Thursday, April 27, 2017

Blog Tour for Naomi









EXCERPT 1-
Naomi

She sensed it before she heard the news. She could feel it deep in her bones. All night long she had tossed and turned, unable to find sleep.
Nick.
“No,” Naomi wailed into her pillow, pounding her fists.
No.  But, of course, she knew it was true. After all, she had a sixth sense about things such as this.  Damn, Nick. Why? How?
It had been several months since she had taken in his disheveled form, those cowardly eyes scanning her face, pleading for forgiveness from the other side of the depressing, stained, plastic divider at the county jail.  
Forgiveness that was difficult to give, although she had been working on it.  Too late, Nick. It’s way too late for you now. Part of Naomi’s heart ached for Nick’s troubled soul. For the troubled child he had once been.
Another part turned cold as she conjured up his face in her mind. As she had woken from a fitful night’s sleep, the image of Nick crying out, lost in the empty dark place where challenged souls lacked peace and closure, was too overwhelming to dismiss as a bad dream.
“Bryce.” Naomi spoke his name aloud, even though her fiancĂ© was most likely sound asleep at his house just up the dirt road.
She needed Bryce.
But Naomi knew Bryce would have to wait.  Right after her first cup of coffee, she would have to call Officer Marty to confirm the facts of what she already knew to be true.
How had it happened? Possibilities swirled through her mind. Endless scenarios came forth. It could be anything. Nick had been doing time for his part in the cover-up of Maggie Field’s death. Prisons could be dangerous, particularly for someone like Nick, a man who struggled to keep his emotions in check and often had difficulty conforming to the rules.
One with a dark, menacing presence.
One with attitude.
Memories of the not so distant past slammed Naomi. Images of Ryan and Maggie . . .
Maggie.
The ghost that had all but consumed her. Maggie had reached out to Naomi, demanding peace. Naomi admitted to herself that she had become obsessed at that time in her life. Preoccupied with putting both Maggie and Ryan to rest. Luckily, Bryce was loyal and patient to the core during the first hectic months of their new relationship.
What would he say now, knowing that a spirit was back? Knowing that this time it wasn’t the sweet spirit of a girl named Maggie or a quirky, kindhearted man that needed her help?
This time it was worse, far worse.
This time the spirit was unsettled, tortured—and to make matters even more daunting . . .  
He was her ex-boyfriend.
Would Bryce be as understanding about Nick as he had been with Maggie and Ryan? Hopping up out of her bed to make her cup of coffee, Naomi figured she was about to find out.  

***
Moments after she hung up the phone with her friend, Officer Miriam Marty, Naomi reached for her coffee mug but then placed it back on the counter with a gentle thud.
Damn, Nick.
Miriam had confirmed Naomi’s worst suspicions and provided the bare facts surrounding Nick’s death.
He was, indeed, dead. But the strange thing about it was that it appeared to have been intentional on his part. It was too early to say, but Miriam suspected that traces of drugs would be found in his system.
An overdose? Could he have intentionally taken his own life? No, that didn’t sound right. Then again, how well did Naomi even know Nick anymore? For that matter, how well had she ever known him? Naomi supposed it was easy enough for an inmate to have the means to obtain drugs. And, let’s face it, prison life could be grueling.
No, no. Something didn’t feel right about this. Nick’s sentence was only to last just a few more weeks, why would he purposely harm himself? As Naomi tried to make sense of the news, she paced the floor. Zelda, her loyal feline companion, weaved in and out of her legs as Naomi stopped and grabbed her coffee mug from the table.
Sharp rapping on the door startled Naomi, causing her to spill her coffee on her blouse. “Shoot!”
Voicing her own displeasure at nearly being stepped on, Zelda screeched as she tore into the living room. Naomi snatched a napkin, wiping at her top as she made her way to the door.
“Are you ready?” Bryce raised an eyebrow as Naomi stepped to the side to allow him through the front door. He leaned over and placed a quick kiss on her forehead.
“Ready?”
“Ah, yes. Remember? We were going to grab a bite and then head over to the trail for a walk?”
Yes. That’s right. She and Bryce had plans this morning. With everything going on, she had clearly forgotten.
“I . . . I’m so sorry. Give me a minute to change my shirt. Sit, I’ll be right back.” She scurried up the stairs to her bedroom to change. This could be a good thing, the time alone with Bryce. His young daughter, Holly, was in school, and she could have Bryce’s full attention.
Dressed in a clean shirt, Naomi sprinted down the stairs and grabbed her sneakers. She attempted her best smile as she tied the laces. “Almost ready,” Naomi managed.
“What’s with you? Why are you out of breath?” Bryce cocked his head as he studied Naomi.
“Just excited to spend the morning with you,” she offered a bit too cheerily, glancing up at him as she felt nagging guilt rise in her throat. He wouldn’t be happy about the news regarding Nick, and that was putting it mildly. He simply couldn’t even begin to understand. He would tell her to leave it alone, not to get caught up in somebody else’s problems.
Naomi swallowed hard and gripped Bryce’s warm hand as they made their way to his truck. Once inside, Naomi glanced at her fiancĂ© and then gazed down at her lap.
“Bryce?” she whispered.
Concern etched his handsome face. “What is it? What’s wrong?” He reached for her hands.
“We need to talk.”

