With Age Comes Second Chances

Welcome to my Second Acts Series!

Today, we have award-winning Soul Mate author Nancy Lee Badger sharing her inspiring journey and latest release, Heaven-Sent Highlander.

Here’s Nancy!

Since Heaven-sent Highlander is the second book in my Warriors in Bronze series, I would like to talk about second acts as it pertains to my life. I am a multi-published and award-winning author, but that profession did not start until I was in my 50’s. About 20 years ago, I started writing. I am a huge reader of romance novels and thought I could do better. At the time, I was an EMT and volunteer firefighter in a small New Hampshire town. Heartache, emergencies, deaths, and other calls would leave me despondent. Reading a romance novel always brought me back to happiness.

I needed to escape my paid daytime job, and landed a spot as a 911 Emergency Medical Dispatcher for the State of New Hampshire. Reading between calls was rewarding, and kept the adrenaline at a healthy level. Changing jobs was good for the ego and pocketbook, but the pace was grueling and I yearned for something different AND to move somewhere warmer. Snow was no longer pretty to me.

So, I ‘retired’, we sold our house, and moved closer to family in Raleigh, North Carolina. About 9 years ago, I sold my first book. What a high! I kept writing while dear hubby kept working full time to pay the bills. He also loves to read and edit my manuscripts. My mother helps in that regard as well. After 26 books, three publishers, and a lot of self-published books, I am enjoying every day as a full-time author.

As I grow older, I am always surprised that ideas for stories pop-up seemingly out of nowhere. I am feeling my age more each day, but I keep going. My eyes have gotten worse, which might be why my hero in Heaven-sent Highlander is blind for a good part of the book. Writing has drawbacks, of course, but if the words are itching to get typed onto a computer, do it. You cannot improve an empty page! I recall Nora Roberts speaking at a Romance Writers of America conference saying something like ‘get your butt in the chair and just write.’

Writing novels, poetry, or even magazine articles can be a lonely profession. Just you and your laptop, most times. The best advice I can give is to seek out others. Writing groups are everywhere, from simple book clubs, to meet-up groups, to organizations like the ones I have been a member of for years. Misery loves company. Other writers will understand all that you are going through and are the first to congratulate you.

Blurb

At an American museum, surrounded by Auguste Rodin’s bronze statues, a Scottish Fae beauty is at a crossroads. Now that Gwendolyn’s friends are engaged, and the demon they fought vanquished, should she return home? After committing a terrible act, she could not explain to her cousin why she had appeared on his doorstep.

Alexander awoke in darkness inside a bronze statue, remembering how the green of Scotland’s Culloden field had turned red with blood that day in 1746. Had he died before awakening nude and sightless in front of strangers in present-day Raleigh, North Carolina? The mystery of how was overshadowed by why. Told that another warrior awoke when a demon threatened to take over the world, had a second demon escaped Hell? When the demon appears and demands Gwen join him, Alex must use all his new skills, weapons, and Heaven-sent powers to keep her and the world safe.

Excerpt

“I placed some clothes in the bathing room. ‘Tis just next door,” Gwendolyn said.

“A bathing room? Inside the house? Show me.” Alex figured he could find it on his own by touch, but he did not know who besides Gwendolyn was near. Keeping his blindness a secret seemed childish, but his pride screamed at him to hold back and see what happened.

“I brought food for ye—”

“I am hungry, yet can it wait? Clothing myself seems prudent, first.”

“Fine. Follow me.”

As she set something down, the lilt in her voice made him smile, and her scent stirred his loins. The urge to grab her, turn her into his chest, and kiss her senseless was strong. The problem? How would he find her?

In the hallway, his hazy vision sensed light and Gwen’s outline ahead of him. His feet closed the space between them. Moments before he could wrap his fingers around her, heavy footsteps grew closer.

“Gwen, what are you and Alex doing? Alex, you are looking well. Clothing might improve your visage. Aye?”

