Monday, October 20, 2014

Finding My Passion

A few years ago (I won’t tell you how many), I hit the ripe old age of forty and thought my life was over. Why not? When the entertainment industry projects the idea of valuable womanhood to be young, ultra thin, and beautiful? I no longer felt young. I’ve never been ultrathin. (The smallest size I’ve ever worn was a six, but I my appetite was off at the time. One of my legs wouldn’t fit into a size zero!) And as far as beautiful goes? I’m beautiful on the inside. That’s what matters, right?

In the midst of my mid-life crisis, I was desperately searching for something to give my life meaning. I’d trained to be an accountant, but I was never going to be a partner in an accounting firm. The desire to give it all for something so…boring just wasn’t there, so I wasn’t going to reach the pinnacle of accounting success. What can I say? Accounting is not my passion. Never has been. Now it’s something I do part time to make a few bucks so I can afford to do things I’d rather do.

I’d always loved music, but there’s no venue for a middle-aged singer. By the time it appeared on the American cultural landscape, I was already too old to try out for American Idol. In my twenties, when I could have pursued the dream, I wrote a few songs, learned a few chords, and sang numerous songs with recording artists. Of course, none of them were aware of our duets. I had no idea where to begin a musical career and I was a long way from the center of the recording industry.

Maybe I played around with writing lyrics for a while because I’ve always been fascinated with the power of words. Maybe that’s why I devoured so many books, regretting the end of the story as if I’d said goodbye to a trusted friend, a dependable comforter. The right word can change more than the meaning of a sentence. It sets the tone of what’s being expressed. Whether lyrics or literature, words create moods and foster memories.

So at the ripe old age of forty, I found my passion. I’d deserted it for years, but when I searched for something to get excited about, to devote my excess energies to, I found writing again. Putting together strings of words in the hope a collection of sentences glued together into paragraphs, scenes, and chapters might create a mood and foster a memory.

So my passion is to influence the heart, mind, or soul of a reader, those avid devourers of the written word. I’m not talking about the casual reader. There are those that read and those that are readers. We know who we are.

My latest passion is a series of paranormal romantic suspense books I’m writing entitled The Haunted Hearts Series. The first book in the Haunted Hearts series is Laurel Heights

Here is a short excerpt from the book:

Since Laurel had moved into her aunt’s house, she hadn’t fallen asleep once without pharmaceutical help. The sleeping aid usually lulled her into lullaby land, but the drug seldom got her through the night without a nightmare. She was quickly running out of the prescription and would have to resort to over-the-counter antihistamines soon. The doctor she had seen in Fairview wouldn’t renew her prescription. He hadn’t wanted to prescribe it anyway. She wouldn’t be going back to him.

She lay still beneath her comforter, listening to the unusual sounds coming from the lower floor. The house made a lot of noises, especially at night. She sucked in a ragged breath when it made a few more. Thuds and bumps sounded like footfalls. Was someone in the house or was she being paranoid? Every shadow reminded her of Rand. He was in prison and would be incarcerated for a very long time, probably the rest of his life, but he could easily send one of his loyal subordinates to find her.

She wrapped her fingers around the grip of the baseball bat she kept next to her bed and hoped she wouldn’t have to use it. Confronting an intruder with a hollow piece of aluminum seemed like a lame defense. She had been considering purchasing a gun, but hadn’t done so yet. Maybe it was time. She’d have to buy one under the radar because she didn’t want anyone doing a background check on her. Acquiring a shotgun shouldn’t be too hard. It seemed everyone in Arkansas owned a firearm of some sort.

She threw off the comforter, rose from the bed, slipped across the room with the bat over her shoulder, and opened the door to peer down the hallway toward the front stairs. Nothing moved. The house was quiet. Maybe a little too quiet. Only moments before, a symphony of strange noises had disturbed the night. It was as if opening her bedroom door had turned off the sound.

She stared at the back stairs directly across from her bedroom and considered going down to the first floor to check the door locks, but nixed the idea. Locked doors wouldn’t keep someone out of the house if they really wanted to get in. Better to barricade herself in her bedroom and keep the bat close by. She slammed the door shut.

No moonlight filtered through the flimsy fabric covering the window. The moon hid behind a thick cloud cover. She tugged at the curtains, pulling them tighter to keep out the night. Before she stepped away, she caught a glimpse of something not quite right. Peeking between the curtain panels, she stared across the backyard. On the other side of the grimy window, a dim light flitted back and forth inside the detached garage.

I hope you enjoyed this excerpt from Laurel Heights. The book can be purchased at the following links: Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

You can find me at these sites: Facebook, Twitter, My Website, and Suspense, She Writes Blog.

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