#Interview with Allyson Rice Author of The Key to Circus-Mom Highway @GoddessFish #Contemporary #FamilyDramedy

The Key to Circus-Mom Highway by Allyson Rice released last moth in the contemporary fiction genre.

In an attempt to secure an unexpected inheritance—and hopefully find a few answers—two estranged sisters and their newly discovered brother embark on a comically surreal trip through the Deep South to retrace the life of the mother who abandoned them as infants.

On a Tuesday afternoon, sisters Jesse Chasen and Jennifer McMahon receive a phone call notifying them that their birth mother has died, leaving behind a significant inheritance. But in order to obtain it, they must follow a detailed road trip she designed for them to get to know her—and that includes finding a brother they never knew existed.

For the next week, this ill-assorted trio treks across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia to meet their mother’s old friends, from circus performers to a juke joint owner, each of whom delivers a shocking vignette into the life of a young mother traumatized by loss and abuse. Along the way, these three siblings—Jesse, whose fiery exterior disguises a wounded, drifting musician stuck in a rut; Jennifer, whose carefully curated family life is threatened by her husband’s infidelity; and Jack, whose enigmatic Jackie, Oh! persona in the New Orleans drag queen scene helps him escape the nightmares of Afghanistan that haunt him at night—must confront their own demons (and at least one alligator). But in chasing the truth about their real mother, they may all just find their second chance.

This uproarious debut novel is a reminder that sometimes, the family you’d never have chosen may turn out to be exactly what you need.

Barnes & Noble book link


KOBO book link


Target book link


Goodreads book link:


Westley re-entered with five boxes of food that said Zunzi’s on the side. “Best sandwiches in Savannah! We’re going on a traveling picnic. There’s a young couple, just got married, staying here tonight too, so they’re going to join us. I hope you don’t mind.” 

Duke and Ivy Parker had met at the Monster Truck Destruction Tour in Lubbock, Texas a mere two weeks ago. Christian Rock radio station KZOL was having their annual Monster Truck ticket giveaway to the first two callers who could answer these two questions correctly: 

1) What former WrestleMania star has driven a Monster Truck in a movie and has also founded a church? (answer: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson); and, 

2) According to Wikipedia, what Christian Grindcore band has said that their band name was inspired by Revelations 3:15-16? (answer: Vomitorial Corpulence) 

Complete strangers, Duke and Ivy had been the first two correct callers, at number fourteen and number thirty-one, respectively. When they both showed up at the Monster Truck event wearing the same vintage edition Bigfoot Monster Truck t-shirt, they were convinced that it was The Lord that had guided them to each other in Section 104 Row 25 Seats 16 and 17. They knew it was literally “a match made in Heaven,” and so they eloped.

Right on cue, Ivy and Duke, an excruciatingly gung-ho couple in their early twenties dressed in color-coordinated NASCAR gear, entered, holding hands.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Allyson Rice is the author of the novel The Key to Circus Mom Highway. (“Fans of family drama, road trips, and non-stop laughs will love this cross-country adventure.”–BookLife/Publisher’s Weekly). She’s an award-winning mixed media artist, and a producer with Atomic Focus Entertainment. 

After spending many years as an actress on stage and on television, she left acting and spent the next decade running yoga/meditation retreats, women’s retreats, and creativity retreats around the country. After that, she pivoted to focus once again on her own creative work. In addition to her writing and art, she’s also a photographer (her work was most recently seen in an exhibition at the Soho Photo Gallery in NYC).

Some random bits of Allyson trivia: 1) She’s been skydiving, paragliding, bungee jumping, ziplining through a rainforest, and scuba diving with stingrays; 2) she has an extensive PEZ dispenser collection; 3) she played Connor Walsh on As the World Turns for seven years; 4) she’s been in the Oval Office at the White House after hours; 5) she’s related to the Hatfields of the infamous Hatfield/McCoy feud; and 6) her comedic rap music video “Fine, I’ll Write My Own Damn Song” won numerous awards in the film festival circuit and can now be seen on YouTube (https://youtu.be/7Xe3nuVDkC4).

Also available from Allyson Rice is her line of women’s coloring books (The Color of Joy, Dancing with Life, and Wonderland), and The Creative Prosperity PlayDeck, an inspirational card deck about unlocking and utilizing your creative energy in the world. She’s currently at work on her second novel and her fourth women’s coloring book. But she is most proud of being mom to musical artist @_zanetaylor.

Heartbreak and Humor: Life is a Layered Experience

The Key to Circus-Mom Highway is a story about family, forgiveness, and the absurdity of the world we live in. Even when serious themes are at play, there are also humorous things all around to keep you laughing if you pay attention (in the book, as in life). That’s an important takeaway because life is a layered experience. We might be experiencing great challenges, difficult setbacks, and heartbreaking loss. But… there is also beauty around us at all times; and ridiculous, humorous things; and people who care about us. 

A few of the life themes that I explore in the book, layered throughout the humorous events, are 1) how our first impressions of people aren’t always the most accurate, and how those impressions–especially negative ones–can change as we get to know that person better; 2) how, even with people who initially seem very different from us, we can find common ground as human beings; 3) how we put up defensive walls to protect ourselves after we’ve been hurt, and how those walls often keep out the people who love us and who might be trying to help us; 4) how we don’t have to be ruled by our past experiences and the things that have hurt us–we can decide at any momentto start anew and be a phoenix rising from the ashes; 5) how things in our lives can change in a heartbeat–our relationships, our external circumstances, etc.–and we can choose to allow our habitual reactions to change as well; and 6) when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable with others and change our perceptions and take down our defensive walls, we actually feel less alone in the world because we can feel the love and support that surrounds us. 

The biggest thing I hope that people take away from the book when they read that final page and put it down is a feeling of happiness, and hopeful about the potential second chances in their own life.

My Websites:

www.AllysonRice.com  (My Author Site)

www.Allyson-Wonderland.com  (My E-commerce site)

Social Media Links:







Twitter: https://twitter.com/CircusMomHwy


This post is part of a tour. The tour dates can be found here: https://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2022/11/nbtm-key-to-circus-mom-highway-by.html


a $20 Amazon/BN GC 





    • Aww, that’s so nice to hear, Audrey! I’m really glad you enjoyed it. That was the 3rd one I created. The Color of Joy and Dancing With Life are the other two. If you sign up for my periodic newsletter, I give away a free book to someone each time, and I might also do a free coloring book giveaway now and then as well. 🙂
      –Allyson (http://allysonrice.com)

      Liked by 1 person

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