Sam had interrupted his plans. Had he read his thoughts? Gwendolyn had warned him, but why would he care what Gwendolyn and he did?

Alex nodded. “Gwendolyn left some items in the bathing room. I wish to hurry and dress. I smell meat cooking.”

“Oh! I left the chili in your bedchamber!” Gwen’s blurry outline ran past him, and Alex was left alone with Sam.

“Gwen is very attentive, considering we still do not know your intentions.”

What could Sam be hinting at? “I doona know why I am still alive. I swear to you, sir. I assumed I had died on that bloody battlefield. I am thankful to breathe air and feel pain. Truly, as it proves I am alive.”

He sensed Sam staring at him, but he kept his features calm and without fear.

“Well, then we shall commence your training at sun-up. Rest, eat, and find clothing appropriate for combat.”

“Combat?”

You can find all my book Buy Links here.

Author Bio

Nancy Lee Badger grew up in Huntington on New York’s Long Island, where school field trips to lofty museums were the norm. After attending Plymouth State, in New Hampshire, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Art Education and met and married her college sweetheart. They raised two handsome sons in Rumney, New Hampshire, where Nancy volunteered as an EMT and firefighter while working full-time. When the children had left the nest, and shoveling show became a chore, she retired from her satisfying job as a 9-1-1 Emergency Medical Dispatcher and moved with her husband to North Carolina, where she writes full-time.

Nancy is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, and the Triangle Association of Freelancers. She loves to travel and attend Scottish Highland Games and is never far from her laptop. She finds story ideas in the most unusual places. Connect with her here:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon Author Page | Goodreads


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Don’t Hesitate…Act!

I’m happy to welcome Soul Mate author Barbara Nolan to the Second Acts series. Today, Barbara shares the events that triggered her second act and her debut novel, Beyond Paradise.

Here’s Barbara!

My first act centered around my family. Raising my three children who are now adults with children of their own.

There was no one specific trigger or need for change as I had been writing off and on for most of my adult life. I always said I would become serious about my writing and I believe that the passing of my father and the tragic events of 911 in the same year motivated me to take action. I furthered my education, and received a degree in Creative Writing from New York University. At NYU I worked with many talented professors who mentored me while editing and critiquing my work. Their knowledge and guidance helped me gain the confidence to move forward.

I am now an author with Soul Mate Publishing and my debut novel, Beyond Paradise, was published on December 12, 2018.

My best advice is not to wait if you have a dream. I wish that I had followed through with my dream earlier, but wherever you are in life, don’t hesitate, act.

Blurb

Jonny Vallone, the dark, brooding owner of Manhattan nightclub, Beyond Paradise, doesn’t need any more complications in his life, or women. Then savvy con artist Cheryl Benson, barges into his office and spits out a confession that would make most men run for cover.

Cheryl’s fast-paced, out-of-control life is closing in, and her only hope against a ruthless crime boss is bad boy Jonny and his powerful connections. Her knight in black Brioni has a body made for sin with enough baggage to fill a 747, but when a near-fatal attack throws the two together, they implode in a night of steamy, sheet-gripping passion.

Jonny can’t resist the beautiful blonde with the pleading green eyes plus he has his own agenda with the underworld thug who owns a piece of his soul.

Their wild ride whisks them from the high-powered glitz of Manhattan to the sultry beaches of Miami in a desperate attempt to break free of their shady pasts while trying to tame their fiery passion and the dangerous deceptions swirling around them.

Excerpt

“I’ve got you.” He pushed a stray hair away from her face and kissed her, wanting to taste more of her, be part of her, sink into her sweetness and make all her fears go away.

His eager hands roamed up her back. A decent man would’ve paced himself, given her space, but he’d never been a decent man when desire overwhelmed him. He nipped his way down her slender neck, loving the feel of her skin against his lips. He knew what he wanted. He’d wanted it ever since he’d seen her at the Oasis.

