Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Intervention

Have you ever had to give up something you love for own good? Ever broken a bad habit? I'd love to hear your stories. Comments and answers will enter you in a drawing to win your choice of a paperback or digital copy of my new release Deadly Recall.

I don’t smoke, I don't do drugs and I have an occasional drink.  Why then did my family decide I needed an intervention?
I’ll tell you why. 

 I had foot surgery on December 4th and it turned out a wee bit more complicated than we’d anticipated.  A metal-tarsal plate fusion on top of a bunionectomy.  Where I had expected to be walking a week or so after surgery, I was informed by my doctor my recovery would actually be six to eight weeks of non-weight bearing on my right foot.
Ghastly news.  No driving and I became a virtual recluse over the holidays and all through January.  All right.  I’m a writer, so being a virtual recluse really isn’t all that terrible.  But falling on your face is.   For anyone who knows me, there’s a reason my middle name isn’t “Grace.”  And though I practiced and practiced on crutches before the surgery, when it came time to walk on them after the operation, well, fear had a great deal of influence.  Before surgery I could land on my right foot.  After surgery, landing--and falling--could cause a major setback. 

My family claimed I was determined not to make friends with the crutches.  But, honestly, I tried.  After falling three times and looking like Social Services should get involved, my husband said enough is enough.  He was off to Denver and back a while later with the ultimate life saver for anyone who has foot or leg surgery.  A scooter!   
I adored my husband even more so after that.  We have a ranch-style house and that scooter was made for one-floor living and for me.  Not long after we got it, I put away the crutches for good and soon was zooming all over the place, so much so my daughter constantly lamented, “Mom, slow down.” 

Where it would take me several minutes to cross the floor with my crutches, sweating and panting, the scooter proved to be my best friend for the next six weeks.  You put your knee on that cushion and glide with your good leg.  I slept with my scooter by my bed, by the recliner, in my office.  This little transportation mode made my recovery bearable.
But then. . .the cast came off and so did the boot and my doctor said, “You can apply weight again to your foot.”  Yay!  I was so excited.  I would gradually be walking again.

Wrong.  My son who had come for a visit during that time said, “Okay, Mom, enough slacking.  You’ve become too attached to that scooter.”  With that he handed my beloved scooter to my husband who whisked it back to the rental place in Denver.

Looking back, I can admit now that they were right.  I didn’t like it at the time, and admittedly, I was lucky.  Weight bearing exercises and physical therapy.  Fortunately, my family recognized I needed help.
In Deadly Recall, my protagonist Eden wasn’t so lucky.  Truth was, her family should have called an intervention for her when she was nine years old.  But for plot purposes I needed her to carry around some pretty significant baggage until a very handsome and caring police detective could help her memories break free.  Below is an excerpt of Eden Moran's and Detective Kevin Dancer's first meeting:

           “I saw your closing argument,” he said. “You did a good job.”

            He’d been in the courtroom? How’d she miss him? He kept his dark blond hair shorter than she liked, but she loved dimples, and it didn’t hurt that he wasn’t obsessed with a razor. Based on his tanned, unlined face, she’d place him in his late twenties, early thirties. With those aviator sunglasses, it was hard to tell. She couldn’t see his eyes. Too bad.

            On the other hand, Eden never missed a chance for a critique. “So if you were in that jury room right now, how would you vote?”

             “I only heard your side.” He shrugged. “Besides, I come with a pretty strong bias.” He pulled back his jacket, revealing the shield clipped to his belt.

            A cop. Thus explaining his arrogance. She finished the last bite of the hot dog, tossed the wrapper in a nearby trashcan, and leaned down for a closer look at his ID. “Well, then, Detective . . . Dancer. As much as I appreciate the beauty tip, I don’t think we―”

            “I’d like to talk to you about St. Patrick’s School.”

            As much as she willed it not to, her mind rewound seventeen years. She’d read the school was having financial woes and had formed a fundraising committee. Shading her eyes, she squinted up at him. Had he gone to St. Patrick’s? “If you’re alumni, you’ll have to swing by my office. I don’t keep my checkbook with―”

             “Are you always this difficult to talk to?”

             “Always.” She blinked. “What part of ‘swing by my office’ confused you?”

            “The part where I produce my credentials and you think I’m a solicitor.” The detective pointed to the table. “Could we sit, please? I’m here on official business.”

            What he could possibly have to say to her in any capacity was beyond comprehension. Still, it was warm outside, and she had a magnificent view of the foothills. She moved to a picnic table shaded by a poplar tree, stepped up on the bench and plopped down on the tabletop. “I think I should warn you, Detective, I didn’t leave St. Patrick’s on the best of terms.”

