Built Myself Up Layer by Layer

I’m happy to welcome multi-published author Pamela Thibodeaux. Today, Pamela shares her inspiring reinvention story and her novel, My Heart Weeps.

Here’s Pamela!

Thank you, so much Joanne for hosting me on your incredible blog! I absolutely love the idea of reinvention. So many times in our lives we have to start over or ask for and take a second (or third, or fourth) chance for a do-over. Reminds me of those movies of people trading places so popular in the 80’s.

I guess you could say my first act, after being born into a great family with three brothers was marrying at the tender age of sixteen (yes, 16!). That union lasted ten years and sadly ended in divorce which brought about my first need for change. Five years later I married a wonderful man who died a short seventeen years afterward, throwing me into my 2nd second act and time of reinvention.

For most of my adult life I was someone’s wife or mother. After my husband’s death in 2009, I began the long and arduous journey from wife to widow to individual.

When I separated from my first husband (with no self esteem intact), I adopted the motto, “What you see is what you get. You like it? Good! You don’t? Hit the road, it’s your loss.” This was out of self preservation, not a sense of self worth or self love. With my second husband, I always felt beautiful and worthy in his eyes, but never in my own.

Years after being thrust into the dating scene—something I never felt comfortable with anyway—I learned the true meaning of self worth and self love. Now, when I say that motto, I know what I bring into a relationship, therefore I mean it on a deeper level.

Today I am happy with myself, my life and my relationships!

If anyone planning to pursue a second act would ask my advice, the first thing I would tell them is to work on their inner self and internal dialogue. After all, you’re going to take you into every aspect of your life so you might as well love and appreciate yourself! I built myself up layer by layer by writing and repeating positive ‘I Am’ affirmations….

I am love and I am loving. I am forgiven and I am forgiveness. I am healthy, whole and complete. I am beautiful. I am peaceful. I am joyful. I am happy and others are happy with me. I am (YOU fill in the blanks).

Read books like, You Can Heal Your Life and Mirror Work by Louise Hay, The Power of I Am by Joel Osteen and other similar titles. Positive affirmations are one of the kindest and most rewarding things you can do for yourself in any situation, but especially when you are in need of, or in the midst of change.

My Heart Weeps is Melena Rhyker’s second act—her journey from grief into new life and parallels my own.

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

At 6 p.m., she pulled into the carport, turned off the engine and laid her head on the steering wheel.

“Well, I’m home again. Made it through another agonizing eight hours or so, now to get through another night.”

Gathering every ounce of courage she could summon, she disembarked from her vehicle, retrieved the mail from the box beside the door, and entered the house. She thumbed through the envelopes and advertisements, then laid them on the table and poured a glass of juice. She reached for the bottle of over-the-counter pain reliever and froze.

It would be so easy to end this pain.

Oh, what an enticing thought. Just take a handful of pills and end it all. Would she wake up in heaven? Would Jesus meet her there? Would Jonathan? What about the kids or Mama—would they understand? Or would she destroy them? Where was the faith she claimed to have? Why was it failing her now?

Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon AU

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!

Where to find Pamela…

Website | Blog | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Amazon Author Page | BookBub | Instagram

Spotlight on Susan Van Kirk

I’m happy to welcome author Susan Van Kirk. Today, Susan shares two amazing days in her creative journey.

Here’s Susan!

Hi, Everyone, and thank you Joanne for inviting me to your blog!

When I began writing mysteries eleven years ago, I always thought the most amazing day in my future would be the day my first box of books with my name on it arrived on my front porch. And it was. But recently, I had another most amazing day, one that I hadn’t imagined back then.

After writing a series called the Endurance Mysteries, I decided to go in a new direction and begin a mystery series about a younger protagonist, one who would have a dream job. She’d be a historical researcher whom famous authors paid to do their digging, and she’d explore amateur genealogy on the side. Beth Russell appeared in my head, the woman who would have the job I’d love.

Leaving her home on Long Island, Beth ventured to Illinois when an investigator told her he thought she was the lost daughter of a wealthy family named Tippitt. Here she was, a genealogist, who didn’t even know who she was. Soon, the little town of Sweet Iron materialized, and Beth discovered a family she didn’t know she had, and the murder of a mother she’d never met. Well, as they say, the story now twists and turns with a murder case from 1971, a group of suspects still around, and the same people interested in Beth’s speedy departure from Sweet Iron…one way or another. Then we have her missing biological father, someone watching the Tippitt house from the woods, and the ghostly smell of Chantilly perfume, the scent her mother wore.

