Novellas out this July and August, Deals and Free Reads

Hallo Happy Readers!

I hope you’re having a great month so far because I have 🙂

I also have great news. In the coming two months I have two novellas published by Sweet Cravings Publishing, coming out that I hope you’ll love; Because I Love Him and Lover Her Right. They are both pregnancy books, because who doesn’t love a baby story, and about finding each other after life has torn two lovers apart. Because I Love Him is quite intense and Love Her Right is the truth about young love.

To get notifications on my newest book releases, follow me on my Amazon Author Page.

Here is a little blurb on each.

July ReleaseRafael DeLuca and Talia McKenna fall in love when, the Italian business mogul goes to Boston to visit one of his family’s companies international offices, and she is assigned to be his guide. But Rafe is already engaged and his marriage is also meant to merge his father’s and future father-in-law’s companies. He calls off the wedding and just days later, he finds Talia in bed with his brother.
Months later Rafe is ready to fulfill his obligation by marrying his fiance and commit to his family responsibilities, but Talia crushes his wedding. She isn’t ready to let go of him just yet.

July Release, Interracial and Multicultural Romance, Suspense, BWWM, Italian

Add it on Goodreads on your Want To Read list and get a notification on the day of publication.

August ReleaseJolie Simmons has been dreaming about being Mrs. MacKenzie Masters since she was thirteen. She has been in love with the boy from across the street for years and has their wedding and their happily ever after already planned out. But those plans are derailed two days after her eighteenth birthday when his parents die and Mac leaves to join the air force. Five years later, he’s back to turn her life upside down again. Should she give him a chance, or will he abandon her and break her heart again?

August Release, Interracial and Multicultural Romance, Suspense, WWBM, Military

Add it on Goodreads on your Want To Read list and get a notification on the day of publication.

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Book Deals and Free Reads!!!

I have three other novellas, one a series prequel and the others a series in its own that I know you’ll enjoy. Yes, they are a little sad but it’s the reality of losing a loved one.

You can get the Candle Light Series free through Kindle Unlimited. The Beginning is free on all book retail sites.

         FREEThe Beginning: When a man with an ancient grudge meets and falls in love with the innocent girl who’s life was ruined by his vendetta, complicated isn’t word enough to describe the situation he finds himself in. His chance with her would be shot to hell if she were to find out his role in her family’s death. She would probably take the news that he was 325 year old werewolf much better. Every story has a beginning, this one is Ashat’s. A man turned into a werewolf by the moon spirits for one reason and one reason alone…. revenge!

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Love Reaffirmed: William loses his wife Kristy in a car accident. Plagued with sorrow and pain, for a few months he believes she’s still alive. Trapped between reality and fantasy, he’s the only one who doesn’t realize it. Kristy, unable to watch her love suffer alone, comes back to him. When he acts like she never left, she doesn’t bother to tell him she’s a ghost. Once William is forced to face that Kristy is truly dead, he breaks down and goes on a destructive path. Afraid that he might actually succeed in killing himself, Kristy must come up with a solution to keep him sane. . .and alive.

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   $0.99Love Rekindled: After Sandra suffers a tragedy that is quickly followed by a divorce, she feels like her whole world was crushing down on her. She never thought anything would hurt as much as losing her sister Kristy, God was she wrong. Completely deflated and defeated, comfort comes in a package she’d spent years avoiding, Ronald. would he be the one to save her from her pain, or would he add on to it by repeating what he’d done to her years ago…

HAPPY BOOK DEALS READING!!!!

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Picked up an Interracial Romance book lately?

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When the tag ‘interracial’ is seen on books, it is assumed that the book is has a black heroine and a white hero, because truthfully, that is the most popular theme and it is rarely the other way round, with a white heroine and a black hero. Another rarity is a black or white lead against a lead that is Asian, Indian, Latin and other races. Examples of such rare books that I’ve read with a Latin/white and Latin/black are the Hot Latin series by Delaney Diamond with a black heroine and Latin hero, M.J. Kane in Butterfly Memoirs with black, white and Latin characters and Star Bright by me with a white hero and a Latin heroine.download (2)

I strive to write books with a whole mix of races because it’s different from the norm and tying your laces the same way every time tends to get boring. And also, I believe it makes them more interesting to the readers because there is more than one culture being explored. In real life, and though interracial relationships have been around for a few decades, people still ask this very popular question, ‘how does your relationship work when you are both so different?’

Yes, we do like to proclaim that we are a racially tolerant world- even though in some places and a few times in our day to day lives racism still exists- the color of our skin is still a gigantic determinant in whether or not a relationship will survive the long hall. ‘How are people going to react to us’, ‘I don’t believe in what you do’, ‘how will our children look like’, ‘what will my family say when I bring a black/white/Asian/Latino guy home’, ‘how long will it take before we face prejudice’.  Then all in all, they begin to feel that love just isn’t enough to keep a biracial couple together.

