Friday, August 13, 2010

Happy Friday 13th! Feeling Lucky?

The number thirteen has long been touted as unlucky. Some believe the fear of number thirteen dates back to the Last Supper. There were twelve disciples plus Jesus at that meal. Judas Ischariot hanged himself and Jesus was crucified. 

Throughout the western world, people avoid numbering their houses with the number thirteen and many hotels do not have a thirteenth floor. Hospitals, hotels, and similar institutions often have no room numbered thirteen. And Italy and France never sell lottery tickets with that number.

Fear is also aroused if the thirteenth falls on a Friday--in itself and unlucky day largely because of Good Friday.

But, do I think thirteen is unlucky? Not really.

With the single exception of Friday, September 13, 1985, the number thirteen has always been lucky for me. So, maybe it was the pairing of the number thirteen with Friday that was unlucky for me. I lost my first child when I was just twelve weeks pregnant on that day. Or maybe losing that child was a blessing in disguise. Perhaps, a worse fate would have befallen me if I'd carried that child to term. Or, maybe there was something wrong with that child and had it been born, it would have suffered greatly.
Whatever the reasons, had I not lost that child, I would not have become pregnant again before that baby's due date and I would not have delivered a beautiful baby girl on August 19, 1986. She and my youngest daughter have brought nothing but joy to my life.
My husband was also born on the thirteenth. So, it can't be a bad day. Other good things have happened to me on the thirteenth or in relation to that number. Most recently, my publishing contract. After thirteen years of writing with the intent to publish, The Wild Rose Press published OUT OF THE DARKNESS.
My paranormal vampire romance is now available from The Wild Rose Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Borders.

So, I believe the thirteenth is a day to celebrate. And to do so, I'm hosting Brenda Whiteside, author of SLEEPING WITH THE LIGHTS ON, a contemporary romantic suspense. Now, without further ado, please help me welcome Brenda.

Please tell us a little about yourself, your book, and your views on the number thirteen.  I understand you have a fascinating tale about that particular number yourself.
  Brenda: I do. But first, let me say thanks for having me, Lilly. And congratulations on the publication of your first book. Can I share your excitement? Sleeping with the Lights On, a contemporary romance with a good dose of humor and suspense is also my first published novel. 

Lilly: Then we both have a reason to celebrate! I'm glad you could be with us today. So, tell us your story about the number thirteen.

Brenda: I do have a relationship with the number thirteen, although not as heartwarming as yours! What wonderful insight into how a sad occurrence can actually be for the best and result in a beautiful outcome.

In 1992, we were living in Phoenix Arizona and had grown tired of the heat, among other things about the city. We made a list of what we thought would make a city a good place to live. With that list in hand, my husband's research led us to Minneapolis, Minnesota. He sent off resumes to several companies inquiring if they had any positions available. He received one response.   

On Sunday, September 13, the company flew him to Minneapolis for an interview.He sat on the aisle in row thirteen. When he checked into the Holiday Inn, he was directed to his room on the thirteenth floor. When he called me that evening, we laughed at the coincidence. He interviewed on Monday morning and by noon he had a job offer. We adopted the number that evening as our lucky number.

He moved to Minnesota in October and I stayed behind to sell our home. The company provided him with an apartment for six months. It was a beautiful high-rise overlooking the Mississippi River on the thirteenth floor. His apartment number was 1313. Okay, now we took this number seriously. Since we don't believe in coincidence, the pattern was obvious to us- this move was meant to be!

My resumes were in the mail by November and in December I interviewed with one company. I was hired and my first day on the job was Wednesday, January 13th. Oh hum, just another sign.

We were gypsies at heart until the Minnesota move. We've lived in multiple homes in Arizona (eight if I remember correctly) three homes in Germany, three homes in California, and two homes in Massachusetts, Florida, and Nevada. Minnesota roped us in. We stayed for ten years, moved back to Arizona for a couple of years, and thirteen years after our first move to Minnesota, we moved to Minneapolis again. 

I've tried since to use the number to my benefit but with no success. Lottery tickets, roulette wheels, and other chance offerings have met with a thud. Apparently I have no control over when thirteen works for me.

Lilly: Wow, Brenda! That's a lot of thirteens! No wonder you and your husband adopted the number. 

Brenda: Lilly, you brought up selling your first book after writing for thirteen years. I've not thought of this before but I just did the math. After thirteen years of serious writing, I published my first book. And with The Wild Rose Press! And here we are on Friday the thirteenth. Go figure!

Lilly: Another coincidence? Or just lucky thirteen at work again?

Brenda: So who's feeling lucky?
I'd like to give away an e-book of Sleeping with the Lights On, to someone with a good story about the lucky or unlucky number thirteen.  Leave us a comment and we'll have a drawing.

And if you don't win, you can also purchase a copy in either print or e-version from:
Lilly: That's very generous of you, Brenda. I'm looking forward to hearing other stories about the number thirteen. And I'm sure readers are interested in hearing more about you and your books.How can they find out more about you?

