Giselle Marks

Regency Romance and Fantasy Author

A Community of Butterflies by Barbara Shoff

on May 13, 2014

A community of butterfliesA Community of Butterflies: Chrysalis (Published by LilyBearHouse, LLC.)

On-again-off-again psychic Vay Armstrong has a plan to change the world. Following ten years of domestic violence and abuse, she struggles with post-traumatic stress, paranoia and an inability to trust others. Determined to escape her reclusive life, she enlists the help of other abuse survivors to create a utopian community within Jakesville, Oklahoma. Will Vay be able to overcome family opposition, a romantic entanglement and a homicidal stalker to make her vision a reality, or will her only reality be a cold hole in the ground?”   Excerpt 2 He stared at the photograph taped on the wall at eye level, pretending she could hear him, pretending she was with him, pretending many things that were just not true. “You think you are so smart. You forget you belong to me.” One hand went to his crotch, the other pointed directly at the photo of her smiling face. “You took those vows. You said you would obey… remember? You will do what I say, when I say, and no judge can change your promise. Do you understand?” He rubbed himself. “You remember I have my ways to make you do what I tell you, don’t you?” His hand pressed harder against his flesh. His breathing grew heavier, faster. He closed his eyes, perspiration dripping from his forehead; he lost himself in the memory of her cries. “You are mine. You belong to me,” He experienced a familiar rush… the rush he had the first time his fist slammed into her face…the sight of her blood dripping from her mouth…the warm salty taste as he crushed his mouth into hers. He fell back on his bed grimacing in the throes of his bliss. “You’re mine. All mine. Only mine… or you’re dead….”     ‘ … just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly … ”

backpageinsert Barbara Shoff began writing before she could write. At the age of five she would make up dialogue for her friends so they could perform plays. They charged a nickle a performance to “the old people” (parents and grandparents) in the neighborhood. The stage was a front porch with a blanket curtain. Their group was quite successful which kept them in bubble gum and popsicles most summers. In the 1980’s Barbara had a column in a small town Missouri newspaper. It was called, “BJ’s Corner.” She wrote it for free. She became serious about writing and began penning articles for several women’s magazines. “I sold my first article for $25. I was so excited I screamed so loud you would have thought it was for 25 million. I have written brilliant ad copy as well as very dull assembly instruction manuals.” Severely social media challenged two years ago, Barbara became the accidental Pundit on PolicyMic. It was when she had her non-fiction expose’ complete and was looking for a publisher when Barbara decided it was high-time the old dog started learning new tricks. As a survivor of domestic violence and abuse she wanted to give back to her community. “Social workers educating survivors living in a shelter about domestic violence and abuse is ass backwards. These women already know better than the social workers what happened. The ‘whys’ research is still sorting out. What survivors need to learn is how protect themselves and support themselves while they heal and transform into something stronger and more beautiful than they were before. To that purpose, I wrote a stalker thriller, A Community of Butterflies: Chrysalis as the first book in a trilogy.” Barbara has picked every brain she could find to try to figure out about the ins and outs of developing a “platform” and how social media works for writers. She took a social media for dummies class at a local technology center. “I almost learned some things about Facebook. The next day they changed it. “I hired a fifteen year old to teach me asking, how something was done. He would shrug his shoulders and say, ‘Dunno. Let’s try this. Nope, not that, Let’s try this.’ Fifty dollars later a light went on and I decided to try stuff on my own. I watched YouTube videos until my eyes crossed, took a spiral notebook full of notes and finally built a website. “I am still learning. Now both books are published. I am signed up on almost every freaking social media site there is and am maybe, kinda, sorta getting an idea of how they possibly work. Mostly I’m praying Oprah or Ellen will ‘discover’ me and I can concentrate on writing my books and going to shelters giving chrysalis building lessons. “Oh, yeah. In 2013 I was honored to be a member of the inaugural cast of Oklahoma City’s production of Listen to Your Mother. You can watch me on YouTube by searching, LTYM OKC Barbara Shoff.”

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