by Sharon Struth
Can forgiveness survive lies and unspoken truths?
Until Brenda McAllister’s husband committed suicide, she appeared to have the ideal life: a thriving psychology practice, success as a self-help author, and a model family. But her guilt over her affair with Jack’s best friend prevents her from moving on. Did Jack learn of her infidelity? Was she the cause of his death?
The release of Brenda’s second book forces her into an unexpected assignment with arrogant celebrity author CJ Morrison, whose irritating and edgy exterior hides the torment of his own mistakes. But as she grows closer to CJ, Brenda learns she wasn’t the only one with secrets—Jack had secrets of his own, unsavory ones that may have led to his death. While CJ helps Brenda uncover the truth about her husband, she finds the path to forgiveness isn’t always on the map.
She’d jabbed him a little, but wasn’t sure why, since this type of egging on was usually reserved for those closer to her. She rose from the sofa and followed him to the kitchen. Leaning against the doorjamb, she crossed her arms.
He reached into the refrigerator.
He pulled out the bottles and glanced over. “I would have brought it to you.”
“I know. Listen, I’ve never done anything like this before. My role in this project is a little unclear to me.”
“We’ll figure this out.”
“What if we can’t? I tend to be direct. Maybe you’d rather find someone more accommodating. I sure don’t want to be added to your list of challenges.”
He moved toward her and stopped, just a little too close. Brenda couldn’t move, trapped by dark chestnut irises that silently commanded her attention. The room seemed to pulse around them. Brenda’s breath bottlenecked at her throat.
“You won’t.” His answer carried quiet confidence. The smooth baritone timbre of his voice grew soft. “Something tells me you’ll be on a list all your own. The way you are is fine. I’d like it if you’d stay.”
Brenda’s breath vanished. Who was this man? It certainly wasn’t the same CJ she had met at the conference. “All right,” she mumbled.
“Besides,” CJ continued, sporting a grin capable of making a nun reconsider her vows, “I climbed Mount Everest. I’m pretty sure I can handle you.”
He handed over a bottle of water. She wanted to twist off the cap and splash some on her face, just to be certain this new and improved version of CJ wasn’t a dream.
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Novelist Sharon Struth believes you’re never too old to pursue a dream. The Hourglass, her debut novel, received first place in the Dixie Cane Memorial Contest and second place in the Golden Heart. She writes from the friendliest place she’s ever lived, Bethel, Connecticut, along with her husband, two daughters and canine companions. For more information, including where to find her published essays, please visit http://www.sharonstruth.com.
Sharon, how long have you been writing?
About five years. One year part-time, then I lost my job and began to write full-time. I devoured every morsel of information about the craft, took tons of on-line classes and wrote every single day (maybe a few days off but not many). For me, writing is more than a vocation…it’s an obsession!
What inspired your current book?
I wanted to write a woman’s story, one with some romance and a bit of intrigue, for females over the age of thirty-five. I love any story with romance, but I often find the youngish heroines in many books are not relatable or even realistic to my age group. These characters came to me almost immediately. Some of the issues faced by the main character in her past — alcoholism and suicide — are things I’ve dealt with in my own life. Everything seemed to fit.
Do you write with music going in the background? What are some of your favorite types/bands?
Never! I couldn’t concentrate. I was like that when I had to study in college, too.
Name one person, living or dead, you'd most like to meet.
Abraham Lincoln. I enjoy history and the more I learn about him, I see his strong character and ability as a politician. With many people against him, he stood his ground on the issue of slavery. It took some true courage to stand up and fight in light of the opposition back then.
What is your favorite book genre? Who are your favorite authors?
I love Jodi Piccoult’s style because she knows how to make a reader step right into a character’s world and feel familiar. I read Jennifer Weiner’s stories because she always makes me laugh. I love Harlan Coben because he sure knows how to write a fabulous mystery and his Myron Boliter character always cracks me up.
Do you have a favorite character from your books? Who is it and why?
In The Hourglass, it’s CJ Morrison. On the surface, CJ can come across as arrogant and even a little gruff...unless he chooses not to. Yet deeper forces drive him. He’s really a pussycat when you get to know him. I believe that the surface view of people isn’t what they are really all about. Look deep within a person who might not seem nice or seems angry; you may learn they are that way for a reason.
- Favorite food? Cheese. Almost any kind will do.
- Favorite color? Rich red.
- Favorite animal? Dogs. I have two.
- Biggest pet peeve? Slow drivers
- Dream car? A 1966 convertible mustang.
Discover more about Sharon Struth here:
Blogs at "Life in the Middle Ages”
Facebook Author Page
Sharon will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to two randomly drawn commenters during the tour. Be sure to follow the tour and comment in order to better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here.