But then there’s the #2 best day of my life, which I mentioned at the beginning of this twisty tale. In late March, my publisher, Encircle Publications, joined with Orange Sky Audio by Findaway to do an audiobook of A Death at Tippitt Pond. Seriously? My words in an audiobook for all the world to hear. And even better, the professional narrator they hired was Patricia Santomasso, who lives in New York City and has done 150 audiobooks prior to mine. I loved her voice.

So, the second-best day of my book-writing life began with a download of my own words, previously typed in my little office on my laptop in downstate Illinois and now read by a professional. When I heard the first paragraph, I must confess to a few tears of joy, and then the few became many. How amazing—my words read aloud for all the world to hear.

Blurb

Everyone in the small town of Sweet Iron knew the teenage daughter of Judge Tippitt and his wife, Jolene. Melanie Tippitt’s exotic green eyes sprinkled with gold flecks only added to her haunting beauty. That is why her shocking murder in the summer of 1971 shattered the innocence of the town. Soon, the inhabitants sighed with relief when the murderer was sent to prison. Case closed. Four decades later, historical researcher and genealogist, Elizabeth Russell, arrives in Sweet Iron with plans for a brief visit. She extends her stay when she discovers reasons to research the Tippitt family genealogy and the disturbing tragedy of their daughter’s murder. Her decision cracks the tranquility of the town and challenges the truth of what happened that day at Tippitt Pond … Case closed. Or was it?

About the Author

Susan Van Kirk is a Midwest writer, living in downstate Illinois. Her writings include the Endurance Mysteries: Three May Keep a Secret, The Locket: From the Casebook of TJ Sweeney, Marry in Haste, and Death Takes No Bribes. Harlequin Worldwide Mystery is currently republishing her entire series. Her latest mystery is A Death at Tippitt Pond. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and is President of the Guppy Chapter of Sisters in Crime. Her website and blog are at http://www.susanvankirk.com

Links

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

Checking In With Your Boundaries

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

In a recent interview on Spirituality & Health magazine, therapist Nedra Glover Tawwab shared what she considers the four most important words in our increasingly chaotic world: Set Boundaries, Find Peace. Those words are also the title of her recent release.

Here’s a thought-provoking excerpt from that interview:

It is a spiritual practice to tune into yourself and consider the why of your feelings. What’s trying to come up that I may be trying to push down? What’s trying to be released that I need to let go of? Often, when we’re having uncomfortable feelings, there is a boundary that needs to be addressed.

Of course, we can’t live a life without uncomfortable feelings. But what are they trying to tell us? What things do we need to practice to deal with that feeling better, or even reconfigure the trigger for those feelings?

The real breakthrough is not, “Oh my gosh, I have an issue with anger.” The real breakthrough is realizing that when I put myself in situations where there are no boundaries, I have an issue with anger.

Source: Spirituality & Health, February 2021, p. 49

Inspired to Write the Donovan Family Saga

I’m happy to welcome Soul Mate author Gifford MacShane. Today, Gifford shares interesting tidbits about her historical fiction series.

Here’s Gifford!

Thanks so much, Joanne, for inviting me to share ten interesting things about my Historical Fiction Series, THE DONOVAN FAMILY SAGA, as a guest on your blog today! Childhood and history came together, inspiring me to create these books.

1. From the beginning, as a member of a large Irish-American clan, I wondered how other families interacted. I was one of seven siblings, and had a hard time understanding what girls with only one brother or sister did for fun, and if they could understand how close we were.

2. When I was a kid, station wagons ruled the roads. There were no DVDs playing on trips to my grandparents, so my father encouraged singing, as it was the least physical activity—with 7 siblings crammed together, “Punch Bug” could soon become a free-for-all! He taught us songs that were easy to remember; as a result, I’m addicted to traditional folk music and there are many snippets of traditional lyrics contained in my works.

3. At the same time, cowboys rode the airwaves, and I really, really wanted to grow up to be a cowboy. Not a cowgirl—they wore silly skirts and sat sideways on horses. I even had a cowboy name—it included “Junior”, as that was the only way I knew to designate myself as a boy. When asked in school (I think I was 8) who the greatest hero in history was, I answered “Roy Rogers”. When the teacher told me he wasn’t a “real hero”, I burst into tears.