Brenda: Stop by my web site and sign up for my Announce Only Newsletter for future contests and give-a-ways.

Or look me up on FaceBook

Thank you again, Lilly. Friday the thirteenth isn't so scary after all!

Lilly: No it's not. And thanks for being with me today, Brenda. Now, before you go, please share an excerpt of Sleeping with the Lights On so folks will know what a fabulous book they could win.

Sleeping with the Lights On   

After two failed marriages and countless relationships, Sandra Holiday thinks she's met the man to end her years of less than perfect choices; choices that not only derailed her travel-related career plans  but also left her single and broke.

Carson Holiday a Las Vegas country crooner with swoon-inducing good looks, spent his adult life pursuing a recording contract and love never holding on to either. After eighteen years, he drops back into Sandra's life reigniting an attraction he can't deny.

When Carson reappears, Sandra must choose again. Only this time, nothing's as it seems. A secret admirer, a redheaded stalker, and an eccentric millionaire throw her on a dangerous path, with Carson her only truth. 

As life confronts her with yet another turning point, will her decisions find her eternally sleeping with the lights on- or will she finally discover a way to turn them off?  


  1. Brenda, I am Lilly Gayle's cousin. I am so proud of her writing OUT OF THE DARKNESS.
    Lilly, I see that your daughter's birthday is on August 19. Wish her Happy Birthday for me. My birthday was August 8 and my son's will be tomorrow August 14.
    Brenda, Happy Birthday on August 23. What A lucky Coincidence!
    Your interview with Lilly today, Friday 13th on her blog. XXXXX No Bad Luck and No Black Cat For Us! Only good luck!
    Congrads to both of you on the publishing of your first books. The number 13 sure seems to be lucky for both of you. I'm afraid I don't have a good story about the lucky or unlucky number thirteen. Could I borrow both of yours? Brenda, I sure would love to win and read SLEEPING WITH THE LIGHTS ON. By your description---a Las Vegas country crooner with swoon-inducing good looks, spent his adult life pursuing a recording contract and love, never holding on to either. After eighteen years, he drops back into Sandra’s life, reigniting an attraction he can’t deny---I am intrigued and your excerpt interests me. I would love to read and review your book for Amazon, Good Reads, Library Thing and any blogs that I follow. I also follow Night Owl Romance and Coffee Time Romance and More. Since Coffee time recommends Sleeping With the Lights On for the hair-raising suspense as well as the melt your heart romance, I am hooked.
    Brenda, I stopped by your web site and signed up for your Announce Only Newsletter and liked and commented on your Facebook page.
    I love country music and I would love to visit Viva Las Vegas.

    Guess what? I have never moved. I live in the home place all 67 years. My parents died 11 months apart when I was 19 and 20 years old. Then I married when I was 21 years old and my husband moved in with me. We were happily together 36 years before he died in 2001. My son and grandson live about on hour away. Needless to say, I wouldn't even know how to move. I do have a Cheerful Heart with God.
    Thanks Lilly and Brenda,
    God Bless You and Your Family.
    Big Hugs!

  2. Hi Rebecca. Thanks for stopping in. I can see you are really grounded! Good luck and thanks for the comment.

  3. Oh Rebecca, also thanks for dropping by my web site. I bet if you read Sleeping with the Lights On you'll recognize the country songs I mention!

  4. I don't have any specific good stories, nothing huge that comes to mind, I'm afraid, but Friday the 13th has always been a very lucky day for me. Good things always seem to happen on this day. Things just tend to go my way. Great post you guys!

  5. Thanks Joanne. And as always, thanks to the most supportive cousin in the world. Becky is a book reviewer and avid reader. Thanks for my great review on Amazon, Becky. You're the best!

  6. If you have a general good feeling about the day, then good things must have come your way in the past. Thanks for stopping by, Joanne.

  7. Well, I don't have any Friday 13th stories but I try not to believe any of the theory about bad luck. Only good luck for both of you.


  8. Thanks Loretta. We can all use good luck wishes. Good luck to you, too!

  9. I loved your attitudes to the 13th. I do agree that out of sadness great joy is often born.
    I've had both good and bad experiences on the 13th, and it rarely botheres me.
    I enjoyed the interview, thanks for sharing.

    My story of the 13th is about my sister and happened many years ago.

    She was travelling south, on the motorway, from Scotland. The weather was attrocious and vehicles were kinda 'staying together'.
    My sister drove within the same group of vehicles for several hours when nature called.

    She stopped off at the next motorway cafe and decided to have a coffee and stretch her legs while she was there.

    Half an hour later she returned to the motorway. Fifteen minutes later she was held up by police controlling a major motorway pile-up ahead. When she passed the scene, she recognised many of the cars she'd been travelling with earlier.

    She arrived home safe and sound and filled with many mixed feelings.

  10. Sherry,
    That is a hair-raising story of the 13th. Gave me goosebumps! Your sister must have had an angel on her shoulder that day!