Stories from beyond and Guarding Angel Cover Reveal

I’m very excited today to be able to share the cover of my book, Guarding Angel, coming April 28, 2014. Many book bloggers are sharing in my excitement today, so check some of them out (at the bottom of the post). But first, to commemorate this occasion, I wanted to invite my readers to share in some stories with brushes from beyond this life.

What do I mean precisely?

Have you ever had contact with a loved one who has died? Or have you ever been seeking something out and felt an answer from your guardian angel or spirit guide? Maybe God Him- or Herself? Have you ever seen a ghost? I will share a couple of stories, and I invite you to share yours in the comments below.

My Grandmother Says Goodbye

My first story happened directly to me. Although I’m absolutely certain that I had contact with my grandmother soon after she died, but you might not quite believe it–I’ll leave it up to you.

When I was 15 years old, my paternal grandmother had a stroke and went into a coma. We lived three states away, so unfortunately, it had been awhile since we’d seen her. My parents, brother, and I packed up the car a few days before Christmas and headed to Ohio. I was able to visit her in her room, but she was on life support and it didn’t feel like she was really there.

The other aunts and uncle came from out of town to say goodbye. On Christmas Eve, in the early morning, her children all gathered in her room to carry out her living will. They took her off the ventilator, and in a few short moments, she passed away.

This wasn’t something they wanted the kids experiencing, so I was at home, still asleep, since it was so early morning and I was, after, all, a teenager. Right before I awoke, I had a dream that Grandma came to me: We talked about her life and my life, everything that had happened and lots of things that were going to happen. I remember feeling an overwhelming sense of peace about the rest of my life, but I can’t remember any of the specifics. At one point, I recall her saying she had to go, that she couldn’t stay. I begged her not to leave, but she disappeared, and I ran through a strange dreamscape looking for her. But she was gone–I couldn’t “feel” her there any more.

My mom was shaking me awake as I searched for Grandma. I opened my eyes. “Grandma’s gone, isn’t she?” Mom looked surprised and nodded. I said, “She visited me before she left.”

I don’t know for sure that she did or didn’t. Maybe it was my overactive imagination making this up, since I knew what was happening that morning. But I really felt her there, and I honestly believe that she did, indeed, stop by before she went into the afterlife. If only I could remember all the secrets she’d divulged about my upcoming life before she left …

My Uncle Comforts My Dad

My second story happened to my dad last year. He has four sisters but only one brother, and they were fairly close despite not living near one another. Unfortunately, Uncle Lanny had a clot that moved into his brain at the beginning of April, and he died within seconds.

Right before the visitation, Dad was getting out of his car when his pocket starting making noise. At first he thought his phone was ringing, but when he pulled it out, he saw that iTunes had started. “El Paso” by Marty Robbins–one of his and Uncle Lanny’s favorite songs–was playing. The last time he’d played that particular song was when they’d visited months before.

Was it Uncle Lanny, comforting Dad, who was quite distraught over his brother’s death at a relatively young age and only the beginning of his retirement? Or did the phone somehow happen to pocket dial a song that hadn’t been played for months and months? I, and my dad, like to think that it was Uncle Lanny’s way of saying goodbye.

What about you? Do you have any stories of contact with the “other side?” I want to hear about them in the comments.

Guarding Angel Cover Reveal

Now … The moment I, at least, I don’t know about the rest of you!, have been waiting for. I wrote Guarding Angel because I believe in something beyond this life. It started with a question: What if angels, just like humans, have personalities and struggles? What if they’re more than just silent watchers but have friends and lovers and decisions to make? Thus Enael, my main character, was born.

This cover was created by the fabulous Regina Wamba of MaeIDesign. As soon as I saw her work, I knew I had to have her. She did an amazing job, so if you just like gazing at beautiful fantasy/paranormal romance book covers like I do, take a gander through her portfolio on her website and Pinterest.

Here it is, Enael and her struggles, all summed up in one beautiful piece of cover art:

FallenRedemption-ebooksmgoodreads-badge-add-plusAbout Guarding Angel (Fallen Redemption #1):

Guardian angel Enael can’t seem to keep her human Wards in check. They’re the ones who choose their paths before reincarnating—she’s just there to help make sure they stay on track. But it’s not as easy as it might look.

When she meets and falls in love with charismatic Kaspen, a fellow Guardian, Enael’s feelings about Heaven, Hell, demons, and the life she’s known are turned upside down. Worse, angel-turned-demon Yasva, Kaspen’s former love, still holds him in her clutches. Even as Yasva works toward obtaining complete control of Earth, she taunts and haunts Kaspen’s and Enael’s lives.

Now Enael is forced to face her past (which is centuries long and bursting with secrets), her present (which is terribly unfulfilling and full of questions), and her future (which becomes more uncertain as time passes). Armed with a newfound love and fear of losing it all, she must figure out how to save the world—-and the angel she loves. Which side will win? Who will Kaspen choose? Will Heaven and Earth continue to exist, or will everything go to Hell?

