Spotlight on Days of Future Past by Sally Smith O’Rourke

The spotlight is turned to the romance novel Days of Future Past by Sally Smith O’Rourke.
While she does a virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions,
Sally will give away a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card (winner’s
choice). To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free
to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too.
Welcome,
Sally. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
“Where
shall I begin? Which of all my important nothings shall I tell you first?”
(J.A. June 15, 1808)
That
I reside in the Victorian village of Monrovia, California; a mere two miles
from my place of employment. A local hospital where I spend most daylight hours
in the operating room as a scrub nurse.
That
I am a native Californian, having been born in Glendale, and spent most of my
life here with a relatively short span of years in Reno, Nevada where I
attended school. Returning after graduation I have remained in sunny SoCal.
That
I was widowed some time ago. That I have very domestic hobbies like sewing,
cooking, baking, candy making and cake decorating. Oh, yes I write, too. Mike,
my late husband and teacher, taught me that writing has to be treated like a
job so every day no matter how tired I am I edit, research one or more projects
and write.
That
I have finished the sequel to The Man Who Loves Jane Austen with Yours
Affectionately, Jane Austen; have started a story of reincarnation that takes
place in Pasadena, CA and am making notes for a ghost story set in San
Francisco. Three stories running around in my head and often colliding but I
untangle the debris and continue on.
There
you have a few of my nothings.
A little
bit about Days of Future Past:
Things are not always what they seem.

Fate sometimes conspires to right a decades-old wrong. The 6.8 earthquake that
strikes Southern California one warm March night is the fateful event that
brings family therapist Ann Hart and trauma specialist Ted McConaughy back
together.

Twenty years after his betrayal caused the cancellation of their wedding, Ted
finds himself in need of Ann’s help. The intense, recurring dreams that are
invading his sleep are thought to be memories of past lives. And hypnotherapy,
one of Ann’s specialties, may be the cure he seeks.

Their journey defies time and reason, forcing them to re-evaluate their
capacity for love and forgiveness.

