We lost my dad nearly ten years ago, and my grandma has lost most of her mobility and a lot of her short term memory. Still, we bring her out to my mom's house for that week. It's difficult--but worth it. At 97 she represents a generation that, for the most part, is gone now. Over the years I've listen to her stories and written them down. I've done my best to keep her history alive--and make sure my daughters have plenty of memories of their own. We owe a debt to those who paved the way for us as we grew into adults. Giving back to that older generation by listening and spending time with them is the least we can do.
Family connections are a big part of my writing. Nearly every one of my ten books features extended family--parents, siblings, and in A Deadly Love, grandparents. My heroine, Brooke, moves to her grandmother's home in the redwoods when she discovers her elderly relative is struggling financially, and the two set out to turn her big, old house into a Bed and Breakfast. At the same time, my hero, Dillon, is dealing with a senile grandfather who lives like a hermit in a shack in the woods. Both characters show their strength and compassion through these relationships, and I hope, give the book more meaning and depth.
I thought I'd share a short excerpt with Brooke's grandma giving her granddaughter some sage advice. Enjoy!
June clicked off the TV with the remote. “I’m sure you two can work it out.”
“I burned that bridge, Grandma. Anyway, it isn’t like our relationship was going anywhere.” She swallowed against the hot lump in her throat. “Not that I wanted it to.”
“Oh, honey, you don’t fool me.” Her eyes softened. “You care about that man.”
Brooke blinked back tears. “I’ll get over him. Eventually.” She squared her shoulders and took a deep breath. “I accepted Carter’s invitation to the black and white ball.”
Her grandmother’s lips firmed. “When I was young, girls didn’t keep company with one man when they had feelings for another. It made things simpler.”
She squeezed her eyes shut. “I don’t know why I make it so hard. I really don’t.”
June stood and walked over to her chair. She laid her hand on Brooke’s shoulder. “You’re afraid of being hurt again. Carter is safe.”
“Maybe so.” She rested her cheek on her grandmother’s frail hand. “Men are overrated. Who needs them?”
June chuckled. “I’m afraid we do. The dishwasher was making a funny noise when I ran it earlier. I was going to ask Dillon to take a look at it.”
Brooke jumped to her feet. “We don’t need him. I’m a whiz with kitchen appliances.” She draped her arm around her grandmother’s thin shoulders and headed for the kitchen. “That dishwasher is no match for the two of us.”
Do you have an older relative who's been an inspiration? Please share.
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