Christine Steendam…. Heart Like An Ocean

Press Release Launch Kit

For

Heart like An Ocean

Christine Steendam

 

Available from 5 Prince Publishing www.5princebooks.com  books@5princebooks.com

Genre: Fiction, Romance, Historical

Release Date: February 7, 2013

Digital ISBN 13: 978-1-939217-29-5 10: 1-939217-29-6

Print ISBN 13: 978-1-939217-32-5 10: 1-939217-32-6

Purchase link : www.5princebooks.com/buy.htm

 

Christine Steendam Bio:christine

Christine has been writing stories since she could put pen to paper and form words. Now, many years later, her debut novel is scheduled to be released and her second book is in the works.

Christine has spent the better half of her life owning and working with horses, and these four legged companions often find their way into her stories. After all, no work of women’s fiction would be complete without a horse or two (in Christine’s opinion at least).

She currently makes her home in the center of the world—no, really. Look at an atlas.

PUBLIC AUTHOR CONTACT INFO:

http://chrissteen.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/ChrisSteen1991

https://www.facebook.com/authorchristine.s

kcsteendam@gmail.com

 

Heart like An Ocean:

In a society where she doesn’t belong, Senona Montez, a strong-willed and free-spirited hlowoman refuses to follow the path expected of a Don’s only child.

On the eve of her marriage to a stranger, she saddles her horse and flees everything she knows, only to discover the petty concerns of society did not prepare her for the harsh life on the open sea. She finds an unlikely protector in a reckless privateer, Brant Foxton.

Straddling the worlds of independence and privilege in 1600’s Europe, this captivating man challenges her in ways she never thought possible, shows her what living to the fullest really means, and allows her to follow her heart wherever it leads.

 

Heart Like An Ocean Excerpt:

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Senona looked around the room full of swirling dresses of so many shapes and colors. It was like a dream and left her overwhelmed and unable to tear her eyes away. Tonight she was a princess in her new dress with her hair curled, cascading in loose waves down her back. Tonight she was perfect.

Browsing the room, this time in search of familiar faces, Senona spotted Caton Amador, and Isidro Amato. The boys, although older, were her friends and a welcome relief to the overwhelming nature of her surroundings. She made her way around the perimeter of the room in their general direction.

Isidro was never very serious about anything and enjoyed teasing Senona, which annoyed her to no end. Caton was much more subdued and quiet, at least around her. Although they were not as close as they once had been, the families remained good friends, and the three of them spent many hours riding around the countryside or playing games in the garden. When they were younger, Isidro and Caton had been her constant companions, helping her sneak out of tea with their Madres or rescuing her from lessons with her tutor. Now they never voluntarily saw each other, but due to their families’ relationship, they found themselves together often enough.

“Senona, my Chica! You are a picture of beauty, as always,” boomed Isidro’s obnoxious and teasing voice.

Caton turned to look at the young girl. “Leave her alone, Isidro.”

“Come on, Caton. She’s glad to see us.”

Caton frowned but said nothing, turning his attention back to the pretty girl standing next to him. Isidro seemed to accept that as permission to continue, and he smirked mockingly at Senona, beckoning her. The small flock of girls that surrounded the two boys giggled, causing her to blush and become hesitant and uncomfortable. She had never seen the boys in this environment, and she quickly questioned her decision that she belonged with them.

“It’s okay, Isidro. I just wanted to say hello.”

“Well then, run along. There must be some of your friends around.”

Senona forced a smile and turned to Caton. “Hello, Caton.”

He barely acknowledged her with a brief glance and nod in her direction, and then returned to ignoring her. Unsure of how to deal with Caton’s rejection, she walked away, her eyes burning with angry tears that threatened to spill over. Why was he being so rude? Not even so much as a hello, as if he were embarrassed to be associated with her.

As she pushed her way through the crowd, she heard one of the girls laugh. “Caton, I do believe you hurt her feelings.”

Caton’s deep, unmistakable chuckle cut through the din and his voice was all she heard. “She’s a silly, strange girl. I would rather not encourage her.”

Senona expected this behavior from Isidro, but from Caton? She had always thought he was honest and simple, but his actions tonight had shown her otherwise. She had been a fool to think that these older boys were her friends.

Escaping into the shadows, she hid from the sneering glances and mocking laughter that seemed to follow her wherever she went. She had thought that tonight would be different, but nothing had changed. She was just a strange little girl.

The night was a blur, a blur of swirling skirts and obnoxious voices. To nearly everyone she was invisible. Even her Madre and Padre, who had never been overly affectionate towards their daughter, seemed to have completely forgotten her existence. But that wasn’t so different from normal. They weren’t very affectionate people ever, even towards each other.

At the end of the night, Senona lay in bed, her new dress hanging in her wardrobe, mocking her. She had realised tonight how far she fell from society’s standards, her own parents’ standards. Any illusion she had of being a princess, of being perfect for one night had been shattered. But that didn’t really bother her. The truly odd thing was that she felt a weight lifted from her shoulders. Perhaps she didn’t have to be that way. Perhaps now she had the freedom to do as she wanted. It wasn’t as if anyone cared about her anyway. She was just a strange little girl.

