Horsheshoes and Hand Grenades written by S. M. Stevens and published by TouchPoint Press, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.
To buy link: https://amzn.to/2ut961i
Fragile but practical Shelby Stewart and ambitious, confident Astrid Ericcson just want to start their PR careers in 1980s Boston and maybe find a nice guy to hang out with. But long-buried memories of incest at the hands of her local hero stepfather keep interrupting Shelby’s plans, affecting her health one way after another. And when will she actually date someone her friends think is good enough for her?
Astrid thinks she wrote the book on How to Get Ahead by Flirting but is forced to re-visit her career advancement strategy when her boss Brad takes the innuendos to a whole new, scary level, threatening her job and her safety.
Suddenly, instead of taking charge of their lives, both women find themselves spinning out of control.
In this fast-paced story for the #metoo generation, the women reach new highs and lows in life, work and romance, while struggling to make sense of the abusive relationships that haunt them.
I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting S.M. Stevens latest novel: Horseshoes and Hand Grenades. I have the pleasure of sharing a guest post from the author:
Guest Post for Kraftireader
By S.M. Stevens, author of Horseshoes and Hand Grenades
Why I Portray “Lesser Abuse” of an Everyday Heroine in Horseshoes and Hand Grenades
Horseshoes and Hand Grenades, my new Women’s Fiction novel from TouchPoint Press, is not another book about horrific, violent sexual abuse. Why? Because, even though such books are important, there are other stories that also need to be told.
Horseshoes and Hand Grenades purposely portrays much less severe abuse and harassment situations. Those scenes, while troubling, are brief and not particularly graphic. As one reviewer said, the book is a “safe” place to deal with these tough subjects.
I made that choice because I believe the vast majority of harassment and abuse victims suffer “lesser abuse” compared to, for example, rape.
In The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, readers root for Lisbeth Salander because they can empathize with her pain. But most probably can’t relate directly to the unspeakable violence inflicted upon the androgynous computer hacker of questionable mental stability.
In contrast, the less severe abuse my heroine Shelby suffers will resonate with the many women who harbor similar memories.
I also wanted Shelby to be relatable to many readers: a young woman starting out her career and trying to build healthy friendships and romances despite the demon from her past that keeps, figuratively speaking, knocking on her door. Almost everyone will have something in common with her, because in many ways she is “every woman.”
And her story is filled with love, laughter, friendship, romance, challenges, failures and recoveries. In that way, it’s a coming-of-age story that, I hope, reflects real life for many people.
Horseshoes and Hand Grenades makes a case that Shelby’s “lesser abuse” matters. I chose the title to challenge the old saying that “almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades”. If a line is crossed between appropriate behavior and inappropriate behavior of a sexual nature, damage often does happen.
But I’m not trying to send every woman who has been touched the wrong way by a man into therapy. Everyone deals with such situations, and heals from them, in their own way. I’m merely trying to tell women who have discounted their experiences, burying them deep inside, that what happened did matter, and it’s okay to acknowledge that.
What affects one woman greatly might roll off another’s back. So many factors feed into how a victim feels, in addition to the nature of the abuse: the relationship between the two people, the power balance, past interactions, the victim’s personal history, and even the victim’s mood that day.
So no one can judge how an abusive act should affect another human being. Only the victim herself can decide if it was a big deal or not; if it will shape the rest of her life or not. And reaching those decisions is not as easy as it sounds, as Shelby discovers.
And that is why I believe all stories, even the “minor” ones, are valid and deserve to be told.
About the Author
S.M. Stevens began writing fiction during back-to-back health crises. First, she broke her pelvis in three places in a horseback riding fall, and used the recuperation period to write Shannon’s Odyssey, a middle-grade novel for animal-lovers. Soon after, Stevens was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. During her five months of treatment and subsequent recovery spell, she wrote Bit Players, Has-Been Actors and Other Posers for musical theatre-loving teens. Two additional Bit Players novels followed. Horseshoes and Hand Grenades is her first adult book. After watching reactions to the #MeToo movement, she decided it was time for a novel that takes people into the minds of victims so they can understand why many women don’t speak up about their harassment or assault, and why some do. When not writing, she provides marketing and public relations services to solar energy companies. She is from Gorham, Maine, and now lives in Clinton, Mass., and Washington, N.H. She has also lived in Italy and in the U.K., where she was Group Public Affairs Director for National Grid.
Website & Social Media Links:
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/S.M.-Stevens/e/B006E548JO