Giveaway and book excerpt: Hearts Beneath the Badge: Karen Solomon

Title: Hearts Beneath the Badge
Author: Karen Solomon
Publisher: Missing Niche Publishing
Pages: 247
Genre: Nonfiction
Format: Hardcover/Paperback/Kindle/Nook
Hearts Beneath the Badge is a unique compilation of interviews with officers across the country. It's not about the crimes they witness or the judgment they face; it's about them - Damien, Danny, Frances, Ken, Pamela, Brian, and more. Their thoughts, their fears, their proud moments and their heartbreak. It's about the people we often don't see because we are blinded by the uniform.

They are among the hundreds of thousands that are unseen each day, the men and women that go back for more no matter the personal cost. They provide meals, rides, lifesaving breaths and prosthetic legs. Yes, even prosthetic legs. There is much more to them than meets the eye-or the news camera. By reading this book, you will open yourself to a world of people you may have forgotten existed. You will see the names, families and some of the faces of the police officers that don't make the news.

Hearts Beneath the Badge is a book about the good deeds officers perform. There is a pressing need for people to see more than just the officer's hearts; they need to see their souls. Society as a whole needs to accept police officers for who they are - mere mortals. In order to do that, they must look through the layers of the officer's lives and see the heartache and joy, the same heartaches and joy we all experience. Society also needs to know that, whether we want to admit it or not, there is a price to be paid for pursing the love of the law.
90% of all sales will be donated to National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund, Safe Call Now, Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) and PoliceWives.

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Excerpt 11:
Poverty and crime aren’t great assets for areas looking to woo businesses, so I had to venture into the County, towardsFerguson, ironically. On a Saturday morning, I finally went to a Walmart and bought several nets. I went back to where the boys had been playing and got out of my car and started to walk to the netless rim.
As I was walking towards the rim, a man in a red Camaro parked right in front of the basket put his hands out the window and said, “I ain’t doin’ nothin’ wrong, officer. Just waitin’ on my girl.”
It’s sad that he assumed I was headed to him, but I get why.
“I didn’t say you were doing anything wrong, partner. Carry on with your day,” I told the man.
Thankfully, the rim wasn’t set at the 10-foot regulation height, so I could reach it without having to balance on something. I started to put the net on the rim and the guy in the Camaro got out and walked over.
“You bought that net?” he asked.
“I certainly didn’t steal it,” I joked. “I told the kids I would bring one a couple of weeks ago, so I’m making good on my promise.”
“Aw hell, that’s really cool,” he said.
He came over to the rim, grabbed the other side of the net and helped me put it on. We shook hands, thanked each other and went about our days.
Later, as I watched the kids playing basketball, one of the boys asked me if I was the cop who bought the net.
“Yep. It’s been a few weeks now and I’m still waiting to hear somebody say thank you.” I was just being sarcastic, but I’ll be damned if every last one of those little buggers didn’t immediately say thank you right then and there.
I was given the honor of taking a couple of shots with a ball that had no air in it. I proceeded to chuck an air ball and what I believe is still called a brick before hanging my head in shame and leaving the kids to their game. I looked to the porch and got a smile from one of the adults, maybe one of their moms, and I smiled back. Smiles are small victories to me. They probably laughed at me, but if they did, at least they had the courtesy to wait until I left.
The boys weren’t concerned with what was going on in Ferguson because they were too busy being little boys. Most of the other people I’ve dealt with aren’t consumed by it either.
Karen Solomon is interested in the feelings of law enforcement and whether or not they have someone that will listen to them, most of them do not. Most books on the market are written by the police officers themselves, in almost textbook fashion relating protocol and situations with the orderliness of a police report. Her books are different from every book out there because the officers bare themselves to her; many of the interviews end in tears because they have opened up something that is very difficult to close. Karen Solomon is a graduate of Eckerd College and blogs as The Missing Niche. Her writing has been featured on and To Write Love on Her Arms. She lives in New England with her husband, 2 children and 2 dogs. Proceeds of her latest book, Hearts Beneath the Badge, will be donated to law enforcement charities.
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