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Love lost in the afterlife in 'A Symphony of Cicadas'

  • Fantasy novel, 'A Symphony of Cicadas,' explores the space between earth and beyond when the story follows a woman after death.

Read Crissi Langwell a few times and you'll feel like you're really getting to know her.

Crissi, my colleague at The Press Democrat, has been tugging on heartstrings for a few years now with her personal tales of raising children and teenagers – first as a single mother and now as a mom in a blended family. Her stories have appeared in the print version of the newspaper and online at such sites as winecountrymom.com.

Crissi also wrote a pivotal chapter in last spring's “Sonoma Squares Murder Mystery,” a fictional serial created by 16 Press Democrat and local writers. You can see her chapter here.

Recently she's published her first novel, “A Symphony of Cicadas.”

“This book is based off a bad dream I had that was so vivid I knew I had to write it down,” Crissi writes. The nightmare came while she was preparing for her own wedding.

Crissi acknowledges that for the novel's main character she transferred some of her own experiences “of what it was like to parent a teenager, and the evolution that exists in the relationship with a stepchild.”

“However, the main purpose of the story was to share what happens when a life that is laid out so perfectly suddenly tilts on its side.”

Here is a chapter from the book, in which the heroine, Rachel Ashby, in preparation for her marriage, takes her 13-year-old son to be fitted for a tuxedo. And then her world changes.

A Symphony of Cicadas

By Crissi Langwell

“That wasn't that bad, now was it?” I asked him. He turned to me in disbelief as we got into the car.

“Are you serious?” he asked. “That was horrible! Please say I don't need to do that ever again.”

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