Once A Homecoming Queen

by Joan Moran (Author)

She's funny. She's redeemable. And she's dying.

Book Description:​

She’s funny. She’s redeemable. And she’s dying.

Once A Homecoming Queen is a darkly humorous novel about addiction and redemption, featuring a 75-year-old, Francine-Reynolds-Richelli-Freeman, whose extreme alcohol consumption leads to a bevy of problems including her latest-a fall that breaks her neck, leaving her daughter and those who care about her to help Francine make peace with her past and re-imagine her future.

Angry and resentful about how her life has turned out, Francine’s humor leans to the dark side, but she’s likeable and unforgettable-emotionally tender, loving and authentic with an unflinching personality. Think Phyllis Diller on Steroids. Having been a former drug and alcohol counselor, and as the adult child of an alcoholic, Joan wanted to write a uniquely entertaining story about senior addiction as it related to family dynamics and dysfunction.

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". . . a powerful novel with a badly needed message. With more stories about elderly addiction it gets easier to help people in need. Before you get the chance to experience the film for yourself, get to know more about the writer behind it and learn what you can expect from the story right here." —Frankie Stein, Film Daily "There's no upside to the downside." LONE STAR LITERARY LIFE Our journey through life is personal and can sometimes be painful and slipshod. The choices we make and the people we let in will always impact our mind, body, and final moments. Francine Fisher-Reynolds-Richelli-Freeman's life has been fraught with unsupportive parents, rebellion, dark wit, and far too much alcohol, specifically bourbon and seven. What sets Francine apart on her chaotic life-and-death adventure is her intellect, rock-solid memory, self-deprecating humor, and a battered and quite beautiful heart in a failing seventy-five-year-old body. This story can be difficult to process, especially if readers can relate to the desperate need to remain independent and in control while facing the consequences of self-destructive behavior. Relatable or not, this tale of redemption will tug at the heart and have readers cheering for Francine because of her spunk, brutal honesty, and determination to restructure her broken, bourbon-soaked life. Francine's body may be at death's door, but her mind is a sharpened machete. Joan Moran presents this novel about addiction with grace and dignity but with a twist: plenty of humor. While there is nothing funny about alcoholism or any form of addiction, humor can be both an elixir and a poison to the tortured soul. Francine's special wit is both authentic and an evasion, and Moran shows each side of this stinging sword through all of Francine's past and present relationships, including those with her daughter, Rachel, and her enabler best friend, Ida. The pacing of Once a Homecoming Queen is as quick as life: over in a blink and full of lessons, tears, laughter, and constant change with each passing chapter. This literary narrative is certainly character-driven, but the overall plot stands out as well. Life and death are inseparable lovers that start their sensual dance at the first breath. This engaging fiction captures the essence of this ultimate bond within us as we navigate the pitfalls of life and stare intently at death with trepidation or longing, or perhaps both. Francine is absolutely a flawed protagonist, but her struggle is real, and her wish to live her last days on her own terms is simultaneously encouraging and heartbreaking. Emotions will run deep throughout this story; however, hope and humor should reign supreme. Once a Homecoming Queen can be considered a cautionary tale and a reminder that friends and family are important, and that your attitude can either break you or illuminate both your path and the people orbiting you along the way. "You are the most important person in your life." Whether you are facing a battle similar to Francine's or simply enjoy reading stories that elicit strong empathy, OnceI a Homecoming Queen by Joan Moran will fill your senses. And maybe it will prompt you to examine your own journey and the people in your sphere, both those who drift in and out and those who remain by your side until your final rodeo. The Midwest Book Review by Diane Donovan Once a Homecoming Queen is a novel about a dying, addicted woman whose alcoholism leads her to suffer a major fall. This places her care in the arms of her frustrated family. It may seem odd to find humor in this sobering story of Francine Reynolds-Richelli-Freeman, but Joan Moran's wry tongue-in-cheek observations temper the realistic, somber atmosphere of a family's dysfunctional makeup and the impact of a dependent alcoholic, offering glimpses into a world of sobriety, new possibilities, old patterns, and shifting alliances and choices: "Rhonda drove too fast into the women's correctional facility parking lot. She had to slam on her brakes to stop the car from going beyond the guest parking. Francine clutched her purse. Rhonda parked and got out. 