Monday, May 21, 2018

VBT Off Season by E.S. Ruete

Off Season: A Novel of Healing
by E.S. Ruete


GENRE: Fiction



Dottie woke up wondering where she was and why she was so cold. The first thing she noticed was
that she must be outside – she was lying on cold ground and snow was hitting her in unusual places.
That’s when she noticed the second thing. Her skirt was pulled up past her waist and her panties were
gone. Damn those bastards. It started to come back to her.

Dottie is now on an odyssey; a journey not of her choosing; a journey of healing, integration, and
reconciliation that will involve her partner, her friends, her enemies, her church, her whole community.
And her rapists. As she fights her way through social stereotypes about rape and rape victims, she
also finds the strength to overcome society’s messages of who she should be and lays claim her true
self. But the memories, the loss, the anger – and the fears – never go away. No woman chooses to be
raped. I asked Dottie why she chose to tell me a story of rape. She said that millions of women,
hundreds every day, have stories of rape that never get told. She told her story because she could.
Because she had to. Because maybe people would hear in a work of fiction a Truth that they could not
hear in any other way.


Excerpt Three:

“Look to your left. That person has divinity inside them. Look to your right. That person has a divine
spark. Now tap the shoulder of the person in in front of you. When they turn around, say, ‘Namasté. I
honor the divine spark within you.’

“As you prepare to celebrate Christmas, as we prepare to invite one another to the communion table,
think on this: Mary was an unwed mother, but she was not unclean. Joseph was a lecherous old man,
but he was not unclean. The shepherds lived in the fields with the sheep, but they were not unclean.
The Magi were heathens from a pagan land and probably not circumcised, but they were not unclean.
And Jesus was born among the donkey dung and slept on top of a cow’s supper, but He most assuredly
was not unclean.

“Let it be so.”

As Pastor Allen spoke, Mandy sat with her arms folded across her chest and her legs pressed together.
When others were looking left and right, she didn’t move, and when she was tapped on the shoulder,
she didn’t turn around. She just pursed her lips into a tighter line.

But those who sat near her thought they saw the least glimmer of a tear in the corner of her eye.
Whether it was for her church, or for the Pastor, or for herself, no one could guess. Even Mandy didn’t
know. But part of her, a part she was afraid of, a part she was trying to ignore, thought that maybe, just
maybe, it was for Dottie.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

E.S “Ned” Ruete is an author, speaker, group facilitator, women’s rights activist, LGBTQIPA+ ally, lay
preacher, guitar picker, and business analyst. He is the author of Seeking God: Finding God’s both/and
in an either/or world and Lead Your Group to Success: A Meeting Leader’s Primer.

Now retired, Ned lives in Niantic, Connecticut with his second wife. He continues to offer pro bono
group facilitation and facilitation training to schools, churches, community groups and not-for-profit
organizations. He has led strategic planning retreats for United Action Connecticut (UACT), Fiddleheads
Food Co-op, and ReNew London. He is actively involved in LGBTQIPA+ advocacy and annually attends
and presents sessions at the True Colors Conference. He is a member of the International Association
of Facilitators (IAF) formerly served on the Association Coordinating Team (ACT, the IAF Board of
Directors). He was associate editor of Group Facilitation: A Research and Applications Journal and has
contributed articles to Group Facilitation, The Facilitator, and other publications on group facilitation and
management consulting.

Off Season is Mr. Ruete’s first fiction work

See his consulting products at

and his books at (The book is $0.99 during the tour)

Interview with E.S. Ruete
What is the sweetest thing someone has done for you?
My wife and I eloped in our home church. We were upstairs getting married while the rest of the congregation was downstairs at the coffee hour waiting to congratulate the pastor on twenty years of ordination. My best man gave us a card with the 10 Best Things about Being Married. She had found a gift to match each of the ten things. I don’t remember all the gifts, but the creativity and thoughtfulness were beautiful.
How would you spend ten thousand bucks?
I’d buy an early 90s Corvette and take a road trip.
Where do you get your best ideas?
So far I’ve only gotten one idea that made it all the way to a novel. Despite all the things I’ve said in interviews and book talks I’m still at a loss to say exactly where the idea came from. Looking back I can see where the subject of rape and gender-based violence became important to me, but I was still surprised when Dottie started telling me her story of waking up on October Mountain.
What comes first, the plot or characters?
Characters. The characters tell a story. The story has implications and loose ends. Those become the plot.
What does your main character do that makes him/her special.
She heals. She makes the journey from victim to survivor. I’m not sure that makes her special, hundreds of women every day find themselves thrust upon that unwanted journey. But I think the lack of understanding, the lack of appropriate help, the lack of societal support mean that many, maybe most, of them get stuck in victim and never get the chance to heal properly. In a very real way, they don’t survive. Dottie does.

I also think Dottie is special because she is honest enough to tell her story all the way to the end where, even having survived and healed, the scars are still raw, the trauma is still real.


One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card.


  1. Thank you for hosting the tour. It's good to have so many ways to tell my story, to talk about Dottie's story.

    The book price is back to $.99! However, changing the price means I can't run a FREE promotion for 30 days. sigh.

    When is your favorite time of day to read?

  2. I enjoyed getting to know your book and thanks for the chance to win :)

  3. Thanks for hosting. What book would you like to see a prequel to? Bernie Wallace BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

    1. The Bible. Starting with Exodus most of the Bible is about trying to move away from the oppression of slavery, tyranny, and the ownership of the means of production that effectively or literally enslaves those who are not owners. That oppression is symbolized by Pharaoh, and the movement away is symbolized by the Exodus. Yet the origin myths in Genesis are the origin myths of oppression, domination, and subjugation. We need a prequel to Genesis that tells us how we came to accept what we are trying to escape. Daniel Quinn in "The Story of B" calls it the great remembering. But not many people who are fans of the Bible are fans of Quinn.

  4. I've always thought eloping was the way to go...


    1. We almost had family. My son was borrowing my condo while we were "honeymooning" at my wife's house. But he decided that the first time he got together with his long-distance on-line romance was not a good time to take her to a wedding. So it was just the bride, the groom, the maid of honor, the pastor (a woman), and my best man (also a woman).

  5. Really great post, I enjoyed checking it out :)

  6. It's always good to see the loyal followers and some new names here in Commentsland!