Greetings, Fire Enthusiasts. How are you? Please forgive me. I realize it's nearly March, and you haven't heard from me since early January. Well, there's a reason for this. There hasn't been much going on, and it's far too early to begin inundating everyone with the new release until we get closer. *laughs*
A month from now there should be lots to discuss. I could have my novel back in my hands after a professional editing. It is book three in my crossover vampire series. I was so refreshed after Seeing Ghosts that I ran back to my vampires. I have a major new character that I am introducing; I'm killing in droves; and the devil is returning. There's a lot going on, and I can't wait for you to see just what I've done. Stay tuned. I will have had another birthday at next we meet. 46. Yikes! How did this happen? We're also heading for New Orleans. We'll be following my youngest and his high school choir as they have a visit planned. We've never been there before and we can't wait. Hopefully I'll be taking pictures...and sharing!
So, why am I here? I'm here because I took another chance, and stepped off of the well-traveled path of horror and paranormal books I usually read, and I want so badly to tell you about it. I do this because I famously did this once and ended up falling in love with Beach Music by the genius who is Pat Conroy. And I keep doing it. This time I read something that was inspiring, and that arguably contained more horror than I usually read - because it was all true. It was all...real.
The book: Naked: Stripped by a Man and Hurricane Katrina by Julie Freed.
A house and marriage violently disintegrate. Abandoned by her husband and left alone to raise an infant in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Julie is surrounded by the rubble of her life - stripped bare by love and loss.
What happens when one woman loses everything? It is a time of unprecedented clarity. She must unflinchingly face her marriage, her womanhood, her husband's alcoholism, his infidelity, and the remains of a shattered home. Acknowledging her own pain, she also shares the heartache of others in her coastal community rebuilding the ruin of their lives. As she reflects on choices past and present, Julie emerges anew.
Naked is a beautiful true story about choices, strength, divorce, Hurricane Katrina, flawed diamonds, addictions, a mother's dream, life changing bridges, single motherhood, and a baby girl named Genoa. Struggling to find meaning in her journey while paving the way for her own and her daughter's future, Julie shares a remarkable story with humor and tenderness. The strength and resilience of the Gulf Coast shines through as does the love and purity Julie finds. Experience the vulnerability, hurt, love, loss, anger, intimate reflections, authenticity, and ultimately the freedom as Julie's shocking story unfolds.
Imagine suddenly finding yourself a single mother.
Imagine your husband e-mailed you to say that he thought you both would be better off living apart.
Imagine your beautiful home is directly in the path of Hurricane Katrina, and you and your one year old must evacuate – and all that’s left of your life is inside one suitcase.
It would make a hell of a story, wouldn’t it? What if I told you it was all true, and that it happened to one extraordinary mother?
As a horror/paranormal author, you’d well expect that I would spend most of my time with the same sort of books – and you wouldn’t be wrong. However, I do love to venture off that beaten path periodically to see what else might be out there. The book I just described to you is "Naked: Stripped by a Man and Hurricane Katrina" by Dr. Julie Freed. She never asked to live through all of that, but as a mother of a toddler who suddenly finds herself abandoned by her husband – she does the only thing available to her. She survives.
I will tell you that this was an easy read. That’s not a critique of the writing. What I mean is I felt as if I were sitting across the table from Dr. Freed the entire time she was recounting her story. I could almost taste the wine we shared as she did so. It’s that personable; that engaging. She shares her life with the reader, once again stripped bare to the flesh to reveal everything. She’d already been left naked by her estranged husband, and the Hurricane that most of us followed over our flat screen televisions in total comfort while she lived through it with only her dear daughter to show for it.
Not everyone can tell a story. Not only did Dr. Freed live through a terrible ordeal, but she did a masterful job of telling it. I think you’ll find that true as well.
If you guys like moving from the beaten path as I do, or you regularly read things that are based more in real life than fantasy, give this a look. I think you'll find Dr. Freed's story completely compelling and inspiring.
Follow her on Twitter and her website.
We'll talk soon.