EXCERPT 2-

Streaming sunlight filtered across the room, waking her gently. Incredibly enough, Nick had not graced Naomi with his presence during the night. Nor had she been plagued by nightmares. Who cared why she was given a reprieve, she would take it. After the night she had shared with Bryce, she felt positive about their future. All thoughts of Genna were long gone. The time alone with Bryce was exactly what they had both needed.  
“You know what, Nick?” she called out, feeling refreshed. “I’m not afraid of you. We’ll deal with this unfortunate situation and then you’ll leave me to get on with my life.”
She was met with silence. Hm. Where was he? And for that matter, where did ghosts go when they weren’t lurking around?
“Well, fine. I’m pretty sure you can hear me. I have a book to write, and an appointment to make.” Shaking her head slightly, Naomi chuckled as she considered what others would think of her walking around talking to herself.
It was too early to call the doctor’s office, but never too early for a cup of coffee. Coffee first, then she needed to make up for the time she had lost with her writing yesterday.
Words flowed seamlessly as Naomi made the most of her upbeat mood. After practically begging for an appointment with Nick’s doctor, which she had no luck securing on such short notice, she had received a follow-up call stating there was a last minute cancellation for a late afternoon appointment. She would need to figure out the best questions to ask. She couldn’t just come right out and ask what he knew about Nick’s supposed drug problem.
Seconds had slipped to minutes and now Naomi realized she had completely lost track of time as at least a half hour had passed. Nick had invaded her thoughts and interrupted her writing once more. Gone was her carefree mood. Nick, tell me what you need me to do.
It wasn’t that easy and she knew it. Even Maggie’s kind soul had such difficulty conveying her thoughts to Naomi. Maggie had spoken in riddles and then she had eventually pieced together the clues and solved the puzzle of her death. Nick was being a tyrant. He projected his words more forcefully and in a more direct way. Then why the hell couldn’t he just come out and speak to her, tell her what happened?
A chill prickled Naomi’s scalp as she heard a strange noise. She turned around, instantly locating her cat across the room. It was coming from upstairs and it sure as hell wasn’t Zelda making that racket.
With each approaching step Naomi took up the stairs, the sounds grew louder. One of the voices she detected sounded an awful lot like a woman. No, not just any woman, but Maggie. Or rather, a distorted version of Maggie.
Afraid of what she would find when she walked into her bedroom, Naomi tried to steady her thumping heart. She would need to confront Nick and his demons head-on.
He stood holding his head, wailing. She heard Maggie screaming, she heard Ryan, and yes, Nick. What was she witnessing? The only person in the room other than her was Nick. But how was he doing this?
He faced her, eyes black and soulless. Sucking in her breath, she walked backward toward the door.
“Oh no, you don’t,” Nick’s words boomed. “You get to join me in the fun.” His sick eyes gleamed as his hand reached out for her. Sucked back into the center of the bedroom, she fell to the ground with the force of Nick’s spirit pushing her. Now it was just her and Nick, the other voices a play on his thoughts—a trick of the mind.
“No, no . . .” she wailed, crying out for someone to help her.
Beside her, Nick sat on the floor. She could feel him there, but was afraid to look. Heavy arms pulled her into his dark embrace.
And then she saw what plagued his troubled mind. She saw, from his point of view, Maggie and Ryan falling to their deaths from that high cliff, his hand reaching out. He was too late. She felt the depth of his fear, his grief.  The images he had shared with Naomi sucked her down into her own place of bleak despair.
Darkness dissipated and her ragged breathing slowed. He had been gone for minutes, she knew that, but she wasn’t ready to open her eyes. He wouldn’t make this easy for her. He would make her suffer, just as he had. Nick would make Naomi feel every ounce of the pain he had experienced, even more if he could muster it.
He could make it so much easier on both of them. She knew he could.
But he wouldn’t.
It was to be a game of cat and mouse. Just how long would he make her suffer?






Character Interview- POV of Bryce


DDB: It’s wonderful to get a chance to sit down and talk, Bryce. It seems you and Naomi have been at it again, getting wrapped up in the spirit world, that is. Tell me about it.


Bryce: Well, I think Naomi would all the credit there. She’s the one who attracts these lost souls.  It’s as if she’s a magnet for the paranormal. Seems like every time I think things will quiet down, another spirit turns to Naomi, seeking closure.


DDB: Is that a bad thing?


Bryce:  (laughs) Actually, I hate to admit it, but no. I think one of the very things that drew me to Naomi is her gentle, generous soul. I believe that’s why these lost souls gravitate toward her.  And, hey- life never gets boring, that’s for sure.


DDB: I can only imagine. Without giving away any of the story, I will say that you and Naomi have been through a lot in this book. I worry that all of the stress may cause problems with you and Naomi.


