Born in Kentucky in 1955. I currently live in Lexington, Kentucky with my fiancé, Coby W. Fuson. I have two wonderful sons, Charles and Steven.
I have always loved reading and writing. And although perhaps not a great literary work, I loved and was inspired by Old Yeller. The characters in that book were real to me. When I started writing, it was my greatest desire to write characters that readers could love and hate, laugh and cry with.
Knowledge was another love. I wanted to learn about everything. I studied metaphysics; delving into touch healing, dream analysis, meditation, and hypnosis. I received my associate's degree in metaphysics in 1992 and continued from there to become a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist. I spent several years studying the effects of hypnosis on cancer and pain. I taught meditation, dream analysis and self-hypnosis through Eastern Kentucky University's Special Programs for four years. The power of the mind has always fascinated me. I've recently become a paranormal investigator, and love old houses that go bump in the night.
“Good morning, Millicent. Miss Nikki.” Clarence Archibald tipped his hat to the ladies.
Millie Crawford frowned as she placed the key in the door. “Humph,” she snorted. Old coot. “Morning, Mr. Archibald,” she answered in her most prim voice.
His laugh carried across the street. “When are you going to call me Clarence? It’s been two months now, and you’re still fighting it. By the way, you look as fresh as my new roses this morning.”
Millie sent him a scathing look as she closed the door. Fresh as his new roses. He was the one that was fresh. Acting like a teen-ager.
“You run on and play, Nikki.”
Millie couldn’t stop herself from lifting the blinds and taking a quick peek to see if he was still there. A slight pang of disappointment filled her when she saw he had already entered the flower shop.
“Flirtatious old coot,” she muttered to herself as she opened the bookstore for business. Always calling me Millicent. She stopped her muttering as she caught sight of her reflection in the mirror behind the counter. The slight flush on her cheeks and sparkle in her eyes belied her age, as did the spring in her walk. The old fool had her feeling like a teenager. Maybe she’d just take a walk over there and see those new roses. He could probably use a good cup of coffee. Might even ask him over for dinner one night. Possibilities. The old coot had definite possibilities.
Humming softly, Millie flipped the sign to “open” and headed to the back of the store to make a fresh pot of coffee.
Excerpt from Sacred Secrets, A Jacody Ives Mystery - prequel to award winning The Gifts, A Jacody Ives Mystery.
Featured Character: Katie O'Connor
Katie O'Connor has lived on "death row" for the past 15 years. Without a heart transplant her life expectancy is less than a year. A possible heart has been found, but little does Katie know that it will forever change her life and set her on a course of destiny that she may not survive.
Katie wrung her hands in her lap as the intern took another curve, maneuvering the car onto the main highway at a rate of speed that was surely against the law. Everything was moving so fast. The tearful goodbye with Clover. The trip home. She had barely gotten unpacked before exhaustion overcame her. She’d slept most of yesterday, and then the phone had rung. Now the mad dash to the hospital. What exactly had Dr. Wagner said? We may have found you a heart. And what did that mean anyway? Was it possible that someone was dying as they rushed to the hospital? Could they maybe live? Had she truly gotten a pardon from death row, or was this some cruel joke of the executioner.
“What did Dr. Wagner mean, he may have found a heart?”
The intern took his eyes from the road for a moment, smiled at Katie. “There was an accident. A young man with severe head injuries. Your age, good heart.”
“So he isn’t dead yet? What am I supposed to do, sit around wishing he would hurry up?”
Katie knew her voice was more brusque than she had intended. But surely Dr. Wagner didn’t expect her to sit and wait for someone to die.
The intern braked, going into another curve at breakneck speed. “Actually it’s the opposite. He’s brain dead, so technically he’s already been declared dead. We just have to wait until he gets here and hope he doesn’t die on the way.”
Katie wondered if the intern had any clue how coldhearted his words sounded to her. How cruel to the family of the dying young man. A young man who had signed a donor card so that if he died someone else might live. A young man who wouldn’t get an appeal of his case. The executioner had already dropped the axe.
“How do we know he’ll match.”
Katie almost missed his words, they were spoken so low.
Billy looked deep into the depths of the green eyes, seeing hope slide away, feeling the tearing pain of loss he didn't know if he was strong enough to bear. Death approaching. Jacody. Miss Charity. Katie.
Katie continued, "I need you, and I want you to stay here with me. But I won't ask you to stay. Not unless you want to."
"What is it you're not saying, Katie?"
She smiled at him, eyes slightly wet, breath warm against his face. She loved him. And the last thing on her list of things to do on death row. "Get boinked by a good looking guy."
"I want you to make love to me. Just one night. That's all I'm asking. I want to know what it's like to be a real woman."
Billy heard what wasn't said, a hard hit in the pit of his stomach. "I'm dying and I'm afraid. I love you. I don't want to hurt you."
He reached for her, his lips closing softly on hers. An unspoken promise. A meeting of souls shattered by the pain of life. A moment in time. It was all anyone was promised, and for now he'd take it.