Unfolding the Shadows…
Jillian has worked hard to close the doors on her past and the psychic abilities that defined her youth. For sixteen years, she’s ignored the ghosts who still try to whisper to her. Even her controlling husband Kyle has no idea that his wife can talk to spirits. But on the day after Christmas, her great aunt’s car smashes head-on with a commuter train and Jillian finds herself on a collision course with ghosts who refuse to remain in the shadows any longer.
Long-hidden secrets are coming to light and Jillian’s life has to change to accommodate them. With the help of her friends and a substantial inheritance, she sets her life in a new direction, but Kyle’s not about to lose out on his share of Jillian’s inheritance—even if he has to kill her to get it.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? Read on to learn more!
SKY: Welcome, Katie!
KATIE: Hi Sky! Thanks so much for inviting me to be your guest today!
SKY: Glad to have you! I have to say, I’m thoroughly captivated by your latest release, Unfolding the Shadows. It’s sure to please all who have a taste for both romance and the paranormal world. Tell me, what defining moment ignited the idea for this story?
KATIE: Have I told you my house is haunted?
SKY: There’s no way around it. We authors always tend to have a favorite character in our story. One we connect with above all others. Who would you say is your favorite character in this story and why?
KATIE: I would have to say Jillian is my favorite character. She struggles with her identity, and with the kinds of self-doubt that I also have problems with. But she has this inner core of strength, and these cool abilities to tap into when she needs help.
SKY: I’m going to make you think hard now, smiles. Focusing on your hero─ I’d love to hear his ‘voice.’ Give me one run of dialogue that makes me think, “Whoa. Who is this guy? What I wouldn’t do to meet him!”
KATIE: Of all the guys in the story, I think Jake is my favorite. The dark haired, gray-eyed artist worked with Jillian’s great aunt, and Jillian first meets Jake at the mansion mere hours after her aunt dies. He’s an honest, straight forward, down-to-earth guy whom Jillian really connects with, and who she ultimately turns to for help. I kind of regret not giving him a bigger spotlight (or any good sex scenes!) in this book, but he figures prominently in the next one.
Here’s a bit of the scene where Jake and Jillian are first getting to know one another.
“So how did you meet my great aunt?” Jillian asked as she wrapped her hands around the coffee cup. She leaned against the black granite-topped kitchen island, watching Jake search for a sugar bowl in the cabinet. His back was to her and she took the opportunity to scrutinize this man who’d worked with her aunt. With his hat off, she could see the crop of short dark curls on his head, matching the dark stubble on his face. He wore a tight red tee shirt, accenting his wide shoulders. His chest was broad like Kyle’s, but he didn’t have the thick neck of the football players Jillian had known.
“You know Edith had diabetes, right? I don’t know if there is a sugar bowl in there,” she told him as he kept up the search.
“Oh, there is,” came Jake’s muffled reply. He was busy taking mugs down from one of the shelves, placing them on the countertop. “She bought one to match these cups when I started helping her. Said she didn’t like the look of the little paper packets I was bringing. Thing is, I take like six sugars in every cup of coffee. So I leave lots of little papers in my wake.”
Jillian laughed as Jake turned triumphantly with a sugar bowl in his hand. “Aha! Told you,” he said as he placed it next to his own cup and true to his word spooned out six heaping teaspoons.
“Want any?” he asked Jillian.
“No,” she shook her head, laughing more. “Black is fine. So, you met my great aunt where?”
“I’m one of the artists she invested in about ten years ago. We hit it off right away and have gotten pretty close over the years. I met her at the opening of my wife’s first gallery retrospective.”
“Wife?” Jillian asked, surprised at how disappointed her voice sounded. Why do I care if he’s married? she wondered.
“Well, ex-wife now. Monica and I divorced five years ago. She’s a photojournalist,” he added as if to explain.
“Really?” Jillian asked politely, secretly relieved.
