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About the author:
Darla Dunbar has been interested in paranormal romance since she was a teenager in high school. It was then that she discovered she could fulfill her fantasies through her writing.
What inspired you to write your book?
I wanted to write a paranormal romance that included a spiritual entity that would enter a couple’s relationship to help improve it.With all the bad things that are happening in the world today, it would be nice to read about the good that goes on around us all the time.
Here is a short sample from the book:
Even though Valtina had had a great time helping Joshua and Samantha, she was having a hard time accepting the fact that her job was not yet over. After all, it was very difficult to go from thinking she was on her way to The Afterlife as a reward for finishing her job to the realization that she’d only just barely completed the first task in a list of many. She stood there, trying to come to terms with the idea that she still had a long way to go.
“So… am I really the only one who can do this job? Am I the only person you have?”
“Valtina, there are many people who can help me work with these couples, but you are by far the best at what you do. Don’t think that you are the only soul at work right now. Currently, I have at least a dozen others on Earth completing their own missions. That is not your concern right now. The better you help each of these couples, the more the universe will improve and the sooner you can continue on to The Afterlife. For now, though, I need your help.”
Valtina paused for a moment, wondering if she really wanted to ask her next question. She did anyway, saying, “Okay Ladaya… But just how many people are we talking about? How many more couples do I have to help along?”
“Right now, I am not sure. The Dark Side is currently working against us and they are gaining power quickly. Every day, they bring more and more people over to their side. Now, it is a matter of how many of these people we can save. We need to bring as many souls back to the light as possible, otherwise we will lose this battle forever.”
Clearly, this was a very serious task. This put a great deal of pressure on Valtina and the other souls at work. “I’m going to give you some of the hardest tasks, because I know that you will be able to complete them. I will not ever give you any jobs that I don’t think that you can complete. In love, you are the best person that we have.”
Ladaya smiled kindly at Valtina, trying desperately to convince her. For a few minutes, Valtina mulled over her options, or at least tried to. It didn’t take her long to realize that she had only one other option. However, she didn’t want to be reincarnated again. After living countless lives in various bodies and time periods and situations, she was tired of all of the work and monotony. She sighed heavily, “Alright Ladaya, where do you want me to go next?”
“Next, I have a couple that is the perfect example of what will become of the world if The Dark Side wins. They feed off of misery, despair and lust. Each couple that they drag over is living in a great deal of unhappiness. Matt and Amy are the next couple that you will work with. They have been together since they were teenagers, when Matt got Amy pregnant right before their high school graduation. Although Amy never gave birth, they had already moved in together and have been living with each other ever since.”
“Matt rarely gives Amy a second thought at this point. He has basically forgotten all about her, and she is completely alone. Right now, she is almost entirely dependent on Matt’s income, and she can’t move back in with her parents. She is trapped where she is, and she feels that she has no choice but to stay with Matt and watch as he sleeps with numerous girls on the side. You need to help get her out of there.”
“Unfortunately, I do not believe that there is any hope for Matt. He has been taken too far over and he lives in lust every day. There is very little that can be done for him at this point, although we may be able to help him further down the road. For now though, we will have to focus on getting Amy to a better place… I have been keeping an eye on the situation for some time now, trying to determine what the best option would be for her. I want you to bring her to Kyle, a man who lives in the same apartment building. Do what you can for her. Here is your leather satchel. I’ve added a few items for your quest. Take care.”
Ladaya was much more abrupt in this encounter, trying to get rid of Valtina faster so that she didn’t have any time to protest or ask questions. The less time she had to think over the mission, the better. So, as soon as she stopped speaking, Ladaya transported Valtina to Amy and Matt’s apartment building.
Valtina traveled through space and time, watching the fog and mist disperse as she reached her destination. In the matter of only a few seconds, she had left Middle World and returned to Earth yet again. This time, she appeared in a dark alley in a neighborhood that must have been a lower class residential area. The worn brick of the apartment building next to her didn’t seem trustworthy, and Valtina walked out from the alley toward the main road.
As she turned the corner, she saw a young man getting out of his car and jogging around the front of it. As he turned, he lost his balance and started to fall. After barely catching himself, he started laughing along with the girl in the passenger seat. They were both smiling as he opened the door for her and reached his hand out as an offering. She took it saying, “Thanks for the ride, Matt.”
