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Monday, 1 June 2015

Blog Tour Guest Post - Taken Away by Patricia Yager Delagrange

Taken Away
Author: Patricia Delagrange
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Length: 400 pages
Release Date: June 1, 2015
ISBN-13: 978-1508660439

Book Description:
Jessee Bradford, a respected young veterinarian in Santa Barbara, California, comes home to find his wife Serena and baby daughter Sofia missing. Jessee fears they have been kidnapped or worse. The FBI investigators believe his wife, the only daughter of a wealthy philanthropist who never approved of their marriage, simply abandoned Jessee and took their child with no intention of returning.

After months of fruitless searching, Jessee relocates to his grandparents’ home in Iowa, where he takes over his grandpa’s veterinary practice. There he finds the family closeness he’s been missing and falls in love with a female equestrian Laura. When Jessee and Laura attend a gallery opening of an artist named She, the paintings remind Jessee of his wife Serena’s art work. Thus begins Jessee’s search to find She while his future with Laura teeters precariously on the edge until the truth about She is discovered.

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My Writing Process

I’ve always been distressed and fascinated when I hear an Amber Alert. How does a family deal with a missing family member? Having two children of my own, I can’t imagine the pain and heartbreak a family goes through when someone they love goes missing.

The deep empathy I feel for the mothers and fathers of the missing children prompted me to write Taken Away. But I wanted to write it from the father’s point of view. How would a dad deal with a missing child? The main focus when a child is abducted or goes missing seems to be on the mother. Granted, I understand that reasoning. In our traditional society, the mother is still the center of the family’s universe, whether she works inside or outside the home, or both. A mother is more than marginally responsible for the emotional and physical well-being of the kids.

I wrote about Jessee Bradford’s emotional upheaval after he comes home to find his wife and daughter gone. From the moment he realizes they’re not home, where they normally would be in the afternoon, to his admission that they really aren’t coming back, Jessee’s feelings run the gamut from denial to acceptance and then to change.

I also made Jessee a veterinarian. Being a card-holding member of the Humane Society of the United States, I believe in the HSUS’s work for all animals, not just dogs and cats, but pigs, horses, cows and more. Therefore, I created a figure I admire - Jessee Bradford - whose career has tremendous meaning for him. He’s also a family-oriented guy who always planned on marrying and having children. So when he loses the two most important people in his life, it is truly devastating.

Who does he turn to in his time of distress and need? His gramma and grampa with whom he spent time with when he was younger. When he takes over his grampa’s veterinary practice in Iowa and moves in with his grandparents, his love of family grows even stronger.

I continue the animal theme when Jessee meets Laura - a horse trainer and equestrian. Though Jessee treats small animals in his practice, Laura brings an added dimension to Jessee’s life with her love of large animals, expanding Jessee’s comfort zone in the equine arena. Like Jessee, she’s dealing with a past that haunts her. Laura and Jessee have both been broken by their experiences with their spouses, which bonds them in a unique way. They’re both “dealing” at the time they meet.

A big question in my book is: at what point does the grieving process end and moving on is okay? Everyone will have an opinion about this and I encourage the reader to think about what s/he would do in that same position. What would the reader do, what would the reader think, how would the reader feel under similar circumstances? Would the reader eventually look for another partner or wait forever for the missing spouse to be found?

All intriguing questions. All highly individual. There’s no right or wrong answer. Everyone would react differently.

What would you do?

About the Author
Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Patricia attended St. Mary’s College, studied her junior year at the University of Madrid, received a B.A. in Spanish at UC Santa Barbara then went on to get a Master’s degree in Education at Oregon State University. She lives with her husband and two teenage children in Alameda, across the bay from San Francisco, along with two very large chocolate labs, Annabella and Jack. Her Friesian horse Maximus lives in the Oakland hills in a stall with a million dollar view.

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1 comment:

  1. I just found out the other day that you hosted me on June 1st. Thank you so much for doing that. I really appreciate the promotion.