Paperback Release TOMORROW 2/18/2020 for Rekindled Prophecy

book cover FB promo

Rekindled Prophecy is the first book in my fantasy/paranormal series, Greylyn the Guardian Angel. It came out in hardcover and ebook last November 2019 and will release in paperback format tomorrow, 2/18/2020!

I am so excited about the paperback release for many reasons:

  1. Hardcover books are sometimes too bulky to carry around in your purse, even if you use a drawstring athletic bag as a purse like me. (***Note to self: Buy a real purse one day!***)
  2. A LOT of people (and I do mean A LOT) prefer a physical book over ebooks despite the digital version being much more portable. There are a number of reasons for this preference. Some love the paper smell of books. Some have not transitioned to ebooks and never will (my own mom for one).
  3. An author can’t sign an ebook.
  4. Book shelves don’t get stacked with ebooks. You need hardcover or paperbacks for that. So if you love seeing your bookshelves nearly toppling over with books, ebooks will not do the trick. you need hardcover and paperback.
  5. Paperback books are generally cheaper than the hardcovers. So if you buy books in bulk to add to your TBR pile, paperback is the more economical option.

Don’t get me wrong. I adore my Kindle too. It’s the easiest to transport. Since I do most of my reading sitting at swim meets, wrestling tournaments, and in the car rider line at my daughter’s school, throwing the Kindle in the drawstring bag I utilize for a purse is the fastest, most convenient option.

Also, I LOVE hard cover books! I keep the book cover jackets on them too and line them up on my bookshelves with adoration and love! I have a full collection of hardcover Stephen King and Anne Rice books. When I was a struggling twenty-something, I switched to paperbacks and I proudly display them too on my shelves. (***Side note: All books have been stowed away in boxes while we renovate my office, including built-in book cases! Secretly I believe my hubby wants to keep the books in the boxes as he fails to see the necessity in keeping all my books, and keeping them all displayed for me to lovingly gaze it while I daydream when I should be writing or editing, but he will NOT win this one!)

So if you a bookaholic like myself, and you prefer physical books over the ebooks, and you love fantasy/paranormal with a steaming shot of romance thrown in, please check out Rekindled Prophecy starting tomorrow (it’s available for pre-order now, too).

***

BOOK BLURB:

Guardian angel, Greylyn saves innocent humans from their own inner demons or the more nefarious real ones. She’s overdue for some rest and relaxation, but upon finding her archenemy already entrenched at an authentic Irish bed and breakfast, she knows her vacation is over before it ever starts.

Enemies for over four centuries, Greylyn has fought the dark guardian, Kael; and fought her desire for him. This time, however, she must work with the dashing dark guardian to protect innocent lives. It’s a deadly gamble. One she has no choice but to take.

But the situation is far more treacherous than she realizes as a notorious fallen archangel holds the lives of a mother and her unborn child over Greylyn’s head to force her to consummate a dormant, but deadly prophecy. One so deadly that Heaven didn’t even write it down.

Rekindled Prophecy: Greylyn the Guardian Angel is a fantasy/paranormal novel with strong undertones of romance and sex appeal between two enemies – one working for Heaven, the other working for Hell.

 

https://books2read.com/u/bzoaBE

***

Teaser:

Greylyn gulped in air. She wasn’t dead, not yet. Renewed energy pulsated through her body and gave her strength to push herself up on shaky arms. She stared, turning to look at each man as they circled each other. Both men with deadly intent etched on their faces. In between getting hit, and throwing jabs of his own, the stranger muttered, “Had to be you! It just had to be you!” One final uppercut to Jasper’s jaw, and the guardian angel fell back.

Her mouth opened to scream for him to leave Jasper alone, but no words came out. He turned to her, his face bloodied, but with a sad smile. “Until next time, love.” Seconds later, he vanished down the alleyway.

Suddenly able to move again, Greylyn jumped up and ran over to Jasper. “Who the hell was that?”

“Oh, I’m fine, by the way.” With the indignant look he flashed her, she knew Jasper was far from being fine. Physically, yes, he was alright. But his icy-blue eyes spoke volumes of fury she could not under-stand.

“I’m so sorry …” She checked him for injuries, hands roved over his body. His clothes were spatter-ed with blood. Other than his pride, and a black eye that would fade in an hour or two, he was in perfect shape.

