Coming This Fall

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A lot has changed since I last announced that I was writing a paranormal romance. I had the story all planned out; unfortunately, once I got into it, the characters had a whole ‘nother idea. In fact, the characters pretty much wrote the whole thing for me. Now, it’s just up to me to get everything finalized. (You know, edited, proofed, rewritten…all that ‘fun’ production stuff ; )

Anyway, here’s the synopsis for “The Past Rekindled,” the first book in my paranormal romance series about Terra McGinley—techwriting guru by day and tran’zr by night.

Synopsis:

I’m Terra McGinley…technical writer and tran’zr (short for transitioner to the afterlife). With Death out to get me, I don’t know what to do or who to trust.

My new tran’zr partner is tall, dark, handsome, and completely annoying. While he’s checking the rule books and noting every little infraction, I’m helping people move on–even if it means bending those rules a bit.

In the real world, I’m stuck working with my high school crush. Although he hurt and betrayed me back then, I’ve always wondered what would have happened if we had gotten together. Is it too late, or should I take the risk?

Short Blurb:

Finding love is the last thing on Terra McGinley’s mind as she divides her time between writing how-to procedures and escorting visitors to the astral plane. But when one of her charges contacts Terra and her new partner for help, they encounter Death, who has his own plans for Terra. Now she must decide who she can trust with her life and her heart – past love or new partner?

One of the issues I haven’t yet worked out is whether to use my current pen name – TA Sullivan; or my real name – Tricia Sullivan. There’s a whole controversy over using different pen names for different genres. Some say it’s better because it helps your audiences identify with you for a specific type of book. However, there’s a whole other group that believes once you have your brand established with a name you should stick with that.

I’m not sure which school of thought I identify with; however, I do know that I have a completely different issue that I keep tripping over. There is already an established author with the name Tricia Sullivan. (In fact, she and I were nearly collaborators on my first book–a different story.) I’m not sure if the duplication of names would be to her benefit/detriment or mine. So, in keeping with my current indecisiveness, my wonderful book cover designers have allowed me to put both drafts out here for your perusal. Let me know what you think…do you like it, hate it, have no opinion about it?

To say I’m excited is an understatement. But then, every time I get one of my books done I’m excited. Each book is a labor of love, because I love the book, but I also love my readers. So, I want each reader to love my creations as much as I do (an impossible dream…but then again, who knows. And that’s why I #keepwriting. ; )

 

 

 

 

The Writer’s Game – Sample 3

Shoot

(1st chapter of a romance by Anne Obert)

lips“I’m gonna count to three, and then I start shooting!” The threat echoed down the hallway as I fumbled with the door.

I twisted the knob again while yanking at the door. The hinges squealed as the door crashed open. I dashed onto the set just as the photographer raised his camera. Pete was probably one of the best commercial photographers around, but he was impatient, demanding, and cold…in a hot kind of way.

If it weren’t for his personality, I might have actually found Pete attractive. He had sapphire eyes and midnight hair, with a face that was more interesting than handsome. As for the body, well…let’s just say, I wouldn’t mind cozying up to that body. A warm shiver raced down my spine, but soon turned cold when his steely gaze pierced me, his impatience plainly visible.

I used one hand to stop the swaying of the hoop skirt on the period gown I was wearing and adjusted the low-cut bodice. We were in some museum-quality ballroom with bright filigree everywhere, and parquet floors. Several other models in satin britches or lace and satin gowns were also positioned in small groups and pairings throughout the room. This week I was selling Real Nature products, maple syrup and hot dogs. What maple syrup had to do with a fancy dress ball, I had no idea.

“Positions! Let’s go, everyone!”

I picked up the plastic bottle of maple syrup and held it out as if I were offering it to the Queen herself; then I plastered a smile on my face and began to twirl, dip, twist, and dance to Pete’s commands.

“Can you move any less gracefully? You look like a pregnant moose on roller skates…”

“No, not over there…I need you to look this way.”

