Thank you! 

I’d like to thank everyone who voted for my YA Urban Fiction novel Broken Roots on Read Free.ly’s website. There were over 10,000 votes cast for all the 100 books that were shortlisted.

After a few weeks of anticipation, I am pleased to announce that Broken Roots is officially one of the Best Indie Books of 2016. It made it to number 31 out of 50 on Read Free.ly’s prestigious list. Even more thrilling, is that my book was the only Urban Fiction novel to make the list this year. You made this possible and I thank you so much for your support.

Hope you have a very merry Christmas and a super New Year! Can’t believe it’s nearly 2017!!! 🎄🌟😌😁☺️💖

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Broken Roots – Extract

Betrayed by her birth mother and left all by herself in a cold, frightening world, Teisha takes to the streets. Can she make it into the foster care system or will she live rough on the streets forever?

Join seventeen-year-old Teisha Cole on her extraordinary  journey as she searches for love, safety and a new beginning. To mend her severed roots, she must travel far and wide, and look beyond her origins.

Extract

Broken Roots

By Michelle Diana Lowe

January the 5th has descended. Winter is gripping the heart and soul of Ashville. I am alone and my soul is empty. I still don’t know where my mother is. Who knows if Mother will ever return? I am as good as an orphan now, left to fend for myself in a harsh, ruthless society. Unable to live in a house with no gas, electricity or water, a house where I was completely unsafe, I had no choice but to take to the streets of Ashville. It was a scary yet necessary step. I had no Plan B, no other escape route from this wretched predicament. Here, on the streets of Ashville, my new life of grit and grime begins. Gingerly returning to the house on one dull afternoon, I retrieved Grandma’s handmade quilt. I needed it; the weather got so cold. This is the warm cover I’ve treasured since infancy, and it is the one thing keeping me going in these darker days. 
Living on the streets is tough, hard. Not an option that should be considered lightly. Nonetheless, these streets are my protection from a much worse fate. I am safer here than I was at home. This is alarming, but true. Outrunning that suited man in my own home, a man who wanted me gone, has made me mindful of life’s greater dangers. Thankfully, I am not completely alone here anymore. I have company, if you can call it that. Swag Boy, also known as Dexter Daily, is that 16-year-old runaway from Barkingside, Essex, who I am now associated with. We have lived on the streets together for two weeks –as vagrants and comrades. I am a novice at this street game. Swag is a pro. Homeless, yet always in the latest gear, Swag is seldom hungry or thirsty. He knows how to haggle, too. I was forced to give him my mobile phone and Mother’s expensive watch as compensation for not robbing houses with him back in December. He promised never to pull out that weapon on me again as long as I continue to pay him for helping me out. I paid him in chocolate bars last week, but I doubt that will satisfy him for long.

Broken Roots is out now on Amazon Kindle. Get your copy today and see how this incredible teenage girl strives to rebuild her life and find true happiness.

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Editing

The first draft of my new novel is now in the editing stages. Thanks for your guidance and support, Christie Stratos. It’s also been helpful watching teen movies about trauma and recovery, to help shape my lead character Teisha Cole. Finding my female character’s unique voice and place in the world during this crucial process, is not only necessary, but imperative. I savour that feeling of gently peeling back the many layers of Teisha’s character, hour by hour, to discover her true essence and quintessence. This is proving to be the most enjoyable and even spiritual part of editing, for me. Understanding my character’s mind and soul is the key to me creating a believable protagonist and a strong and convincing story.

What are your favourite parts about the editing process fellow authors?

 

Unshatter Me – Cover reveal and pre-order details

I’m very excited to announce that my interracial YA book, Unshatter Me is now available for pre-order directly from my publisher’s website. This book really is giving the YA genre a well needed make-over, with its diverse cast and the topics it covers. Unshatter Me delves into the themes of race and culture, sexual violence, youth crime and teenage pregnancy, in a responsible and relatable fashion.

Welcome to 2015! The year of diversity in the literary world.
Here is my cover folks! Viola! 

There are very few books in all genres which feature an interracial couple on the front cover. They are extremely rare to find. I had say on this cover and made the suggestion to my publisher that I wanted both Alena and Phillip to appear on the cover, so readers will know that they are a couple.

Unshatter Me

Age: 16 +

Category: YA, Interracial dating, Fiction
Release date: July 2015
ISBN No: 978-0-9862517-9-5


Synopsis

Alena Pavlis moved to Surrey, on the outskirts of London, to escape her past. Now, heading off to college, she hopes that she can finally move on and start a brand new chapter. During her first day at Capendale University, she meets Phillip Gregson, the cute streetwise guy who introduces her to a whole new world.
At first, Phillip seems to be the answer to all of her problems. Yet quickly she finds that her childhood trauma is creeping in, and so are outside influences. As the relationship reaches its breaking point, Alena starts to pursue her own dreams and aspirations. Just as she is finding her feet again and preparing to audition for Capendale’s choir – the Coolette Singers, a perilous series of events turns her life upside down. Left with no other choice, Alena must confront the demons of her past head-on, even though it means risking everything.

Unshatter me is now available to pre-order from UrbanEdge Publishing:

http://www.urbanedgepublishing.com/product/unshatter-me/

 

It’s Time For A Change

I’ll set you a challenge… Go to any bookshop or library of your choosing. Venture to the teen/YA section and look for a book which has an interracial couple (Black guy/ white girl or white guy/ black girl) on the front cover. 

Trust me, it will be hard.  I’ve already done this and I couldn’t find one.

That’s why I decided to write one myself. My debut novel is called Unshatter Me and it is being published by UrbanEdge Publishing this summer. The book tells the moving story of two troubled teens – a middle class Greek girl, Alena Pavlis, who falls in love with a streetwise Caribbean guy, Phillip Gregson at college. The book shows how they handle conflicts and challenges as they fall deeply in love. What binds them together is also what could tear them apart, when they are faced with peer pressure and bad influences. Check it out when it is released this summer. It will be a new literary experience for you. This book is a rare find – and a catalyst for change. 

Join the moment. We need more diverse books in 2015. I’m joining this movement for sure. Children’s and YA novels have got to change. More books featuring black, Asian and mixed race people, and young interracial couples, need to be visible in bookshops and in libraries. 

#WeNeedMoreDiverseBooks

If you do happen to find a YA book featuring an interracial couple on the front cover of a novel in a bookshop or library, please do drop me a line or send me a picture. You can email me directly at: michelledlowe22@gmail.com.  I’d love to hear from you.