Sunday, July 16, 2023

Women of the Post

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Book Summary:  

For fans of A League of Their Own, a debut historical novel that gives voice to the pioneering Black women of the of the Six Triple Eight Battalion who made history by sorting over one million pieces of mail overseas for the US Army.

  “What a beautifully imagined and important narrative. Sanders’ clear-eyed and powerful writing made this a hard one to stop reading!”

—Jacqueline Woodson, National Book Award-Winning Author

"This is a novel to cherish and share. And this is a history to sing about and affirm -- to proclaim.”

— HonorĂ©e Fanonne Jeffers, New York Times Bestselling author of The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois, an Oprah Book Club Novel

Inspired by true events, Women of the Post brings to life the heroines who proudly served in the all-Black battalion of the Women’s Army Corps in WWII, finding purpose in their mission and lifelong friendship.

1944, New York City. Judy Washington is tired of having to work at the Bronx Slave Market, cleaning white women’s houses for next to nothing. She dreams of a bigger life, but with her husband fighting overseas, it’s up to her and her mother to earn enough for food and rent. When she’s recruited to join the Women’s Army Corps—offering a steady paycheck and the chance to see the world—Judy jumps at the opportunity.

During training, Judy becomes fast friends with the other women in her unit—Stacy, Bernadette and Mary Alyce—who all come from different cities and circumstances. Under Second Officer Charity Adams's leadership, they receive orders to sort over one million pieces of mail in England, becoming the only unit of Black women to serve overseas during WWII.

The women work diligently, knowing that they're reuniting soldiers with their loved ones through their letters. However, their work becomes personal when Mary Alyce discovers a backlogged letter addressed to Judy. Told through the alternating perspectives of Judy, Charity and Mary Alyce, Women of the Post is an unforgettable story of perseverance, female friendship and self-discovery.

Women of the Post : A Novel 

Joshunda Sanders

On Sale Date: July 18, 2023


Trade Paperback

$18.99 USD

368 pages




Joshunda Sanders is an award-winning author, journalist and speechwriter. A former Obama Administration political appointee, her fiction, essays and poetry have appeared in dozens of anthologies. She has been awarded residencies and fellowships at Hedgebrook, Lambda Literary, The Key West Literary Seminars and the Martha's Vineyard Institute for Creative Writing. Women of the Post is her first novel.


Author website


Excerpt: One


From Judy to The Crisis

Thursday, 14 April 1944

Dear Ms. Ella Baker and Marvel Cooke,

My name is Judy Washington, and I am one of the women you write about in your work on the Bronx Slave Market over on Simpson Street. My husband, Herbert, is serving in the war, so busy it has been months since I heard word from him. It is the fight of his life—of our lives—to defend our country and maybe it will show white people that we can also belong to and defend this place. We built it too, after all. It is as much our country to defend as anyone else’s.

All I thought was really missing from your articles was a fix for us, us meaning Negro women. We are still in the shadow of the Great Depression now, but the war has made it so that some girls have been picked up by unions, in factories and such. Maybe you could ask the mayor or somebody to set us up with different work. Something that pays and helps our boys/men overseas, but doesn’t keep us sweating over pails of steaming laundry for thirty cents an hour or less. Seems like everyone but the Negro woman has found a way to contribute to the war and also put food on the table. It’s hard not to feel left behind or overlooked.

Thank you for telling the truth about the lives we have to live now, even if it is hard to see. Eventually, I pray, we will have a different story to tell. My mother always says she brought us up here to lay our burdens down, not to pick up new ones. But somehow, even if we don’t go to war, we still have battles to fight just to live with a little dignity.

I’ve gone on too long now. Thank you for your service.


Judy Washington


Since the men went to war, there was never enough of any­thing for Judy and her mother, Margaret, which is how they came to be free Negro women relegated to one of the dozens of so-called slave markets for domestic workers in New York City. For about two years now, her husband, Herbert, had been overseas. He was one half of a twin, her best friend from high school, and her first and only love, if you could call it that.

Judy had moved with her parents from the overcrowded Harlem tenements to the South Bronx midway through her sophomore year of high school. She was an only child. Her father, James, doted on her in part because he and Margaret had tried and tried when they were back home in the South for a baby, but Judy was the only one who made it, stayed alive. He treasured her, called her a miracle. Margaret would cut her eyes at him, complain that he was making her soft.

The warmth Judy felt at home was in stark contrast to the way she felt at school, where she often sat alone during lunch. When they were called upon in classes to work in groups of two or three, she excused herself and asked for the wooden bathroom pass, so that she often worked alone instead of fac­ing the humiliation of not being chosen.

