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The Match Disaster Blitz

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Romance, Women’s Fiction
Published: March 2020
Publisher: Lulu
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This is a story about a middle-aged woman who recently got divorced and thought she was open to companionship. She was very apprehensive about opening her heart again after being hurt badly by her ex-husband. To her surprise, she met someone on Match.com that seemed like the man of her dreams. They had so much in common and really enjoyed each other’s company. He managed to convince her to be open to the possibility of falling in love again.
She ended up giving this man her heart only to find out that he wasn’t the man of her dreams at all. He wasn’t like her ex-husband but he had just as many issues. She found it difficult to be the woman that he needed her to be while not compromising her integrity and moral standards.
This story is told totally from her point of view. She is finally able to tell the love of her life everything that she wanted to say throughout their relationship. She is able to express her perspective on all the events that were occurring in their lives without feeling like she is being ungrateful for the good times but imagining the bad times.
She will take you through five years of her relationship. Will she figure out that she deserves so much better than how she was being treated? Or, will she talk herself into saving this relationship and giving her one true love another chance?
The Match Disaster tablet, phone, paperback
Excerpt
Chapter 1
We met on Match.com about a month after a short friendship with someone I met on ChristianMingle.com.  Although, that situation didn’t end well, I thought I would give online dating one more try and boy was I glad I did. I met you.  I was on Match.com one day and I noticed that you looked at my profile.  I decided to say hi to you through the Match.com app.  I was pretty shy about reaching out to guys that I didn’t know, but what did I have to lose?  The only thing that could happen was that you didn’t say hi back.  To my surprise you sent me a reply and it wasn’t just hi.  We began to talk and things got interesting pretty quickly.
Initially, I didn’t know how things would end up because you very blunt and to the point and I really wasn’t used to that.  I would ask you how your day was and you would respond, “It sucked.”  I thought to myself, this guy has a bleak outlook on life, but then one day when we were chatting online about your job, you made me laugh.  I said to myself, maybe he’s not so bad after all.  You actually had a sense of humor.
We talked frequently via the Match.com app for about 3 weeks.  We talked about how many children we had and their ages. Between the two of us, we had 4 boys.  You also told me that you had a daughter, that you raised, but she wasn’t biologically yours.  I really found that honorable.  You told me that your children lived with you, but it wasn’t because their mother passed away.  This also impressed me.  It definitely wasn’t as common for the man to have full custody of his children.  You asked me about my ex-husband and if he was involved in my children’s life.  At the time he wasn’t and you were very upset by that.  You just couldn’t understand why he wasn’t an active participant in the children’s life.  I had some of the same thoughts, so this was a sensitive subject for me.
One day we were chatting on the Match.com app and you told me that you had many more stories to tell me about work and the horrors of online dating, but they would be easier to tell me over the phone.  I figured that was your way of hinting that you wanted my phone number, so I finally gave it to you.  I remember the first time you texted me, I responded and then asked who I was talking to.  You responded, “It’s Thomas.  Didn’t your mama teach you not to talk to strangers.”  That made me laugh.  I liked that you made me laugh.  We progressed from texting to talking on the phone, but it took about a week.  During our first call, you explained why you took so long to call me.  You told me that you had been sick and you didn’t want me to hear your voice like that.  Our very first conversation lasted for over 2 hours.
You told me so many stories about the horrific experiences you had with online dating.  They were so funny but disturbing at the same time.  It was a good thing I met you before hearing those type of stories because your stories made me question the process of online dating.  I asked you why you opted for online dating.  You were a very handsome and intelligent guy.  You had a successful career as an Engineer at a great company.  You could probably get any girl you wanted.  You told me it was because you didn’t hang out at the typical places that would allow you to meet someone and there was definitely nobody at your job who you be interested in dating.
It was amazing to me that I felt so comfortable with you right away, which was unusual for me.  It was like we knew each other forever.  After that first conversation, we talked on the phone almost every night for hours about various topics.  We talked about everything from work, politics, pop culture, music, relationships and so many other things, including what we expected from our significant other in a relationship.  During one of our conversations, you told me that you didn’t believe in traditional roles between a man and woman in a relationship.  You explained that you were looking for a partner and wasn’t planning on supporting anyone, anymore, after taking care of your ex-fiancée.  We discussed how you expected for whomever you were dating to help pay for the dates.  This would have normally been a turn off for me, but I actually understood what you were saying.  In my marriage, I was the one paying for everything, all of the time, so I didn’t mind contributing and helping to pay for our dates.  You told me that you didn’t mind paying for the first date but after that you would expect for me to pay for the second date.  You even told me a story about a girl you went out with and how she acted like she didn’t have money to pay for a second date that you were on and how you refused to pay.  The story was kind of funny, but I was horrified at the same time.
