Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Author Spotlight: Uprising, The Rose Warriors by Craig Kimber




Blurb:

In a small village over the mountains surrounding Kyoto, the villagers prepare for an annual tradition. All seems to go well until the village is stormed and all the inhabitants are taken prisoner, except one. Simple village girl, Osei, finds herself alone in the misty mountains on her way to the city. A run in with a near death experience brings her to Kilik, an extremely powerful samurai who vows to keep her safe. Their ventures pull them both into a war beyond imagination, and Osei finds herself gradually transforming into something that she grew up to fear...a samurai.

Excerpt:

“Hurry,” I said, quickening my pace. “It looks like they have already started!”
          
“Shit!” Kota yelped, dashing towards the crowd. We rushed to the courtyard where the villagers had gathered and at the front stood Grand Master Zhuge. He was an elder man though his height was not affected by his age, as he was considerably taller than most of the other villagers. The white of his robe clashed with the silver of his stubble and he bore a scar that ran across his cheek. He held his hands up and the air fell silent, then he eased his hands down and began to speak.
          
“Welcome to all of you who gather tonight,” he called to the crowd. “The spirit of the mountains watches over every one of us and keeps us safe from harm, and I for one am truly grateful. The White Tiger is one of five spirits who grace us with their presence and four are yet to be discovered. We know little of these other spirits but we do know they watch over us just as the Tiger does. The legend says that the spirit can sense evil, and he does not allow it to pass through. This is why we all stand together today in our little peaceful village, because fate has smiled upon us and given us a guardian. I ask anyone to come forward and share their stories of the mountains.”

About Craig Kimber:

Start of Career: I started writing as a hobby at the beginning of February 2011, and my love for samurai stories led me to begin writing "The Rose Warriors: Uprising." Originally named "The Five Rose Warriors," its main influence was the video game, "Way of the Samurai." When playing the game I found that a single samurai building a faction to take down a vast empire was simply exhilarating, so I decided that I need to make that my aim. The story started as a simple village girl learning to be a samurai, but the idea just wasn't special enough. I asked myself "What will make this book different to every other book I have read?" So I did some research and I found that there were hardly any stories written about the historic fall of the samurai, which the movie "The Last Samurai (Tom Cruise)" is revolved around.
After the first four chapters I let my friend read it, and I was told it was the best story he had ever read. I passed it around to get some further opinions, and I was asked every time "What happens next?" with the upmost enthusiasm. I thought up some ideas for how to make the story different to every other samurai rebellion story, so I called upon another genre passion, fantasy. I took the end of the samurai era, and transformed it into a war filled with magic and supernatural beings.
I spent every single night coming up with ideas of how to make it better and all I could think about while living life was the story, and it was from that moment I discovered my calling was to make a living of my newfound passion. More ideas for stories started to fill my head and began to make plans for future novels, including the sequel to "Uprising," "Revival."


Monday, December 14, 2015

Update to Spero Publishing Has Merged With Eternal Press and Damnation Books...

Well, I was hoping that getting my rights back to Alien Deceptions would be the end of it, but apparently not. So, here's the update, because as an author I think this is critically important for other authors.

I mentioned this before, but it's very very easy to take books down from distributors. I do it for a small e-publisher whenever one of their books completes its contract. A lot of authors don't know this and believe publishers when they say it takes a lot of time, but it doesn't. All you have to do is sign into your account and in most cases check a box or click on unpublish as is the case with Amazon to remove a book from distribution. In 99% of the times I've done this, the book is removed from distribution within 24 hours, usually no later than 48 hours. Even if you have multiple distributors we're talking 30 minutes at the most to do your part as a publisher.

That all being said, after two weeks went by and my books were still for sale at three different distributors, I sent out DMCA notices to two of the distributors. Since one is connected to Barnes and Noble, I decided to wait and see if it comes down there once it's removed for sale from Barnes and Noble.