She had not grown up with friends nor had Margaret, so it almost felt normal to live mostly inside herself this way. There were girls from the block who looked at her with what she read as pity. “Nice skirt,” one would say, almost reluctantly.

“Thanks,” she’d say, a little shy to be noticed. “Mother made it.”

Small talk was more painful than silence. How had the other Negro girls managed to move with such ease here, after living almost exclusively with other Negroes down in Har­lem? Someone up here was as likely to have a brogue accent as a Spanish one. She didn’t mind the mingling of the races, it was just new: a shock to the system, both in the streets she walked to go to school and to the market but also in the halls of Morris High School.

Judy had been eating an apple, her back pressed against the cafeteria wall when she saw Herbert. He was long faced with a square jaw and round, black W.E.B. Du Bois glasses.

“That’s all you’re having for lunch, it’s no wonder you’re so slim,” he said, like he was continuing a conversation they had been having for a while. Rich coming from him, with his lanky gait, his knobby knees pressing against his slacks.

A pile of assorted foods rose from his blue tray, tantalizing her. A sandwich thick with meat and cheese and lettuce, potato chips off to the side, a sweating bottle of Coke beside that. For years, they had all lived so lean that it had become a shock to suddenly see some people making up for lost time with their food. Judy finished chewing her apple and gathered her skirt closer to her. “You offering to share your lunch with me?”


Herbert gave her a slight smile. “Surely you didn’t think all this was for me?”

They were fast friends after that. It was easy for her to make room for a man who looked at her without pity. There had always been room in her life for someone like him: one who saw, who comforted, who provided. Her father, James, grum­bled disapproval when Herbert asked to court, but Herbert came with sunflowers and his father’s moonshine.

“What kind of man do you take me for?” James asked, eye­ing Herbert’s neat, slim tie and sniffing sharply to inhale the obnoxious musk of too much aftershave.

“A man who wants his daughter to be loved completely,” Herbert said. “The way that I love her.”

Their courting began. Judy had no other offers and didn’t want any. That they had James’s blessing before he died from a heart attack and just as they were getting ready to graduate from high school only softened the blow of his loss a little. As demure and to herself as she usually was, burying her fa­ther turned Judy more inward than Herbert expected. In his death, she seemed to retreat into herself the way that she had been when he approached her that lunch hour. To draw her out, to bring her back, he proposed marriage.

She balked. “Can I belong to someone else?” Judy asked Margaret, telling her that Herbert asked for her hand. “I hardly feel like I belong to myself.”

“This is what women do,” Margaret said immediately.

The ceremony was small, with a reception that hummed with nosy neighbors stopping over to bring slim envelopes of money to gift to the bride and her mother. The older Negro women in the neighborhood, who wore the same faded floral housedresses as Margaret except for today, when she put one of her two special dresses—a radiant sky blue that made her amber eyes look surrounded in gold light—visited her without much to say, just dollar bills folded in their pockets, slipped into her grateful hands. They were not exactly her friends; she worked too much to allow herself leisure. But some of them were widows, too. Like her, they had survived much to stand proudly on special days like this.

They settled into the plans they made for their life together. He joined the reserves and, in the meantime, became a Pull­man porter. Judy began work as a seamstress at the local dry cleaner. Whatever money they didn’t have, they could make up with rent parties until the babies came.

Now all of that was on hold, her life suspended by the an­nouncement at the movies that the US was now at war. The news was hard enough to process, but Herbert’s status in the reserves meant that this was his time to exit. She braced her­self when he stood up to leave the theater and report for duty, kissing her goodbye with a rushed press of his mouth to her forehead.

Judy and Margaret had been left to fend for themselves. There had been some money from Herbert in the first year, but then his letters—and the money—slowed to a halt. Judy and Margaret received some relief from the city, but Judy thought it an ironic word to use, since a few dollars to stretch and apply to food and rent was not anything like a relief. It meant she was always on edge, doing what needed doing to keep them from freezing to death or joining the tent cities down along the river.

Her hours at the dry cleaner were cut, so she and Marga­ret reluctantly joined what an article in The Crisis described as the “paper bag brigade” at the Bronx Slave Market. The market was made up of Negro women, faces heavy for want of sleep. They made their way to the corners and storefronts before dawn, rain or shine, carrying thick brown paper bags filled with gloves, assorted used work clothes to change into, rolled over themselves and softened with age in their hands. A few of them were lucky enough to have a roll with butter, in the unlikely event of a lunch break.

