- N. N. Light
Vulnerable by Marsha R. West is a Shake Off Winter Doldrums pick #99cents #laterinlife #giveaway
Author: Marsha R. West
Genre: Late in Life Romantic Suspense
Interior designer and junior college professor Maddy Crawford Crain wants to stand on her own after the loss of her husband two years ago but being sexually harassed makes her feel vulnerable and forces her to seek help.
Former LA Homicide Detective and now security expert David Bourland, having seen his wife gunned down, wants to protect his heart & his clients. Maddy’s problems draw on all his protective instincts to keep her safe.
Will David’s fear of falling in love with someone who could die violently and Maddy’s determination to stand on her own keep them from finding each other?
Trailer for VULNERABLE https://youtu.be/Q2uaEusbZtI
“How much do you know about harassment in the workplace?” Maddy fiddled with her silverware, moving her fork and knife around from place to place.
“Why are you asking? Do you have a friend who’s run into some trouble?”
Maddy pushed away her plate. “Not a friend. It’s me.”
Morgan nearly choked on the last bite of salad. “Oh, my God, Mom. Are you all right? What happened? When? Who?”
“I’m fine. The first incident happened several weeks ago. I’d gone to the home of President Huntington to follow up on a request for extra scholarship money for several of my students.”
“Why did you go to his home?” Morgan nibbled a bite of the pizza.
“I’d emailed him my request, and because of his busy schedule he asked me to stop by his house to discuss the issue. I didn’t think a lot about it at the time. I focused on doing whatever I could for these students to receive the money so they could finish the program and find good paying jobs.”
“So like you, Mom. What happened? How did he harass you?” Morgan no longer paid attention to her pizza. Her focus solely on her mother.
Maddy briefly sketched out the evening. When she got to the place where Huntington tried to touch her breast, Morgan gasped. “Oh, Mom. I’m sorry this happened to you. Are you sure you’re all right?” She reached across the table for her mother’s hand.
“Yes. Of course, I was upset, but I should’ve stopped him when he first put his hand on my thigh and squeezed. So, it’s on me.”
Morgan let go of her mother’s hand and picked up her pizza. “But, Mom, you did tell him to stop. I’m grateful you got out without a worse result. You haven’t had any other run-ins with him, have you?”
“I’m afraid there’ve been two other incidents.” Maddy forced herself to sample the pizza, hoping her anxiety wouldn’t make the cheese curdle in her stomach.
“Dear God, Mom. What else?”
Maddy explained about Huntington accosting her in the campus parking garage and in the grocery store parking lot. “I’ve never run into this situation before, and I’m not sure what I should do.”
“To begin with you’ve taken a couple correct steps. You emphatically said no. Now, you’ve told me. You need to start keeping notes. Document. Document. Document. Set up a file on your computer and use a new document for each incident that’s happened with the date. I hope he doesn’t attempt to harass you further, but since he’s already confronted you three times, the chances are better than even he won’t stop. Some men and their entitled mindset!” She stopped short of rolling her eyes. “Even though a woman says no, they can’t believe it, and they keep trying.”
“I hate hearing that.” Maddy lifted her coffee and gulped the dregs, barely containing a grimace.
Morgan nodded. “I hope he doesn’t keep up this harassment, Mom, but it’s not uncommon.”
“So what else should I do? Should I report him to H.R.?”
“Yeah, you should. If it had been only one incident, I’d say hold off, but he’s tried something with you three times. Doesn’t sound to me like he’s heard your no.”
“I guess he hasn’t.”
“Can you avoid being alone with him?”
“I guarantee I won’t go to his house again. Stupid behavior on my part.”
“No, you weren’t stupid, and you didn’t do anything wrong. I’ve never seen you dressed in what anyone would call a provocative manner. Even if you had been, that didn’t give him a right to put his hands on you.”
“Okay. Thanks. I hated to dump this on you, but you have such a good head on your shoulders and with your legal knowledge, I knew I could count on your perspective.”
“How are you ladies doing? Didn’t you like the pizza?” The server glanced at each of them.
Maddy caught Morgan’s gaze. “Great as usual, but we’re watching our calories, so we only took a couple of bites. Can you leave the check?”