“She travels a lot on assignments. After the first few months of marriage, it seemed like she was away from the City more and more.” Jake smiled crookedly, as if the story he told were funny.
“Finally, Monica admitted it was me she was staying away from. We separated, then finally divorced. We’re still friends.”
Jillian grimaced and joked, “I’m not sure my husband and I were ever friends.”
“That would be Kyle?” Jake asked. Jillian nodded. “Your aunt did not speak very favorably of him, but then, she never had much use for lawyers. Not even that Davidson guy who works for her.”
“No, you’re right,” Jillian agreed. “She didn’t like Kyle from the very start. Now I wished I’d listened to her. Said I couldn’t base a solid relationship on less than total honesty.”
A bitter laugh escaped from Jake. “So true.”
“What do you mean?” Jillian bristled, wondering what else her aunt had told this man.
“I was thinking of my own marriage. How it was doomed from the start because my wife lied to herself and to me.”
“Another man?” Jillian asked sympathetically.
“Monica doesn’t like men in general, at least not in that way,” Jake smiled ruefully. “She’s much happier now that she and Crystal are a couple.”
“I’m not a lesbian,” Jillian said quickly, eliciting more laughter from the man across the counter.
“I never thought you were,” he replied, reaching across to push a stray hair out of her face. His light touch made her shiver, raising goosebumps on her arms. “So what’s your dishonesty?”
SKY: Great excerpt, Jake definitely sounds like my kind of guy! I won’t keep you much longer but I’ll bet everyone’s curious…what’s next on the agenda? Rubs hands together in anticipation. Tell, tell. Are you working on a new story now? If so, can you give us a hint as to what we can expect?
KATIE: I’m working on a second book featuring Jillian, Jake and the ghosts they share their lives with. Jake’s ex-wife is in deep trouble with Mexican drug lords and Jillian ends up being her only hope for rescue. I’m excited about the story, but it’s coming in fits and starts. So when my mind draws a blank, I’m also working on a romantic suspense set on Cape Cod that has a higher “heat” level than Jillian’s stories.
I’m also looking for an agent for the middle grade adventure I finished last year. It’s about a boy who’s trying to figure out who he is and where he fits in the world… and then he finds out his mother is a mermaid, and a Princess! Sort of a coming-of-age tale, with a tail…
SKY: It’s been super having you, Katie. Thanks so much for sharing!
KATIE: Thanks for inviting me here today! It’s been fun!
It’s not over yet! Dive inside Unfolding the Shadows one more time with another great excerpt…
Jillian woke with a start, disoriented. She swiveled her head to find herself in Edith’s hospital room, her aunt lying in front of her hooked to beeping monitors and morphine drip. She pressed fingertips against her face until colors exploded on the black screens of her eyelids, but was unable to shake the feeling Edith wanted to tell her something important. Finally, she gave up with a heavy sigh.
This was just a dream, nothing more, Jillian reprimanded herself. I don’t talk with spirits anymore. I’m not that person.
Someone cleared his throat by the door. Jillian’s head whipped toward the sound.
“I’m sorry to wake you, Jill, I didn’t mean to.” Jillian saw Parker leaning against the doorframe to Edith’s room, hands jammed into the pockets of his white coat.
“What are you doing here, Parker?”
He cleared his throat again, looking unsure. “I told you I’d stop by and check on you and your aunt. I heard the prognosis from Dr. Cohen. I’m so sorry, Jill.” Parker took one step into the room, looking down at his feet. “You know, I have to admit something. When your aunt first came into the emergency room, my heart raced to think I’d see you again, after so many years. But these aren’t the circumstances I’d have chosen.”
Jillian looked down at the magazine lying open in her lap, sorting through her own feelings. “I know what you mean. Hey, I’m sorry about before, in the coffee shop. I kind of bit your head off.”
“I want to start over.” Parker’s simple declaration sent a jolt searing through Jillian. She raised her eyes and locked them on his deep green ones. She opened her mouth but no words came out, her mind racing over his question.
