Another in the Book Club Bash for you. This is an all-day party, guys 🙂 This next post will tell you more about Bluff an it’s author. Enjoy and check out the two excerpts included as well!
To the medical world, I was a host body, surviving only to bring a new life into the world. And while I wanted to die more than anything in the world, I never wanted this. No, I never wanted to cease to exist. This was the worst death of all.
Jude Black lives in that in-between, twilight place teetering on death but clinging to life in order to bring her baby into this world. Only she knows the circumstances surrounding her mysterious fall off the bluff that landed her in the hospital being kept alive by medical intervention. Only she knows who the father of her baby is. In this poignantly crafted literary novel, the mystery unfolds and the suspense builds as the consequences of Jude’s decisions threaten to reveal everyone’s deceptions, even her own. Bluff offers a sensitive look at essential questions such as the value of human life, the consciousness of those in a coma and the morality of terminating life support. At the core is the story of a tragically misunderstood woman who finds peace, acceptance, understanding and even love on her deathbed.
The Reviews are in
Bluff is a page-turner from beginning to end, with plenty of plot twists to keep it interesting. ~ Great Read
The characters were well developed and the aspect from which it was written, provocative. ~ Doublereeder2
Couldn’t put this down I cant wait to read more books by wonderful author. ~ Erika Nelson
Lenore Skomal has succeeded in writing a compelling, fast-paced, page-turner for her first novel. Expertly researched, Skomal deftly weaves a sometimes heart-wrenching story around believable characters whose lives intersect in often surprising ways. She poses an extraordinary ethical dilemma that stays with a reader long after completing the book. Beautifully written! The story begs for a sequel. I’ll be first in line. ~ Nealb
About the Author
Lenore Skomal is the author of the recently released novel Bluff. As an author, Lenore wants you to eat her books. She wants you to chew them in your teeth, savor them on your tongue, breathe them in, and feel her words in your skin. Her passionate desire is to touch your heart, inspire you, and luxuriate in the world of the written word. Winner of multiple awards for blogging, literature, biography and humor, Lenore Skomal’s catalogue spans many genres. With 30 years of writing experience, over 17 books published and a daily blog, the consistent themes in her work are the big issues the human experience and adding depth and voice to the intricacies involved in living a multi-dimensional existence. http://www.LenoreSkomal.com
I was born a weakling. An infection set in after my mother’s water broke and somehow that translated into pneumonia, which settled into my hours-old lungs. It was touch-and-go for several days. As the story goes, my mother Gay found religion, went into hiding in the hospital chapel and prayed like a mad woman. She sought the help of St. Jude.
“Most holy apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the Church honors and invokes you universally, as the patron of hopeless cases, of things almost despaired of. Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone. I promise, O blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you.”
She made a deal with the saint. If I lived, and oh she prayed and prayed I would, she would name me after this mighty and powerful patron saint, the court of spiritual last resort for those with hopeless causes.
And I lived. And she kept her word. The name, while meant to be a blessing, has felt like a curse. The miracle of my recovery has been solely attributed to the saint alone—a constant reminder throughout my life. Apparently, my own little body, spirit and strength had nothing to do with it. I was a miracle. A true hopeless cause whom St. Jude took pity on. There’s a lot of expectation that comes along with being a miracle. And of course with that, the inevitable—crushing disappointment.
Yes, Gay kept her word and named me after the saint who saved my life. I never thought of asking her what she would have named me if I had died.
I think a birth name can predestine you for life. I am Jude, the hopeless cause.
“What? What did you say?” I called out.
“You heard me, Miss Jude.” The cubes in her in glass clinked. Like a cowbell, it signaled she was on the move. Damn, she’s coming into the kitchen. I kept my head buried in the fridge, the cool air pushing against my face and neck, momentary respite from the hot anger searing through my spine.
“The prom? You and what fine young man might be going—to—the—prom?”
Behind me now, she punctuated her words, her sarcasm drilling a hole in my back. Oh, we had been here before, she and I. It was to the point where the vodka numbed her tongue and would soon derail her logical thought off a deadly precipice, sending her emotions and this conversation careening into the abyss of irrationality. The point of no return and one that Mother and I had fallen off together, yes, so many times before. In some macabre, perverse way, I was an eager participant, happy to fuel the engine’s fires.
“Well, Gay,” I pivoted around, Coke can in hand, pointing it rudely in the direction of her face. “Since you clearly feel I owe you a response, here it is: No, I’m not going to the prom.”
I backhanded the refrigerator door shut with a whoosh to punctuate my pronouncement, and pushed past her toward the counter, with a swagger swelled by feeble hope that my bold move would sufficiently end the conversation.
But she blocked me, her face set, lips pursed and eyes smoldering black. I squelched my natural response to wince. Here it comes. She swayed a little in a boozy breeze.
“Stop calling me by my first name. I am your mother. And I expect respect, Miss Jude.” Her voice crescendoed with her last words.
“You think you are so perfect, don’t you? Look at you,” she continued. She glared at me now, snide in her rampage. “You think you’re so smart. Don’t you? Hmm? You think you are—so—smart.”
I stood there, a few feet away, and took the assault silently, as I’d learned to do while still a child, knowing that any word, any response at all, positive, negative, thoughtful or coarse, would only inflame the tirade.
We were on the runaway train now, and the precipice was clearly in sight.”