Today I am honored to host fellow author Jennifer Rae Gravely! Jennifer has two sweet romances published at Astraea Press, but recently she spread her wings a bit and ventured into the hot new genre called New Adult. These books are written for and about people in their 20s and early 30s, with edgier topics and situations. Jennifer’s newest book, Drown, is the first of three novels about a young lady named Andie and her struggles as she reaches adulthood. First, let’s learn a bit about Jennifer:
Born in Ohio but raised in Pickens, SC, Jennifer Rae Gravely graduated from Converse College with a triple major in History, Politics, and English before earning a master’s degree in education. Returning to her high school alma mater to teach English and coach volleyball, Gravely’s teams won five state championships and seven upper state titles in eleven years. Moreover, the SCACA named her coach of the year for the 2013 season.
Jennifer writes about the fictional Southern town of Keowee. The Astraea Press novels, Knight of the Dead and Set to Love, in addition to the short story, “Love and Diamonds,” deal with present day Keowee and are contemporary romances. The edgier Drown, published by Blue Tulip Publishing, takes place in the eighties and nineties and is best classified as new adult fiction.
She lives with her husband, daughter, seven beagles, and one rescued barn cat.
Now let’s learn a little about the book Drown:
Like a soldier at attention, the air stood motionless awaiting the orders of the sky. Drown, a Southern girl’s story of self.
When Andie Drown’s mother suddenly leaves them, Andie sees her athletic scholarship as the only escape from small town life. Then the local hero Stone Harrison finally notices her. Their torrid relationship, punctuated by booze, brawls, and betrayal, causes her to question what she wants for her future.
Will Andie follow in her mother’s footsteps and give up her dream, or will she make her own path and lose the soldier she loves?
Here's an excerpt:
I eased away from Katie and swam with long, lazy strokes. Muted by the humidity and the alcohol, the voices coming from the shallow area drifted away like the memories of childhood. After a time, I flipped over on my back and gazed at the sky. Clouds suddenly obscured the silver glow of the moon; the water and air merged. I lost my sense of direction and fear seized my body. I treaded water in a circle, unsure.
Finally a voice carried out to me. “Over here. Swim this way. You’re out too far.”
With renewed strength and direction, I swam toward the voice. At last I touched the muddy ground. After I waded out of the water, I collapsed on the shore.
“Are you all right?” He climbed out of the shallow water and lit the cigarette he had tucked behind his ear. “You were in the middle of the lake.”
“I’m a little winded.” I put my hand to my chest.
“And you call yourself an athlete.”
I opened my mouth.
“You’re Andie Drown, right?” His gaze raked over my body.
“I’m Stone.” He offered his hand and lifted me to my feet. “Stone Harrison.”
I swayed from dizziness and gripped his hand to steady myself. “Yes, I know.”
His smile bespoke the arrogance of reputation. The pinpoint of light from the tip of his cigarette sizzled.
“My friend Janet, her brother is Jon.” I sounded like an idiot.
His grin widened. “Aren’t you going to that liberal girls’ school to play volleyball?”
I dropped his hand and squared my shoulders. “Yes, I am. Then I’m going to law school.” He looked more impressed with my breasts than with my career aspirations. Despite an acute awareness of the cool air against my wet skin, I wasn’t anxious to join the others at the fire. “I leave for school in mid-August.”
“I’ll be home through the fourth of July. Let’s get—”
“Stone.” A shrill voice interrupted. “There you are.”
“Dry,” he said, as a petite brunette in a green bikini shimmied between us. “Let’s get dry.”
Drown is available at Smashwords.