Pull Up A Chair with Eva Charles

Pull Up A Chair with Eva Charles!

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Eva Charles is the author of the multi-titled Meadows Shore Series chronicling the lives and loves of the Clayton-Harrington family. She invites you to visit their beloved Meadows Shore nestled in the charming seaside town of Fair Harbor, where you’ll enjoy love, laughter, loyalty, and an abundance of mouth-watering food, Portuguese style.

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After being a confirmed city-girl for more than thirty-five years, Eva moved to beautiful western Massachusetts in 2014. There, she found herself living in the woods with no job, no friends (unless you count the turkeys, deer, and coyotes roaming the backyard), and no children underfoot, wondering what on earth she’d been thinking. But as it turned out, it was the perfect setting to take all those yarns spinning in her head and weave them into a romantic tale.

When she’s not writing, trying to squeeze information out of her tight-lipped sons, or playing with the two cutest dogs you’ve ever seen, Eva’s creating chapters in her own love story.

2016

Why Do They Stay?

The author acknowledges that not all victims of domestic violence are women, and not all perpetrators are men, but for the sake of clarity, in this post, survivors are referred to with feminine pronouns, and perpetrators with masculine. The words abuser and perpetrator, as well as survivor and victim, are used interchangeably.

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Before I began writing novels last year, I spent decades as an advocate, counselor and attorney, working on behalf of women and children, some of it in the field of domestic violence. Given the prevalence of domestic violence in our society, it’s shocking that so few have any understanding of the scourge. When someone learns what I do for work, the first question they ask is, “Why do they stay?” Sometimes it’s asked in a light and breezy manner, as though there is a simple answer, and other times, it’s heavily laden with innuendo and victim-blaming. What’s interesting is that no one ever asks, “Why do they abuse?”

There are many reasons women stay in abusive relationships, children, family pressure, isolation, money and shame are some of the most common reasons survivors give for staying. But after working in the field for many years, I believe survivors stay because they have been battered, literally and figuratively beaten, until they can see no viable alternative, no other option.

To even begin to understand why a survivor stays, one must first understand what domestic violence is: the systematic pattern of taking power and control over another human being. A survivor’s right to make her own decisions, and her self-esteem, along with her family, friends, and every support system she has in place, are stripped away by the abuser.

Often it happens slowly, one small jab at a time. It’s uncommon for a perpetrator to start with physical abuse; usually, he lays the groundwork over time, before he ever raises his fists. He’s more likely to begin with some small, seemingly innocuous comment, “Those red pants make you look fat, wear your black ones instead,” or, “Don’t cut your hair, I like it long.” Maybe he monitors her cell phone and computer use. Before long, the jabs come fast and furious and they sting, “You can’t ever do anything right! You’re a terrible cook, housekeeper, mother, wife, human being”—you get the drift.

Some abusers save their entire wrath for private moments, while others humiliate their victims in public. Sometimes they strike-out in front of her children, which shames her, and terrifies them. Slowly, the kids begin to believe their mother is weak and powerless, and if she can’t keep herself safe, how will she ever keep them safe? This makes her feel particularly awful.

The abuser isolates her from everyone who cares about her, from anyone who boosts her self-worth, anyone who can offer her protection and solace. “Your family never liked me, now they’re trying to break-up our marriage. I don’t want them around here.” Or, “Your friends are sluts, I better never catch you with them.”

Soon, she’s not sure what to wear until he tells her, she has no money because he doles it out in small increments, as needed, and demands receipts. She no longer has friends, and if she has any contact with her family at all, it’s for short, sporadic, closely-supervised visits. Her children have no faith in her, and she begins to believe she’s a worthless human being, nothing without him, because he drums it into her every single day.

He sexually assaults her any time he’s in the mood. He forces her to have sex with him, or others, when she doesn’t want to, and makes her do things that are painful, or that leave her feeling ashamed. When she resists, he accuses her of sleeping around, when she gives-in to his demands, he calls her a whore. It’s crazy-making, and like everything else, it’s degrading and keeps her off-balance, terrified, until she’s walking on eggshells all the time.

He regularly threatens her and everyone she cares about, her children, family, friends and pets. Sometimes he promises to buy a gun, and if he already owns one, he takes to cleaning it in front of her, waving it at her while he accuses and berates. On occasion, he holds it to her head, or shoves it into her mouth.

