Saturday, September 18, 2010

Welcome, Pat Dale

Before I share a little about my book, I want to tell you a bit about me. Born and raised in southeast Missouri, I’ve been able to travel a good part of the world. I spent the better part of a year in Japan and loved it. Fairbanks, Alaska was home for a few months and I loved it there as well.

I’ve been to most of the American states and have yet to find one that hasn’t intrigued me. Where do I get my inspiration? From the folks, regardless of their color or ethnicity, who inhabit the earth. Truth is indeed stranger than fiction; but it does lead to some very juicy stories, some poignant ones, and not a few that will leave you in tears. My fictional characters are all developed from a collage, isolated features of real people I’ve known or observed, but none of them are real in toto.

Over the years, I’ve made it a point to catalog personalities and the decisions individuals make in their daily lives. Because I chose to wait until I’d experienced much of what life has to offer, I had time to fill my cranium with an abundance of characters. Oddly enough I seem to resemble at least some of them. LOL Am I the character, or the mirror image of the character…

My mid-life romance, SLEEPING WITH HER ENEMY, will be released by MuseItUp Publishing in April, 2011. Ana Henry, my protagonist, is a forty year old nurse who’d lost her husband in war and her son has been struck and killed by a hit and run driver. She questions whether life is worth living, but her energy is rekindled when she meets Dan Morrison by way of his daughter, Sherry, when he brings the sick girl to the hospital where Ana works in the children’s ward.

They bond instantly and Ana is drawn more and more into Morrison family affairs. She and Sherry hit it off and life turns rosy. Then Ana learns that Dan has a car he no longer drives, identical to the one that had killed Joey. When she examines the car and finds damage to the headlight, hood, and windshield, the blood spattered over the car is too much to ignore. She has no choice but to turn Dan in and hope he has a good excuse. Things get worse before they get better, but you’ll have to read the book to see whether Ana is able to enjoy a new life with Dan and Sherry. ‘Sleeping’ is the seventh of twelve novels I’ve written over the last decade.

My romantic family saga, DANCING WITH THE DEVIL, will be released by Muse in July 2011, and my middle grade flight of fancy, ZACH’S AMAZING DREAM MACHINE, will be out next September. I have a romantic suspense novel, A GIRL’S BEST FRIEND, available now in paperback from Whimsical Publications, three romantic comedies, FOR THE LOVE OF HATTIE, GOLDIE’S BEAR, and DON’T BET ON IT, available as e-books from Red Rose Publications, and another romantic suspense, A PERFECT STRANGER, due out from Awe-Struck Publications in the near future.

If you’d like to know more about me or my writing, log onto: http://www.patdale.net or my blog: http://patdalesblog.blogspot.com

Thanks, Ginger for inviting me to drop by and visit with you guys!

