Step Up by Ellen Hoil

At I Heart Lesfic, we believe the world could use a bit more kindness after one of the hardest and longest of years. Many authors have signed up to help IHL spread kindness in the world.

Today, the wonderful Ellen Hoil is here to share a story. Also, Ellen is giving away 1 ecopy of Traumatic Love. Below the guest post, you’ll find more details about the giveaway.

Take it away, Ellen.


One of the things you hear most often when reading stories about acts of kindness is how, once an act of kindness is received, it should be paid forward. But what if we did acts of kindness despite our personal circumstances instead of waiting to pay one forward?

Let me tell you about a situation where I did exactly that. I don’t want it to sound as if I’m tooting my horn, but rather I’m sharing an example of doing an act of kindness because it’s the right thing to do.

Let me preface my story by telling you I’m all of five feet tall.

It happened one day a few years ago as I was driving to work. As anyone who knows my driving record can attest to, I tend to zone out when I’m behind the wheel, and I get distracted by random things. On this day, I was in rush hour traffic. Though it was busy, it wasn’t bumper to bumper, allowing me to glance at cars in the other lanes. That was when I noticed it. A car a few lengths in front of and to the right of me was shooting off sparks.

I assumed the muffler had come off and wondered how the driver couldn’t hear all the noise it had to be making. As the sparks seemed to get worse, I thought maybe the muffler was still in the process of falling off.

Traffic kept moving, but my focus was now on the car with the muffler issue.

As I watched, I realized that what I thought were sparks, were actually flames. The undercarriage of the car was on fire, and flames were shooting out from underneath.

The flames were now clearly visible, and I assumed one of the cars closer to it would alert the driver to the situation. I was wrong. No one did anything. After a few moments, I decided to move over to alert the driver myself. By then, the driver realized something was wrong and was pulling off to the side of  the road. I pulled up behind the car and waited to make sure it stopped. My hope was that the driver would exit to safety, but to my horror, the car kept rolling forward.

I hoped they would stop and get out as I had a busy day ahead of me, a boss who would take no excuse for being late, and it was a situation I clearly had no experience in. I prayed the driver would soon abandon ship. As the car finally came to a stop, the flames increased in intensitiy and licked up the side of the driver’s doors. I looked into the sea of morning drivers, on their morning commute, in optimistically thought someone else would stop to help. Not a single soul even slowed down.

Resigning myself to the situation, I jumped out of my car and went to the now open driver’s side door, still hoping another motorist would stop or the driver would get out on their own. Peering through the flames, I saw a woman in the driver’s seat.

“Get out!” I yelled over the sound of the passing traffic, none of which had yet to stop to offer aid.

“But I’ll get burned.” Her eyes wide and her voice breaking.

“Honey, you going to get burned worse if you stay there.”

The flames were now three-quarters of the way up the car. I was done trying to reason with her and reached through and grabbed the woman by the arm.

She struggled against me slightly, stretching towards the passenger seat. “My purse.”

Ignoring her pleas, I pulled harder and yanked her out of her seat and through the flames. We went back to my car while we both caught our breath and calmed down.

The side of the road was now occupied with two tiny women and a burning car. Traffic had slowed down, but still, no one stopped. No one ever stopped to offer us help. Someone obviously called 911, as the air was soon full of the sounds of sirens and airhorns from the arriving police and fire trucks.

The point I’m trying to make is that one should never assume someone else will be the person to offer the kindness. Step up and be that person, not because you owe the universe some karmic debt, but because you can and it’s the right thing to do.





by Ellen Hoil

Dr. Nydia Rogers was stripped of her future long before she had one, she now lives day to day. Her life focused on being a trauma doctor and saving others, not herself. Jo Powers, a cop doing her best to make a difference, is a survivor of domestic violence because of someone she thought was her protector. Chance brings them together, but will real life keep them apart?For the first time in her life, Jo will use every bit of charm and romance to gain the trust of Nydia to soothe both their wounds. Will it be enough to win the heart of the emotionally scarred doctor? Traumatic Love includes themes of surviving domestic violence, abuse, and bullying and is recommended for mature readers.

  • 1 winner




PROMOTION DESCRIPTION: TRAUMATIC LOVE giveaway begins on Sept 2 2021 and ends on Sept 30 2021.

The sponsor of this Giveaway is I Heart Lesfic. Sponsor is responsible for the collection, submission or processing of Entries and the overall administration of the Giveaway. Entrants should look solely to Sponsor with any questions, comments or problems related to the Giveaway. Sponsor may be reached by email at during the Promotion Period.

ELIGIBILITY: Open internationally. 

HOW TO ENTER: Enter the Giveaway during the Promotion Period online by visiting the entry form and entering a valid email address.  

WINNER SELECTION: The Winner(s) of the Giveaway will be selected in a random drawing from among all eligible Entries received throughout the Promotion Period. 

WINNER NOTIFICATION: Winner will be notified by email at the email address provided in the Entry Information. Potential Winner must accept a prize by email as directed by Sponsor within 7 days of notification. Sponsor is not responsible for any delay or failure to receive notification for any reason, including inactive email account(s), technical difficulties associated therewith, or Winner’s failure to adequately monitor any email account.

Any winner notification not responded to or returned as undeliverable may result in prize forfeiture. No substitution or transfer of a prize is permitted except by Sponsor.

PRIVACY: Any personal information supplied by you will be subject to the privacy policy of the Sponsor posted on the Sponsor's website. By entering the Giveaway, you grant Sponsor permission to share your email address with the author/publisher to distribute the prize(s).

SPONSOR: I Heart Lesfic



Ellen Hoil lives in wine country on the North Fork of Long Island between The Sound and The Peconic Bay with her two cats Ood and River Song. “I can’t imagine living anywhere that isn’t near water and open space.” When she isn’t writing fiction, she does writing for her other career as an in-house counsel attorney. During her down time, Ellen enjoys her hobbies of photography, and getting involved in local politics including running for office. She is an ardent Sci-Fi geek and loves to attend Dr. Who conventions. A stint in Outward Bound as a teen helped shape her outlook on life. “My philosophy on life is that failure is never the end, but only a temporary stopping off point for a new adventure.”



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Thanks so much for stopping by today.

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast ( with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (, a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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1 Response to Step Up by Ellen Hoil

  1. Pingback: I Heart Lesfic Newsletter: September 7 Edition | I Heart Lesfic

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