Vote For Tami Lund’s Novella, MIRROR, MIRROR!

Guess what? My novella, MIRROR, MIRROR, is in the first round of voting for the Rone Awards! How did that happen? Well…

  1. One of the reviewers at InD’Tale Magazine really liked it. Here’s what she had to say:

What a fun, light-hearted quickie of a romance! Coming in at only 128 pages, it surprisingly doesn’t feel incomplete! The set-up is perfect for a novella-length story and the pacing is superbly executed to allow the story to be complete without short-changing the understanding behind the characters. The Grandma/ghost aspect was a bit confusing and the bawdy humor seemed forced at times but overall, it was a thoroughly enjoyable escape that will delight anyone in need of a giggle and a sigh after a long, hard day!

  1. She liked it so much, she recommended it be added to the Rone Award competition.
  2. Now, readers get to choose which books go on to the final round. Final round is reviewers again, and they have to select one winner, which will be announced in October at the InD’Scribe Conference.
  3. This is where you come in. I need your vote, so I can move on to the final round! Voting ends TOMORROW (April 23) so hurry!!

Here’s what you do:

  1. Go here: IND’TALE WEBSITE
  2. Register, if you haven’t already. It’s easy and there’s no obligation (although they do have a pretty cool monthly e-magazine, if you’re interested.)
  3. Go to week 1 of the 2017 Rone Awards. (upper right corner of the website)
  4. Go to the ‘Novella’ category. (first category)
  5. It’s alphabetical by book title – so scroll down to M – there’s Mirror, Mirror by Tami Lund
  6. Vote!
  7. P.S. – since this category is so big, you can vote for two books, so if you see another on the list you like, go ahead and do it!
  8. Receive my eternal gratitude!

Want to know what you’re voting for?

Cinderella

Okay, here’s the deal: Adelle was jilted at the altar, so she’s sworn off love. While at a friend’s wedding, she ends up visiting an old gypsy woman who claims Adelle can see her future husband in an enchanted mirror.

Yeah, right. Adelle doesn’t believe in hocus pocus, nor does she believe her hottie best friend, Ben, is anything but a platonic roommate. Even if she did see his image in the mirror. Even if she can’t stop thinking about the old lady’s words–or her bestie in a highly inappropriate way.

Here’s a sampling of what Vivienne, the old Gypsy woman, is like:

…The woman who, by Adelle’s judgment, looked to be approximately a thousand years old. Her face was heavily lined, her cheeks sagged, her nose was crooked. She wore a brightly colored scarf on her head, wispy gray hairs sticking out from under the silky material. Her body was covered with the same type of peasant shirt and billowing skirt that Adelle wore, except it was uncomfortably obvious she wasn’t wearing a cleavage-enhancing bra, because her breasts hung somewhere in the vicinity of her knees.

“Quit staring at me, girl. You’ll look like this someday, too, if you’re lucky.”

Lucky?

“Lucky,” the woman said, as if Adelle had repeated the word out loud. “You wanna know how many hunks I had in my day? There’s a reason I look so worn out.”

 

As kooky and cranky as Vivienne is, she’s damned perceptive, too:

 

“W-what do you want?” she asked, hating the way her voice cracked with her nervousness.

“Peace, love, and happiness,” the woman retorted. “But I’d settle for a romp with your date. He’s single, isn’t he?”

“Ben?” Adelle said in surprise. “No offense, but I don’t think you’re his type.”

“Why do people start offensive phrases with the words ‘no offense’?”

“Er…”

The old woman waved a veined, wrinkled hand over the candle flame. The rings she wore on every finger and her thumb glittered in the light, gold bangle bracelets clinking gently on her arm.

“Well, who do you think is his type?” the woman asked.

Adelle furrowed her brow, confused by the woman’s question.

“What’s so damn difficult about my question, girl? You know him, don’t you? He’s your best friend, so you say. If that’s the case, then you ought to know what he likes in a woman. You’ve known him for ten years. That’s almost a third of your lifetime. Answer me,” she snapped.

“I, uh, I…” Adelle stuttered over an answer. How did this obnoxious old woman know anything at all about her and Ben’s friendship? Nicole must have filled her in while she was getting her own fortune read.

Taking a deep breath, she said, “He likes good-looking girls. Blondes, it seems.”

The old woman cocked her head to the side and gave her a considering look. “Well, that puts me out of the running, I suppose. Although a box of ‘golden platinum’ could remedy that easily enough. What else? That boy can’t be so superficial that looks alone would win his heart.”

