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BONUS POST! Between by Clarissa Johal

I have a bonus for all of you today. An Opener’s Closing is happy to be a stop on the Between, blog tour for Clarissa Johal. At the end of this post, there is also an excerpt from the story. I hope you all enjoy it.

L. E. White

Welcome to the Virtual Book Tour for BETWEEN!
Follow the Tour to Read Exclusive Excerpts, Interviews, and Reviews, and Make Sure to Enter the Giveaway!!
Second Place – Preditors and Editors Readers Poll 2012 
Clarissa Johal’s novel BETWEEN is a “haunting” paranormal novel that will have you on the edge of your seat!
How far would you go to redeem yourself?

About BETWEEN:

As a young girl, Lucinda was able to see spirits, a gift that didn’t come without its problems. Now, a dedicated young veterinarian, she is committed to the idea that every life can be saved.

After a devastating accident, Lucinda tries to escape her past by moving to a small town. There, she meets a newcomer and feels an immediate connection with him. But there is another mysterious stranger to the small town, one that stirs within her a mixture of unease and desire.

As Lucinda is drawn into a bitter tug-a-war from the forces around her, she is likewise pulled into a dangerous twist of past and present events. Forced to make difficult choices, she finds that the two men are locked in not only a battle for her life…but a battle for their salvation.

Book Details:

Title: BETWEEN
Author: Clarissa Johal

Genre: Paranormal
Publisher: Musa Publishing 
ISBN: 978-1-61937-459-1
Cover Artist: David Efaw
Number of Pages: 300
Purchase Links:

Amazon

About the Author:

Clarissa Johal has worked as a veterinary assistant, zoo-keeper aide and vegetarian chef. Writing has always been her passion. When she’s not listening to the ghosts in her head, she’s dancing or taking photographs of gargoyles. She shares her life with her husband, two daughters and every stray animal that darkens the doorstep. One day, she expects that a wayward troll will wander into her yard, but that hasn’t happened yet.

Find Clarissa Online:
*Member of the Author’s Guild
Coming May 19, 2015 from Permuted Press
VOICES, a paranormal psychological horror
STRUCK
(2014) Musa Publishing
*Indie Book of the Day Award
*Nominated for the Preditors and Editors Readers Poll 2014
BETWEEN
(2012) Musa Publishing
*Second place in the Preditors and Editors Readers Poll 2012
*Paranormal Reads gives BETWEEN 4 out of 5 Bats
PRADEE
(2010) CreateSpace
*Second round finalist in Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award Contest 2012
Short stories:
PIGEONS
Susurrus Literary Journal
THE ROPE
Susurrus Literary Journal
Non-Fiction:
A WAY OF LIFE
The Sacramento Bee newspaper

Praise for BETWEEN:

Paranormal Reads gives BETWEEN 4 out of 5 Bats

Escape Into a Book “I loved how original the idea was for this book, I haven’t read a book like this one…fast paced and kept my interest till the very end.”

MommaSez “Creepy, scary, haunting–just up my alley…gothic romance that makes the hair stand up on my neck!”

Musings from an Addicted Reader “It was haunting, unpredictable, and intriguing. All the characters were unique and draw you in from the first chapter. Excellent read.”

Shut Up & Read “I love a good ghost story, and this one did not disappoint…I’ve heard the saying painting a picture with words, and that is exactly what the author does here. Each sentence is vivid and alive.”

Happy Tails and Tales “I would recommend it to my fellow ghost lovers, Gothic lovers, and historical paranormal lovers alike. There are some interesting paranormal characters…I wasn’t expecting them…a really well done plot twist. ”

Demons Do it Better “Between kept me guessing. I had no clue where the story was going to end but I made a couple of guesses along the way and I was wrong.”

Follow the Tour:
Enter the Giveaway:
Tour Coordinated by:
~ Amber M. ~
Promotions Specialist and Media Contact at Musa Publishing amber.musa.ps@gmail.com
Owner of Sapphyria’s Book Promotions saphsbookblog@gmail.com

An excerpt from Between by Clarissa Johal

She had reached the edge of town before she realized there was somebody behind her.

Cronan quickened his pace until they were walking side by side. “Would you like to share?”

Lucinda glanced at his umbrella and continued to walk. “No.”

“Are you all right?” Cronan continued to follow as the rain fell in earnest. “You are getting wet.”

“I don’t care.” The rain soaked through her T-shirt, rinsing the dog’s spittle and blood from it. Her coat hung limp in her hand. She glanced over to find Cronan’s icy, gray eyes fixed on her. A surge of heat shot through her core.

“At least you could let me return the favor and rescue you from the rain.” He gestured toward the black umbrella over his head, palm up. “Enough room for two.”

She gave him a doubtful look. “Where’s your car?”

“It is still in the shop.”

“You’ve already returned the favor, Mr. Cronan. I don’t need rescuing. What I really need is for you to leave me alone right now.”

“No,” he replied, “I am not sure that is what you need at all.”

Lucinda pushed a strand of hair from her eyes. Rain pelted her body and rendered her outside as numb as her inside. Her T-shirt and jeans were soaked through. Thunder rumbled, and she looked up in dismay. Resigned, Lucinda allowed him to step closer to her. “I don’t want to talk,” she said.

“Then we will not.” They walked in silence until they reached her driveway. She hesitated before she mumbled a thanks and ducked out from under his umbrella. He followed her to the front door like a shadow. Lucinda felt him watching her as she fished the key from her pocket and struggled with the lock. Cronan placed his firm hands over hers, turned the key, and pulled it out. She paused, their hands touching, and waited for him to remove his. He pulled his hand away slowly and stepped back.

