Available in paperback and ebook at Amazon and most online book sellers.
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?
Read the book to find out.
I WISHED LIFE came with ‘do overs,’ especially today. Not that today was a bad day. Oh, no. Today was nothing short of a disaster.
The general din of the Jefferson City Memorial Airport surrounded me, but I barely noticed; not even when the overhead speakers blared their announcements. I was simply too lost in the turmoil of my own thoughts.
The one day when I really needed things to run smoothly, everything that could go wrong, did. I slumped in my seat and dug out my phone. I hit the speed dial for LeA, my best friend, and waited while the call connected.
I’ve known LeAnne Zayne (LeA for short) forever. Besides being my best friend, she is an actress, dancer, musician, writer, and all-around artiste.
“Terra,” her bubbly personality spilled out through the phone. “What’s up?”
Just hearing her voice was like a warm hug. “Oh, LeA,” I sighed.
“Uh-oh. Tell me all about it.”
“Where to begin. It was as if I was cursed or something. Nothing went right today.” I could hear the whininess in my voice and I hated myself for it, but at the same time, it felt good to have someone I could tell my woes to.
“It couldn’t have been that bad, Honey.”
“Oh yes, it could.” I went on to tell her about the power outage at the hotel, which meant no coffee and having to put my make-up on in the dark.
“Then the cab driver got lost.” I stood and stalked across the airport waiting area, the heel of my Ferragamo flats tapping on the tile. “What kind of cab driver does that? I mean, aren’t they supposed to know the city they drive in?”
Noticing that some of the other nearby people were eyeing me warily, I calmed myself and walked back to my seat while LeA made commiserating noises. Sitting again, I crossed my jean-clad knees and straightened the collar of my silk blouse nervously.
“I called Bellman’s and spoke with the project manager who was coordinating the meeting to tell him I was going to be late. He told me it was okay, but I could hear the frustration in his voice.”
“But you finally got there, right? And I’m sure you knocked ‘em out with your presentation.”
“That’s the thing, though. I don’t think any of them even heard my presentation. They were too busy staring at their phones.” I uncrossed my legs and tugged at the sleeve of my wool tweed blazer.
“Well, there’s only one way to handle phone zombies.”
“Yeah, what’s that?”
“Cat videos. No one can resist cat videos. If you would have included a cat video in your presentation, not only would you have gotten their attention, but I guarantee they would have hired you.”
I shook my head, a smile blooming on my face. “I’ll remember that for next time.”
“You do that. In the meantime, I’m sorry that things didn’t work out.”
“I was really counting on that contract, LeA. Without it, I’m not sure me and my fledgling company, TM Communications, are gonna make it.”
“I know how hard you worked to get Bellman’s to give you a chance. But I’m sure there will be other companies…better companies who can’t wait to have you share your expertise with them.”
“I certainly hope so.”
“Just remember the cat videos.”
I heard her phone buzz. “I’m sorry, but it’s my agent calling. I have to take this.”
Still smiling, I hung up and put the phone back in my purse. I glanced at the flight schedule board—no change, my flight was still listed as running late.
Sitting back in my chair, I reseated the headband on my shoulder-length mop of red curls. The headband did little to tame the curls, but at least they weren’t in my face. My foot jiggled impatiently as I waited for my flight home to Chicago.
“Cat videos,” I muttered, still smiling.
An older man gave me an odd glance before moving to a chair a little further away from me. I shook my head and tried to still my foot, which was jiggling again. I straightened my shoulders and pulled myself more upright. My father always said, “McGinley’s were full of Irish spit and fire.” Which meant, we don’t give up. I just needed to find another way to get what I wanted.
When the boarding call for my flight came, I grabbed the handle of my case and joined the herd of other passengers. Like cattle, we funneled through the gate and onto the plane.
I admired the tush of the rugged-looking young man in front of me. He glanced over his shoulder, and I smiled. I briefly thought about getting better acquainted with the owner of those delicious looking buns, but then reality nudged me in the shape of a small, tow-headed child who had somehow managed to evade its mother. I grabbed at the seat back in front of me to keep my balance, and the child scampered past.
“Mom, down here,” he yelled. “Here, we’re down here,” and he proceeded to clamber across the person seated in the middle of the row.
I rubbed at the back of my knees where the child and I had collided, and then returned to scanning the seat numbers for row 18 on this overcrowded flight.
Eighteen. There it was, just ahead. Hmmm, maybe someone was trying to tell me something. Row 18 on the 18th. And it was eighteen months ago today when I quit my corporate job and set myself up as an independent technical writing and communications guru with my own company.
I wondered whether it was a good omen or a bad one…or maybe it meant nothing at all. I smiled at that. Omen or no, I would keep my little company going somehow. Right now, I was staying afloat by taking small contracts here and there, but I really needed something more substantial…like a contract with Bellman’s.
Landing this job today would have made the difference between struggling to survive and at least breaking even. However, since that didn’t pan out, I would just have to keep working with the different consulting firms in the Chicago area until another opportunity came along.
When I came to my row, I swung my case into the overhead bin. (Being five-foot-six, it was easier for me than for some.) I then ducked into my row and out of the flow of traffic as I watched Mr. Cute Tush continue down the aisle. A large, heavyset man barged past me and his bulk pushed me further into the row. I stumbled past the first two seats and dropped into the window seat. The same large man who had shoved past me, now jostled my seat as he bullied his way into the seat directly behind mine.
It’s going to be a long trip, I thought.