Somebody's Darling: A Novel
Jessie Gibbs is a young musician living in present-day Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Frustrated by her single state and stalled performing career, she seeks adventure and romance as camp cook for a group of Civil War re-enactors. One moonlit night in the woods near her unit’s encampment, she meets a man whose motley uniform suggests that he’s a fellow “living historian." Lemuel Sanders is handsome and soft-spoken, with a charming, old-fashioned courtesy. He’s clearly attracted to her. There is just one drawback: He’s a ghost.
Lem tells Jessie that he was killed in the 1862 battle of Stones River and hastily buried with six other soldiers in an unmarked grave. He has a mission: to enlist a living person to find his family in the Smoky Mountains and let them know that he died and where he is buried. He is unaware that 145 years have passed, but learning that doesn’t diminish his resolve to make the gravesite known and obtain a proper burial for himself and the other soldiers interred with him, so that all those families may know peace at last.
Though terrified at first, Jessie is drawn to help him and they fall in love. She is torn: wanting to find his people so that he can go to his eternal rest, but knowing that by doing so she will lose him forever. However, not finding them will be disastrous, because she fears that Lem will never abandon his quest, and she will never be free of her passion for him to seek a real-world lover.
Somebody’s Darling is a love story that crosses time periods: present day, and Civil War era – and unites worlds: the ordinary, and the spiritual/supernatural. Click here to read the opening of Somebody's Darling.
Invented Lives: A Novel
27, is recovering from a triple loss – mother, lover, job. She becomes friends
with the dazzling but devious Clarissa, 35, who first helps Reggie rebuild her
life, and then tries to destroy it.
The two women meet at an animal shelter, where Clarissa matches Reggie up with Rufus, a fearful, gentle Lab mix who becomes her canine soulmate. Clarissa also pushes Reggie to get out of herself and take risks, which leads her to a new love with Aidan Lynch, an Irishman with a lilting voice and a way with dogs.
But gradually the friendship becomes strained by Clarissa’s jealousy of Aidan and by Reggie’s realization that Clarissa lies compulsively. The crisis comes when Reggie discovers Clarissa’s most shocking deception, and confronts her with it. Clarissa retaliates by claiming to have had sex with Aidan, mentioning a detail she could only know from seeing him naked, and then by abducting Reggie's beloved dog, Rufus. Click here to read the opening chapter of Invented Lives.