            “I heard.”

            “You heard?”

            He opened a pocket notebook. “I talked to Mr. Edgars, the school’s current principal. He went through old records and told me you’d been expelled.”

            “I prefer to think I was forcefully invited not to return. So did St. Patrick’s burn to the ground and I’m your best suspect?” Frowning, she shook her head from side to side. “That’s just sad.”

“As far as I know, it’s still standing.” The cop joined her on the tabletop. She liked that about him. He knew how to eat a hotdog, and he wasn’t uptight.

            “I was told when you attended school you were particularly close to one of its teachers.”

            A laugh escaped and she slapped her thigh. “I was expelled, Detective. They didn’t make that part up. I wasn’t tight with any of those cold-blooded penguins.”

            “Her religious name was Sister Beatrice,” he said, undeterred.

            As Eden mentally ticked off the names of her teachers, their names came easily to mind. Yet, at his use of this unfamiliar person, her stomach felt like she’d been afloat on the Red Sea at the time Moses had parted it. Eden pressed a hand to her stomach just as her cell phone rang.

            Typical cop, Dancer didn’t give space. She would have called him on his behavior if the party needed attorney/client confidentiality. But since all that was required was a simple, “good-bye,” she saw no reason to challenge him.

            She stood and flipped the phone shut. “Verdict’s in. Gotta run.”
A terrifying memory is locked deep inside her.  A killer wants to keep it that way.

Nine-year-old Eden Moran thought she was saying good-bye to her mentor that fateful day in St. Patrick’s.  She had no idea she’d witness the nun’s demise, or that her child’s mind would compensate.  Now seventeen years later, Albuquerque cops have unearthed human remains, and the evidence points to Eden as being the key to solving Sister Beatrice’s murder.  When a hellbent cop applies pressure, Eden stands firm.  She doesn’t remember the woman.  Unfortunately for Eden, Sister Beatrice’s killer will do whatever it takes to keep it that way. 
Donnell Ann Bell is a two-time Golden Heart® finalist who previously worked for a weekly business newspaper and a parenting magazine.  Her debut novel The Past Came Hunting became an Amazon bestseller.  Learn more about Donnell at

Follow Donnell on Twitter @donnellannbell or on Facebook

Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only unless specifically mentioned in the post. Don’t feel comfortable leaving your email on the blog? Send it directly to Angi at Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants. Winners of drawings are responsible for checking this site in a timely manner. If prizes are not claimed in a timely manner, the author may not have a prize available. Get Lost In A Story cannot be responsible for an author's failure to mail the listed prize. GLIAS does not automatically pass email addresses to guest authors unless the commenter publicly posts their email address


Theresa said...

Great excerpt, Donnell! I can't wait to read this book.
Re bad habit . . . Given up something I love . . . only during lent and when my mom died--er, giving up soda for 40 days was the bad habit--not my mom.
I've been on the other side of an intervention and that was no fun either. Gotta run and order your book--thanks for the preview!

Donnell Ann Bell said...

Good morning, Ms. Theresa. Wow, giving up soda. That would be tough. Thanks for stopping by today!

Angi Morgan said...

Love this story, Donnell.
And I bet the book is amazing!

Donnell Ann Bell said...

Thanks, Ms. Angi, I hope so :)

May said...

I was pregnant last year and they diagnosed me with Impaired Glucose Tolerance. It is just like diabetes basically but will go away once when the baby was born. It is controlled by diet in my case. Unfortunately, it also means no candies, no 'bad' carbohydrates for at least 3 months until the baby was born. It was HARD but I had to do it or the baby suffers. I did it and the baby was fine so it's a happy ending!

Your book sounds great btw! :)

Donnell Ann Bell said...

May, congratulations on a healthy baby. You're my hero! Love that you have a happy ending. I'm a firm believer in them. Thanks for the compliment on the book. You're entered!

Michelle Major said...

Hey Donnell-

Glad you survived the intervention and that you're feeling better. Can't wait to read Deadly Recall!

Tammy Yenalavitch said...


Your book sounds great. Thanks for sharing your story.

Polly Iyer said...

Here I am, one day after getting a cortisone shot in each hand, and I'm typing, which I shouldn't be doing. Maybe I need an intervention. Looking forward to Deadly Recall.

Susan Sitze said...

I quit smoking over a year & a half ago & I'm still pretty darn proud of myself! LOL The book sounds great. I would love to win it, but will add it to my to be read list regardless.

Donnell Ann Bell said...

Feeling much better, Michelle, now it's on to Physical Therapy. Thank you for your kind words! I can't wait to read Still the One!

