I want to thank all those at Imperfect Women for the opportunity for me to tell my story for the very first time. It too took much courage to do this. I also am grateful to everyone that is reading this piece. I also want to thank my family, friends, and group of readers that have become lifelong friends who live from California, to London and Paris. My journey has been phenomenal, and I wouldn’t change one thing about it. Everything happens for a reason, right? Carpe Diem!
By Mary E. Palmerin
For all you fellow romance lovers out there, when you hear the words fairy tales, what do you think about? The damsel in distress rescued from the tower? The princess who lost her slipper? The raven-haired beauty who ate the poisonous apple? Let’s not forget about Mr. Prince Charming coming in on his horse-drawn chariot to rescue his one and only beloved.
I grew up reading those stories. In fact, that is when I fell in love with literature. I remember the emotions I felt when I read Gone with the Wind for the first time. I recollect on that moment and remember my heart thudding in my chest because I could feel the love from the words on the pages. It truly is a wonderful feeling.
I have been writing for a long time, as this has been mentioned in previous posts and interviews. I will always write because that is part of who I am and what I do. I don’t do it for reasons that you may think. For the very first time at twenty-six-years-old, I, Mary Elizabeth Palmerin, am going to tell you my story.
Learning to Loathe
First off, I want to let you know that I am blessed with the most amazing family in the world. I have a mother with a heart and soul stronger than any gladiator, a sister that is like my other half and best friend, a brave brother, a grandmother that was as close to a saint as any indoctrinated, a Poppa that was like the daddy I didn’t have, and cousins, aunts, and uncles that stood by one another during good times and bad. Years after childhood I found true love, marriage, and was graced with the two most wonderful little boys ever. Life is good… now.
We aren’t born to hate ourselves. Life is just that, life. We have moments of joy and tragedy, and other sentiments more wicked. I remember when I started to hate myself. I was young, very young, and the victim of bullying at an age almost incomprehensible. Perhaps they did it because I wasn’t from the riches, or maybe due to the fact that I was the little quiet girl with glasses. But behind those dark curls and glasses was pain. Pain from the past and the present. Little did I realize at that time, that the rough waters were just approaching.
What have I done to deserve this? That is a question I asked myself millions of times from a young girl until early in adulthood. Why is a three letter word that is quite cruel, in my opinion. It is unjust because we rarely ever get the answer that we are searching for. My problem started then. I was constantly asking why, trying to fix myself to please others, to numb myself from less-than-ideal recollections, but by doing so, it only made things worse.
I found my outlet then, and that was in writing. I remember the first book I wrote. I was given an assignment in early elementary school to write and illustrate a short book on your hero. I chose my grandmother. At eight-years-old, a simple story made my heart happy, so I continued to write fairy tales. It was a form of escapism for me, and it still is today.
Self-Deprecation and Misery
Fast forward… teen years. I continued to ask myself why. That awful little three letter word was eating away at my self-conscious, and damn it, life kept giving me reasons to ask it. It was a vicious cycle that I thought was nearly unbreakable. Of course I had my family around who adored me, but I was a pro at smiling through the pain. We, as human beings, coach ourselves to believe something, and I repeated my mantra over and over in my head to ensure that those around me didn’t see through the near impermeable shield of dismay. I think if you tell yourself something enough, you try your absolute hardest to believe it.
I had succeeded at making those around me think that I was happy. But I wasn’t. I was far away from happy. God, what I would have done to feel that back then. But life is about cycles, stumbling, falling, and hurting. But somehow we get up, pick up the pieces, and spend days, months, perhaps years trying to mend those pieces back together. I did that because I held onto hope.
Through those times that I experienced of peril, I held onto writing. I creating hundreds of pieces of poetry (all of which I have kept and are stowed away in picture boxes and totes). I go back frequently and read the words that I so eloquently melding together to create moods of despair, because that is where I was at in life. Again, it was like a secret, dark and gloomy cloud that was visible only to my eyes.
I look back and my heart still breaks, not because the curves that were thrown my way, but all because I internalized for so long. There were so many people that I could have spoken to. People that would’ve knocked my ass back into shape, giving me perspective that life is far too precious to go about in such a manner. But I didn’t, not at first…
I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Some call it fate, others say it is destiny. Whatever it is, it is meant to be. Even all the terrible things that don’t make sense, I think they are supposed to happen as well. If you would have told me that ten years ago, I probably would’ve have smiled and said “whatever” while cursing obscenities in my head.
