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About the author:
She weaves her tales in spare moments and the evenings with a cup of coffee or tea at her side and the characters in her head for company.
What inspired you to write your book?
I wanted to write a story of two people who find love after hitting rock bottom.
Here is a short sample from the book:
Perfection is the lie we’re force fed from the moment we’re read our first fairytale. It’s a subliminal message that creeps in with every telling. Be you beaten starved, enslaved, or cast out of your family; love will fix everything. If we just hold on long enough some white knight will come out of the woodwork and save us. It’s laughable when I really think about it. As a little girl from a small town, I thought the world was full of wonder and infinite possibilities. I believed every word they spoke to me as I drifted off to sleep. I ate up every line, buying into the notion that loves heals all. As if one emotion could ever cover up a multitude of sins.
I stare down at the thick volume of fairytales in my hand. Bitterness wells up in the back of my throat and my mouth puckers. It’s all bullshit. A pipe dream I can no longer bury my head in the sand and believe in. For my child’s sake. I think of my daughter who’s on the verge of adulthood, watching me for cues to learn what’s acceptable in a relationship.
The thought of her dealing with this treatment has red hot anger bubbling up inside me like water in a pot on a stove. I toss the thick volume into the stainless steel garbage can and glance at the clock above the microwave. Three Am. The numbers mock me. Like font from a horror movie, they provide foreshadowing. Nothing good will come from what is about to follow.
The exhaustion set in my bones is spilling over into my brain, choking my rational thought, and depleting my sense of self-worth. I’ve been sacrificing so much I don’t like or recognize the reflection I see daily in the mirror. From the expensive designer clothed hand-picked by my personal stylist to the straightened hair, I’m made up of bits and pieces of someone else’s choosing. The lock turns in the front door, and I stand up straight, gathering every last bit of strength I possess. Life has beaten me down. It’s stilled my tongue, crushed my spirit, and warped my personality. I’m fighting for the survival of myself.
I stand and pull the old flannel robe closer. I dressed for battle in the red and black checkered button up shirt and pajama pant combo Brooks hates so much. It’s my first but not last act of rebellion. I study the man I’ve been married to for nearly two decades. After fifteen years, he’s still sexy as hell. The salt and pepper in his dark hair make him seem more distinguished, and he’s kept his frame lean. At six foot two, he still towers over my five feet eleven inches, and the dimple in his left cheek is still just as adorable. His strong jaw, Roman nose, and deep-set greenish blue eyes are still breathtakingly beautiful. Yet, none of this features move me. I’m over his outward beauty.
As he moves through the living room his eyes widen. “Honey. It’s three in the morning. What are you still doing up?”
“Your shift ended at midnight, Brooks.”
He sighs. “You know how it is at the hospital. There’s always paperwork and—
He blinks. “I’m sorry, what?”
“You don’t get to blame what’s happening on your job anymore. You’re no longer at the bottom of the barrel trying to prove yourself. I know you can get out of there on most nights with no problem when your shift is done. Do you honestly think I’m that stupid? I might be from a small town in Tennessee, but I’m not naïve and my Mama sure as hell didn’t raise no fool.”
“What are you going on about?” he sighs heavily and something in me snaps.
I slap the countertop with my palm. “No. you don’t get to do that. You don’t get to treat me like I’m so paranoid wife flying off at the handle over nothing.”
“You’re out of line and embarrassing yourself.”
“Oh hell, naw.” My twang kicks in. You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl. I grab the nearest thing to me and fling it toward him. The mug whizzes through the air, a perfectly aimed missile. I played softball through high school, and it shows. He throws himself out of the way, and it crashes it into the far wall.
“Are you crazy?”
“No, I been crazy, but I’m done with that now.”
“You need to calm down.”
I throw my head back and rip an evil laugh that would put Cruella Devil to shame.
“Oh boy, you ain’t seen nothing yet. I’m done pretending I don’t know you’re two-timing me.”
“Cheating, knocking boots with someone else, Philandering. Is that a better word for you? All roads seem down the same street. You’ve been unfaithful, and we both know it, you low-down snake in the grass.”
He bows his head and sighs. “I don’t want the children to hear this. Can we talk outside?”
I grind my teeth. “Fine.” I stalk past him to the sliding doors that lead to the deck by the pool. My hands are shaking so badly I can barely unlatch the lock. I step out onto the natural stone deck that leads to the grotto.
“I was hoping you wouldn’t figure things out.”
“I’m not stupid Brooks. I turned a blind eye long enough.”
Pain explodes in my face. Knocked off balance and dazed I fall back into the pool. The cold water is a shock to my system. It pulls me from my daze. I struggle to the surface only to be pushed back under. My arms flail as I try to escape the hands holding me down. I sink my nails into his hand. The pressure lets up for a moment, and I break the surface, take a huge breath filling my screaming lungs. He wraps his hands around my neck and forces me back down.
I slap at his face, digging my thumbs into his eyes as hard as I can. My head grows light, and black spots fill my vision. He screams and releases me. I take off, swimming for my life. Years in the river have made me a fish. I know he can’t catch me. I reach the ladder and climb. My hands and legs are clumsy, and tears obscure my vision. I scream for help as I push my trembling limbs to the limit. I have to get inside before him.
I can hear him exiting the water as I take the corner around the pool with wet feet. I slid across the stone and nearly lose my balance. Flapping my arms, I manage to stay on my feet. I reach the door and yank it open. I’m nearly inside when he grabs my robe. I scream and rock side to side, desperate to remove the robe. It gives, and I hit my knees, hard. He stumbles back, and I spin, close, and lock the door breathing hard. He freezes, but his eyes are full of murder. He kicks at the glass. It cracks as I scramble to the phone and call nine-one-one. He backs away from the patio lighting.
“Nine-one-one what is your emergency?”
“My-my. Oh, my God. My husband just tried to kill me.” My voice cracks and the severity of the situation crashes down on me like a brick wall. My husband tried to kill me. How the hell did we go to small town girl makes good with the new doctor doing his residency to this? We had the grand southern style wedding, and he whisked me off to a new life in San Diego. How did this happen?
“What’s your name?”
“Blanche, Blanche Birling.