Donnell Ann Bell said...

Thanks, Tammy and thanks for swinging by!

Jerrie Alexander said...

This book sound better than the last one..if that's possible. I quit smoking 30 years ago. It wasn't easy and there were some starts and stops. My favorite doctor in the world encouraged me. He used to say, "Just don't quit quiting. because one day it will work." It did!

Donnell Ann Bell said...

Oh, dear, Polly, that doesn't sound good. Let that cortisone do its job. Need me to send my son over there? Thanks for commenting, and feel better. Ouch for your poor hands!

Donnell Ann Bell said...

Susan: Another hero to add to the mix. Congratulations on that huge accomplishment. You're entered, but thank you so much for your kind words. Keep up the smoke-free life. So proud of you!

Donnell Ann Bell said...

Jerrie, I love this book too, but it's like comparing children, ya know? So very proud of you and quitting smoking. One of the hardest things to do. Bet your granddaughters are happy you quit. One day at a time. What a great motto! Thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

I just asked DH if I've ever been subjected to an intervention. "No but maybe you should be," he said.
I agree. Found on-line games a couple days ago and they're CALLING me. Oh, the urge is SOOOO great.

Better get a few books to distract me. Good thing friends keeps producing them.

Donnell Ann Bell said...

Anonymous, you're husband is right. Those online games are addictive. Be sure to leave us an e-mail address so we can enter you. If you don't want to post here, you can contact Angi in the disclaimer. Yes, reading is much better than online games (and probably more private). Thanks for stopping by!

MK Meredith said...

Peanut butter. I need an intervention...but then there's a good chance I'd disown the interventees. :) I buy a jar a week and eat a jar a week. If I buy two jars to make sure I don't run out for the kiddos, well...then I eat two jars. It's a problem. At times I'll ask my husband to hide it from me. For some reason it seems pathetic if I would go looking for it (you'd think eating a jar all on my own was pathetic enough...but, no, my brain does not see it that way.)Any who...I see my addiction as a life long struggle. Thank goodness it isn't smoking or worse.
Your story sounds intriguing. Can't wait to get my hands on it!

Donnell Ann Bell said...

MK, gosh, I don't know what to say. You do not look like a person who eats a jar of peanut butter a week. Wow, but what a great characteristic to give to a character. For me, it's chocolate. My DH hides it from me and rightfully so. I sound very weak with all these interventions, don't I? Yes, no smoking, no drugs.... you're a rockstar. Thanks for swinging by!

Lana Williams said...

Great to hear you're nearing complete recovery! Hmm...chocolate is definitely my vice. I blame my sweet tooth on my grandfather. LOL. I can't wait to read this story - love the excerpt!

Donnell Ann Bell said...

Hi, Lana! Waving madly to another one of our GLIAS guests. I'd love to blame it my sweet tooth on somebody, but alas, I know it's all me. That's another post someday. My family bribed me to behave during my recovery Thanks so much for stopping by and your nice thoughts. Like MK and her peanut butter, you don't look like you overindulge in choclate :)

Janeen Johnson said...

I smoked 2-3 packs per day for 10-1/2 years. I gave it up after issuing a challenge to my dad -- "I'll quit when you do". He was dying from copd at the time, but took the challenge because he wanted me to quit. When he got down to a pack a day, I "started quitting" and got down to 3 cigarettes a day within a month. I had 8 left in the pack one morning and decided 3/day was silly. I chain-smoked the 8 and quit for good.

My dad, however, had only pretended to quit. We found stashes of empty packs in his machine shed, in storage areas in the barns and in various other outbuildings. He faked it, but his intervention worked. That's something to remember.

I'm looking forward to reading your latest, Donnell. I remember hearing about it and loved the premise. I'm sure I'll love the book!

Donnell Ann Bell said...

Wow, Janeen, what a story. And I love that your father had such an influence on you that you kicked the smoking habit. I think nicotine has to be one of the hardest addictions. My mom is a RN, and she used to have to give morphine shots to a woman dying of cancer. We were tiny at the time, and because my dad worked a lot of the time away from home, we had to go with her. I remember sitting in the chair in the living room and listening to this poor woman's pain. And as soon as my mom gave her the shot and she was out of pain, she'd light up again.

That cured me from ever wanting to smoke fortunately. So proud of you for quitting, and my condolenses on losing your dad. You've entered the hero category in my mind as well as the contest. So glad you love the premise. Hope to see you one of these days!

Abigail Sharpe said...

I sprained my ankle once and was supposed to be on crutches for a week. That lasted a day. And other times when I've sprained my ankles, I didn't bother doing anything about it.