4. My first library was a BookMobile. My grandparents lived in a tiny hamlet in Ocean County NJ. The Bookmobile would park at the local grocery store for several hours every week. Tired of kids’ books by the time I was 10, I asked the librarian to recommend something, and she gave me The Virginian by Owen Wister. Slam! Bam!! hooked on Westerns as a literary form. As a result, I read through my father’s entire collection of Zane Grey novels by the end of that summer, and still have and re-read those wonderful books.

Most of the heroes of Grey’s books lived by a code of honor. They may have stumbled from time to time, but they always came back to that moral center. I think that appealed to me so much because I knew the men I looked up to (my father, grandfather and uncle) lived by the same code. And they subsequently became the heroes in my books.

5. I was also influenced by my grandfather in another way. He was stricken with emphysema in his 40s, spent the last 20 years of his life confined to bed, but seldom complained. I learned from him that one must go on, no matter how challenging life might become.

6. Now my family history steps in: my father’s family were Irish immigrants. According to family history, my Great-uncle Sean was chased out of Ireland by the English, escaping by the skin of his teeth. The injustice of that hit me first: a man fighting for freedom from the overlords who invaded his country hundreds of years ago just shouldn’t have been hounded out of the only home he’d known.

7. More recently, I read about a memorial sculpture installed in County Cork that celebrated the aid the Choctaw Tribe in America gave to the Irish during the Great Irish Famine of 1845-1852. My mother has a smidgen of native blood, so the article caught my eye.

The beautiful sculpture, titled Kindred Spirits, was created by Alex Pentek at the Sculpture Factory in Cork, and represents the Choctaw Indians with nine unique feathers, shaped in a bowl that represents a bowl full of food.

8. Shortly before I saw this, my cousin began to create a genealogy of my father’s family. Comparing that history with the dates of the famine, I realized that his ancestors—coming from County Clare as they did—had to have lived through it. I dug into the details and learned it was a totally avoidable disaster that decimated Ireland’s population while food was being exported to England at astronomical rates.

I felt compelled to tell the stories of the survivors—the ones who somehow held body and soul together and found a way to prosper. I began, sporadically, to write.

9. Then, in my late 40s, illness struck. A genetic flaw on my father’s side made itself known. I was fortunate in two ways: I had cousins going through the same thing with whom I could commiserate and share ideas; and I’d finally have enough time to write the books that were stuck in my head for so long, even it was only an hour or so a day.

10. I initially had no plans to go beyond the original manuscript, Whispers In The Canyon. But the more I wrote, the more I realized that the fourth Donovan son, Daniel, was developing into someone quite unique—a Zane Grey-type hero, a man with a code of honor that withstood almost every adversity, and a deep and abiding love for a woman he never thought could be his. Because of all that, I believed Daniel deserved his own book, if only to see if he could find happiness with Annie. Since I’m not a plotter by nature, I had to write the book to find out.

Outcome: The Knight of the Range met up with a family of Irish immigrants. Together, they were generously sprinkled with folksongs and legends, and gave birth to the Donovan Family Saga. The series now consists of the original book, Whispers in the Canyon; the second book about Daniel, The Woodsman’s Rose; and a prequel novella, The Winds of Morning, which I wrote after readers requested more details about the family’s origins in Ireland.

Each story includes romance, traditional song lyrics and a dash of Celtic mysticism. On occasion, I’ve been told by a reader that they’d love living next door to the Donovans. To me, that’s the highest praise ever.

Blurb for WHISPERS IN THE CANYON

A woman’s survival depends upon the man who shot her brother.

Shunned by the village for her outlaw brother’s deeds, Jesse Travers is not sorry to hear he’s been killed while robbing a bank. Strangely enough it’s Adam Donovan, the man who shot him, who brings her the news.

Traumatized by years of abuse, Jesse doubts she can trust any man—especially this Irish immigrant with his volatile temper and gunfighter’s reputation. But now she’s alone, and he’s offered to help put her bankrupt ranch back on solid footing. A profound love for her canyon home is stronger than her trepidation, and she accepts his assistance.