Below is an excerpt from SLEEPING WITH HER ENEMY

The girl was sitting up, propped by pillows when they stepped into the room. “Hi, Daddy.” She gave him a big smile before turning her eyes questioningly at Ana.
He said, “Hi, sweetheart. How are you feeling?”
“Better. I got pretty sick today but I’m okay now.”
“That’s good, honey. Do you remember Ana?”
She smiled. “Yes, Daddy. It’s my tummy that’s sick, not my head.”
Ana got the embarrassed daddy off the hook, saying, “I’m glad you’re feeling better, Sherry. Did you miss us?”
“I think I was too dizzy to miss much of anything.”
Dan said, “I went over to Ana’s for coffee while they helped you. She has a puppy you’ve got to see.”
“A puppy?” She turned quizzical eyes on Ana. “You have a dog?”
“I do. Her name is Molly and she’s a German Shorthair.”
“Do they get big?”
“Not too big. She weighs about twenty pounds right now but they said she’ll be about forty to fifty full-grown. And she’s really smart, too.”
“Wow. Wish I had a dog, smart or dumb.” Her eyes fixed accusingly on her father. “But I guess we can’t have pets in our house.”
“Oh, yes we can,” he said. “I’ve been thinking about it, sweetheart, and there’s no reason you can’t have a puppy if you want one.”
That brought her to life. Eyes bright and shining, she asked, “Really?”
“Really. I like dogs too, honey. And we’re going to be making some changes at home. I think we need that.”
Sherry turned serious. “Daddy, will I be out of here in time to go to the swim meet this weekend?”
He glanced at Ana, who was shaking her head. “I don’t think so, baby. The doctor wants you to get over this before you get back into the water.”
“But I am over it. Almost. I feel great now.”
Ana watched the struggle of wills between father and daughter, wondering how much the girl had gotten away with over the past couple of years. She remembered her experiences with Joey. Kids seemed to have some kind of surveillance radar that let them know when their parents were vulnerable.
He stroked Sherry’s face with his hand and brushed her hair back. “Honey, I know how much your swimming means to you. As soon as you’re over your infection, you’ll be able to get back in there and swim like a fish.”
“Dad-dy? Ask Dr. Harris. Please?”
He looked helplessly at Ana. “I don’t need to do that, Sherry. I-”
“Did I hear someone wanting to ask me something?” The doctor had just stepped into the room.
Dan said, “Sherry wants to swim with the team this weekend.”
“No way, Sherry. You have a serious infection. We’ll have you up and home by the end of the week but I can’t let you go into a swimming pool for at least two weeks.”
“Ohh! I don’t feel sick anymore.”
“You may not feel it right now, young lady, but this is not something we’re going to take a chance with. It could become very serious if you have a relapse.”
The girl’s mouth twisted into a classic Shirley Temple pout. “O-kay,” she mumbled, in a tone designed to make her father want to cry. “You’re the doctor.”
“That’s right. I am. I’m also your friend, my little mermaid. Now, if you’d visit with the nice lady for a few minutes,” he indicated Ana, “I need to talk to your dad.”
Dan followed Dr. Harris out into the hall and Ana moved next to Sherry’s bed. “It’s going to be okay, Sherry. I understand why you want to compete with the swim team. Your dad told me how well you do.”
“He did? I guess I can miss a meet or two. But my coach isn’t going to be happy about it. He says I’m a big part of the team.”
“That may be true but if you get so sick you have to quit swimming, he’d be even more unhappy.”
Sherry thought about it for a moment. “Yeah. You’re right. I might miss a little bit but then I’ll be back with the team.” She gave the woman a big smile. “You’re a pretty nice lady, Ana.”
“Thank you. I think you’re nice, too. Your dad is quite proud of you, you know.”
“I’m proud of him, too. He’s taken really good care of me since Mama died.”
Ana blinked rapidly, surprised that the girl would be so open about losing her mom. “I’m sure it hasn’t been easy.”
Sherry smiled again. “No, I really miss Mama, but Dad’s been great. Except he doesn’t understand much about girl stuff.”
“Girl stuff?”
“Yeah. You know, like clothes. I like to wear dresses sometimes but he always just keeps my jeans and shirts clean for me to wear. So I always look like a boy. Stuff like that.”
“Oh.” She looked into Sherry’s eyes. “Do you ever tell him what you want?”
“No. He’s been so sad I don’t want to worry him.”
“I see...” She turned away, still assimilating the girl’s complaint, when Dan re-entered the room. He gave Sherry a kiss and took Ana’s hand, leading her into the hall.
He spoke very softly, his eyes dark with worry. “I’ve got a problem.”

Now, if you haven’t already found it, scurry on over and check out Muse Publishing. There will be lots of exciting books coming your way over the months ahead and lots of cool contests, too. Drop by often, and don’t forget to look for my book next April!
Best regards,
Pat Dale

2 comments:

Arlene said...

Great excerpt, Pat. The voice draws you right in. You seem like a person who can adapt to any place, any situation, and I look forward to finding out how a woman can deal with the blood splattered car in her lover's garage. Thanks for sharing.

Karen McGrath said...

I feel the same way, Dale, everyone gives me an idea for a character. Love the excerpt. Best wishes with your writing!

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