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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Beyond the Book: Weddings

Welcome to Beyond the Book. My name is Peyton O'Malley, and I was Elaine's heroine in Rest Thy Head. June was traditionally the month for weddings, so I decided to show you my wedding dress and the ones my bridesmaids wore.  The skirt is what sold me on this dress. It's so flirty and cute.

Oh, yeah, Elaine offered a book to someone who commented on last week's post. Her grandson drew the name Amy Hart out of the hat.

What about you, readers? What colors did you use? Did you have a big ceremony? A romantic honeymoon? Leave a comment.

Bridal gown:

Bridesmaid:"Bridesmaid and junior bridesmaid" by Nils Fretwurst Fretwurst - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons -

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Snippet Sunday and Weekend Writing Warriors

Welcome to Snippet Sunday and Weekend Writing Warriors, your chance to sample the works of a talented group of authors. I've been sharing excerpts from Return Engagement. To recap, my hero and heroine met on a beach ten years after his father broke them up. There's still a great attraction between them. The only problem is that she's engaged to another man. They've had hot dogs at a beachfront cafe and he won her a stuffed cat at a carnival. They've just left the shooting gallery, and she asked him if he was blushing after she bragged on him.

The color in Richard’s face deepened. “I don’t think so. It’s just the lights.”

“Oh, yes you are! You always used to blush when I teased you. Did I embarrass you?”

Richard ducked his head, a little gesture of vulnerability that probably sent her blood pressure sky high. “All right, my face does feel a little warm” he admitted, “but no, you didn’t embarrass me. It’s...well it’s kind of nice to have you flirt with me and brag on me. I’m surprised how bad I wanted to
show off and win that cat for you.”

Return Engagement is available at Amazon or at

Saturday Sample: Blue 52

Welcome to Saturday Sample. I'm continuing today where I left off last week in Blue 52. If you'd like to read last week's post to refresh your memory, you can find it hereBasically, we've learned that the senator's son Richard was the President of the US. He and his wife are dead, and their bodies will have to be relocated because a high tech train line needs to go through the cemetery. We also learned that the senator has arthritis. Here we go with that excerpt. At the end we finally get to meet our hero Hank, the president's son.

What did Grant know? He’d complain if he wanted to.

He sat down behind his desk and stared at a conspicuously displayed photo of his son, Richard. The photo had been taken on inauguration day. Richard’s wife Elizabeth stood at his side, looking so beautiful that even now it made his heart ache to see her.

Her face glowed with pride and happiness. How could anyone believe that two years later she would kill Richard and take her own life? “They’re all wrong,” he muttered as he made a gesture of repugnance. “I don’t care what anyone says; she did not shoot him.”

He removed a well-worn scrapbook from its place in the bottom drawer, caressing its smooth, cool surface. When he opened the scrapbook, Richard’s face laughed up at him. The photo had been taken right after his grandson, Hank, was born. This was exactly the way he remembered Richard, laughing and happy, his eyes alight with life and promise.

The whole family had celebrated Hank’s birth. Richard and Elizabeth had tried for years to have a baby. They had seen a lot of fertility specialists, but they’d almost given up hope when Elizabeth found out she was pregnant with Hank. Oh, yeah, he’d never forget those days. “The king of the world,” he muttered. “I felt like the king of the world.”

He turned the pages one by one as he had done so many times before. No matter how often he looked at the scrapbook, he never grew tired of it. Pausing on page five, he studied one of his favorite pictures. It had been taken on Richard and Elizabeth’s wedding day. I’m ninety-eight years old now, and I’ve never seen two people as much in love as they were.

The little half smile on his face faded as his old eyes glazed. It can’t be too much longer before I see Richard again; I can’t wait to find out what really happened that night. He supposed his faith required him to forgive whoever had murdered his son and daughter-in-law, but he daily prayed the perpetrator would burn in hell forever.

He flipped to the back of the scrapbook. God, I hate this part! He had thought of destroying the offensive newspaper articles, but without them, the record would be incomplete. President Lovinggood Murdered!the first headline screamed. First Lady Kills the Presidenttrumpeted another in huge, black letters.

Unwilling to read any more, he turned back to the front of the scrapbook. Look, there was a good picture of Richard and Joan taken in their Halloween costumes. Richard must have been five or six at the time. They looked so much alike some people had thought they were twins, but Richard was two years older than Joan. He remembered that Richard hadn’t wanted his little sister to

“Put that damned thing away!” a strident, furious voice demanded from the door.
Elaine Lovinggood, the senator’s wife, had gone red- faced with anger. “Why are you torturing yourself, Henry? I told you not to look at it anymore.”