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New Series…. THE ALBURY AFFAIRS

ALBURY AFFAIRS

This is a new series that I’ve just began.

The first book, HER VENICE AFFAIR is about Riana Albury, The second, HIS BAHAMAS AFFAIR is about Reno Albury.

There might be a third book but I’m not so sure. We’ll see what the future holds.

It’s about two siblings Riana and Reno Albury who came to America with their mother Cora Davis who ran away from her New Providence home after she was confronted by her lover’s wife.

After their mother’s death and Reno’s deportation, Riana is left alone in NYU. Life seems to only gets worse when she finds her roommate and her boyfriend having sex in her bed. Distraught and tired of always been the good girl, she takes a billioniare up on his offer to go to Venice with him.

What could possibly go wrong?

More details will be made available for both books soon.

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Pic downloaded from CardFed

CONTEST!!!!

Has anyone been to Italy? If you have, tell me about the best place you visited and what you loved most about it.

I’ve never been (seriously campaigning for my mom to send me) and I’d like to use your favorite places, why you loved them and if it was a romantic trip what you felt. I love reading stuff that inspire emotion.

The best description will be featured in my book HER VENICE AFFAIR and the writer will have a special mention with their picture (if they have any available) in the place they described in the book.

leave your comments on the post and send me an email. Spread the word and get as many entries as possible.

There will be another contest for the second and third books in the ALBURY AFFAIRS series HIS BAHAMAS AFFAIR and HIS PARIS AFFAIR.

ILONA THE HUN TRIOLOGY By Erika M Szabo #2

 Secrets Revealed is the second by of the Ilona the Hun Triology by Erika Szabo. It continues Ilona’s story from book 1 Birthright Bestowed
Secrets Revealed
Ilona’s story is provocative, rich in characters and detail that bring a lost world to life, a journey to treasure and remember. In book one Ilona is a lonely doctor discovering her rich tribal heritage and birthright to become a Healer. The barrier created by her insecurity kept others out, but also kept her caged in. She has to break the barriers to discover her true identity. She discovers growing magical abilities within her in the strange world of the Huns, which are beyond her wildest dreams. She can use her given gifts for absolute good or absolute evil; the choice is up to her. Ilona’s birthright as a Healer runs alongside her desires as a woman. She’s secretly and hopelessly in love with her best friend, he seems oblivious to her feelings. Fate brings Zoltan into her life. Will he break her heart, or will he bring true happiness? Ilona is hoping for a red tulip, the symbol of devoted love. Who will offer it to her? She discovers some secrets the Hun society is concealing, a society that is secretive and complex, with strict and fiercely enforced ancient rules; revealed to only those who come of age. Ilona is a rebel, who is determined to control and guide her own life. Resourceful and daring, she crosses the line and breaks those rules. She must face the consequences and has to fight for her men; both of them disappear from the face of the earth. She acquires magical abilities beyond her dreams to find and save them. Ilona has been evacuated from her easy and steady life. She is happy, but she still has many doubts. She hates that she has to hide in the past from a faceless enemy, however enjoys meeting her ancestors.

 Click the link to buy the first book Birthright Bestowed and the second book Secrets Revealed

Featured Poem in Fatal Jealousy

In almost all my books there is a poem featured: In Star Bright- Invictus by William Ernest Hensley and In Fatal Jealousy is Hoar’s (Forgotten Realms) Dungeons & Dragons.

Hoar (pronounced HORE), is a fictional Faerûnian deity of the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, for the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game. He is the deity of revenge, retribution and poetic justice.

Hoar is actually the ancient Untheric deity worshiped in the eastern Inner Sea lands as Assuran. Centuries past he was driven from Unther by Ramman, although his cult remained strong in Chessenta. He eventually slew his rival during the Time of Troubles, but Anhur stole Ramman’s unclaimed portfolio before Hoar could act, earning Hoar’s ire. Both Tyr and Bane contested for Hoar’s tormented soul, as the Dark God sought to turn him into a servant of blind vengeance and bitterness while the Maimed God sought to unlock Hoar’s bittersweet humor and shift his portfolio to favor irony and poetic justice. With Tyr’s death, Bane has recruited Hoar as an exarch. Meanwhile, Hoar conspires with Beshaba in unleashing bad luck on the deserving.

Uphold true and fitting justice and maintain the spirit of the law, not the letter of the law. Fitting recompense will always accrue for one’s actions. Violence will meet violence and evil pay back evil, but good will also come to those who do good. Walk the line of the Doombringer’s teachings, seeking retribution, but do not fall into the trap of pursuing evil acts for evil’s sake, for that way is seductive and leads only to one’s downfall. Vengeance must be sought for all injustices, and all punishments must fit the crime. Revenge is sweetest when it is sharpened with irony. All attacks must be avenged. Those who do not respond to attacks against their person or that which they hold dear only invite further attacks.

My Books Covers

I love my book covers. Can’t wait to add more

Fatal Jealousy Cover

It’s finally here!!! The books cover to my next book Fatal Jealousy is finally out!!

