Category Archives: Hobbies…Careers…Passions

#HobbyCareerPassion: “For the Love of Baking” ~ Author Amber Daulton ~ Arresting Jeremiah

Welcome to my weekly feature where authors share about the hobbies, careers, or passions of their characters.

I’m pleased to introduce today’s guest,  Amber Daulton

“For the Love of Baking” by Calista Barlow, the heroine from Arresting Jeremiah

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve wanted to bake. And not just simple sugar cookies. My dream was to run a bakery or maybe manage a fancy restaurant. I spent my childhood learning everything I could from a master chef. I was definitely lucky, at least in that regard. But let me back up…

My mother and I lived in this gorgeous manor when I was a child, but we weren’t the homeowners. Not even close. Mom was a maid, and I was the maid’s daughter who always snuck into the kitchen to “help” the moody head chef, Pascal Caron. After a while, Chef Caron realized I seriously wanted to learn how to cook and bake, and I wasn’t just there to annoy him. He took me under his wing, and my eyes opened to the world of culinary and artsy dishes.

Then I grew up. After my secret boyfriend dumped me and left me pregnant when I was eighteen, I learned quickly that life wasn’t fair and my dreams had to go on hold.

For the next ten years, I worked dead-end waitressing jobs with no end in sight, but I never stopped whipping up fantastical creations in my meager kitchen. I make everything from scratch, and I use graham cracker crusts for my shells. What do I make? Well, let’s see…cheesecake, doughnuts, muffins, tarts, pies, cakes, brownies, and more. Hmm, I would love something chocolatey right now. Sorry, but I skipped lunch and my belly is growling. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, your mouth will water from one taste of any of my desserts—I guarantee it. I’m not normally an over-confident person, but I know I rock in the kitchen.

Mom, my daughter Lacey, and my best friend, Shana, are the best! They’re so supportive. Then there’s Jeremiah—better known as Jim. He’s unlike any man I’ve ever met. He’s so sweet and sexy, and more than determined to fulfill my dreams of opening a bakery. How could I have lucked out with him?

Now, I’m off to bake Jeremiah and Lacey a yummy surprise. He loves anything with blueberries in it, so we’re having a torte for dessert tonight. But don’t tell him, okay? First things first, though, I need to make a sandwich or I might just eat the dessert all by myself. It’s been known to happen, and yet I complain about my waistline. *sigh* Anyway, thank you so much for reading!

Blurb

Injured Parole Officer Jeremiah “Jim” Borden never expected Calista Barlow, the sassy blonde waitress he’s craved for months, to ring his doorbell. She slips into his heart—and his bed—but he’s obsessed with a gangland investigation that threatens his career and maybe even his life.

Calista doesn’t trust easily, not with a daughter to protect and the stalker who keeps calling her. After her violent ex-boyfriend returns, she finds solace in Jim’s arms.

Jim may have to forego his need for answers to protect the ready-made family he adores, but how will he and Calista escape an unseen enemy that is always one step ahead of them?

Excerpt

“What were you thinking when you tried on the necklace?”

Air whizzed through her teeth. Silence stretched between them as they walked toward the diner. She sighed, her voice soft. “No offense, but I don’t know or trust you enough to let you in that much. I’ve made some mistakes—things I don’t want to talk about. Give me some time.”

Trust? He couldn’t blame her for that. If he demanded to know her secrets, he had to tear down the barbwire he’d erected around his.

No. That couldn’t happen. His life depended on his silence. Did her private thoughts and memories hinge on life and death too? His stomach twisted. Nothing bad would happen to her, not if he was around to stop it.

“What can you tell me?” Hell, only an asshole would ask something like that without opening up in return.

“The necklace reminded me of something I once wanted more than anything. Not the pearls itself, but what it represented. I couldn’t have it because I wasn’t good enough.” She pulled from his grasp and wrapped her arms around her middle.

“I’m sorry I forced you to try on the necklace. I thought you liked it. All women deserve something that makes them feel pretty.” The stench of oil filled his nose and he sneezed. He glanced at the noisy passing cars and pulled Calista farther back along the sidewalk, away from a puddle in the road, before a vehicle splashed them. “I understand about lack of trust and the need for secrecy. I hope someday you can tell me what happened, but I do know one thing, even if you never tell me. You were good enough. You always have been and will always be.”

Her blue-green eyes widened. She traced her fingertips over his smooth jaw, leaving sparks in her wake.

“You’re so kind. I almost believe it when you say it. God, I wish I’d met you years ago, Jeremiah.”

“Why do you call me Jeremiah? Everyone else calls me Jim.”

“It feels more personal, as though you belong only to me. I may have to share Jim with the rest of the world, but Jeremiah—the strong, kind man I’ve admired over the past several months—is all mine.”

Her admission branded him like a fire poker to his skin. If he were alone, he’d beat his chest and roar. No woman had ever wanted to claim him. No one but her ever called him Jeremiah.

Amazon Buy Linkhttps://amzn.to/32vAlqu

About the Author

Amber Daulton is the author of the romantic-suspense series Arresting Onyx and several standalone novellas. Her books are published through The Wild Rose Press, Books to Go Now, and Daulton Publishing, and are available in ebook, print on demand, audio, and foreign language formats.

She lives in North Carolina with her husband and demanding cats.

 Social Media Links

Website – https://amberdaulton.wordpress.com/

Newsletter – https://emailoctopus.com/lists/9d60a166-f2ea-11ea-a3d0-06b4694bee2a/forms/subscribe (Sign up and get a free ebook!)

Facebook Author Page – https://www.facebook.com/amber.daulton.author

Twitter – https://twitter.com/AmberDaulton1

Pinterest – https://pinterest.com/amberdaulton5/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6624921.Amber_Daulton

Book Bub – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/amber-daulton

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/amberdaultonauthor1/

 

4 Comments

Filed under Author Blog Post, For Writers, Hobbies...Careers...Passions, New Release

#HobbyCareerPassion: “I’m an Artist” ~ Author Pamela S Thibodeaux ~ My Heart Weeps

Welcome to my weekly feature where authors share about the hobbies, careers, or passions of their characters.

I’m pleased to introduce today’s guest,  a good friend, and a wonderful writer, Pamela S. Thibodeaux.

 

Hello, my name is Melena Rhyker and I’m an Artist…..

