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Penguin: Adult Hardcover & Trade Paperback Summer 2019

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Unbreak Me
By (author): Michelle Hazen
9781984803290 Paperback, Trade English General Trade FICTION / Romance / Multicultural & Interracial Aug 13, 2019
$20.00 CAD
Active 5.44 x 8.2 x 0.79 in 304 pages Berkley
A powerful love story takes the reins in this multicultural contemporary romance set against a Montana backdrop.

Andra Lawler has hardly left her family’s ranch in years, imprisoned by the trauma of her sexual assault. LJ Delisle hasn’t made it out of New Orleans until now, stuck in a cycle of poverty and grief following Hurricane Katrina. When the black Creole cowboy leaves his home to train horses on the whitewashed ranches of Montana, the last thing he expects is to form a personal connection with Andra.

Through LJ’s gentle attention to her during their cooking lessons and his boisterous love of life, Andra tiptoes out of her isolation. But the entire town—including Andra’s father—are suspicious of LJ. And every time Andra and LJ get close to the bedroom, she freezes. Before they can work through Andra’s fears and her dad’s objections, LJ’s mother falls ill, and he has to return to New Orleans to care for her. Desperate to prove she can heal from her traumas, Andra sets out to pursue him.

When Andra reaches Louisiana, she finds herself embraced by Hurricane Katrina survivors who live with an intensely personal understanding of post-traumatic stress. But not even the vibrant charm of New Orleans is enough to smother the ever-present issues of racism that impact LJ on a daily basis. Against the backdrop of empty lots and hastily repaired houses, Andra and LJ long to make their romance into a life together. But LJ’s family still needs him, and Andra’s ranch is calling her back to Montana.

Story Locale: Montana and New Orleans

DIVERSE ROMANCE that examines the pressures an interracial couple can face

BEAUTIFUL, INSIGHTFUL WRITING from an author who is fearlessly exploring themes of sexual assault, racism, and PTSD, and making them accessible through her romance narrative

CROSSOVER APPEAL: the core audience is romance readers, but the writing and themes make this perfect for fans of women’s fiction and an ideal book club book

PREVIOUSLY A COUNSELOR FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT VICTIMS: the author uses her professional knowledge to create a multifaceted heroine

A NEW AUTHOR FOR BERKLEY: Unbreak Me is Michelle’s traditional publishing debut

Michelle Hazen is a nomad with a writing problem. Years ago, she and her husband ducked out of the nine-to-five world and moved into their truck. She found her voice with the support of the online fanfiction community, and once she started typing, she never looked back.

She has written most of her books in odd places, including a bus in Thailand, an off-the-grid cabin in the Sawtooth Mountains, a golf cart in a sandstorm, a rental car during a heat wave in the Mojave Desert, and a beach in Honduras. Even when she’s climbing rocks, riding horses, or getting lost someplace wild and beautiful, there are stories spooling out inside her head, until she finally heeds their call and returns to her laptop and solar panels.

Author Residence: ID

Marketing: Online advertising campaign

E-mail marketing campaign

ARC distribution and giveaways

NetGalley campaign

Early reader review campaign

Social media campaign

Consumer sweepstakes

Discussion guide available online

Feature on Read It Forward, First to Read

Publicity: National print publicity

Online publicity campaign

Author blog tour

Author Website:

Author Social Media: Twitter @MichelleHazen

Praise for Unbreak Me:

“An unlikely pair take on their pasts together in this endearing contemporary tale of love through emotional hardship. Hazen writes with grace and compassion about life after trauma, smoothly addressing racism, sexual assault, and large-scale disasters without pat answers or platitudes.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Two trauma survivors find love and acceptance in Hazen’s warm and thoughtful contemporary multicultural romance. Hazen’s well-developed characters, soft and steamy love scenes, and exquisitely detailed settings makes this a winning love story.”—Booklist (starred review)

“Hazen produces solid writing that will win over readers and leave them ready for more.”—Library Journal

“A seductive, slow-burn romance brimming with tenderness, hope, and transformation.”—Tammara Webber, New York Times bestselling author

“From the sweeping Montana skies to the vibrancy of New Orleans, Michelle Hazen packs an emotional punch into every word of this captivating story. Unbreak Me is an unapologetic romance that faces controversial issues candidly and grips your heart from the first page.”—Kelly Siskind

“Hazen’s ability to pen sensitive and complex issues with respect and compassion made this one of my favorite books of the year! Unbreak Me is a must-read for anyone who believes that love can heal even the most complicated of wounds. I can’t wait to see what Michelle does next.”—Tricia Lynne

Unbreak Me left me with a feeling of warmth in my heart, and I can’t wait to see what’s on the horizon for Hazen.”—Maxym M. Martineau

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