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It is my pleasure to welcome Therese Fowler to Colloquium! She is the author of three novels, Reunion, Souvenir and her latest, , which is the subject of today’s .

Exposure is the story of two high school seniors, Amelia and Anthony, who are deeply involved with each other over the objections of Amelia’s father. When Amelia’s father inspects her laptop computer and finds nude photographs of Anthony stored there, he becomes infuriated and calls the police. Anthony is soon arrested and the over-zealous prosecutor is determined to make an example of Anthony in order to illustrate the dangers of “sexting.” The story is a timely cautionary tale for parents and teens alike, inspired by the author’s actual experience with her son. It is also an engrossing tale of young love in the age of technology.

I reviewed Exposure and because I was so impressed by it, I invited Therese to be my guest author today. She not only graciously accepted my invitation, but, along with her publisher, Random House, has offered three copies of the book to be given to lucky readers selected at random. (Entry details below.)

on Exposure

by
Therese Fowler

In an early review of Exposure, the reviewer said I’d done a brave thing in writing a story that was inspired by my own son’s arrest for what the media have dubbed a sexting crime. That word, brave, took me by surprise. Writing the novel had been necessary. It had been frightening. I didn’t — and still don’t — feel I’d done anything brave.

I’d been working on a different book when my son, who had just turned nineteen, told me a warrant for his arrest was being issued. That book was under contract, so although life became very complicated very quickly, I felt bound to keep working and meet my deadline — but I struggled with it; the story just wasn’t doing what I wanted it to do.

A few months after my son’s arrest, months in which his lawyer had urged us to stay silent about what was going on, the idea for Exposure came to me. I’m certain it grew from my horror and frustration with what was going on, and the effects events had on my son and on our family. I asked my son what he thought about my writing a novel inspired by the situation, and he was fully supportive. I wouldn’t have done it otherwise.

In some ways, the writing came easily because the scenario was so familiar and so close. In other ways it was hard, because even though Exposure is entirely fictional — the story inside the book is not my son’s, nor mine — I knew I was putting my son and myself in a position where we would be judged. All the while, though, I was telling myself, think of what books can do.

I grew up being influenced by novels, and I fully believe in the power of story. Whether invented or true, stories have been the vehicles of lessons and warnings and inspiration for as long as humans have had the means to tell them.

So to craft a novel that might prevent even one person, one family, from having to face a similar or worse crisis was not, to me, a brave act. It was an opportunity to tell a story that reminds us all, “To err is human” – which is especially true when deep emotions are involved. I felt obligated to set aside the other book and write this one, to give you Anthony and Amelia and Harlan and Kim, all well-meaning people whose actions and choices add up to a cautionary tale that I hope will give you, at the very least, many hours of good reading.

Everyone in Exposure makes mistakes — as we all have done at times, and no doubt will do again. It’s what happens afterwards that makes all the difference.

Meet Therese

Author Therese Fowler
Therese Fowler says that she has believed in the magic of a good story since she learned to read at the age of four. She worked in the U.S. Civil Service, managed a clothing store, lived in the Philippines, had children, and sold real estate and used cars. At age thirty, as a newly single parent, she went back to school, earning a degree in sociology. She went on to earn an MFA in creative writing, and launched her successful career as the author of stories that explore the nature of family, our culture, mistakes, and desires.

She is proud to be one of fifty members of the Fiction Writers Co-op. Their collection of “Great Book Club Selections” is a resource that connects booksellers and readers with authors who enjoy talking about their novels with book groups.

With books published in nine languages and sold worldwide, Therese writes full-time from her home in Wake Forest, North Carolina, which she shares with her husband, four amiable cats, and four nearly grown-up sons.

Connect with Therese at her website or on Facebook.

Click here to read an excerpt of Exposure.

Enter to Win a Copy of Exposure

Three lucky readers, selected at random, will receive a copy of Exposure, generously provided by the author and her publisher, Random House.

To qualify, you must read my review of Exposure by clicking here. Then post a comment on this post, stating what aspect of the story — discussed in my review — you find most interesting and inspires you to want to read the book!

Be sure to include your email address (for notification and delivery purposes) in your comment. The book can only be shipped to a United States or Canadian address (no P.O. box).


The comments selected by Debbie; Julie at Knitting and Sundries; and Darlene at Darlene’s Book Nook were selected at random so copies of Exposure are being sent to those lucky winners!

Thanks to all who participated!

Thank you, Therese!


26 Comments

  1. Margaret

    Wow i had no idea just how controversial this book could be considered. I enjoyed the point of view by both teens and parents reflected here and the whole idea of stardom and how it can affect a young persons ideas about themselves. sounds like an amazing book!

    Margaret
    singitm@hotmail.com

  2. Patricia

    What a fascinating backstory this book has. The book itself sounds like a terrific read. Count me in!

    patricia dot mariani dot esq at gmail dot com

  3. I’m so glad you featured Therese Fowler. I have read all of her books including this one and enjoyed them all. I read EXPOSURE back in May and reviewed it and I can say it is a book that definitely resonated with me long after I finished it. What starts out as the discovery of some scandalous pictures becomes a legal nightmare for both the adults and the young people involved. It was really interesting to see how the lines between morality and legality became both distinct and yet blurred. On an aside, Cameron was such a supportive friend, and brave going to a lot of lengths to help Amelia and Anthony. I would love a friend like that.

