By J.R. Johansson
Genre: YA Mystery
Release Date: October 11th 2016
Summary from Goodreads:
A death sentence. A family torn apart. One girl’s hunt for the truth.
Seventeen-year-old Riley Beckett is no stranger to prison. Her father is a convicted serial killer on death row who has always maintained that he was falsely accused. Riley has never missed a single visit with her father. She wholeheartedly believes that he is innocent.
Then, a month before the execution date, Riley’s world is rocked when, in an attempt to help her move on, her father secretly confesses to her that he actually did carry out the murders. He takes it back almost immediately, but she cannot forget what he’s told her. Determined to uncover the truth for her own sake, she discovers something that will forever change everything she’s believed about the family she loves.
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Also available October 11th by the author, the paperback of CUT ME FREE!
About the Author
J.R. Johansson’s books have been published in a dozen languages and more than twenty countries worldwide. She has a B.S. degree in public relations and a background in marketing. She credits her abnormal psychology minor with inspiring many of her characters. She lives in Utah with two sons, a wonderful husband, three cats, and a hot tub named Valentino.
She is represented by the stellar Kathleen Rushall of Andrea Brown Literary Agency.
Guest Post – Researching The Row
In the process of writing The Row, as you can imagine, I did a ton of interesting research. Most of it was done online; the Internet is an incredible resource. I read many articles and blog posts from families of people in prison. I read about psychological repercussions of having a convicted criminal in the family. Some of the statistics are staggering. Nearly 1% of all adults in the United States are in prison. Also 2% of the adults are on probation or on parole. That is madness. It means that nearly 7 million (3%) of the adult US population are under some kind of correctional supervision. This isn’t a problem—it’s an epidemic. It’s the reason I decided to write a book about the child of someone convicted of a heinous crime.
I also did tons of research on the prison policies, specifically on the rules and regulations in Texas and everything about the Polunsky Unit. It’s amazing the information you can find online. I found every rule about when you can visit someone on death row and what is allowed during the visit. Every detail in the book including where you park and the process to get into the visiting area are correct (Although contact visits are not allowed at this particular prison and I decided to permit them in the fiction version for character purposes). There are certain colors you aren’t allowed to wear, you can’t bring in anything with you, they’re understandably strict.
The prisoners in Polunsky Unit are in isolation 23 hours a day. I found many stories online about the way it can mess with your mind. I found several stories of people incarcerated at Polunsky that were proved innocent and exonerated after decades in there. It was horrifying.
Anyway, this prison and situation as a backdrop fascinated me and the characters and story of The Row just brought the whole thing to life in a different way. I’m happy to be putting a book out there that will hopefully open some eyes as to what a torture it can be to be in a family situation like this one. And as you can see from the statistics above, there are far too many families out there like Riley’s.
G I V E A W A Y
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