Enter, the beast

If you love animals, you know that there is much more that goes on with them then what can be seen on the surface. I saw a video yesterday that had me in tears, not because it was sad, but because I was touched by its beauty. I did some research and found the video below on YouTube. I got out the tissues again as I watched it.

We underestimate the power of love in all its glory. Love has a way of breaking boundaries and tearing down walls. This video is proof of that. On a human level, this also applies. Everyone has the right to love and be loved. That is what makes it so powerful. When you put limits on that power, you are missing the entire purpose of its splendor.

Case in point, who would have guessed a beast would have connected so deeply with humans that even when returned to the wild, it still held fond memories of its time spent with its human companions? Animals are tremendously loyal and their memories are far greater than we could possibly understand. We have them for such a short time, especially those that have naturally short life spans (i.e., domesticated dogs and cats). It’s up to us to appreciate the joy they bring us, even the wild animals.

There is a perfect natural balance to life and animals play a large part in it. When we take away a species by man-made means, we are desecrating the natural order. Natural selection is different. Those are circumstances far beyond our control. What we can control is needless abuse and killing of animals. Each and every species has a meaning to our world. It’s time we started recognizing that, instead of hunting these amazing creatures to the ends of the earth. Enter… the beast, but who is the real beast? That’s a question worth answering.

 

Our Story (Warning, it’s a long blog today)

Hi there. I just wanted to pop in and say hello and good-bye. For the next eight days, I am going dark. It is time for my long awaited honeymoon cruise. We depart today at 4 p.m. We have been on the road since Wednesday, but our adventure truly begins today and I am more than ready!

This has been a long time coming. If anyone listened to THINGS THAT MATTER at the beginning of the month, you got a little insight into my journey with my husband. Furthermore, if you’ve followed my blog, then you know what we have gone through and, thankfully, that is all behind us now. Still, I wanted to share as much of our entire story as I could one last time. For this trip marks a celebration for us; a gesture to put our pasts behind us.

1656074_10206306402372789_985281072061195673_nWe have been together since April 2006. We split up for a little bit in January 2007 and got back together in March 2007. We moved from Southern Ohio in May 2007 and found ourselves in Southwestern Ohio until the fall of 2010. We moved back to Southern Ohio and have been there ever since. We certainly had our fair share of disharmony and in April 2012 things seemed to resolve and we got married. But, by January 2014 we did a disillusionment. It was the beginning of the end in my mind. I was tired of being last  on the list and it always seemed that material things and money were at the top of the priority list. It was a tough realization for me. Then when I lost my job in April 2014, I was left to suffer alone even though we were still a couple, and I use that phrase loosely. We never seemed to be on the same page… ever. With the compounding bitterness on my part and the continued feeling of neglect, in September, I threw my hands up and quit. I was done hurting. I was finished crying. I was tired of feeling like an option. Little did I know, I wasn’t the only one hurting.

After a major final separation in September, I went on my way. I did my best to start life over. I found myself angry and feeling betrayed. All of those years of feeling worthless and optional compounded. I swore I would have nothing to do with him ever again. As hard as I tried to stand by that, something always caused us to talk. My trust in him was gone though. All of the times we broke up and got back together, his behavior would just revert back and no change ever occurred. He never saw the need to be someone else because he never saw fault with himself. It was always my issue and my fault. I kept all of that in the front of my mind and did my best to move forward.

I was struggling. Trying to find a job was stressful enough in itself. I was working as a Home Health Aide and at our local YMCA. I was getting ready to take on a third job at CVS Pharmacy. When I realized there just wasn’t enough of me to go around, I focused entirely on CVS. So, on top of our break up, I was stressed about losing my home, putting food on the table, and not losing everything I’d worked my entire life for. I had a son to support all on my own now (again) and I was battling intense depression in addition to all of the other challenges that had presented themselves in 2014.

There was one thing that was new on the front of my ended relationship, however. Never before had I heard that man cry. He had never regretted or pleaded. The friends of his that had blatantly disrespected me and tried to do horrible, unacceptable things to me, finally found themselves on the cut list. It was about time, but still, it was too late. I felt like it was an act; another feeble attempt to come back into my life. And, I’ll be brutally honest, I felt like it was his turn to hurt. I had no sympathy for his pain and had no intentions of ever seeing him again. All of the pain I felt and all of the horrible things I felt about what he’d put me through… hurting was the least he could do.

Still, the few times we did talk on the phone, I felt torn. It was like I was talking to my best friend, as strange as that sounds. I still told him everything about what was going on in my life. I even talked to him about the guy I was dating. I asked advice and sought his experience in order to make decisions about things. But, when we’d talk, I got off of the phone feeling emotionally drained. This served as another reason why I had no business even entertaining reconciliation with him.

Via text, I told him off time and time again. Via phone calls, I told him how horrible he made me feel and how angry I was with him and despite his apologies, it meant nothing. How many times had he apologized before and he ended up being the same person he always was: selfish and arrogant? Why would that change? What would cause that to change? In my mind, nothing.

What was worse is that the guy I was dating made me feel the exact same way: less than. I saw the familiar selfishness I just got rid of. That entire situation was coming quickly to an end. Too much ego for me to compete with and too much interest in other flavors. I was never nor would I ever be the only one there. I was getting the feeling I was better off alone and that is the route I was heading. I was tired of constantly feeling like I had to be someone else and vow for his attention, especially, when deep down, I didn’t really care if I had it.

At the beginning of November, I walked in from a movie with my son. In fact, we had just been out with the guy I had been dating. My son came out to the car and said, “Mom, I think Chance peed all over the floor.” I asked if the dog was okay and my son said he was. My dog had been diagnosed with cancer in August and uncontrolled urination was something we were supposed to be watching for.

When I walked in, there was standing water in the kitchen coming from underneath the cabinet closest to the fridge. So, who did I call? You guessed it. I called my ex-husband. He told me how to turn off the water. I could tell in his tone he was very angry with me. Next phone call I made was to the guy I had been dating. He agreed to come up the next morning to figure out what was going on. He did. And he told me that it was likely a broken pipe in the concrete slab, a job that would be at least $10,000. Keep in mind, I was working a job for minimum wage and had nothing in savings because my law suit with my former employer hadn’t come through yet.

I called a plummer who couldn’t get there until Thursday and this was Monday. As I sat in my chair, sick to my stomach with worry, my son came in and sat on the couch. He looked at me and said, “Just call him.” I knew what he meant. I worried that bringing my ex back into my life would make my son feel like he didn’t matter. My son and my ex never got along for good reason. I was doing all I could to make up for it with my son, so to entertain bringing him back into our lives was frightening, even if it was friendship. My son insisted that I call my ex. So, I did and without question, he dropped what he was doing and came to my house.

