Today I am so pleased to welcome Sean Ian O’Meidhir and Connal Braginsky to Joyfully Jay. The authors have come to talk to us about their latest release, Transform. They have also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving Sean and Connal a big welcome!

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Exclusive Excerpt

I was lost in thought when the GPS indicated we were getting close to the turnoff for the piece-of-shit property Dad had bought. I get it. He traded in one crap lot for another, making out like a bandit in the meantime and possibly even getting enough to live on for the rest of his life. What I didn’t understand was the newly erected marble cross that greeted us as we turned into the drive. Nor the sign that adorned it that read: “Church of All Souls.” The pictures I had pulled up from the sale of the property had shown a run-down, three-bedroom, two-bath, single-family unit on a two-acre lot far enough away from the water to be worth bupkis. What stood in front of us was a run-down looking church with a new paint job and gaudy cheap-looking cherub statues, which I’m sure someone thought looked like angels, on either side of a gravel-lined path leading away from a shoddy parking lot that took up the better part of what might once have been a front yard. The house had been elevated, due to this definitely being a flood zone, so there was a new ramp and refurbished stair leading up four feet to the ridiculous artificial-turfed lanai. 

I glanced over my shoulder, back at Kat, whose eyes were just as wide and disbelieving as I’m sure mine had to be. Dad had always been quite areligious, something my mother had tolerated as much as he tolerated her occasional attendance at the local Methodist church. The crunch of gravel spraying as I quickly spun the SUV sideways to a stop was oddly satisfying. Unloading, the three of us started up the path toward the church only to come to a screeching halt as a man who looked like my father, was the same height, same build, same olive skin tone, with a full head of black hair, and the same light-brown eyes, but devoid of Dad’s usual facial scruff, and wearing a suit came out the front door. 

“Theodore,” he said, his tone not quite welcoming. “And Katrina. It is so good to see the two of you.” He eyed Robbie, giving him an appraising nod before gesturing behind himself. “Won’t you all please come in?” Before waiting for an answer, he turned and started leading the way. 

I made some sort of sound. A grunt. Perhaps a snort. I’m not sure what the sound was, but he glanced back over his shoulder as we followed him into the low-ceilinged first floor that looked like it had been gutted to allow for a large room with rows of uncomfortable-looking benches leading up to a pine-wood pulpit. There was a door to one side that, from the dimensions of the room, obviously led outside, a door on the other side with a blue bathroom sign hanging on it, and a door in the back that swung open to reveal a woman who had to have time traveled straight from 1985. I wasn’t aware they still made huge aerosol cans of hair spray, but if they didn’t, then this woman had to have bulk purchased her way into a lifetime supply as she had some gravity-defying bleach-blonde helmet packed atop makeup an aged drag queen would be proud of. She wore a bubblegum-pink jacket with matching pencil skirt, heels that made her tower over my six-foot-two father, and enough bling to blind someone ten feet away. She was carrying a tray with a glass pitcher, the contents of which matched the ensemble with five small Dixie cups around it. 

Having deposited the tray on a nearby bench, the woman looked up suddenly, as if just seeing us, let out an exaggeratedly shrill shriek of excitement, and shuffled quickly a few inches at a time on the tottering stilts, her legs constrained by the confines of the skirt, to throw herself at me. I admit I was more than a little tempted to dodge. But I knew Robbie was behind me and would have been torpedoed, and I couldn’t do that to him, no matter how funny it would have been. 

“Theodore! Your father has told me so much about you! Let me look at you!” She pulled away, clapping her hands as if she had just won a prize at a fair. 

“Uh-huh? Really, because, you know, I can’t recall Dad telling me once that he had married you, Sandra.” 

She flinched at my use of her name, or perhaps it was calling her out on being married. It was obvious she had rehearsed a speech and I had just blown that little gem to hell and gone, something I’ll admit I got a small amount of sadistic glee from. 

