Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Third in Series by Mary Metcalfe Spotlights Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injuries to Soldiers!

"This is the Massachusetts State Trooper's Office."
"Sean frowned and put the beer down. He ran a hand over the blonde buzz cut. "Did you find my wife?"
"No, sir. But we can confirm that she was in a single vehicle collision on the night of April eighteenth about an hour and a half outside Boston. She was taken to St. Luke's hospital with head injuries. It is unknown where she went after being discharged..."
"Do you have any information on her whereabouts now? With the head injuries, I'm worried she may have amnesia. Our children want their mommy to come home." Sean's eyes were hard and cold as he picked up the beer and took a long pull.
"We have no information sir. There was no crime and no property damage. No charges were laid."
"Thank you, officer. Where did you say the accident happened?...
"Walking into the living room, he sat down in his favorite chair and looked over to Andrea's empty one; it was next to a basket that had once held children's books and colorful magazines. "I'm coming to bring you home where you belong, Andrea. You can run, but you can't hide. I will find you. Bet on it, bitch..."
Road to Tomorrow
By Mary Metcalfe

For learning new, important information from fiction novels, Mary Metcalfe's third in her series, is not only her best, but beats out many other novels that help to share today's news through their writing. Specifically, let's go right to that... Have you ever heard of "traumatic brain injuries (TBI)? Many are writing about PTSD as being faced by many of our soldiers, but TBI has some scary statistics. Here's a little about what Mary shares in her Afterword:
There are over 300,000 American military service personnel returning from combat duty in Iraq and Afghanistan who have these injuries. A tragic consequence of inadequately treated TBI is suicide. And, in fact, deaths by suicide now actually outpace combat deaths in the American military... TBI is marked by the kinds of symptoms and actions described in this novel...
If you know somebody who is back from these or other wars, I highly recommend you consider this novel a must read and that you share it with other families whose relatives may have received such injuries! Suicide is tragic, but there are worse events that can be caused... Let me tell you about what Andrea Garrett was facing in her life...

"Val says it's your ex-husband who is at St. Luke's.
How is he?"
"Not good. He'll probably never regain full mental
capacity. The surgeon told me he has traumatic
brain injuries. I don't know what those are, but I
tend to find out."
"I heard on NPR that a lot of servicemen are coming
back with them. They call it TBI, for short. It didn't
have a name until Iraq and Afghanistan. But I'm sure
it's been around as long as there've been bombs.
They called in shell shock back in World War Two...
"Basically, any injury to the brain causes some level
of trauma. For our guys overseas, it's caused mostly
by bomb blasts and vehicle accidents. With a bomb,
there's a wall of air pressure created when it goes
off. The nearby soldiers get thrown to the ground
or against an object. The brain slams against the
back of the skull, rebounds and slams against
the front of the skull..."
The book opens as Andrea is trying to leave her abusive husband, but he catches her, takes her suitcases, dumps then into the bathtub and runs water...destroying all of them...

Sean was adamant that she would not leave him, that he was fine--in fact, he was still on active duty...

But each time he came home, he was worse and this time, Andrea escaped before he was due home from his latest tour...

She had left her children with her twin brother who still didn't want to see her leave--her husband was his best friend. But her mind was made up. She was afraid for her children...

Heading for Boston, Andrea "thankfully" had a car accident. Thankfully, because she was found by Carol and Devin, who series readers will have already met, and when she was able to leave the hospital, they took her home to the ranch (which you might have read about in New Beginnings, the second novel in the series)...

With the kindness of people like Carol, Devin and others in this small town, Andrea soon knew she had found where she wanted to stay. With friendly help, she soon had an apartment, a job, and was able to bring the children to live with her...

And when she shared more about her personal life, she soon was hooked up with a good lawyer and filing for divorce...

Of course, Sean returned home, but found nobody who was willing to help him! He went to the police to file a missing person's report... and then his injuries and resultant symptoms took over... When Sean went after Andrea and made it to where she was now living, I loved how the community took over! Val and her husband who own the town's main restaurant, the gay couple living on the ranch and many others spread the word that he was there... You'll so enjoy what happens! At least I did, LOL!

But as the story goes on, secrets from the past are revealed, which ultimately makes Sean even more dangerous! An important read... It makes for a terrific thriller could be very real... I happened to watch Dr. Phil yesterday (and today) where an abusive man and his "meek" friend who wants out of the relationship are being interviewed! As soon as I saw this man, I thought that he must have had some form of TBI... This issue is real. Learn about it, maybe starting with this novel to see symptoms! Highly recommended!


Originally from the Toronto-Hamilton area of Ontario, Canada, Mary moved to Ottawa to study journalism and fell in love with the region. Shortly after graduating, she met and fell in love with her soul mate.
In addition to being a full-time novelist, Mary edits memoirs, fiction and non-fiction manuscripts. She's adopted the moniker Lakefront Muse to reflect (pardon the pun) her love of living by a small lake and gaining inspiration from nature in her rural surroundings. While her novels are set in or near Boston, she lives in the foothills of the Laurentians in Quebec, Canada.
Please visit Mary on her blog at for weekly interviews with authors from around the world and musings about writing and publishing in general.
Learn more at

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  1. Sounds a haunting and hugely relevant tale. I think I'd enjoy this--probably enjoy the series too.

  2. Sheila, Yesterday at the end of the Dr. Phil show, the abuser was asked if he'd ever had any head injuries! He responded that he had probably been hit in many ways over the years... This may be more of a cause for anger issues than we even know now...


  3. What a wonderful post and review!! Thank you so much. This book is written from my heart and my life. My father was a WWII vet who came home with both PTSD and TBIs. He went through three wives, the last committing suicide because he wouldn't let her leave. The hot water bleached clothes was a real incident when I was 10.

    I worry for the returning vets of Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq. The U.S. military suicide rate is now above the combat death rate. It's real and it's hurting hundreds of thousands of families, wives and especially children. This is a story that needs to be told and read by those families. There is help. But, it's still not enough. It is a national issue.

    Spread the word, please!