'Are you coming?' Rhonda asked as she began to walk to the front entrance. Francine got out of the car and peered at the dilapidated building. 'Sounded like a good idea at the time,' Francine said under her breath. 'I heard that,' said Rhonda. 'It's not the Taj Mahal, but it's clean.' 'Oh, that's a good recommendation. I'll put it on Yelp. 'Jail is clean. Come on down and join us.'" The subject of senior addiction and its special brand of family impact are nicely done, with depictions of AA meeting encounters, struggles to embrace sobriety, and efforts to change engrained family dynamics revealed in the course of a dynamic exploration of life. Joan Moran is adept at juxtaposing past influences with present-day events and the kinds of confrontations and realizations that keep Francine engaged in new possibilities while fielding the impact of her usual poor choices. From start to finish, the dark humor emerges from unexpected encounters, enriching the experiences Francine embraces. The result is a compelling, realistic story of a family's tangled involvements in a senior's efforts to overcome both addiction and the impact of her life and past choices. Libraries and readers seeking novels steeped in realistic family and life encounters with addiction and redemption will find Once a Homecoming Queen engrossing. It's highly suitable for family and reading group debates on subjects ranging from alcoholism and family dynamics to the process of being a senior and confronting poor choices and dubious outcomes at the end of life. Midwest Book Review by Diane Donovan Once a Homecoming Queen is a novel about a dying, addicted woman whose alcoholism leads her to suffer a major fall. This places her care in the arms of her frustrated family. It may seem odd to find humor in this sobering story of Francine Reynolds-Richelli-Freeman, but Joan Moran's wry tongue-in-cheek observations temper the realistic, somber atmosphere of a family's dysfunctional makeup and the impact of a dependent alcoholic, offering glimpses into a world of sobriety, new possibilities, old patterns, and shifting alliances and choices: "Rhonda drove too fast into the women's correctional facility parking lot. She had to slam on her brakes to stop the car from going beyond the guest parking. Francine clutched her purse. Rhonda parked and got out. 'Are you coming?' Rhonda asked as she began to walk to the front entrance. Francine got out of the car and peered at the dilapidated building. 'Sounded like a good idea at the time,' Francine said under her breath. 'I heard that,' said Rhonda. 'It's not the Taj Mahal, but it's clean.' 'Oh, that's a good recommendation. I'll put it on Yelp. 'Jail is clean. Come on down and join us.'" The subject of senior addiction and its special brand of family impact are nicely done, with depictions of AA meeting encounters, struggles to embrace sobriety, and efforts to change engrained family dynamics revealed in the course of a dynamic exploration of life. Joan Moran is adept at juxtaposing past influences with present-day events and the kinds of confrontations and realizations that keep Francine engaged in new possibilities while fielding the impact of her usual poor choices. From start to finish, the dark humor emerges from unexpected encounters, enriching the experiences Francine embraces. The result is a compelling, realistic story of a family's tangled involvements in a senior's efforts to overcome both addiction and the impact of her life and past choices. Libraries and readers seeking novels steeped in realistic family and life encounters with addiction and redemption will find Once a Homecoming Queen engrossing. It's highly suitable for family and reading group debates on subjects ranging from alcoholism and family dynamics to the process of being a senior and confronting poor choices and dubious outcomes at the end of life.