But just like couples facing financial problems, childlessness, homophobes and sadistic in-laws (yes, we all have that one in-law you would like to ‘forget’ to invite to your Christmas dinner) whatever is holding those couples together- I’m a romantic so I’m going to say love and it is the same thing that will hold biracial couples together. People do need to understand in a relationship, any romantic relationship is to survive, their number one concern should be their partner.

So why do authors like to write IR romance books? One, is because it’s the new fairy tale and people love fairy tales. Second, I think it’s because it is one of numerous ways to say falling in love with someone who isn’t of your race is okay. And why do readers read it? Again, it’s the new fairy tale. And second, I think it’s because they are looking for answers for the questions I pointed out earlier. Great authors bring solid authenticity to their books by bringing in an element of ‘real life’ in their books for those who write fiction and readers feel a familiarity with the book. Those who write non-fiction of IR romances based on their own life become inspirations. Authors end up being ‘therapists’ to their readers, answering questions and helping them sort through their own problems.

download (1)

Here is an interesting fact, very few readers have heard of IR romance books. And yet the bestselling romance books are IR and of course featuring black women and white men. Which begs the question, why don’t IR authors receive the same attention as authors of other romance?

I have a suggestion for you readers who have never read an interracial romance novel. Pick up an IR book and find out why people love them so much. Spice up your libraries people!

The best place to find the best IR authors and books is Romance Novels In Color . They have the best IR books listed and they also have reviews of a large number of IR books out there in the industry. Let them help you make an informed IR decision.

 

My books reviewed by Romance Novels in Color:

Star Bright http://romancenovelsincolor.com/review-of-star-bright-by-christina-ow/
Love Forever After http://romancenovelsincolor.com/review-of-love-forever-after-by-christina-ow/

Have a great Furahi-Day!!

Love Forever After is FREE!!!

Hi all!

Image courtesy of piyato at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of piyato at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I hope you are having a wonderful Monday so far. Well, I’m having a fab day because Love Forever After is #FREE for the next 5 days (27th-31st May)!! So, if you’ve always wanted to read this book, and wasn’t so sure you’d like to spend the cash (I’m like that too so no worries 🙂 ) this is your chance to get a FREE copy! All I ask in a form of payment is a review and a referral so your friends can spend the money!

Only 5 days guys so get to downloading!!

The event is listed on my FB page, please share it with your friends.

To help you decide, her is a review from Romance Novels In Color:

Love Forever After by Christina OW is an amazing tale, filled with sorrow, pain and healing. How do you survive the loss of your soul mate? How does a person come back from that type of bone-deep wounding? This story explores that premise and the idea that even in the darkest hours, comfort can be found.

To start with, the main players are the heroine Kristy, who simply put is an Afro-American tree hugger, and the hero of the tale William is a straight laced British male. They were opposite in all ways, but the differences only serve to highlight the couple’s compatibility.

It all begins with Kristy’s funeral and her grieving widower standing graveside at an empty casket. You are taken through the phases of his pain, starting with the aforementioned service, with details of the couple’s acceptance of each other (the hero has a fund for bail money and the police know her by name), and then taken on a journey to the years beyond.

The hero goes through many bumps in the road on the way to healing. His family (not to mention Kristy’s) thinks he’s lost his mind when he blatantly speaks about his wife as if she is still alive. He is forcibly sent on leave from work for the same reason. There were many twists and turns that made this story not only incredible, but inspiring.

As a reader, I found that the journey made with the hero during his pain was a real one and extremely relatable. I, like many other people have lost loved ones, and the emotions that our hero exhibits are real. The pain he endures is honest.

There were a scant handful of grammatical errors in the writing, but the story was so emotionally riveting that I barely regarded them during the read.

This story is wonderful enough to go into print and sell quite well as the author is talented enough to make the unusual aspects in this novel work well. This story is heart wrenching in the extreme and honestly, I cried like a baby during several scenes. There is no lovemaking in this story, but even as a fan of the erotic I didn’t need that from this read. All that I wanted was for William to find some sense of peace with his loss. I was invested in this story from page one (which is rare in this day and age of quick author turnover and filler pages) and nary a sentence was skipped.

-Reviewed by: Jennifer

Other titles FREE this week:41ou1S6hFLL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-61,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_

The Mara Song

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Fate Series Preview: The Beginning

NB:

-The release of Love Rekindled has been pushed to February 14th. With school and other projects needed sooner, I can’t spare the time to finish this book, but I promise by Valentine’s day, you’ll be enjoying the crazy love between Ronald and Sandra- pure drama!

-Love Forever After is now available on Smashwords and hopefully on other eBook stores.

-Fate Series Preview: The Beginning and The Mara Song are always free on Smashwords but $0.99 on Amazon. The only way they will be free on Amazon if readers tell them of a lower price. So if you’ve read these short stories, please go to Amazon and tell them about the lower price and help make them free.

Have a Fab week and Happy Reading!!! 😉

Praise for Love Forever After and Fatal Jealousy

Hi all!

I hope you are all having a wonderful start of the week.

Mine is going okay, I just hate waking up early on a Monday morning because that means the weekend is over and its time for school again.