Judy and Margaret stood for hours if the boxes or milk crates were occupied, while they waited for cars to approach. White women drivers looked them over and called out to their demands: wash my windows and linens and curtains. Clean my kitchen. A dollar for the day, maybe two, plus carfare.

The lists were always longer than the day. The rate was al­ways offensively low. Margaret had been on the market for longer than Judy; she knew how to negotiate. Judy did not want to barter her time. She resented being an object for sale.

“You can’t start too low, even when you’re new,” Margaret warned Judy when her daughter joined her at Simpson Av­enue and 170th Street. “Aim higher first. They’ll get you to some low amount anyhow. But it’s always going to be more than what you’re offered.”

Everything about the Bronx Slave Market, this congrega­tion of Negro women looking for low-paying cleaning work, was a futile negotiation. An open-air free-for-all, where white women in gleaming Buicks and Fords felt just fine offering pennies on the hour for several hours of hard labor. Some­times the work was so much, the women ended up spending the night, only to wake up in the morning and be asked to do more work—this time for free.

Judy and Margaret could not afford to work for free. Six days a week, in biting winter cold that made their knees numb or sweltering heat rising from the pavement baking the arches of their feet, they wandered to the same spot. After these pain­ful experiences, day after day all week, Judy and Margaret gathered at the kitchen table on Sundays after church to count up the change that could cover some of the gas and a little of the rent. It was due in two days, and they were two dol­lars short. Unless they could make a dollar each, they would not make rent.

Rent was sometimes hard to come up with, even when James was alive, but when he died, their income became even more unreliable. They didn’t even have money enough for a decent funeral. He was buried in a pine box in the Hart Is­land potter’s field. James was the only love of Margaret’s life, and still, when he was gone, all she said to Judy was, “There’s still so much to do.”

Judy’s deepest wish for Margaret was for her to rest and enjoy a few small pleasures. What she overheard between her parents as a child were snippets and pieces of painful memo­ries. Negroes lynched over rumors. Girls taken by men to do whatever they wanted. “We don’t need a lot,” she heard Mar­garet say once, “just enough to leave this place and start over.”

Margaret’s family, like James’s, had only known the South. Some had survived the end of slavery by some miracle, but the Reconstruction era was a different kind of terror. Margaret was the eldest of five children, James was the middle child of eight. A younger sibling left for Harlem first, and sent letters glowing about how free she felt in the north. So, even once Margaret convinced James they needed to take Judy someplace like that, it felt to Judy that she always had her family in the South and the way they had to work to survive on her mind.

Judy fantasized about rest for herself and for her mother. How nice it would be to plan a day centered around tea, fold­ing their own napkins, ironing a treasured store-bought dress for a night out. A day when she could stand up straight, like a flower basking in the sun, instead of hunched over work.

Other people noticed that they worked harder and more than they should as women, as human beings. Judy thought Margaret maybe didn’t realize another way to be was possible. So she tried to talk about the Bronx Slave Market article in The Crisis with her mother. Margaret refused to read a word or even hear about it. “No need reading about my life in no papers,” she said.

Refusing to know how they were being exploited didn’t keep it from being a problem. But once Judy knew, she couldn’t keep herself from wanting more. Maybe that was why Margaret didn’t want to hear it. She didn’t want to want more than what was in front of her.

Herbert’s companionship had fed her this kind of ambition and hope. His warm laughter, the way she could depend on him to talk her into hooky once in a while, to crash a rowdy rent party and dance until the sun came up, even if it got her grounded and lectured, was—especially when James died—the only escape hatch she could find from the box her mother was determined to fit her future inside. So, when Herbert sur­prised her at a little traveling show in Saint Mary’s Park, down on one knee with his grandmother’s plain wedding band, she only hesitated inside when she said yes. It wasn’t the time to try and explain that there was something in her yawning open, looking for something else, but maybe she could find that something with Herbert. Her mother told her to stop wasting her time dreaming and to settle down.

At least marrying her high school buddy meant she could move on from under Margaret’s constant, disapproving gaze. They had been saving up for new digs when Herbert was drafted—but now that was all put on hold.

The dream had been delicious while it felt like it was com­ing true. Judy and Herbert were both outsiders, insiders within their universe of two. Herbert was the only rule follower in a bustling house full of lawbreaking men and boys; Judy, the only child of a shocked widow who found her purpose in bone-tiring work. Poverty pressed in on them from every corner of the Bronx, and neither Judy nor Herbert felt they belonged there. But they did belong to each other, and that wasn’t nothing.

