Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Roane Publishing
Date of Publication: June 22, 2015
Number of pages: 53
Word Count: 16,390
Cover Artist: Rebecca Hart
Dasan Garret is a disappointed man. Recently divorced and just returned from a traumatic tour of duty in Iraq, he moves back to his hometown of Portland, Oregon only to find himself unexpectedly alone. His old friends are all gone, moved away, locked up, or dead. Women seem to occupy a parallel universe. With no community and few prospects, he takes a job as a night watchman and withdraws ever deeper into the shadows of his mind. Until one day when he meets Edenia, and she lights up his world like a bolt of pure energy. She seems perfect: vibrant, gifted, kind, sexy, a sudden and unlooked-for reprieve from the sad ruin of his life. And yet there remains a nagging sense that something isn’t right. Could it be that he is merely slow to trust the happiness she offers him? Or is there something behind that waver in her laugh, that fleeting look of sadness in her eyes?
The mystery deepens when one day Edenia disappears. Dasan believes he must find her in order to go on living. But to find her again, he will have to confront a devastating truth about her life, and his.
Adjusting to civilian life after four years in the Navy was fairly easy for me. For one thing, while my first two years in the service had been a strange voyage on the Good Ship Camden, the second half of my enlistment was all shore duty. For much of that time I lived with my girlfriend off-base, worked in an office, ate in restaurants, watched movies at the MWR building…. In other words, a pretty normal life. Moreover, I’m not the type of person who thrives on the kind of regularity and structure the military provides, so I didn’t miss it. The first thing I did when I got out was hop a flight to Amsterdam and start backpacking through Europe, so obviously I was ready to reclaim my freedom.
Other folks have it a lot tougher, for various reasons. Anyone who is in combat, or spends a lot of time in combat zones, acquires a guarded mentality and readiness for violence that’s hard to shake, to say nothing of PTSD. My father was in Vietnam, and he says one of the most striking things about the civilian world—coming home to it—is how trivial people’s daily concerns seem. Really, your kid got caught smoking pot? Your boss might curtail your expense account? You’ve still got both legs asshole!”
Oh, and cleaning up the language, that’s another adjustment.
Matthew Chabin was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico and grew up in Portland, Oregon. He served four years in the US Navy as a ship crewman, journalist and public affairs liaison. He studied literature and philosophy at Southern Oregon University. After graduating in 2010, he started teaching English abroad, working in the Czech Republic and volunteering with the Dalai Lama’s affiliate organization, Tibet Charity, in Dharamsala/Mcleod Ganj, India. He currently lives in Nagano Prefecture of Japan with his wife, Marie, and cat, Futa.
His work has appeared in Gravel: A Literary Journal, Southern Pacific Review, Piker Press, and Black Denim. He is the author of a memoir, Equaling Heaven, which he hopes to see published in the near future.
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