Archive for the ‘Women’s Fiction’ Category

Series: Kees & Colliers Series

Author: Kellyn Roth
Cover Design: Cover Culture
Genre: Historical Women’s Fiction/Teen & Adult
 
 
 

 
 
 
Adele has been lost for a long time now …

Adele Collier has sought a carefree lifestyle ever since her tragic childhood. Determined to never allow anyone or anything to control her life or emotions again, she consistently seeks distraction in gaiety. But shaking her ghosts isn’t as easy as she’d like.

Troy Kee has been alone in the world since the Great War took his parents and left him in charge of his younger sister. When she marries, he’s left to seek after his goal of a healthy, complete family. But how can he focus on his dream when trouble plagues his family vineyard?

When Adele and Troy meet, a whirlwind romance begins—but can two lost souls have a healthy relationship?
 
 
 
 
HER ENTIRE WORLD IS CHANGING—AND THERE’S NOT MUCH LEFT TO HOLD ON TO …
 
When her husband goes off to war, Adele feels lost and confused. In a new, less-than-ideal place in a frightening, less-than-ideal time, she flees to the garden with her daughters, determined to make their new house a home, even if it is from the outside in.
Battered by her own inner turmoil and scoffed at by those close to her, Adele seeks to make something beautiful amidst chaos. But can even the most beautiful flowers cover the years of scars?
 
 
IS IT TOO LATE FOR ADELE TO RETURN TO HER DAUGHTER’S LIFE?
When her ex-husband reappears in her life determined to spend more time with their child, Adele Collier allows him to take Judy to France for the summer. As the summer goes by, an internal battle rages in Adele’s heart. Can she give up her glamorous lifestyle to win her daughter’s heart?
Six-year-old Judy is more than happy to trade Adele’s neglect for her father’s adoring care. She loves his vineyard and wishes she could stay there forever, but someday she must return to England. Can Judy trust her mother again?
 
 
 
 
Kellyn Roth is a historical romance & women’s fiction author who writes about the empty places where hope has the most room to grow. Her novels include the inspirational Victorian family saga, The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, and the Kees & Colliers series, which follows a broken family in the tumultuous years of the first half of the 20th century.

Kellyn is a student of the Author Conservatory, a virtual assistant, and a writing coach. When not building her author career, she is likely getting lost somewhere in the Pacific Northwest with her friends, watching period dramas and facetious comedies, or spending time with her husband.

 
 


HOSTED BY:

Title: Turning Tables
Author: Alice Takawira
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Release Date: May 5, 2022
Two lovers. Two Continents. Two Cultures. One unforgettable love story.
Maita, a Zimbabwean graduate student, has returned to London on summer break with one goal: to reunite with Ade, her Nigerian ex-boyfriend. She made a terrible mistake when she broke up with Ade—and now she wants him back. On the flight to London, she meets Chris, a British gentleman who is instantly captivated by Maita and pursues her relentlessly.
When Ade rejects Maita’s efforts to rekindle their romance, she turns to Chris. As a couple, Maita and Chris are forced to confront racism, the complexities of an interracial relationship, and their insecurities.
But Maita has never forgotten Ade…nor has he ever gotten over her. Then, in a sudden turn of events, a determined Ade resurfaces and attempts to reconnect with Maita. But Chris is doubly prepared to keep her at any cost, unleashing a dangerous chain of events that will forever alter the course of all three lives.
How far will each man go to win her love?
Turning Tables explores the challenges and triumphs of multicultural and multiracial relationships—a poignant and engaging story of the power of love, missed opportunities, second chances, and the pitfalls of obsession.
Alice Takawira was born and raised in Zimbabwe. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in physiotherapy from the University of Zimbabwe, she relocated to London for work. In 2004, she moved to America to attend Emory University and graduated with a master’s in public health. Alice currently lives in Atlanta with her husband and two kids. When she’s not working as a geriatric physical therapist, or chauffeuring her children from one after school extracurricular activity to another, she enjoys relaxing with a glass of wine and binge-watching foreign-language dramas. Whenever possible, she likes to travel, taste exotic foods, and learn some words/ greetings in a foreign language.
Alice is the proud creator of the Verenga Girls Book Club on Facebook, a place to connect with fellow book lovers. To learn more about Alice and her work, visit:
HOSTED BY:

Title: Flowers in Her Heart
Series: Kees & Colliers #3
Author: Kellyn Roth
Cover Design: Cover Culture
Genre: Historical Women’s Fiction/Teen & Adult
Release Date: April 26, 2022
HER ENTIRE WORLD IS CHANGING—AND THERE’S NOT MUCH LEFT TO HOLD ON TO …
 
When her husband goes off to war, Adele feels lost and confused. In a new, less-than-ideal place in a frightening, less-than-ideal time, she flees to the garden with her daughters, determined to make their new house a home, even if it is from the outside in.
Battered by her own inner turmoil and scoffed at by those close to her, Adele seeks to make something beautiful amidst chaos. But can even the most beautiful flowers cover the years of scars?
 
 

Kellyn Roth is a historical romance & women’s fiction author who writes about the empty places where hope has the most room to grow. Her novels include the inspirational Victorian family saga, The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, and the Kees & Colliers series, which follows a broken family in the tumultuous years of the first half of the 20th century.

Kellyn is a student of the Author Conservatory, a virtual assistant, and a writing coach. When not building her author career, she is likely getting lost somewhere in the Pacific Northwest with her friends, watching period dramas and facetious comedies, or spending time with her husband.