For a moment, Valtina was confused. She had automatically assumed that this man and woman were Matt and Amy, though it appeared she was only half correct. Seeing movement out of the corner of her eye, she saw a woman standing in an upstairs window, watching the scene taking place below. The sadness on her face was contagious and Valtina instantly sympathized with her. She left the window, turning away from her boyfriend. This was probably a smart choice because Matt leaned in and kissed the young woman as he pulled her from his car.
“Anytime, baby doll. You sure you don’t want me to drive you the other block back to your apartment? Maybe I could stay for a while.”
“Matt, I’m sure that your girlfriend is waiting for you already. You don’t need to make me feel even guiltier!”
“She doesn’t mind. It’s not like we have any plans for tonight anyway.”
“No Matt, thanks for the offer but I’ll be fine walking… it’s just a little bit further anyway.” She turned and waved over her shoulder, walking away from him. She swayed her hips when she walked and he couldn’t take his eyes off her ass.
“Hate to see you go, but love to watch you leave!” he called after her. Then he went inside, up the stairs to his apartment. Valtina followed close behind, despite her disgust at being so near him.
When they entered the apartment, it was easy to see that they didn’t have a lot of money. It seemed most of this apartment was filled with cheap DIY furniture and cheap decorations. Although it was obvious that there wasn’t a large budget for this home, it was also easy to see that a great deal of attention and consideration went into every aspect of the place. Valtina could feel Amy’s energy coming from every direction. She was waiting on a bar stool at the kitchen counter as Valtina and Matt entered.
“Hey babe. How was work?”
“It was fine. Is dinner ready?” He walked over without glancing at her, picked up the plate of food that was set out for him, and took it to a recliner. He sat down, flipped on the TV, and took a bite of the food. He was served chicken and rice, and she automatically walked over to take out a cold beer from the refrigerator.
“Chicken’s cold,” he said gruffly.
“Sorry, I had it ready but you’re a little later coming home than you usually are.”
“Well, you can heat it up again.”
She put the beer down on the counter, bowed her head, and took the plate. As she was doing this, Valtina removed a clear, colorless potion from the leather satchel and poured a few drops in the beer. After placing the plate in the microwave oven, Amy handed Matt the beer and returned to the kitchen. In a few minutes, Amy returned to Matt to serve the reheated chicken. She walked in a depressed manner, as though she was completely terrified of the man that she lived with. As she handed him the plate of food, she watched expectantly, waiting to see if he enjoyed it more this time around.
He took a bite, swallowed, and nodded his satisfaction. She did not receive a thank you or any other form of acknowledgement, but she was happy with that.
“Do you mind if I go for a walk?” It was as though she was asking permission to leave the apartment.
“Go ahead, but I want you back in ten minutes. I’ll be done eating by then and you can do the dishes before I have to take a shower.”
She nodded again and went to grab a jacket. Valtina noticed several bruises around her arms, as though she had been roughly grabbed several times. While Valtina encouraged a little roughness in the bedroom, there was nothing good about being in an abusive relationship. She was immediately filled with rage as she followed Amy out the door.
Valtina realized that she had to find this ‘Kyle’ quickly. Otherwise, there will be major problems for Amy. Although she was unsure of where to start, she knew that she was not going to stand around in an apartment with Matt while he drank beer and watched wrestling on television.
As she watched Amy, Valtina was surprised when Amy turned to her right as she left her apartment, rather than going left toward the stairs that was to take them down and out. Amy, instead, headed upwards a few flights of stairs. Before following, Valtina removed a key from her leather satchel and locked the apartment door behind her. She caught up to Amy as she reached the top level. Amy didn’t stop there, however, and continued up a little bit more, pushing open the door to the roof. This didn’t appear like something new to Amy, and Valtina was immediately sure that this was something she frequently did to get away from Matt when he was around. Now that she was away from him and had a little more privacy, Amy looked like a completely different person. She was quite beautiful and she looked slightly more relaxed than she had been in her boyfriend’s presence.
Slowly, gracefully, she walked over toward to the edge of the building and sat down in a chair that overlooked the rest of the neighborhood, with the city skyline off a little way in the distance. Even though this was a very poor area, there was something beautiful about this view. She watched the sun setting behind the city while Valtina studied her. Valtina had remnants of a plan percolating in her head. Neither of them noticed when the roof door pushed open a second time and a man stepped through.
“How often do you come up here? It seems you’re always here when I come.”
Amy jumped in shock, turned to see who it was and immediately smiled, relaxing a little. “Sometimes I feel like you’re stalking me, given how often we run into each other.”