He fumbled with the hem of her T-shirt, and she covered his hand with hers.

“You want me to stop?” His words caught between a sigh and a gasp.

She pushed his hands away, tugged her shirt over her head and flung it onto the couch.

For one tantalizing second her eyes dared him with desires as overpowering and primal as his. Standing, he snatched her hand, jerked her up, and pulled her toward the bedroom, nudged the door open with his foot, then kicked it closed.

A heat boiled in the pit of his stomach and shot through his veins, melting him from the inside out. One part of him wanted to take time and explore every inch of her, while the part that controlled him wanted to tumble her to the bed.

“This isn’t a game.” He meant it as a warning, but the lust in his voice made it sound more like a challenge.

“I know.” She gasped as he snaked his hands around her waist. “‘Cause games have rules.”

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Where to find Barbara…

Website | Amazon | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | BookBub | Facebook

Joanne here!

Barbara, Thanks for sharing your insights and advice. Too often, we wait too long and fail to act on our dreams. Best of luck with sales.


From Pastries to Publishing

Welcome to my Second Acts Series!

Today, we have Soul Mate author Sally Brandle sharing her inspiring journey from pastry chef to author and her upcoming novel, Torn by Vengeance.
(Available for pre-order)

Here’s Sally!

Bakery in Carcassone, Italy featuring Italian brioche

Pastry enabler appears in the description tag on several of my social media accounts. My mom taught me to bake simple scratch breads, cookies, and basic pastries. Being comfortable in front of an oven, I enjoyed the privilege of developing the training program for a family-owned commercial French pastry manufacturing company. European style doughs including buttery puff pastry, Danish, brioche, croissant, pie, and cinnamon rolls-in the unbaked form-became my canvas.

My college degree in teaching special education/behavior disorders trained me to embrace different learning styles in order to create a viable curriculum. Holding pastry classes allowed my creative side and teaching background to merge. I enjoyed business travel to seven states, including Montana where my first series takes place. Bakers, chefs, caterers, and restaurant owners shared techniques of shaping, cutting, and filling—I’ll divulge a few baking tips in my third book, The Targeted Pawn.

Guest Instructor at a Local Technical College

After nine years of standing for four or five hours to train, the damage from previous car accidents caught up with me. I hung up the professional apron and brought my antique rolling pin home, but I’m not a watch TV and eat bon bons type. I’d written a romantic suspense story on a dare and decided to pursue writing as a second act. Six books and a boatload of classes later, I’d contracted to a publisher The Hitman’s Mistake, the first story in my Love Thrives in Emma Springs series. Holding a book you’ve created is akin to holding a perfect brioche torte rustica—thought, patience, and many layers enhance the creation. In the publishing realm, rumor has it that after a million written words you’re getting the hang of it!

All books in this series contain a beloved equine element—long-eared Red, tiny Whinny, and rescued Pal. Whatever breed, my advice is the old adage, ‘don’t put the cart before the horse.’ Write whenever you get the chance, but I’d recommend incorporating finances into planning a second act as an author. I’m fortunate to be partnered with a supportive man who worked over forty years for a company now providing us with a pension. The lucky few who create best sellers straight away gain attention and my admiration, but I’m pragmatic. It’s tough to earn a living as an author, and after you’ve done five rounds of changes with your talented editor, you have a different appreciation for the book on your Kindle costing a few dollars.

Successful second acts are commonplace, especially in fiction. In The Hitman’s Mistake, Miranda gets another chance at a loving family after being ripped out of her inconspicuous life. In Torn by Vengeance, Corrin’s hero convinces her to shed distrust and work together to fight for love. I’m presently working on The Targeted Pawn, where Elon pushes through insecurity to defy convention and prove herself by welding her way into a tough rancher’s heart. These women need practice to succeed. In moving to any second act, you need confidence in your skills. Here’s John Wooden’s 4 Laws of Learning: explanation, demonstration, imitation, repetition. If you have pastry baking questions, contact me through my website and I’ll be happy to help.

