about the book
The last time she cried was 384 days ago, when her party-hard mom told Carley that she was marrying Dennis and moving them to Connecticut. Their Las Vegas life had never been easy, but since Dennis came along things had gotten much worse.
Now something caused him to go ballistic, and he savagely beat Carley and her mom. With her mom lying unconscious in the hospital, Carley is sent to a foster home. This can’t be good.
Twelve and tough as nails, Carley is street smart, bitter, and distrustful; now she is living in a picture perfect house with a first-time foster family, the Murphys, which includes parents Julie and Jack and their three sons Daniel, Adam, and Michael.
Though Julie is extremely caring and patient, Carley has a hard time accepting the woman’s kindness. No one has ever taken care of her before. Heck! No one has ever been nice to her before.
But over time, Carley settles in and discovers that these people truly love one another…and they accept her! With their help, Carley begins to leave behind the pains of her poverty-filled life and the abusive words her mother used to undercut Carley’s confidence.
For eighty days, she lives this idyllic life…until she hears from the social worker that her mother wants to take Carley back to Las Vegas. How can Carley possibly make the right choice? Go with her mom…or stay with the only true family she has ever known!
Lynda Mullaly Hunt was a “flower child” born in the late sixties. She never dreamed of being a writer, although she wrote constantly. The youngest of five children, she was more into skateboarding, climbing trees, and riding her dill-pickle-green banana-seated bicycle!
At one point in her childhood, several things happened in her family. One of the worst was the death of her almost four-year-old brother, Michael Eric. To express how she felt, she started to write songs. Through writing, she became aware that she was becoming a better observer and was gaining new perspectives about the people and events in her life. She discovered a lot about herself as well. The songs she wrote became the seeds for her first books.
Lynda earned two degrees in education from the University of Connecticut and went on to become a teacher, working mainly with at-risk children. She had one very favorite assignment. She would write a story with plenty of errors and then give her students a copy and a red pen. She relished her students digging deep to find every flaw—and the kids really enjoyed giving her the big red F’s!
After leaving teaching, Lynda became a full time writer and the co-director of the SCBWI-NE Whispering Pines Retreat for writers. Though writing is hard, she says that she would go nuts if she couldn’t write. Her characters keep talking to her and she just has to get them out of her mind and down onto the paper!
Lynda lives with her childhood sweetheart/husband, son and daughter, an impetuous beagle, and a beagle-hating cat in Hartford, Connecticut.
Also by Lynda Mullaly Hunt:
Fish in a Tree. Nancy Paulsen Books. 2015.
Cake : Love, Chickens, and a Taste of Peculiar by Joyce Magnin
Abandoned by her mother, Wilma Sue is sent to her third foster home, run by two eccentric missionary sisters. She tends their chickens and helps them to bake and deliver their amazing cakes. As she tries to discover the secret ingredient, a chicken coop is burned and Wilma is implicated in a series of neighborhood crimes. Will she be forced from this place…the only true home she has ever known?
Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
For a long time, Ally has been smart enough to fool everyone in her new schools. No one suspects she is unable to read, due to the clever distractions she creates. She is afraid to ask for help—how can you fix stupid? However, her newest teacher, Mr. Daniels, sees Ally for the bright, creative kid she is. Ally’s confidence grows. She may no longer be a fish in a tree.
Waiting to Forget by Sheila Kelly Welch
T.J. and his sister Angela have always had one another. T.J. would protect Angela from real or imagined threats in childhood, locking the door when their mother left, and trying to stop their mother’s abusive boyfriend from hurting Angela. Now, Angela is in the hospital, and T.J. is trying to adjust to a new life with foster parents who insist on calling him Timothy.