 

Yes, this novella is full of humor, a few sexy moments, and a heartwarming happily ever after. It’s the perfect read for a rainy afternoon or anytime, really. And if you vote, it just might become an award winning book!

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund writes romance novels, drinks wine, and sometimes wins awards. But only if you vote! Check out the rest of her books here: www.tamilund.com

Vonnie Hughes New Release

The talented and ever reigning Queen of Regency, Vonnie Hughes, just released her new Historical Romance novel that definitely isn’t sweet. This unique book begins in Portugal as the Peninsular Wars rage on, and moves to England where the hero and heroine expect to find peace. They’re in for a surprise.

Both of them are scarred by war; she because of the shattered men she nurses; he because of the loss of friends and the horrors he must endure daily.

Colwyn Hetherington has a chance to put it all behind him and return to England. Juliana Colebrook desperately wants to go to England to seek out her relatives. They take an almighty chance and travel together, setting in train a series of events that neither could have anticipated.

With only their love to sustain them, they clash head-on with the reality of England, 1813.

BUY LINKS
Amazon
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Vonnie Hughes is a multi-published author in both Regency books and contemporary suspense. She loves the intricacies of the social rules of the Regency period and the far-ranging consequences of the Napoleonic Code. And with suspense she has free rein to explore forensic matters and the strong convolutions of the human mind. Like many writers, some days she hates the whole process, but somehow she just cannot let it go.

Vonnie was born in New Zealand, but she and her husband now live happily in Australia. If you visit Hamilton Gardens in New Zealand be sure to stroll through the Japanese Garden. These is a bronze plaque engraved with a haiku describing the peacefulness of that environment. The poem was written by Vonnie.

All of Vonnie’s books are available at The Wild Rose Press and Amazon.

Learn more about Vonnie Hughes on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Goodreads.

Tami Lund Talks Sexy Bad Co-Writing

It’s official. I love this co-writing gig.

My latest release, Sexy Bad Neighbor, was co-written with fellow (fabulous) author, Misti Murphy. It’s about an uptight woman and a laid back guy and a prank war that turns into a steamy affair. Oh yeah, and somewhere in the middle a goat wanders into their relationship, ensuring reviewers like this one add GIFs of adorable, bouncing, er, kids to their blogs.

Now, we’re writing the climax and subsequent happy ending to Sexy Bad Daddy, the second in the Sexy Bad Series. The dramatic ending (okay, our joking about the ending) has led us to brainstorm the beginning to book three, which we’ve dubbed Sexy Bad Boss. Unable to resist once we start talking about it, we’ve already started writing that one, too.

The part I like best about co-writing is that each chapter is a surprise, and usually spurs new ideas, which often take the storyline to a level we hadn’t expected going into it. I’ll finish a chapter and have an idea in my head of where I think we’ll go next. Then Misti will finish the next chapter and I’ll read it and think, oh yeah, this is even better than I planned. And then the book ends up involving a goat, and possibly… a duck. (Stay tuned for that one…)

While I love it, I will say, it isn’t necessarily easy. There’s definitely angst built into the process, and plenty of guilt. Misti and I live on opposite ends of the world, literally. She’s in Australia, I’m in the US. There’s an eighteen-hour time difference between us. Luckily, she’s a late-night writer and I’m an early-morning writer, so we manage to carve time for plenty of conversation as we go along on this journey. But I work a fulltime non-writing job as well, which is frustrating for both of us when we set deadlines for ourselves and something happens at the day job that keeps me from getting to my next chapter for a week at a time.

You also have to (in my opinion) either both be pansters or both be plotters. Misti and I are both pansters, although she’s probably more in the middle. I’m pretty sure there’s some sort of vague outline saved somewhere in our shared Dropbox folders. Not that I’ve ever looked at it. See my comment above about loving how the book ends up taking on a new life with each subsequent chapter. No outlines in my world, thank you very much.

You also should know your co-writer’s style and personality, before you commit to something like this. Yeah, yeah, this is a business deal, but if you can’t get along with your partner, the business is probably going to fizzle pretty quickly.

Misti and I met through our writing. I’ve read every single one of her books, and I’m pretty sure she’s read all of mine. She’s beta read for me; I edit for her. I have a healthy respect for her as an author, and as a person. I believe she deserves to be, and will be, a best selling author some day. Her books are that good.