You told me that one of your biggest flaws was your temper.  You explained to me that you didn’t give people too many chances and that your first impression of a person was usually a lasting one for you.  You were very honest and told me that you were a stubborn person and you had no intentions of changing who you were.  You stated that either I liked you for who you were or I didn’t.  I appreciated the fact that you were honest and upfront about who you were.  I learned from my marriage that you can’t change people.  They are who they are, so I had no intentions of trying to change you. I felt if I couldn’t handle who you were, I would just end the relationship.
We were just talking on the phone for a little over 2 months when one night during our conversation, you asked me if we were ever going to go out on a date.  We were taking things quite slow, but I thought it was nice that we were taking the time to get to know each other before our first date.  The truth is, I was actually waiting for you to ask me on a date because I wanted to make sure you wanted to meet me like I wanted to meet you.  I was afraid of rejection, so there was no way, I was going to initiate that first date.  You asked me for a date that night and I definitely said yes.  I couldn’t wait to see if we had the same connection that we had over the phone, once we met in person.
We were so excited about our first date that we talked about it every day on the phone up until the actual day of the date.  You kept changing your mind about the plans for that night.  You asked me multiple questions about what I was going to wear, while you were trying to determine what you were going to be wearing.  I had my outfit ready as soon as you asked me to officially go out on a date however, I didn’t plan on telling you about what I was going to wear.  I just wanted you to see me in it.  I expressed to you that I was nervous about meeting you because I was the total opposite of the girls you were normally attracted to.  I was short, brown skinned, independent and very opinionated.  You explained to me that you weren’t worried about the fact that I was different from the girls you normally dated and that my differences were a good thing.  You never dated anyone who had a Master’s degree, owned their own home and was career driven.  You said you were looking forward to being with someone who had those qualities.
Our first date ended up being pretty low key.  We went to Buffalo Wild Wings, where we intended to watch the UFC fight.  I got there about 20 minutes early because I was so nervous and I didn’t want to be late.  I remember sitting there waiting for you to walk through that door.  When you came in you looked at me and smiled. I was relieved, because you looked just like your picture.  I went to shake your hand and you pulled me in for a hug.  That surprised me since we really didn’t know each other, but I didn’t mind it.  I had on a green and black asymmetrical skirt with a black body shirt and a camouflage jacket that matched the skirt, with some black boots.  I thought I was looking pretty good.  I hoped you liked my outfit because I did.  You were wearing a tan Nautica sweater with some dark khaki pants and black shoes. You were also wearing your glasses.  In your online pictures you were wearing contacts, but I liked glasses on you.  I remember thinking that you looked very nice.
I was so relieved that you were so friendly, especially with us meeting for the first time.  We were seated and the conversation flowed as smoothly as it did when we talked on the phone.  I felt absolutely comfortable with you. The restaurant was playing country music on the radio and I started to sing the song. You made a face and I asked you what was wrong. You told me how you didn’t like country music because of a bad experience you had as teenager working at a barbecue joint in North Carolina.  You told me about the racism you encountered at that restaurant and how that turned you against country music.
When our waiter came over to take our order he was very rude. I must have given him the “look”, because when he walked a way you told me to behave myself.  I didn’t realize that you caught my reaction until you mentioned it, so I began to laugh.  You would quickly learn that I could keep my opinions to myself, but I definitely couldn’t control my facial expressions most of the time.
During dinner, I mentioned how my oldest son wanted a dog.  This was a subject matter that you were well versed in so we spent a large part of the date, googling dogs on your phone. You were determined to help me pick a suitable dog for my son that would also serve as protection.  After the UFC fight was uneventful, you asked me if I wanted to go to the movies.  I don’t know what got into me, but I was following you to your car.  You said, “You’re going to get in the car with a stranger?” I said no and started to laugh again.  I was so embarrassed as I walked to my car.  I normally wouldn’t have even considered doing something like that, but I was just so comfortable around you.  It felt like I had known you all of my life.
We traveled to the movies in separate cars.  I followed you in my car, because I didn’t know the way to the movie theatre that we were going to.  We ended up seeing the Jennifer Lopez movie, “The Boy Next Door.” The movie wasn’t that great but the overall night seemed like a good first date.  We enjoyed each other’s company and laughed a lot.  You paid for the entire first date, however I was prepared to pay for the movies, especially since you told me how you felt about paying for everything. The next day, you texted me and told me that you had a good time.  Although you said you had a good time on our date, I was unsure about whether you would ask me out on a second date. During that week, you asked me out again.  We made plans to meet at Dave & Buster’s for our next date.
About the Author
Latesha Kellam is an author who takes her life experiences and puts them into words that will inspire others. She wrote her first story at the age of 14, about the events surrounding the unexpected death of her father. During the current phase of her life, she has the desire to not only write inspiring books but to help people, especially woman, recognize when they are in dysfunctional relationships. She lives by the old adage, experience is the best teacher, therefore she takes events from her own life to inspire her writing.
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Eating the Forbidden Fruit Tour

