My debut novel, Between the Trees, is now available on Amazon.com.
Please click on the link to be connected to Between the Trees.
Between the Trees is young adult coming-of-age realistic fiction. While considered YA, there are some mature themes explored.
Beyond Kathryn Lucas’ first memory of her father’s tree lay a dysfunctional path of violence, heartbreak, and secrets within a family severely entrenched in the vicious cycle of abuse. A lifetime of fear drives her from her home, and the teenage girl finds refuge with an aunt and uncle determined to protect their niece.
Distressing flashbacks unravel in Kathryn’s fragile mind among the turmoil encircling her as she struggles through adolescence and descends into her pain-ridden past. When the summation of her unsettling memories allow the darkness to overtake her, she becomes desperate to unearth the light.
Inspired by a true story, Kathryn must hold on tightly to those who love her, searching for her place in a world threatening to break her as she fights to overcome life’s betrayals before she is deprived of her future.
In Between the Trees, it is through flashbacks that the reader gets to dive into Kathryn’s past and learn how her family came to this point. While many of the flashbacks are difficult for her to relive, this flashback highlights Kathryn’s close relationship with her mom. Their relationship is strained when the reader first meets them, and Kathryn holds on to this memory with her mom, aching to feel close to her again. The mother and daughter struggle greatly as they work through what’s before them, but their bond is strong, and they’re determined to find their way back to each other.
Here is just a short snippet of the flashback.
When Kathryn’s mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, she gave her daughter a diary, hoping writing down her feelings would help the young girl through the difficult time. Five years later, that diary serves only as a physical reminder of too much pain and fear—fear of the unknown, fear of losing her mom, fear of…him.
I enjoy reading many different genres, but I love to write realistic fiction. I think there’s so much we can gain from realistic stories. Realistic fiction is actually very popular right now, as evidenced by popular TV shows such as Parenthood, This is Us, and A Million Little Things. They’re about real people and real situations. They are emotional and powerful, touching us deeply. This was my intent with Between the Trees. I was once asked what my main goal is for my book. My answer was to reach people. That would be my greatest professional accomplishment.
In this excerpt, Kathryn is overwhelmed by the flashbacks that keep assaulting her, each flashback a piece to uncovering her past.
I love symbolism and metaphors. I love the layers and deep connections they play in literature. Therefore, of course, I wove them throughout my novel. Even the title is metaphorical and has a deeper meaning. I had so much fun utilizing color and nature symbolism.
In this small excerpt packed with symbolism, Kathryn, the main character of Between the Trees, seeks comfort in the stillness of an early morning walk. Lost in her own mind, she trips over broken concrete, and a flashback is triggered, which happens far too often despite her desperate attempts to escape. Each flashback reveals a piece of her past, slowly uncovering how everything went so wrong.
Have you ever had a pet who was so much more than a pet? They were your best friend—someone who was always there for you, loving you unconditionally. The bond you had with them exceeded anything you could have ever foreseen. In Between the Trees, Kathryn has that beautiful relationship with her cat, Mittens. When Kathryn must leave her home, she couldn’t possibly leave Mittens behind. She had to have her best friend with her—especially now. One of my favorite pieces of feedback I’ve received is from someone who said Mittens was one of their favorite characters. I love that they saw her that way. She’s not merely a cat; she plays a vital role in Kathryn’s story. I can’t wait for you to meet Mittens. But be warned. She’s not exactly friendly to anyone other than Kathryn—who likes to say Mittens loves her so much she has no room for anyone else. In this small excerpt, Kathryn has the first of many conversations with Mittens, who is a bit nervous in their new home. I hope you love Mittens as I do, as Kathryn does. She’s a special girl.
What activity do you turn to when you’re struggling? Something you feel drawn to do when you’re sad, mad, stressed, or anxious. Maybe it’s music, sports, writing, reading, drawing, video games, or exercising. The outlet is different for everyone, but we all have something that calms us and brings us peace while trying to deal with life’s struggles. For Kathryn, the main character in Between the Trees, that outlet is her cello. It’s her love, her passion, her escape. Too often, she finds her hand drifting to the neck of her cello, longing to get lost in the music they create together. It gives her purpose and brings light to her life when she’s desperate for hope within the darkness.