Friday, March 29, 2013
Deadbeat Dads -- Roseanne Dowell's Latest Release!
Hey, y’all! Welcome back to Flowers on the Fence country. And welcome back to one of my closest cyber-space friends, prolific writer Roseanne Dowell. She’s introducing her latest release, Deadbeat Dads. I don’t know about y’all, but the very title put me on alert this book dealt with a topic women are intimately acquainted with, either personally or through at least one and usually several of our friends. And since it’s Ro Dowell’s book, I was equally sure there’d be some moments of great humor. Since I’m fortunate enough to be one of Ro’s Alpha readers, I didn’t have to wait long to find out – I was right! So tell us about it, Ro!
First off, thank you, Gail, for allowing me to post on your blog again. Gail and I met through our mutual publishers. Although we live almost a thousand miles apart, we've become good friends and sounding boards for each other. Gail was a great help in giving legal advice, brainstorming and editing this book. I know she doesn't want everyone to know it (says it'll ruin her reputation), but she really is a sweetheart. I have a feeling most of our fellow authors already know that anyway. So I'm not revealing any big secret. I hope someday we'll actually meet.
(Note from Gail before we get to Deadbeat Dads. I am not a sweetheart. I am tart and spicy. I keep tellin’ folks that but nobody listens! Oh, and the brainstorming and sounding board thing? Definitely mutual. My current WIP would be much the poorer without Ro’s input.)
How many men leave their wives and families and ignore them? After her husband leaves her for a younger woman, Erica Morris starts a group for ex wives of deadbeat dads and was surprised to learn how many there were. In the process of rebuilding her life, someone tries to blackmail her. Can she put the past behind her or will it catch up to her?
Available from Amazon at http://amzn.to/YWDVBf
Does everyone start out married life with rose colored glasses? I'm sure no one thinks their marriage will end in divorce. I certainly didn't. Mine was the perfect love, the perfect marriage, I was going to have the perfect life, and it was an absolutely perfect day for a wedding. The sun streamed through the window as I walked down the aisle on my father’s arm. Johnny looked so handsome standing at the altar waiting for me.
Oh, I knew we'd have our ups and downs. I’ve always been a realist. I know nothing in life is perfect. But we came darn close. At least that’s what I thought. So how did I end up divorced, fifteen years later? If anyone would have told me about the turn my life would take I’d have laughed at them.
Oh, I’m Erica Morris. Well, I was Erica Morris until recently. Now I’m divorced and left to raise two kids. Johnny, my husband left me for a younger woman. Not a new story, I know, but that doesn’t make it hurt less. To top it all off, he cut himself off from our kids and left me to be the bearer of bad news. To make matters worse, he refused to pay child support. Not that he couldn’t afford it. Believe me, he could well afford it, and then some. But he left us penniless? I need to back up a bit. I remember calling the meeting of other single mothers to order.
“Okay ladies,” I looked at the women gathered around me. Lisa Daly, who encouraged me to start this group, was here and Nicole Brown. Poor thing never went out while she was married. Oh, and Louise Conners, I still couldn’t believe her husband ran off with his receptionist, and now they were going through a nasty divorce. Not sure why that surprised more than the others. It shouldn’t. There was quite a turn out. Half the women I didn’t know.
I brought my attention back to the meeting. “First order of business, a name for our group, any ideas?”
“Deadbeat Dads Anonymous,” someone called out.
“Wives of Deadbeat Dads,” someone else yelled. “Or Women Against Deadbeat Dads.”
“Better yet, how about Mothers Against Deadbeat Dads. MADD!” Lisa Daly shouted.
I laughed. I couldn’t help it. There certainly wasn’t a shortage of names. “We’re mad for sure but that sounds too much like Mothers Against Drunk Drivers.”
“ADD,” someone else yelled. Against Deadbeat Dads.”
Nicole Brown’s hand went up. “Nicole, what’s your idea?”
