Saturday, March 7, 2015

She won't be his doormat anymore

A Doormat No More

By Susan Eileen Walker


Back Cover Blurb

 Once upon a time, she loved him and thought he felt the same. But their marriage changed everything between them. Nowadays, as long as she does everything he wants, when he wants, and how he wants it done, there is peace in the house and things were fine between them. Only they weren’t, and it was all her fault. It was always all her fault.

 Then came the day she decided things had to change. That was the day she began a journey. The journey to break free from the abuse that had transformed her from a smart, funny, independent woman into a human doormat he used as his verbal kicking post. Along the way, she rediscovered herself, her strong, smart, brave self that somehow had gotten lost along the way.

 And along the way, she found her joy again.

 *Based on true stories*
Note from pearls:
I know this doesn't seem to fit our usual romance genre.  But what greater romance is there than learning to love yourself.  Sometimes you have to make your own HEA.  The Inner Goddess motto is about empowering women to be true to themselves, one book at a time.  We hope A Doormat No More helps more women nurture their Inner Goddess.


“What does your husband have to say about you becoming an enforcement agent?” Cody asked the next morning after she opened the office. He tossed aside the paper he had been reading while she went through her morning routine. She glanced down and saw that he had been reading her list of questions.

She tried to maintain eye contact with him, but had to glance away time and again to look over his shoulder, out the window, anywhere but in those piercing eyes. He saw too much when she met his gaze. She swallowed hard and dropped her gaze to her hands. The two gold bands on her left ring finger were nicked and scratched. The one-third carat diamond winked at her as if it knew a secret.

Raising her head she straightened her shoulders. She forced herself to meet his inquisitive gaze. “He doesn’t know I’m thinking about it.”

“Don’t you think you should talk to him?” Cody asked. He sounded surprised that she kept such a decision to herself.

“Why? It’s none of his business,” she said, sounding bitter even to herself. She fought the urge to duck under her desk.

Cody’s gaze sharpened. His eyes narrowed for few seconds while he studied her. Then he relaxed and picked up his travel mug. “Does he hit you? Hurt you? Beat on you?”

“No,” she said, dropping her gaze again. Her fingers were knotted together on top of the desk. “He’s never raised a hand to me. He’s never had to. His words do enough damage.” She jumped when a tear landed on her fingers, wet and burning hot. Talking about the failing relationship added to the pain instead of detracting from it.

“You should leave him if he hurts you, even if he only uses words,” Cody said, his deep voice gentler than she ever heard before.

“I plan to. But it takes money to start over. Apartments, divorces and just plain living cost money,” she pointed out, wiping away her tears with shaking fingers. “He doesn’t know I’m working. I hope to save my paychecks for a few months until I have enough to leave,” she said, outlining her goal. “Problem is, I’ll probably need a second job once I’m on my own. I thought you could train me to be a bail enforcement agent. That way I’ll be able to support myself once I leave Matthew by working here and doing bail enforcement as well.”

She glanced up when Cody stood. His expression chilled her to the bone. He turned and stalked from the room. She stood to follow until she heard a string of inventive curses, which stopped her in her tracks. She stopped halfway across the room. Her shoulders drew up as if she were a turtle pulling into its shell. Her arms wrapped around her middle to protect herself and then the shaking began. Cody was mad and it was her fault.

What would he do? Would he call Matthew and share her secret? Or hunt him down and hold a “come to Jesus” meeting about how to treat a woman?

She found herself barely breathing as she waited for Cody to calm down. Would he fire her? Or just yell at her for being stupid? When the back door slammed and glass shattered, she jumped. She rushed into the hall that ran down the center of the house. Cody was standing outside the back door looking at her through the hole where glass had been just moments before.

She froze mid step, waiting for a second explosion. In her experience men who did something as destructive as shattering a window never dealt well with the aftermath. Before she could apologize his lips stretched into a wide grin and then he began to chuckle.

She stared at him, afraid to move. Matthew often smiled too, just before attacking her with a verbal backhand. When she got upset at his words, he would take offense. “I was only teasing,” he’d say. “You really need to learn how to take a joke.”

But his insults were not jokes. They were degrading, belittling, cutting comments. With each slap, each insult, she faded, eventually becoming the human doormat Matthew walked upon on a regular basis.

“Are you all right?” she asked in a small voice. She braced herself for anger.

“I’m fine, but JJ was right. That old door didn’t survive my temper. Could you wake him up and tell him to go buy a new door? I’ll clean the glass up later.”

She nodded. As he turned away, she called, “I’m sorry.”

Cody paused, then turned back to face her. He looked serious, somber, but not angry. “Why are you sorry? I broke the glass,” he said.

Book Buy Links


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Author Interview

To start this off, why don't you give an idea of what the book is about?

She is the journey of a emotionally and sexually abused woman from the decision of “I can’t life like this any more”, through getting strong, getting kicked out of her home and then rebuilding her life and filing for divorce.

Where did you grow up and was reading and writing a part of your life?

 I was born in Cumberland, Maryland, a state in which I never actually lived.  The first 5 years of my life were spent bopping around with my parents, living in Little Rock, Arkansas, Atlanta, Georgia and Arlington, Virginia.  My brother and sister were both born in Arlington.  Then we moved to State College, Pennsylvania where I lived until I joined the Air Force and moved to North Carolina in 1983.

