Blind Turn

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Pub Date 07 Jan 2021 | Archive Date 31 Jan 2021

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In the aftermath of a fatal texting and driving accident, a mother and daughter must come to terms with the real meaning of forgiveness.

Liz Johnson single-handedly raised an exemplary daughter. Jessica is an honor-student, track star, and all-around good kid. So how could that same teenager be responsible for the death of the high school’s beloved football coach? This is Texas, where high school football ranks right up there with God, so while the legal battle wages, the public deals its own verdict.

Desperate for help, Liz turns to a lawyer whose affection she once rejected and attempts to play nice with her ex-husband. Jessica faces her angry peers and her own demons as she awaits a possible prison sentence for an accident she doesn’t remember.

In the aftermath of a fatal texting and driving accident, a mother and daughter must come to terms with the real meaning of forgiveness.

Liz Johnson single-handedly raised an exemplary daughter...

A Note From the Publisher

Cara Sue Achterberg is the author of several novels and memoirs, including One Hundred Dogs & Counting: One Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and a Journey into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues. She is a blogger, foster dog mom, and the founder of Who Will Let the Dogs Out. Cara lives on a hillside farm in Pennsylvania but pines for the mountains of Virginia. For more information visit

Cara Sue Achterberg is the author of several novels and memoirs, including One Hundred Dogs & Counting: One Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and a Journey into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues. She is a...

Advance Praise

“From its life-shattering opening, pages will seemingly turn themselves…” —Kathryn Craft, award-winning author of The Far End of Happy 

“From its life-shattering opening, pages will seemingly turn themselves…” —Kathryn Craft, award-winning author of The Far End of Happy 

Available Editions

ISBN 9781684336104
PRICE $6.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 13 members

Featured Reviews

What an outstanding book! From the first few sentences, I knew this was going to be a story that I just fell into, tumbling into the pages, completely invested in the characters and what was happening to them.

Blind Turn is a story that is a parent’s nightmare. A daughter’s split-second driving mistaken ends in the death of a beloved football coach. The community is outraged. Their impact on both mother and daughter created a last impression on me. I enjoyed that this story was written from dual points of view. I liked seeing how the mother was thinking, and then how the daughter was thinking.

This is a perfect book club pick! It will bring so much discussion to the group. The mother and daughter’s differences, in thought and action, brought such a great view to the story. The mother’s decisions to protect her daughter will bring up a lot of discussion around how far you would go to protect a loved one. This also takes place in a small town, and that setting provides a different type of community reaction from what we would have seen in a large city. I think a book club could have more than one meeting’s worth of discussion time on this one!

I loved how the story unfolds. We start with the mother’s POV, and it’s just everything I think it would be if this was happening to me. She’s frantic, confused, and worried for her daughter. The author’s writing brought all of the character’s emotions out in me. Then we switch to the daughter, and there’s a whole new perspective to view the situation from. It was great!

Overall, I thought this was an excellent book. It is well-written, and while fast-paced, will make you sit back and think about everything happening!

I was provided a gifted copy of this book for free. I am leaving my review voluntarily.

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One Mistake

Jessica never dreams she will be in an accident while driving her friend home, but it happens. All she remembers is flashing lights and sirens, however, the beloved football coach in the small Texas town and his dog he was walking are dead. They say it is her fault, but she remembers nothing. Her best friend fact all her friends....turn against her. She is called a murderer. There is press, people protesting, and the threat of jail time.

Lizzie raised her daughter well after her divorce doing it alone as a single parent. Married as a teenager she gave up college and her life to care for her daughter. Her daughter is a good student, a track star and a popular girl at school. Now it is going to be lost. Her chance at college, her career and all that she dreamed for her daughter. Where did she go wrong? What really happened in that car? Is her friend telling the truth?
Can her mother and her father come together to help Jess in this crisis? Will Lizzie's new relationship with Jess's lawyer Kevin be a factor. How will Jess respond to the crisis and will her life be changed forever?

This is a powerful story about a teenage driver texting on her phone and hitting and killing someone with her car. It is a sad story, but it could happen to any teenager out there on the road. It is about relationships between the teenager and her family. Her easy going carefree father, her stressed workaholic mother, and her best friend.

