A multitude of lessons fell into my lap when I decided to challenge myself to try something new. But nothing says I can’t go back to the literary fiction where I began my journey twenty years ago. It’s never too late to realize the biggest limitation to my writing career had been sitting at my very own desk—me.
Thank you, Cloe Michael’s Reads for the reviews of all four of the books in the Behind the Love series.
As you get ready for the Fourth of July, it’s time to load up the Kindles with plenty of exciting and romantic beach reads. To help you achieve that very goal, you can download Behind the Altar, Book One, for free June 27 and 28. Behind the Bar, Book Two, will be on sale for $0.99 cents.
Behind the Altar, Book One I could not put this book down I am not big on religion but it worked in this book because of the lessons learned in it. I loved how Dean and Leah had a strong connectio…
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Behind the Love contemporary romance series continues with the release of the newest story in the saga of Victory, Florida. Behind the Door stars Sally Jean, who played pivotal roles in the three preceding books in the series. Often misunderstood and always seeking love, Sally Jean needed to have her story told to show why she sought love, yet felt at the same time she didn’t deserve it.
When I first started writing romances in 2014, I thought it would give me a break and help recharge my writing batteries. With the completion of the first book in the Behind the Love series, I’d been revitalized, and even though, there is a formula or pattern that most romances follow, I could write the plot happenings with my own touch.
I discovered romance didn’t have to be light and fluffy. It could deal with real life issues while still bringing the hero and heroine together in the end. It happened without much thought. I’ve always said language is the most powerful tool we have, and if we can tell a story to convey an important message, all the better.
Behind the Altar, Book One brings out issues of child abuse–sexual and mental–and domestic violence. It also starts a thread about homelessness and the tragedy of our veterans coming home to face an unwelcoming society. Leah, the heroine of Behind the Altar, helps the homeless in her small town by running a soup kitchen. Throughout the series, Soup’s On becomes a focal point for each plot as it grows and expands.
Behind the Bar, Book Two shows how the past can inform our present, and not always in positive ways. Domestic violence takes a starring role in the love complications between Susie and Reggie. Before they can give their love a second chance, they must unravel the complications caused by hiding secrets from their youth.
Behind the Curtain, Book Three follows Susie’s sister as she always struggles with the fallout from having an alcoholic father who beat his wife. Lisa protected Susie until the father left, and then Lisa became the sister who needed protection. Also, Soup’s On and its residents from homeless veterans to migrant farmers hoping for a better life play an integral role in the plot.
Behind the Door, Book Four covers PTSD and its fallout, particularly with veterans returning home with no safety net. Also, Sally Jean’s childhood comes to the forefront. She was a neglected child as her parents were more interested in one another than they were Sally Jean. She was an intrusion to their love affair, which caused her to seek love in all the wrong places and from all the wrong people. She reveals she doesn’t deserve to be loved, and the plot takes her on a journey to find out she does.
All of the books give glimmers of hope even in the face of tragedy. Readers have often responded to the stories and related the situations to their own lives. Maybe that’s not what romance should do. But it’s what I do. One reader suggested I should provide help information for the issues in my books, so when I revamped the first three books this year, I added phone numbers and websites to help with each of the issues profiled within the plot.
A reader recently received an advanced review copy of Behind the Door. She thought I’d captured the tragedy of PTSD vividly. She knew because she’d been suffering from it for years.
Click on the titles below to download your copies of all four books in the series.
Hello – It’s an exciting day for me. The past few months have been spent re-vamping my contemporary romance series, Behind the Love. Each of the first three novels, Behind the Altar, Behind the Bar, and Behind the Curtain have new covers and new content. All three are now full-length novels. And while working on them, I was also writing the fourth book in the series, Behind the Door, which is set to release May 16. Make sure you scroll all the way down this post to enter the giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card to celebrate the reveal of the new and improved Behind the Love series.
Whenever I tell the story of how my husband and I ended up together, people inevitably say, “You should write the story of that!”
I haven’t written in detail about our love story, but in all the romances and other fiction I’ve written since 2009, there are bits of us and our journey to where we are today. As an author, I freely admit that small pieces of my life and the people in it slip into my work. I have a sticker on my file cabinet, which should be tattooed on my forehead. “Be careful what you tell me or you might end up in my next novel.”
So for this Valentine’s Day, here’s the story of Robert and Patricia Zick, edited to protect those who didn’t ask to be a part of our reuniting.
To begin, we go to Michigan in 1972, when Robert was twenty-two, and I was beginning my senior year of high school. My brother Don and Robert were good friends so I began hanging around my brother’s apartment whenever I knew the handsome Robert would be there as well. Within a few months, we discovered we were falling in love. But Robert had an opportunity to move to Pittsburgh, and I needed to finish high school. He left, and we both remember a profound sadness at our parting. But there was no drama. Both of us knew there was no future for us. He married someone else in 1973, and I married my first husband and moved to Florida in 1980. We had children and lived our lives, but we never forgot one another.