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Crime Fiction / Family Drama / Women’s Fiction
Date Published: March 30, 2020
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Eating the Forbidden Fruit is a gritty fiction novel loosely based on true events in author Roland Sato Page’s life. The newcomer author delivers a personal journey into his rise and demise as a St. Louis City Police Officer. He takes the readers on a roller coaster ride of good ole family memories to the nightmarish reality of being a police officer indicted on federal drug charges. During his trial, he wrote memoirs as a testimonial of redemption. Roland’s case stems from the conflict of his childhood affiliation and his oath to uphold the law. What is certain is one can’t run from sin for karma is much faster.
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Excerpt

I will never forgive myself for turning my back on him (father). I wish I could turn back the hands of time. Thursday I told my father, “Go fuck yourself.” Saturday evening he passed away from a heart attack. Never had the chance to say “I love you pops.”

 

 

“Face down! Face down! Ordered to the ground with multiple knees on my back. The nightmare was in full effect. Early noon as a St. Louis City Detective I was booking in a suspect. Late that evening the FBI were booking me in on federal drug charges. 

About the Author

Roland Sato Page was born in Brooklyn New York in a military household with a mother from Osaka Japan and a combat trainer father with three war tours under his belt. He grew up in a well-disciplined home with five other siblings. As he got older his family relocated to St. Louis where the author planted his roots and also pursued a military life in the Army Reserves.
Roland married his high school sweetheart and started a family of four. Roland joined the St. Louis police department were his career was cut short when he was convicted of federal crimes due to his childhood affiliation.
After enduring his demise he rebounded becoming a famed a tattoo artist opening Pearl Gallery Tattoos in downtown St. Louis Mo. The company grew into a family business yet another unfortunate incident tested his fate. He was diagnosed with Lupus which halted his body art career. However, with tragedy comes blessings. Roland’s sons took over the business and propelled the shop to a higher level. Roland consumed with depression began writing to occupy the time. With a newfound passion, he traded visual art for literary art. 
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Seeking Glory Blitz

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Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Outskirts Press
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2019 CIPA EVVY AWARD – Merit Award Women’s Fiction
Life is never static. Just when you think you finally have everything under control, that illusion is shattered…and the life you once knew has spun off in unimaginable directions. Seeking Glory is an eloquent novel that explores the complexities of family relationships. With themes of loss, recovery, estrangement, and reconciliation woven throughout, it tells the story of a woman who seeks to uncover the truth about her young granddaughter’s origins.
Kate takes custody of her young granddaughter Glory after the death of Ally, her long missing daughter but soon discovers that Glory is mute and seemingly traumatized. To help her, she must try to solve the mystery of her granddaughter’s origins. As she struggles to deal with her own and Ally’s past she finds she is not the only one seeking Glory.
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About the Author
Patricia Hamilton Shook was born in Massachusetts and while she has lived there most of her life, she also spent twelve years in the San Francisco Bay area where she obtained a B.A.in Psychology and a M.A. in Developmental Psychology from San Francisco State University. Soon after her marriage, Dr. Shook returned to Massachusetts where she obtained a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Northeastern University while raising the their two sons and working part time. Reading has been a favorite pastime since she first began combining letters into words on a page and while her chosen profession has provided many opportunities to write, she has always dreamed of writing a novel. In writing Seeking Glory she combines her professional expertise with an interest in spirituality and mysteries–along with a love of Cape Cod that dates back to childhood–to inform her debut novel Seeking Glory.
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Home at Last Release Blitz

