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Heaven Only Knows

The last thing she needed was to be among the deceased on her 22nd wedding anniversary. Gwen Truax had the day perfectly scheduled. She was a key asset in her company's upcoming merger. And above all, she was going to ask for a divorce from her simpleton husband. Instead, she finds herself at the desk of the Archangel Michael, demanding for explanations or at least a reserved parking space on a cloud.

A Hard Shell Word Factory Release


Christina Hamlett

     Former actress and director Christina Hamlett is an award winning author and professional screenplay consultant whose credits include 25 books, 120 plays and musicals, 4 optioned feature films, and columns/interviews that appear in publications throughout the world. She and her husband reside in Pasadena, California.

Reviews

"Gwen is one tough character to get to like. She starts out as grating and, as Michael calls her, heartless. What she learns about life, people, and love in her short time back on earth is inspiring. The dialogue is extremely funny in places and keeps the reader's emotional attention for the most part. Gwen's slow realization about what love really can be and the struggles of the average person in the everyday world is what makes this story. Heaven Only Knows is a quirky, fast paced read that had a message while making the reader laugh at the antics and thoughts of the main character. It's a fun book that will warm up the winter nights."

Romance Communications

"The story is light and refreshing with comedic overtones. Heaven Only Knows puts a delightful twist on getting a second chance. It is a book everyone will enjoy reading."

Tamara Fairchild -- a satisfied customer


"Heaven Only Knows is a fun read that warms the heart, making you feel all gooey inside even while you're grinning. It is the story of a corporate fast-tracker, Gwen, who dies and is given a chance for eternal redemption if she can perform a single selfless act--finding a new wife for her husband, to give him the happiness he deserves and that she failed to give him in life. Technically the book is a romance, because the story question is whether or not Dan can find a new love, and the book ends when that question is answered. But Gwen's personal growth adds an unexpected and delightfully deep layer to the story, with comic touches inspired by a running country music theme. Hamlett treats us to insightful and dead-on character studies of people from the executive suite down to the janitorial staff, spiced with the suspense of wondering if each female character we meet will be "the one" for Dan. Secrets and twists of fate keep the reader unsure right up to the end. Don't miss this one."

Jennifer Dunne -- SF Romance and Knowbetter.com
Excerpt

Prologue

"And what the hell does 'prove myself' mean?" Gwen Truax snapped, her hands on her slender hips in as haughty a statement of defiance as her green eyes, now blazing with venomous anger at the man she'd met only twenty minutes ago.

"Shall we run the video for her again, sir?" the squeaky voiced assistant named Mr. Pimms spoke up from the corner where he'd obediently planted himself ever since her arrival.

Before Michael could reply to his question, Gwen strode forward and leaned across the marble desk, nearly toppling the closest statuary of what looked to be the Virgin Mary. "Look, I don't know what kind of head-game you two clowns are playing here, but do you have any idea how late you're making me for my board meeting?"

Michael's eyes of electric blue met hers without any sign of flinching or guilt. His bold stare of assessment, in fact, had just enough maddening arrogance to it to be a sensual turn-on. Well, under different circumstances, of course. At the moment, she could only see him as a silver-haired, cleft-chinned chauvinist who was being a royal pain in the ass.

"Well?" she said, in case he hadn't heard her.

"I'm afraid that it's later than you think, Mrs. Truax," he calmly answered.

"That's Ms. Truax to you," she corrected him.

"As you wish," he replied.

Gwen couldn't help but notice that his glance darted briefly to her diamond wedding band as if to affirm that he'd really seen it. "What I wish," she said, "is to knock off all this screwing around and get to my meeting. Do you think you can handle that?"

Michael shook his head. "That's not within my purview," he informed her. "Now if you'll just have a seat--" "Then who the hell's purview is it?" Gwen demanded.

Behind her, Mr. Pimms was nervously clearing his throat.

"If I might ask you to refrain from the use of expletives while you're with us," Michael said, "it would be greatly appreciated."

Gwen had reached for her purse and was now withdrawing a cellular phone.

"What are you doing?" Michael inquired.

Gwen didn't miss that the corner of his well defined mouth had a quirk of amusement. Well, she'd fix that soon enough. When she was through, he'd be lucky to get a job in the mail room. "I'm going to make a call to your supervisor," she said. "What's his name and number?"

"He doesn't take calls," Michael informed her.

Was she mistaken or had she just heard a faint squeak of laughter from that idiot Pimms? "Well he'd better by God take a call from me," she retorted. "We're talking serious money on the line with this merger and, believe me, heads are going to roll if I'm not there to put it together." For the first time, she noticed that her adversary had no name plate on his fancy desk, no means to identify him to a higher authority other than the moniker "Michael" by which he had introduced himself.

"I'm afraid they'll have to manage without you this time, Ms. Truax," Michael quietly said.

"And why, praytell, is that?"

Michael folded his hands atop his desk. Was it a trick of the light, Gwen wondered, or was his skin tone golden? Maybe he'd just come back from a vacation in the tropics, she decided. Some people tanned that color naturally. Golden and glowing, just like an ad for suntan lotion. Not the way she did, of course, with skin as fair and delicate as her best china. Besides, who had time for vacations anyway, when there were deals to be done and profits to be boosted?

"Well?" she said again when no explanation was forthcoming. How on earth had a man with such drop-dead good looks gotten a desk job by being so completely witless and unresponsive? Was he sleeping with the boss' daughter or what?

Michael looked up at her with an expression so galvanizing that Gwen thought for a second she'd melt through the floor.

"Apparently you didn't hear it the first time I told you," he spoke at last. "That's certainly understandable."

"Hear what?" What was he talking about? Did this have anything to do with that dumb tape he tried to show her?

"The truth of the matter is, Ms. Truax... you're no longer among the living."