Scribal Love Welcomes Colleen Helme
Colleen Helme is an author of romantic fantasy. Her newest work Carrots is available from CreateSpace.
Hi tell us a little about yourself. How long have you been writing? Do you write full time?
I have been writing for about ten years and try to write at least four hours a day.
So what is the name of your new book? And what genre is it in?
Carrots is a contemporary paranormal fantasy. It is a change from my other books because it takes place in our world, but with the twist that the main character can read minds.
Tell us about your new book. What is it about?
Shelby Nichols is an average woman who is married to the only guy she ever fell for. Her life is organized and predictable, revolving around her husband and children. All that changes the day she stops at the grocery store for some carrots. As the cashier rings up her purchases, a gunman is busy robbing the bank inside the store. When a customer grabs the robber's mask, he is shot and everyone runs for cover. Everyone except Shelby, who finds herself face to face with the killer. The next thing she knows, she's lying on the floor with a bullet wound to her head.
Luckily, the bullet only grazes her scalp, and she doesn't suspect any lasting effects until later, when she suddenly 'hears' what people are thinking. With this uncanny ability, her life takes on a whole new dimension. Her kids think she's bossy and too old to understand them, but that's nothing compared to her husband. He says he loves her, but what is it about the beautiful redhead at work that he doesn't want her to know?
As if that isn't enough, the gunman knows she can identify him, and he's out to silence her forever. In her fight to stay alive, she is saved from certain death by a handsome hit-man with ties to organized crime. This pulls Shelby even deeper into danger, where knowing someone's thoughts can not only hurt your feelings, but get you killed.
Can you give us an excerpt?
My life changed that day because I didn’t have any carrots.
In the late afternoon hours of a beautiful spring day, I was driving home when the dark, threatening clouds finally let loose, and it began to pour. It was April, so rain wasn’t unexpected, but it couldn’t have come at a worse time. All I wanted was to go home and relax, but first I had to make a pit stop at the grocery store to pick up some carrots. I was planning on making chicken soup for dinner, but of course, I didn’t have any carrots, and everyone knows you can’t make chicken soup without carrots.
Luckily, the grocery store was on my way home, but when I pulled into the parking lot, all the good spots were taken. I ended up parking the van so far away that I knew I’d get soaked. I turned off the engine and without the wipers going; I could barely see out the windshield. Did I really need those carrots? I waited a few minutes, but the rain wasn’t letting up, and time was wasting. I’d just have to run for it.
Gathering my courage, I took a deep breath and jumped out of the car, then made a mad dash for the doors. I was nearly there when I came across a massive puddle. With my momentum I couldn’t stop, so I jumped. That was a huge mistake, and the resulting splash sent dirty water halfway up my pants and soaked my shoes. I caught my breath at the sudden wetness and cursed out loud. Not only were my shoes completely drenched, but the splash made it look like I’d wet my pants.
I grabbed a shopping cart and marched into the store. Now that I’d made it this far, there was no turning back. It didn’t matter that my shoes were squeaking, and water was trickling down my neck. Or that my hair was now plastered to my skull, and water was dripping from my nose. Come hell or high water, I was going to get those blasted carrots.
I got to the produce isle and triumphantly placed the carrots into my cart and stood there, feeling ridiculous. I’d risked life and limb for this? After all I’d been through it was anti-climatic. I wiped the rain from my face and pushed the hair back from my forehead. There had to be something else I needed.
I suddenly had a hankering for some hostess cupcakes, yummy chocolate goodness with creamy whipped filling inside. Now was my chance to grab a box. I could probably hide them easily enough in the back of the kitchen cupboard with the pots and pans. No one but me would know where they were. While I was at it, why not pick up some more diet cherry coke? I hated to run out, and it never hurt to have extra on hand.
When I reached the check-out, I was feeling lots better. This hadn’t been a wasted trip after all. Sometimes the checker knows what I’m making for dinner from what’s in my cart, but not tonight. She rang up my items; carrots, celery, diet coke, cupcakes, potato chips. Then she gave me one of those knowing looks while she scanned the twizzlers, twinkies, cheetos, and candy bars. With a guilty flush, I quickly explained that most of it was for my kids and their friends. It was the truth, but from her smile, I wasn’t sure she believed me. Maybe I had gone a little overboard in the unhealthy foods department.
As she placed the bags into my shopping cart, somebody screamed. My heart skipped a beat and I flinched when an earsplitting crack came from the area near the bank. I stared in astonished disbelief as a man fell heavily to the floor, blood oozing from his chest. As he fell, he grabbed the rubber mask from the face of the man beside him. The man with the gun.
Another shot went off, and everyone scattered for cover. Everyone except me. My brain seemed to be moving in slow motion, and I stood there with my mouth open like a dummy. How could something like this be happening in my grocery store? The man with the gun pivoted and saw me staring at him. His eyes blazed with demented zeal and he fired.
Next thing I knew, someone was holding a cloth to my head and murmuring something I couldn’t make out. His face was white, and when he spoke, his voice shook. I tried to ask him what was wrong, but the words just wouldn’t come out of my mouth. What was I doing on the floor? What was that awful noise?
With a surge of recognition, the wailing sirens got louder and louder. That seemed to jolt my senses awake, and I reached for my head. It suddenly hurt. I started to sit up and smashed the potato chip bag with my elbow. The bag exploded and sent chips flying everywhere.
The man helping me was horrified. I tried to tell him that I hadn’t meant to make such a mess, but he wouldn’t listen. Instead, he kept trying to push me down, but there was no way I wanted to lay my hurting head on those greasy chips. His face turned a bright shade of red before he finally quit trying and left to get help.
Are there more books we should look out for? Say a series or other books you have written?
Yes! This book Carrots is the first in a series. I am currently writing the next Shelby Nichols Adventure titled Fast Money!
I also have two romantic fantasy novels available titled Songbird and Flame of Destiny with a sequel to Flame of Destiny called The Relic coming out September 2011 from Mundania Press.
Who is the publisher and where can we find you on the web?
The publisher is Createspace and Carrots is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and as a KINDLE!
Visit my website: http://www.colleenhelme.com for more information and reviews on all my titles.
I would love to hear from you!