.  She knows.  She is excited though.  My jealousy is eating me up.  I want her here, supporting me, celebrating with me!! 

I don't know what to do.  Our Anniversary is Friday but they want me in Paris on Monday.  Sean says it is a great opportunity and I should go.  He has appointments that he cannot break.  I would be going alone.  Paris with him would be grand!  What a great way to celebrate 10 years!  But, alone?  I am lost.

I bought Justina the ticket to France.  I know she would talk herself out of going.  It is just too good an opportunity to miss.  We will go together some day.  For now, this is her time to shine!

Sean gave me a ticket.  I am torn but excited.  My paintings at a show in Paris!  Wow!  I wish he could come.  He takes me to the airport.  Our tears flow as I turn to board the plane.  We've never been apart for a whole week before.  I change my mind and turn to go back.  He waves me on.  Go, he says.

On the way back from the airport, my jealousy really takes hold.  Why is her art treated like it is priceless while mine is just there.  It is not fair!  I work just as hard to get the words right as she does to get the colors perfect.  And, how could she leave me here alone for our anniversary?  Do her paintings mean more to her than me?  I am getting angry. There is a bar up ahead.  In I go and the drinking starts.

On the plane, my heart breaks.  I am grateful for the show in Paris and I know it means my art will be considered more worthy.  But, the timing is wrong.  I would not be able to paint without Sean.  He is my life, my muse, my heart.  This is our time, our life.  I need to go home.  I need to be with my love on our Anniversary.  We have a stopover in New York.  I will get a flight back.  I want to be home.


The blonde at the end of the bar smiles at me.  I smile back.  "Bartender, buy that nice lady a drink on me!"  He hands it to her with a nod in my direction.  She raises the glass and salutes me.  I walk over to her and sit down.  We drink for hours.  Then I see us walking into my house.  We are both a bit tipsy.  We barely make it through the door before we start removing our clothes.  Hands and mouths explore each other. I guide us to the bedroom.  Our bodies join.  Over and over we enjoy each other.  Sated we fall asleep.

The cab drops me off at the end of the driveway.  My luggage is still on the plane so it is fine with me.  I walk up, my steps quicken as I get closer to my love.   Won't he be surprised!  I open the door quietly.  Tiptoeing I make it to our bedroom. That is strange.  I swear I hear two people breathing.  I flick on the light...







The light wakes me.  Justina!  What are you doing home?  I look where she is staring.  When I look back to her I see the death of love.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Casual Conversation #7

Chatting with Lorraine Carey

Today I have my friend the lovely Lorraine Kolmacic-Carey here to chat. Lorraine, please start us off by giving us a little introduction.

Thank you for this opportunity, Cindy Smith. I have moved across quite a few states during the last thirty years as my husband had several job transfers. Being a teacher I had to get certified in each state to enable me to teach. I was getting used to being the “new kid on the block”, so to speak.

I have two married daughters and three lovely grandchildren—all boys





I have moved around a lot in my adult years also. It can be challenging being the "new kid". With all the moving, when did you find the time to begin writing?

The last nine years my husband and I lived on the island of Grand Cayman. He was working and I was . . . well, playing tourist you could say. It was exciting, nonetheless. This had given me the springboard to start my writing career. The island lifestyle did provide much inspiration for writing. I started off with a memoir and went on to write a Young Adult novel about a shipwreck that actually happened on the island some two hundred years ago. I added a paranormal theme to it and a Canadian publisher picked it up back in 2012. It won the Silver Award from Readers Favorite and was a finalist in the Wind Dancer Film Contest.

Since then I had self-published three more paranormal novels for young adults, one educational, two erotica books, and two paranormal books for adult readers in a trilogy. I am currently working on that last book in my trilogy.


Once you started writing you really took off!  Jonathan's Locket was the first of your books I read, it was very interesting. I loved how you shared the origins of the curse.  To be honest I have not read your erotica books.  That is just not my cup of tea anymore.

You have such amazing accomplishments and such a wide assortment of genres. Having read a lot of your books,  paranormal seems to be something you go back to a lot. Is there a reason for that?

 I have a passion for the paranormal with having so many paranormal experiences throughout my lifetime—ones I still can’t explain. I have been on several ghost tours and have witnessed strange occurrences. Most of my books are based on a real urban legend or an experience from my own life.

As of current, I have moved back to the states and living in St. Petersburg, Florida with my husband. Moving took quite a toll on my writing time. It was only in the last couple of months that I have been working with full force to finish my works in progress. And as far as the paranormal occurrences—they seem to have followed me to Florida as well.