 

HOSTED BY:

Title: Abolish the Rose
Author: Alanna Irving
Genre: Adult Women’s Fiction
Release Date: April 10, 2022
Cover Design: Matthew Fielder

“Surely I have better things to do with my time.”


Camille Addison resents the hand life has dealt her. Enrolling in an evening class to distract herself from memories of frustration, she finds herself instead turning to face the tumult of relationships, loss and love that has led her to where she is.

Abolish the Rose takes us on a journey through the traumas of the past in search of meaning in the present. Through a vivid catalogue of heart-warming and harrowing life experiences, we are drawn to question, along with Camille – how much control do we have over the path our lives take? Would we change the past if we had the chance? What is a life well lived?

Content notes
Trigger warning: miscarriage (non-graphic)

Author Q&A


What inspired you to write this book?

I actually started writing it out of petulance. I couldn’t find anything I wanted to read in the library, and I felt like every blurb I read was the same: „X was perfectly normal….and then something horrific happened!“ Or sometimes, „X seemed perfectly normal, but something horrific had happened in the past!“ 


I told myself, if this is what I need to write to be published, I’ll come up with the most horrific thing I can and write about it. As it turned out, I did have a story to tell, and some themes I wanted to explore, and I think it turned into the best novel I’ve written so far.


How long did it take you to write this book, from the first idea to the last edit?

I wrote the first draft in a little over a month in about 2015. I then worked on it for six months or so, didn’t get anywhere with it, and put it away. I spent another few months tinkering with it in about 2017/18, then put all my writing on hold while I did my Masters degree. I returned to writing in 2020 and started a completely different novel, but I still felt like I wasn’t finished with this one, so I came back to it again. From starting with Atmosphere Press to release date will have been about 7 months. So, overall, a long journey!


Who would enjoy reading your book? 

I write the kind of books I’d want to read, which are books with real, flawed characters, difficult topics, and no guaranteed happy ending. I like books that don‘t spell everything out for me; the reader has to do some of the work, join the dots, form their own opinion. 


What’s something you hope readers would take away from it?

I want readers to take away whatever message it is they find or need to find – one of the beautiful things about stories is that they can speak to everyone differently. For me it’s a message about the constant pressure we’re under these days to be happy, to fulfil dreams, to be constantly productive and filling our time with worthwhile, soul-nourishing, Instagrammable activities. Sometimes life doesn’t go to plan and time is wasted and there isn’t a shiny happy social media feed, and maybe that’s ok too. 

Do you have a favourite quote or scene in the book that you find yourself going back to?


I loved him, I did. I just also blamed him for stealing thirty-three years of my life.


I love a short, punchy ending to a chapter. At this point in the book you don’t know who she’s referring to, and it really sums up the main character’s struggle with her conflicting emotions. 


What’s the best piece of advice you have received?

The best advice I ever received was when I first started dancing salsa. My teacher said there are only two things you need to do to be a good dancer: „Relax, and keep moving.“ It’s great advice for salsa and it’s great advice for life. 


If you could give a shout out to someone(s) who has helped in your writer journey, please feel free to mention them below!

There have been lots – my endlessly supportive parents, my highschool English teacher, the publisher I met who said my books weren’t right for his publishing house but spent months working on my manuscripts with me because he saw potential in them. Even my Director of Studies at university, who told me I was unteachable, at the wrong university, and had no talent at writing – that just made me even more determined to prove her wrong! 

Week Two

In the second class I sit next to Alberta. She’s a fifty-two-year-old housewife suffering – as she keeps telling us – from empty nest syndrome.

‘Adrian, my oldest, is in his third year at Warwick,’ she boasts, and I can almost see her fluffing her feathers, ‘and Heather went off to Durham this September.’ She wears a lot of headscarves and headbands and other assorted headwear, which sort of jar with the rest of her image, but in a good way. In a very her way.

I find I like sitting next to Alberta most. She is by far and away the most talented of the group. Her paintings are of things, as opposed to Becca’s abstract shapes and splodges of colour. She paints landscapes, trees, beauty. She shies away from praise though, it makes her uncomfortable.

‘My pictures are too static,’ she says. I have given her a compliment, not knowing yet that she likes to be unrecognised. ‘I want it to tell a story, I want people to look at them and think about what’s going on.’ She shrugged. ‘I don’t know. It’s stupid.’ The phrase grates on me. It sounds like a line from an American sitcom. It’s stoo-pid.

But Alberta I like. She seems shy, she’s like a child trying to discover herself.

‘I’ve been a wife and a mother for so long,’ she says. ‘And don’t get me wrong –’ American phrase again ‘– I love it, but now the kids are grown up, I want to find out who I am on my own again. I mean, not on my own, I’m still married, but Jonathan works all day, and I have to be by myself, I have to have things for myself now. Does that makes sense?’ I nod, but she doesn’t need me to say anything. ‘Do you have children?’

I look down, unscrewing the paint.

‘No, I don’t,’ I say. ‘No children.’

*

I wish I could say I looked into the cot and felt nothing. 

I was very aware of the noises around me. Beeping and whirring and the squelch of a mop in the corridor, the undercurrent of murmuring voices and shoes tapping or squeaking or scuffing. I was alone in the room, I remember, though I don’t know where everyone else was. A nurse would enter in a minute or two and ask if I wanted to hold him, but for that minute or two, it was just him and me. 

I looked at him.