Bryce: Oh, Naomi’s had a rough time, but she’s such a strong person. I won’t lie when I say  our love will be tested. I don’t have the connections to ghosts like Naomi does, so I can’t imagine what she goes through while trying to help these souls, but I admire her dedication to these spirits. She certainly has a gift.


DDB: Yes, absolutely.  I do recall her determination, but I also remember the paranormal became all consuming for Naomi in the book, Maggie. That must be difficult to deal with.


Bryce: When Naomi sets her mind on something, she gives it her all. What could be more admirable? Sure, at times, it’s frustrating, but when you take a step back and consider the big picture, it’s all worthwhile. I wouldn’t have her any other way.


DDB: What a wonderful role model Naomi must be for your beautiful little girl, Holly.


Bryce: The best. Naomi selflessly considers the safety of both myself and Holly before worrying about herself.


DDB:  Why do you suppose these ghosts are connected to Naomi, I mean, I know she’s a kind soul herself, but have you ever considered there could be another reason?


Bryce: Every single day lately, but that’s for another time and another story.


DDB: Wait– are you saying there will be a third book in the Maggie series?


Bryce: Yes- it’s in the works now. This will be the last in the Maggie trilogy.  This one had really opened my mind to all of the possibilities of fate, destiny and the paranormal.


DDB: Sounds amazing. I can’t wait to read it.  Thank you, Bryce, it’s been wonderful talking with you.  I can’t wait to see what you and Naomi have in store for us next.  Is there a title to the upcoming book that you can share?


Bryce: Thanks, DDB. It’s been a pleasure talking with you as well. I suppose I could give you the title- the final book in the Maggie trilogy is titled Entangled Souls.


DDB:  Wow- that sound absolutely perfect for the series.

Bryce:  Oh, just wait.




Why don't we start off by telling us about Naomi?
Naomi is the sequel/companion novel to Maggie, my latest paranormal mystery/romance.
In Naomi, I delve deeper into Naomi and Bryce’s relationship as another mysterious death threatens
to tear Naomi and Bryce apart. This time, the soul that’s seeking closure is far from innocent-
it’s Naomi’s dark, manipulative ex-boyfriend.


What's the hardest part about writing a second book in a series?
I loved writing my first sequel. With Maggie, I developed some of my favorite characters. These
characters stayed with me far after I finished writing Maggie, so I decided to continue their story.
That being said, I suppose one of the most challenging aspects of writing a sequel involves trying to
develop a fresh plot while keeping readers engaged with the lives of past characters.


How has Naomi changed from book one to this book?
Naomi will be challenged much more in Naomi- so much so that she begins to question her own
sanity.  The stress and pressures of trying to rid herself of a hostile, dangerous spirit challenges her
relationship with Bryce and his daughter, Holly.
Naomi  has to pull deep in order to find her inner strength, not only to save her relationships, but to
Keep herself alive amidst chaos and horror.


When is comes to writing about ghosts, do you have any tips?
Writing about ghosts can be challenging. I hate to admit it, but I’ve actually had several nightmares
when writing Maggie and Naomi.  Whatever book I happen to be writing sticks with even when
I’m not sitting down to write.  Immersing oneself in the subject matter is one tip I would give. For my
paranormal book, I researched many different aspects of the spirit world and even went to several
mediums to try to gain experience with the paranormal.  


What has been your favorite read so far of 2017?  
I loved reading Liane Moriarty’s Truly Madly Gulity.  There are always so many twists and surprises
with her writing. Big Little Lies was amazing as well, and I’m absolutely loving the HBO series.


Are there more books to this series? If so what are your plans for the series, if not why?


I was just going to mention my upcoming plans for the Maggie series! I have one more book to write
in this series. Right now I’m outlining my ideas for the last in this trilogy, but I can tell you that
Naomi will be visited by another spirit (no surprise) and this time, everything will come together as
Naomi realizes that her destiny is tied to all of these lost souls.


How do you keep a balance of love with mystery?
Balancing love with mystery comes easily for me. I love to weave in plots of romance supporting
my paranormal mysteries. I feel that readers can connect with relationships and all of the wonderful
experiences falling in love can bring you.  Who wouldn’t love the idea of a good romance amidst the
thrills of a paranormal mystery?


What keeps you writing?
Writing is in my soul. The stories are in my head and just when I think about taking a rest before
starting a new book, another idea forms. I love sharing my stories with others, it’s the most amazing
feeling; it never gets old.


Do you have any bad writing habits?  
I don’t know if I’d necessarily refer to it as a bad habit, but I find it hard to sit down and map out a
firm outline before writing. Inevitably, I wind up changing aspects of my plot as I dive deeper into
my stories.


Why do you feel reading is important?
As an author, it’s so important to expose yourself to different genres as well as various writing styles
I always try to write about what I enjoy. Reading opens up all those areas of your mind, just like
the process of writing.  Any connections between reading and writing are positive, and, in my

opinion, serve to make you a better writer.



BOOK SOUNDTRACK /PLAYLIST

Neil Young – Harvest Moon

The Moody Blues- Your Wildest Dreams

Phil Collins -Against All Odds
Lady Gaga- You and I
Garth Brooks- To Make you Feel My Love
Etta James- At Last






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