Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Things Changed Guest Post


Things Changed 
by Patrick Jones


GENRE: Young adult fiction



Johanna and Paul have a passionate, yet volatile relationship. Shy Johanna knows no amount of passion can wipe out the verbal, emotional, and physical abuse. She finds the courage to walk away to have her own future.

Bret is a social outcast, but an intense relationship with Kylee makes him believe that dreams can come true. Bret's world crashes down when Kylee cheats with one of Bret's friends leading to a disastrous prom night confrontation.

Bret and Johanna, home from their first year of college, meet and find an instant attraction. Their chemistry is undeniable, but shadows from the past threaten the present when Paul re-enter Johanna's life and Bret's home life turns upside down. Can two broken-hearted people break the grip of the past and find happiness?



I honk even though my hearing is blocked by the blaring music from the car in front of me spilling out into the night. In a second, my eyesight is clear as I see the black Firebird parked in front of me.

It happens fast. The man—which has to be Paul since Johanna told me often about the black Firebird and I saw it in her driveway once—comes toward me. I quickly lock all the doors and get my phone ready to dial 911 although this far out in the burbs, and with all crime in the city, I doubt they can help me. Paul bangs on the driver's side window. I'm just about to put the car in reverse while I hear louder sounds coming from the window. It is Paul kicking at it with his right foot. In seconds, the glass explodes, sending shards all over the front seats. I feel some of it cut the skin on my arms and face. I reach up and wipe away the blood. Paul reaches in his hand and hits the switch so the doors open, then he punches me hard in the jaw. Stunned by this blitz attack, I can’t fight back. He pulls open the driver’s side door, and in one swift motion, undoes my seat belt, then grabs me by the shirt. I try to fight back, but I am defenseless against his enraged onslaught. He’s all fury, and I’m all fear. Fury wins.

Guest Post

Things Changed started with something I saw one day visiting a high school. A girl with a pile of textbooks was forced up against her locker by some guy who was talking loudly into her ear. Her bottom lip was trembling as he knocked the books out of her hands then kicked them down the hallway.  I knew I had to write about what it must be like be a smart girl caught up in a bad relationship.  That girl became Johanna.

Nailed started with something that happened to me in college. I had somehow ended up with a girlfriend that was way too smart, hip, and sexy for me.  I feel instantly in love and soon found myself, looking back at it now, bullied with her using her sexuality as a weapon.  Despite my love for her, she cheated on me with a friend, which I found out when he showed up to school wearing one of my shirts.  I knew I had to write about what it was like to be betrayed and bullied by someone you love. That version of me became Bret.

So, what if these two characters with these bad relationships in their past met and fell in love? Seems simple enough except for one thing: the hooks of first love dig deeply. For Johanna, she lets her ex (Paul) back into her life, against her better judgement.  For Bret, his ex (Kylee) is far away but always on his mind.  He knows better but can’t stop obsessing over her.  They are still broken from first loves gone wrong that it seems impossible Johanna and Bret can overcome it.  The past is a bully.

Like most YA novels, however, Things Changed is also a coming-of-age story. Both Johanna and Bret need to continue to become independent of their parents, although in both their cases, that is difficult. For Johanna, she must free herself of the crushing expectations of her judgmental mother, something many teens can probably relate to in some way.  How do you free yourself from someone who tells you they love you but seems to do nothing that would prove those words?

For Bret, the situation is tricker. He is trying to become independent from his father who bullied him. He never raised a hand to Bret, but with his distance, cutting remarks, and disapproval of everything Bret did, he left a mark.  But now his father is in jail with Bret as his dad’s sole emotional support. How do you become independent of someone who is counting on you? 

Part romance, part coming-of age tale, Things Changed speaks to the emotional needs of teenagers who are looking for answers as well as entertainment in the books they read.  They want to see characters who are strong, independent, but also not bitter or hard to the world. They want to see characters navigate relationships of all sorts while maintaining personal integrity.  They want characters that are like them so they can relate, but also that are different, so they can explore different lives. Finally, they want characters who learn and who grow.  They want characters, like Johanna and Paul, that struggle yet succeed.  Why?  Because Things Changed for them.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

From Flint MI but now residing in Minneapolis MN, Jones is the author of over fifty novels for teens. His working with teens in correctional facilities and alternative schools has informed his works such as the Unbarred and The Alternative series. While he published his book in 1992 and this first novel in 2004, his initial publication was for a professional wrestling magazine when he was only eight years old.   

Social media:



The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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  1. Thanks for hosting me this morning and providing your followers with a summary, excerpt, and my guest post musings. The excerpt is really he only violent scene in the book . It actually mirrors a similar scene in Nailed where Bret is attacked at his prom by a school bully. But other than this scene, most of the book is a roller coaster romance between two people with broken hearts they are trying to heal through each other,

  2. I'll be most of the day for questions and comments

  3. Thank you for sharing your guest post, bio and book details, I have enjoyed reading about you and your work and I am looking forward to reading Things Changed

    1. Thanks for comment, reading this blog, and your interest in my work

  4. Replies
    1. Sherry - Thanks for the comment. I think one of the most interesting thing about Thing Changed is how the book is told using alternating first person points of view. I think it gives the reader a different experience than a single narrator.

  5. I enjoyed the guest post and the excerpt, Things Changed sounds like a captivating read that my granddaughter would like to read!

    Thanks for sharing it with me and have a splendid day!

    1. Thanks for the comment. I would say if your granddaughter enjoys books with lots of "drama" than Things Changed is the book for her

  6. Thanks again for hosting me and helping to turn people onto Things Changed.

  7. Thanks for sharing, this sounds very good


I try to get comments published as quickly as possible. I don't always reply to comments on my blog, but I do try to visit as many people as possible when I participate in blog hops and I share links where possible to Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and such so others can discover your work. I do read and appreciate your comments.