Strangers no more

When people hear the story of Trusting Strangers they ask “Do you still keep in contact with those people?”

The answer is “yes”.  My mom speaks monthly to one of the main characters, and we travel to see her every year.  Some of the characters have passed on, but we kept in touch till their end.  Here are pictures from long ago, and current pictures.

Our 3 hospitable hosts and my parents

D.A. Roach at a young age
Our Tennessee Heroes and my dad

D.A. Roach, Soren, and Catherine

Free ebooks Tuesday September 24!

Tethered (Book one of J+P series) 

Perry’s an 18 year old girl who is navigating her first year at college. She is finding it to be both liberating and challenging. She also has just met some incredible friends and a gorgeous guy who sends such mixed messages that she is unsure if he likes her or wishes she didn’t exist.

Can she break the ties that tether her to her parents, get the amazing grades she needs to stay at school, and win the heart of Jared? Follow Perry in her first college year in Book One of the P + J series.

Trusting Strangers

Dina is just an average 7 year old growing up in the suburbs of Chicago. But she is noticing her parents arguing more and is not 100% sure she understands why. They decide to take a family vacation to Gatlinburg, TN to take their minds off the stresses plaguing them. However, a life changing event has them stranded and learning to trust strangers. This biographical tale is a part of my childhood that has introduced some interesting characters into my life. When I retell the story to people they remark “how incredible!”, “you have got to write that story down!”, and “you just don’t hear about this kind of event these days!”.

A snippet from my new book Inconsequential

I have been hard at work on Inconsequential!  I hope to have it out before Christmas.  Here is a snippet for you to enjoy:
I returned to my room freshly showered.  I hated sharing a bathroom with 40 other girls, but it felt refreshing to wash the day away.  Molly was already in her pj’s and was flipping through tv stations.  “Hey Perry, your mom called.  I told her you were in the shower.”

“Thanks, I’ll call her tomorrow.  I am pooped and need to get up early.  You going to bed soon?”

“Yep, in a few minutes.  Goodnight Perry.”

“Goodnight.”  I climbed into my side of the loft and pulled the blankets around me.  Before I knew it I was off in dreamland.

“Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Perry…Happy Birthday to you.”  I make a wish and blow out the candles on the most beautiful birthday cake ever.  

I look across the room and see Jared smiling at me amongst the room full of friends and family.  Something about his smile feels like a warm embrace.  I’ve missed being around him and feel so glad he is here at my birthday.

The plates of cake are passed around until everyone has one.  I reach for mine and find my mom standing there holding the plate out of reach and tsking at me.  “Sorry Perry, you are on a diet.  No cake for you chubby” she smiled.

“Are you kidding me?!” I holler.  “It’s my birthday!  You aren’t going to let me have cake at my own birthday party?”

She smiles and replies “You wouldn’t want to be a heifer would you?” and for some reason I look across the room at Jared.  He looks stunned and in disbelief.  Everyone else is chatting and enjoying their cake, my cake, oblivious to the exchange my mother and I just had.  I feel the tears well up into my eyes and runaway to a dark room in our house to hide in shame.  

My annoying alarm had woken me from my nightmare.  I shook my head to try and get rid of the remaining negativity left behind by the dream and hop down out of the loft.  I grabbed my clothes I laid out and began to dress.

“Hey Perry, what’s the temp supposed to be today?”  Molly mumbled from her bed.

“High of 55, I think.  Sweater weather.”

“Ugh, okay, thanks.” and she rolled over and fell back asleep.

I finished getting ready and headed down to breakfast with my bookbag.  I was thinking about my awful dream and how it felt so much worse with Jared being a witness to my mom’s humiliating words.

After grabbing some cereal and a banana, I found a quiet spot next to the window to sit and enjoy my breakfast.  I wondered why I had that dream last night.  I wondered why Jared was in it.  Maybe David asking all those questions brought him forward in my mind?  Maybe I dreamt about the birthday cake incident because Molly mentioned my mom calling right before bed?  I should meditate before bed the next time she informs me my mom phoned.  

“Penny for your thoughts.”  I looked up and found Jared sitting across from me.  I blinked several times because it seemed surreal.  It was awkward seeing him in front of me and I could not tamp done the feeling of shame the resided in me from the dream.

“Umm, just trying to figure out a weird dream I had last night.  What are you doing here?”

“Eating breakfast, like you.  I have an early class today.  What happened in the dream?”

“Ahh, nothing, it was just weird.  You were in it, believe it or not.” I laughed and looked up at him.

“All right!  I hoped I’d be in your dreams one day.  Looks like that day finally came.”  Oh no, he was flirting in his Jared way again.  I had worked so hard to separate from him and forget about him, and here he was throwin’ a rope at me.

“Please.  Don’t inflate that head of yours.” I teased.  “Nah, someone mentioned your name and it must have made me have you co-star in the dream.”

“Well, hopefully it was a good dream.”

“Actually, it was more of a nightmare, but it’s not worth talking about.  What’s new?  I haven’t seen you around imuch. “

“Yeah, same here.  I’ve just been busy with school.  Classes are more demanding this year.”

“Mine are too.  Hey Jared, I just thought of something.  I have a physics test this Friday.  I could use some help studying for it and you are a Pro at Physics.  Can you help me study for it?”

“Absolutely, how about tomorrow night?”

“Yes!  Awesome.  How about 6 o’clock in your room?”

“You’re on.  Listen, great seeing ya’ but I gotta’ bolt.  See ya’ tomorrow, if not sooner Perry.”


I felt a  faint flicker in my heart as he flashed a smile at me before he turned to head out of the cafeteria.  It is just a study session.  Nothing more.