YOU KNOW HER, YOU HAVE SEEN HER, OR YOU ARE HER.
To know where the series was headed, is to find where it came from; how it was conceived and the purpose. That would necessitate beginning with the very first novel:
The very first book is in many ways the most interesting because it went through several metamorphosis and title changes. (Oklahoma Pride, Pride of Oklahoma to the final, Loving Pride.) To be honest, it also began as “a game””. Literally.
I had just been to the first reunion with my some of my cousins following the passing of my sister Trula from breast cancer. I decided a fun “souvenir” would be to write a book that was meaningful to us, relative to our childhoods together, and a kind of tribute to my sister Trula, a decorated, pioneer, policewoman and “wild-child icon” to the cousins and to me.
The first step was not to tell the girls what I was up too but rather to just ask them some questions and then ask them to “trust me.” Had my sister still been around she would have warned them that those two words usually indicate I’m about to go off on “a wild tangent” or one of my “rattle brained ideas.” But since she couldn’t warn them, they complied.
Questions ranged from; What would you be if education, money and no strings were attached? What would you do different? Where would you want to live? What would be important to you? What type of life lessons would you champion? Things along those lines. I believe I was able to get all of their “dream alternatives” into the books.
When the book was finished there were some shocks for all of them. First, for my cousin Willajeane, was the fact she was “dead.” I didn’t even let her get killed off, she was just dead. However, she lived through what turned out to be the entire series being an active part of at least half of the 13 novels. Kathryn was a doctor, but had indicated she wanted to be an interior designer, so she got to be both. She too made several of the novels and was referenced in many more. Marie was a paramedic in the novels, got to marry the love of her life and live in the vastness of Wyoming with a project helping people. (I don’t want to give too much away). Patty Jane was and is a family gal who is full of zest, totally in love with her hubby, and they are a very demonstrative couple. ( Real life reflects some of the characters of the books as they actually are.) Animal lovers with a taste for living in an expansive and private property, Patty gets to be in almost every novel of the series one way or another.
Other folks of note in the Loving Pride book include the character of “Aunt Middy” who was real and precious, and as portrayed in the book. Taking from the other side of the family is my Uncle Harvey who is matched with Aunt Middy for purposes of the series (though not actually married to each other in real life. That was a “stretch for the cousins to grasp”.
Pride Godwin is a real, authentic, Oklahoma man who represents a composite of the best of all of the ones I know. In the course of the book he alters many of his chauvinist ways, and in his defense, it was his “Okie heritage“. Until he met Trula he had never considered there was a “better way.” Bedeviled by his own past, he reaches out to Trula to help her survive hers, though in the beginning she seems to represent everything he does not like in a woman. Judd Miner, a definite leading character that can mirror the strengths and positives of Pride Godwin, brings a powerful story line to reveal some of the issues and real cases from a man’s perspective.
The series is written as a format/venue to present real cases of victim/survivors of domestic violence or rape/sexual assault. In order to protect identities and locations a faux shelter “The Cleft In The Rock Shelter” is created and a location in S.E. Oklahoma are the plot-lines . This first novel introduces us to the ground-breaking work to headquarter the most secure outreach services for high risk victims in the Kiamichi mountains.
There is an allegiance of a powerful business partnership with Pride Godwin and Tucker Twyner. This allows for the protection and rescue of victims, but grows through the series into an international Security Force. This introduces not only private security investigators, but an elite women’s force that is known only as the “Shadow Agents.” These agents are undercover, and never able to be identified as investigators, as even their payroll is “non-existent” on paper. They are renowned, skilled in martial arts, and if met in public, one would find them the least likely to be in such a line of work. They are trained to take on many identities and to be able to blend into any given situation.
The important thing to remember is that in every book are real cases, about real victim/survivors, specific locations, and real workers who helped facilitate their cases. It was therefore imperative to see that the identities of all, locations and workers were protected. AND TO GUARANTEE NO CONFIDENTIALITY WAS COMPROMISED OR BROKEN. Yet, it is the authenticity of real cases that, just when you are about to think that “it could never happen” you remember, “If it is in the book, it already did.”
. The Storyline
Mystical, Mythical Armadillos, and a Yellow-Brick Road, influence love and initiate passion.
Trula Kiser, a woman police officer, saves the life of Oscar nominated movie star Judd Miner. He secretly engages her as his celebrity bodyguard by having her pose as his live-in lover.
A motorcycle crash in Oklahoma on their way to reunite Trula with her sister, after a ten-year separation, initiates an intriguing series of events. Involvement of a dominating, brooding, man, Pride Godwin, complicates events. He has an unorthodox sense of family honor and sabotages her efforts to protect her boss Judd, and then blocks her efforts to find the truth about recent deaths in her family.
Answers point to folklore when mysterious armadillos appear and seem to be the key to the mystery of three deaths. Trula’s unspoken lifelong search for a home, takes her along a “surreal” yellow-brick road adventure, as she meets her own unique characters as they solve deaths, a kidnapping, blackmail and non-stop intrigue. Mingled with humor, “Okie chavinism”, a little “magical foreshadowing,” and love, in the most generous yet challenging ways to make dreams come true.
From Oklahoma, to Iowa, and Hollywood, the mysterious events to solve the puzzles will lead you to meet unforgettable characters along “the yellow brick road”.