He was small and red and a little crusty round the edges. His tiny limbs moved jerkily, as though separate entities from him. His mouth opened and closed. I didn’t know what newborns were meant to look like. His head seemed very large and heavy – but wasn’t that normal? His ears were a little small, I supposed. His eyes were very small, and far apart, squinted into deep creases. One of his hands stretched out towards me, like a miniature high five. I looked at it, tiny lines and tiny nails and tiny knuckles.

I looked down at him and I hated him.

*

As a child, I had a new dream every week. I wanted to be an astronaut, a chef, a ballet dancer. None of them were really serious. For a while in primary school I insisted I was going to be a nurse when I grew up, but that was only because I wanted to be like my mum. I wanted to impress her, to make her proud of me. I never really had the temperament for a caring profession; too impatient, too rough, too squeamish. In the early years of secondary school I toyed semi-seriously with the idea of being an illustrator, but, having no idea how one would go about earning a living illustrating, decided that success was too unlikely, and probably I wasn’t good enough anyway. When people asked, I would shrug and scuff my toes on the floor and say I didn’t know what I wanted to do after school.

I was smart enough and well-off enough to go to University, and it seemed a good way to put any career decisions off further. Out of my little gang of schoolfriends, only myself and my best friend Maria were aiming for higher education – the rest went to work in a dress shop, as a nanny, or got engaged. Maria and I sat at the back of our class and looked at hairstyles in magazines and tried to meet the others for coffee or a cigarette or to discuss wedding dresses, but the times never seemed to work out. We stayed behind after school to do our homework together, and watched the boys from the boys’ school down the road play rugby on the sports field.

History was my best subject, and my most encouraging teacher, and so I applied to do History, not really knowing where I could go with it, but not caring too much about that either. I had no destination in mind, but my horizon was limitless.

Maria wanted to be a nursery-school teacher, had been decided on it for as long as I’d known her. Her path was as clearly mapped out for her as mine was hidden from me. We said a tearful goodbye at the end of our last summer as we set off in different directions, promising to write and visit and keep in touch. The promises were empty, and they broke easily. 

*

Our mid-way perambulation. I find myself falling into step with Eamonn.

‘You know,’ I say after a beat. ‘Sometimes, I’m not entirely sure if you’re running an art class or a therapy session.’

Eamonn smiles benignly at his boots.

‘Does it have to be one or the other?’

*

I got pregnant, once. 

I’d had my suspicions for a while; I’d done the maths. My husband – though we weren’t married yet – had to go away, for a funeral, and was going to stay on for a fortnight to help out his family. I took the opportunity, when I was alone, to make an appointment with the doctor. I was in the shower when my hand strayed to my abdomen. Was it a phantom swelling I was feeling? I imagined the baby, a perfect human in miniature, an entire tiny future-person beneath my fingers. I wondered if it was something I could do, raising a baby. Again. 

First, I thought I could. I felt those maternal feelings I’d always heard of rise in my breast. I imagined a child of mine and his, to love and raise and be a part of us. 

And then I knew it was stupid. We couldn’t afford it, the time or the money, and – though it was the hardest thing for me to admit – I didn’t want to. I had spent my early twenties being kept awake by a crying baby, and now, as a more mature thirty-something-year-old, I didn’t want to shackle myself to that, again. I wanted to move towards independence, not away from it. I didn’t want to lose myself, sacrifice myself, again. I didn’t want the exhaustion and the worry and the mess, I didn’t want any of it. 

But I wasn’t imagining it. It was happening. I knew there were options, I knew I could get rid of it – but I also knew that I wouldn’t. Leaning against the sink, I saw my mother looking back at me from behind the fogged mirror. I couldn’t do that to her. And could I do that to him, my boyfriend, my one-day-to-be-husband? Could I deny him the chance of being a father?

I wondered how I was going to tell him. Would he be excited? Would he be angry? Anxious? Was this something he wanted to do with me? Would I dare bring up the idea of adoption? I couldn’t bear to spark hope in him only to snuff it out again. 

Sometimes, just sometimes, I caught myself daydreaming about a little girl, a daughter. Our daughter. 

It happened in the night. Four days before my appointment, I was woken by stabbing pains in my lower back, and lay there for a moment, clutching the edges of my mattress like I was going to fall off. Another cramp shot through me and I cried out, then bit down on my pillow and prayed I hadn’t woken anyone. 

I sat on the toilet and squeezed my eyes shut and tried to breathe through the pain. I tried not to think about what was happening, about what was leaving my body. I was being emptied, and the void hurt.

I took a shower afterwards. Red ran down the insides of my legs and pooled around the drain. I let hot water drip down my face and stood there until it was over. Almost over. It didn’t completely stop for days. I stripped my bed and scrubbed at the stains until my hands were raw. I cleaned the bathroom. I bought new sheets. I didn’t attend my appointment. When two months had passed, I knew I was sure. There was no baby.

I still didn’t tell anyone. I couldn’t find the words. There was nothing to be done about it now, anyway. There was no point in telling my boyfriend, giving him the pain of losing something he hadn’t known he had. I fed Robert and cared for him and cooked for my father and saw my boyfriend and went to work, and life carried on.

My overwhelming feeling was relief, and I was scared of being judged for it.

