In honor of - that sounds so peculiar, but there you go...
It saddens me sometimes when I wonder if readers are turned off from The Last Resort because of some of the subject matter. That would be a shame because there are so many wonderful characters in it and it's such a great story, with moments of humor and heart mixed with the suspense. However, I will tell you that The Last Resort is not your standard story about domestic violence.
A.) It's not specifically a romance. Although there is romance in it, there is no tall, dark handsome stranger to save the poor heroine from her abusive husband.
B.) It's not a poor pitiful me memoir, either.
Strangely, for those friends and fans who've read it, The Last Resort is their favorite novel of all the ones I've written. It's also one of the most personal of my books, the one so like one side of me.
The inspiration for the story came from so many places, an episode of Survivor which gave me one of the characters and those parts - both good and bad - of my checkered past. Some of the people in it are real, some are compilations of people I once knew, and some are entirely made up. All the names have been changed to protect the innocent, and the guilty. I'll let you, the reader, figure out which is which.
I do feel the need to establish my bona fides here. Yes, I was the victim of domestic violence, but some of the experiences in The Last Resort come from other people and from my parents's time as First Responders for the local fire department.
I was lucky in a way. I escaped not once, but three times. There's a reason why I say that, but we'll get there.
I'd been married three whole months and realized that if I didn't leave, and soon, I never would. Recognizing that urge to escape, my husband locked me in the cellar.
My first escape, and my first mistake, was thanks to my sister - and then we went home. Thanks to her courage and that of a neighbor, I escaped yet again when my ex showed up with a shotgun to take me home.
The most dangerous time for most abused women is when they leave, and the most dangerous time for their family.
It was terrifying, but... I made it. Safe in a hotel room purchase under someone else's name.
Never underestimate the cleverness of the wicked.
The phone rang. It was the pastor who had married my husband and I. My ex just wanted to talk, he said, to apologize. He knew he'd scared me... etc. etc.
I wonder if even now the pastor involved knows I saved his life and the lives of the few other parishioners in the church? If there had been more people... It still might have been a bloodbath, since my ex came armed.
So, I went back. Let's just say it wasn't pretty. And the pastor who had promised me I'd be safe? Well, he came to get me several days later - but he made me walk a mile to meet him. Apparently he was aware that one of us would be in danger.
I was twenty.
What happened next is part of what forms The Last Resort. For me, as for Carrie, we both grew past those days. Like Carrie I won't be called either a victim or a survivor. I won't be labeled. What happened to me then is such a small part and time of my life. I'm a victor.
However, none of that is why you should read The Last Resort. Read it because it's a great thriller about a missing girl and the effort to find her. Read it because there are some great characters. Read it because you love a good romance. Read it because it's fun. That's all I want.
When Jack Spencer, the Head of Security for Fairview Mountain Resort calls about a missing coed, computer tech and sometimes troubleshooter Carrie Anderson answers. The last thing the resort needs is bad publicity. Jack knows that on the side, Carrie is part of a team that help domestic violence victims escape their homes and abusers. Complicating things is the handsome new attorney that just joined the team.
What she finds though will test all her skills at making people disappear and put all their lives in danger.
A very frightened Sandy Miller crouched with her children at the end of the hall. The Pastor was looking very bewildered.
“Sandy,” I whispered. Please don’t say yes. “Does your husband own a gun?”
Slowly, with big eyes, she nodded.
This was worst case scenario, all my preparations and plans undone. I nodded, hitting speed dial.
“Moira, call them off.”
I hung up, looked at the pastor. “Does he know where the parsonage is?”
Pastor Charles nodded, his face paling.
I darted quickly into the office, grabbed the phone and dragged it out of the office.
“Call your wife, tell her to get out of the house. Go to the nearest neighbor’s. She’s to go now.”
If he got no answer here at the church, that’s where Sandy's husband would go next.
I looked at Drew...
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