Elle is a survivor. She’s managed to piece together a solid life from a
childhood of broken memories and fairy tales her mom told her to
explain away bad dreams. But weekly visits to her mother still fill
Elle with a paralyzing fear she can’t explain. It’s just another
of so many unanswered questions she grew up with in a family
estranged by silence and secrets.
Elle’s world turns upside down when she receives a deathbed request from her
grandfather, a man she was told had died years ago. Racked by grief,
regrets, and a haunted conscience, he has a tale of his own to tell
Elle: about her mother, an imaginary friend, and two strangers who
came to the house one night and never left.
As Elle’s past unfolds, so does the truth—if she can believe it. She
must face the reasons for her inexplicable dread. As dark as they
are, Elle must listen…before her grandfather’s death buries the
family’s secrets forever.
Steena Holmes is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of
titles including Saving Abby, Stillwater Rising and The Memory Child.
Named in the Top 20 Women Author to read in 2015 by Good
Housekeeping, she won the National Indie Excellence Award in 2012 for
Finding Emma as well as the USA Book News Award for The Word Game in
2015. Having her Author Brand featured repeatedly on sites such as
Goodreads, BookBub, RedBook, and Goodhousekeeping, Steena is an
authority on creating an effective author brand and has been invited
to speak on the subject at various author forums around the world. To
find out more about her books and her love for traveling.
The Forgotten Ones is a story that poured out of me. Every character in this book felt real to me and I’m going to be honest, there’s a lot of me in each of these characters. I added a lot of personal elements…let me share…
• One of the main characters is named after both my grandfathers…David (my maternal grandfather) and Basil (my paternal grandfather)
• David’s last name: Walker is named after the famous Walker House in Southampton, Ontario where both my mother’s parents (and a few of her siblings I think) worked.
• The story is set in Kincardine – my home town. With Station Beach and a small ice cream stand and a historical lighthouse.
• The hospital where David is dying and where Elle works is where my mom used to work (and I was a candy stripper).
• Bervie is a real town – where I grew up – a tiny little hamlet. David’s house is fashioned after my childhood home (but it’s situated closer to Kincardine that it is in real life…author license and all that…)
• Other than David Basil Walker – all the characters were named by my readers (THANK YOU!)
• I posted a video on Instagram where I was sobbing writing a very important scene.
I really hope you all love this book! It’s a little different than my last few, but not so different that you’ll be tempted to throw it across the room.
I used to believe wishes were like fairy tales: all you had to do was make one, and your happily ever after would come true. I grew up in a world where teapots talked, fishes sang, and a click of my heels could take me anywhere I wanted.
I don’t believe that anymore.
I was six when the Cheshire Cat became scary, a bringer of nightmares; eight when I feared the Beast’s transformation; twelve when I understood my mother had more in common with Maleficent than I had with Aurora.
It wasn’t that she was evil. On her good days, she’d call me “Lizzie” and she was Glinda the Good Witch. Full of sunshine and rainbows. We could do anything and everything together. Most days, she was like that—happy, cheerful, and bright.
But every so often, there were periods of darkness. She’d beg for my forgiveness. When she couldn’t get out of bed, when the slightest touch sent shards of pain through her body, and the faintest of whispers rang like bells within her head.
There were no stories on those days. No tea parties among the wildflowers, no backyard games or lazy hours spent on the tire swing.
I never knew when those days would come, but even as a child I watched for the signs.
Still, as an adult, I watch for the signs.