The Long Ride Home by Tawni Waters
Release date: September 5, 2017
After the loss of her mother, Harley can barely handle her grief. And she can’t shake the guilt that it was her fault. No matter how she tries to dull the pain, the memories of all she lost keep surfacing. Her only distraction is Dean, her best friend (with benefits), but even their relationship has become an emotional minefield since the night they spent together on the beach…
Harley’s one true escape? The open road. So she sets out on a cross-country trip to scatter her mother’s ashes. This is her chance to finally make peace with her mom’s death, and with Dean by her side, it may be just what they need to get over the awkwardness between them.
Except Harley has a secret, one that has the potential to change her life—and Dean’s—forever. And no matter the distance they travel, there’s no avoiding the truth.
Guest Post – What was it like to write a character who is grieving?
Writing Harley was excruciating and cathartic at once. I lost my beloved father to a heart attack when I was about Harley’s age, but I’ve never written about the experience of losing a parent. I think it took me this long to come to a place where I can even begin to process the loss without going to a really dark place. But after Dad died, I hurt like I had never believed possible, and I was so incredibly angry. I didn’t know what to do with myself. Up until that event, I believed the world was a fairly benevolent place, and then it went all horror movie on me. I gave those feelings of loss and abandonment and confusion and rage to Harley, as well as some of the truths I’ve learned about death since my father died. I always tell people that my father’s death taught me that love truly is stronger than death, because even though he died, he never really left me. It’s been 24 years, and he’s still right beside me. I tried to let Harley have that realization in this work as well. The moment when she spreads her mother’s ashes in the sea was brutal for me to write. I cried so hard, I could barely see. I realized just as I wrote the final lines that I was saying goodbye to my daddy when I wrote that section. It makes me cry again to think about it.
About the Author
Tawni Waters is a writer, actor, and college teacher. Her first novel, Beauty of the Broken, was released by Simon Pulse in fall 2014. She lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. Find her at tawniwaters.com.
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