Suffering from severe panic anxiety, Alli struggles with daily life. She even quits her job because she can no longer drive to work. When her roommate Cheryl invites her to a storage auction, Alli reluctantly agrees to go along.
At the auction, Alli wins a bid and becomes the owner of a dusty, old box containing outdated, yet intriguing items. Soon after, she receives threatening phone calls from Ronald, the callous manager of the storage facility, insisting she brings back the items. The more he pressures her, the more Alli realizes she possesses something other than a collection of family antiques.
Upon investigation, Alli learns the box contains Gifts–items giving paranormal abilities to whoever controls them. In a race for time, Alli is forced to make a choice: keep the Gifts or locate their rightful heir, knowing both decisions will place everyone she loves in grave danger.
Packed with humor, mystery, romance, suspense, a cast of quirky characters, and a heartless killer, Guardian of the Gifts is a story about friendship, family secrets, and how far one will go to avenge the past.
Targeted Age Group:: 40-70
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
After visiting a museum, I wondered if special talents (painting, drawing, etc.) were inherent or given through a supernatural means. The story began to take shape when I explored the possibilities of a group of "Guardians" who gave those "Gifts" to individuals they deemed worthy.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I came up with the main characters from a feeling of who I wanted to "cast" in my novel. I ended up with six main characters and three secondary characters. I used character interview sheets to learn more about them (strengths, weaknesses, fears, secrets, quirky habits), then used Pinterest to find images of how I pictured them for reference.
Apparently, storage auctions were popular—more than I’d imagined. By the time Cheryl and I arrived at Uncle Dan’s all the good parking spots were taken. Walking the few blocks under the Magnolia trees didn’t bother me, but my chest tightened waiting alongside the crowd of people cramped in the narrow breezeway.
Cheryl must have detected fear in my eyes because she grabbed my hand. “It’s easy,” she said. “Register. Figure out how much you want to spend. Find a unit that fits your price. Then bid. It’s fun.”
I wasn’t convinced so easily. “What if I make a bad decision? What if I end up with a box of old Playboy magazines?”
“What if you end up with a box of old Playgirl magazines?” She laughed and snorted. “That wouldn’t be a waste.”
If only she knew how I felt about doing anything new. I didn’t even change toothpaste without months of reading up on the best brands. I gulped down an anxiety pill and wiped the sweat off my forehead.
“Just a few more people ahead of us,” said Cheryl. “It should go quick.” As we walked into a large lot, she pointed left, then right. “Storage units are on both sides. You’ll get an auction list and bid card when we register. Just don’t wave your card unless you want to bid.”
Reaching the table, we added our names to the list. A ruddy-faced man in an orange vest handed Cheryl bid card 72. I scrunched card 212 in my sweaty hand, along with a map and list of available units. I wanted the day to be over already.
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