11102866_10205718923046173_6123137873190985240_nWhen my ex walked through the door he looked like a totally different person. Eyes hollowed out, dark underneath. His physical condition was even worse. He was skin and bones. I worried he was ill and just hadn’t told me. He walked in the door and assured me he would fix whatever was wrong. It was a metaphor. He did intend to fix everything. Within fifteen minutes, he found the issue; an elbow in the pipe had started leaking. A $17.00 fix as opposed to the previous estimate of $10,000.

So, we drove to Lowe’s and talked. I was still very angry with him and was frightened, most of all. Had the pattern really changed? Had he really changed? He started to cry a little and I told him I didn’t want to hear it. So, I was still done, no doubt.

When we got back he fixed the pipe. My son got his shower and my ex sat down with me on the couch. That’s when the talking started. And it lasted into the next day. Apologies to my son happened; heartfelt apologies. Tears were cried. There were no raised voices. No ill spoke words. I just remember uttering, “You left me. You just left me,” as he held my shuttering body, broken from years of hurt. “When I needed you most, you just left me.” When he said, “I know and I am so sorry. I won’t ever do it again,” his voice choked by emotion, I knew he was sincere.

I went to work the next day and came home to him crying at my kitchen table. My son went through the door first and by the time I entered the house, he was clutched to my son sobbing. My ex’s mom had a massive stroke. He said something about going to Florida and I told him I couldn’t. I had to work. I still had the responsibility of providing for my son and myself.

When my son went to sleep, we talked about taking the weekend, since I didn’t have to work, and going away. Hocking Hills was the place we would retreat to because I had a long weekend. He was told to wait on Florida because there was nothing he could do for his mom, so to get some distance, we took off on Friday morning. On the way there, we stopped in Chillicothe. We went to the jewelry store and he said, “Pick what you want.” I looked at him blankly. It took a few moments for the words to sink in. He was asking me to marry him again. I shook my head, unsure. My heart still pulled toward him even though my brain had millions of doubts and questions. I couldn’t deny that I wanted to be with him, but only if he truly changed. So, I stepped out in faith and we picked out our rings. That is when this honeymoon trip was planned. The jewelry store was running a special and offered to pay for a three-day cruise.

We spent the weekend with one another, no distractions. We didn’t have cell service, wi-fi, or even television signal. We watched movies, talked, cried, smiled, laughed, and made decisions. There were outside influences that kept trying to pop through. People that didn’t want to see us reunite. Individuals that felt like they had lost some sort of game. Others vying for his attention, not thinking we were back in each other’s lives. All of that, however, went to voicemail and was lost until we resurfaced after the weekend. It was time to start damage control after that and we have been working on that for a while.

The date was set for us to marry again. I was encouraged to quit my job and I put in a three week notice. I was going to be his business partner for his rental business and would be able to write full time. I was going to be a stay-at-home mom and a substitute teacher. He came in on a white steed, lifted me up out of a pit, and place me behind him, assuring me that the suffering was over. We were in this together. He saved me, even when I thought I wasn’t worth saving and was completely beyond repair.

My son and he have had to work through some problems, but my husband has really stepped up as a stepfather, which is something he never did before. He took an interest in my son. He began taking him to school and picking him up. When someone does my son wrong, he gets more aggravated than I do. He takes it personal, just as a father should.

10849824_365837986923929_2902787034172429948_nI miscarried a child in December of 2006, so to ease the pain of loss, we had gotten the dog.  Chance was more than happy to have his daddy back in November. If he was nicer, I am sure he would have wanted to attend our wedding (LOL).

I’ve changed, too. I’ve opened my whole heart to him. I held back before, fear driven based on his behavior. That is a faint memory. I have given all. I have never been that open in any relationship. I never thought I was capable of this kind of forgiveness; capable of this kind of love. But, alas, I am. I love my son more than anything in the world and that comes with motherhood, but loving someone created from another source… that is divine. It is the true meaning of human connection.

I was a skeptic. I did not believe in soulmates. I didn’t believe that there was another person out there who matched me; who was made for me. Thankfully, I have been proven wrong. Until I found this man, this new man, that is my husband, I didn’t know the true meaning of family. I didn’t know what it meant to have an open heart. I didn’t know what it was to love another person with all that I am capable of. My son is a given because he is part of my flesh. Of course, I love my husband differently. He is my mate. He is the person that will stand with me when the flood comes. He is the person I will walk with throughout what’s left of this life. I belong to him, in every way a person can belong to another human being. We are truly one. Together, I believe, we are an unstoppable force; a force to be reckoned with. I know there are people out there with opinions as to why we are together and people that do not like the fact that we were able to overcome the obstacles at us. They want what we have instead of feeling happy for us. At the risk of sounding hateful and conceited, they are jealous. There will always be haters and that’s okay because that doesn’t matter. What matters is the fact that we found ourselves on the same page, finally. We are writing the same story now and we are going to live right up the hill, drinking up every single moment together.

2014120695153035So, why did I tell you all of this? Because I believe in helping people. I believe in sharing stories to assist others. There is much to learn from the experiences of someone else. I promise you there is love out there. If you don’t think you have the ability to forgive, think again. Deep within you, there is a human element that crosses over into the divine; a part of yourself that is not of this world that drives us forward in our quest to find love and acceptance. So, never give up! Always be open to possibilities. ALWAYS!

THINGS THAT MATTER… The inspiration for “The Gamer’s Playbook” #IARTG

somedayTonight, join Marsha Casper Cook, Jayme Ronan, and I as we talk about The Gamer’s Playbook. It is a call in show, so if you have an experience you would like to share, pick up the phone!

THINGS THAT MATTER is a featured podcast from World of Ink Network on BlogTalk Radio. This show is going to cover a lot of topics and have a lot of different guests.

I was proud to be a part of The Paranormal Hour with Willow Cross and Kelly D. Abell. When I was asked if I wanted to do my own show, I jumped at the chance, of course. The inspiration for this show comes from many sources. The first is my husband.

1506027_10205311488180556_4025454293281604453_nAs most of you already know, we had a very rough go of it for a very long time. Our relationship has seen some rocky roads and some big challenges. So, when we finally landed on the same page in November of 2014 after divorcing and getting remarried, both of us became extremely protective of the other. As a result of that came new challenges.

As I sat in the booth at Arby’s, I couldn’t see the drive-thru. My husband sat opposite of me. He was shaking his head and threw up his left hand, pointing directly to his wedding ring. I couldn’t see who he was talking to. So, I asked what was happening and he told me the girl in the car was openly flirting with him. Now, mind you, this is not the first time I’ve watched this happen, but for some reason, something inside of me snapped. The games that these women seemed to be playing just overwhelmed me.  So, on April 20th (the day this happened) I posted this on my Facebook profile:

A public service announcement: HE IS TAKEN! He wasn’t 5 months ago, but he is now… I don’t like to show this side of myself, but prepare for a rant. Making googly eyes, smiling, and flirting with my husband is not okay especially when I AM SITTING RIGHT THERE and he has specifically indicated he is faithful, married, not available, and not interested. It is disrespectful, but because I am not a natural felon, I don’t cause bodily harm even though I might like to. It is great to be with someone who is so nice looking but it also hurts especially when you deal with your own demons regarding weight and feeling inadequate. I am amazed by the audacity of some people and I hate being brought to tears. Smh.

