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Each Hippie Chick shares her stories through a series of journal entries, that one of their daughters discovers hidden inside an abandoned Volkswagen van on her family’s property. Before writing PL&DHC, I revisited boxes of journals that I, myself, had kept from my teens and early twenties as I traveled across the U.S alone. As an avid journaler, I imagined what would someday happen if those very boxes were someday discovered. This in part was my inspiration to write the story in an epistolary format. People I met on my travels inspire some of the colorful cast of characters, others are completely fictional. I’ve left it to the reader to decide for themselves which are real and which are not…
The photos I’ve included are outside the home I rented where I wrote the entire first draft of the novel. Thank you for having me here today, and I hope you enjoy the book!
Peace, Love, and a Dead Hippie Chick follows the intertwining journeys of three young women in the mid-1990s who go on the road and off the grid, and leave their worlds behind. Each woman falls into a dangerous subculture of sex, drugs, and rock and roll in an attempt to attain her own sense of peace, love, and freedom.
KARA, a middle-class Midwestern girl, flees her painful past after a tragic accident claims a loved one, only to learn—after a violent attack—that there’s no safety among friends or strangers. Survival rests in her hands alone as she escapes into the wilderness of New Mexico.
NATASHA, born into privilege, rebels against her family’s expectations as she follows the Grateful Dead concert tour circuit, selling contraband and exploring her sexual freedom.
AMY, an impoverished Southern belle, becomes love-struck when an exotic drifter passes through town, deciding to leave home and follow him.
This intricately interwoven coming-of-age tale delves into the connection between strangers and the premise that the grand orchestration of life goes well beyond chance.
Enjoy an excerpt:
Friday, April 13, 2012
Eighteen Years Later
I’ve heard it said that Volkswagen buses choose their owners and not the other way around. Some believe they’re engineered and built with a secret mojo that allows this to be true. Ask anyone who’s ever owned one, and they’ll tell you it’s so. I wonder whom this one chose. During my entire life, it’s been sitting like a convict on death row, imprisoned in the rear corner of our jungle property next to our dog Parker’s grave—over eighteen years now, grass growing over its wheel wells and tropical foliage climbing onto the windshield, awaiting execution by vegetation. I hadn’t paid much attention to it until this morning. My parents had never spoken of it.
Daylight broke through the fronds of the areca palms as I stepped onto the sod—the lawn was wet with morning dew—and began to dribble my soccer ball along the length of it. I drilled the ball, sending it sailing across the yard and directly onto the van’s back door, popping it open. Cursing my crooked instep kick, I pushed through the tangled waist--‐‑deep flora in an attempt to close the hatch but climbed inside out of curiosity. The license plate reads New Mexico, Land of Enchantment. Although born in Arizona, I’ve never technically set foot in the United States. We moved here when I was an infant.
About the Author: N.R. Leigh began her writing career in 2007 as a featured columnist for the guerrilla newspaper The Uncommon Sense. She since has written books as an expert on personal health and wellness under the pseudonym Nicci Leigh.
She was inspired to write her debut novel, Peace, Love, and a Dead Hippie Chick, by a conversation with a friend, who described a newspaper article regarding the events that surrounded a group of hippies' visit to her small town and the havoc they caused. This crazy, fascinating account, coupled with N.R.’s experiences traveling the United States in her early 20s, gave birth to her story.
N.R. has a background in education and teaches aesthetics, yoga, Reiki, and related holistic modalities. Born and raised in Flint, Michigan, she currently lives in a rural coastal community in southwest Florida with her family and their Australian Kelpie, Sydney, who believes she’s a Tasmainian Devil.
N.R is inspired by funny people and those who create positive change and peace. Her friends and family describe her as driven, strong, silly, and independent. Something most people don’t know about her is that, at age eighteen, she aided police in the capture of a team of bank robbers.
N.R. is working on her first fiction series, Imagine Yasmin.
Please visit her website to connect.
Buy the book at Amazon.
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