Excerpt: In Jen's Words by @jenbrownauthor

Title: In Jen's Words

Author: Jennifer Brown
Website: Click HERE.
Twitter: @jenbrownauthor

Synopsis: Jennifer and Justin Barnes have been raised by their older brother Jacob since they were teenagers…little did Jacob know, he was raising a third personality as well.

The Barnes have been through it all. The loss of their parents in a car crash, rape, and incarceration. But nothing could prepare them for what they are about to deal with.

When Jacob decides to run for mayor of Springwood, Ohio someone else decides to haunt him and his family, using his younger sister’s alter personality as leverage in their game.


It was a late September night. Warm air, with just a touch of coldness, hinted that fall was just days away. Aerosmith blared from the two story house. With white siding and black shutters, the Barnes family had called it home all of their lives. Until the following day, when they would close on the sale.

Jacob and his sister had tried their hardest to keep the house since their parents were killed in a car crash over ten years before. But, they weren’t able to make it financially. Justin, their brother, had been sent to prison just months before and Jennifer had a really bad feeling after that. She knew her brother’s computer shop and her meager job at The Springwood Daily Newspaper wouldn’t be enough to cut it.

Jen grabbed yet another drink her best friend, Becky, made for her, and was feeling light and good. She was getting buzzed, letting all the stress of the last months go. She wandered into the living room, where most of the noise of the party originated from. She stopped, smiling at the scene before her.

Jacob was on the karaoke machine, which he’d owned as long as she could remember. He and his best friend, Danny, were singing together. Jacob was already buzzed from the alcohol she and Becky brought, and the mixed drinks they made. She was glad. He needed this. It was his 33rd birthday and she and Becky had gotten together with Danny to throw him a huge surprise birthday party. It was also a party to bid adieu to their childhood home.

Jen sipped more of the Tom Collins as their version of Walk This Way ended to light applause, laughter and drunken woo-hoos from the others.

“Thank you!” Jacob bowed and nearly stumbled into Danny as the two laughed.

Jen gazed at the small group: Becky, and Danny of course, along with their next door neighbor. She had been there, ready to help, years ago when their parents died, making them casseroles and watching her and Justin when Jacob had to work. Another guy who knew Jacob, Tanner Bradley, was in the room, and a few of her and Becky’s friends. She believed they just came to mooch free drinks and pizza…and possibly because they thought Jacob was cute.

Jacob reminded Jen of their father. He was the spitting image. Dark brown hair fell in gentle waves, complimenting dark blue eyes. He let it grow in high school when he played in a band, much to their mother’s dismay. Their mom always threatened to cut it. That was normally punishment for Jacob, or a threat that would ensure he would do as he was told. Eventually, the long battle ended in his senior year when he and their mother agreed upon a compromise. He got it cut to the end of his neck. He had left it that way ever since, even though he kept saying he would grow it out again. Jen thought he left it alone to honor their mother’s memory.

She glanced up as her brother came over and rested a hand on her shoulder.

“Thank you, sis. This has been great.”

She smiled. “You can thank Becky, too. She went through a lot of trouble to get the stuff catered from Sharkey’s.”

He glanced in Becky’s direction, where she was mixing more drinks for a few people. “Well, I know stuff hasn’t exactly been easy on you lately, and you didn’t have to do this. I would have been happy with some barbeque ribs and watching the Knights play.”

She smiled as he ruffled her hair and walked off to join his buddies.

She heard the grandfather clock chime nine times in the dining room and gasped. She had promised her brother she would take care of tidying up a few things in the garage before the next day. She was really trying to take as much of a load off him as possible now that she was old enough. She set her drink down on a nearby end table, and hurried out. In the dizzying rush she felt the effects of the alcohol.

She got to the garage, flipped on the overhead florescent light and hesitated upon viewing the clutter. Well, it wasn’t too bad. It could be worse. She thought she could have it done in an hour at the most.

She started in, making more space by moving aside the three trash cans, the lawn mower and some Rubbermaid storage containers.