Greylyn knew she looked a mess. Hell, she should be dead. Instead, the blood had already dried and the sizzle of her bones mending underneath her skin comforted her.

I’m not going to die. At least not tonight.

Jasper cupped her chin. “Yes, I know. It’s my fault. It was too soon to send you out on your own like that. I realized my mistake and came to find you, in case you needed assistance.” A nerve twitched in his jaw. “And, I find I was correct. You certainly needed help.”

“Oh, no! Edward? Did he escape? I came out here looking for him, but these guys,” she waved her hand toward the corpses littering the alley, “were after him and …”

“Yes, yes. I get it. You ran into the bad guys and as a bonus, you got a bloody dark guardian your first time on your own.”

“A what?”

“A dark guardian. The exact opposite of us, darling. You are just lucky I came along when I did. That one would’ve carved you up like a porterhouse steak.” He pushed himself off the ground. At his full height of well over six feet tall, he towered above her.

“Does this dark guardian have a name?” She didn’t know why it mattered that she find out his name.

Jasper narrowed his eyes at her in obvious disapproval. “That one in particular is Kael,” Jasper spat. “Truly nasty piece of work. Avoid him at all costs. Hopefully, you will never have to see that creature again.”

He turned toward her and grabbed her by the upper arms, leaning forward so they were nose to nose. An aroma of whiskey and tobacco wafted into her face. “Greylyn, promise me that you will stay away from Kael. If he ever crosses your path, either annihilate him completely with your dagger through his heart and then rip it out of his body while it’s still beating; or run. Just run.”

******

A quick note before I sign off, if you live in (or in driving distance from) Charleston, SC, I will be at the Penned Charleston book signing event on 2/29/2020. Please come by and say “Hi!” I’ll have paperbacks of Rekindled Prophecy to sell and to sign, along with some book swag.

And if you live in Charlotte, NC (or nearby, or within driving distance), please come out to the Queen City Book Fair on 5/23/2020 to see me and many other fabulous authors. I’ll have more paperbacks to sign, and hope to have a pre-order link set up soon.

Queen City Book Fair flyer

I’ll send out updates for future book signings and events as I schedule them.

Thanks and I hope everyone has a beautiful week!

 

Love always,

KC

Epic Fail but Will Always Try, Try Again

Last Friday (2/7/2020) evening I held an Author Reading from my debut fantasy/paranormal novel, Rekindled Prophecy – Book 1 of the Greylyn the Guardian Angel series.

book cover FB promo

Buy Link: https://books2read.com/u/bzoaBE

Well, that was an outright disaster!

Several lovely friends showed up to listen to me read, and asked questions, made comments and generally it was an overall good time.

So what went wrong?

I coughed throughout the entire reading!

No, I don’t have the flu, or the corona virus.

What I had was allergies to all the drywall and general construction dust from my office. The room has been under renovations for some time now, and completely unusable, but I insisted (to myself) that I should do the reading from my office (mostly to avoid any of the other people living in my house from intruding – most of the time they respect the sanctity of my office).

You’ve been warned, but if you’re interested in listening to the reading and the Q&A session, here’s a link to the video on Facebook.

Now I am a self-proclaimed non-techie so I haven’t figured out how to edit the footage yet, and I’m rather certain there wouldn’t be a lot left if I took out all the coughing. My next best alternative is to record the whole thing, but then you’d miss the discussion and Q&A.

In lieu of a teaser for this week, you may have to work for it to listen through the reading of the Prologue from Rekindled Prophecy. Now there’s a lot of controversy these days in the literary community about prologues and epilogues, but I LOVE them and use them frequently. Every book in the series will start with a prologue giving the reader a glimpse from Greylyn’s past that has significant impact on her present and future. It’s a peek behind the curtain.

But if you don’t want to wade through my coughing fits to listen to the prologue, please direct message me here or on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/KCFreemanAuthor/ and I’ll send you a word document copy of the text.

Next month, I’ll make another attempt at a live reading from my book and hold another Q&A session. Because…why not? It was fun, despite the coughing.

 

 

 

 

Let me introduce…

 

jasperactor1

JASPER MOREAU!