Since I knew her style so well, I knew I could write along with it. So when she threw the idea of co-writing out to an online group we both belong to, I immediately raised my hand. I knew I could do it, knew we could do it together. Knew it would be a damn good book. Had no idea it would turn into a brand, and plans for a bunch more damn good books.

But hey, that’s okay. Because I love it. And it’s working. And it’s fun. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, head on over to our Sexy Bad Lounge to have a look!

Oh yeah, and if you want to check out Sexy Bad Neighbor, here’s the Amazon link (it’s a KU title, if you’re a member): SEXY BAD NEIGHBOR.

Sexy couple

Tami Lund drinks wine, wins awards, and writes sexy bad romance. She also writes paranormal romance, even occasionally achieving ‘best seller’ status. Check out her website here: TAMI LUND

Heart Surgery Romance — @SSaraDaniel Finds her Niche

Write what you know, they say. But what happens when you’re a romance author and congenital heart defects and their repair surgeries are what you know?

You end up accidentally creating your own heart surgery romance niche.

Cardiologist romance bannerTo be clear, the books I’ve written that involved heart surgery aren’t a series and don’t have much in common at first glance.

Captivating the CEO is an all-in serious look at a woman facing her own mortality, daily health struggles and—yes—open heart surgery. A Model Hero is a story of derailed dreams and post-surgery body image struggles. At the other end of the spectrum, Once Upon a Marriage is a romantic comedy based on an obscure fairy tale, where the heroine’s uncle receives a heart transplant…from a pig!

I’m not a heart expert, but when I write about heart defects and heart surgery it comes from a place of deep emotion, personal turmoil and love. No matter how many times I reread Willow’s surgery updates in Captivating the CEO, I cry because it is real and raw for me.

I don’t expect congenital heart defect romances or heart surgery romances will ever become a trending or sought-after genre, and that’s just fine with me.  I only want to read the stories that come from a place of authenticity and love.

SD_Captivating the CEO_LG.jpgCaptivating the CEO

He’s all about the future. She might not have one…

When live-for-the-moment massage therapist Willow Jeffries bursts into Colin Vanderhayden’s office, she makes it her mission to loosen up the future-focused CEO, knowing each moment of the present is too precious to waste. Despite her immediate attraction, the only future she can offer is one full of heartache.

The last thing Colin needs is a flighty woman messing up his carefully-constructed plans, but her heavenly massages and addictive personality prove hard to resist. But he has no idea how sick she is.

No longer able to ignore her life-threatening medical condition, Willow slips away to spare Colin a miserable future with her. Is Colin willing to sacrifice his well-laid future plans to get Willow back?

Buy Links:
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Audio Version – Narrated by Nina Price
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Tami Lund’s Shifters & Lightbearers

I am Xander Wulf, and I am a shapeshifter. This means I have the ability to change forms at will. And not just one form, either, like werebears or werepanthers. I can shift into a hawk to fly over a tall, steep cliff; or I can become a cheetah to quickly get across country. I can even shift into the bear or panther I mentioned.

Or a lion. It’s good to be king.

Yes, shifters are king. We are the most powerful of the magical community. We are also the only ones who share this world with the humans. Everyone else has their own world in which to live. Well, almost everyone.

There are also the Lightbearers. Those elusive magical creatures with their golden blonde good looks and magic they get from the sun. It regenerates each and every day, as well. They can deplete their stores entirely, go sit in a shaft of sunlight, and a few hours later, the magic is back. Damned impressive.

And I want it. I want that feeling, that ability. Changing forms is not enough. My magic manifests itself only in that way. I’ve witnessed Lightbearers create light, make food, build structures—and summon weapons. They can even heal one another, all with magic.

Sometimes I wonder how shifters were able to claim the position of king, when our magic feels so … limited. But then I see how the Lightbearers scurry away, run and hide when they sense a shifter in their midst. Like lambs and wolves. They are afraid; shifters rarely feel fear.

They are afraid because my kind believes we must kill them to inherit their magic. When a Lightbearer dies, there is a great flash of light as their magic or spirit or whatever is released. Some shifter at some point along the line convinced himself that meant if he were the one doing the killing, that magic would go to him, instead of release into the air.

True confession: I’m not so sure of that. Plenty of Lightbearers have been killed by shifters. I’ve killed my fair share. And not a one of us has inherited a lick of Lightbearer magic. We convince ourselves it’s our fault; the way we kill them, the position we stood in when it happened, the fact it was nighttime instead of daytime. Whatever it took, we’ve been full of excuses for decades.

