Friday, March 15, 2013

My Prison Without Bars by Taylor Fulks

I’ve said it before and I firmly believe there is a special place in Hell for those who harm children.  This is something I feel strongly about and I’m not even satisfied seeing the offenders tossed in jail.  They had altered a life forever and theirs should be forfeit in their place.  Harsh? I really don’t think so.  I can have sympathy for quite a few things, forgiving and forgetting, but harming a child is not one of them.  I would even go so far as to say their fate should be devised by the writers of horror.  There just isn’t any excuse I deem credible.

I am not one prone to pick up a book about tragedy or subject matter that makes me squeamish, but when I came across Taylor Fulks’ novel, My Prison Without Bars, based on true life events, I had to see how this lady was made into the bubbly person I had gotten to know.  She is not just a survivor, for sometimes survivors are mopey and pessimistic.  No, Taylor is a thriver and I wanted to discover how she broke out of her jail.

Sexual abuse is never really about sex, but about power.  It’s about imprisoning the person you want to control and taking what they don’t want to give.  In Taylor’s case, she was so young she didn’t even comprehend what was happening.  She did, however, know enough to be afraid and her stepfather, Gene, did a great job keeping her terrified. 

My Prison is graphic and detailed.  One person in her writing group called parts of it child pornography and, to be honest, there were portions I had to step away from for awhile because of the anger it invoked within me.  However, her story is not porn, but abuse.  It’s not meant to titillate the reader or ignite passion - if it does, please see a therapist - but rather, to bring to light a topic that for far too long has been swept under the rug.  It is graphic, intense, and very explicit, but remember, this isn’t fiction for the sake of fiction.  This isn’t a story to entertain.  This is a story of revelation and ultimately of  healing.  Taylor bares her life and soul in order to bring the subject into that light.

In her book, Taylor reveals how we can build cages around ourselves, believing we deserve nothing better than what Fate brings us. When tragedy and cruelty seems to be all we ever receive, it can become all we think we deserve.  That, also, is the power of the abuse, to strip away the victim’s self-worth and cheapen the future in their eyes.

Taylor hit several hard topics in her writing, such as a parent ignoring and permitting what is happening, the cruelty of teenagers to each other and how much the high school years can be a dog-eat-dog period of time, and how people can be spectators to abuse instead of rescuers.  The scene at the baseball diamond was one of the ones that angered me the most.  Dragged from base to base after being severely beaten and then almost drowned was humiliating enough, but to have her classmates just watch and then walk away was devastating.  Teenagers can sometimes be the cruelest people of all.

Author, Taylor E. Fulks
Taylor’s relationship with Tony reveals how imprisoned we can make ourselves when afraid to believe we deserve better.  The prison walls became thicker; the cell even smaller as manipulation and verbal abuse compounds the physical.  There were several times, I wanted to punch Tony as I read and screamed at the page for Taylor to just dump him and move on with her life.  Yet, that was her prison and only she could break out of it.

And she does, but I’ll allow you to read it and find out how.   This is a novel that will grip you and stir up all sorts of emotions.  Taylor’s writing is great, her voice strong and her courage far greater than mine.  Don’t be afraid to read it because it’s a tough topic.  Don’t allow the graphic subject matter steer you away from what is happening now, this very minute, to some poor terrified little child.  Once you do, I hope it opens your eyes to a crime that has remained in the shadows far too long. 

Parents, I hope this novel will spur you to action to protect your children and be informed.  Talk to your children.  Ask them if anything inappropriate is going on and make sure they know exactly what you mean and that it doesn’t matter who is doing it to them.  It’s still wrong.  Give them a safe place to run to for protection and help.  Our children need us to be their heroes.  It could mean the difference of a life of true freedom or a life lived in a prison they were never created to endure.

You can also find Taylor and her book at:

Press Release:

My Prison Without Bars: U.S. Author Launches Personal Story of Abuse, in Wake of Penn State Sex Scandal.

As the Penn State sex scandal grips headlines around the world, one U.S author releases a novel based her own story of abuse, suffering and the journey to re-build her life. As Taylor Evan Fulks proves, millions of victims suffer in silence, away from the global media spotlight.

For Immediate Release

Proctorville, OH – The past year has brought to light alarming and shocking public accounts from the victims of Jerry Sandusky. While the world has watched with open jaws, millions of other victims have sat in silence while enduring their own personal abuse nightmares. Unable to repress her feelings any more, one U.S writer has announced a compelling book of her own terrorizing experiences.

The life of Ohio’s Taylor Evan Fulks is told in ‘My Prison Without Bars...The Journey of a Damaged Woman to Someplace Normal’, through the eyes of her protagonist, Taylor Smith.

