One of my favorite parts about being an author is
interacting with readers and other writers. When reviews of Grasping at Eternity started coming in,
many readers were saying the same thing: Maryah was frustrating. People wanted
to shake her.
comments made me smile because I can’t tell you how badly she frustrated me,
and I’m her creator. (I mean that in a literary way, not a godly way.) I
replied to a few reviewers (thanking them, of course, for their honest review).
I told them I wished I could give out a snowglobe with every book. The
snowglobe would have Maryah inside and it would be filled with stars. That way,
whenever she frustrated them, they could shake their snowglobe and feel better.
joke blossomed to life. Many readers became part of the beloved snowglobe club.
Somewhere along the line, I promised to work “snowglobe” into book 2 as a
tribute to my readers. Maybe even more of an apology to them that Maryah was
later, the snowglobe scene is the opening of Taking Back Forever. It warmed my heart to write this scene. My
readers were there in the room with me, in spirit, cheering me on as I wrote.
The snowglobe theme evolved and even shows up in other parts of the book. To
me, every time it’s mentioned, it’s magical. My readers have influenced and
helped create parts of a story that is so near and dear to my heart. That makes
those readers even nearer and dearer to my heart...then, now, and forever.
reached out to those who expressed their love for Grasping at Eternity and asked for their help to get it under the
5k rank on Amazon. If we could achieve that goal (which seemed unattainable at
the time) I promised to post the opening scene of Taking Back Forever. The snowglobe scene.
they went above and beyond, and Grasping
at Eternity reached #911 in the entire Kindle paid list, #45 on Fantasy
& Futuristic, #39 in Paranormal Romance, and #1 in Metaphysical Fiction.
I’m am so
blessed, honored, and grateful to have such supportive and giving fans.
Seriously, words can’t express.
So, here it is. It still needs some work, but
if you knew how much heart and soul has been poured into this one scene, if you
could see the effervescence of all my treasured readers bubbling up between every
line, then you would forgive any flaws. Because as frustrating as Maryah might
be, my readers are making her a better and stronger person--and everyone,
including the kindrily, and especially me, are eternally grateful.xoxo
TAKING BACK FOREVER
Stars glittered down around the girl
as the peacock feather in her hand fanned out into more than a dozen feathers.
The liquid she stood in shimmered with iridescent colors that reminded me of
Louise’s paintings and the dream I had where the hallway flooded with a river
of green and gold. The figurine’s eyes were made from two tiny green jewels.
I shook the snow globe again,
mesmerized by the beauty of the twinkling stars.
“It’s you,” Carson told me.
“Me?” I suspected the strawberry-blond
haired girl inside the glass was me, but I felt arrogant saying it out loud. Carson
said he made the snow globe for a school project, so why in the world would he
have chosen me as the centerpiece for his assignment? “I don’t understand.”
Carson plopped down in a stool
across from me and Krista. “All week we’ve been learning about classical
conditioning and our teacher wanted each of to bring in stimuli we thought
would elicit a similar reaction from everyone in the class.” He tugged at the
strings of his hoodie. “So I made that.”
A close-lipped grin spread across
Krista’s face and she lowered her chin. Carson glanced at her and smiled.
I rubbed my thumbs over the smooth
glass. “I don’t get it.”
Carson tucked his dark hair behind
his ears. “My experiment went exactly as planned. Every single one of my
classmates, without fail, couldn’t resist shaking the crap out of you.”
Krista held back a laugh, covering
her mouth with her hand.
I set the globe on the counter in
front of me and glared at Carson. “I’m sensing there is a joke at my expense
somewhere but I don’t want to know what it is.”
Carson blasted a loud and obnoxious
air horn. Krista and I almost jumped out of our seats. Eightball had been
asleep near my feet, but he jumped up and howled.
“What in the world?” I leaned down
and rubbed Eightball’s head, assuring him everything was okay. He snorted then his
chubby short legs slid apart until he lazily sprawled flat on the floor again. My
pulse returned to normal but my ears were ringing. “Why did you blow that
“Yes! Ding, ding, ding.” Carson
pulled out a chocolate truffle from the pocket of his sweatshirt and tossed it
across the counter to me. “Way to ask a question.”
