08 February, 2013

#SpecialFeature :: #GuestPost by Libby Floyd, Author of Sparkelicious

Now Presenting:
*** SPECIAL FEATURE - February'13 ***

When Fiction imitates Real Life: How writing Sparkelicious helped me heal.

When I started writing Sparkelicious, I wanted the book to be more than just a romance novel. I wanted it to be a book that dealt with real life issues. Like all of the books I write, I let the characters take me on their own adventures, so when I began writing the cemetery scenes at the end of Chapter 23, I couldn’t help but draw on the emotions I felt when I lost my father in 2000 to prostate cancer.

In this chapter, Laney and her sisters are all forced to come to terms with their father’s death. Even though their father had died five years earlier they were all still in denial and hadn’t confronted their own emotions and grief.

While Laney had been to her father’s grave since he died, Missy and Bridgett had never been able to face it. So, in this chapter all of the girls face their demons together and it is a lovely, heartfelt scene.

As I wrote this chapter, I cried because I knew I was reliving my father’s funeral, the burial and the first time I found the courage to visit his crypt in the mausoleum with my mother.

I wanted Laney, Sophie, Missy and Bridgett to be brave and fearless just like I was. I think they were and I’m proud of them for finally coming to terms with the loss of their father like I did.

Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 23: Pages 203-206…

Laney pointed to the stone building in the middle. “It’s that one.” She remembered her father’s service like it was yesterday. “I’ll take the key and make sure it opens the door.” She got out of the car and walked to the glass doors. She placed the key in the lock and pushed the door open.
She waved at her mom to get out of the car and walked into the silent, small churchlike room. She scanned the Italian marble crypts in the walls; each one, identified with a name and a date. Her eyes stopped on “Clayton Montgomery 1932-2000.” She kneeled down and put her hands to the cold marble. 

“I miss you so much, Daddy,” she cried. “I wish that I could see you again and that you could hear me. There are so many things that I want to tell you and ask you.” Laney began to softly cry, backing away from the crypt and sitting down on the wooden bench. 

So many emotions had been hidden deep inside of her for so long, and it felt good to get them out. She wiped her eyes, walked back over to the marble slab and spoke to it as if she was talking directly to her father. She asked him questions about her future and prayed that he was there listening to her. She leaned in and kissed the cold tile. “I’ll see you again soon, Dad. I love you.”

She exited the mausoleum, and looked up over the brow of the hill where her mom was standing, in front of Charles’s grave. Oh, no, she thought, Mom shouldn’t be alone. Laney hiked past grave after grave decorated with vases of roses, sunflowers and tulips, joining Sophie at the top of the hill. She looked down at his placard: “Charles McKenzie Williams 1927-2009.” Laney put her arm around Sophie and smiled. 

“Mom…Charles and Dad can keep an eye on each other every day,” she remarked, noticing how Charles’s grave looked down on the mausoleum where her father lay. She thought it ironic that they had gone to the same college and were friends for over 35 years.

“You’re right, honey.” Sophie replied, checking the eye line of both gravesites.
Laney wanted to be strong for her mom, but she was way too emotional. “I miss Dad so much.” 

Sophie grasped Laney’s hand. “I know. I miss your father too, and my sweet Charles.” They shed some more tears then walked down the hill, back to the car. They were thankful that they had each other to share this moment together. 

“I’m just lucky that I had two great loves in my life,” Sophie declared, with a sniffle. “Most people never have one.”

Laney frowned. “I thought I had one, but I was wrong.” 

“But you may have found him now, honey, have faith.” 

In the distance, Laney spotted Missy’s Lexus parked in front of the mausoleum. 
“It’s Missy and Bridge. I can’t believe it,” she cried.

“Me either, that’s wonderful.” Sophie too was surprised that after five years her other daughters had finally made an appearance at their father’s gravesite.

Laney and Sophie approached as Missy and Bridgett stepped out of the sedan. 

“Where’s Dad buried?” Bridgett queried without even saying hello. She wanted to get this over with and fast.

Missy was more diplomatic. “I don’t think that I’m ready for this, but here I am.” She looked like she’d already seen a ghost.

“Girls, I’m so happy that you’re here,” Sophie said, embracing them both.

“Me too,” Laney said, joining in the group hug. “I know this isn’t easy, but it will be good for the soul.” 

She led her sisters down to the mausoleum. Missy’s face turned white and she stopped in her tracks, turning back toward the car. “I don’t think that I can do this.” 

Bridgett wasn’t going to let her chicken out. “If I’m going in there, then you are too.” She grabbed Missy by the arm and pulled her back toward the entrance. “We had a deal.” 

Laney opened the glass door with the key and Missy and Bridgett tentatively followed her to their father’s crypt. 

“I can’t look.” Bridgett covered her eyes and cringed. 

“Me either,” Missy cried, doing the same. 

“Do it for Mom’s sake,” Laney whispered to them, with Sophie looking on. “She needs some support here.” Although, Laney was the youngest child, at times like these, she felt like the oldest. “I’ll walk up there with you.” She took both of their hands and guided them to the marble tomb.

Sophie sat on the wooden bench in front of Clayton’s crypt and sobbed. 

“This is so weird,” Bridgett said, staring morbidly at the grave. “I can’t believe he’s really in there.” 

Laney smiled and said, “His spirit left his body when he died. So, Dad’s here right now, and around us every day.” 

Missy couldn’t handle all the talk about death and sped out the door. Even her tough exterior couldn’t get her through this. 

“I miss him,” Bridgett whispered. 

“Me too,” Laney said. “But we have to know that he’s in a better place.” 

“Wow, that’s deep,” Bridgett replied in a hippie-style tone, still not sure of what Laney was talking about. 

Sophie went out to check on Missy. She hoped that one day Missy would be able to go to her father’s grave and have some closure with his death. But it looked like today wasn’t gong to be the day.

Sophie ran after Missy, who was headed for the car. “Honey. I’m right behind you, if you need me.” 

Missy spun around. “Mom…dammit, I should be here for you,” she cried. “I need to do this for myself and for you.” Missy sighed, lifted her head up and took a deep breath. “So…let’s go see Dad.” 

Sophie and Missy marched back to the mausoleum, hand and hand, like two strong soldiers going into battle. They joined Laney and Bridgett in front of the crypt. 

Not a word was spoken, only tears were shed. But for the first time, they were all together to grieve their father and the loving husband that Clayton had been to Sophie. 

Stalk the Author

Ms.Floyd has kindly offered to giveaway three copies of her book 'Sparkelicious'! Its open to US Residents only. So what are you waiting for? Go enter the rafflecopter below and try your luck!!

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