“Sure.” He rustled in the pocket of his apron and held out the payment device. “Here you go, and I can handle that for you.”
“I’ve got this, Morgan.” After adding a generous tip, Maddy tapped her card on the screen. “Thank you.” She turned to her daughter. “I’m grateful you had time to meet with me.
“Me too, Mom. Listen, I want you to meet with the friend in security I told you about. You need better advice than I can give you.”
“Are you sure that’s necessary?”
“Yeah, I am. And it’s not only because I’m sure you and David Bourland would be good together.”
“Oh, geez, Morgan. Are you sure you’re not using my situation as an excuse?”
“Yes. I promise I’m not, but if something develops between you too, you can thank me later.” Morgan’s cheeky grin made Maddy smile. “Nevertheless, I insist you meet with him.”
“Okay. Okay.” Maddy nodded. Morgan, a take-charge kind of person who saw a problem and always tried to fix it. Morgan had jumped on the Huntington problem with both feet.
“After I set up an appointment, I’ll give you the details about meeting with him. And you call me anytime, got it?” Morgan rose and pulled on her coat and helped Maddy with hers. They left the restaurant, and Morgan hugged her mother. “Be safe.” She walked in one direction and Maddy in another.
Maddy pulled on her gloves and hoped she hadn’t made a mistake confiding in Morgan. Wasn’t the mother supposed to be the one with all the answers?
99 Cent Sale March 12-18 everywhere & Half-Price Sale all month only on Smashwords!
Vulnerable | Universal Book Links Help You Find Books at Your Favorite Store! (books2read.com)
What’s your favorite activity to shake off the winter doldrums?
In Texas, we just have to be patient and wait awhile. It’s been super cold with a gusty north wind for several days, but tomorrow’s high will be 80 degrees. In January, we had a week-long cold spell with ice. When that happens, everything shuts down. I did all my shopping before the storm hit, and the second day I made a giant pot of chicken veggie soup. We ate on it all week. To get my 10 K steps a day, I had to walk in our small lake cottage. Gosh that was hard, but it had to get done. Actually, it was probably healthier for me since I pretty much walked some every hour as opposed to walking big chunks at a time. So, the short answer is cook and walk and of course read and watch HGTV 😊
Why is your featured book a cure for the winter blues?
When it’s dark, cold, and dreary, I like to pick up a good book. VULNERABLE, a Later in Life Romantic Suspense, has it all. The seasoned characters have loved and lost and don’t know they might get a chance to love again. It’s a generational book with the heroine’s daughters playing a significant role, trying to hook her up with a handsome security guy. And her friends are important, too. Nothing like an HEA to make you feel better about dreary weather.
One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon US or Canada gift card
Open internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon CA account to win.
Runs March 1 – 31, 2023.
Drawing will be held on April 3, 2023.
A retired elementary school principal, a former school board member, and theatre arts teacher, Marsha R. West writes Romance, Suspense, and Second Chances. Experience Required. She lives in Texas with her supportive lawyer husband and Charley, a deaf, Chihuahua/Jack Russell Terrier mix. Their two daughters presented them with three delightful grandchildren all who live nearby.
The theme of Marsha’s ten books is always second chances, and she even has a four-part series titled The Second Chances Series. She believes in Happily Ever Afters. Her husband picked up a plaque for her on one of their several trips to Maine that states her philosophy exactly. Everything will be all right in the end. If it’s not all right, it’s not the end. The Heroines and Heroes in her books are in their 40s and 50s with their parents and children often playing supporting roles.
She’s a member of North Texas Romance Writers, Authors Marketing Guild LLC, & the WORD BY WORD Blog. She has her own weekly blog and monthly newsletter. Her books can be found on AMAZON, B & N, KOBO, and iTunes and other sites. Print books are also at Draft 2 Digital, Indie Lector Stores, and Amazon. Blurbs for each of her books with links can be found on her website.
Social Media Links:
https://authormarsharwest.wordpress.com/ Where you can also sign up for her blog and her NEWSLETTER MRW Press LLC (list-manage.com) Contact her at
email@example.com , and follow her on…
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