You see, I nearly left this world five years ago, in 2007. The year I tried to die.
It’s called sudden cardiac death and if I hadn’t had an attentive husband listening to me breath that night in April, I’d be gone. He hauled me out of bed and that Boy Scout CPR class of 30+ years ago came in handy. Between his efforts and then the EMTs, I woke three days later, totally mystified regarding what the hell happened.
As I consider it all now, I understand the physical aspects what happened was an electrical malfunction that so far has proven impossible to diagnose.
And trust me, not knowing isn’t exactly a comfort most of the time. What I do take comfort in is this: Almost dying kicked my ass in a good way. It woke me up. It, and a very good therapist, made me accept that submitting to a publisher and being rejected wasn’t going to kill me. (HA! I’d already faced death and after that…what was a rejection letter!?)
So, nearly dying saw me pull myself out of the deep pit of fear I lived in and begin submitting. I spent the first anniversary of my sudden cardiac death at a my first writer’s conference. I spent the next anniversary coming home from my second writer’s conference, having pitched and received requests. I spent my third walking about Columbus, OH, after pitching to an agent who two months later asked to represent me. I spent my fourth anniversary sitting at a book fair, signing my book.
My fifth? Well, I’ll be home from a writing conference, six books published.
Yup, I kicked fear’s butt.
Yet, spring still makes me wonder… I now have a device implanted in my chest that takes the pressure off those around me. Even without a former Boy Scout nearby, my interio cardio defibrillator will throw an electrical charge at my heart if it tries to act up again.
But once you’ve had the world yanked out from underneath you, it’s hard not look around and wonder…can it happen again? I believe in second chances and that the universe wants us to succeed. Nearly dying set me on a rocket to the stars. I don’t want the universe to ever look at me and think, “She needs another kick in the ass.”
I light the fuse of my own rockets now.
I’m Maureen O. Betita and I danced with death. It wasn’t any fun. But what I write is fun. Adventures for everyone!
Widower Benjamin Silvestri arrived in Tortuga seeking a fresh start. At first, the pirate haven doesn’t seem like a safe sanctuary for second chances, but life is full of surprises. The sun breathes life into his little boy, and new freedoms help his errant niece embrace her true nature. And then there's Janey. A pirate and most unconventional woman, she stirs feelings in Benjamin that are far from proper.
But who’s to say what is proper in Tortuga? Before he and Janey can explore the possibilities, Benjamin's son and niece disappear onto the high seas. Together, the couple set out to rescue them—because only a loving father and a cut-throat pirate stand a chance against the dangers of The Pirate Circus.