DIVINELY YOURS

DIVINELY YOURS

by Karin Gillespie

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781635112634
Publisher: Henery Press
Publication date: 06/01/2017
Pages: 254
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.53(d)

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CHAPTER 1

The red light on Skye Sebring's computer blinked rapidly, announcing the arrival of her first client of the day. Within seconds a girl with darting eyes entered the cubicle. She wore a spiked leather wrist cuff and a t-shirt with the logo "Hustle or Die."

Skye barely made note of the vivid splash of red dripping down the front of the girl's shirt. In her line of work she saw more blood-soaked and broken bodies than an ER physician. Her main concern was the young age of her client. She didn't have a lot of experience processing teenagers, and this one looked like a handful.

"Welcome, Chelsea," Skye said. "My name's Skye Sebring. I hope you had a pleasant journey."

The teen swept a suspicious gaze around the cubicle, taking in the utilitarian wooden desk, the metal wastepaper basket, and the bare walls. Skye had just been reassigned to a new cubicle and hadn't done anything to fix it up yet. Usually she had a couple of cheerful posters hanging — photos of blue-eyed kittens or smiling dolphins seemed to have a calming effect — and she generally kept a dish of Hershey's Kisses on her desk.

"Where the hell am I?" the girl said.

"Not Hell, thank goodness. You've arrived in the Hospitality Sector of Heaven. Sorry it doesn't look very celestial around here."

Chelsea slouched against Skye's desk, her hands jammed into the pockets of a pair of scruffy blue jeans. "If this is heaven," she said in a low measured voice, "where's Morrison?"

"Morrison?" Skye shuffled through the papers on her desk. "Is Morrison a relative of yours, Chelsea?"

She jerked a corner of her mouth downward. "What about Hendrix or Cobain?"

Skye studied the girl's information sheet. "Sorry, Chelsea. I don't see any of those people in your record. There is, however, your great-aunt Ethel, who's very anxious to see you."

"Aunt Ethel?" Chelsea's hair had a severe part in the middle, and was so fine and pale it looked like sheets of cellophane. "The one who sent me a Little Mermaid sleeping bag for my last birthday? That Aunt Ethel?"

"The very one." Skye chuckled. "Unless you have more than one Aunt Ethel."

"What's so funny?" Chelsea said. "I'm taking a dirt nap, and you're laughing?"

"I apologize. I didn't mean to make light of your current situation. About your aunt Ethel —"

"I don't want to see her." Chelsea punctuated her statement with a stomp of her clunky tennis shoe.

"It's just that you died so young, there really isn't anyone else —"

"And whose fault was that?"

Actually, it was Chelsea's fault. According to her death report, the thirteen-year-old had been practicing skateboarding stunts in a church parking lot and had sailed over a brick wall, falling onto the blacktop below. Chelsea would almost certainly have avoided her fatal acute subdural hematoma had she been wearing the hundred-dollar helmet her mother bought for her. Instead, she'd filled the helmet with ice and used it to cool a half-liter bottle of Mountain Dew.

"Chelsea, I know you're upset —"

"No kidding. I'm worm food."

"Being dead isn't the end of the world, Chelsea. In fact, it's a wonderful new beginning. Heaven is very ..." Skye cast around in her mind for some current teenage slang. "... epic?"

Chelsea shoved a balled fist in the crook of her waist. "So what's there to do here? Play harps?"

"That's a common fallacy, Chelsea. Let's go over this pamphlet, 'What to Expect When You're Expired.'"

Skye held out the pamphlet, but the girl ignored it. "Can't you just give me a straight answer? What are you hiding from me?"

"I'm not hiding anything."

The newly dead were a notoriously suspicious bunch, always half expecting Satan to leap from behind the desk like a rubber snake out of a can.

"You can do whatever you want in Heaven. It's surprisingly unstructured." Skye picked up the remote for the television. "I have a DVD that will answer —"

Chelsea startled Skye by snatching the remote from her hand and lobbing it across the cubicle. "I don't want to watch some stupid DVD." Her kohl-lined eyes glittered like chips of mica, daring Skye to challenge her.

