The month of October is a special time for me:
my debut novel, my baby,
will be released IN PRINT on Halloween!
One mother. Two daughters. One favorite. One not. Which daughter is Tessa? The favorite? Or the “not?”
Tessa is the story of Cassie Barclay, daughter of Marni Miller Barclay, phenom artist. Cassie is, “A quiet child a wall flower, who blended in to the back ground. Cassie was a beauty but went unpolished, unkempt. And unnoticed…” Why so quiet? Why unnoticed? Why, when she is so beautiful, does she not realize her own beauty?
Like her mother, Cassie is an artist. But unlike her mother, Cassie is of the impressionist persuasion. She is part owner of a gallery in the imaginary town of Kcynia, in western New York State. We learn in the prologue that she has a secret. And that someone knows what it is. Who is the mystery caller? How does he know her secret? To what purpose does he call and hang up? For that matter, what is her secret? Who is Tessa, and what is her connection to Cassie?
Tessa is married, and has two sons. And, apparently, a daughter. And apparently, she used to be called Cassie. She is tall and slim, with sleek black hair that she wears long and straight. She has unusual ice blue eyes and a pale porcelain complexion. She looks just like her sister. Near identical. And they both look uncannily like their mother. More than a close resemblance, enough to make you do a double take. Near identical.
Before she was even born, there were shadows over Cassie. Unwanted, she never knew her mother’s love. She was loved, though, for there were many around her who saw to that, who filled that need. But not from her mother. And Cassie was okay. She accepted this as her life, didn’t question, didn’t know any different. Sometime during adolescence, she set her sights on the day she would be on her own, and satisfied herself with that.
I stated earlier that Tessa is not my story. The one connection that Cassie has to me personally is the feeling of insignificance. For vastly different reasons, I grew up without the knowledge of my worth. It’s pretty devastating, lemme tell ya!
I’m not sure at what point depression set in. I don’t mean sad days. I mean the disease. Years of feeling unworthy created a despair, which gave birth to depression. I lived with this for years and didn’t realize. Only when I lifted my head enough to try to get God’s attention to help me, did I realize what it was. And yes, I know that I’ve never not had God’s full attention; I didn’t know it then. I’m free of the disease now, this monster, I am realizing my worth and beauty in God’s eyes. But it has left scars. And from those scars, I write. This is why I write what I write. This is where my stories come from. Because I didn’t want to be me. I wanted to be someone, anyone else. [blog Identity, 062714] And so, too, my characters.
Cassie did not suffer depression. But, neither did she experience fullness of life. When, in that critical moment, she was presented an unthinkable opportunity, she didn’t have time to weigh the pros and cons. She jumped into her new life, that of her sister. And that changed everything.
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