I’m all out of excuses. I still believe I can gain their magic, but perhaps killing isn’t the way. Maybe there’s another way. And maybe that feisty Lightbearer with the unruly blonde curls knows how. Hell, maybe it’s her magic I can inherit. Considering the last thing I want to do is kill her, I’m now officially convinced.

There’s another way.

Read the F*R*E*E prequel to the Lightbearer series to find out if Xander gets what he wants from the Lightbearers: FIRST LIGHT

(PS – Xander’s story continues in BROKEN LIGHT, the prequel part two, which is part of an anthology called CLAIMING MY VALENTINE. It’s fourteen shifter love stories for only 99 cents, all of which goes to charity. So why not give it a try, too?)

Lovely Woman Posing With a Wolf       Claiming My Valentine Antho Cover

 

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund is an author, a wine drinker, and occasionally a channeler of characters from her books. If you want more, take a look at her website: TAMI LUND

An Outlaw for the Psychic Soul by @SSaraDaniel #freeread #prequel #shortstory

An Outlaw for the Psychic Soul
Prequel Short Story to Solace for the Psychic Soul
(Part of the Mid-Winter Healing Anthology)
By Sara Daniel
© 2017
Three years ago
The bloodline seer’s laser drilled a point of heat between Monica’s shoulder blades. Whoever the hell the seer was, he or she was going to blow Monica’s unassuming, girl-next-door cover.
Ditching her baseball cap and pulling on a jacket, she continued along the crowded sidewalk. She could lose eighty percent of her tails with those two simple changes. Most people fixated on the hat or clothing, not the actual person.
The gait and boots from her peripheral vision suggested her pursuer was male, although she’d yet to glimpse his face. He continued to trail her, proving he wasn’t a novice.  Just her luck that she’d taken her psychic suit in for cleaning, leaving her without her most-powerful weapon.
Whether he’d randomly picked her from the crowd or had intentionally targeted her, his seer power would have told him she was an unmated orgasmic psychic. No doubt he thought he’d hit the bounty hunting jackpot. Veering off the crowded sidewalk down an alley, she let him salivate over how easily he’d take her down.
The guy continued past her. If he was as good as her first impression led her to believe, he’d turn down the next alley then thread between the tight city buildings, intercepting and gagging her in less than thirty seconds.
Twenty-four seconds later, he charged at her, his palm going straight for her mouth. Monica channeled his forward momentum and flipped him over her shoulder. Laying him flat on his back on the broken pavement, she thrust her knee in his groin before the wind reentered his lungs.
He grunted.
She gouged again. From here on out, she called the shots and had no qualms about unmanning him permanently.
“Fu—” His curse faded to a moan.
Satisfied he was solely focused on the searing pain between his legs, she eased up. He rolled into a fetal position, clutching himself. She grabbed his shoulder and dragged him to the light pole at the side of the alley. Pulling her handcuffs from her vest, she snapped them around his left wrist. She yanked his right hand from his groin and pulled it behind the light pole, cuffing it with the left, so he sat with his back to the pole.
From behind, she patted him down, removing a stun gun and a knife from his person. After she messaged the police, she rounded the pole to face him head-on.
“You troublemaking asshole! You just caused me a shit ton of paperwork.” She glared at him. His face was scruffy with a two or three day beard. His striking bright blue eyes were still dilated with pain and shock from the twin hits to the pavement and the groin.
Something deep inside her clicked.
Oh no. Fuck, no. She stumbled. Not her soulmate. She was government spy, damn it. One of the good guys. She took down guys like him for a living. What she did not do was mate with them.
“I’d hate to cause you any trouble, Sweetheart. Why don’t you just unlock these cuffs and send me on my way? I won’t bother you again, and you won’t have to waste your time with unnecessary paperwork.”
“Bothering me in the first place was your mistake.” The way he truly bothered her had nothing to do with the fact that he’d tried to abduct her.
“I just tripped over my own feet, and you happened to be right there when I tried to catch myself. I apologize if you thought I was trying something inappropriate.”
“Save it for your lawyer and the judge, creep.” How dare her soul pick a criminal.
“The name’s Dex, sweetheart. Dex Seer. And I’m free on Friday if you want to go out.”
She’d dated a lot of sleazy guys in the ongoing effort to track down enemy information and make the world a safer place. But soulmate or not, she wouldn’t go out with this one. “You’re going to be in jail on Friday night.”
“Saturday then.”
Rolling her eyes, she pulled out her phone and entered his name into the government database.
“Holy shit.” She scrolled through the list of stuff he was wanted for—kidnapping, aiding and abetting the enemy, breaking and entering. If she hadn’t stopped him, he would handed her over to the government’s enemies for a price that would have matched her yearly salary. “You might want to consider using a fake name with your pickup lines. Dex Seer is wanted for a crap ton of stuff. If you’re angling to walk free from our scuffle by using a ‘he said-she said’ defense, you better start worrying about all the other charges the government can make stick.”
A flash of worry crossed his face. Then he aimed an ‘aw-shucks’ smile at her. “If you’re not ready to trust me, we can arrange a neutral meeting ground for our date on Saturday sweetheart.”
“The name’s Smic. Monica Smic. I’m your worst nightmare, not your sweetheart.”

