Coming Soon – The Ghosts Between Us

If it feels like I’ve been teasing you with promises of this book for years, it’s because, well, I have. Somewhere about five years ago, the idea for it popped into my head. I jotted a few things down and then went on to work on other projects. Slowly, over that time, I’ve worked on the story. I did it in fits and starts as I struggled with it. First titled, “In Mourning” it slowly morphed into a massively long novel that explores grief, family, relationships, and love.

To be honest, it’s felt like a story I had to grow into. Both as an author and as a human. There were life experiences I needed to have along with writing skills I needed to develop. This story refused to be ready because I wasn’t ready.

But in a sudden burst of both inspiration and motivation, it came together. My beta readers returned it with some helpful suggestions for how to tweak and polish it, and a blog tour is being arranged.

I am truly excited to share this book with you–maybe more so than with any other book I’ve previously written–because I am so proud of it. I love the characters and I love the story and it was a real stretch for me as an author. I hope you’ll keep an eye out for it next month when it’s available because I know you’re going to love it as much as I do.

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Title: The Ghosts Between Us

Author Name: Brigham Vaughn

Tagline: From Loss, A New Beginning

Series: The West Hills (Book 1)

While the stories in this series are connected, each book features a new couple and can be read as a stand-alone.

Summary:

Dr. Christopher Allen knows how to deal with death. He’s a psychiatrist who works with hospice patients and their families, helping them cope with grief and letting go. But Chris’s job doesn’t prepare him for the sudden death of his devil-may-care brother Cal.

At Cal’s funeral, Chris is completely thrown when he meets Elliot Rawlings, an artist Cal has been dating. Chris is hurt to discover that the brother he knew as straight was actually bisexual. Elliot is angry and resentful of having been kept hidden from Cal’s family.

After the funeral, a night of drinking at the bar with Cal’s friends leads to Chris and Elliot falling into bed together.  The next morning, they’re overwhelmed by guilt and grief and agree to never speak of it again.

But Cal’s apartment needs to be packed up and Elliot reluctantly agrees to help Chris, as well as answer some questions about Cal’s life and their relationship. Despite their guilt and initial dislike for one another, they sort through the pieces of Cal’s life and begin to fall for each other.

Despite his best efforts to fix things, Chris’s family seems to be crumbling around him and he begins to question who he is and what his role with them is.  As his feelings for Elliot grow, Chris must decide if they’re worth further damaging his fragile relationships with his friends and family.

Elliot’s rough upbringing has left him distrustful of getting close to anyone, much less another man who isn’t willing to acknowledge him in public. The odds seem stacked against Chris and Elliot, but if they can overcome them, they may be able to lay Cal’s ghost to rest, along with their own demons.

Publisher: Two Peninsulas Press (Indie/Self-Published)

Publication Date: February 26, 2019

Word Count /or Page Number: 130k + words

Formats/Price: eBook – $5.99 Available on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43690574-the-ghosts-between-us

 


The pre-order for this book won’t be available until February 22, but if you want to be notified about The Ghosts Between Us when it goes live there are two options!

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Flash Fiction Monday – Three-Legged Stool

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“It’s impossible that Johnny’s gone.” Maureen shook her head, her voice thick. “I mean, we just left the funeral and I keep expecting him to pop up and yell ‘surprise!’.” Her laugh sounded hollow.

“No shit.” Freddie slumped on the bed and took another drink. “I wonder how many of these people actually knew him.” He gestured to the closed door that muffled the sounds of the people who filled the house he’d shared with Johnny.

Maureen shrugged. “Probably most of them. Johnny was the only person I knew who could go to the corner store for a pack of smokes and come back with three new friends and an invitation to a party.”

“Yeah, good point.”

“They didn’t know him like we did though.” She picked up the framed photo on the bookshelf and held it out to Freddie. “They didn’t know him like this.”

