June 16, 2014

Please Give Eris Field a Warm Welcome

At 19, a registered nurse, married to a Turkish doctor, and working as a surgical nurse in a cancer hospital, I seized spare moments to write short stories—all rejected. As time went by, I accumulated children, five permanent ones of my own and five exchange students who came during summers. During this time, I read extensively about the history of the vast Ottoman Empire and was a founding member of a Turkish-American family group in Western New York. My husband, Dogan, and I researched the book that we wanted to write in honor of his parents. Finally, Legacy of Change: The Saga of a Turkish Family from Empire to Republic was published in English by Istanbul-based ISIS Press. Unfortunately, ISIS assumed that authors need no editing. 

               When the youngest child left home, I returned to the University at Buffalo to study for my master’s degree in psychiatric nursing and later taught psychiatric nursing there. When I discovered that there was no current textbook to use for a new psychiatric nurse practitioner program, I thought, I can do that. I refer to that writing time as the dark ages, but my textbook, Psychiatric Advanced Practice Nursing: a Biopsychosocial Foundation for Practice, with its startling pink cover was published by FA Davis in 2012. FA Davis did not assume that authors need no editing.

               After I recovered, I went back to an early love--romance novels. My first publication in that field was The Gift of Love that tells the story of the grandson of a Father Baker boy--a rather prickly psychiatrist who learns to adapt, but slowly-- and a heroine who had survived the foster care system. Thankfully, Soul Mate Publishing believes in editing.

               Now, my writing centers on contemporary, multi-cultural novels. The first one, Lattices of Love, is scheduled to be released by Soul Mate Publishing on June 11th. It is the story of a Turkish-American psychiatric nurse, Emine Wheeler, and a Dutch psychiatrist, Marc van Etten. When Emine broke a long engagement and then refused an engineered marriage, her actions threatened her family’s honor. To prevent disgrace, Emine, who believes that there should be love in a marriage and that her love will be enough, accepts Marc’s offer of marriage, a marriage that would solve his problem of providing care for the troubled four year old he calls his daughter. Emine falls in love with her reticent husband who sees himself as a consummate replacement man, unworthy of love. Fighting for his love, Emine uses the weapons available to her--the fragrant soaps of Edirne, the magic of Turkish baths, ancient recipes for Turkish dishes such as ladies’ curves and ladies’ navels, the mysterious gleam of Zultanite gems from Anatolia, and the crimson silk garments of every Turkish bride—but only Marc can vanquish his demons that stand in the way of happiness.

 A second novel, For Love of the Circassian, is about a beautiful refugee and the three men in her life: one who has her, one who wants her, and one who loves her. It is in process. Future plans include combining my interest in psychiatry and my love of writing in a non-fiction, self-help book for authors that will provide the information needed to create credible backstories for troubled characters.

Emine Wheeler, a 26 year old Turkish-American professor of psychiatric nursing, wants to be free. She does not want to live any longer behind the lattices of old harem rules. Despite pressure from the Turkish grandmother she adores and her brother to accept marriage to a Turkish man they have approved, Emine is determined to marry for love, like her American father. She vows there will be love in her marriage.

At a psychiatric conference in Amsterdam, she meets Marc, a reticent Dutch psychiatrist who, believing that his colleagues blame him for his wife's suicide, restricts his life to the safety of work and family that includes a troubled four-year-old he calls his daughter. However, when Emine encounters a problem with registration, he finds himself offering to help her.

Recognizing that Marc is the man of her dreams, Emine turns her back on the harem rule to avoid contact with men outside the family and accepts his help. Later, when Emine is faced with the choice of marrying a man she does not love or damaging her family's honor, Marc offers a solution, a marriage of convenience. She will have the protection of marriage and he will have a mother for his daughter. Believing that her fierce love for Marc will be enough, Emine accepts only to discover that it is not, and when Marc falsely accuses her of betrayal, she flees. Marc realizes belatedly that he loves Emine beyond everything in his life but will his love be enough to entice her back?

Target line: To seek love requires courage but to let love own you requires risking everything.

Eris Field Perese (I write fiction as Eris Field)


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