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truth1The Truth She Knew is now available on Amazon for pre-order! Just click here while it’s on sale. If you’re interested in reading the early reviews on Goodreads, click here. I have to admit the reviews have been overwhelming and humbling.

Since the book hasn’t been released yet, and a preview isn’t available, I wanted to share the first few pages. I know I always like to preview before ordering. I worked with an amazing editor from HarperCollins, and she will also be editing book 2 in the series which I just finished the rough draft yesterday.

This series is contemporary fiction and new adult. It’s 17+ due to language, sex, and some violence.

Copyright © 2016 by J.A. Owenby

Chapter 1

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. She reminded me of this on a consistent basis, and as hard as I tried, I couldn’t change her mind. Finally, I had to make a choice: her or me.

My heels clicked against the cold tile floor of the hospital and my heart fluttered as I searched the room numbers.

I rubbed my clammy hands against my jeans as I saw the ladies’ restroom and hurried toward it. I needed a minute before I reached her room. I pushed the door open and scanned the bathroom for anyone else. It was empty.

My purse landed with a thud on the bathroom counter. I turned the cold water on, splashed it on my cheeks, and wiped my face with a paper towel.

“Breathe,” I muttered. “She can’t hurt you anymore. You’re grown.”

My pep talk wasn’t working. Fear was gnawing at my stomach.

I reached into my bag, grabbed my powder compact, and touched up my makeup. My green eyes shone brighter against the redness left from my tears. I ran a brush through my long, blond hair and dabbed a hint of gloss on my lips, more out of habit than need.

“Let’s do this, Lacey. Suck it up,” I said to my reflection. I released a slow, deep breath and headed out of the restroom and down the hall toward the ICU.

My hand trembled as I approached her room and reached for the door handle. I didn’t know what to expect. What would it be like, seeing her after all this time?

The door opened and closed behind me without a sound. I pulled the curtain aside and tried to comprehend what was in front of me.

The room was silent except for the rhythmic whoosh of the breathing machine. The ventilator had left its mark on Mama’s face, and her upper lip was swollen and bruised.

As I pulled the chair closer to her and sat down, I half-expected her eyes to flutter open and her lips to whisper what a bitch I was. But she lay still.

My goodbyes had been said years ago, but this was different; this was final. There were no more second chances, or third. None, ever again.

I stood up and paced around the tiny room. I should have been holding her hand and begging her to wake up so we could forgive each other, but I couldn’t. It didn’t matter how many years we’d been apart—every time I thought about her I remembered how she had cost me everything. And not once did she ever utter the words I’m sorry. In her mind, it had all been my fault.

I leaned against the wall and tucked a piece of hair behind my ear. In spite of my resistance, tears pooled in my eyes.

“Are you happy now?” My voice quivered and only the sound of the ventilator responded to my question.

It amazed me how I could love her and hate her at the same time. I knew I was supposed to love and honor my parents, but how could I when she had almost cost me my life?

My mind raced with dark memories and then I realized that for the first time in my life I was minutes away from being free. Relief washed over me as the tears flowed down my cheeks. I pushed the memories away. With freedom just around the corner, I needed to say what I felt even if it was locked away deep in my heart.

I approached Mama and brushed her thin, brown hair away from her forehead. I stared at her, her image burning into every part of my mind. Her eyes were closed with no movement and there was no response to my touch. She’d already left—her body only remained breathing due to the machines.

“I’ve missed you, Mama,” I whispered. “As much as I hate you, I love you more. I wish things had been different. I wanted you to love me so badly. Maybe now you finally will.”

I kissed her forehead and stepped back, wondering if death would finish the job quickly. Knowing Mama, she would hold on as long as she could to capture everyone’s attention for her grand finale. The doctor thought it wouldn’t take any longer than a few hours for her body to stop breathing on its own. I hoped it would happen sooner.

I left Mama’s room and walked down the hall to the ICU waiting room. My older sister Krissy, the golden child, was leaning against the wall as she stared out the window.

“Krissy,” I said as I approached her.

She turned toward me, her eyes rimmed with redness. We stared at each other for a few moments, and then I nodded.

“Lacey, are you sure? You don’t need any more time?” Krissy asked.

“I’m sure.”

She pushed herself off the wall, wiped her eyes, and turned away to find the doctor. It was time to disconnect the machine.

