Books by Juanita Ray

Juanita was born in a remote fishing village in Newfoundland Canada where winter temperatures and wind chill factors dropped below zero. At age fourteen, she was one of the first documented court cases of physical child abuse within a non-poverty environment. After eight years of neglect, emotional maltreatment and severe physical abuse she was made a ward of the court in 1970. A few years later Canada incorporated the concept of child abuse. By then Juanita was a child bride who had been married since age fifteen. Juanita Ray attributes her imagination and creativity to the stark deprivation years from 1963 to 1970. She is the author of multiple books in several genres including Toxic Thoughts (a true story series about adversity and resilience) and Crashing Life a paranormal fiction. Her other writings include children's books and middle school fantasy. Juanita prefers to write her young adult and adult novels in the first-person present narrative utilizing the three act story structure. After numerous failed relationships and divorces, she met and married Prince Charming. The couple live in Southern California at 'the jungle' with a six pack of dogs. Her back yard walk-in aviary houses 150 tiny exotic birds guarded closely by a six pack of semi-feral cats. Juanita loves concepts and transformations and has frequently changed the looks of furniture, blinds, art, doorknobs, statues, swimming pools and everything imaginable in between. Despite having quit school with only a grade eight education, Juanita, while working in various careers, managed to earn her GED and multiple educational certificates ranging from, Business Management, Computer Programming, Accounting, Law, AIIC, (insurance degree), IC&I (investment, commercial & industrial designation) and multiple other shorter course certificates. Her first career led her to open multiple floral design retail stores, during which time she took sabbaticals and ventured into 2-6 year careers in live Television, the Newspaper Industry, Insurance (seminars), Real Estate and multimedia marketing for an international fortune 500 company. Juanita has been writing poems and stories since the early seventies but kept them tucked away in a box. Crashing Life, her first novel, written during the early nineties, was the eighth book to be shared publicly.


BATTERED by Juanita  Ray
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 15, 2013

Ray's debut novel presents the story of a young woman suffering years of abuse at the hands of a new woman in her father's life.
Jacynta Roth, who lost her mother to cancer just three years ago, has a unique perspective on her father's new live-in girlfriend Irma: She once saw Irma violently abuse her own two sons. But her father, Ned, doesn't believe it. Soon, Irma's desire to control Ned's six children turns into physical torment—with the bulk of the abuse directed toward the youngest, Jacynta. As the years pass, her other siblings leave or mysteriously disappear; for example, Ned's claim that Jacynta's older sister, Michelle, is staying with their grandmother is clearly a lie. Jacynta, however, continues to endure Irma's torture, which includes kicks, hair-pulling and locking her outside in the freezing winter snow. Jacynta's only chance of escape, it seems, is to run away—but because few people believe that she's being abused, she fears that she'll be sent right back. Ray's novel is a harrowing portrayal of child abuse made even more unsettling by the fact that it's a true story (with names changed). Readers will likely find it difficult to sympathize with any of the secondary characters: Ned is aware of Irma's mistreatment but does very little to stop it, and others in a position to help the girl, such as social worker Claudette, seem incapable of doing so. There are instances of optimism, however, that offset the book's bleak tone: Jacynta's brother Adam supports his baby sister and calms her when she's angry or upset; and, in one of the story's most heartbreaking moments, a friend's father treats Jacynta so well that she cries with happiness. Ray presents the story in present tense, so there's no retrospection at the end to adequately wrap everything up; in fact, she leaves more than one of the siblings' fates vague. But the bittersweet conclusion, which leaves Jacynta facing an unknown future, promises more stories about the young girl's life.
An inspiring, if often despondent, novel about one girl's fortitude and perseverance. Read full book review >