Thank you Viola and 5 Prince family for helping making it work.Blurb for Fatal Jealousy:

Twins Ellsa and Ellie are completely different in character, personality, taste and interests. Apart from the striking resemblance to each other, they share the one thing siblings shouldn’t…. the same taste in men.

They keep falling for the same man, creating a quiet rivalry between them. Determined not to let a man come between them ever again, Ellie and Ellsa agree to stay away from each others relationships. But when they meet Dale Carson, an FBI agent and a bachelor, their love lives are turned upside down.

But they aren’t the only ones taken by the rogue. His partner and long time lover, Gwen Johansson, also called dibs.

Carson is interested in only one of them. He is pulled by Ellie’s passion for love and art, and most importantly, him. What starts as a sexual chase, ends with his permanent retirement from bachelorhood.

But their love story is not a smooth one.

Carson’s day job comes knocking on his front door and before he knows it, his whole world is ripped apart.

Out of all the possible suspects, Ellie has the most evidence stacked up against her. She is implicated in the brutal murders of her ex-boyfriends, and Carson is faced with the horror of arresting the love of his life. With two suspects of his own, he is convinced she is being set up, but he has no way of proving it.

Case Title: Woman Scorned

Visit my book blog Christina’s Books to read the excerpt

ILONA THE HUN TRIOLOGY By Erika M Szabo

Erika M Szabo is a Hungarian born American; she lives in the beautiful Catskill Mountains. She has a PhD in Alternative Medicine; she published a few books in this subject. Erika loves the art of healing; however, writing about dry medical facts doesn’t satisfy her thirst for storytelling. The ancient history of the Huns always fascinated her, it is full of holes, mysteries and speculations; there are only a few written facts about them besides their legends. Erika used her fertile imagination to fill the historical voids in the story of Ilona. She raises questions such as – What if healing by touch could be possible? – What if we could find a soul mate no matter the obstacles? – What if we could visit our ancestors on a whim? – What if our destiny is not written in stone and we can create our future?

Author Contact Info:

http://www.amazon.com/author/erikamszabo

http://www.erikamszabo.blogspot.com

http://www.facebook.com/Erika.M.Szabo.ND.Author

http://twitter.com/ErikaMSzabo

 

 

Ilona the Hun Trilogy, Book One

Birthright Bestowed

Ilona is an emergency room doctor, born into an ancient Hun tribe which still exists hidden amongst us with its strict and fiercely enforced rules. She doesn’t know much about her Hun heritage besides legends, customs and rituals that she continues out of respect for her parents whose sudden death ten years before devastated her. She plays her tune on her birthday given to her by her grandmother.  Elza – Ilona’s housekeeper – explains, the purpose of the tune is to let the elders know she had come to age. Her mother didn’t have a chance to explain her inherited powers, but after her 29th birthday when she is considered as an adult by Hun standards, she begins to remember the forgotten instructions concealed as rhymes her mother was teaching her since she was a small child. Ilona discovers she can heal with her bare hands; she can rearrange the human body to its healthy state. This ability is exciting as well as frightening. She is conflicted between having confidence in her intelligence and inherited abilities while having no confidence as a woman. Her insecurity created barriers which keep others out, and I also keep her caged in. She’s been in love with her unsuspecting best friend Bela, when a dashing stranger explodes into her life. The sudden magnetic feeling frightens her and discovering evil in him doesn’t help either. A sinister dark man appears, Ilona connects his presence with the series of mysterious deaths around her. Zoltan saves her life by jeopardizing his, which prompts Ilona to start fitting the puzzle pieces together and discovering the ancient tribal secrets that not only can change her future but the future existence of the Huns as well.

Excerpt from Birthright Bestowed:

I was holding Teddy deep in thoughts, absentmindedly stroking his soft artificial fur. He was my favorite childhood toy, stuffed to perfect softness. Suddenly I felt something piercing the side of my neck. The sharp pain made me jump, and I let out a muted cry. I touched the skin over my carotid arteryand I felt warm wetness. A drop of blood glistened on my fingertips when I looked at my hand.I almost dropped Teddy feeling alarmed when I noticed that my fingers begun to glow as if a bright red light was turned on from the inside. At the same time I felt something scurrying from the side of my neck toward my chest. I reached up and swept my neck and chest jumping up in disgust. Crap! It must have been a bug or a spider. The damned thing bit me! I looked down on my chest and kept sweeping my clothes frantically looking for the bug.

A sudden swirling sensation took me by surprise and I grabbed the side of the ottoman to steady myself while everything began to fade around me. I tried to find a focus point to decrease the sudden vertigo, and then brought my eyes down to Teddy. I noticed with climbing alarm that his eyes took on a strange red glow. His eyes seemed alive; they bore into my insides and the intense glow kept me frozen.I’m hallucinating ran through my mind. I tried to turn away, yet I couldn’t move a muscle. I couldn’t even blink. I was scared, never having felt such primal fear before. I felt my heart racing and my breath came in little puffs as I felt cold beads of sweat on my forehead. I knew it was adrenaline flooding my body triggered by the sudden fright, but I was afraid it might have been some poison from the bite as well.

The strange sensation and hallucination stopped as quickly as it started. My hands felt and looked normal and I became rational in an instant and sat there, feeling obtuse, wondering what had just happened. The whole sensation lasted only for seconds, yet it frightened me a great deal not knowing what caused it.