For as long as I can remember I’ve loved to draw and paint and work with stained glass. Although I took a few art classes over the years, mostly leisure learning and have used my talent to gift others, I never thought of myself as an artist. You see, I married young and worked as an Administrative Assistant in an accounting firm most of my adult life. I even got my Accounting Degree courtesy of my boss. But when my husband died, I just couldn’t fathom living the rest of my life in that same old rut. Before he passed, the rut had meaning and purpose. After, my life was meaningless and empty.

My best friend Pat told me that if I didn’t change the status quo, I’d never make it out of the valley of the shadow of death. That’s what grief is you know. Anyway, I quit my job and decided to pursue my art, thinking that if I put as much energy and passion into that as I had my marriage, my and Jon’s life together and our family, I might be able to get by with the money I earned and what savings I had.

For a while at least.

I began writing art-related articles and selling a few old paintings and greeting cards online and that was encouraging but not enough to count as substantial income.

They say God works in mysterious ways and I can attest to this because an application for a grant to an artist’s retreat popped up in my email one day and I won! That retreat and a subsequent job working on the Crossed Penn ranch (where the retreat was held) opened my eyes to the possibilities that lay before me. Leaving home and family for a couple of months was not easy, but necessary for my mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. Leaving Jon took a huge leap of faith, but it paid off. My art flourished and the ranch owners, Anne and Bill Penn, offered to host a show for me and manage my career. From that moment on, I was no longer an Accountant/wannabe artist, I was a gallery-worthy artist and well paid for doing what I love.

We all have gifts and talents the Lord has blessed us with. Find yours – albeit painting or writing, sewing or needlework, carpentry or dance – pursue it with passion and dedication and most of all, with love and let God take you and your career places you’ve never dreamed of.

My name is Melena Rhyker and I am an artist.

 

Blurb: After thirty years married to the man of her dreams, Melena Rhyker is devastated by her husband’s death. Relief comes in the form of an artist’s retreat at the Crossed Penn ranch in Utopia, TX. She rediscovers a forgotten dream as her artistic talent flourishes into that of a gallery-worthy artist. Will she have the courage to follow the path she was destined to travel?

Garrett Saunders has been on the run most of his life. Abused and abandoned as a child, he escapes the clutches of a past filled with pain and shame, and hides from his calling as a Native American healer. His years as a CIA agent aid in overcoming his childhood and honing his talent and skill as a fine art photographer.

Follow their journey as two people who come from totally different backgrounds, but share gifts of gigantic proportions, find meaning and purpose in the Texas Hill Country.

Excerpt: She went into the private studio tucked away in an alcove on the third floor of the lodge, surprised to find her work arranged in an attractive display. Direct light shone on some, muted on others.

Melena wandered around the room. Her gaze rested on each individual piece of art, amazed again at what God had seen fit to express through her.

Her easel stood in the center of the room. She made her way to the stool and sat. Her mind whirled with visions, yet she hesitated to put images to paper. She closed her eyes and heard the voice of her art instructor from years past.

“What do you see? What do you feel? Delve deeper.”

One word came to mind, echoed in her spirit. Serenity.

Melena rose, wandered around the room once more and gazed upon her creations with a new set of eyes.

The eyes of her spirit.

She tugged on frames, readjusted light, and rearranged pieces until her theme fell into place.

Serenity.

She placed a fresh canvas on the easel, filled her palette with color, mixed shades and, with soft strokes of the brush, painted.

My Heart Weeps is on sale for a limited time @ 99cents and FREE on Kindle Unlimited!

Purchase Link: https://bit.ly/MyHeartWeeps

Author bio: Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.” Sign up to receive Pam’s newsletter and get a FREE short story!

Links:

Website address: http://www.pamelathibodeaux.com

Blog: http://pamswildroseblog.blogspot.com

Newsletter: http://bit.ly/psthibnewsletter

Face Book: http://facebook.com/pamelasthibodeaux

https://www.facebook.com/pamelasthibodeauxauthor

Twitter: http://twitter.com/psthib @psthib

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/pamelasthibodea/

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1jUVcdU

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/pamela-s-thibodeaux

Instagram: https://instagram.com/pamelasthibodeauxauthor

Pam is giving away 1 Ebook, 1 Autographed Print Book, 1 Audio Book, a $15 Amazon Gift Card, a 1-month Audible membership and a SURPRISE Giftpack to 6 lucky winners! (1 prize per person) Names will be collected throughout the tour which ends Sept. 30th. Winners will be notified, and prizes awarded by October 10th so be sure to leave your EMAIL Address!

Blog Tour Dates/Stops:

8/11 Gail Pallotta’s Peering Through Life’s Window

8/13 Liz Flaherty’ Word Wranglers Blog

8/15 Clare Revell’s The Word Can Wait Blog

8/18 Southern Writers Suite T Blog

8/18 Alina K Field’s Simply Romance Blog

8/20 Penelope Marzec’s Bookish Thoughts Blog

8/25 Jana Richards’ Romance Story Board Blog

8/27 Beverly Bateman’s BLOG

9/1 Valarie Goree’s Facebook Page

9/5 D. V. Stone’s Campfire Blog

9/9 Jacqueline Seewald’s BLOG

9/11 Linda Rondeau’s Snark & Sensibility Blog

9/14 Patricia Kioyno’s Four Foxes, One Hound Blog

9/18 Diane Burton’s BLOG

9/22 Alicia Dean’s BLOG

9/25 Jeny Hickman’s BLOG

9/30 Linda Nightingale’s Author…Musings Blog

 

 

11 Comments

Filed under Author Blog Post, For Writers, Hobbies...Careers...Passions, New Release

#HobbyCareerPassion: “A Passion for Life” ~ Author Brenda Whiteside ~ #AHAgrp

Welcome to my weekly feature where authors share about the hobbies, careers, or passions of their characters.

I’m pleased to introduce today’s guest,  Brenda Whiteside…

 

A PASSION FOR LIFE

by Brenda Whiteside

Google Dictionary defines passion as a strong and barely controllable emotion; also as an intense desire or enthusiasm for something. My goal is for all of my characters to possess some passion.

Most of the characters in my stories in some way resemble people in my life. They could grow from a single personality trait of someone I know or have met into a full-blown hero or heroine, or my character might have much in common with the real-life person. In all cases, they have a passion that drives them forward to discover more about themselves.

Then there is Phoebe Anderson—my alter ego. Phoebe is the heroine in Southwest of Love and Murder, the second book in the five-book series. She’s a successful murder/mystery writer who lives in southern Arizona and loves coffee. My main writing genre is Romantic Suspense, but that’s close. I was born and raised in Phoenix. And I do LOVE my coffee.

