Bethlehem took her first breath as her mother took her last.
Left to survive in overcrowded Ethiopian orphanages, she developed survival skills rivaling a warrior - a fierce, independent fighter before she could walk or talk. As she approached her second birthday, Bethlehem lived her days guided by two rules: everyone leaves and trust no one.
A world away in Canada, Tory Witcraft is trying to adopt from Ethiopia with her husband, Matt, when her adoption agency goes bankrupt, threatening her dreams of becoming a mother. Against the advice of many, including government officials threatening to revoke the adoption, she goes to Ethiopia, and her new daughter, Bethlehem.
When they finally meet, both mother and daughter struggle to connect, each trapped by their own fears and demons. Emotions and tempers run hot. Hearts and dreams collide, shattering a family before it could fully form.
The adoption journey was difficult, but no one expected the hardest part of the journey would begin once they met.
An itty bitty little thing of a girl came running into the room.
Bouncing high with each step as she flew at them and promptly threw herself
into Matt’s lap. Tory’s hand clutched her face, her breath stopped in her chest
as she watched Matt draw the little girl close. His body rocked as he held her,
his face split into a smile of pure joy.
“Daddy!” she cried out in a squeaky voice. She grabbed Matt’s
face kissing each cheek with a big, slimy, open mouth kiss.
“Bethlehem!” Matt breathed out as he hugged her and kissed the
top of her head.
whispered the name, as if saying it for the first time as she took in the face
of the little girl she had studied through pictures for months. Blowing up the
pictures until she could examine every facet of the the little girls features.
Seeing her up close, face to face, finally close enough to touch left Tory
breathless. Her skin itched to touch her. With a tentative hand she stroked her
ABOUT THE AUTHOR & INTERVIEW
P.R. (Piper) Newton is a proud geek mom of two little boys, one through birth, one through adoption. She has a background in psychology and continues to take post-grad courses in childhood trauma and development. In her writings she loves to explore the human mind, putting her characters through unthinkable things, just to see how they react. She is a full-time author, who believes in the magical, creative inducing powers of arm warmers and stripy socks.
When did you
first consider yourself as a "writer"?
I've always been
a writer. I can't remember a time in my life when I wasn't writing as a child.
I still have many of my notebooks. Then, as an adult I spent many years writing
for the government as a Manager in PR and Communications. Writing has just always
been part of my life.
What is the name
of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what
would you say?
Embrace - Tory and Bethlehem both dream of a family but secrets from the past
threaten to turn dreams into nightmares.
Do you have a
"lucky charm" or "lucky routine" you follow when waiting
for your book to be accepted by a publisher?
writing and working.
What can we
expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of
a different genre?
Demter Press is
publishing one of my stories in the upcoming Telling Truth: Motherhood
Anthology. I love writing on themes of motherhood, so there will definitely be
more on that topic.
Do you have
anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release
them?ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
I work with
professional editors to ensure my manuscripts are developed and polished.
How do you come
up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books?Who designed the Cover
of your books?
The title for
Shattered Embrace came from the idea that this woman and little girl just want
a family. Someone to hug, cuddle, embrace and call their own. But those dreams
are shattered by trauma and secrets.
Do you choose a
title first, or write the book then choose the title?
I write the book
first. Titles come later once I have a finished story.
What do you
think makes a book a really good/bestseller ?
Luck and a whole
lot of hard work.
Did you read a
lot at school and write lots of stories or is being a writer something newer in
All my life I
have loved the written word.
Did you have a
favourite author as a child?
I was a
voracious reader so the list is long, but a few of my childhood favourites would
be E.B. White, Hemingway, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Anne McCaffrey and Tolkein.
Do you have a
treasured book from your childhood? If yes, what is it?
I still have all
my books from my childhood. I guess one of my favourites would be a book called
The Visit by E. Wilkin. It is a historical picture book about a little girl
visiting her aunt. I LOVED the house in the book. One day I still hope to build
a house like the one in that book.
Are there any
New Authors you are interested in for us to watch out for? and Why should we
watch out for them?
One of the
exciting things about being an author is that I get to meet so many amazing new
talents. Two authors of women's fiction stories that I love are Steena Holmes
and Kay Bratt. If you enjoy Shattered Embrace those are two authors readers
should definitely check out.