When thirty-eight-year-old housewife Katharine Beaumont learns that her husband Frank has had an affair, she snaps. Leaving behind her two ungrateful teenagers and her cheating husband, Katharine boards a Greyhound bus from Oklahoma City headed for New York City, where she plans to fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a bestselling novelist.
Once off the bus and wandering through the streets of Manhattan, Katharine feels completely lost and vulnerable in her strange, new world-much like her slightly younger and sexier alter ego, Kitty Everhart, who works for British Intelligence in her novel and is suddenly shipwrecked on a deserted island with seven other castaways.
Katharine quickly adapts to her new environment and is determined to survive. She meets a quirky cast of characters-from a murder-for-hire bartender to a mob boss and a drug dealer. She and her new friend, Bree, become involved in an adventure made for one of Katharine's novels.
The Everyday Housewife presents a darkly humorous look at what happens when a career housewife learns to navigate in a new and unfamiliar world.
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About the Author
THE EVERYDAY HOUSEWIFEMurder, Drugs, and Ironing
By BRYAN FOREMAN
iUniverse, Inc.Copyright © 2010 Bryan Foreman
All right reserved.
Chapter OneA Woman's Work is Never Done
The alarm clock went off at 6:45 am, as it did every weekday morning, and woke Frank and Katharine Beaumont from deep sleep. Frank reached over the nightstand to shut it off and then rolled slowly out of bed in his blue pajamas.
"Oh shit," Katharine grumbled and gradually opened her eyes. "Where am I?"
"You're in Oklahoma City, my dear," her husband answered as he walked up to the dresser and turned on the lamp.
"Great," Katharine said. "And it's Monday ... isn't it?"
"Afraid so," he replied. "The date is May the third, two thousand and ten. And it is currently six forty-seven in the am."
"I was having such a wonderful dream," she said. "We were having cocktails on the beach ... Cancun I think. Or was it Rio?"
"You don't have to get up just yet," Frank said. "Go back to sleep. Maybe you can pick up where you left off ."
"Yeah, right," she scoff ed, knowing it was her job to wake the kids and see them off to school. She pulled the covers aside and rolled out on her side of the bed. "I'll go fix breakfast."
Before she headed off to the kitchen, she stumbled to the bedroom closet, slipped out of her nightgown, and donned a pair of blue jeans and an orange blouse. Then she walked into the adjoining bathroom and stood in front of the mirror next to her husband, who was busy brushing his teeth. She grabbed a comb from the counter and drew a heavy sigh.
"Oh God ... is this me?" she muttered, noticing her puff y cheeks and the lines on her face. Only her beautiful blue eyes reminded her of the hottie she had once been. Though it seemed like a lifetime ago, she had been elected homecoming queen two years in a row at the University of Oklahoma; she still had the photographs to prove it.
Her husband looked at her in the mirror and smiled. "You're still a knockout," he said. Toothpaste dribbled down his chin.
"Shut up." She laughed, realizing he was just trying to make her feel better.
He still looked the same as when they'd first met-tall, dark, and handsome, with a thirty-two-inch waistline. Life can be so unfair, she thought.
She ran the comb through her hair a few times, but it didn't seem to help much. Finally, she gave up and slapped it back down on the counter.
"I'll go fix breakfast," she grumbled.
She walked out of her room and stopped in front of the staircase, which led to the upstairs bedrooms. "Billy, Maggie! Time to get up!" she shouted.
Next she headed off to the kitchen, threw some bacon into a frying pan, and turned on the stove.
"Mama!" her daughter shouted from her bedroom about a minute later.
"Here we go." Katharine laughed and shook her head, quickly turning off the front burner and walking out of the kitchen.
"I lost a button, Mama," Maggie whined as Katharine entered the room. The girl was thirteen years old and looked almost as pretty as her mom even though she had a chubby face and was thirty pounds overweight.
"Can you fix it?" Maggie asked with a helpless look on her face. She held up a pink shirt.
"Jesus, Maggie. Can't you find another one?" Katharine said.
"I want to wear this," Maggie whined.
"Oh all right." Katharine sighed as she walked over to her and grabbed the shirt. She rushed downstairs to her sewing room. Three minutes later, she returned and handed Maggie back her shirt; its brand-new button was sewn firmly in place.
