Little Red Gem
by DL Richardson
Love can make you do crazy things as Ruby Parker discovers when she dies and returns from the grave to unearth how much Leo Culver loved her. With the aid of bad advice from a ghost who is trapped by a curse, a little bit of magic courtesy of her unsuspecting half-sister, and a televised music talent show coming to town to hold auditions, Ruby Parker makes more of a mess in death than she ever did in life. Can she fix everything before it’s too late? Or will she spend eternity as a ghost, haunted by the unknown depths of love? Either way, one thing Ruby learns is that while love can make you do crazy things, it can make you do amazing things too. But at what cost?
… “You all right?” Leo said. “You look a little shaken.”
I stared at him and thought to myself: No, I am not all right.
Two weeks ago I’d skipped my period. Since then I hadn’t been able to look at anything the same way. A burger was no longer a tasty lunch; it was an animal that had once lived. A black bear was no longer a pest who broke into trash cans; it was a product of a species that placed material objects above that species’ home. All of my innocent and inept teenage philosophies about life and death and everything in between had come barging towards me demanding I set down some new rules. The top of the list of discussion points was: When did a boyfriend stop being a boyfriend?
I hadn’t yet decided on the answer but the top two contenders were, 1) when he became a father, and 2) when he found out his girlfriend was pregnant and became an ex-boyfriend.
Why did the first adult decision of my life have to also be the biggest? And why, despite the two smiling faces captured in the photos stashed deep in my bag, did it feel as if this decision was mine alone to make?
Overwhelmed, I burst into tears. Leo slipped his arms around me and hugged me tightly to his chest.
“Hey, it’s okay. We weren’t in any kind of danger. Those cars were way off. But babe, if it makes you feel any better, I promise not to drive and talk on the phone at the same time. You know I’ll do whatever it takes to make you happy.”
As Leo led me back to the car I let myself believe that our souls and hearts were like grafted plants or symbiotic life forces, too deeply entwined to let anyone or anything threaten to destroy us. But something already had.
An Interview With the Author
1.Readers love to get to know authors. Please tell us about growing up. Siblings? Locale? Were you the shy kid or the tomboy? Share anything that lets readers get to know the real you.
I have Irish ancestry and Irish families tend to be big. Growing up my house was always crowded. I had to share a room with my sister until I was 16. At one stage, there were my parents, my four siblings, three dogs, a cat, a budgie, and three mice living in our house. I was very shy around people I didn’t know, but teachers in school used to get me to stand up in front of the school and give speeches at school presentations or I’d be volunteered to be the student to go and thank the hosts of the venue where we’d go camping. I’m thankful they did this, because it kind of squeezed all the shyness out of me. I was then able to go from hiding in the choir to singing up front of the school rock band. I wouldn’t say I was a tomboy but I grew up with 3 brothers so I knew how to kick a ball and ride a bike and roller skate, though I am incredibly clumsy so I stuck to reading books or playing with my animal farm toys.
2.Who are your favorite authors and favorite genres?
Favorite authors are Dean Koontz and Marian Keyes. I tend to judge a favorite author by the number of books they have that I’ve read. Whereas a favorite book can be a book I love but I may not have read anything else by that author. Some of my favorite books are The Outsiders, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Hunger Games, just to name a few.
Favorite genres are paranormal, speculative fiction, horror, soft science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy. I also like action and thrillers.
3.How many books do you read a month? What are you reading now?
Depends on the size of the book. Some books I’ll devour in a few days, maybe a week. But it can take me a month to get through a large fantasy novel because I’m usually writing for as many hours as I can manage, as well as reading for as many hours as I can manage. I’m currently reading Magician by Raymond E Feist. It’s a big book. I’m reading a few pages at a time, and then picking up the laptop to write a few pages at a time. I try to have non writing days so I’ll read through a few chapters. I’m also trying to read more non-fiction such as journals and magazines to further broaden my reading.
4.When you’re not writing, what’s your favorite way to relax and recharge? Hobbies?
I like to go camping to unwind and relax. There is something incredibly relaxing about gazing out across a landscape that is invigorating. It’s also a really good way for me to take a break from writing, because I get a bit obsessive and nobody likes an obsessed person – we tend to get annoying. I also like to play guitar and piano, or listen to music. You’ll find me with the car stereo cranked up loud singing along to the tunes. Walking my dog is the other thing I regularly dog. I love walking my dog. I am a huge introvert, in that I recharge my batteries through solitary confinement. So most of my hobbies are things I do on my own.
5.Would you like to share any guilty pleasures that feed your muse?
I have DVD marathons. My favorite series to watch are Supernatural and Sex and the City – I know, so totally in different realms. But I watch back to back TV shows and this somehow feeds my motivation to keep writing. I guess I harbor a secret desire to one day write a TV show. And sometimes I have a DVD marathon with a friend over wine and food, or sometimes I have a DVD marathon with face mask, nail polish, wine and chocolate.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Music first captured the creative interest of young adult author D L Richardson. From choir, to her first acoustic guitar at age ten, to singing with the school band and performing in school musicals. When she left school she helped form her own rock band where she sang lead vocals, played bass guitar, and wrote all the lyrics. At age 26 she sold her equipment and focused on writing instead. She now has three novels and one short story anthology published.
Little Red Gem is a tribute to her former life as a musician and contains some of the author’s actual experiences, though she has never entered a national singing competition to capture the attention of the boy she loves. It is also a tribute to those brave young women who charge forward in pursuit of their dreams.
She lives in Australia on the NSW South Coast with her husband and dog. When she's not writing or reading she can be found playing her piano or guitars, renovating the house, or walking her dog.
Create Space https://www.createspace.com/4465741
Book Depository http://www.bookdepository.com/Little-Red-Gem-Richardson/9781492939924
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