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The War Inside: Part 1

I’ve always loved reading. Somehow, in the pages of a book it didn’t matter that I was what was called a “big” girl. Inside a story I was the svelte heroine (they were always svelte) with a heart-shaped face (they were always heart-shaped) who didn’t know how beautiful she really was (yeah, exactly). Inside these worlds I was someone who could make a difference.

Outside? Not really.

From the time I was three years old I read everything—and I do mean everything. My parents told me I should be a teacher. I didn’t want to be a teacher. I wanted to be an investigative journalist or a war correspondent. I wanted to change the world.

My parents, however, weren’t prepared to have their daughter trained to dig up dirt on some poor politician or to let her loose on an unsuspecting war zone. Nice girls—I was assured—changed the world from the classroom or a hospital.

I chose the classroom. Which meant I got the chance to practice my investigative skills—”Okay, Benny. Who let Winston-The-Piggle out?”

—and my journalism skills—writing reports, lesson plans, and explanations of why Benny was not allowed to release the class’s guinea pig into the wild.

On the odd occasion I also got the chance to experience the second cousin to a war zone—”Benny let the guinea pig out!” “No I didn’t!” “Yes you did!”

—and report on the resulting peace negotiations—Dear Mr. Smith. Thank you for sending our class a companion for Winston-the-Piggle. Unfortunately Max was actually Maxine.

We now have six pups. 

I also did the odd bit of teaching. “No, Benny. A guinea pig pup is not a Fox Terrier.” 

But I didn’t feel I was making a difference in the world until I started writing my first book. 

DEADLY REUNION isn’t my first published book but it is the first one I ever wrote to completion.

Through almost twenty incarnations of my baby (and more plot and character changes than the entire fifty-two seasons of DAYS OF OUR LIVES) I learned I loved writing more than teaching.

I also learned I was a perfectionist, and that perfectionism is a vampire that sucks the life out of the creative process. So I finished the damn thing and put it in a drawer, and then cried because it was finished and it wasn’t perfect … and I felt like crap.

In fact it would probably still be in the drawer if, at my next doctor’s appointment, I hadn’t been given eighteen months to live.

We’ll get to the rest later because my timer’s just gone off. (I fight perfectionism with Pomodoros—three for a blog post. Must write faster …)

Have you met the Perfection Vampire yet? How do you deal with her—or him? Any good tips for the rest of us? Leave your answers in the comments.

While you’re thinking of the perfect answer, here’s a snippet from DEADLY REUNION. 


Ellie Holt, the heroine, doesn’t want to attend the evening’s gala. But she has to (for many excellent reasons! :-) At least she doesn’t have to worry about running into her ex, Jake Granville, there. Heh heh heh heh …


The sound of ringing bells from Maida’s suite announced a visitor. “That’ll be Merlin now. I’ll go and bring him here. I promised to show the dress to Kit, and he will want to see Soph.”

“Yes, go.” Maida’s gaze skimmed her head-to-toe. “You look beautiful. Strong. In charge.” 

“Great.” Ellie wished she felt those things. “Never let truth get in the way of illusion.”

“Like a woman seeking a new lover.” The dimple in Maida’s cheek peeped out. “It is your French blood.”

Ellie snorted. “I know you drag my French blood into conversations just to piss me off.” 

Maida’s chuckle followed her out of the room. “Mais naturellement, ma petite.”

The security monitor showed a bellboy in the hotel’s green and gold livery. “Miss des Forges’s escort is here, ma’am.”

“Thanks.” At least with Merlin she only had to live half a lie. She unlocked the door and flung it wide, a smile already curving her mouth.

The bellboy straightened, eyes widening. 

But her gaze had already flicked past him to the softly-lit seating area in front of the picture window—and the man turning from the dancing lights of the cityscape. 

Tall. Dark. His casual stance stiffened into the same rigid formality as his evening clothes. Shock flashed in his sapphire eyes. 

But his was nothing compared to hers. No no no!  Not him. Not here. Not now.  She couldn’t do— Her stomach plummeted. Sophie. Protect Sophie! 

What are you, Ellie? Some fucking Ice Princess?

He’d said that. Meant every word. Well, tonight she’d be precisely what he thought her—cold and heartless. She could do it. Would. For her baby’s sake. 

She lifted her chin. “Why, Jake,” she said, as if her lungs weren’t playing tennis with her heart. “What a delightful surprise.”

“Ellie.” His initial shock was gone. Now he looked pissed. “Why are you here?” His gaze raked her from head to toe and back, and those vibrant eyes narrowed. Chilled. Iced. “And what the hell are you wearing?”

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2 Comments on "The War Inside: Part 1"

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Kattrina Green
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Love that scene!!! What a brilliant story. More importantly though … I want to hear more about Benny!!

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