Who is he? Well, besides sexy and hot as hell…that’s more what he is, not who though.

Jasper is one of my absolute favorite characters to write. He’s not just eye candy, but I may stare at this inspirational photo when I need my muse to help me create his lines, his expression, and his attitude.

You see, Jasper is vital to the fantasy/paranormal story I need to tell in the “Greylyn the Guardian Angel series,” starting with Book 1 “Rekindled Prophecy”.

Rekindled Prophecy Hardcover 3d

If you’ll pay close attention to the book cover you will notice that is NOT Jasper on the cover. Must be mistake, right? How can someone THAT sexy not be on the book cover? He HAS to be the love interest, right?

Sorry…NOPE!

But don’t worry, after this series I have every intention of giving Jasper his very own story because he is absolutely fascinating.

So back to the original question…who is Jasper Moreau?

Jasper is from French royalty (many centuries ago). He’s a guardian angel with a heart of gold and a body for sin. His panty-dropping smile is legendary. A simple come hither look from his ice-blue eyes will have you in his thrall before you even have a chance to blink.

So why isn’t he the heroine’s love interest then?

No one knows exactly. It would seem to make sense that he would be, but things are a bit complicated.

What we do know about him is that he’s a guardian angel and he was the one present when our heroine, Greylyn, dug herself out of her own grave over 450 years ago in the rural fields of Ireland. He took her under his wing and talk her everything she needed to know about being a guardian angel, including who to stay clear of (dark guardians to be precise – which turns out to be much more difficult than either one of them realizes since…hmmmm…Kael is a dark guardian — much more Kael in a later posting, I promise).

Greylyn has kept things platonic between her and Jasper for centuries. Silly girl! And Jasper, being a gentlemen, respects that. After all, humans come and go but guardian angels live on and on. So he’s got all the time in the world.

So why don’t we just let Jasper introduce himself…

***

Now how to explain Jasper’s arrival and abrupt departure? She’d peeked out the window while she was on the phone. Everyone was assembled under the gazebo except for the bride and her father, the groom … and Kael. They had all seen him come inside her suite.

“Act like we’re arguing but trying to be quiet about it. I’ll explain that you’re an ex- boyfriend making a last-ditch attempt to win me back and I’ve sent you packing…again.”

Jasper’s eyebrows raised inquisitively. “Now who in their right mind is going to believe that?”

The crowd under the gazebo was oddly quiet as Greylyn walked Jasper to his car. No one even tried to feign disinterest as they put their plan into action.

Taking his cue, Jasper began to gesture wildly with a pleading look on his face. Greylyn, in turn, pretended to speak softly, but firmly, hands on her hips for effect along with an occasional dramatic hand gesture. They must have been convincing because her sensitive hearing picked up the shocked comments from the young ladies of the wedding party. The buxom blonde was more than dismayed that the hunk appeared to be leaving.

“Oh, what is wrong with that girl? He’s divine!”

Jasper even audaciously glanced over at the woman and gave her a wink. Sure enough, it gained him what his ego wanted to hear, a soft gasp as she was drawn into his orbit without him even needing to take a step closer. The woman looked as if she’d swoon any second now. One of her friends reached out to grab her by the elbow.

Yes, Jasper had yet another female under this thrall.

“Works every time,” he breathlessly whispered as they reached the car.

***

If you’d like to read more about Jasper, and the other characters in Rekindled Prophecy…

Check back each week as I introduce the rest of the cast of characters from the Greylyn the Guardian Angel series, inspirations, muses, musical motivations, scene settings, and future plans for these characters.

XOXO!

KC

As a bonus, here’s some more photos of guys I used as inspiration for writing Jasper Moreau.

book cover model 7 jasper

Hope you enjoyed today’s eye candy!

Ready, Set, Go!

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There’s butterflies in my belly and I’m feeling a wee bit light-headed. Why, you ask. Because last week I wrapped up my review of the eGallery (basically the digital proof) for my first full-length novel, Rekindled Prophecy, and sent it back to the publisher.

Next step…an actual hard copy printout in all it’s glory for one last review to ensure perfection before we can get it out onto the bookstore shelves and into the Amazon bookstore (or other online book retailer) for you!!!