“Are you always so clumsy?”

Yeah, the world of modeling was just so glamorous. If I didn’t need the money to help with my mom’s medical bills, I’d tell Pete exactly what I thought of him, I mused as I tried to contort my body into the positions he demanded. It was as if I was nothing more than another prop to him. He tugged at the dress, swatted my hand when my fingers encroached on the vendor’s label, and groused when I needed to grab a drink from my water bottle.

Four hours and two costume changes later, he said we had enough for that product. Now it was time to work on the photos for Real Nature hot dogs. Another costume change, another wig, and now we were seated around an elaborate dining room table being served Real Nature hot dogs. I tried to look enthusiastic, but truthfully, I just wanted it to be over with. The wig itched, the dress felt as if it was three sizes too small, and I really wanted to get over to the hospital and check on my mom.

 

 

WooHoo!

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VPFEMRG

The paperback is now available, and the ebook is too. And to think, it only took 25 years!

For better or for worse, it’s out there now, just waiting for readers to find it.

 

Happy reading, Friends!

Sleep, Perchance to Dream…

Everyone dreams (even those who claim they don’t, do—they simply don’t remember their dreams). But not everyone can say that their dreams come true, at least not with any regularity.

I, like the character in the television show ‘Medium’, however, do have dreams of events that later occur in my life. However, unlike Allison Dubois in ‘Medium’, the events I dream have never included murder, and the only deaths I have dreamed of are usually those of family members. Usually, though, my precognitive dreams are of much more mundane matters, those typical day-to-day events that make up normal living.

When I was a child, my dreams were filled with the banal—I would dream of a conversation taking place between one of my teachers, and one or more of the students, and the next day that exact conversation would occur. The conversation wasn’t anything Earth-shattering, or even anything all that interesting. It might be that one of the students would ask a question regarding the Battle of 1812 and the teacher would then launch into an answer—as I said, not all that interesting. Yet, my nights were filled with these types of ‘revelations’.

It became so commonplace for me to dream of the next day’s events, that sometimes I wondered what the point was of getting up and going to school just so I could go through it all again. After all, if you’ve heard the conversation once, why hear it again?

When I went on to Junior High School, one of the classes I had to take was typing. The first day of typing was horrible. I couldn’t figure it out. The finger placement seemed totally alien, and the whole rhythm of the typing itself was like some foreign music that I simply didn’t understand. That night I dreamt of nothing but my fingers flying across the keyboard and the words magically appearing on the paper. The rhythm was no longer foreign, but seemed a part of my soul.

The next day when I stepped into typing class, my heart was racing, and I was sure everyone would be laughing at me again, as my fingers stumbled over the keystrokes. Instead, when the teacher told us to start typing the exercise, I was the first one done, and with absolutely no mistakes. I couldn’t believe it. Then I remembered the nightlong dream filled with typing, and realized that this time, my prophetic dream was actually an astral visit where I taught myself how to type—literally overnight. That’s when I began to see some use to these dreams I kept having. If I could teach myself to type while dreaming, maybe I could ‘memorize’ the answers to the tests in a dream and save myself from having to study.

As much as I would have liked to have ‘learned through dreams’, that wasn’t to be. Instead, my dreams took another giant leap forward in a different direction. Now, I started dreaming of what was to happen to my friends, and family. But these dreams weren’t just for the next day. In fact, they were usually weeks, maybe months, into the future.

I remember seeing my father decked out in his uniform and being handed some official-looking piece of paper by an officer while surrounded by others from his department, and they, too, were all dressed in their formal uniforms. It was all filled with a lot of pomp and circumstance and I kept seeing the letters SGT.

Well, about a month later, my dad announced that his captain had selected him to take the sergeant’s exam. I told my dad that he would do great, and he simply gave me an indulgent smile. He knew that I had no idea how difficult the exam was, but then my dad didn’t know what I did, either—that I had already seen him being awarded the promotion.