A lump rose in her throat as she smiled at the memory. Maureen, Freddie, and Johnny had all gone to prom together. Freddie and Johnny were already together by then, but no one but Maureen knew. The three of them had been inseparable since elementary school when the boys found her catching tadpoles in the creek and decided she was alright. For a girl. Johnny and Freddie realizing they were gay and into each other should have made Maureen the third wheel, but somehow it had never happened.  Maureen’s girlfriends and boyfriends had drifted in and out of the group, but it never shook their trio. They were rock solid.

Her eyes stung as she remembered Johnny’s muffled laugh as he pushed Maureen in the shopping cart. The three of them had been kicked out of prom for wearing giant bear heads they’d found at a flea market. With little else to do in the small town, they’d gone to the grocery store. Freddie had snapped the photo of them and the sight of it never failed to make Maureen smile. Although this time, it hurt. Because there would never be any more grocery store shenanigans. No more getting kicked out of the mall for weird photo shoots. No more drinking until the sun came up or whitewater rafting trips. No more base jumping. No more yelling at Johnny and Freddie to keep it down in their tent because Johnny was a moaner.

No more Johnny.

Her face was wet when she sank on the bed next to Freddie. He put his arm around her as she sobbed into his neck and his tears dripped into her hair.

The three of them had been rock-solid, a three-legged stool that never wobbled. Now that one leg had been ripped away, they were off-balance.

Nothing would ever be the same again.


Please visit the flash fic group on Facebook and check out the links to the other authors’ flash fics for this week!

I look forward to seeing you next Monday!

Flash Fiction Monday – Memorial

The leaves crackled under Angela’s feet as she left the paved path that wound through the gravestones. A sharp November wind snaked under the hem of her jacket and down her collar as she clutched a blanket and a book to her chest. She should have put on the royal blue knitted scarf that Michael had given her, but she couldn’t bear the sight of it. Not today.

November ninth.

She hated the day.

For the first few years she’d worked on the anniversary of Michael’s death, throwing herself into her job and trying to block out every memory that tried to worm its way into her head. But she always found herself at the cemetery anyway, so she finally gave up pretending that the day would go any other way.

She came to a stop in front of Michael’s grave.

Nestled between the ubiquitous granite headstones was a sculpture. It was less than a foot tall, partially hidden by the dry leaves.  Angela shook out the wool blanket she’d carried from the car and spread it in front of the sculpture before taking a seat on it.

Michael lay below her in a coffin.  Rotting.

Morbid thoughts wormed their way into her brain sometimes. Like now, when she couldn’t help but wonder how decomposed his body was. She hadn’t had him embalmed. The unnatural preservation seemed worse than decay, but sometimes the thought of his ruined beauty made her feel sick.

She leaned forward, brushing the leaves away from the base of the sculpture. She’d had an artist friend create it, but she’d designed it herself. It was a hand clutching a book.

Her mother had accused her of being vulgar and disturbed. After all, it was how Michael had died, so distracted by the books he’d checked out at the library he hadn’t see the bus coming. She’d been a few yards behind, on her phone, not paying attention. She’d looked up too late to warn him.

She’d never get the image of his crumpled body out of her head, or the sight of a book clutched in his right hand.

She’d never get rid of the guilt either.

Angela looked down at the book she’d brought with her. A rusty brown smudge on the front cover was the only visible sign of damage. She opened the book, the spine falling open to the only page she ever read.

The words poured forth.

“Hand in hand we come

Christopher Robin and I

To lay this book in your lap.

Say you’re surprised?

Say you like it?

Say it’s just what you wanted?

Because it’s yours-

because we love you.”

A sob left her and she realized her cheeks were wet.

“My baby. My sweet baby.”

Angela felt someone sit down beside her and a warm hand stroking her back. She turned her head, burying her face in her wife’s neck and sobbed.

After eleven years, it should have grown easier, but it never did.

 


I had no idea where I was going with this, but once I started writing it flowed.

Please visit the flash fic group on Facebook and check out the links to the other authors’ flash fics.You definitely want to read Helena’s story this week!

I look forward to seeing you next Monday!