As they work together to improve her ranch, Jesse begins to see that Adam’s true nature is far removed from his notoriety. She feels the first stirrings of love―an emotion she’s never known before. Then, as if to tell her she is unworthy of happiness, her past rises up with a vengeance and she is left with a terrible choice: retreat to a life of solitude and shame, or trust her heart and reveal her tragic secret, in the hope that Adam is the man she believes him to be.

Deceptively simple and poetic, this heartfelt western historical romance will tug at your emotions, make you laugh, cry, and even get a little angry, as it handles difficult topics with a sensitive touch.

Author Bio and Links

Gifford MacShane is the author of historical fiction that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit. Her novels feature a family of Irish immigrants who settle in the Arizona Territory. With an accessible literary style, MacShane draws out her characters’ hidden flaws and strengths as they grapple with both physical and emotional conflicts.

MacShane is a member of the Historical Novel Society and an #OwnVoices writer. A self-professed grammar nerd who still loves diagramming sentences, Giff currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband Richard, the Pied Piper of stray cats.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

All my books are listed on my author page at Books2Read.

(https://books2read.com/ap/RDOkLr/Gifford-MacShane).

I’d appreciate it if you’d use this buy link rather than the individual Amazon links, as the two later books are available in many formats.

Adapt to What is Real

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

A longtime fan of acclaimed psychologist Dr. Sonya Friedman, I like to reread many of the insightful passages from her best-selling books. Here’s one of my favorites from Take It From Here

In nature, chameleons adapt to the environment by changing color, blending in, and thus fooling predators. Nothing could be more descriptive of getting real and rolling with the punches. Although we’re a much higher form of life than a chameleon, capable of thinking and having a conscience, we can essentially do the same on another level: adapt to better fit into a personal environment of family, relationships, and work. You may have had twenty jobs in your life, or three failed marriages, and your bombs may be greater than your successes, but if you stretch your ability to adapt to what is real, you can gain the courage to keep going out there and, ultimately, achieve greater success.

Just Keep Showing Up and Shining Out!

Welcome to my Second Acts Series!

Today, we have Candace Colt sharing her multi-act life and Familiar Blessings, Book 1 in the Magic Potter Series.

Here’s Candace!

I’m honored to be a part of Joanne’s Second Act Series. Reading the other Second Act posts has been so inspiring, and I am sure you feel the same way. May I add that when you read another person’s story, and it doesn’t sound exactly like yours, perhaps you will find encouragement that change can be good no matter what the circumstances. Maybe you’ve already made a change (planned or unplanned). Another person’s story might give you the reassurance that you will be “okay.” The most important thing is this: have trust and faith in yourself!

First Act

“In my day,” a woman’s career options were a bit limited. That’s an understatement. Honestly, there few choices. Wife and mother (in tandem), nurse, airline stewardess, secretary, teacher. All worthy paths, yes. But even with a professional degree, many women quit the job after they got married. In my case, I got married, but I did not stop working. In fact, except for a few in-between-job periods, I worked full time until I retired in 2014.

I followed the teacher track and taught K-6 for several years. But then my husband’s job took us to a university town where teaching jobs were non-existent. Why? Because all the male grad students’ wives were teachers supporting their husbands. Does this sound familiar?

So, what’s a girl to do? Reinvention!

By some miracle, I was accepted into a Nuclear Medicine Technology program, with not much clue what that was! After graduation, I was hired, and naturally, I was the queen of the world! Then, a teaching job opened up in the field (college educator) that took me on a glorious seventeen-year journey. But then program funding disappeared, and there went that dream job! Another career change led me into entry-level college administration. Then to a college library director position (hello, I’m not a librarian!), where I had ten great years working with the best people in the world.

Fast Forward to the Second Act!

Retirement provided me the wherewithal to follow my heart to become a writer. Trust me, writing and promotion is full-time work, but I love it. Since I’ve retired, I’ve had nine books published in contemporary paranormal romance. By the way, each one has a wise older woman in the story. Imagine that?

I am nothing if not persistent. I don’t possess great intellectual genius. My changes were out of necessity rather than a master plan. If you ask me for advice, I will keep it simple. Paraphrasing my yoga teacher, no matter who you are or where you are in life,”Just keep showing up and shining out!”

Blurb

Familiar Blessings: The Magic Potter Series Book 1 (Cat’s Paw Cove Romance)

The magic begins when you trust your heart.

