For my April book giveaway, I’m so pleased to feature Elaine Stock and her new book Her Good Girl. It’s a fascinating novel about an illness I’d never heard about: Munchausen By Proxy (MBP). Here are some of Elaine’s thoughts about her book. And to enter the drawing for a Kindle edition of Her Good Girl, read below.
Do You Have a Future?
by Elaine Stock
My newest novel, Her Good Girl, centers on Sadie, a seventeen-year-old teen on the cusp of becoming a woman. Her life revolves around her mother’s abusive Munchausen syndrome by proxy (MBP) until Sadie discovers a way out… or is it an escape to something deeper and worse by the hands of someone else?
This is what I wrote in the “Author’s Note” section of Her Good Girl:
I first became aware of Munchausen By Proxy (MBP) several years ago when I read an article about what I thought was an emotional disturbance. Research shows that this is maltreatment (abuse and/or neglect) when a person—usually a parent—seeks emotional fulfillment by inflicting an illness on another, often one’s child, and often resulting in death. Recent cases such as the 1996 arrest of Kathy Bush for making her then nine-year-old daughter, Jennifer, sick; the 2014 death of five-year-old Garnett by his mother Lacy Spears, and the recent Baby Jax case of a woman, Jessica Valik, who tampered with her son’s feeding tube, are one too many. Yet, I have not written about this type of tragedy and sadness to become a sensationalist.
Goodness can, and does, happen to troubled families.
This is why I promote Her Good Girl as a coming-of-age story of a whole family.
While my mother didn’t suffer from MBP, she was controlled by the terrors of paranoid schizophrenia (I touched upon this as well in Her Good Girl, although the novel is not autobiographical). I didn’t know about my mother’s condition until I turned 18 and she was first diagnosed at that time. However, what I did know during my childhood was that my family’s “normal” didn’t feel right.
I wanted to rise above the tangled emotions that threatened to trap me. How was I going to continue with the rest of my life? Would it ever become “normal”? Yet, others overcame and moved on from a far more difficult circumstance—situations that made my own life appear as a picnic on a sunny day. How did they do it? How would I?
Actually, God and I clicked when I was six (that’s as far back as I can remember His grasp on me). But, it wasn’t until I was baptized into the Christian faith in my early 20s did I start feeling as if I was indeed beginning to rise above my circumstances.
Without Him, my life would be empty and meaningless. With God’s grace, I have a future to look forward to.
All my novels will not necessarily be reflective of mental illness, but I hope my readers will see in Her Good Girl that by holding God’s hands tightly a family can heal and one can move forward, can live. Or, as one of the major themes of the novel emphasizes: Sometimes digging deep frees you to bloom.
Here’s a little bit more about Her Good Girl:
Sadie Tremont’s will to survive is killing her. Almost 18, she’s battled mysterious illnesses, which her mom treats. While her dad devotes his time to underground caving and her grandmother waits for a miracle, Sadie is running out of time.
Sky, Sadie’s new boyfriend, offers a sliver of joy. But when he schemes that the only way for Sadie to be happy is to escape with him from her native West Virginia hills by killing her mom, she’s trapped. She can’t partner with Sky to hurt the mom who has hurt her for years … or can she?
When tragedy strikes and threatens the ground the Tremonts stand on, will they pull together or give in to the weakened earth beneath their feet?
Thank you, Elaine, for sharing about your book. I’m so excited to offer a book drawing for Her Good Girl.
To enter the drawing for Kindle edition (only), make any comment on the blog post or email me through the Contact page on my website. The contest will close at midnight, April 24, 2018.
Elaine Stock is the author of Always With You, which released in January 2016 and has won the 2017 Christian Small Publishers Association Book of the Year Award in fiction. She has also penned the novella And You Came Along, plus several short-stories. Her novels fuse romance, suspense, family drama and faith in a clean fiction style. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, and Women’s Fiction Writers Association, and contributes to the international “Happy Sis Magazine” and “InD’tale Magazine.” In addition to Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads, she hangs out on her active blog, Everyone’s Story, dedicated to uplifting and encouraging all readers through the power of story and hope.
Born in Brooklyn, NY, Elaine has now been living in upstate, rural New York with her husband for more years than her stint as a NYC gal. She enjoys long walks down country roads, visiting New England towns, and of course, a good book.
Social Media Links:
Everyone’s Story Blog http://www.elainestock.com/blog/
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1JYAwNy
Amazon Page for Her Good Girl: http://amzn.to/2l0WMxM