Love Bytes says hello and welcome to author Ki Brightly joining us today to talk about new release “Trust Trade”.
I would like to thank Love Bytes for having me here today to talk about my newest book, Trust Trade. It’s always fun to get a chance to talk about something I put so much time and work into. Jeb is a generally decent guy who has had to deal with a lot of unhappy things in his life. He’s been a hustler and a house boy, and now he’s finally getting to live his life on his own terms…sort of. There honestly haven’t been may things in Jeb’s life that have made him happy. There are probably two things…one is really a person, not a thing, Max (who you’ll meet when you read the book), but the other is Sampson! This is a little of what I imagine Sampson looks like.
A lot of this book is very heavy reading, but if there is element that is pure good, in fact, unless you’ve read Cujo is almost always good in literature and outside of it; it’s Jeb’s dog Sampson. Sampson is cute and small and likes to eat bugs. He enjoys walks and running toward the street as if it is the most fun place on earth to play.
He loves Jeb unconditionally.
Why does Jeb have a dog? Well, when he got Sampson he was in a stable living environment, or at least as stable as he’d had in years. And dogs make you feel good. They make you happy. (Unless you’re afraid of dogs for some reason, then I suppose they don’t.)
When I was growing up we always had a dog. My very first dog, Clementine, was an Australian Shepherd. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of her, but here is what they look like.
Clementine also had dichromatic eyes like this dog. We lived in the country, and she was a medium sized dog and not trained well, so my grandmother didn’t want her in the house. As a kid I got the best part of the Clementine, the pets and the playing ball. My uncle fed her and did the rest of it, and he and my grandfather built her a miniature dog palace outside; however, during the winter she ended up inside anyway, well trained or not. She was old when we got her though and eventually died.
I don’t think my grandmother wanted another dog after Clementine, she gets really attached to pets and built a small garden shrine to her outside that she still plants flowers in twenty years later, but my family is comprised of chronic rescuers. My uncle found Bandit. He was being abused by the person who owned him and was promptly brought home to our house. I can’t find a good picture of him or even a good representation. He was a Beagle/Brittany Spaniel mix, and had that unique rusty Brittany color rather than the beagle brown, with curly fur on his ears. I don’t think there could have been a better dog. He was sweet tempered, but had enough energy to endlessly play ball. He would happily lay on the floor at your feet while you watched television or jump up into your lap. He was small enough that no one made any attempt to pretend he would ever be an outside dog and would frequently sleep at the foot of my bed. I think, perhaps, Sampson was modelled after some of my fondest memories of him.
Bandit had a collar with about a million tags on it, so he jingled when he wandered from room to room, and sometimes he would come home covered in burs and I would have to brush them out. Only once or twice did he head off into the woods and not come home, but he usually found his way back by sunset. The one thing he did that would drive us crazy was bark at any sound outside, no matter how slight. He would bark at all hours of the day and night to protect us from such scary things as squirrels and the mailman.
Dogs are very bittersweet companions though, since we outlive them more often than not. Eventually Bandit got very ill. I spent a few weeks hand feeding him when maybe he should have been put to sleep, but then he made a brief recovery. We soon discovered he had gone blind with his illness. Well, people go blind too, my grandmother reasoned, so he spent his golden years bumping around our house, occasionally peeing where he shouldn’t to try to mark his way around. One day they found him in his favorite spot on the couch. He got his own garden too.
But, Sampson is a young dog, Jeb’s best friend. He’s always there when Jeb needs him, and I think for part of the book he performs the same type of function that an anxiety companion would. He’s always there to cuddle with Jeb when Jeb’s feeling bad…except for the parts of the book he’s not. When I first heard of the phenomenon of dogs as companions for people with anxiety I have to say I wasn’t surprised. Dogs are sensitive to small changes in our body, our moods, and they almost always come over to offer love when we’re feeling blue.
While this book isn’t about dogs and Sampson is only a very small part of Jeb’s story, I think he’s an important part, because the world would be a very sad place without our animal companions. I hope you all enjoy reading about Sampson in Trust Trade.
Life hasn’t been good to Jeb Birchman. When he attempted to escape his abusive, zealot father, he found himself on the streets, making a living the only way he knew how, the victim of more violent men—one of whom orchestrates a series of vicious attacks that leave Jeb deaf. Now that he’s aged beyond his latest client’s interest, Jeb knows he needs to escape his risky lifestyle before it’s too late. Seeing one last chance for himself, he earns a GED and enrolls in college.
Freddy Williams enjoys a life that couldn’t be more different from what Jeb has survived. He loves sports, being a personal trainer, and hanging out with friends. The son of deaf parents, Freddy is an outspoken advocate of the Deaf community and works as an interpreter at his college. When he meets Jeb at the bookstore, he’s struck by how attractive he is, and as they get to know each other, he finds Jeb’s good heart just as appealing. By the time he learns of Jeb’s past, it’s only a few steps behind them, and Freddy must make a choice between school and his familiar routine and protecting the man he’s falling in love with.
Ki grew up in small town nowhere pretending that meteor showers were aliens invading, turning wildflowers into magic potions, and reading more than was probably healthy. Ki had one amazing best friend, one endlessly out of grasp “true love”, and a personal vendetta against normalcy. Now, as an adult, living in Erie, Pennsylvania, Ki enjoys the sandy beaches, frigid winters, and a wonderful fancy water addiction. Seriously, fancy waters…who knew there were so many different kinds? It’s just water…and yet… Ki shares this life with a Muse, a Sugar Plum, and two wonderful children.