Here's the thing, the book was for sale for half a year after the contract expired. Eternal Press had a lot of time to take that book down everywhere, I think I was more than generous in giving them that time. Especially considering they never did return the rights to me for Homecoming, I fought with Kim Richardson via e-mail for months and then just gave up and sent out the DMCA notices. I was trying to avoid that this time around. Unfortunately, things were not moving fast enough and I sent them out. The interesting thing is that once they came down from B&N they came down everywhere else. The main thing is that e-book versions are no longer available and I believe they are no longer available because I did send out the DMCA notices. Had I not, I know that the books would have remained for sale probably for months more, and I just wasn't willing to allow that.

The moral of this story is don't assume publishers are going to give you back the rights to your book in a timely fashion. Know your contract, read it and understand it before you sign anything. Once you do sign it, mark on a calendar or make a note somewhere you won't lose it for yourself that has when your contract is up. If your publisher hasn't contacted you within a reasonable amount of time, contact them, and request the rights back if you want the rights back. If you want to sign a new contract with the same publisher then suggest that. But don't allow your books to be sold once your contract has expired.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Advent Calendar 2015 ie I'm giving away goodies!



Just wanted to do a quick post and let everyone know I'm giving away goodies in my Advent Calendar this year! I've seen this done with 3D items for years and I suddenly had an epiphany this year. How cool would it be to be the author that did an advent calendar and gave something away every day until Christmas? So, I decided I was going to try it this year. You'll find all sorts of goodies, and I won't spoil the surprise by telling you what kinds, but I promise they are all fun! 

So, that being said, please feel free to pop in every day for your free gift, and also feel free to let me know which gifts you liked the most and what you'd like to see more of. If this goes well, I plan to do it again next year. 

Enjoy! :-)

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Spero Publishing Has Merged with Eternal Press, and Damnation Books...

I took down my book Alien Deceptions from this website, and I am asking my readers, both new and old to please not purchase this book in its present incarnation from publisher Eternal Press. The contract expired February 1, 2015, though to be fair, according to the contract the contract actually begins on the date of release which was June 6, 2010. Either way, the contract is long expired. However, the book continues to be offered for sale on both the Eternal Press website and at many online outlets including B&N, Amazon, and ARE to name a few.

This is the second time that Eternal Press has rolled over to new owners, and I cannot say I'm surprised. Now it has rolled over yet again and has been acquired by an unknown company Spero Publishing. The CEO of the new company to be called Caliburn Publishing under which Eternal Press and Damnation Books are "imprints" is Alan Leddon. When he sent out the letter to the authors of Eternal Press and Damnation Books, myself included, I responded immediately requesting the rights back even though technically I could have just sent out DMC notices since my copyright is being infringed upon. I wanted to give the new guy a chance to do the right thing. Now, I'm sure you're wondering why I waited this long. Like most authors I work a day job too and have a life. Also, I kept hoping Kim Richards would do the right thing and send me the rights back and take the book down. I should have known better as I had to send out DMC notices to get my book Homecoming taken down from distributors. She had already had it taken down months before from the Eternal Press website. It took me almost 9 months of back and forth via e-mail and in the end it took DMC notices to get it taken down, because she refused even though she admitted the contract was expired.

Needless to say, it looks as though I'm going to have another fight on my hands to get  Alien Deceptions taken down. First I was asked to reconsider and take a look at the Caliburn Publishing contract, as he is a different person. I politely declined and again asked for the rights to my book back. Again, keep in mind I'm giving him a chance to do the right thing. What did I get back? He finally said he would look at my contract tomorrow and make a decision. Oh, but I'd better be careful because there is a "termination clause" and I might get a surprise I'm not expecting. The termination clause he is talking about is if I ask to terminate the contract early ie before the five years is up. Since it is well after the five year contract even allowing for the contract not going into effect until the release date, a full six months in fact, he cannot use the termination clause and try to force me to pay money to get out of the contract. The contract is expired. Though it appears he may try. Since Kim Richards the previous owner never requested the option to renew the contract as was her right before the contract was up, he cannot use that either. Since no new contract was requested as was the option per the contract, the contract as I said is past expired.

