Thursday, August 4, 2011

Guest Author Julia Barrett Giveaway

Creative Freedom

a note from paranormal romance author, Julia Barrett.

I thought long and hard about self-publishing. I wasn’t worried about striking out on my own; I’m used to blazing my own path. Regardless of whether we are with a publisher or publish a book ourselves, every author wonders if his or her work will be accepted and, most importantly, read. That’s normal. The technical aspects were scary, but friends helped – actually author friends were life-savers.

The barebones concept of Incorporeal, a ghost romance, was rejected by three different publishers.

“A ghost romance won’t work,” I was told. “Nobody wants to read about a dead man.”

Well, I did, I wanted to find out how Sara Wise, a reluctant ghost seer, fell in love with Natan de Manua, a man who’d been dead for five hundred years.

I wanted to know, is love stronger than death? Can these two unlikely lovers have an HEA? WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Here’s an excerpt:
Sara stood on the porch, her purse over her shoulder, keys in her hand. She didn’t want to leave him. “You’re sure you’ll be all right?”

Nathan grinned at her, his grin heating her all the way down to her toes. “I’ve lived in this house for three months. I’m sure I’ll be safe for one day.”

“If you take a shower, don’t scald yourself. Test the water first. I left you a full pot of coffee and there’s cream and sugar if you don’t like it black. And be sure to drink water. Remember, you need to drink water now or you’ll get dehydrated. Eat whatever you want, but maybe it would be better if you didn’t use the stove, and…”

“Sara, shhhhh.” Nathan slid a warm hand beneath her chin. Tilting her head up, he kissed her soundly. When he ended the kiss, he said, “I’ll be fine. Go.”

“You’re sure you can’t come with me? You can’t come outside?”

He shook his head. “I cannot cross the threshold.”

Sara studied his face. “You’re sure?”

Nathan gazed down, first at his bare feet, and then his eyes roved over the grass, green and lush from the winter rains. “I’m tempted to try, but no, I cannot leave this house.”

“What will happen if you do?” Sara cleared her throat and waited for his answer.

Nathan rocked back on his heels. “I believe I would vanish again and I have no desire to become incorporeal.” He winked at her. “I would miss the taste of your, uh, coffee.”

Sara couldn’t hold back what she knew was an ear to ear grin. “All right, I’ll go.” She reached for his hand and gave it a squeeze. “Be here when I get home. I have more questions for you. Promise you’ll be here.”

“I promise.”

“Okay, bye.” She continued to stand on the porch steps.

“Sara, you must let go of my hand if you wish to get to work on time.”

“Right.” She laughed out loud. “I’m going. It’s just that, well, over the years I’ve met many incorporeal beings, but never one like you.” She stared at Nathan for a moment. “There’s something we never got around to discussing, and I have to ask this question because it’s going to bug me all day.”

“Ask your question.”

Sara took a deep breath and blew it out. “What are you?”

It seemed to Sara that Nathan looked everywhere but into her eyes. At last he met her gaze. “I don’t know. Sara, I wish to hell I did, but I don’t know what I am.”

Sara knew she should leave, but she couldn’t let go of Nathan’s hand. “One more question. What language do you speak? I mean, when we make love, sometimes you say things to me, words that don’t sound like Spanish.”

Nathan’s smile crinkled his eyes, causing her heart to flip-flop. “I speak Castilian, Andaluz, Arabic and Hebrew, Greek, Latin and of course, English. I’m not always aware which language I use when we make love.”

Blushing now, Sara made a move to leave the porch, but Nathan tugged her back. “You have another question on the tip of your tongue. I can sense it.”

Holding back her laughter, Sara asked him, “You can, can you?”

“Yes. I’ve come to know you very well. Remember, I watched you for a very long time before I made my presence known.”

“Hey, that’s right. About that…” Nathan drew her into his arms, interrupting her thoughts.
“I have to leave, Nathan.” Sara looked up at him.

“Yes, I know. Ask your question.”

She rubbed her cheek against his rough linen shirt, realizing she’d have to buy him some clothes now that he was corporeal. “Your mother,” Sara murmured. “What was her name?”

Nathan’s chest expanded as he answered. “Katherine Neville.”

For an instant, the name didn’t register. Sara sucked in a breath and took a step back.

“Katherine Neville, as in the War of the Roses Nevilles? You said she was from a semi-royal family. Did you mean, like, the Kingmaker’s family? Richard Neville?”