What inspired you to write this book?
I actually started writing it out of petulance. I couldn’t find anything I wanted to read in the library, and I felt like every blurb I read was the same: „X was perfectly normal….and then something horrific happened!“ Or sometimes, „X seemed perfectly normal, but something horrific had happened in the past!“
I told myself, if this is what I need to write to be published, I’ll come up with the most horrific thing I can and write about it. As it turned out, I did have a story to tell, and some themes I wanted to explore, and I think it turned into the best novel I’ve written so far.
How long did it take you to write this book, from the first idea to the last edit?
I wrote the first draft in a little over a month in about 2015. I then worked on it for six months or so, didn’t get anywhere with it, and put it away. I spent another few months tinkering with it in about 2017/18, then put all my writing on hold while I did my Masters degree. I returned to writing in 2020 and started a completely different novel, but I still felt like I wasn’t finished with this one, so I came back to it again. From starting with Atmosphere Press to release date will have been about 7 months. So, overall, a long journey!
Who would enjoy reading your book?
I write the kind of books I’d want to read, which are books with real, flawed characters, difficult topics, and no guaranteed happy ending. I like books that don‘t spell everything out for me; the reader has to do some of the work, join the dots, form their own opinion.
What’s something you hope readers would take away from it?
I want readers to take away whatever message it is they find or need to find – one of the beautiful things about stories is that they can speak to everyone differently. For me it’s a message about the constant pressure we’re under these days to be happy, to fulfil dreams, to be constantly productive and filling our time with worthwhile, soul-nourishing, Instagrammable activities. Sometimes life doesn’t go to plan and time is wasted and there isn’t a shiny happy social media feed, and maybe that’s ok too.
Do you have a favourite quote or scene in the book that you find yourself going back to?
I loved him, I did. I just also blamed him for stealing thirty-three years of my life.
I love a short, punchy ending to a chapter. At this point in the book you don’t know who she’s referring to, and it really sums up the main character’s struggle with her conflicting emotions.
What’s the best piece of advice you have received?
The best advice I ever received was when I first started dancing salsa. My teacher said there are only two things you need to do to be a good dancer: „Relax, and keep moving.“ It’s great advice for salsa and it’s great advice for life.
If you could give a shout out to someone(s) who has helped in your writer journey, please feel free to mention them below!
There have been lots – my endlessly supportive parents, my highschool English teacher, the publisher I met who said my books weren’t right for his publishing house but spent months working on my manuscripts with me because he saw potential in them. Even my Director of Studies at university, who told me I was unteachable, at the wrong university, and had no talent at writing – that just made me even more determined to prove her wrong!
HOSTED BY:

Title: Abolish the Rose

Author: Alanna Irving
Genre: Adult Women’s Fiction
Release Date: April 10, 2022
Cover Design: Matthew Fielder
“Surely I have better things to do with my time.”


Camille Addison resents the hand life has dealt her. Enrolling in an evening class to distract herself from memories of frustration, she finds herself instead turning to face the tumult of relationships, loss and love that has led her to where she is.

Abolish the Rose takes us on a journey through the traumas of the past in search of meaning in the present. Through a vivid catalogue of heart-warming and harrowing life experiences, we are drawn to question, along with Camille – how much control do we have over the path our lives take? Would we change the past if we had the chance? What is a life well lived?

Content notes
Trigger warning: miscarriage (non-graphic)

Week Two

In the second class I sit next to Alberta. She’s a fifty-two-year-old housewife suffering – as she keeps telling us – from empty nest syndrome.

‘Adrian, my oldest, is in his third year at Warwick,’ she boasts, and I can almost see her fluffing her feathers, ‘and Heather went off to Durham this September.’ She wears a lot of headscarves and headbands and other assorted headwear, which sort of jar with the rest of her image, but in a good way. In a very her way.

I find I like sitting next to Alberta most. She is by far and away the most talented of the group. Her paintings are of things, as opposed to Becca’s abstract shapes and splodges of colour. She paints landscapes, trees, beauty. She shies away from praise though, it makes her uncomfortable.

‘My pictures are too static,’ she says. I have given her a compliment, not knowing yet that she likes to be unrecognised. ‘I want it to tell a story, I want people to look at them and think about what’s going on.’ She shrugged. ‘I don’t know. It’s stupid.’ The phrase grates on me. It sounds like a line from an American sitcom. It’s stoo-pid.

But Alberta I like. She seems shy, she’s like a child trying to discover herself.

‘I’ve been a wife and a mother for so long,’ she says. ‘And don’t get me wrong –’ American phrase again ‘– I love it, but now the kids are grown up, I want to find out who I am on my own again. I mean, not on my own, I’m still married, but Jonathan works all day, and I have to be by myself, I have to have things for myself now. Does that makes sense?’ I nod, but she doesn’t need me to say anything. ‘Do you have children?’

I look down, unscrewing the paint.

‘No, I don’t,’ I say. ‘No children.’

*

I wish I could say I looked into the cot and felt nothing. 

I was very aware of the noises around me. Beeping and whirring and the squelch of a mop in the corridor, the undercurrent of murmuring voices and shoes tapping or squeaking or scuffing. I was alone in the room, I remember, though I don’t know where everyone else was. A nurse would enter in a minute or two and ask if I wanted to hold him, but for that minute or two, it was just him and me. 

I looked at him.

He was small and red and a little crusty round the edges. His tiny limbs moved jerkily, as though separate entities from him. His mouth opened and closed. I didn’t know what newborns were meant to look like. His head seemed very large and heavy – but wasn’t that normal? His ears were a little small, I supposed. His eyes were very small, and far apart, squinted into deep creases. One of his hands stretched out towards me, like a miniature high five. I looked at it, tiny lines and tiny nails and tiny knuckles.

I looked down at him and I hated him.

