The Trouble With Dying

The Trouble with Dying small E-book
bookReleased December 2014

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RONE Award Finalist 2015 (Suspense Category)
Readers’ Favorite – 5 Stars
When Faith Carson wakes up on a hospital ceiling looking down on her body in a coma, it’s a bad start to the week. A very bad start. She has no idea who she is or how she got there or why, and the biggest mystery of all is why she married the schmuck who wants her ventilator switched off.
As if that’s not enough Faith has a dead gran haunting her, a young daughter missing her, and one devilishly delicious man making her wish she could have a second chance at life. And maybe she can, if she finds a way back into her body and wakes up by Friday. But if she doesn’t, this will be her last bad week–ever.
Nate Sutherland decided long ago he’d settle for friendship if he couldn’t have Faith’s heart. But now, as she nears death, he’s going to have to listen to his feelings in a whole new way–and act. Because if he doesn’t, this week will be the worst damn week of his life. He’ll lose everything he’s ever loved.
(This book is intended for readers aged 18+.)


The doctors strip off my gown and start working on my lifeless body.
Dry-mouthed, I turn away. That’s my body, my life they’re trying to save. What if they fail? I can’t watch that.
I leave them to it and merge through to the corridor.
Out there, Nate paces up and down like a caged lion, but in such slow motion Neil Armstrong would be proud. A few metres away, Cynthia reapplies her lipstick with agonising slowness.
Nate stops in front of her.
“You were there,” he says, the baritone syllables falling from his mouth at frame-by-frame speed. “What happened?”
Cynthia performs the slowest shrug in the world then mimics his vocal slowdown. “She stopped breathing.”
Time’s clearly going half-speed–and apparently I’m the only one who’s noticed.
He eyeballs her for far too long–probably only a couple of beats in real-time–then about-turns and makes for my door. She pulls out a hand-mirror. He raises his hand inch by inch to knock.
Then he hesitates and, clearly reconsidering, lets his hand drop. I watch its journey, fascinated. His shoulders sag, and even in slow-mo he looks like he’s aged a quarter-century. He slumps against the wall–a spectacular feat of muscle control, though only in time-warp mode–and closes his eyes.
Please, Faith. Stay.
At least that’s at normal speed.
Don’t leave me again. Not like this.
Again? I’ve left him before?
I need you.
My breath hitches. He needs me?
The hospital hubbub mutes. Nate needs me. I make him angry as hell, but he needs me. Why? I glance at Cynthia but she’s so engrossed in her reflection she hasn’t heard a thing.
She pockets her mirror and everything clatters back to life, including my brain. Of course she hasn’t heard: he didn’t speak. Those were his thoughts.
Which means–crap. I’m really dead this time.
Thoughts bombard me from everywhere, a mad mess of emotion surging at me like a burst dam.
Mummy, don’t die . . .
Quick, Faith, quick.
Such a shame. Poor kid.
How long ’til my shift ends?
Loud, demanding, overwhelming. I clap my hands over my ears but the noise remains.
Faster, dammit. Losing her.
Better ring Geoff . . .
No. You can’t die. Need you.
They’ve found a shortcut to my brain and if it carries on like this I’m going to implode.
Nate’s expression is anguished. I want to reach out and smooth it all away. With moon walker speed he pushes himself upright, and heads off down the corridor.
I’ll pour the lemonade, you take the money.
Two kids, a girl and a boy, setting up a lemonade stand. Jugs of fizz to the left, glasses in the middle, mint and lemon garnishes to the right.
The little lemonade girl looks Tess-ish. Is it Tess’s thought?
But although she’s right beside me the picture loses vibrancy fast, as if a fog is blanketing my vision.
I look at Nate’s departing back. On a hunch I follow him, and the picture immediately intensifies. Not Tess’s memory, then. Nate’s.
Man, you’re bossy. The boy gives the girl’s ponytail a friendly tug.
His smile. It’s Nate’s. The boy must be Nate. Which means the girl isn’t Tess, but–me?
“Charging . . .”
Another time, another place, but it’s the same kids a few years older.
Thought I’d find you here. The girl’s concern a tangible thing. Young Nate’s joy that she’s come masked by outward anger; anger I instantly recognise. He turns his back. She touches his shoulder. He pauses for one, two, three heartbeats then hesitantly covers her hand with his. His emotions run through me like an electric current, swamping me. This girl, this gangly creature two years his junior, whom his friends see as nothing more than a nuisance–he loves her.
He loves–loved–me.
“Ready in three . . .”
Now, as if his emotions are finding an outlet through me, I’m feeling everything.
Prom night. First kiss. Passion, love, hope.
Summer heat, sun-kissed bodies, love-making under the stars.
The airport. Another kiss. His hand on her cheek. Love you. See you in a few months. Her sadness matching his. I’m counting the days. Be safe.
We were in love. I can’t seem to draw breath, and it’s nothing to do with being dead.


I hope you enjoyed that snippet of Faith’s history with Nate.
If you would like to read more, check out The Trouble With Dying on Amazon.