Coming December 5
Charade of Hearts Available Now at the Wild Rose Press. Part of the Jewel of the Night Series - Oliver's Story!
Cover Art by Nicola Martinez
Touched by an Angel
Release Date: January 7, 2009
Available Now -$1.00
On the eve of his wife’s death anniversary, Charles is as restless as the coming storm. Surrounded by the stillness of the Mojave Desert, he contemplates suicide. But just as he is about to jump, he hears the sweet voice of his wife, telling him it’s not his time. But when Charles meets Emma, whose resemblance to his wife is hauntingly striking, he is drawn to her. And when they discover their spouses have died on the same day and are buried side by side in the same cemetery, a spiritual bonding occurs that neither can deny. Is this fate—or is Cupid shooting arrows from the sweet hereafter?
As the sun set over the Mojave Desert, the Sierra Nevada Mountains were roughly defined against a dramatic sky of crimson
and lavender blue. The warm breeze undulated through the ponderosa pines, sounding like the wise old whispers of the Indians
buried thousands of feet below in the windblown sands. A vulture hovered high above the foothills, an eerie screech foreboding as
it circled the canyon.
Easing his midnight blue SUV around the horseshoe bend in the sloping ridge, Charles thought about his wife. Jill had died two
years ago of cancer and the following day was the anniversary of her death. Frustrated, his eyes filled with tears. His vision
blurred and he swiped at his eyes with the back of his hand. He was angry at the whole world and at God.
His heart was breaking. What kind of a God would take away the love of his life, his reason for living? How was he supposed to
go on living when the best part of him was gone? More tears spilled down his cheeks. He wanted Jill back. He needed her and
wanted her with him, where she belonged. He envisioned her out in her rose garden, clipping and pruning them to sheer
perfection. How she’d loved the yellow rose, and as much as he used to love them, he didn’t any more. Baskets and baskets of
yellow roses had been crammed into the funeral home, permeating the air with the funereal smell of death.
She was so pretty. Her serene green eyes were the color of the sea. He pictured her digging her hands in the rich fertile soil,
looking so peaceful and content. Bathed in sunlight, she had the face of an angel. She had a mega-watt smile that totally beguiled
him. No matter how hot or humid it was, she always looked fresh and lovely. She had a habit of toying with a strand of her long
blonde hair, twirling it between her fingers until it waved. Under the amber glow of the hot desert sun, it flickered like wildfire.
Lord, he missed that woman.
As Charles drove deeper into the foothills, the terrain became noticeably rougher, more uncultivated. The air hummed with
just a hint of danger. The pioneer spirit of the Wild West was still palpable as burros and wild horses galloped amidst the sloping
landscape. How he missed those long afternoon drives through the wilderness with Jill, imagining what life must have been like in
the days of the Wild, Wild West.
More memories of Jill flashed through his mind, filling him with a deep sense of foreboding sadness. Tears streamed down his
cheeks. The desolate road weaving in and out of the canyon was flanked with sagebrush and tumbleweed, and deep in the
underbrush, mountain lions and bobcats roamed free. A coyote yipped in the distance, its howling wail slicing through the thick
humid air. As the sun disappeared behind the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the sky blended into a menagerie of pale peach, rich
magenta, and deep indigo. Charles thought of all the sunsets he’d seen with Jill. All those good times, better times. She should be
here to watch the sunset with him. Why wasn’t she? Why did she have to die? He felt so betrayed. Life wasn’t fair.
White hot fury bubbled up inside him until it erupted like a quaking volcano. Pulling off to the side of the road, he hopped out
of his vehicle. He stared up at the heavens and shook his fist at God. He wanted answers. He needed answers. Angry and frustrated,
he bellowed at the top of his lungs. “Why did you take my Jill from me?” his voice echoed across the canyon. “How could you take
the love of my life away? How could you? How could a loving God do something so cruel? I love her! I want her here with me! I
want her back!”
The air carried with it the scent of a coming storm. Thunder exploded in the distance. A desert storm was closing in on the
Mojave. The wind rippled through the surrounding Joshua trees. The mournful cry of a desert thrasher sliced through the night.
Charles was as restless as the approaching storm. He looked down. The hillside gave way to steep ravines, tumbling down over
rugged cliffs to the valley below. The only thing separating him from a drop of several thousand feet was a mound of crumbled
rock. He took a step closer. Just as he was about to jump, a flash of lightning illuminated the sky. He thought he saw Jill. Pellets of
hard rain pounded on his back, soaking him to the bone. He blinked several times, but whatever he’d seen was gone. Thunder
exploded in the sky, the sound ricocheting through the heavens. Over the rumbling, he heard Jill’s sweet melodic voice. “No,
Charles. Don’t jump. It’s not your time.”
Touched By An Angel is truly an inspiration to everyone to let you know that second chances can happen. Life brings you great surprises and new beginnings. Although I was hoping to get to know more about the characters and their spouses, the book is one that I think everyone should read. It is a book that helps make you smile and have hope. I would highly recommend this book to a friend.
This book is best read with a box of tissues handy. The story is so poignant and
personal yet reaches out to anyone who has suffered loss. Whether or not you believe
in guardian angels too many things in life and in Charles' path are inexplicable
without them. This tale is a wonderful journey of hope and faith. Dee Dailey
I must say I cried through this whole story. We all dream of being blessed with a true love, but to be doubly blessed is truly a gift from God. Touched by an Angel shows the way God works in our lives. Just Amazing. - Matilda
I loved the characters in the story. Charles was a devoted and dedicated man and
missed his wife so much he couldn't stand it. Emma was a beautiful and optimistic
woman. The relationship between them both was so endearing. I felt as though I hurt
when they hurt and I smiled when they smiled. It was a very inspirational story. - LASR