Making Our Own Way
I have always been surrounded by strong, smart women, so much so that it took me a while to understand that I also was one. I still have my doubts sometimes, and that exploration of what is strength and how is it displayed helps me write my stories featuring women protagonists.
In my novels, Turning Point and Turn for Home, the lead characters come at the questions "Who am I?" and "How strong am I?" from very different points in life and perspectives. They become joined during their journeys, finding not only friendship, but also love.
Brenna Lanigan is married, with a distant husband and two teen sons. Cassidy Hyland is a single mom of a five year old boy.
Brenna heard splashing coming closer and turned again, expecting to find another child in need of a hand. Instead she found Cassidy -- walking along, keeping a firm palm under Ryan's stomach as he propelled himself forward, his puffed cheeks regularly dropping into the water. Finally, he tried taking a deep breath and swallowed some water. Catching him around the stomach and pulling him up, Cassidy waited for him to stop coughing, unalarmed. Her gaze lifted from him and found Brenna. "Hi."
"Hi." Hi? Brenna castigated herself for the singular response. Come on, for crying out loud, talk to her. "He swims pretty well," she noted. "Lessons?"
"No. Just the waterproof baby class at the Y when he was two."
"Oh." Brenna fell silent, feeling like a teenager at a prom. The rush of sensation she experienced in Cassidy's presence was both exciting and terrifying, and she exhaled slowly.
Howls and loud splashing drew the women's attention to the rocks. Brenna spotted James leading off a series of wild cannonball jumps, each splash bigger than the last as the group's teens hit the water.
"James!" Brenna shouted. Her worry subsided when her son surfaced. The joyful expression on his face demonstrated he was fine and eager for another run. He looked at her, shrugged, and slowed his steps for about three paces before he ran to the end of the line of kids. Brenna shook her head, decided against starting a battle of wills, and splashed the water surface lightly in her distraction.
"Lessons?" Cassidy asked, her voice sounding in Brenna's right ear at the same moment Ryan's small hand grasped Brenna's forearm.
Brenna inhaled and exhaled to release the shiver of reaction the double assault had on her senses -- one innocent and the other unintentionally seductive. Cassidy had a warm, throaty voice when she talked softly. Shaking her head, Brenna fought to just answer the question, trying to avoid letting her own voice go equally soft in response. "No, just pure gumption."
"I wonder where he gets that from," Cassidy mused, her eyes dancing with laughter, though not so much as a chuckle passed her lips.
Despite the flutters in her stomach, Brenna bantered back, "Oh really?"
Cassidy nodded. "You've got more guts than ten people put together. I really believe that, especially after this week."
Brenna flushed under the praise. "Just trying to help," she said quietly.
Cassidy did not respond. In her curiosity, Brenna looked back. She found a softening light staring at her. She felt as though the gaze were swallowing her whole. Are you feeling what I'm feeling? She almost opened her mouth to voice the question and then suddenly clamped her jaw shut as a voice in her head warned, Don't go there.
It was barely audible over the pounding of her heart.
There are many obstacles, both internal and external, to Cass and Bren’s journeys. But it is each woman’s inner strength that allows her to transform. And accept a love that is, for the first time, wholly real and not a Hollywood facade.
Comment on the excerpt or share a moment when you faced a decision that made you realize everything going forward would be a completely new experience. One lucky commenter will win a free copy of the ebook Turning Point (or if you already have that, I’ll send you the sequel Turn for Home).
For more information about Turning Point and the sequel Turn for Home visit Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/sclarazielinsky
For information about my other writings, visit: http://lzstuff.blogspot.com/
Thanks Lara, Brenna and Cassidy for visiting!
Next week, Linda Hays-Gibbs interviews the characters of her romances.