A trophy wife who has had enough. A too complacent community, blind to the fact that its health statistic are really below average. A cement plant from hell. The usual amounts of greedy industrialists and cynical politicians and here you are: the scene is set for Damaged Goods, the amazing novel by Alexandra Allred.
Meet Joanna Lucas. She's lost herself marrying a rich man who wants her just to be pretty and say nothing. She's tolerated his name-calling and infidelity, but she finally wakes up.
Those words cut her like a knife. She knew he meant it. She knew he looked at her in this manner, and she had no one to blame but herself.
The straw that breaks the camel’s back arrives while they're in the car, on her way to a wedding ceremony. Her obnoxious husband demands she “holds up” her monthly flow, because he's on the phone and won’t pull over. Which, for a guy whose family’s fortune is based on tampons, is rather funny. Joanna’s public retaliation isn’t funny, at least for him, and an already dead marriage ends. Her divorce settlement is a beautiful, dilapidated mansion in Marcus, Texas and the money to restore it. Joanna has no chance of ever bumping into anyone from her previous life in Texas, and so she catches the opportunity to relocate there. She hopes to find herself anew and start finally to do what she always wanted to do: sculpt.
Her first days in her new location are exciting; people are curious about the Yankee who has landed among them, but not unfriendly. She is shown around, finds Mexican workers who maybe have not all the green papers they should have (one among them, Roberto, is devastatingly handsome), but nobody cares – they work hard, everybody makes use of them and so will she.
But there is something rotten in Denmark, or, better, in Marcus. The cement plant, which provides income for most of the community, has always been a health hazard, and now that it has been bought by a Swiss company - very happy not to have to submit to the strict environmental regulations existing in Switzerland - the situation is sure to worsen. Too many people die of cancer in Marcus; too many children are stillborn or born with birth defects, and too many suffer from asthma. With the plant seeking permission to burn tires, and plans to open a quarry near the school, what will happen?
It doesn't take long before Joanna realizes that she's gotten another bad deal from her husband. Her lawyer suggests she gets out, but it's too late: she has become invested in the community and is ready to fight. Joanna is determined to defend her new life, her new friends, and the right to live in a clean environment.
By all accounts, she should lose, because the opposition - local politicians and all the people with a vested interest in the status quo - are powerful and ruthless. But she's not alone. She has made friends with a bunch of very peculiar women: a lady who manages a big felinessanctuary and has lost a leg because of a loose tiger; a stripper turned Mormon; a bar owner, and a few outspoken other ones. They are the white witches of Marcus; outrageous and fearless, they offer Joanna the strength she needs. The epic battle will have the reader cheering and despairing until the surprising end.
Many reasons make this novel extraordinary. First of all, the subject matter touches on serious issues which should concern us all. Then, you'll be amazed by the writing style. Alexandra Allred captures her readers' attention with the wonderful pace of her story. Damaged Goods is a page turner if ever there was one.
Camilla & Raum

The book is available! http://ph.thewriterscoffeeshop.com/books/detail/77
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