Tired of being hounded by the greedy dead, gifted medium Dr. Theodosia Blessing, the wonder-child of historians around the world, yearned for anonymity. After renouncing her magic, she reinvented herself as Theo, the potter. She returned to her hometown of Cat’s Paw Cove, Florida, where she lives with her familiar, a mind-reading tortoiseshell cat named Aloysius.

Former Army Ranger Ethan Cooper was content to live a reclusive life in his cabin in North Carolina. But as Christmas draws near, he agrees to repay a debt to an old man whose wise counsel brought him out of war’s dark shadow. Ethan accepts one last mission: to track down Theo.

Ethan appears unannounced on Theo’s doorstep with an envelope containing the old man’s letter. If what it says is true, the reluctant medium, skeptical Ranger, and wiseacre cat must travel back to 1720 to save a young boy from the gallows.

FAMILIAR BLESSINGS originally appeared in MEOWS & MISTLETOE, a Cat’s Paw Cove Romance Holiday Anthology. It won the 2019 Paranormal Romance Guild’s Reviewers’ Choice Award.

Excerpt

Curious but cautious, Theo hesitated, then carefully opened the parchment envelope and removed the folded paper.

She waved the letter at the stranger. “You drove all the way from North Carolina to give me this?”

“I suggested he could mail it certified, but he said it was too important. The old man’s my loyal friend, so I couldn’t refuse.”

Who was behind this? A stranger shows up with a letter an old man gave him. Sure.

Have I ever lied to you? Read it.

Theo glanced down at her cat, Aloysius. “Hush.” She noticed the man’s confusion. “Didn’t mean you.” He was obviously an Ordinary and hadn’t heard a word the cat said.

Theo cleared an imagined tickle in her throat and unfolded the paper. The ink had smudged in a few places, but the handwriting was legible. Her archivist expertise told her this was written in old English. F was used for S. The sentences were sprinkled with thee and thou.

In her former university position, she had analyzed documents like this before. Why would someone want this one hand-carried all the way to Florida when there were competent researchers in North Carolina?

Aloysius gave her ankle a ‘get-on-with-it’ shove. Read it out loud so the human can hear.

“All right, already.” She took a breath and began reading.

Dearest Theodosia,

I suspect thou hast many concerns about the manner in which this letter came to thee.

Please read it to the end. Trust ’tis written with the intentions of someone who loved and has watched over thee since thee was born.

Theodosia Blessing, thou comest from an old family. Thy God-given gift must continue–.

Theo’s throat tightened, and words bunched inside. Besides her family, only one living being on this earth knew her reason to abandon the magic: the ten-pound cat sitting at her feet.

Buy/Read

Candace’s Cat’s Paw Cove Romance Books are available on Amazon.

Candace’s Nocturne Falls Universe Books are available here:

Kindle | iBooks | Nook | Kobo

About the Author

Candace Colt lives the good life on Florida’s west coast with her husband of 48 years. After careers in education and the medical field, she launched her second life as a writer. Since she retired, she’s published nine paranormal romance books. She chose paranormal because it’s fun to write and because even shape-shifters, elves, psychics and time travelers deserve their happily ever after.

Links

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Amazon Author Page | Bookbub | Goodreads

Sometimes Running Away Really Works

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

While cleaning out my files, I came across the following post from Elizabeth Gilbert, best-selling author of Eat, Pray, Love and City of Girls.

I know there are a lot of arguments AGAINST running away. I know that running away from your problems can be a coward’s path. I know there are some issues in life that you can’t avoid forever. I know that in the recovery world, they call running away “pulling a geographic”–and addicts are wisely advised against trying it. I now that wherever you go, there you are. I know that there are times in life when you have to stay right where you are, and deal with things bravely and head-on.

And I am certainly familiar with the old adage: “You can’t change deck chairs on the Titanic.”

But you know what I always think when I hear that adage? THERE WERE SOME PEOPLE ON THE TITANIC WHO SURVIVED. And largely, the people who survived did so based upon where they were placed, geographically, on that ship. (Which had a lot to do with social class and injustice, I know–but for the sake of my argument, just go along with me on this…) In other words, there actually WERE some deck chairs on the Titanic that were better placed than others.

Which means: Sometimes there IS a better place for you to be, geographically, than where you are right now.

Sometimes there IS a safer place.

Sometimes there IS a more inspiring place.

Sometimes going two or three thousand miles away and changing your name really CAN change things–helping you to get away from bad old habits and bad old influences, and letting you become somebody new.

