Love, Lies & Fight
by Terri D and Julie Bellatrix
Love, Lies & Fight by Terri D and Julie Bellatrix
What do you do when the love is gone? The lies are revealed. You Fight.
Valerie appeared to have the perfect family life while suffering in silence to formulate her escape plan. When a past indiscretion is revealed will she have the courage and strength to move on and what will get in her way? How will she find the ability to trust anyone again?
Joy is a successful therapist who has helped dozens of addicts over the years. When she decides to take on virtual clients including Valerie, she gets a little more than she bargained for including having to learn to face her own past.
Love, Lies & Fight is an emotionally charged story of how helping others through their pain and issues is sometimes exactly what we need.
Listen to a reading from the book, Love, Lies & Fight:
Purchase Love, Lies & Fight by Terri D and Julie Bellatrix
Genre: Contemporary Fiction; Women's Fiction; Women's Psychological Fiction
Chapter Excerpts: Love, Lies & Fight
My name is Joy Dickerson. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor. I have been in this field since graduating from college over 15 years ago. I wanted to become a counselor ever since I was a teenager. My mom died when I was sixteen and my older brother Darien and his wife Toni took me in while struggling to deal with my mother’s sudden death, which I felt somewhat responsible for. I never knew my father, so it was a difficult time for me.
I found myself in the middle of major adult drama between my brother Darien, his wife Toni, and their circle of friends. There were a lot of secrets, lies and half-truths amongst them all. Ultimately my brother Darien lost his life by being in the wrong place at the wrong time as a direct result of the drama between their friends. After my experience as a teenager I vowed to help others by becoming a counselor.
This story is not about me though. This is a story about one of my clients named Valerie. Valerie’s story is shared with her permission, names and other details being changed to protect the privacy of those involved. I have worked with many clients over the years, but Valerie is different. Once you read her story you will understand why. The title sums up her journey. She experienced love, she was betrayed by the lies she had been told, and then she fought to regain her strength and confidence to move forward.
Excerpt From Chapter 13
Feeling satisfied about taking that first step towards healing, I decided to grab my journal and write about the weekend. I chose to sit in the living room on my comfortable sofa which was a little too comfortable because at some point I dozed off. When I awoke a couple of hours later to the sound of my cell phone buzzing, I was surprised at how long I had slept. I grabbed my phone to check the time and realized it was almost time for my session with Valerie. I planned to review her email again before our session. I quickly replied to Robin’s text message which is what woke me up. I had not texted her when I got home because I knew she would be with clients. Then I got lost in taking care of things around the house.
I went into my office to grab Valerie’s file. I had printed her email out to read it over the weekend. With just a few minutes to spare I grabbed a bottle of water and logged in for my session. Valerie was on time as usual.
“Hello Valerie. How are you?”
“I am doing well and you?”
“I cannot complain and thanks for asking.”
“Are you ready to begin?”
“Yes, I am.”
“Alright then. I feel we should spend a little time discussing what you shared in your email. I want you to remember it takes time to process everything especially after dealing with what you have for this long. Also healing does not necessarily occur in a linear way. Meaning your trauma occurred in a sequence of events, however your processing and healing from the effects of that trauma may not happen in the same way. Does that make sense?”
“Yes, it does. It makes perfect sense.”
“Okay, great. You mentioned you wanted to discuss the issues you are having with trust. Can you explain that a little more?”
Valerie grabbed a tissue and I realized this was an emotional issue for her. I remained silent and let her take the time she needed to cry. It was good to see her get it out and start to deal with the pain. That shows me we are making progress. Tears are often misunderstood as a sign of weakness. They are cleansing and a necessary part of processing pain. After a few minutes, she was able to compose herself and answer my question.
“I think that is something I am going to have a problem with for quite a while. I was still processing Seth’s betrayal when I was blindsided by Paula lying to me about an appointment for David. I trusted that Paula was giving me a ride there and instead I ended up in the psych ward. We can talk about my time in the hospital later but what happened put me into a state of shock distrusting everyone.”
Purchase Love, Lies & Fight by Terri D and Julie Bellatrix
Genre: Contemporary Fiction; Women's Fiction; Women's Psychological Fiction
Book Reviews from Beta Readers
Erin Maiolino states: LOVE, LIES & FIGHT is a raw, riveting, and authentic story of two women whose lives are interwoven by chance yet inescapably interrelated.
Rattled by her high-powered husband’s infidelity, Valerie plunges into the darkness of picking up the pieces while discovering who she is. Her aptly named therapist, Joy, must come to terms with the lies, secrets, and tragedies in her own life. The deep pain and suffering that these two women endure are shared by every woman who has ever endured a heart-wrenching loss or betrayal.
This novel deserves your attention—travel with them on their path to rediscover love, triumph over the lies, and fight for their self-worth.
Deanna Malfregeot states: LOVE, LIES & FIGHT was a compelling and absorbing read from start to finish. It was two cleverly interwoven stories depicting the two main character's struggles, journeys of healing, and eventually moving on with their lives. I would find myself rushing through each part to get to the other character's progress. The fact that Joy, the therapist, and Valerie, the patient, were only professionally attached and never met in person made it even more interesting in this day and age of video calls, teleconferencing, virtual meetings, etc.
I found it to be the same to my own work and personal relationships. As for each of their stories, they were different enough to keep me invested as they were from different backgrounds and had come through different traumas, but the common ground each found with one another was relatable and rewarding.