Any who… I just want ed to share with you these awesome new reviews for Fatal Jealousy and Love forever After.

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Love Forever After:

‘Love Forever After is sure to touch the heart of any person who has ever loved, more so those who have loved deeply and lost that person too soon. I found myself on a roller coaster ride of emotions from the first page to the last. William and Kristy’s story is a testament to love, and the lengths one will go to to keep that love alive. It is enchanting and haunting, poignant and exhilarating. I am looking forward to the continuation of this series from Author Christina OW. I hope you’ll put this beautiful love story at the top of your to be read list today!’

‘I read Love Forever today. Can you say WOW!!! I was blown away with this book. It was not your typical fairytail love story but took twist and turns that had me going ever which way. It keep you on an emotional rollercoster. Loved this book can’t wait for part 2.’

Fatal Jealousy:

‘This is truly an incredible story written by the amazing Christina OW! With twin sisters, caught up in the madness of love, jealousy and serial killers, Ms. OW has once again written a story that I couldn’t put down! As the FBI’s Behavioral Sciences Unit travels through the minds of serial killers, the twins are caught in between love and madness, a sickness too deep to be imagined. While I was trapped in the story, it was difficult to follow at times as it lacked a smooth transition between scenes. I still have Christina OW as one of my favorite authors to read and review and recommend you read this incredible book!’

‘What an awesome way to plot a novel, sonrisa…Start with two ultimate beauties, twins no less…then add a dash of sexy, action, romance, murder and one FBI agent having to first choose between 3 women…then after choosing, having to save the love he’s chosen and his life and even his career….

Author Christina OW has truly brought out her A game when writing this extremely well put together novel…From the start she truly flows and take you through the pages with such dynamic intrigue…that it leaves you breathless anticipating what’s next….

I recommend this novel to anyone that loves sexy, romance, mystery, action and true detective work….to pick yourself up a copy of this libro/book, sit back buckle your seatbelts and enjoy this amazing ride…WaAr
An Awesomely Amazing Ride!!!!’

‘Let me just say OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am still trying to catch my breath from Fatal Jealousy. That book just literally keep me going like the energizer bunny. I mean I could not put it down. I had to force myself to stop reading and go to bed.

This book is your classic good vs evil but with some twist. Ellie and Ellsa are twins. Ellie the good girl, Ellsa the bad one. This story goes through all of the twist and turns of how one twin has everything and how the other wants it and will do anything and everything to get it. No matter the cost.

Th book blew me away. The twist and turns just keep you going as if you were riding an nonstop rollercoaster. This book was sooooooooo good. I’m generally not a fan of suspence drama but Christina has at least made me one of her books.

The book was awesome. It is well worth the price.’

Thank you so much for your wonderful comments. They go a long way in supporting authors. This kind of support encourages authors to keep writing for you readers and we aim to entertain! 🙂

Reading books is soooo much better than watching TV! 😉

 

Warlock's PawnMake sure to stop by on Thursday for Tara Quan’s guest post. This will be the kick off to her blog tour for her Captive Fate Series!

 

 

 

 

Side Note: HER VENICE AFFAIR is done!

I’ve finally finished writing the first installment of the Albury Affairs series. If there are any readers out there who would love to read and review it (3 weeks) before i query it for publishing, inbox FB page

Blurb:
Riana and Reno Albury 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 being the good girl, she takes a billionaire up on his offer to go to Venice with him.

What could possibly go wrong?

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.

Love Rekindled Poem….. I Need

                                                                            Hi guys! I just wanted to share a poem with you, it’s kind of like a sequel to CANDLE LIGHT, the poem featured in my soon to be published book (i’m working on it) LOVE FOREVER AFTER.

LOVE REKINDLED is about Sandra and Ronald. After Sandra suffers a tragedy that is quickly followed by a divorce, she feels like her whole world was crushing down on her. She never thought anything would hurt as much as losing her sister Kristy, God was she wrong. Completely deflated and defeated, comfort comes in a package she’d spent years avoiding, Ronald. would he be the one to save her from her pain, or would he add on to it by repeating what he’d done to her years ago…

The book is still in the process of writing but here is a poem to give you a hint of what’s coming!

I need…

They say true love comes to those who believe, I believed.

They say love is empty without trust, I trusted.

I believed, I trusted and yet… I hurt.

I need… I need…

I’m getting off this road, but I’m holding onto my true love.

My candle light in the dark…

I feel lighter, I feel happy… I feel love!

Finally! A truthful smile on my lips!

But suddenly, too suddenly… everything went dark.

I can’t see! Where’s my candle, where’s my light?

The pain! Oh God, it’s too much pain!

I trusted, I believed and yet… I hurt a hundred times more!

Please! I need… I need…!

I feel the warmth around me… the painful weight is lifting…

‘Hold on to me, believe in me, trust me… I’ll provide your need.’

                                                    

                                                              -Christina OW

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.

 

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 Stanford
Loving daughter, sister, wife and humanitarian