Ah, those early years of thrilling sexual exploration and tearful heartaches! All of us have those experiences. Many of us consider spilling the whole story in a memoir.
So it is with this new release by Jessica Hardy. Only she didn’t know how to write a book, so she called on her old friend, Liz Ashworth, to help her put the story together. The result is an up close and personal view of a woman’s journey from adolescence to adulthood and of the times she lived in.
My work on Jessica’s story left me with many questions. Does love last a lifetime? Do we ever forgive ourselves for our mistakes? Is there any absolution in baring your soul to the world?
Jessica will find out as her true life story hits the bookstores and readers decide for themselves.
Once in a Lifetime Opportunity
In the mid-20th century, an entire generation of women found themselves caught up in a revolution. Young women tossed aside society’s rules that had governed women with an iron hand for hundreds of years. Suddenly women had agency, the right to their own identity. And their own sexual adventures.
The story of Jessica Hardy and her seven-year marriage to Parker Grant brings that enormous cultural shift down to the personal level. As she enters college in 1966, Jessica is desperate to break out of her strict upbringing. Parker is her salvation, a graduating senior who becomes the love of her life. Newly married, they immerse in Parker’s duties as an air force officer and a world of their own making—nights in Las Vegas, windy Pacific beaches, and long summer days in the Philippine Islands. Slowly, with Parker’s encouragement, Jessica gains self-confidence and a sense of herself.
But Jessica has a problem. She wants more. More knowledge, more experience, autonomy. Leaving no stone unturned, Jess breaks one rule after another—abortion before Roe v Wade, experimenting with marijuana then LSD, one man then another, even time in jail. It all culminates in an unexpected spiritual awakening that opens the door to the rest of her life.
Once in a Lifetime Opportunity reveals this tumultuous time in a gut-wrenching portrayal of a woman determined to find her own way and the man who loved her.
Hartman became ever more distant. I had been conquered, leaving him to pursue new prey. Exhibiting my need only pushed him further away, but then when I regained my balance and ignored him, he needed me. One night when I had spurned him successfully for over a week and had taken the phone off the hook, he woke me up at one a.m. shouting at my bedroom window.
“Jessica, goddamn it, wake up!”
Groggy, I heard him yell for several minutes before I actually woke up.
“Jessica,” he shouted, slapping the bedroom window screens.
I staggered down the hall and jerked open the carport door. He careened up the steps and stood glaring at me in the dark dining room.
“What the hell, Hartman? I was asleep.”
“Fucking mud all over my boots,” he slurred, obviously drunk. He sat heavily in one of the dining room chairs and tugged at the boots, pulling off one then the other of those precious handmade alligator cowboy boots.
“Wanted to see you,” he said, leering at me.
I huffed and headed down the hallway, climbing into bed as he shucked off his clothes and crawled in on the other side, still complaining about the mud.
“You didn’t have to walk in my yard,” I pointed out, turning off the lamp and trying to get warm. “You knew it was muddy.”
“Hell, I knocked a fucking hour.”
“You did not.”
“Yes, I did.” He snugged up against my body, sucking heat into his cold limbs.
“You’re fucking worthless, Hartman.”
“You love me anyway, Jessica.”
Author of Edgy Fiction
Visit my website at www.lizzieashworth.com
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