Debut Novel: The Earthquake Machine
The book every girl should read,
and every girl’s parents hope she’ll never read.
The Earthquake Machine tells the story of 14 year-old Rhonda. On the outside, everything looks perfect in Rhonda’s world, but at home Rhonda has to deal with a manipulative father who keeps her mentally ill mother hooked on pharmaceuticals. The only reliable person in Rhonda’s life is her family’s Mexican yardman, Jesús. But when the INS deports Jesús back to his home state of Oaxaca, Rhonda is left alone with her increasingly painful family situation.
Determined to find her friend Jésus, Rhonda seizes an opportunity to run away during a camping trip with friends to Big Bend National Park. She swims to the Mexican side of the Rio Grande and makes her way to the border town of Milagros, Mexico. There a peyote- addled bartender convinces her she won’t be safe traveling alone into the country’s interior. So with the bartender’s help, Rhonda cuts her hair and assumes the identity of a Mexican boy named Angel. She then sets off on a burro across the desert to look for Jesús. Thus begins a wild adventure that fulfills the longing of readers eager for a brave and brazen female
Guest post from Mary Pauline Lowry:
My novel THE EARTHQUAKE MACHINE is about an American girl who runs away from home and travels deep into Mexico by herself as she searches for her one true friend.
I hope the book encourages grrrls to take risks and have amazing adventures. When I was in elementary school and junior high I found most of my escapades between the pages of books. But I wasn’t very old before I realized I wanted to have wild adventures of my own. And I didn’t want being a girl to stop me.
Here’s a list of my TOP 5 ADVENTURES.
(Who says writer/reader girls have to be demure?)
- In high school and college I worked as an open water lifeguard at a giant spring feed pool called Barton Springs.
- When I was 21 years old I became a forest firefighter on an elite, type 1 HOTSHOT crew. I traveled all over the Western United States battling giant blazes, hiking, camping, and sleeping in the ash.
- After one fire season I traveled all over Central America by myself, river rafting through rain forests, diving off water falls, sea kayaking, and hiking up active volcanoes.
- After finishing my Master’s degree, I moved to Durango, CO and worked as an apprentice carpenter for a Viking of a man named David, who believes women should be able to learn to work construction if they want. (I was a terrible construction worker! I don’t have the gift at all).
About the Author
Mary Pauline Lowry has worked as a forest firefighter, screenwriter, open water lifeguard, construction worker, and advocate in the movement to end violence against women. At 15, she ran away from home and made it all the way to Matamoros, Mexico. She believes girls should make art, have adventures, and read books that show them the way.
The Earthquake Machine releases today (February 28, 2012). I will be reviewing this book later on the blog, and holding an eBook giveaway when the review is posted so be on the lookout for that.