January 1st 2014
Kendall Montgomery’s six-year-old son has barely spoken in the past year, locked in his world of silent grief. Then one day, he spots his dead father across a crowded street.Max Jordan moved to Chicago to be closer to his own son and prove he can be a better father than his deadbeat dad. His striking resemblance to Kendall’s husband and his track record with fatherhood make her determined to keep her distance…until Max helps her little boy come out of his shell. But can she trust him with their future? How can she be sure he won’t take off just when they need him most?
Hi and thank you for hosting me today! I am so excited to be on tour with my new novel, The Better Man. It’s a story about a widowed mother and her son meeting a man who looks very similar to her husband and dealing with the emotional repercussions of that.
At the heart of the story is Kendall and Simon, a mother and son who are both still grieving the loss of their husband/father. Kendall struggles with how to help ease her son’s anxiety after his father’s death. Feeling helpless is something to which all parents can relate. Kendall is sensitive to her son’s needs and has to find a way to balance what he wants with what he needs. It’s not always so easy to distinguish between the two.
I know with my own children, there are times I want to ease their pain without having the slightest clue how to do so. I also know there are things my kids, like Simon, will experience that will hurt. The only significant loss my children have ever suffered was the death of our beloved pet dog. Bailey passed away almost four years ago and my daughter still gets teary-eyed talking about him. I have never seen my youngest son cry as hard as he did the day we said goodbye to Bailey.
As much as I hate seeing my children distraught, I know that death is part of life, something they will likely experience many more times in their lifetime. I cannot shelter them from it and neither can Kendall for Simon. His father is dead and there is no way to change that or make it better. But as much as she would like to coddle him and hold him tight, she has to challenge him to keep living life to the fullest. She has to encourage him to face the harsh reality of a life without his dad.
Simon is so fragile in the beginning of this story. Kendall walks on eggshells all the time, worried that the wrong words or the slightest shift in the routine will throw him off and cause him to sink further into his shell. But when he meets Max, the hero, Simon begins to believe he is stronger than anyone ever gave him credit for being. Their relationship eases the fear that, at times, had paralyzed Simon.
Simon’s transformation is gradual yet miraculous. The Simon you see at the end of the novel (and throughout the series in the future) is not the timid wallflower from the beginning. He may be my favorite character in the book!
Kendall grows quite a bit in the story as well. Artistic and a little introverted, Kendall has always kept her feelings and opinions locked up. She has used art as her non-confrontational way of expressing her feelings. She over-thinks everything and is unable to move forward because of it. Her relationship with Max pushes her out of her shell much in the same way as it does Simon.
Do you have someone in your life who encourages you to let your light shine? Are you that person for someone else? Can you relate to someone like Kendall? Feel free to share in the comments.
Thanks again for having me and I hope you’ll check out The Better Man and watch little Simon’s light go from dim to shining brightly. Also, enter to win a signed copy of the book along with some other fun prizes!
– Gift Card Grand Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card and a signed paperback (US) or ebook (INT) of The Better Man
– US Grand Prize: Signed paperback of The Better Man plus swag (shown above)