Page seven, paragraph four of the Hospitality Handbook had several specific suggestions for dealing with belligerent clients:

1. Speak in soothing, even tones.

2. Validate your clients' feelings with active-listening techniques.

3. If a client cannot be calmed by other means, administer a dose of Tranquility In a Can. (Should be kept in right-hand desk drawer at all times.)

When faced with client insubordination, Skye generally skipped the first two directives and went right for the TIC. Why put up with unpleasantness when tranquility was so close at hand?

Skye eased open her desk drawer, but the canister was missing. She'd forgotten to stock the drawer when she'd switched cubicles. Now she was forced to reason with the girl.

"That wasn't very nice, Chelsea, but I understand this is a big change for you and —"

"Get me out of here now!"

"Chelsea, please, if you'll just —"

The girl's pale skin flushed crimson; spittle dotted her bottom lip.

"Shut up. I hate you!"

"I realize you're dead," Skye said calmly. "But I didn't kill you. Would you stop being such a pain in the ass and let's get on with this, please?"

The girl's eyes grew so wide Skye could see the gold flecks in her irises.

"You said ass," she whispered.

All traces of toughness drained from her body, leaving behind a wide-eyed child with a quivering lower lip and a nose on the verge of running.

"If the shoe fits."

"You're allowed to call me a name?"

Skye glanced at the ceiling. "I don't see any lightning bolts."

Chelsea tugged at her pimpled chin. "And people in heaven swear?"

"Damn straight we do."

"Thank God." She bit her knuckle and glanced around the cubicle. "Oops. Do you think He's eavesdropping?"

"He happens to be a She. And of course She's eavesdropping. They don't call Her omniscient for nothing." Skye opened Chelsea's file and made a brief notation. "Hopefully She won't hold this ugly little incident against you."

Chelsea dropped into a swivel chair in front of Skye's desk and twisted back and forth in it as if it were a piece of playground equipment. "I'd never fit into a place where everyone's a goody-two-shoes. You'd have to send me to you-know-where." She winced as she pointed at the floor.

"Nobody's perfect in Heaven. Well, maybe a few high-ranking angels in Headquarters, but they're not very much fun at cocktail parties." Skye laughed at her own joke. The teenager blinked blankly, the quip zooming over her shiny blonde head.

"You'll also be glad to know there isn't a 'you-know-where,'" Skye continued. "Just Heaven."

"No Hell?" Chelsea looked astonished. "Where do all the bad people go?"

Skye dreaded such questions. The Hospitality Sector functioned primarily as a welcome wagon. There wasn't time for lengthy discourses on complex theological issues.

"There's an FAQ in your orientation packet, which will answer your question better than I can," Skye said. "For now, let's just say that 'bad' people have a very hard time getting into trouble once they're in Heaven. Nobody to kill. Nothing to steal."

"I thought Heaven would be like church," Chelsea said. "I figured I'd have to hang out in a pew all day, singing hymns and saying prayers." She caught her fingers in her long hair. "Do girls get their periods here?"

"Absolutely not," Skye said. "You'll never have to worry about that bloody nuisance again."

Chelsea pouted.

"Oh. Did you want your period?"

The teen toed the carpet with the tip of her tennis shoe.

"I've been waiting for it since I was eleven, and I'm the only one of my friends who hasn't gotten it yet. I'd even picked out the tampons I wanted to use, Tampax Satin Teen in the pink and blue box."

"I'm sorry about that. I never imagined someone would actually want —"

"What about cute boys?"

Skye frowned. Teenage boys were surprisingly durable and didn't make frequent appearances in the Hospitality Sector.

"I may be able to scare up a couple of guys for you, but right now, let's stream your orientation video, shall we?"

She dimmed the lights and hit play. All orientation videos were customized for the client. The cubicle filled with a voice saying, "Chelsea, welcome. I know this is a scary time for you, my dear, but you're going to adore Heaven. It's a lovely place for little girls. In Heaven, all of your wishes can come true."

It was Chelsea's Aunt Ethel. She held up a device that looked like a BlackBerry and jabbed at the keys. In a flash, an oversized teddy bear appeared in her arms. "Isn't that a darling trick?"

Chelsea almost tumbled backward in surprise. "How did she do that?"