Joan Moran (Author)

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Joan holds two master’s degrees: Theater and Education. It was her desire to teach in the theater department at UNLV that provided her a position as an acting and theater history professor. Five years later, Joan founded and was the artistic director of the Meadows Playhouse, Las Vegas’s first year-round theater. Her interest in film brought her entrance to the American Film Institute in Los Angeles as a producing fellow. Before she graduated, Joan wrote her first screenplay and continued to write for film during the next 15 years in Hollywood, alongside producing several films. During this time, Joan also pursued a career as a motivational speaker and blogger. As a keynote speaker, Joan commanded the stage with her delight humor, raw energy and wealth of life experiences. She spread her knowledge and energy as she combined 15 years of theater experience as well as over 13 years of experience as a yoga and meditation instructor at UCLA. Joan began her writing journey with her memoir, 60, Sex & Tango, Confessions of a Beatnik Boomer. Other books followed: I’m the Boss of Me: Stay Sexy, Smart & Strone at Any Age, a compilation of her most popular blogs, An Accidental Cuban, a thriller that takes place in modern day Havana. The novel is currently in development for a streaming series. Her recently published book, Once A Homecoming Queen, is a darkly humorous take on senior alcoholism. Joan also adapted Once A Homecoming Queen into an award winning screenplay. Her latest book is a memoir of her mother: Suddenly, I Was Jewish, The Life and Times of My Jewish Mother.