Happy trails.

Blurb

Look over your shoulder. He’s watching.

Corrin Patten is solidly on a path to make partner in a prestigious Seattle law firm when an ominous threat from her past turns deadly. She can handle circumstances necessitating a temporary move to the backwater town of Emma Springs, but its charming physician is another matter, as she’s issued a permanent moratorium on men.

Dr. Kyle Werner revels in trust from patients he regularly treats in a community he’s never wished to leave. Yet, Emma Springs lacks one thing, a woman to share his perfectly bucolic life. He’s read about pheromone attraction, but never experienced desire until meeting Corrin. They make an unbeatable team, but convincing her that his interest is sincere while they dissect layers of deceit requires the precision of a surgeon’s scalpel. Can they defeat the wealthy stalker bent on mistaken revenge against Corrin and destruction of the peaceful Montana setting?

If you thrive on tenacious heroines, sizzling attraction, and a shadowy villain with a grudge, you’ll love this prescription for thrills.

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Interview and Reviews from…

USA Today | Haynet | Night Owl Reviews| Tome Tender Reviews

Where to find Sally…

Website | Facebook | Amazon | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

With Lance on his 28th birthday



13 Inspiring Second Acts

Originally, I had planned to devote six months, possibly a year to the Second Acts Series. This was the plan concocted during the summer of 2013: Use the second acts of real-life women to launch an ex-mermaid’s reinvention story in my debut novel, Between Land and Sea. As more women offered to share their stories, I found myself unable to terminate the series. To date, I have 100+ second act stories on my blog.

This past year, thirteen women from across Canada, Australia, and the United States shared their reinvention stories.

Continue reading on the Soul Mate Authors blog.


Growing Up

Welcome to my Second Acts Series!

Today, we have Soul Mate author Carly Jordynn sharing the transformational journey she has taken with her daughter and her new release, Forest of the Mist: Guardians.

Here’s Carly!

Growing Up may sound like a weird title for somebody in my age group, but that is how I am looking at my life right now. I am a single mom to a daughter that I adopted fourteen years ago. Back then I was immature for my age. I had freedom to do what I wanted when I wanted. I traveled. I went out on dates or with friends. If I wanted to stay home all weekend and binge watch Harry Potter, I could do that. Then I became a mom.

When my daughter came into my life it became a game changer. Don’t get me wrong, I still had fun, but I had to cut back on traveling and I limited my going out time. When she started school, it was like going through school again with her. My daughter has ADD so I have to help her with homework a lot. On any given day you could hear me say as I left work, “I don’t want to go home and do my homework!” We finally got out of elementary school and entered middle school. Oh my gosh! I hated middle school the first time around and I can assure you I am not enjoying it much this time either.

I hear myself all the time saying, “I can’t wait until we’re in high school.” That’s coming up next year and has opened a whole other can of worms. The questions! The endless questions about boys, dating, college, dances, did I mention boys? I’m beginning to think middle school may not be too bad.

So, how does this change me you ask? In several ways I get to relive the best memories I have of those times. I’m getting a refresher course in all subjects. I’ve discovered some of the classes I detested in my day; I am enjoying now. Maybe it’s because my daughter and I do it together and that makes the difference. I’m sure the fact that I’m not being graded this time around helps too  I am more patient, I find humor in some of the silliest things, I enjoy hearing her talk about her friends. I like watching her grow and mature into a beautiful young lady. We are closer now. We not only have a mother/daughter relationship, but we are also friends. I like this new dynamic to the traditional relationship.

Another way I have changed during this time is I am growing as a person. I am definitely smarter with all the classes I’ve been through…again. I find that my opinions are not as hardcore as they once were. I am more flexible in my outlook on life and towards people. I have been overweight most of my life and now I am on the path to a healthier me. I feel better than I have in a long time. My writing career is starting to really take off and that provides me with deep satisfaction. I keep telling my daughter she can do or be anything she wants to be and now I actually believe that. I have more confidence to chase my dreams as I watch my daughter chase hers.