Here's the thing, they are now infringing on my copyright for this book. I own the rights which is what I told him. He needs to do the right thing, be professional and return the rights and take down the book from all distribution channels.

So, again, please do not purchase copies of Alien Deceptions as published by Eternal Press, they are infringing on my copyright for this book. Thank you in advance and please help to spread the word. I know I'm not the only one to have problems with Eternal Press once it changed hands that first time. Honestly, this experience has left such a bad taste in my mouth I may choose to never publish with small e-pubs other than Leap of Faith Publishing, my current publisher again. It's just so frustrating.

UPDATE: My rights have been returned, although the letter had the title wrong as it listed Alien Deception, instead of Alien Deceptions. I've asked them to fix it, but I've received the rights back. Unfortunately, the only website the book has been removed from is Eternal Press, and the letter returning the rights back says it may take some time to take it down from the distributors. Since I do this for another publisher I know it takes a matter of minutes to remove a book from sales channels from the publisher end, and then usually no longer than a week for the book to disappear from distributor websites, so we'll see. I'm willing to give it a week or two and then I'll send out DMC notices if the book has not been removed to the distributors.


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

From Survival to Success by Karen Magill

Please welcome a very special guest, author, motivational speaker, and mentor, Karen Magill! Welcome Karen! :-)


I want to take you back to June 5, 2000. That was the day my life changed drastically, forever. The alarm sounds and I rolled over to turn it off. But my left arm didn’t move so I silenced it with my right hand. Then I tried to climb out of bed but as soon as I put weight on my legs, the left one collapsed.  I didn’t have a lot of time to worry about it though because nature was calling. I crawled the short distance to the bathroom and hauled my body on the toilet. After I finished there, I was able to put some weight on my left leg and I pulled myself up to the vanity and leaned against it. While brushing my teeth, I noticed that the left side of my face wasn’t moving. It is as if someone has drawn an invisible line down the center of my body and one side works while the other doesn’t. Something was wrong, but what? 

Once at work and when the doctor’s office opened, I phoned and made an appointment. He poked and prodded me before sending me to emergency at the hospital across the street.  I sat in the emergency waiting room at St. Paul’s Hospital where my grandmother had died of a brain tumor in 1937. The thought of a brain tumor crossed my mind.  That wasn’t it.

I didn’t get to find out that day. I waited for five hours before being seen by a doctor then a neurology intern. Five hours and I get an intern. The intern poked and prodded me before going to make some phone calls. By that time, I was fed up. I didn’t care anymore! Okay I did care but I wanted to go home. I was tired, hungry and craving a cigarette. I was there seven and a half hours before I got to leave.

Two days later, I went to see a neurologist who poked and prodded me and asked the same questions as the other doctors. I tried to be a good patient but I was starting to get scared and there were still no answers. My mother had come to the appointment with me and when we left, I turned to her and said,

“Mom, I’m afraid one night I am going to go to sleep and not wake up.” She took my hand and answered,

“Then you call me every morning so you have to wake up.” I have an extra special mom.

I really wanted to know why this happened but it was more than that. In 1984, a horse I was riding had a heart attack and fell on me, cracking my skull. Ever since then I had strange things happening with my body like sudden numbness in my limbs, unexplained pains. Doctors kept telling me there was nothing wrong; it was all in my mind. I knew my problems were real so my fear now was that they wouldn’t find anything and again I would be left with symptoms and no answers.

On June 14, after an MRI, the neurologist said “Multiple Sclerosis”.  I viewed this as good news...at first, I finally have proof there was something wrong. As my late father said, “the devil you know is better than the one you don’t”.

One of the things I remember thinking, and don’t ask me why, was that I’ll never again be able to climb the 2.9 kilometre hike up the side of Grouse Mountain  known as the Grouse Grind. That thought was quickly replaced with thank God, I don’t have to climb the Grind again. 