I came in here hoping to find answers, and I found more questions.I didn’t find out anything! I thought angrily.

The only insight I got was being scared out of my mind.I couldn’t sit there anymore. I felt suffocated; I had to get out in the open. I left Teddy on the ottoman and opened the door carefully, peering out. Something seemed to pull me back, a vague feeling, as if I was missing something. I fingered the Turul bird medallion absentmindedly, feeling its smoothness and warmth. I realized I had searched everywhere but inside the ottoman. I grabbed the seat and tried to pull it up. There was a soft metallic click and then the top opened abruptly.

Purchase link: www.5princebooks.com/buy.htm

Amazon: http://amzn.to/T1gJvq

RED TEARS BLUE BLOOD…… By M. O. Kenyan Part 3

Hi guys! As promised, here is the beginning of Alma’s story in the Interracial royal Romance.

Enjoy!!

“How did it happen?”

Alma was standing in the middle of the living room staring up at the portrait hanging on the wall. This was the hundredth person who had come up to her with that same question. She stared on as tears spilled as she thought about the night her life had taken a drastic turn.

She closed her eyes, the memory coming back to her as clearly as reliving the horror.

Alma and Kevin walked towards the movie theatre in downtown Nairobi. It was almost eleven o’clock at night and Alma had snuck out for the sole purpose of enjoying this evening with her boyfriend. Kevin had something else planned after the movie.

Tonight was the night their five year relationship was finally moving to the physical phase. He had it all set up, the roses, the wine and her favorite chocolates. They had thought about going straight to the main event, but they wanted this night to be perfect, and dinner and a movie was the start of a perfect night.

Alma rubbed her sweaty palms over her jeans. The movie was coming to an end and the twenty year old virgin was getting nervous.

“Are you alright?” Kevin leaned in and asked.

“I’m fine.” But it was obvious that she wasn’t. She tried to pull her sweaty hand away but he wouldn’t let her. He gave her hand a couple of squeezes that made splotchy noises because of the sweat but he never let go.

“I love you and sweaty hands will never make me not want to hold you.” He leaned down and kissed her exposed shoulder.

She was swimming in his brown eyes and diving in his sweet words, forgetting where they were and not noticing the small crowd that had begun to form around them. She hung onto his hand as they walked through the alley. There the dark shadows began to take shape, rippling away from the light and taking the form of men.

“Babe, I don’t think we should have used the shortcut.” The edgy nervousness in her voice was hard to hide.

He held her closer and tighter and said in a hush tone, “Just try not paying them any attention. If you don’t give them a reason to, they won’t attack you.”

She was trying his strategy but when she heard the stampede of feet rushing up to them. She knew there was nothing she could do to stop what was about to happen.

Kevin stopped and pinned her against the wall and shielded her with his body. He knocked the wind out of her but it was the only way he knew how to protect her. She grabbed the back of his jacket and buried her face in it. He didn’t look scared but with his body as close as it was to hers, she could feel the flattering thuds of his heart.

Alma didn’t look up, she just listened and waited.

The four men were challenged by the position he took so they closed in closer on them. They were only a few feet away from them when they each pulled out their weapons. The silver of the machete gleamed in the moonlight and caught Kevin’s eye.

“Don’t look.” He said to Alma and she didn’t.

“Why are you keeping her away from us?” She heard one of them say in Swahili, in the midst of three other grumbling ones.

“We don’t want any trouble. Just tell me what you want.” Kevin was shifting his weight from one foot to the other, as if he was getting ready to attack. .

“We want her.” The man’s words slurred as he emphasized ‘her’.

The guy with the machete took a step closer, resulting in a defensive response from Kevin. He tried to advance to him but Alma held him back, holding on desperately onto his jacket.

“Let go of my jacket.” There was a tone in his voice that she had never heard before, “I want you to run.”

“No,” Alma cried. She wasn’t going to leave him here alone. She was terrified and she didn’t know what to do or where she would run.  “I want to stay here with you.”

Kevin pulled his shoulder away so hard that a nail broke from the force. She yelped and lost her grip on his jacket and one step at a time he created a gap between him and her. She pressed her body back against the wall secretly hoping that it would open up and swallow her whole. His fingers balled into fists at his sides as he moved around and she followed. Soon all four guys were staring straight at them and behind her. She followed their gaze and sighed with relief- she had a way to get away. But she couldn’t leave him. She refused to.

“Come with me.” She held onto his hand but he pulled it away.

Without breaking his concentrated stare on the four men, he shoved her back then roared, “Go!” He glanced back at her for a second then in a sweeter tone of voice he said, “I love you. Please go.”

The gentle look in his eyes was enough to convince her. She turned around and ran as fast as she could. But then she remembered that she never said that she loved him.

Alma glanced back. She saw the silver machete raised in the air then brought down with great force. When it came back up, there was no glint, no silver just blood. She waited for a couple of minutes but she didn’t see Kevin get up.