"She used a WishBerry." Skye handed Chelsea a similar device. "In Heaven, you can wish for anything you want, and, abracadabra, it appears."

"Go ahead, Chelsea. Give it a whirl," Aunt Ethel said from the screen. "Baby dolls, jacks, party dresses. Anything your heart desires."

Baby dolls? Skye raised an eyebrow. Aunt Ethel was going to have quite the shock when she reunited with her niece.

"Can I try?" Chelsea asked.

"Sure," Skye said. "Type in whatever you want in the box."

"I know exactly what I want. My dream skateboard. A Flip New Wave HKD Red deck with Grind King trucks and Pig wheels." Chelsea's fingers flew over the keyboard of the handheld computer, and in seconds, the skateboard appeared in all its glory.

"Snap!" Chelsea said, running a finger along the edge of the shiny deck. "Wait until I show it to my skating buddy Horsemouth. He'll have kittens."

It took a second for the reality of her situation to come crashing down upon her. Chelsea's eyes glazed over and a panicked look crossed her face. Skye knew the "look" only too well. It was when the newly dead realized they were not only dead; they were positively, absolutely, undeniably, and reliably dead.

"Horsemouth won't see it, because I'm ... I'm ..."

Skye appeared at her elbow with tissue in hand. "It's okay to say it aloud, Chelsea. Being dead is not as awful as you think."

Chelsea wrenched away from her. "Yes, it is. And I don't want to be —" She stopped for a moment and her lips twitched into a sly smile. Immediately she gritted her teeth and scrunched her eyelids closed. When she opened them, disappointment darkened her face. She banged the WishBerry with the palm of her hand as if it were defective.

"It didn't work," Chelsea said.

"Of course it didn't. Heaven is your home now. You can't go back to Earth."

"How did you know what I wished for?"

"I've been doing this job for a while now."

"What about my mom?" Chelsea said. "And my little brother, Andy. I can't see them either? They're lost to me forever?"

"Not forever. You can see them very soon on a special television channel we have in Heaven called Earthly Pleasures."

"Let's watch it now." Chelsea lunged for the remote on Skye's desk. "I want to see if they're okay."

"Not yet, Chelsea." Skye gently pried the remote from her fingers. "Newcomers are barred from watching Earthly Pleasures until they've been here for at least one week."

"Why?"

"We want to discourage unhealthy attachments to those left behind. You have to understand, Chelsea. You and your family are now on two separate planes of existence."

"In other words, I'm plant fertilizer and they're not," Chelsea said with a glum nod.

"I wouldn't put it exactly like that, but yes."

Chelsea's expression brightened. "Could I back home and do a little recreational haunting? Maybe put a little scare into my younger brother? Make his Matchbox cars float in midair?"

Oh, the newly dead and their preoccupation with ghosts. Truth was, there were no such things. What the living mistook for specters were just residual energy fields. The dead could only return to Earth under very special circumstances.

"I'm sorry. That won't be possible. Shall we finish watching the DVD?"

"Do we have to?" Chelsea said with a frown. "I'm kind of jetlagged from the trip."

"I suppose you can watch it later in your room. I'll take you there."

"Where exactly are we going?"

"Newcomer quarters, where you'll be able to relax. Counselors are on hand at all hours to assist you should you feel sad or start to miss loved ones."

Chelsea fiddled with a large shark's tooth hanging from her neck. "When am I going to be interrogated?"

"Never. Contrary to what you may have been taught in vacation Bible school, Heaven isn't a place of judgment."

"Are you sure?" Chelsea said. "Because there might have been a time or two on Earth when I accidentally broke one of the Commandments. None of the really important ones, but —"

"I'm positive."

"But if Heaven isn't about judgment, what is it about?"

"Contentment," Skye said with a smile. "Heaven is like that old Corona beer commercial — the one where the people on the beach toss their cell phones into the ocean without a care in the world."

"Are you trying to tell me there aren't any cell phones in Heaven?"

Skye suppressed a laugh. "Of course there are cell phones. There's just never any bad news or telemarketers on the other line."

Skye led Chelsea out of her cubicle, and the two of them stepped into a hall that contained a glass elevator. When they boarded, Joy, another Hospitality worker, was already inside, comforting a young woman garbed in a satin wedding dress with a long white train. Skye nodded a greeting as the bride sobbed into a bouquet of daffodils.