*

As a child, I had a new dream every week. I wanted to be an astronaut, a chef, a ballet dancer. None of them were really serious. For a while in primary school I insisted I was going to be a nurse when I grew up, but that was only because I wanted to be like my mum. I wanted to impress her, to make her proud of me. I never really had the temperament for a caring profession; too impatient, too rough, too squeamish. In the early years of secondary school I toyed semi-seriously with the idea of being an illustrator, but, having no idea how one would go about earning a living illustrating, decided that success was too unlikely, and probably I wasn’t good enough anyway. When people asked, I would shrug and scuff my toes on the floor and say I didn’t know what I wanted to do after school.

I was smart enough and well-off enough to go to University, and it seemed a good way to put any career decisions off further. Out of my little gang of schoolfriends, only myself and my best friend Maria were aiming for higher education – the rest went to work in a dress shop, as a nanny, or got engaged. Maria and I sat at the back of our class and looked at hairstyles in magazines and tried to meet the others for coffee or a cigarette or to discuss wedding dresses, but the times never seemed to work out. We stayed behind after school to do our homework together, and watched the boys from the boys’ school down the road play rugby on the sports field.

History was my best subject, and my most encouraging teacher, and so I applied to do History, not really knowing where I could go with it, but not caring too much about that either. I had no destination in mind, but my horizon was limitless.

Maria wanted to be a nursery-school teacher, had been decided on it for as long as I’d known her. Her path was as clearly mapped out for her as mine was hidden from me. We said a tearful goodbye at the end of our last summer as we set off in different directions, promising to write and visit and keep in touch. The promises were empty, and they broke easily. 

*

Our mid-way perambulation. I find myself falling into step with Eamonn.

‘You know,’ I say after a beat. ‘Sometimes, I’m not entirely sure if you’re running an art class or a therapy session.’

Eamonn smiles benignly at his boots.

‘Does it have to be one or the other?’

*

I got pregnant, once. 

I’d had my suspicions for a while; I’d done the maths. My husband – though we weren’t married yet – had to go away, for a funeral, and was going to stay on for a fortnight to help out his family. I took the opportunity, when I was alone, to make an appointment with the doctor. I was in the shower when my hand strayed to my abdomen. Was it a phantom swelling I was feeling? I imagined the baby, a perfect human in miniature, an entire tiny future-person beneath my fingers. I wondered if it was something I could do, raising a baby. Again. 

First, I thought I could. I felt those maternal feelings I’d always heard of rise in my breast. I imagined a child of mine and his, to love and raise and be a part of us. 

And then I knew it was stupid. We couldn’t afford it, the time or the money, and – though it was the hardest thing for me to admit – I didn’t want to. I had spent my early twenties being kept awake by a crying baby, and now, as a more mature thirty-something-year-old, I didn’t want to shackle myself to that, again. I wanted to move towards independence, not away from it. I didn’t want to lose myself, sacrifice myself, again. I didn’t want the exhaustion and the worry and the mess, I didn’t want any of it. 

But I wasn’t imagining it. It was happening. I knew there were options, I knew I could get rid of it – but I also knew that I wouldn’t. Leaning against the sink, I saw my mother looking back at me from behind the fogged mirror. I couldn’t do that to her. And could I do that to him, my boyfriend, my one-day-to-be-husband? Could I deny him the chance of being a father?

I wondered how I was going to tell him. Would he be excited? Would he be angry? Anxious? Was this something he wanted to do with me? Would I dare bring up the idea of adoption? I couldn’t bear to spark hope in him only to snuff it out again. 

Sometimes, just sometimes, I caught myself daydreaming about a little girl, a daughter. Our daughter. 

It happened in the night. Four days before my appointment, I was woken by stabbing pains in my lower back, and lay there for a moment, clutching the edges of my mattress like I was going to fall off. Another cramp shot through me and I cried out, then bit down on my pillow and prayed I hadn’t woken anyone. 

I sat on the toilet and squeezed my eyes shut and tried to breathe through the pain. I tried not to think about what was happening, about what was leaving my body. I was being emptied, and the void hurt.

I took a shower afterwards. Red ran down the insides of my legs and pooled around the drain. I let hot water drip down my face and stood there until it was over. Almost over. It didn’t completely stop for days. I stripped my bed and scrubbed at the stains until my hands were raw. I cleaned the bathroom. I bought new sheets. I didn’t attend my appointment. When two months had passed, I knew I was sure. There was no baby.

I still didn’t tell anyone. I couldn’t find the words. There was nothing to be done about it now, anyway. There was no point in telling my boyfriend, giving him the pain of losing something he hadn’t known he had. I fed Robert and cared for him and cooked for my father and saw my boyfriend and went to work, and life carried on.

My overwhelming feeling was relief, and I was scared of being judged for it.