Sadly, in 2008, my brother Don committed suicide. It devastated me. I had no one with whom to share my grief because the rest of my family had severed ties to Don years before. For months, I kept thinking about Robert and remembering the happy times we had spent with Don all those years ago. When I received an ad for Classmates.com for a free trial period in April 2009, I decided to try it. The first person I searched for? Yep, that’s right. The young guy I’d fallen in love with when I was seventeen. And surprisingly, there he was. He, too, had received the same ad and decided to give the site a try, which is amazing in and of itself. Robert is not that savvy on the computer, and he never joins anything. He still refuses to have anything to do with Facebook. Yet, for some reason, we both joined Classmates.com in the same month.
“Where are you these days, Bob?” my message to him read. Nothing more. I wanted to keep it simple because I wasn’t certain he’d even remember me after thirty-six years. Within twenty-four hours, I had a long response filling me in on his life. For days, we exchanged our stories and found we had many things in common.
One day in early May, he called. I knew his voice immediately. Within ten minutes, we were sharing our beliefs on spirituality, politics, and life in general. We clicked, and there was no hesitation in our sharing. During our second phone call, he ended it by saying, “I love you.” It shocked me. On the next call, the first thing I asked was why had he told me he loved me.
“I don’t know, except that it felt right, and I always regretted I never told you that all those years ago.” I turned to mush at the confession.
Daily calls for a month led to the decision that I would fly to Pittsburgh for a meeting. Nerves jangling and expectations high, I went, telling myself that if nothing else, I’d reconnect with a good friend. We would share stories about my brother, and I’d feel better about his death. And all of that happened. But there was one more thing. When we met in person, all the feelings from thirty-six years before were still there. The attraction, the connection, and the love surfaced, and we knew our lives were about to change forever.
By July, we were together, and I made arrangements to move to Pittsburgh. We married the following year. And now almost eight years later, our rekindled love still flames and burns brightly. It feels as if we’ve always been together.
We celebrated our first Valentine’s Day together in 2010, and seven years later, we celebrate once again. We celebrate finding one another, and we celebrate love. Has it always been smooth? Of course not. We were two people in their fifties fairly set in our own ways of doing things. But we adjusted–still adjust–because we know that there must be something that ties us together. I don’t have the answers as to why, but I know I’d rather travel with him than without him. Since he’s still hanging around, I assume he feels the same way.
Before I reconnected with Robert, I’d been a lonely divorcee in her fifties. I struggled with my loneliness. I tried online dating, and I hated it. I longed for love but felt at my age, it was over for me in that department.
For those of you who might feel the same, never give up. And the best way to draw love is to live a life of love. It will come back to you tenfold.
Happy Day of Love to you all and a couple of gifts.
Click here to download a free copy of Odyssey to Myself, a collection of essays about the decade between 2000-2010 and how travel helped me recover and stand again.
Click here to download a free copy of my first romance, Behind the Altar, and the first book in the Behind the Love series.
Click on the images below to check out the rest of the Behind the Love series.
Behind the Altar, my first romance and the first book in the Behind the Love series, received a face lift this past month with a new cover. The cover matches the next two books in the series, Behind the Bar (released March 2015) and Behind the Curtain, which I’m still writing.
To celebrate, Behind the Altar will be available for FREE downloads on Amazon July 21, 22, and 23. If you haven’t done so, I hope you’ll be able to take advantage and get your copy.
Thank you for your support!
Behind the Altar:
Leah Bryant’s life satisfies all her needs. Her engagement to Jacob Davis, minister of the Sunshine Church, gives her the security she requires after living in a car during her teenage years. She runs a food kitchen out of the church for homeless vets who are living on the banks of Deer River. All is perfect until the day her future mother-in-law Geraldine tells her the church is shutting down the kitchen, and Dean—Jacob’s brother—rides his Harley into her heart. Leah’s world begins to crumble as she falls into Dean’s muscular and tattooed arms. Dean, who’s been away from his home for ten years, finds himself irresistibly drawn in by Leah’s natural beauty and genuine goodness. As they fight to stay away from one another, Leah and Dean keep finding ways to be together. The more they fight the attraction, the harder it is to stay apart. Will Leah go ahead and marry Jacob despite Dean’s haunting her every thought? Will Dean exact the revenge he came home to hand out? And will Geraldine manage to keep control over the church, Jacob, and Leah? It will all be determined in Behind the Altar, a romantic story of forbidden love.