Here’s a nice link to my Amazon author page so you’ll have everything you need to simply click and purchase Rekindled Prophecy when it comes out in November!

https://www.amazon.com/KC-Freeman/e/B07QDTJD19?ref_=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

And here’s the link to my author page on GoodReads too https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19024932.K_C_Freeman

In addition, I’ll be attending my first ever author event, well as an author this time! Tomorrow, September 10, 2019 I will join other fabulous authors from the Charlotte, NC area in a meetup at Barnes & Noble at the Carolina Place Mall. The event is sponsored by Hopewriters and is titled “Hope*Writer Day”.  For more information on this event, please check out their FB page @hopewriterscommunity.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1296125360556693/

This past week I also posted my first ever live FB video to discuss my upcoming book, Rekindled Prophecy. Please check it out when you can. Last week’s discussion centered on “What is a guardian angel?” since my protagonist is a guardian angel and there’s not a vast amount of novels out there with guardian angels. You can check out the video here –  https://www.facebook.com/pg/KCFreemanAuthor/videos/?ref=page_internal

In short, my answer for what a guardian angel is — Once human, now angel who walks the earth helping save us from our own inner demons and the more nefarious real ones. Check out the video for more details please.

This week’s FB live discussion will focus on dark guardians. What are they exactly? Please check out my FB page later this week for the answer.

Time is drawing near for the release of Rekindled Prophecy so expect to hear more from me in the coming weeks and months.

Thanks for your patience as I took a sabbatical over the summer to be with my children. School is back in session now and I am more than excited to write/edit/discuss Rekindled Prophecy and the rest of the books in the series, as well as other story ideas that have been brewing in my head over the last few months.

Again, please join the book discussion on my FB author page https://www.facebook.com/pg/KCFreemanAuthor/

or my Twitter page https://twitter.com/KCFreeman5

You can also find me on Instagram @kcfreeman5

or Pinterest at https://www.pinterest.com/kvcfreeman5/pins/

I look forward to bringing you more details on the upcoming book release and discussing everything from guardian angels to fallen archangels with you soon.

Blessings to all!

KC

 

 

Prologue or Not to Prologue, That is the Question

I may have mentioned this before, but it bears repeating the question into the ether…

Are prologues out or are they in?

As I’m wrapping up the draft for Book 3 of my Greylyn the Guardian Angel series, I once again find myself asking the same question I asked when I started the series. Do I introduce the character from the very beginning (450 years ago when she awoke in her own grave) as part of a prologue before diving deep into the story which is set in modern times USA (at least in Book 1, Rekindled Prophecy)? Or do I include this aspect of the story as a chapter or eliminate it altogether?

Trouble is, no one agrees. Some people love prologues and epilogues. Others don’t. Some declare that prologues and epilogues are out of fashion in the publishing world. Some say…do your own thing, to hell with current trends. What’s a writer to do?

Seriously, everyone has their own opinion and everyone thinks their opinion is the correct one. BUT, there is no correct answer. So again, I ask…what’s a writer to do?

To utilize an early 90’s (maybe late 80’s song) “Listen to Your Heart”. Think that was by Roxette, but don’t quote me on it. That time period is a little hazy (college days, no other explanation needed).

What I’ve learned in this whole writing process is that each author has to be true to one person, and one person only…themselves. If an author isn’t happy with his/her story, what is the friggin’ point?

Now, some authors write to template, write exactly according to genre or industry standards and beats just in hopes he/she will be published. To some, that is their only goal…to be published. They don’t have to like their own story, and that is a shame.

However, I have struggled with this a bit myself. Who am I writing for? I’d revise my story because someone reviewed it and made a comment that if I really wanted to make it sell, I had to do x, y, and z. Later, I’d read over the changes and go…OH HELL NO! That ain’t right! I can’t tell you how many times I have written, removed, rewritten, removed, ….paragraphs, chapters, and the woefully humble prologues for each book.

This is just my perspective. To each his/her own, but for me I have to be honest to myself and to my story. After all, the characters, the scenes, the plot have been rattling around in my skull for so long that I can’t deny them their chance to shine. If that requires a prologue, then LET THERE BE A PROLOGUE! Maybe the next story won’t need it, but as the sole person responsible for my story…Greylyn the Guardian Angel series will start with a prologue in each book.

