Monday, November 17, 2014

Guest Blog: Protect Her by Sophia Kimble

Below is a transcription of my notes from a meeting that took place on June 9th. That morning, and what transpired in the days to follow, prompted me to write it all down, tell Golden’s story. Protect Her, available from Soul Mate Publishing, is an accounting of these events.

I stood on the front stoop of a modest two story bungalow in Huntington Beach, California with moist palms. I’d met Golden Alexander and her sister, Maggie before, but being at their house made me nervous, especially this early in the morning before the sun had come up. Golden’s story had scared the crap out of me since I’d first heard it, and though I needed to find out if what she’d said was real, I wasn’t really looking forward to being so close to her, and well, the thing she’d told me about.

Maggie answered my knock wearing a blue robe, black curly hair a mess, and looking frazzled, to say the least. When I looked past her shoulder to Golden, a drop dead gorgeous blonde whose body trembled beneath a pink tank top and boxer shorts, a sheen of sweat coating her brow, I understood Maggie’s demeanor. Something wasn’t right.

Maggie motioned me inside and asked Golden, “What happened?”

“The demon . . . it came back.”

Those five words sped my pulse and I wanted to get back in my car and drive fast and far, but I didn’t. I’d never been able to pass up a good story, and Golden’s had the makings of an incredible one.

Maggie closed her eyes and took what appeared to be a calming breath before she walked past us toward the back of the house. Golden pegged me with a glance and whispered, “She’s never believed me.”

Golden glanced up the stairs, and I, of course, followed suit. It was obvious that’s where she’d seen the creature, and visions of an insect-like body, crimson eyes below horns, and a grotesque forked tongue circled my mind. I tightened the grip on my notebook and pen, the clasp digging into my palm as I prayed I wouldn’t see the thing.

Golden sighed and took a few yoga breaths. “Don’t worry, it’s gone.”

I nodded and she wrapped her arms around her chest and walked toward the sound of coffee gurgling in the next room. With a last look up the stairs, worrying my butt off, I hurried after her.

She pulled out a chair from the kitchen table, motioned to an empty seat next to her, and sat across from Maggie who stared into one of the three mugs of coffee sitting on the scarred teak surface. Man, you could cut the tension with a knife.

“I think you should go see Dr. Rosenthal again,” Maggie said.

Golden jerked her gaze to her sister, and out of the corner of my eye, I spied her legs bobbing a mile a minute, fists clenched under the table.

 “I don’t need to see a psychiatrist. I need to get the hell out of this house!”

Annnd, that was my queue to leave. “Maybe we should reschedule?”

Golden shook her head at me, and I wasn’t sure how I felt about staying, but opened my notebook and started taking notes.

Maggie’s spoon made a slow circuitous path in her coffee. “Golden, it’s sleep paralysis. You need to start taking your medication again.”

I knew what sleep paralysis was, had actually met Golden in the library while researching it after having experiencing it myself. You wake up while still being in the REM cycle of sleep and can’t move. It’s very scary, and it’s common to have hallucinations during the episode . . . demons being seen frequently. Antidepressants are sometimes used to keep it from happening, though since I’d only had one episode, I’d never personally tried that route.

Golden waited a few seconds before saying anything, looking like she was trying to get a hold of her anger. “Dr. Rosenthal is wrong, and so are you. The meds did nothing but space me out. The demon still came. The only difference being I was so drugged up I didn’t tell you about it.”

“The doctor’s not wrong, you’re not thinking clearly right now.” Maggie almost sounded robotic in her response, like this conversation had happened many times before, and I wondered just how many times Golden had seen the demon.

Golden’s words were measured and slow. “There’s nothing wrong with how I’m thinking. The problem is you don’t believe me. You never have.”

Tink, tink, tink, Maggie’s spoon hit the side of her mug as she stared at the wall. A clock ticked above a dripping faucet, the soft plink, plop making my frayed nerves jump.

“I’m leaving, and I’m not going to see Dr. Rosenthal or anyone else so they can tell me I’m just imagining something I know is real.”

Maggie sucked in a breath and closed her eyes. She didn’t say anything, but kept stirring of her coffee. Tink, tink, tink. Golden had told me she was moving to Vermont, to go to college, get away. I guessed it was more than the demon she was running from.

 Tink, tink, tink. “You’re not ready for this, Golden. You and I both know it,” Maggie said.
Golden sighed. “I have to do this. Please try and be happy for me.”

Maggie pinched the bridge of her nose as if trying to stave off a headache, then gave Golden a weak smile and a small nod before returning her gaze to her coffee.

“Just promise me you’ll come home if things don’t . . . work out,” Maggie said.

Golden stood, kissed the top of Maggie’s head and grabbed her mug, taking it to the sink. I noticed she didn’t promise Maggie anything, and I got the feeling she’d never move back here regardless of whether the demon were real or not.

A heaviness settled around the kitchen, its thickness coated my mouth and almost tasted sour. The situation between them had become a stale-mate. Maggie didn’t think she should go and Golden didn’t want to stay.

Golden waved at me to follow her as she walked out of the kitchen toward the front of the house. I thanked Maggie, rinsed my cup in the sink, jiggling the handle until the drip stopped, and followed Golden.

