Alana Lorens is here to give us a glimpse into her character Marisol's character by talking about the clothes she wears--and the ones her altar-ego Jerrika wears. The clothing characters wear say so much about their personality and their attitude toward life. Thanks for sharing with us, Alana!
How wearing just the right outfit can make a day
In A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME, Marisol Herrera Slade has been a single mom on her own with her son Mark for many years. She never received support from Mark’s dad, who split on them when Mark was very young. So her life in Ocala, Florida has not been the glorious beachside life one might expect.
Instead, she has become quite the expert at checking through secondhand stores to find their clothing, as well as most everything else they own. Her one “new” purchase was her laptop, from which she writes her blog Mothering Without a Man…or rather her alter ego Jerrika does.
But I digress.
During the time of our story, in 2005, Marisol returns to Pennsylvania to her high school reunion. She’s staying with her school friend Analisa, who’s grown comfortably plump and works as a nurse. When they decide to get dressed up for the ‘80s dance, Analisa sets Marisol up as her proxy for a real ‘80s flash:
When they arrived at Grove City, Ana took the button from Marisol, but kept hold of her hand. A very serious look set on her face.
“What?” Marisol guessed whatever Ana wanted to say must be unpleasant, or at least distasteful, because of the way she bit her lip.
“Maricita, I want you to have a wonderful time tonight. If what you want is to be able to hold your own with Russell Asher, then I want that for you, too.”
She gestured toward her purse. “I thawed all my plastic out of the ice tray. Because you are my friend, I want you to let me buy you something incredible to wear tonight, something to make them all know you are truly, through and through, Miss Jerrika Jones, feminista.”
Marisol didn't know whether to laugh or cry. She did the first till she did the second. “Feminista? Really?” The thought made her laugh harder.
“Hell, yes. You need something with attitude, amiga, and I want to buy it for you.”
Ana's smile was so sincere, Marisol wished she could let her do that. But her pride stung at the thought that what she had wasn't good enough. She'd bought a few new things for the trip. Most of her clothing was in good shape, some of it even designer label, but purchased at consignment stores, not off the designer rack.
“Ana, I don't think so.”
“No discuta! I'm going to buy the outfit, whether you wear it or not.” She looked down at her own ample form. “And you know it won't fit me.”
Torn between her pride and her desire to be that woman with attitude, Marisol sighed. “All right,” she finally said. “But I'll pay you back.”
“Write about me in your blog, chica. Then I can be famous, too.”
That was a small enough request, Marisol thought. Wouldn't cost her much, and Ana would score a lot of points with her co-workers. “I'll still pay you back,” she insisted.
Ana grinned and hugged her. “Then let's shop.” She pinned on the Jerrika Jones pin and urged Marisol to do the same. The next three hours was a whirl of trying on clothes and shoes and searching for accessories to match. Ana insisted the best outfit they found was a close assemblage of pieces copying Madonna's outfit from the movie Desperately Seeking Susan, which they'd all defied their parents to go see back in 1985. A cropped black-knit top, tight black pants, a shiny brown jacket with animal print lapels; all this topped by a tangle of silver and black necklaces, and finished with sharp mid-heel, low-cut black boots.
“I'll do your hair just like hers, with a black scarf tied in,” Ana said, admiring over Marisol's shoulder in the dressing room mirror. “If only you were blonde.”
“No! I am not going blonde!”
“Oh, yeah. One nasty blonde in town's enough.” Ana grinned. “All right. Take it all off again.”
“What are you wearing?” Marisol worried, reaching for the boot buckle.
“Me? Eh. What I always wear. Polyester. I've got some chunky belts, though, and I'll layer those on.” She shrugged. “No point in anyone looking at me, is there? You're the one who'll be the star.”
The dressing room attendant knocked and peeked in. “Oh my gosh! You're channeling the Material Girl, right?” She studied Marisol a minute. “Wait right there. You're not quite perfect.”
She vanished, leaving Ana and Marisol to exchange puzzled looks.
“You looked good to me.” Ana leaned back against the wall of the changing room.
“Here!” The saleswoman opened the door and handed Marisol some square-framed sunglasses. “Try those.”
Marisol slipped them on and looked in the mirror. With her hair up… She scooped her hair into her hand and held it at her crown, where the ends dangled appealingly. That was it. A snappy chick with style and attitude.
Jerrika lived and breathed.
"Perfect!” Analisa clapped her hands. “We'll take it all.”
Book Trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8qEjPOBzds&t=3s
Up-and-coming mommyblogger and single mom Marisol Herrera Slade returns to her old hometown in western Pennsylvania for her 20th high school reunion in 2005, reluctant and yet compelled to see her high school sweetheart, Russell Asher, who dumped her for the homecoming queen.
Russell's marriage to the golden girl, however, ended in a nasty divorce, and he has been systematically excluded from his sons' lives. In his Internet wanderings, he's found feminist blogger named Jerrika Jones, who glorifies single motherhood, essentially putting a stamp of approval on what's happened to him. His group of single dad advocates have vowed to take this woman down.
What Russell doesn't know, when he thinks to rekindle what he had with Marisol, is that Marisol and Jerrika are one and the same. When his group discovers the truth, will their drive for revenge derail any chance the couple have to reunite? Or will they find they have more in common than they ever expected?
Alana Lorens has been a published writer for more than forty years, after working as a pizza maker, a floral designer, a journalist and a family law attorney. Currently a resident of Asheville, North Carolina, the aging hippie loves her time in the smoky blue mountains. She writes romance and suspense as Alana Lorens, and sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal mystery as Lyndi Alexander. One of her novellas, THAT GIRL’S THE ONE I LOVE, is set in the city of Asheville during the old Bele Chere festival. She lives with her daughter on the autism spectrum, who is the youngest of her seven children, and she is ruled by three crotchety old cats, and six kittens of various ages.
Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Alana-Lorens/e/B005GE0WBC/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8qEjPOBzds&t=3s