I am patiently awaiting the final book in your Women of The Willow Wood series. The first two were awesome. 

Besides writing, how else have you been spending your time?






I found that I needed some breaks from sitting at the computer everyday, so I have begun to substitute teach here in St. Petersburg. This has proven to be quite interesting and may lead to a new book within itself.
 

My favorite hobbies are reading, shopping, working out at the gym, and long walks.
 

And don’t let me forget to tell you that turquoise is my favorite color. Cindy wanted me to make that known. I think that stems from the five years I lived in New Mexico.

I lived in St. Pete off and on for 20 years, met both my ex and present husband there.  Strange how many of my friends are moving there when I am no longer able to meet them.

Your teaching has led you to offer some interesting assistance to other authors. One that I noticed recently is your idea to help readers get more out of what they are reading. What helped you come up with a way to make reading a book more interactive? And why do you think it is important? 



Being a Reading Specialist I am aware of the comprehension gaps with literacy in the primary grades through high school. I’ve designed programs to address this, provided instruction as well as staff development sessions.


So with that, I have a service where I create a custom-made literacy packet for children’s authors, which is a great bonus to them. It makes their book more attractive to educators. The literacy kit is designed to include concepts that are on standardized tests. Now with that I do know other authors of adult books will feature a set of questions at the end of the book for book club purposes.
One of the books with her literacy kit

It amazes me how illiteracy is becoming more prevalent.  People are too willing to get up in arms about story lines, like the Harry Potter books, and forget about the importance of reading and imagination.

I, for one, appreciate your willingness to share your experience with the rest of the writing world.

In your own books, your beautiful imagery makes everything so vivid in my mind.  I was especially taken with your books, Beloved Sacrifice and The Last Vestal Virgin. Both deal with ancient curses and a religious cults.  Your descriptions of the landscape and town had me thinking I was actually there.  Have you actually visited Italy?  


 I had visited Italy about five years ago. I went to Pacentro, which was a small village about 110 miles east of Rome. It is where my mother’s family came from. It is also touted as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. My husband and I had both encountered a few paranormal experiences there. Like he said, “I guess your relatives don’t want you to leave this place.” We are planning a trip back soon.

So wonderful to be able to travel like that, my traveling is done by others, I just talk them into not exchanging all their foreign money so I can buy it from them and fantasize.

Your husband sounds very supportive of you.  What a blessing that you both experienced paranormal events and were able to share them.

Is there any place in the world you would really like to see but have never been? Maybe some fodder for a new series?


Yes! Ireland and Scotland are on my list. I’d love to take the castle tour. My daughter and her husband spent the night in what was supposedly a haunted room at one of the old castles. I’m sure I’d find something there to stir the imagination—I always do.

Lorraine's Erotica Book
 Some of your books are Erotica and others Young Adult.  Your attention to detail in both is wonderful.  Do you intend to continue writing in both genres?  planning to try a new one?



Lorraine's Erotica Book
 I am planning on mostly sticking to Paranormal thrillers or thrillers in general. I’ve been told Young Adult is a dying genre, and it’s too bad because I initially set out to reach those readers in general. I do have a new thriller in the hopper to start after I complete Last Rites, which is the last book to my Women of the Willow Wood Trilogy.

I love that series, as you well know!  The first two books are amazing I am certain the final book will be fantastic! I understand the covers are revamped for the first two as well.  Can we see them, and maybe get a little teaser?

 Sure.  Erika Szabo of Golden Box Books Publishing created the new covers.


Brandt is being tricked into joining Heaven’s Gate, which is an evil and powerful underground cult.  ***There is some adult language.***

Chapter 27

Brandt~
I tried to focus my eyes. Everything was gray—blurry. What the fuck? A shadowy figure was coming closer. I sat up as my eyes cleared, realizing this figure was Gorman. “Did you have a nice nap, Meade?” Gorman stood over me.

“What the hell happened last night? Who—”

“Did you really think for one minute you could outsmart a Grand Master, let alone one of our high priests and master alchemist?”

“I was drugged! Damn you! What did you give me?”

“Just a yummy cocktail of Midazolam and a few other natural herbs.

Your little scheme was thwarted as soon as it became a thought. And to think we owe if all to Drake Larson. You recognize the name, don’t you?”

I was still woozy from the drug but hearing his name had me snapping back to reality. Drake? Drake Larson? What the fuck? How did I let myself be deceived?

“Let me help you over to the chair. You need to hydrate too.” Gorman lent me his hand.

