I owe the lovely S.M Stevens a huge apology this should have gone live on Friday which was Publication day but because I have a memory like a sieve, I forgot. Here is the belated book spotlight for her powerful new novel:
Title: Horseshoes and Hand Grenades by S.M. Stevens
Publisher: Touch Point Press
Date Published: 27th September 2019
Genre: Women’s fiction
Fragile but practical 22-year-old Shelby Stewart is damn sure “mild” childhood sexual abuse by her stepfather—a respected teacher and revered coach—didn’t change her. She succeeds at her new PR job in 1980s Boston but sucks at romance, sabotaging relationships with men her friends insist are not good enough for her.
Shelby’s co-worker, ambitious and confident Astrid Ericcson, says she wrote the book on How to Get Ahead by Flirting. But when her boss’s innuendoes escalate to not-so-subtle touching and under-the-table footsie, she finds both her career and her safety at risk.
Together, the women build their careers, friendships and romances while facing their respective demons.
I’d like to add that, despite the heavy themes, my early reviewers tell me the book is entertaining, funny and a “safe” place to deal with sexual trauma. Another great compliment came from a reviewer who said the book inspired her to tell her husband about a workplace incident she’d been keeping secret. I hope this book inspires more such conversations!
Horseshoes and Hand Grenades touches on #MeToo subjects, wherein women reach new highs and lows in life, work, and romance, while struggling to make sense of the abusive relationships that haunt them.
You Can Buy Your Copy Here:
A lifelong business writer who dabbled in creative writing on the side, S.M. Stevens found her opportunity to write fiction in earnest when she broke her pelvis in three places in a horseback riding fall. On crutches for three months and unable to commute to work, cook, clean or shuttle kids to activities, she turned to writing. The result was Shannon’s Odyssey, a middle-grade novel written for her younger daughter.
The following year, Stevens was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, which was treated with surgery and five months of chemotherapy. During this recovery, she wrote Bit Players, Has-Been Actors and Other Posers for her older daughter and all musical theatre-loving teens. Two additional Bit Players novels followed, filling the void in fiction for fans of performance shows like the Glee TV series and the High School Musical movies.
Horseshoes and Hand Grenades is her first adult novel, which was prompted by the #metoo movement. Fascinated by the parallels between workplace sexual harassment and childhood incest, specifically how society asks many of the same questions of both types of victim, she wrote the dual narrative of Shelby and Astrid, two women starting their careers in 1980s Boston while struggling with past and present demons.
Her business career includes executive positions at Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations including the Franklin Park Zoo and the USS Constitution (“Old Ironsides”) Museum in Boston. Currently, she consults and provides marketing and public relations services to solar energy companies.
Her freelance writing career includes articles and columns published in the Boston Globe, Bay State Parent, Bay State Realtor, Strategic Communications Magazine and Guitar & Bass Magazine, plus too many ghost-written articles to list.
Stevens has a bachelor’s degree in English from Cornell University. She also studied at University College at the University of London. She lives in Clinton, Mass., and Washington, N.H. She has two daughters, a dog and a cat.