WordCrafts Press and author Jennifer Odom are pleased to announce the release of her debut novel, the Young Adult supernatural thriller Summer on the Black Suwannee, which released to retail on Wednesday, July 31, 2019. The novel quickly developed a following with readers in both the Christian and general markets, claiming a spot on Amazon.com’s Hot New Releases charts in the general market Occult Fiction and in the Christian Mystery & Suspense categories.
Welcome to Earth Mother Acres
Where Shattered Lives are Healed
At least that’s what the sign said. When 15-year-old Emily is nearly raped by her stepfather, her distraught but well-meaning mother Charlene arranges for them to spend the summer at Earth Mother Acres, a special, secluded, faith-based retreat for troubled girls nestled along the bucolic banks of the Black Suwannee River.
An anonymous sponsor even offered to pay the camp’s $30,000 expense—provided Emily completes the counseling program.
I didn’t even need to pray about it, Charlene reasoned. It must be God’s will, since everything just fell into place.
But Emily and Charlene soon learn that Satan can assume a pleasing form, and not everything at Earth Mother Acres is as it appears. Charlene’s car suddenly breaks down, the manicured grounds are marred by strange, unsettling smells, and Emily discovers a child’s discarded clothing in the bottom of her cabin closet.
Then the real horror begins.
Emily’s therapy is rigorous and demanding. Her schedule is tightly controlled, and her contact with the outside world is completely cut off. When she grows gradually sicker with each passing day, she begins to wonder if she will leave Earth Mother Acres alive. Even in paradise, Evil Rises.
“The inspiration for Summer On The Black Suwannee woke me in the middle of the night about 15 years ago,” first time novelist Jennifer Odom recalls. “I was still teaching school at the time, and until then I had never considered writing fiction. I was too busy taking care of a family and fulfilling the needs of the classroom. But the story wouldn’t leave me alone.”
Jennifer credits her pastor Ricky Roberts with giving her the final push to write the supernatural thriller. “He told me, ‘God didn’t give you the story for someone else to write. It’s for you to do.’ That’s when I began spending intentional time learning the craft of writing. I’m so glad I listened to his admonition.”
Jennifer notes that while the river setting and Earth Mother Acres are totally fictitious, they were at least partially inspired by the sodden Suwannee campground she experienced during summer family reunions from nearly three decades before. “And Grandma Rene’s home is fashioned after my own grandmother’s home in Ocala,” she adds.
“I hope readers enjoy the beautiful Florida settings,” Jennifer muses. “But my biggest hope is that the experiences of each character will resonate with readers on a deeper level, whether as a reminder to pray about a thing before it’s done, to be wary of the schemes of the enemy of our souls, or to be alert to that little nudge to pray in the middle of the night. Ultimately I hope each reader will end up encouraged and stronger in their faith than when they began.”
Summer On The Black Suwannee is available in hardback, trade paperback, and all major ebook formats, and is coming soon to audiobook. It is the first in a trilogy of supernatural thrillers entitled, The Black Series.
Jennifer Odom, a 40-year veteran teacher of elementary education—and her school’s 2003 Teacher of the Year—has taught kindergarten through fifth grades in all subjects. She enjoyed the latter half of her creative career as a team member of Dr. N.H. Jones Elementary, a National Blue Ribbon School where students excel in competitions of math, science, technology, writing, and videography. Jennifer writes human interest stories for her local newspaper, The Ocala Star Banner, and has also been published in such magazines as Clubhouse Jr. and Splickety. In 2015 she was honored to be named Florida Christian Writer’s Conference’s Writer of the Year. Summer on the Black Suwannee is her first novel.
Connect with Jennifer online at Jenniferodom.com.