I pushed his hand away. “I need to get as far away from here as possible!”

I tried to stand but was still a bit dizzy. I had to sit—to think.

I made it over to the chair by Gorman’s desk. He handed me a glass of water. My throat was parched. I knew it was one of the effects of the drug.  I downed the water, my eyes scanning the room. No sign of Cox or Fuller. I inhaled a deep breath. Gorman was sitting back in his chair, his hands folded in his lap.

I had questions—lots of them. “So, where’s my black bag?”

“It’s in the storage room in the basement along with my other toys.”

“And the tablet. You have—”

“Yes, it’s in safe keeping. Don’t you worry your pretty little head over it.”

“And Drake? Tell me. Why is he involved in this?” I set my glass down.

“Larson is the head priest for Heaven’s Gate. He’s been flying under the radar for some time. He was lured in years ago with the promise of early retirement, power and wealth beyond his means.”

So now everything was coming into view. It made sense now; the house in Florida, his interest in Dani and his eagerness to set me up in his cottage. Fuck. Me. Now.

I had to get a grip—had to have a new plan. Things were changing fast. I tried to stand and was still a bit wobbly on my feet.

“Sit down Meade.” Gorman poured me another glass of water. Mario had come in with a plate of sandwiches. Gorman reached for one, took a bite and set it down. “Listen Meade, the final days are upon us. I’m sure you’ve heard that the Antichrist is here and there are many who have already appeared. From this we know that the last hours are coming.”

“1John 2:18 NLT. You are quoting scripture, I see.” My tongue was burning. He may just be one of the antichrists. “Just how does this affect me?”

“You have a chance for salvation—redemption. I’m giving you this chance. Heaven’s Gate is the only way—and for all of us.”

Was he kidding? I had to think about this one. Shades of the days I worked for Frank Darello ran through my mind. All those people who had believed Jim Jones back in 1978 never found redemption. I’m sure Gorman had already been serving up his own Kool-Aid. I was in too deep to run. With Drake now in the equation I had to plan this one out. All I could see was Dani’s face. I had to save her, no matter what.

Gorman pushed the plate closer to me. “Have some nourishment, Meade. You’re gonna need it.”

My stomach rumbled. I took a few bites and waited for Gorman to speak. The bread went down like hard lumps of clay.

“We know about Dani. We know she’s with you. We are offering you a position as a Grand Master. You and Dani will be safe with us. You’ll never have to worry about money again.”

My eyes bore into his. “I’m in shock. I can’t—”

“I think you can, Meade. If you decide not to cooperate, we will be forced to kill Dani. You will accompany us to Cayman Brac next week where you will be inducted into the ministry for Heaven’s Gate. It is an honor.”

I had to ask, “Will Drake be there?”

“Of course. He’ll be leading the ritual.”

It was far too much to take in. I had to get home—to think. This was truly a game changer for me and for Dani.

Gorman stood up. “Go home Meade. Make love to your woman. Prepare to leave next Friday for the Caymans.”

My balance had steadied as I walked toward the door. I turned to reply to Gorman but somehow I had no words. A storm was coming. The only thing on my mind was to get home and make plans to weather this one out. We had to get out of that cottage. I had to face Dani and tell her the truth—or maybe she already knew.



Those covers are gorgeous!  The teaser, wow, now my patience is really being stretched! 

I found all your paranormal thrillers are exciting.  Will you be keeping with your themes of curses and fulfilling destiny?  or will you change and incorporate more ghostly characters?



I will be focusing more on possession especially dealing with a Succubus. I have a romantic ghost story on the hopper as well.
It may be co-authored with another author who specializes in westerns. Don’t want to give away too many spoilers here


Succubus sounds like a great topic!  These sound like they will be amazing.  I want to thank you for being so open with me here.  It has been fun.  Please share some links where everyone can find you. 


Thank you!!!

Find Lorraine at:

 www.lorrainecarey.com
Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/StorySpirit4U/
Amazon Page  https://www.amazon.com/Lorraine-Carey/e/B00ELQBUHQ
Twitter @StorySpirit4U

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Casual Conversation #6


Visiting with Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

Today I will be chatting with Deanie Humphrys-Dunne who writes children's books. Hello, Deanie, I would like to begin by having you tell us all a little about yourself as a way of introduction.
 
Hi Cindy, Thank you for inviting me.
I grew up on my parents' riding school called Sweetbrier and horses changed my life in amazing ways.(detailed in my book "My Life at Sweetbrier.)

