Special to the Journal
Valerie Davis Benton of Leesburg has published her first novel, “Greater Heights,” and will be signing copies of the new book Saturday, Aug. 20, from 1-4 p.m. at Elements Coffee Shop on Ledo Road.
Set against the backdrop of the tragic events of 9/11, the book centers on a strong female protagonist, Riley Davenport-Westin, whose dream of success is measured by fame and fortune. She achieves her ideal life as a New York TV journalist married to the CEO of a fourth-generation, family business. But her world comes crashing down when her husband’s abuse escalates and she discovers he is cheating on her.
When she announces she’s leaving him, Riley meets with his strong objections. To avoid the stares and whispers she anticipates from her colleagues at the sight of her bruised face, Riley decides not to go to work the next day. Instead, she is given a rare opportunity for rebirth.
In the confusion of the World Trade Center attacks, Riley, who would have surely perished had she been at work, uses her fortunate survival as an opportunity to escape her life with Paine and start a new life elsewhere. How could she know that one decision would change her life forever?
“Greater Heights” is about one woman’s choices and how having the most valuable things in life comes at a price. Sometimes, the cost is one’s own life.
Benton is a former award-winning journalist with more than 30 years’ experience in print journalism, public relations and marketing.
A former reporter with The Albany Herald, she is public relations manager at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital. She is married to Harold Benton. She has one son, Ben Turner, who lives in Lexington, Ky., and two grandchildren, Dillon and Emma Grace Turner, and a stepson and daughter-in-law, Jacob and Paige Benton, who live in Seattle, Wash.
When she’s not working full-time and penning her next novel, Benton teaches women’s Bible studies, sings at local churches, reads, hangs out in local coffee shops, and begs for more time with her children and grandchildren.
The book is being published through WestBow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson, the world’s premier Christian publisher. It can be purchased at The Source bookstore at Sherwood Baptist Church, or through WestBow’s online bookstore, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, or by contacting Benton’s e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Facebook.