Meet the author
Books-A-Million Book Signing
Fri, November 18, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Walmart Book Signing
Sat, November 19, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
The Hen House Book Signing
Fri, November 25, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Walker Pharmacy Book Signing
Sat, December 3, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Buy the book
Book available at www.jennylynnanderson.com, The Hen House, Walker Pharmacy, Walmart
Within 15 minutes, a woman’s life that had been filled with light and love turned dark and dour. What happened to Jenny Lynn Martin Anderson more than 20 years ago is something no woman should ever have to endure. The gentle soul born and raised in Bulloch County, who had lived in nothing but Southern sunshine all her life, was introduced to stark cold evil when a man forced her into a hotel room at knifepoint and told her he was going to rape her.
She fought back until the cold blade touched her throat. After he robbed her, he began sexually assaulting her. During the attack, Anderson alternately prayed to God and thought of her husband Mark as the unthinkable took place.
Then an angel arrived. Anderson’s prayers and quick thinking likely saved her life.
Readers will learn how she escaped further horror and probably death when they read her book, “Room 939: 15 Minutes of Horror, 20 Years of Healing.”
They will feel what Anderson felt as she takes them through the ordeal; lets them live her life of innocence and then experience her terror and how it held her hostage for 20 years.
Then, she will explain how friend and editor Ric Mandes helped her begin the path to freedom and healing through writing about her living nightmare.
Anderson’s attack took place at a 1990 convention in an Atlanta hotel. She was attending her first conference as public relations director for Willingway Hospital.
In the book, her mother, retired judge Faye Sanders Martin, wrote a foreword. Describing the ordeal, she said “It stripped my daughter of her dignity, independence, and trust, thus imprisoning her in paralyzed fear for 20 years.”
But the long period of mental and emotional anguish, waking up in night terrors, living with the fear that the rapist would find her and ‘finish the job,” would end.
In the preface of her book, Anderson wrote a thank you to Mandes: “It started over a bowl of oatmeal at Starbucks,” she wrote. “Little did we know of God’s plan for us. It came to life when you said simply ‘Jenny Lynn, you have a story to tell.’ ”
Mandes became a closer part of the Anderson family as he began working with her on the novel. While writing the story was part of Anderson’s healing, it was also a prayer answered for Mandes, who had been seeking something himself.
“I’d prayed for a meaningful project, that God would bring me something to stimulate me and get me active again,” he said. "When Jenny Lynn asked me to edit the book, I knew God had answered my prayers.”
It was after Mandes planted the seed in her heart that Anderson began healing and planning the book. In the first part of the story, she wrote: “There are tears. I taste their saltiness. A gentle breeze suddenly becomes a wisp of wind lifting a page of my Bible to this verse. ‘God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all’ (John 1: 5).
“I close my eyes. I am embraced by His presence. The fear is gone. I can breathe again. I can finally tell my story.”
And in “Room 939: 15 minutes of Horror, 20 Years of Healing,” she does.
“Once I began writing about it, it flowed, it gushed out,” she said. “This is not just for assault victims — it’s a universal theme of how do you survive the unthinkable, circumstances in your life you’re not expecting. It’s for people who keep asking ‘why me?’ ”
The book includes a letter to her rapist – whom she has finally been able to forgive. Anderson came to realize, after 20 years of suffering and fear, that in order to become free, she had to view her attacker as a human being who had not lived the loving life she had, who had not been blessed as she had, and that she must forgive him in order to heal.
“I think the book has restored me,” she said.
A unique thing about her book is that it includes QR codes where readers with mobile devices that have code reader applications can scan the codes and enjoy music and artwork that accompanies and accentuate the story.
The codes also can be viewed on her website; www.jennylynnanderson.com.
Anderson’s book will be available at several book signings as well as The Hen House, Walker Pharmacy, Walmart, and online at www.jennylynnanderson.com.
Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.