Diagnosis in hand, I thought I would take time off work, then go back and my life would continue as normal.  Was I ever wrong! Remember that saying: man plans, God laughs?  God was laughing at me. I went back to work after five weeks off, the paralysis went away but I was still weak on my left side. One of the symptoms of MS is chronic fatigue and I was exhausted all the time plus dealing with symptoms.  Working full time was difficult for me. I couldn’t afford to work part time because if I did have to go on disability, my income would be based on the part time salary.

In September, I went to the MS Clinic and it was decided I would be better off leaving work.  MS took the best job I had ever had away from me. A job it took me a year and a half to get. I was devastated.  I thought my life was over. I was 35 years old. I imagined myself sitting alone in my one bedroom apartment for the next forty or fifty years, watching television and just existing. Maybe surrounded by a bunch of cats.

I couldn’t see a future for myself. I didn’t realize that I had been given a gift, the gift to start my life over.  Ever since I was a child, I dreamed of being a published author – now, I have five books published. My first book, The Bond, A Paranormal Love Story, won an award, was translated into Turkish and a few movie producers have looked at it. My only nonfiction book, On The RightSide, My Story of Survival and Success, was nominated by a British site for best nonfiction and best cover. I have interviews in print and on radio shows, both online and off. People ask me if I would be interested in being interviewed, I don’t always approach them.

I have been asked how I did it, how I went from walking with a cane and facing a desperate future to where I am now. It was gradual. I didn’t go from waking up partially paralyzed to publishing books within months. It took years to get myself to that point and I have slid back a few times. When times get really tough though, I like to look at letter I received from Rick Hansen in which he told me to “focus on what I can do and do the best with what I have”. I do that and find there is more I can do than I ever thought.

In 2013, I stopped using the cane I had for 13 years and that’s when I knew it was time to write my story. In early 2014, I self-published On The Right Side, My Story of Survival and Success. However, I knew the book wasn’t enough to reach all the people I want to share my story with so I decided to face one of my biggest fears – public speaking.

In March of 2014, I got up on stage at the BIL Conference and told my story. It was short, I forgot part of the speech but I was hooked. I joined a local Toastmasters a few months later and have been searching for opportunities to spread my message of survival and success ever since.

I want to do more than just have people hear my story though. I want those with a chronic illness or disability realize they can accomplish so much more than they think they are capable of. So I launched a mentor program entitled “The 90-Day Turnaround: How to Transform the Quality of Your Life Starting Today.” Now I am able to work with people, one on one to show them, and the world that having a disability doesn’t have to stop us.

I have come a long way from that 35-year-old who thought her life was over just because she lost a good job and was unable to work a traditional job. I have been through a lot, had my ups and downs but I survived flourished. And I have a long ways to go yet before I am finished. It is going to be an interesting journey.

Webinar, Time To Take Your Life Back, explains the 90-Day Turnaround program. http://go.cmapn.com/karen-magill-webinar/



Facebook 90-Day Turnaround page: https://www.facebook.com/90DayTurnaround?ref=hl

Monday, September 21, 2015

New E-book!!

Well, I freely admit it, I've been AWOL for a a few months from my blog and website, but...I have a really good reason, one that I am super excited about! During that two month period I was working on my first adult coloring book. I'm sure you're all like,  "coloring book?" I thought you wrote romance! Have no fear, an new romance book is in the works as well and I'm hoping to have that finished and out by December 2015.

