I was recently fortunate enough to get to read Christine Husom’s new mystery, “An Altar By the River.” When it becomes available (Coming SOON from Second Wind Publishing), I highly recommend you pick up a copy. I just as strongly recommend you DO NOT start reading it right before you go to bed… #1. You will be up most of the night because you won’t be able to put it down. (You’ll tell yourself you’ll stop at the end of Chapter 10, then 12, the 15, then 20… but you won’t.) #2. You’ll be so psyched out by the evil element that you won’t be able to go to sleep even if you muster enough resolve to put down the book and try.
Trust me… start reading “An Altar By the River” before you go to bed and you’ll be tired and cranky the next whole next day and it will be Christine Husom’s fault.
In return for letting me read her new release a little bit early, Chris got to preview my upcoming release, Water Lily. Here’s the official word from Chris:
“Hansen’s Water Lily captures the emotional upheavals of a woman’s lifetime struggle with her self-image. Will that struggle come between her and the man she loves, or will outside forces do that instead? Hansen is a natural story-teller, adept at presenting frustrating circumstances, likeable and unlikeable characters, misunderstandings, tender moments, and steamy love scenes. Water Lily kept me reading and touched my heart.”
I love the way Chris so casually deduces that a woman’s struggle with her self-image is a lifetime event. She’s exactly right. What we think and feel about ourselves changes as many times as we do. My own self-image is changing yet again as I come to grips with being in my 50’s. I wrote the first draft of Water Lily after my 20 year class reunion, a time when many of us get introspective about the way we look, and the way our bodies have changed since we were 18 years old and a senior in high school. And not just our bodies… but our attitudes, our dreams and expectations, our goals… have we done with our lives what we set out to? Have we made at least one of our dreams come true? Has the reality of our lives disappointed or surpassed our childhood dreams?
Reunions are a time to take stock, assess, set new goals. My 35th class reunion is coming up in a few weeks. Can it really have been that long? When my mother was in her late 30’s, she had my “little” brother, Corey. At 16 years old, I thought she was ancient – way too old to be having sex, getting pregnant and having a baby. Now, friends and relatives in their 30’s seem pretty darn young. It’s all a matter of perspective.
I’ve recently lost 40 pounds. My new, slimmer figure will make going to my reunion a little easier. (Although one has to wonder why I care… if at 53, I haven’t learned to accept who I am, and that it’s what’s inside that counts, not what it’s wrapped in, there may not be any hope for me.) But still, a girl has her pride, and having lost weight makes me feel differently about myself… again. It affects how I write, how I think and feel…. everything I do.
And it’s not just women… my husband’s bald spot is getting bigger, as is his belly… and you can’t tell me they make Just for Men for no reason. Men struggle with the same issues women do.
How about you? How’s your self-image? Set in concrete or in a state of flux?
In Water Lily, Michelle finally learns to love herself, just the way she is. Her perspective only changes once she finally understands that true beauty is born of adversity. What will it take to get me to learn the same lesson?