Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Excerpt & Giveaway - Hearts Beneath the Badge by Karen Solomon

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.

For More Information:

Book Excerpt:
While driving away, Frances choked back tears. She knew that the children she had just been playing with could very easily become the children she had been interviewing all week. This group of young children sat idle on their stoop because their basketball was flat. A simple basketball could mean the difference between life and death to these children. Without something to occupy them, they become easy targets for gangs. Frances couldn’t bear the thought of arresting these kids one day, she wanted to give them something that gave them a distraction from the negative influences around them and something that gave them a connection to her. With a basketball she could make a connection that could hopefully give them confidence in her. Someone they could trust when they needed a helping hand.
As they were finishing their shift, Frances and Aaron talked about the fact that “the one thing they had to play with was in such poor condition they couldn’t even use it. They just didn’t have the right toys for kids their age.” Frances and Aaron headed to the athletic center to see if they could round up some old practice balls for the kids.
Anyone who has ever spent any time in the South knows that athletics are as much a part of the community as the roads they drive. That’s what made these balls even more special. Frances and Aaron weren’t given practice balls for the kids – they were given brand new purple and gold ECU game balls. Thrilled with their treasure, Aaron and Frances headed back over to the neighborhood in the hopes of finding the children still outside. By now, it was after seven in the evening and the kids were nowhere to be found. Frances and Aaron would have to wait to hand out the new balls.
When Frances and Aaron pulled up to the corner the next day, the kids were happy to see their new friends. When they saw what the officers had brought them, they were even more excited. The children greeted them with whoops and squeals, it had been a long time since many of them had a new ball.  “You mean these are the same balls the basketball team uses?!” A simple basketball meant the world to them. This was exactly what they needed to improve their games and their time outside.
On their next visit, Frances and Aaron brought the kids a new net for their hoop and an inflation kit for their balls. “Kids came out of the woodwork wanting us to teach them to inflate their old balls,” Frances said. Unfortunately, the kit didn’t help. Most of the balls were beyond repair, with too many holes on the outside and water on the inside. They were only able to salvage one.
Although they only saved one ball that day, they saved many hearts. The children felt respected that day, the officers had come back, they hadn’t forgotten them. They would soon realize that Frances and Aaron were there to stay.
Frances and Aaron continue to stop and play with the kids as their time allows. They are learning a lot from each other: the kids are learning that the police aren’t the bad guys and the police are learning that their actions can be the difference between an ankle bracelet and a life of freedom and love.
What Frances also learned that day was that when it comes to police work, things aren’t always as they seem. She thought that getting away from the bar fights and the drunks would be easier for her, but it wasn’t. Being around the children is much more difficult. Seeing their faces every day, some hungry, some dirty and some sad, is more than she expected. She wasn’t prepared for the heartbreak of knowing there is little she can do to help these kids, that some of them will end up on the wrong side of the law.
Their innocence and the fact that they are victims of their circumstances often weighs on her. It’s easy to take off the uniform but not the feelings she accumulates. She knows that everything she says and does has an impact on them; she tries very hard to make it a positive experience.
Frances and Aaron were grateful that they could help the kids, and they are glad that many of the small gestures they perform make such big impacts. For Frances, it’s important that people know. Said Frances, “We do so much more than take people to jail, but no one seems to see it.” That is why she stops, plays basketball and talks to the children every chance she gets. She knows that sometimes, a kind word can change the future.

About the Author:

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.

For More Information:

Karen Solomon is giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card! 
Leave a comment on all the book excerpt blog stops and win 5 extra entries each time!


  1. What was the driving force behind this book?

    1. Ferguson, MO. You can read the preface at the beginning of the book tour. It explains my frustration and the sadness of my children when the police were being vilified in the press.

  2. Did you shadow any of the officers that you interviewed for this book?

  3. Surprisingly, I have never met them! It was done through phone interviews! I met Jeremy Henwood's sister recently at Police Week and am meeting Chapter 7, Tanya, this summer. We are vacationing together and have never met!

  4. Wow, the excerpt was beautiful and gave me goose bumps! It sounds like a very inspirational book and I'll be sure to have a box of tissues nearby while I read it! And thanks for the giveaway!