Phoebe’s passion for writing started when she murdered her first husband on paper seventeen years ago. That book launched her career. She spends her mornings at the Lacy Latte consuming caramel lattes and creating villains we love to hate.

For Phoebe’s career passion, I didn’t have to do much research. Writing has long driven my days and leaked into my nighttime fantasies. As far as her preferred location to create her stories, I’m jealous of her. There isn’t a fancy latte café within two hours of me. But if I could, I would, so Phoebe gets to combine her two passions, writing and coffee, and I can live vicariously through her.

Mason, the hero in Southwest of Love and Murder, likens Phoebe’s style to a gypsy. She’s all gauzy skirts, filmy blouses, lots of jewelry, and long blonde hair with a few streaks of gray. Her passions go beyond her writing. Mason can attest to her boundless passion in at least one area. Her passion for life runs deep. In fact, anything Phoebe does is with passion.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB

Mystery writer, Phoebe Anderson, owes her success to killing her first husband on paper seventeen years earlier. Now, someone has actually done it. When she decides to take a few days away on the ranch of her best friend’s brother-in-law, she doesn’t expect romance to find her…or murder to follow her.

Mason Meadowlark is happy with his wild cowboy ways, avoiding love since the death of his baby and the end of his marriage twenty years ago. When Phoebe shows up, he fights to control his emotions, but soon wonders if she just might be worth the risk of opening his heart again.

With an obsessed fan close on her heels, Phoebe is thrown into her own murder mystery…and the next target on his list is Mason.

EXCERPT

Phoebe shuddered and stilled.

Like the aftershocks of an earthquake, trembling overtook her body. Her knees wobbled, but Mason caught her before she collapsed.

“What’s wrong?” He hugged her briefly then brought his face even with hers. “Phoebe, tell me. Why are you shaking? What’s happened?”

“Oh my God, Mason.” She spread her hands on his chest and glanced back at the bathroom. “Tell someone to call an ambulance. Hurry!”

He took a step toward the ladies’ room, but she grabbed his shirtfront. “No!” She peered around him and shouted. “Someone call nine one one.”

Mason touched his pocket. “My cell’s in the truck.” He grabbed the shoulder of a male customer, the closest person to them. “You got a cell on you?”

The man nodded and pulled a phone from his pocket.

“Call nine one one right now. There’s been…” His face questioned her.

“Someone’s badly hurt in the bathroom. Oh hell, hurry!” She thumped her palms against his chest.

The man pulled out his cell as he raced into the ladies’ room.

Phoebe wrapped her arms around Mason, tipped her chin upward, and found the words. “It’s that
waitress, Mason. Carla.”

His expression went blank, from concern for her to no comprehension.

“There’s so much blood.” She stifled a gag, the sweet, copper penny reek still heavy in her nostrils. “Her throat.” A shudder rippled the length of her body. “I think she’s dead.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For a limited time, Southwest of Love and Murder is on sale for $.99 at the following sites:

BUY LINKS

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Southwest-Love-Murder-Book-ebook/dp/B00QQPMIMQ

Apple iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/southwest-of-love-and-murder/id965678707?mt=11

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/southwest-of-love-and-murder-brenda-whiteside/1121003952?ean=2940149945269

If you enjoy audio books, Southwest of Love and Murder is available in the form also:

AUDIO BUY LINKS

Audible US: https://www.audible.com/pd/Southwest-of-Love-and-Murder-Audiobook/B07MGZ1GMM

Audible UK: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Southwest-of-Love-and-Murder-Audiobook/B07M623KW2?

iTunes Audiobooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/audiobook/southwest-love-murder-love-murder-series-book-2-unabridged/id1448484811

Brenda Whiteside is the author of suspenseful, action-adventure romance. Mostly. After living in six states and two countries—so far—she and her husband have decided they are gypsies at heart, splitting their time between Northern Arizona and the RV life. They share their home with a rescue dog named Amigo. While FDW is fishing, Brenda writes stories of discovery and love entangled with suspense.

Visit Brenda at https://www.brendawhiteside.com

Or on FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/BrendaWhitesideAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/brendawhitesid2

She blogs and has guests: https://brendawhiteside.blogspot.com/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003V15WF8

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3972045.Brenda_Whiteside

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/brenda-whiteside

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brendawhitesideauthor/

 

27 Comments

Filed under Author Blog Post, Hobbies...Careers...Passions

#HobbyCareerPassion: “A Passion for Horses” ~ Author Kara O’Neal ~ #AHAgrp

Welcome to my weekly feature where authors share about the hobbies, careers, or passions of their characters.

I’m pleased to introduce today’s guest, Kara O’Neal…

A Passion for Horses:

My name is Sarah Kerry, and I live with my father and step-mother in Asheville, North Carolina. We have a profitable farm, with well-stocked stables. I spend my days with our horses.

Horses are beautiful creatures. They understand people much better than we do and respond to a person’s mood in ways that have always fascinated me. I respect their judgment and pay attention to their reactions around others.

Nothing is better than an early morning ride, and I must admit, that I love to race. So does Anthem. That’s my horse. He’s gorgeous and spirited and likes reckless rides as much as I do.

When a person from my past, a person I thought was my friend, showed up, I should have followed Anthem’s instincts. Liam Devlin has evil in his veins, and he wants nothing more than to abuse the power he holds over me.

Anthem knew. When I introduced him to Liam, he tossed his head and backed up. I realized Anthem didn’t like Liam, but I kept quiet, afraid to be rude. I let Liam into my home, and now my life is in shambles.

But at least I have Anthem, and he takes me away from all of it. We ride over the fields, the wind whipping over us, and for a brief moment, I’m safe.

An Excerpt:

The river rushed before her, strong and free. What she wouldn’t give for the ability to run unchained, to grab the happiness she wanted and never look back. She exhaled deeply and closed her eyes.

Michael Lonnigan stepped closer, the warmth of his solid frame seeping into her. “Tell me,” he urged. “Who is the man who stalks your every step?”

As she looked up, an image of her predator flashed before her. “He is…no one.”

“No one?” His voice grated on the phrase. “He had his arm around your waist in church today.”

She clenched her teeth, keeping the bile down as the memory of his touch plagued her.

“If I didn’t know your true feelings,” Michael continued, “if I hadn’t seen you step away from him, I’d think you didn’t love me.”

His hands came up to rest on her shoulders. “Tell me who stands between us. Why have you turned away from me and gone to him?” he begged, his tone rough and seared with pain.

She ached to tell him, to lay her burdens at his feet, but no one could know her family’s shame and peril. To confess her hell would be to betray her father, and she couldn’t do that. “Please,” she urged, her voice wavering, “you must let it alone. We can’t be together anymore.”