What inspired you to write this book?
I actually started writing it out of petulance. I couldn’t find anything I wanted to read in the library, and I felt like every blurb I read was the same: „X was perfectly normal….and then something horrific happened!“ Or sometimes, „X seemed perfectly normal, but something horrific had happened in the past!“
I told myself, if this is what I need to write to be published, I’ll come up with the most horrific thing I can and write about it. As it turned out, I did have a story to tell, and some themes I wanted to explore, and I think it turned into the best novel I’ve written so far.
How long did it take you to write this book, from the first idea to the last edit?
I wrote the first draft in a little over a month in about 2015. I then worked on it for six months or so, didn’t get anywhere with it, and put it away. I spent another few months tinkering with it in about 2017/18, then put all my writing on hold while I did my Masters degree. I returned to writing in 2020 and started a completely different novel, but I still felt like I wasn’t finished with this one, so I came back to it again. From starting with Atmosphere Press to release date will have been about 7 months. So, overall, a long journey!
Who would enjoy reading your book?
I write the kind of books I’d want to read, which are books with real, flawed characters, difficult topics, and no guaranteed happy ending. I like books that don‘t spell everything out for me; the reader has to do some of the work, join the dots, form their own opinion.
What’s something you hope readers would take away from it?
I want readers to take away whatever message it is they find or need to find – one of the beautiful things about stories is that they can speak to everyone differently. For me it’s a message about the constant pressure we’re under these days to be happy, to fulfil dreams, to be constantly productive and filling our time with worthwhile, soul-nourishing, Instagrammable activities. Sometimes life doesn’t go to plan and time is wasted and there isn’t a shiny happy social media feed, and maybe that’s ok too.
Do you have a favourite quote or scene in the book that you find yourself going back to?
I loved him, I did. I just also blamed him for stealing thirty-three years of my life.
I love a short, punchy ending to a chapter. At this point in the book you don’t know who she’s referring to, and it really sums up the main character’s struggle with her conflicting emotions.
What’s the best piece of advice you have received?
The best advice I ever received was when I first started dancing salsa. My teacher said there are only two things you need to do to be a good dancer: „Relax, and keep moving.“ It’s great advice for salsa and it’s great advice for life.
If you could give a shout out to someone(s) who has helped in your writer journey, please feel free to mention them below!
There have been lots – my endlessly supportive parents, my highschool English teacher, the publisher I met who said my books weren’t right for his publishing house but spent months working on my manuscripts with me because he saw potential in them. Even my Director of Studies at university, who told me I was unteachable, at the wrong university, and had no talent at writing – that just made me even more determined to prove her wrong!
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Title: Souls Astray

Series: Kees & Colliers #1
Author: Kellyn Roth
Genre: Historical Women’s Fiction/Teen & Adult
Release Date: April 5, 2022
Adele has been lost for a long time now …

Adele Collier has sought a carefree lifestyle ever since her tragic childhood. Determined to never allow anyone or anything to control her life or emotions again, she consistently seeks distraction in gaiety. But shaking her ghosts isn’t as easy as she’d like.

Troy Kee has been alone in the world since the Great War took his parents and left him in charge of his younger sister. When she marries, he’s left to seek after his goal of a healthy, complete family. But how can he focus on his dream when trouble plagues his family vineyard?

When Adele and Troy meet, a whirlwind romance begins—but can two lost souls have a healthy relationship?
 
 

“Papa and Louis will be here soon,” Adele said, breaking the comfortable silence that had fallen between them.

“I know.” Kenneth stared off up the creek, eyes half-shuttered. “Good to have them here at the same time as me, I guess.”

Adele cocked her head. “You guess?”

“Yes. I guess.” He ruffled her hair again, and she swatted his hand away.

“But why aren’t you sure? Don’t you want to see Louis and Papa?” she asked.

He sighed and ran a hand over his face. “Yes, Della-bell. I want to see Louis and Father. But at the same time, I don’t.” He cocked his head. “When I was in London with a few schoolmates, we met a group of women on the streets. They gave me this.” Kenneth handed her the flowers again, reached into his well-cut jacket, and pulled something out of the inside pocket. He extended it to Adele.

Wonderingly, Adele accepted the object from her brother and twirled it in her fingers. “What is it?”

“A white feather.”

“I know that.” Adele laughed nervously. She sensed something strange in the air between them, something she couldn’t quite pin down. “But why do you have it?” She hesitated. “Is it … a present for me?” Sometimes Kenneth brought her things home from London, but usually they made sense. Like a new doll or sweets or ribbons—one could never have enough ribbons.

He chuckled, the sound grinding on her ears oddly. “No, Della-bell. Not a present.” He took the feather back from her and tucked it into his coat pocket again. “How old would you say I look, Della-bell?”

“You’re seventeen.” Honestly, Kenneth asked the silliest questions sometimes!

“No, but … what age do I look to you? Could I pass for eighteen? Nineteen? Twenty?”

Adele looked up at her big brother’s frowning face, then regarded his long legs and broad shoulders. “Nineteen, but not twenty,” she said at last.

“That’s what they thought in London. That I was a man.” He clenched his teeth. “And, really, seventeen is a man, I think.”

She was cynical of this—though he was much older than she, he wasn’t quite a man yet—and shrugged her shoulders. But if Kenneth said so.

“You see, Della-bell—” He patted his pocket, but his face quickly turned to a scowl. “Oh, never mind. Let’s go back to the house.” All the sunshine had gone out of his face and voice. Adele stepped to his side and took his hand, allowing her bouquet to fall to the ground unheeded.

“Are you all right, Kenny?”

“Yes, I’m quite all right.” He sighed. “Come now. It’s almost time for tea.”

“No, it’s not. It’s hardly two.”

“Well, anyway, I have some reading to do before the holiday’s over.”

Adele wrapped her fingers tighter around her brother’s hand. “What is it, Kenny? Can you tell me? I can keep a secret. I promise.”

Kenneth hesitated, staring at her face, then knelt in front of her and put his hands on her shoulders. “Della-bell, you know how the first thing Louis did when the war started was sign up?”

“Well, he was going to be in the army, anyway,” Adele said. Like his father before him, Louis Collier was strictly military. Unlike her precious Kenneth. Kenneth was going to be something grand, she was sure—a doctor or lawyer or Prime Minister.

“Yes, but …” Kenneth’s words trailed off. “Della-bell, I want to join up.”

