A Lover of Books

Archive for the day “June 17, 2015”

Interview with Tessy L Reys

Reach for Joy

Tessy L Reys went through years of shocking abuse and has since written a book.  I interviewed Tessy who very kindly answered my questions.


Can you tell me a little bit about your book, ‘Reach for Joy’ please?

I was married to a narcissisic/sociopathic man for 30 years. He didn’t like people and didn’t want to live in the real world. I was forced to bear 10 children and homeschool them. We lived in terrible situations. In some of the places we lived we endured freezing conditions. At times we didn’t have running water, electricity or even plumbing. We were often isolated. The children often had no friends, no social life and never did the things other children do growing up. I wasn’t allowed to drive, cut my hair, use deodorant or wear pants. My life was tightly controlled. One of my babies died in my arms and I endured rape. When I finally realized my life was in danger and our situation was getting worse, I escaped with my two youngest children.


How long did it take you to write it? 

It took me five years to write my story. I revised it several times as I struggled to tell it in a way that portrayed the unbelievably strange life we led and the terrible interior anguish I endured.


You went through an absolutely shocking experience.  Did you ever feel that you wouldn’t get out alive?

Yes, towards the end, there were several times I believed my life was in danger, I wrote about them in the book.


How does it feel to be out of the awful situation you were in?

Incredible. After 30 years in a controlled, abusive, confined state, without personal freedom, I fell apart (after I escaped). I didn’t know who I was. I was brainwashed and lived apart from the real world for so long that I felt as if I was starting all over at 22 again. There was no real personal growth for me all of those years of just trying to hold on and not commit suicide. Freedom feels wonderful, but not having the skills to live and support myself and my two children has been a terrible struggle. However, I wake up everyday and am so grateful to be free and alive.


Understandably, it must be hard to rid yourself of the past and all the pain you went through.  As well as the memoir, what steps have you taken to move on? 

I have been in therapy for five years and have done a lot of writing. Healing takes a long time. You can never get back the decades you’ve missed out on. I have chosen to reach for joy. I have forgiven my abuser and feel that love is the most powerful healing force there is. I wish to help others realize that fear is only as powerful as you allow it to be. You can be free if you can break through the fear.


What advice would you give to other women who are going through the same sort of thing?

Get help. Find a way, some way to get away. It isn’t hopeless. If I could live in fear for 30 years and escape, you can do it. But you have to be careful and get help. Life really will get better and it is so worth being free. Be strong, love yourself and be free.


Are you planning to write any more books?

I have written a small booklet called, “Self-Love Transformation” and I intend to write some other self-esteem and inspirational type books to help others who feel life is desperate and filled with anguish. I may write the rest of the story of what happened after I escaped and my abuser came after me.


Can you describe in three words what life means to you now?

Incredible wonderful JOY


About Tessy L Reys

Married at 21 and forced to have ten children while at times living in primitive conditions, Tessy L Reys was 51 when she finally escaped after 30 years of confinement, neglect and abuse. She now lives with her last two children while pursuing writing and reaching for joy



Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TLReys

Facebook Author page: https://www.facebook.com/R4JOY

Blog: http://lovingmeproject.blogspot.com/

Webpage I am setting up: http://www.reach4joy.com

My Self-Love Transformation booklet:  https://tinyurl.com/k58au6v (this is my affiliate link)

Google Plus:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/108021965074616531014/posts/p/pub


Blog Tour – ‘Among a Thousand Stars’ by Jo Bartlett

blog tour

‘Among a Thousand Stars’ by Jo Bartlett has been published by So Vain Books.  Today is the start of a blog tour celebrating this book and I am kicking it off with a guest post from Jo.


All in the stars?

Are you one of those people who believes in fate, luck or spooky coincidence? I suppose we all have our superstitions – I can’t see a single magpie without touching black and my sister won’t have new shoes in her kitchen.  Not even sure what that one’s about, but it’s clearly significant to her!

Despite being a romance writer, with over seven billion people in the world I’m not sure I really believe in the concept of “the one”. I quite like the idea of fate binding people together, though, and my husband and I certainly had our fair share of coincidences, which seemed to suggest we were meant to be together – although we’d both worked for the same company years before and never met.

Life is full of amazing coincidences and twists of fate, or so it seems; from the ‘just missed it’ club, who were booked to board the Titanic but for one reason or another never made it, to the couple who got together in their late twenties and found photographs from years earlier showing them both playing on the same beach only yards apart.

In ‘Among A Thousand Stars’ there are definitely some coincidences which the protagonist, Ashleigh Hayes, wishes had never happened.  She seems to have a habit of turning up in the wrong place at the wrong time and develops a bad case of emotional Tourettes around her prickly new boss as a result.  Yet it’s the discovery of a long lost painting that seems to give Ashleigh her biggest hint that the future might already be mapped out for her.

Is it really fate that decides who we’re going to spend our lives with, though? I think fate is just the thing that puts something or someone in our path and what we do as a result is up to us.  Characters in a novel are, of course, at the mercy of the writer rather than fate; or at least that’s the theory.  After all, how can characters who have no existence outside the writer’s mind have any sort of free will? Put it this way, my plans for Ashleigh didn’t always work out quite as I expected!

Perhaps it truly is all written for us in the stars, but either way I’m glad I don’t know too much about what will happen next.  As for Ashleigh and that long lost painting? That’s really is a story mapped out among a thousand stars.


About Jo Bartlett


Jo Bartlett has been a teacher for longer than she ever expected, which made it difficult to choose names for her children because ‘challenging’ students put her off so many potential choices.  She now combines educational consultancy, teaching in HE and blogging as one of The Write Romantics, with writing both fiction and non-fiction, and lives so close to the South-East edge of England that she’s very nearly French.

Among a Thousand Stars is her first full-length novel.

Website:  http://jobartlettauthor.com/

Twitter:  @J_B_Writer


‘Among a Thousand Stars’ is available to buy from Amazon:-


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