Exactly two weeks to the day since the release of If Only and several excellent ratings and reviews later, author Norma Budden has stopped by with a thought provoking and poignant guest post, about one particular aspect arising from the storyline of the book.
“How Do You Successfully Parent Your Grown Children?” draws a parallel with her own feelings about parenthood and more particularly fatherhood, which Norma discusses in relation to If Only.
Just a quick re-cap of the storyline and then it will be over to Norma …
While still in high school, Demi gave birth to a baby girl and, feeling she had no other options, put her up for adoption. Having moved on with her life – gotten married and having had two other children – 16 years later, Demi Glenn suddenly cannot get her firstborn daughter out of her mind.
After hiring two private detectives but getting no solid information to go on, Demi turns to the one man who will not come back empty-handed, who will not give up until he finds the answers – David Alexander, a married father of two daughters – the father of the baby she had given up so long ago who had no idea he had sired a child as a teen.
Together, will they be able to find their daughter without their families being torn apart or will fate intervene, upsetting their lives in a way they’d never dreamed in the pursuit of finding the daughter they can no longer live without?
Hi! I’m NORMA BUDDEN
Home is currently in Arctic Canada where I have lived for more than two decades. Administration Manager by day and writer/mother/grandmother by night, I know what it’s like to be busy and I appreciate moments of solitude, perhaps, more than the average person.
Though my first serious attempts at writing involved poetry and song, I later went on to write non-fiction titles. However, over recent years, my truest passion seems to be in writing stories to appeal to readers’ emotions, with a touch of mystery and romance built in.
I am the proud author of the Freedom in Love Series which, currently, has three titles published: An Affair to Remember, When Love Abides and Soul Confessions. Divided Loyalties and The Promise, the fourth and fifth titles of the series, will be released in 2015.
I have also written other novels and short stories and I am in the process of promoting this, my newest release, If Only – a full-length stand-alone novel which readers claim can easily be turned into another series. However, at this time, my intention is to write other stand-alone titles to draw in readers who rarely read books published as part of a series.
Back to If Only. This story is different because, although I have written inspirational fiction titles in the past, this is my first venture into the paranormal. If Only introduces you to Demi and David, both married to other people, with two small children. However, Demi and David had a past – a past which involved the birth of a baby girl, whom David didn’t know existed.
As the story progresses, David learns about his oldest daughter and the connection the two share is so powerful that it has been said the story wouldn’t be the same without it. The story is affecting readers in ways that I never dreamed I would learn.
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“How Do You Successfully Parent Your Grown Children?”
I’ve been thinking about parenthood, especially as it relates to my new release, If Only. I’ve been thinking a lot about Phillip Alexander, David’s father. Although David is a wonderful father to his own small girls, he is still Phillip Alexander’s grown child and sometimes, I know Phillip’s heart breaks at the situations his son has to face, the emotions he has to battle.
I’m a parent but, of course, I’m also someone’s child. I understand both roles and the feelings associated with each.
As a child, regardless of how I felt or what I was going through, the last thing I wanted was to feel that someone was judging me – for a feeling I had, or for something I had said or done. If I made a bad decision, I’d feel bad about the consequences; I wouldn’t need someone to compound on it, because that would make me feel even worse.
As a parent, I know what it’s like to watch my children make mistakes. When they were younger, I prevented them from happening whenever I could. For example, when they were learning to cook, I couldn’t stand by and let a pot boil dry because they forgot to turn off the stove. When they tried running a bath themselves, I had to test the water temperature to be sure they wouldn’t burn when they put their foot in the water.
As my children have gotten older, the potential for different kinds of mistakes have come to the surface. Sometimes I would jump in and control a situation – to prevent an argument between my children or my child and someone else, for example. Other times, I would let them learn from their mistakes. If it was cold outside and they refused to wear ski pants, insisted on walking without them, they would soon learn they should have listened to me and put them on. No harm done, but a lesson learned.
Then, as my children grew still older, there were different kinds of mistakes they could make. They didn’t take some things as seriously as they should have. They didn’t look at every date as a possible lifetime mate. They didn’t think ahead to the future consequences they may have to suffer because of their actions. I could talk to them, try my best to direct them but, in the end, I wasn’t going to have a battlefield in my home. Sometimes they would just have to learn the hard way, even though I loved them and hated the thought of what they might have to endure.
Well, Phillip Alexander is still a father, even though his son, David, had moved away from home several years earlier, even having a family of his own. Throughout the years, they’ve remained close and now, re-reading If Only, I can understand why. The main reason I see for their closeness is that Phillip loves his son without a string of conditions attached; he also doesn’t judge him.
Phillip sees the affect Demi coming back into David’s life has on him. Phillip knows within his heart, despite what his son says, that he is falling in love with Demi again. Within his own spirit, Phillip is at war. He has always loved Demi like a daughter, but he knows she’s married. In his heart, he knows a marriage is something which should be looked upon as being sacred, no matter how difficult it may seem at times.
Phillip counseled David, told him to be cautious of his steps, even pointed out possible consequences which could arise if David made certain decisions. Despite his personal convictions, at no point in If Only – where David’s feelings for Demi were concerned – did Phillip dictate what his son’s actions were to be. For good or ill, he had shared what was upon his heart, as a father who loved his son. It was up to David to decide what he would do about his circumstances.
I admire fathers like Phillip Alexander. These are the types of fathers whose children want to do anything for them as they grow old, the types of fathers whose children are a part of their lives as long as they live.
Thanks for having me
Thanks for stopping by Norma. I look forward to reading If Only for myself and would like to wish you every success with both this book and any future projects. It was a pleasure to meet you