Award winning author Susan Clayton-Goldner’s Tormented releases tomorrow!

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It is my great pleasure to bring you word of another fabulous book by my glitterati colleague and fellow author at Tirgearr! Don’t miss this one!

Tormented

Description

Father’s Anthony’s devotion to God and His Church begins to unravel the moment Rita Wittier steps inside St. Catherine’s Cathedral in San Francisco. He struggles to control his feelings, but two years later, he is a man obsessed.

In an attempt to rediscover the priest he intended to become, Anthony flies back to Delaware to visit Father Timothy. If redemption can be found anywhere, surely it can be found in the church of his childhood and in the soothing Irish brogue of his old priest.

The months pass, 60 Minutes does a special on Father Anthony and the Shepherd Academy—a school he started for disadvantaged children. He’s become a national hero—nick-named the Good Shepherd. But he can’t get Rita out of his mind. He wants her more than anything—even God—and can no longer deny it. Six hours after he tells her how he feels, Rita is found dead in her car from an apparent suicide. Or is it murder?

Excerpt – Tormented

San Francisco – April 1971

Tormented by thoughts no priest should ever have, Father Anthony rose from his nightly Bible reading and fastened the buttons on his cassock. Behind the dark and rain-streaked window of his ten-by-ten bedroom at the rectory, night closed in on him. He was lonelier than he’d ever been. Anthony prided himself on being a man of principles. But nothing in his world felt principled anymore. It was as if he, the one who knew from boyhood visions he was destined to be a priest, had switched lives with an ordinary man or, worse yet, a lovesick teenager.

It was 8:30 p.m. He didn’t know why he’d agreed to meet her so late. Or, God help him, maybe he did know. There was still time to cancel. He could tell her to come during the day on Wednesday after the regular confessional hours. He hurried down the hallway to his office.

When he flipped on the overhead light, he found her sitting in front of his desk, her head resting in her hands. Dozens of frantic moths flapped their wings inside his chest. He took a step back. He always left the rectory door unlocked when he expected a parishioner to visit. But how long had she been here, and why hadn’t he sensed her presence?

She glanced up at him, her eyes wide, and bluer than any eyes he’d ever seen. “I know I’m early, but it’s urgent. I can’t go another night without…”

He looked away. Seeing her sitting in his office was terrifying and marvelous at the same time. He glanced back again. Her bottom lip was full; the top one thinner, but shaped like a perfect Cupid’s bow. He wondered, not for the first time, what it would be like to kiss her. She wore black slacks and a blue silk blouse that gave her eyes a deep sapphire color like Crater Lake in the sunlight. He wanted to dive into them and never resurface.

“Mrs. Wittier,” he said, unable to form any other words. Even as a boy, he’d been afraid of loving a woman, afraid of the wildness it might release in him.

“Please, call me Rita.” She stared straight at him and her eyes caught a spark of light from the ceiling lamp. “I have to confess tonight, before something awful happens to my daughter.”

The fear in her voice unsettled him. “I’m really sorry,” he said. “But we hold confessions on Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons. The sacraments are scheduled by the parish.” He was tempted to add, not by the whims of parishioners, but couldn’t make himself say those harsh words to Rita. She’d attended Mass at St. Catherine’s for nearly two years, but this was the first time she had asked for confession. How could he deny her so sincere a request?

Her face darkened. “This can’t wait, Father. God is going to punish me by hurting my daughter. Connie is only a little girl. What I did wasn’t her fault.”

He pulled a chair in front her and sat, their knees nearly touching. “God doesn’t punish children for their parents’ shortcomings.”

“Losing Connie would be my punishment, not my daughter’s,” she said. “Please, you have to help me. God is already tormenting me with nightmares.”

“Have you considered talking with a psychiatrist?” He knew psychiatrists could be helpful. His social worker took him to see one as a teenager when his divine visions first called him to the priesthood.

She shook her head. “This is between me and God.”

What was he thinking? Rita was his parishioner. She was suffering and needed her priest. But he had to obey the tenth commandment that he not covet his neighbor’s wife. He had to keep his vow to the church and to God. He would do what Hebrews 12:1 directed. He heard Father Timothy O’Brien’s voice, the voice of his childhood priest—the one voice he trusted above all others: “Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus.”

He was a priest. The race marked out for him was clearly defined. And he must finish it. “Follow me,” he said. “I’m going to make an exception.”

 

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Susan Clayton-GoldnerSusan Clayton-Goldner was born in New Castle, Delaware and grew up with four brothers along the banks of the Delaware River. She has been writing poems and short stories since she could hold a pencil and was so in love with writing that she became a creative writing major in college.

Prior to an early retirement which enabled her to write full time, Susan worked as the Director of Corporate Relations for University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona. It was there she met her husband, Andreas, one of the deans in the University of Arizona’s Medical School. About five years after their marriage, they left Tucson to pursue their dreams in 1991–purchasing a 35-acres horse ranch in the Williams Valley in Oregon. They spent a decade there. Andy rode, trained and bred Arabian horses and coached a high school equestrian team, while Susan got serious about her writing career.

