Friday, April 19, 2019

Sheila Lowe Pens Proof of Life, Second in New Series--Beyond the Veil--Out May 7th!

Click on the Sidebar to Read Review of First in Series
What she Saw

I've been a fan of Sheila Lowe since the first book in her handwriting analysis series,  (search "Sheila Lowe" to find all of her books here on my blog.) all of whick I've greatly enjoyed as part of my interest in all things forensics...

But, I have to say that her new series, Beyond the Veil, is perfect for my love of paranormal mysteries. And her first book revealed a more mature writer moving into a new genre that allows her to fly high in freedom and excitement for readers. I loved her new book, set to be out May 7th, Proof of Life!

Despite the noise in her head, the cottage was too quiet. Shaking off the unhappy memories, Jessica scrolled through the music on her laptop for a UB40 album. The staccato off-beats of Reggae seemed to do a better job of muffling the whispers than some other genres.

With Red Red Wine playing in the background, she rummages through her supplies and decided on a 12 x 12 wooden frame for the display case. The bed and cafe table and chair she would cut the display case. The bed and cafe table and chair she would cut from small rectangles of hard foam. Striped sateen pink and white from rectangles would be turned into the bed cover.
She added other items she would need, a lump of modeling clay and her sculpting tools, then made notes based on the email" Tufted canopy bed, pillow, bedspread. Shabby chic night stand, cafe table and chairs. Loveseat, Pink Shaggy rug. Plush animals,  Bookshelf, books. Anything else she would add along the way.
Starting with the itsy-bitsy bed, she carved the Styrofoam with thin wire to make the canopy frame. Soon, she was engrossed in the task, singing along with Gregory Isaacs, Night Nurse.

Oh, the pain it's getting worse...I don't wanna see no doc. I need attendance from my nurse worse... I need attendance from my nurse around the clock...
Threading a fine needle, she sewed a tiny pink pillowcase, with what had to be the smallest stitches in the world, and stuffed it with tufts of cotton from a swab. She thought of her nieces with a thrum of renewed anger at her sister. She would have loved to show them what she was making, but Jenna had decided she was demon-possessed, so she didn't get to. It infuriated her. Most little girls would be enthralled to see the sateen bedspread she had just hemmed, and the tablecloth for the little round table.
Jessica sewed until the music ran out, concentrating on keeping the stitches in a straight row and tamping her emotions back down where her sister's comments could no longer hurt her. She had been at it for a couple of hours when her vision began to blur. She reached up to rub her eyes. Her hands and feet began to tingle.
Was she having an episode? Is so, it was unlike any of the others. She looked around for her phone, then remembered that she could not call Jenna. Who, then? Zach? Dr. Gold? Claudia? And disturb them in the middle of the night, for what? She would never ask them to come and take care of her.
Something was happening to her vision. Wavy lines hovered at the edges of her line of sight, bending the light oddly, so that it seemed as if she was under water.
Then the lamp flickered. Off/on. Off/on. Off/on. Off/on. The pact of her breathing picked up. What was happening?
Was it the wind, wreaking havoc with the electricity? Jessica shivered. She should climb back into bed and hide under the warmth of the comforter, pretend that her head wasn't humming with dead people's thoughts.
An ice-cold breeze blew straight through her. She leapt up, poised to run.
But Jessica did not run. She found herself paralyzed by a loud shriek that swelled to an agonized scream.

Jessica Mack had been killed instantly in a car accident. But through the haze she looked for her husband to make sure he was helping Justin, or her?Instead, still drunk and still involved in his road rage, jr was struggling up the hillside... She then saw a light and, while Justin's body still sat strapped in, a bright light was there to ensure his spirit reached Heaven. She called to him, "Wait for me..." though no sound was heard.

She watched as Justin disappeared, wondering whether she was really dead, but then noticed a presence there with her. Assuming that she would follow Justin. Instead, she heard "You must go back." While she was then wrapped in the warmth of unconditional love, she soon felt the pain of having been hurt in the accident... back in her body...before she fell into a coma...

It was two weeks before she woke up...The whispers had been there waiting... She lived with them constantly and had told nobody. Sometimes she heard one that she could help and met the request. But there were just so many, she mostly worked to keep her mind busy, like singing upbeat songs, that muffled the sounds...

But then the murders started...It seemed she was going to be part of learning what was happening. Could she...would she be able to handle being involved in crimes?

Jessica is making her living as a miniatures artist now and enjoying the fun of getting specific orders for, say, a little girl's bedroom! She would have loved to have her nieces see what she was doing...but when Jessica had finally shared what was happening with her twin sister Jenna, Jenna had cut her off immediately. 

Then, only her doctor and a former lover, a homicide cop, knew she was seeing dead people.  Nevertheless, when the murders started, Zack Smith realized that she might be able to help in the investigation... And when one night he came to ask, he was astounded by what he discovered! The murder scene in one of her shadowboxes!

What's wrong?"
"I don't even know what to say." His gaze roamed back and forth between her and the shadowbox on her worktable as if seeing her through new eyes. "How did you know?...
Jessica couldn't help staring at him. Zach was the most laid-back person she knew, but the energy bristling off him now was making her nervous...She set the mug back on the kitchen counter and joined him at the worktable.
And saw it...
Vomit rushed into her throat...Hogtied on its side was a nude female figure, shocking in its realism. A tiny butcher knife protruded from the sculpted clay back...

Wow! I'm so excited about this new series! The second book shows Jessica Mack accepting her ability to see the dead, learning how to control her personal time with them and certainly helping in solving crimes. But before long, Zack has asked her to try to help find a little boy, hopefully still alive! Quite a difference between finding a living child and talking to the dead...

Jessica's gifts are expanding, along with her ability to consider how to find ways around her limitations, including having her son, Justin, involved! While Lowe, I hope, will continue her handwriting analysis series, but if I had to choose, I'd advise diving deep into the Beyond the Veil mystery series to get it established! The main character is strong enough to move forward into many, many escapades into the unknown and she meets a romantic interest, Sage, who complements her completely in whatever may come.

Lowe has outdone herself in this second novel. When I read What She Saw, I declared it a winner. The Beyond the Veil series may well top anything she has been writing in her long professional career. The concept is based on the fact that she had died and was headed for Heaven, only to be told to go back! In a true "God only knows" situation of what she might get into, I'm already looking for the next in series! 

Intriguing, great characters, unique supernatural experiences with a double-whammy dose of romantic interest from Zack and Sage...well, I can't help but add it as a personal favorite for 2019. DON'T miss this!


The mother of a tattoo artist and a rock star, Sheila Lowe lives in Southern California with Lexie the Very Bad (sometimes evil) Cat, where she writes the award-winning Forensic Handwriting series. Like her fictional character Claudia Rose, she's a real-life forensic handwriting expert who testifies in court cases. Sheila writes "medium boiled," books (definitely not cozies) that she think of as psychological suspense. In other words, she puts ordinary people into extraordinary circumstances and makes them squirm. 

She writes non-fiction books about handwriting, too. Her latest are Reading Between the lines: Handwriting Decoded; Advanced Studies in Handwriting Psychology; Personality & Anxiety Disorders, How They May be Seen in Handwriting. Sheila also authored The Complete Idiot's Guide to Handwriting Analysis, Handwriting of the Famous & Infamous, and Handwriting Analyzer software. 

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