Sometimes running away CAN offer you a better chance of surviving your own life–getting you out of third-class steerage, let us say, and moving you closer to the front of the ship, to the top of the ship, where the light and the lifeboats are.

I truly believe this.

Sometimes running away really, really, really does work.



Book Blast: The Coach’s Wife

I’m happy tow welcome award-winning author Barbara Casey. Today, Barbara shares her new release, The Coach’s Wife.

Blurb

The Cinderella Coyotes of State University are in the Final Four, poised to win the NCAA National Championship in basketball—the culmination of March Madness. For Marla Conners, she’s proud of her husband Neal, and his achievement of coaching a collegiate team to the pinnacle of his career and the ultimate victory for his team. Yet, Marla’s idyllic life is about to be viciously attacked and torn apart by a different madness—her husband’s reputation ruined, a university disgraced, and she finds herself on trial accused of first-degree murder.

The Coach’s Wife is rife with spine-tingling suspense, conspiracy, deceit, and murder, sizzling and seductive passion, right down to the last second buzzer-beating heroics. This is also a candid and vivid behind-the-scenes portrait of Division One college basketball, university politics, money and corruption, and all the lives that are blessed and ruined by it all.

Excerpt

Another deafening roar exploded from the coliseum, and when it did Marla threw down her partially smoked cigarette and ground it into the polished tile floor with the toe of her shoe. Quickly she reached for another cigarette from the opened pack in her small red handbag. She lit it, sucked the smoke into her mouth, held her breath, coughed, and then slowly released it. Marla didn’t smoke, but when she paced up and down the hallways of basketball coliseums, puffing on cigarettes seemed appropriate. It gave her something to do with her hands, and it helped keep her sane.

“God, how I hate this.” Gale Simmons, the gray-haired woman pacing in the same direction as Marla, was married to one of the assistant coaches at Piedmont State. She, along with several other women—also wives of coaches, some of them wives of players—were known as the hall walkers. They were the women who met on a regular but unscheduled basis the last two minutes of every game, pacing the halls, smoking, or pretending to in Marla’s case, and trying to give each other encouragement. Unable to watch the most crucial time of the game—that last two minutes—they paced in heart-pounding agony, listening to the fans erupt in cheers or boos, and to the announcer scream out the play-by-play over the public address system.

It didn’t matter which team they supported. The bond they shared went beyond the game and winning or losing. It was after the game that most mattered. If their team won, it meant going through the torture one more time, but at least their husbands would be happy. If their team lost, it meant their husbands would go through weeks of depression and as their wives they would have to put up with an impenetrable wall of silence broken only by an occasional negative outburst—usually directed toward them. Each of the hall walkers had experienced it. And it was that experience more than any other that cemented the friendship between them.

With thirty seconds to go, the score is 76 all. This is a hot one, folks. Let’s see what the Seawolf pack is going to do. Sydney Rob makes an inbound pass into the back court to Jerry March—the clock is moving, folks. Jerry lobs the ball back over to Rob. Rob passes it over to Miller in the right court.

Interception by Darrell Washington! Holy cow, sports fans! The Seawolf’s Sydney Rob loses the ball to the Demon Deacons. Wake Forest has the ball. Washington bringing it down court. Fifteen seconds on the clock.

Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Author Bio and Links

Barbara Casey is the author of several award-winning novels for both adults and young adults, as well as book-length works of nonfiction true crime, and numerous articles, poems, and short stories. Her nonfiction true crime book, Kathryn Kelly: The Moll behind Machine Gun Kelly, has been optioned for a major film and television series. Her nonfiction book, Assata Shakur: A 20th Century Escaped Slave, is under contract for a major film. In addition to her own writing, she is an editorial consultant and president of the Barbara Casey Agency. Established in 1995, she represents authors throughout the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan. Barbara is also a partner in Strategic Media Books Publishing, an independent publishing house that specializes in cutting-edge adult nonfiction. Barbara lives on a mountain in Georgia with her three cats who adopted her: Homer, a southern bobtail; Reese, a black cat; and Earl Gray, a gray cat and Reese’s best friend.

http://www.barbaracaseyauthor.com | http://www.barbaracaseyagency.com

Giveaway

Barbara Casey will be awarding a $25 Amazon/Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn commenter. Find out more here.

Follow Barbara on the rest of her Goddess Fish tour here.