by Brenda Baker
Lauren Werthman struggles with guilt and depression. Even moving to another state and into a new home doesn't help her overcome the life-altering aftermath of losing her sister.
Memories of the tragic accident reverberate through her life as her family tries to cope, but Lauren's life spirals out of control. Her mother criticizes her choices every day, her father continues to work later and later, and people at her new school seem to know the family secret.
Lauren binge-eats, has nightmares, and doubts the existence of a God Who didn't intervene to prevent the senseless tragedy.
As Lauren's family and friends work through the pain and guilt, will they find that even though the void will always remain, the power of forgiveness brings peace and hope and a bright future, or will Lauren forever be lost to the pain and guilt?
Out in the hallway, I joined the human current heading for my next class, gym. Even that didn’t seem so bad, since a sugar-induced high had kicked in. Weaving through the crowded hallway, I hung a right and …Oh, God, the smell. Chlorine. A swimming pool, behind a glass wall, next to the girls’ locker room. All that water. Splashing sounds.
My legs stiffened. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t bend my knees. Someone was whimpering. Was it me? The floor seemed to float out from under me. The lights were too bright, the white tiles too shiny. I was afraid I’d pass out, or worse, puke. When I tried to scream, the sound died in my throat, the same way it had that day. Run. Now.
1. Nickname: the antagonist calls her “Lard Butt”
2. Job: high school student
3. Level of schooling: high school freshman
4. Birthdate: September 14th
5. Birthplace: Minnesota
6. Currently residing in: Nebraska
7. Favorite type of pet: dog
8. Favorite place to visit: a park
9. Significant other: boyfriend, Jonah
10. Most important goal: to forgive herself for her sister’s death
11. Worst fear or nightmare: a recurring dream about the day her sister died.
12. Favorite food: chocolate
13. Wealthy, poor, or in between? In between
14. Secret desire or fantasy: to be popular without changing herself in order to belong.
Brenda lives in Nebraska with her husband and a stubborn husky. When she's not writing, she enjoys hanging out with family, reading, traveling, camping, golfing and swimming. She's working on a new YA story about a sixteen-year-old girl who finds herself homeless after her mom loses their house to foreclosure.