"Thanks, Mama," said Maggie, breathing a sigh of relief.
"If you expect that button to stay on, you're gonna have to lose some weight," Katharine replied sternly.
The girl huff ed and immediately turned away.
"I know you don't like to hear it, but it's for your own good," Katharine said.
"You're stomach's gettin' bigger, and nobody's nagging at you," her daughter blurted out foolishly.
Completely shell-shocked, Katharine just looked at Maggie. How could she? she thought. After all that I've done for her, day in and day out. Though she felt like slapping her daughter, Katharine quickly came to her senses and said, "You're right. Who am I to talk?" Then with a smile, she added, "I'll tell you what, tomorrow we'll start dieting together. What do you say? I hear that South Beach Diet's pretty good."
"Whatever," the girl scowled and started to take off her pajamas.
Katharine stormed bitterly out of the room. "Billy, I said get up!" she exclaimed. She walked to his bedroom and opened the door. Her fourteen-year-old son lay in bed, breathing heavily; his hand frantically bobbed up and down underneath the sheets.
"Jesus! Do you ever stop?" she scolded him. "Put that thing away and get your butt out of bed!"
She went back to the kitchen and finished frying the bacon. Then she started the eggs as she toasted two slices of bread and prepared the orange juice. The meal was all waiting on the table for Frank when he finally walked into the kitchen. She felt him sneak up behind her as she stood over the counter making the children's breakfast.
"Oh, Kat, you're too much," he said, putting his arms around her and kissing her cheek. "I don't deserve you."
"I know," she jokingly replied. Then she let out a sigh and said, "When are we gonna get this kitchen remodeled once and for all? I can barely move around in here."
"When we can afford it," he answered.
"Which means never." She laughed.
"Are you sure you want to put up with a bunch of noisy construction workers for three to six months?" he asked.
"If the outcome is more working space and brand new appliances, then yes," she replied.
"Someday," he said. "As far as breakfast is concerned, I'm afraid I'm gonna have to skip it. The boss wanted me to come in a little early this morning. Sorry. Guess I should've told you." He kissed her one more time and then immediately stepped away. "Why don't you eat it for me?" he said as he rushed out of the room, dressed in his suit and tie. "You could probably use a good breakfast." He stuck his head back in for a second and added, "You need a break from all of this anyway. I'll bring home a pizza tonight. How does that sound?"
"Don't bother," she replied. "I don't mind cooking."
"Nope. Dinner's on me," he insisted as he hurriedly walked away.
After she heard him leave the house, she shouted, "Billy!"
"I'm up!" her eldest child shouted back at her from his bedroom.
Suddenly the doorbell rang. Katharine set the extra food down on the table and went to answer the door. Not surprisingly, it was her next door neighbor, Mrs. Guzman, who was always bugging her about something. The large woman had a dark complexion and wore a yellow muumuu. She held her toy schnauzer with her left arm. The dog had a Band-Aid on her little nose, and both she and her owner looked very upset.
"What can I do for you, Mrs. Guzman?" Katharine asked.
"Look what your stupid gato done to my lil' Poopsi," said the distraught old woman.
"Are you sure it was our cat?" Katharine asked, glancing over at their gray tabby laying at the foot of the stairs with a devil-may-care look about him.
"Yes, Mrs. Beaumont," the woman sneered. "He keeps jumpin' the fence at night and tries to ... well, you know." She disgustedly shook her head. "Didn't you hear them fighting earlier this morning?" she asked.
"No, I'm afraid we're all sound sleepers around here," Katharine replied.
"Well, you better keep your animal out of my backyard from now on or I don't know what," the woman warned her. "I don't keep guns in the house, but I hear antifreeze will do the trick."
"All right, Mrs. Guzman. I understand," Katharine said and immediately shut the door on her before things really got ugly. She turned around and glared at Mugsy the cat, who remained indifferent. "I'll deal with you later," she said.
Finally both kids came downstairs fully clothed, ate their Pop-Tarts, and then hurried out the front door to catch their bus. Katharine breathed a huge sigh of relief as she watched them leave. At last she had the house all to herself. She thought about going back to bed but decided to clean up the kitchen instead. After that, she tackled the bathrooms-both upstairs and down-and the children's bedrooms. Then she vacuumed every inch of carpet in the house and ironed all of her husband's shirts that she pulled out of the dryer.
