The heroine from Ms. Becker’s latest novel is visiting today to talk about life, love, and the hardships that come from it. Let’s get started…
Thank you so much for visiting. Let’s get the basics out of the way first. What’s your name, for the record?
What do you look like?
I’m five-seven with brown shoulder-length hair that curls in the humidity. I have olive skin, a toned medium-build, hazel eyes like my daughter, and a dimple on my chin when I smile. I’m a little self-conscious of a tiny scar on my cheek that I got from a cigarette burn when I was younger.
Ouch. That burn must’ve hurt. What time period does your story take place?
The story takes place in Virginia and Colombia, South America in the fall of 2021 and spring of 2022.
Now for the nitty-gritty. What’s your goal in this story?
I want to learn the circumstances behind my husband Mark’s death. Mark’s workplace won’t give me any straight answers, only that he was killed inside a burning building. His supervisor treats me like I’m stupid. Now that my former partner from the Special Crimes Agency Tom Parker is in town, I hope he can help figure out what happened to Mark. I have so many questions. Namely who is the mysterious girl in the baby pic that was left in Mark’s car? And why was Mark contacting a travel agency to live in Hawaii for two people? With our son and daughter, there’s four of us! Nothing makes sense.
Oh, wow! What a nightmare. I’m so sorry. What conflicts are you facing from all that?
The biggest conflict in my life is trying to keep my family together. Mark died eight months ago in a fire, leaving behind two teens, so life has been a struggle. I’m trying to get my act together with anti-depressants, but the pills cause me to zone out and become dizzy. Lately, I’ve needed the medication more often. My fifteen-year-old is getting into lots of trouble, hanging around the wrong crowd. My thirteen-year-old daughter is never home. She thinks the house is too depressing. At the police station the other day, I ran into a very good friend, Tom Parker. Last time I saw him was six years ago when I helped him track down the hallucinogen Euphoria to save my son—his adoptive son.
Sounds tough! What is your occupation? Are you any good at it? Do you like it?
So many questions. LOL! I’m currently working as a college professor at the university in my town. I’m only an adjunct professor right now, but I hope to get more classes and tenure eventually. I feel like I’m a good teacher, and the students rate me high on the websites. I like the work because it’s safer than my other career as a government agent at the Special Crimes Agency. Since Mark died, I don’t want to work at a job that’s too dangerous. My kids need me.
So true. What did you think the first time you saw Mark?
Mark is the cutest man ever! When we first met at college, he was adorable, trying to get my attention at the campus book store. We took things slow in our relationship—although Mark would’ve like to speed up certain aspects. Mark and I were good together. Soulmates. I loved watching him get all flustered around me. He respected me and put up with my idiosyncrasies. Every time we had a spat, he’d bring me roses. (Sob!) I miss him so much. In my heart, I don’t feel like he’s really gone.
Aww. What’s your quirkiest habit?
Uh…I scratch my arms and hands when I’m worried. Usually I hide the habit well, but sometimes the urge to scratch overwhelms me, like now. Lately, it’s been more of a problem—since Parker started coming to the house. Did I mention I used to have a crush on him over twenty years ago? I told Parker I’m not ready to date. He agreed to help me dig up the truth behind the fire. One way or another, I will find out what happened. Parker warned me to trust no one. He may be right, but I trust my instinct. Something is not right with Mark’s death.
I wish you luck, Hailey, in finding out the truth. Thanks again for chatting with me.
Hailey Langley and her children struggle to cope with the shocking and mysterious death of her husband Mark. Her teenaged son is rebelling, and Hailey is dealing with physical and mental challenges as well.
Tom Parker, Hailey’s former partner from the Special Crimes Agency, comes back into her life. He warns her to trust no one even as he tries to rekindle the flame that connects them.
Everyone has secrets, even Parker, and some of those from the past threaten to destroy the present. Hailey fights to move forward after losing Mark, but she needs to figure out if she can trust Parker and risk taking another chance on love.
Mark scowled. “Oh, give me a break. I never intended this.”
“What did you expect after we faked your death? That Hailey and the kids would live happily ever after tripping through a field of daisies? They’re in pain, Mark. They hurt from losing you.” David’s eyes closed. “The boy lost his father. He’s suffering, and he won’t or can’t share his pain. Anna avoids the house, and Hailey’s at wits’ end trying to keep the family together.”
Mark clenched his jaw, his frustration mounting to a new level.
David tugged his sleeve. “Do you want to tell Owen the plan’s over?”
He met David’s stare. “And then what? Expect Hailey to run to me with open arms?” He pointed at the clear mask on his face used to minimize scarring. He still couldn’t bring himself to look at his reflection in the mirror. “Look at me. I’m a freak. And a cripple. Even if I could walk, she couldn’t see past these grotesque scars.”
“You don’t give her enough credit.”
Mark spit. “And you’re living in a dream world. I’m repulsive.”
“Hailey would be thrilled to learn you’re alive.”
“For how long? Until she stops feeling sorry for me?”
“She loves you.”
“And I love her.” Mark’s voice cracked. “That’s why I can’t do this to her.”
“You’re making excuses.” David’s lips tightened. “I hate being in this position. I get Owen didn’t want Hailey to know you survived, but I don’t like it.”
“It’s the best way to bring Mendoza to the States and arrest him.”
“If word gets out Owen and I made everyone believe you’re dead so we could track down Mendoza, a lot of heads are going to roll.”
“Bullshit! This is the DTA and CIA we’re talking about. The government does questionable things every day, and it never goes anywhere. The end justifies the means. Isn’t that the motto?”
“I’m just saying we can all lose our jobs and most likely go to jail.”
“We won’t go to jail if we catch Mendoza. He’s wanted by every agency in the country, not to mention in fifty other countries around the world.”
David got up and paced. “There’s a lot at risk. All our asses are on the line.”
The Wild Rose Press: https://www.thewildrosepress.com/bookauthor/c-becker
C. Becker is the author of Finding Euphoria and Saving Euphoria. She is currently working on the third book to the Euphoria trilogy. As a medical technologist in a former career, Becker has never outgrown the attraction of using science in everyday life.
When she’ s not writing, Becker enjoys hanging out with her family and Jack Russell, playing the piano, reading, and gardening.
Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/C.-Becker/e/B07NRWPWX3
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