Reinvention, it can happen at any age and proves it’s never too late to capture your dreams.

Blurb

Davy Kyle is in a ton of trouble. That’s really nothing new for Davy as he has been in trouble his whole life. Davy was born in the alternate realm, Paradise Valley. As a result, he has some freakish powers such as rapid growth in body and intelligence, the ability to create portals to transport to the alternate realms, and the ability to know what others are thinking.

During his last adventure, Davy learned he would one day have a co-ruler in the realms and her name would be Kelly. Through a bit of impromptu eavesdropping, he learned that his friends from Paradise Valley, Connor and Lily O’Brien, would name their young daughter Kelly. Shocked at this coincidence, Davy sets out to determine how Kelly will arrive in Paradise since you have to be in a coma to enter the alternate worlds.

Kelly O’Brien was a spoiled six-year-old when family friend and confidant Davy Kyle kidnapped her through a portal to an alternate reality. While there, Davy aged her to sixteen and explained that one day she would be his co-ruler there. While she understood and looked forward to that day, she asked Davy to return her to six and her parents. He did as she asked, but invoked his powers to start accelerated aging and maturity. The alternate realms recognized Kelly and helped with that aging process.

Now Kelly’s parents have enrolled her in high school in the hope she will meet somebody else, fall in love, and forget about Davy and Paradise Valley. What they don’t know is Kelly’s determination to be with Davy no matter the cost.

What Davy does to ensure Kelly’s arrival in Paradise is sooner rather than later will test the ties of his family and friends in reality and may cost him the love of his life.

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Bio and Links

Carly Jordynn is a writer from Northern Kentucky who loves to weave tales of fantasy, paranormal, and romance. When she isn’t writing a book, she enjoys reading, going out with friends, hanging out with her daughter, and living life to the fullest.

Carly loves to travel. You can find her at various conferences and other author events throughout the year. Her hobbies include: travel, photography, reading, and party planning.

Carly is a member of the Romance Writers of America.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Blog



Today, tomorrow, and Sunday–December 7, 8, and 9–Travelers, Book 1 in the Forest of the Mist series is free on Kindle. Find out more here.

Joanne here!

Carly, Thank you for sharing your reinvention story. All the best to you and your daughter as you continue on this journey. Congrats on your new release.


A Mid-Life Revelation

Welcome to my Second Acts Series!

Today, we have educator and author Jodi Rath sharing her multi-act life and debut novel, Pineapple Upside Down Murder.

Here’s Jodi!

As a five-year-old, I used to “play” magazine by using my stuffed animals and my dolls as my staff while taking my mom’s old magazines and cutting them up and pasting them back together. At seven, I signed up to win a set of encyclopedias and won! I used to randomly pick an encyclopedia and a page and read the article on a topic then write a summary and pretend I was a journalist. I knew back then I wanted to be a writer.

Life happened, and I ended up married at age eighteen to my first husband. I took any jobs I could get to pay the bills at the time while pursuing an undergrad degree in English Literature. I still had dreams to write! Again, life took over, and I went from working in insurance to advertising to a vice president of a credit union. I was never fulfilled. I needed a job that paid money too. So, I pursued my M.A. in education and became a high school English teacher. I’ve been in education for twenty years now. I’ve loved every minute of teaching!

Recently, I moved from teaching high school to entering higher education on more my terms. I work for a university teaching online, self-paced courses to Ohio teachers. I found that left time for writing. I began writing for educational affiliations, and that has turned to write a book on Social and Emotional Learning titled Voices, Ghosts, Residue, Revolution: Using SEL to Breakthrough Trauma with America’s Students.

