Pull Up A Chair with Eva Charles

Pull Up A Chair with Eva Charles

Pull Up A Chair with Eva Charles!

eva-charles

Eva Charles is the author of the multi-titled Meadows Shore Series chronicling the lives and loves of the Clayton-Harrington family. She invites you to visit their beloved Meadows Shore nestled in the charming seaside town of Fair Harbor, where you’ll enjoy love, laughter, loyalty, and an abundance of mouth-watering food, Portuguese style.

banner-for-meadows-shore-series-cropped

After being a confirmed city-girl for more than thirty-five years, Eva moved to beautiful western Massachusetts in 2014. There, she found herself living in the woods with no job, no friends (unless you count the turkeys, deer, and coyotes roaming the backyard), and no children underfoot, wondering what on earth she’d been thinking. But as it turned out, it was the perfect setting to take all those yarns spinning in her head and weave them into a romantic tale.

When she’s not writing, trying to squeeze information out of her tight-lipped sons, or playing with the two cutest dogs you’ve ever seen, Eva’s creating chapters in her own love story.

2016

Why Do They Stay?

The author acknowledges that not all victims of domestic violence are women, and not all perpetrators are men, but for the sake of clarity, in this post, survivors are referred to with feminine pronouns, and perpetrators with masculine. The words abuser and perpetrator, as well as survivor and victim, are used interchangeably.

it-can-happen-to-anyone-cropped

Before I began writing novels last year, I spent decades as an advocate, counselor and attorney, working on behalf of women and children, some of it in the field of domestic violence. Given the prevalence of domestic violence in our society, it’s shocking that so few have any understanding of the scourge. When someone learns what I do for work, the first question they ask is, “Why do they stay?” Sometimes it’s asked in a light and breezy manner, as though there is a simple answer, and other times, it’s heavily laden with innuendo and victim-blaming. What’s interesting is that no one ever asks, “Why do they abuse?”

There are many reasons women stay in abusive relationships, children, family pressure, isolation, money and shame are some of the most common reasons survivors give for staying. But after working in the field for many years, I believe survivors stay because they have been battered, literally and figuratively beaten, until they can see no viable alternative, no other option.

To even begin to understand why a survivor stays, one must first understand what domestic violence is: the systematic pattern of taking power and control over another human being. A survivor’s right to make her own decisions, and her self-esteem, along with her family, friends, and every support system she has in place, are stripped away by the abuser.

Often it happens slowly, one small jab at a time. It’s uncommon for a perpetrator to start with physical abuse; usually, he lays the groundwork over time, before he ever raises his fists. He’s more likely to begin with some small, seemingly innocuous comment, “Those red pants make you look fat, wear your black ones instead,” or, “Don’t cut your hair, I like it long.” Maybe he monitors her cell phone and computer use. Before long, the jabs come fast and furious and they sting, “You can’t ever do anything right! You’re a terrible cook, housekeeper, mother, wife, human being”—you get the drift.

Some abusers save their entire wrath for private moments, while others humiliate their victims in public. Sometimes they strike-out in front of her children, which shames her, and terrifies them. Slowly, the kids begin to believe their mother is weak and powerless, and if she can’t keep herself safe, how will she ever keep them safe? This makes her feel particularly awful.

The abuser isolates her from everyone who cares about her, from anyone who boosts her self-worth, anyone who can offer her protection and solace. “Your family never liked me, now they’re trying to break-up our marriage. I don’t want them around here.” Or, “Your friends are sluts, I better never catch you with them.”

Soon, she’s not sure what to wear until he tells her, she has no money because he doles it out in small increments, as needed, and demands receipts. She no longer has friends, and if she has any contact with her family at all, it’s for short, sporadic, closely-supervised visits. Her children have no faith in her, and she begins to believe she’s a worthless human being, nothing without him, because he drums it into her every single day.

He sexually assaults her any time he’s in the mood. He forces her to have sex with him, or others, when she doesn’t want to, and makes her do things that are painful, or that leave her feeling ashamed. When she resists, he accuses her of sleeping around, when she gives-in to his demands, he calls her a whore. It’s crazy-making, and like everything else, it’s degrading and keeps her off-balance, terrified, until she’s walking on eggshells all the time.