Catching her second wind, she stepped out into the backyard to water the plants and hose down Dusty, their family's golden retriever, who was long overdue for a bath. Next she dragged the cat outside and gave him a good soaking as well. He angrily scrambled away and headed for the doghouse.
"Jump that fence again and you'll get more of the same!" she warned him.
Her best friend, Norma, dropped by just before lunch and tried to talk Katharine into going out to the mall. Norma had always been a big, robust woman, even back in college when they were roommates. She was the strong, feisty one while Katharine was extremely shy and reserved. It had been Norma who helped Katharine come out of her shell back then, which had led to her becoming homecoming queen. And it had been Norma who introduced her to Frank. He had been a highly ambitious, smooth-talking frat boy at the time, with dreams of running his own magazine someday. Unfortunately, his dream had never come to pass, and he ended up in the advertising game.
"Please, Katharine. It wouldn't hurt you to step out just for a little bit," Norma begged her as they sat next to each other on the living room couch and sipped hot chocolate. "I thought we might go shopping for a while and grab a bite."
"I can't," Katharine persisted. "I still got the rest of this house to clean, and then I thought I might do some writing."
"It'll be here when you get back," Norma assured her. "Hell, Frank should be paying you fifty bucks an hour for all you do around here."
"I don't mind it, really," Katharine said.
"It's slave labor, I'm tellin' ya," Norma blurted out. "You should give yourself a break and live a little."
Katharine just looked at her and smiled.
"How's that book comin' along, anyway?" Norma then asked.
"It's not a book," Katharine corrected her. "It's not much of anything, actually-just scribbling in a notebook."
"Well, let's see it," Norma said excitedly.
"Oh no," Katharine replied, embarrassed.
"Come on," Norma said, nudging her in the arm. "You can show me. We're friends."
"No." Katharine laughed.
"Forget it, Kat. I ain't takin' no for an answer, this time," Norma said. "I want to see this great masterpiece that you've been workin' on for all these years. So I'll know once and for all that it's not just some lame excuse to avoid goin' out with me."
"Oh very well," Katharine huff ed. "Since you put it that way."
She got up and headed for the bedroom. Seconds later, she returned with a large notebook in hand. It was about three inches thick, and the majority of its pages were curled along the edges and filled with ink. She immediately gave it to her friend, who began to thumb through it with a look of childlike excitement.
"Good lord, you have been busy," said Norma. "There must be over four hundred pages here. So what's it all about?"
"Well, it's two stories, actually," Katharine explained. "The first one's about a nurse who slowly goes insane and starts killing off her patients one by one. It took me almost two years to write it."
"A nurse turned serial killer." Norma smiled. "I like it. So does Frank know about this?"
"No, no one does. Except for you," Katharine answered.
"It's a shame. How they all take you for granted and have no idea just how talented you are," Norma said. "What's this other story about?"
"Oh, it's just a spy thriller," said Katharine. "I'm not quite finished with it yet."
"And what's it called?"
"The Amazing Adventures of Kitty Everhart-Volume One: Lost on Devil's Island."
"Ah, a female spy," Norma said. "Is it you?"
"Of course," Katharine replied. "I try to put a little of myself into all my characters. That's why I enjoy writing so much. I get to be all these different people at once and travel all over the world without ever leaving the couch."
"Well, you need to hurry up and finish so you can get this thing published," Norma declared.
"I don't care about that," Katharine said.
"Oh really?" her friend scoffed. "You're not interested in seeing your published work in all the bookstores, with your name on it? Or making millions of dollars and buying a second home in Santa Barbara?"
"No, it doesn't interest me at all," she replied, unflinching.
"Come on." Norma laughed. "You can bullshit yourself all you want. But this is your best friend you're talking to."
"I'm serious," Katharine said. "My place is here with my family. I've got a husband who adores me and two kids that really need me. Boy, do they need me." She sighed and shook her head. "It might not sound like much to you, but it's the life I've chosen. And I'm willing to stick it out to the bitter end."
