"My sympathy fades as Chardonnay twists around to spread her lips in a demented grin. Her long yellow teeth probably haven't seen a toothbrush in months. I take a chance and smile back, and what do I get? A pudgy middle finger jabbed under my nose.""My next thought is" Wow. I may not even survive homeroom.One hour into her first day of tenth grade, Martha Kowalski knows she's really in trouble. The school bully, Chardonnay, has already threatened her life and at home, things are even worse. Martha's mom, fresh out of rehab, is shacking up with an obnoxious jerk in a neighborhood that can only be described as a "ghetto."More than anything she's ever wanted, Martha wants to play the cello. But even music becomes dangerous to her health because nothing is what it seems in this place. With her mother's willpower dissolving, Martha watches helplessly as her own dreams slip further away.But in an exhilarating twist that would stun even Cinderella, everything changes. A wealthy lawyer invites her into his family's home and Martha is given a chance to start over. The warm, caring Brinkmans treat Martha like one of the family and even though it feels so right, she knows they "can't" be as perfect as they seem. And she knows that this fairy tale can't last forever An unforgettable debut, "Before, After and Somebody in Between" is smart, poignant, and very real."
Jeannine Garsee began writing even before she learned to read, drawing pictures in sequence until they told a story. Once she learned to write, she began to add captions, and then eventually gave it up when she received a typewriter for her thirteenth birthday. An avid people-watcher, Garsee says she gets her ideas everywhere. About her writing, she says, "Everthing and everyone around me has the potential to become part of the story. Her work as a nurse gave her much of the inspiration for the character of Martha. She says that she often deals with people in desperate situations, and wonders what chance their children have of ever leading happy, productive lives. She lives outside of Cleveland, Ohio, with her husband, two teenagers, and a fifteen year-old tabby cat named Max.Visit the author at www.jeanninegarsee.com