"Three hundred guests and not one of them knew the Heimlich," the bride said. "I told Arnold we should have ordered salmon for the wedding dinner."

"Chicken bone," Joy mouthed.

"Skateboard mishap," Skye mouthed back.

The elevator pinged when they reached the ground floor, and Skye and Chelsea exited and hopped onto a moving sidewalk.

"You are now entering the Newcomer Sector," said a soothing disembodied voice. "Average newcomer stay is from five to seven days, Earth time. Concierge is located on the ground floor and manned twenty-four hours a day. Join us for a mixer in the Divine Ballroom at seven p.m. with piano stylings provided by Ray Charles."

The sidewalk teemed with clients and their greeters. Some of the newly dead still looked pale and drawn from whatever ailment had claimed them. A group of high-school students in torn and bloodied formal wear rode the sidewalks in stunned silence.

Skye had forgotten it was prom season. Chelsea might meet some cute guys after all.

Chelsea scrutinized the knots of bedraggled people traveling with her on the sidewalks. She glanced at Skye with a questioning look. "Are all of these people ... Are they all ..." She made a cutting motion across her throat and emitted a gagging sound.

"Yes, Chelsea. They're all dead. And while they might look shell-shocked right now, they'll perk up soon enough. As your aunt Ethel said, Heaven is a fantastic place to be. It's a lot like Earth, but with all the kinks ironed out."

The sidewalk ended, and they entered a vast atrium that looked very much like the lobby of a luxury hotel. A black-suited bellhop, dressed in a white bow tie and gloves, greeted them and bowed at the waist.

"Welcome, Chelsea. You're in guest-room suite 302. I hope you enjoy your stay."

The elevator doors parted, and Skye and Chelsea boarded. There were more efficient ways to travel in Heaven, teleportation for instance, but many familiar elements of Earth were incorporated into the sector to make the newly dead feel at home.

They traveled to the third floor and strode down a lilac-scented hallway lined with several ornate gold mirrors and heavy wainscoting. When they arrived at room 302, Chelsea said, "We forgot to get the key."

"No keys necessary in Heaven," Skye said. Skye switched on the light in the bathroom. "This is a very special bathtub. It allows you to soak in anything from Perrier to rose petals to buttermilk. The controls are on the faucet."

Chelsea stood behind her, glancing around as if looking for something. "Excuse me, but wheres the ... you know?"

"A toilet is just one more thing you won't need in Heaven."

Skye stepped into the bedroom and drew the blinds to reveal the ocean lapping against an expanse of white sand.

"This is your view remote," she said, picking up the oblong device. "You can change your view with a click of a button. Mountain vista, Paris skyline, Bavarian village, or you can program in your own preferences."

She pointed to the four-poster king-sized bed covered with a down comforter, heaps of frilly pillows, and an assortment of stuffed animals.

"There's a turn-down service every night. You can also use your WishBerry computer to redecorate this room any way you like, or you can put the room into mood mode, and your outer world will reflect your inner world. Why don't you try it?"

