It’s taking me forever to kick my second book out. It’s not a sequel to Faithful Lies but rather a standalone murder/mystery (of sorts). Writing has been… difficult with all that’s been going on, but honestly who HASN’T been living in their head since the pandemic? So many things to deal with over the past few years for everyone: lay offs, grief, rising costs, war, illness, violence, loss of friendships, isolation, anxiety, I mean… the list could go on and on. And that’s exactly what we have to do too: just go on.
That being said, we all continue to fight the good fight- sometimes cheerful, sometimes productive and sometimes barely hanging on. And if ever there was a time for one of my favorite quotes it’s here and now:
“Hold fast. Stand firm. Soldier on.”
Jack Dennett has been living in my head for the past few years. I can feel his presence in my heart and his pain haunts me. He is vulnerable, damaged… and his love interest, Brielle, has her own set of troubles. Their story is filled with turmoil, passion, secrets and redemption.
I long to convey their complex, emotional journey, but battling through my own angsty fog clashes fiercely with creativity.
Jack will most definitely have his day in print. It may not be soon or quick or rushed, but it will be lovingly crafted with the utmost of care.
In the meantime, I thought I’d post the Prologue here so you can get to know Jack a bit.
Big hugs to each of you, thank you for reading and may we all soldier on 💕 xoxox
Last month my Uncle Garfield passed away suddenly, without warning. I can’t believe I just wrote that sentence. It’s still surreal. I’m thirty-one years old, hardly a kid, yet I feel orphaned. Alone. Confused. I wish this was a nightmare and not my life.
Have you ever walked into a room and felt inadequate? Like no one really cares about you? Maybe people make polite small talk, ask about your job, your hobbies, who you’re currently dating. Maybe they appreciate your good looks or a trendy piece of clothing you’re wearing. Maybe they like your smile, or respect the way you carry yourself with confidence. But do they really think you’re anyone special?
Whenever Uncle Garfield and I were in the same place I always knew he thought that I was the most important person in the room. Always. No exceptions. No matter where we were. He loved me as his own kid; adopted me when my parents died. I was so young I don’t remember my mother and father. I only knew Uncle Garf. He was my everything. And I was his. And now he’s gone. Dead before his time. Taken from this life in that horrific car crash, his body and soul leaving the earth in a fiery blaze.
My cousin Morty told me at the funeral that I look like hell. He said I need to talk to someone; a professional, a therapist. I just looked at him blankly. Talk about Uncle Garf with a stranger? I don’t even want to talk about him with friends or family. If I’m going to talk then I want to talk to GARF. Morty said I shouldn’t keep all my emotions bottled up. He offered me a business card with his psychologists name on it. He said Dr. Agatha has been a great help since he quit drinking. Alcoholism runs in our family, but Garf and I always steered clear, only drinking socially, and never more than two glasses of beer or wine. Shots were out of the question as booze seemed to tempt our genes to the point of oblivion. Morty had fallen into the Dennett family abyss of addicts a few years ago, but managed to crawl out thanks to his wife, rehab and ongoing therapy sessions.
Morty suggested I write in a journal if I’m not going to talk to someone. “Better out than in,” he said with a sympathetic smile and a thump on my back. He’d loved Garf too. But not like I did.
So here I am writing in this notebook and feeling very stupid. Like a kid in grade school with an assigned essay to complete. Don’t get me wrong, I love writing, but my writing hobby is for fun; fictional sci-fi with dragons and giant humans and lots of weapons and wars.
I guess Morty thinks journaling is cathartic since I don’t want to talk about my feelings with people. I mean, I do, but I highly doubt anyone would care enough to listen… really listen. I don’t want sympathy, I want empathy. I don’t want pity, I want understanding. But most of all what I want is Garf.
I miss him so much that sometimes my grief twists and writhes until all that’s left inside of me is black, impenetrable hatred. The hatred boils to the surface when I think about the driver of the car that hit Uncle Garf. The driver’s name is Ned Barrow. Ned managed to get out of his own car and stumble across the street before the explosion. He lived while Uncle Garf did not, even though the accident was Ned’s fault. When the blackness burns inside of me I have violent thoughts about Ned. It should have been him that died, not my blameless uncle who had so much to offer this world. Garf was loving and kind and an honorable man. What is Ned?
Sometimes I want to find Ned online (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or maybe he has his own website for all I know) just to see what he brings to the table of time and existence. Why did HE get to live? But I’m afraid if I found out he’s anything less than a saint I’ll do something I’ll regret. It’s better not to think about Ned, but sometimes feeling the hate chases away my grief. And I’d rather feel anger than loss. The anger makes me want to take a life. The loss makes me want to take my own.