Secrets of a Broken Girl by Mary E. Palmerin


 Lyla Harper’s life has always been shadowed. With her childhood full of unpleasant memories that she tries to tuck away and forget about, she succeeds at putting on a happy front and convincing those around her that she is content. But she isn’t.Meet Lyla Elizabeth Harper, a teen whose journey is less than ideal. She experiences heartache, loss, bullying, but through it all she strives for hope. She counts down the days until she has the chance to start over in a new city, unaware of her past. A city far away from the recollections that have scarred her physically and mentally.

In this prequel novella to Succumbing to Scars and Sorrow, you will be faced with the ghastly and horrendous events that plague Lyla, starting on the day of her eighteenth birthday, a day that changed her forever. Lyla thought that she was broken before, but she was wrong. Davis Moore, a 22 year old handsome cop and also Rigdon’s golden boy, steals something that is irreplaceable from Lyla on that fateful night on Brownsmith Road.

Others will challenge her will and strength, testing her and pushing her to the brink of giving up.

Will Lyla be able to trudge through the deep rut that she is stuck in to move to Chicago and start her life over? Or will the evil events consume her and leave her grounded, unable to lead a life free of pain?

**Graphic content, not suitable for readers under the age of eighteen.**

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19539236-secrets-of-a-broken-girl?ac=1
 I had the wonderful opportunity to meet this author at a book signing this last weekend.  I came across her accidentally and was drawn into her books due to the passion she had when she told me about the story.  It wasn’t a normal conversation between reader and author where you can tell the author is proud of her work, Mary was passionate about the story and message she is trying to get out.  She gave me a copy of her books and asked me to give her story a try.  On one hand I am so thrilled I accepted the challenge and on the other hand I am HONORED that I have this book and am able to read the beginning of Lyla’s story.
The first book is rather short and primarily explains the life Lyla came from and the future she is working hard for.  In those few pages Mary described a woman that as a reader I could connect to.  Her writing style was not only smooth but the choice of words was so powerful it flowed from the pages and created the story in both the readers mind and soul.  She brought Lyla to life and it was a painful life that stole my heart and begged me to listen.
Ten months is all she has left before she can leave small town Kansas and go to Chicago.  With college set up and her dreams ready to be fulfilled, she only had to survive the nightmares and abuse that is her world for a little while longer.   She deals with things from her past that shattered her, siblings that are involved in their own lives, bullies from society. The few things she can count on are hidden in her room and bring into existence the pain she feels but can’t make verbal.  Things are hard enough but let’s add Davis, the local law enforcement who takes her torture to another level.  With the vices of drinking, drugs and cutting, she vows to survive and get out.  Ten months till freedom and she can pack her bags and forget the horrid past she lived through.
Davis won’t go away though with this threats and promises that he will destroy her.  Lyla can’t allow her mother and stepfather to know her secrets because the disappointment in their faces will kill her.  Darkness continues to grow in her world till finally it is enough.  Her stomach is covered in scars that plead for someone to notice, her heart shut off because of the pain she has suffered from others lies and actions.  The last year of high school could be what finally kills her last reason to live.
The author wrote of a very strong lady who stumbles and falls sometimes, but more than likely she has been knocked down and run over in life.  She is told that the one thing that brings her comfort is no longer acceptable but society
has no clue that finding other solutions for the pain is easier said than done. I could feel her suffering and despair, I wanted to go kick some butt and get her out sooner.  I felt the panic in the words as I read and the overwhelming joy when she finally left for college.  I was overcome with emotions when the little bird with a broken wing finally found her freedom on the campus of her dream college.  I will be starting the second book in this series now because I became so invested in Lyla I need to see her journey.  I can’t remember feeling this invested and connected to a
character before.  Lyla reminded me that many times in life there is no other option than survival.