Thank you to all the bloggers who helped me share the news of my cover:

Leave me comments to let me know what you think! Then find me on Twitter and Pinterest. If you’re a book reviewer and would like a review copy of Guarding Angel, send an email to or leave a comment with contact info. eBook ARC Copies will be available at the beginning of March, and Guarding Angel will go on sale April 28, 2014 at several online retailers.


2013: Year In Review

Because this blog is about book reviews, I thought about doing a “my favorite books of 2013” post. However, because this blog is about book reviews, you don’t get to know much about me. Sure, you get to hear my soapbox rants, but you don’t actually get to know the person behind this somewhat-of-a-facade that I have for the internet. So I figured that rather than jumping right back into book reviews, I’d give you a glimpse into my life.

January 2013

I finish the first draft of Guarding Angel. It is then called Fallen Redemption, the name I ultimately chose for the series. The book goes out to friends and family. I start agonizing over my query letter.

I work on contract for a large Canadian bank as a foreign exchange platform IT project manager. This means I’m only there for a defined period of time (rather than full-time, which is indefinite), so I begin looking for a new job starting in March. I find something, and I’m all ready to start 2013 with a new opportunity.

February 2013

I get feedback from friends and family. I’m overwhelmed for awhile. I revise, revise, revise, and then find some CP’s who are writers. I continue to agonize over my query letter.

My contract at the old position finishes. The contract I had lined up to start in March falls through. I frantically start looking for something else, since I shut down all job search networking mid-month.

March 2013

I get some CP feedback. It’s more specific than the non-writing friends and family feedback and helps me immensely. I spend too much time on the Absolute Write forums, learning all the things and posting four thousand query letter drafts.

The job search goes slowly. My uncle dies unexpectedly and I go to Ohio for his funeral. My dad takes it hard, so he comes home with me and we sit on the couch watching Star Trek reruns and talking politics (for as long as I don’t get mad at how conservative he is versus how liberal I am). It is nice.

April 2013

I revise some more, get some more feedback, get lost in drafting, get too close to my manuscript, hate my query letter.

I get a lot of recruiter calls, but every time it seems like a lead is materializing, the position is shut down or filled internally. I get antsy. After all, no work means no money.

May 2013

I put the final touches on Guarding Angel. On May 20, 2013, the 7th anniversary of my engagement to my husband, I send out my first query letter, even though I still hate it.

A job finally comes through. On May 21, 2013, the 3rd anniversary of my brother’s wedding, I start a full-time position (meaning, no end date but pays less) at another large, Canadian bank. This time I’m in Information Security.

June and July 2013

No bites. I start a book with the working title The Exorcist’s Assistant. It’s urban fantasy instead of fantasy, so I feel like I’m cheating without having to do tons of world building. I plot and do character sketches like crazy before starting. I revise my Guarding Angel query letter four thousand more times and continue to send it out.

I get settled in at work. I make some work friends. Things start to feel normal.

August 2013

I get feedback from an agent that states the market is saturated with angel books. I start considering self-publishing. I think long and hard about it, since I have this nagging, snobbish feeling that self-pubbed books aren’t as high quality as trade published books. I stop querying, wondering if my query letter is to blame, even though it’s had roughly eight thousand revisions.

On August 19, 2013, I find out that I’m pregnant. My due date is April 28, 2014.

September 2013

I decide to self-publish. I choose a pen name so that my IT PM internet persona doesn’t interfere with my author persona. I create a project plan. (Remember, I’m a project manager.) I do lots of research. I decide to get a copy editor and proofreader. After all, I’m not going to add to the low quality stuff on the marketplace.

On September 23, 2013, I have a miscarriage. It is the most difficult thing I’ve gone through in my life. I stop writing.

October 2013

Mid-month, I force myself to begin revisions on Exorcist’s Assistant. I get some “final” (is it ever final?) CP feedback on Guarding Angel. I decide that if I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it right. I hire developmental editor Jessica Swift and finish my final final revisions of Guarding Angel.

I heal. I work. I eat healthy and take iron supplements. I find solace in my husband and family and friends. The doctor informs me that miscarriages happen in an estimated 20% of pregnancies and that I shouldn’t worry. I worry. (Actually, that should be a sentence in every single month of every single year of my life.) I get lots of support and find out that more people than I ever imagined have gone through what I did.

November 2013

I send off Guarding Angel to Jessica. I am full of neurosis about what is or may be wrong. I fully plot Reaping Angel (Fallen Redemption #2) and start plotting Warring Angel (Fallen Redemption #3). I decide to wait until I write Reaping to finish the plot of Warring, so I go back to Exorcist’s Assistant revisions.

My first bout of PMS (sorry, men) is awful because my hormones are out of whack. I cry a lot. My husband is supportive and doesn’t tell me to stop being crazy. I love him a more for it.

December 2013

I send off Exorcist’s Assistant to the second round of CP’s. I read a lot. I get my edited manuscript from Jessica and try not to feel overwhelmed by yet another round of edits to Guarding Angel. I am excited for next year, when I’m going to publish my first book.

On December 25, 2013, I discover I’m pregnant. I spend most of the time trying not to think about the last miscarriage. But now that I’ve been through it, I know that I’m strong enough to handle it.

What will be will be.

2014 is going to be a great year.

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