How far would you go to save a child that wasn’t yours?
Mild-mannered kindergarten teacher, Neve Botticelli, leads a double life. At home with her paranoid father, she is a combat trained survivalist who lives off-the-grid.
When self-made billionaire, Micah Kincaid, storms into town in search of his four-year-old son, Rowan, he’s pushy, entitled, and stands for everything Neve despises.
But something far more sinister than a cheating estranged wife, is lurking in rural Turners Gully, and it has its sights set on little Rowan’s inheritance. It turns out there is one thing Micah and Neve can agree on, and that’s keeping Rowan safe.
As they work together to free Rowan, they glimpse beneath one another’s guises, and realise that falling in love could be even more dangerous than hunting deadly criminals.
Hi, I’m Sandy Vaile, a motorbike-riding daredevil who isn’t content with a story unless there’s a courageous heroine and a dead body. When I’m not devising horrible things to do to fictional characters, I write procedures for high-risk industrial activities, mentor new writers through the Novelist’s Circle critiquing group, judge romance writing competitions, present literary craft workshops, and write the odd articles and blog.
Persistence is the key to success
I wear many hats each day, like mother, wife, writer and auditor, but the one I’m most passionate about is persistence. It’s an understated, slightly shabby hat that is stitched together with determination, and fashioned by resolve. I don’t believe you have to be the best or trickiest or luckiest, but you do have to stay focused and never give up. Ever!
J.K. Rowling once said:
It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
Persistence is something I’ve practiced since my dad insisted that I get straight back on after falling off my pushbike. I guess the theory behind it is that if you face your fears head on, you are more likely to overcome them than if you skirt around them, worrying and building them into Himalayan-sized phobias.
Unfortunately, failure is a part of life none of us can avoid, so I’ve learnt to embrace it, and use it as a learning tool to make me stronger. I don’t go looking for it, but I also don’t let those failures define me.
Without persistence I wouldn’t have triumphed over the many hardships in my life, like moving out of home at the age of sixteen with little parental support, or being bullied at high school, or having a serious motorbike accident.
We all face difficult times, just remember that nothing in life ever stays the same, and even those unpleasant times will pass.
One such lesson, came from losing my job. It motivated me to change my career path from Chef to office administrator, which led to my current role in quality management, without which I would never have found the work-life balance that enables me to pursue fiction writing.
Practice makes perfect
I have had lots of opportunities to practice persistence, because nothing ever goes to plan, but I keep taking baby steps towards my goals.
It’s not that I don’t feel afraid or dread failure, but I won’t let those emotions hold me back. When I stood in front of my first audience of 70 at the Festival Fleurieu, I could barely breathe enough to speak. But I had practiced plenty, took note cards with me, and took a leap of faith. To tell you the truth, I’m terrified every time I have to do public speaking, but a little thing like fear is not going to stop me doing it.
You see, it’s only by pushing past my comfort zone, that amazing things happen. I grow as a person, meet incredible people, and get to do things I never thought I would. And so it was after I’d been writing for several years, finished two manuscripts, and received many rejections. The publishing industry was in turmoil with the popularity of eBook, and then a death in the family knocked me for a six. For a while there I could barely put pen to paper.
And that is when I received an email from Crimson Romance saying they wanted to publish my book!
So remember, success has nothing to do with luck or being remarkable, we can all be successful if we persist no matter what.
I’d love to hear about the adversity you’ve overcome, and what qualities you admire in fictional heroines. Leave a comment on this blog and get 1 entry to win the “Combatting Fear” eBook. Subscribe to my newsletter and get 3 more entries.
Sandy is on tour!