What I’m realizing about the heroines in my books is that they never start out that way. They’re not born to be heroines, they’re women who are going about their lives and something happens to them. That’s when they have to rise up on their hind legs or their designer heels and handle it. Kind of like real life.
I don’t know a lot of women who started out to try to be heroes, but I know an amazing number who have turned out that way. I speaking of every day heroes, not someone looking for fame or glory, just people who handle what has to be done and don’t expect praise for it. The adults of the world, like my aunts that were nurses and physical therapists in World War II or my mother who took over running a mill during the war and sank back down to secretary status when the men came home. But the mill was up and running with everyone employed for all those years the men were gone, keeping their families safe as well.
In Learning Trust, Becca is doing her best to fly under the radar. She wants to be anonymous and live a quiet life far from any spotlight. She feels her “talents” have already cost her so much. But just when she thinks anonymity is a real possibility, she’s called upon by circumstances beyond her control to step forward and save the one thing that has become more important than staying in the shadows – Mitch.
See below how to enter the contest to in a free copy of Learning Trust –
An excerpt from Learning Trust –
The knock on the door startled Becca and she cautiously looked out the window. The battered red truck was parked outside again. Mitch? What the hell?
She hesitated. What was the man doing here? No matter, she’d get rid of him once and for all. She stalked to the door and tore it open. “What are—”
To forestall her, he held up the pizza box. “Have you had dinner?”
She gaped at him for a moment, caught completely off guard. Then she surprised herself by stepped back and waving him in. A smile spread across his face and he headed inside, placing the pizza box on the table.
“What are you doing here?”
“Isn’t it obvious?”
“I thought we could share a pizza. You told me you had a salad for lunch. You need some protein. I know you said you were fine, but as your mechanic, I need to be sure of it.”
She couldn’t help the chuckle that escaped her. “As my mechanic?”
He nodded, grinning. “I didn’t bring beer. I thought you might have something here we could drink.”
She blinked, but nodded. Just when had she lost control of the situation?
“I didn’t know what you preferred, so I got garbage. You can pick off anything you don’t eat.”
She turned away to take the tea from the refrigerator, and to hide her smile. No reason to let him see he was getting to her. Or to admit to herself she was pleased not to be alone.
He was seated at the table when she returned with the pitcher and two glasses. He poured the tea, while she assembled plates and napkins. Finally, she took a seat around the corner from him at the large table.
He offered her the first piece and she chose one with maximum mushrooms and black olives. He nodded approval and chose his own, taking a bite before transferring it to a plate. They ate in companionable silence for a moment or two. She looked over appraising him. “I really don’t need a baby sitter.”
“Good, because I wouldn’t know how.”
She was silent for a minute while he ate. “Uh,” she groped for a conversation topic. She’d never needed one in the past. “Have you always lived here?”
He looked up and grinned. “Yeah, pretty much. I was away at school for a while, but otherwise this is the place I grew up.”
“School? Where did you go?” It was kind of interesting hearing the information rather than gleaning it herself.
“I got my undergraduate degree in engineering from State, and my MBA from Carolina.”
She hoped he didn’t notice the look of surprise on her face, quickly hidden.
He nodded, taking another bite.
“I don’t understand.”
“Why I’m working as a mechanic here in East Nowhere?”
“Well, yes.” She had put her slice down and regarded him curiously.
He shrugged. “Right after I got my MBA, Dad took ill. I came home to help him out with the garage. Then he had a second stroke. It was quick, the second one. I decided to stay on for a while.”
“Is your mother still alive?”
“Yes. She’s doing okay. But she did refuse to let me move home.”
“What?” Becca stopped with her slice of pizza half way to her mouth.
“She was afraid if I did move home, I wouldn’t leave. I’d feel guilty, and think she needed looking after.”
“Was she right?”
“No. I happen to like it here. It’s home,” he shrugged again. “Besides the apartment over the garage is probably twice what I could afford anywhere else. It’s not nicely decorated like this place, but it’s beginning to look lived in.”
“Is your mother close by?”
“Oh yeah. A couple of miles that way.” He pointed across the lake. “Unfortunately with the roads it’s quite a bit longer to get there, unless I take a boat. What about you? Where did you go to school?”
“Me? I attended a small private college in Connecticut—Greenhaven. I was pre-law.”
“Pre-law, a tough curriculum.” Mitch observed. “Did you go on to law school?”
“No tougher than engineering. At least I didn’t have to excel in math.” She smiled faintly. “I got into Stanford Law, but I decided on a different direction.”
He waited a beat. “What would that be?”
“I worked with law enforcement, more as a consultant.”
“Worked? Past tense?”
“Yes. I’m currently unemployed.”
He looked around the room. “I thought you’d bought this place. The “For Sale” sign is missing.”
She nodded. “I know the new owner.”
“So you came here to recuperate.” She stiffened. “Sorry. I guess I am prying, but I found the medicine in your car, and this afternoon . . . ”
“I had surgery,” she spoke carefully. It was an excuse. The trauma to her body was the least of what she needed to recover.
“How long ago?”
“A couple of weeks.”
“Weeks?” His eyes widened.
She nodded, surprised at his tone.
“You’re out here all by yourself two weeks after surgery?”
“I’m doing very well, taking my medicine and getting lots of rest.” His eyebrow rose slightly and she could feel herself blush. “I truly am doing okay. This place is peaceful. That’s what I needed the most.”
He didn’t look completely reassured, but nodded. “Well, I guess I’ve intruded on your evening enough.” Her head jerked up. For an instant she didn’t want him to leave, but no way could she say that. Besides, it was such a new feeling she needed to explore it—alone.
“May I drop by again?”
“As a babysitter?”
“No, ’cause I enjoy your company.”
“Thanks, I’d like that. The pizza was good.”
He winked and rose, carrying the empty box with him. “Do I get your phone number?”
“Oh, uh, okay.” She waited until he pulled out his cell phone, and added her number to his list. For an instant, she wondered how many women were in there.
She walked him to the door, said goodnight, and locked up after him, but watched until the truck was out of sight.
To her surprise she slept better that night than she had in some time. If she dreamed about Dayton, at least she didn’t remember it, which was a relief. And while she knew she wasn’t healed, for the first time it felt as if she’d made progress.
She shoved aside the thought Mitch might have anything to do with it.
A few other heroines –