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Chandler Hill Inn Series, Book 3
Romance, Women’s Fiction
Date Published: April 13, 2020
Publisher: Wild Quail Publishing LLC
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Louise “Lulu” Kingsley is thrilled to discover after years of wishing for a sibling, Cami Chandler is her half-sister. When Cami invites her to live with her at Chandler Hill, Lulu jumps at the chance to leave behind all the heartache in her recent life. Not the spoiled little rich girl the media would like everyone to think, Lulu digs into marketing for the inn and winery, feeling more comfortable there than she ever did in California with her political father. Better yet, her mother is becoming a stronger, happier person and shares the idea of becoming part of a new family. Even though Lulu is aware that Miguel Lopez is the kind of guy who represents everything she’s trying to forget, she’s attracted to him. Following a heartbreaking situation, she steps away from their relationship. Lulu settles in at Chandler Hill, coping the best way she knows—by working hard. But when Cami’s beloved grandfather, Rafe, has a stroke, Lulu realizes life is short and knows she must make things right with Miguel, and learns that home is where your heart leads you.
Other Books in the Chandler Hill Inn Series:
Coming Home Chandler Hill Inn Series, Book 2
Coming Home
Chandler Hill Inn Series, Book 2
Release Date: October 8, 2019
Camilla “Cami” Chandler comes home from France to take over the Chandler Hill Inn and Winery for her recently-deceased grandmother, Lettie, as she’d always promised. Determined to succeed in this new venture, she finds herself in trouble from the beginning when she discovers most of her grandmother’s estate intended for maintaining the inn’s business expenses was lost in a Ponzi scheme. She forges ahead to provide her guests with wonderful experiences and to produce the best wines in Willamette Valley. After being ditched by her French boyfriend, she decides that being friends with Drew Farley is the safest way to proceed. He loves grape growing and winemaking as much as she does and isn’t looking for anything beyond friendship.
When a bride planning a wedding at the inn tells Cami that she looks exactly like her best friend, life becomes even more complicated. Never having known even the name of her father, Cami searches for a connection and comes to realize how complicated love and family can be.
Going Home Chandler Hill Inn Series, Book 1

 

Going Home
Chandler Hill Inn Series, Book 1
Release Date: February 13, 2019
In 1970, Violet Hawkins’ only wish at eighteen is to escape her life in the Dayton, Ohio, foster-care system and make her way to the west coast to enjoy a mellow life and find the love she’s been missing all her life. She makes it to San Francisco, but soon learns she needs a job if she’s to live properly. A kind, young man named Kenton Chandler offers her a sandwich and a job at his father’s inn and vineyards. With nothing to lose, Lettie takes him up on his offer and begins a whole new life in the Willamette Valley, Oregon. She immediately falls in love with the land and is fascinated with the idea of growing grapes in order to make wines. She, Kenton, and Rafe Lopez become friends as she learns about running the small inn on the property.
At the same time she marries Kenton, a stroke kills his father. And then before she can tell Kenton she’s pregnant, he dies in an automobile accident. Heartbroken and burdened with the gift of the Chandler Hill Inn and Winery, she’s left with the task of making them a success. Struggling to raise a child alone while working to grow the business, Lettie makes a shocking discovery that changes everything.
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Excerpt
 
