Touched by Fatality, a novel by Anne Bellegia

Caitlin McPherson lived a life most would envy. Married to wealthy biotech wunderkind Jeff Llewellyn, she was confident of her place in the world. Science seemed to hold the answers to everything—perhaps even immortality. But following her husband’s sudden death from a tragic falling accident, Caitlin found herself a young widow, shattered by her loss and hectored by the media.

In search of privacy for her recovery, Caitlin flees to a small town in the California desert, and reinvents herself as a massage therapist. As she forms new ties, she struggles to reconcile her old and new lives. But there is no escaping fatality. She becomes enmeshed in a puzzling murder investigation and begins to question the circumstances of her husband’s accident. The nature of reality, she soon discovers, may not be as concrete as she once believed.

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About the Author

Anne Bellegia - 1I have transitioned to writing after a 40-year career in product marketing within the healthcare industry, an industry fueled by the human hope for the elusive silver bullet to delay or prevent mortality. Along the way I treated myself to massage training and now volunteer in the realms of lifelong learning, aging services, end-of-life planning, and hospice.

Touched by Fatality, my first novel, began with a shiny floor in a public restroom. The reflected image of a woman in an adjacent stall was remarkably detailed, prompting the thought, what if she were doing something criminal?

It struck me that we all create stories from what we observe, and often the stories we tell ourselves are fiction, not the truth. Our imaginations embellish the behaviors of others with assumptions about their motivations. We can never really know, but that doesn’t stop us from incorporating our beliefs into our perceptions of reality.

Characters, actions and possible motivations grew out of that shiny floor into a narrative that resembled a murder mystery titled Rub Out. My characters lobbied for more complexity and an exploration of deeper themes such as loss and grief, aging, dying, and mental health, and Touched by Fatality emerged. I’m intrigued by the dance between Self and Other and the many ways we seek—and avoid—intimate connections as we navigate our temporal existence.

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Social Media

I’m that person who was an early adopter of the internet for marketing and communications purposes. Yet I have balked—stubbornly and perhaps irrationally—at becoming a utilizer of social media, not even to promote Touched by Fatality. This is despite the advice of many successful authors that social media is the way to build one’s “platform.”

I know, I know. I have a website, a blog, an Amazon author page, so why not Facebook and LinkedIn, at least? Frankly, I don’t think I will spend the time to do these well.  So don’t look on this site for my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest icons—yet.

In the meantime, does anyone think it’s kind of creepy to be on hold with Social Security and have to listen to a recorded message that asks us to like them on Facebook?

Latest Blog Posts

A Crisis of Care

By | November 25th, 2016|Categories: Aging|

I’ve been absent from my blog during the 2016 political season, mostly spectating on the dismal national scene, but increasingly active on the local level around a critical issue that is briefly mentioned in Touched by Fatality. For adults experiencing functional decline, there is an urgent need to reduce costs [...]

Far From the Tree: Gymnasts and Christ

By | July 31st, 2016|Categories: Connections, Dying|

I read Andrew Solomon’s book Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity several years ago as I was struggling with how to be a better parent to a child whose worldview seemed so different from my own. In my subsequent musings about the uneasy awareness of mortality [...]

“Mine the Sorrows”

By | June 21st, 2016|Categories: Connections, Loss and Grief|

An overarching theme in Touched by Fatality is voiced by the character Peter McPherson: “Loss…is the common denominator we humans share.” What will we lose? Everything—jobs, friends, family, home, identity, health, sometimes our mind—and always our life. Foreknowledge of the inevitability of losses, great and small, is there most of our existence. How [...]

Harnessing the Power of Touch

By | April 8th, 2016|Categories: Connections, Touch|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

It is a sad legacy of Communist Romania that we now recognize how essential touch is to human development and health. Clues emerged from the controversial experiments that Harry Frederick Harlow performed on rhesus monkeys deprived of maternal contact. That the presence or absence of touch stimulation was part of [...]

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