Excerpted from Women of the Post by Joshunda Sanders, Copyright © 2023 by Joshunda Sanders. Published by Park Row Books. 

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Thursday, July 13, 2023

A Likable Woman

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“Real Housewives” meets “Billions” by way of Jackie Collins in this glamorous and dark women’s fiction about a woman who returns to her affluent hometown to unravel the secrets of her mother’s death and finds her own life in danger the closer she gets to the horrifying truth.

THE STORY: Kira's back in her affluent hometown for the first time in years and determined to unravel the secrets of her mother's death--hidden in the unpublished memoir she left behind--even if it kills her....

After her troublemaker mother’s mysterious death, Kira fled her wealthy Texas town and never looked back. Now, decades later, Kira is invited to an old frenemy’s vow renewal celebration Though she is reluctant to go, there are things pulling her home. . . like chilled wine and days spent by the pool . . . like her sexy teenage crush, Jack. But more important are the urgent texts from her grandmother, who says she has something to give Kira. Something related to her mother’s death, something that make it look an awful lot like murder.

When her grandmother gives Kira a memoir that her mother had been working on before she died, Kira is drawn into the past and all the sizzling secrets that come along with it. With few allies left in her gossipy country-club town, Kira turns to Jack for help. As she gets closer to what—and who—might have brought about her mother’s end, it becomes clear

that someone wants the past to stay buried. 

Read My Review: May's novel My Summer Darlings.

I have read May's The Hunting Wives and loved it (review to come).

May has a gift for writing small-town scandal that shocks and thrills. Her flawed, nuanced characters shape A LIKEABLE WOMAN into a juicy page-turner that also stays rooted in its eye-opening observation of what it costs to be a “likeable woman.” May is a wildly acclaimed author beloved by bestselling thriller writers like Andrea Bartz, Caroline Kepnes, Riley Sager, Chandler Baker, Simone St. James, A. J. Finn, Samantha Downing, Liv Constantine, and more. May’s last novel, The Hunting Wives, received national media attention from places like E! Online, PopSugar, The Skimm, Parade, and Bustle, and starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal.

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Tuesday, July 11, 2023

I Wish We Weren't Related

   ~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

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Book Summary:  After a shocking phone call from her mother, Reeva Mehta’s life starts to sound like the plot of a Bollywood drama: the father who she thought had died thirty years ago has been alive this whole time. Only now he actually is dead. And her mother has been lying to her about his whereabouts for most of her adult life. Worse? Her father’s dying wish was for Reeva and her sisters, Sita and Jaya, to attend his funeral prayers. Which means spending a fortnight together… at his house…surrounded by relatives they never knew existed…and each other. 


Reeva is less than thrilled to be passing two whole weeks with her sisters – especially after picture-perfect social media influencer Jaya stole the love of Reeva’s life and is currently dating him. And Sita, the successful, married mom of Reeva’s adorable twin nieces, took Jaya’s side. Reeva has enough going on right now. Her job as a divorce lawyer isn’t exactly a walk in the park, and she can’t decide if her new relationship is something that she wants to last. Oh, and stress-induced alopecia is causing her hair to fall out.


It’s the family reunion that Reeva never wanted… but as her relationships with her sisters have grown increasingly strained, her stressful job has resulted in her own health issues, and she’s struggling in the aftermath of a grueling breakup, maybe it’s exactly what she needs to set her life on a better path.

Sanghani is a British Indian journalist whose fiction is funny, smart, relatable, and could not be more entertaining. In addition to being an author, Sanghani is also a body positive campaigner, and founded the #SideProfileSelfie movement to celebrate big noses

I WISH WE WEREN’T RELATED can be described as Bridget Jones’s Diary meets Netflix’s Never Have I Ever (if Devi were a few years older!). I WISH WE WEREN’T RELATED is her fourth novel.

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Sunday, July 9, 2023

The Bad Wife

   ~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

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Book Summary:  A married woman’s lust for a stranger compels her to risk everything, in this new suspense by the bestselling author of His Other Woman.


It’s just a small picture in the local paper—Katie can’t explain why it sets her heart racing. But hiding the photo of local GP Joe Harvey in her bag sets in motion a chain of events that will dramatically alter her life forever.


Driven by an unhealthy desire for a man she hardly knows, the mother of two begins to worm her way into Joe’s life, knowing it’s reckless but still unable to control herself. As her obsession intensifies, Katie’s world becomes increasingly stressful and she’s forced to cover her tracks by lying to everyone around her. Katie’s dancing with danger, and there will be consequences. And while she can’t live without him, Joe barely knows she exists . . . yet. 


