Today I’m participating in a group blogging! WOW! Women On Writing has gathered a group of blogging buddies to write about finding love in unimaginable places. Why this topic? We’re celebrating the release of Michael French’s twenty-fourth novel. Once Upon a Lie (Terra Nova Books) is an exploration of the secrets families keep, and the ways those secrets can tear a family apart. Visit The Muffin (http://muffin.wow-
Twelve-year-old Jaleel Robeson is on the run after the police in his tiny Texas town try to frame him for the death of his father. A world away, Alexandra “Alex” Baten is growing up amid all the material comforts a wealthy Los Angeles lawyer can provide. One day, a simple cup of lemonade unites their lives, leading to a maze of adultery and murder that shatters Alex’s youthful innocence and Jaleel’s struggle to reshape his life.While the forces of the law try to unravel the mysterious death―or at least find a scapegoat―the two youths see the trajectories of their lives entwine, unravel, and come together again. Justice, Alex learns, can be a strange and nebulous thing, easily enmeshed in webs of loyalty and betrayal. Justice, Jaleel finds, can be a powerful―but dangerous―rock on which to build a life of honor and courage. As their stories play out over the years in cities far apart, best-selling author Michael French fills the world of Alex and Jaleel with a cast of vivid characters both supporting and threatening their efforts to build a life that “works” amid the expectancies of others and their own conflicting drives.
A graduate of Stanford University with a degree in English and of Northwestern University with a master’s in journalism, Michael French is the author of twenty-four books: adult and young adult fiction, art criticism, biographies, adaptations, and gender studies. A native of Los Angeles, he also is a successful businessman, an avid high-altitude mountain trekker, a world traveler to developing countries, an activist, and, with his wife, Patricia, a philanthropist raising money for programs aiding teachers in Santa Fe, N.M., public schools, which are some of the most challenged in the country.
I wanted to share with you guys my love in unimaginable places story. It’s my favorite love story. The love story to end all stories and it starts with heartbreak. Picture it. San Antonio, Texas, 2008. I’d just got out of a 2 year relationship. Or I was thrown out of a 2 year relationship rather. Blindsided. I was happy. I thought we were happy. Not fairy-tale, unicorns and rainbows happy, but as happy as two people could be who lived in two separate cities. I thought we had something real. I was wrong. To make matters worse, my dad died unexpectedly around that same time so I was consumed with grief for him and for my love life. I felt completely alone. I needed comfort and there was no one there to provide it. I don’t believe I’ve ever cried so much as I did then.
Fast forward a few months and I was finally in a better place mentally. I was hanging out with friends and learning to love being single again. Most of my friends weren’t in relationships at the time so the timing couldn’t have been better. I was adamant that I was going to be single for a long time. I was over dating and all the bullshit. And honestly the breakup hurt my feelings and bruised my ego. I felt I couldn’t trust others or myself. I’d always prided myself on being a good judge of character and this who breakup really threw me for a loop. And I’d forgotten how much fun it was to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I didn’t have to consider anyone else’s feelings. I didn’t have to maneuver my schedule around theirs. I was free to be young and selfish and I was living.it.up. Then life as I knew it changed.
It started innocently enough as another night on the town to celebrate a friend’s birthday. The music was blaring, the drinks were flowing, and I was dancing my life away. And then I turned around and time stood still. I fell deep into golden brown eyes. My heart skipped a beat. My breath caught in my throat. It wasn’t love at first sight, but I knew that whoever this creature was I HAD to know them. We were introduced and I cautiously took a step back. What was I feeling? Why was I feeling it? And why in the hell was I feeling it now? I had just gotten comfortable with my singleness. My smile was finally reaching my eyes again. I finally felt like myself again and I wasn’t about to let someone break my heart again. But there was something there. Something that kept pulling me in her direction. We exchanged info and spent the next two months writing back and forth. We took things painstakingly slow and really got to know each other. When we finally went out on our first date 4 months after that initial meeting we felt really comfortable with each other. And since that day, we’ve been inseparable. Almost 8 years later and we’re still just in love. In all that time we’ve only been apart once.
Be sure you leave a comment so you can be entered into the sweepstakes to win a copy of Michael’s new book!! Would you guys like more book reviews? Let me know!