Monday, October 17, 2011

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is designated Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and this month I would like to give to a cause I feel strongly about. I have blogged about domestic violence on a couple of occasions already, primarily when Forever Sunshine first came out in April. Since then, I have heard from multiple domestic violence survivors, and each and every one of them told me that Forever Sunshine was not only very real to them but also hopeful for those still in a situation to get out. Naturally, that was part of the message I was trying to send, but I also wanted to draw attention to the issue itself. Often domestic violence is a hidden matter, a family matter that no one truly understands or wants to get involved with. For emergency personnel, it is also a cause for concern.
I recently worked with author Marie Harbon, and she was kind enough to feature me in a post on her site to discuss this important time and subject. Here is a peek at part of the interview:
Marie: Did any real life situations either personal or secondhand inspire ‘Forever Sunshine?’ If not, where did you gather your research to enable you to write the book?

Collette: Yes, absolutely some real life situations inspired Forever Sunshine. The story began in a dream I had following my viewing of a highly publicized funeral on the television. With that being said, I have also had firsthand experience with domestic violence, both as an EMS professional responding to ambulance calls and as a witness to a close friend’s situation when I was younger. The opening scene is based on an experience I lived through, although I did tone it down a little bit. The relationship between Joe and Cher is also based on that experience with my friend. Joe’s character acts in much the same manner as this girl’s boyfriend had with me. Further research came from my EMS training and study into statistics on the Internet.

To read more of my interview with Marie, click here.

Please remember that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and in honor of this important milestone I am putting together a donation for every sale of Forever Sunshine to a cause that I believe is worthwhile. I have contacted a national domestic violence organization and am working with them on this plan. Though I would love to give to more than one organization, this time around I have chosen one site to focus on. Depending on the success of my venture, I will certainly branch out because this is a serious endeavor.

The Hotline is a 24/7 non-profit organization that operates nationwide in the United States. They offer crisis intervention, advocacy, and information to victims or possible victims. Their database includes referrals to over 4,000 programs and shelters, so they work hard every day trying to pass on the means and education to help others. In these difficult financial times donations are harder to come by, and this is why I am hopeful that by buying a decent story of hope, healing and survival others can find a way to pass a day and give back to those who need help. My latest blog review has been completed by Book Reviews by Tima. Please take a look to learn more about my story. The eBook Forever Sunshine is only $2.99 on Amazon; the paperback just $14.95. For my UK readers, please click here. Remember, you do not need a Kindle to purchase an eBook. If you would like to read on your computer or smartphone, Amazon offers an e-reading application. Get yours here.
So please join me in my attempts to give back to those in need and help me spread the word.

If you are in need, do not hesitate to call 1-800-799-SAFE or visit for immediate assistance. All it takes is one call to get the ball rolling.

Thank you all, my good readers!

Forever Sunshine:

Young and naïve Cherisse Bridwell had focused solely on completing her college degree and beginning her career until one hot summer evening when her frightened older sister, Shelly, arrives looking for help. Cher's carefully ordered life quickly comes to an end. Trapped in an abusive marriage, Shelly is terrified and has nowhere else to go but to her overworked and oblivious sister. Though Cher is not prepared to handle the effects of a controlling and violent husband, fate delivers help via police sergeant Brandon Nicholson. With his strength and guidance, he shows Cherisse and Shelly how to survive and how to live life to the fullest. As both women find their inner strength, Cher and Brandon fall in love and build a future together. However, life is full of ups and downs, and through it all Cher and her family must continue to face every day with a feeling of hope and optimism, even when it seems as though all hope is gone. 


Kathy Robbins said...

As a woman who was in a difficult marriage, I applaud your writing and commitment to this issue.

Collette said...

Hello Kathy,

Thank you so much for dropping by and your support. You may applaud my committment, but I applaud you! You are a truly strong woman, and I admire your courage :). Thank you again!