So just for giggles, here is a taste of Book 1 “Rekindled Prophecy: Greylyn the Guardian Angel” series — the long-suffering prologue…

Prologue – Reborn

Fermanagh’s Lakelands – Lough Erne

December 31, 1566

 

The sharp scent of cut pine intermingled with a fainter, but pungent earthen odor assailed her nostrils. Her eyes fluttered open. Only darkness.

The air was damp and heavy – oppressive – like a weighted blanket holding her down. Her lungs ached as they struggled for air. Her limbs felt stiff as she tried to sit up. She smacked her head before she was fully upright.

Ouch!

She strained her ears, listening for some sound, any sound. Nothing but her labored breathing and the rapid thudding of her heart.

Where am I?

Shaking, her fist pounded against the wall to her right, just a few inches away. It was wood, thin wood planks. Reaching up, she was unable to extend her arm above her body more than a couple of inches, her hand came in contact with more wooden planks. Splinters pierced her palm and wedged deeply into the tender skin. She yanked her hand back. Cold sweat broke out on her entire body.

Oh, dear Lord! I’m in a coffin!

The realization unleashed a wave of panic. Her mouth gaped open wordlessly, her throat too dry and constricted to scream.

Oh, dear God! No! That’s impossible!

Bitter tears welled up in her eyes. She punched against the wood over her head as fiercely as she could again and again. She wasn’t sure how long she did this. Could have been minutes or hours. Finally, she gave up and slumped in defeat. Little daggers of pain shot through her fists and up her arms, while warm liquid seeped between her fingers.

Calm down. Just settle down and think clearly. There has to be a way out. I cannot be trapped in a coffin. That’s impossible.

Gingerly, her fingers felt around the box, searching for an edge or a possible opening. After a while, she found a small latch in the upper right corner of the box. Furiously, she worked to manipulate the latch, but couldn’t get a hold of it. The substance coating her fingers caused them to slip along the surface.

Her fist punched a hole in the wooden slab above her head. She had no idea she had that kind of strength. Dirt fell into the box and covered her chest and face. Spitting the debris from her lips in an effort to scream, she continued to pound and kick. She beat upon the wood until it finally gave way. More pungent earth poured down on her, filling her nostrils and mouth.

I’m going to choke or suffocate to death.

Holding her breath, she pushed and clawed her way up and out of the tight enclosure. With her eyes screwed shut against the debris filling the coffin, she burrowed through the tightly packed earth by jabbing out with her hands. Her chest burned with the need for air.

Please, oh God, save me! I don’t’ want to die.

Renewed strength rocketed through her body. Furiously she dug upward and kicked against the coffin below to propel her up faster as if swimming in an underground sea, chained to a sinking ship.

Just as hope gave out, fresh, frigid air touched the tips of her fingers as they broke through the surface. Clawing and kicking, the dirt gave way until she was able to latch onto the ground and drag herself all the way up – free from her earthen grave. Icy shards pierced lungs as she gasped for air. Crumbling on the ground, she vomited dirt.

Hunched over, her body convulsing in the final throes of dry-heaving, a faint chuckle caught her attention.

She turned her face towards the sound. At first, everything was blurring. Blinking, grains of dirt caked onto her lashes fell away. More blinking, her eyes brought into focus the gloom of an icy moonless and starless night. Then finally she was able to out the shadow of a tall figure lounging against the side of a large oak tree.

“Well, it’s about time you made it out. I’ve been waiting all night. A few more moments and I would have left without you,” the shadowed man said in a foreign accent. With a subtle bow, he added, “Jasper Moreau at your service, my Milady.” His silhouette separated from the tree and strolled without urgency over to where she lay on the ground. His books were shiny with garish gold buckles, as if he were walking into a palace, not standing in the middle of a dirt field.

Get up and run! Why won’t my body cooperate?

Her ordeal had left her weak. So weak that she could barely lift her head to gaze up at him. The muscles in her neck twitched with the effort. Her mind ordered her legs to jump up and run, but nothing happened. A new wave of panic rocked her body, threatening to overspill in a fresh round of dry-heaving.

Her vision cleared as the stranger came closer. Strikingly tall with broad shoulders, his clothing was fancy. Difficult to make out the details of his finery in the dim light, but the long coattails and shiny buttons and frilly sleeves were a dead giveaway he did not belong here.