From that post came 57 likes and 89 comments. Someone in the comments said that this would make a great show topic, and she was right.

I was outraged by this complete lack of respect toward a marital relationship. Most of all, my psychology background kicked into high gear. The flirtation is a game. It’s about the chase. The hunt. The challenge of destroying a relationship and saying you did it. Thus, the gamer.

A gamer plays on a person’s insecurities and takes advantage of the situation. A gamer usually pounces on the person when he/she is already down. For example, when you are struggling in your relationship or you have broken up and you are talking to someone about your situation, you are letting them see vulnerability in you. If they are a fairly moral person, they will listen, offer advice, and provide support. If they are searching for an inlet, a way to play their game, they will take full advantage of the situation. And there you have the famous one-night-stand or the “rebound” relationship. So, then what? How do you clean that up once you reconcile? Because believe me, there is clean up involved.

And thus the next topic for the premiere was born. I thought about what my husband and I have been through. This last break up between us was especially tough. I was angry. He was devastated. So, coming back together after all of the damage was done took an extreme amount of effort on both of our parts. One of the main things that has kept us both straight is honesty and complete, open communication. I don’t think people count on that either. In other words, the individuals that we were involved with while we were apart didn’t think we would confide all of our deepest darkest in one another when we reconciled. In fact, my thought is that those people counted on the fact that we would build our relationship back up on a false foundation. WRONG!

10416615_10206144677089758_3111752629288677528_nThe fact is that there isn’t anything that hasn’t been shared. That is the only way a relationship can work. You have to talk. I had a very bad habit of repressing my hurt, which then turned to anger. This time, when we hurt, we talked everything out. I don’t hide. The reality is that we both messed up. We both did things we shouldn’t have done. We hurt each other terribly. Even with the months that have passed, more things kept coming to light on both of our parts. Again, both of us were hurt. However, with intense hurt comes growth and healing.

My husband and I possess an intense intuitive gift. So, before either one of us said anything, we already knew. Having that gift can be a mixed blessing. When confirmation is received, it still feels like you have just hit a brick wall. Then, it’s time to do some more healing.

The important thing that I want everyone to take away from the radio show on June 3rd is that healing is possible in any relationship and there are ways to combat The Gamer’s Handbook. I never promote negative and this show will be no different. But, relationships are difficult, so maybe talking about these two situations can help someone else. AND IT IS A CALL IN SHOW, so if you want to share your experiences, check out the phone number and call us!

10 p.m. EST!

DIRECT LINK TO THE SHOW: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/worldofinknetwork/2015/06/04/things-that-matter–host-tracee-ford–world-of-ink-network–new-show

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Big Wheels Keep on Turnin’

049Howdy folks! It is amazing as I look back on this past year how the wheels of fate have been turning. There were many times I thought that everything was at a stand-still, when actually, things were proceeding exactly as they should.

It has been quite some time (again) since I posted and I apologize for that. Blogging doesn’t seem to be a hot topic nowadays. It could just be me though.

Anyhoo, I wanted to let you know about some exciting things that are happening! Of course, that is usually what I use my blog for; announcements and venting. So, tomorrow kicks off my book tour for 2015. In the morning, at 8:30 a.m., I will be featured on Community Corner with Barb Pratt. My hometown radio station, WNXT AM, has invited me on to talk about my books as well as Ozwind Publishing.

Tomorrow night I will be attending the Portsmouth Public Library’s Spring Author Expo beginning at 6 p.m. If you are local, you can visit my Amazon author page for directions and location. I will be signing books and promoting Ozwind.

I will post more dates for signings and appearances as they draw closer.

11074484_10205659068109837_6927604007353647784_nAt the end of March, the BETWEEN WORLDS SERIES released and I am proud to say, things seem to be going well. I reached a milestone today, in fact.  THE FINE LINE ranks at 247,461, VOICE OF THE DEAD ranks at 261,674, and THROUGH GLASS DARKLY raised to 254,292. This is a first for me having all three books above 300,000 in ranking on Amazon! I really hope one day they will climb to the top 1000 and then 100. But I will certainly take this for now! THANK YOU READERS!!!!

ozwindMay 1st is another important date. Ozwind Publishing LLC became official as of April 1st. We’ve received our business license and have been busy setting up templates, contracts, and other essentials to make our business run smoothly. Ozwind is a “hybrid” publisher. We ARE NOT a vanity press nor are we a traditional publisher. We are a “hybrid” because we accept submissions and line those submissions up with entrance criteria. If it fits, we offer contracts and publish work for a fee. The fees are extremely reasonable and are at or under market value. To learn more, please visit the website at www.ozwindpublishing.com.

As most of you know, I have been co-hosting The Paranormal
Hour
with Willow Cross and Kelly Abell. I was approached this week about doing my very own show. I happily agreed. Starting June 3rd at 10 p.m. EST, and the first Wednesday of the month thereafter, I will thingsthatmatterbannerbe hosting my very own late-night, call-in radio show sponsored by World of Ink Network. When Marsha Casper Cook​ approached me about what kind of show I wanted to do, I knew I wanted something with variety. So, we will be talking about a broad spectrum of topics such as weight loss, Bigfoot, aliens, romance, spiritual health, and much, much more! The show will touch on THINGS THAT MATTER to each of us! However, I need your help to make this happen! I need YOU to call in to discuss the topic of interest for that particular show! Links will come up so that you can listen to the show live!

The first season of The Sundry Series is ending on my YouTube Channel as of June 9th also. If you’d like to get caught up on those, you can visit my channel, http://www.youtube.com/user/traceefordauthor

For now, I believe, that’s it. I welcome comments and feedback. So, if you actually do read this blog, please “like” or say something. That way I know that I’m not typing to dead air.

Have a great one!

Back from the Dead

So, it’s been a very long time since I’ve blogged. Life threw me more than a few curve balls this year and as the year comes to a close I am happy to say GOOD-BYE to 2014. This year roared in like a lion and is going out like a lamb, thankfully. I have truly missed writing and blogging and tweeting. So, for now, you can say I’m back from the dead. *takes a deep, cleansing breath*

SALE ANNOUNCEMENT

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The business side first, then we’ll get to the personal stuff. This month I am selling all of my inventory as a BOGO deal. If you buy one of my books directly from me, you get the second one free. This goes on until the 23rd. So, if you’re interested, please contact me on my website, traceeford.com

TEAM PLAYERS

1507958_623459714427272_8892267859603343384_nSo I have brought on some new faces. First, my web designer. My website is undergoing a major overhaul all thanks to this guy, Roger Cable. His brilliant mind is being put to the test as he works diligently on reconstructing my web page. So, he is officially a part of the “Tracee Ford” team. I’d like to welcome him and hope you all will do the same.