“I don’t want to hear it.”


“Be quiet, Henry!” She slapped the door with the flat of 
her hand and made the senator jump. “I loved Richard as much as you did, but he’s dead, and no amount of mourning in the world can bring him back. You’ve wasted the last thirty years grieving for our dead son, and I can’t take it anymore.” Her voice rose again. “For the love of God, don’t ruin the last days of our lives!”

The senator tossed the scrapbook into the drawer and slammed it shut. Elaine’s high blood pressure constantly worried him, and her doctor described her heart as a ticking time bomb. It wouldn’t do to upset her.

“I didn’t mean to worry you,” he apologized. “I started thinking about Richard after Morton Williams called.”

“What did he want? He’s a slimy, slithery slug if you ask me.”

Elaine had always loved words. She had a huge vocabulary and especially enjoyed using alliteration. In fact, she and Richard had had some kind of word game they used to play. The last time they all dined together, she and Richard had tried to play the game using the letter x, but both of them had to admit defeat.

“Williams was calling to tell me that Richard and Elizabeth will be disinterred on November twenty-third. We’ll have to make arrangements for them."

The fire died in Elaine’s eyes as she sank down on the sofa in front of the fireplace, her mouth a drooping, thin line in her wrinkled face. “Why couldn’t I have just died myself and gotten it over with? I’d rather die than see those coffins come out of the ground.” She glared at the senator. “You’d
better not get all worked up.”

The senator flushed, feeling like a schoolboy caught in some kind of mischief. She always made him feel this way when she criticized him. “I...”

Elaine turned toward the hallway when she heard the front door slam. “Hank’s home.” 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Check Out the Second Edition of A New Dream

The second edition of A New Dream is ready for purchase. Don't you love the cover. A New Dream was one of those books that grabbed me and wouldn't let go. As I made a video for the book, I started to sympathize so much with my hero that what I'd done to him almost broke my heart!

Here's the first part of the prologue.


The red convertible cut a path through the moonlight, its headlights dancing along the arched limbs of the trees above the road.

“Oh, Matt, it’s such a beautiful night,” Stacey declared with a sigh. “I’m going to miss you when you leave tomorrow.”

Matt reached for her hand and brought it to his lips. “I’ll miss you too, but if I don’t report on time, I’m in trouble with the coach.”

“That’s what I get for falling in love with a pro football player,” Stacey teased, her blonde hair turned to frosted silver by the light of the full moon above them.

Matt squeezed her hand that wore his engagement ring. “It’s too late to back out now,” he said with a smile. “You’re mine.”

“Mmm, do I like the sound of that!”

The car rounded a curve, and without warning a deer bounded across the road. “Look out!” Stacey screamed.

Matt braked sharply to avoid the animal. The tires slid on a patch of loose gravel in the road, and he lost control of the convertible. It fishtailed and started to spin in the road.

Matt hauled the steering wheel to correct the slide, but it was useless. The car turned around once more and skidded backwards for a short distance before it charged off the road. It jumped a steep ditch and went airborne. All Matt could see was a blur of trees and darkness as the car careened into the woods. It made a lazy turn in the air and came to rest bottom side up.

The last thing he remembered was the sound of Stacey’s screams. 

Buy link:

The book is also available at most all online retail outlets.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Living in Shadows

Jessica Freeburg


Vivian is able to see things other people can’t.  Things like shadows that move without a maker and hover over people, feeding their depression and fueling their self-destruction.  She also sees kind spirits, guiding and guarding their loved ones against the shadows.
When Vivian’s mother and brother die in an accident, the only option is to reunite with her estranged father at his new home in another state.  Unfortunately, there are shadows in the house, and Vivian tries to avoid them during this time of heartache and anger.  Her brother’s spirit warns about an especially strong shadow at the top of the stairs, one inhabiting the bedroom of a girl who disappeared fifteen months ago.
Once the spirit of the missing girl reaches out to Vivian, she learns the girl was murdered in that bedroom while staring into the eyes of a trusted person possessed by the shadows.  The girl’s spirit is restless, her undiscovered body lies buried in a shallow grave, not far from Vivian’s home.
With her brother’s assistance, Vivian searches for answers in hope the girl’s spirit can move on.  But the shadows are intent on protecting the killer’s identity.  They stalk Vivian.  Her life depends on releasing her own pain and anger, because the shadows won’t stop until she stops searching…or until death finds her too.

