Welcome Jo Ramsey to my blog. She’s talking about her new Harmony Ink title.
Friends Helping Friends
Chastaine Rollo, the main character of my new YA novel High Heels and Lipstick, used to be one of the “popular kids.” At least in some ways. Unapologetic about her enjoyment of sex, Chastaine had a reputation as the school slut. A reputation she thoroughly encouraged. As she put it, “A slut is just a girl who enjoys sex and isn’t ashamed of it, so why would I mind being called that?”
But the word takes on a whole new, very negative meaning for Chastaine when it’s used against her by bullies, both online and in person. Two months before High Heels and Lipstick starts, Chastaine reported being raped by Jim Frankel, a boy she was seeing at the time. She had slept with Jim consensually before, and because of that and Chastaine’s reputation, many people are reluctant to believe her. Some outright accuse her of lying.
In those two months, Chastaine has gone from ruling the school to being the lowest of the pecking order, receiving online slurs and threats as well as being shunned by people she thought were her friends. Fortunately, she isn’t alone. Evan Granger, Chastaine’s flamboyantly gay classmate, was beaten up by Jim a few months earlier, and is on Chastaine’s side. Evan’s boyfriend Guillermo, as the person who encouraged Chastaine to report what happened, also supports her. And Evan’s cousin Holly stands by Chastaine—and captures Chastaine’s attention in a way Chastaine never expected.
Even though Chastaine is depressed and so anxious she can barely eat, having the support of just those few friends is enough to keep her going. And, because she’s Chastaine Rollo, eventually she will triumph.
High Heels and Lipstick is the third novel in my Deep Secrets and Hope series from Harmony Ink Press. Book 1, Nail Polish and Feathers, and book 2, Shoulder Pads and Flannel, are also available from Harmony Ink, and book 4, Blue Jeans and Sweatshirts, will be released in summer 2015.
Chastaine Rollo follows her own rules, even starting rumors about herself before others have the chance. Others’ opinions don’t matter. Her life is fun, and she likes being a rebel, until now. When she comes forward as a date-rape victim, pinning a popular former student as her attacker, the entire school turns against her.
Two months ago, Chastaine admitted to her friend Guillermo that Jim Frankel date-raped her, and Guillermo coaxed her to report it. When word spread about what had happened to Chastaine, a freshman girl, Maryellen, reported that she had also been raped by Jim. Since then Chastaine and Maryellen have endured nasty messages, cyberbullying, and threats in school.
Chastaine has lost many of her so-called friends and now leans on Guillermo, his boyfriend Evan Granger, and Evan’s cousin, Holly McCormack, for support. Especially Holly.
When Jim pleads guilty to the charges against him, Chastaine’s happiness is short-lived when she realizes the truth won’t change the way her peers view her. Unable to take the news and the way people are treating her, Maryellen attempts suicide, and Chastaine blames herself for not being more supportive. However, Chastaine needs support too, and Holly is one of the only people she can now trust, but Chastaine isn’t sure whether her attraction to Holly is only because of that or if it’s something more.
High Heels and Lipstick buy link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6043
Jo Ramsey’s website: http://www.joramsey.com