Book Title: The Truth She Knew
Author: J.A. Owenby
Genre: New Adult/Contemporary Fiction/Romance
Release Date: September 12, 2016
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions
“A bittersweet story of young love, independence, and soul-crushing manipulation. J.A. Owenby shines a light on the impact that mental illness can have on a family.” —Dr. Sheri Kaye Hoff, PhD, Professional Life Coach
Mama didn’t want me. In fact, she would’ve traded my soul back for someone different if God would’ve let her, but he didn’t, so she was stuck with me.
For eighteen-year-old Lacey, life at home is a rollercoaster. She doesn’t think she’ll ever be good enough to truly deserve Mama’s love.
But when Lacey enters college and meets Walker, everything starts to change. Suddenly, Lacey is face to face with the realization that maybe what she’s always seen as normal really isn’t. Her entire life—and everything she’s ever believed about herself and her family—is abruptly hanging in midair.
Lacey is left facing two paths, and she has to make a choice. The first means walking away from everything she’s ever known. The other means never really knowing the truth.
The Truth She Knew offers an honest and powerful glimpse into mental illness, the meaning of true love, and the psychological waltz that a daughter dances as she endures her mother’s unpredictable emotions, manipulation, and abuse.
We followed her to the couch; Linda sat in the chair on the other side of the coffee table and folded her hands in her lap. Walker took my hand as an uneasy gnawing tugged at me. I had plenty of experience with sensing uncomfortable situations, and I didn’t like this one. I was confused as to why Linda was staring at me, too.
“It’s okay,” he whispered and rubbed his thumb across the back of my hand.
“I can tell by the surprise on your face that you’re confused about why Walker brought you here other than to say hello,” she said. “I’m a mental health therapist, Lacey.”
“What?” I jumped off the couch. “Walker? How could you? You brought me here to lock me up?” I tried to step around his feet to leave, but he was too fast. He grabbed me and pulled me into his lap.
“Lace, wait, it’s not you. Aunt Linda isn’t here to diagnose you or anything close to it—please give her a minute to explain . . . for me.”
“I’m sorry, Lacey,” Linda said, “I didn’t mean to scare you. You’re in no way being diagnosed with anything. It’s the opposite, actually. Walker told me a little bit about your mother.”
“Walker!” The humiliation crushed my chest. “How could you? I told you that in confidence. I trusted you.” I tilted my head back and closed my eyes. If I squeezed them hard enough maybe this would all disappear.
- Who has been your favorite character to write thus far?
I’m not sure I have a favorite, but the most complex and challenging character I’ve written so far is Mama. She first appeared in my short story “Tears in the Sun”, and after several people had nudged me to write a novel, I did. Writing about a character that is mentally ill was an emotional ride. I spoke with therapists and read several books concerning mental disorders. There were times I actually cried while writing a scene because imagining that people live through those situations is heartbreaking.
- What was the hardest story for you to write and why?
I’ve had several short stories traditionally published, and now my first novel is here. However, the second book in this series has been the most difficult to write. It deals with abuse and how it’s a cycle that must be broken. For those affected, this means reaching out for and receiving help.
- If you could no longer write, what would your profession/interest of choice be?
If I no longer wrote fiction, I would continue to operate my careers business. I work with people who are looking for their next job. I help them identify the value they bring to a prospective employer and create marketing documents including resumes, LinkedIn profiles, and cover letters. I also coach clients to be effective during the interview process.
- Do you have any advice for authors?
Yes, work with a professional. You will learn to write well much quicker than attending workshops, reading books, and classes. I support and do all of those things, but when I had the opportunity to work with my editor who previously edited for Harper Collins and Routledge Publishing I saw my writing grow exponentially. In my opinion, you can’t beat one-on-one, hands-on training.
- What are you currently working on?
The Truth She Knew is book one in the series. I’ve completed book two, which is currently with my editor for developmental editing. I’m now writing the opening of the third book.
She's a published author of six short stories, and she is currently working on her second full-length novel. She also runs her own business as a professional resume writer and interview coach—she helps people find jobs they love.
J.A. is an avid reader of thrillers, romance, new adult, and young adult novels. She loves music, movies, and good wine. And call her crazy, but she loves the rainy Pacific Northwest; she gets her best story ideas while listening to the rain pattering against the windows in front of the fireplace.
You can follow the progress of her upcoming novel on Facebook at Author J.A. Owenby and on Twitter @jaowenby.