Roses & Thorns

Roses & Thorns

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Existence of Pity by Jeannie @JoZokan #YA #ComingofAge #Columbia

The Plot:

Growing up in a lush valley in the Andes mountains, sixteen-year-old Josie Wales is mostly isolated from the turbulence brewing in 1976 Colombia. As the daughter of missionaries, Josie feels torn between their beliefs and the need to choose for herself. She soon begins to hide things from her parents, like her new boyfriend and her explorations into different religions.

Josie eventually discovers her parents’ secrets are far more insidious. When she attempts to unravel the web of lies surrounding her family, each thread stretches to its breaking point. Josie tries to save her family, but what happens if they don’t want to be saved?

The Existence of Pity is a story of flawed characters told with heart and depth against the beautiful backdrop of Colombia.

About the Author:

Jeannie Zokan grew up in Colombia, South America, where she read almost every book in the American school she attended. Her love of books led her to study Library Science at Baylor University then to attend The George Washington University in DC. When the chance came to head south, she took her motorcycle to Florida’s Gulf Coast to write stories for the local newspaper.

She now lives ten minutes from the beach with her husband, two teenage daughters, and three pets, all of whom keep her inspired and active. She enjoys aerial yoga, tennis, and holding NICU babies as a volunteer. But there’s always writing. Writing to relive, writing to understand, writing to remember, writing to renew.


I was lucky growing up. While my parents were active in our Lutheran church and encouraged me to follow in their footsteps, they also allowed me the freedom to explore other churches. When I spent the night with a Catholic friend and went to Mass with her, I didn’t need to hide it. In The Existence of Pity, Josie Wales doesn’t have that freedom. Her parents are missionaries in Columbia, and the whole family has to set an example for the community. Adolescence is difficult enough without that kind of pressure at home. No wonder she seeks answers elsewhere. Her parents are lucky she chooses another church, considering the other options out there.

To make matters worse, Columbia is in the process of switching its major import crop from Juan Valdez’s “rich Columbian coffee” to cocaine. No one, not even a missionary’s family, can escape the influence of the cartels. And that’s not the only secret Jody’s family is hiding. The only people she really feels at home with are her aunt, who lives in Arizona and the family’s Catholic maid, who silently sees everything, and keeps everyone’s secrets.

I swore I was done with YA books, but somehow this one sneaked in, and I’m glad it did. In addition to the incredible descriptions of a troubled but beautiful country, The Existence of Pity takes us inside the life and emotions of a girl on the precipice of womanhood in a family of missionaries. It includes intrigue, romance, philosophy, teenaged angst, and flawed, but loving parents. And even when Jody disobeyed her parents, I worried about her, but I didn’t really want to ground her. I just wanted to see what happened next. So will you.

Author Website:
Warnings:  None
Length: 240 Pages
Print: $13.99
Digital: $5.99
Buy Links:

You’ll notice we always include the publisher’s buy link when there is one. That’s because authors usually receive 40-50% of the net proceeds from the publisher. Editors and cover artists usually receive about 5%. When you buy a book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or another third-party vendor, they take a hefty cut and the author, editors and cover artists receive their cuts from what is left. So, if a book costs $5.99 at E-Book and you buy from there, the author will receive about $2.40-$2.99. If you buy the book at Amazon, the author will receive about $1.70-$2.10.

Download the file from the publisher onto your computer as you would any other file. I’ve created a folder for books on my computer, with subfolders by source (Marketing for Romance Writers, Net Galley, Authors who find me on Kindle lists, etc.). That way, if there’s a glitch with your Kindle, the books are on your computer. Some publishers send books in all digital formats. If my Kindle breaks and my kids buy me a Nook, I won’t have to buy all of my books again. If you have a Kindle and your hubby has a Nook, you won’t have to buy separate copies, so buying directly from the publisher can save you money.

Moving the file from your computer to your e-reader is as easy as transferring any file from your computer to a USB flash drive. Plug the larger USB end of your e-reader charging chord into a USB port on your computer and simply move the file from the folder into which you’ve downloaded the book to the Documents/Books directory on your e-reader. You can move the file by highlighting it and dragging it to the documents directory in you Kindle you want to move it to. Or right click on it, and then left click copy or move. Or hit Control/C for copy, Control/X for cut, and Control/V for paste.

Your author will be happy you did when he/she sees his/her royalty statement.

Thanks for visiting.

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