Vivian’s feet planted on the second step from the landing, causing her father to stop abruptly to avoid crashing into her back.
Rebecca was still walking toward the room. “I’ve always thought this pink room would be perfect for a girl.”
“Stay away from the door, Vivian. This shadow is evil. You can’t let it know you can see it!” Thane disappeared before the dark spirit could see him speaking to Vivian.
“Where’s your bedroom?” Vivian pretended not to know as she turned toward her father.
“It’s just at the end of the hallway,” he replied pointing away from the room where Rebecca was standing in the open doorway. She’d already flipped the light on. Pale pink wallpaper dotted with tiny white and fuchsia flowers burst into view behind her.
A shadowy figure darted across the dimly lit room like a large, black dog rushing to examine an unfamiliar house guest, pausing just inches from Rebecca. It was at least a foot taller than her, even as it stood in front of her hunched over awkwardly, partially hidden from Vivian’s view by the bedroom wall flanking the doorway in which her stepmother stood. Its head cocked sharply to one side as it seethed like an angry cat.
Vivian wanted to scream for Rebecca to get out of that room. Instead, she took a deep breath and said calmly, “If you don’t mind, I’d like to have a room closer to yours.”
Rebecca and her father exchanged looks. Vivian held her breath, while the vaporous shadow figure reached a jagged, bone-thin finger toward Rebecca’s face and gently stroked her cheek, its bulk still partly obscured by the wall that separated the room from the hallway. Rebecca shifted her gaze to Vivian, unaware of the touch.
Most people never knew the spirits were present. They didn’t hear them, they didn’t feel them, and they didn’t see them like Vivian did. Sometimes Vivian wished she was one of those people. Life would be so much simpler.
“Of course.” Rebecca flipped the light off as she stepped out of the doorway. The vapor sucked itself sharply back into the shadows of the room. An unearthly shriek pierced Vivian’s ears as Rebecca pulled the door shut behind her.
“We just thought you might like a bit more privacy, but there’s a room right next to ours.” Rebecca smiled at James as she walked past the stairs where Vivian’s body had rooted itself.
Vivian closed her eyes against the high-pitched screeching, as if not seeing would somehow stop her hearing, as well.

Buy Links:


Barnes & Noble

Clean Reads

Author Bio:

Jessica Freeburg has always been inquisitive and loves the challenges of all that life, and the afterlife, has to offer. Her fascination with history and the paranormal fuels many of her creative works. She embraces the fringe and relishes in the examination of what others may take for granted. As the founder of Ghost Stories, Inc., Jessica has performed paranormal investigations at a variety of reportedly haunted locations. LIVING IN SHADOWS: BOOK ONE OF THE SHADOWS SERIES is her debut novel. Her second book, a middle grade nonfiction about the Holocaust will be released in the fall of 2016. She is a news correspondent for the wildly popular paranormal radio show DARKNESS RADIO. She also serves on the editorial staff of FATE Magazine and is the Assistant Regional Advisor for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators for the state of Minnesota. In addition to writing books, she enjoys working in screenwriting and documentary production. She lives in Lakeville, MN with her husband and three children.

Social Media Links:

Twitter: @jessicafreeburg 
Author Website:
Ghost Stories, Inc. Website:

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Beyond the Book

Hi, my name is Peyton O'Malley, and I was Elaine's heroine in Rest Thy Head. I have to admit that my first meeting with Jake Douglas didn't go over too well. In fact, it was downright unpleasant. I'll share that excerpt with you, and then if you leave a comment telling me how you and your significant other met, I'll put your name in the pot to win a copy of Rest Thy Head. I'll give everyone a week to get their comments in, so next Tuesday I'll announce the winner. 

She entered the barn, a big white structure with a center aisle and stalls on either side. Just inside the door she saw a dark-­haired man dressed in jeans and a long-­sleeved, plaid shirt brushing a pretty chestnut mare.

“Hi,” she called.

The man half turned toward her; wow, he had blue eyes to die for. The blue was so intense that it reminded her of a blue diamond she’d seen at the jewelry store. Oh, and look at those shoulders. If there was one thing she loved, it was a pair of nice shoulders. Yummy. He was just yummy. “Yeah?” he asked, his voice abrupt and snappy.

“I’m Peyton O’Malley. I’m supposed to meet Patrick for a ride.”

“He isn’t here yet. You can sit on the bench under that tree outside and wait for him there.”

Instead of leaving the barn, Peyton stepped toward the man. “What a beautiful ... horse.”

The man quickly averted his face, but Peyton had seen the dreadful red scars that covered the entire left side of his face. They looked like burns. “I told you to wait outside,” he growled, scowling at her with the good side of his face. “Get moving.”

Peyton’s lips pressed together in a thin line. How dare he speak so rudely to her! Anyone would have looked twice when they first saw his scars. She stalked outside without another word.