He gripped her tighter, pulling her back against his chest. She allowed the intimate embrace, needing his touch, for it was her life’s blood. He ran his hands down her arms and circled her waist. As he buried his face in the crook of her neck, he breathed in deeply.

Yearning centered inside her, making her heart pound. One month of precious courtship, thirty days of happiness, thirty nights of sweet longing, gone now. Obliterated by her dead mother’s hand.

Michael Lonnigan, the man of her heart, could never be hers. Tall, broad shouldered, dark haired, brown eyed and with a smile true and honest, he would not belong to her. She had to leave him, to set him free. It would kill her to do so.

His arms tightened so firmly, she feared he might carry her off. Pushing at his forearms, she yanked herself from his solid hold. “I have to go.” Her knees shook as she took the necessary steps away from him.

“I can’t accept this,” he called after her as she walked swiftly down the path through the swaying pine trees. “I can’t let you go.”

Tears formed in her eyes.

“I love you, Sarah,” he cried.

Sobs clutched her chest as she picked up the pace, branches snagging at her skirt. Her life had been ruined, her dream crushed, and her sweet love could do nothing about it.

Blurb:

Sarah Kerry’s world is shattered when a man from her past, Liam Devlin, shows up with proof that, if shared, would send her father to the noose. In order to keep Liam quiet, she must break her young courtship with Michael Lonnigan and marry Liam instead.

Michael is crushed and angry when Sarah abruptly ends their courtship, but he knows something isn’t right. He’s seen the new man hanging around the Kerry family and believes the man is blackmailing the woman Michael loves. Unwilling to let her go, Michael will do whatever it takes to save Sarah and make her his own.

Saving Sarah is $0.99 and is available here:

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B087CG14JC/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=kara+o%27neal+saving+sarah&qid=1587507691&sr=8-1

Barnes and Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/saving-sarah-kara-oneal/1129607915?ean=2940163902194

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/saving-sarah-19

Apple – https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1506428776

Bio:

Born and raised in Texas, the state had to be the setting for my first series. From the food to the fun, like floating the rivers, it is the fire in my blood that inspires me. My family and friends take center stage in my books. My sisters and best friends are my heroines, and my husband created my favorite hero. Love and family are the point of my stories, and I seek to entertain, relieve stress, and inspire people. Books can take one on a journey that one can relive over and over. I am extremely grateful to those authors who did that very thing for me. I learned and I fell in love with their words and characters. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Social Media:

Website –  www.karaoneal.com

Bookbub –  https://www.bookbub.com/profile/kara-o-neal

Amazon –  http://www.amazon.com/Kara-ONeal/e/B00FL19TH8/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1465007993&sr=8-1

Barnes and Noble –  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/kara+o’neal?_requestid=845025

Facebook –  https://www.facebook.com/KaraONeal84/

Twitter –  https://twitter.com/KaraONealAuthor

Pinterest –  https://www.pinterest.com/karaoneal7/

Goodreads –  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7278350.Kara_O_Neal

Blog — http://www.karaoneal.com/blog

Blog – The Story Continues — http://www.karaoneal.com/the-story-continues

 

6 Comments

Filed under Author Blog Post, Hobbies...Careers...Passions

#HobbyCareerPassion: “A Passion for Purses” ~ Author Wendy Kendall ~ #WRPbks #AHAgrp

Welcome to my weekly feature where authors share about the hobbies, careers, or passions of their characters.

I’m pleased to introduce today’s guest, Wendy Kendall…

(I’m proud to say that I was Wendy’s editor for Kat out of the Bag – and I love her book!)

A Passion For Purses

by Wendy Kendall

I have reveled in a passion for purses many years. I enjoy all kinds. You name it and I’ll claim it. My curiosity and wildly growing peronal collection led me to investigate the world of purses. That resulted in my new mystery novel Kat Out of the Bag, introducing Katherine Watson celebrated international purse designer and amateur sleuth.

Why do women love purses? I had my suspicions, of course. I followed many clues. I devoured everything there was to read about designers. I researched art appreciation. But it was when I interviewed every day women about their favorite purse, and learned about their incredible lives and families that I knew I was hot on the trail to uncovering the mystery of a passion for purses.

I met with a variety of women who enjoyed purses. Their favorite purse, the one they told me all about,  was often a special gift, maybe a family member, loved one, friend, or mentor. Sometimes their purse was a style similar to another woman’s who they’d known. Often it evoked a cherished memory, like an aunt who had a purse pocket with surprise candy treats for kids. There was a sisterhood here.

For some women their favorie purse represented a cause that they supported wholeheartedly. They were wearing their heart on their arm, or sometimes crossbody.

No matter how contemporary, these stories had roots in history. Yes, a woman’s purse tells a story, that’s unique and at the same time shared. The final piece of the puzzle fell into place. I traveled from Seattle, Washington to Little Rock, Arkansas to visit one of only three purse museums in the world – Esse. The ESSE Purse Museum does not simply showcase accessories. It makes HERstory tangible and familiar. ESSE is focused on honoring women, artisans and the stories that make us unique and connected.

Mystery solved! And my novel underway, about Katherine Watson the purse designer. She creates purses because it was a passion that her great grandmother had shared with her when she was a young child. It was then she learned  inside every purse there’s a treasured story of the woman who carried it, and those stories are important. When Katherine ends up temporarily back in her hometown of Bayside, she decides to create a purse museum in honor of her great grandmother, and all the women who’s stories would be told in the exhibits. Never did she imagine that the mayor would be murdered at the Gala Opening.

My character Moonjava is a fan of the hippies of the 1960’s. She’s also the museum historian. She loves the idea of showcasing history in creative exhibits. She shares a daily meditation with anyone who will listen, often with interesting repercussions.

Amber is the college student who manages the museum gift shop. She’s a wristlet gal. She stumbles on her own cold case mystery when she and her boyfriend Michael find a note in a donated vintage purse.

While Michael and Amber partner on their cold case, Katherine finds herself investigating the murder with, and sometimes at odds with local cop Jason Holmes and his K-9 partner Hobbs. Jason ends up learning some things about purses as the mystery deepens.

I wrote Kat Out of the Bag for the fun of mysteries, for the fun of creating the characters, for the women who are making history right now, and to honor memories of the women who have gone before.

Kat Out of the Bag is available on Amazon

Book Blurb –

When celebrated international purse designer Katherine Watson hosts a gala for her Purse-onality Museum, she never expected the next day’s headline to read: ‘Murder at the Gala Prmiere.’ But after a dead body is found during the event, that’s exactly what happened.