Slowly she pedaled back before she turned around and ran. The sight of the blood seemed to have given her a boost. She was in the downtown part of town and she was sure there was a police station in the area. She didn’t stop running. She bumped into people, fell but got back up and kept running. The tears welling up in her eyes clouded her vision but she never stopped until she saw the blue cabin with red and yellow stripes- the police post.

Alma stood in the middle of confused police officers and civilians then shouted, “Help me!”

“How did it happen?”

The questioned pulled her back to her immediate reality. She turned and faced the blurred face and, answered in a whisper, “Just look forward. If you don’t give them a reason to, they won’t attack you.”

Alma’s mother held her by the shoulders and led her out of the room full of mourners. She couldn’t handle seeing her daughter in a vegetative state. She hadn’t said a word after Kevin’s death until that day of the funeral.

“Let’s go home.”

Alma didn’t resist. She let herself be led out the house but she came across another picture on the closed coffin. Kevin was smiling at her and she couldn’t help but smile back. Shaking her mother’s arms off her, she took as step towards the picture, until it was a breath away from her face. She lifted her trembling fingers up to his face, and traced out his eyes, nose and lips. Closing her eyes she memorized them and slowly his smiling face came alive in her, his laugh echoing in her ears mind.

Since the night of the murder all she saw when she pictured him was blood on a machete, and now she could see his smiling face.

“He’s so beautiful.” She whispered. Then quickly, her mother whisked her away.

Alma wasn’t allowed to attend the burial. Her mother thought it would be too scarring for her. So when her mother left her in her room, she climbed out of the window and began walking towards the cemetery. She covered ten kilometers but when she finally got there the burial was over. She roamed around the freshly dug graves and finally found the one she was looking for. Alma lay next to the grave draping her arm over the flowers and the mood of soil.

****

Alma tossed in her sleep as the night of the attack played in her mind. It was like a rerun she couldn’t turn off. She woke up in terror covered in sweat, and then she realized she was back home. The grief hit her once more, part of her hoping that the dark could swallow her whole. She knew she was being punished for being the one who survived so she decided not to.

Alma got up and marched into the kitchen. She pulled open the top draw and there she found what she was looking for. She picked up one knife and the gleam it gave in the moon light reminded her of the one that was used to kill Kevin.

She put her hand on the counter top, wrist up and one by one she sliced open her wrists.

Finally she felt like she was being set free. She went outside through the back door, leaving a trail of blood behind her. Alma leaned against the wall and breathed in the night air as the cold breeze gently blew past her, carrying her with it.

#

This marks the end of the prologue. Stay tuned to find out when this heartaching romance will be published. You don’t want to miss out!!!

Part 2

Part 1

Book 1 of the Candle Light dilogy…. Love Forever After

Love Forever After is about tragedy, life and love. It does not conform to the usual lovey dovey, chocolates and flowers tradition. The show of love is trust, sacrifice and life.

William loses his with Kristy in a car accident. Plagued with sorrow and pain, for a few months he believes that she is still alive. He is trapped between reality and fantasy and he is the only one who doesn’t realize it.

Kristy, a ghost, unable to watch her love suffer alone comes back to him. When he acts like she had never left, she doesn’t bother to tell him that she is a ghost.

But once William is forced to face that Kristy truly dead and is a ghost, he breaks down and goes on a destructive path.

Afraid that he might actually succeed in killing himself, Kristy’s solution to keep him sane and alive is…a child.

A piece of him and a piece of her, born on Valentine’s day…

Love Forever After

For richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, in death and in life