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Divinely Yours"
by .
Copyright © 2017 Karin Gillespie.
Excerpted by permission of Henery Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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DIVINELY YOURS 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
C_Fowler More than 1 year ago
Divinely Yours is such a unique idea for a book and unlike any I have read before. Most of this book takes place in Heaven, a place imagined by Gillespie that you have to experience to believe. You laugh, you cry, you sing Beatles songs, and your heartstrings definitely get a tug. The story is about Skye Sebring, whose heavenly job is to be a greeter to the newly dead, for, as you will see, Heaven is a very organized place. Her heavenly friends are wonderful, and Skye is especially compassionate with a young girl who died in a skateboard accident at age 13. Then she has a brief encounter with Ryan Blaine, who is suddenly whisked away from her greeting cubicle during orientation, and consequently turns her life upside down. Not all of the drama is happening on earth. With Ryan Blaine, just returned from his near-death experience, a Jane Doe in a coma in a nursing home and other people grieving the loss of loved ones, Heaven has its hands full. Thank goodness for guardian angels. I recommend this book as a touching read with very believable characters who take care of each other. I liked Karin Gillespie's take on Heaven as a pretty cool place to be and think you will too. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are solely my own.
ethel55 More than 1 year ago
Divinely Yours wasn’t what I was expecting at first, but what a fun quick read. Fans of tv’s The Good Place (before the twist!) will enjoy Skye Sebring’s job as greeter in heaven. You can even take monorail tour of the Supreme Being’s sector. What I really found interesting is how the story was woven together with Ryan, Susan and Emily’s lives on Earth. With a little help from a radio call in show hosted by Minerva and and old hits by the Beatles, Skye’s fascination with Ryan is fully explained in this charming story.
Deb-Krenzer More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be a nice, lighthearted read. I thoroughly enjoyed the author's images of Heaven. It was definitely a unique idea. A quick read which I really enjoyed. Thanks to Henery Press and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts Welcome to heaven! Skye Sebring is here to greet you to a heaven like you have probably never imagined. Where God looks like Bette Midler and her heaven seems more like Disney World than the great beyond. Skye has only been a greeter a short time. When one of her “clients” is pulled back to Earth because it wasn’t his time she just can’t forget him. “It happens” She has the ability to watch his movements down here and she feels remarkably drawn to him. I don’t want to say anymore because you have to read to book. If you know me at all you know I lost my son to suicide in 2015 and heaven is on my mind every day. I had a little bit of trepidation about reading this story but by the end of chapter 1 I was all in. A romantic comedy that takes place in heaven and on Earth. I laughed, I cried, I got very upset at one character, and I was entirely entertained from start to finish. While heaven will always be a mystery to us still living, if heaven could really be like this I would know my son is well taken care of and happy. The premise is fun, the characters are perfect and the setting is divinely celestial. A story of love that knows no bounds. An imaginative tale you will easily escape right into. Thank you Ms. Gillespie your story is a delightful read.
TeresaKander More than 1 year ago
This is a fun read, with a lot of emotional scenes. It seems a pretty straightforward story in the beginning, of a greeter in Heaven who meets someone in her office who then gets returned to Earth as it is not his time. Skye, the greeter, then gets a little obsessed with Ryan and watches him on Earthly Pleasures TV at every opportunity. At the same time, she is helping a teen girl, Chelsea, get acclimated to Heaven after her skateboarding accident. We also meet Ryan's wife, Susan, as well as several residents of a nursing home, including Emily, who has been in a coma for over a year and is beginning to wake up. I love the way Ms. Gillespie ties all of these stories together for us and makes us care about so many of the characters. There are humorous exchanges between the characters in Heaven and heartbreaking ones between the characters on Earth. There is also a character or two that you will love to hate! If you enjoy love stories with a touch of the paranormal, this is a definite must read!
MusicInPrint More than 1 year ago
LIVES are intertwined and LOVE is everlasting! Heaven according to Karin Gillespie is just another plane that is a celestial wonderland of peace, getting everything you want when you want it, and just everyday joy. Heaven dwellers are able to voyeur Earth happening, find out about future and past lives, and usher newly deceased into their flock. At first there seemed to be a group of characters that were introduced in the book in a random and unrelated way. But eventually Gillespie made clear how life paths intersect and affect each others destiny. Instead of bible verses and stringent advise; guide lines were suggested through the use of song lyrics from well known groups like the Beatles. Readers with an interest or who lived though the 70's will enjoy this aspect of the book. Teens and Adults will enjoy this. "A copy of this book was provided by Henery Press via Netgalley with no requirements for a review. Comments here are my honest opinion."
TarynLee More than 1 year ago
Skye is a greeter inside the pearly gates, it's her job to introduce you to heaven and help you acclimate. While doing her duties she briefly meets Ryan Blaine, to whom she can't seem to get off of her mind. What is so special about this man and why does he continue to invade her thoughts. When she learns that she is about to be sent to earth for the first time she doesn't think she is ready and wonders why she was chosen. This book touched my heart from the beginning and had me believing in miracles by the end. It was truly a heavenly read and I'm glad I was given the opportunity to read it. I look forward to picking up more books from this author, if they are anything like this one I'm sure to fall in love.