Nathan nodded. One look at the expression on his face told Sara it would be better to leave well enough alone, at least for now. She rose on tip-toes and gave him a kiss before leaving him, forcing her legs to walk to the garage. This is a lot to digest.

“Will you write it?” He called after her, his voice low. “Will you include my mother in your book?”

Sara turned. “I don’t know, Nathan. I don’t know that I want to finish the book.”

Before she could run back to him and bury herself in his arms, she threw up the garage door and climbed behind the wheel of her car. Unreality is starting to set in. I’ve got to leave because I’m about to convince myself that I’ve lost my mind. There is no other explanation; at least nothing logical comes to mind.

In fact, the only real question here involves my sanity.

Sara backed the car down the driveway, shooting a glance at the house. The front door was closed and Nathan was nowhere in sight. The story of his family’s fate spun round and round in her brain like a windmill.

They were burned by the Inquisitors. The Crown confiscated his father’s wealth only to lose it a year later. His mother was a Neville. I’m in love with a man who’s been dead for over five hundred years. But he doesn’t remember dying. Gaaaa! Sara smacked the steering wheel with her open palm. Quit it! You’ll go mad if you think about the impossible nature of, well, this, of everything. Nathan is impossible. Sure there are ghosts, you’ve seen plenty, but Nathan’s presence is simply impossible.

He can’t exist. You’re in love with a man who can’t exist on any plane. Not on earth, not in heaven, and not in hell. Apparently, he’s only corporeal in your house and between your thighs.
Sara stopped at a red light and rested her forehead on her hands. Your mother was right, you know; you girl, are certifiable. I wish my dad was still alive.

Thanks so much to Ms. Barrett for stopping by to chat with us!

For your chance to win a pdf ebook of Incorporeal, answer her question above!


Chele Blades said...

ahh one of my fav authors...

i am not sure about the ghost theme..their is sooo many doubts if they can have a HEA...but i guess that is why i will have to read it not that you got me curious...

I do believe love is stronger than death...people tend to never find happiness again after losing what they think is the love of their life...but i do not see a HEA there...until they meet again...but i will read the story and hope for the HEA...

thanks for the give-a-way

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

Hi Chele! Having known ghosts up close and personal, I do believe love is stronger than death - in any case, as a writer you can make it so!
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for having me, Michelle!

Dr J said...

As for the publishers' rejection: I have found that publishers are just about as fad-bound as any group of humans on the planet. They have rejected some fairly spectacular literature in times past and they continue to consider the bottom line rather than putting out new and creative efforts which so m any of us appreciate.

As for the question: I do believe love does last long after death--try, eternally. For any person of a faith tradition, that is certainly their belief. But it seems to me that as powerful a force as open, giving, thinking-about-others-before-thinking-about-one's-self kind of love, such a force cannot be silenced by death. IMHO, of course.

Rosalie Lario said...

Julia, congrats on your release. I love ghost stories and I believe they can have an HEA. Finding out 'how' is the fun part. :-)

Aurian said...

Of course they can have a HEA someway or another! Have you never read a Christina Skye book of Downton Abby? They are wonderful. The ghost plays a big part in it, and he does finally finds his own true love.
And how about that old tv show, the Ghost and Mrs Muir? I loved that one.

So congrats on your self published release, and I for sure would like to read it.

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

Dr. J and Aurian - I do believe in eternal life and love. No doubt in my little fluffy head.
And I love The Ghost and Mrs. Muir - makes me sob every single time I watch it.
Thanks, Rosalie!
And thank you all for stopping by!

Janet said...

This was the first book I read by Julia, and I'm definitely a fan. I won another book from one of your contests, and went to Amazon to browse your writing; ended up buying Incorporeal. Absolutely solid, loved your unique story! Left you a review, short but sincere. So glad you struck out on your own and followed your gut to self-publish.

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

Thanks Janet - that means so much! It is really scary to go off on your own when you've been told that what you've written doesn't work.
I love Sara and Nathan and I loved writing their inexplicable story. It's sort of an old-fashioned love story, if you know what I mean.

JenM said...

I have to admit that I'm a bit leary of love stories that involve ghosts. I just don't see how you can pull it off. But I'm curious to find out. I do believe love is stronger than death. There have been too many stories of people receiving messages or signs from loved ones that have passed on for me to doubt it.

Jen at delux dot com

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

Thanks for the comment, Jen. I'm one of those believers, for various reasons, but I'm not new-agey.

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