Saturday, April 21, 2012

Public Lies by Brenda Youngerman

Public Lies by Brenda Youngerman

Public Lies

Book Blurb

She was running from an unimaginable horror...but will it catch up with her?

"I'm being followed. I know I am, she thought. "He's watching every move I make. There is no way I'm going to escape without his knowing. He'll find me." With every sound, her body jerked. Her tension exaggerated each bump in the road. Every car that passed was an enemy to be dealt with. The two children, fast asleep in the backseat, were unaware of their mother's apprehension. They didn't know their futures were about to be irreversibly altered...

Nancy thought she had married her Prince Charming. But six years later, she was on the run with her two young children, trying to escape her abusive, drug-addicted husband. In a new town, living under new names, the Cooper family begins life anew.

But as the years pass, Nancy's children begin to question their mother's motives for leaving. Her son's constant recriminations fill her with guilt and give way to the thought that if they return home, maybe she can put things right. Returning to the place where her nightmare of a marriage began, she must now face a man whose days have been filled with twisted thoughts of revenge. As the court turns its back on her, her husband takes steps to punish he always vowed he would.

Public Lies takes a chilling look at the reality of domestic violence, shedding light and understanding on a problem in American society that is all-too-often swept under the carpet.

Brenda Youngerman

Brenda Youngerman sas raised in Southern California and has been writing since she was a child. Her first novel, Private Scars, was published in 2006 and takes an insiders view of domestic abuse. It allows the reader a vantage point on how a victim is isolated and alienated from everything they know and love. Private Scars won both the editors choice and publishers choice awards. Since the release of Private Scars Youngerman has released a novel a year bringing up what she calls, "Fiction With a Purpose," books that take on social issues and very real world problems. She hopes that a reader puts down one of her books and asks the question, "Was that real?"

If one person is helped by reading a Youngerman novel and realizes that they are not alone in their predicament, she has achieved success in her eyes.

Guest Post by Brenda Youngerman

Writing..... hmmm... I am often asked when did I start writing and I find that the answer is a difficult one to come up with. I think that I have probably been writing all of my life. I loved reading as a child and the stories would take me off into other worlds and other peoples' lives. It was a great way to grow an imagination. I distinctly remember writing short stories in high school and I have been keeping a journal since I was sixteen. I have been known to write poetry as well as a children's story here and there. But for some reason Private Scars was a story that yearned to be written. The opening paragraphs kept showing up in everything I wrote. Perhaps it was that inner author in me screaming to be heard. I honestly didn't think I would be able to continue writing after Public Lies came out - after all, who was going to read stories that I made up in my head? But when Hidden Truths came out and the reviews and interviews kept asking me if it was non-fiction I realized that I have the ability to weave a story about real issues that make people believe the stories are real. Hidden Truths came completely out of my imagination. Now don't get me wrong, the issues that I write about do not come from my imagination, they are very real. 

I had made a conscious decision to write about difficult issues and I know that a lot of people would prefer to read an uplifting story. I want to believe that my stories are uplifting in their resolutions, but the fact of the matter is that we live in a world where there are many difficult subjects not being discussed in the mainstream of conversation. I began Fiction with a Purpose for just that reason. Hopefully a person in a similar situation as my characters will realize that they are not alone in their plight. If one person feels that the book is speaking to them then I have accomplished what I set out to do.

In 2007, after Public Lies was published I made a promise to myself to have a new book published every year. So far I have managed to keep up with that goal and with Skewered Halo's release, my 7th book has seen the light of day. I am always open to suggestions and comments from my readers (or bystanders) and welcome new novel plot suggestions. To find out more information about my work please visit my website: Brenda And to follow my daily antics and thoughts please come visit my blog.

Book Quotes:

If Vice Cooper wanted something, he didn’t give up, no matter what the cost, who got in the way, or who he had to hurt in his quest. When he discovered Nancy, his wife of six years, had left him, he was seething with anger. Fury and betrayal dominated his core. Nobody crossed Vince without paying the price. She was going to pay for ruining his life! Not only had she left him, she had stolen his children as well. He barely woke up on Monday, August 22. His cocaine hangover…

Six years earlier, Nancy Suzanne Lewiston married her Prince Charming, or so she thought, in the backyard of her parents’ home. Her sparkling, aqua-blue eyes, vibrant smile, glowing skin, and silky blonde hair could fill a crowded room with warmth. Her effervescent personality, wit, and charm surrounded her with a loving family and abundant friends. That was until she was married. Everything changed after that.