He regularly threatens her and everyone she cares about, her children, family, friends and pets. Sometimes he promises to buy a gun, and if he already owns one, he takes to cleaning it in front of her, waving it at her while he accuses and berates. On occasion, he holds it to her head, or shoves it into her mouth.

Often it’s the victims who are in the most danger, who are the least concerned with their safety. It’s as though some part of the brain moves into survival mode, shuts-down, because otherwise, it would be impossible to function under that kind of constant duress. Many victims suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The most dangerous time for a survivor is right after she leaves, when the abuser sees his power and control over her slipping away. Years ago, as a wide-eyed twenty-three-year-old advocate, I accompanied a survivor to court for a restraining order and then to her apartment to pack a bag. The abuser was served with the order sooner than expected, and he showed up at the apartment when we were leaving with her things. He grabbed me, and held me against the wall in a small stairwell, threatening to show me “who’s boss.” When he took his hand off my throat to unbutton his pants, I flung myself down the stairs and crawled out of the building before he could really hurt me. My client wasn’t so lucky.

It is with good reason trained police officers, armed with guns, hate responding to domestic violence complaints. They never know what they are going to find behind the locked front door, making these dangerous, sometimes deadly, situations. Some perpetrators have no respect for, or fear of, authority. This is why restraining orders, while a necessary and important tool, can make the situation worse for some survivors.

Perpetrators and victims come from every walk of life, from every neighborhood. Wives, girlfriends, and partners of politicians, police officers, businessmen, lawyers, athletes, doctors, clergy, plumbers, electricians, landscapers, fishermen, and so many others, have sat in my office and shared their heart-wrenching stories. Some which sent such icy chills through me, that I wondered if I would ever get warm again.

Experience has taught me that the most dangerous perpetrators are those with everything to lose, and those with nothing to lose. These men will go to great lengths to protect themselves and their power over the victim, and some have resources and connections to assist them.

Born with more grit than brains, I’m a highly privileged woman, who doesn’t scare easily. But on several occasions, after meeting with a client, I hurried to my car in the well-lit parking lot, heart pounding, cell phone in hand ready to send a 911 call. I locked the car door, and glanced in my review-mirror all the way home, never letting my guard down until I arrived and the garage door closed behind me. Imagine now, how it feels to be a woman with no resources, no money, no family, no friends, one who believes she’s worthless, and who is certain that no one, no matter how well intentioned, can ever keep her, or her children, safe.

That’s why they stay.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline

1-800-799-7233

 

you-deserve-better

Pull Up a Chair with Maretha Botha @MarethMBotha

Pull Up a Chair with Maretha Botha @MarethMBotha

I am pleased to feature author Maretha Botha as my Rave Reviews Book Club “Pay It Forward” club member for Friday!

<><><><><>

Pull Up a Chair and get to know Maretha Botha Librarian, Children’s author/illustrator and self-confessed bookworm, chocolate and black coffee addict, animal and bird lover, occasional gardener and hiker on the moors.

m-botha-3

Maretha is a South African Italian, born in a small town called Montagu. She grew up in nearby Worcester in the Western Cape – a town reminiscent of living in Switzerland among the snow-capped mountains. Worcester had a small library. Young Maretha’s visits were limited to three times a week, because the librarian told her, “You spend too much time with your nose in a book and neglect your school work.” Nothing much has changed, because she’s still a confirmed bookworm who constantly strives to raise more bookworms who enjoy reading, not just as a pleasant past-time, but as an excellent tool to be used when grown-up. Before immigrating to the UK to settle in Lancashire, Maretha worked as an assistant librarian in a private school in Botswana, where one of her tasks was to encourage children to enjoy reading. That was a labour of love for this bookworm, providing valuable help in carving her own career as a children’s author/illustrator. It brought her face to face with the literary industry’s toughest critics – children and preteens. She saw that many students also enjoyed reading about birds and animals, their care, habitats and general well-being, especially when a few added catchy rhymes here and there made reading sessions interesting and alive. In 2012 her job was localised and as things often happen, this unforeseen occurrence led to a new chapter in her life. To remain motivated, she wrote down everything she could remember about her family’s pets – their little habits and characteristics. For example, the character of the working-dog hero in Fauna Park Tales is based on the different traits of every single dog her family ever owned. Researching habits, habitats and interesting titbits about martial eagles and eagle owls, as well as many smaller birds such as crimson-breasted shrikes and hoopoes, made it easier to illustrate them and tell a believable story. Her illustrations appear throughout Fauna Park Tales. Maretha Botha admits to being a chocoholic and unreformed coffee addict, a keen gardener and bird watcher, who likes to walk on the moors where the stiff breeze coming in from the sea, quickly clears her head, making way for more inspiration.