Then I coped. Right, wrong, whatever, it honestly doesn’t matter because the past cannot be changed. I coped in a way that wasn’t appropriate, but I didn’t see that at sixteen, seventeen, eighteen-years-old. I only felt emotional pain until I coped to forget.
I still wrote.
Climbing Towards Contentment
At nineteen-years-old, I was in a rut. A very deep one. I was at a crossroad in my life. It was one of those inklings in time where everything suddenly makes sense and we know we have to make a choice. So I made a choice to strive to be happy. To smile more, worry less, talk about what hurt, and learn to trust again. I have many people to thank for that moment in my life. I could’ve very well made the opposite decision, and if that decision was made, you wouldn’t be reading this article by me.
Again, it was my script written out before I was even thought of. I was tested, betrayed, hurt, and damn was I angry about all those things. But there was also so many things to be grateful for. I had my family, who I put through hell, and a man that saved me. I am proud to call that man my husband now.
Even after I made the choice to cope and live life differently, it was far from a cakewalk. I lost people I loved, my heart broke again, and I was tried a thousand times over. But I held on to the most remarkable virtue of all… hope. Hope for happiness and the happily-ever-after that I had been reading for years. Hope for more laughter and peace. And I would be damned if I didn’t get that.
My life was on track. I obtained my college degree in applied sciences (not my dream of journalism because life happened and it wasn’t in the cards for me). I got married, had babies, kept a nice home in small-town America, but still battled with my past.
I still wrote.
Then I made a decision to write my very first novel. I came up with the title instantly of Succumbing to Scars and Sorrow. I was certain of the story that I wanted to tell. Writing it would be far from easy. So, I pondered the title for some time then started pecking away at my laptop until I had told the first part of her journey.
I took a chance, sent it in, and got it published. Small town girl takes a gamble, gives up career, follows dream, life is easy and grand while sipping tea on the porch in Mayberry, right? No way. That’s not how it went for me. I don’t believe in easy. People look at other’s lives and think they have it easy, but the truth is this… everyone is fighting their own battles.
Judge not, and you will not be judged. Condemn not, and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. (Luke 6:37).
After telling a story that I was sure would upset others, I had panic, anxiety, and yet again, self-doubt. I had all those emotions because women like Lyla Harper aren’t typically depicted in romance novels. Women such as her aren’t considered “socially normal”. Well, that is untrue. Far too many woman and girls exist out there, but they don’t come forward to publicly tell their experiences because unfortunately, it is considered taboo. Well, I am glad that I submitted the story. Three books later, I am here writing this article to tell you why creating her story is so important to me.
The Dream within Grasp
Struggling writer publishes book. Reaches NYT bestselling list. Royalty checks are more than she could ever imagine. Writer embraces the attention. Author tells more stories, hoping for more exposure.
That is not a bad thing at all. I admire every author, poet, and journalist out there because we all share one thing… creativity and guts to put the pieces we created out for others to criticize. It is not an easy task, believe me. The publishing world is quite ruthless. But I don’t write and publish my stories for accolade, money, or fame. I do it for one simple reason, to touch people’s hearts and wish that I can reach Lylas of the world to make them see that they are beautiful, worthy, and deserving of love.
By doing what I love (writing) I told a tale that is considered hard to read by many. But I have also received countless e-mails from woman like Lyla that have went through similar times, thanking me for telling her story and giving women out there that amazing virtue of hope. So, I want to thank all those brave women that have reached out to me since I have released my work. I want you all to know that I am grateful for you for overcoming and being touched by the words that I put together to tell a story that is both raw and real.
I have had many people tell me that my depiction of her life is so real, it made them cry and cringe. It made them feel while reading about real life situations. I have also been told that her story is beautifully tragic. The truth is this; we have to love ourselves before we can love others. I was fortunate enough to be able to do that. Others thoughts collide with one another and it is a daunting task, almost unreachable to some. But it isn’t. If I can make a woman see that there is light at the end of the tunnel by the tales that I have written, my dream has already come true.
“It’s so emotional, so real. Mary knows how to write reality. And I think that scares me a bit because how many girls are out there in the world who deal with abuse daily and self-depreciating feelings? It really makes you think not just about Lyla and Everett and the supporting characters, but of our lives and how we pass by people every day and we never see the grief, the sadness, nor do we see the pain. It’s a lot of food for thought” –tarynleesblog.blogspot.com on Succumbing to Scars and Sorrow.
I will continue writing stories, even after the Sorrow Series is complete. Writing feeds my soul and in some ways is my safe place. I gambled and won by following my intuition and I was lucky to have gotten the push and support from my family, especially my Aunt Teri and mother, LeeAnn.
