10-18 - Lorraine Beaumont, New Adult Time Travel Romance

Monday, October 20, 2014

Seizing the Day When Death Comes Near

I have never personally had a near-death experience. Knock on wood. However, I have lost loved
ones and watched those I care for deeply draw close to death in one way or another. Recently, a family member received a potentially devastating medical diagnosis. While I hoped and prayed and agonized for a positive prognosis for him, I admit that I considered mortality in a way I hadn't just days before hearing of his condition.

Generally, like most of us, I suspect, I don't pass my days contemplating the end of my life, nor how many days of existence I might have left. I am usually too busy to even accomplish everything on my daily To Do list, let alone contemplate my mortality. But at certain moments in my life, death has drawn near. Near enough that its presence made me stop and pause. Stop and consider when my life might end. Stop and think about how I want to spend the rest of my days. 

"Live everyday as if it's your last" is a fine adage, but it's difficult to do each and everyday. Perhaps it's a financially necessary day job that prevents us from...climbing Mount Kilimanjaro—or whatever else our life's goals may be. And perhaps the aphorism does't simply mean we should quit a job that feels like drudgery and spend the rest of our days in Tuscany (though that sounds pretty good). Maybe it means we should view each day as precious, whatever we do with it. And, too, that we should pair down our lengthy life's To Do lists or bucket lists to the items that truly have significant, essential meaning to us. 

My family member is going to be just fine. After a quickly scheduled surgery by a talented surgeon, he's on the mend. In fact, he's already back at home with his family and enjoying life with as much verve and passion as he did before his diagnosis. And, according to him, a new portion of gratitude. For me, worrying about him and considering life and death, weighing my life up to this point and wondering how long my cord extends, made me realize there are a few things that matter to me a great deal, and a lot that, in the end, will matter very little. 

Family and friends are at the top of my list, but so too is my writing. After years of stops and starts, I finally got serious about my writing within the last two years. At the start of 2014, I published my first novella, Scandalous Wager. On November 1st, I will publish my third installment in my Whitechapel Wagers historical romance series. I am thrilled to finally be finishing my stories, publishing, and growing as a writer. Because when I consider what I want to accomplish in the rest of my days, writing is high on my list. Moments like the recent experience of hearing of a loved one's potentially serious medical diagnosis reminded me how precious everyday is, and how important it is to "seize the day."

Is writing on your list? Is there something you truly want to accomplish or pursue but have been putting it off for someday? 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Seeking Treasure

by Lorraine Beaumont, New Adult Time Travel Romance Author

Treasure is such a solitary word and yet it has the ability to send your mind racing off on a journey through time and have your heart chasing right after it.

For the heroine’s in my books, it is no different. In Forgotten Time, my debut new adult time travel novel, Katherine Jamison is a young woman temping at a high end auction house, and when she “borrows” an ancient amulet to wear to a costume ball, she inadvertently sets in motion a chain of events that result in her waking up in Victorian England betrothed to an arrogant self-centered earl.

Normally when you hear the word treasure, it will incite visions of chests of gold, swashbuckling pirates who look like, maybe, probably, definitely…Johnny Depp.

When in reality treasure does not always come in the form of gold and it is not always accompanied by pirates, no matter how good looking they are. Instead, it is merely something found of great value.

While researching these items for my books, I uncovered many different stories about real treasures that were found by everyday people, like you and me.

And who doesn’t love a good treasure story? I know I do.

Take for instance the story of a man who walked into a flea market one day and bought a small oil painting for $50 and found out it was by a listed artist worth $1 million dollars.

Or the story about a man who went to a Pennsylvania flea market and bought a dismal painting for $4
dollars because he liked the gilded ornate frame and found out he is now the possessor of a first printing of the Declaration of Independence, which is expected to bring $800,000 to $1 million dollars at auction.

And last but not least….at a New York tag sale, someone bought a ceramic bowl for $3 dollars and it sold at the famed auction house Sotheby’s, for $2.23 million.

To the auction world however, these items of great value are not called treasure but instead “Finds.” They come in many different mediums, shapes and sizes, which in the third book in the Ravenhurst Series, Time to Remember, my heroine Raven Tremaine discovers while cataloguing the contents of Ravenhurst estate,  a castle with a few thousand feet of additions that dates back to King Arthur’s realm. She has a few good “cheats” up her sleeve as well that will enable just about anyone to be able to discern whether they have stumbled upon a true “Find.”

So the next time you pass a flea market or happen by a tag sale or auction, why not stop, take a look around and maybe just maybe you will “Find” a treasure for your very own.

I’ll keep my *fingers crossed* for you.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my little “Finds.”

