This must be Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays. –Douglas Adams
This week my guest is S.A. Bolich, author of the historical ghost love story, In Heaven’s Shadow **
(**For a chance at this week’s prize, a copy of S.A.Bolich’s In Heaven’s Shadow, please play Lie-dar by leaving a comment with your guess about which is her truth)
When we moved to Virginia, some things happened with such seductive ease I never even noticed. I greeted people with “Hey!” Friends became “y’all”. Their children called me “Miz Barb”. Some things took… a bit longer. Like a civil war referred to as “the war of Northern aggression”. Like pointing out those people who stopped at the fast food restaurants out by the freeway—you know, the ones who talked loud and wore socks with their sandals— the yankees. And some things were pure magic, timeless and untouched like the mist covering the Blue Ridge mountains and fall colors blazing along the Appalachian Trail. In Heaven’s Shadow took me back there.
S. A. Bolich’s new release, In Heaven’s Shadow, captures old Virginia’s beauty and brings its magic to life. Her classic ghost tale is a love story that just isn’t ready to end with the death of Lilith Stark’s husband Joab at Gettysburg. All her life she’s seen the spirits of the dead, so when her husband’s ghost accompanies the minister informing her of his death, Lilith’s grief doesn’t include surprise. But the gap that’s always existed between Lilith and her community, especially Reverend Fisk, develops into a chasm as she innocently offers them access to the magical healing of her father’s “elixir”. Bewildered by their suspicion, threatened by soldiers from both sides as well as her own neighbors who see the young widow as prey, and struggling to keep her own love story “alive” when one of them is anything but, Lilith draws on every drop of the magic inherited from her father, her own feisty strength, and the love between herself and Joab that transcends death.
I don’t often award five stars, but S. A. Bolich’s combination of gorgeous writing, perfect setting, and character development makes In Heaven’s Shadow a winner. Bolich creates Lilith with a pitch-perfect voice for a rural Virginia woman struggling to resolve the conflicts between the truths her father taught her about the nature of magic and love, and her bone deep need for belonging and acceptance in their community. The strengths of her own character and love for her husband provide the reasons for Lilith’s growth, but it’s her kickass attitude and feisty determination that make her journey a constant delight for readers. Add to that the exquisitely spare but perfectly evocative description of Lilith’s Virginia home as the war draws to a close, and you have a book you shouldn’t miss.
Please take a look at the excerpts below for a sense of what S.A.Bolich brings to In Heaven’s Shadow.
Joab’s hand stole out, hesitated, and closed around hers. It felt like a moth had landed on her hand, so light it could have been just a passing breeze, but somehow Lilith knew she would have known the difference even if she hadn’t been watching.
“There,” she said in satisfaction. “That wasn’t so bad, was it?”
He didn’t say anything. After a bit, she dared to look at him. He had his head down, but even so, she could see he was crying. Shocked, Lilith reached to turn his head toward her, but he pulled away before her hand connected.
“Now what? Joab? What’d I do?”
“Nothing.” His voice came thick and low. He reached up and swiped at his face. “I just—I guess I didn’t think it was going to be like this.”
“I—I want to touch you, Lil. Hold you. Take you up to bed and love you. This—” He flapped his hand around at nothing in particular. “This is almost as bad as layin’ curled up under a blanket up north, wishing I was here. I got through many a night dreaming about home. Now it just ain’t like I imagined, is all.”
Her throat got tight. “Joab—”
He jerked a hand up to shush her. Lilith shushed, reaching for his hand. She held on when he tried to pull away. It made her throat ache again because she remembered his hands as being so strong, but she kept quiet, cradling a thin piece of life between her hands. Just a little slice, a whisper of nothing, Pa used to say, but when nothing quit whispering, you didn’t have anything left at all. So she fought for her piece, and her man, and all that the war had left them.
Although S.A. Bolich’s characters get most of the adventures, she’s had several herself. But only one of the following statements is true. Which one of her statements is true?
- She commemorated winning a national dressage show with a tattoo of her horse… in a very personal spot.
- Her characters see ghosts, control the elements, and weave water into cures. But if Bolich could have one superpower herself, it would be teleportation.
- As a horse trainer, S.A. Bolich is best known for breeding and training the horses who pull Cinderella’s coach at Disney theme parks.
Please add your guess to your comment below, and you will be entered to win a digital (eBook) copy of S.A.Bolich’s new historical ghost romance, In Heaven’s Shadow. Winner will be announced next Thursday, May 1.
Last week Diane Saxon challenged readers to spot her lie. Which one of her statements is true?
- “I still can’t believe I once became stuck in the Everglades, out in the middle of nowhere with my husband and two very young children (four and eight) and a guide who I thought was about to have a heart attack. We were on a hydrofoil and I had nothing with me apart from sun cream which I kept spreading on the children. Several hours later we were rescued and I was so relieved I never even so much as made a complaint.”
- “I still can’t believe I once taught pole dancing at a night club in Birmingham because the teacher failed to turn up and I was the HR Manager there. We didn’t want everyone to take their money back and not return the following week. I have to say – I was rather good.”
- “I still can’t believe I once pulled up to a set of traffic lights when I was in LA and looked to the side and there was George Clooney, clad in leathers and riding a motorbike. He looked into my convertible, winked at me and drove off.”
Diane stumps everyone! She admits that the first is the true statement, “…however both b) and c) have an element of truth. I was a consultant HR Manager for a Nightclub for a while. The incident with George Clooney – it’s real. A friend of mine used to see him occasionally at a set of traffic lights – of course she’s an actress anyway.” The winner of a digital copy of Flynn’s Kiss was drawn randomly from comments. Congratulations, Haley Whitehall, and thank you for playing Lie-dar.
For a chance at this week’s prize, a copy of S.A.Bolich’s In Heaven’s Shadow, don’t forget to leave your guess about which is her truth!
***Would you like to be a guest on Thursday Lie-dar? I’d love to feature you and your work here! (interview, contest, book review, guest post) For information, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org***