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Hannah and Ariela
Hannah and Ariela
by Johnnie Bernhard

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Signing Event with Johnnie Bernhard
Saturday, October 8th at 2:00pm

Paperback. Signed.
Price: $23.95

Fort Worth, TX: Texas Christian University Press (June 23, 2022)

Paperback. Signed.

Two worlds collide when a seventy-three-year-old widow finds the semi- conscious body of a fourteen-year-old Mexican national in a ditch along a Central Texas remote byway. The question of justice for a victim of human trafficking and the elderly woman who kills the perpetrator lies in the hands of a biracial border patrol officer and an unconventional small-town sheriff.

Hannah Duran is the recent widow and principal owner of a 600-acre working ranch in Edwards County, Texas. Viewed as an eccentric, yet intelligent woman by the locals, Hannah is known for her independent thinking, preferring to live her life by her own moral code, which puts her in conflict with local mores, despite the legacy of her late husband. Ariela Morales and Katia Hernandez, two unassuming teens from Zaragoza, Mexico only wanted a manicure as promised by their former school mate, Ricky Alvarez. The decision to get into his truck takes them on a dangerous journey as victims of human trafficking, through the back roads of Northern Mexico and Texas, in preparation for specific clientele attending the NBA Playoffs in Houston.

The I-10 corridor of Texas connects saints, demons, and victims in the thriller, Hannah and Ariela, as readers follow the underbelly of the cartels, human trafficking, and the voiceless people trapped in a justice system on the verge of collapse.

A former teacher and journalist, Johnnie Bernhard is passionate about reading and writing. Her work(s) have appeared in: Houston Style Magazine, The Mississippi Press, The International Word Among Us, The Texas Review, and the Cowbird-NPR production on small town America essays.

Johnnie served as a speaker for the 2020 TED Talk: Fearless Women Series. She also supports young writers in public schools through the Letters About Literature program with the Texas Center for the Book and with the Write for Mississippi program. In 2021, she was named a teaching artist with Gemini Ink Writing Arts Center of San Antonio and the national TAP Summer Institute 2021. Johnnie’s family home is located 100 miles from the Texas-Mexico border; hence, the setting of her upcoming novel, covering the very important topic of human trafficking across the border.

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