Literary Las Vegas: Christene Houston

When Jenna Tucker’s Marine father is killed in an explosion, the teen plunges herself into a destructive spiral broken only when her drunken boyfriend plows into the side of a minivan. In response, Jenna’s mother ships her off for a summer of exile where Jenna is expected to leave Las Vegas and help out in her aunt’s rural grocery store. Las Vegas author Christene Houston follows Jenna’s journey through anger, pain and love in the young adult romance novel "A Heart So Broken."

Houston plans a free book launch party from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, at the Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road. For more on the author, visit christenehouston.com.

Excerpt from "A Heart So Broken"

Somewhere past midnight, I could smell it again, the liquor heavy on Jared’s breath. He was leaning on my shoulder so heavily I could barely walk. I knew he was way beyond his limit. That was Jared – the typical rebel boy. Flame and barbed wire tattoos ringed his biceps. He drank too much. He drove a motorcycle. He liked to break the speed limit. Maybe it was the dangerous look in his eyes that attracted me to begin with. But there was a special power he held over me once he’d roped me in. He had a way of getting me to do things I would never do before. There were only a few lines I didn’t cross when we were together.

It’s hard to explain how I became tangled in his web to begin with. At first, it was the absolute fury I felt over my dad’s sudden death. How dare he leave when he promised he promised to come home. When the fury ebbed, there was a crater of loneliness that no one could fill. Looking back there were a dozen nice guys who could have nurtured me to a better place. But I wasn’t looking for nice. I was looking for something to numb the pain.

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