Anyway, back to the coloring book, LOL, this one is a mandala coloring book that I had a blast creating the drawings for. I've always loved to do any kind of art as most of you know. I paint, do Native American beadwork, doodle, and create 3D art whenever I have a chance. They all help me to relax and unwind. Plus they're just fun! And I've now added coloring to the mix. I started out downloading free adult coloring pages from around the web, and then well, I decided I wanted to create my own. I already had some ideas about how to do that, and then I took a class on how to do it and I was as you can imagine off! And believe it or not, coloring is helping me with my writing as well, I've added an entire chapter to my latest WIP and I couldn't be happier. The book is coming together and I even know the end, shocker, I know! Usually I just kind of write my way to the end, I'm a confirmed pantser when it comes to writing and I freely admit it. LOL

So, without further ado, I want to share with you my brand new adult coloring book Pretty Mandalas, Book 1, Adult Coloring Book. This is an e-book by the way, not a print book and I'll tell you why. I love coloring books that are e-books because I can print the designs multiple times and try different color schemes. While print books are great, you always have the issues of the possibility with the printer putting part of the design in the binding, or not centering it even though you sent them the document with it centered, or crappy paper that bleeds through to the next design, leaving you with a design you can't then use, just to name a few. Most of the authors who have created adult coloring books and used Createspace have had one or more of these issues, so I've opted to go e-book only for the time being. I may eventually put the book into paperback, but for now I'm hoping my readers and colorists will prefer as I do an e-book. Oh, and while the designs and book are copyrighted, you are are free to print out the designs and color them as often as you like for personal use only though.

Right now the book is available through the Coffee Time Romance E-bookstore and it's 20% off which means instead of $2.99, it's $2.39, so take advantage of it while you can, this reduced price will be gone soon! Oh, and the mandala on the cover is just one of the 25 designs, that range from simple to complex.



Blurb: 

25 pretty mandala designs for the discerning colorist. With both simple and complex mandala designs, adults and older children who enjoy coloring are sure to find something to tickle their fancy and inspire their creativity! This e-book is offered in a PDF version only so colorists can print as many copies of the designs to color as they like.

Excerpt:

A Short History of the Coloring Book

Coloring books have been around for a lot longer than most folks think. In fact, the first coloring books were created by the McLoughlin Brothers partnering with Kate Greenaway who initially published the “Little Folks Painting Book” in 1879. They continued to publish coloring books until the 1920’s when they joined the Milton Bradley Company.

Before crayons, coloring books were intended to be painted rather than colored with crayons. Also, even after the 1930’s when crayons were invented, coloring books were made so the pictures could be both painted and colored so users had a choice.

Another historical fact that many people don’t know is that in the beginning some coloring books were actually used to advertise products such as the one created by Richard F. Outcault who created the character Buster Brown to help advertise shoes from the Brown Shoe Company. This character was well known to Americans in the early twentieth century since he was also the star of a comic strip by the same name. Coloring books were also created to showcase coffee and piano brands as well!

More recently we’ve begun to see that coloring books aren’t just for kids anymore! In fact, there are hundreds of coloring books created just for adults. While there were coloring books for adults prior to the adult coloring book boom that has taken place in 2015, Scottish artist Johanna Brasford has been the one to really get it going, starting with her first adult coloring book, Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest and Coloring Book. Since then there has been no stopping adult coloring book creators, nor the adults who want to color!  


Friday, July 17, 2015

Flash Fiction Friday: Her Own Angel


You know I used to think it was cool being half-angel. But what they don't tell you is that when you are you will always have a target painted on your back. That both angels and humans will hate you, that demons, and monsters will be gunning for you, all because you're an "abomination" not meant to exist.

Most half-angels don't get wings, I'm lucky or so my guardian Gabriel says. Personally I'm not so sure. I mean you try and get a job when you've got white wings that stretch out four feet on each side. And my dad, you know the angel? The man or angel or well you know what I mean is curiously absent for my entire life until I turned eighteen. Then what does he do? He shows up, introduces himself, tells me there's nothing he can do for me, after all, he has "a job to do for God." But, and that's a big but, he says to me, "I'm not supposed to do this, but here." and hands me a short black sword with a silver tip. "Use this to protect yourself." Then the bastard kisses me on the forehead and disappears. No smoke, no popping sound, just one minute he's there and the next he isn't.