If you are looking for someone to do an affordable web design and maintenance, he’s your guy. You can learn more about him by visiting my newsletter link. http://us8.campaign-archive2.com/?u=5bc5d60f88eea0a290711f7dc&id=06375fca4f

10849941_623456221094288_6060308575024654254_nI also assigned Krista Cable, a lifelong friend, to be my PR rep. She has been working hard on my YouTube videos.

Krista and I go way back. We went to high school together and over the years we have lost touch and then reconnected and then lost touch again and then finally reconnected. She is more like a sister to me than a friend. So, of course I’m going to let her be my PR person! She’s phenomenal at it. So, I’d like to welcome her aboard this crazy ship, too!

AMAZON’S NEW FOLLOW FEATURE

Yes, more business, but I promise there’s personal testimony in this blog, too. Just wait for it…

Did you know that Amazon has changed their system? Well, they have. There are no more “likes.” It’s all about “follows.” The awesome thing is that you can go to my Amazon page and “follow” me. When you do that, you will be notified when my latest novels publish, which will be quite soon. Between Worlds (book 2): Through Glass Darkly is going through its final edits. Soon it will go to formatting and production. So if you want to be in the loop when it comes out, visit this link http://www.amazon.com/Tracee-Ford/e/B00AXL5538/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1418653415&sr=1-2-ent

PAST EVENTS

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After six months, I attended my first author event in November. With me was sister author, Greta King. It was held at the Garnet Wilson Library in Waverly, Ohio. The turn out was a little less than expected, but it was certainly nice to be engaging with other authors again.

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LOVE & MARRIAGE

As I said, this year has been filled with curve balls. I suppose I could write a book about the love story between my husband and I. It has certainly not been a bowl of cherries, which makes for great reading. We met in 2006. We married (for the first time) in 2012. We have had some major ups and downs, but this year topped them. So, we divorced in January 2014. We stayed together, so to speak, but when I lost my job in April we both sort of checked out. We officially separated in September even though we were basically living under two separate roofs anyway. However, all it took was a busted pipe to wake us up and show us what really mattered.

I was actually seeing someone else, in fact (see, great plot line, right?); going on with life as best I could, I suppose. Then I came home from the movies one Sunday night to a huge puddle on my kitchen floor. The water was running from underneath one of the kitchen cabinets. So, who better to call than my ex-husband? He walked me through turning off the water. That was that. So, the next person I called was the guy I’m seeing because he knows everything about houses and pipes… right? He comes to my house Monday morning to tell me he thinks the leak is in the concrete because I live on a slab. That’s about a $10,000 job.

After feeling like I might have a heart attack, I’m left to my own devices to process this news and wait for a plummer. In my mind it was just the cherry on the crappy ice cream scoop that has been my life since April. But, anyone that knows me also knows that I can’t just sit around and wait. So, I called my ex-husband and told him the diagnosis. I asked him to come to see if he could figure out what was happening behind the walls or under the floor or something like that. And like magic, there he was. I must say it was the best $17.00 I ever spent; that was the cost of the materials to fix a simple leaky pipe. And after fixing my pipe and my day, he won the day. And here we are.

11076_10204702049104960_1116612701942167875_n20141121_144840-1 (2)2014120695153035We married again on November 21st. This year has certainly changed us and, believe it or not, for the better. I’m sure followers on Facebook are sick of seeing our smiling faces, but after the year we’ve had that’s just too bad. Things have been rough for a very long time and the crescendo that was 2014 pushed us over the edge. But, somehow, as we fell off the side of the mountain, one of us, or even both of us, threw up a life line catching some solid piece of our relationship we thought had disappeared. I’m saying all of this because sometimes “over” doesn’t really mean “over.” Sometimes it just means we need to step away from the situation or the person to be taught what matters or who matters. It also may take walking away from something or someone to realize how we can put the crumbled, broken pieces back together again.

Our wedding was simple. My son was the best man. My best friend, Krista, was the matron of honor. Roger was the camera man. And my mother was a witness. Our mayor married us. We had a reception at our home on December 5th and Krista baked the most beautiful cake. My son made a speech that put us all in tears. It was the best day of my life, or at least one of the best days of my life. I’m sure there are many more to come.

CAREER PATHS

20141206_132316Since marrying my husband, again, I was given the brilliant chance to stay home and do what I love. Write! I also became a substitute teacher and have already been called to help at my son’s school. Right now I am looking into getting my alternative certification to actually teach full time. For now, nonetheless, I’m relaxing, listening to Christmas music, and working with my husband in his business. Given this wonderful chance, there will be a lot more books coming!

HOUSEHOLD PET: Prayers & positive thoughts requested
10849824_365837986923929_2902787034172429948_nI am placing this into the blog because I know a lot of you who read my blogs and/or my books are believers in the power of positive thinking and/or a high power. Many of you pray or meditate. Either way, consider this a prayer request. The family pet, Chance, was diagnosed with cancer in late August. This has been devastating to all of us. It was yet another obstacle to deal with in 2014.

He had a fifteen pound mass removed from his abdomen. Biopsy results told us that we were dealing with Carcinoma. His prognosis was three months. But, guess what? We’ve passed the three month mark and look who’s still here?

We have decided not to put him through chemo. He appears to be happy and pain free. He still runs about the yard chasing rabbits and as long as he is doing that, as well as eating and drinking, we’re keeping him. At this point his quality of life is awesome for an animal who has terminal cancer.

He goes for ultrasounds every month or so. There are two tumors right now, fairly small, and there is fatty tissue left that we are told is cancerous. If anything ruptures, he won’t last10624588_363769483797446_4126797090098062900_n but a few hours. So the request we have is this: pray he goes in his sleep. We do not want him to suffer. We are enjoying every single moment with him and we will be there to hold his hand when he crosses over on that rainbow bridge. He has been and is my protector as well as my son’s. He’s saved our lives more than once and probably more than we even know. Letting him go will be one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. His contract isn’t up yet; we are sure of that. So, keep us in your hearts and prayers. Thanks in advance for that!

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

Yes, I’m back from the dead! I can breath again and smile again and relax even. The plans for 2015 are no quite carved out yet, but as long as it’s better than 2014 I think I’ll be alright. There were times this past year that I wasn’t alright; far from it. If it hadn’t been for my parents and my son and my best friends, I am not sure I would have made it. Some “friends” simply walked away. It’s those testy times in your life that you see who will stick and who won’t.

Most of all, if it hadn’t been for my faith, I KNOW I wouldn’t have made it.

In January I will be co-hosting The Paranormal Hour again with Willow Cross. I’ll be embracing this new found freedom to do what I love: teach and write. I will be enjoying the responsibilities of being a stay-at-home mom and an accountant for my husband’s business. Needless to say, life is good.

For now, I wish you love and light and Happy Holidays wherever you are in this great big world! See you again soon!

