Title: THE SCARS AND SORROW SAGA
Author: Mary E. Palmerin
Release Date: November 3, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance
A moving epilogue.
And the virtue they all attempt to hold on to... hope.
Fall in love with this raw, poignant saga as you travel the path of Lyla Harper while she tries to grasp onto love, let go of loss, and believe in tomorrow.
Will the Harper family get the happily-ever-after they have endlessly wished for?
A Guest Post from Mary E. PalmerinSecrets of the Scars and Sorrow Saga
This series is complete and I never did much promo for it. I can’t explain why. The subsequent works that followed these are a lot darker in nature. I can’t say it was the content I was scared of sharing. I reached out a few times here and there, but mostly, I would write a book and hit publish. It wasn’t until Gwen and Welch’s story did I spread my wings, take off, and fly.
Three years later, six stories, and one emotional ending, this saga is complete. It is truly bittersweet. Since it is hundreds of thousands of words in length, a blog tour wasn’t something that would be feasible. Natalie asked me to write a guest post about the inspiration behind the series. I know, I know… you’ve probably heard millions of stories regarding how a person was moved to write. And you know what? It’s awesome!
I’ve always stated how close Lyla’s story is to me. I proudly support Project Semicolon, and I even have a tattoo of one on my left wrist. I’m sure people who don’t know me have made assumptions about me and my life, especially after I have met some at signings and they see how passionate I am about the stories I have written.
Now, I am going to tell you my story.
I was four-years-old the first time I remember feeling fear. I’m not talking about the kind of distress from a scary story that is told over a speckling campfire, or from a pretend ghoul while trick-or-treating. I’m describing the kind of dread that still, at twenty-eight, makes my heart flutter with unease. It’s ironic how so many people feel like they were destined to “be” something or someone.
I never felt that, except in the path of destruction. What a mystery, that very destruction has lead me to this fantastic dream I am basking in…
I only remember holding onto the fear and sadness. Thinking back to being in that hot truck when I was four makes me want to go into my office, pour a cup of coffee, and spill those emotions into the stories that I create. I recall reaching my little arm out to roll the window down, but it was too short to reach the lever. The seat was torn and it scratched my little legs. I’ve held onto that horror since. I’m not the type of person that lives with regret. I don’t believe in do-overs. Maybe I was put through that to be here… to tell these stories and give the world a glance into a different facet; for people to discern that life isn’t ever what it seems. Prince Charming and Mr. Nice Guy aren’t always so nice.
Sometimes the dark-haired little girl with pink glasses is crying inside.
Through the dread, the monsters, and the pain, I also saw another side of the world. Good people came into my life and family became the very foundation in which I was built. Who would have thought it would be possible to tear down a little girl before she was even able to stand on her own two feet?
But I did.
My mother, sister, brother, and extended family became my rock. Through heaviness and despair, we were always who one another could lean on. As an adult, I’ve been known for my kindness, randomly sending a care package to one of my street-teamers in need. Lifting people up with my words and always having a positive attitude is another attribute I am known for. Of course, it would have been easier to dismiss the decency that popped into my life and become one of the horrific people that saturated it at different times, but I didn’t.
Moments such as when Christmases were hard for my mother, raising three kids on her own, graciousness was shown to us. The good side of the world gave us mercy that year, giving me faith. Hope. Belief in life.
Words. They have the ability to create so many things. I have used them to cope. I started to write when I was eight, but as time passed, it would no longer be enough for me as the face, voice, and memories from my monster haunted me. New monsters would meet me and become too much. My secrets were too plentiful to handle. I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs, “Am I alive, God?” but my scream was silent. It echoed on the inside. I needed it to stop.
I hurt myself. A lot. That shiny little vane was the only friend that knew my secrets and remained silent. It never judged, it simply listened to my commands and hurt me, making me bleed until my eyes exploited the sorrow that spilled from my soul. I continued to write, mostly short-stories and poems. Being a teenager was one of the roughest eras of my life, as new monsters greeted me. Again, nothing is what it seems. That is the line that I use in every book I write. I became a master at pretending when everyone around me was finding their happiness. My mother remarried an amazing man, one that I am lucky enough to call my father now. My sister fell in love. My brother went to college, then joined the Marines, eventually becoming an incredible father. Things were changing. Family was still the basis of what mattered, but I was stranded in my own personal darkness, and it was swallowing me whole.
I would drown before I escaped.
Tragedy would envelop my family and lives would be lost.
Again, though cliché, I do believe everything happens for a reason. I made it through my teenage years. It wasn’t easy. I learned a lot. I hurt a lot, and I wrote… A LOT. I also kept everything I ever wrote, mostly dark poetry and scribblings. Again, it would prove to be inspiration for this series.
Watching my family hurt is the worst imaginable pain, but the most unbelievable thing is that we will always have one another. I watched one lose the love of their life. I watched another lose their best friend. I watched one return home from war a different person, but our love would remain the same, because we traveled to hell and back.
We fucking survived.
At nineteen, my life changed interminably. I met my now-husband soon after I graduated from high school. We were on-again, off-again. I knew that if I didn’t go back to my safe place, life wouldn’t give me a hundredth chance. In November 2006, I took a chance when I was drowning in an abyss of blackness. I called him and he told me two words that changed me forever.
And I never left. My husband is the happily-ever-after I never thought I deserved. My life was never supposed to end up like this. Though still in the two-stoplight town that reminds me of my past, it also reminds me of my future. It reminds me of a tomorrow that I will be blessed with. It gives me the hope that I never let myself let go of.
My happily-ever-after isn’t perfect. The road was bumpy and full of scars and sorrow, some that I still wear, but my little 1200-square foot 1940s home is where my life is, in Indiana, with my husband, kids, and dream that is at my fingertips. I won’t ever let go of that fear. It isn’t so bad. It has, after all, given me ten amazing stories. I suppose you can say that it is a friend of sorts.
The fear from my past will never subside because I don’t want it to. It reminds me that I am brave. I have survived. I can show people just how beautiful hope is. Imperfection is magnificent. Lyla is strong. She is fierce. She is fucking brave. And she got the ending she deserved. I got the ending I deserve, too.
This may have not been what you expected. That’s alright. It may be taken well, perhaps it won’t. I don’t write for that. I write to heal. To help others heal. To make others see that through our brokenness is sometimes where we find ourselves.
I know I did.
In conclusion, I hope if you take one thing away from this series and my story, it’s to never judge someone. Always be kind. And carpe fucking diem.
International bestselling author of the Monster series. Writer of dark, taboo tales. Lover of tattoos, art, and a hopeless book junkie.