This book offered two separate great stories into one that showed how trauma impacts people differently but how healing draws each character together and forward. Without giving too much away, the first-person narrator got the storytelling aspect down and had me wanting to know how she would move on with her life and I enjoyed the richly drawn characters surrounding her.
What was more nuanced but every bit as interesting was Valerie, who had told her story and made me want to hear more. For Valerie, it really was a voyeuristic view into one woman's nightmare and fight back to some sense of normalcy during a crisis. I read this book over the course of two evenings since I couldn't wait to see what happened next and was happy with the ending.
I'd like to see a continuation of each of their respective stories! It was a sliver of their lives during a time of transition and it leaves the reader wanting more after the book is over. Isn't that what all great books do? I'd love to see a sequel as I felt uplifted by the ending and still curious as to how their stories continue to play out as I felt a connection with the characters. I would recommend this book to everyone as it evokes powerful emotions and relatable situations. It was very well done.
Meet Authors Terri D and Julie Bellatrix
Julie Bellatrix - Love, Lies and Fight is her debut novel which is co-written with author Terri D. Julie cannot thank her enough for mentoring her through this experience since it truly helped her to positively move forward with life. Julie was never much of a fan of writing until recently when dealing with a challenging series of circumstances. Having made it through as a much stronger and self-confident woman she desired to write a book that would inspire other women. Visit Julie Bellatrix's website: https://juliebellatrix.com
Terri D a.k.a Terri Martinez - Terri is a blogger and author who writes under the pen name Terri D. She published her debut novel titled Yesterday’s Lies in 2011. Terri has since released four more novels, a memoir titled Passport Wife, has published articles, poems and Terri’s most recent release titled, Journaling for Self-Care for Young Adults was inspired by and dedicated to the young women of Chatham.
Terri is happily married again since 2017. She has three children and four grandchildren. Terri is a member of Beulah Baptist Church where she has written and produced stage plays and she is an active member in the Choir. Terri is also a trained Chaplain assistant, Certified Recovery Specialist and Certified Life Coach. Terri is the founder and President of TDUB Publishing. Visit the TDUB Publishing website is https://tdubpublishing.com
BPM: Introduce us to your most recent work. Available on Nook and Kindle?
Love, Lies & Fight is available on all major outlets in paperback and ebook formats. It is a fictional drama that focuses on the lives of the two main characters, Joy who is a therapist and Valerie who is one of her clients. It's a story about how sometimes while helping others you ultimately end up getting the help you need. It delves into the stigma of therapy in the black community especially the church community. It shows how having closure and resolving issues in our own way and time help us to heal and move on.
BPM: Who were your favorite characters to write? Are your characters from the portrayal of real people?
Terri D - My favorite character to write was Joy. I'm not a therapist but I've been to several in my lifetime. It was fun and at times challenging to come up with what a therapist might say in certain situations.
BPM: Do you set out to educate or inspire, entertain or illuminate a particular subject?
Terri D - Yes I've always tried to focus on relationships and how to work through challenges. For this book I really wanted to focus on therapy and how helpful it can be. I guess the message is that therapy is a form of self-care and we all need to do whatever is needed to care for ourselves.
Julie - I wanted to establish awareness of what can happen in an unfortunate situation and showing strength by picking yourself back up and moving on.
BPM: What was the most powerful chapter in the book?
Julie - I think Chapter 21 is the most powerful when Valerie finally gets the courage to describe her experience in the hospital.
BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
Julie - I can now see the benefit of writing as a way of healing.
BPM: Tell us a little about your creative process. Do you use a computer or write out the story by hand?
Terri D - When I am in the middle of a writing project I don't read books by other authors. I'm an avid reader but once I start a writing project I have shut all of that down. I love using my computer to type my books but when I journal I prefer to write it out on paper. I often listen to classical music while I write. It is very soothing and relaxing for me. It allows my creative juices to flow freely.
BPM: Writing can be an emotionally draining and stressful pursuit. Any tips on self-care for creative folks?
Julie - Re-visit looking at what is written the next day after a good night’s rest for making revisions. If not in the mindset to write when you start, take a break until you the words start flowing at a good pace. After writing something look at it again to see if it is a critical piece to the story or if it is just something that is personal that may not need to be included.
Terri D - There's a thin line between connecting with your characters to the point of taking on some of their traits. That can be both good and bad. It's good to maintain a healthy balance between your creative thoughts and feelings and reality. The best way to do that in my opinion is to take breaks, step away from the fiction and go back to your reality.
BPM: Share one specific point in your book that resonated with your present situation or journey.
Terri D - At one point Joy states that she believes God sent clients to her to help bring the issues that she needed to work through to the surface. That resonated with me because I feel that God brings us to things in our lives to help us learn and grow through the process of getting through those things. I have spent the past two years waiting but my time spent waiting has been intentional because I needed this time to grow spiritually.
BPM: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from reading your book?
Julie - I want the readers to feel that it is possible to feel empowered and strong even through life's struggles.
Terri D - Everyone struggles at some point in their life. There is no shame in seeking professional help to get through. It is possible to learn and grow through even the most painful experiences.
BPM: Do you have a Goodreads or Facebook community?
Terri D - Here is our publisher's website https://tdubpublishing.com and I am on Facebook, Goodreads and BookBub as Author Terri D.
Love, Lies & Fight can be found at our Amazon page in paperback and Kindle ebook - https://www.amazon.com/Love-Lies-Fight-Terri-D/dp/0983188769
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