This book was sad but true to life. The situations could happen at any time to anyone driving and texting on their phone. I think everyone with a teenager should read this book and I highly recommend it.

Thanks to Cara Sue Achterberg, Black Rose Writing, and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read a copy of the book for an honest review.

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"Forgiveness is the act of admitting we are like other people."-Christina Baldwin.

Truly a novel wrapped in tragedy, forgiveness, love, anger and hope.
It is written from the prospective of the main character, Jessica.
She is the teenager who has been involved in a devastating accident.
Each chapter then alternates with Liz- her Mom. She needs and wants to make things better, but just cannot "Kiss it away".

This is an especially poignant story that every parent and teenager should read to realize just how fast the world and life can change!
Well done and well written!

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Cara Sue Achterberg writes a gorgeous, un-put-down-able book about the power of forgiveness—and the pain caused by the lack of it.

The book opens with Liz, a single mom, receiving a call from her ex that every parent dreads: her daughter Jess has had a car accident. But it gets worse: a pedestrian was killed. And not just any pedestrian, but the beloved football coach in their small, football-crazy Texas town. And maybe she was texting when it happened. “Maybe,” because Jess can’t remember.

The rest of the book follows the emotional, engrossing journey of mother and daughter as they navigate the long-term repercussions of single, momentary mistake. It also sheds light on the best and the worst that humanity can be in a time of tragedy. With trash being dumped on their lawn, spray paint on the sidewalk, and a best friend who’s dumped her, Jess feels her life is over—and Liz isn’t far behind. But they find support in surprising places: a lawyer. A school counselor. A nerdy next door neighbor boy. While Jess tries to forgive herself, Liz has to come to grips with the disappointments and betrayals in her own life. In the end, this is a story about redemption. And it is beautiful.

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An important book for teenagers, but really ANYONE that drives. Storyline was really good, and the characters made you care for them. Seemed so true to life... very good read.

Thanks to author, publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book. While I got the book for free, it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.

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I enjoyed this book, and while it’s listed as General Fiction/Women’s Fiction, I think it can also be considered YA.

Jessica finds herself in a difficult situation after a fatal texting/driving accident that took the life of her high school’s football coach, and to make matters worse, she has no memory of the events leading up to it. While everyone in town is ready to deal their own verdict, Jessica’s divorced parents are determined to fight tooth and nail to keep their daughter from going to prison. The anger emanating from her peers weighs heavily on Jessica as she and her lawyer try to piece together the events of that fateful night, and she is adamant that she never texts and drives. But will she uncover the truth or will her memory of that night remain buried deep in the recess of her mind?

This was a great book, and I think it’s an excellent read for teens because of the seriousness of texting and driving and the consequences of doing so. Life can change in the blink of an eye, and while it’s important to face the mistakes we make and own up to them, it’s just as important to find a way to forgive ourselves and use life’s lessons as a tool to help others.

Highly recommend!

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I received an ARC from Black Rose Writing through NetGalley for an honest review. Jessica is an honor-student, track star, and all-around good kid, and one mistake has changed the course of her life. Jessica was driving her friend home and she ended up in the hospital, not remembering the accident. She hit the coach who was walking on the side of the road with his dog. The coach didn't make it and we see the effect it has on Jessica, her family, and the community.
After reading this book, I wish that this would become a book to be read in high school, a book that parents read. People think it won't happen to them but it could and reading this book is a wake-up call before it happens to someone. The story is texting while driving, just a quick glance at a text, and distracting driving. In an instant, Jessica hit the coach and she has to live with that for the rest of her life. This book shows us how it affected Jessica, what she learned, and how she is trying to move forward. This is a book for high school children all the way up to the elderly. It is a reminder that once you get behind the wheel, all it takes is a second and it could happen to you. I know it will stay in the back of my mind, and remind me to pay attention.

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‘He [Coach Mitchell] is as close as you get to a celebrity in this town, but to the football players, he is a god.’