Excerpt from Days of Future Past:
Chapter Twenty-One
Thursday, June 19
The light, soothing scent of
lavender filled the air of Ann’s office and mingled with the pungent aroma of
chamomile tea. The butterflies in her stomach were going nuts. Was he as
nervous as she was? The leather of her desk chair was cool and soft as she
leaned back and closed her eyes, breathing in the essence of lavender in an
attempt to calm herself before he arrived. As she finally felt the tension
leaving her body, she was startled by a knock on her office door. Her eyes
popped open. “Come in,” burst from her mouth as she jumped to her feet. So much
for staying calm.
Ted, apprehensive, acknowledged her
with a simple, “Hi” as he closed the door behind him.
“You didn’t have to knock.”
“I didn’t want to interrupt
anything.”
Gesturing to the conversation area,
Ann asked, “Shall we sit over here?” At Ann’s request, Ted sat in a Queen Anne
wing chair. “It’s a recliner, so you can relax.”
“I’m not sure relaxation is a
possibility.” Before joining him, Ann locked the office door. Ted’s face
brightened with mischief. “Locking the door. Are you planning to make
advances?”
Ann blushed a bright red. “I just
don’t want anyone barging in.”
Unable to stop grinning, Ted’s only
response was a raised eyebrow and “mm.”
She hurried to the sideboard, and
with her back to him asked if he wanted tea. He said yes. While she continued
her preparations, a slightly awkward silence fell over the room broken after a
few minutes by Ted.
“Is that lavender I smell?”
“Yes, it has calming properties.”
She turned holding two china mugs.
“Calming properties, huh?” He gave
her a roguish smile. “Apparently you didn’t see the study that men find the
fragrance of lavender and the aroma of pumpkin pie arousing.”
Once again a blush rose in Ann’s
cheeks, and she imagined a far deeper red than she would have liked as she
placed the mugs on the table separating them then sat on the loveseat.
Ted reached for the delicate vessel
and brought it to his lips, inhaling the fragrance of the brew. The
mischievousness danced across his features. “Good thing it’s not Constant
Comment.”
“Why?”
“It has the same spices as pumpkin
pie, who knows what that might have done to me.”
As her face flushed for a third time
in a matter of minutes, she pleaded, “Would you please stop? You’re making me
blush.”
His smile went from playful to warm.
“I see that. It’s quite fetching.”
Taking a deep breath, Ann changed
the subject. “How is Sara?”
“She’s calmed down a lot. Still
ticked off that I didn’t tell her what was going on, but she’s accepted your
explanation about my needing to be in control.”
“Good.”
“She seems to understand my failings
better than I do.”
“I noticed that.”
“Sometimes it feels like she’s the
parent, and I’m the child.”
A smile lit Ann’s face. “I’m not at
all surprised.”
Through a chuckle, Ted said, “No, I
don’t imagine you are.”
Ann took a sip of her tea and asked,
“Did you have the dreams last night?”
“Yes. It’s pretty much every night
to some degree.”
“What do you mean some degree?”
“It isn’t always both dreams, it can
be just one or the other, or even flashes of either or both.”
“Was last night both dreams or
flashes?”
“Both dreams, entirely unedited, and
I’m drained.”
“That may be a blessing.”
“Why?”
“If you’re tired you won’t be able
to fight the hypnosis as hard.”
“You expect me to fight it?”
“Yes.”
“Why?”
“Because I know you.” She put her
mug down on the table. “My plan is to use self-hypnosis.”
“I don’t know anything about self-hypnosis.”
“I know. I’ll guide you, talk you
through it. Eventually, you’ll be able to do it yourself. But in the meantime,
I’ll lead the way.”
He smiled. “You know I’ll follow you
anywhere.”
Ann blushed a very pretty pink.
“How or why is hypnosis supposed to
work?”
“Well, according to Tom Alderman, if
you know who these people are and understand them, then eventually you’ll be
able to accept that they’re a part of you. It’s my job to bring them out so you
can learn whatever you need to know in order to do that. I don’t understand
that fully, but that’s what he said.”
“How does the regression work?”
“I contacted one of the professors
who taught me hypnotherapy, and he told me that we need to take you back to
your childhood and infancy, your time in utero, and then to whatever came
before that.”
“I’m supposed to remember being in
my mother’s womb?”
“They say everything is there
somewhere. My job is to find it, whatever and wherever it is. Something else he
mentioned, normally a subject won’t remember the regression, so I’m going to
make the suggestion, while you’re hypnotized, that you remember everything.”
He finished his tea. “Okay, let’s do
this then.”
“One more thing before we start. I
thought background sound might be helpful. I have rain, ocean, and babbling
brook because I know you like water.”
“You’re the one who likes moving
water.”
She smiled, mostly to herself
because he remembered. “But you like the ocean and rain storms.”
“I’m surprised you remember that.”
“So, have you a preference?”
“The brook would be nice.” Ann got
up and turned on the CD. As she went back to the conversation area she said,
“First of all, I’d like you to recline the chair.”
“Why?”
“Hypnosis is deep relaxation, if
you’re reclined then, theoretically, relaxation will be easier.”
“You’re the boss.” He pulled the
lever on the side of the chair and pushed back.
“And close your eyes.”
“Yes, ma’am.”
“Focus on your breathing and try not
to think about anything.”
His shallow breathing was indicative
that he wasn’t relaxing so she suggested, “Imagine black velvet, feel it, sink
into the darkness, the softness. Allow it to caress you.”
He smiled thinking that he’d much
rather she was caressing him and not black velvet.
She saw his smile. “You’re supposed
to be thinking about velvet.”
He raised his head and looked at
her. “How do you know I’m not?”
She shook her head and smiled. “You
keep forgetting that I know you. Now lie back, close your eyes, and think about
black velvet.”
He did as he was told.
She began, “Take a deep breath.”
He turned his head and looked over
at her, a playful grin curling his lip.
“Do you want to do this or not?”
“Yes, yes. Sorry.”
Ann took a deep breath then began
again. She spoke, the sound of a mountain stream under her low, even tone.
“Concentrate on your breathing allowing yourself to go deeper and deeper into a
relaxed state.” She paused as his breathing finally deepened. “Relax the
muscles in your face. The jaw is the location of much stress and tension so
concentrate on relaxing your jaw.” Ted stretched his jaw, and Ann smiled. “Neck
and shoulder muscles also harbor a lot of tension, so concentrate on relaxing
your neck and shoulders. Allow the muscles in your arms, hands, and fingers to
loosen to the point of almost melting into the chair.” Ann waited a few moments
before continuing. “Breathe deeply and relax the muscles in your back, chest,
and abdomen. Keep breathing, going deeper and deeper.” After a few minutes she
continued. “Allow your legs to relax completely, first your hips.” Softly and
slowly she added, “Now relax the muscles in your thighs.” After a short pause,
she said, “Now your knees, your calves, and feet. Go deeper and deeper into
that completely relaxed state.”
The soothing tone of her voice was
calming, so he was actually relaxing. His feet started to tingle and he felt
himself drifting, almost floating.
“Ted?”
“Yes?”
“There is a light above you, and
it’s going to enter your body. Allow your heart to gently pump the warm and
healing light throughout your body.” She waited. “The light surrounds you now
and helps you go deeper and deeper into a serene place where you are at peace.”
After a few minutes she asked, “How do you feel?”
“Wonderful.”
“I’m going to count backward from
ten to one. As I do, you will attain a deep peace, and with each number back
you will go deeper and deeper into that place of peace and tranquility.” A look
of calm contentment spread across his face and she could see he was completely
relaxed. “I’d like you to visualize a peaceful place, a garden perhaps.”
“A secret garden.”
A knowing smile curved Ann’s
bow-like mouth, although Ted didn’t see it. The Secret Garden had been one of
Ann’s favorite books as a youngster, and when the film came out in the early
’90s, she and Ted fell in love with it together. “Does the garden have a wall?”
Even in his deep relaxed state he
smiled. “Of course, it’s a secret garden.”
“And a hidden door?”
Seriously, Ted insisted, “It
wouldn’t be a secret garden if it didn’t have a hidden door.” In a tranquil
voice he added, “And it’s a wonderful weathered gate, with iron hinges and
latch.” Now he got a quizzical look on his face. “There are two more doors—one
is barn red and very old looking, the other is forest green.”
Ann watched his body stiffen. “What
is it, Ted?”
“Just looking at the red door angers
me.”
“Does the green door do the same?”
She asked.
“Not anger, but overwhelming
sadness. What does it mean?”
“I don’t know. Shall we proceed?”
He took a deep breath. “Yes.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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