Bumps In the Night: Part 7–My Own Tales of the Paranormal: Energy cannot be destroyed, only changed

Last weekend I left off on sort of a cliff-hanging note. So, I’m going to start off there today. I left off with my intense depression and how a holistic physician was helping me through it. The supplements certainly helped. However, it didn’t go to the root of the problem. I feared death. Whenever I thought about it or thought about leaving my son behind, I could cry uncontrollably. The finality of it terrified me.

I sat in the waiting area of my healer’s office and looked down at a book. Its title: Soul Proof (http://www.amazon.com/Soul-Proof-Mark-R-Pitstick/dp/0966141962). I brushed it off for whatever reason that time.  It wasn’t long before the dreams began.  3300_1082307191747_1126350_nThe first I remember was about my grandfather (maternal). I could see him standing at the top of concrete stairs. He was dressed in his gray pants and a light-weight button-up shirt. I remember being a child and running up the stairs to him, leaping in his arms and saying, “Please, Papa, don’t go. I don’t want you to go.”  He said, “I have to go for a little while.  Go to Kat now. You’ll see me again, just go to Kat.”  Kat is my eldest aunt who had been dead for a year.  I turned and saw her; she looked like she did when I was a small child and I begged again for my grandfather not to leave me.  When I woke, I could still smell his Old Spice cologne. I had no doubt I’d encountered his presence, but my limited faith at that time didn’t allow me to process it.

Other dreams were of my aunt; her touch on my forehead and assuring me that everything was alright and that she was in a wonderful place. Again, the doubting Thomas I was at that time, wouldn’t allow me to embrace what was really going on.  Another dream, my paternal grandmother, who died long before I was born, came to me. She had passed away tragically in a car accident when my dad wasn’t even out of high school.  She told me that she was always with me and that she loved me. I remember her face and how beautiful she was. I remember hearing her laughing and saying how much she loved watching me grow up.546502_3718372331728_702784292_n

After all of this, I went back to my healer again and sat in his waiting area. This time I opened up Soul Proof and read the introduction. I couldn’t put the book down. I asked to borrow it. This is just a part of the review I wrote about the book.  I think once you read it, I won’t need to say much more about it in this blog:

“I decided to check Soul Proof out for my own evaluation.  How was I to make an educated decision or even an assumption about my existence without complete exploration of all the possibilities?  After reading just the introduction, I was in tears.  So many of my questions were being answered and so many of the feelings were being confirmed.   I prefer to call God, The Great Spirit now.  God feels too negative to me, but that’s just my own personal opinion.  The Great Spirit is bigger than we could ever imagine and isn’t a vengeful old man sitting on a throne waiting to strike us down when we fall.  These are things I think I knew all along, but it took Dr. Pitstick’s book to confirm this for me.  The paranormal phenomenon made sense to me now.   The fact that I’ve had dreams of dead (or rather transformed) loved ones and could still smell them when I woke up was explained.  The vivid dream I had only days after the passing of my aunt in which she was talking to me telling me she was alright and would see me again made complete sense now.  The fact that there are times when I know I’m not alone in my room or in the house or my car or at work; explained.  But the beautiful part is that I’m not afraid anymore!

In my heart, I think I always knew that we were beautiful sources of divine energy.  I knew from years of schooling that energy cannot be destroyed, but it can be changed.  I also now understand The Great Spirit and why I was so drawn to compassion toward nature, animals, and children.  I had lost all of my empathy toward others and instantly, it was restored.  It is very difficult for me to put this transformation into words.  I can say, however, it is wonderful to be walking in the most divine light I’ve ever experienced.  I am new at this type of journey, but I can feel it to my very core!

Everything made sense.  The struggles I had endured throughout the years.  The fight I had within myself made total sense and the conflict was now over.  It all fell right into place.  I have never felt such utter peace in my entire life.  Peace that cannot be bought or explained.  Peace like no other.

I know my soul’s mission.  I know that I am in the right job (child welfare) doing exactly what I have been called to do.  You can’t imagine how much easier it is to get up and go to work every day knowing that I am doing what The Great Spirit has asked me to do.

51MVi5uuvJL._SL500_AA300_I know that when I die there will be more waiting for me; I will see my transformed loved ones again!  I will be with The Great Spirit.  I will be changed in the twinkling of eye; I will be divine.  And I will not burn in an eternal hell for thinking with the brain that The Great Spirit gave me.  I know now why I’ve been questioning so many things.  I know now why I felt at such a young age I was an “old soul,” because in all reality, I probably am!  How wonderful is that?!  To know that you are blessed and divine and loved and that there is possibility for second chances!!!!

The Bible never confirmed any of these things for me as many times as I read it.  I felt that there was something more and also knew that so much had gotten lost in translation.  I realize now that it was The Great Spirit giving me wisdom to question such fundamental, organized beliefs.  It didn’t mean that I was a nonbeliever, but on the contrary, it meant I was following the still small voice and my thirst for knowledge was just as divine as anything else touched by Source.

When I began my agnostic journey I didn’t take the Bible literally anymore, but the profound guilt I felt overpowered my ability to see the truth.  All of my doubts about life, existence, Source, religion, death, dying… all answered and now I understand.

I have made it a point, because of reading this book, to change.  I feel more positive now.  I desire meditation because it gives me the opportunity to commune with The Great Spirit.  I don’t ‘pray’ anymore, I talk and converse with the Source of all existence.  You can’t imagine what it’s like not living in daily fear of being sent to hell and burning for eternity!  That weight around my ankle… it’s gone!”

So there it is. The defining moment that set my life on a completely different path. The transformation happened and I opened my arms back up to the one entity that hadn’t ever left me; He just needed to reach me in a different way.

In early April my husband cousin died of cancer. He was young and vibrant and everyone loved him. I never personally met him. However, as I stood in the line at his viewing, he definitely made sure I got to know him. At first I thought my husband was talking to me. Turns out it wasn’t. Now this is where you can either decide whether I’m crazy or not.  This dead person made an effort to communicate with me. Yes, I know it sounds like I’m schizophrenic, but I assure you I’m perfectly health and very mentally sound. I wasn’t sure what was happening to be honest with you. So the next day at his funeral, it worsened. I felt like someone was screaming in my ear. He begged me to comfort his mother and to send messages to his loved ones. Because I didn’t understand what was happening, I didn’t entertain any of this, but when we were standing at the graveside I could literally feel this man’s presence.  During the service I felt his agony and grief and found myself losing emotional control. I didn’t know this man. Why was I crying? I’ll tell you why. Because I felt his emotion and empathized. In my mind I told him to crossover and that there were others waiting to help him. I didn’t hear him anymore that day.

I went to a person that day that I knew could help me. She did. She helped me understand what was happening and that I have an ability that I still don’t understand.  I associate it with having a genetic feature. If you have green eyes, you just have them and that’s the way it is. I have this thing that I can do and that’s the end of it; I don’t question it or flaunt it or advertise it or talk about it unless I’m asked, but it’s there; always a part of me and always will be.