Through the writing process, Susan has learned that she must be obsessed with the reinvention of self, of finding a way back to something lost, and the process of forgiveness and redemption. These are the recurrent themes in her work.

After spending 3 years in Nashville, Susan and Andy now share a quiet life in Grants Pass, Oregon, with her growing list of fictional characters, and more books than one person could count. When she isn’t writing, Susan enjoys making quilts and stained-glass windows. She says it is a lot like writing–telling stories with fabric and glass.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BWMKLCH/

Kindle UK:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07BWMKLCH/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=sl1&tag=kemberleeshor-21&linkId=ae2e9dd6a67b47050fec1383cc76ec19

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/810566

http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/ClaytonGoldner_Susan/tormented.htm

 

 

“Show us what you’ve got”: An extract from The Seeing Place

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That woman’s face was incredibly familiar … And she was beginning to address him. It was her. No doubt about it. Andile froze.

Damn, she’s lovely. She was wearing a kind of skin-coloured chiffon number that made her look almost naked.

What the hell is she doing here? Was she Gordon Tshabalala’s buddy? Or, heaven forbid, his sister or his wife?

“Yes,” he stuttered, hearing her say his name.

“My name is Thuli Poni.” She cleared her throat. OK, it looked like she was going to pretend they’d never met. “I am the producer and casting director here.”

First his heart leapt into his mouth and then it ricocheted down to his feet, with an almighty clang.

“How do you do?” he said politely, thanking God and his theatrical training that he could play nonchalant.

“Perhaps we could have a brief word before you begin. You are aware that these are the auditions for The Lions at Night?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“And you are auditioning for the role of David Ranaka, the Reverend?”

“Correct.” He marvelled that his voice was holding up so well.

“Then why, may I ask, are you dressed so stylishly? The character is a rascal and a jailbird.”

“Doesn’t mean he can’t be a snappy dresser.”

“Explain.”

“Well, I don’t have a penny to my name and I managed to source this suit, so.”

“Don’t get sassy, wena.” It was Gordon, tapping a pen on the desk. Andile ignored the comment.

“Why are you dressed like that, Andile?” Gloria asked, rescuing him. “This is not The Matrix.”

“Ranaka has resources. He’s no fool. He’s an inveterate ladies’ man, so he’s likely to have a few tricks up his sleeve. And some stylish outfits.”

Thuli seemed to shift uneasily in her chair. Or perhaps, he thought, admiring her shapely leg slung over the seat in front of her, she was getting turned on. “Carry on,” was all she said.

“This is how he works it. It’s his suit for special occasions, for getting a girl, like this is mine for getting parts.”

Gordon snorted. Andile went on, “In the first scene, the one I’ll be reading from, we see him in full strutting mode. That’s why it’s such a shock to his wife later. She has no idea about this side of him. That he’s the lion at night. That’s the deception. All these years, she’s been loving him, thinking he’s the quiet one, meantime he’s more like the Long Street Festival.”

It was a foolish thing to do, alluding to their earlier meeting under these circumstances, but he couldn’t help himself. Besides, he was getting heartily sick of the attitude coming from the director’s table. What did they think this was, So You Think You Can Dance, wena?

“Go ahead,” Thuli said in a voice like ice. “Show us what you’ve got.”

****.5 stars on Amazon

Ankara Press 2016

The beauty of notes

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I just love notebooks. I have drawers-full. But none of them are about plot lines. They’re mostly about personal growth (which I think is vital for writers, like everyone else!) But there are also ideas notebooks. These are recognisable by their utter randomness and lack of order. In fact many of them are not notebooks but receipts from restaurants, with scribbled words like

Smoke machine!

Jokes aside, I do keep a notepad next to my computer, and I try to keep a small one in my handbag. And a pen. Am I the only writer who never has a pen?! My child, who can’t write, has claimed all forty of my working ones.

The notepad is good for ideas that come to you when you are tapping away, and for doodling of course. I believe there is a relationship between words and images in your head, and it’s good to keep those linked. When I first started trying to write (the Agony Days, more about that later I promise) I actually put a set of paints and a small canvas next to my laptop, because I knew the painting mindset was important somehow. I didn’t get much of either done!

Nowadays I know that it’s the freedom that writing and painting share.

I also jot ideas down on computer at the end of the manuscript, a section of text that can become up to twenty pages long and play havoc with my word count!

If there is any advice I can give authors, it’s to honour the uniqueness and weirdness of your own creative process. Never try to hone it or make it more like someone else’s (and other people will suggest you do.) Do it your way. Receipts and all.

By the way, in my latest manuscript (being finalised now) the heroine gets into a bit of trouble surrounding her own notebook … hopefully be bringing you this one by Feb next year! You can check out all the exciting research I’ve been doing on Kenya for it lately on Twitter.

Thanks for tuning in.