She may be contacted and followed via the following websites and social media sites:

http://marethabotha2013.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8447177.Maretha_Botha

https://www.facebook.com/flameandhope.co.uk

https://twitter.com/MarethMBotha

The first three books of “Fauna Park Tales: An African Adventure” are available as eBooks and black/white illustrated paperbacks.

A 210 page, Gold Band DELUXE COLOUR ILLUSTRATED EDITION – “Tales from Fauna Park, An African Adventure: Flame and Hope” is available and will also be enjoyed by better readers (9-12) who still like seeing illustrations.

 

flame-and-hope

AMAZON

Flame and Hope: An African Adventure” is the first book of the series called “Fauna Park Tales” based on “African Adventures of Flame, Family, Furry and Feathered Friends”, a GOLD MEDAL WINNER on Authonomy, supported by HarperCollins. The following is an excerpt from the HarperCollins Children’s Editor Review:

“A vivid and engaging world of animal characters . . . the use of cleverly animalised verbs is very creative – Dolly Cat’s ‘whispurr’. The exploration of interrelationships between animals is a very successful topic in the children’s literature genre, and you have created some great personalities – the stubborn goat ‘Plump-Grump’ and the conceited ‘His Handsomeness, King Rat’ being some of my favourites . . . “

Life takes strange turns for Flame, a puppy born in the African desert. Adopted by a free-range cattle farmer, the pup faces the challenge of proving himself to more than one of his new family. As Flame grows into a strong and brave dog, he finds friendship with many loyal furry and feathered friends who teach him to keep The Promise – protecting the helpless ones in Fauna Park, a secret sanctuary within the boundaries of the farm. One of his feathered friends is Hope, an elusive bird with strange pink eyelids who tells stories about a tall leader and his gang of villainous poachers, ups and downs of life in the bush and Flame’s ingenious plans to banish foes to the Llokodi Hills.

These stories are perfect to be read before bedtime to younger children. Preteens will enjoy escaping into an imaginary world where many bush creatures always have hope that everything ends well when the sun goes down.

 

friends

AMAZON

Friends: An African Adventure” is the second book of the series called “Fauna Park Tales” based on “African Adventures of Flame, Family, Furry and Feathered Friends”, a GOLD MEDAL WINNER on Authonomy, supported by HarperCollins.

Life takes strange turns for Flame, a puppy born in the African desert. Adopted by a free-range cattle farmer, the pup faces the challenge of proving himself to more than one of his new family.

As Flame grows into a strong and brave dog, he finds friendship with many loyal furry and feathered friends who teach him to keep The Promise – protecting the helpless ones in Fauna Park, a secret sanctuary within the boundaries of the farm. This ordinary desert dog becomes a hero when, to keep his promise, he saves a zebra foal from a fire.

These stories are perfect to be read before bedtime to younger children. Preteens will enjoy escaping into an imaginary world where many bush creatures always have hope that everything ends well when the sun goes down.

 

the-orphans-plight

AMAZON

The Orphans’ Plight: An African Adventure is the third book of the series called “Fauna Park Tales” based on the original African Adventures of Flame, Family, Furry and Feathered Friends, a GOLD MEDAL WINNER on Authonomy, supported by HarperCollins.