"I'm sure that you can hang on to all of this and still become a published writer," Norma scoffed.
Katharine laughed. "Yeah, but you know how that kind of success changes people," she said.
"Nonsense," Norma said. "Why do the work if you have no desire to show it to the world?"
"I don't know. It fills the time. And it beats working a crossword puzzle," Katharine joked.
"Who's that famous romance writer you're always talking about?" Norma asked.
"Elaine Cook," she answered.
"Yeah, that's the one," said her friend. "I read an article about her somewhere. Get this: she has a house in the Hamptons with twelve bedrooms, over a dozen servants, a private gym, and even her own personal trainer. I bet she's fucking him."
"Who in the hell needs twelve bedrooms?" Katharine laughed. "It's just more to clean."
"Anyway"-Norma scowled at her-"what I thought I'd do is go home, get on the Internet, and find out who her agent is. Then I'll write down all of her contact information and bring it back to you."
"Why would you want to do that?" Katharine sighed.
"To get you published, dear. What else?" Norma said, gently bopping Katharine on the head.
Katharine knew there was no point in arguing with Norma once she had made her mind up, so she kept silent.
"If you had a computer in the house like most people, we could do it here," Norma continued. "Plus you wouldn't have to be workin' out of this crappy notebook."
"Billy had one in his room," Katharine replied, "but we had to get rid of it when we discovered that he was using it for other things besides his homework."
"I swear, that kid." Norma laughed and shook her head. She got up, tossed the notebook in Katharine's lap, and rushed to the front door. "I'll be back later with that information," she said. "Meanwhile, you keep writing. It's not going to get finished on its own."
As Katharine watched her friend leave, she imagined what it must be like to be a best-selling novelist, waited on hand and foot by her beautiful manservants while her lover and personal trainer-the wonderful George Clooney-gave her a massage. Maybe Norm's got the right idea, she thought with a huge smile on her face.
She grabbed her pen from the coffee table and started to write, just as Norma had suggested. Suddenly it was April 5, 1938, and Katharine's sexy young spy, Kitty Everhart, and Kitty's field commander, Alan Stone, were on board a cargo ship headed for an uncharted island somewhere in the South Pacific. Their mission-to kidnap Swedish billionaire, Mikael Ljungberg, who lived on the island with his mother and sister. The forty-three-year-old Swede was a shrewd businessman, banker, and financier. Through fellow spies in Nazi Germany, the two secret agents had learned he was about to join forces with Adolf Hitler by becoming the primary financier for Hitler's war against Poland. Once they kidnapped him, they would take him back to British Intelligence in London, England, to be brainwashed and held captive there until Hitler's demise, which they felt certain was very near.
At the moment, a violent storm raged at sea. The fate of the ship and its inhabitants remained uncertain as thirty-foot waves violently rocked the ship back and forth.
Excerpted from THE EVERYDAY HOUSEWIFE by BRYAN FOREMAN Copyright © 2010 by Bryan Foreman. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Everyday Housewife: Murder, Drugs, and Ironing By Bryan ForemanReview by J.M. PowersWhen an everyday housewife, Katherine Beaumont leaves all she knows on a journey of self discovery--anything can happen¿and does. This multi dimensional novel took me in so many different directions; I wasn¿t sure where I was going to end up. The author¿s uncanny way of mixing humor and tragedy is quite entertaining and his writing took me into a world of dark humor, broken dreams, and funny twists.In a new world of city life, Katherine becomes acquainted with wife beaters, drugs, a handsome and sweet mafia bartender, and a druggie best friend that helps her type her novel. Throughout the book, there are inserts of the novel she is writing, which in a way parallels her own life¿then converges at the end.The inner workings of the characters and all the dimensions of friendships that developed made me actually care about a the druggie friend and the sweet bartender/mafia lover. This story delves deep into the seediest of lives, and Katherine is immersed in it. She learns from the choices she makes...and eventually figures out what she really wants from her life. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author in exchange for a honest and unbiased review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.J.M. Powers~Author
The Everyday Housewife: Murder, Drugs, and Ironing When an everyday housewife, Katherine Beaumont leaves all she knows on a journey of self discovery--anything can happen¿and does. This multi dimensional novel took me in so many different directions; I wasn¿t sure where I was going to end up. The author¿s uncanny way of mixing humor and tragedy is quite entertaining and his writing took me into a world of dark humor, broken dreams, and funny twists. In a new world of city life, Katherine becomes acquainted with wife beaters, drugs, a handsome and sweet mafia bartender, and a druggie best friend that helps her type her novel. Throughout the book, there are inserts of the novel she is writing, which in a way parallels her own life¿then converges at the end. The inner workings of the characters and all the dimensions of friendships that developed made me actually care about a the druggie friend and the sweet bartender/mafia lover. This story delves deep into the seediest of lives, and Katherine is immersed in it. She learns from the choices she makes...and eventually figures out what she really wants from her life. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author in exchange for a honest and unbiased review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255. J.M. Powers~Author