“So, while inquiring minds want to know, all this…” I gestured at the ridiculousness of the room we were in, a room I had just realized had a framed velvet Jesus portrait on the wall that, at that exact moment, gave me a few seconds’ pause before I started to go on and was interrupted. 

“Oh, I’m so glad you approve!” Sandra declared. 

I sputtered and that’s when Kat’s diplomacy skill, one which she had to have been building for this exact moment, kicked in. “It is marvelous!” she gushed, stepping forward and taking both of Sandra’s hands in hers. “And congratulations to the both of you!” Sandra looked like she may have swallowed her gum when Kat touched her, but that didn’t dissuade Kat one bit. “I’m curious… Do both of you preach here, or just you, Vincent?” 

My father stood to his full height and needlessly straightened his tie. “I am the preacher, but this is Sandy’s brainchild. She has saved my soul, Son. Made a man out of me in a way nobody ever has before.” 

Robbie must have felt me about ready to go postal because he put a steadying hand on my arm, making me glance his way as I had almost forgotten he was there. 

“That is wonderful, Vincent,” Kat said, saving me, despite the backhanded slap at her own great-great granddaughter. “And your sale of the other house has gone to pay for all of this?” She looked around as if she were staring in awe at the Sistine Chapel instead of painted foam ceiling panels. 

“Oh no! Vincent saved so wisely! When I took over his books, I found a huge savings account and—” 

“Oh, hell, no!” I hadn’t meant to shout, but my voice bounced around the white room nicely. I immediately pulled up the hologram display on my watch and started typing away. Sure enough! The little bitch had gotten into the slush fund that I had set up to cover overages from the checking account and had managed to move a half million into their shared “nonprofit” account that was being used up quite quickly on purchases from various jewelry stores, fashion boutiques, online shopping, and then the little to fix up the new “church.” I looked up, enraged, noticing everyone had stopped talking and was staring at me and the watch on my arm, something that probably didn’t exist anywhere else outside of a sci-fi movie. “You have got to be kidding me. Dad, I set you up with that savings account to keep you alive.” 

My father looked perplexed. Sandra looked a little confused. 

“He couldn’t save his way out of a fire! I started that savings account. Whatever. Listen, you keep the money for all your purchases.” I gave her the once-over. “And when it’s all used up, fine. You two deserve each other. We’re here for one thing.” I started closing access to the accounts as I was talking, leaving their joint and business accounts alone. “Where are Kat’s books?” 

The silence had me look up again. My father was looking at the floor with what I swear appeared to be shame—an expression so alien on my father’s face that it interrupted my personal fury. 

“Oh, you’re not talking about that old steamer trunk with those devil books are you? Vinnie burned those!” Sandra’s haughty look-down-the-nose tone made me take a step back. 

And then two steps forward. Dad jumped between us. “I should walk you all to your car. It’s probably best you go now.”


Blurb

transform coverCrossing Nuwa Series, Book 4

After a harrowing rescue, Theo and Robbie take Kat to Maui to recover, only to be swept into another intrigue. Robbie comes into his own and learns to appreciate who and what he is while Theo comes to terms with his family. But a greater prophecy is at play—one that may draw the couple into things they are not yet ready for.

 


Bios

Connal Braginsky is a software engineer who lives in San Diego, California. Diagnosed with autism, Connal sometimes struggles in social situations, but has an inner world that is always incredibly rich. With an insatiable thirst for knowledge about many esoteric things, Connal brings his personal philosophies and interests to writing.

Sean Ian O’Meidhir is a psychologist who lives in San Francisco, California. Sean is a hedonist who believes in living for today, living every day to the fullest, and enjoying as many experiences as possible. They have been gamingsince adolescence and have written about and played hundreds of lives, reveling in the chance to take on new personalities, dramas, even disorders.

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Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Transform, Sean & Connal are giving away an e-set of the Crossing Nüwa Series so far! Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!

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