A Thin Slice of Heaven
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Drake Valley Press
Date of Publication: March 30, 2015
Number of pages: 262
Word Count: 89,820
She had arranged to meet her husband in Northern Ireland for a second honeymoon, but when Charleigh arrives at the remote castle, she receives a message that he won’t be coming—and that he’s leaving her for another woman.Excerpt:
Stranded for the weekend by a snowstorm that has blocked all access to the castle, she finds herself three thousand miles from home in a country she knows nothing about.
She is soon joined by Sean Bracken, the great-grandson of Laird Bracken, the original owner of the castle, and she finds herself falling quickly and madly in love with him. There’s just one problem: he’s dead.
As the castle begins to come alive with secrets from centuries past, she finds herself trapped between parallel worlds. Caught up in a mass haunting, she can no longer recognize the line between the living and the dead. Now she’s discovering that her appearance there wasn’t by accident—and is more earth-shattering than she ever suspected.
“What’s happening?” Charleigh whispered. Her throat had grown dry and her voice was hoarse with tension. Though she attempted to keep her tone low so they would remain unobserved, it sounded loud and harsh in the strident atmosphere that seemed suddenly to have gripped the village. She felt anxiety growing deep within her and the urge to get back to the castle burgeoned with ferocity and urgency; but she realized with a sickening sensation in the pit of her soul that the growing inharmonious throngs were between them and the sanctuary of her room.
“Do not be afraid, m’ Leah,” Sean answered. He did not whisper but his voice was deep and taut. After a moment, he said, “They are reenacting an event that occurred… some time ago.”
“Oh,” she breathed. She should have felt relief but her insides continued to roil as if his explanation did not match the scene unfolding before her. Nervously, she said, “Reenactors. We have them in America.”
“You have witnessed them, then?”
“Yes. I find them very interesting…” She forced the words past her dry lips. “They reenact battles from the Civil War and the Revolutionary War, mainly.”
As the churning skies turned to the color of tar, Charleigh could discern the sources of the strange glow: they were torches held aloft by dozens of people. More were joining them, stragglers rushing from the village to catch up, while they began to spread apart in a more orderly column as they converged on the flat land they’d crossed on their way into the village. One man in the forefront stopped and began pointing and directing those that followed.
“These reenactments,” Sean continued, “were the people alive?”
I first began writing about the paranormal in Vicki’s Key, part of the Black Swamp Mysteries series. I’d been researching declassified CIA documents when I came upon information about the American psychic spy program. I realized that having a character who was a psychic spy—someone who could travel to the most remote and inaccessible regions through the power of the mind—would unleash countless possibilities for future plots.
But it also opened a Pandora’s Box. As I studied the work of psychic spies, it brought me into the fascinating concepts of psychic phenomena and quantum psychics. In many ways, it meant completely restructuring what I thought I knew, or had been taught. I don’t purport to know what Albert Einstein’s theories mean in minute detail, but I understand enough to realize that the theory of parallel universes and of energy that never actually dies but simply morphs into something else turns our old-world theories on its head.
After writing several books with Vicki Boyd, psychic spy, I turned to another paranormal concept: that of reincarnation, of remembering what had happened in a prior life, and of blending genetic DNA with suspense in The Tempest Murders. The concepts were routed in scientific evidence: there are thousands of reports of children who could speak other languages and who remembered other lifetimes with enough compelling evidence for scientists to realize they could not be faking it—people who knew remote locations, long-gone customs, names, and even how the terrain looked centuries ago.
In A Thin Slice of Heaven, I took the paranormal a step further. I think each of us has felt a loved one after they have passed away. We might have heard their footsteps or their voice, felt their hand upon our shoulder, sensed their presence in a million different ways. I began to wonder: what if only their physical bodies left but their spirits were still there, right in front of us, but invisible to the naked eye?
In my latest book, I blend reincarnation with the scientific theory of parallel worlds. There are many cultures who accept spirits around them as normal, every-day occurrences, whether those spirits are known as angels, spirit guides, or a relative or close friend who has passed away.
I think the paranormal is fascinating and intriguing. And I have a question for you and your readers: what do you believe?
p.m.terrell is the pen name for Patricia McClelland Terrell, a multi-award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of more than twenty books in five genres: contemporary suspense, historical suspense, romance, computer how-to and non-fiction.
Prior to writing full-time, she founded two computer companies in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area. Among her clients were the Central Intelligence Agency, United States Secret Service, U.S. Information Agency, and Department of Defense. Her specialties were in white collar computer crimes and computer intelligence, themes that have carried forward to her suspense.
She is also the co-founder of The Book ‘Em Foundation, an organization committed to raising public awareness of the correlation between high crime rates and high illiteracy rates. She is the organizer and chairperson of Book ‘Em North Carolina, an annual event held in the real town of Lumberton, North Carolina, to raise funds to increase literacy and reduce crime. For more information on this event and the literacy campaigns funded by it, visit www.bookemnc.org.
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