Beauty for Ashes will release on April 26. Be the first to get your copy by ordering now. Presale is available at Amazon for the digital format, or Pelican Book Group for the print format.

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What people are saying:

What a beautiful and well written story Beauty for Ashes is! The author, Kathleen Neely, did a fabulous job of weaving layers of guilt, hate, joy, forgiveness, compassion, love, acceptance, all into this story. The story pulls you in right at the beginning and it’s a book you won’t want to put down until it’s finished! But here’s some advice – don’t read it in a public place like I did. When you’re sobbing your eyes out, you will attract strange looks!      

Tammy Karasek, President—Word Weavers Upstate SC


Nathan Drummond’s actions at the age of eighteen had devastating consequences. Writing became therapeutic, leading him into a successful career as a mystery writer. With seven novels to his credit, Nathan is rapidly becoming a household name. 

Family responsibilities force him to return to his home town, pushing him too close to painful memories. Although he’d intended the living situation to be temporary, Nathan didn’t count on falling in love. 

As guilt threatens a return of panic attacks, Nathan begins to write a novel paralleling the tragic event from his youthful folly. Will the novel be seen as a work of fiction, or will it expose his secret? 


The tip of the pen rested on the journal as Nathan sat thinking. A cold sweat gathered on his forehead as he relived the scene. Somehow it had more clarity ten years later than it had that night. Setting the pen aside, he paced circles around the room. A burn rose in the back of his throat. Sometimes there weren’t sufficient words to capture all that needed to be communicated. 

Returning to his desk, he picked up the pen and stared at the thin blue lines where sentences should be. Then he began moving the pen, writing just a single word—If. Nathan stared at the emptiness. Finally, he began filling the space between parallel lines. Reaching the bottom of the paper, he read what he had written. But if was an act of futility. He ripped it from the threaded seam, and crinkled it into a ball, flinging it across the room. Then he ran to retrieve it so no one would ever read his words. He took a lighter to the paper and watched as it was reduced to ashes. 

While he had fought for adequate journal entry words, the discipline prepared him for the story in progress. When he opened the file, his fingers flew over the keys. Thoughts came faster than he could capture them. It would require some serious editing, but words flowed.

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