Now Available: Hold This Close: A Winter Seedlings Prequel

Hold This Close: A Winter Seedlings Prequel is now available at Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, and soon OpenBooks. The storyline spans a 12 hour period in 1989 and follows Allie as she struggles to come to terms with her past abuse and what lies ahead for her. The novella is 24,000 words but has the first four chapters of Winter Seedlings tacked onto the end which makes it 34,000 words total. The book opens with this poem which I wrote over a decade ago. It fit well with Allie’s story:

Suffuse

Some bled to the next
On to the one over
And again.
Pieces parted
Then the patchwork.
Black line art
Against vibrant reds.
I stared at it for a dream hour.
You were there with me
In a silent corner
Fingering the dust on the window.
“I like it,” I said.
“Finally,” you said.
But I didn’t tell you about the past
Coming among us now.
I wait for you to look away
Then turn
Something in my hand
Pulls.
And I separate from the reflection.
I’m leaving this all
To you.

Hold This Close Cover

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Cover Reveal: Hold This Close

I have written a novella as a prequel to Winter Seedlings. The purpose of this novella is to give Allie’s point of view and to provide a free (or near-free) introduction to the series. In Winter Seedlings, Jute has a lot of thoughts about why Allie behaves the way she does. Jute also makes clear how she feels about Allie.

But, how accurate are Jute’s assumptions? And how does Allie feel about Jute?

The prequel novella is titled Hold This Close and is approximately 24,000 words. It takes place in Maryville, Tennessee in May 1989. Winter Seedlings will pick up in January 1990.

Some of Allie’s story is revealed in Winter Seedlings. Revelations of what happened to her play an important part of the story, so I wanted to be careful not to spoil those moments. This is why, in Hold This Close, I focus less on the actual events and more on the psychological aftermath. She is trying to figure out how she fits in with her peers when none of them have gone through what she has.

There are two important aspects to Allie’s story. There is the world she moves through and the world that moves within her. In her mind, those two worlds cannot coexist, so she neglects one of them to focus on feeling at peace in the other.

Hold This Close will be out by the first of July. I will announce the date as soon as I know it. For now, I’ll share with you the cover reveal.

This amazing photograph was taken by Nunzia Passaro. Click here to see her work and other photos from this set.

Cover Design by Mr. Brown

Hold This Close Cover

A New and Shiny Book

Look what I received in the mail today:

Paperback copy of my new novella, Silencer.

(You can click that photo to buy one of your own.)

I am so happy with how it looks. The cover feels very historical fiction, 1969, psychological thriller. The e-book version will be released in just a couple of days (June 4th). I can’t wait to hear what everyone thinks of it.

I’m Writing a Prequel to Winter Seedlings

I am writing, right now (relatively speaking), a prequel to my Winter Seedlings book series.

The main reason I am doing this is because I want to offer a permanently free novella (e-book only) to introduce the Winter Seedlings characters and get new readers familiar with my writing.

My second reason for writing a prequel is to give Allie her own voice. If you are familiar with Winter Seedlings, you know Allie is the best friend and love interest of my main character. She makes a lot of mistakes and they are not little mistakes. Allie makes huge, irreversible mistakes. But most readers have pointed out that even though these things happen, they understand why Allie does what she does. So, I don’t know that Allie *needs* her own book.

But then, yes, she does. In Winter Seedlings, Jute tells the reader what Allie is like. The reader witnesses Allie doing exactly what Jute predicts she will do. But does Jute know all there is to know about Allie? No, she doesn’t.

So, my readers are pretty excited to read from Allie’s POV and I am excited to write it. Actually, I already have. In a single week I cranked out over 20,000 words (it’s a novella, remember). I have only the finishing touches to filling in some scenes and a ton of editing before it’s ready to publish.

The tricky thing, though, which I realize as I edit, is how to satisfy my readers who are wanting “more Winter Seedlings” and avoid spoilers for new readers. Much of what is revealed about Allie in Winter Seedlings happens over time in the book and it wouldn’t be the same if the reader is already aware of the specifics of her life. But those specifics exist and I can’t pretend they don’t.

