Quinn, Tara Taylor, For The Children (Twins, Book 13), (Richmond, Surrey: Mills & Boon, 2003).
Title: For The Children
Author: Tara Taylor Quinn
Issues: Bereavement; Guilt; Interdependence; Parenthood; Suicide
Valerie is a juvenile court judge. She spends her days helping troubled kids–including her own fatherless twin boys.
Through her sons, she meets Kirk Chandler. Kirk’s given up a successful corporate career and dedicated himself to helping the children in his Phoenix community…as a basketball coach, as a crossing guard, as an adult who encourages them to strive for the best.
Kirk becomes an increasingly important part of her family’s life, even spending Christmas with Valerie and her twins. And Valerie discovers that she and Kirk not only share a commitment to protecting children, they share a deep attraction–and a personal connection that shocks them both.
I want to tell you about something that happened to me when I was writing this book. I discovered that I’ve spent my entire life ignorant of the judicial system, which has been serving me diligently every single day. Of course, I knew it existed. I’ve been in a courtroom, seen hundreds of trials on television. I knew all about being a judge-I thought. I knew so much I missed the fact that I didn’t know anything at all.
Every day while we go about our business there are, in every country in the nation, people who carry the pressure of making life-determining decisions. As I was doing research for this book, I sat in a juvenile courtroom, to the side of the judge’s bench, and saw what she saw-the kids out there in front of her, the attorneys and parents and witnesses and victims. I saw the fear in the eyes of the teenage offenders whose lives might be forever changed that day. And the hope felt by those who might be given another chance. And I saw us. You and me. Out living our lives. Taking for granted that the judge is going to look into the eyes of a sixteen-year-old, see the hope and the fear, and still make the decision that will keep us all safe. Including that kid…
I could hardly handle a morning of that pressure. And I was experiencing it vicariously. I’ve always known that doctors did miraculous things-holding lives in their hands every day. And policemen. And firefighters and paramedics. I missed the fact that judges give their lives and hearts and minds to preserving all our lives. I, for one, will be aware and grateful that they’re in those courtrooms, taking this challenge upon themselves so that the rest of us can raise our children and send them off to school and grocery shop and go to church without worrying too much that the person next to us is a criminal. A heartfelt thank-you!
I love to hear from readers. You can reach me at PO Box 15065, Scottsdale, AZ 85267 or visit me at www.tarataylorquinn.com.
Tara Taylor Quinn