Burdens Shared are Burdens Halved
Oklahoma author Vivian Zabel brings the subjects of bigamy, abuse, death, and child abduction to the forefront in her latest release, Stolen. You know this is going to be a challenging drama-mystery when the lead character, Torri Adamson, describes her first husband Mike’s propensities for infidelity as “extra-curriculars”.
Stolen is a multi-generational story that keeps your mind busy contemplating all the connections, and realizing that close, supportive family relationships are a “good thing”. Torri has a strong bond with her young children, Leann and Lyle, and with her grandparents who own and operate the Light House Inn (a bed & breakfast in Edmond, Oklahoma). The thread of the extended family’s relationships runs throughout the story, mitigating horrific tragedies that beset them.
Written compassionately, Stolen dramatically observes life’s losses and gains, close familial and social ties, and the agonizing experiences of losing family members. A lesson is learned from Torri’s friend, Alice Thomas, as Alice faces death: ” … love doesn’t leave when a person does; love just continues, surrounding the person who is loved.”
The story emphasizes the exemplary relationship Torri pursues with her children, despite her marriage being torn apart by her first husband’s bigamy and abuse. Shortly afterwards, Torri is faced with helping her dear friends, Alice and husband Jason, go through the decline and death of Alice. Through all of that, Torri excels in motherhood and – for a time – covers all the bases of parenthood. She also excels in helping Jason overcome his own grief. They both learn to step back into life’s journey, their friendship growing: ” … from shared grief to finding shared interests.” Romance eventually blossoms as they observe each others’ extraordinary capacity for loving and helping others.
The text of Stolen is tender, respectful, bringing back memories of special times - as well as memories of your own personal struggles. But the manner in which Torri and her family manage to reestablish their lives following each tragedy, finding unexpected relief along the way, provokes a kind of peacefulness in your heart. As for Jason, who felt that his life with Alice had been “stolen”, he found his way back to happiness with encouragement from Torri’s family, including the children who adored him as a friend, a Deputy sheriff, and as their baseball coach.
Torri and Jason’s love leads to marriage, which quickly leads to Mike Adamson’s reappearance. Celebration of their second wedding anniversary is then interrupted with a heartbreak neither of them could have anticipated. They felt ” … trapped in a nightmare that robbed them of everything but pain.”
Sorrow from the tragedies eventually began to recede into the shadows. The family’s ultimate success in relationships and jobs was primarily the result of a rudimentary faith in God. That faith was buttressed by the motto: “burdens shared are burdens halved.”
Stolen is a sad, but inspiring, story that you will want to experience.
More information about Vivian Zabel.
P.S. With information from the U.S. Department of Justice, and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, author Vivian Zabel expands Stolen with stunning statistics on child abductions. In the U.S., an estimated 200,000 children are stolen annually. Why estimated? Zabel explains that many abductions go unreported for various reasons, ” … including the fear of harm for child or remaining parent, feeling that reporting wouldn’t help, or the choice to handle the situation without involving law enforcement.”
Here's a brief bio about the author:
Vivian Zabel always has had a vivid imagination and, when a child, used it to tell her siblings and friends stories. As soon as she could write, she began to put those stories on paper. She wrote her first poetry when she was eight, and still writes it. Poetry was and is her therapy. When a “friend” laughed at her announcement that she would write a book someday, Vivian didn’t share her goal any more, but she didn’t stop planning on writing that book.
As she reared her children and was a stay-at-home-mother, with spells of working in the business world, Vivian wrote short stories, poetry, and articles, which were published. Vivian taught English and writing for 27 years and retired in 2001. Every year she taught, she attended writing classes, workshops, and clinics, not only to learn how better to teach her students, but also to hone her own writing skills. Finally in 2001 she was able to write full time and write longer works, after she retired from teaching.
At present, Vivian has six books to her credit, two co-authored. Her latest books are Prairie Dog Cowboy (written under the name V. Gilbert Zabel) and Midnight Hours (written under the name Vivian Gilbert Zabel).
Her interests besides writing include her family (husband, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren), reading, helping other people publish their books (through 4RV Publishing), and traveling.
As an editor for over thirty-five years, an English and writing teacher for nearly thirty years, an author with poetry, articles, short stories, and novels published, and the head of a small publishing company for over three years, Vivian Zabel experienced both sides of the submission experience.
Her publishing company 4RV Publishing produced the Oklahoma Book Award winner in fiction for 2010: Confessions of a Former Rock Queen by Kirk Bjornsgaard. Other books have received regional awards in their categories. 4RV has released children’s books, middle grade and young adult books, novels, and nonfiction books.
Vivian has also received emails from rejected writers thanking her for sharing evaluation comments that help and swearing at her for being so blind she can’t tell wonderful writing when she reads it. She’s very qualified to discuss submission etiquette.
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