Home > Prodigal Son (The Forever Marked #2)

Prodigal Son (The Forever Marked #2)
Author: Jay Crownover

 

 

This story is for all of those whose quirks are a little something more and who have had to deal with wonky internal wiring. However, I really wrote Remy specifically as my own little hope and wish for the person in my life whom she reminds me so much of. Never in a million years would they believe me if I told them I dedicated a whole novel to them…

 

Love is hard.

 

 

Hello friends and followers!

I’m back with another 2nd Generation book. I didn’t plan for these kids to be as endearing as they are, and I ended up getting as invested in them as I was with their parents.

But first things first, I don’t often include a trigger/content warning for my books. I feel that I typically write about everyday struggles, which aren’t particularly traumatic to most in my little writer’s mind.

This book is a bit different. Remy is dealing with some major mental health issues. There are immediate references to self-harm and suicidal ideation.

And as a couple, Remy and Hyde both deal with what it might be like to face the loss of a child, so if these situations might make you uncomfortable, you have been forewarned.

If you or someone you know is struggling, please reach out for help.

National Suicide Hotline: 800-273-8255

Remy has borderline personality disorder, which is a mental health condition I’m very familiar with. I don’t have it, but I spent my entire life in the shadow of someone who does, and that person’s struggles very much shaped who I am as a person and the life I’ve lived. They affected my relationships throughout my life in varying degrees and definitely shaped the way I love and accept love from others. Their story isn’t mine to tell. And I don’t think it’s fair to divulge any personal information or details that justify me being able to write this kind of character correctly, but I will say that I’m very aware of what it is like to live adjacent to borderline personality disorder—so I pulled from very personal experiences while bringing Remy to life. She’s always been one of my favorite characters, but now she holds an even more special place in my creative heart because, in a perfect world, the way Remy thrives and finds herself is what I wish for the person in my life who faces her same struggles.

And just to be on the safe side, I sent this book through a mental health sensitivity edit before publishing. I asked someone whom I consider an expert on how to talk about mental health, and how mental health should be portrayed, to give Prodigal Son a read through. Now, that doesn’t mean she’s going to find each and every item that might trigger someone. People come from all different walks of life; they have different experiences and issues. What one reader might take offense to won’t even be a blip on another’s radar. So, she made sure there are no major red flags and that I’m not inadvertently doing more harm than good with any of the scenarios Remy faces throughout the book. My beta team also has a wide array of smart, talented women. Several of them also have personal experience with a variety of mental health disorders. I’m confident that, for the majority of readers, I’ve done a good job making sure Remy’s disorder is accurately portrayed, and for the few for whom she’s a miss, that’s totally fair. Like I said, I can only write what it’s like to be next to borderline personality disorder, not what it’s like to actually live with it. I just felt like this year especially, since it was so hard for me personally, I wanted to feature a character who embodies how difficult it can be to keep your head up—and how hard it can be to keep moving forward when your mind is working against you.

Once again, Prodigal Son is set in the near future in Denver, but it is a vague, fuzzy type of flash forward. I didn’t give anyone a flying car or space helmet. If it doesn’t come across as futuristic as you hoped, I apologize. It’s really hard to stay contemporary and be realistic when you just have NO IDEA what the world will look like at the point you’re writing about.

I do want to mention again: I will not respond to complaints about the 1st Generation characters. When I put that warning in the previous book, I think it was taken out of context quite a bit. I wasn’t saying not to leave a review or comment on your specific likes and dislikes of my writing choices to the rest of the world. Hell, I encourage that kind of lively conversation among readers. I was simply stating that, since I answer all of my own email and run all of my own social media platforms, don’t expect a response. I’m happy to reply across the board to my readers in all forms, even when they don’t have the nicest or most flattering things to say. I always want to acknowledge someone who took the time out of their day to reach out to me. But I’m not going to defend my creative choices or justify that I know my characters best to anyone. If you don’t like something I’ve done, please tell other readers about it, but I really can’t do anything about what readers love or hate after a book has been published. Once it’s out there, it’s out there. I hope that clarifies my intent. And if you’re still waiting for more of your faves from the original series, just give me some time. I have a few books in the 2nd Generation series planned, so you never know who may show up and surprise you.

That was all a big mouthful. I hope you’re loving these kids as much as you love their parents. I can’t believe it’s been nearly a decade since Rule made his way into the world. Time flies for sure. But it’s been fun, and there hasn’t been a single story I regret telling along the way.

Thank you so much for taking this long and ever-winding journey with me. I can’t wait to see where we end up next.

 

Love & Ink

Jay

 

 

“THE WAY SHE loves you…” The small woman standing in front of me shook her head and glared at me with eyes that were not only two different colors, but also full of two different emotions. The blue eye was full of sorrow and glimmered with a soul-deep sadness. The darker eye was lit from within with rage and the kind of anger only a mother who was bound and determined to protect her child could feel. “It’s going to kill her. And it’s going to destroy you. I’m serious, Hyde. She’s going to continue to hurt herself if you don’t take yourself out of the equation. We both know she’s never going to let you go. It has to be you who cuts all ties. She’ll never hurt you on purpose; she’ll just keep hurting herself over and over again. If you don’t put some distance between the two of you, there is a good chance no one will be there to save her next time.”

I looked through the small window in the closed door of the hospital room. It was dark inside, but I could just make out the figure on the bed hooked up to a bunch of machines that were monitoring her vitals. Remy was lucky to be alive. I knew that. I also knew her mother had a point. If Remy’s younger brother hadn’t been injured during soccer practice and decided to go home early, he wouldn’t have found her before she stopped breathing. And I would be taking the flowers I was clutching like a lifeline to her funeral instead of to her hospital room. Her brother performed CPR until the paramedics showed up and rushed her to the emergency room, leaving an empty bottle of prescription sleeping pills on the floor next to a half-full bottle of whiskey, which had slipped from her grip when her heart almost stopped beating. Zowen saved her life, and just like Remy’s mother coldly insinuated, I seemed to be the one who repeatedly ruined it.

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