When my dad was told I would never walk, he wouldn't accept that.He was determined to help me realize my dream of becoming an equestrian champion, against the odds.


Cover by Holly Humphrys-Bajaj







I've been a children's author since 2009, when my first book, "Tails of Sweetbrier" was released.  Although that book is no longer in print, we have an updated, expanded version called "My Life at Sweetbrier". It's the winner of the Mom's Choice gold medal, among others.
 

Cover by Holly Humphrys-Bajaj
In addition, we have published 4 other early chapter books; Charlie the Horse, Charlene the Star, "Charlene the Star and Hatties' Heroes," and "Charlene the Star and Bentley Bulldog." All of the fictional books are beautifully illustrated by my sister, Holly Humphrys-Bajaj.She and I love working together and we are in the process of finishing our first picture book.

Aside from writing, I love spending time with my family, watching equestrian events, and baseball games, as well as music and singing.




ILLUSTRATIONS:

Artist:  Holly Humphrys-Bajaj

Bentley Bulldog and Hattie the chicken from Charlene the Star and Bentley Bulldog










Hattie the chicken and Elliott from Charlene the Star and Hattie's Heroes

Artist:  Holly Humphrys-Bajaj

Mary and Charlene from Charlene the Star

Artist:  Holly Humphrys-Bajaj

I was going to ask you about the horses! Your sister's illustrations are wonderful!  So nice to have family support in artistic endeavors.  My sister was my editor for my first 4 poetry books and my children's books.

I don't have young ones so I have not read your books.  I just used the "Look Inside" feature on Amazon.  You seem to have a way of teaching through animals. Is that because horses were such an important part of your growing up?

Will your picture book also use animals as the main characters?


Thank you for your compliments on Holly's illustrations. She is an extraordinary talent and I love working with her.

Yes, I would say partially because many children love horses and animals.I thought it would be fun to have the animals narrate the stories. But more importantly, horses played a huge role in my childhood and my dream of becoming an equestrian champion. Horses actually changed my life because doctors said  I would never walk but that was not acceptable. My dad declared he would teach me to ride and I would be fine.
 

As you might imagine, my dad was a very determined person. He never accepted anything as fact if he felt it could be changed. We teamed up and set out to prove the doctors wrong. Eventually, doctors determined I had cerebral palsy, which affected walking. Riding horses strengthened my legs so I could walk and I won many championships with an extraordinary horse my dad bought for me named Fleet Nancy AKA Peach. Now you can see the effect horses had on my life.
Our picture book will be about a little tractor named Wilbur, who is the main character, but he will meet animals in the story. We are planning to have at least two books in the series about Wilbur.


Wilbur sounds like it will be an adorable series!  I am sure a tractor can have lots of adventures out in the fields.  It is a blessing you had a father who was so determined.  What amazing accomplishments!  Congrats!

Do your children enjoy your books?  Do they offer you ideas on what your next book should be about? Or make any other suggestions?


Thank you for the compliments on my accomplishments,but I don't think I've done anything extraordinary. My parents encouraged each of their children to persevere and never give up on their dreams. In fact our family motto was "The Humphrys don't give up." All I've done is keep that in mind.

We are hoping Wilbur will be fun for children. Generally, girls are more often interested in horses so Wilbur should interest little boys too. The first book will be about Wilbur's routine with his friend, Jim. My children do offer ideas for my books, as does my husband. They have good imaginations. My sister Holly, gives me ideas as well. I love the fact we all are involved in the process of writing children's books. Our goal is to have each book inspire children to work hard, set goals and follow their dreams because many things can be changed if you persevere.
 


It is awesome that your whole family is involved.  I know my daughter's input always meant a lot to me. 

I am sure both boys and girls will enjoy the adventures of Wilbur.

Is there any certain children's author who instilled the desire in you to write in this genre?


No, I don't think so, although I have always enjoyed reading. My parents were the first to suggest I write for children, but I thought it was a ridiculous idea. But once I had the confidence to publish my first book, I thought it was fun.

I am sure children everywhere are glad you did! I am sure they are going to love your books about Wilbur the tractor.  I have enjoyed chatting with you. Before you go, could you share some links so everyone can find you?


Thank you for everything. I hope you enjoyed our interview as much as I did. On May26th,  I celebrated that Sweetbrier is #94 in children's horse books on Amazon!! 

Where to find Deanie:
Banner is by Rhonda Patton


 www.childrensbookswithlifelessons.com/

Book2Look:

https://www.book2look.com/book/q58fhR8ly3

Amazon author page:

http://www.bit.ly/DHDbooks