It's no secret I based my 4th AU book, Balancing Act, on a painful experience in my life. I tried to show how even an intelligent person can possibly sucked into a destructive relationship, and in fact, used many of the same instances and arguments in the book to show both sides of the issue: The controller's wish to get his way and to twist everything around to his advantage, and the victim's wish to keep the peace, defend her choices, and ultimately try to reach a compromise.
I set up Gretchen's story in book #1: She loses her virginity in an uncaring one night stand, which makes her distrustful of the opposite sex, then meets a good friend who shows her that not all men are that dishonorable. She's 'safe' with him, because he's got a girlfriend in another town, and doesn't feel any sexual attraction to Gretchen.
She's not in book #2, but in Forbidden Love, Gretchen keeps boyfriend Lance at arm's length, since her roommate has a major crush on him, and Stephanie is resentful of the fact Lance chose Gretchen instead of her. And when Lance is tired of Gretchen's 'eggshell' attitude, she meets Shawn, with whom she works while on Christmas vacation. Turns out they went to the same high school and now attend the same college, but didn't know each other until now. Shawn is a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, and the two share what is now known as a 'Friends With Benefits' relationship.
Enter Joe Walker. Gretchen is attracted to him when she first began working at Service National, and when she asks for her job back during the summer, Joe is thrilled she's back, and decides to express his feelings for her. She's not sure about it, but agrees to date him, even though she discovers a handsome pilot is also interested in her. But since Troy is military, and she doesn't want to raise her future family moving from base to base, or even having her husband deployed on long missions, she fights to keep Troy at arm's length and concentrates on Joe.
Are you still with me? So what does this have to do with the 'oops' I mention in the title?
When I finished the book, I was so anxious to get to the 'good part', I left out a major Human Emotion in the breakup scene. I have one person telling the other, "We're done', and leaves the restaurant. I have that person talking to a friend for 30 minutes (this was before Call Waiting and Caller ID, remember), and two days later leaving on vacation. Three weeks go by, and suddenly NOW the offended person decides to get confrontational? What the hell was going on during those 3 weeks? Surely not simply stewing about it; no, the person would demand answers. Do everything and anything in their power to find out why their loved one would suddenly call it quits and leave without a warning.
Especially when six months earlier, the wronged party did just that during an earlier attempt at a break up. So I had to go in and 'fix' this part. Hopefully I got it 'right'.
When Balancing Act arrives, which should be some time in June, I hope people will find Gretchen's story uplifting. Before you can take steps to pull yourself out of 'victimhood', you have to hit rock bottom first. And as you'll discover in books #1-3, it takes a lot to bring a strong, independent person to their knees, emotionally. And no matter how hard friends try to 'fix' a problem, it's something that only the 'victim' can do. They're the only ones who know where that imaginary 'line in the sand', or 'last straw' will be crossed/found.