Barbara Taylor Sissel
THE NINTH STEP
The characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.
Text copyright 2011 Barbara Taylor Sissel
All rights reserved.
Cover design by Maddie James, www.xuni.com
No part of this book may be reproduced, or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without express written permission of the publisher.
For my family, past and present, and for my sons, Michael and David. And for everyone who has ever grappled with the issue of forgiveness whether in the granting of it or in receiving it, both of which take profound courage.
To borrow a popular phrase, it takes a village and I am lucky in that my village is so immense in its heart and contribution. First of all, there are the Midwives, my critique partners, Colleen Thompson, Wanda Dionne, Joni Rodgers and TJ Bennett, those fabulous babes. This writer’s path would be such a lonely endeavor without them and their suggestions and guidance and continual encouragement. Thanks very much, too, to my sister, Susan Harper, and to my friend, Jo Merrill, for reading and rereading and for giving me the benefit of their insight as astute, long-time consumers and readers of all types of books. Our discussions and their faith in me continue to be invaluable to me. Thank you to my brother, John Taylor, for his encouragement and for listening through the years. Our talks about life stuff especially as it relates to the creative process have helped me to stay with this endeavor and to clarify my thinking. I am grateful as well to my mentor and first-time publisher Guida Jackson who believed in me and other authors enough to put us into print. Her support and that experience are gifts I treasure. And thank you to my niece, Heather Wilson, for her soul-based and constant friendship and her belief in me and in the healing and regenerative power of life. I’m sure you noticed the beautiful cover art for this story. For that, I want to thank my fantastic cover artist Maddee James of xuni.com. Also thank you to Karen McQuestion and Joan Reeves. Reading about their travels through e-bookdom inspired my first steps and contact with them gave me the courage to keep going. And finally, thank you to my sons, Michael and David Sissel, who have been here with me through the hardest parts of the journey every step of the way.