Purchase Link

Sarah Edghill worked as a journalist for many years, before turning to fiction. She has been short-listed in several short story and novel competitions and lives in Gloucestershire with her husband, three (mostly grown-up) children and far too many animals. Her debut novel, A Thousand Tiny Disappointments, was published in September 2021 and her second novel, His Other Woman, followed in May 2022 and was a Kindle Best Seller.

Social Media Links – 





Words from Sarah: My latest book, The Bad Wife, features a woman called Katie, who becomes obsessed by a stranger. She meets him when she’s at a low point in her life and, despite knowing nothing about him, falls in love. Unable to get this man, Joe, out of her head, she fantasizes about the two of them getting into a relationship, then begins to worm her way into his life – with devastating consequences for both of them.


Obsession isn’t a new subject, especially in thrillers, but The Bad Wife isn’t a thriller in the traditional sense. Katie is a normal mother of two, there’s nothing particularly unusual or weird about her family and the plot isn’t full of car chases, kidnaps, stabbings, skeletons in cupboards, or big reveals. However, there are secrets, and Katie’s actions have consequences; as she becomes increasingly obsessed, she starts to wreak havoc in her own life – and that of the man she barely knows. 


Katie’s obsessive behavior can’t be justified, but the way she behaves (and at times she does behave very badly indeed) is driven by circumstances in her life: she is dealing with overwhelming grief for her dead mother, frustration at the behavior of her self-centered children and depression at being in a marriage where all the love seems to have melted away. She is also stuck in a dead-end job and – probably most relevant of all – she is in her early forties and heading towards the dreaded menopause. Nowadays we’re more aware than ever that the menopause can affect women’s mental and physical well-being – along with their behavior - in ways which can be disruptive and overpowering.


My starting point for this book was unrequited love: the idea of a woman falling head over heels for a stranger. Love is a powerful emotion – even when it’s one-sided – and I wanted to show how relatively easy it might be for a woman who is struggling with her own demons, to fall in love with someone to such an extent that, even though she knows little about them, she starts to wonder what her world would be like if they were part of it. 


Having said that, love is no excuse for outlandish behavior, and I’m certainly not trying to defend what Katie did. But I hope I show in The Bad Wife that she’s a woman who’s feeling under fire from all sides – even the people who should love her and care about her the most, don’t appear to be looking out for her. So, take all those factors into consideration – grief, depression, hormones – and you’ve got a fairly volatile emotional cocktail waiting to explode on the page.


I can’t imagine actually having to live through this nightmare but, as an author, it’s fantastic material and I hope readers of The Bad Wife enjoy hearing Katie’s story as much as I enjoyed creating it. One of the best things about writing fiction is that you can create characters who display an endless range of emotions – happiness, misery, anger, kindness, hate, love, meanness, jealousy, and frustration. And all of these natural human responses can be used to cause drama and set up potential flashpoints and damaging situations. What every author hopes, is that the reader gets so wrapped up in what’s happening, that they can’t put the book down and are impelled to read one more chapter before turning off the light at night. Then just one more...

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This Child of Mine

   ~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

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Book Summary:  When Stephanie is told she’s pregnant and that she is sick on the same day, she faces an impossible choice…

After trying for a baby for so long, finding out I was pregnant was supposed to be the happiest day of my life. But in the same breath as the news I had been waiting years to hear, the doctor told me I was seriously ill.

If I carry my baby to term, I will almost certainly die.

If I proceed with treatment, my baby will not live.

My husband – the father of this child – is telling me to save myself. But with all the secrets I know he is keeping from me, I can’t trust him anymore.

What would you do?

An emotional yet uplifting tear-jerker that will have you reaching for the tissues – perfect for fans of EMMA ROBINSON and JODI PICOULT.

Purchase Links


Emma-Claire Wilson is an author of emotional commercial and book club fiction. She writes ‘to make sense of the world’, and loves nothing more than tackling tough subjects and issues that affect her readers on a daily basis.

When she is not writing fiction, she enjoys exercising her brain muscles with freelance copywriting, coaching other writers or writing articles for The Glass House Online Magazine.

Her debut, This Child of Mine, although not autobiographical, was based on personal experiences and resulted in a highly emotional piece of fiction that secured her representation with Kate Nash Literary Agency.