In the living room, Golden settled herself on the couch, I took a chair. Golden’s gaze strayed to the staircase illuminated by a glow from the porch light streaming in through the sidelight window, and she shivered.

“Do you ever wonder if you’re going crazy, or are already there?”

I assured her I had and she closed her eyes. “Heavenly blue morning glories.”

“Pardon?” I had no idea what she was talking about.

“It’s my favorite flower. It also happens to be the color of the man’s eyes I’ve been seeing in my dreams since I first saw the demon seven years ago. I know his eyes almost better than I know my own. Almond shaped with scattered flecks of violet, long lashes surrounding the piercing blue color, light-brown eyebrows, and sandy-brown hair hanging to his shoulders. He comforts me.”

I kept quiet, waiting for her to continue.

“God, I wish he were real. Dr. Rosenthal said I invented him to help with the traumatic loss in my life, and I guess he’s right about that, even though he’s full of crap about the other diagnoses.”

“What other diagnoses?”

Her lids popped open, deep green eyes boring into mine.

“The demon, Sophia . . . it’s real.”

Protect Her
The Druid's Curse
Book 1
Sophia Kimble

Print Length: 260 pages

Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing


Book Description:

Golden Alexander is trapped in a nightmare.

Trying to flee her hallucination of a demon, she runs heart first into the brooding alpha male she’s been dreaming about for years, and then her nightmare really begins.

Kris Pietka is done with women...he’s broken. But when he meets Golden, an overwhelming need to protect her tests everything he thought he knew about himself, and the paranormal.

A bond forged centuries ago thrusts them together as they search for a way to break an ancient Druid curse prophesying their demise. Racing against the clock, they travel from Vermont, to the Carpathian Mountains in Poland, and the Scottish Highlands in search of answers and a way to break the curse.

But something evil watches—it covets, and time is running out.

Will fate allow love to prevail against unbeatable odds, or will Golden wake to find it was all a delusion?

