Red Clay and Roses

Red Clay and Roses

A fictionalized true story of life in the Deep South during the time of Jim Crow Law, and before Roe vs. Wade. Women were supposed to keep quiet and serve, abortion was illegal, adoption difficult, and racism rampant. The discovery of an old ledger opens a window into the dynamics of the 1950s-60s, when the world was beginning to change. Mystery, rape, murder, drama, and forbidden love meld as the origin of the ledger unfolds.

Unspoken secrets are shared between Beatrice, The Good Doctor’s wife, and Moses Grier, their black handyman. The Grier’s daughter, Althea, suffers a tragedy that leaves her family silent and mournful. Her brother, Nathan, a medical student, looks for answers from a community that is deaf, blind, and dumb.

A summer romance between Nathan and Sybil, an independent, high-spirited, white woman, leaves more unresolved. Nathan is thrust into the center of the Civil Rights Movement. Sybil is torn between living the mundane life of her peers, or a life that involves fastening herself to a taboo relationship. Witness social progress through the eyes of those who lived it.

“Nicholls’ debut chronicles the trials and tribulations of a group of characters grappling with inequality in the Jim Crow South… Nicholls has a wonderful eye for detail, and she brings the historical settings to life. The interwoven stories–of Sybil’s doomed affair with a young black activist and of the bravery of a physician who risked his life and security to perform illegal abortions–are rich enough to stand alone… Everything else about this novel, from its evocative setting to its detailed storytelling, is engaging and full of potential.” –Kirkus Reviews

“Nicholls has a distinct and powerful voice.  Steeped in history this novel deeply penetrates the surface of a complex era providing a rich and full-bodied reading experience.”
~ Sammie Vittoria, Library Media Specialist

“This is no fluffy romance. This book has substance and is storytelling at its finest.”
~ Roseendhar Dasilma, R.N., BSN


Author Bio

Susan Koone Nicholls is an R.N. who lives in Orlando, Florida, with her husband, Greg. She was born, raised and educated in Georgia, where she also raised her family. She has three children, a step-son, and four grandchildren. Orphaned from her mother at an early age, she spent time in foster care and in a children’s group home in the North Georgia Mountains, The Ethyl Harpst Home.

S. K. Nicholls

It’s crazy the changes we can go through in five years…