Little Red Gem
by DL Richardson
Love can make you do crazy things as Ruby Parker discovers when she dies and returns from the grave to unearth how much Leo Culver loved her. With the aid of bad advice from a ghost who is trapped by a curse, a little bit of magic courtesy of her unsuspecting half-sister, and a televised music talent show coming to town to hold auditions, Ruby Parker makes more of a mess in death than she ever did in life. Can she fix everything before it’s too late? Or will she spend eternity as a ghost, haunted by the unknown depths of love? Either way, one thing Ruby learns is that while love can make you do crazy things, it can make you do amazing things too. But at what cost?
…“I’d know if I was dead.”
While I watched my two best friends walk with arms around each other for emotional support, I wrestled with accepting Audrey’s version of the story. To do so meant I was dead. And dead meant I would never again speak with Leo. And there were so many words left unsaid, so much business left unfinished.
The final nail in my coffin came when a customer walked out and Audrey pushed me directly in front of the customer’s path. Instead of bumping into him, I fell through him, landing on my hands and knees. My skin tingled with pins and needles from where the body had passed through me. A loud noise filled my ears, similar to water flowing from a dam. For a split second my vision blurred. Then I watched in absolute horror as my hands and legs split into millions of tiny fragments.
Audrey might have been capable of delving into her mother’s magic bag to produce this neat trick, but I wasn’t.
I crawled into the gutter because it seemed the most suitable place for a reluctant spirit to bawl her eyes out. Audrey was kind enough to sit beside me with her hand resting on my shoulder; although we were both apparitions the contact still registered. I forgot about being angry with her and welcomed her company.
“Okay, I’ll admit this has been a rather extraordinary morning so you may be right.” I sniffed back the tears and turned to face her. “How did I die?”
“Your car slid down an embankment. You weren’t wearing a seat belt. Leo dragged you out of the car but it was too late.”
I jumped up. “Leo!”
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Learning to weave
Guest post by D L Richardson
I have to admit, I had to do a Goodge search to find out what a “skein” was. My mother would be disappointed. It is a length of yarn, loosely coiled and knotted. I should know this as I used to knit a long, long time ago when I had time. A time when my mother and I used to dance in the living room to Del Shannon and Buddy Holly. A time when Sundays were spent baking fudge or honeycomb or marshmallows just so I could share these delicious sweets with my siblings. A time when we sat at the dining table for dinner and couldn’t leave to watch TV until we cleaned everything off our plates. A time when learning to sew had less to do with taking in jeans and more to do with passing down knowledge. It seems a lifetime ago and in truth, it was a lifetime ago. My mother passed down her knowledge through sewing, knitting, crocheting, jiving, cooking, and the rest I was told to learn myself because I needed to learn some things on my own. And I did. I learned story telling.
Writing became my life’s journey. Writing became how I passed on my dreams, my aspirations, my fears, my doubts, and my knowledge. Knitting and writing share a common element – the thread. Just like a sweater, a good story contains multiple threads built around a pattern – some of these threads might come loose but we tidy them up by the end. Some of these threads are so entwined we can’t tell where one color strand and another begins. Sometimes the writing ends up a jumbled mess and it takes great care and patience to pull it apart and roll it back up together into something orderly. And make no mistake. I’m a writer who believes that writing should have a framework as much as a sweater or scarf needs a pattern.
I’m definitely a plotter and I find this is the big difference between finishing that story (or sweater) and having a pile of yarn in a basket that one day will get finished. Little Red Gem was written in twelve months and then I spent another six months editing. It has a twist at the end and there’s no way the twist would work without knowing how to weave a story. I wouldn’t know how to tie up a loose thread if I didn’t know how to sew. And when a writer creates a story with sub plots and twists, they must know how to weave and they must know how to tie up those loose threads.
If you readers get a chance to read Little Red Gem I hope you’ll be able to recognize the places where I weave the thread and the place where I tie them all together. And I have my mother to thank for this ability. All because she passed this knowledge down to me.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Music first captured the creative interest of young adult author D L Richardson. From choir, to her first acoustic guitar at age ten, to singing with the school band and performing in school musicals. When she left school she helped form her own rock band where she sang lead vocals, played bass guitar, and wrote all the lyrics. At age 26 she sold her equipment and focused on writing instead. She now has three novels and one short story anthology published.
Little Red Gem is a tribute to her former life as a musician and contains some of the author’s actual experiences, though she has never entered a national singing competition to capture the attention of the boy she loves. It is also a tribute to those brave young women who charge forward in pursuit of their dreams.
She lives in Australia on the NSW South Coast with her husband and dog. When she's not writing or reading she can be found playing her piano or guitars, renovating the house, or walking her dog.
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The author will award to one commenter at every stop a prize consisting of one ebook, a bookmark and a laminated pass (the passes relate to the storyline).