Since this encounter I’ve had regular communication with many of those who’ve passed on from my grandmother, who is truly with me at all times, to my husband’s relatives. I am also in constant communication with the Creator and I make sure I take time to thank Him and to commune with him. I also have a direct like to what I call, spirit guides (the Christian faith calls them angels). They help me and guide me and teach me; they comfort me when I’m sad and they help me stay focused when I need to. An entirely new world opened to me when I decided to change my life and walk down a positive path and I don’t regret one decision I’ve made in this new life.

When this happened to me, I rewrote my book. The Fine Line took on a more opened-minded approach to solving spiritual problems and confronting spiritual battles.  In fact the still small voice made if very clear that in order for my book to be published I would have to change the content. So, I did and I let the Divine take over. In the early summer, my book was on the desk of a very popular publisher and I thought for sure they were going to publish it, but they said it was “too inspirational” and things like that didn’t sell well. I had all but given but, but by early fall I found BookLocker and the book was published by January.

Please note that you do not have to agree with the way I see things. You can think I’m being mislead or misguided or lead by the devil, but honestly, I’m seeking out my own salvation and I encourage you to seek out yours. Just because mine looks a lot different that the rest doesn’t me its wrong. Who am I to judge anyone for who they believe? It’s not my right. I don’t need you to agree with me; I don’t need anyone to agree with me. I do know, nonetheless, that I have been lead to do the things I do and my legacy, I hope will be positive. This is my human experience and I am making the most of it.

Next week we’ll talk about how I came to leave Pike County Children Services and the encounters I had as a ghost-hunter as well as a more in depth look at how The Fine Line found its way to the public. Thanks for joining me this week!

Sneak Peak Saturday

As promised, on the last Saturday of every month, I’m posting a chapter from The Fine Line here on and my website.  The February contest is over and the March promo is coming up on Facebook, so make sure you friend me, http://www.facebook.com/tracee.ford.75.

ImageChapter Ten

Matt sat at his desk looking over the latest application he’d received. He requested the board hire an assistant for him. He couldn’t keep working the long hours. It cut into his life with Robin. He started feeling the distance between them and could see her detaching herself.

The interviews he’d been conducting yielded a promising employee: Audrey Mitchell, a beautiful young woman with long black hair and an olive complexion. Attractive and voluptuous, Matt couldn’t ignore how gorgeous she was.

After being hired and after only a few weeks, Audrey proved to be a hard worker. She quickly cleaned up the filing system and caught onto other tasks well. Finally, relief lay in sight for Matt.

At the house, weeks passed again with no activity. The holidays came and went as well as did Olivia’s birthday. Despite hiring Audrey, however, Matt’s hours continued to be longer than he liked. A domino effect ensued with Robin working longer hours. Instead of leaving work at 6 in the evening, she stayed sometimes until 8:00 p.m. The influx of cases, which was odd for the time of year, kept her busy providing guidance to the staff. More cases meant more assessments, too.

Robin had finally gained a significant amount of respect from the employees. There were some, however, that had quit, deciding to look for work elsewhere. This didn’t bother her though. One of the many goals she had set when she took the job was to form a united team. In fact, she had been very busy preparing for an upcoming staff in-service geared at building morale and co-worker relationships, which added to work she needed to get done after hours.

Fridays still allowed Robin to take time for herself, but she missed Matt terribly. So, she decided to surprise him for lunch. She put on a pair of jeans with her sneakers and a royal blue hooded sweatshirt.

She walked into the hospital, greeting all of the familiar people as she passed. She stepped onto the elevator and then walked to Matt’s office. When she pushed open the large glass double doors, she saw an unfamiliar person sitting behind a large desk.

“Can I help you?” Audrey asked.

Shock gripped her as she realized Matt hadn’t said anything about hiring a goddess to be his assistant. The insecurity settled squarely on her shoulders as she began doubting Matt’s excuses for staying late at the office.

“Is Matt here?” she asked.

“He isn’t seeing anyone right now,” Audrey sneered.

Audrey’s expression became obvious. She knew exactly who Robin was and she wasn’t going to make it easy for her to see Matt. “Is this urgent?”

“Oh it’s not. I’ll just wait in his office,” Robin replied as she walked toward the large office door.

“You can’t go in there. You’ll have to wait out here.”

Before she could say another word, Matt opened the door. “She doesn’t have to wait out here. This is my wife.”

“Oh my God,” Audrey said as she got up from the desk. “I’m so sorry.”

Robin saw right through her. She wasn’t sorry at all. Still, she smiled. “It’s alright.”

“It’s so nice to finally meet you,” she said holding out her hand. “Matt hasn’t really said much about you. I wasn’t really sure what to expect.”

Anger and disappointment swelled inside of Robin.

Quickly, Matt ushered Robin into his office and shut the door.

“An assistant,” she said plainly as she sat the basket of Matt’s food on the desk.

“I needed one. I can’t do this alone.”

“You didn’t tell me you hired a Victoria’s Secret model,” she continued snidely.

“Oh come on.” He paused. His mouth hung open in disbelief. “You’re jealous. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you jealous.”

“I am allowed to be a little insecure when my husband is staying too long at work and now that I know you’re working with that” she said as she gestured toward the reception area, “I’m allowed to feel a little uneasy.”

Matt got up and smiled as he walked to the empty chair beside her. He turned her toward him. “You are the only one for me. Do you understand?”

She nodded half-heartedly.

The long hours of Matt being gone continued even after that day. Robin missed him so much. She also felt like he wasn’t taking her seriously about the paranormal events.  She felt as if she had been left on the front lines to fight the battle alone.

Little by little, the doubt and insecurity poisoned Robin’s thoughts. More often than not, she wondered if Audrey and Matt were having an affair. At other times she thought maybe he just avoided being at the house because of the surreal events. Whatever the reasons, her frustrations grew. The emptiness consumed her, weakening the foundation of their relationship. Communication between them deteriorated. Time began slipping away and steadily the negativity in Robin’s heart grew into resentment. In fact, she began shutting herself down. To her dismay, meditation didn’t work. Nothing worked.

The times when Matt could be home, her bitterness often caused her to isolate herself to the study where she worked unremittingly on cases and assessments. Feelings related to her past crept in. The horribly familiar independence cluttered her thoughts and actions. Robin felt that Matt’s new position with the hospital took center stage and his vows as a husband took a backseat.

Conversations about having children stopped. Robin continued to avoid pregnancy remaining on her birth control patch. Because of the hurt feelings and distance, intimacy was lost.

Finally, the activity in the hospital offices died down as Matt sat at his large office desk going over some charts, his eyes growing weak and his body weary. He looked out the window at the darkening sky wishing he were already home. He, too, knew that the time away from Robin made their relationship weaker. Still, his dedication and the late nights he worked seemed to be a necessary sacrifice. He would be walking on eggshells for the first year of job.