16-year-old Jessica Johnson has it all. Smart, sporty and popular, she's a track star, AP student, and has just been nominated for Homecoming Court. But a split-second fateful decision to read a text while driving causes her to hit, and kill, a pedestrian – the beloved football coach at her high school, pillar of their small-town Texas community.

Liz Johnson knows what it's like to be at the centre of a scandal. She's felt the town's eyes on her for years, judging her every move. Even since she fell pregnant with Jess at 17, was abandoned by her strict religious father, and was left with no option but to marry her high school boyfriend, which ended in divorce a few years later. Liz has always been determined to provide Jess with all the opportunities she never had, and in turn Jess has thrived. But now everything has changed, her daughter's prosperous future is suddenly uncertain, there’s a possibility of jail time, and Jess needs her more than ever. And Liz will do whatever it takes to help her.

Blind Turn is a tragic reminder of the dangers of cellphone use while operating a motor vehicle, and how the consequences of one terrible choice can sometimes feel like too much to bear. But more than that it's about forgiveness – that there's light at the end of even the darkest tunnel, that one moment of stupidity does not define a person, and kindness, guidance, advice, and support can come from people you never expected. There are also some heavy themes – depression, unhealthy coping mechanisms, suicidal thoughts, grief, loss, and online and offline bullying. It's an emotional read but a hopeful and important one. But, keep those tissues at the ready, because you'll need them. It's part courtroom legal/drama as well.

Another prominent theme was the mother/teenage daughter bond between Liz and Jess, and their alternating viewpoints showed how protective Liz was, how smothered Jess sometimes felt but their enduring love for one another was never in doubt. All the characters felt believable and true to life. While not strictly YA I think this is a book teenager’s (girls in particular) would find relatable. There's nothing graphic, and only a couple of instances of profanity. It would also be a great choice for parents and teens to read together to encourage communication and promote discussion regarding the social issues raised.

An easy, engrossing, thought-provoking read, with short chapters, therefore perfect for those pushed for time or on the go. I have no hesitation in recommending this book.

I'd like to thank Netgalley, Black Rose Writing, and Cara Sue Achterberg for the e-ARC.

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At the center of this story, is an issue faced by many individuals today, cell phone use and driving. The main character in this novel, is Jessica, a highly successful teenager, whose life in an instant, is turned upside down when she accidentally kills a highly respected man in her town. I could not put this book down. Although this book is fiction, it could just as easily be nonfiction.

There are many central themes to this story. The theme of forgiveness rings true as, Jessica tries to forgive herself for her transgression, and struggles with achieving forgiveness of not only, Coach Mitchell's family, but also her classmates, her family, and people in her town. Will Jessica gain the forgiveness of all? Will she be able to move on with her life, as she struggles with such a major incident in her formative teenage years, just as she is beginning to transition into her early adulthood years? Will her parents be able to forgive her? Each of these questions is grappled with in this engaging story. This theme is so relevant to each of our lives.

This story is told by two viewpoints, by Jessica and her mother. How will each of them survive this tragedy and move on? This story will take you through each of their struggles with this incident and the vast repercussions that evolve. It was impossible to put this book down. It was well written, and engaging. I highly recommend this book to parents and teens. Although it is fiction, it could just as easily be nonfiction.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced review of this book.

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Blind Turn starts with a phone call that every parent fears will one day come. A texting and driving accident happens involving a star student and athlete and we follow the emotional impact this accident has on her family as well as her loved ones, friends, and community. This story plays out in a very personal way and delivers quite an emotional wallop. “A bad decision doesn’t make you an awful person. It makes you human.” A great read for those that enjoy family dramas.

Thank you to Cara Sue Achterberg, Black Rose Writing, and Netgalley for this ARC in exchange for my review.

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What an emotional read! We should never forget that life can change in an instant.

I related so much to the feelings of loss and guilt. Forgiveness is also a heavy theme throughout the book. It's impossible to forgive others if we cannot first forgive ourselves.

I enjoyed the writing style. Short chapters make this an easy read despite the heavy topics.

I think this is an appropriate read for adults and teens, especially those approaching the driving age.

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I loved this book so much. All the feels, believe you me. I read this in 3 sittings. Clear out a few days and read this fabulous book.

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