Working to solve the murder, Katherine matches wits with local cop Jason Holmes and his K-9 partner Hobbs. Although Holmes and Watson disagree often, they discover an undeniable attraction building between them. But they’ll have to put their feelings on hold and focus on solving the murder, before Katherine becomes the killer’s next knock off.

Excerpt –

“There’s an officer nearby. We’ll alert him. Hold the line.”

Katherine was worried by the operator’s monotone. Did she understand the urgency? Katherine watched in disbelief as the shadow figure moved toward the shed attached to the waterwheel. Too late, she thought to get a picture after the person disappeared inside the shed.

“Oh no,” Katherine muttered. She spoke into the phone, “Hurry, I think it’s the killer, maybe looking for something left behind? Hello?” Had the operator hung up?

“Yes, the officer is on the way. Please stay on the line.” The operator’s voice now sounded bored.

A sharp ray of light from inside the shed cut through the darkness. The light jumped around. Sweat collected on Katherine’s upper lip as she imagined the killer looking through her things for something, maybe critical evidence. Fear gave way to irritation at the invasion. Irritation gave way to anger. Someone had to stop that killer from removing whatever incriminating thing was so critical it had driven a return to the scene of the crime. Katherine wanted to scream. Where were the police? Maybe MJ was right about them. She pressed against the french doors. The light in the shed went out. Her breath caught in her throat. The silhouette walked out of the shed toward the alley leading to the maze that burrowed throughout Bayside and beyond.

Katherine spoke gruffly and fast, “Hello. Where’s your officer? The suspect is getting away.”

“Ma’am, please stay calm and hang on the line. They’re on the way.”

Katherine unlocked the door to the yard and whispered to the 911 operator, “I’m in pursuit.”

 

Author Bio –

Wendy Kendall has a passion for purses and stories of the women through history who carried them. Her cozy mystery Kat Out of the Bag is the first book of the In Purse-Suit Mystery series.

Wendy is a blogger, editor, speaker, project manager, and syndicated columnist. Catch exciting author interviews on her podcasts. She loves her two sons, Alex and Brad and lives near Seattle.

Website – Wendywrites.org

Blog – ApassionForPurses.blogspot

Facebook– Wendy Kendall, Mystery Author

Twitter – wendywrites1

Podcasts – Kendall & Cooper Talk Mysteries . . . A Novel Talk . . . The Cozy Mystery Quartet

Columns – Recommended Reads and Kids Are Bookin’ It

Esse Purse Museum

 

12 Comments

Filed under Author Blog Post, Hobbies...Careers...Passions

#HobbyCareerPassion: “Bear With Me” ~ Author Marilyn Barr ~ #Strawberryshifters

Welcome to my weekly feature where authors share about the hobbies, careers, or passions of their characters.

I’m pleased to introduce today’s guest, Marilyn Barr…

Dear Readers,

It has been a difficult few months on the job but I have finally found my bearings at Bergan Pharma.  Despite my multiple FDA filings for innovative drug products and tireless hours working for pennies, nothing prepared me for the unique (dare I say supernatural) challenges as their Director of Regulatory Affairs.  My new coworkers have worked their magic to take the world stage as the leader in biologics despite choosing to have their headquarters in the middle of nowhere: Strawberry, Kentucky.  I have three new biologic drug products to bring to market in the coming months and if we work around the clock, the company will make more money then we can spend in a lifetime.  It is these leadership qualities they wanted when they hired me.  No one can drive a pharma company like me.

It was a hard sell to my wife and son, but eventually, they saw the benefits of living over an hour’s drive from the nearest school or town center.  I am so excited they are moving into our new home tomorrow.  I can hardly stay away even though I relocated to Strawberry Kentucky alone months ago.  Gifting my wife a giant plantation home with acres of gardens was a stroke of genius on my part.  No more sensory overload from her job at the garden center.  She can manage her sensory processing disorder in isolation.  I assume it is what she wants but our truce right now is shaky at best.  It is my hope that a new town and a fresh start will bring us back from the brink of divorce.

Perhaps she will be happier with no more meetings with the principal about our son’s disciplinary problems.  He will be homeschooled by her.  I am grateful to Brad and the Board of Directors of Bergan Pharma for their generous signing bonus, so I could make this happen, including my new BMW.  They simply made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.  If only I had known the unwritten job duties and how they would turn my world upside-down, when I signed on.  How did I score such a deal?  I explain it on my drive home through the hills of Kentucky in Strawberry Shifters Book 1: Bear with Me:

“It had been an early Christmas present when the head-hunter called me about Bergan Pharma. They needed someone to get their products approved by the FDA, which is my specialty. You could say I possess a certain set of skills coveted by the industry, but less James Bond and more Bob Cratchit. Up until that call, I hopped from one slave driver to the next. Every company promised innovations but really, they were all the same.

First, a trust-fund kid parties through undergrad who uses a nerdy “friend” to barely slide through with a degree in something dumb like underwater basket weaving. Next, they build a start-up pharma company and the nerdy friend drives a group of employees into the ground for the success of “their” invention. Finally, the partners have a happily ever after of saving a little slice of the world while making the big bucks.

They marry and have kids to start the cycle over. It’s my job to make all the bar napkins, lab books, scrap paper musings, and alcohol-fueled business models into a cohesive professional package. Sometimes I am assigned a minion to help me, like a blue-haired neighbor or barely legal “friend” of the boss to manage the dozen boulder-sized binders.

I have over forty New Drug Applications— miracle-working piles of binders otherwise known as NDAs—somewhere in the FDA pipeline. They have been filed with five different companies. My name is all over their site as a name for inquiries only, never profit share. My bosses have always obliged with a signature for that part.”

My wife asked that I learn to listen to her in our months apart.  When she arrives in Strawberry tomorrow, she will see I’m a changed man.  No more struggling to get by, no more putting work before her, and no more tuning her out.  I have it all: the dream job, the flashy car, the plantation home, and a fresh start for my family.  What could possibly go wrong?  Follow my family on their adventure in the wilds of rural Kentucky in Strawberry Shifters Book 1: Bear with Me.

Best regards,

Grant Luther

Amazon Buy Link:    Amazon

Author Bio:

Marilyn Barr currently resides in the wilds of Kentucky with her husband, son, and rescue cats. When engaging with the real world, she is collecting characters, empty coffee cups, and unused homeschool curricula.

