I’m going to let Jo Ramsey take over today. She has a fabulous post lined up, so lets see what she has to say:
When Family Doesn’t Function
Ask many teenagers what the hardest part of their life is and they’ll probably tell you it’s their parents or family. I’ve come to the conclusion that not getting along with family or not wanting to be around parents is as much a part of being a teen as zits and dating are.
Fortunately, a lot of the kids that have trouble with their families don’t have a lot of trouble. It’s often just conflict with their parents about chores or grades, or arguing with siblings. But there are teens whose families just plain don’t work. Parents who they couldn’t possibly get along with, or siblings who do things that are deliberately harmful.
In my Reality Shift series, Shanna Bailey’s family is like that. She doesn’t have any siblings, but her father ignores her a lot of the time and her mother yells, swears, and even hits Shanna. Shanna doesn’t like the way her mother treats her, but she’s afraid to tell anyone about it. She knows that her mother would be furious if anyone found out, and she’s also afraid that she would be taken away and put in foster care. Even though that might be safer, Shanna doesn’t want to be forced to live somewhere new. At least she knows what to expect with her mother.
Shanna isn’t alone. I can pretty much guarantee that if you’re a teenager reading this, you know at least one person who’s abused at home. Probably more than one. You might have a friend whose parent hits them, or whose parents hit each other. Or a friend whose parent calls them worthless and useless on a daily basis. You might know someone who’s being touched inappropriately—or other things—by a family member. These things might even be happening to you.
I’m an author, not a lecturer, and I try not to get very preachy in my books or my blogs. But when I do school presentations, I talk a little about Shanna’s home life and tell students that if they or someone they know is being abused, they need to talk to someone they trust about it. And I’m going to say the same thing here. No one deserves to be treated that way. No one should be afraid to be in their own home. So if it’s happening to you or a friend, please tell someone. If it’s happening to someone you know (adults, I’m talking to you too now), don’t figure it’s none of your business or that you shouldn’t say anything. Please help.
That’s the end of the preachy part, I promise.
In Reality Shift, Shanna’s best friend Jonah Leighton knows that something isn’t right in Shanna’s home life, but he doesn’t know what to do about it. Shanna won’t admit to him that there’s a problem, and without proof he believes he can’t do anything about it. He tells his mother and a couple of people at school about his concerns. Eventually, Shanna does admit to what her mother does, and her life begins to change for the better. (I won’t tell you how, though. That would be a spoiler.)
I hope that everyone reading this has a good home life. Even if you don’t always get along with your family, I hope you feel safe with them. But if you don’t, please talk to someone.
That was Jo Ramsey, my fellow readers. Comment below and tell me what you thought of this guest post. Plus as you comment you are entitled to enter the giveaway that is a part of this tour. Jo will be giving away a 2011 Reality Shift calendar to the host with the most comments, excluding duplicates or Jo’s, and one randomly drawn commenter will receive an autographed print ARC of the novel.
When Shanna’s father moves out, leaving Shanna alone with her mother, her home life goes from bad to worse. At least she has Jonah to remind her that she deserves a good life, even if she doesn’t always believe him.
Stressed about her parents’ separation and worried about what it will mean for her, Shanna is glad for the distraction of her friend Tammi’s request for information about guides. Although Shanna is still learning, she knows how to answer Tammi’s questions. The problem is, the entity Tammi is asking about isn’t really a guide. It’s a dead spirit who wants to take over Tammi’s life. And Shanna discovers that another entity, one with the power to destroy our universe, wants to use Tammi as well.
Guided by Jonah and Tethys, and helped by another being of light, Shanna must send the dead spirit to the afterlife before it’s too late—for Tammi and for the entire Universe.
Reviews for the first book in the series,Connection;
National Writing for Children Center reviewer Donna McDine says about Connection, “Come along for this fascinating story of finding one’s self and accepting our differences because they are what make us special.”
Bitten by Books gives Connection 3 tombstones and says “Jo Ramsey has created a darkly realistic world where the mysterious unknown is not the most terrifying element.”
Yin and Yang Reviews calls Connection an “excellent, excellent” book, and advises readers to “run, don’t walk” to buy a copy.