Welcome to my stop on Suzanne Lilly’s Name Before the Masses Tour for Untellable. Please leave a comment or question for Suzanne below to let her know you stopped by. Suzanne will be awarding a backlist eBook (winner's choice of Shades of the Future, Bad Hair Day, or Rapunzel's Daughters) to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour, so please be sure to leave your email address with your comment. You can follow Suzanne’s tour here, the more often you comment, the better your odds of winning. Check back for my review later this week.
Guest Post - Foster Care Awareness by Suzanne Lilly
First of all, I want to thank you for having me on your blog today. You asked about how foster care affects children, since Aspen Dwyer, the main character in my newest book, Untellable, has recently aged out of the system. Aging out is the term used for when a child is considered adult and is no longer eligible for services.
Sadly, in many cases, young adults are sent out into the world with almost no support network. They continue to receive services through various local agencies, but that can never replace the solid support of a loving family. Think back to when you first moved out on your own. How many times did you call your parents for advice or help? Now imagine being alone in the world with no one to call except an overworked social worker.
Teens in foster care often don’t learn to drive. This is because in many cases, the foster families don’t have the time or resources to get them the driver’s training required for a license. Aspen doesn’t know how to drive, and a local guy, Colton Moraine, is given the job of teaching her. That’s the beginning of their relationship, which grows deeper in every chapter, except for one thing.
Aspen has trouble forming relationships. She’s been hurt deeply by her father, and she’s been shunted through several foster homes. This is very common with foster children, and as a result, they often develop Reactive Affective Disorder, also called RAD, which prevents them from getting close to people. As soon as they feel a relationship deepening, they do something to sabotage it. This unconscious self-protective action is intended to prevent them from getting hurt again.
This isn’t to say that all foster children have too many problems to ever enjoy a happy life. There are success stories. But for every success story, there are many with unhappy tales to tell.
As a teacher, I deal with many foster children from all types of circumstances. My heart holds a special place for them. I dedicated my book Untellable to the many foster children I’ve taught. They are so resilient, and they all fight hard for a simple thing many of us take for granted.
Love and acceptance.
May is National Foster Care Month. You don’t have to be a foster parent to support these children. You can wear a blue ribbon during May, and visit the National Foster Care Month website for more ways to support them year round.
Thanks for stopping by the blog today. Just so you know, Aspen’s story has a happy ending. Let’s share more happy stories, to give our foster children hope.
By Suzanne Lilly
A Honey Creek Suspense Novel
Publisher: Turquoise Morning Press
Release Date: February 24, 2013
Aspen Dwyer, recently emancipated from foster care, is searching for a place to hide from a past with secrets too dark to share. Honey Creek, Ohio, presents itself as the best place to start a new life and stay undercover. There she meets Colton Moraine, a man with strong family ties and an even stronger sense of loyalty. His boisterous, loving family welcomes Aspen with warmth she hasn’t felt in years. She’s surprised at how quickly and deeply she falls for Colton.
When a dangerous criminal comes to Honey Creek, intent on his revenge against her, Aspen must choose between two options. Should she stay and risk her life and the rejection of the people she’s grown to love? Or should she run again, and leave behind any chance of a happy future?
Howard Doyle, who spent so much time in the diner he had his own permanent barstool, said, “So I hear you met the new girl who showed up in Honey Creek yesterday.”
At the mention of Aspen, my jaw tightened. She was smart-alecky, abrupt, and stubborn. On top of all that, her hair smelled of flowers, captured the sunlight, and sparkled like glittering jewels. Darn it.
I turned to face Howard. “She’s just some summer help for Aunt Linda up at the lodge. She’ll be gone in a couple of months.”
“Huh.” Howard took a sip of coffee. “That’s all?”
I pondered the question for a Midwestern minute then mimicked Howard’s favorite expression. “Ah-yep.” I punctuated my answer with a sip of coffee, Howard style.
Howard cackled. “Don’t go making fun of me. I saw her flip you off. Right here on Main Street. In broad daylight.”
Double darn it. Howard had probably told every customer at the restaurant about my encounter with Aspen yesterday. “Mary Sue, has Eulalie finished making those pancakes yet?” I asked as she refilled my coffee cup. If I could just eat and get out of here, my day would improve immensely.
Carter Dick joined the conversation from his seat farther down the bar. “The rumor mill says you whistled at her. What’s wrong with you, man?”
“I didn’t whistle at her,” I groused. “I was trying to get her attention.”
Carter laughed. “Well, you certainly did that, from the sounds of it.”
Howard joined in. “Hers and everyone else’s too.” This time Bess and Mary Sue laughed along with the guys.
“If those pancakes don’t get here soon, I’m walking out of this place,” I threatened. “All this ribbing is making me lose my appetite.”
“Incoming at two o’clock,” Carter warned.
I thought he meant the pancakes, but when I looked in the direction he nodded, I saw Aspen, riding Aunt Linda’s pink beachcomber, her honey blonde hair flowing behind her like waves on the lake.
“Speak of the devil.” Howard slapped his hand on the counter.
Terrific. What else can happen to spoil my day?
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Suzanne Lilly writes lighthearted young adult stories with a splash of suspense, a flash of the unexplained, a dash of romance, and always a happy ending. Her short stories have appeared in numerous places online and in print, and she has placed and received honorable mentions in writing contests. Her debut novel was Shades of the Future in 2011 followed by Untellable in 2012. She lives in Northern California where she reads, writes, cooks, swims, and teaches elementary students.
You may find Suzanne Lilly online at these sites:
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Suzanne-Lilly/e/B006HY79IY
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/SuzanneLillyAuthor
Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5258804.Suzanne_Lilly
Twitter: @suzannelilly http://twitter.com/suzannelilly
Please leave a comment or question for Suzanne below to let her know you stopped by. Suzanne will be awarding a backlist eBook (winner's choice of Shades of the Future, Bad Hair Day, or Rapunzel's Daughters) to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour, so please be sure to leave your email address with your comment. You can follow Suzanne’s tour here, the more often you comment, the better your odds of winning.