Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Fan from Jamaica

Recently, through the contacts of a relative, a girl in Jamaica let me know that she recently read IN THE NICK OF TIME. It had been given to her as a gift from her aunt. The girl loved the story and retold it to her aunt on a recent visit.

SO: THANK YOU J.! Thank you for reading my novel, and I'm glad you enjoyed it. It was a blast to write it.

Friday, April 16, 2010

In The Nick of Time: how it all began.

April 16, 2008:

Many years ago I had a dream. A literal one. I know, nothing more boring than hearing about someone's dream.

A group of friends and I were in a restaurant on a cold, dreary, snowbanked February night. From my winter pocket I pulled out a mysterious incense stick, lit it, and whoosh! the walls disappeared and we landed on a warm, tropical island.

Nothing much remains of the dream but the incense stick. And what a stick. It led to the creation of my time travel novel for young readers called IN THE NICK OF TIME.

I am proud of that.

IN THE NICK OF TIME can be found at and in their bookstore.

I have posted Chapter One to give you a taste of the book. Enjoy.

Jeff Graham
Chapter 1

“Help!” he screamed, his voice cracking. “Help!!”
The covers flew off his body. They hit the night table and toppled over the bedside lamp. With a force like a slingshot, Andy Mackpeace sat up, scrambled to the edge of the bed, and threw up his supper. Spaghetti and potato salad and garlic bread splattered on the floor in large, indigestible chunks.
“Andy, are you ok?”
His father opened the door and rushed to Andy’s bed. The room reeked of vomit, and Andy was drenched in sweat. He heaved again and leaned over the bed, waiting for anything else to come up. Andy found it hard to figure out where he was.
“I threw up,” he croaked.
“Hold on,” his dad said. “You’re ok, Andy. I’ll be right back.”
“It’s happening again,” Andy swore to himself. “It’s going to be with me for the rest of my freaking life!”
His father returned with a wet, warm washcloth, threw a towel on the floor to cover the vomit, and sat down on the bed. He wiped his son’s face and arms.
“You’re having one of those episodes again, right?”
Andy took the washcloth and wiped down his chest and stomach.
“Here,” Mr. Mackpeace said handing him another washcloth, “now put this one on your forehead.”
It was freezing cold, and Andy’s nerves relaxed with relief.
“Do you want to talk about it?”
Andy revisited the thoughts he had when he went to bed; the checklist of things to do (the Science test for Monday) and things to look forward to (turning thirteen in two weeks), followed by the descent into a dream that was so deceptive: his walking through this quiet, beautiful country house full of innocent sunshine, and then those dark, evil things jumping out and chasing him. Andy running with legs of lead, and those things getting closer and closer.
Andy got nauseous again. He felt stupid for feeling so scared. Andy closed his eyes and leaned back onto his pillows. “No, Dad. I’m good. I just don’t want to think about it right now. It makes me sick when I do.”
“Andy, what are we going to do with you?”
This was the fifth nightmare in three months, and they had started in the spring. His father collected the washcloths and returned to the bathroom. Andy heard his mother talking from his parents’ bedroom. “He’s shaken up,” he heard his father answer. “Yeah, he threw up again, same as last time.” His mother said something muffled. “Nah, I got it, go on back to sleep, I’ll be there in a little while.” Mr. Mackpeace came back with more wet towels and cleaned up the vomit, wiped away the smells.
“What time is it?” Andy asked.
“It’s 2:30,” his dad said.
It was the same every time.
When it happened on a school night, it was even harder for Andy to get up in the morning, he was groggier than normal. Luckily for Andy, this was a Friday night.
His father checked in one last time. “What can I do to help; do you want me to stay? Hang out until you fall asleep?”
“I’m ok now, Dad. Thanks, I feel a lot better. I think I’ll wait and talk to Grandma Geri in the morning.”
Grandma Geri. Mr. Mackpeace winced.
“Ok,” he said and leaned over and gave Andy a hug. A quiet, “good night”, and Mr. Mackpeace glided out the door, shutting it behind him.
As Andy drifted back to sleep, he heard his father say in the other bedroom, “My mother is probably the last person he should talk to.