With my goodbyes said, I walked toward the exit to the hospital. I burst through the sliding doors and came to a quick stop as the fragrance of the spring rain filled my nose. The walkway was lined with bright green grass and an abundance of red and pink tulips. The last drops of rain slid off the tree leaves as I breathed it all in. It was breathtaking.

I was finally free.

Thank you all for your support!

Until Next Time…

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lightI think over the last few days I’ve posted my personal information on my Facebook page than ever before. And this post, is really for me, so I’m sorry I’m not sharing any writing tip or great quote, it’s my heart instead.

This is my post from this morning on FB:

I wanted to say, thank you once again, for the love, support and prayers from everyone. The support was rather overwhelming and each time my heart filled with gratitude and love. Late Saturday afternoon my mom passed away peacefully. We knew that she was already gone and with our heavenly father, healed, happy and at peace, but under the circumstances we were able to talk to her, love on her, and spend time with our other family members, just as she would have wanted. I could hear her laughing with us. As difficult as it was to watch her those last few days, I wouldn’t trade that time with her and my family. And, I’m so blessed to have amazing and loving friends in my life. Blessings to all of you!

I’ve never lost a parent or someone so close to me. Yes, I’ve lost others, attended funerals, cried etc., but when it’s your parent, it’s a whole new level. Mom had a massive stroke, and by the time she reached the hospital, she was already gone, but my brother had them keep her on the ventilator until we were able to arrive and spend time with her. The doctor thought she would pass on within a matter of minutes after we had them disconnect her, but mom hung on for almost another 24 hours. There was no chance for a recovery, due to the amount of bleeding in the brain, and there was nothing they could do. We sat with her and watched her struggle to breathe on her own. Finally, at 4:40 p.m. Saturday, her breathing stopped. I know she couldn’t and hadn’t felt anything, thank God for that. So, over the next few weeks we will take care of things, service etc. My posts might be a bit sporadic and if I’m a little of kilter, I apologize.

Thanks for listening! Thanks to everyone who follows, comments, and shares! And what I will say, is if your dream and desires are to write (or any dream) DON”T put it off, don’t have regrets later in life.

Until Next Time…

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Do you remember the moviePay It Forward” with Kevin Spacey? The basis of the movie revolved around a school project where Haley Joel Osment thought a good deed should be passed on to another person instead of repaid. I’ve always loved that movie, its profound.

I have found in my life during difficult times an opportunity will present itself. One opened and we took it. My daughter knows a family that has fallen on very difficult times. They weren’t able to purchase anything for back to school. No shoes, no shirts, no school supplies. It broke my heart, and even while I’m in the middle of a work transition myself my husband and I knew we needed to help, so we did.

I was a bit nervous about approaching the mom. I didn’t know how she would interpret our kindness, but as I met her the other morning tears spilled from her eyes. She mentioned that somehow she would pay us back.

“No, please just pass along the blessing to someone else who needs it. That’s all we ask,” I said.

“Pay it forward,” she replied.

I have no doubt in my mind that she will do just that.

I can’t tell you what it felt like watching my daughter help her friend pick out clothes. I almost cried.

Can you imagine what a different world we would live in today if people adopted this philosophy? Just one-act can cause a domino effect, but it’s our choice. What will your choice be?

Until Next Time…

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As a writer I tend to observe people. The other day in Costco I witnessed an interesting situation with a mother and her toddler. As toddlers tend to do the young man expressed his feelings with his mother, raised his small voice and shouted “no” at her. I watched her reaction, she remained calm and simply said:

“You don’t yell at mommy, what do you say?”

The toddler stared at her, his lip out and proceeded to yell “no” again. She responded the same way. I stood behind them and waited for the line to clear as I continued to watch. After another minute we moved outside and the mother parked her cart. She stood her young man up, made sure she had his attention and repeated herself one more time. To my surprise her son looked at her and said, “I’m sorry mommy,” and hugged her. She said, “Thank you, I forgive you for yelling.” She picked him up and kissed him as he snuggled into her arms.

I stood there watching with shock at how she’d handled the situation and was teaching her son that yes, he can express his feelings, but there is an appropriate way to do it. I didn’t get the impression that she was correcting him for what he said, but how he spoke to her.

I can’t say I’d had the wisdom or energy as a single parent to implement this. I to often see children throwing huge tantrums in public, screaming at their mother’s and calling them names. It’s a difficult age to deal with, but I left the store impressed and with a nugget of wisdom.

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