She pushed herself up on trembling arms and lifted her head from the ground. “If you knew I was trapped under the ground, why did you not help me?”

“Sorry, Milady,” he said with a slight touch of sarcasm. “I could not assist you. There are no headstones or markers in this quaint little cemetery and there appear to be several fresh grave sites. I simply could not find you in time. I do hope you will accept my sincerest apology.”

Sincerest apology? Was he ridiculing her? However, something in the smoothness of his voice or his nonthreatening stance gave her a sense of calmness – that she had no need to fear this man. Still, how could she be certain?

A tingling sensation washed over her body, as energy flooded back into her limbs. First, she wiggled her toes, then shook out her legs that moments earlier had refused to move. Pulling her legs towards her body, she sat up and took a long look around. After the black of the coffin, even the cloud-filled night sky seemed bright and welcoming. She sat on the edge of a small graveyard between a sheep pasture and a thick forest. In the distance, silhouettes of buildings stood out, with one taller than the rest with a pointed steeple.

The moon peeked out between the dense cloud cover for just a moment, offering enough illumination that she could make out the visage of the stranger. Long jet-black hair pulled into a ponytail. When he reached over to help her up from the ground, she smelled his sweet musky scent and noticed his startling blue eyes set against deep olive skin. His eyes glowed in the darkness. She was taken aback by their intensity. He seemed to peer into her soul. She found herself on her feet without any recollection of standing. When she looked down at his hand on her arm, he released her. The tranquility abruptly ended.

“Madam, I realize you may be distressed about your predicament. Allow me to reassure you that you are now indeed safe. You will never need to fear the grave again.”

How dare he act so nonchalant about this situation? And say such nonsensical things! She rounded on him, her voice rising. “How is that precisely? Someone buried me alive! You did nothing about it. How can you stand there and smugly say that you could not help me?”

His eyes narrowed and a nerve ticked just under his left eye. The look, more than the silence, unnerved her.

This couldn’t possibly get worse.

“Milady, you were not buried alive,” he said. “You were very much dead.”

She was wrong.

Pain, like she had just been punched in the gut, doubled her over. Bile rose in her throat. Her heart skipped a beat, or several. Unable to take in a breath, her hands flew to her throat. Her lungs clamored for air, but her body refused to perform the function of inhaling air.

Breathe. Dammit! Breathe.

Intense emotional pain throbbed behind her eyes, blinding her as she fought to come to terms with his statement.

“You were very much dead.” The statement echoed in her ears.

She collapsed back onto the cold ground. Unable to speak, a low, raspy moan escaped her lips.

This was impossible. Some cruel, sick joke. Convinced she was caught in the throes of a horrific nightmare, she shook her head violently, shutting her eyes against the world. Her stomach clenched in a fresh bout of convulsions. Judgment Day had come for her.

Distress permeated her being, blocking out everything. She almost forgot about the mysterious man until he spoke again in a calm and soothing tone, a hand rubbed her back. “Please, do not fret. You are certainly not dead now.”

Somehow, that was not reassuring. Sputtering, she forced herself to look up at him. “Then what exactly am I?”

A smile spread over his face, showcasing perfect white teeth. “Think of it as being reborn. This night is your new birthday, if you will. The night you were resurrected into your true being.”

Blinking in disbelief, she was afraid to ask. “Reborn as what? One is either dead or alive? What does that make me?”

The man waved his hands around at the farmland and the dire graveyard. “You are no longer of this world. Earthly cares and weaknesses will no longer afflict you. You, my dear, have transformed into a being of light and truth, a warrior for good.”

A weak giggle escaped her, which evolved into hysterical sobs. The insanity of the situation was too much. She must’ve lost her mind. Either she was unstable, or he was. Perhaps they both were.

Resurrected into heaven on the Day of Judgment? Yes. She very much hoped so. But resurrected back onto Earth while trapped inside her own grave? No, not possible. If that were indeed the case, she was desperate to wake up. “Please, please wake up.”

Rivulets of tears streamed down her dirt-stained face as her thin body convulsed on the ground. Indiscernible mutterings escaped her parched lips. She didn’t even understand what she was saying. Was it a prayer? Or was she just mad?