After almost 20 years living on the continent, she returned to the UK with her husband, two daughters and rescue dog, Pip. Now, trying hard to acclimatise to the UK weather, you will mostly find her snuggled under a blanket; sometimes dreaming of her next holiday in the sun but mostly reading stories that affect her or writing books she hopes will affect others.


Social Media Links – 

Twitter @ECWilsonWriter
Insta @ecwilsonauthor

Words from the Emma-Claire: 

Setting as Character
Why Mother Nature Plays Her Own Part in This Child of Mine

By Emma-Claire Wilson


I am often asked ‘what is your writing process’, and generally, I say ‘I write what I see, smell, feel, taste and touch.’ It’s as simple and as complicated as that. 


You see, for me, not a single word of the novel is written into a manuscript until I can see the movie in my mind. 


Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I wake up one day and it’s all there. I spend a lot of time staring at walls, or out to sea, or across fields at everything and nothing, while the story in my mind moves from scribbled sketches to fully formed movie scenes in my mind. 


I don’t really create the stories word by word as I write. Instead, I create the stories in my mind like moving images and the final part of the process is transferring those images from spinning around in my own head and placing them on the page in word form in an order than others can make sense of. That’s my process. 


When I explained this to a friend recently, she asked ‘do you write down all the details? As if you are living it?’


Essentially, yes. In fact, I write everything I see, smell, taste, touch, hear… I write it all down. Every single last detail. I have no control over what makes it onto the page in the early stages, everything gets poured onto the page. Only in the edit do I decide how much detail needs to be stripped out. From details of the characters physical characteristics, ticks and physical attributes, but also the setting and world around them. 


If someone was to open my novel at a random page and ask me to describe it, I could tell you the colour of the flowers on the outside of the house they are sitting in. That’s how real these books are to me. Until they are that real, I can’t get the story out. 


One of the most important aspects of this for me, is making sure the setting of the novel makes sense, and for This Child of Mine, the settings in the book are as important as the story itself. 


Set between the wild and unpredictable southern coast of England (Brighton) and the vast expanses of open space and rolling hills of the Yorkshire Dales. 


I had the idea for this particular novel while living in Denmark, the only part of the book I wrote at that time was the rough outline of what I thought it might be about, and the prologue, which was actually removed during the edit (and turned into the twist of the novel). It wasn’t until I was sat on the moors of Yorkshire, surrounded by scenery that it all clicked into place. I had never been to Yorkshire before, at least not thisYorkshire, but my soul knew this place. It felt at home, felt peace, and as soon as I rested my palms on the laptop, the story poured out. Stephanie and her story had lived in me for so long, but until I could place where the story needed to be set, it didn’t feel real. That day on the moors, brought the entire story to life. 


For me, setting is just as important and plot and structure and my characters will never feel rounded until the setting is complete. So, for me, setting is vital – without it, everything falls apart.


I grew up in Brighton, and loved nothing more than watching the ever changing seascapes as they mirrored my moods as a teenager. I would sit with angry angst filled tears on the benches on the promenade and watch the waves crash against the pebbles. The power and force of mother nature was always so present in my life. 

When I tripped to Yorkshire on retreat with Rowan Coleman, the first chapters of this novel were written on the moors near Howarth. Again, I was struck by the feeling of mother nature surrounding me, covering me in a safe cloak as I poured my soul onto the pages. So for me, putting the raw and real power of mother nature into this novel was crucial. 


I wanted my readers to feel like they are watching as Stephanie navigates her pain. For me, it always felt like mother nature was a step ahead of her decisions, guiding her through and helping ease her pain. In the moments when she felt alone, mother nature was already waiting to comfort her. Making sure that those hills and rolling waves had their own moment to shine was so important for that reason. Mother Nature IS a character all by herself. 


Juxtaposing Stephanie’s life between the wild seas of the south coast and the vast Moors of Yorkshire made her feel real enough to touch for me. I could smell the salt in her hair and see the dirt from the moors on her running shoes. I sat for hours on the moors and by the sea and soaked up all the senses around me. I sat for hours and just let myself absorb it all, and then, I hope, I put it on the page so that each and everyone that reads my novel can truly feel, like they are sat right next to Stephanie as she navigates her journey. 


This Child of Mine is an incredibly emotional novel, and as such, I really wanted to lean in on all the senses to try and evoke a sense of being there. From the sticky risotto on the kitchen stove, to the blanket of tears that surrounds Steph on the moors, for me, description and setting are vital, and part of what draws me into a novel, so I only hope that I have managed to achieve this in my own novel.


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