    I can’t wait to read Therese’s next book! Please enter me in the contest as I would love to have my own copy.

  4. I find the over-bearing, strict father – and the understanding, protective mother to be so true to life. This sounds like a great read. Thanks for introducing me to Therese Fowler and for the review of her unique book. I’d love to win this book.

  5. Book sounds wonderful. Having raised two children and knowing what they can do not realizing the harm they can create for themselves I can imagine the problem this texting business can cause. Thanks for the wonderful giveaway

  6. Lack of knowledge of the law, does not constitute a defense. I think as parents, you have to stay abreast of laws, like sexting. I found it interesting that the mother didn’t know and didn’t warn her son about it. I think it is a conversation every parent should have. I would love to read this book.
    twoofakind12@yahoo.com

  7. I have two kids in college so we have recently dealt with high school and all the possible problems that it brings. I like the idea of this issue being dealt with because it is something I have heard about but never paid much attention to it.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

  8. Colleen Turner

    My son is still young (he is only six) but it gives me a cold sweat to think about the issues and dangers that can hit them once they hit puberty. As an adult I cannot fathom why these girls and boys would engage in “sexting” and sending nude pictures of themselves, knowing somewhere in their heads that this information is now in print and can be spread around. I have thought this book sounded interesting and would love to win a copy. Thanks for the giveaway!

  9. Krystal Larson

    The blurred lines of morality and immorality combined with the legal aspect sounds interesting. Thank you for the chance to win this book and good review! edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcom

  10. I would love to read this book! I have a teenage son and I am constantly reminding him about things as far as his phone and the computer are concerned. I am dieing to know how the story ends. Sounds intriguing!

  11. Yes its true how things can turn quickly in the life of a teenager especially
    with cell phones and texting and the computers. We all have to be aware of things. This sounds like a great book I would like to read

  12. Pam Keener

    What I find most interesting is that in the effort to truly make it a crime to exploit child pornography there are still innocents caught in the crossfire. Your review and the book makes one think of consequences not previously considered.
    Thanks so much for your review and giveaway.
    Love & Hugs,
    Pam
    pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

  13. Maria (pronounced Mariah)

    As the mother of a teenage daughter this is a very serious issue. You have to build the trust and it goes both ways but you also have to keep your kids safe! It is such a fine line!

    mmafsmith at gmail dot com

  14. mamabunny13

    What I found interesting in your review is the father that wants the best for his daughter would prefer that she be married to someone he picks based on social standing instead of someone that she loves. I wonder if (in real life) a father found pics of the boy he chose for his daughter would still press charges? I do know I would be horrified to find those types of pictures being sent to my daughter.
    mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

  15. thanks for the chance to read this fabulous novel 🙂

  16. Stephanie

    The thing that seems the strangest to me in this book is that this could actually happen. How could parents have thought this was for the best? It worries me that when I have kids I won’t understand their generation at all, or that I will make a situation worse because I didn’t take the time to understand what was going on. Great review, I am really curious to see how this book turns out.

    thegirlonfire27 at gmail dot com

  17. Pingback: West Of Mars — Win A Book! » Blog Archive » Close Your Eyes by Amanda Eyre Ward

  18. Linda Kish

    I would love to read this book.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  19. Another wonderful review. I’ve been interested in this one ever since I first read the premise, as I have strong feelings about sexting – I don’t think young people should be held out as criminals with a record that may follow them for life over doing something that’s basically pretty stupid. We think that they should know better, but if we remember, we did our own stupid things when we were young as well. I didn’t realize that the author had her own brush with the injustice of a punishment not fitting the crime until I read your review and guest post. I hope that things turned out OK.

    Any book that calls attention to the consequences of sexting is one that I think most young people should read and even us “older” ones, so that we are informed enough to sensibly caution our young people against it.

    Thanks for the chance to win!

    knittingandsundries(at)gmail(dot)com

  20. Pamela James

    The sexting aspect and the young love comparing it to romeo and juliet-I don’t think young adults relise the consequences that can result from something that they think is harmless. The media has glamorized sex, nudity and smut. Kim Kardashian became famous because of a sex tape and our youth today looks up to her.
    pjames330 at aol dot com

  21. I have heard about this book and it will be good to read . In this day and age with cell phones and texting etc. it can be so easy to get into trouble and not really realizing whats happening. Gives us a point of view of the situation

  22. jesterbuny(at)gmail(dot)com Wow, your review is engrossing, and this is a book I will certainly have to get my hands on. I was in high school when “sexting” first began. I would love to read more indepth about how the characters handle the situation. Teen-age “fun” can definitely hurt ones future.

  23. Our youth is so technologically-driven that I find it a bit frightening! Kids nowadays have cell phones in primary schools! *I* don’t even own a cell phone, LOL! It’s so common for kids to text and send photos by phone, and I think sometimes they don’t think about consequences. Once something is in cyberspace, it’s there forever…be it a naughty photo or sexy message. Waaaaaay different from the days when I was young and you just passed a note!

    Anyway, I enjoyed your review and it sounds like a good read! Please enter me in the draw.

    darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

  24. Nancye Davis

    Wow! This book sounds very intriguing, for sure! I especially like that the author wrote this book based on her own family’s experience with “sexting”—so who better to write a book on this topic? Thanks for the chance to win such a great book.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net
    😉

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