Secrets Unbecoming

by P. Elizabeth Collins



Book Details

Language :
Publication Date : 14/09/1999

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 5.5x8.5
Page Count : 492
ISBN : 9780738804217
Format : Hardcover
Dimensions : 5.5x8.5
Page Count : 492
ISBN : 9780738804200

About the Book

What are the secrets and lies that plague the US Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the only American military base on Communist soil?  What are the harsh realities Abbey Whitfield faces in her unsung position as Navy wife, unequivocally the toughest job in the Navy?  In Secrets Unbecoming, P. Elizabeth Collins riveting debut novel, a fenceline bordered with land mines and guarded by the toughest US Marines, is the backdrop for the tremendous burdens Abbey Whitfield is compelled to endure for the sake of her already failing marriage and ultimately her husbands career.

Abbeys fairytale marriage to her childhood sweetheart has been in an uncontrollable downward spiral since she suffered a miscarriage.  Her main goal is to save her almost ashes marriage.  When her husband, Machinist Mate First Class Kevin Whitfield, is offered orders to Guantanamo Bay, she readily agrees to join him.  He promises her that the Caribbean paradise will be the perfect setting for them to regain what they have come so close to losing, each other.  He also convinces her that serving in Gtmo will send his career soaring.  She understands how badly Kevin wants to become an officer and if Cuba could make it all happen for him, that was another major reason to accept the orders.  Soon after arriving on the dry, barren and virtually isolated Naval Station, Abbey realizes that encouraging Kevin to accept those orders proved to be her biggest mistake.

She becomes entangled in a suffocating web of secrets so profound, and lies so damaging that the only two things she had ever wanted, her marriage and a family, now seem unattainable.  But through it all, she cannot bring herself to give up.

Abbey is sexuallly harassed by Kevins commanding officer, the one man who has the power to advance Kevins career or destroy him completely.  When the commander begins stalking Abbey on the small base, she confronts Kevin, who in turn accuses her of pursuing his boss.

The downfall of her marriage is further fueled by her husbands on-going affair with a younger woman , a woman who has the one precious gift Abbey cannot compete with, a child.

Surrounded on three sides by Communist territory and on the other by the vast Caribbean Sea, there is no place for Abbey to run except to the caring and compassionate arms of Marine Corporal Jack Parker.  Like Abbey, Jack too, has some heavy crosses to bear.

Secrets Unbecoming is an absorbing story of passion and conspiracy combined with sexual, physical and emotional abuse.  However, the harmonizing balance of romance and drama amongst the challenges of living in an emotional war zone make for an exhilarating read.

P. Elizabeth Collins is a career Navy wife who has traveled the globe.  She now resides in Wisconsin with her husband Bob, and is working on her second novel, Wild Gardenias. which will be available by the end of 1999.  You wont want to miss it!

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About the Author

Wisconsin born and raised, Elizabeth was the first teen at her high school to graduate with a wedding band on her finger.  Hers was and still is a fairytale romance.  When Bob, a young sailor, came into her life theirs was genuinely love at first sight.  They were married just six weeks later.    

The mother of two, Elizabeth’s son Rob is carrying on the family tradition as a career Navy man.  But tragedy struck when her daughter Charmaine lost her life to leukemia in 1989.

Elizabeth had many wonderful and exciting experiences as a Navy wife, contrary to what you might believe from her true-to-life stories.  Her gift to you the reader is that whatever settings she has written about or will write about are locations which have been vividly painted in her mind from experience.  She has lived and traveled around the globe; broken bread and sipped homemade wine with the Italians in Italy, enjoyed afternoon tea with the British in Scotland and England alike.  While in Ireland she kissed the Blarney stone at Blarney Castle in County Cork, and placed flowers on Saint Patrick’s grave site in Down Patrick.  On the island of Guam, Elizabeth received her first driver’s license.  She body surfed on the most pristine beaches of Hawaii.  The bright city lights of Paris left her in awe, especially the brilliance of the infamous Eiffel Tower as seen from the top of a giant Ferris wheel after nightfall.  The head chef aboard the Rommel, a German ship, invited her to dine with him on the mess decks, a rare happening, indeed.  On a recent vacation to Mexico, she parasailed for the first time, and swam with a family of four dolphins.  But aside from all that richness and diversity in culture, her favorite home was aboard the US Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the main setting for Secrets Unbecoming.  However, you are unlikely to detect her love of Gtmo from the brutal story line.  

Like Abbey, the main character in Secrets Unbecoming, Elizabeth taught exercise classes in that very same building, and along Sherman Road where Abbey jogged out to Cable Beach, Elizabeth used to walk that same seven-mile stretch at least three times a week.  Though Secrets Unbecoming is a work of fiction, the entire setting is precisely the way the author remembers the base to be.

You may be wondering why Guantanamo Bay was selected for the backdrop to this seemingly real turn of events.  The answer is simple.  With the isolation offered by Communist Cuba surrounding three sides of the Naval Station, and the vast Caribbean Sea on the other, no place else would have been so perfect to house all of the tremendous burdens that challenge the characters.  It leaves the possibility of escape virtually non-existent.

Writing has been one of Elizabeth’s greatest passions, and while away from home serving our country, she often wrote twenty page or more letters to family and friends.  Those letters were often dubbed as “books.”  

Now, following rave reviews of several writing workshops Elizabeth has been involved in, she presents to you Secrets Unbecoming, a page turning masterpiece that you won’t ever forget.  In fact, you will probably choose to read the magnificent art form over and over again.  Keep in mind on your journey through this story that the graphic language is a fact among fiction.  Without it, the story would not ring true-to-life.

If you’d like, you can write to Elizabeth at her E-mail address with feedback about the book, or just to say hello.  Her address is:  Though it may take a while, she will try to answer all her mail.  Your thoughts and suggestions are important to her.

Now Elizabeth and Bob reside in Wisconsin where she is painting the final coat of brilliance onto her next novel, Wild Gardenias.

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