I sort of regret that now, since my ankles crack every time I move... :)

Donnell Ann Bell said...

Ouch, Abigail you must have an amazing pain threshold. It is inconvenient to sprain things, I agree. Looking forward to you joining us in a fun interview on May 13th! How go our revisions. Everything ready?

bn100 said...

Can't think of anything


squiresj said...

I know all about food surgery. I broke my right ankle in 1997 in hitting a tree. It had to be fused a year ago and more pins put in. So yes, I have sit for months to recover and read many good books during that time. It started my reviewing the books I reads.
jrs362 at hotmail dot com

Donnell Ann Bell said...

Oh squiresj, thanks for letting me know I'm not alone, but, man, to hit a tree, skiing? Were you in a car? How cool that it led to reading, though. Are you walking okay now, I'm still limping and going through physical therapy. Look forward to the day I can walk normally again. Thanks for posting and you're entered in the drawing!

Marsha said...

Hey, Donnell. Love the blurb and excerpt. Gotta read this book. I'm hopeful it's as good as the first (which I've read twice!) LOL Can you tell I loved it?
As to interventions: My younger daughter griped and griped at me for my excessive inhaling of Diet Coke. When I read it contributed to belly fat, I finally stopped almost 4 years ago. (I was drinking 3 a day and had been for years. This wasn't just like an occassional drink.) I've been fine.Sadly, I Can only tell a little change in the belly fat. :(
I seem to do cold turkey better than moderation. Stopped smoking that way too, a lifetime ago. But I know if I just had one of either now, that'd be it. I'd be hooked again. Thanks for the provocative question. I'd love to win the book, but will buy it if I don't.
marsha at marsharwest dot com (Is that how you write it?)

Donnell Ann Bell said...

Marsha: What an honor that you've read The Past Came Hunting twice! And kudos to your daughter (like mine) for always protecting their moms. That's pretty special, would you agree? For someone to quit cold turkey takes a lot of discipline and guts in my opinion. Re my scooter, as you can see, I didn't want them to take it back immediately. But they know me LOL. So they took charge. You're entered, Marsha, thank you so much for stopping by and making my day!

ckcrouch said...

Hey Donnell, I quit smoking cold turkey in 2004. The doctor told me I had all the early signs of COPD. I shrugged it off. Jim had it and asthma and he still smoked. No biggie. Wrong! I did an online search and found out it was everything from chronic bronchitis (me) to emphysema (my grandafther on my dad's side died from this). That scared me, but it didn't happen until the Friday of the next week. I had just bought a carton of my cigarettes. I wasn't wasting them they cost too much. But I held up my last cigarette and went outside at work and smoked it. My coworker didn't think I'd make it. She was like yeah we'll see. But I put them down and that was it. Yes, Jim, my husband, still smoked like a chimney and I craved them. But I stayed off them and never smoked again. Now I see the nicotine and go ugh its on and in everything. But now 8 years later, it will be 9 years in October, I'm still smoke free. I can smell it on people a thing I only noticed my last year at work at the convenience store where there were lots of cigarettes I could buy-lol.

Donnell Ann Bell said...

Cathy, what an amazing story. As I've said above, I admire anyone who can quit smoking, and to quit like you did and nine years later tell your story. You've been through so much with the loss of your husand. I sure met a lot of heroes in this post today, you're one of them.... well done!!!

Tammy Yenalavitch said...

Back again - had to think about posting this. Your title got me thinking about my Intervention story. My Mom is an alcoholic. When I was 14, my Dad, brother and I had our intervention. We told her how much we loved her and begged her to stop drinking. We gave her a choice, stop drinking or we would leave. She told us to leave. It was heartbreaking at the time to think she would choose alcohol over her family We did leave. My parents divorced and my Dad was awarded full custody , my Mom didn't even get visitation. Now that I am a mother of a 14 year old, my Mom's choice still hurts me. My Dad remarried and was very happy, so I guess things work out for a reason.

Donnell Ann Bell said...

Oh, Tammy, I can't even imagine how painful that must have been for you and your famiy. Of course it still hurts, and alcohol is the cruelest of diseases. I'm so sorry, but imagine you hold your relationship with your daughter very close to your haert. That's a real intervention. Thank you for sharing.

Donnell Ann Bell said...

family :: sigh::

Donnell Ann Bell said...


Loralee said...

Popping in late, Donnell. No intervention story, just want to say I've finished reading DEADLY RECALL and Wow! totally blew me away. Wonderful plot twists, extraordinary characters. . .loved it!

Donnell Ann Bell said...

Loralee! Oh, my gosh, thanks for letting me know you enjoyed it! I'm so excited. Thank you! :)))))