Red Clay and Roses a novel by S.K. Nicholls

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

AVAILABLE FROM YOUR FAVORITE EBOOKSELLER:  Amazon iTunes,Barnes and Noble,  etc…, or you may purchase a copy on smashwords for $3.99 in a variety of  formats, including ePub for your iPad or other reader, a Kindle version,  and a pdf version for your computer if you don’t have an ereader device; (a free sample is available).   The paperback POD is now available on Amazon for $10.70 .

You may reach her at


33 thoughts on “Red Clay and Roses a novel by S.K. Nicholls

    1. Barnes and Noble are the last retail vendor to update the book description that I resubmitted. It still had the old description last time I checked and I think the new one is so much more appropriate. My wordpress community, Ionia Martin, in particular, helped me get that resolved. I really struggled with a description because it doesn’t fit any particular genre very well.

        1. Seriously, if you want to read the book I can give you the promo coupon code for smashwords that is good through the 14th, as long as you download before then.

            1. Well thanks. Sorry about that. I owe you a couple of drinks 🙂 Same thing happened with me and Sarah Cradit. I didn’t know she had a promo going on when I bought her book, but I was really glad that I did!

              1. Um, so yeah, I don’t drink.. (well water and diet dr pepper are acceptable!) lol, that’s too funny. It’s okay I don’t mind spending the money and helping out. 🙂

                1. That’s funny. Most people drink, even if its not alcoholic….I’m glad you thought it was worth at least as much as the pizza delivery guy…you do eat don’t you?

                    1. I get onto indie authors all of the time for short selling their literary work…it is a pet peeve of mine. I think any book is worth AT LEAST what one would tip the valet guy for parking their car.

  1. This looks amazing – greenembers/Bradley’s review made me look further. When will the paperback be available (just tried amazon but its still only listing the kindle version) – I’d really like to get it in that format because I think it’s a book I’d like to keep and hold. 🙂

    1. I am so very excited. I am working with createspace. I just sent them the last mock up and now I have the new text ready with the copyediting done on the first chapter that needed to be done (I had condensed three chapters to one when I first published and that was not as smoothly done as it should have been, so it has been fixed.) I was expecting to hear from them today but didn’t 😦 I don’t know exactly about the date yet. Once I submit the text they will send for my approval and I will accept or reject. I am thinking it should be good to go. The paperback will also feature the handwritten letters which the eversion does not have. I will let everyone know when it is ready:)

  2. Just wanted to pop by and let you know I loved your book. What a wonderful blend of fiction and history. I was so vested in Nathan and Sybil’s relationship that it was tough to put the book down. If I hadn’t been traveling to see family, I would have finished it much sooner. I hated to have to put it down! Thank you for a high-quality read and some really enjoyable hours of escape. 🙂

  3. Hi, just wanted to pop in to say I just finished your wonderful novel, and once I’d sufficiently wiped the tears from my eyes from the very moving ending I wrote a review which should be published on Amazon soon – I write reviews under the nickname HelenKid for reasons too long and bring to go into here. Suffice to say I gave it five stars – of course -and truly loved it! What a wonderful experience to read this novel – a real joy and a perfect insight to a period of history that I was not as familiar with as I probably should have been. Bravo!!!!

    1. Joy, Joy! I read your posted review last night and joined you in happy tears for other reasons. So very glad you enjoyed it. It is a poignant story with a bittersweet ending. Your words were most kind and very encouraging. Thank you so very much for your time.

Share your thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.