She has a diverse background containing experiences as a child prodigy turned medical school reject, biodefense microbiologist, high school science teacher, homeschool mother of a savant, and advocate for the autistic community.

She would love to hear from readers via her website: http://www.marilynbarr.com.

Author Social Media Links:

website

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Amazon author profile

Goodreads

BookBub Author Profile

3 Comments

Filed under Author Blog Post, Hobbies...Careers...Passions

#HobbyCareerPassion: Crab Fishing with Jack Devereaux ~ Author Constance Bretes

Welcome to my weekly feature where authors share about the hobbies, careers, or passions of their characters.

I’m pleased to introduce today’s guest, Jax Devereaux…

 

Constance:  What exactly do you do as a crab fisherman?

Jax:  I take a crew of 7 or 8 people, and we go out to the Bering Sea. I have 800 crate shaped open cylinders we call pots. When we get to the destination where we want to get crabs, We use a pulley and grab a pot, bring it to the deck, bait it with raw fish, attach a buoy to it and toss it in the sea. I mark the spot on my radar and GPS as well as write it on a pad of paper. We strong the pots along a line until all are dumped into the sea.

Constance:  What do you do after you string all your pots?

Jax:  We circle around and go back to the beginning. Sometimes it is 24 to 48 hours before we reach for the rope with the pulley, and pull the buoy and the pot up to the surface. When it reaches the surface, we lay it on a slab, open the pot, and dump the crabs in a chute, sorting them as we go. We are only allowed to keep male crabs that are a certain size. All others will be toss back into the sea. The chute takes them down to the holding tank.

Constance:  Where do you take the crabs you’ve caught?

Jax:  When we reach max weight, we head back to the harbor and offload at the warehouse where they process the crabs for distribution to the customers.

Constance:  What kind of crabs do you fish for?

Jax:  King crabs, Opillo crabs and Biardi crabs. Each has their own seasons.

Constance:  How often are you out at sea?

Jax:  Crab season starts in September and ends in the Spring. We are gone almost the whole season.

Constance:  How did you get into this profession?

Jax:  I’ve been a crab fisherman all my life except for the time I served in the US Coast Guard. My father and grandfather both were crab fishermen.

Constance:  Do you get to go home for holidays?

Jax:  No. We miss all the holidays, including Christmas, except for July 4th.

Constance:  What are the biggest concerns you have as far as deep sea fishing is concern?

Jax: Rove waves, severe weather, motion sickness and safety. Safety is my number one priority.

Constance:  How well do the crew perform in this condition?

Jax:   Everyone does a good job and pull their weight, that is, except one. My brother, Rudy. I have to light a fire under him to get him to perform at max potential.

Constance:  What made you famous?

Jax:  An author wrote a book called Midnight Escape where I’m the hero. It’s how I met Suzanne, the heroine. I snuck her on to my boat and took her crab fishing in an effort to shield her from the mafia who had a hit on her and was after her.

Constance:  I bet that was a ride of the lifetime.

Jax:  It was a hell of a trip. Poor girl, I had no idea Suzanne was deathly afraid of water.

 

On the run from the mob, Suzanne discovers that hunky Jax is just the man she needs.

Suzanne Pacheco is on the run from the mob after witnessing a murder and helping to put the killer in prison. Her trip across the country brings her to a small town in Alaska. But once again the mob’s hitman has tracked her down. She’s disheartened at the thought of leaving the town she’s developed a real fondness for, but there’s nothing else she can do. Until she finds help in the unlikeliest of places and embarks on an adventure like never before.

Commercial fisherman Jax Devereaux has his hands full fishing for crabs in the formidable Bering Sea, but when Suzanne needs his help, he adds yet another thing to his list of responsibilities. He takes her with him to the one place he thinks she might be safe—the middle of the sea. But there’s danger everywhere. Can he keep Suzanne safe, and will he lose his heart in the process?

Author Bio:

Constance Bretes is an author of contemporary romances.

When she’s not writing book boyfriends and strong heroines, she enjoys basket weaving, reading, making jewelry, and playing the piano as well as spending time with her husband and their two furball children, Tigger and Sunny. Constance is married to Jim, and they live in a small town in Alabama.

You can sign up for her newsletter here:  https://constancebretes.com

Email: bretesc@gmail.com

Website: https://constancebretes.com

Blog: https://www.constancebretes.com/connies-blog

NL Link:  https://www.constancebretes.com/news–things.html

Amazon Author URL: https://www.amazon.com/Constance-Bretes/e/B00IKSKRES/

Bookbub Author URL: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/constance-bretes

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/conniebretes/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7737457.Constance_Bretes

Instagram: constancebretesauthor

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/cbretes/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ConstanceBretes,

 

5 Comments

Filed under Author Blog Post, Hobbies...Careers...Passions

#HobbyCareerPassion: A Passion For Paranormal by Robert Herold

Welcome to my weekly feature where authors share about the hobbies, careers, or passions of their characters.

I’m pleased to introduce today’s guest, Robert Herold…

A Passion For Paranormal

We all feel a little unnerved when the power goes out, when we are plunged into darkness, when we are booked into a room on the 13th floor, or when 13 is missing from the elevator options, and most especially when people we know pass away. People have huddled around fires since ancient times to keep away their fears, both real and imagined. Today, when the power goes out, we cluster around that scented candle on the coffee table, or that flashlight app on one’s cell phone—until the battery wears out. Are we really so different from those in the past?

Imagine it is 1885, the beginning of the modern era. Science is making new strides in hitherto unexplored areas: chemistry, physics, psychology, even applying the scientific method to the hereafter – exposing frauds and maybe, just maybe, proving the existence of life after death. This was a passionate sideline for William James, a real figure from history. He was a famed Harvard professor, father of American psychology, and brother to the famous writer Henry James (author of The Turn of the Screw, among many others).

Professor William James helped found the American branch of the Society for Psychical Research, who applied the scientific method to investigations of the supernatural. Eventually the group in America became headed by a dogmatic skeptic and James had a falling out. Using this as a springboard, I imagined he then started his own investigative group, The Eidola Project (eidola being a Greek word for ghost). Some real investigations, including those that are downright spooky, are woven into the story, especially while he is building his team of paranormal researchers.

In addition to William James (age 42), the Eidola Project consists of Annabelle Douglas (age 28), one of the first graduates of The Harvard Annex (later known as Radcliff), Sarah Bradbury (age 18), an authentic medium, Edgar Gilpin (age 26), a brilliant African American physicist and graduate of Howard and Yale Universities, and Nigel Pickford (age 39), one of the youngest Confederate officers, who in the years following the Civil War is plagued by paranormal visions & has become a drunken derelict. Each contributes to the group, but each has his or her own peculiar baggage and set of weaknesses.

