Thursday, July 16, 2009

CARA - Julia Barrett

Today my blog is dedicated to another dear friend and fellow author – Julia Barrett. Today her book CARA is released with Cerridwen Press. Cara isn’t your typical romance story. While it has romance in it, it also has scenes of abuse, child abuse and rape. These scenes are tastefully done and only enhance the story.
You see, CARA is based on true events. While it may be hard to believe such acts could take place, the truth is, they do - every day. Ms. Barrett has decided to donate 25% of her earnings to special battered woman charities in her area to aid in the resources available to these women. Purchasing CARA couldn’t get any better. You not only will you help battered women, you get a great read. Why not grab your copy today!
Buy link:

Here is a blurb and excerpt. At the bottom you’ll also find a link to a review. This book is a must read!
Blurb: Cara’s life has been one nightmare after another. She grows to adulthood blaming herself for everything that’s happened. She believes her safest path is to keep other people at a distance, especially men. James, a young doctor who is aware of Cara’s history, is determined to break through her barriers, enter her world and love her. Cara cautiously allows him in and returns his love, only to watch her new world of happiness, a world she never genuinely trusted, come crashing down. She turns from James and runs far away in an attempt to reinvent herself. She discovers she’s run out of the frying pan and straight into the fire. Now Cara must fight for her survival. No one, not even her beloved James, can rescue her. Cara must believe in herself or perish.
Reader Advisory: Includes scenes of domestic violence, child abuse and rape. Excerpt: By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age. If you are under the age of 18, it is necessary to exit this site.
An Excerpt From: CARA Copyright © JULIA BARRETT, 2009 All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
Cara finished her phone calls and left the office early. She had a full afternoon of classes and she wanted some studio time. There was a face she needed to paint. A man’s face. James’ face. She hadn’t been able to get him out of her mind since she’d walked out of the conference room. She was hoping if she put him on paper she could gain some perspective. Some distance. Maybe she could look at him with clinical detachment like she did everyone she painted. She clearly recognized the immediate attraction she’d felt. She’d seen the same interest in his eyes. She also recognized the danger. What if she acted on her attraction? What if she opened herself up and he crushed her? What if he saw what she tried so hard to hide? That she was tainted. Dirty. What if she exposed herself to him, dropped her defenses and he rejected her? Cara didn’t know if she could survive that. Not with James. Anyone but James.
What had happened with Randy had been awful but she’d gotten past it, at least to the extent that she could. It was what she’d come to expect from men—no more, no less. Fortunately after that night, Randy had kept his distance. Besides, she’d completely stopped using drugs and last she’d heard, he’d moved to Omaha. Cara hadn’t told the police the truth about what happened. It would be too humiliating and she didn’t want her mother to have to deal with any fallout for her sake. Her mother had been through enough. Cara had simply said she’d been at a party and must have fallen, that she didn’t remember much. The two officers had looked at her skeptically but out of respect for her late father, they hadn’t pursued the matter any further.
James was another animal altogether. Cara cared what he thought of her. She cared deeply. He was a good man. He was intelligent, articulate, courageous and determined. He was almost overwhelmingly beautiful in an utterly intimidating masculine way. But she also remembered very clearly how kind he was. How gently he’d treated her. How respectful and how trustworthy he was. Cara wasn’t certain she deserved a man’s kindness or respect. Though she tried to pretend otherwise, her head was filled with slurs like slut and crazy, words she’d heard her high school classmates use when they referred to her.
Cara’s heart pounded as she ran up the stairs to her apartment. She hoped to God she wasn’t about to have an anxiety attack. She called up her trigger word and a semi-hysterical laugh escaped her. James in the flesh. The laughter seemed to help. In a hurry, she kicked off her shoes and tossed her skirt and blouse on the bed. She pulled on her favorite old faded jeans with the holes in the knees and the rip in the back pocket. When she slipped the paint-splattered white tee shirt over her head, her hair fell out of the twist, so she shook out the remaining pins and left it down. She grabbed her flip-flops and her backpack. She headed back down the stairs and ran across the green grass barefoot. She slid into her flip-flops when she hit Market Street and walked briskly down the hill toward the bridge that led to the art building. She didn’t want to be late for her art history class. They were discussing portrait painting during the Reformation. The current artist under discussion was Hans Holbein, one of the portrait painters to the court of Henry VIII and Cara had volunteered to research his miniature of Anne of Cleves. She had a brief presentation to make today.
She hurried to class, tuning out her surroundings as she mentally reviewed her material. Preoccupied, in the middle of the pedestrian bridge, she unexpectedly banged into a hard body. Cara landed on her backside with a whomp and her pack tumbled off her shoulder. Two strong hands reached down and lifted her to her feet.
“Sorry,” she mumbled apologetically, looking for her pack, “I wasn’t watching where I was going.”
“No problem,” came a familiar voice.
Cara’s head spun around and she looked up into James’ face. He was grinning from ear to ear.
“I like your hair down,” he said, tucking a long auburn curl behind her ear. “It makes you look like you.”
Cara tried to remember to breathe. She could feel herself blushing again. Just that slight brush of his fingers made the side of her face tingle.
“What-what are you doing here?”
“Well, nice to see you too,” James replied with a laugh. “I was checking out the student art exhibit.”
“No… You weren’t… You didn’t…”
“Yeah, I did. Why? Something wrong with that?”
“No. It’s just that…” Cara stared at him.
“It’s just what? That it’s your work? Is that what you’re trying to say?” He laughed again. “You weren’t this tongue-tied this morning. Is it me?” James looked directly into her wide eyes. “You’re staring at me. Do I have dirt on my face or something?” That got a smile out of her. Cara had a lovely smile.
“No, it’s just that I’m-I’m sort of shy about my work. It’s pretty personal and other than when I speak to my professors, I try not to listen to comments about it.”
“You could say that I guess,” said James thoughtfully. “You could also say it’s pretty damn beautiful stuff. I was blown away.”
Cara looked pleased. “You saw the entire exhibit?”
“Yeah, I did. And I kept this.” He pulled the folded poster out of his back pocket and showed her.
This time Cara laughed. “Thank you,” she said.
James could hear the warmth in her voice. It felt like a caress. Careful, he told himself. He could get caught up in the sound of her very quickly. They stood there silently for a moment, just looking at each other.
The link to the Book Wenches review:


  1. Fantastic, Amber! This is one book readers don't want to miss!

  2. Hey you! Thanks! You know, speaking of your previous topic, HEA, I did get an HEA - it's in Cara! So not all is lost! It ain't all bad stuff! Much love and again, thank you so much!

  3. This reader doesn't intend to miss it and will be spreading the word about this wonderful book.

  4. Excellent blog. Excellet excerpt. Tremendous author and cause. Well done.