The stranger had walked over to a farm cart situated at the edge of the cemetery and patted the hay bale next to him as a signal for her to join him.

“Milady, please let me explain. This must all seem bizarre and unnatural to you right now, but I assure you that what I say is true. My intent is to help you, not hurt you.” He waited for her to sit beside him before continuing in a patient tone as if consoling a distraught child. “I should have been more considerate in my statements considering all you have undergone tonight.”

Her mind wanted to scream at him.

You inconsiderate bastard! This isn’t funny.

But no words came out of her mouth.

He peered up at the cloud-covered sky in silence for a few moments. Sitting beside him now, she felt an overwhelming sense of calm. It surprised her, as only moments before she had been in such agony and abject fear.

He broke the silence. “However, we should not tarry too long. It would not be a good idea for the locals to find a dead person up and walking around when they start their daily chores. They might mistake you for a witch or a demon, and then what would we do?” He chuckled softly. She did not find his statements amusing in the least.

That’s what you’re worried about? Someone mistaking me for witch? You just told me that I’m undead. That’s worse.

His words cut through her muddled thoughts. After a brief pause, he added, “Also, I hate to mention this, milady, but you are certainly in need of a good warm bath and new clothes. You look and smell dreadful.”

Really? Am I supposed to care how I look? I’m undead.

However, looking down at her torn rag of a dress, she agreed. He was right. She must look horrendous. A giggle burst out of her. It felt good to laugh.

Jasper smiled with satisfaction. “Now, that’s better. Just rest and quiet your thoughts. All that screaming inside your head is giving me a headache.” As if to make a point, he rubbed the bridge of his nose with long, elegantly manicured fingers.

“How can you hear the screaming inside my head?”

He just smiled, a cockeyed side grin with a glint in his eyes.

“Milady, I am here to escort you to your new … afterlife, as it were.” He stated this as if it were a simple fact, not to be questioned. “You certainly cannot remain here.”

Well, that seems rather obvious. Where exactly am I supposed to go? 

The sky had begun to lighten to a dull gray. With the sunrise just over the hills, the stranger appeared increasingly anxious. “There is a lot to tell you and little time to do so. Please know that I only have your best interests at heart and will accommodate you in any way possible to ease your transition.”

“My transition? To what exactly? I was dead and now I’m not. I’m grateful to be alive, but not sure you are the person qualified to help me. You certainly haven’t so far.”

The entire situation was absurd. A burning sensation rose in her breast. Anger scorched away the thin veil of peace she had felt barely a minute ago.

“Milady…”

“Will you stop calling me that?” unsure why the term bothered her so.

“Well, what shall I call you then?” His voice carried a perturbed taint.

She should know the answer, but she somehow it eluded her. After a few embarrassing moments of trying to recall her name, the truth hit her hard. She simply didn’t know. Dejected, she slumped against the cart. How could she not know her name? Who she was? There was no recollection of anything before waking in the coffin underground.

“Well, Milady, since you dislike the title, perhaps I can utilize your human name. There was no grave marker. Do you recall it?”

She shook her head. Tears built up at the corners of her eyes, blurring her vision again.

“Well, that is most unfortunate…and odd. I have to say I’ve never known a guardian to have amnesia.” The man paused a moment and gave her a strange look, as if he were at a loss for what to do or say based on this news. “Why don’t we pick out a new name befitting your new status as a guardian angel? That will be fun.”

Now she had to have heard that wrong. “Excuse me? My new status as what?”

This was too much. She was now supposed to believe she was some sort of an angel? This must be a bad dream or she was suffering from a terrible affliction of the mind.

As an afterthought, she hazarded a glance over her shoulder. No wings.

“No, no, no! You are not insane! You are not dreaming either.”

How did he know what she was thinking? Did he really hear the screaming inside her head?

Laying a hand on her upper arm, a mysterious calming sensation spread from the point of contact until it filled her entire being. “I do apologize. You want answers. You need answers. You deserve answers. Truly, I understand. But it is starting to get light out now so we must hurry. Our discussion can be held once we are a safe distance from here. However, if you need a name right now, hmmm…”

Looking around, he thrummed his long index finger against his chin. “Well, there’s nothing extraordinary to connect you to this place.” His finger shot up in the air dramatically. “I know. There’s this lovely castle not too far from here. Some friends of mine lived there years ago. The name of the estate always stood out to me as being quite beautiful.”