Available at Amazon

Chapter 1

Golden Alexander hated interviews. She hated the fact she might be insane worse, but she had to make a living regardless. She smoothed her black pencil skirt and stared at the side door of a white, Victorian house in Poultney, Vermont.
The word etched above a moose on a purple, slate plaque hung on the dark stained door, beckoning her. It promised security, a homecoming, but she wasn’t coming home. No, she was as far from home as she could get.
Three thousand miles, and a week had slid by since she’d last seen the demon, and she still woke up in a cold sweat every night, heart thumping, a scream on the tip of her tongue. But when she opened her eyes, all she found was the ceiling above her bed.
She prayed it would stay that way.
The sun heated the top of her head and beads of sweat tickled her armpits. She stepped back and waved her arms, trying to cool herself before she got on with this necessary evil.
A light tapping startled her. Her hand shot to her chest while her gaze darted to a big picture window between two hanging pots of red petunias.
A woman with plump cheeks, salt and pepper hair, and a motherly face peered out and smiled. Crap, she couldn’t wait until she stopped jumping at every noise. She blew out the breath she’d been holding and attempted a smile. The woman probably thought she was an escaped mental patient. Her smile felt like a grimace and she was sure she looked like she was trying to fly away, which didn’t sound like a bad idea at the moment.
Not the image she was going for at an interview.
The summer heat combined with the cloying sweet fragrance of the flowers left her slightly nauseous as the woman raised a finger in her direction before disappearing from view. She took a deep breath, now or never. She glanced back at her car, wondering if she should . . .
The door opened with a thump. “Golden? I’m Mary Pietka.”
Golden turned back, her opportunity for escape gone.
Mary wiped her hands on a faded red apron, which covered a navy housedress. Her short, round figure and rosy, unlined cheeks reminded Golden of the German nesting dolls her mother had kept on the windowsill in the kitchen. The only thing missing was a scarf around Mary’s perfectly coifed hair and she’d be the mother doll. That doll, the tallest of the set, had always been her favorite, the one her eyes were drawn to whenever she stood at the sink, and the similarity eased her urge to flee somewhat.
“Call me Mary. Is it Golden or Goldie?”
“Golden.” She hated Goldie. Her sister, Izzy, was the only one who called her Goldie and only because Izzy refused to stop. But then her sister always did whatever she wanted. Izzy had left home shortly after the accident and was never subjected to their other sister, Maggie’s, constant meddling.
She shook Mary’s outstretched hand, hoping her palms were no longer sweaty. Mary gave her hand a pat before releasing it. “Come on in, dear.”
She followed the woman up a short flight of stairs to a small kitchen. Frying onions and butter scented the air, her stomach clenched as though about to rumble. She hadn’t smelled home cooking since the accident, frozen food and take out were the staples back home.
She handed Mary her now crinkled résumé, but Mary barely glanced at it before setting it aside and waving her into a chair next to a beige Formica kitchenette. Cherry stained, twelve-inch moldings and trim, ancient looking appliances, and a deep country sink gave the place an old world charm that made her feel as if nothing much had changed since Poultney had become a town at the turn of the nineteenth century.
Nervous energy caused her hands to twine in her lap, and she found herself really wanting the job. Mary’s warmth, and the house, made Golden feel as if she’d come home. To a real home, not just a house with people living inside going through the motions of life, but a genuine home. She was suddenly desperate to spend more time here.
“My mother’s sleeping now, and I don’t want to wake her,” Mary said. “Why don’t you tell me about yourself?” She picked up a piece of cabbage and palmed it, then scooped a spoonful of rice and ground beef mixture from a large silver bowl and dropped it onto the cabbage.
Let’s see . . . I inherited a house from relatives I didn’t know. I traveled across the country to this foreign little town to get away from my overprotective sister and the weird things that keep happening to me. I’m trying to be a grown up while part of me wants to get in my car and run back home. I now live isolated in the middle of nowhere, and I really want this job so I don’t totally lose it from lack of human contact. Oh, and I might be insane.
She decided on the abridged version instead. “I grew up in Southern California and just moved into town. I have two years’ experience caring for the elderly.”
Mary wrapped the cabbage leaf around the filling. “My mother-in-law, Jadwiga, is one hundred and three. She was in perfect health, until a few months ago, and now requires more care. I no longer feel comfortable leaving her alone. I have a nurse coming in a few days a week, but I need someone to keep her company so I can run errands, clean the house, and have a break once in a while.”
Mary’s gaze never left her as she placed the oblong food into a casserole dish and reached for another leaf. Her brow creased ever so slightly, and her head tilted as if she were listening to something. “It must be hard moving into a new town, being as young as you are without any family around, living in that big house in the middle of the forest.”
A tingle of unease pinched her shoulders and straightened her back. “Ah . . . ye . . . yes it is.” Had she said all that aloud? How did Mary know about her house?
Mary smiled, her crow’s feet deepening. “Small town, dear. Are you going to take some classes at Green Mountain College?”
Golden eased back in her chair. “Yes, I’ve signed up for some core classes this fall.”
Mary went over the details of the job while she ladled tomato sauce over the top of the cabbage rolls and put the dish into the oven. “Have you ever had Golumpki? Are you Catholic?” Mary turned in her direction. “Can you start Monday morning at nine?”
“Um . . . no, yes and yes.” Golden chuckled at the rapid succession of questions, warming to Mary’s offbeat personality and so relieved she wouldn’t have to go back home a failure and listen to Maggie telling her she wasn’t ready to leave home.
The side door to the house opened behind her.
Matka? Dzien dobry? Ma? Hello?”
The deep male voice filled the kitchen. Filled her. Her muscles tightened, her arms vibrated like she’d been doing yard work for the last hour and had just turned off the weed whacker.
Mary raised an eyebrow in her direction before looking past her to the door. “Kris, proszę meet Golden. Come, come.”
Heavy boots sounded on the wooden steps. The loud thumping stopped as if in mid-step and an invisible electric current slammed into her back. Heat spread through her and settled in her belly.
Matka, what’s going on here?”
“Golden is your Babci’s new caregiver.” Mary enunciated as if she were speaking to a five-year-old. “I told you last week she answered the ad and was coming today. She’ll be starting on Monday.”
Mary glared at Kris and then turned to Golden with an apologetic smile on her face. Kris moved around the table and stood next to his mother.
Her mouth fell open.
He narrowed his piercing blue eyes at her, and a lock of sandy brown hair fell from behind his ear.
Holy shit.
He looked exactly like the man she’d been dreaming of for years.

About the Author:

Sophia Kimble has always wanted to be an author, but for years, life got in the way. She wouldn’t change a thing about how her life turned out, though. Her family keeps her laughing and loving. Her wonderful husband and two extraordinary children stand beside her every step of the way and make this journey called life worth living.

Sophia has worked as a nurse for twenty years, but has put that career path aside to devote her time and imagination to writing down the stories that keep her up nights.

She takes her love of the paranormal, history, and genealogy, and weaves them into tales of family, fated love, and supernatural occurrences.

Connect with Sophia at the following sites:


Twitter: @SophiaKimble

November 17 Guest blog
Roxanne’s Realm

November 18 Spotlight and review
Fang Freakin Tastic Reviews  

November 19 Interview
Eclipse Reviews

November 20 Character Interview
Author Karen Swart

November 21 Spotlight
Lisa’s World of Books

November 24 Review
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November 25 Guest blog and review
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November 26 Top Ten List
Darkest Cravings

November 28 Interview
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December 1 Guest blog

December 2 Spotlight
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December 3 Spotlight
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December 4 Interview
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December 5 Guest blog and review
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December 8 Interview
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December 9 Interview
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December 10 Spotlight
D'eBook Sharing Book Reviews 

December 12 Spotlight
Geeks In High School

December 15 Interview
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Unknown said...

Thanks so much for having me, Roxanne!

Maureen said...

Wow! What an awesome interview. I loved it! Even though I already read and absolutely loved Protect Her, this gave me a deeper perspective into the characters. Great post!

Unknown said...

Thanks so much, Maureen! :)

Julie Doherty said...

Fascinating look into the inspiration for your plot. I'm really looking forward to reading PROTECT HER.

Unknown said...

Thanks Julie!