Johnnie Bernhard, author

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​A Good Girl and ​the spring 2018 release of ​How We Came to Be  ​​are available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and other retail bookstores.  

A Good Girl
How We Came to Be
Gracey Reiter is facing a catalyst; a past confronted, the present slipping away and the unknown, intimidating future. She can’t do anything about the past, except accept it for what it was—her father’s alcoholism, her mother’s infidelity and soul-searching, and her siblings “realities.” Imminent death lurks. And yet, in the midst of it all, histories come full-circle, revealing both lies and truths. What once was, will be again, repeating itself…or does the buck stop here? 

An all-encompassing novel that penetrates the core beings of all who read it, A Good Girl pulls back the skin to reveal the raw actualities of life, love and relationships, told with candor and honesty.

​​​​​Karen Anders, teacher and mother of Tiffany, comes to terms​ with being a single-parent and a clumsy drunk in Houston, Texas as she forges an unlikely friendship with Leona Supak, a WWII Hungarian refugee.​​

Karen's pets, Max a Border Collie, and Poncho, an overweight cat, frequent Leona's well-manicured yard one too many times, causing friction between the two women.  Their relationship begins when they discover they are alone on Christmas Eve.  

​Karen worries about her low-scoring students, and the lack of support from the administration.  Her on-going feud with​ Kenny Johnson, the principal, insures comical fodder for her ​and her collegues, Kelly and Carl.

​The mother and daughter relationship changes when Tiffany ​moves to Austin and enrolls at the University of Texas.  To compete in the Greek Life and maintain her GPA, Tiffany uses ​Adderall as an illegal study-aid.  Rejected by the Greeks, she ​finds a gamer boyfriend, Jared, who also manages the Ink & ​Juice, a tatoo parlor-juicing bar in downtown Austin.

Rejected by Tiffany, Karen tests the dating field with Matthew Broussard, an ex-military man with a missing foot and three ex-wives.

The demise of Jared's and Tiffany's relationship and the closing ​of the Ink & Juice rests in the hands of Karen and rabid health ​inspector, Lopey Rojas.  Karen's ex-husband, Greg, a money-grubbing lawyer, steps in to help.

There's a baby on the way as Karen struggles with being a​ grandparent and a bride. A family unit is created from ​strangers and disappointments in ​How We Came to Be.  




    
The Setting for ​​​​​A Good Girl
The novel covers three centuries in two countries as the reader follows the immigration path of Gracey’s great-great grandmother, Aileen Walsh and her daughter, Patricia Walsh.  Patricia finds temporary peace from the famine of Ireland in a German settlement on the Gulf Coast of Texas where she meets Emil Mueller, the first born son of German immigrants.  Together, they forge a life on a small farm near the Francistas River in Jackson County, Texas, where they, their children and grandchildren survive wars, the Great Depression, hurricanes and personal tragedies.  In the 21st Century, Gracey returns to Jackson County to bury her father, Henry Mueller and to prepare for her only daughter’s marriage in Ireland.