BLOG TOUR FLASHBACK – Guest Post: Rarity from the Hollow
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ABOUT THE BOOK
Lacy Dawn’s father relives the Gulf War, her mother’s teeth are rotting out, and her best friend is murdered by the meanest daddy on Earth. Life in the hollow is hard. She has one advantage — an android was inserted into her life and is working with her to cure her parents. But, he wants something in exchange. It’s up to her to save the Universe. Lacy Dawn doesn’t mind saving the universe, but her family and friends come first.
Rarity from the Hollow is adult literary science fiction filled with tragedy, comedy and satire.
“The most enjoyable science fiction novel I have read in years.”
—Temple Emmet Williams, Author, former editor for Reader’s Digest
“Quirky, profane, disturbing… In the space between a few lines we go from hardscrabble realism to pure sci-fi/fantasy. It’s quite a trip.”
- Evelyn Somers, The Missouri Review
. “…a hillbilly version of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy…what I would have thought impossible; taken serious subjects like poverty, ignorance, abuse…tongue-in-cheek humor without trivializing them…profound…a funny book that most sci-fi fans will thoroughly enjoy.” — Awesome Indies (Gold Medal)
“…sneaks up you and, before you know it, you are either laughing like crazy or crying in despair, but the one thing you won’t be is unmoved…a brilliant writer.” —Readers’ Favorite (Gold Medal)
“Rarity from the Hollow is an original and interesting story of a backwoods girl who saves the Universe in her fashion. Not for the prudish.” —Piers Anthony, New York Times bestselling author
“…Good satire is hard to find and science fiction satire is even harder to find.” — The Baryon Review
GUEST POST BY THE AUTHOR
The Meanest Daddy on Earth
Sexual abuse is a human behavior which, when discovered, evokes extreme reactions by many people. But like an EMT or ER nurse gets “used to” carnage, I’m a “professional” – a children’s psychotherapist. Listening to children describe their victimizations was not supposed to “get to” me. Now that I’m retired, it’s time to fess up. It did from the first disclosure to the last. I just got good at not showing it, at work.
Sexual abuse of children is not an occasional deviant act but instead a commonplace fact of everyday life. There’s an estimated 39 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse in America today – that’s a lot of people and growing daily. I bet that you know a few, but you may not realize it. Child sexual abuse has been reported up to 80,000 times a year, but that’s the tip of the iceberg. The number of unreported instances is far greater because children are often afraid to tell anyone (American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry).
Children are very easy prey. They are taught to be respectful and trusting of adults, especially within the walls of their own homes. Up to forty percent of child sexual abuse victims were abused by family members and many of the rest were abused by someone outside the home whom they knew and trusted. Only a small percentage was abused by strangers. I’m writing to tell you about the meanest daddy on Earth. Every six minutes in our country a child is sexually abused: http://www.mpnnow.com/x1306275961/Guest-essay-Child-sexual-abuse-The-epidemic-no-one-talks-about. So, for me to nominate this scum bag as the meanest of them all is saying something big.
After forty years in the field of child advocacy, having met zillions of maltreated children, I’ve never ceased being amazed at the resiliency of kids. Instead of introducing you to this man – believe me, he’s nobody that you would want to meet – let me tell you about Faith. She’s the best friend of the protagonist in my debut novel, Rarity form the Hollow, an adult social science fiction adventure. Faith simply accepted her victimization as a fact of life. While the protagonist, Lacy Dawn, was also a victim of child maltreatment, her father never touched her in that most wrong way. Faith’s father not only repeatedly violated her and her sisters, but also had her locked up for her own good in a mental hospital when she was eight years old. You can read about her psychiatric hospitalization here: https://racheltsoumbakos.wordpress.com/2015/08/07/freebie-stainless-steel-by-robert-eggleton/. The summer before the fourth grade, Faith was murdered. That explains why I feel that her father is the meanest daddy on Earth. I didn’t give him a name. He doesn’t deserve one.