“Bad humans are disturbing the peace in Molodi valley, and two small orphans are in danger. One of them, Larita, speaks the bush creatures’ language – Faunalang – a rare and wonderful talent that they want to use. Alone in the desert, who will help them? Young and old will enjoy reading about the furry and feathered friends’ latest thrilling adventures, when Molodi’s bush creatures meet friends and foes in their quest to stick to The Promise to protect helpless ones in Fauna Park. Plump-Grump, the stubborn goat, and his harem do their bit, but what will happen at the farm while Flame and his friends are on a dangerous mission? His Handsomeness, King Rat returns, but is he a friend or foe?”

Fauna Park Tales (3 Book Series)

fauna-park-tales-3-book-series

AMAZON

What a joy to support such a wonderful author as Maretha Botha.

Pull Up a Chair with Suzanne Burke @pursoot

Pull Up a Chair with Suzanne Burke @pursoot

I am pleased to feature author Suzanne Burke as my Rave Reviews Book Club “Pay It Forward” club member for Wednesday!

~~~~~

Welcome to the World of Suzanne Burke

It’s a writers world, a world that seeks to explore and entertain

 ~~~~~

These are the words that greeted me when I first reached Suzanne Burke’s website. I learned early on that “Soooz” is her preferred salutation! Let’s see what Soooz’s world consists of!

~~~~~

 

About Author S.Burke aka Stacey Danson.

Well let’s see now. Soooz (My preferred name) is a Sixty something female lucky enough to reside in beautiful Sydney Australia.

I have a passion for writing that always existed, but I didn’t begin to write seriously until my mid fifties. Simply because I didn’t have the confidence in myself to allow that anyone would be interested in what I have to say.

I’m delighted that I was proven wrong.

My non-fiction works, “Empty Chairs” Book 1 in (Standing Tall and Fighting Back) series went on to sell extremely well, and remained on the Amazon top 100 for Biography and Memoir for over a year.

Book 2 “Faint Echoes of Laughter” did equally well.

Sadly my publisher closed their doors less than 18 months after my books release, and it has taken me almost 4 years to have the courage to self publish my work…BUT…here I am.

I have added to my books.

I discovered a delight in writing dark Thrillers with heavy Psychological overtones. Not for the faint of heart. They are fast paced and quite brutal. I’m so pleased they have started to resonate with readers and the reviews thus far are all five star. Color me content.

Here is the link to all my works on Amazon. I look forward to hearing from you.

Suzanne Burke Author Page on Amazon

~~~~~

Additionally, Soooz supports other authors and friends on her website.

