Wednesday, September 20, 2017

"The Reminisce" by H. L. Cherryholmes

The Reminisce
by H. L. Cherryholmes

The Reminisce by H. L. Cherryholmes

The Reminisce by H. L. Cherryholmes is currently on tour with Bewitching Book Tours. The tour stops here today for a guest post by the author, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

A detour down memory lane wakes up the ghosts.
Curtis Aisling has literally dodged a bullet. At least he thinks he has. But he wonders whether that bullet still has it out for him when he leaves his ex-fiancé and Los Angeles behind for Coronado, New Mexico to borrow some much-needed money from his sister.
The small dilapidated desert town of Coronado has exactly one mansion, belonging to 92-year-old Veronica Meeks. Curtis’s sister, Dia, and her partner, Araceli, are Veronica’s live-in caretakers and while they are delighted to have a visitor, Veronica doesn’t even know he’s there.
In the final stages of what the locals call "the reminisce", she is no longer aware of her surroundings. But when Curtis starts seeing things that no one else does, he’s not convinced that the old, unresponsive woman is as disconnected as everyone thinks. At times what should be empty rooms within the huge house appear filled with furniture, and music emanates from a dusty radio that has been packed away for ages. Tales of Veronica’s associations and connections with the occult lead Curtis to believe she is causing the ghostly occurrences.
But when people begin to appear in those phantom rooms - people from her past including Veronica herself - he’s no longer certain it is her doing. Each vision pulls Curtis further and further back, each one detailing a consequential moment in Veronica’s long life, until he begins to fear he could become lost in her past. And then there’s that bullet ...

Dia returned her attention to the old woman and took her bony, veiny hand. “Veronica, honey, this is my brother Curtis. You’ve seen his picture in our bedroom, remember? He came for a visit.” She looked up at Curtis. “Veronica was quite smitten with you the first time she saw your picture. Couldn’t take her eyes off it and she would just smile and smile.”
Curtis knelt next to his sister. Greeting the old woman seemed pointless, since it was obvious by her vacant stare that she wasn’t aware of her surroundings. But his sister was right; introducing himself was the proper way to behave regardless of her condition. “Hello, Miss Meeks. I’m Curtis Aisling.”
The old woman’s wispy gray hair was short and pulled back by small butterfly barrettes. Her thin face was pinkish-white, wrinkled, and haloed with brown age spots. The eyes that seemed to be looking at something no one else could see were a cloudy gray-blue. Her small frame was covered in a clean pink nightgown and she wore blue slippers.
“How old is she?” Curtis asked.
Dia stood up to help Araceli gather the tray with Veronica’s barely touched lunch on it. “Ninety-two.”
Remaining crouched before her, Curtis continued to look at the old woman. He found it difficult to imagine that the slack face in front of him had once been young, but he searched for signs of it anyhow. If there was life in her dull gaze, Curtis was sure he would find it there. A strong hot breeze rattling the palm fronds behind the gazebo hit him in the back. That’s when Veronica blinked and looked right at him.
“Finally,” she whispered.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
"What I enjoyed most about this book was the mystery. [...] Besides that, I enjoyed the people portrayed in its pages. They feel real, their interactions are natural [...] I really enjoyed the book. I’d recommend it to folks who enjoy historical fiction with a bit of the occult." ~ Trish (I read too much!)

Guest Post by the Author
Sense Memories
Sense memories. Those moments when someone walks by and a waft of their cologne reminds you of the time your dad took your mom out for their anniversary and he said you were finally old enough not to need a babysitter; or your hand glides over a piece of fine silk and you recall that special night at a fancy hotel. The most common sense memory, though, is aural. Everyone has heard a song that instantly takes them back to a specific time in a specific place: your first dance, your graduation, a baby shower, a baseball game when your team finally won! When I sat down to write The Reminisce, I knew that sensory memory - or cued recall, something that triggers a memory - would play a very important part.
When the protagonist, Curtis Aisling, comes in contact with the elderly Veronica Meeks, who has, what the locals call, the reminisce, she is no longer aware of her surroundings. Even so, Curtis seems to have a strange connection with her because he begins seeing very specific episodes from her past. These "visions" as he comes to think of them, are always accompanied by a certain song. And it is the songs that Curtis hears first, before he sees what the music ushers in.
The first song is "Green Onions" an instrumental by Book T. & the McG’s, written in 1962. The second is "Somebody Else is Taking My Place" made famous by Benny Goodman in 1942. And the third is from 1922, "Toot Toot Tootsie" by Kahn, Erdman, and Russo. Only Curtis can hear each of these and when he does, it is all that he hears. His senses seem to have been overtaken by Veronica’s sense memories.
I don’t want to give any more away. It’s my hope for the readers that these moments - these songs and sensations - will become sensory memories for them as well, triggering the feelings they had as they joined Curtis and Veronica on their journey.

About the Author
H. L. Cherryholmes
H. L. Cherryholmes, author of The Lizard Queen series, The Reminisce, Come Back for Me, and A Slight Touch, was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, but has spent most of his adult life in California. He has a BFA from University of New Mexico and a Master's degree in Playwriting from the University of California, Los Angeles. Currently, he lives in Southern California with his husband, Ron Cogan.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to one of five ebook copies of The Reminisce by H. L. Cherryholmes.