Often it’s the victims who are in the most danger, who are the least concerned with their safety. It’s as though some part of the brain moves into survival mode, shuts-down, because otherwise, it would be impossible to function under that kind of constant duress. Many victims suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The most dangerous time for a survivor is right after she leaves, when the abuser sees his power and control over her slipping away. Years ago, as a wide-eyed twenty-three-year-old advocate, I accompanied a survivor to court for a restraining order and then to her apartment to pack a bag. The abuser was served with the order sooner than expected, and he showed up at the apartment when we were leaving with her things. He grabbed me, and held me against the wall in a small stairwell, threatening to show me “who’s boss.” When he took his hand off my throat to unbutton his pants, I flung myself down the stairs and crawled out of the building before he could really hurt me. My client wasn’t so lucky.

It is with good reason trained police officers, armed with guns, hate responding to domestic violence complaints. They never know what they are going to find behind the locked front door, making these dangerous, sometimes deadly, situations. Some perpetrators have no respect for, or fear of, authority. This is why restraining orders, while a necessary and important tool, can make the situation worse for some survivors.

Perpetrators and victims come from every walk of life, from every neighborhood. Wives, girlfriends, and partners of politicians, police officers, businessmen, lawyers, athletes, doctors, clergy, plumbers, electricians, landscapers, fishermen, and so many others, have sat in my office and shared their heart-wrenching stories. Some which sent such icy chills through me, that I wondered if I would ever get warm again.

Experience has taught me that the most dangerous perpetrators are those with everything to lose, and those with nothing to lose. These men will go to great lengths to protect themselves and their power over the victim, and some have resources and connections to assist them.

Born with more grit than brains, I’m a highly privileged woman, who doesn’t scare easily. But on several occasions, after meeting with a client, I hurried to my car in the well-lit parking lot, heart pounding, cell phone in hand ready to send a 911 call. I locked the car door, and glanced in my review-mirror all the way home, never letting my guard down until I arrived and the garage door closed behind me. Imagine now, how it feels to be a woman with no resources, no money, no family, no friends, one who believes she’s worthless, and who is certain that no one, no matter how well intentioned, can ever keep her, or her children, safe.

That’s why they stay.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline

1-800-799-7233

 

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My Sweetest Sasha Release Day Blitz @evacharles37 @RockStarPRLC

My Sweetest Sasha

by Eva Charles

Date of Publication: June 1, 2016

About the Book

Cole Harrington, the oldest of those swoon-worthy Harrington brothers, is a gifted trauma surgeon with a cocky smile and a whole lot of swagger. He’s assigned an executive coach after he smashes the thermostat in the operating room to smithereens.

Alexa Petersen is a nice girl from Minnesota who’s been tasked with shadowing the naughty trauma surgeon, and writing a report to end his promising career. While she might prefer pretty lace panties, Alexa’s not afraid to slip on a pair of steel-toed boots when Cole needs to be knocked down a notch or two.

Hospital drama and small-town woes, the truth is obscured by secrets and lies, and nothing is as it appears—not even Cole and Alexa.


Meet the Author

Eva Charles is the author of the multi-titled Meadows Shore Series that chronicles the lives and loves of the Clayton-Harrington family. She invites you to visit their beloved Meadows Shore nestled in the charming seaside town of Fair Harbor, where you will enjoy love, laughter, loyalty, and an abundance of mouth-watering food, Portuguese style.

After being a confirmed city-girl for more than thirty-five years, Eva moved to beautiful Western Massachusetts in 2014. There, she found herself living in the woods with no job, no friends (unless you count the turkeys, deer, and coyotes roaming the backyard), and no children underfoot, wondering what on earth she’d been thinking. But as it turned out, it was the perfect setting to take all those yarns spinning in her head and weave them into a romantic tale.

When she’s not writing, trying to squeeze information out of her tight-lipped sons, or playing with the two cutest dogs you’ve ever seen, Eva’s creating chapters in her own love story.

Find Eva Charles Online

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A Wedding at Meadows Shore Blurb Blitz Tour #evacharlesauthor @GoddessFish

A Wedding at Meadows Shore

by Eva Charles

 

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ROOM WITH BOOKS encourages our readers to follow the tour and leave comments!

 

GENRE: Contemporary Romance

 

About the Book

Meadows Shore is the childhood home of the five Clayton sisters and the six Harrington brothers, the family seat where these irresistible characters gather regularly…or whenever they need the comfort of Portuguese home cooking and the love and wisdom of elder women.

After Sophie Clayton catches her husband in bed with a young intern, she creates a new life for herself as the executive director of a failing domestic violence agency. It’s the perfect job for a woman born to fix everything. A friend’s broken heart, a tattered agency, a flat tire—she’ll roll up her sleeves and make it as good as new. Sophie rarely encounters anything she can’t fix…until she meets the devastatingly handsome and insufferably arrogant, Max Parker. One of Boston’s most eligible bachelors, he’s never without a stunning young woman on his arm and in his bed.