I swear if it wasn't for Gabriel, I'd either be dead or wishing I was. Right after dear old Dad disappeared, another angel appeared. Like my dad he was beautiful, but unlike dad, he had black hair and cerulean colored eyes. He introduced himself as my "guardian" and then proceeded to teach me how to use my sword. Unlike my dad, Gabriel is not one of the "fallen," as my dad is. His connection to God is unbroken. Most of what you've read about the Fallen is untrue. They're not necessarily evil, although they can be, and many of them are still trying carry out God's will. In fact, they're so busy interfering with humans and other races that they've completely lost their connection to God, so they're just guessing. Not so for Gabriel.

I asked him once why he was always watching over me. His response was, "Every living being in the universe has free will. You asked for help, and I am your answer."

The funny thing? I don't remember asking for help, but apparently the ominpotentness himself heard me. I stopped asking questions after that. The fact is Gabriel has a body to die for, looks that any girl would love to stare at every day for the rest of her life. And he loves me, or so he says. And I mean it's hard not to love someone that always has your best interests at heart. There's this one little problem though, you see, I don't just love Gabriel, I'm in love with him. Something that is forbidden. That's one of the ways angels fall because they aren't allowed to love humans in that way. Of course I'm not wholly human and that complicates things even more. And since I don't want Gabriel to fall, I have to keep my feelings to myself. 

Like I said, sometimes being a half-angel sucks. Because while I may be in love with my guardian, I can never have him, for if you are half-angel and you knowingly cause another angel to fall, whether you are human or half-angel you share that angel's fate. And no angel, or half-angel for that matter wants to spend eternity trying to figure out how to get back into heaven. 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

New YouTube Channel! #babyanimals





I don't know about the rest of you but when I've had or am having a crappy day, I like to watch funny animal videos. I often watch them in between bouts of writing as well just to think about something else for a few minutes and it can work wonders for me in the sense that it allows my mind to relax. Let me tell you when I'm stuck, or experiencing writers block sometimes all it takes is a few of these videos and something just unsticks and I'm able to start writing again.

Because I have so much fun watching other people's funny animal videos I decided to start making my own. So, and I think I need a funny animal video day, hmmm...may have to add that to my schedule. LOL

Anywho, I have a new funny animal channel that I'm calling Cute Baby Animals. For now these are videos of baby animals doing laugh out loud stuff. I'm adding the two I have so far below, and enjoy! :-)





Saturday, July 4, 2015

Sneak Peek: Through a Dark Mirror by Regina Paul... #ebook #romance #fiction



I love writing books that have Native American heroes and heroines. Most of you that have read my books know this already because it doesn't matter what the genre is 9 times out of 10 there's going to be a Native American main character. This is especially true with my Native American Paranormal Romantic Suspense Through a Dark Mirror. The hero is what my husband would call a "common Indian" meaning this is not someone with any particular special gifts or powers. And the heroine is a caucasian woman who has a past life as a Lakota medicine woman. Here's a bit of a sneak peek!

Blurb:

Sometimes evil follows you from one life to the next… 

Summer Thompson grew up around Native Americans. She has great respect for Native American peoples and traditions. Because of that respect she has made it a point in her work as an antiques dealer to purchase and return sacred objects back to the tribes they came from when she finds them. 

Hawk Kills Pretty Enemy, a successful Lakota business owner makes it a point of driving around in his tow truck looking for stranded drivers. He figures he has hit the jackpot with the pretty blonde behind the wheel of the Mercedes Benz sitting on the side of the road. When he discovers that she is the Summer Thompson that has returned so many sacred objects and artifacts back to the People, he is even more happy to help. But it does not take long in Summer’s presence for Hawk to begin to suspect that Summer may be someone he has been searching for his whole life. 
But when an artifact of great power comes into Summer’s possession, and an ancient evil returns, will Summer remember what she needs to in time to save the man she is coming to love? 

And here's the short excerpt and sneak peak!

