Category Archives: Novel

All Scarlett All the Time – Orr What? Wednesday

Scarlett O’Hara was a bad influence on the way I experienced real life romance in my younger days. A dark growling brute carries you to bed and pretty much rapes you. So you fall straight off in love with him. My first marriage got me over that screwed up way of thinking because I’d pretty much found that brute. Which wasn’t the least bit romantic after all.

On the upside – Scarlett will never stop being a positive influence on my romScarlett O'Haraance with life. My favorite Gone With the Wind scene isn’t the one where Rhett hefts Scarlett up the wide staircase with her red dressing gown trailing. The truly indelible scene for me is at the end of the first act just before the Intermission. I’ll bet you remember it too. Who could forget?

Scarlett stands on a hillside as daylight fades. She faces the devastated landscape of what was once her beautiful Tara. In the distance she sees the war ravaged wreck of the gracious antebellum mansion where her story began. She was beautiful then too with her waft waist and ivory complexion and perfectly coiffed hair. Now she’s ravaged too. But she is not devastated.

Scarlett balls her fist tight as she clutches what looks like a grimy radish root. She’s taken a bite of this filthy root then spat it out. With the vile taste of defeat in her mouth she finds what she will need to raise herself up from this rock bottom moment and the patch of scruffy earth where she now stands. She lifts her fist toward heaven and cries out.

“As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again.”

The first time I heard that I knew instantly what it was – a warrior cry. Even as a little girl I understood somehow that this was the spirit I would need in life – a warrior spirit. I was exactly right about that because it is the spirit we all need. We must be warriors on behalf of ourselves if we are to rise above our own inevitable scruffy-dirt-patch experiences.

What Scarlett failed to recognize of course is that one of the most effective ways of lifting ourselves is to lift others also. To become warriors on behalf of one another. Especially on behalf those whose fingers are trembling too badly at the moment to make a fist and brandish it at heaven. We take hold of their shaking fingers. We lift them high with ours and cry out.

“As God is my witness, we’ll never be defeated again, because we’ll never be alone again.”

So – we must work our fingers until they are strong and able. We don’t need a squashy ball either. Life offers lots of opportunity to exercise muscles of resistance. We practice making tight fists by shaking them at every obstacle in our path. We grow our own version of Scarlett’s warrior spirit and have it at the ready as we strike out toward each new scary challenge.

And if the pushback pushes back too hard at times and we have to go to ground for a bit. We simply say. “Fiddle dee dee. I’ll think about that tomorrow.” Because tomorrow is another warrior spirit day.


 My latest story is A WRONG WAY HOME – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series  –  Book #1 – Matt & Kara’s Story. Available at This is my 12th novel and – believe me – it took a warrior spirit to get here.

Alice Orr –

Kara Comes Clean – Riverton Road Monday

Some people think I’ve got a chip on my shoulder. But really I have a wound in my heart. In my head I associate that wound with Riverton, New York a place everybody else seems to love.

My memories of Riverton are mostly painful. From my tortured mentally ill mother to my own torRiverton Downtown stock phototured connection with Anthony Benton. He is a cruel man who preys on the vulnerability of others – especially women. I was one of those women when I made the worst choice of my life and turned to him.

I’d lost the man I loved and I was shattered. Anthony Benton promised comfort and protection. He gave brutality instead. Until I was able to escape from him and Riverton and every unhappy memory here. Unfortunately that meant I had to leave Aunt Dee – the one person in the North Country I truly cherished. Besides Matt Kalli the man who had destroyed my heart.

Now Aunt Dee has died and left me her wonderful old house on Flower Street. But there are strings attached and I’m tangled in those strings. That’s why I’ve come back to Riverton where hard memories assault me the minute I drive into town. I’ve remade myself and my life since I left here. I’m no longer shattered or vulnerable. Quite the opposite in fact.

Still all the old hurt and confusion return in an instant. Maybe that explains the impulse to call Matt Kalli. In Riverton less than a half-hour. Already making foolish choices. And I don’t even know yet that Anthony Benton has been murdered.

Discover more about Kara in A Wrong Way Home – Book #1 of the Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series – Matt & Kara’s Story. Love and danger feature the Kalli family, the four Kalli brothers and those who find safety and a warm welcome at Kalli Corner on Riverton Road. A Year of Summer Shadows is Book #2 in the series and launches on May 15, 2015.

Find my books at

Alice Orr –

This is Our Year

AOB Fireworks2Recently a friend of mine said, “This is my selfish year.” She’s an open and generous person so I know she didn’t mean that in a narcissistic way. What she was saying – to all of us – is that it’s time to pay attention to our personal needs and goals. And it’s time to make them a priority, too.

She’s talking to those of us who tend to take care of other people – our partners, our family, our friends, the people we work with – and place ourselves near the bottom of that list. Near the bottom of the list where the dregs are. The dregs of our time, energy and commitment.

We’ve been raised, trained and continually admonished to do this. We’ve been taught that this is the way to be a good person – by not being very good to ourselves. The problem here has to do with Balance. Or, more accurately, it has to do with Imbalance.

Somebody whose word I do my usually inadequate best to follow teaches this. “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Loving ourselves is the model for learning to love everybody else. Caring for yourself and caring for others are one and the same. It’s all about balance.

I’m not talking to those limited individuals who only think about themselves. They wouldn’t hear me anyway. Besides, in my experience, they are very much in the minority. Most of us tilt in the other direction.

Most of us are down in Dregsville trying to survive on our own leftovers. Even more unrealistically, we hope we might possibly thrive on those leftovers too. Here’s a hot flash for you. We most likely will not.

I propose an exercise. Please forgive me. I started out as a schoolteacher. Consequently, every problem prompts an exercise. So pull out a legal pad and pencil or whatever your favorite recording device may – electronic or otherwise.

Write down this question. “What do I really want for myself this year?” Not what you want for any of those other souls in your life that I listed above. This time you need to find out what you really want for you and you alone.

Forming the answer to this question may take some pondering. Or it could be right there on the tip of your tongue and at the top of your brain longing to fly forth. Let it be spoken. Allow it to soar. Write it down.

Then just let it sit for a while. In your head, in your spirit and most of all in your heart. Because this is a loving question you’re asking yourself. And it deserves to settle in deep.

Eventually – sooner rather than later I hope – you’ll make a plan. That plan will be the specific steps you must take to get to what you really want for yourself this year. You’ll write those steps down too. Because it’s good to document and this document is a promise to yourself.

Next – and this is your promise to me – you will start taking those specific steps. One by one or maybe even two at a time. Moving steadily toward where you really want to be. You will do that because – This is Our Year.

Find my books at

Alice Orr –