###
“Saturday night. Neutral meeting place. I knew you couldn’t say no to me, Smic.” Despite wearing an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs, Dex grinned as he sauntered into the stark, gray booth.
Monica scowled at him through the glass. Although his seer scan would have told him she was an unmated orgasmic psychic, he didn’t know her soul had picked him as its mate. And as she didn’t intend to complete their mating, he’d never know that part. But her soul would forever crave his closeness. “Why are you involved in so much shitty, shady stuff?”
“Who says I am?”
“I’m not here to get a confession out of you or cut you a deal.” She just wanted to understand how her soul could have picked him. The guy sold his seer services to good guys and bad guys alike and offered his bounty hunting services to known criminals. But he lived with his mother and sister in a low-crime, working-class neighborhood and fixed his elderly neighbors’ leaky pipes and broken locks at no charge. Any assurance that his good side overrode his criminal background would ease her internal tug-of-war.
“Ah, so you came for a conjugal visit.” He smirked. “How do we get on the same side of this glass wall?”
Clearly, any redeeming qualities didn’t extend to his smart-ass personality. Regardless of his occasional brush with decency, he was still a criminal, and she’d dedicated her life to ridding the world of crime.
“Coming here was a mistake.” Standing, she signaled to the jail guard.
“Wait.” Dex’s smug expression disappeared, replaced by panic. “I need your help to get out of here. My sister depends on me to get the medicine she needs.”
“Maybe you should have asked for my help in the alley, instead of attacking me.”
“Look, it wasn’t anything personal against you. Her medicine’s expensive.” He shrugged away the guard’s hand.
“The government has programs for people who can’t afford their medications. Your sister should look into them.” She leaned toward the speaker imbedded in the glass separating them. “Abducting people is not an acceptable answer to any problem.” She waved at the guard to take him away.
Dex glared at her. “Those programs don’t do shit when the medication is no longer produced or available for sale.”
The guard tugged him toward the door.
“My sister will go blind without this medicine,” Dex yelled, still holding her gaze.
A second guard joined the first, and they dragged him through the doorway.
“Her name is Lucy. She’s only thirteen years old. If she goes blind, it will be on your conscience, Smic. If you won’t help me, then help Lucy. Please.” He kept yelling, his voice fading down the corridor.
Monica marched out of the jail. She wouldn’t help the asshole who’d tried to kidnap her and sell her to her government’s enemies. Dex was a manipulator, a player, and a criminal.
She slumped against the wall outside the building. His sister was an innocent child, the type of person she’d dedicate her life to protecting.
If Lucy really would go blind without the medicine, then Monica would make sure she got it. But she had no intention of letting Dex know she’d lifted a finger to help him.

 

Now read the rest of the story. Find out what happens when Dex and Monica are reunited three years later in Solace for the Psychic Soul, part of the Wiccan Haus MID-WINTER HEALING anthology.

Dex Seer has spent his life on the wrong side of the law, working for anyone who will pay him enough to afford the medicine his sister needs to keep from going blind. But the medicine no longer exists. In desperation, he books a stay at the Wiccan Haus to heal his sister. With a sexy government spy following him through the portal, he stands to lose everything he’s spent his life protecting.

After too many years reading the evil, sadistic thoughts of her government’s enemies, Monica Smic is exhausted and cynical. Worse, her soul discovered its mate in a lawless bounty hunter, and staying away from him is destroying her from the inside out. When she passes out on the job, her boss forces her to take a week off at the Wiccan Haus to get her act together.