Adele wrinkled her nose. “Join the war, you mean?” That didn’t make sense. “I thought you were going to go to college.”

“Yes, but … everyone else … everyone else is joining up. My older schoolmates are planning on it.” He shrugged.

“But that doesn’t mean you should.” Something like panic tightened in Adele’s chest. He couldn’t join the army. He was her Kenneth. He belonged to her, and she couldn’t let anyone who belonged to her go off to France where, well, anything could happen.

One couldn’t live anywhere in England now and avoid hearing about someone’s son or brother or husband dying. It was dangerous over there, and therefore not a place for Adele’s big brother to go. Ever.

Louis and Papa were different. That was their job. Her father, Papa, had been going off to strange faraway places all her life, and Louis had started doing that, too.

But Kenneth was precious. Kenneth was hers. The only person who really belonged to Adele all the way. No one else loved her like Kenneth did.

“Yes, but …” Kenneth sighed. “I think it’s rather my duty to join up.”

“I don’t think so. Besides, you can’t until next year.”

Kenneth’s hand was in his pocket again. She knew he was fingering the feather. “I could forge documents. I was raised in a military home—I know what they will want from me and how to get it faked.”

“But you could go to prison for that!” Adele exclaimed. “Besides, Mother wouldn’t like it.”

“Yes, she wouldn’t like it. But if I were to do this, I’d be rather beyond what Mother would like.” His hand dropped to his side. “I feel as if … as if I want to do something useful. Like Father and Louis.”

Adele could understand feeling useless, but that wasn’t any reason to run off and join the army. “But why?”

“Because … it’s difficult to explain, Della-bell. You wouldn’t understand.”

Adele’s brow wrinkled. “But I love you. I don’t want you to get hurt.”

Kenneth chuckled and squeezed her shoulder. “I love you, too. But I need to go. Can’t you see? This would … this would make me as capable and strong and brave as Louis—or even Father. And that’d be … that’d be everything I ever wanted.”

“But what about me?”

He grinned down at her. “What about you?”

“What … what will I do while you’re gone?” she asked. She couldn’t put it into words, quite, but Kenneth was her best friend. She loved her parents and Louis, but Kenneth was different. He was so important, so much a part of her life.

“What you do when I’m here, I imagine, only without me. You’ll be fine.” Kenneth turned back toward the house, and Adele followed him.

She didn’t know what to say. Nor what she could do to deter him.

“You can be brave, too, Della-bell.” A smile quirked about the edges of his lips. “You can keep the homefires burning.”

Adele scowled. “I don’t want to.”

“Well, you’ve got to, so there you go.” He glanced at her. “And, er, don’t tell Mother.”

“Why? What are you going to do?”

“Go a few towns over and join the army.” He reached over and tugged at a lock of her hair. “Not until Father and Louis leave, though. So don’t worry about that. I’ll wait until they’re gone to make my exit.”

“All right,” Adele said after a moment. “I won’t tell Mother. But you have to promise to be very safe and come home.”

“Of course, of course. How could I not when my Della-bell is waiting for me?” he teased.

Adele beamed. Kenneth didn’t seem worried at all. Everything would be just fine.

Kellyn Roth is a historical romance & women’s fiction author who writes about the empty places where hope has the most room to grow. Her novels include the inspirational Victorian family saga, The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, and the Kees & Colliers series, which follows a broken family in the tumultuous years of the first half of the 20th century.

Kellyn is a student of the Author Conservatory, a virtual assistant, and a writing coach. When not building her author career, she is likely getting lost somewhere in the Pacific Northwest with her friends, watching period dramas and facetious comedies, or spending time with her husband.

 

HOSTED BY:

Title: Abolish the Rose

Author: Alanna Irving
Genre: Adult Women’s Fiction
Release Date: April 10, 2022
Cover Design: Matthew Fielder
Camille Addison resents the hand life has dealt her. Enrolling in an evening class to distract herself from memories of frustration, she finds herself instead turning to face the tumult of relationships, loss and love that has led her to where she is.
Abolish the Rose takes us on a journey through the past in search of meaning in the present. Through a vivid catalogue of heart-warming and harrowing life experiences, we are drawn to question, along with Camille – how much control do we have over the path our lives take? Would we change the past if we had the chance? What is a life well lived?
HOSTED BY:

****PRE-ORDER NOW****

124s

Title: 28 Days

Authors: Aleisha Maree &

USA Today Bestselling Author, Susan Horsnell

Cover Design: Lisa from Got You Covered

https://www.facebook.com/CoversByLisa

Genre: Women’s Fiction/MC Romance Elements/End of Life Fiction

Blurb

28 Days…

It was all I had left.

We had run out of options, there was nothing more to be done.

28 Misery filled days.

28 Days of hell on earth.

Until…

Branson, a driver for the Reapers Reign motorcycle club, crashed into my life and tilted my world off its axis.

He turned the rest of my life;

Everything…

Into something it should never have been.

PRE-ORDER LINKS

          Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09SG5P6Z1

            Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09SG5P6Z1

                Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B09SG5P6Z1

        Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B09SG5P6Z1

Other Stores: https://books2read.com/u/4NyqNJ

Teaser 28 Days

About the Authors:

Aleisha Maree

Aleisha Maree knew she was going to write… well, since forever.

As soon as she could read she wanted to be that escape for others.

Words pulled her in and held her tight in a world that captivated your soul and took you on a journey.

She crafts sensual, sexy, tantalizing stories that weave together her love for darkness, pure passion and most of all human emotions which dance on the cusp of your soul.