Audrey walked into his office with coffee and put it on his desk. She sat down in the chair across from him and smiled. “Is there anything I can help with?” she asked sweetly batting her eyelashes.

“Oh no, it’s just charts I need to sign off on,” he replied.

“You look so tired,” she added.

“I am.”

Putting the black ballpoint pen on the desk, he leaned back in his chair and sighed.

“You know,” she continued, “I can help you with that stuff anytime.”

“The charts are something I have to do. You should know, though, you have done great with everything else.”

“If you don’t mind my saying, your wife looked just as tired as you. Actually, she looked even more tired.”

“She is tired. We’ve been going through a lot lately,” he said as he rested his head on the back of the chair. “She is also a supervisor, so she has a lot of work-related demands,” he added.

“I know you don’t talk about her much, so I thought…” She hesitated.

“What?”

“Well, I thought there might be trouble in paradise,” she continued as she shrugged.

He shook his head. “No. We just have a lot going on right now and there doesn’t seem to be enough of either of us to go around.”

“Well, I’m always here if you need someone to talk to or to just vent to.”

Her smile seemed heartfelt to him, so he smiled back. “Thanks Audrey. You do enough.”

The weather grew icier as January passed into February. Robin’s heart grew colder still. Her loneliness and regret reached a peak. She sat lifelessly in the parlor gazing out the window, her heart heavy and sorrow-filled. The tears fell slowly at first, but as her thoughts raced, she cried harder. She felt hopeless realizing her marriage hung in the balance. The thought of divorce had never crossed her mind until now.

Eventually, her weeping could be heard throughout the old house. She didn’t realize just how loud her sobs were until she heard her name behind her.

“Robin,” Matt started.

She jumped, startled by his unexpected and now unfamiliar presence.

“Baby, tell me what’s wrong,” he continued.

“I’m fine,” she answered quickly.

Matt sighed. “Please. Don’t shut me out.”

“I’ve tried not to but you’ve given me no choice Matt.” Her eyes continued gazing out the window.

“What are you talking about?” he asked with confusion in his voice.

“Nothing. It’s nothing,” she concluded as she got up and walked passed him.

“Talk to me Robin,” he persisted.

“When, Matt? When should I talk to you? I never see you!” she shouted. She startled herself.  She had never raised her voice to Matt. The unfamiliar territory didn’t hold her back though. “You’re never here! And when you are here, you’re working!”

“You usually are, too! Do you think I haven’t noticed that we don’t talk anymore!” he shouted.

“Really, I don’t know what you have or haven’t noticed because you never even see me! You spend more time with your assistant than you do your wife,” she screeched.

 “What?”

“We never spend any time together anymore! I feel completely alone in this monstrous house; this house that was for ‘us.’”

“Robin, this job is the brass ring for me. It’s important and I want to make sure I do it right. I’m on probation for a year. The board can fire me at any time if they think I’m slacking or messing things up. Audrey has been really helpful in getting the office organized and helping me with the clerical red tape.”

“I bet she has been helpful,” she insinuated. “And you act like you’re the only one with job responsibilities! Me becoming a  supervisor was a step up for me, but did you see me devoting every waking minute to it? I balance it.” She continued yelling. “And what about us? Shouldn’t you be doing things right for us, too?”

“I made a promise to take care of you. This job will set us up for the rest of our lives. Together, with the money we bring in every paycheck, we will have this house paid off sooner.”

“What happens when there’s no ‘us’? We are falling apart Matt. Don’t you see that?”

He shook his head as Robin walked into the dining room. She felt trapped. Unremittingly, he followed her as she sat down at the long table. With her head in her hands, she sobbed.

“What do you want me to do?” he bellowed.

Looking up at him, she shrugged, “I don’t know.” She paused. “You know that you don’t even look at me the same? It’s like you see right through me.”

“I do see you,” he said more calmly as he sat on the bench across from her.

“No you don’t!” She shook her head with conviction. “I don’t know what the answer is. I just know that we are falling apart and I’m losing you. I don’t want to get a divorce.”

“A divorce? What the hell are you talking about?”

“We are falling apart Matthew,” she shouted, slamming her fist on the table. “Are you blind?”

“No, Robin, I’m not!” he screamed back at her. “And we are not falling apart!”

“We are!” she exclaimed. “Matt, do you know how long it’s been since we’ve even had sex? Since you’ve touched me? Do you even need it anymore?” Again she paused and quieted a little. “Or are you getting it from somewhere else?”

He was infuriated by the implication. “You think I’m sleeping with her! You think I’m having sex with Audrey! How the hell could you think that?”

“How could I not? You didn’t even tell me about her Matt! You kept her a secret and obviously you had nothing to say about me to her. I can see exactly what’s going on. She’s beautiful and vibrant! Why wouldn’t you be attracted to her? God knows you’re not attracted to me anymore.”

He dropped his head. He was silent for moments. “What is happening to us, baby? We never fight. This isn’t us at all,” he said sadly.

“Someone is going to have to compromise. And if you’re cheating on me, just say it. I can handle it Matt. I will walk away and you can make your choice.”

“I’m not cheating on you! I would never do something like that! From the first day I saw you I have been wrapped up in you and you alone! I’m not interested in anyone else. I don’t want to be. You are my wife, damn it! I would go to the ends of the earth for you! Hell, I’d even walk through fire if you asked me to. I’ve been walking through the flames since we’ve been living in this damn house!”

“Instead of going to the ends of the earth, come home every once and a while.” Her sobs intensified. “Because I miss you, Matt.” Tears rapidly fell down her cheeks.

“My heart feels like it’s ripping in half. I can’t stand seeing you cry.” He got up and walked to her. Gently, he turned her chair toward him as he knelt in front of her. His fingers brushed away her tears as he smiled up at her. “I miss you, too Robin. I don’t want to lose you. And I sure as hell don’t want a divorce. God, what are you thinking?”

He embraced her. “Nothing is worth losing you. Not my job. Not this house. Nothing in this entire world could take your place. Nothing.”

Her arms fell around his neck as she cried uncontrollably. Quickly, she found herself deeply in love with him again realizing she never fell out of love to begin with.

The argument changed things. Matt worked from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Because he wasn’t an hourly employee, he had options; options he didn’t even realize were available to him. Matt also cut Audrey’s hours. He set her up to work 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. He felt uncomfortable being alone with her after the argument with Robin. So, he hired Stella Bowling, a wonderful woman in her 40’s. She covered the office from noon until 5 p.m. Although Audrey didn’t say anything, Matt could see the change angered her. He told Robin about the changes promising to always keep her informed.

It didn’t escape Matt’s attention that Audrey wore more revealing clothing when her hours were altered; shorter skirts, lower cut blouses. He knew she tried desperately to grab his attention. There were times he felt uncomfortable with the lack of personal space she put between them. Leaning down to go over spreadsheets and paperwork topped the list.

