Hi, I’m Starr Gardinier. At least that’s my pen name. I write in the paranormal genre and love regaling readers with (im)plausible stories. As my bio states, I’m a paralegal by day. While I love the profession that allows the analytical side of my brain to be put to use, writing is my absolute passion. “The Other Side: Melinda’s Story” is the first in theOther Side series. The second, “The Other Side: Trent’s Story” should be out fairly soon. The third, and what I believe to be the final book—depending on what the characters tell me—“The Other Side: Ben’s Story” is implanted in my mind, but not yet on paper. Look for all three books by following my blog or checking my website.
I’ll leave it up to my readers to determine if the creative side of my brain is worthwhile. Please feel free to send all comments and questions to me at email@example.com. I look forward to them and will respond.
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Melinda’s family is dead, killed for information that is hidden deep within her mind. Her father tries to warn her from the ‘Other Side’ that she is in danger from the killers who want what only she can give them. Committed to Skyview Haven, she must determine if the ‘Other Side’ truly exists or if it is a trick of her heart and mind. With time running out Melinda must determine who she can trust. Is it the ghosts of her family, a boy who may not be who he appears to be, or the doctor who is determined to cure her? Can she figure out the truth before it is too late?
Here’s an exciting excerpt from The Other Side
“Don’t be scared. It’s just me.”
“Suddenly, he was there. Standing right in front of me.”
“I hugged him. I missed him and needed to feel his arms wrapped around me. I forgot about being mad at him. He finally pulled away from me.
“I can’t go to your mother yet. She needs to believe first. Like you do.”
“Believe that you’re dead but not dead?”
“Something like that.”
“What do you want?”
“I didn’t want you to go wake your mother until I spoke with you.”
“How did you know where I was going?”
“I’m in your head. I know almost all your thoughts.”
“Great. I couldn’t have a moment’s peace when he was alive and now he was in my head knowing all my thoughts. That’s just what a young, teenage girl wanted.
“Leave me the hell alone,” I told him as I tried to move around him.
“As much as I missed him, and as much as I knew I wasn’t making all of this up, I still wondered if I was imagining it in order to make myself feel better, not so lonely. You can tell my thoughts kept bouncing back and forth. First I believed then I didn’t. All that soon changed.
“I can’t. I’m sorry to put you through this, but I need you to get through to your mother. She has to open her mind to me. I must warn her.”
“About what? Wait. How do I even know you’re my father? I’m probably going crazy.”
“You’re not crazy. I am your father. Ask me anything…ask me something only I would know.”
“I thought for a few minutes and remembered a time when I was ten years old at the Grand Canyon. I was afraid to get too close to the edge. Dad, sensing my fear, held me close and whispered in my ear something that took my fear away.
“Fine. What was it you said to me at the Grand Canyon?”
“I whispered in your ear that I had your hand and would never let go, not now, not ever.”
“He takes my hand then and my heart aches, wanting him back. Really back. I grabbed my hand away from his. Tears welled in my eyes at the memory of that trip to the Grand Canyon.
“You’re in my head. You said so yourself. That’s how you know it. I remembered it.”
“No. I know it because I said it. I’ll tell you something then that happened when you were very small.”
“What?” I demanded.
“When you were two, you were running one day in the house. Your mother and I couldn’t contain your enthusiasm once you started to walk. You were all over the place. On one particular day, you were scampering down the hallway. You lost your balance for some reason and slid into the small table by the front door. There was a vase sitting on it holding fresh. The vase fell on your forehead and cut you across the left eyebrow. You have a scar. It’s barely visible, but it’s there.”
“I was quiet for a moment. I knew I had a scar there and I knew how I got it. My parents told me the story.
“Go to the mirror and look for the scar.”
“I moved to my dresser mirror and stared at my eyebrow. I knew it was there. I didn’t need to see it again, but I looked anyway. I ran my finger over it as if to erase it along with my father’s voice.
“That’s when I blacked out.”
A paralegal by day, I’m an author by night. Apart from being an award winning author for my short story “Cut,” it’s been said that I’ve made my mark on the literary world with my Other Side series.
Having studied and obtained my Bachelor’s Degree in Literature/Creative Writing, I found my unique style and have been known for my works’ distinctive voice, making every character stand out.
I’m the founder and owner of Editing by Starr Reina. I’m also the former executive editor for Suspense Magazine and have been a co-host on Suspense Radio. I’ve been interviewed in the newspaper and on the radio with relation to my fiction work.
I’m a member of International Thriller Writers (ITW) and of Sisters in Crime, Los Angeles Chapter and nationally. I have won three Best Speaker awards as well as Best Evaluator at the Voice Ambassadors chapter of Toastmasters. I’ve always been active in events. As co-chair and main coordinator for the West Coast Author Premiere, I arranged weekend-long events to help authors from all over network, learn and share their work with the public. I have also been instrumental in compiling authors and planning a local author event at Barnes and Noble in Ventura , California along with the store’s event manager.
Please see more about Starr at her editing service at www.editing.queenwriter.com, read more about her at www.QueenWriter.com, and/or visit her blog at www.qw-blog.blogspot.com.
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