These girls are more real than not. In 2002, I accepted a job as a children’s therapist for our local mental health center. It was an intensive day program that served kids with mental health problems, many of them having been abused, some sexually. Part of my job was to facilitate group therapy sessions. One day in 2006 during a session, I was sitting around a table used for written therapeutic exercises and a little girl with stringy, brown hair sat a few feet away. Instead of just disclosing the horrors of her abuse, she also spoke of her hopes and dreams for the future: finding a loving family who would protect her. I named her Lacy Dawn because if her mother couldn’t buy her pretty things in life, she was determined to at least give her a beautiful name at birth. I’ve been writing about her ever since because the world would benefit from meeting these kids. I retired from my job last year to concentrate on writing fiction.
Yes, there is a mention of Faith having been murdered in Rarity from the Hollow. However, there is no scene and she plays a comical and annoying ghost most of the story. I told you that she was resilient. Here’s a finding by Awesome Indies to help you decide if this novel is too far outside of your comfort zone: “a hillbilly version of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, only instead of the earth being destroyed to make way for a hyperspace bypass, Lacy Dawn must…The author has managed to do what I would have thought impossible; taken serious subjects like poverty, ignorance, abuse, and written about them with tongue-in-cheek humor without trivializing them…Eggleton sucks you into the Hollow, dunks you in the creek, rolls you in the mud, and splays you in the sun to dry off. Tucked between the folds of humor are some profound observations on human nature and modern society that you have to read to appreciate…it’s a funny book that most sci-fi fans will thoroughly enjoy.” http://awesomeindies.net/ai-approved-review-of-rarity-from-the-holly-by-robert-eggleton/ The early tragedy in the story feeds and amplifies subsequent comedy and satire.
And, there are sexual references in the story. Lacy Dawn is a genetic manipulation by Universal Management. She began her trainings via direct download into her brain five years before the beginning of this story, so she has been fed information about every known human subject, including biology, reproduction, economics…(ET involvement is an opening chapter reveal). Faith, as a sexual abuse victim, has a sad and unhealthy awareness of sexuality. However, there are no sex scenes in the novel. Lacy Dawn vows not to have sex for the first time until after she is married — a traditional and now unusual family value. She is fourteen years old when the novel ends and has typical teenage interests but remains untouched, not even a first real kiss. And, the sexual references are presented as puns, nothing on screen, and are milder than most romance novels that I’ve read, such as by Nora Roberts.
The mission of Rarity from the Hollow is to sensitize readers to the huge social problem of child maltreatment through a comical and satiric science fiction adventure. Maybe I’ve retired from the field of child welfare, but I could never turn my back on these kids, and I hope that you won’t either. Half of author proceeds are donated to a local child abuse prevention program where I used to work in the early ‘80s. Check it out: http://www.childhswv.org/
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Robert Eggleton has served as a children’s advocate in an impoverished state for over forty years. He is best known for his investigative reports about children’s programs, most of which were published by the West Virginia Supreme Court where he worked from 1982 through 1997, and which also included publication of models of serving disadvantaged and homeless children in the community instead of in large institutions, research into foster care drift involving children bouncing from one home to the next — never finding a permanent loving family, and statistical reports on the occurrence and correlates of child abuse and delinquency.
Today, he is a recently retired children’s psychotherapist from the mental health center in Charleston, West Virginia, where he specialized in helping victims cope with and overcome physical and sexual abuse, and other mental health concerns. Rarity from the Hollow is his debut novel. Its release followed publication of three short Lacy Dawn Adventures in magazines: Wingspan Quarterly, Beyond Centauri, and Atomjack Science Fiction. The second edition of Rarity from the Hollow was release on November 3, 2016. Author proceeds have been donated to a child abuse prevention program operated by Children’s Home Society of West Virginia. http://www.childhswv.org/ Robert continues to write fiction with new adventures based on a protagonist that is a composite character of children that he met when delivering group therapy services. The overall theme of his stories remains victimization to empowerment.