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WOMEN'S FICTION NEW RELEASE
It's Launch Month! And there are going to be sales and giveaways through the end of July.
And get your copy now!
See details and endorsements/editorial reviews below! Also, be sure to check out the resources, links and Book Club on my page, 'Filling in Our Missing Pictures.'
About New Release, MISSING PICTURES:
From the 4-time award winning author of A Whisper of Smoke comes a female friendship love story that explores the gritty realities of living with mental illness with sharply dark humor and an interminable optimism, culminating in an unforgettable story that will either leave you with an empathy you didn’t expect, or feeling understood like never before.
Fresh from a painful divorce, Claire is on leave from work, depressed, and possibly failing as a mother, and group therapy at the psych hospital seems like the answer. But instead of fixing her, she instead stumbles into an unlikely friendship with Tasha and Gretchen, two women with their own brands of mental illness. With unconditional acceptance and unfailing humor, they encourage Claire to re-enter the Nashville dating scene on her journey to reclaiming herself. Unfortunately, the selection consists of middle-age rejects, young guys suffering from beer fog (who are warmer in bed than vibrators though significantly less reliable), or judgmental men that remind her how far she’s fallen.
Nothing in her life is what it once was. But when things fall apart for Tasha and Gretchen, Claire is faced with a truly terrifying prospect — what it means to live with mental illness, including that a friendship rooted in it can be as dangerous as can be comforting, and also that Group isn’t the end. It’s only the beginning. And time is running out. If Claire can’t get to a better place, she could lose the career she's worked so hard for, any chance at a healthy relationship, maybe even custody of her daughter. Will Claire find a path to a future worth living, even if it may not look like the life she lost? And will her friendship with Tasha and Gretchen what saves her or destroys her?
Sort of like Girl, Interrupted meets the Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce (except with discount shoes), MISSING PICTURES is an honest depiction of women with mental illness that doesn't just present them as caricatures or oddities, or focus on shock elements. It shows, in a real way, what it is to live with mental illness every day, and still have jobs, responsibilities and relationships, and how a beautiful friendship can be borne from the shared experience.
“A raw, emotional foray into the harrowing and yet hilarious capriciousness of mental illness… a novel that can meet you at your darkest moment and give you the power to decide to save your own life.” Reedsy Editor, Sacha T. Y. Fortuné
Trigger Warning: References to sexual assault (not explicit), depiction of suicidal ideations and delusional psychosis.
June 2021 Release Party Pics!
Shari Angie Erica Cindy
Angie Singing Books
As my gift to you, check out this free 'Date Debacle' story featuring Claire Colson from MISSING PICTURES!
Preview from THE CHEESEMAKER AND THE POMEGRANATE COCKTAIL:
"How do you know you’re really sick? Because your life is reduced to a disjointed collection of days when you actually shower and see people, a scatter diagram of data points that punctuate the near-interminable pauses where you don’t. How will I know when I’m better? When all the days connect together again and life follows the line like a guide wire. Or a cliff’s edge.
Right now, I’m still in the scatter graph period, intermittently mustering the courage to reach for moments that I can pin to my graph and cling to, this date being one. Still, this guy has real promise, and so I’m hoping he won’t be just a blip. His profile says ‘retired lawyer’, but he looks young. So he must be pretty well off. And now he runs an artisanal cheese shop in East Nashville. He makes his own aged cheddar – I Googled it.
I love cheese. And post-professional men. In theory."
The time to get Advance Review Copies has past, but if you already got one, PLEASE consider leaving a review in Booksirens (so I can track it), on Goodreads, and of course on AMAZON starting June 23 (and during the first days thereafter!!) And you can win SO MANY PRIZES for agreeing to be part of that process!
Blog Announcements, Editorial Reviews and Endorsements
Endorsement from Blogger, Author, Columnist and Post-Divorce Care Advocate, Jackie Pilossoph, Creator and Editor-in-chief, Divorced Girl Smiling
January 23, 2021
Mental illness is an area of medicine that still carries a stigma, which is why sadly, way too many people feel shame and try to hide their conditions. In her novel, Missing Pictures, Angela Hoke uses humor, drama and three lovable characters to put the spotlight on both the seriousness and hope that goes with depression and other mental illnesses. Missing Pictures is a warmhearted, witty story about three girlfriends who without judgment, support each other unconditionally. The dating stories made me laugh out loud and the got-your-back friendships made me cry (in a good way.) Hoke writes from the heart, and while entertaining and inspiring her readers, she also found a way to teach us many lessons of loyalty, self-acceptance and the courage it takes to never give up on happiness.