Seeing the stunned look on her face, Parker quickly backtracked. “Oh, no. No, no. That’s not what I meant to say. I heard you got married to a lawyer or something. And have a gaggle of kids.”
A smile tugged at the corners of Jillian’s mouth. She had never thought of her three kids as a “gaggle” before.
“I’ll take the smile as a good sign,” he continued. “Can I buy you dinner?”
Jillian glanced at her gold watch, a Christmas gift from her husband the previous year, when his career was still riding high. “It’s only two thirty,” she told Parker. “Hardly time to be thinking about dinner.” As she stared at the watch, she thought of Kyle and wondered if he was back from fixing that barn yet. She needed to talk to him about the accident.
Parker laughed. “I may not have diamonds decorating my wristwatch, but it’s almost seven. You must need a new battery.”
“Seven?” Jillian stood quickly and looked around. There was no window in the room to verify that it was already night. “Are you kidding me? I need to call home.”
“You have to leave the hospital to turn on your cell phone anyway. Join me for dinner?” Parker wheedled. “There’s a bar on the corner that serves a mean burger. I’ll even spring for extra fries and a beer if you want.”
“Won’t your wife be expecting you at home?” Jillian asked, gathering her things.
“What? I’m not married,” Parker said, a puzzled expression scrunching his forehead. “Where did you get that idea?”
“I thought I heard you tell the nurses something about a patient trying to fix you up.” Jillian was sure she’d heard him say he was married.
Parker chuckled. “I was just letting an old woman down easy. There’s no one waiting for me at home, not even a cat.”
“Well, you always were pretty hard to live with,” Jillian teased, somehow relieved. “Dishes filling the sink, dirty clothes molding on the floor of the closet…”
“Ouch! Was I that bad? Wait, don’t answer,” Parker added quickly. He paused as Jillian brushed past him and then followed her into the hallway. “I’m sure I’ve changed. Medical school gives you a new appreciation of what germs can do.”
“I almost forgot!” Jillian turned suddenly, going back into Edith’s room. She emerged a few moments later and smiled sadly at Parker. “I needed to tell her I was leaving for the night and that I’ll be back first thing in the morning.” They walked in silence down the hallway.
Parker’s voice was gentle as he finally said, “Jill, she’s in a coma. She really can’t hear you.” He pressed the button to call the elevator. “Besides, I thought you gave up all your spiritual stuff when you became a cheerleader.”
“I did, I mean I don’t believe in…” Jillian started, unable to look him in the eye. “It’s just that… Never mind.”
“Never mind what?” Parker asked as the doors slid open and they stepped into the small cubicle. He pressed the button for the lobby and the doors slowly closed them in.
The elevator felt very small to Jillian, wafts of soap and Parker’s aftershave encircling her head. “Never mind what, Jill?” Parker repeated quietly.
“Auntie was speaking to me in my dream,” Jillian told him, embarrassed by the admission.
Parker turned his head upward to where the numbers slowly counted down the floors. “In college you told me that you had renounced all that.”
“Right.” Jillian shrugged. “It was just a weird dream. I guess I need more sleep.” The elevator doors finally whispered open, revealing the lobby. Jillian looked up at Parker and saw he was staring at her. “What?”
Parker smiled. “Nothing. C’mon, let’s go eat.”
I hope you enjoyed getting to know author Katie O’Sullivan. Doesn’t Unfolding the Shadows sound scrumptious? Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win! Contest ends 12 PM EST, Friday, February 5th, 2010.
Visit Katie at her website- http://www.katie-osullivan.com/
Purchase Unfolding the Shadows directly from Cerridwen Press -http://www.jasminejade.com/pc-7563-92-unfolding-the-shadows.aspx
Or find it at Amazon- http://www.amazon.com/Unfolding-the-Shadows-ebook/dp/B003380704/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=digital-text&qid=1263994861&sr=8-2
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