Reading, writing and daydreaming were major parts of my life growing up.  I could leave the peaceful existence of my life and have grand adventures.  My grandmother and mother both encouraged my reading.  The summer I turned 14 I read the entire Nancy Drew collection, which my grandmother bought me at a used bookstore.

Who were your earliest influences and why?

My mother was one of the greatest influences on my life.  She was creative and talented and let nothing stop her when she made up her mind to do something.  In writing, Dr. Seuss, Carolyn Keen, the Bronte sisters and my 8th grade English teacher, Ms. Painter.  She was the first to encourage my writing.

What would a typical day be like for a writer?

I’m not sure about other writers, but my intense creative spells last about an hour.  If I am able to get in two writing sessions a day I feel very lucky.  But in those few minutes my hand flies across the page or the keyboard and I am usually able to squeeze out about a thousand new words a day. When rewriting or editing, I can usually work for longer periods. 

When my son was young I had to fit my writing time in around him, my husband and my job, which meant I was writing at 5 a.m. before anyone else was up. I also learned to divide my attention.  Nowadays I find writing in coffee shops and restaurants very productive.  Pulling out my notebook also gets me great service in restaurants.  I also go to the first showing of a movie as soon as the doors open and sit and write while waiting for the movie to start.  People look at me funny, but I get a lot done.

How long have you been writing and in what capacities?

I’ve been writing with the goal of being published for about 20 years now.  Of course, the first 15 years worth of stories are hiding in boxes in my office closet.  In the last five and a half years I’ve had four young adult novels and one children’s book published under Susan Eileen Walker.  She is my first novel for women, which is why the name change.

Which is more difficult to write - Fiction or nonfiction and why?

 I don’t write a lot of nonfiction, so I really can’t answer that.  The short articles I’ve written for writers’ magazines seemed as easy as writing fiction.  I just sit down and write like I’m talking with a friend.


Has there ever been a time when you wanted to throw in the towel and give up? And if so, how did you defeat those instincts?

 Many times.  In fact, I had reached the point where I was threatening to have a huge bonfire in the backyard if something didn’t happen.  Two days later I was offered my first writing job, working freelance on the children’s page on a website.  It seems like everything I threaten to give up something comes along and keeps me writing. God has determined that I will be a writer, but only in his time.  I’ve had to learn patience, which is still a challenge sometimes.

What is the hardest part about being a writer?

 When I’m between projects I go a little crazy, usually because I can’t decide on the next project to work on.  There are so many waiting in various stages, from development and first draft to editing and submitting to publishers.

Do you have any hobbies? What are they? How do they enhance your writing?

I knit/crochet, read and daydream.  The knitting allows my hands to stay busy while my mind is free to wander.  Reading and daydreaming keep the ideas percolating.  I have a lot more ideas than I’ll ever have time to write, but I think most writers do.

Articles and media alike make it sound as though the only way to rise to the top is to sacrifice. What do you find to be good sacrifices?

 Time, energy, sleep. 

What question do you get asked more than any other?
Because I live in New Bern, North Carolina, everyone asks me if I’ve met Nicholas Sparks, who also lives here.  The answer is no.

 What’s the coolest thing a reader has said to you?
I was doing a book signing in the house which is the backdrop for 101 Borden Street and a woman came into the room shaking and grinning from ear to ear.  She told me that she’d read my book four times and was so excited to be in the house and actually meeting me.  She bought a second book that day so she could loan it to friends because she didn’t want to loan out her copy, she was getting ready to read it again!

 What has been your feedback from readers? What do they say to you about their interpretations of your book?
Everyone who had read any of my books falls in love immediately, tells me they could not put the books down and that I have to have that story made into a movie.  I have had people complain that when thought they’d read a chapter or two before going to sleep at night they ended up staying awake until the wee hours of the morning because they just had to find out what happened next and ended up reading the entire book in one sitting.

Do you think that as a writer you are more prone to watching what goes on around you and observing behaviors than most people are are?
Yes, I’m always watching people interact and eavesdropping on interesting conversations.

Who are some of the authors you consider to be "don't miss"?
Janet Evanovich, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Debra Clopton, Judy Baer.  

If one were looking to start his/her own career as a writer, what would you suggest his/her first step to be?

 Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it.  You can do anything you set your mind to.

What kind of movies do you enjoy?
Romantic comedies and thought provoking dramas.   Amazing Grace, Because I Said So, The Devil Wears Prada, 27 Dresses, PS I Love You

What is your favorite city to visit, but one that you wouldn’t want to live in?

The Washington DC area.  My family lives in Northern Virginia.  I love to visit them and the city, but when I get there I park my car and lock the doors then let my father or brother chauffeur me around.

What’s the best part of being a writer?
Getting to share my stories with other people and hopefully touching their hearts or giving them something to think about.

What's next?
I’m currently working on a sequel to my children’s book I Am the Quigglebush Bear entitled I Know the Quigglebush Heroes.  I am also playing with the idea for a sequel that would incorporate characters from She as well as characters from my novel Maura’s Trunk, which was published in 2004.

Author’s Biography


Susan Eileen Walker was born in Maryland, a state her family never lived in. At the age of five, she fell in love with books and decided she would join those who created such magic.

Susan currently lives in eastern North Carolina with her sixty-five pound mixed breed furbaby, Honey, who is a combination protector, personal trainer, and alarm clock.

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