Guest Blog: Margie Church

Margie ChurchThank you for having us, Lucy. I’ve brought along my co-author and poet, J. Andrew Lockhart, to share his insights about our sensual paranormal romance, Nopeming Shores.

Tell us more about your release and the idea behind it?

We’d love to! Gabe Holliway is killed serving in Afghanistan and leaves behind his heartbroken wife, Lily. As a ghost, he witnesses the struggles she endures to create a new life for herself. He’s filled with so many regrets and so much anger that he can’t break his earthly ties and rest in peace. Throughout the story, Gabe uses short, Japanese poems (written by Andrew) to communicate with Lily and help her create a new future. When Lily and Gabe finally come face-to-face, it’s a gripping drama that’ll take your breath away.

The entire story is very emotional. As one can imagine, having your loved one ripped out of your life suddenly creates a lot of pain and angst. Nopeming Shores explores Lily’s grief in a palpable way. Gabe’s intense jealousy when Lily begins to move forward is shocking and sad. There’s humor, and a happily ever after, too, so don’t think you’ll be crying through the whole book!

The inspiration for Nopeming Shores was two-fold. My brother-in law served a year in Afghanistan, and I saw first-hand how difficult it was for his wife, family, and friends who were left behind. The ghostly aspects of the story were inspired by my father’s death and the fact that his ghost visited me after his suicide. In addition, Andrew suffered a life-threatening stroke 15 years ago and went code blue twice. When we met online last year, all these ideas that had been swirling around in my mind with no real direction came together. Nopeming Shores is unlike any of my other romances. It has no swearing or graphic sex scenes, but we promise your heart will pound and you’ll be captivated by every word.

Andrew LockheartWhat was it like collaborating with someone on this project?

Andrew Lockhart says, “We didn’t actually meet each other until the book was done, but after so many hours on the phone, and pages after pages of emails, I felt like I had known her all of my life. She doesn’t tell you this, but the reason I banned her from “x-rated” language was the fact that I’m an elementary music teacher. No, it wouldn’t look good at all for my name on something like that. Besides that, I truly think this story stands on its own, not needing that kind of description.

“It was so easy for me to write poetry for this due to what had happened to me 15 years ago. It took many months of rehab to bring me back into the real world. Many, many times I’ve thought about what would have happened if I wouldn’t have made it- what would have happened to my wife and our one year-old son. So, I felt like “being Gabe” was easy.

As far as Margie, she’s a wonderful person, but so different than me. I almost bet you that she will change or add to this by the time you see it. That’s fine with me, because I’m not doing it. I’ve said all I want to say. LOL”

Margie *blows Andrew raspberries.* “I fixed your homophone error. I think having clear expectations and roles in this project made it go easily. Andrew is right, I struggled with dialing back my muse, but ultimately, the love scenes are still very erotic, just not in graphic language. I love the story and readers do, too.

I was impressed with how quickly Andrew ‘got’ the story.His ability to grasp the characters and provide motivation and insights to Gabe and to the secondary character, Shane, were really helpful. His work came in exactly the way it appears in the book. I don’t know if other collaborations go this smoothly, but it was really nice.

I mentioned a sequel recently, but I have a few books to write before it could happen. The soonest would be the summer of 2012.”

Nopeming ShoresBlurb:  Nopeming Shores by Margie Church with J. Andrew Lockhart

An IED snuffed out Gabe Holliway’s life, but couldn’t destroy his love. Using his unique gift, Gabe struggles to help his young wife, Lily, rebuild her shattered future.

But when Gabe’s ghost reaches out to her, Lily fears she’s lost her last hold on sanity. Can she trust what she discovers and what her heart says? When she sees Gabe face-to-face, can she believe her eyes?

When love transcends death, the answers are found in Nopeming Shores.


EXCERPT: Nopeming Shores, sensual ghost story

“You want to give your two weeks’ notice today?”

She brushed away the last stray tear and sniffled. For the first time since she’d gotten the devastating news of Gabe’s death, she breathed normally. “I’m giving my two minutes’ notice. I’m sorry if it puts you in a bind, but I have to do this for myself.”

She stuck out her hand. “Thanks for everything, Arthur. I’ve enjoyed working with you.”

“Sleep on it. If you change your mind, call me. This conversation never happened.”

The tenderness in his eyes touched her, but this was goodbye. To ease his concern, she pasted on a warm smile. “Sure, thank you.”

Her lunch bag crackled as she fiddled with the paper sack. “Guess you’ll have to find somebody else to pick on about eating these.”

Arthur smiled. “Yeah, you’re one of a kind, Lily. Good luck. Whatever you do. And come back and visit sometime, when you’re feeling up to it. We’d love to see you anytime.”

She nodded, and walked out of the room.

Jana stood near the shelves of breakfast items, her gaze fixed on Lily.

“I’m sorry I lost my temper in the parking lot, Jana. It’s been a rough few months.”

Jana nodded. “It’s okay. I wish I could do something to help, but I always keep steppin’ in it.”

She pointed to Lily’s lunch bag. “Want to eat together today?”

“I’m leaving.”

“Okay, well, we can do it tomorrow.”

Nervous anxiety made Lily’s mouth dry as a wool sock. “I’m not just leaving for the day. I quit. Right now. I’m leaving for good.”

Jana’s eyes widened. “Really?”

Lily felt her shoulders slump in resigned defeat. She nodded.

A quivering frown tugged on the corners of Jana’s lips. “I hope this is a good change for you, Lily. And I hope we’ll still be friends. I didn’t mean to interfere or hurt your feelings.”

Emotion clogged Lily’s throat. “I know you meant well. I have to work through this myself. Somehow, I have to accept . . . what happened. My life is different. Give me a few days, and I’ll call you. I promise.”

Jana hugged her and then patted her on the back.

“You take care now.” Sadness cloaked her voice. “I’m here if you need me. Don’t forget that.”


* * * * *

In his spirit state, Gabe heard and watched the entire scene between his wife and Jana. He stood behind Lily while she said goodbye to Jana. He walked out of the building with Lily to the car. The wind caught a wisp of her hair, and he wished he could tuck it behind her ear. He used to love stroking Lily’s soft, wavy tresses.

Not yet. She wasn’t ready to know he was close by, trying to help her cope. Hell, he was trying to cope, too. God had given Gabe a chance to help Lily, and himself, but it was all in the timing. Gabe wouldn’t get long. The Shepherd of Souls had been very clear about that.

Lily drove out of the parking lot, but instead of taking her usual direct route to the base exits, she drove through the grounds.

In his spirit form, Gabe followed her.

She slowed down near one of the park benches.

We met there. Gabe recalled seeing Lily with her brown-bag lunch when he’d gone jogging on the historic base. She’d caught his eye immediately. Her long, graceful limbs and full lips captivated him. When she smiled, the sun seemed to dim. Her charming demeanor wiped out all his defenses.

She’d shaded her eyes to speak to him. “I’ve never seen you before.”

“I was in Seattle for some training, but I’m stationed here. Are you visiting your husband?”

She’d giggled this wonderful, heart-warming sound, and her face turned the loveliest shade of pink. Gabe knew in that moment, he was pretty much a goner.

“No, I’m not married. I started working at the commissary last week.”

“Well, if you have lunch in the park, I’ll be seeing you. I jog through here almost every day.”

Gabe didn’t usually take that route, but he was darn glad he had that day, and every day after. Lily had waited for him, sometimes bringing along an extra bottle of water or a piece of fruit for him. They’d talk for a little while, then he’d finish his run, although his mind was never on physical fitness after he saw Lilianna Carston.

Now Gabe sat on that same bench, remembering the delight in her eyes when he’d asked her to dinner the first time. They’d been almost inseparable after that date. They thought they’d have a lifetime together.

He turned toward her car and saw the strain on her face.

He watched her shoulders rise and fall in a deep sigh before she drove away from the curb.

Gabe didn’t get off the bench and follow her. Being dead wasn’t exactly halos and fluffy clouds for him.

CONTEST: If you’ve experienced a visit from a ghost, share your tale. You could win a copy of Nopeming Shores.