Happy Hunting and as always, I’m sending out a big THANK YOU for reading.

Lorraine Beaumont is an international bestselling author. She writes books with an ensemble cast of characters, with plenty of twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the very end. She writes the kind of books she enjoys reading and can only hope that you will enjoy them as well.
There is not much more she enjoys than interacting with her readers, so if you happen upon a “Find” of your own and want to share, she would love to hear about it.  Who knows, she may even be able to tell you what it is worth.

The fifth book in the Ravenhurst series, Now and Forever will be available soon.


 Connect with Lorraine online anytime

Friday, October 17, 2014

Close Enough

Hi, I'm Pippa Jay, author of scifi and the supernatural with a romantic soul. I guess writing a bit of paranormal should make me familiar with death and what might happen after. Personally, I've never had a 'real' near death experience, for which I'm grateful. There are a lot of things I've researched as an author--sometimes terrible things--and there are times I've even tested things out myself like holding my breath for as long as possible (I was researching drowning). But I've had one experience that, at the time, felt as close to death as I ever want to get.

In February 2008 I was heavily pregnant with little monster number three, and suffering from a nasty cold that had kept me in bed for a week. I'd already seen my doctor about the chronic earache accompanying the cold that stopped me from sleeping, and been curtly informed that she couldn't give me anything because I was pregnant. So I'd stuck with whatever pathetic remedies I could take--paracetamol for the pain, fluids, and a few drops of an aromatherapy breathe-easy type medication dripped onto tissue. I was all blocked up, coughing, feverish, struggling to breathe and thoroughly miserable.

Then one evening it got worse. I felt I was really fighting to breathe, and every passing moment the feeling intensified. I tried shouting for my husband, but I'd lost my voice and trying to shout only made me even more breathless. It got to the point I felt I couldn't breathe at all.

I crawled out of bed and onto the landing. By now, all I could think was that I was going to die, and so would my poor baby. And rather than scared, my overriding emotion was anger. Fury, even. If the anthropomorphic representation of Death (as portrayed by Sir Terry Pratchett in the Discworld novels) had turned up at that moment, he'd have got the beating of his life...er, death. I can't remember being so angry in my life before. And that's my predominant memory of the event. I can remember hearing the panic in my husband's voice as he called an ambulance, and I remember feeling momentarily sorry for him having to deal with it (a terribly British attitude, I think). Apparently I went a lovely shade of purple.

By the time the ambulance arrived, my breathing had settled down but I was very shaky after the whole experience. The paramedics gave me oxygen and recommended I go to hospital. I wasn't going to say no (although I have to say the night spent there was almost as hellish as my near death experience, between constant checks, needles, monitors, a chronic snorer and another patient moaning and talking in his sleep). Less than 24 hours later I was sent home with antibiotics for a chest infection and a memory I'll never forget. And that's as close to a near death experience as I ever want to get... *plans on immortality*

Perhaps that's why death and resurrection are a common theme in my stories, even though I don't personally believe in reincarnation or any kind of after life. And yet they're often in my writing. Funny how my stories don't reflect my beliefs in those things. In my newest release, my hero has lost the love of his life, and makes a risky attempt to summon back her soul during All Hallows' Eve, when spirits are most likely to be abroad and loved ones come home. I'm glad I hadn't gone far enough to need any magic to bring me back. But how would you feel about being brought back from the dead, especially if you'd been gone a year?

Hallow's Eve, paranormal romance short


Twelve months ago, Hal’s world crashed and burned, taking the love of his life with it. He’s waited all year for that one special night when the souls of the departed come home, hoping his candle will summon back one in particular to heal his broken heart. But the forbidden knowledge he’s learned could call something far worse, and put more than his own soul at risk...

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Live Like You Were Dying

For you non country fans, that’s a song by stud-muffin Tim McGraw. It’s one of my favorites  because it’s not just a song, it’s a story…as most country songs are.

Anyway, this month we’re talking “near-death experiences”….apropos for the month of October as Halloween is just around the corner, and although most people associate the holiday with dressing up in costume and going door to door begging for sweets, it’s actually the start of a Mexican holiday called Dia de los Muertos….Day of the Dead.  Sounds spooky huh? But really the day is really about coming together to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. 

I’ve been surrounded by death most of my life---giving a whole new meaning to our theme--near death experiences.  I’ve lost a lot of family over the years, starting when I was seven with the death of my grandmother who was barely in her sixties. In fact, in the span of six years I’d lost both grandparents and parents followed later by the loss of several beloved aunts and uncles (all on  my mother’s side and at very young ages). Recently I said goodbye to my cousin, Thomas, who passed away after a lengthy illness. He was only nine years older than me.

