TJ, thank you for being with us today.
Hello, Fay. Thank you for this opportunity.
You have a very fascinating story to tell us, but I want to know a little about you. Where are you from? What type of work did you do before the story began, and what led you to the place where all the trouble started?
Well, I guess you could say I’m from all over. You see, my dad was a lifer in Army-talk, meaning he planned to stay in for a full twenty years or more. I was born in the Army Hospital in Nuremberg, Germany, but we moved around a lot. Lexington, Kentucky, Richmond, Virginia, and Atlanta, Georgia are some the places I remember best
Dad was a highly decorated marksman who’d qualified for the Olympic team twice. He traveled extensively for the Army and was away more than he was home. When my mom was killed in a car accident, we didn’t have any close relatives to take me in. Dad couldn’t very well drag a teenage girl with him all over the globe, so he gave up his career. We were still in Atlanta at the time.
After high school, I enrolled at Georgia State University, earned a degree in Economics, and got a job after graduation with one the Big Four accounting firms there.
When I went off to college, Dad moved to Honduras. He’d become involved with Central American missions through our church and wanted to help improve the economic and living conditions in the underdeveloped areas. He fell in love with the people of La Cruza and stayed on to teach in the school he helped build. He was killed there. Murdered.
I didn’t find out for almost four months. The story of how he died didn’t make sense. There were too many holes, too many inconsistencies. I went through the first four stages of grief—denial and isolation, anger with their government and ours, bargaining with God, and an awful depression—but without a body to bury, I couldn’t accept that he was gone. It took me three long, grief-filled years to realize why. He’d chosen those foreign kids over me. I needed to know why. I needed answers to how and why he died.
You faced some loneliness in your life from a mother and father who were both distant in different ways. How did that strengthen you for the journey that you had to take?
As a child, I wasn’t allowed to go to my friends’ homes or have them over to ours. Dad was gone a lot and Mom didn’t do well left all alone. Conversely; too much stimulation would set off one of her ‘nervous’ attacks. After she died, I learned she’d been diagnosed as bi-polar. She was never good about taking the prescribed medication.
You have to understand, this was my childhood, my normal. I had no other point of reference. I figured out later how wrong those early years were, but all I knew growing up was that someone had to be the adult. I was more of a mother to my mom than she was to me.
You do what you have to, no matter the cost. It’s that or you break. I was lucky. I might be damaged, but I didn’t break.
In the course of your story, you travel quite a bit from the Deep South to south of the border and back to the Deep South again and then you end up in Idaho. How do you feel about the places God has taken you both physically and emotionally?
I once heard things don’t just happen, they come to pass. God won’t put anything in your life that He can’t handle. The trick is to let Him. My journey through all this was hard. It took a physical, mental, and emotional toll. I despaired every single day and gave up more times than I can count, but God always came through. He sent me to Senora Ramirez. He provided that crazy helicopter pilot, who turned out to be the best thing in my life. The military team that rescued me, Ed, David and Carrie Anne, Sheriff Evers, the Camerons—every step of the way, God sent the people I needed to lift me back up and help me take one more step.
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” When God says, “all things” I believe He means even the bad things that happen to us. Did you discover this on your journey, and if so, how?
Not at first. Actually, not for a long time. You see, I went to Honduras seeking justice when I really wanted vengeance. The moment I knew Castillo wanted me dead, I panicked. All I could think was run. Get away. So I did. Somewhere along the way though, I realized how insignificant my needs were. The bigger picture was so much more important—stopping the drugs and destruction, giving the people of La Cruza and other unprotected villages a chance at freedom, bringing the corruption in our own government to light. That’s when my personal demons faded away.
And this is one question I have to ask. After getting to know Garrett better, do you find this tough cowboy has some soft edges?
Garrett Cameron is like no other. He’s tough as rawhide, bossy, arrogant, demanding, prickly, and opinionated. He’s also the most honorable man I’ve ever known. He’ll give you the shirt off his back or whatever else is needed—but you can’t take it. I’ve seen him nurse a baby eagle with a broken wing back to health, and stay through the night with a foaling mare just to comfort her. Do you recall the cougar he killed to save me? The man went back to bury the remains.
He won’t compromise on right and wrong, but yes, he most definitely has a softer side, though he tries to hide it. God blessed me big time by sending this man to sweep me off my feet, and I thank Him every day. But don’t tell Garret that!
More About Imperfect Wings:
Evil stalks TJ McKendrick. Three years after burying her father, TJ visits Honduras where he died. While there, she witnesses a murder and is forced to flee.
Don Castillo dreams of power. Funnel the drugs into the States and it’s his. First, he must kill the woman who dared spy on him.
The last thing Garrett Cameron needs is another woman interrupting his life, but when the feisty vixen that blew his mission two years ago shows up at his ranch running for her life, what can he do?
As attraction ignites between TJ and Garrett, she lets go of past betrayals and allows him to protect her. He’s lived a life of violence. Love isn’t for someone like him. Does he dare reveal his soul’s dark side and risk driving her away?
Only faith in God and trust in each other can overcome the deadly odds they face.
Elizabeth Noyes is recently retired and resides in northeast Atlanta where she now writes full time. A world traveler, avid reader, and self-professed dreamer, she draws on her life experiences to create the many “real” characters in her stories.