Jackie Lewis

Author of Tessa’s Heart: A Texas Story


Praise for Tessa’s Heart

“…the book is haunting in its presentation of the protagonist’s primal, raw emotions, such as her longing for a loving father, her deep need to be seen and heard, and her complicated feelings surrounding sexuality.”

 — Kirkus Reviews

Tessa has been born into a family of Texan eccentrics.  Her mother, a beautiful woman craves male attention at any cost.  Her grandmother, a religious zealot.  In order to survive her environment, Tessa does little dances to express her frustrations or get attention from her elders.  With an imagination akin to Huckleberry Finn’s and a streak of contrarianism like Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird, Tessa wards off the ghosts of her ancestors, with whom she is in too constant communication. Intelligent and open, she rejects the prejudices foisted upon her by her grandmother and becomes friends with Josey, an eleven-year-old, black ranch hand…

Jan Shure-Hurwitz, Writer and Educator

I’ve always preferred to be taken to an earlier time, a time that tells a story of those lives carved out that resonate in today’s world. Tessa’s Heart isn’t simply another tale of dreams and aspirations of strong women. I enjoyed watching Tessa, as a nine-year-old girl assert herself. This story goes into each character’s psyche as only Jackie Lewis can. From Tessa’s childhood to young adulthood, the narrative drew me toward individuals I felt each-and-every emotion for.

— Jon D’Amore, Author of The Boss Always Sits in The Back, Deadfellas,

The Delivery Man, and As Long As I have Lips

From the very first sentence, Ms. Lewis captures the reader’s attention in a cliff-hanger way. Tessa is growing up in the center of the tumultuous relationship between her beautiful mother and religious grandmother. It keeps you holding on, in order to find out more about the life of a matriarchal southern dysfunctional Texas family. Highly descriptive and most pleasurably a page turner and a reader’s delight…A must read.

— Diane Ward, Author of Confessions of a Good Catholic Girl

In Tessa’s Heart: A Texas Story, Jackie Lewis paints a Texas that is both familiar and imaginative. The canvas of characters, told through the eyes of the adorable Tessa, mingle between the absurd and supernatural, propelling the reader through a farcical world with unexpected confrontations. A coming of age story set in the 1950s is just as poignant today as we all root for the Tessas of the world.

— Thomas Minnich, Writer

Image of water tower in Yoakum Texas

“No matter where I move or how old I get, Yoakum, Texas, is deep
inside of me.” — Jackie Lewis, Tessa’s Heart