An Early Frost

October Snow, Part Two

Fiction - Drama
308 Pages
Reviewed on 08/11/2014
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Jenna Brooks is a novelist, a seminar author and instructor, a columnist, and a professionally trained and certified Coach, specializing in Divorce/Post-Divorce and Domestic Violence. She has a particular interest in issues confronting the Christian woman, and is certified by The American Association of Christian Counselors.

The critically-acclaimed author of the OCTOBER SNOW series, Jenna is also the creator of several seminars and coaching programs. She is trained in Batterer Intervention, Trauma and Trauma Informed Care, and is a former state-certified Crisis Advocate and a Domestic Violence Hotline veteran.

Jenna says, "I concentrate on advocacy for battered mothers because in my experience, the Family Court often takes up where an abuser leaves off. Too often, these women are every bit as injured by a paternalistic, even oppressive Family Court system as they are by an abuser. Their experiences in the court are simply another betrayal. As a society, we pay little attention to the outcome of battered mothers, both legally and culturally."

Jenna is a former columnist for The Derry News and The Bangor Daily News, and is the former host of "The Cafe" on WSMN 1590, Nashua, NH.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Natasha Jackson for Readers' Favorite

High powered attorney Will Remmond is used to fleeting relationships that always take a backseat to the abused women and children he fights for in the courtroom. When he met Max, however, that all changed and he is willing to fight to keep her in his life. And fight is exactly what he will have to do because the demons Max struggles with are threatening to take her away into the darkness. Taking place a year after the vicious murder of her best friend Josie, An Early Frost follows Will as he muddles through the Family Court system trying to protect sweet Alexa Reynolds and her mom Brandi from their psychotic tormentor recently released from prison. Author Jenna Brooks has produced a heart-wrenching follow-up to October Snow. Again dealing with the issue of domestic violence and its aftermath, she has woven a great deal of depth and emotion into this story.

What is so fantastic about An Early Frost is the way in which Jenna Brooks handles the topic of domestic violence. It doesn’t read like a PSA on the perils of staying in a violent relationship, but rather it perfectly illustrates how long and far-reaching the damage can be, how it presents itself over the years and how hard it can be to overcome. Max is the perfect example of this. After watching the brutal murder or suicide of her best friends, plus the years of abuse she experienced as a child, she is stuck in a dark place and unable and unsure how to get back. But unlike your typical DV narrative, An Early Frost lets us see the determination of Max and Will to hold on and fight for the love they have finally found. Emerging from the darkness is its own reward and left me feeling relieved and proud as though Max and Will were my own friends. Just like October Snow, this story evokes a ton of emotions from outrage and hate to love and sadness. A riveting read that will keep you on edge.

Midwest Book Review

"Exceptionally well crafted from beginning to end, An Early Frost is the sequel to author Jenna Brooks' October Snow, and demonstrates her ability to embed her riveting and surprise laden storyline with truly memorable characters. Very highly recommended..." - Midwest Book Review

Sue Stockdale

Well done Jenna Brooks, you’ve done it again. Rarely do I find that a 2nd book reads as good as the 1st. Somehow they get repetitive and somehow don’t hold the interest the same. But with this book you have more than mastered it. I cannot remember ever laughing aloud at the humour when reading a book, cry yes but not laugh but with this book I did both in abundance. I held my breath at times thinking 'no please don’t let that happen, let everything be OK'. I actually read it in just a few hours I was so engrossed in it I couldn’t put it down and then when I had finished it I was sorry I had rushed it as I wanted it to go on for ever. Can’t wait for your next book, please don’t let it be too long.

Diane

Early Frost is the first book in a decade that was so involving and so real that I put everything else on hold to read it cover to cover. It is a profound romance, a riveting suspense novel, a compelling drama…so captivating that the high educational value is absorbed rather than ingested! This is not a light, fluffy story. It is deeper, and for something that makes you a bigger person for reading it, this is a good choice. Ms. Brooks invites the reader into healthy, funny, and highly communicative friendships, touching because we all need this kind of friendship. Once a part of the group, the reader is included in realistic subtleties of behavior that reveal what is going on under the surface in characters’ minds/emotions as victims, survivors, and friends. The reader experiences the complexity of guilt affecting each differently, the push/pull of surfacing trauma, the peculiar (to one who hasn't been there) way traumatic memories and lack of memories affect one, the ways that former abusers can still affect a survivor’s present relationships, and the poignant dilemmas of one who loves a survivor, wants to help and is ready to learn how but finds it a hard road. Never preachy or teachy, for the meaty content, it reads as an "I can't put it down!" story.

For anyone, this is a deeply interesting story. For abuse survivors, Ms. Brooks establishes that she knows what she is talking about because identification is REAL, then she portrays intelligent responses and hope for them to go there too. She takes non-survivors where their experience doesn't, subtly, as PARTICIPANTS in a riveting story, and shows them what is inside. She gives an inside view of the effects of so many issues, like the courts, pornography, questions of choice vs conditioning, male recovery, church culture, and legal strategies, abuser retribution and safety. Fascinating.

Marilyn

A while ago I read October Snow, part one. I was so impressed by the characters, and the storyline that it has stayed with me, I have recommended it to several people on several Kindle forums. And hoped that Ms. Brooks would write about the people who were left after Jo's death.
So I was blown away by book two.. The realism once again took my breath away. The court system,, the lawyers, the abused women, the kids who are caught in the tug of war between good and evil. All in the name of best interest of the child.
Bravo Jenna Brooks for writing a series that taught me something.