So let's lead things off with the question who is Sharla besides the author of a book with what appears to be a very intriguing ghost? Here's her bio:
Sharla once hunted for crab in a Honduran jungle, and explored an unknown cave on her belly through a rabbit hole. Not in the same night.
When she's not writing, doing the day job, or doing the family thing, she's stalking her Twitter feed.
And now I'm turning it over to Sharla who starts it off by finishing this sentence: Life hasn't been quite the same since.... The hitch is that the story must be about a trip. But that trip can be anything from a journey around the world to a jaunt to the corner store.
Life Hasn't Been Quite The Same Since...
Thanks for having me!
I'm not a big traveler. I mean, I'd like to be, I'd like to be toodling around in a giant Winnebago or flying off to exotic locales like ones I read about. But my very blue collar world doesn't include scenarios like that. I've only really been on a few big trips in my life.
A big vacation when I was in the fourth grade brought me to the Grand Canyon and all up the West Coast. I've been scuba diving in Grand Cayman and Cozumel and Honduras. I've been to London. I've been skiing to Taos, NM. All of those things were in my twenties. And I went to Vegas for my honeymoon. That about sums up my traveling portfolio.
But one trip wasn't a vacation, stands out in my head as life altering.
When my daughter was five, her dad and I called it quits. We were living in Colorado at the time, a beautiful, majestic place. Also rivaling California for expensive living. I couldn't afford to live there on my own, and I didn't want to. It was time to move back home. To Texas. To family.
The small town I was going back to would be very different from what I was leaving behind. I knew that. I knew I was making the conscious choice to raise my daughter in an entirely different lifestyle. She would be a blue-collar Texas girl, like I was. So my dad and my brother rented a uHaul truck and drove the 2-day stretch to come help to pack up everything I owned, and we left.
I remember looking in the rearview mirror with tears in my eyes as I watched the big rock formation in Castle Rock, Colorado disappear around a bend. I knew I'd never be back. I felt the loss as I drove through the mountain passes and little picturesque towns. I looked at my daughter, coloring in a Barbie coloring book, who really wasn't old enough to register what she was leaving behind, and both celebrated that fact and regretted it.
I got to spend precious moments with my dad, that I didn't really realize was precious at the time. We stopped and ate at little mom and pop diners along the way, and stayed at the tiniest roach motel I've ever seen...lol... I remember pulling up finally, at the end of the day, into my mother's driveway. Thinking: "I'm finally home" and "Oh my God, what have I done?" at the very same time. I had no house, no job, no security for my daughter other than a support system of family. I got us there two weeks before Kindergarten started, so she'd start in one place and not have to move in the middle.
One month later, I found a rent house and a job in the very same day. And five years later my dad died...with my mom to follow eight months after that. My choice gave my daughter a chance to know them, hang out with them almost daily. She has deep rooted memories that I wish could have lasted longer but at least they are there. She's 17 now, and remembers certain activities with them vividly.
I still miss Colorado sometimes, but I've been here for twelve years now, have remarried into a wonderful family and have fully reinstated my Texas drawl and attitude. It's home again.
Thanks for letting me come by!
Hope you all enjoy the book!
"The Reason is You" - Blurb:In the small town of Bethany, Dani Shane never fit in. Being different pushed her to the fringes of society, and even leaving town for two decades didn't stop the talk. Now, with her sixteen-year-old daughter Riley in tow, Dani is back in Bethany looking for a fresh start. Too bad her plans for staying under the radar are about to be thrown out the window.
Mischievous and sexy, Dani's old friend Alex still has the power to rock her world, but there's a big obstacle standing in their way--Alex has been dead for forty years. With a ghost popping up at inopportune moments and sparking conversations with her teenage daughter, Dani scrambles to find solid ground and get a grip--both on her sanity and her heart.
Excerpt from "The Reason Is You":
Preface: Dani and her teenage daughter, Riley have arrived back in Dani's hometown, and one of the first things Dani has to deal with is catching her daughter talking to her old best friend Alex in the front yard. Alex is a ghost...
My head said to walk forward, but my feet went numb. Then he looked my direction, and suddenly I was head-to-toe buzz with blood rushing in my ears. I took a deep breath and attempted normal as I made it down the steps without tripping.
Riley saw Alex. Riley wasn't supposed to see people like Alex.
She had her usual folded-arms-with-one-hip-jutted stance, looking annoyed as hell, while Bojangles circled the yard in a frenzy with his nose to the ground. Alex slowly took off his glasses and locked his blue eyes in on mine with that arrogant little smile of his. I felt heat radiate from every pore.
"Dani," he said, low and smooth, and all the breath left me. "My God, look at you."
I opened my mouth to say the same thing, that after twenty-plus years he still looked exactly the same, hot enough to melt my shoes. But then the mommy gene stood up and waved and I remembered Riley was there.
He laughed, a deep throaty sound, as he pointed at Riley.
"I knew it had to be."
A nervous noise squawked from my mouth. Nothing profound like I always imagined it would be.
"The eyes were the first clue," he said with a wink.
Riley frowned, her expression a mix of disgust and wariness.
"God, you know this perv? He was here on the car watching me and won't tell me who the hell he is."
He smirked. "The sweet, gentle nature was the clincher."
Sharla can be found at her website: www.sharlalovelace.com, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Goodreads.