Krista leaned forward, watching us
with an expectant grin on her face.
I eyed Carson, and the chocolate,
skeptically. “What’s wrong with the candy?”
He smiled and tossed me another
“Seriously,” I said. “What are you
Another truffle skidded across the
counter and hit my hand.
Krista nodded at him. “It’s
I crossed my arms over my chest,
studying the devious duo and replaying our whole awkward encounter. “Are you
rewarding me with chocolate every time I ask a question?”
Krista, the traitor, handed me a
truffle while Carson grinned smugly.
I smacked the candy away. “I’m not
“Hey,” Carson said. “You’re finally
asking questions. Pavlov would be proud.”
“I still don’t see the connection
between that and the snowglobe.”
He leaned forward. “Maryah, for months
so much magic has been happening all around you but you were oblivious. I speak
for many when I say we really wanted to shake some sense into you. Now, you
know the big secret, but you’re still not asking enough questions about us,
your kindrily, your power, or your past. You need to try a lot harder if you
really want to enhance your ability and recover your memories.”
“Or what?” I asked. “You’ll blast
me with your air horn?”
“For questions you get chocolate.
For quiet stupidity and obliviousness you get the horn.” Carson smirked. “It’s
“Okay,” Krista jumped to my defense
much too late. “Point made. The air horn isn’t necessary but I like the
She unwrapped a truffle and popped
it into her mouth.
I stared at the miniature me in the
snowglobe. All the stars were in a pile at her feet. The liquid around her was
completely still. I folded my hands in my lap, resisting the urge to shake it
again. “Still don’t get how the snowglobe fits into your ridiculous
He picked it up, turned it upside
down, and shook it so hard his bangs flopped over his face. “It’s a stress
reliever. Figured it would come in handy if Pavlov’s method doesn’t work.”
Krista cooed. “I’m impressed that
you made it. It’s so pretty.”
“You like it? You can have it.” Carson
ate a candy and spoke with his mouth full. “Just leave it in an easily
accessible place so I can shake it when Maryah frustrates me.”
“Very funny,” I said with as much
sarcasm as possible.
Krista giggled and Carson winked at
her in a way that looked sort of flirty. Carson was not Krista’s type
whatsoever. She was way out of his league and he knew it.
“Nathan’s not here?” Carson asked.
I glanced at the clock above the
pantry. “No, but he said he’d be back by dinner.”
“It really sucks that you don’t
have to go to school and I do.”
“At least it’s Friday. You’ve got
an entire weekend to irritate us.” I tossed a candy at his face but he caught
“You call it irritate, I call it
The kindrily—mainly Louise and
Nathan—decided my time would be best spent learning about my past, practicing
seeing into the eyes of their souls, and hopefully getting a handle on my
ability to astral travel. At first, Nathan worried about me being deprived of
all the end of the year activities of my senior year, but class trips and proms
weren’t really my thing. I didn’t mind missing them, and I was much happier
hanging out with Nathan, Krista, Sheila, or any other member of the kindrily. Not
to mention the drama with River and his arrest was the big topic of discussion
at school. I didn’t need to imagine the rumors flying around school because
Faith kept me updated even when I didn’t want to hear them. I was relived to
stay out of that spotlight.
“So where’d Nathan go?” Carson
“I don’t know.” I shrugged. “I
Carson blew the ear-piercing horn
again and spun out of his stool. He headed for the hallway and shouted, “Snowglobe!”
“He’s so funny,” Krista said.
I rolled my eyes and patted
Eightball’s head to stop him from growling. “Yeah, he’s a riot.”
When I heard Carson’s bedroom door
shut I picked up the globe and cradled it in my hands, slowly rolling it side
to side, examining all the stars and the detailed peacock feathers.
Krista leaned over the counter, her
forehead only inches from mine. I raised my eyes, and sighed when I saw the
eager look on her face.
“Here,” I handed it her. “You know
you want to.”
She smiled and took it from me. “I
do, but not for the reason Carson said.”
I crossed my arms over my chest. “Mmm,
After waiting ever-so-patiently,
and with what seemed like great satisfaction, Krista shook me.