A snowy February Saturday morning meant rest and relaxation. Matt laid awake watching Robin sleep peacefully beside him. He loved watching her sleep. Touching her hair gently, he just wanted to be close to her. He rose up on his elbow and kissed her cheek then her neck. He saw the smile across her lips.

He whispered in her ear, “Good morning.”

She smiled, stretched, and turned onto her back, looking up at him. Slowly, he unbuttoned her pajama top and opened it up never losing eye contact with her. Brushing the tips of his fingers across her breasts, he smiled seductively.

“I love you,” she whispered.

He leaned down, kissed her forehead, and smiled. “I love you, too.”

“When you touch me, it’s like electricity just runs through my entire body. I don’t think I have ever felt more complete. I love the way you make love to me. I never believed it was possible for souls to melt into one another, but you… you changed all of that for me. It’s intense. You’re intense. Every touch. Every kiss. Every movement. It just makes me want you that much more.”

After several times making love, he held her close as she rested her head on his chest.

“I love listening to the sound of your heart,” she said sweetly.

He smiled. The serenity couldn’t be put into words.

Abruptly, the study door slammed repeatedly. Astounded, Matt grabbed his sweatpants and put them on as Robin wrapped up in her robe. They walked out into the hallway and saw nothing, but heard the frames that hung on the study wall shaking wildly. Matt walked into the study, but when he entered the noises stopped. The temperature in the room felt significantly colder than in the hallway and the master bedroom.

Behind them in the hallway, floorboards creaked as if someone were walking toward them. Turning around, Matt pushed Robin behind him in an effort to protect her. They continued back into the hallway.

“Get out of our house!” Matt yelled. “How much longer can we do this?” he whispered. “We’re not leaving. This is our home!” he shouted again.

21pAyrVNstL._SS140_SH35_Want more?  You can purchase your copy of the book by visiting http://booklocker.com/books/6641.html

The Character of Robin Hillard in “The Fine Line”

Do you believe in love at first sight?  Robin Hillard didn’t.  Her belief quickly changed when she met Matt Gregory.

Robin has devoted her life to protecting children.  She works for the county child welfare agency and specializes in interviewing victims of sexual abuse.  She plays on the agency’s softball league.  Although she isn’t the most graceful creature, she truly tries.  A twisted ankle brings her directly into Dr. Matthew Gregory’s life when he treats her for her injury.  His sexy good looks captivate her instantly, but her cautious side holds her back.  That doesn’t stop Dr. Gregory from asking her out though.  Reluctantly, she accepts.

ImageRobin has always had a very bad habit of selling herself short.  She’s never felt good enough or strong enough or pretty enough.  She doesn’t realize that she is beautiful, smart, and vibrant, but it’s Matthew that helps her discover this.

As their love affair progresses, she remembers how to square her shoulders and Matt helps her see all of the things she’s overcome.  As a victim of domestic abuse as well as childhood sexual abuse, she associated men with those terrible experiences.  Matt quickly finds out he has his work cut out for him, but he successfully proves himself.  He takes time to get to know her.  He courts her and wins her over very fast, in spite of everything.

The whirlwind romance leads to the exchanging of rings and vows.  The happy couple embark on the adventure of becoming home owners of the majestic Pikeview Manor, a rundown, wreck of a place.  Robin is the first to experience the paranormal activity within the house.  Her faith makes her an open target.

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Robin was brought up by a fundamentalist, Pentecostal family.  However, as her life changed over the years, her faith broadened.  She finds strength in an alternative faith built on positivity and a close, personal relationship with her Creator.  She believes in the power of meditation and prayer.  She recognizes that there are far more possibilities out there than what was taught to her as a child.

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One of the possibilities she discovers is that sometimes the fine line between the world she lives in and the world she can’t see is thinner than she thought.  She begins experiencing things in the house and has vivid dreams.  It takes a while for her to realize that those dreams are a direct connection to the home’s past.  Things become even stranger when a demon presents itself to her.  She tries to tell Matt that there are things happening to her, but since Matt’s an atheist, she knows he thinks she’s lost her mind.

Robin Hillard, Gregory experiences more unexpected tragedy.  However, her stepdaughter, Olivia (Matt’s daughter), helps pull her out of the darkness and back into the light.  She finds that healing is possible even in the most horrific situations.  Robin’s faith is tested time and time again, but in the end she finds that she is stronger than she ever imagined.

(photographs were provided by free Yahoo images)

The character of Matthew Gregory

Today’s blog is about the character of Matthew Gregory from my first novel, The Fine Line.

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Matt is the compassionate doctor who helps Robin with her injured ankle.  He takes a special interest in her.  He isn’t your typical doctor either.

He’s a thirty-six year old hottie with dark messy hair, dark eyes, and a stylishly cut goatee.  He graduated from Ohio State University’s medical school and married for the first time when he was quite young.  He talks to Robin about what a massive mistake the marriage was, but he’s thankful for his daughter, the result of the marriage.

Even though he is outstandingly handsome, he hasn’t dated much.  He is very particular about the women he chooses.  He’s been hurt deeply and taken for granted.  However, his instant connection with Robin Hillard cancels out all of that insecurity.  Luckily, his advances toward her are well received.

Matt was raised by working middle class parents in Middletown, Ohio.  Although his father died of a terminal illness, his mother is still alive.  The death of Matt’s father paved the way for he and his brother to reconcile.

Matt is romantic, he is compassionate, and his love for Robin is intoxicating.  He becomes a teacher to her, a best friend, and a true partner.  He is ambitious and driven.  He is a wonderful father, too.  Nonetheless, he has a tremendous flaw; one that Robin finds hard to ignore.  He is a skeptic to the core.  He believes that if he cannot see something or touch it, then it doesn’t exist.  His work as a doctor in the emergency room has played a huge part in his atheistic point of view.  He doesn’t believe there is anything beyond this life; that when we die that’s it for us.  He doesn’t discover that Robin isn’t on the same page until after they are married.

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It’s Matt’s idea to purchase Pikeview Manor.  He introduces the home to Robin during a romantic picnic.  He has no idea that after the restoration their lives will change thanks to the others living in the house.  Even when he comes face to face with situations related to the paranormal mayhem, he still manages to deny what’s right in front of him.

So how does he learn to handle all of the paranormal activity in the newly restored Pikeview Manor?  With such a strong stance against any type of spiritual faith, how is it possible for him to make sense of everything he is seeing his wife go through?  Perhaps he thinks she’s losing her mind.  But, he cannot deny what his daughter, Olivia, tells him about her own experiences.  So, Matt provides support to his family in such a turbulent time, even if he doesn’t understand everything that’s happening.

Will Matt learn to trust something he doesn’t understand?  Will he come to realize that what is happening is, in fact, possible and not projections from Robin’s imagination?

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Want to find out more about Matt Gregory?  You can!  You can pick up your copy of the book, The Fine Line, at http://booklocker.com.  I think you will fall in love with him just like Robin did.