She’s from the south island of New Zealand born and raised in a tiny but extraordinary village called Wakefield which holds so much more than her heart.

She now lives in the North Island of New Zealand in another village called Wharepapa South with her husband and 6 kids on a dairy farm.

When she’s not consumed by those beautiful humans, she’s knee-deep in writing, working on another work of art to captivate your soul and mind.

To take you to the edge and back again.

She’s a dark soul and introvert who loves nature and water, is insanely in love with coffee and reading.

She can always be found with her family with a book in her handbag and the wind in her hair and a coffee in hand.

Just keep an eye out for all the loud crazy kids and she will be like right there!   

Author Links

Aleisha Maree Linktree

https://linktr.ee/aleishamareeauthor

 

Susan Horsnell

USA Today Bestselling author, Susan Horsnell writes various sub-genres of romance under this and two pen names.

I am in the process of transferring Steamy Romance to the pen name Susan R. Horsnell and LGBTQ+ under the name Olivia Ellen Turner. This will be happening over the next few months.

I grew up in Manly, NSW, Australia and have travelled Australia and the World on postings with my Naval Officer husband of 47 years.

I live with my husband, and fur baby – Gemma-Jean, a young Jack Russell Terrier, in a small village in the mountains in Queensland, Australia.

Since retiring a nursing career of 37 years, I have been able to indulge my passion for writing.

Our family enjoys travelling the country with our Caravan/RV when not at home renovating and pics of our adventures can be found on my FB timeline.

Author Links

SUSAN HORSNELL

Linktree

https://linktr.ee/SusanHorsnell

SUSAN R. HORSNELL

Linktree:

https://linktr.ee/SusanRHorsnell

OLIVIA ELLEN TURNER

Linktree:

https://linktr.ee/OliviaTurner

****COVER REVEAL****

124s

Title: 28 Days

Authors: Aleisha Maree &

USA Today Bestselling Author, Susan Horsnell

Cover Design: Lisa from Got You Covered

https://www.facebook.com/CoversByLisa

Genre: Women’s Fiction/MC Romance Elements/End of Life Fiction

Blurb

28 Days…

It was all I had left.

We had run out of options, there was nothing more to be done.

28 Misery filled days.

28 Days of hell on earth.

Until…

Branson, a driver for the Reapers Reign motorcycle club, crashed into my life and tilted my world off its axis.

He turned the rest of my life;

Everything…

Into something it should never have been.

About the Authors:

Aleisha Maree

Aleisha Maree knew she was going to write… well, since forever.

As soon as she could read she wanted to be that escape for others.

Words pulled her in and held her tight in a world that captivated your soul and took you on a journey.

She crafts sensual, sexy, tantalizing stories that weave together her love for darkness, pure passion and most of all human emotions which dance on the cusp of your soul.

She’s from the south island of New Zealand born and raised in a tiny but extraordinary village called Wakefield which holds so much more than her heart.

She now lives in the North Island of New Zealand in another village called Wharepapa South with her husband and 6 kids on a dairy farm.

When she’s not consumed by those beautiful humans, she’s knee-deep in writing, working on another work of art to captivate your soul and mind.

To take you to the edge and back again.

She’s a dark soul and introvert who loves nature and water, is insanely in love with coffee and reading.

She can always be found with her family with a book in her handbag and the wind in her hair and a coffee in hand.

Just keep an eye out for all the loud crazy kids and she will be like right there!   

Author Links

Aleisha Maree Linktree

https://linktr.ee/aleishamareeauthor

 

Susan Horsnell

USA Today Bestselling author, Susan Horsnell writes various sub-genres of romance under this and two pen names.

I am in the process of transferring Steamy Romance to the pen name Susan R. Horsnell and LGBTQ+ under the name Olivia Ellen Turner. This will be happening over the next few months.

I grew up in Manly, NSW, Australia and have travelled Australia and the World on postings with my Naval Officer husband of 47 years.

I live with my husband, and fur baby – Gemma-Jean, a young Jack Russell Terrier, in a small village in the mountains in Queensland, Australia.

Since retiring a nursing career of 37 years, I have been able to indulge my passion for writing.

Our family enjoys travelling the country with our Caravan/RV when not at home renovating and pics of our adventures can be found on my FB timeline.

Author Links

SUSAN HORSNELL

Linktree

https://linktr.ee/SusanHorsnell

SUSAN R. HORSNELL

Linktree:

https://linktr.ee/SusanRHorsnell

OLIVIA ELLEN TURNER

Linktree:

https://linktr.ee/OliviaTurner

LUCKY, in love by Victoria Monroe
 
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Follow the Author
 
Lucky
 
I’ve never wanted much, but what I want seems to be unattainable. I’ve lived my entire life right here in Ocean Creek, dreaming of making the abandoned island property mine. My dream never changed until I met Kace Donovan. We fell in love that summer, and promised each other everything. Suddenly, all my dreams included having Kace by my side. Weeks turn into months, months into years, and eventually I saw almost every one of my dreams turn into reality — almost. While I stand on the property that’s my dream come true, Kace Donovan is just a memory…
 
Kace
 
The movie I just wrapped is the pinnacle of my acting career. I’ve acquired fame and fortune. I’ve had starlets on my arm for decades.Through it all, I’ve kept almost every promise I made — almost. I was in love once, and I promised Lucky MacIntyre that our goodbye wouldn’t be forever. I promised her I’d come back. I never said it would take twenty-one years…
 
Will they ever be lucky in love?