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Released: March 2014
ISBN: 9781310277924
Kindle US, Kindle UK
Apple, Kobo, Nook
Author: Margie Church
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary New Adult
Price: $3.99

Amazon US - Amazon UK - Goodreads

Orphaned on the brink of adulthood, Jolene must make decisions for herself and her younger, disabled brother, Adam. Decisions as painful as the blows they suffered at their father's hands. Cutting herself is the only thing making Jolene feel something besides misery and worthlessness.

Jolene has never dated, yet quickly recognizes Brendan is a great guy. She wants a serious and intimate relationship, but is scared to trust him with the truth. Will he think she's a freak if he learns of her secret compulsion? Will hearing about the horrible events from her past make him run?

"Are you happy now? You know how to beat kids. You loser. I hate you!"

Steve backhanded her.

Pain shot into her eye and radiated into her nose.

"Now I am." His voice was a growling pronouncement of doom. "Don't plan to come out of your rooms any time soon."

Her body a coil of pain, Jolene helped her hysterical brother the rest of the way upstairs.

When Steve Parks had said, "don't come out your rooms," he didn't mean until morning. He really meant until he said so. The first time he punished them this way, they were unprepared. Never again. She'd hidden supplies in their rooms to help them endure what was probably a weekend lockdown.

"You got five minutes to get up there, before I give you another taste of respect."

At the top of the stairs, Adam looked at her with the saddest expression. "I think I'm going to throw up, Jolene."

A fresh burst of tears flowed down her cheeks. "It's okay, I got ya." She nestled his face in the cleft of her shoulder, while he vomited on her chest.

Sobbing and shaking uncontrollably, he muttered, "Sorry, Jolene, I hurt so bad."

"I know. It's okay. I'm not mad at you. I love you so much, Adam. I'm going to get us out of here. I promise."

She didn't have time to change clothes. Jolene took an old towel out of his sock drawer. Cupping his chin, she kept her voice low while wiping his face. "Remember what to do. The clothes bag is under your mattress. Put all your dirty stuff in that bag and keep it closed tight to keep the smell inside."

Her father's threatening voice echoed in the hall. "You've got one minute before I come up there to give you some more. I was just getting started."

She glanced over her shoulder. "There are some granola bars in your sock drawer and two Tylenol. Take the medicine with the water I hid under your sweatshirts." She stared into his heartbroken face. "Don't forget, okay? Remember how we do this. I have to go." She kissed his forehead. "I love you. You're going to be okay."

Jolene hurried to her room, shutting the doors behind her.

A minute later, heavy thumps on the steps signaled his ascent. His knees and ankles crackled as he climbed.

She felt her face contort into a mask of hatred. She prayed he would die of a heart attack before reaching the landing. Avoiding all the squeaky spots on the wooden bedroom floor, Jolene went to her door and listened. If their father dared touch Adam, she'd take him on again. All she heard was heavy breathing and scraping while he fumbled with the skeleton key in the lock.

A board made a popping sound under his feet when he came to her room.

She wished she had the courage to open the door fast and shove him down the stairs. With any luck, he'd break his skull wide open.

Instead, she heard guttural, drunken noises and the click of the lock falling into place.

Sometimes she wondered what would happen if the house caught fire while they were locked upstairs.

Top Reviews
Great Book
Once I started reading this book I didn't want to stop. My heart went out to Jolene and Adam and they felt very real to me. I am not one to write reviews, I'm not good with words, but Margie Church is. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a tale of perseverance. ~ C. Stoldt, Amazon

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Can I say "Wow"!!!! An absolutely, gut wrenching story
I've never read anything by this author. Though this isn't one of my genres to read I was simply overwhelmed with emotions. FYI: you will definitely need tissue for this story. The emotions I felt while reading this story. You will definitely be on an emotional roller coaster ride. I found myself wanting to defend this children, and proud of them as they grew up with courage to move on and make good choices, though difficult at times, in regards to their future.The characters and plot were well developed. This author has an elegant, but vivid way with words. The concept is a real on going problem with children today, especially with young teenage girls.( I know this from personal experience). Abuse in the home, and struggles that family has to deal with regarding past and future transgressions. There is a vivid account of abuse, love, romance, murder, and contentment. As the story unfolds, this author will progress time, so that you will know what is happening with those children. I found that I loved this detail. This is an amazing book. I've already called/recommended this book to family/friends. This is a "Must Read". ~ WhisperingWillo, Amazon

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Such an intense story of overcoming the past and moving forward
This is a very emotional and beautiful story about a brother and sister and how they overcome their past.. I have to admit, the first few chapters are very "heavy" , and I did find myself tearing up. But, those chapters are necessary for you to truly understand Jolene and Adam's story. After that background, the journey that takes place for not only Jolene, but Adam, really was so emotional and honest. Jolene is so brave, and watching her struggles and her determination to become more, is just breathtaking. But I think my favorite person in this story is Adam. His personality and the way he handles his struggles, with a sense of humor and determination, just makes him so lovable. I would hope there would be a continuation to this story, because I still have some unanswered questions. ~ Melissa Edwards, Amazon

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This is definitely a box of tissues story. But keep in mind, this is not just a story of a woman's life of abuse. It's also of her redemption. If you're looking for a book to tug at your heartstrings, if you want a gripping read, this is the one for you. ~ Heart of Fiction



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