Well, now. It’s been a minute, hasn’t it? Though, since everyone seems to be agreeing 2020 never happened, I suppose I’m ahead of schedule.
Seriously, what’s there to say? This has been an unprecedented (in most of our lifetimes) and hellacious year for everyone, and Shawna and I just happened to be in a terrible place for it.
A. TERRIBLE. PLACE.
Along with all the obvious brain distractions, we were living in the Netherlands all of last year, first in Amsterdam, then in The Hague. We moved to The Hague to escape the constant construction and far-too-frequent 3 a.m. (or 4 a.m. or 5 a.m.) wakings we were dealing with at our apartment in Amsterdam only to find ourselves in a building where they started a construction project that blasted upwards of 80 decibels into our apartment every day for hours at a time. During a pandemic. When we couldn’t leave the apartment.
And it was about to get worse.
After enduring nearly five months of this utter ridiculousness (you know, because no one wanted to fly across the ocean during a pandemic), we finally surrendered and escaped back to Las Vegas, where I have been reacquainted with a full night’s sleep and there have been actual quiet moments throughout our days. Three cheers for noise ordinance laws, amirite?
Anyway, it was a fucking nightmare on top of a nightmare and my mental health was… let’s just call it “precarious.”
So, it wasn’t just the pandemic, the slow destruction of democracy, or the many other horrific things going on around the world that was making it nearly impossible for me to finish my book. There were things from micro to macro that combined to make it a real swirly of a year.
Side question: Is a swirly just a mild version of waterboarding?
The point is, this book has had a difficult journey. It had a largely cantankerous, only occasionally functional human companion. We chopped our way through thick, grabby overgrowth and clambered over a lot of obstacles together. But every story takes on the struggles and mindset of its author. Under different circumstances, I might have written a completely different book. I love the book I wrote, and was glad to have this strong, beautiful group of women with whom to endure the past year.
And wine. Copious amounts of wine.
I’m proud. I’m excited. I’m really fucking glad it’s finished.
A gentle Victorian tale of women’s passions and power, with a sprinkle of romance, a trifle of steampunk, and heaps and heaps of quiet revolution.
Caroline Ajax is an inconvenient woman. Unwell. Hot-tempered. Harboring a tragic secret she can’t share with another living soul. Dropped at an institution in the Surrey Hills by her husband, Thomas, her only objective is to survive, to endure, to make it back to what little there is of her life as soon as she possibly can. But it doesn’t take her long to discover there is something unusual about this house and its eclectic group of inhabitants. Not to mention its unconventional proprietor.
Eirinn Todson is an untameable woman. Brilliant. Determined. Forging her way through the world of men as brazenly as she knows how. Her dream of becoming a doctor leads her to Dr. Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and her clinic for women and children in London, then onto Paris with her best friend and quasi-brother Rand. But an unexpected encounter and personal tragedy will change the course of Eirinn’s life and future forever.
In the spring of 1886, Eirinn is now Dr. Todson, proprietor of Dr. Todson’s Home for Women. When Caroline Ajax is admitted into her care, Eirinn has every reason to believe Caroline is just another resident. Caroline has every reason to believe Dr. Todson’s is just another sadistic madhouse. But Dr. Todson’s Home harbors a treasure trove of secrets, some deeper and more dangerous than others, and Caroline’s and Eirinn’s past tragedies share a common thread. Together, they may find a sliver of justice neither of them ever thought to get.
Release Date: April 13, 2021