Her Previous Posts:

~~~~~

What a joy to support such a wonderfully diverse author as S.Burke aka Stacey Danson, Suzanne Burke aka Soooz!

Pull Up a Chair with Julie Watson @bornformidwife @rrbc

Pull Up a Chair with Julie Watson @bornformidwife @rrbc

Pull Up a Chair with Julie Watson

julie-watson

Julie grew up in a small rural town in New Zealand.

She started work in the local maternity annexe on leaving school at the age of sixteen. She met Barry and was happily married until the unexpected death of her second baby at birth. This tragic event in her life led to depression, loneliness, and despair.

Life was full of challenges and it was during this time that Julie became a Christian. In her late thirties she did her training to become a nurse and a midwife fulfilling a life long dream. ‘Born for life’ tells her story and she hopes it will encourage others to follow their dreams even with life’s difficulties.

Julie has travelled extensively and has worked in several countries around the world, caring for women of different cultures and nationalities. Midwifery continues to be her passion and love.

If you would like to contact Julie her email address is cherryhintonlimited@gmail.com.   Her Twitter handle is @bornformidwife, and she can be found on Facebook at Julie Watson.

 

born-for-life

A nurse aide position in the local maternity annexe at the age of sixteen gave Julie a love for being with women during labour and birth and caring for mothers and their babies.

Life could not have been happier until the tragic death of her own baby in the first hour of life, led to depression, loneliness and despair.

This true story tells of Julie’s struggle to triumph over adversity and follows her journey to fulfill her dream and become the midwife she was born to be.

Available on AMAZON

 

 

 

Pull Up A Chair on Room With Books – Jan 19, 2016

January 19, 2016

Hi Everyone,

Well, it’s been a crazy week and although I gave myself the break of saying that I wasn’t going to commit to writing every day, I was still worried that I wouldn’t be able to do any writing this week after all.  Well, you have to remember that the writer’s brain is a law unto itself. All the while I’ve been working on other things… vital things… my brain was mucking about in the background coming up with something all on its own.  Now… the paragraph I’m going to share with you has nothing to do with ANY of the stories I’m working on, nor did I intend to write anything that involved anything like this. However, that one sentence about Carmine kept floating around and when I took a few minutes to sit down and write, this is what happened.  So *sigh*, it looks like there may be another story to work on (even though I have no idea what it is or where it’s going)

Karen listened to the soft swish of the doors closing behind her and waited for her eyes to adjust to the darkness inside.  She twirled her sunglasses nervously, surveying the room. This time of day there weren’t many patrons, even in this part of town.  A man in a rumpled shirt wearing orange suspenders propped himself up on his elbows on the corner of the bar closest to her. He was slouched on a bar stool nursing a beer which seemed to be his fourth judging from the collection in front of him. It sweated gently in the stale air, rivulets of moisture running down to pool on the coaster below it.  A dirty fingernail picked almost absentmindedly at the label.

At a table near the door, two women talked animatedly over some sort of cocktail, the kind that relied on strong spirits and brightly coloured accessories to make it desirable. They were dressed like secretaries and as her gaze moved past them, one shrieked with laughter. The sudden noise startled her making her jump. The drunk at the bar grunt wordlessly before taking a slow swig.  In the far corner a young man in an ill fitting suit sat with his back to the corner. His suit was a black 3-piece and in the darkness she wondered if it was pin-striped. In front of him was a folded newspaper and a half eaten plate of spaghetti. For a moment, she wondered if his name was Carmine and if the newspaper concealed a weapon. She suppressed a nervous giggle.

 Then she spotted the man at the other end of the bar.  He was watching her, his gaze steady. As she made eye contact, he raised his bottle of cola in salute and nodded at the stool next to his.  That must be him. Taking a deep breath, she stepped forward.  There was no turning back now.

© Domino Lane, January 2016

Until next week,

Domino xx

Pull Up A Chair on Room With Books – Jan 9, 2016

January 9, 2016

Hi everyone,

Well, we’ve survived the first week of the New Year and been reminded once again how quickly time passes! It’s been a week since we waved farewell to the old year already!

I noticed that this year fewer people posted about their resolutions.  Don’t misunderstand, I’m sure that just as many people made just as many resolutions, but we seem to have decided not to post them on social media – thereby making it less likely that people will hold us accountable *grin*

This year, I’ve decided that I’m not making any resolutions.  Instead, I’d like to make at least 1 “revolution” for the year (and no, that wasn’t a journey round the sun joke!!).  What do I mean by that?  Well, it’s simple really. I don’t just want to decide on making a change or improving something, I actually want to revolutionise that part of my life.  Naturally, that’s not going to be easy to do so instead of stressing myself out with a list as long as my arm, I’m picking just one area that I want to work on.

Writing.

notebook-428292_1920It’s so easy to convince yourself that life and work and reading get in the way of writing time… but truth be told, the biggest obstacle is *gulp*… ME!  I have so many ideas, so many characters vying for my attention and I love the process of capturing words. I just don’t seem to make enough time to actually do “it”.

And I do mean make time.  Multi-published writers aren’t somehow luckier when it comes to time. They just prioritise their writing and they’re selfish about their time.  They get up an hour earlier, stay up an hour later. They write at lunch time, waiting in the car for their kids, in line.  See where I’m going with this?

So for 2016, I’m going to make a point of MAKING time to write.  I’d love to say I’m going to commit to an hour each day, but I’m realistic. I will however commit to doing at least some writing every week and I plan to submit to at least 1 publisher this year and to self-publish at least once this year.  Why am I telling you?  Accountability.

I figured I’d buck the trend grin

Until next week.

Domino xx