Over the years, I have met enough people with money to realize that having wealth isn't a free ticket to a life of infinite happiness. Just look at the news that hits the Internet every day, and anyone can see that. Sure, that person pulling in millions might not be wondering if there will be enough money to put gas in the car until the next paycheck, or if they have enough food in the freezer to cover what they can't buy fresh in groceries, but there are some problems that transcend a family's net worth.
The four books (so far) in the Barlow Barretts' series touch on some of those issues. Anna, in Bittersweet, struggled with the issue of never feeling as though she fit in. Seth, in Balancing Act, struggles with living up to his role as the eldest son--when his heart's in a different place. In Remember Me, Brandon discovers how life in the limelight can turn ugly, and in this latest book, Stacey faces some of the biggest challenges of all. She's done her best to be the perfect Barlow-Barrett, but it's not enough. Even worse, she faces domestic violence in a marriage that's unraveling.
Broken Heart was a tough book to write, but as I started exploring exactly what kind of story Stacey might have to tell, it occurred to me that the way she'd led her life was simply too good to be true. Nobody had a life as perfect as hers seemed to be, unless they were a Barbie and Ken doll in one of my childhood games.Since I pretty much write by the seat of my pants, it surprised me what issues began to emerge in Stacey's life.
I have to thank my editor, Dianne, for making me go back and rewrite Jace, Stacey's husband. He's not a likable character, and there are people who will feel he doesn't get all that he deserves, but he has a story not unlike Stacey's. Like her, Jace's life has been all about keeping up appearances. It's his reaction when he can no longer do that that becomes the problem.
You know, I'd like everyone to have a chance to get in on this series from the beginning, so this week I'm offering readers a chance to get a copy of Bittersweet, book 1 in the series. All you have to do is leave a comment on whether you think having money makes life hard or easier. I'll draw a winner and announce it next Sunday when I'll do the same with book two, and so on. Pass the word.