CHAPTER ONE
          Louise “Lulu” Kingsley sat on the deck of Camilla Chandler’s home and wondered how she could be so lucky to live in a place like Willamette Valley, Oregon. The journey to reach this point was more than painful—it had almost destroyed her. But, here at Chandler Hill, she felt she might have found her true home at last.
          Staring out at the rolling hills and the rows of grapevines devoid of their fruit after the harvest, she saw the goodness of the land, its beauty and, most of all, the comforting prospect of more harvests to come. She thought of this continuity of life as a renewal of her own.
If Cami hadn’t offered her a place to stay and a job in an entirely new location, Lulu wasn’t sure she could have survived the last year of family scandal and misfortune. For anyone who didn’t know much about her, they’d think her life was a privileged, easy one as the daughter of a rich, powerful man who’d one day wanted to run for president of the United States. But the man who tied her to her newly discovered half-sister was a man of too many appetites, and his actions had hurt others, including her fragile mother and her.
The understanding shown by the half-sister she’d never known growing up meant the world to her. Cami came from a long line of kind, generous Chandler and Lopez families. Living and working at the Chandler Hill Inn and Winery was more than an ordinary existence. For Lulu, it meant finding a loving place in the world, one she’d desperately needed.          
          “I thought I’d find you here,” said Cami, stepping onto the deck and standing behind her. “I love to sit here and gaze out at the land. It’s very peaceful toward the end of the day and, as always, I think of Nonnee. My grandmother’s love of the land was the foundation for everything that’s been done here with both the inn and the winery.”
          Lulu turned around in her rocking chair and smiled up at Cami. Not much older than she, Cami’s big heart matched her usual smile. Though Cami wasn’t as tall as Lulu and had totally opposite coloring, their facial features were astonishingly alike. Among other things, they shared a tiny quirk—misshapen earlobes, a genetic inheritance from their father. Lulu wished she had strawberry-blond curls like Cami and her grandmother, Lettie Chandler, but Lulu’s hair was straight and dark. 
          Cami took a seat in a chair next to her. “Gwen is very pleased to have you assist her at The Barn. I explained it was only temporary, that you’d agreed to handle our marketing program. But with the holiday season not that far away, I realize both she and I will need your help until after the new year.”
          “I love being part of the staff,” said Lulu, meaning it.
Cami gave her a tender smile. “Sweetie, you’re much more than one of the staff; you’re family. We intend to use your marketing and sales skills here at the inn and the other two wineries now associated with Chandler Hill.”
          A warmth filled Lulu. Being part of a real, healthy family was such a gift. An only child after the death of her younger, ten-year-old brother, Teddy, she’d always longed for siblings. Cami’s grandfather, Rafe, was a wonderful man who’d been very kind to her. They’d formed a bond over the fact that her father and Lettie and Rafe’s daughter, Autumn, had met and fallen in love, producing Cami. The rest of Cami’s family consisted of a whole group of people who weren’t related by blood, but were still a close-knit group.
About the Author

 

Judith Keim enjoyed her childhood and young-adult years in Elmira, New York, and now makes her home in Boise, Idaho, with her husband and their two dachshunds, Winston and Wally, and other members of her family.
While growing up, she was drawn to the idea of writing stories from a young age. Books were always present, being read, ready to go back to the library, or about to be discovered. All in her family shared information from the books in general conversation, giving them a wealth of knowledge and vivid imaginations.
A hybrid author who both has a publisher and self-publishes, Ms. Keim writes heart-warming novels about women who face unexpected challenges, meet them with strength, and find love and happiness along the way. Her best-selling books are based, in part, on many of the places she’s lived or visited and on the interesting people she’s met, creating believable characters and realistic settings her many loyal readers love. Ms. Keim loves to hear from her readers and appreciates their enthusiasm for her stories.
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Gardenia Duty Blitz

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Historical Fiction
Published: June 2019
Publisher: Gatekeeper Press
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In 1957 jobs are scarce in rural Ashland, Alabama. Bobby Higgins is facing life decisions; his family’s farm struggles and threat of the draft hangs over 18-year-old males as the Cold War rumbles in the distance. Bobby heads off to boot camp, vowing to provide for his family from his pay. Between shore and sea duty, Bobby leaves broken hearts in every port. When his own heart is stolen by Rose, he’s shocked to learn that she comes with four daughters, a package deal he’s unsure he wants. But when Rose disappears, Bobby finds her and persuades her to marry him. Somehow they navigate their way through the trials of marriage and parenting as he fulfills his patriotic career and his promise to raise four willful daughters. In the spring of 2004, his daughters are brought together by grief. They forge new bonds, sharing their joys, losses, regrets, and ultimately family secrets that will seal all their fates…if they can summon the courage to report for duty.
Excerpt
 