“Will you allow me to warm myself before I leave?”

She nodded briefly.

Cronan crossed over the threshold just as Darwin skated into the room. Lucinda stood, uncertain, as Darwin growled, planting himself between her and Cronan. “I’ll put him outside.” She grabbed Darwin and walked the dog to the back door. “Out, Darwin.” She held the back door open. It had stopped raining. Darwin sat stubbornly on his haunches. “Out, Darwin!” Lucinda repeated.

Darwin slunk outside into his doghouse and Lucinda shut the door behind him. “I’ll need to let him in if it starts raining again—” She turned around and almost fell into Cronan, who was directly behind her. Startled, she drew in her breath.

“My apologies,” he said.

Her mouth opened and closed again as she breathed in the scent of rain on stone. “I need to sit down.” She stepped away from him, heart thudding in her chest.

“You need a drink.” He picked up the wine bottle from where it had been shoved in the corner on her countertop. “Do you have a bottle opener?”

Lucinda shook her head as she dropped into the chair. She shivered in her wet clothes. He reached into his back pocket and withdrew a pocketknife. Flipping through several different attachments, he found a corkscrew. “I’m cold,” Lucinda whispered to herself.

“Feel free to change your clothes.” He pulled the cork out, eyeing her as he inhaled the cork’s aroma.

Lucinda watched as he helped himself to two glasses from the cupboard. She vaguely wondered how he knew where her glasses were kept but was too cold and tired to ask. Cronan poured the amber liquid and ran a finger along the bottle’s rim to catch a stray drop. Savoring the drop of liquid from his finger, he offered the glass to her. Lucinda’s face grew warm as he caught her watching him. “Thank you.” She accepted the glass, hesitant. “And thank you for the umbrella. I — I’m sorry I was rude. A patient died today. We had to put him to sleep.”

“Things die, Lucinda. You know that.” He knelt in front of her, placing his hands on her knees.

She leaned back in alarm, drawing her knees together. “I could have saved him.” Cronan’s gaze grew too intense, and Lucinda looked away, holding the glass firmly in her lap. “It’s not my job to decide whether something lives or dies. It’s my job to save them.”

“Everything gets its time on this earth, Lucinda. The trick is knowing when it is time to stay and when it is time to move on.”

“Is that the trick?”

Cronan grinned. “Drink. You will feel better.” He reached up and pushed wet hair back from her face, tucking it behind her ear. “Let your guard down, Lucinda,” he murmured, his face serious. “I have your back.” He ran his thumb lightly over the two small, white scars that stood out against the pallor of her skin.

She shivered at his touch and quickly drained her glass, frustrated with herself.

He raised his eyebrows. “You will end up on your back at that rate.”

“Maybe that’s where I need to be right now.” Lucinda pulled away from him. “I haven’t been sleeping well.” She picked up the wine bottle and poured herself another glass, grimacing. The wine isn’t the only thing overwhelming my senses.

Cronan chuckled softly to himself.

Lucinda turned and faced him. “Why are you here, Cronan?”

“In your house?”

“No, in this town. You seem quite worldly. Why did you move here? It’s a small town and not much in it.” She took a sip of wine and let it flood her mouth before swallowing. The sweet liquid slid down her throat, warming her insides. “People move here to get away from the city or to retire. Why did you move here? What are you running from?”

Something indiscernible flickered across his face. “Not from, Lucinda. To.”

“I don’t know what that means. You’re being vague on purpose.”

“Why are you here?”

“I’m here because my fiancé died.” The confession was out of her mouth before she could stop herself.

“Again,” he replied, his voice somber, “everything gets its time on earth.”

Lucinda caught her breath and turned her back to him. Setting her half-empty glass down, she steadied herself against the counter.

“I apologize.” Cronan was behind her in a heartbeat, resting his hands on her shoulders. “I can be quite heartless at times.”

“No, you’re right. Everything has its time.” A tear slid down her face as she felt Cronan’s breath on her hair. His presence pressed behind her, hard to ignore. The scent of summer rain on stone hit her again. Through the haze, she felt her heart leap frantically and clenched her wine glass as if to still it. He slid his hands lightly down her arms and inhaled. Lucinda pushed past him and backed up toward the center of the kitchen. She saw him clench his hands.

“You didn’t answer my question,” she said. Her thoughts darted around like trapped rabbits. “Why are you here, Cronan?” Her question hung in the air, unanswered. She watched him study her quietly, eyes burning a clear gray. Something plucked at her memory but then it was gone, leaving her confused. “I think it would be best if you left now.”

“Is that what would be best?”

“Yes, please leave.” He seemed to consider her request and set his glass down. Lucinda watched his thumb run along its rim and her vision blurred. A flash of Cronan’s lips on hers. Flowers. Laughter. A time lost. “You never told me your last name, by the way,” she said faintly.

A small, triumphant smile touched the corners of his mouth. She watched his lips as he began to form a word. In the distance, a glass broke, shattering his reply.

Cronan caught her before she crumpled to the floor. He held her for a moment and savored the warmth of her skin through her wet clothes. His hands moved restlessly over her body as he whispered urgently into her neck, holding her tightly to him. Bringing a hand up to her forehead, he pushed her hair back, and studied her face. Minutes passed. Resolute, he let his fingertips stray to her heart. He laid his hands over the beating organ but could not stay it. His face contorted in frustration.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. February 18, 2015 at 12:38 PM

    Thank you for hosting BETWEEN!

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