Despite their mutual distrust, the more time Dex and Monica spend in each other’s company, the more their battered souls find solace in the other’s. But Dex’s first loyalty is to his sister, and Monica’s is to her government. On the Winter Solstice, they will either heal each other or lose everything in winter’s fiercest storm.

Buy Links:
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Today’s the Anniversary by Tami Lund

It’s an anniversary today. One year ago, my son died, and my life was turned upside, forever altered in a way I could never have imagined, not even in the deepest, darkest part of my overactive imagination.

This date has been hanging over our heads since March first, a depressing sort of anticipation building as each square on the calendar was crossed off. I’ve dreaded it for two reasons: 1) because, well, it’s The Day and this date will suck for the rest of my life; and 2) because this means beginning tomorrow we will enter Year Two of Life Without My Son, this new reality I neither wanted nor expected to be forced to live.

So what does one do on the first anniversary of one’s son’s death?

Well, my husband and I both took the day off work. I did because I wanted to have the inevitable emotional breakdown in the privacy of my own home (or at his graveside, as it were) and not in front of my co-workers, even as supportive as they all have been. My husband did it because he feels this overwhelming need to be there for me.

As I drove my daughter to school this morning, I asked if she wanted to visit her brother’s grave with us. She looked at me and said, “Why are you visiting today?”

“Well, it’s the day this all happened, so it seems appropriate.”

“It is? Huh. I thought it was later in the month.” She paused and said, “Is that why you and Dad both took the day off work?”

“Yes.”

“Awe, how come I don’t get to take the day off school?”

“You didn’t even know what day it was. How can I justify you taking a day off?”

We both chuckled, a nice deviation from the usual half-awake state she’s normally in each morning as we head toward school.

I spent the morning writing. If you’re a fan of Sexy Bad Neighbor, you’ll be pleased to know we’re up to chapter nine of Sexy Bad Daddy (and hoping to release it in June). My husband, I don’t know what he did. I was too busy getting lost in a reality in which I know without a single doubt there will be a happy ending.

I took the dog for a walk. The poor thing hadn’t had one in two days, thanks to crazy weather and my emotional breakdown last night.

We checked up on the grandparents, made sure they were making it through this horrible day.

And then, around noon, we headed out to run errands, including an amusing stop at the drug store to buy the necessary supplies to prepare for a colonoscopy (not me—him, although I’m sure the experience will be part of a future blog post—never fear).

And then we headed out to the cemetery, to visit my son. The temperature was in the twenties, with a bitter wind that made it feel more like single digits. The sun was shining, and there were sandhill cranes slowly wandering about, which my husband informed me are the ‘filet mignon of the sky’ and whoever manages that sort of thing is considering allowing people to legally hunt them. Yes, this was a conversation we had while standing over my son’s grave.

And then we talked about depression and mental health and the frustrations we have as the ones who were left behind; the ones who didn’t know anything was wrong until it was too late. The state of mind neither of us can imagine, that leads someone to convince themselves death is the optimal solution to making the demons in their head stop screaming.

We talked about my daughter, my sadness over the fact that she doesn’t have a brother anymore, that her future children won’t know their Uncle Brady; that she now goes to a Catholic school and that it’s entirely likely she’s the only kid there without a sibling. We gratefully acknowledged that she is generally happy, a glass-half-full kind of kid, and that we do not have to worry about any demons in her head. My son, on the other hand, had been largely miserable for the last year or so of his life, and we’d attributed it to “typical” teenage angst, when in fact, it was much, much more than that.

And then we had a late lunch, ate at a small sports bar that we didn’t start frequenting until after my son’s death. I commented that I liked this place because it was a new fave for us, and I’m a big fan of starting new traditions instead of holding onto the old. My husband pointed out that the first time we went to this place was the day we picked out our own gravestone, at which point I’d commented, “This feels more binding than even getting married did.”

After that, we picked up my daughter from school. She was thrilled to see us and chatted all the way home, exchanging snarky comments with my husband and laughing each time, even telling us a bit about her day in between. That seven minute ride was the highlight of my day thus far.

Now we’re off to dinner, going back to an old tradition. My therapist suggested we do something to honor Brady on this day, perhaps make his favorite meal. Instead, we decided to go to his favorite restaurant. Hopefully, we’ll have a nice, relaxing dinner and we’ll laugh through the tears.

And tomorrow, we go back to reality, this new reality that, while it was forced upon us, we’re doing our best to make as happy and satisfying as we can.