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I'm writing this blog from Fort Sill, Oklahoma where I've come to welcome my newest grandson, Allan Colin Lewis to the family. He arrived Saturday. I arrived Sunday. We're a close family. I live in rural Cortland County NY so it was a bit of a trip. Allan is my daughter Jessica and son-in-law Ben's fourth little boy. Since I had five little girls, all these little boys seem like a lovely way for the Universe to balance the books a little. Allan is my tenth grandchild. We stand now at 3 girls and 7 boys. Every time a new one is born, I relive the emotions that filled me when my very first grandchild came into the world, Ella Josephine, now fifteen. I felt this sense of continuity, this sudden knowing in a way I had never quite known before, that I am eternal. And that we all go on and on and on, in many many ways. One of those ways is through our children, and theirs, and so on and on down through the ages into the future. Part of us will always be here.
Maggie holding little Allan for the first time
Another of the ways we live on is through the things we create while we're here. The works we do. The stuff we leave behind. For me, that stuff is my body of work. My stories. 54 novels and 27 novellas now by my most recent count. I'm proud of every one of them, and glad they'll be my voice after I've moved on. Just like my family will carry the things I taught them, the example I gave them, the life I lived, through their own, so will my words carry forward all the things I consider sacred. My books contain my innermost beliefs, my values, my perceptions, and my opinions on things, as seen and experienced though the lenses of the characters I create.
As I hang out here in the Southwest, my newest novel is getting ready to release and it, more than any so far, really holds my most cherished ideas. SLEEP WITH THE LIGHTS ON is a thriller that's already stirring up a lot of buzz. It's the first book of a new series we're calling the Brown and De Luca novels, and you can read the back cover blurb and a big juicy excerpt right here. It's heroine is a self help author who doesn't really believe the message she delivers, (or claims she doesn't.) She's sarcastic and sassy, a bit jaded, and has just regained her eyesight after 20 years of blindness. Her cornea donor was a serial killer, and soon she starts dreaming of crimes as seen through his eyes. Crimes he seems to be continuing from beyond the grave.
This book gave me the chance to explore things that are important to me, from the deep truths behind the messages of Rachel's self help books (she might not believe in it, but I do) to the notion that there is more to us than our bodies, and that maybe something survives the transplant process. Since I've begun this series (I'm writing the third full length novel now) I've been exploring that phenomenon even more. And one of the most fascinating things I've found has been a documentary, a snip of which appears on You Tube. Check it out. I'm blown away.
SLEEP WITH THE LIGHTS ON releases on 9/24 followed by an online novella, DREAM OF DANGER in mid October, and then the second novel, WAKE TO DARKNESS at Thanksgiving.
Meanwhile, you can grab my backlist thriller GINGERBREAD MAN Free in all ebook formats until the end of the month. We've given away well over 200,000 copies so far, and it's garnered over 200 reviews, most of them 4 and 5 stars. This is my way of giving new readers a chance to get to know my work, without them having to invest a thing beyond their time.