Chapter One
The church bells rang loudly, filling the cold quiet dead air. It was a suitable sound track for what was happening. The scenery also looked set, especially constructed with purple flowers scattered on the ground complimenting the green grass, just for this moment, this perfect heart wrenching, dream crushing, unbearable torturous moment. It was the first scene of my
new forever lonely empty life and the last scene before the credits rolled, of our perfect loving full life.
I’ve always wondered how it felt like to loose someone close to you- a friend, a family member or a loved one- but now I know, I know the pain so well sometimes it feels like an extra limb.
A limb attached to my heart, its sole purpose is to crush, shred and rip apart my heart over and over again like a wild animal devouring a poor helpless prey just at the thought of her, or when I felt her empty side of our matrimonial bed, or when I walked around our apartment expecting to hear her laugh echo and bounce off the walls making our home warm- a home that was now empty and hollow, yes because you aren’t here to fill it my love. Every essence of you made our home full and warm, but now it was cold and empty- like me.
Who would have figured it, me empty, cold and hollow after so many years of happiness?
Our happiness was in such abundance it should have lasted forever, right?
No, not really, never because I can’t feel it now, not even a little bit.
Maybe it’s because you aren’t here… definitely because you aren’t here, what other explanation could there be?
Well it should have, after you were taken from me, the least it could have done was leave me our happiness to go along with our memories. I should remember you and feel happy, not an aching sadness, I deserve that much.
Death
I’ve felt death, when my dad died I felt its impact, but I don’t remember it being like this, intense, malicious, tormenting, painful and amusing itself by making fun of me, at how vulnerable and impairing it could make me. Someone should give it a taste of its own medicine, see how it likes it.
I looked around at the crowd surrounding the beautiful mahogany coffin. Everyone she loved, everyone who loved her was here. They were all dressed in black crying as the priest said his prayers. They were sad, sadder than I have ever seen any one of them before. They were suffering a great loss. But she wouldn’t have wanted to see any of them cry over her death but celebrate her life.
She wasn’t going to like this one bit. When I suggested a party instead of a funeral they all thought I’d lost my mind. My mother Gloria was so horrified she called a psychiatrist to come fix me, I knew it wasn’t only for my benefit; her English pride needed her son to be sane in front of all the people who would come to the funeral.
Her brother Morris and sister Sandra however agreed with me. They knew her-not as well as I did, but well enough to know what she’d want and a depressing gloomy funeral wasn’t it.
Gloria wasn’t going to let us have a party, so she took it upon herself to organise everything.
It was a classy dignified funeral; she even gave out instructions on how our family was to dress. I chuckled, knowing how much of a fight my wife would have put up against my mother and the high class funeral she had organised.
Mother moved to stand next to me; she looped her hand on my pocketed arm. She looked up at me, her eyes red and wet, her cheeks stained with tears. She must have seen me laugh, wrong move, now she was going to be my constant unshakeable companion.
They brought a basket full of lilies to me, her favourite type flowers. I looked at the person holding it; his face was glum patiently waiting for me to take one. Mother nudged me, pulling my hand out of my pocket. I reached out and took one, then moved forward and laid it on top of the coffin. I lingered over it for a while, imaging how small it could have felt for her being inside it. She hated the dark and small spaces.
It was a good thing she wasn’t inside it.
I felt a hand on my shoulder, it was Morris, and he placed his purple lily. Sandra came next. She put a white one, then leaned over it and kissed the coffin before she moved back and stood next to me. Her eyes were red, but she wasn’t crying anymore she had a smile on her face. She moved between Morris and me, and then tip toed so she could reach our ears.
“Will, if your mother finds out she’s not inside there, she’ll kill us and cram all three of our bodies in it!”
“You know she would have haunted us if we put her in a box. I’d rather face an angry Gloria.” Morris said with a chuckle, but the sadness at the edge of it was very evident.
“She’s still going to haunt us for letting mother throw her an uptight funeral.” I whispered as someone came forward and placed a lily on her coffin.
My wife was a free spirit, she hated confinement and rules. She was an earth lover, an environment activist. That’s why we cremated her and spread her ashes in the sea. It was hard for me to see her reduced to ashes but there was no better way. She would keep being a free spirit; roam the world as she got carried by the wind.
She loved helping people; that’s why I donated all her organs; she would still help them even in her death. When she gave me the organ donor forms to fill out she said, “Why burry parts that could help a person in dire need of them. As much as we don’t like it, we are all spare parts to someone else’s body.”
Well, in a way, she is still alive; inside other people her body was still alive. If only it was possible for me to share my body with her, I would always live inside my head to be with her and forget the outside world.
She was the type to chain herself to a tree or break into a cosmetic lab and free all the animals. She went by the motto ‘do unto the environment, trees and animals as you would do unto yourself’. I became a vegetarian because of that, but I always stuffed myself with burgers when she was on one of her long protesting gigs. When we got engaged, I opened an account in her name for bail money that the bank was instructed to pay immediately she wound up arrested. I wanted her to be taken care of when I was abroad doing business or
visiting my mother in England. The thought of her spending a night in jail always gave me the chills. She thought it was the most romantic wedding present she could ever get- I scored some serious points there.
We had been married for six years before this happened, before someone decided to take her away from me out of sheer selfishness.
“Will you please step back, you’re hovering!” We jumped at Gloria’s scolding voice. She was really going to run this funeral by the script. We moved back a few feet, but still stood close to each other.
I watched as they lowered the coffin into the dark hole, and got a sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach. I was gladder now that she wasn’t in it. Sandra grabbed my hand and held it tight. I looked at her. She was staring at it, pain in her eyes. Her breaths sounded short, strained. Morris put a hand over her shoulder and held her tight against him. I could see he was trying to be strong for both of them, but the loss of his younger sister was taking a toll on
him too.
“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust…” the priest went on with his prayers as the coffin hit the ground. Another man stepped forward with a shovel full of red dirt. He held it in front of me and waited. I took a pinch of it then he moved to Sandra, and then Morris. The two of them moved forward and poured the sand into the hole.
I stood there frozen. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I knew she wasn’t in there, but this felt too real, too final. She was dead and never coming back. My chest tightened, all the fears of never seeing or touching her again flooded back drowning me with all the moments we would never share again. Why did she have to die? Why not me? How could I be here and she wasn’t, this wasn’t how we planned to spend the rest of our lives.
“Will…” I turned to see Sandra look up at me, “its okay she isn’t in there,” she whispered.
I nodded, she was right my wife wasn’t in there so this shouldn’t be so difficult. I took a staggering step forward and faced the dark hole. I raised my hand over it; forcing my fingers open I let the red sand flow out of it.

A long line of people followed, pouring sand into the hole as they made their way back to their cars. This was their final goodbye before everything went back to normal in their lives, but for me it was the beginning of my slow long lonely death.
I looked down at the head stone and read the beautiful engraved marble. The phrase set in stone made more sense to me now. It felt like the words were not only curved in the rock but I could feel the pounding, chipping of my heart as the words were curved in it too.