When Sophie’s forced to deal with Max, sparks fly, and somewhere in the crossfire of verbal daggers and clever barbs, she discovers his darkest secret.

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Excerpt

“Do you mind if I throw this in the freezer?”

“Of course not, dear. You may need to move a few things around, but there should be plenty of room. Max, my hands are wet, would you help Sophie get that ice cream into the freezer—the one in the pantry. What flavors did you end up making?”

Sophie headed toward the pantry off the kitchen. “Coffee for Daniel, vanilla, and mint chocolate chip. I thought they’d all work with chocolate cake.”

He took the cooler from her. “You made the ice cream?”

She nodded, opening the freezer.

“I’m impressed. Mint chip is my favorite.”

“Really? I would’ve pegged you more as a rocky road kind of guy—dark, with bitter chunks, and nuts—not too smooth.”

He could only see her back at the moment, but he knew her eyes were twinkling and the corners of her mouth were curved up. He could hear it in her voice.

He grabbed a piece of ice from the freezer and reached around her, touching the icy half-moon to the hollow of her neck, the sweet spot right where it meets the collarbone. The very spot he wanted to kiss. She jumped, startled by the unexpected cold against her skin, and raised her hand to swat him away.

“I don’t think so,” he crowed. Letting the ice cube fall to the floor he grabbed both her wrists, holding them while she struggled to get free. He leaned against her, pinning her between his body and the refrigerator door. Even the chill from the open freezer wasn’t enough to cool what was smoldering between them. He could feel her pulse racing, saw her lips part in anticipation. He bent to kiss her, but caught himself just in time, emitting a low growl instead. As much as he wanted it, this wasn’t the time or the place to steal a kiss.

 

Book Review

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of A Wedding at Meadow Shores by Eva Charles for the purpose of an honest review.

It is always a great privilege for me to have the opportunity to read and review a book. It is not a privilege I take lightly. I enjoy what I do and I am very prudent about the subject matter of the books I choose. Although the last several books have been about subject matter that is very near to my heart and my life. A Wedding at Meadow Shores by Eva Charles is another of those novels.

It is difficult to keep my life’s experiences from coloring my reviews, and with domestic violence, shelters for victims of domestic violence, and PTSD all included in the contents it is virtually impossible. I was forced to take breaks as flashbacks of my history interrupted the heart of this beautiful love story. I read and fell into exhausted sleep as the flashbacks took their toll. I cried silent tears and relived some of the worst moments of my past, yet I kept reading.

A Wedding at Meadow Shores encompasses some very ugly truths about domestic violence and PTSD but wraps all these ugly realities into a beautiful story about family, about trust, about caring, about love, and most of all about strength. Sophie and Max face so many obstacles, yet the strength of their individual characters and the ultimate strength of their love for each other wins out over any damage that the past has managed to inflict upon either one of them. And for that strength of character written by Eva Charles I fell in love with this book and these characters and their families.

It is for the strength written into these characters that I give five steaming hot cups of Room With Books coffee to A Wedding at Meadow Shores by Eva Charles as my humble review and I very highly recommend you read this beautiful beginning to what I feel certain will be a wonderful relationship with the characters of the Meadow Shore Series by Eva Charles.

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Patricia, Room With Books

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Meet the Author

Eva Charles is the author of the multi-titled Meadows Shore Series that chronicles the lives and loves of the Clayton-Harrington family. She invites you to visit their beloved Meadows Shore nestled in the charming seaside town of Fair Harbor, where you’ll enjoy love, laughter, loyalty, and an abundance of mouth-watering food, Portuguese style.

After being a confirmed city-girl for more than thirty-five years, Eva moved to beautiful western Massachusetts in 2014. There, she found herself living in the woods with no job, no friends (unless you count the turkeys, deer, and coyotes roaming the backyard), and no children underfoot, wondering what on earth she’d been thinking. But as it turned out, it was the perfect setting to take all those yarns spinning in her head and weave them into a romantic tale.

When she’s not writing, trying to squeeze information out of her tight-lipped sons, or playing with the two cutest dogs you’ve ever seen, Eva’s creating chapters in her own love story.

Connect With the Author

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14223913.Eva_Charles

https://www.facebook.com/evacharlesauthor/

http://www.amazon.com/Eva-Charles/e/B0140FZ442

 

Giveaway

Eva Charles will be awarding a $50 Amazon/B&N gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway