Guest Blog: Margie Church
Thank 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.
What 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.”
Blurb: 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?”
“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.
Amazon buy link: http://www.amazon.com/Nopeming-Shores-ebook/dp/B005UUTQMI/ref=sr_1_4?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1318604389&sr=1-4