New Romantic-Suspense SPLIT DECISIONS by bestselling author Carmen DeSousa is now available!

Split Decisions - Final Cover

Split Decisions is a follow-up novel to the romantic-suspense bestseller She Belongs to Me. While you do not have to read the first book to enjoy the second, we believe you should have the option, so click here to avoid spoilers.

If you’re still here, read on for a first peek at Split Decisions and a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card.

Book Description:

Sometimes you want something so badly you are willing to abandon everything you’ve ever known—including yourself.

Eighteen years ago, Jaynee Monroe married the man of her dreams, became the mother of four, and fulfilled her career goals. About to turn forty, she senses something is missing from her idyllic life. While Googling her name in an attempt to find herself, she unearths something so impossible, she contemplates her own sanity. Seeking answers, she embarks on a journey to discover the truth, only to end up abducted by a deranged stranger who insists on calling her Caycee.

Caycee took the road less traveled. Rejecting a marriage proposal from the only decent man she ever knew, she ventures to California to become famous. Eighteen years later, success has left her alone and miserable. Attempting to locate her lost love on Facebook, she discovers his infatuation with her. Not only does his presumed-dead wife have Caycee’s uncommon middle name, it appears he has photo-shopped her face over hers.

Never could Caycee and Jaynee have imagined decisions they made years earlier would threaten not only their lives but also their loved ones. Caycee must now reunite with the southern gent she dismissed eighteen years ago and convince him to accompany her to New York to locate his wife, the most important person in both their lives.

Download Split Decisions here:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

iTunes

Now all you have to do to register to win the $10 Amazon Gift Card is share this page via Raffle Copter. Contest ends 7/1/13 at 12:00 a.m. EST and you can share daily if you want. Good luck!

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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.

cropped-picture3.jpg

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?

Love The True Way Promotion

Image courtesy of piyato at FreeDigitalPhotos.netLove The True Way Promotion is being hosted by Amazon KDP Select for  the Valentine’s inspired novella Love Forever After.

The book is FREE from the 18th to the 22nd of February.

Be sure to get your copy and leave a review. I would love to hear from you about this unorthodox out of the norm Valentine’s Special.

Until then, here is a sample chapter.

 

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

Amazon

Change of Book Covers for the Candle Light Series

Hi guys!

The release date for Love Forever After is 7th of February.

I decided to change the cover and have it more series title inspired. I love the new ones and I hope you’ll like them too.

Image courtesy of piyato at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of piyato at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Janaka Dharmasena at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Janaka Dharmasena at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’sa common question who an author would like to play the roles of the characters in their books. I’ve thought long and hard about these books because they are not just another Paranormal, Romance books. They have so much more emotion in them and the characters are so specific in my mind that the actors need to fit them perfectly.

Robert Pattinson as William Stanford

Robert Pattinson as William Stanford

James Scott as Ronald Stanford

James Scott as Ronald Stanford

Lance Gross as Morris James

Meta Golding as Sandra James

Meta Golding as Sandra James

Katerina Graham as Kristy James-Stanford

Katerina Graham as Kristy James-Stanford

LOVE FOREVER AFTER……. A Valentine’s Special

Hi guys!

It’s the 3rd of February, a day after my birthday. To all those who sent thier warm wishes to be, thanks, I really do apreiate it. And thise I share a day with HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Aside from that, i wanted to reveal my new cover for my newest release, LOVE FOREVER AFTER. It’s the first book to a two part series namely CANDLE LIGHT.

I did the cover myself and I hope you like it. All details, and accredits will be included in this book including future and past works.

Date of release will be announced soon, but for now, enjoy a sneak pic in this lovely tragic romance story!

Candle Light…

 

With the sun gone and the nights dawn,

I fear the darkness.

Grasping for hope, grasping for light where there is none,

I wander in the darkness.

A hole in my core, a leak in my essence,

I bath in the darkness.

Waiting for that moment to come,

Waiting for the pained peace to settle with the dust,

No longer waiting for that sweet song,

I cherish the darkness!

I am one with the darkness,

I am reborn in the darkness!

But then…. like a train from a far,

A gentle light…. a threatening light….

Like a breath of new life….

Comes the candle light.

                                                                                      -Christina OW

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 Foerver After

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

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.

m_4e0b359bf0b01

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.

My Books Covers

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

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.

Shades of Darkness ~ Excerpt

I’m so excited to have finished Shades of Darkness, Book 2 Redemption Series, that I had to post an excerpt! Sending it in to my editor today! 🙂

I’m attaching a pic of my inspiration for Haden, the new antagonist in my series you’ll love to hate!

Shades of Darkness

Prologue

Three Years Later

 

“So, is it true?” Haden demanded, grabbing hold of Jace’s arm and pulling him into the tiny supply room tucked away in the back of the bar. He kicked the door closed with the heel of his boot and leaned against the frame to prevent any untimely interruptions. Too long he’d been waiting for this moment, too long he’d been searching for the “sighted” one. “Did you see her? Does she have it?”

Jace looked over his shoulder as if to make sure they were truly alone before answering. Turning back around, he nodded, “Yeah, it’s…

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