Both gripping and graphic, the novel tells of her abusive upbringing in a sea of dysfunction, as well as her painful journey of memories, nightmares and personal demons as she desperately tries to discover what ‘normal’ really is.

Gripped in the manacles of real life…a profound revelation about her past from her mother, and the discovery that her marriage lies in peril, Taylor Smith finds herself at a life-altering crossroads, with no idea of how to deal, or which way to go.

Using a business trip as an excuse to get away, Taylor flies to Cleveland for a week long medical conference, hoping that in her free time, she can come up with an escape plan from the life she's been dealt.

While out with her colleagues on the last night of the conference, she sees, or thinks she sees a ghost from her past; a living, breathing monster from under her bed long ago. Rattled and a bit tipsy, she walks back to her hotel and sees him again while entering an elevator. Fumbling with the key card in the door is the last thing she does before her world goes dark.

Taylor awakens to find herself tied to the bed and in the company of a monster from her past. He holds Taylor captive and responsible for his lousy life; not wanted by his father, stuck with a useless and depraved mother and victim to the abuses of countless men coming in and out of his mother's room.

Taylor's nightmare is in her room...where no one can hear her screams, and no one can rescue her. Once again, she must fight to survive….

While something of a nightmare, the author makes it clear that her story is a very real reality.

“This is my story...though dark and disturbing, it moves toward light, hope, and healing. It is a poignant view of abuse through the eyes of a child....desperately seeking normal. It is not my intent to be grotesque or offend with my writing, I just want readers to truly feel what a child experiences while being damaged by their abuser,” says Fulks, who has desperately tried to rebuild her life.

She continues, “I have lived in shame and secrecy my entire life because of things that "happened" to me. The “taboo” subject of sexual abuse compounds the shame and need for secrecy.  I've lived in darkness and secrecy far too long! I've come out into the light.”

The recent Penn State revelations angered Fulks, as the media attempted to hide the true details of what Sandusky’s victims were forced to endure.

“I was elated at the response of the University administrators; however, the fallout from the fans and students splayed me. Interviews of the victims were severely edited...hushed and on the down-low. Why? Because as I said, the subject is taboo! No wonder victims can't get past the shame and keep it secret,” she adds.

However, Fulks promises that her own story is frankly honest and bare-bone true. Believing that no details should be spared from readers, her compelling personal story is set to move, inform and provoke the thoughts of all who turn its pages.

‘My Prison Without Bars...The Journey of a Damaged Woman to Someplace Normal’ is due for release on December 17, 2012 on, Amazon Kindle, and Barnes &

For more information and to read a sample chapter, please visit the author’s official website:

Her progress can also be followed on social media.

Twitter:  Http://

About the Author:

Taylor Evan Fulks, a practicing Registered Nurse First Assistant, has specialized in open heart surgery and heart transplantation for decades. She is also a survivor of child sexual abuse. Her chosen writing genre is mystery/romance, but she feels compelled to put her own story, in the form of a fictional novel, on the bookshelf first. She lives in Proctorville, Ohio, with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs. This is her debut novel.
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  1. "That, also, is the power of the abuse, to strip away the victim’s self-worth and cheapen the future in their eyes"...that's powerful... Damn you Robbie. Now I've got to add this book to my ever growing reading list...I feel compelled to read it based on the above post...First though, I wish nothing but continued healings and blessings for Taylor..what brave choices she has made.

    1. Thank you, Christina :) Taylor is a remarkable lady as well as a great writer. I look forward to seeing what you think about her book and new freedom.

  2. There are no words Robbie...

    I have had so many doors closed to me because of the subject matter of this book--publishers, book stores, libraries, book clubs, bloggers, all shy away from having any association with the topic.

    As you so eloquently stated, the book is so much more than the graphic depictions of child sexual's the damage and fallout from that abuse and how a life is altered forever.

    You have no idea what you have done for me. I know you thought I was kidding when I said I felt like the new kid at the playground getting invited to play...I wasn't. There aren't many bloggers out there with the courage and integrity you have my friend. You have the soul of a lion and the heart of an angel. I only hope that your followers will not be offended by your courageous post.

    I have 90 reviews on Amazon...29 on Goodreads...and 1 on Themessthatisme. The 1 on the "Mess" is my most treasured and absolute favorite of all time.

    You honor and humble me with your beautiful, eloquent depiction of my heart.

    There are no words sufficient to express my gratitude. You are a true gentleman...a prince among men.
    Thank you my friend,


    1. It was truly my pleasure, Taylor. I think people need to see the intent behind the novel before judging the subject matter and that more people need to stand and say something about this horrible crime against children. Thank you for having the courage to bare yourself before the world in that fight. I only wish I could have done more to help you. And I feel my readers will support you just as I do. Thank you, Taylor, for your sweet words and your bravery.