“Hi, Frank! Hi, Lilly,” Olivia said to the children, trying to maintain her composure. “Remember me? I’m Aunt Olivia. Would you like something to eat?” Frank and Lilly both clung tightly to their mother for comfort, unsure of where they were, or who their Aunt Olivia was. Part of the control Vince had wielded over Nancy included secluding her from her family.

“Oh, Nancy, why didn’t you tell me?”…”I thought you wouldn’t believe me.”…”Vince is two different people. The world sees the nice Vince, the one he wants people to see. I see the mean, controlling, jealous, possessive Vince. If I’m out of his sight, he needs to know who I’m with. Even then, he never believes anything I say. It doesn’t matter what I do. It’s never good enough. The dinner isn’t right. There’s never enough sex. The house isn’t clean enough. The clothes aren’t folded right. It just doesn’t matter.”

“He kept telling me I was stupid and ugly. No one would want anything to do with me, and I believed him.”

“He convinces everyone around him what a good person he is and what a bitch I am. You have no idea what it’s like to live with him. He’s the devil incarnate. If you don’t do exactly what he wants and when he wants, there’s hell to pay. He takes it out of your hide, one way or another.”

His goal was to find Nancy, win her back, show her he had changed, and then destroy her. No, he wanted to annihilate her. He would decimate every fiber in her being, every thread in her soul, and every twine in her essence. Vince’s anger ran through each vein that pumped blood to his heart.

On the day Nancy had left, Vince was hung-over, overweight, disheveled, and slovenly. That man no longer existed. He had been clean and sober for more than a year and had rebuilt his body. Vengeance was a powerful fuel.

“She’s a drug addict and a horrible mother” Vince said with conviction. “She lies and steals. She doesn’t know right from wrong.” He looked so convincingly pathetic…

My Review:

Brenda Youngerman has made good on her promise to always “write with a purpose”. Public Lies is a story about spousal abuse. Her accuracy in the depiction of the abuse and court system and what a family goes through left me questioning how close to the subject the author was, meaning the story was accurate and well researched.

Abusers are charismatic. They hold down prominent jobs. They have many friends. And, they look like normal people. The old song lyrics “you never know what goes on behind closed doors” is never truer than in an abusive situation. The mind is a powerful thing, but at the mercy of a manipulative person, it can be broken down more easily than one can imagine. A seemingly innocent remark that comes out of nowhere, yet used repeatedly can undermine the confidence of another, “You don’t have to feel bad because you never finished college.” Add to that and many more manipulative statements, the lies that an abuser will tell his friends to convince others how horrible his spouse is and you have the makings of abusive life. When children are part of the dynamics, Parental Alienation can factor in to the equation.

The author wrote an excellent book accurately depicting abuse. The book chronicled Nancy’s life of abuse, leaving her husband, and the subsequent legal actions taken in filing for divorce and having the children represented by an attorney. The book was well developed, but personally, I felt the story ended abruptly. Having been through an emotionally, mentally, and verbally abusive marriage, I was expecting a different outcome. I think this is an excellent book. It will give those people who have no idea what takes place in such a situation, a little insight. I definitely recommend reading this book.

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  1. Donna... what a wonderful post.. thank you so much!
    As for the ending... I'm not sure this story is finished and that is why I left it dangling... I wouldn't be surprised if we all get to revisit with Nancy, Frank and Lily someday!

    1. I would like that. I couldn't say any more than that because I didn't want to give away the ending. I wanted someone to beat the hell out of him or something! :)

  2. Just found you blog and decided to follow it because I liked your intro, wish I had thought of that. I will now use it because it's yours. You have a lot of interesting stuff here hope you visit my blogs.
    I found you on google +
    here are my blogs if you would like to visit and hopefully become a follower.

    1. Thank you Violann. I am so glad that you found my blog and that you are enjoying your visit. I hope you'll visit often and I am definitely going to visit your blog. Donna

  3. The best sentence in here: abusers are charismatic. That, they are. And predatory.

  4. What a good review donna , one Vince in this world is one to many.


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