Christina Lee James-Stanford
Loving daughter, sister, wife and humanitarian

Featured poem Candle Light

Books 2 of Candle Light dilogy is Love Rekindled.

RED TEARS BLUE BLOOD…. By M.O.Kenyan part 2

As promised the continuation of Christoffer’s story. If you haven’t read the first part, click here. This is a love story you do not want to miss out on!

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She smoothed her fingers on the bandages over her son’s head and arms. Taming her puffy dress, she lay beside him and hummed a lullaby. Abellona had sung this lullaby to all her children just as her mother had sang to her.

“Fer, wake up,” she whispered in his ear a couple of times.

“Sir,” Lauritz’s personal assistant, Clark, called him,and behind him were the two agents responsible for his son.

Lauritz walked out of the room and closed the door behind him. He walked a few paces away from the room and the others followed. “Go check on my son!” He yowled at the doctor, who quickly scurried away.

“What happened?” His back was still turned to the trio as he growled.

“Sir, Prince Christoffer spotted us and sped off.”

“Christoffer was driving.”

Lauritz huffed. He expected as much, “Were they drinking?”

“Yes sir.” They stammered in unison, then one of them went on, “He was entertaining women at the club, and I think he was smoking some marijuana. When we went to intercept the man giving him the drugs he spotted us. Prince Lauritz arrived to take him to your mother’s ball but Christoffer convinced him to stay for a while. Then they disappeared.”

Lauritz’s lips curved into a sneer, “No one is to know about this,” He ordered then turned to Clark and growled, “Handle this!”

Clark’s job that night would be going round all tabloids and newspapers looking for any pictures, stories or hints that the prince was driving drunk, especially since they had just passed a new drunk driving law. If found out, Christoffer would be mandated to attend a public rehabilitation center in a penitentiary. Lauritz was a stickler for rules but when it came to his children they challenged him and his morals.

“Sir,” breathless the doctor came out of the operating room running. He was staring at the ground, staring past him anywhere but at Lauritz.

“My son?” Lauritz knew how to read faces and could see a man’s truth through his eyes, and this time, he didn’t want to believe what he saw.

“Sir, I’m sorry… the Crown Prince… prince Lauritz is dead.” He took a step back and bowed his head.

Lauritz fell back against the wall and grabbed his chest. The news seared through him and the fire of his grief settled in his heart. He stiffened almost imperceptibly,and then combed his fingers through his hair. He made a simple sharp exhalation thenjumped straight on his feet, and shook all the tension from his body.

“Bring the car around,” he whispered in a shaky voice as he dragged his feet towards Christoffer’s room. He tensed his face, cleared his throat of all emotion and opened the door. “Alisa, go with the guard.”

“But papa-,” she started and was quickly cut off by her father’s stern gaze. Her eyes were wild and searching as all her control began to slip. The tears rolled down her cheeks as she fought for breath.

Her trembling lower lip and tears were breaking his stern demeanor. “Don’t make me say it again.” He said firmly masking his grief with anger. He needed to get his family out of the hospital and in the confines and security of the palace before Lauritz’sdeath was leaked to the public.

Clark came back, no doubt after hearing the news over his earpiece. He knew better than to show his emotion.He aped his King’s expression and waited at his flank for orders.

Lauritz took a step back and whispered, “Arrange for an ambulance and a doctor to come to the palace with Christoffer.” His voice caught in his throat as he began, “get my son… Lauritzready as soon as possible. Arrange for a press conference tomorrow morning at eight. The funeral will be at ten. That will give the people enough time to get to the procession.”

“Papa, what is it?” Alisa could see the blank expression on her father’s face and it frightened her.

“Go to the car, Alisa.” He gave her a kiss on her forehead and then walked towards his wife. “Abellona, we have to leave.”

She didn’t move. She had no intention of leaving Christoffer in the hospital alone. Lauritz gathered her in his arms and carried her out of the hospital.

They drove in silence to the palace. The ballroom had been emptied minutes after they left. Lauritz was silent as his wife and daughter bombarded him with questions.

“Come with me.” He took their hands and led them to the family room. There was no way he could arrange his words to make the news any easier for them to take. “Lauritz is dead.”

Abellona jumped to her feet, her head shaking in denial. She ran out of the family room bellowing from the pits of her stomach. “No, no!” She screamed as if every muscle in her body had given in and she collapsed to the ground. “Please not my baby! Not my baby!”

“Mama!” Alisa rushed to her mother’s side only to be sent away.

“Alisa, go to your room.” Lauritz ordered as helifted Abellona in his arms and took her to their room.

In the dead of the night both boys were brought back to the palace. Christoffer was set in his room with a nurse and doctor at his call. Lauritz was taken to the great room; he was already cleaned and dressed, ready for the next morning.

*****

Christoffer woke in the darkest hour of the night. He felt like he was stuck in a dream, as he tossed half sick between grotesque reality and the savage frightening dreams. But they weren’t dreams.