The glow from her bedside lamp spilled into the living area, casting shadows on the walls and windows.
Her eyes glanced over to the bay windows in the south of the room. A chill raced up her spine when for a second, an image seemed to appear in the glass, and it was not a pleasant one. Whatever it was seemed to be nothing more than skin hanging off of a skeleton and glowing red eyes.
Summer put one hand to her throat, backing up. It can’t be real! she thought. The figure almost seemed to loom from the glass and enter the room. Her throat closed on a scream, but then she blinked, and the image disappeared.
She sprinted to the different light switches around the room and turned them all on before she felt like she could walk up to the glass and look out. Nothing. The parking lot beneath her two-story apartment and shop was empty, but well lit as usual. No one was walking around, and her Benz appeared unharmed by the illusion she’d seen.
The vision on top of the dream and the strange phone call had rattled her. What does it all mean, if anything? Were the incidences even related?
For the first time, she was uncomfortable and didn’t feel safe in her own home. Summer wrapped herself up in a hug, for once wishing that she didn’t live alone. 

(c) Copyright 2015 by Regina Paul. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Flash Fiction Friday: The Rainbow Bridge


I watched as the bridge materialized and two spirits began to cross over it to the other side. Death is part of life and watching spirits cross over the rainbow bridge is miraculous, but I knew I was going to be dealing with the fallout from families momentarily. It would have been so much easier to just not be in any kind of field where I had to deal with grief stricken family and friends. Sometimes it just didn't pay to have the ability to see and communicate with ghosts. 

I could hear the mother sobbing, and when I looked over her husband was trying to comfort her, but it didn't appear to be having much effect. Something was fake about her behavior, it smelled like an act. I couldn't put my finger on it, but it just wasn't real. 

Suddenly the coldness that envelopes my body when a spirit is near chilled the air around me. I turned my head just a bit and found myself staring into a pair of violet eyes framed by short black hair. Hair that wasn't dyed. There was a blood tear tattoo just beneath the corner of one of those eyes. A silver eyebrow ring adorned her left eyebrow and its twin was in her bottom lip. 

"I wasn't supposed to die." She said, her lips not moving.

I couldn't talk to her here, because no one else could see the young goth woman but me. I discreetly motioned to follow me outside to the garden area. There was no one there at this time of morning. Once I was there, I turned to see if she had followed. Her image was standing next to me.

"What do you mean?" 

The spirit looked uncomfortable for a moment. "I wanted to know what happens when we die, so I told my mom and she said, she could help me. That she could help me die for a little while and then she could bring me back. She's a nurse you know."

I turned and stared at the couple through the glass in the waiting room. They weren't paying any attention to me, the mother was too busy putting on her act and attracting a lot of attention. At least the act made sense now.  

"So what did she tell you to do that would allow you to die for a little while and then she'd miraculously revive you after a short time?"

"Have you ever seen that movie The Frightners?"

I had actually and I was quickly seeing where this was going. "She had you get into a walk-in freezer and she locked you in?"

"Yeah." Goth girl was looking a little sheepish now. "My dad owns a restaurant." She shrugged.

"So, what went wrong?" I had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Some sixth sense was telling me this wasn't about some goth kid wanting to know what it was like to die anymore, and had become murder.

"She didn't revive me." Anger bled out of her tone. "It seems she had taken out a million dollar life insurance policy on me. I mean I know my mother isn't like other mother's she's not all touchy feely, you know? But I didn't think she wanted me dead."

I looked at the spirit again. Black lipstick, black nail polish, piercings, purple t-shirt, celtic crosses with amethysts in the centers, black slacks and biker boots. She'd wanted to know what it was like to die, but she hadn't counted on her avaricious and greedy mother. Now she knew what death meant, but she was also stuck and I had a feeling she wasn't going to cross over until her mother's guilt was clearly established. 

Honestly, the dead are easy to deal with, it's the living that make my job so much harder. I nodded at Charity, such an old fashioned name for a girl that was anything but. "I'll see what I can do. No promises, but your mother does need to pay for what she's done."