As I said at the start, the dreams of death aren’t often, and they usually pertain to someone close to me—uncle, aunt, grandparent, etc. The most memorable dream I had in this capacity involved my uncle, Uncle M. He was one of my favorites, being a scholar-cast artisan, we got along quite well. He taught me all about photography, and nature, he let me spend hours sitting in his workshop while he turned ordinary pieces of wood into beautiful guitars.

One night when I was 14, I saw my uncle walk out of his front door and down the walkway toward his car, which was in the driveway. It was early morning in the dream, and he turned and gave a little wave to his wife (my dad’s sister). Then, as he turned back toward the car, he blew up. There was a flash of flame, the sound of an explosion, and then nothing. I sat straight up in bed, panting, and overwrought.

It took me several hours to calm down, and when I finally went back to sleep, I found myself dreaming of my uncle again. This time he was in his uniform (he worked for one of the large airlines as a chef—this was at the time when they still served real meals on air flights), and for some reason he was walking across the tarmac toward one of the large jets sitting there. I saw myself running after him, yelling for him to stop, but he didn’t seem to hear me and continued walking away from me. Just as he reached the stairs going up to the plane, the plane exploded killing my uncle.

Again, I sat up, but this time I turned on all the lights and refused to go back to sleep. I watched the clock as it the time crept toward morning, all the while dreading the news that I was sure would come with dawn. But dawn came and the phone remained silent, and nothing happened.

Each morning for the next two weeks, I would awaken early and wait, dreading the news that I was sure would come. And for two weeks, nothing happened. Finally, I convinced myself that it had simply been a dream, and everything was fine, and I stopped hovering near the phone at the crack of dawn.

2 months later, I came home from school to a saddened household. My mother told me that Uncle M. had died that morning as he was leaving for work. He had gone out to the car and had a massive coronary—his heart had literally exploded—killing him instantly. I was horrified. I hadn’t said anything to anyone about my dream, because it seemed so silly. Yet, at the same time, I had believed in it enough to wait for that horrid phone call every morning for 2 weeks. Now, I kept wondering if I should have said something—after all, maybe I could have prevented his death. Maybe if I had said something, he could have seen a doctor, gotten a magic pill, or one of those operations that people had when their hearts were bad. Instead, I had done nothing.

For the longest time, I refused to allow myself to dream. I didn’t want to know what was going to happen—good or bad. I mean, what good was it, when I couldn’t stop good people from dying? As for the good news, well, most of the time is wasn’t all that good, it was simply mundania from every day life.

After about 3 years, though, I realized how cut off I felt. It was as if part of me had been imprisoned. There was vital information out there that I wasn’t getting because I wouldn’t allow myself to, and I realized that I didn’t like the feeling. I needed, and I wanted that information—no matter how mundane it may seem. Somehow, those dreams kept me in contact with the whole world, with the universe at large. Without those dreams, I was deaf, dumb, and blind in a world full of sharp edges and unexpected pitfalls.

By allowing the dreams back into my waking life, I’ve allowed myself to link up with and interact with many more people than I would have ever had the chance to meet here in the physical world. Because by allowing my waking self to remember my dreams again, I also allow myself to remember all the astral visits I make.

I’ve also allowed myself to remember those prophetic dreams again, and even though they may not allow me to stop things from happening, they do give me ample ‘warning’ so that the choices I make in response to the events aren’t made strictly through emotions. There’s a bit of thought and contemplation behind those choices, which helps me stay on the best path for me.

I’ve warned myself when I’m entering a new lesson, or when someone else has made a choice that I wasn’t expecting and which is going to affect me, and they have continued to alert me to those around me who are going to die. But that’s alright, because you see, I’ve come to understand that death is just another aspect of life, and everyone has to experience both sides of that coin—life and death. Knowing about someone’s choices ahead of time, simply lets me be a bit more prepared, that’s all.