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About Angela Hoke
Angela is the author of upmarket (i.e., book club) women’s/contemporary fiction. Her award-winning novels explore coming of age, generational secrets, and redefining self as well as unrequited love, dysfunctional families, and living with mental illness (among other themes), but always with an empathy that respects the complexity of the human experience and a huge helping of heart. While she spent many years working her way up the corporate ranks in accounting and finance, writing has been her passion ever since she wrote, edited and distributed a neighborhood newspaper at the age of eight (which, incidentally, was a big success until an exposé written based on sketchy facts shut her down for good). A Whisper of Smoke was her debut novel, and winner of the 2015 National Indie Excellence Book Award for Women's Fiction, the 2014 GRW Maggie Award for Excellence (women's fiction with strong romantic elements), the 2014 Heart of Denver Aspen Gold Award (women's fiction with strong romantic elements) and the 2015 Readers' Favorite Gold Medal for Women's Fiction. It was also a finalist in the 2015 International Book Awards for Women's Fiction. A Painted Lily was awarded an Honorable Mention in the 2017 Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards. Angela's most recent women's fiction novel, Missing Pictures (released in 2021), is "a raw, emotional foray into the harrowing and yet hilarious capriciousness of mental illness... a novel that can meet you at your darkest moment and give you the power to decide to save your own life." She lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her family, a neurotic but sweet Yorkie, and a Black Lab rescue who slobbers and hogs the bed. To learn more about Angela and her books, visit angelahokeauthor.com.
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Titles By Angela Hoke
Four-time award winner A WHISPER OF SMOKE delivers a coming-of-age love story that is rich and deeply sensitive, and "reminds us how exciting, beautiful and painful growing up really is."
In 1960's Kentucky, Susanna is the responsible one in the family, always looking out for everyone else. But when secrets emerge that threaten to tear her family apart, Susanna's had enough and all she wants is to escape. She retreats to the sanctuary of the farm next door and her friendship with Calvin who, in her mind, represents everything she believes her family isn't -- true, honorable, good -- and she can't help but fall for him. But then Calvin deploys to Vietnam, in love with someone else and even more out of reach than ever.
In the meantime, things at home go from bad to worse, just as Susanna's sense of honor, and fault, are challenged by Calvin's experiences in war. Now, even as her love for Calvin threatens to destroy her, she finds herself at a crossroads - continue running away or face the awful truth, and it all boils down to a choice between fear and hope.
For fans of Sue Monk Kidd, Wally Lamb, Kristin Hannah and Nicholas Sparks, A WHISPER OF SMOKE is a "beautiful, heart-wrenching story” that will grab your heart and leave you breathless. Winner of the 2015 National Indie Excellence Book Award for Women's Fiction, the 2015 Readers' Favorite Gold Medal for Women's Fiction, the 2014 Maggie Award for Excellence and the 2014 Heart of Denver Aspen Gold Award, and Finalist for the 2015 International Book Award.
TRIGGER WARNING: Mild depiction of childhood sexual abuse.
From the 4-time award-winning author of A Whisper of Smoke comes the story of Claire Colson, a successful businesswoman who, after a painful divorce from a long-term marriage, tries to heal from depression by re-entering the dating world, but only on the days she doesn't have her daughter and manages to put on deodorant. But it's not until she meets Tasha and Gretchen, two women carrying their own heavy baggage who show her how to embrace the crazy and find the laughter in it, that she begins to find true healing. And if she's lucky, she may just discover the beauty of an unexpected life.
After surviving a painful divorce, normally fierce businesswoman Claire Colson is suffering from clinical depression and possibly failing as a mother. Determined to reclaim her life, she takes a leave from work to voluntarily attend group therapy at the psych hospital. There she meets Tasha and Gretchen, two single moms from very different walks of life with their own brands of mental illness. Claire immediately finds comfort in their unconditional acceptance and unfailing humor.
Work is out of the question while her brain is on hiatus, but her body is rocking thanks to the highly effective if inadvisable divorce diet. So, with her new friends’ encouragement, Claire enters the Nashville dating scene, hoping it helps her heal. But it’s not as easy as she expects – the selection includes middle-age rejects, young guys suffering from beer fog, or judgmental men that remind her how far she’s fallen. At the same time, Tasha and Gretchen teach Claire what it is to live with mental illness, including that Group isn’t the end. It’s only the beginning. And Claire can’t analyze her way out of it.
Unfortunately, time and her disability insurance are running out – if Claire can’t get to a better place, she could lose her career and may never be healthy enough for a lasting relationship. Even worse, she could be putting her custody arrangement at risk. Nothing in her life is what it once was, but with her unlikely friends by her side, Claire may just find a path to a future worth living, even if it may not look like the life she lost.
A female friendship love story that "explores the gritty realities of living with mental illness with sharply dark humor and an interminable optimism, culminating in an unforgettable story that will either leave you with an empathy you didn’t expect, or feeling understood like never before."
“A raw, emotional foray into the harrowing and yet hilarious capriciousness of mental illness… a novel that can meet you at your darkest moment and give you the power to decide to save your own life.” Reedsy Editor
Trigger Warning: References to sexual assault (not explicit), depiction of suicidal ideations and delusional psychosis.
Miami playboy Tony Ramirez searches for the secret to his past when he travels to Cuba with his best friend Becca, social worker extraordinaire and a woman with a soft spot for his immigrant history and his damaged heart. But while Tony is surrounded by ghosts of the Cuban revolution, Becca embarks on her own surprising journey. And by the time the answers are in reach, the past catches them in its grip, forever changing their future.
In Award Finalist, A PAINTED LILY, multiple-award winning author of A WHISPER OF SMOKE "has spun a web of family secrets, unrequited love, [and] harsh reality, all gently blended with a touch of romance.... Stunning! Such a pleasure to read." -- Reader's Favorite
Tony Ramirez is a high-end real estate agent living the fast life in Miami, while his best friend Becca, social worker extraordinaire, does her best to keep him grounded, without revealing why she's so invested - her secret hopeless love for him. Hopeless because he's dark and beautiful, and she is... ordinary, but it's a relationship that has its perks, including a default salsa dancing partner and someone that can reach the top shelves. From Tony's standpoint, he's highly self-involved but not very self-aware, including about best friends that secretly love him, or how his disconnection to his past as a Cuban immigrant whose family fled Cuba in 1961, soon after Castro's regime took over, are deeply rooted in his inability to be happy. But then a tragedy rocks his family, and he discovers that he and his oldest brother Pedro actually were left behind when his family fled his birth country, and only came to the U.S. as part of Operation Pedro Pan, a crusade by the Catholic Church to save Cuban children by helping them escape to the United States. And suddenly things make more sense - why he's never felt good enough, and why he can't trust anyone but Becca. But it doesn't answer the biggest question -- how could they have left him behind?
As Tony's search for truth takes them into the past and to beautiful, tortured Cuba, only Becca's friendship can help him unlock the secrets that will change his world. But while Tony searches his soul, and his past, for answers, Becca's devotion is pushed to its limits, as she finds herself on her own journey. And in the land of Tony's birth, a land suspended in time, Becca may find a path to a new future - one that may or may not include Tony.