Friday, October 9, 2015

Book Information of Trust Mr, I'm Trouble and The Ukrainian Connection to the Books

Book Information of Trust Mr, I'm Trouble 
     Including Information on  The Ukrainian Orphan Connection to the Books
Sponsored by The Fantastic Flying Book Club

Welcome to Books, Books, and More Books.  I am pleased to share this book with you.  Thank you for visiting and please come again.

Trust Me, I'm Trouble (Trust Me #2)
by Mary Elizabeth Summer
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: October 13th 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller, Fiction


The sequel to TRUST ME, I’M LYING

Staying out of trouble isn’t possible for Julep Dupree. She has managed not to get kicked out of her private school, even though everyone knows she’s responsible for taking down a human-trafficking mob boss—and getting St. Agatha’s golden-boy Tyler killed in the process. Running cons holds her guilty conscience at bay, but unfortunately, someone wants Julep to pay for her mistakes . . . with her life.

Against her better judgment, Julep takes a shady case that requires her to infiltrate a secretive organization that her long-gone mother and the enigmatic blue fairy may be connected to. Her best friend, Sam, isn’t around to stop her, and Dani, her one true confidante, happens to be a nineteen-year-old mob enforcer whose moral compass is as questionable as Julep’s. But there’s not much time to worry about right and wrong—or to save your falling heart—when there’s a contract on your head.

Murders, heists, secrets and lies, hit men and hidden identities . . . If Julep doesn’t watch her back, it’s her funeral. No lie.

The Ukranian Connection:

She falls silent for a moment, thinking. "In Kharkiv, a group of us orphans lived in an underground maintenance area for the city heating system. Lots of pipes that steamed, kept us warm in winter."

Holy crap. This is a happy story? I keep my mouth shut, though. This is the first time Dani's ever actually talked about her past.

"One day, Tatyana—she was six or seven then—came through the manhole carrying a bedraggled cat. It had only one eye and a chunk out of its ear. The fur was patchy and covered in so much grime we could not tell what color it was. The cat took one look at us skinny gutter rats and thought it was about to get eaten. It clawed free of Tatyana's arms but couldn't figure out how to get back through the manhole, so it flew around our shelter, bouncing off kids and pipes and yowling at the top of its lungs. We were all scrambling trying to catch it and throw it out before it drew militsiya attention. Mykola finally forced it out. He was covered in scratches, but he was the hero for the day, so he got the largest portion of food. Poor Tatyana. We teased her about it for months afterward."

I laugh. I can't help it. It's a horrible thought, Dani as a child living underground in a post-Soviet concrete jungle, dodging cops and scrounging for food, but the mental image of a bunch of kids hopping around trying to catch a cat that's gone nuclear is like something out of a sitcom.

"Did it ever come back?" I ask.

"The cat?" Dani says, smiling enough to actually show teeth. "No. But Tatyana couldn't help herself when it came to animals. She was always dragging in some poor unfortunate creature with a limp or when it was zero degrees outside. Sort of like you."

When I set out to write the Trust Me series, I had no idea what I was getting into. I didn't do anything in the way of outlining, so I just went with whatever answer came to mind while I was writing the scene. What is Julep's main goal in the story? Find her missing father! Why is he missing? He was kidnapped by the mob! Why was he kidnapped by the mob? He was trying to help victims of human trafficking! …

And then I fell down a rabbit hole of information about human trafficking and immigration and law enforcement and orphans. The orphans in particular stuck with me. According to the World Orphan Project, the Ukraine has over 100,000 orphans, 90% of whom are orphaned for social reasons, such as alcoholism, abandonment, or incarceration of parents. Many of them have experienced significant abuse. These orphans typically grow up in state-run orphanages of over 200 kids. Many kids run away, preferring to live on the streets. Either way, far too many of them end up in prostitution or become criminals.

 These facts are only exacerbated by the recent political crisis in the Ukraine that has, as of this writing, left about 8,000 people dead. At the heart of the political unrest is the struggling economy, and the Ukraine's previous leadership's unpopular decision to suspend talks with the European Union, which many felt would have opened the doors to economic growth. As of this writing, military movements have been made that suggest a potential end to the war. But as we all know, healing from war takes far longer than war itself. Unicef estimates that there may be as many as 160,000 street children in the Ukraine, struggling to survive in -30 degrees Celsius in winter, living in tunnels and abandoned warehouses. The conditions they subsist in are deplorable, and yet they prefer it to their other options, including living at home with their parents, who may be abusive or alcoholic, or may simply not want them.

Many of these street children are addicted to sniffing glue and other drugs, and they steal to stay alive. It's amazing to me that any of them make it out of such conditions, but some of them do. Some of them are lucky enough to find temporary foster homes or even permanent adoptive parents. I liked reading those stories. It helped me get through the rest of it. In developing Dani's backstory, I learned a lot about her and how I wanted to portray her—single-minded, doggedly determined, loyal to a fault, and decisive without much in the way of doubt or regret. She acts, and then she deals with the consequences. She has an intrinsic sense of justice that is part of the fabric of her being. I think that quality alone would have helped her survive, and eventually escape, the streets of Kharkiv.

 To find out more about Ukrainian orphans, and how to help, check out these sites: Ukraine's Forgotten Children documentary Maya's Hope Foundation Happy Child Foundation Hope and Homes 

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Mary Elizabeth Summer is an instructional designer, a mom, a champion of the serial comma, and a pie junkie. Oh, and she sometimes writes books about teenage delinquents saving the day. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her daughter, her partner, and her evil overlor–er, cat. TRUST ME, I'M LYING, a YA mystery, will be released by Delacorte in Fall 2014.

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