Happy Saturday, Reading Nook!
Today, I'm thrilled to be a part of the Me, My Shelf and I blog tour + giveaway for Jim Cangany!
We're spotlighting and sharing an excerpt from his book Wish Upon a Star, a touching look at how one couple fights the odds, when one of them receives a life-changing diagnosis.
Kindle Edition, 212 pages
Published October 17th 2014 by Uncial Press (October 17, 2014)
Annie has breast cancer.
Their love is tested in unimaginable ways as chemotherapy robs Annie of her health and her hair, but not hope. She holds on to the hope of beating the cancer and marrying the man she loves. While the key for Annie is to hold onto that hope, their future together may be lost forever unless E.J. can learn to let go. For its not until he can learn to forgive himself and let go of the guilt that haunts him that he can truly move forward and be the man Annie needs him to be.
Will the chemotherapy, mastectomy and radiation be enough to help Annie beat the cancer? Will E.J. face down the demons that haunt his past in time to save their love? Will they ever get that happily ever after Annie so desperately wants? While trust and faith in each other has gotten them this far, they'll need one more thing to make it to their finish line--hope.
Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, during October .50 from each WISH UPON A STAR sale will be donated to the Avon Foundation and its Breast Cancer Crusade!
After dinner that night, Annie growled and tossed the copy of Fighting for Our Future she’d received from the Young Survival Coalition on the floor. "This is pointless. Maybe I should just forget about treatment and run away to a tropical island and live on the beach while I let the disease take its course."
I turned off the college basketball game I'd been watching and took a minute to work on a response. This wasn’t like her. She was many things--film star, recording artist, astute businessperson.
But she wasn’t a quitter.
"Annie, listen to me. I know this is hard. But quitting is not an option. You have too much yet to give to this world to wave the white flag. We’ll get you better and then pick up where you left off. Right now, you have to be brave, even if you don’t want to be. You’re my North Star--"
"Oh Lord, don’t give me any of that North Star crap. You know what I am? I’m one in eight, twelve percent. That’s what the literature says. I’m nothing more than a freaking statistic." She picked the book back up and threw it across the room. It bounced off a wall with a thud and landed face up, as if it was mocking us.
Annie slumped on the couch, head in her hands.
Tears escaped from eyes that she'd squeezed shut.
I sat next to her and placed my hand on her shuddering back. "You’re not one in eight. You’re one in a million. And we’ll get through this. Together."
She reached out and took my hand in hers, gripping it tightly. It was wet from the tears. "I’ve never been this scared in my life." Another shudder went through her.
Using a light touch, I stroked her back. "So this is more scary than my driving in Europe during the tour?"
She sniffed and glanced at me through watery eyes. "Nice try." Her hand went to the star-shaped pendant on the necklace she was wearing. I’d given her the necklace to show how I truly saw her as my North Star, my guiding light. "Do you remember Christmas morning, when you gave me this?"
"I'll never forget it."
She swallowed and sniffed again, while tears streamed down her face. Her anguish left me feeling worthless. I wanted to strike out at something--a wall, a window, anything I could put my fist through. But I couldn’t do that. I needed to be the harbor to shelter Annie from the storm raging inside her.
"I remember after I opened the box, you made me stand up so you could put it on me. And then you took it in your hands, and stepped behind me. You draped it around my neck." She snickered a little. "And you couldn’t get the clasp to work. But on the third, no fourth try, you got it. You let go and wrapped your arms around me." She was gazing at the star in her hand.
"Then you kissed me on the neck and whispered 'Merry Christmas, Annie. I love you.'" She took my hand in hers.
It was ice cold.
"Did I ever tell you how I'd felt at that moment?"
"I didn’t think so. I should have, so I’ll tell you now. At that moment, I felt like a princess in a fairy tale, a princess with her Prince Charming, on the verge of her happily ever after." She leaned her head against my shoulder. I put my arm around her and held her tight.
"I want my happily ever after, E.J. I thought for sure when we got back together at the start of the tour, I was going to have it. All my dreams were coming true. And now with this." She punched the couch with her free hand. "I’m afraid I’m never going to get it."
Her fear and anger were like a rapid-fire one-two punch to the gut. I pulled her onto my lap and rocked her like I was rocking a small child.
"We’ll make it Annie. You and me, together. We’ll get you there."
She turned her tear-streaked face up to mine. "You promise?"
I stroked her cheek with my thumb and brought our foreheads together. "I promise. And I can't go back on a promise to my Guiding Light, can I?"
She lifted her head and looked at me, into me, way down in the depths of my soul. Her beautiful brown eyes were cloudy and puffy from the tears, but I sensed a touch of hope in there, too. "I love you, E.J."
"I love you too, Annie." I took her into my arms and held her as close as her injured body would allow, while I sent up a prayer for strength.
For the two of us. Because I was pretty sure we'd both need it.
The giveaway is open internationally. Enter at the Rafflecopter below!
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About the author:
A lifelong resident of the State of Indiana, Jim Cangany is proud to call himself a Hoosier. The youngest of eight children, he grew up in a household full of books and people. Thanks to the influence of his older siblings, Jim gravitated toward fantasy and sci-fi when looking for something to read. He wrote his first story at age fourteen. A school project, The Magic Coin was a fantasy that involved a king, some bad guys, and, not surprisingly, a magical token.
He lives in Indianapolis with his wonderful wife Nancy and his two sons, Seamus and Aidan.