What do you do when the love is gone? The lies are revealed. You Fight.
Valerie appeared to have the perfect family life while suffering in silence to formulate her escape plan. When a past indiscretion is revealed will she have the courage and strength to move on and what will get in her way? How will she find the ability to trust anyone again?
Joy is a successful therapist who has helped dozens of addicts over the years. When she decides to take on virtual clients including Valerie, she gets a little more than she bargained for including having to learn to face her own past.
Love, Lies & Fight is an emotionally charged story of how helping others through their pain and issues is sometimes exactly what we need.
Book Reviews from Beta Readers
Erin Maiolino states: LOVE LIES & FIGHT is a raw, riveting, and authentic story of two women whose lives are interwoven by chance yet inescapably interrelated.
Rattled by her high-powered husband’s infidelity, Valerie plunges into the darkness of picking up the pieces while discovering who she is. Her aptly named therapist, Joy, must come to terms with the lies, secrets, and tragedies in her own life. The deep pain and suffering that these two women endure are shared by every woman who has ever endured a heart-wrenching loss or betrayal.
This novel deserves your attention—travel with them on their path to rediscover love, triumph over the lies, and fight for their self-worth.
Deanna Malfregeot states: LOVE LIES & FIGHT was a compelling and absorbing read from start to finish. It was two cleverly interwoven stories depicting the two main character’s struggles, journeys of healing, and eventually moving on with their lives. I would find myself rushing through each part to get to the other character’s progress. The fact that Joy, the therapist, and Valerie, the patient, were only professionally attached and never met in person made it even more interesting in this day and age of video calls, teleconferencing, virtual meetings, etc. I found it to be the same to my own work and personal relationships. As for each of their stories, they were different enough to keep me invested as they were from different backgrounds and had come through different traumas, but the common ground each found with one another was relatable and rewarding.
This book offered two separate great stories into one that showed how trauma impacts people differently but how healing draws each character together and forward. Without giving too much away, the first-person narrator got the storytelling aspect down and had me wanting to know how she would move on with her life and I enjoyed the richly drawn characters surrounding her. What was more nuanced but every bit as interesting was Valerie, who had told her story and made me want to hear more. For Valerie, it really was a voyeuristic view into one woman’s nightmare and fight back to some sense of normalcy during a crisis. I read this book over the course of two evenings since I couldn’t wait to see what happened next and was happy with the ending.
I’d like to see a continuation of each of their respective stories! It was a sliver of their lives during a time of transition and it leaves the reader wanting more after the book is over. Isn’t that what all great books do? I’d love to see a sequel as I felt uplifted by the ending and still curious as to how their stories continue to play out as I felt a connection with the characters. I would recommend this book to everyone as it evokes powerful emotions and relatable situations. It was very well done.
Chapter Excerpt: Love, Lies & Fight
My name is Joy Dickerson. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor. I have been in this field since graduating from college over 15 years ago. I wanted to become a counselor ever since I was a teenager. My mom died when I was sixteen and my older brother Darien and his wife Toni took me in while struggling to deal with my mother’s sudden death, which I felt somewhat responsible for. I never knew my father, so it was a difficult time for me. I found myself in the middle of major adult drama between my brother Darien, his wife Toni, and their circle of friends. There were a lot of secrets, lies and half-truths amongst them all. Ultimately my brother Darien lost his life by being in the wrong place at the wrong time as a direct result of the drama between their friends. After my experience as a teenager I vowed to help others by becoming a counselor.
This story is not about me though. This is a story about one of my clients named Valerie. Valerie’s story is shared with her permission, names and other details being changed to protect the privacy of those involved. I have worked with many clients over the years, but Valerie is different. Once you read her story you will understand why. The title sums up her journey. She experienced love, she was betrayed by the lies she had been told, and then she fought to regain her strength and confidence to move forward.
Excerpt From Chapter 13
Feeling satisfied about taking that first step towards healing, I decided to grab my journal and write about the weekend. I chose to sit in the living room on my comfortable sofa which was a little too comfortable because at some point I dozed off. When I awoke a couple of hours later to the sound of my cell phone buzzing, I was surprised at how long I had slept. I grabbed my phone to check the time and realized it was almost time for my session with Valerie. I planned to review her email again before our session. I quickly replied to Robin’s text message which is what woke me up. I had not texted her when I got home because I knew she would be with clients. Then I got lost in taking care of things around the house.
I went into my office to grab Valerie’s file. I had printed her email out to read it over the weekend. With just a few minutes to spare I grabbed a bottle of water and logged in for my session. Valerie was on time as usual.
“Hello Valerie. How are you?”
“I am doing well and you?”
“I cannot complain and thanks for asking.”
“Are you ready to begin?”
“Yes, I am.”
“Alright then. I feel we should spend a little time discussing what you shared in your email. I want you to remember it takes time to process everything especially after dealing with what you have for this long. Also healing does not necessarily occur in a linear way. Meaning your trauma occurred in a sequence of events, however your processing and healing from the effects of that trauma may not happen in the same way. Does that make sense?”
“Yes, it does. It makes perfect sense.”
“Okay, great. You mentioned you wanted to discuss the issues you are having with trust. Can you explain that a little more?”
Valerie grabbed a tissue and I realized this was an emotional issue for her. I remained silent and let her take the time she needed to cry. It was good to see her get it out and start to deal with the pain. That shows me we are making progress. Tears are often misunderstood as a sign of weakness. They are cleansing and a necessary part of processing pain. After a few minutes, she was able to compose herself and answer my question.
“I think that is something I am going to have a problem with for quite a while. I was still processing Seth’s betrayal when I was blindsided by Paula lying to me about an appointment for David. I trusted that Paula was giving me a ride there and instead I ended up in the psych ward. We can talk about my time in the hospital later but what happened put me into a state of shock distrusting everyone.”
Purchase Love, Lies & Fight by Terri D and Julie Bellatrix
Genre: Contemporary Fiction; Women’s Fiction; Women’s Psychological Fiction