Divorced Girl Smiling is here to empower, connect and inspire you. Jackie Pilossoph is the creator and Editor-In-Chief of Divorced Girl Smiling, the site, the podcast and the app. A former television journalist and newspaper features reporter, Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University. and lives in Chicago with her two teenagers. The author of the novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase, Pilossoph also wrote a weekly dating and relationships advice column, “Love Essentially”, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press and the Chicago Tribune online for eight years. Additionally, she has been a Huffington Post contributor.
Editorial Review by Author and Editor, Sacha T. Y. Fortuné
This novel was a raw, emotional foray into the harrowing and yet hilarious capriciousness of mental illness. With her key competencies as a wife and a worker stripped from her, Claire is left struggling to maintain the relationship with her precocious preteen daughter; and clinging to the vestigial memory of a marriage she now realises she never understood:
I cry for that wife who I used to be, the one who trusted her husband never to hurt her, and to always be there. The one that knew who she was, and what she could do, and it was no small thing.
This mental breakdown immediately distances her from everyone in her life — family members and friends simply cannot compute the disparity between the image of the well-adjusted, successful career woman, and who she has become. Her depression — or Depression with a capital D — has subsumed everything she once was:
My depression is a knob dialed down to its lowest decibel, a rumbling of Overwhelmed and I Can’t Do This and a frantic but sluggish pursuit of Hope. It has no conversation, it only wants to: Shut. Everything. Down.
The only ones who can understand this are her friends Tasha and Gretchen, who both suffer with bipolar disorder. The three women find solace in each other, with a unique shared understanding that they may never “get well” or “get over it” like others seem to hope will happen; this is their life now:
The three of us, we own our mental illnesses and hold them close. Like a rebellious sibling, we take care of them and tolerate them, even though they exhaust us.
Instead of crumbling beneath the weight of their illnesses, they live with it daily; a constant hum in the background of lives that are rich and filled with uproarious laughter, tender moments, new romances, parenting difficulties, and so much more. Despite the flashes of darkness, the light shines through: a gut-bursting element of humour that thrusts up the rollercoaster to string us along for the ride before it plummets and then rises again — reminding us that even in our darkest moments, there may be something worthy of a smile.
The prose is heartfelt from beginning to end, and reveals the character development of all three women with elegance, grace and beauty. I appreciated that it also shed a positive light on the husbands, fathers and partners that may often get sidelined as uncaring or unsupportive in their attempts to shield their families from the fallout of mental illness.
Despite the gravity of the subject matter, the writing style underscores a humour that breaks through the surface to make it a story of triumph and uplifting inspiration. It teaches us that illnesses of all kinds can strike anyone, and rails against the stigma that far too often accompanies a diagnosis of a mental health disorder.
I highly recommend it to anyone, but it will be most impactful to women who have shared some of these experiences as a wife, a mother, or a survivor of mental illness. This is a novel that can meet you at your darkest moment and give you the power to decide to save your own life.
Sacha T. Y. Fortuné hails from the twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean, and she considers herself a citizen of the world. Her passion for writing began in her early childhood, when she channeled her active imagination into writing short stories, poems and full-length novels for her friends. The winner of several writing awards during her childhood, she became the President of the Writers’ Guild at Lancaster University in Lancaster, UK, where she contributed some poems and short stories to Lancaster University’s Writers’ Guild Anthologies during 2005-2007. With her BA in Media & Cultural Studies under her belt, she went on to complete her MA in International Journalism at the University of Westminster in London, UK.
On returning to her homeland of Trinidad and Tobago in 2009, she pursued a career in Marketing and Communications, with a focus on Digital Content Production and Website Management. She was also the co-founder of WellnessConnect Magazine and writer of its over 100 features and curated content articles. Today, she operates her company Fortunink, a boutique agency specialising in providing proofreading, editing and website design and development services; and she also freelances with several academic writing websites.
Her passion for Creative Writing was always there — and emerged in recent years when she finally used her web development skills to put some her writings online via her website, The Writink. She has unearthed several novels written over the last two decades, some of which she will be remastering for publication, as well as developing new works.
Her published books to date are:
Endorsement from Women's Fiction Author, Editor and Mental Health Advocate,
Mackenzie Littledale, April 2021
Missing Pictures is a tender, evocative, broad emotional spectrum read. I was shaken by hilarity, descriptions of mental illness, betrayal, and the tender balance between reality and hope. The emotions are so honest and raw, but written in elegant, clear language. Claire is immediately relatable and a woman whose needs must be met with authentic friendship that is both feminine and powerful. Masterfully written. This is gorgeous writing. The words take on shape and contour and form, immersing readers in the scene with very real people and places.
Mackenzie Littledale is the author of magazine articles, short stories, poetry, and the upcoming novel This Darkness Is Mine, repped by Serendipity Literary Agency. Her blog interviewing mental health advocates and women's fiction authors is a great resource and source of inspiration.