“How about Wives Enraged at Deadbeat Dads. W.E.D.D.?” Nicole’s voice barely reached above a whisper.
Poor Nicole. Her ex-husband had knocked her self confidence so low. I was surprised to even see her here. I met her at a school function. Nicole’s daughter, Cindy, was in the same class as my Josh. I had heard through the grapevine that Bob, Nicole’s ex, had run off with a stripper. Talk about humiliating. I shivered at the thought.
Suddenly everyone came alive. Shouts of “Hey, that’s great, I like that,” sounded throughout the room.
“Okay then it sounds unanimous, Wives Enraged at Deadbeat Dads it is. All in favor raise your hands. W.E.D.D.” Kind of funny when you thought about it. None of us were wed any more.
Twelve hands went up. “Motion carried. We are officially Wives Enraged at Deadbeat Dads. Now we need to set up a schedule for our meetings and discuss our agenda. First, we need to choose a Chairperson.”
Nicole’s hand went up again. “I nominate Erica Morris for chair person.”
“I second that motion.” Lisa Daly raised her hand. “This group was your idea. I think you should chair it.”
Me as chair person? I wasn’t too crazy about the idea. “Any other nominations?” I hoped someone would raise their hand. No such luck. Heat rushed into my face. I had a feeling it turned as red as my hair, which was pretty red. I wasn’t used to being the center of attention. Never liked it and sure didn’t care for it now.
The room remained quiet.
No other nominees. “Okay then, all in favor, show of hands. Motion carried, I guess I’m the chairperson. Thank you, I’m flattered.” Flattered but a little taken aback. Hopefully, I wouldn’t let anyone down. “Let’s break for refreshments and we can continue our discussion while we snack.” I needed a moment to myself.
I never expected the group to name me chairperson. I’d never chaired anything in my life. In fact, the parents group at my children’s school was the only other group I had ever joined.
Johnny didn’t like me to go out and do things. He expected his wife to stay home, and God forbid, I even suggested going out alone while he stayed home with the kids. Anger flared in me as I recalled how often he came home late. Working, yeah right, spending time with his playmates was more like it. How could I have been so stupid? I remembered the day he told me he was leaving. Just like that out of the clear blue sky.
“It’s not working for us, Erica,” Johnny said. “I found someone else.”
Oh, he found someone else all right, his young, sexy secretary. You could have knocked me over with a feather. I should have known. All the signs were there, his late hours and lipstick on his collar. He was comforting the wife of a friend, he lied. I did a slow burn as the memories returned. And then he left, packed his clothes and just walked out without even a goodbye to the kids, left me to deal with them as usual.
Katie and Josh woke up the next morning expecting to see their father. Not that they saw much of him, but sometimes he ate breakfast with them and made polite conversation. That was nine months ago, and he hadn’t been back since, not even to visit the kids. He wanted a quick no fault divorce so he could marry his pregnant secretary.
I almost refused, but figured why fight it? The kids and I were better off without him, but how do you explain to an eight and ten year old that their father doesn’t care about them, that he had a new life with a new baby? It was one thing to forget about me, but not the kids. And I haven’t received even one of the child support payments he agreed to pay in the divorce settlement.
“Erica, hey are you okay?” Lisa’s hand on my shoulder startled me. “You look mad enough to spit nails. Thinking about Johnny, I bet.”
“Huh, oh yeah sorry, my mind was wandering. Yeah. I was thinking about Johnny. I just can’t believe he doesn’t care about the kids. He’s missed every scheduled visit. He doesn’t return my calls, and of course I can’t get past his secretary, uh wife, at the office or at home. I could have him arrested, but with his connections he’d get off Scott-free. I know it.”
“Well that’s why we started this group isn’t it? Come on if we all put our heads together we’ll come up with something to make them pay.”
The rest of the meeting involved mostly chit chat about this ex hubby or that one and how rotten they all were. It was small consolation to know others had the same problem.