Reaching For Tomorrow by Lou Rossi is a Christmas and Holiday Festival pick #saga #fiction #giveaway
Title: Reaching For Tomorrow
Author: Lou Rossi
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Maria Grady leads a lonely, unfulfilled life. She lives and works under the shadow of her Italian American family in Hoboken, New Jersey during the 1980’s. Driven by her search for love, respect, and happiness, she makes a series of bad choices that result in her receiving a prison sentence. Maria is confronted by blatant racism and bigotry in the criminal justice system that she never knew existed in her comfortable family. Incarceration at the only female State Prison in New Jersey is frightening, especially if you are the obsession of a sadistic Lieutenant. Confronted by a criminal justice system that is racist, cruel, and unforgiving, she accepts her new life and strives to help those less fortunate than herself.
Take the journey with Maria as she transforms from a shy, withdrawn, hopeless woman to a champion of her life and others.
An uplifting story of triumph over adversity by a retired law enforcement professional who worked in various government positions both in policing and correctional management.
“Maria Grady, you are hereby sentenced to the New Jersey Department of Corrections for a period of life with a thirty-year mandatory minimum.” Maria bowed her head as the sheriff’s officers allowed her father to say goodbye to her before they escorted her out of the courtroom to the area where the transportation officers would assume custody of her. The judge banged his gavel, asking for silence as Maria was escorted from the courtroom.
Maria cried for another half hour while the transportation officers drove her to the facility. Finally, they turned off the highway. She had never been to Bedminster, and she thought that the people who lived there must be rich. The houses were more like estates, the town quaint and sophisticated.
When they pulled up to a light, a Mercedes Benz with a woman and a child in the car seat in the back stared at her. Maria smiled at the child, and she smiled back. Naïve and untouched by the world. Maria thought the child did not realize she was smiling at a convicted murderer.
They drove for another five minutes outside of town. Then the van turned onto a long road. To the side was a sign, out of view of the public, indicating they had arrived at the women’s prison. How bad could it be? Maria thought. Then she recalled her first days in the Mercer County Jail. She had been beaten so badly that she had to be taken to the hospital for stitches and X-rays.
They pulled up to the gate, and the officer took the identification from the transportation officers. He stared at Maria, realizing she was the high-profile case they had been expecting. Twenty-one county jails in New Jersey fed female inmates to that facility. In addition to being the reception center for all female prisoners who received sentences longer than 364 days, it was the sole facility for state-sentenced women in New Jersey.
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Share a holiday family tradition:
Decorating the tree with my family and looking at all the homemade ornaments we’ve accumulated over the years. While we decorate, we commemorate on all the good times growing up and the wonderful Christmas celebrations of years gone by, remembering family members who have passed on.
Why is your featured book perfect to get readers in the holiday mood?
The book, while dealing with crime, punishment, and social issues, also details an awakening of the spirit which culminates into a positive outcome. Great to read during the holidays to remind us that there good things happening in the world and we always have something to look forward to.
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Runs December 1 – 31
Drawing will be held on January 3, 2023.
Lou Rossi is a retired Law Enforcement Professional. During his career, he saw firsthand the injustices of the Criminal Justice System both in terms of arrests and sentencing. With over 1.8 Million people incarcerated in the United States, Black and brown people dominate these figures. Even with the reduction in incarceration due to Covid -19, these staggering numbers signify a much larger problem that gets kicked down the road by politicians in both parties.
When these people are released from Prison, they have little chance to get meaningful employment or lead productive lives. Under these circumstances, survival is impossible, so people often return to criminal activity. The effects of this system on minority populations are unmistakably targeted. The harm to families is almost impossible to calculate.
Lou Rossi’s biggest wish for his writing is to challenge us all to dig deeper and continue to learn about race, bigotry, homophobia and any other prejudices both known and unknown, while not forgetting a population abandoned in Prison with no hope for the future.
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