Christoffer was running away from his demons. He didn’t know where he was and as much as he tried to open his eyes, he couldn’t escape the darkness. The pain was real but he couldn’t move his body. He tried to call out but all he could manage was a faint gasp of pain. But then a triangular light pierced through the darkness.

“Help,” he whispered as his eyes tried to make out what was coming towards him.

“Fer,” Alisa whispered, “Fer, are you awake?”

“Alisa,” he called out in disbelief, “Alisa is it you?”

The light went on and he squinted. Even though he was desperate to get out of the darkness he couldn’t stand the brightness.

“Turn it off!”

Alisa turned the light off and settled with a small reading light. She moved to the side of his bed and sat down, holding onto his hand as she wept. “Fer, what happened?”

Christoffer still didn’t know what had happened. The last thing he remembered was being in the car with his brother, then darkness. He closed his eyes and tried to push the memory further but all he could see was darkness and all he could remember was pain.

“Where is Lu?” The pain intensified the tighter Alisa held onto his hand, but he didn’t say anything. He needed some human contact and apparently, so did she,“Where is Lu?” he asked again.

But she didn’t answer.All she did was cry out his name.

“Alisa, sweetheart.” terms of endearment had always worked with his sister. He always treated her as if she was younger, and since she was the only girl he and Lauritz had always shielded her. “Look at me, tell me where Lu is.”

“There was an accident.” She cried.

He thought as much. He could feel the pain but he couldn’t move much and that part still bothered him. He was back at home so he didn’t think much of it. He chuckled then said, “Oh no, this is the third car this month. Let me guess, father and mother are giving him a tongue lashing.”

Christoffer, just like Alisa, enjoyed the same shelter Lauritz had given them. Whenever he could he would assume all the blame and responsibilities and this had kept Christoffer out of trouble so far.

“Oh Fer…” Alisa whined before breaking down once more.

There was something wrong. She wasn’t laughing or mimicking their parents. She was crying and this wasn’t like the times she would want her way with something. Christoffer tried to sit up but he couldn’t move.

“Why can’t I move?” Christoffer moaned as the pain held him in place.

Alisa got up and turned on the light. Standing aside as Christoffer took in the gravity of the situation. His leg was strung up on his bed frame, while his arm lay by his side, immobile. He raised his other arm and pulled off the linens trying to find the source of the stabbing pain. His chest was wrapped in a white bandage. His eyes widened as his head fell back on the pillow in disbelief.

“There is no way Lauritz is going to let Lu off the hook for this one,” he mumbled as he stared up at the light. “Alisa, get Lu for me.”

She didn’t move.

“Alisa did you hear me?”

She sank to the ground and burst out crying. Immediately, Christoffer had the urge to stand up and go to his sister but he couldn’t move.

“Alisa, come here and tell me why you are crying.”

“I’m going to get Papa.” She got up and took off running from his room.He could hear her scream out for their father.

He lay back in pain trying to find the words that could get him and his brother out of trouble. The broken arm and leg would only get him so far. He wondered what kind of injuries Lu had. But when his father walked in the wheels reeling in his mind stopped. He stared at the disheveled man, so unlike his perfect debonair father. His eyes were swollen and red, and his whole body shook.

“Papa, I’m sorry.”

Lauritz enveloped his son in his arms. His whole body shuddered as he sobbed. Christoffer stared at his sister who hang back crying as well.

“Papa, what’s going on? Where is Lu?”

Lauritz pulled away and looked into his son’s eyes and said, “You are the crown prince now.”

“What? Father what happened tonight is my fault.” He couldn’t believe that his father had passed over Lu for the throne, just because of the accident he caused.

“Lu is dead.” Lauritz took a step back and moved towards the door. “You are Crown Prince.”

Christoffer stared at his father in disbelief until he disappeared, closing the door behind him. His breath caught in his chest as his father’s voice rang in his ears. He shook his head as tears rolled down his temples. He finally realized that his nightmares were memories.

“I want to see Lu!” He tried to get out ofbed but he couldn’t. There were too many things holding him down. “Alisa, help me!”

After a couple of sedatives from his doctor, Christoffer calmed down and fell back to sleep. The next morning he watched from his bedroom window as the procession began.

Lu’s coffin was covered in the Danish flag. It was slowly loaded onto a horse drawn carriage. Alisa and Lauritz held onto Abellona as they followed the carriage behind. His mother hadn’t been in to see him and he couldn’t blame her. He had caused her the greatest pain ever and because of that he couldn’t bring himself to look into Lu’s coffin and say goodbye.

“How did it happen?” Christoffer’s father had kept asking.

‘I don’t know’ was his only response and when he asked for his mother, his father’s response would be ‘she’s not ready to see you yet’. Christoffer knew what that meant, she hated him for killing her son and he couldn’t blame her. Chrstoffer hated himself to. He didn’t deserve her forgiveness. He didn’t deserve anyone’s forgiveness.

Christoffer covered his face as he wept, full of disgust for himself.

“Lu, I’m so sorry.”

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Next week Alma’s story!!!

 

Other work by M.O.Kenyan Shades of Spring 1964: Letters to My Daughter and you can read the first chapters of this book here . And also an intense short story Checkmate