August of 2017, I began to play around with the thought of starting my own business combining education and mysteries—my two passions. As of February 2018, MYS ED LLC (Mysteries and Education) was formed. I now have the rights to the courses I create and can expand to teach to multiple universities if I’d like to do so. I write for different educational affiliations, blogs, and publishers.

My latest venture has been writing a mystery series. For Christmas in 2017, my grandma gave me her cast iron skillet that was 70-years-old, and she’s only ever made pineapple upside down cake in it. I shared it on Facebook, and it got so many likes and comments. I decided to write the cozy mystery series The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series. There will be fourteen books in the series, and book one comes out this November 23, 2018, and is titled Pineapple Upside Down Murder. I’m currently working on two flash fiction pieces to offer as freebies for the book; they are based on the characters as kids and as teenagers leading into book one.

Currently, I’m 45 years old. I’m married to my second husband who is my soul mate, the man of my dreams. We have the most amazing kitty family, with seven cats. I am fulfilled in my personal life and my career. I love my business. I work hard at it, but it is all fun! I’ve heard horror stories about the mid-life crisis at this age. This is not my experience at all. I find myself going through a mid-life revelation.

Blurb

Introducing Jolie Tucker, an introverted yet passionate restaurant co-owner of Cast Iron Creations, who, at her best friend Ava’s request, steps out of her comfort zone which leads her into the shade of a killer in the small, cozy village of Leavensport, Ohio. The victim is the villages beloved Ellie Siler who runs the village sweet spot, Chocolate Capers. Jolie finds her grandma Opal is a prime suspect and goes on a search for answers only to find out that her families secret recipes may not belong to the Tucker family at all. Jolie’s job, family, and livelihood are all on the line. The answers are assuredly lethal.

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Bio

Moving into her second decade working in education, Jodi Rath has decided to begin a life of crime in her The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series. Her passion for both mysteries and education led her to combine the two to create her business MYS ED, where she splits her time between working as an adjunct for Ohio teachers and creating mischief in her fictional writing. She currently resides in a small, cozy village in Ohio with her husband and her seven cats.

Where to find Jodi…

Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Instagram

Joanne here!

Jodi, I love welcoming fellow teachers to this blog. Thanks for sharing your inspiring reinvention story. Best of luck with Pineapple Upside Down Murder.


From the Courtroom to the Classroom

Welcome to my Second Acts Series!

Today, we have Soul Mate author Patti Smith sharing her multi-act life and her debut novel, Head Over Feet in Love.

Here’s Patti!

I spent much of my life saying that I wanted to go be a lawyer. Almost everything I did was towards that end—do well on the LSAT, earn stellar grades in college, be involved in everything on campus. I went to a top 20 law school, passed the fifth hardest Bar in the nation and then I discovered that I hated practicing law.

Cue the “womp, womp” sound.

After giving it a go for eight years—taking increasingly lower paid jobs every year—I finally cried “uncle” and decided to try something else. I must say that I am extremely privileged; most people would not be able to make this change. But I had no debt from law school and was married so I had health benefits and could therefore work part-time in the legal field while figuring out what to do next.

By chance, I sent in an application to teach part-time at a nearby community college. I completely forgot about even applying and was therefore rather surprised to get a call at my job from the head of the Political Science department. He asked me to come in the next day for an interview. I got all ready, put on the one suit I had left, and prepared as best I could. When I walked in the department head handed me a book and some papers and said, “Here’s the text, a sample syllabus, can you teach the Friday classes?”

Boom. I was a teacher.

I now must mention that I spent my earlier years saying I would never, ever be a teacher. Who on earth could put up with the bratty behavior and the low pay? But something happened to me as I stepped up to the front of the room. For the first time in many years, I felt like I was in the right place. I started talking, teaching, sharing.

I spent two years in this job while I got certified to teach special education. Now it’s 13 years later and I’m still talking, teaching, sharing. The pay is low, the kids can be trying but ultimately, I love the profession and look forward to what each day brings.