Katherine Beaumont is a woman who has given her whole life to her family and husband, just to have them turn elsewhere. Like so many women in America, she felt helpless and stuck, but unlike so many women, she took action. After learning of her husband's affair, she decides to leave him and her two unruly teenage children at home and move to New York City. She has always dreamed of being a writer, a novelist and she takes all $2,000 of her savings and travels across the country. Will it pay off or will she regret it? A new city, an unknown life, a crazy adventure all await Katherine as she steps off the bus and into the hustle and bustle of New York City. She begins working on her novel about a female spy named Kitty and parts of the novel are incorporated into the real story, almost like a book within a book. Katherine experiences both the good and bad sides of the city, friends and love, the mafia and drugs. Will she return to her family or will she continue her adventure and Kitty's adventure in the city? Will she survive in New York? How will her family make it without her? This is too good of a novel to ruin any of the adventure or secrets. Hilariously funny in parts, yet suspenseful and moving in others, this is a great read. Whether a rainy day, a nighttime read or a vacation adventure, The Everyday Housewife: Murder, Drugs, and Ironing is fiction at its best. I see a great movie somewhere between the pages of this enthralling book. Author, Bryan Foreman, has done an exceptional job, not only writing from a woman's perspective, but also capturing the essence of Katherine Beaumont, the new American hero for women. We've all been there, tired of our life and wanting some excitement, some acknowledgement. And while Mrs. Beaumont's way may not be like most American housewife's its refreshing to follow her on her adventures and wonder.. What if????
Title: The Everyday Housewife: Murder, Drugs, and Ironing Reviewed by: Gary Sorkin, Pacific Book Review What does an Oklahoma City housewife and mother of two teenagers have in common with a New York City feminist author, drug user, murderer, and Mafia accomplice? When you find out, you'll be as impressed with "The Everyday Housewife: Murder, Drugs, and Ironing" by Bryan Foreman as I was. Foreman wrote an iUniverse Editor's Choice award winning, out-of-the-box literary novel going far beyond just being called creative. In fact, the old adage about not judging a book by its cover actually set the bar high for me as I adored his choice of cover art, graphics and comic overtone. "Wow," and "Over-the-top" is all I can say about his work - a definite home run piece of wordsmithing genius. "The Everyday Housewife" truly is a multi-dimensional novel, as Bryan Foreman created his character, Katharine Beaumont as being an author herself. He brings her writing within his novel, creating a "book within a book," so to speak. Then Foreman interleaves Katharine's thoughts, her morals, her steadfast fortitude and uniquely individual decision making reasoning into ancillary tangents within his story, creating a reading experience guaranteed to entertain and inveigle the most sophisticated of audiences into overwhelming accolades of praise. As for the details of the storyline, perhaps those are best left undisclosed; however the sequence of events, the people of New York City, their attitude and personalities are cleverly depicted with terse and focused character development, credible circumstances, and enjoyable moments of interaction. The book moves along at lightning speed, with a contemporary stylized attitude of a maternally mature woman acting out what can be called childish behavior; however it is postured as being understandable and even justified. These remarks may be considered "riddles" to some reading this review, but it is for your own enjoyment to read this book with an impressionable mind, not knowing the synopsis. I have become an instant fan of Bryan Foreman's work, and I envision "The Everyday Housewife" becoming not a blockbuster movie, but perhaps a Broadway play. It circles back to a point where I don't see a sequel in the making, but who knows what lies on the other side of Bryan Foreman's keyboard. One last detail of the book not viewable on the cover is the back cover photograph. It is an ordinary picture looking up at some of the New York City skyscrapers from street level, not an especially planned shot but more like one would take while walking the city's sidewalks. This is how people from "out of town" are depicted by New Yorkers - standing out of the crowd as they gawk with their mouths ajar and heads cocked back walking while looking at the skyline rather than the sidewalk. A perfect ending touch of intrinsic comic relief to this brilliant book.
