Happy Saturday, Reader Friends!
Today I’m sharing some information on Safe House as a part of SLB tours. Be sure to enter the giveaway!
About the Book
The Blurb: “As a victim’s advocate, Grace James is used to rushing into trouble to save her victims from abuse or assault. And with a handsome officer like Joe Hart at her side, Grace is sure there’s nothing she can’t do. But an ominous storm brewing on the Oregon horizon is about to change everything—and bring with it dangers and revelations Grace and Joe never expected.”
About the Author
Shannon Symonds worked for 15 years as an Advocate. Shannon lives in a small seaside town where she works, writes, runs and paints. She believes the word can be changed one heart at a time and then even small acts can make a difference.
Author Interview by SLB tours
1. Whom or what inspired you to become an author?
I totally blame all the teachers in my family for encouraging me. When I probably only deserved 1 gold star, they always gave me 5.
The teachers, who were my grandmother and great aunts, read to me and listened to what I wrote. I remember being very young and reading Ozma of Oz at our family beach house on a rainy day. I felt absolute anguish when the book ended. I decided to carry the stories on. Every night at bedtime I spent hours making up stories, which I still do when sleep escapes me.
I wrote my first stories and poems in elementary school. I read everything to the family teachers, my grandmother and great aunts. I would mail them poems, and as they were teachers, they would return them to me with red pencil corrections. I loved it!
When I was 12, our young women’s leader had us write down a list of long term goals. Publishing a book was on my list. I never forgot my list or goals, even when I set them aside to change diapers and cheer for 6 little people for several years. The only thing left on my list is hang gliding.
2. What did you want to be when you grew up? Did becoming an author ever cross your mind?
Becoming an author seemed like an unattainable dream. More than once I heard I would starve. Life and my need to support my family consumed me. My children grew, time passed and one day, the money didn’t matter to me anymore, nothing mattered. It just had to be. It was finally the right time to take a leap of faith and put my dream into words.
3. When you are not writing, what other “hats” do you wear?
When I am not writing, I am spending time with family and friends doing anything outdoors like walking the beach, crabbing or kayaking.I can’t go without running at least 3 miles a day, going to church, and if I am very lucky reading!.
My day job is as a manager in a national nonprofit organization. I still work a few nights a week as a domestic and sexual assault advocate answering the crisis line and responding alongside law enforcement.
In addition, I love volunteering. I currently volunteer at church as the compassionate service leader. I am donating a portion of the proceeds from Safe House to Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.). It is an organization dedicated to ending sex trafficking and providing aftercare to survivors. I write for their volunteer newsletter and am working with a group on a small awareness event.
4. What inspired the idea for Safe House?
I am very passionate about the need to support survivors and create awareness. I honestly spent some spiritual time struggling and wondering how I could bring more awareness to the issue of abuse from my small town world. Safe House was my answer.
Statistics or news stories can’t tell you what it feels like to listen to a 12-year-old boy worry about a parent who has just gone to jail, or what it feels like to listen to that same boy feeling guilty because they failed to protect their mother during an assault. I had to write Safe House, like I will write other stories of hope and healing, like I need to breathe.
I want the world to know the true story about what is going on right next door. I want survivors to know they aren’t alone. Others have experienced the same feelings and thoughts as they have. There is hope and safety for survivors, and the world cares.
5. What do you want readers to take away from Safe House?
I want readers to be swept away in a Pacific storm, hope for love, cheer for the good guys and possibly gain insight into the guys who make bad choices. I want them to be so involved in the story, they don’t even realize they are experiencing something entirely new. They are seeing the world through an advocates and survivors eyes on the treacherous road to hope.
6. What is your current WIP? What can you tell us about this project?
Currently I have an outline for another story involving some of the same characters, but in a stand alone novel.
I am donating a portion of the proceeds from Safe House to Operation Underground Railroad to help end sex trafficking and provide aftercare to survivors. I am also volunteering some of my time to the cause. I have seen this very issue in my own small tourist town. I plan to write a story that explores some of the challenges….well you will just have to wait and see what they are!
Safe House tackled an tough subject: domestic abuse. By following a couple of victims, we got an inside look at the trials and tribulations they go through. Through some other characters, you get to see what all goes into trying to get people safe.
The opening was a hooker and immediately grabbed my interest. Unfortunately, the barrage of different character povs (point-of-views) broke my concentration and made this read difficult. It was hard to find myself invested in a character when they kept switching chapter to chapter, and sometimes within the chapter. Honestly, I’m not sure I would recommend the book for that reason alone.
The book also addresses Mormons and their faith. I wasn’t expecting that from the above blurb, so if it’s something that may make you pause, just know that the book will talk about it.
*I received a complimentary book from the publisher. This review is my own, honest opinion.
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