Acknowledgments
Nostalgia is like a grammar lesson: you find the present tense but the past perfect! —Owens Lee PomeroyNostalgia. This is an emotional word that con-jures body language from a slow sweet smile, eye rolls or a furled brow that delights the der-matologist reaching for a Botox needle. I believe it is an underrated emotion but also one that requires balance. Mental health professionals also validate the value of cop-ing in the present by looking at the past to find hope for a future outcome. It can remind us and regroup our sense of purpose. So, when I began to pursue the story of what became Gardenia Duty, I chose to marry the relation-ships of the adults of the Silent Generation with the Baby Boomer descendants. This would create the social setting of the prospering America during a relatively peaceful time. Each generation would look through the eyes of a child and the eyes of an adult. Fortunately, it is at the root of my own childhood that I knew where to draw my research. To weave the sto-ry’s perspective from the young adult sisters reliving the past through the eyes of a child allowed me to use stories of many people. To educate my own perspective about the angst of the adults that were influential in my childhood, I dove into the dominant male military world of 1950s and forward. As I progressed, it softened the edges of my own painful and happy nostalgic memories. As in the book, I started out dissecting my late step-father’s military records and mementos, which allowed me to ask relatively informed questions to the many Vets, including my own Tin-Can sailor father. Their uniforms were retired, but often a baseball cap with a military logo alerted me to their presence. The Goose Creek Tin-Can Sailor Chapter graciously endured my prodding. I would meet shipmates of my dad’s and even developed deep friendships with a few. I explored the decks of the USS Laffey at Patriots Point. The familiar smell of diesel mixed with grey paint sent my nostalgia into overdrive. I spent time in Jacksonville Beach, Florida to launch myself into the mind of a grade school girl navigating her way as a military dependent in the 1960s.
I treasure the many glory day chats that revived the boyish spirits over a beer at ship reunions or an American Legion hall. The vulnerable confessions of the trials and tribulations of raising families under the strain of the Cold War helped me flesh out the tender undercarriages of these masculine souls. At the announcement of “free wine for all the blondes at the bar” at a local Olive Garden, I met and became part of the Thursday lunch gang of Jack Connerty. He became so dear to the heart of my story, I promoted him to Chief in my book. His best friend, Richard Santa Stanley, amused me and welcomed me with that first free glass of wine. (Lynn Stanley, you’re a saint!) Thank you also to Jerry and Marla Wickerham, Dwight Cargile of American Legion Post 147; John Long, who shared the photos of the recovery of Gemini VIII from the deck of the USS Leonard F. Mason (see next page); and especially to my father, Ret. LCDR Eugene Hall; and late step-father, Command Master Chief Robert Hardegree. But, as pointed out in the story, behind all these men were wives and children. The ones who waited and kept the family together during a husband’s absence. There has to be a thank you to my mother, Jeanette Hardegree and my three sisters because without the experience of being a real ‘package deal,’ my story would lack a realistic flare. My mentor and writing coach, Shari Stauch, con-ceived the basic idea of this story and kept me motivated to never abandon ship. Her confidence in Gatekeeper Press has finally laid the keel of my cover and launched the pages of the journey of the Higgins family. Of course, my husband, Steve Varn, gave me much needed R&R and escape with my camera underwater when the words would freeze. I hope this book inspires readers to look into the amazing stories of their families and ancestors. I have a new appreciation of the messiness of life, but how some-thing as simple as birth order can be a key to untangling it. For me, the result has been profound, and I’ve dis-covered, as I hope you will, that the definition of family isn’t limited to blood but to those whose hearts are so big, they prepare us to become the watchstanders at the helms of our own lives. Thank you to generations of those who reported for duty, and to the families that served with them. I salute you…
About the Author

Kathleen Varn’s love affair with words manifested when she turned four and taught herself to read. As she grew older, books and reading were an escape from responsibility. Eventually, Kathleen dove into journaling, which helped her find solace in the grief of a toxic relationship. Kathleen is now very happily married to her soulmate. She resides in Charleston, South Carolina, where she worked for an adoption attorney for twenty-three years. Her first novel, Ameera Unveiled, released in 2013. Gardenia Duty is her second novel.
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