26.9.17

The Truth Behind CARRY ME HOME, a new release by @JessicaTherrien


Congrats to Jessica Therrien on the release of CARRY ME HOME! Every book is special to its author, but read Jessica's answer to this one-question interview to learn why this new release is especially meaningful to her.


CARRY ME HOME is a fictional novel inspired by the true story of a teenage girl’s involvement in several Mexican gangs in San Jose and Los Angeles. The members of her crew call her, Guera, Spanish for “white girl” and it doesn’t take long for her to get lost in their world of guns and drugs.


The question: If you had to choose one song that best captures the essence of CARRY ME HOME, what song would you choose and why?

Jessica's answer: CARRY ME HOME is my sister’s story. Although I turned it into a fictional novel, most of it is true. One song that sticks out to me is "My Immortal" by Evanescence. Not because it inspired me to write the novel, but because I remember my mom listening to it when we were going through all the trouble with my sister’s character “Lucy”.

Most people probably relate the song to a lover, but it still reminds my mom and I of her…and the time we almost lost her.

After we moved from our ranch town to the city, my fifteen-year-old sister became a different person. She fell in with the wrong crowd and succumbed to a world of gangs and got addicted to bad drugs.

Now that I’m a mother myself, I look back and can’t imagine what my mom went through. To watch your little girl slip away and almost destroy herself…To actually fear your own child…To hate and love her at the same time.

The drugs turned my sister into something she wasn’t, and this song still hits home every time.


“A riveting page-turner…Jessica Therrien broke my heart into a million pieces—and then put it back together again. This book will haunt and uplift readers long after they turn the last page.” ~KAT ROSS, best-selling author of The Midnight Sea


CARRY ME HOME 


Lucy and Ruth are country girls from a broken home. When they move to the city with their mother, leaving behind their family ranch and dead-beat father, Lucy unravels.

They run to their grandparents’ place, a trailer park mobile home in the barrio of San Jose. Lucy’s barrio friends have changed since her last visit. They’ve joined a gang called VC. They teach her to fight, to shank, to beat a person unconscious and play with guns. When things get too heavy, and lives are at stake, the three girls head for LA seeking a better life.

But trouble always follows Lucy. She befriends the wrong people, members of another gang, and every bad choice she makes drags the family into her dangerous world.

Told from three points of view, the story follows Lucy down the rabbit hole, along with her mother and sister as they sacrifice dreams and happiness, friendships and futures. Love is waiting for all of them in LA, but pursuing a life without Lucy could mean losing her forever.

Ultimately it’s their bond with each other that holds them together, in a true test of love, loss and survival.

Excerpt 

CHAPTER ONE

For the most part, I remember my childhood as dry weeds and dirt roads, warm sun and birdsong. The silky coat of a mare and filth of pigs in mud. Eighty acres of ranch land is an endless playground for any kid. And in those na├»ve years it was easy to ignore the beer on my father’s breath as I skipped off to fetch him another. My mother’s weepy eyes were nothing to ques-tion, because I didn’t know any better. But time chisels away that purity until there’s nothing left but truth.

Neither one of my parents is happy.

At seventeen, I’m ready to leave. The ranch of my youth is a wasteland of empty, overgrown pastures and rusting barbed wire fences. Much like their marriage, it’s tired and used up. There’s nothing left to give.

Tonight, the air feels heavy. I can smell the tension in the ever-present cigarette smoke. At first the rising pitch of their voices doesn’t bother me. I’m used to them fight-ing. But my heart seizes when I hear him yell, and when Dad’s words become a throat-scratching, red-faced shout, my sister, Lucy, sneaks into my room.

My bedroom has always been a sanctuary for her on nights like these.

She doesn’t say anything. She doesn’t have to. We just listen to the rage as it filters through the walls.

“I’m going out there,” she says.

“Lucy…”

If she were younger I’d stop her. I’d take her little-girl hand and lead her into the quiet closet like I used to, but she’s fifteen now, and there’s no stopping Lucy from doing anything.

My only choice is to follow her.

I find her frozen in the hallway, stiff-legged as a terra-cotta soldier. Mom is just as still, back pressed against the far wall of the kitchen. Dad’s bloodshot eyes are wide and crazed. Wispy pieces of thinning, grey hair have come loose from his short ponytail.

He’s pacing our living room, whisky glass in one hand, a rifle in the other.


Author Bio


Jessica Therrien is the author of the young adult series Children of the Gods. Book one in the series, Oppression, became a Barnes & Noble best-seller shortly after its release. Her trilogy has been translated and sold through major publishers around the world, such as Editions AdA (Canada), EditionsMilan (France), and SharpPoint Press (China).

Aside from her Children of the Gods series, Jessica is the author of a kid’s picture book called, The Loneliest Whale. Her award-winning stories can also be found in a published anthology of flash fiction.

Jessica currently lives in Irvine with her husband and two young sons. She is working on an a YA suspense thriller series and a middle grade fantasy series.


6.9.17

A Pretty Cool Distraction + Good Behavior

Ay caramba! I totally missed last month's meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. You know how when you have something big coming up and everything you do is geared toward that big thing and you don't really think past it? Well, that's what happened.


At the end of July, I took off to Cusco, Peru to meet up with my daughter who'd spent the summer there. After enjoying a few days in Incan splendor, we took off to explore more corners of that wonderful country (you can see pictures of these other destinations in my latest author newsletter - I've left the free book download open until September 30, if you'd like to partake). I returned to the States on the August date of the IWSG...and proceeded to sleep for 14 hours straight.

I've been whining at IWSG about not making any progress on my writing, and that's because instead of plotting and researching my manuscript, I was consumed with plotting and researching this trip. I'm more than happy to take a break from writing for such a fun and amazing distraction, but now that my life is boring again, it's back to work!

Because of all this distraction, I'm delayed in giving a shout out to the fabulous Jennifer Lane and her re-release of WITH GOOD BEHAVIOR. With seven published novels under her belt, Jennifer ventured back into her debut novel and scrubbed and polished it so that it's better than ever. I enjoyed its first iteration, so I'm excited to read this new & improved version. Congrats, Jen!

Here's a short excerpt from WITH GOOD BEHAVIOR:
Sometimes Jerry and his fellow parole officers joked about starting their own dating service, matching up the hapless cons who crossed their doorsteps. When they were feeling feisty, they’d brainstorm potential names. Instead of Perfect Match, Jerry suggested Perfect CONnection. Al came up with a substitute for It’s Just Lunch, offering It’s Just Cuffs. And Sheila perverted match.com to myladyleftmewhenIwenttoprison.com.

 

In the midst of organized crime and dim hopes of redemption, can love persevere? For Sophie Taylor, a psychologist who lost everything when she violated an ethical boundary, and Grant Madsen, a naval officer who sacrificed himself to protect his uncle, finding that love seems unlikely.

As they start their lives over in Chicago, both fight family influences and run as fast as they can to escape the past. When their paths cross outside their parole officer’s door, attraction sparks. Too bad a hidden connection may not only shatter their fledgling love, but prove deadly to them both.

Tell me, what's your favorite distraction?

This post is part of the monthly blog hop/therapy session known as Insecure Writer's Support Group, founded by the one and clonely Alex J. Cavanaugh. Click below to join the group!