I hope that you read Secrets of a Broken Girl (#0.5), Succumbing to Scars and Sorrow (#1), and Shadows of Scars and Sorrow (#2). The links are below, and my prequel novella is free at this time. I am doing that to get her story into more people’s hands. Perhaps one story can change their life and give them courage.
#0.5 of the Sorrow Series
Lyla Harper’s life has always been shadowed. With her childhood full of unpleasant memories that she tries to tuck away and forget about, she succeeds at putting on a happy front and convincing those around her that she is content. But she isn’t.
Meet Lyla Elizabeth Harper, a teen whose journey is less than ideal. She experiences heartache, loss, and bullying, but though it all she strives for hope. She counts down the days until she has the chance to start over in a new city unaware of her past. A city far away from the recollections that have scarred her physically and mentally.
In this prequel novella to Succumbing to Scars and Sorrow, you will be faced with the ghastly and horrendous events that plague Lyla, starting on the day of her eighteenth birthday, a day that changed her forever. Lyla thought that she was broken before, but she was wrong. Davis Moore, a twenty-two-year-old handsome cop and also Rigdon’s golden boy, steals something that is irreplaceable from Lyla on that fateful night on Brownsmith Road.
Others will challenge her will and strength, testing her and pushing her to the brink of giving up.
Will Lyla be able to trudge through the deep rut that she is stuck in to move to Chicago and start her life over? Or will the evil events consume her and leave her grounded, unable to lead a life free of pain?
**Graphic content, not suitable for readers under the age of eighteen**
#1 of the Sorrow Series
Lyla Harper is sure she will be alone for the rest of her life. After she leaves Kansas for college in Chicago, she hopes she will never have to face her dark secrets again. Four years later, Lyla lands an internship at a prestigious firm, hoping to plant her roots and close the door to her past forever. Unfortunately, Lyla is about to learn that the past has a way of finding her, no matter how well she hides.
After she is assigned to assist a marketing millionaire and notorious jerk, Lyla attempts to overcome her pessimistic view of the world and move on with her life. But after she lays eyes on her drop-dead gorgeous neighbor, Everett Brown, her secrets begin to resurface, prompting her to regress into her old coping ways. Led by curiosity and an undeniable attraction, Lyla pursues a passionate relationship with Everett and slowly beings to feel like a woman again. Now all she has to do is decide whether to tell him the truth.
In this contemporary erotic romance, only time will tell if a young woman’s new lover will be able to save her from herself as her past emerges from the darkness to confront her once and for all.
**Graphic content, not suitable for readers under the age of eighteen**
This novel is available on all e-reader sites as well as in print in paperback and hardcover on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Archway Publishing
#2 of the Sorrow Series
Everett Brown has secrets. Secrets that Lyla has been waiting for him to tell her for months. He has successfully evaded them, but Lyla is becoming impatient.
With the vicious attack of his beloved still fresh in his mind along with the painful loss he feels, his emotions play a battle against one another, testing his strength and his ability to hold himself together.
Will the secrets that he keeps jeopardize his relationship to the woman who has his heart? Or will he learn to cope with memories that resurface with a vengeance and move on to the next phase of his life… marriage.
In this second novel of this beautifully tragic series, Everett Brown will face the family he thought he knew, a past he tries so desperately to disassociate himself from, and the potential for his life to be turned upside down again. But is he strong enough to make it through another nightmare?
With Michael Thomas and Davis Moore still free, justice has yet to be served. In this whirlwind contemporary erotic romance novel, this young couple’s relationship will be tested with several wicked curveballs and twists that even they aren’t prepared for.
**Graphic content, not suitable for readers under the age of eighteen**
Available in the Kindle store and soon in print.
Connect with Mary E. Palmerin
About the Author:
Mary E. Palmerin is twenty-six-years-young, is married and the mother to two small boys, and currently resides in Indiana where she is hard at work completing the Sorrow Series. She has been writing short stories and poems since she was a young girl, scribbling fairy tales down, writing poetry and short stories, all of which she has kept.
She loves to read and write. Every reader was a writer first. She enjoys telling tales that are emotional, raw, real life, and tragically beautiful. Mary strongly believes in evoking feelings through her stories and leaving a lasting imprint on her readers.
When she isn’t busy chasing after her boys and being a wife, her nose is stuck in a good book. She is a hopeless dreamer, appreciator of all literature, coffee addict, and tattoo lover. She enjoys traveling, red wine, HEA, and many fictional men.