Professor James directs The Eidola Project from Harvard, sending them off on various missions, and occasionally joining them (akin to “Rupert Giles,” a character in the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer). The Eidola Project are intrepid explorers of the supernatural, but in doing so, they enter the darkness and become ensnared in a dangerous investigation of a haunted house, where they encounter all sorts of things that go bump—or worse!

 

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-eidola-project-robert-herold/1133990920

Blurb:

It’s 1885 and a drunk and rage-filled Nigel Pickford breaks up a phony medium’s séance. A strange twist of fate soon finds him part of a team investigating the afterlife.

The Eidola Project is an intrepid group of explorers dedicated to bringing the light of science to that which has been feared, misunderstood, and often manipulated by charlatans. They are a psychology professor, his assistant, an African-American physicist, a sideshow medium, and now a derelict, each possessing unique strengths and weaknesses.

Called to the brooding Hutchinson Estate to investigate rumored hauntings, they encounter deadly supernatural forces and a young woman driven to the brink of madness.

Will any of them survive?                                                                

Excerpt:

Sarah retrieved the lamp and twisted the peg. The outhouse door swung open on its own, and she gasped.

“Momma?” Sarah asked as she held out her lantern. No. A ruined version of Molly stood in the doorway.

Before her disappearance, people often commented on the sixteen-year-old’s beauty, but in the last twenty-eight days birds pecked out her pretty blue eyes, and maggots now swam in the sockets. Molly’s head hung to the left at an odd angle. Her skin looked mottled with patches of gray, blue, and black. A beetle crawled out of Molly’s half-opened mouth and darted back in.

Sarah’s heart leaped to her throat, and she jumped back. She lost her footing, fell onto the outhouse seat, and dropped the lantern to the floor. She bent to retrieve it; thankful the glass globe did not break. Sarah looked up and saw an empty doorway.

Impossible, she told herself. Must’ve dozed off, had a nightmare, and woke up when I dropped the lamp. Her heart still pounded in her chest, and Sarah took a deep breath to calm herself.

Holding the lamp before her once more, she crept out… 

Available at:

https://www.amazon.com/Eidola-Project-Novel-ebook/dp/B07YRB4F99/ref=sr_1_1

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-eidola-project-robert-herold/1133990920

Animated Book Trailer (17 seconds!): https://youtu.be/SZovJ-MZQ5Y         

About the Author:

The supernatural always had the allure of forbidden fruit, ever since Robert Herold’s mother refused to allow him, as a boy, to watch creature features on late night TV. She caved in. (Well, not literally.)

As a child, fresh snow provided him the opportunity to walk out onto neighbors’ lawns halfway and then make paw prints with his fingers as far as he could stretch. He would retrace the paw and boot prints, then fetch the neighbor kids and point out that someone turned into a werewolf on their front lawn. (They were skeptical.)

He has pursued many interests over the years (among them being a history teacher and a musician), but the supernatural always called to him. You could say he was haunted. Finally, following the siren’s call, he wrote The Eidola Project, based on a germ of an idea he had as a teenager.

Ultimately, he hopes the book gives you the creeps, and he means that in the best way possible.

https://robertheroldauthor.com/

https://www.facebook.com/RobertHeroldauthor/

https://twitter.com/RobertHerold666

 

10 Comments

Filed under Author Blog Post, Hobbies...Careers...Passions

#HobbyCareerPassion: “Say it loud, I’m Black and I’m proud” by Michal Scott

Welcome to my weekly feature where authors share about the hobbies, careers, or passions of their characters.

I’m pleased to introduce today’s guest, Michal Scott…

“Say it loud, I’m Black and I’m proud”

We all need to be inspired. I grew up in the “Say it loud, I’m Black and I’m proud” era, so I’ve been seeking and finding images and histories of African Americans for over fifty years. As part of that quest, I once bought a box of thirty-six famous Black Americans flashcards. Imagine my disappointment when only six of the thirty-six were women! Six?! And the six that were included were women I already knew. Three were important 20th century figures in entertainment, politics and civil rights and three were slaves. But weren’t there any other Black women I should know about? That question started me on my present hobby: specifically collecting pictures of African-American women. If a postcard had a Black woman’s face on it, I bought it and framed it. If there was book with a collection of photos, I bought three: one for the keeper shelf and two to cut up for framing. Soon I had so many Billie Holidays and Josephine Bakers, I started making and framing collages to fill 11×14 frames. I hung my treasures prominently around my home where I could receive inspiration from their presence.

Although I was initially disappointed by my flashcard purchase, those six cards impacted my writing. I became consumed with the question of how we went from being slaves to producing a famous Metropolitan contralto, the first Black woman elected to Congress and a fighter for civil rights that President Roosevelt included her among his advisors. The histories I learned as I became acquainted with these and the other women in my collection stirred my imagination. I began to model the heroines in my stories on them. Sometimes I’m able to incorporate incidences from their lives as well.

For instance, not many people know how later in life Harriet Tubman was so poor, she became vulnerable to swindlers. In One Breath Away my heroine, ex-slave Mary Hamilton, was victimized by someone she trusted and had her life put in danger as a result. One Breath Away is a romance that shows how she learns to trust again: herself and the man who wants to win her love.

I’ve recently moved from the Northeast to the Southwest and have over two hundred photos and drawings to be unpacked and rehung again. As I do I’ll be sharing my collection on Twitter and Facebook during Women’s History month hoping they’ll inspire others and they’ve inspired me.

 

Blurb:

Sentenced to hang for a crime she didn’t commit, former slave Mary Hamilton was saved at literally the last gasp. She returns home to Safe Haven, broken and resigned to live alone until the handsome stranger who helped save her re-enters her life one night at a dance, stealing her breath from across the room and promising so much more. Hope ignites along with lust until the past threatens to keep them one breath away from love…

Excerpt:

“Why—why do you want to dance with me?”

He smiled with the serpent slyness that probably charmed Eve. “I don’t think you’d believe me if I told you.” “I might.”

He turned his head slightly. “Really? Your practiced calm says otherwise.”

She raised an eyebrow. “Practiced calm?”

“The face you present to the world until something touches your heart.” He gestured to his right. “Like when that baby there cried. Your expression changed to one of concern, then changed to one of contentment when his mother satisfied his hunger.”

Mary blew a breath through her mouth. This man was studying her. Really studying her. Should she be flattered or worried?

