Sweet Pea is not part of the Birds in Peril Series.
To one man she gave her virginity; to another, she gave her heart. One, she would mourn. With the other, she would share life's triumph and turmoil. With both, she would endure times of love, and passion and complete happiness as well as times of despair, confusion, and sorrow. One day at a time—each day, building unforgettable memories.
I wrote the first draft of 'Sweet Pea' in the late 1970's. This story became my final assignment for the writing course I took through what was then 'The Newspaper Institute of America'. It has been renamed and rewritten upteen times since then. I sent it around to many publishers, editors, friends just wanting an opinion....I wanted to know WHY the story just didn't seem right. It has always been too long for general romantic fiction. This past winter, after more consulting, I took the advice of one editor to rewrite the story in 1st person. In doing so, I discovered I was not shortening the story but adding to it...A LOT! Like several thousand words! So I have decided to publish the story as a trilogy.
It is necessary to understand the Sweet Pea Trilogy in itself is one story. Where SPI (Innocence) appears to end rather abruptly, the story immediately continues in SPII (Deception). Many questions are left unanswered at the end of SPII which will be answered in SPIII (Passion)
Sweet Pea spans from the late 1960's into 2010. Set in rural Missouri, it is a story for those who remember the profound cultural changes and historical events that took place in the later part of the 20th Century. It is especially written for those with rural backgrounds, who understand the continual mental and physical effort it takes to maintain a family farm (then and now). Sweet Pea is a nostalgic story of growing up; of forging lifelong friendships; and loyalty within family that supports every life event, good or bad. It is a story of love that binds a man and a woman despite all odds. It is also a story of obsessive hatred and how such hatred destroys not only the innocent, but those who hate.
I firmly believe that, as we journey through life, most everyone reaches a point where some occasion causes them to analyze who they are and how they have come to be where they are. The occasion may be as profound as the death of a loved one or as insignificant as a change in the weather; but it triggers a strong inner scrutiny of one's own accomplishments, or mistakes. For the primary character of Sweet Pea, Johanna Louise (called 'Johnie' by friends and family), the time to remember and 'to take stock' occurs after a telephone call from a distant relative informing her (warns her, actually) that an old nemesis has returned to town.
The prospect of facing her enemy again causes Johnie to contemplate her life, to examine who she is, how she has come to be where she is. She is helped along the way by the memories of her husband and her best friend.
Sweet Pea II Time to Deceive Coming October 2017
Sweet Pea III The Price of Passion Coming November 2017
Published September 3, 2017
At seventeen Johnie is no longer a child but still full of virgin innocence—and defiance. Her final year of high school isn’t exactly a picnic as she endures the untimely deaths of two friends, a third disappears on Prom night and a rocky relationship with a jealous boyfriend. The summer after graduation she encounters her first ‘real’ love and the loss of her virginity to a soldier bound for Viet Nam. By fall, she discovers the world of factory employment. As fate intervenes in every avenue of her life, throughout the harsh winter of 1970, she learns growing up involves a lot more than physical loss of her virginity.
#5 in the Birds in Peril Series
Sylvia Pentherst is the fifth woman to marry into the Hunt-Harvester-Cromwell group. A widow in her mid-fifties, she survived years of hardship caring for her invalid husband and raising her three sons. Her now-seemingly-settled life takes a turn toward unpredictable when she leaves the comfort of managing County Hospital Housekeeping for the chaos of opening and maintaining two novelty shops along with Lisa, Jani, Susie, and Stephanie. Is it really possible to find that second chance at love with Thad Hunt?
Tentative publishing date is slated 2018.
I must offer an apology to those who are waiting for this story. I suffered a serious health scare during the spring of 2016. Even though, physically, everything is back on track, the experience caused months of a massive writers' block. I'm back to writing now but Eagle has a long way to go before it reaches publishable completion. It may seem strange--it certainly does to me--that 'when my muse returned' Eagle was not the foremost thought in my mind. Sweet Pea was. Suddenly Sweet Pea began to click so I went with the 'muse call' and worked on Sweet Pea first.
Please bear with me and know that I am so grateful for your patience.
I do hope you enjoy the Sweet Pea Trilogy as well as you have enjoyed and will continue to enjoy the 'Bird Series'.