Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Happy Publication Day to IF YOU ONLY KNEW | by Prerna Pickett!! #NewPublication #SwoonReads #ContemporaryRomance #NewAdult #Giveaway #GuestPost #XpressoTours

If You Only Knew
Prerna Pickett
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: February 11th, 2020
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
A boy recently released from jail and the daughter of a prosecutor fall for each other against the odds in this YA novel.
Corey has just been released from jail, and all he wants is a new beginning. But when his former gang comes knocking, Corey agrees to vandalize the home of Kent Hopper, the prosecutor who put him away.
To erase the guilt she carries from getting away with a crime, Tessa spends most of her nights riding her motorcycle. When she catches Corey destroying her father’s car, she doesn’t see a criminal: She sees a way to finally right her own wrongs. So instead of turning Corey over to the police, she convinces her father to give Corey a second chance.
As Tessa and Corey spend more time with each other, it becomes difficult to ignore the pull between them. But they’re both keeping secrets, and when those secrets come to light, they’ll each have to face their demons in order to have a future together.

Gangs - Correlations in society, history of, pros/cons of

When I first started writing If You Only Knew, I knew very little about gang life.  What I did know was either from movies full of stereotypes where caricatures of gang members and their lives are shown for our viewing pleasure or from what we see on the news that is often one-sided and biased.  The truth I realized as I delved deeper into Corey's story was that he was a victim of circumstance. He wasn't a bad kid. He was stuck. And he didn't know how to get out.  And that's often the case with a lot of kids who find themselves in situations similar to Corey's. They're good kids making bad decisions because when you're born without certain privileges, you do what you have to in order to survive.

In my story, the gang isn't necessarily a good entity.  The leader is Corey's antagonist and makes his life difficult to put it mildly but Corey's not the only one trying to find a way out. He has friends in the gang that he cares about, that care about him, that are also trying to get by.

But that's not always the truth when it comes to gang life. My version is also one-sided.

So what's the other side? In her 2009 article titled Good Gangs, Michelle Chen wrote the following; "The lure of gang life...isn't just a product of economic hardship, a desire for excitement or social frustration, though all of those may play a role.  In many cases, gangs are a pathway to self-determination when every other road is a dead end." She goes on to write, "the truth was that the gang's rise to power revealed not what they offered to a new generation of immigrants and their children was what America did not: safety, dignity, and a future."

Are gangs good or bad? I don't know. I think the answer is both. Gangs can provide safety to vulnerable communities; they can help teens feel like they belong. They can also be corrupt and dangerous. What I do know is that Corey's circumstances aren't unique. There are teens everywhere fighting for survival, trying to caw their way out by any means necessary. These teens need to know that they aren't bad kids, lost causes or alone. They need to know that even the best of us would do the same if we were in their place. They need to know that there is hope.

Maybe they'll find a small glimmer of hope in my novel. Maybe they'll see themselves in Corey's story. IF nothing else I hope they know that I tried to write a story that was true to its characters and perhaps they'll feel just a little bit less alone.

Author Bio:
I’m a wife, mom, writer, reader. Lover of foods, beaches, the ocean, shoes, starry nights. Sometimes I pretend like I’m good at drawing.


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