The one-two-three, one-two-three magic of the waltz began. He guided her in its dips and glides, through its rises and falls. The awkwardness attributed to her by past dance partners didn’t raise its ugly head. Her spirit lightened then soared until that still, small voice sounded the alarm.

You were fooled by another man and his fancy manners. Don’t be fooled by this one.

Hints of bay rum mingled with a manly scent against whose lure she struggled then lost. Once again her toilet water failed to hide the salty scent of her arousal.

Eban pinned her with a not-so-casual scrutiny. Could he smell her too? She tried but failed to read him. Dare she hope the ease in his smile meant he found it pleasing?

The other couples held their partners off with discreet and proper holds. Not Eban. Warmth radiated from the hand holding the small of her back hostage. The heat spread across her buttocks then seeped into places more private. He bent his elbow and gentled her forward so only their clasped hands separated them.

“Why, Miss Hamilton, I do believe you’re blushing.” His fingers held hers with a teasing yet possessive grip.

“I am not.” Her words shot out with a force she hadn’t intended. “I mean I don’t blush.”

“No?” A cheeky boyishness winked at her from eyes as dark as chocolate. He leaned down so his breath tickled her earlobe. “Not even if I kissed you behind your ear?”

She shrank back then stared up into the gaze showering her with attention. Her heart beat beneath her breast with a prisoner’s unease. An unease she knew well having once been a prisoner.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Bio:

Michal Scott is the pen name of Anna Taylor Sweringen, a retired United Church of Christ and Presbyterian Church USA minister. Inspired by the love mystics of Begijn, Audre Lourde and Bell Hooks, Rev. Anna writes erotica and erotic romance with a faith arc, hoping to build a bridge between the sacred and secular, spirituality and sexuality, erotica and Christ, you and a well-written spiritually-stimulating and erotically-arousing story. Her story settings also seek to give insight into the African American experience in the US. In addition to erotic romance, she writes inspirational romance as Anna Taylor and gothic romance and women’s fiction as Anna M. Taylor.

Social media: @mscottauthor1, www.michalscott.webs.com

 

16 Comments

Filed under Author Blog Post, Hobbies...Careers...Passions

#HobbyCareerPassion: It Happens to Nice Men and Women Too by Alana Lorens

Welcome to my weekly feature where authors share about the hobbies, careers, or passions of their characters.

I’m pleased to introduce today’s guest, Alana Lorens…

It happens to nice men and women, too

Nice to meet you!  My name is Inessa Regan, and I’m an attorney practicing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. While I handle many different kinds of cases, one particular kind of client really calls to me—survivors of domestic violence.

While we don’t like to think about it, our friends and neighbors (and maybe ourselves) are victims of this sad crime. According to the CDC, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will experience physical violence by their intimate partner at some point during their lifetimes. About 1 in 3 women and nearly 1 in 6 men experience some form of sexual violence during their lifetimes. In an effort to help reduce that number by any means I can, I often provide free legal services to clients who need to get out of a dangerous situation, and I work with the local shelters to help their clients when I can.

At the time in my life told in the novel SECOND CHANCES, I get the opportunity to help an Iraq veteran who’s being battered by his soldier wife. The wife suffers from post-traumatic stress from her own war experiences, but won’t get the help she needs. As is so often true, we wonder why the battered party doesn’t just “get out”—but it is very clear that each of these situations is more complicated than is seen from the outside.

Do you need help, or know someone who does? Here’s some numbers for you to call.

 

BLURB

When Inessa Regan gets a pink slip, laid off from her law firm at the age of 42, without prospects she’s sure her life is over. She hides from the world, until her neighbor brings her a client, a young Iraq war veteran dying of cancer.

Kurt Lowdon only wants to make sure his affairs are in order should the worst happen, but meeting Inessa gives him encouragement on the road to recovery. His quest to help her realize her self-worth leads them into dangers they never expected, as horrors from the war and long-hidden family secrets come back to haunt them.

EXCERPT:

“A lot of people back home don’t understand what it’s like,” Rafe went on, his throat tight with the strain. “People get pushed to the wall. You’re on edge all day, all night. Things happen when guys get stressed out, you know? They need an outlet. Relief.”

“’Things’? You mean what? Fights? Drinking?” He shook his head and she wondered what other kinds of ‘relief’ he might be talking about. Her thoughts took a darker turn. “You mean the reports about women raped by their fellow soldiers?”

He nodded. “It happened all the time. It happened…to Susan.” He choked up. “Most of the girls, they’ll stay in their bunks all night, no matter what, just so they don’t have to hit the latrine alone. One night, Sus just couldn’t. No one would go with her. So…”

Inessa saw confirmation in Kurt’s face. “And Susan blames you for what happened.”

“If I-I-I’d been more c-careful, or let J-Jimmie get that b-bomb…I shoulda looked out for her. No one would have t-touched her if I’d been there!”

Kurt walked around the desk to put a hand on Rafe’s shoulder. “Susan’s been violent. I’ve seen the bruises. But he won’t retaliate—he feels responsible.”

“She’s changed. She’s a whole different person!” Agitated, Rafe ejected from his chair and started pacing. “She was never like this with me, not before I was sent Stateside. After she got back to the Real World, she was damned moody, man. We got into it at least twice a week, sometimes about nothing. She quit going to counseling after she lost the last job, just like all the others, always a fight with co-workers or a boss, and then it’s done. Seven months now, we’ve lived mostly on my disability.”

He turned to Inessa, gaze intent. “Living with her’s like living outside the wire, you know? I couldn’t stay any more. When I told her I was leaving, she shoved me down the stairs. I had two broken ribs.

“I would even have let that go, ‘cause I know she’s had a bad time. But since I been home with my parents, she won’t leave me alone. She threatens me, threatens them, follows me all the time. I’m not worried about me, I can take it. Damn her, my parents have nothing to do with what happened to me, or to her! I can’t let her do this.”

Alana Lorens has been a published writer for more than forty years. Currently a resident of Asheville, North Carolina, she loves her time in the smoky blue mountains. One of her novellas, That Girl’s The One I Love, is set in the city of Asheville during the old Bele Chere festival. She lives with her daughter, who is the youngest of her seven children, three crotchety cats, and four kittens of various ages.

 

Website https://wordpress.com/page/alana-lorens.com/21

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AlanaLorens/

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4829967.Alana_Lorens

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Alana-Lorens/e/B005GE0WBC/

12 Comments

Filed under Author Blog Post, Hobbies...Careers...Passions