HOPE IN PATIENCE
Ashley Nicole Asher, 15, is a mess. She's starting a new school in the tiny East Texas town of ..Patience.., ....Texas...., but that's not her biggest problem. It's her mother, Cheryl, who can't see that the sexual abuse perpetrated on Ashley for six years wasn't Ashley's choice. A woman who, even after her husband, Charlie, breaks Ashley's arm in an attempt to take her back to their home in the suburbs of ....Dallas...., still testifies on his behalf at his trial for injury to a child. Ashley's stuck in a cycle of self-injury and self-hatred as a result, and the people who love her are struggling to pull her out of it.
David, Ashley's long-absent father, hadn't seen his daughter since infancy, until he showed up in the offices of Child Protective Services to bring her back to his home in the woods of East Texas, and the life he's built with his wife of ten years, Beverly, and their son, Ben. No longer a heavy drinking rage-a-holic, he's sworn he'll spend the rest of his life making up lost time with Ashley, and hopefully earning her trust and love.
Beverly, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse who has walked the rocky road to recovery that Ashley is on, is balancing her life as stepmom to Ashley with her job as a high school English teacher, and her reputation in the community as a magnet for controversy.
Scott "Dr. Matt" Matthews, a slightly unconventional, drop-kick-the-teddy-bear and kick-the-desk therapist, is determined to pull Ashley out of the darkness she crawls into when her self-destructive tendencies overtake her better judgement, and the "squirrel on speed" that gets going in her mind is making laps and chugging Red Bull.
More than anything else, Ashley craves normalcy. She envies girls who can experience relationships with guys without fear of being touched, and she wishes that being a consistent back-of-the-pack finisher in cross-country was her biggest problem.
But.. do other people have it that easy?
Krystle "K.C." Williamson has an electric guitar named Kurt and a mother who believes that the best cure for K.C.'s homosexuality would be a trip to J.C. Penney's to pick up some cute skirts instead of the t-shirts and jeans that K.C. wears every day.
Pam Littlejohn is driven by jealousy and insecurity to push herself hard for a cross-country medal in State, and to spread the rumor that Ashley moved to Patience because she had an affair with her stepfather Charlie.
Marcus Merriweather is so afraid of not having all the answers, he hides behind THE Holy Bible (the only "version" that's right), and a stiflingly narrow world-view.
T.W. Griffin quit his position as running back for his father's Patience Panthers football team, and now his dad's hell-bent on making Bev Asher pay for taking his son from him.
Zaquoiah "Z.Z." Freeman, self-described as "bountiful, bodacious, and beautiful", is fighting the urge to knock Pam's smirk right off her face and beat Marcus to death with his holier-than-thou attitude. She's still reeling from her cousin, Jasper, being nearly beaten to death earlier in the year, and depends on dancing to help her deal with the fear that comes with being a racial minority in small Southern town.
When Ashley's stepfather, Charlie, kills himself in a drunk-driving accident, Ashley races to Cheryl's side, knowing how much Cheryl hates being alone. But Cheryl reveals pretty quickly that she still wants Ashley to live the life of lies that Cheryl is most at-home in. "Say it, Ashley. Say it. You know it's true. Say that Charlie was a good man."
Ashley cannot bring herself to utter the words, and Cheryl once again rejects her own child in favor of a lie.
Will her new family be enough to keep her from sliding back into suicidal fantasies and hiding in small dark spaces? Will she ever be able to accept Dr. Matt's view of Cheryl: "What a bitch", and choose to truly LIVE instead of LONG for a relationship that never was what Ashley had convinced herself it had to be?
Hope in Patience is the heavily-anticipated sequel to Courage in Patience, which started Ashley's journey to recovery from childhood sexual abuse. Courage in Patience was previously published, but all rights have been reverted to the author. It is currently on submission to several publishing houses. Hope in Patience is now available for consideration as well, and has been written in a way that it may be marketed as a sequel/companion to Courage in Patience, or as a stand-alone novel. The author anticipates one more installment in the series of novels.
Please contact the author, Beth Fehlbaum, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Gina Panettieri her agent, email@example.com, for more information.
For chapter previews of Courage in Patience and Hope in Patience, as well as marketing plans for both novels, reviews/blurbs/support on behalf of Courage in Patience, and further contact information for the author's agent, Gina Panettieri, please see the author's blog at http://courageinpatience.blogspot.com