Jute thinks Allie is desperate for men’s approval. We see Allie play out this role again and again. But maybe there is a twist which will not negate Jute’s POV. Maybe Jute is right about what Allie wants, but wrong about her reasons for wanting it.

Keeping this balance is a real challenge. But I love challenges and I love these characters. So, look for this novella to be out before the end of summer. If you want to know more about Jute and Allie before then, you can always read Winter Seedlings in the meantime.

Books by Julie Roberts Towe

Silencer Giveaway at Goodreads

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Silencer by Julie Roberts Towe

Silencer

by Julie Roberts Towe

Giveaway ends June 13, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to Win

Silencer will be released June 4th. There are a number of deals going on.

  • You can pre-order the ebook at 67% off at Amazon, B&N, and other booksellers. That means it is now only 99 cents! It will go back to regular price after its release date.
  • You can enter to win one of three paperback copies at Goodreads. (Click the Enter to Win button above.)
  • There will be a surprise one day ebook giveaway in the weeks to come. The coupon code will be shared on my blog the day of the giveaway; so the only way to know about it is to see it here. Be sure to follow this blog so you don’t miss it.

Thank you all for your support, feedback, and inspiration! ❤

Preview Silencer on Wattpad

I am still finalizing my formatting and editing my final chapters of Silencer. I will be uploading my final draft to Amazon on May 25th. In the meantime, I will be sharing some of the first chapters on Wattpad. Today I added the first chapter. This weekend I will add the second. Click here to go to Wattpad and check it out. Be aware that it may be triggering as it deals with suicide.

For those not familiar with Silencer, it is my third book, a novella. Details:

Suicidal thoughts had comforted Rhoda since she was a child. She never actually wanted to die. But that changed on a cool autumn day in 1969 when the lifeless body of her infant daughter was pulled from the banks of Clinch River. Distraught, Rhoda set out on a journey to get as far away from War Gap as she could. With bus tickets and the use of her exhausted legs, she made it all the way to Grand Saline, Texas. She fell on the ground in the middle of nowhere and placed a gun to her head. Only, it wasn’t the middle of nowhere. It was one of the few farms owned by a Black family in all of Van Zandt county. It was also the location of a recent murder fueled by racism. Rhoda was in the wrong place at the wrong time, or was she?

Until June 4th, the book is only 99 cents! After the release date, it will be $2.99. Pre-ordering will save you money and help push Silencer up in rankings. I appreciate every bit of support.

Cover Template

Silencer Cover Reveal

Silencer is my third published book and my first novella. Here is the description:

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Suicidal thoughts had comforted Rhoda since she was a child. She never actually wanted to die. But that changed on a cool autumn day in 1969 when the lifeless body of her infant daughter was pulled from the banks of Clinch River. Distraught, Rhoda set out on a journey to get as far away from War Gap as she could. With bus tickets and the use of her exhausted legs, she made it all the way to Grand Saline, Texas. She fell on the ground in the middle of nowhere and placed a gun to her head. Only, it wasn’t the middle of nowhere. It was one of the few farms owned by a Black family in all of Van Zandt county. It was also the location of a recent murder fueled by racism. Rhoda was in the wrong place at the wrong time, or was she?

***

When I began writing Silencer, it was intended to be a novella. But as I got to know my characters, I really hated to part with them so quickly. The what if scenarios plagued my mind night and day until I was convinced I could stay true to the original idea while expanding their storyline.

After months of trying out different plot twists, I became frustrated. I almost shelved it, thinking I may never finish it. But then the most obvious solution hit me. I would pick it up again and finish it as the novella it wanted to be. Let me assure you, it is a much more edge-of-your-seat ride as a novella than it ever could have been as a full length novel.

My cover artist, Mr. Brown, had completed the cover design months ago after I assured him in December that I’d have the novella finished by February. So once I decided to stick with the original plan, everything was ready to fall into place. Today I listed Silencer at Amazon for pre-order. I expected it to go live tomorrow, but it is already live and ready to order!

If you buy it now, you will not be charged until it is delivered on June 4th. Also, if you buy it now it will give Silencer a boost on the sales charts on day one which will really help in promoting it. So, thank you so much if you pre-order before the release date!

So enough with all these words, here is the cover reveal to Silencer (click the image to go to Amazon and buy it!):

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Cover Template