A Letter to my Readers
Rape. Just typing that word makes my gut tie up in knots. And that’s part of the problem.
Because it’s so uncomfortable, we don’t want to talk about it. So it gets buried at the bottom the newsfeed or forgotten altogether, like the backlog of untested rape kits.
Last March, I released Quiet Angel in which the heroine is a survivor of childhood sexual assault. A few weeks later, my husband became gravely ill, and we spent the rest of the year (5 long hospital stays and 4 long surgeries) fighting to regain his health. As I sat in the hospital chair next to his bed night after night, I got messages from women about how my book touched them. Some shared their reasons, and others didn’t.
I came to learn that April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. How could I not know that? just released a book on the very topic. Yet I didn’t see one post about it on any of my social media accounts.
Early this year, I began writing Layers of Her with the intent to spread awareness and donate of April’s profits to charity. I was nervous when I started, and I still am. I mean, how much the profits be? Will readers assume I’m a survivor or I know one? Will I do the topic justice?
Why am I doing this? It’s a whole lot easier to stay silent. But that’s the whole problem, isn’t I work in a field, in the genre of fiction, that is mostly comprised of women, where sexual assault is one of the most common tropes. And with each passing page, we pull for our broken heroes and heroines to heal, find love, forge a new path. That’s all we want for them. We need to do same for the real life heroes and heroines, those brave souls who fight the real fight every single day. So join me this April in making some noise to raise awareness, not only for the survivors but for those who love them.
People always say it’s what’s on the inside that matters. If that’s the case, I’m screwed. On the outside, everything looks put together — blonde hair, blue eyes, tall and lean. By society’s standards, I’d be considered attractive. But f*ck society, I know what I am. I know what I’m made of. The recessive genes that reared their heads and created a decent looking package on the outside don’t make me who I am. What about all the evil lurking inside? What about all the other parts of me that aren’t so easy to see? Some of the most beautiful animals are also the deadliest. Take the polar bear, for example. Cute and cuddly on the outside, but it’s really a predator that will bite your f*cking head off. That’s a dangerous combination.
And that’s exactly like me, exactly who I am. Bad — and once you go bad, you can never go back.
WARNING: This book deals with the harsh reality of rape that could be upsetting for some readers.
“What made you come for me?” she asks. I tell her my theory about men making decisions based on one of three body parts — head, heart, dick. “So which led you to my house tonight?” she asks.
“Let’s just say two out of three ain’t bad.”
Her giggle fills up the room. “Stone?”
“Don’t let me forget.”
“How good I feel right now,” she says.
I know exactly what she’s feeling. She doesn’t think she deserves to be happy. It’s a constant waiting on the other shoe to drop so you can prove to yourself that all the bad shit you fill your head with is true. That you’re bad, and that’s why bad things happen around you, or to those you love. Dealt with that myself when Tate got her diagnosis. Who am I kidding? I still fight those demons, knowing she’s suffering because of my mistakes. Self-blame is a bitch. Self-hatred is even worse. Guess I’ll just have to teach Campbell to love herself as much as I love her.
Yeah, yeah, it’s fast. But how long does it really take to fall in love with someone? A minute? An hour? A day? A year? For me, it took exactly one kiss. The moment her lips touched mine in that hospital room, I was gone.
Besides, what do you really have to know about a person to love them? Not a damn thing other than how they make you feel when you close your eyes at the end of the day with them wrapped in your arms.
* Reviewed this book for the Blog Tour *
~ 5 Forgiving Stars ~
I didn’t know what to expect when I chose to read Layers of Her, I just knew that I had to read it because Prescott Lane wrote it. I will be honest and say I was quite nervous about reading this book, given the topic. And after reading the letter to the readers from the author, I thought this story was going to be different.
This book went in a different direction then I thought it would, but I will agree with the author, this book could be a trigger for someone who has trouble with the topic of rape/sexual assault. I will say that Prescott did a great job writing this book. She wrote about a topic that is not usually talked about freely and usual shoved under the rug. She handled this situation with tact and decorum. If you are a reader who has some trouble when reading about sexual assault, I will say that she did this book justice in the fact that nothing is graphically described. I will also say that the actual assault in this story is really a small factor in this book, she doesn’t describe the event at all. What this book touches on is the after effects of an assault and how it effects everyone, from the victim and those around the victim.
I really don’t want to say much more about the storyline, because I don’t want to spoil anything. I just felt that what I wrote above, the reader needs to know going into the book. Everything else I believe the reader needs to discover on their own.
Layers of Her is truly a story of forgiveness, love and healing. In this story we follow the path to forgiveness for Campbell. Campbell was a different heroine than I have read before. I can’t explain why because that is a spoiler, but she was a strong person, but also so very broken. She truly believed that she didn’t deserve to be loved and that she was bad and dark on the inside. That is until she meets Stone and he shows her that she is worth loving and that your past doesn’t define the person you are today. Campbell and Stone’s relationship is of the insta- love variety. They moved pretty quickly in this book, but for some reason it worked in this instance. I loved Stone!!! He was so patient and understanding. He truly is the epitome of a Book Boyfriend.
This story showed that there truly are many layers to people and that if you find the right person, they will love all the layers unconditionally.
I would recommend this book for anyone who is looking for a quick read, but filled with a lot of emotions. If you don’t mind a book that covers some serious topics, then this is a book I think people should read. I truly believe it will give many readers an insight to what a victim of sexual assault and those who love them go through.
Prescott Lane is the author of First Position, Perfectly Broken, and her new release, Quiet Angel. She is originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, and graduated from Centenary College with a degree in sociology. She went on to receive her MSW from Tulane University, after which she worked with developmentally delayed and disabled children. She married her college sweetheart, and they currently live in New Orleans with their two children and two crazy dogs. Prescott started writing at the age of five, and sold her first story about a talking turtle to her father for a quarter. She later turned to writing romance novels because there aren’t enough happily ever afters in real life.
Happily Ever Afters Guaranteed