Award-Winner of the Cross Genre category and Award-Winning Finalist of the Mystery/Suspense, Historical Fiction, and General Fiction categories of the 2021 International Book Awards
In the shadows of New York City lies the abandoned, forbidden North Brother Island, where the remains of a shuttered hospital hide the haunting memories of century-old quarantines and human experiments. The ruins conceal the scarred and beautiful Cora, imprisoned there by contagions and the doctors who torment her. When Finn, a young urban explorer, arrives on the island and glimpses this enigmatic woman through the foliage, intrigue turns to obsession as he seeks to uncover her past--and his own family's dark secrets. By unraveling these mysteries, will he be able to save Cora? Or will she meet the same tragic ending as the thousands who've already perished on the island? The Vines intertwines North Brother Island's horrific and elusive history with a captivating tale of love, betrayal, survival, and loss.
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About the Author
In 2011, Shelley was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia. The first sign of her disease was losing her baby during the nineteenth week of pregnancy. She spent the first forty days of her illness inpatient, simultaneously mourning the loss of her baby while missing her eighteen-month-old. Because this type of leukemia prevents platelets from maturing into functioning clotting cells, her daughter wasn’t allowed to visit because even a hug could have proved fatal. Throughout her ordeal, she kept a cancer blog and regularly contributed to cancer-related publications.
Stemming from her personal experience, Shelley developed a deep-rooted drive to help others affected by cancer, subsequently becoming a Co-founder of GRYT Health, whose mission is to improve quality of life and increase survival for people facing cancer through a relentless focus on patient experience. Additionally, resulting from her experience as a college athlete (as a swimmer and then rower), as well as her years as a woman on Wall Street, she acted on her passion for the advancement of women’s rights by becoming an Advisor to Goal Five, a women’s sports apparel company named after the United Nations’ Fifth Sustainable Development Goal: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
THE VINES is Shelley's debut novel. Her obsession with forbidden North Brother Island in New York City’s East River, as well as her personal health history and passion for equality, heavily influenced the creation of this historical fiction thriller.
Currently, Shelley lives in the Milwaukee area with her family and their dog Storm, named after one of the most powerful and respected superheroes. Because, naturally, her commitment to female empowerment extends to the family dog.