Bluff

Burnt Toast

Jude Black lives in that in-between, twilight place teetering on death but clinging to life in order to bring her baby into this world. Only she knows the circumstances surrounding her mysterious fall off the bluff that landed her in the hospital being kept alive by medical intervention. Only she knows who the father of her baby is. In this poignantly crafted literary novel, the mystery unfolds and the suspense builds as the consequences of Jude’s decisions threaten to reveal everyone’s deceptions, even her own. Bluff offers a sensitive look at essential questions such as the value of human life, the consciousness of those in a coma and the morality of terminating life support. At the core is the story of a tragically misunderstood woman who finds peace, acceptance, understanding and even love on her deathbed.

What people are saying:

“From the first few pages of Bluff, we were hooked. Lenore Skomal keeps you guessing and wanting more. The characters have stayed with us and we can’t wait for a sequel!”
—Blue Stockings Literary Society

“Bluff raises vital questions about the nature of our human spirit. This compelling story is a must read. You won’t be able to put this book down. It will change you.”
—Sylvia Browne, bestselling author and spiritual teacher

“Lenore Skomal is a powerful writer and a big talent. Her words will stir your heart.”
—Al Zuckerman, founder, Writer’s House Literary Agency, NYC

“Lenore Skomal is a highly acclaimed columnist and author, whose attention to detail, whose wit and pathos, have charmed readers for years. This, her first novel, is a breathtaking story of a life re-examined from the precipice of abyss. Heartbreaking and insightful.”

Carlo DeVito, Ten Things My Dog Taught Me

Preview

I was born a weakling. An infection set in after my mother’s water broke and somehow that translated into pneumonia, which settled into my hours-old lungs. It was touch-and-go for several days. As the story goes, my mother Gay found religion, went into hiding in the hospital chapel and prayed like a mad woman. She sought the help of St. Jude.

“Most holy apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the Church honors and invokes you universally, as the patron of hopeless cases, of things almost despaired of. Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone. I promise, O blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you.”

She made a deal with the saint. If I lived, and oh she prayed and prayed I would, she would name me after this mighty and powerful patron saint, the court of spiritual last resort for those with hopeless causes.

And I lived. And she kept her word. The name, while meant to be a blessing, has felt like a curse. The miracle of my recovery has been solely attributed to the saint alone—a constant reminder throughout my life. Apparently, my own little body, spirit and strength had nothing to do with it. I was a miracle. A true hopeless cause whom St. Jude took pity on. There’s a lot of expectation that comes along with being a miracle. And of course with that, the inevitable—crushing disappointment.

Yes, Gay kept her word and named me after the saint who saved my life. I never thought of asking her what she would have named me if I had died.

I think a birth name can predestine you for life. I am Jude, the hopeless cause.

Amen

Available Oct. 1, 2012!

paperback edition   kindle edition