As hard as these losses have been, I have to say, accepting these deaths has given me a somewhat new perspective on life.  When someone is ill or has a health crisis, I tend to mentally prepare myself for their passing; accepting the inevitability so the heartache is easier to bear.  In fact, I tend to speak of my own death to my children, to give them time to get used to the idea of not having me in their lives forever.  Morbid I know.   But, death is a part of life. We may be able to prolong it, but we can’t stop it from ending.  And, if you believe in reincarnation like I do, you’ll come back to a new life in another day and time. 

Wow, I hope this blog didn’t bum you out. Haha

So, I’ll end with this. If you’re looking for some fun, spooky and romantic reading this Halloween season, my novel Dark Obsession (which was just given a 9.1 scoring by the Readers Crown at RomCon) is on sale at Amazon. 
And if you really like the ‘edge of your seat’ paranormal thrillers, check out my good friend Robert Gregory Browne’s books….The Innocent Ones (previously titled Down Among the Dead Men) being my favorite!!


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Curse of an Angelic Child

by Vivienne Lorret

As the youngest of three sisters, I’ve had my fair share of near death experiences. Just to name a few—I was thrown down a flight of stairs, smothered with a pillow, chased by a wild-eyed two-by-four-wielding sister, and I was also locked in the basement on countless occasions. Out of all these, being locked in the basement was the most terrifying.

We had a haunted basement.

Beyond a narrow landing, a steep decline of uneven stair treads led down to an unfinished pit (designed to gather floodwater in the spring). Across from the pit, stood a narrow arch, carved out of the damp limestone walls. Our house-spirit lived in this room. We never used that room. In fact, we didn’t even dare look through the arch for fear of what might appear in front of our eyes.

Unfortunately… around the corner from there, in the deepest, darkest part of the basement, was where we kept the only light.

A four-inch chain dangled from a single bulb above the washing machine. I was too short to reach it. So, for the first few times I was locked in the basement, I curled into a little ball on the stair landing and waited for my parents to come home from work.

Gradually, my survival instincts had kicked in. I braved the stairs, praying all the way down that the dark forces that lived in the basement wouldn’t grab my ankles, pull me between the treads, and devour my soul.

Fueled by terror, I climbed on top of the washer. Teetering forward for the chain, I finally reached it. At last, there was light. However, the single bulb didn’t provide much. Instead, long, arm-like shadows stretched along the walls and disappeared into the hollow archway. I couldn’t take my eyes away from that blackness. It was as if my gaze had snagged on one of those sharp rocks and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t pull free.

I ended up falling off the washing machine, ripping the four-inch chain from the socket and blanketing the basement in complete darkness.

On the bright side, in my youth, I’d learned quite a few interesting facts that I’m now able to use in my writing. First, always be wary of turning your back on an angry teenager while at the top of the stairs. Second, if you ever find yourself beneath a pillow that your sister happens to be sitting on, chances are you won’t die. You’ll faint first, which sends her into a panic and causes her to jump off the pillow, providing you with enough air to return to consciousness. Third, dodging a swinging two-by-four offers a true test of your own quick reflexes. And last… when locked in a basement prison, make sure to hide a wire hanger the top of the stairs. It is the perfect shape and size to slip through the crack in the door and lift the latch for a quick escape.

Wishing each of you a happy and safe October!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tanks for the Memories

by Madelle Morgan

This month's topic is the perfect opportunity to tell you about my heroine's tense "near death experience", and how it was derived from my years as a civil engineer in Canada's far north.

In the early 1980s I managed the construction of fuel storage facilities in remote Arctic communities, accessible only by air, by ocean during the short summer, or by ice road in winter. 

Large steel tanks stored gasoline, heating oil, and aviation fuel.

I gained a very healthy respect for the explosive potential of fuel. Actually, it is the fumes that ignite in a flash, sending the whole tank up in a powerful explosion. Very foolish teens regularly scaled fences to sniff gas from hatches in the tops of these tanks. If they decided to light a cigarette, well, that was a real death experience.

I recall receiving a phone call from a contractor who flew into a remote community to gas-free and dismantle a couple of old horizontal tanks.

Contractor: "Can't do the job."

Me, sitting in an office seven hundred miles away: "Why not?"

Contractor: "Tanks blew up before I arrived."

Because of extreme low outdoor temperatures, fuel pumps at each "tank farm" were located inside small insulated prefab buildings. Here's a photo of my 1981-82 tank farm project at Paulatuk, Northwest Territories, Canada on the shore of the Beaufort Sea.