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11 Responses to "Guest Blog: Margie Church"

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  1. Brandy'z Books

    October 19, 2011 at 1:00 am

    Hi, I have had alot of scary encounters. We lived in a apt and had 3 paranormal teams come in but they refused to come back again. We lived though hell for 4 yrs. We were hit, bit, had items thrown at us and had apparitions. I wrote a more specific story but it said my code at the bottom of the page was wrong and I didn’t want to rewrite it. It was very long, lol

    brandyzbooks at yahoo dot com

  2. Margie Church

    October 19, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    Wow, Brandy, that’s terrible. I really don’t know what I’d do if I ran into a situation like that. The more I ask this question, the more I learn that it’s not that uncommon. Hope everything turned out okay!


  3. JoAnne Kenrick

    October 19, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    Margie…you are destined to be in my eReader full time through out the upcoming months, so many new releases I want to get my hands on 🙂

    As for ghost stories, there has been many…well, I was a ghost tour guide 🙂 and a ghost hunter enthusiast.
    But for this I shall go back to before all that, to when I lived in a little 200 year old cottage in the highlands of Scotland — nothing but farms surrounding us, the village hall, church, school, and the laird of the land’s castle (manor).
    I’d often wake in the middle of the night claiming someone at the end of our bed, when the place we lived in was ‘occupied’. my husband had become use to this.
    Our little cottage in Scotland was one of such homes; an elderly lady used to look over me while sleeping in bed. And it was always when our son had crept in with us. Never when he wasn’t in our room. i suspect she used to spend her nights watching over him sleeping when he was in his own bed, too.
    I had given her a name.
    Taking a country stroll around the village, I wandered into the church and felt a pull to a graveyard. Yup. You guessed it. I found a gravestone with her name on it. The name I had given her. Next to her grave was a grave for a child who had died at a very young age.
    She never came across as threatening…quite the opposite actually. There was always a calm energy when she was there.

  4. Margie Church

    October 19, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    JoAnne – wow. I would never have your bravery to do a ghost tour. I’m such a chicken! The story about the woman and child…is strangely beautiful. My father’s ghost visited me after he died. It was shocking and I’m glad he never came back. On the other hand, I had 3-4 visits from the Holy Spirit during this same time…my father’s death was violent. Those visits brought me comfort.

    I’m glad to know I’m becoming one of your “must read” authors. Makes the long hours worth it.

  5. Pamela V. Mason

    October 19, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    This sounds absolutely romantic in all its emotional ways.
    I’m a HSP – Highly Sensitive Person – so my radar is set to high when it comes to spirits. My grannie is always with me, and when I walk into old homes with ‘presences’ it’s not hard for me to figure out the essence of the family that lived there: happy, dysfunctional, social or alone.

    Every so often, for no reason, a whiff of scent, a breeze of air, or just the expectant feeling that someone’s about to walk in the room comes to me. Not that October’s any more active than any other time of year – it’s just how I walk this earth.

    For now.

  6. Margie Church

    October 19, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    Pamela, welcome. One of my former editors was an HSP. She regularly went on ghost hunts too. I think it would be interesting to have this gift as long as it wasn’t like all those frightening police shows!

    Nopeming Shores is a beautiful romance and Andrew’s Japanese poetry really ends a unique quality to the story. I hope you’ll read the book.

  7. Katie

    October 19, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    Just wanted to stop by and say hello to both Margie and Lucy!

    Plus, this gives me a chance to gush about how much I loved this book. =) Love! Hope everyone goes out and grabs a copy.

  8. KevaD

    October 20, 2011 at 2:06 am

    As always, marvelous, marvelous.
    Hi, Margie. Didn’t want you to think you’re favorite stalker didn’t know where you are.

  9. Margie Church

    October 20, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Katie – thank you so much for telling everyone how much you loved Nopeming Shores. PLEASE DON’T STOP! And thank you for visiting.

    David, that you are. I will have to do something special to reward your wonderful stalkerish behavior.


  10. Margie Church

    October 21, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    The winner of Nopeming Shores is Brandy’z Books. thanks to everyone who came by! I hope to be back soon.

  11. Adriana Kraft

    October 22, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Hi there Margie, I’m too late for the contest (bummer!) but I love the sound of this book! I, too, was visited, after two members of my extended family died in a Kansas tornado. They didn’t say anything, but I was very comforted to know they were in a safe place even though I missed them so much. I’ve also had encounters with pets who have just died.