Emotionally and physically exhausted, she was unsure what to say. At this point, he could call her “Dirt,” for all it mattered.

A broad smile lit up the stranger’ face. It gave her a strange sense of comfort again, as the fluttering in her chest subsided.

“Fantastic! You shall henceforth be named Greylyn,” he pronounced dramatically. “Now, that is settled, off we go…Greylyn.”

In one elegant movement he took her arm in the crook of his own. His touch had a soothing effect as he guided her away from the small cemetery as the horizon glowed with the encroaching dawn.

The sky lightened with a deep amber hue. A rooster crowed off in the distance. Surprisingly, she found comfort in the presence of the stranger whose beauty was now revealed by the morning sunlight.

Just as the giant orb rose over the vast rolling hillside, she had an opportunity to survey her surroundings and her new friend, Jasper. As they walked away from the dreary village cemetery, the white light radiating from the sky illuminated the snow-covered hills a short distance away.

With one hand shoved into a pocket sewn into her dismal-looking gown of rough wool, her fingers found a tiny, round metal object. Touching the item brought a sense of peace. Gazing in awe at the unnatural beauty of the man beside her as the sun’s rays kissed his face, it was almost as if she dared to set eyes on the visage of an angel.

 

 

 

The End…

the end is near

No need to panic. This is not the end of the world. Kim Jong-Un did not drop a nuke on CPAC, much to a certain journalist’s chagrin. Washington DC did not implode with the release of both a Republican Congressional memo and the Democratic Congressional memo essentially saying the same thing (rant for another day about how Congress is the governmental body…there is no Republican Congress and no Democratic Congress, just Congress…but I digress.) There was no catastrophic global event ending civilization. The Olympics are OVER, but even that is not THE END.

No, what I’m talking about is the joy and sorrow of typing out those two tiny words THE END when writing a novel. Now, I may be getting ahead of myself since so for my trilogy, I’ve only been able to type the words TO BE CONTINUED at the end of two books. But dear readers, I am in the home stretch and I can see THE END.

Yes, book 3 of Greylyn the Guardian Angel series is less than 2 chapters from completion. Whereas the story was initially going to be 4 books, I just couldn’t drag out my heroine’s struggle for another 80K words and decided three books was quite enough. Everything in threes, right? Star Wars installments come out in threes (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, & Return of the Jedi – the only ones that truly count). There were three Lord of the Rings. Three initial Indiana Jones movies (and should have stuck with just three, but that’s another rant entirely). All good things seem to come in three’s. So Greylyn will also be a trilogy.

Where was I? Oh, yes. THE END.

Truly I was going to hold off on the celebration blog post about THE END but got a little tipsy with the next step to seeing Greylyn off to the presses. I ordered the book cover! Wish I could reveal it here, but the lovely artist Yvonne Nikolova from Ammonia is working on it as we speak, or more correctly – as I type.

For months I struggled with THE END. Something was amiss, but a bad case of writer’s block and an overbooked family schedule kept me from seeing the light (see above light at the end of the tunnel meme). Just needed some perspective.

Now, I “see” the end. All the little tendrils of the story over three books coming together. Now I’m sure there will be some things not neatly tied up in a bow for the readers, but I’m fine with that because I want my readers to continue dreaming of the characters and the story long after their eyes see 

So it is with great joy, and a few tears that I tap out the final words in the Greylyn the Guardian Angel series. These characters, this story, have haunted me for decades. Life got in the way and prevented me from putting the words to paper (or to computer screen if we’re being literal) for so long, but Greylyn, Kael, & even Jasper never left me. They screamed and beat against my skull until I could make time for them to come out to play.

Now they have been unleashed, and soon their story will be available for all to read. Or no one to read. If someone picks up my story, I will be thrilled. If no one does, that’s fine too. Because this has never been about bringing Greylyn to the masses. It has been an exorcism of my own demons. A story that had to be told where good and evil must co-exist and even work together, where love breaks the barriers of good and evil for its own sake.

In the words of Supernatural’s Chuck…