Once A Homecoming Queen

". . . a powerful novel with a badly needed message. With more stories about elderly addiction it gets easier to help people in need. Before you get the chance to experience the film for yourself, get to know more about the writer behind it and learn what you can expect from the story right here." —Frankie Stein, Film Daily "There's no upside to the downside." LONE STAR LITERARY LIFE Our journey through life is personal and can sometimes be painful and slipshod. The choices we make and the people we let in will always impact our mind, body, and final moments. Francine Fisher-Reynolds-Richelli-Freeman's life has been fraught with unsupportive parents, rebellion, dark wit, and far too much alcohol, specifically bourbon and seven. What sets Francine apart on her chaotic life-and-death adventure is her intellect, rock-solid memory, self-deprecating humor, and a battered and quite beautiful heart in a failing seventy-five-year-old body. This story can be difficult to process, especially if readers can relate to the desperate need to remain independent and in control while facing the consequences of self-destructive behavior. Relatable or not, this tale of redemption will tug at the heart and have readers cheering for Francine because of her spunk, brutal honesty, and determination to restructure her broken, bourbon-soaked life. Francine's body may be at death's door, but her mind is a sharpened machete. Joan Moran presents this novel about addiction with grace and dignity but with a twist: plenty of humor. While there is nothing funny about alcoholism or any form of addiction, humor can be both an elixir and a poison to the tortured soul. Francine's special wit is both authentic and an evasion, and Moran shows each side of this stinging sword through all of Francine's past and present relationships, including those with her daughter, Rachel, and her enabler best friend, Ida. The pacing of Once a Homecoming Queen is as quick as life: over in a blink and full of lessons, tears, laughter, and constant change with each passing chapter. This literary narrative is certainly character-driven, but the overall plot stands out as well. Life and death are inseparable lovers that start their sensual dance at the first breath. This engaging fiction captures the essence of this ultimate bond within us as we navigate the pitfalls of life and stare intently at death with trepidation or longing, or perhaps both. Francine is absolutely a flawed protagonist, but her struggle is real, and her wish to live her last days on her own terms is simultaneously encouraging and heartbreaking. Emotions will run deep throughout this story; however, hope and humor should reign supreme. Once a Homecoming Queen can be considered a cautionary tale and a reminder that friends and family are important, and that your attitude can either break you or illuminate both your path and the people orbiting you along the way. "You are the most important person in your life." Whether you are facing a battle similar to Francine's or simply enjoy reading stories that elicit strong empathy, OnceI a Homecoming Queen by Joan Moran will fill your senses. And maybe it will prompt you to examine your own journey and the people in your sphere, both those who drift in and out and those who remain by your side until your final rodeo. The Midwest Book Review by Diane Donovan Once a Homecoming Queen is a novel about a dying, addicted woman whose alcoholism leads her to suffer a major fall. This places her care in the arms of her frustrated family. It may seem odd to find humor in this sobering story of Francine Reynolds-Richelli-Freeman, but Joan Moran's wry tongue-in-cheek observations temper the realistic, somber atmosphere of a family's dysfunctional makeup and the impact of a dependent alcoholic, offering glimpses into a world of sobriety, new possibilities, old patterns, and shifting alliances and choices: "Rhonda drove too fast into the women's correctional facility parking lot. She had to slam on her brakes to stop the car from going beyond the guest parking. Francine clutched her purse. Rhonda parked and got out. 'Are you coming?' Rhonda asked as she began to walk to the front entrance. Francine got out of the car and peered at the dilapidated building. 'Sounded like a good idea at the time,' Francine said under her breath. 'I heard that,' said Rhonda. 'It's not the Taj Mahal, but it's clean.' 'Oh, that's a good recommendation. I'll put it on Yelp. 'Jail is clean. Come on down and join us.'" The subject of senior addiction and its special brand of family impact are nicely done, with depictions of AA meeting encounters, struggles to embrace sobriety, and efforts to change engrained family dynamics revealed in the course of a dynamic exploration of life. Joan Moran is adept at juxtaposing past influences with present-day events and the kinds of confrontations and realizations that keep Francine engaged in new possibilities while fielding the impact of her usual poor choices. From start to finish, the dark humor emerges from unexpected encounters, enriching the experiences Francine embraces. The result is a compelling, realistic story of a family's tangled involvements in a senior's efforts to overcome both addiction and the impact of her life and past choices. Libraries and readers seeking novels steeped in realistic family and life encounters with addiction and redemption will find Once a Homecoming Queen engrossing. It's highly suitable for family and reading group debates on subjects ranging from alcoholism and family dynamics to the process of being a senior and confronting poor choices and dubious outcomes at the end of life. Midwest Book Review by Diane Donovan Once a Homecoming Queen is a novel about a dying, addicted woman whose alcoholism leads her to suffer a major fall. This places her care in the arms of her frustrated family. It may seem odd to find humor in this sobering story of Francine Reynolds-Richelli-Freeman, but Joan Moran's wry tongue-in-cheek observations temper the realistic, somber atmosphere of a family's dysfunctional makeup and the impact of a dependent alcoholic, offering glimpses into a world of sobriety, new possibilities, old patterns, and shifting alliances and choices: "Rhonda drove too fast into the women's correctional facility parking lot. She had to slam on her brakes to stop the car from going beyond the guest parking. Francine clutched her purse. Rhonda parked and got out. 'Are you coming?' Rhonda asked as she began to walk to the front entrance. Francine got out of the car and peered at the dilapidated building. 'Sounded like a good idea at the time,' Francine said under her breath. 'I heard that,' said Rhonda. 'It's not the Taj Mahal, but it's clean.' 'Oh, that's a good recommendation. I'll put it on Yelp. 'Jail is clean. Come on down and join us.'" The subject of senior addiction and its special brand of family impact are nicely done, with depictions of AA meeting encounters, struggles to embrace sobriety, and efforts to change engrained family dynamics revealed in the course of a dynamic exploration of life. Joan Moran is adept at juxtaposing past influences with present-day events and the kinds of confrontations and realizations that keep Francine engaged in new possibilities while fielding the impact of her usual poor choices. From start to finish, the dark humor emerges from unexpected encounters, enriching the experiences Francine embraces. The result is a compelling, realistic story of a family's tangled involvements in a senior's efforts to overcome both addiction and the impact of her life and past choices. Libraries and readers seeking novels steeped in realistic family and life encounters with addiction and redemption will find Once a Homecoming Queen engrossing. It's highly suitable for family and reading group debates on subjects ranging from alcoholism and family dynamics to the process of being a senior and confronting poor choices and dubious outcomes at the end of life.

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