New Beginnings

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Press: Book Worm Publishing (June 1, 2006)
Author Name:Bengen, Patti Ann


SHE ASKED FOR IT:  WHY SMART WOMEN PUT UP WITH VIOLENT MEN  If her husband had become violent before their wedding, Heather surely would have left him immediately. 
But, instead, the nightmare came on gradually, almost imperceptibly.
Heather realized something wasn't right, but kept trying to make it work.
She always kept the focus on herself: If only she could be prettier, more fun, a better cook, then John would love her.
When the beatings began, Heather continued to blame herself for her husband’s unhappiness, his excessive drinking, and not coming home at night.
She continued to believe that if she changed, maybe he would change and her friends and family would see him for the man she loved and married—not the abusive bully they encouraged her to leave.
It is not until tragedy strikes that Heather is forced to make decisions for the first time, just as a dark, criminal secret from her childhood mysteriously surfaces.
Heather must choose between the comforts of allowing others to lead her, or learn how to regain control of her own life.

About the Author

Patti Ann Bengen is a former medical administrator with a background in rehabilitative medicine. 
Having experienced alcohol and drug abuse in the home first-hand, she is most concerned with how spousal abuse affects the entire family and is an advocate for domestic abuse survivors.
Bengen is a certified instructor of the high-energy, life-changing NIA Technique.


Mystery, Thriller & Suspense,Thrillers & Suspense,Psychological Thrillers,Literature & Fiction,Contemporary

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Comment List (Total:6)

  •     There are stories that entertain and at the same time try to preach. There are decent stories that do double-duty in that they entertain and teach rather than preach. And then there are great stories that entertain, educate through example, and have the elements of verisimilitude built into them. That is what makes them great reads. Credibility is key. It is a recipe for success. "New Beginnings" belongs in the latter of the lot. Why? You "believe" from the very moment you meet Heather Langdon that you have entered the twilight zone; not Rod Serling's "Twilight Zone," per se, but a dimension of sights and sounds that fill your mind with the reality of spousal abuse. You are the frustrated outsider looking in on Heather as she rationalizes her husband's acts of cruelty--cruel-heartedness of both the mental and, eventually, the physical kind.The pages are portholes from which you can clearly see the deterioration of Heather and John's relationship as the omniscient narrator takes you to the murky depths of the heroine's being. "Why can't Heather see what I am seeing? you might ask yourself. "Why can't she see and understand what her good friends initially sense then come to know as being true, trying to warn her repeatedly?" Of course, you and I know the answers to those questions. Most of us do. But Heather remains suspended beneath the point where light can barely penetrate a sea of turmoil. We see out that porthole; Heather cannot see beyond her hope. What acts will bring about a resolution, if any? We certainly hear and maybe even know of women who remain in such situations until the bitter end, which amounts to a wasted life or an early grave--whichever comes first. What is to be Heather Langdon's fate?Patti Ann Bengen's title, "New Beginnings," foreshadows the events without destroying the outcome. Her treatment of characterization from cover to cover is clever and accomplished. The circumstances surrounding Heather's plight are extraordinary but, again, not unbelievable. They are as real as real can be. Scary. Too, there is no deus ex machina employed to pull the story down in its eleventh hour. On the contrary; from dénouement through the final chapter, it is the best unraveling of plot summary that I have had the pleasure of reading in recent years. What is Bengen's secret ingredient to this success? In a single word--family. She writes most ably of genteel families and ordinary folk, surfacing their frailties, follies, foibles as well as more serious flaws and faults. The author's canny treatment of one unsavory family member whose unruly behavior can only lead to a stormy outcome paradoxically becomes the proverbial tempest in a teacup; hence you will meet John's mother, Meredith. Of the truly wicked (I won't give away the name here), Bengen wisely wields and slashes away with her justifiably vituperative pen, proving once again that what goes around in life comes around--but not until the architect of "New Beginnings" reminds you that there are hungry wolves in sheep's clothing lurking in our world at large. You will love to hate this predatory figure. As for the assemblage of Heather's "new" family, you will hate having them step from the final page, although your heart will be fulfilled. I give Patti Ann Bengen five scintillating stars, plus another for becoming one in her own right, in what I trust will be a new beginning leading to many, many more stories to come. Given the genre of the romantic drama, I truly believe that you will adopt this wonderful writer as a favorite.Robert Banfelder is an award-winning novelist whose psychological thriller, "The Teacher," was the winner of the Best Fiction Suspense Book for 2006 from His newest release is "The Author," of which Mark Reid says, "Banfelder has written another winner for 2007." Robert weaves a love and knowledge of the great outdoors through his fiction and, of course, his nonfiction.
  •     Of all Patti Ann Bengen's books so far, I believe this has got to be THE best one yet! How one person can go through so much in such a short period of time and still come out a whole and sane woman is nothing short of miraculous. This main character is truly an inspiration. I highly recommend it.
  •     I really enjoyed this book. It was fast moving very easy read. The story was great the characters were strong...I could not put it down until I was finished..I would love to read more by this author. I look forward to her next book.I give it an A+A+A+A+A++A+A+A+
  •     I couldn't put this book down! Patti Ann Bengen is a natural storyteller who lays on the tension and drama until you've just got to find out what happens to the heroine in the end. Will she live happily ever after or not?Even more impressive is that underlying the intrigue is a message aimed at women who get themselves into abusive relationships and then stay longer than they should in order to honor their vows and to nurture their man. This heroine is one heck of a fighter and an inspiration. I love learning life's lessons when the message is palatable and packaged as an entertaining tale.
  •     New Beginnings is a novel about the vicious reality of domestic violence. A blissful wedding and ordinary marriage sours day by day into a gradual nightmare; no matter how hard Heather tries to please her husband with her appearance, personality, or cooking, the relationship deteriorates. Even when it worsens into beatings, Heather clings to the memory of the man she married, rather than the monster he has become. Yet it takes a terrible tragedy, which strikes even as a criminal secret from Heather's past surfaces, that force Heather to choose between enduring endless abuse and striking out to take back control of her own life. A gripping saga of the long, hard road to personal independence.
  •     Patti Ann Bengen's first novel, New Beginnings, is a wonderful, inspiring book for many readers. Whether you have experienced domestic violence or dealt with the other trauma in this book that surprises the reader, you will enjoy this story, with it's self- empowered protagonist, Heather, taking the lead in rectifying the outcome of her abusive marriage. While reading this wonderful story, I reflected upon the lives of so many abused women, and considered what it would take to really have the courage to escape an abrasive or violent relationship such as Heather's with her husband. Heather was fearless, and yet dependent, to a certain extent, on her supportive friends. She wanted her marriage to succeed, and tries to be the perfect woman in her husband's eyes. In a way, she enables him for a while. Then, reality checks her into a new bed from which to view her marriage.New Beginnings is not your typical book about failed marriages, nor spousal abuse. It is written with great insight, by someone who has experienced abuse first hand. Hopefully, Ms. Bengen will continue to write more inspiring stories that include real characters whom people can understand with compassion. This is a new beginning for the author and for her career.

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