What do you do when you are a thirty-eight-year-old housewife, from Oklahoma, with a husband who can't keep his hands off another woman, a daughter who can't keep her hands off of food, and a teenage son who publically can't keep his hands off himself? Well, you can put up with it and pretend like it isn't happening, or you can hop on a bus to New York City and explore your aspirations to be a published author. In "The Everyday Housewife," that is exactly what Katharine Beaumont did, only things turned out to be a lot different then she expected. First of all, she discovers that you can't just show up at a literary agent's office with a handwritten story in a notebook. Secondly, she learns about how high rent is in New York City, even if the apartment comes complete with unruly spiders and cockroaches. She also discovers why some apartments come furnished. I don't want to give that one away, but it was an eye opener! Katharine also learns about the fine art of waitressing, when she finds that she has to get a job to pay the rent. Books don't get published as quickly as she expects. She also gains some interesting new friends. One is a sensitive hitman/bartender and the other is a crackhead neighbor who is always fighting with her pimp lover. Yes, for Katharine things are very different in New York City versus the suburbs of Oklahoma. Katharine also graciously shares the novel that she is working on with us. Truly a bodice ripping tale, it is like none that I have ever read before. Actually, "The Everyday Housewife" is also like no fictional novel that I have ever read before. I think that the author, Bryan Foreman, threw out all the standard rules on how to write fiction. As a result of this, "The Everyday Housewife," is one of the most unexpectedly entertaining novels that I have had the pleasure of reading. In this story, and the story within the story, nothing is as it should be, and I found myself totally unable to guess what was going to happen next. What a refreshing change from the usual fictional formats! I highly recommend "The Everyday Housewife" to readers who are feeling the need to "get away from it all!" It might make you think twice about doing so, or at least distract you enough to forget that you have the need to go. Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views
In his novel, 'The Everyday Housewife,' author Bryan Foreman tells a story about a housewife living in Oklahoma City who travels to New York City to pursue a writing career. In New York City, the once sheltered housewife finds herself immersed in a foreign world filled with intriguing people, adventure, and extraordinary experiences. Katharine Beaumont has been living a mundane life in Oklahoma City as a housewife with a husband who barely acknowledges her and teenagers who are unappreciative and rude. One day her husband confesses an affair. Katharine decides that it is time for her needs to be fulfilled so she hops on board a Greyhound bus and travels to New York City to pursue a writing career. Katharine becomes involved in the lives of an intriguing and multifaceted cast of characters and ends up embroiled in a world of drugs and murder. As she traverses her new life, she writes a book where the main character is Katharine's alter ego. In the story, Kitty Everhart is a smart, striking, and seductive British intelligence agent who finds herself shipwrecked on a desert island with 7 other castaways. Katharine's three and half month experience in New York City takes her out of the security and comfort of life as a suburban housewife and into a world where she makes astonishing decisions that she once thought were out of her nature. The story is filled with engaging plots full of surprising twists and turns, as well as a cast of offbeat characters. For instance, Bree, an emotionally damaged drug addict in an abusive relationship manages to stay a believer in true love. Joe Milano, a bartender who Katharine develops a relationship with, is involved with the mob and is known as a killer for hire. Joe fills the loveless hole in Katharine's heart and she sees his more human side. 'The Everyday Housewife' is a story that utilizes dark humor in an effective manner which helps to enhance and contrast each character's unconventional attributes. It is an entertaining and engaging character study that focuses on Katharine's growth from a mundane housewife to a risk taker with her own independent and unique outlook on life. I highly recommend 'The Everyday Housewife' as a fun read that will keep readers satisfyingly engaged from start to end. Tracy Roberts, Write Field Services