Again, I realize how entirely privileged I am to get a second chance and I shared this with my main character. In her reality, she failed the Bar Exam and had to reinvent herself as a teacher. I think we’re both gonna be okay.

New Book Features Feminist, Gen X Heroine We’ve Been Waiting For…

Author Patti F. Smith’s feminist romance book, HEAD OVER FEET IN LOVE, will be released on November 14, 2018. Set in Ann Arbor and highlighting local places and events, Smith’s book features a 40something heroine who keeps moving forward, no matter how many setbacks her brain deals out to her—and that’s really a main focus of the book—that mental health issues are part of your life, but not the sum total. You can still fall in love, live your life, tell your story. “I’ve lived with mental health issues my whole life,” Smith says. “It’s important for people with invisible disabilities to see themselves represented, particularly in love stories. This is the book for Gen Xers, people with mental health issues, or anyone who thinks they can’t find love.”

Blurb

Rebecca Slater is running away from a stay in a mental health facility, a writing career that never got off the ground, and a dying best friend. She has nowhere to go, but nothing can stop her—until she crashes her car into a tree (possibly on purpose, but probably not). Without a cell phone and in a strange town, Becca starts knocking on doors looking for someone to help her. The only person who answers her knock is Mike Riley.

Becca is a lot of things—feminist, teacher, wannabe author, person with a bipolar condition, lover of all things Gen X—but she has never been in love. Becca and Mike begin a friendship that neither realizes they need. Becca shares her unique life view with Mike, who becomes her friend, her muse, and the love of her life.

When Becca thinks Mike is dead she impulsively runs away again, this time to a place where she thinks no one will ever find her. She prepares for a life without her true love, committed to remaining mentally healthy and strong, continuing a story she now believes will have an unhappy ending.

Like other people with mental health issues, Becca struggles but also lives her life. She keeps moving forward no matter how many setbacks her brain deals, and that’s really the focus of her story: that mental health issues are part of your life, but not the total. You can still fall in love, have a great life, tell your story. And have a happy ending.

Opening Words

I’m driving away. I’m driving away as fast and as far as I can. I’m never going back. I’m going to drive until I get so far up north that no one will ever find me. I’m going to—

Except that I’m not. I can’t leave home now. Not with my best friend in a coma, not with my parents tripped out, not with all that’s going on. Not with bipolar disorder and anxiety and everything else. I’m still driving away, mind you, but I’ll have to go back. As soon as the rain lets up, I’ll turn around and head back to US-23. It’s really pouring though, and I don’t like driving in the rain, so I might have to find a hotel and stay the night. I’ll have to call my parents, except I don’t have a phone anymore, and with Rick in the hospital, it all means—

It means that I have no way to call anyone when my car hits the tree.

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Bio

An enthusiastic Gen-Xer and feminist, Patti Smith writes about the generation sandwiched in-between the Boomers and Millennials. Lover of all things flannel, grunge, and slacker (although she is not a slacker herself!), Patti focuses her books on women in their 40s facing major challenges in life and love. Her heroines are independent women who don’t want to follow the life path of marriage-children but rather forge their own paths. Often they, like their writer, live with mental health issues but make it clear that they are not their illness and that their lives are full and rich.

Patti lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and is a former legal aid lawyer and current special education teacher. She is the author of two books: Images of America–Downtown Ann Arbor and A History of the People’s Food Co-op Ann Arbor and is co-authoring Forgotten Ann Arbor (due out in 2019). She writes for as many local publications as she can and is involved in many local commissions and activities. She is a frequent public speaker around town and is founder/curator of GROWN FOLKS READING (story time for adults) and HERSAY (all female variety show). She lives with her husband, Ken Anderson, her own Gen-X hero.

Where to find Patti…

Website | Twitter

Joanne here!

Patti, Thank you for sharing your inspiring journey. Best of luck with sales.