Photo Credit: James Malone, June 1, 2010

In my romantic suspense Diamond Lust, the geologist heroine and her colleague Carter have been locked into one of these fuel dispenser buildings at a diamond mine in the Canadian sub-Arctic.

Overwhelmed by the scale of the fraudulent activities that encompassed diamond production from ore excavation through processing, Petra sank to sit cross-legged on the floor. “Horvath, Security, perhaps a dozen other employees must be in on the fraud. These smugglers covered all the angles. They will never let us live. We are so screwed.”

“Didn’t you notice the AN/FO over there?”

She followed the direction of his nod to a fifty-five-pound sack wedged between two pumps, the label indicating the trade name of an ammonium nitrate blasting agent. A wave of dizziness had her chin dipping to her chest. The smugglers planned one mother of an explosion. Ignited, the dispenser building and its fuel storage tanks outside would erupt into a cataclysmic fireball.

A white ignition cord dangled from a hole poked into the side of the packaging. When the white flashes behind her eyeballs faded, she knee-walked over to the sack, and with her teeth yanked out the cord and metal blasting cap on its buried tip with the intention of gently depositing it on the floor in a far corner.

“A lot of good that’ll do. They don’t have to enter this room to start a fire. They’ll open an exterior valve to flood the ground with fuel, or drop a match into a tank, or—”

“Enough, Carter! I need to think.” Why plan a massive explosion? If eliminating her and Carter were the objective, why wait? A small fire lit at the time they were dumped in the building would have killed them quickly. “They intend to create a major diversion,” she said slowly, “to give them time to escape in the confusion.”

Of course Petra and Carter are saved by the hero in the nick of time!

Don't be Fuelish

Before stepping out of the vehicle at a gas station, please leave cell phones and any device that can create a spark or flame inside the vehicle. Don't smoke! Even static electricity can potentially ignite fumes that have collected around the fuel pumps. Be aware. Be safe.


The spark for Madelle's debut novel, Diamond Lust, was the astonishing discovery of high quality diamonds in Canada's far north. She "mined" her northern experiences to write a romantic suspense about diamond smuggling. Diamond Lust is currently unavailable, but a second edition will be released by January, 2015. www.madellemorgan.com

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Near Death Experience

I died for a moment (Near Death Experience!)
By Marcia King-Gamble

Near death experiences have always fascinated me. Maybe it’s because I’ve heard countless stories of people actually dying and being brought back to life. The newly revived all share a similar experience. They talk about their lives flashing before their eyes, of going through a tunnel and of following a white light.  There’s this enormous feeling of peace and love coming over them. Some have said they were floating above, watching people gather around their remains.  They could see and hear everything clearly.
Whether you believe them or not, it does make you wonder why so many have the same experience.   Are they hallucinating as so many medical professionals’ speculate? 

Dr. Sam Parnia was an honorary research fellow at the University of Southampton in the UK when he began to study these phenomena. His findings are published in the journal Resuscitation. He thinks these near death experiences are real and that people can eventually be brought back to life. According to Dr. Parnia, death is a potentially reversible process.  Does that mean refrigerated immediately, we could live forever? 

The brain supposedly stops functioning within 20-30 seconds of the heart not beating.  Yet patients who were monitored recount seeing and hearing for up to 3 minutes after their heart had stopped. The surviving patients often described the events and sounds in a 3-minute window after technically being dead. Incredibly, their memories are consistent with what actually occurred at the scene.

While I have never had a Near Death Experience, it has to have a profound effect on a person’s life and must change them forever.  Then there are those who missed death by happenstance. I have heard stories of people switching flights at the last minute, or giving up a seat on an airplane only to have the original flight go down. Divine Intervention or merely coincidence?  

A family friend who was never ever late for work overslept the day of the World Trade Center tragedy. She woke up half an hour late and went racing off  to catch the train. It was her day to make coffee.  Mortified, she attempted to go into the building when security pushed her back and pointed upward. The first plane had just struck one of the towers.   Some would say it was Divine Intervention that she did not die that day.
A Near Death experience is something I would like to write a story about. I think it would make for a great internal conflict if my hero never quite recovered from his brush with the afterlife.  I’ve dabbled a bit in paranormals and this concept might be interesting to explore.

In one of my earlier novels, Under Your Spell, I talk about the effects of witchcraft on the Caribbean people. And in one of my bigger books, This Way Home, the heroine’s home used to be a stop on The Underground Railroad where strange, unexplainable things happened.
Have any of you had a near death experience and one you are willing to share?

My heroine,  Andie,  in Tempting Andie, my latest novella, came close.