Book Details:

Book Title:  What's Not Lost by Valerie Taylor
Category: Adult Fiction 18+  
Genre: Women's Fiction, Contemporary Romantic Comedy
Publisher:  Aspetuck Publishing, 324 pages
Release date:  February 7, 2023
Content Rating:  PG-13 + M. There is some bad language and references to sex scenes, but no explicit sex scenes.
Book Description:

Through the eyes of an overachiever, the schemes of a homewrecker, the magic of a bottle of wine, and a CAT, award-winning author Valerie Taylor propels this captivating and heart-warming romance to an unpredictable and delightful conclusion.

Kassie O'Callaghan is searching ... for herself and for answers. With her husband six feet under and an engagement ring on her finger, Kassie is convinced managing a company merger in Paris will complete her quest for recognition on her own terms. When she learns her fiancé's ex-girlfriend is pregnant, Kassie's dreams come tumbling down. At least for the moment.

Despite pleas from her younger fiancé to stay in Boston and a warning from her best friend forever of what's at stake should she leave, Kassie heads to Paris with courage and perseverance. There, she stumbles into a world of wine and roses as she tries to put the wisdom of her experience to the ultimate test.

​When a Greek businessman tries to rescue her, Kassie discovers-in life-it's not whether you win or lose, it's the way you love that counts.
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Guest Post Give Me a Break!

By Valerie Taylor

Multi-award-winning author of the What’s Not trilogy — What’s Not Said, What’s Not True, and What’s Not Lost

What is your artistic process? Where do your ideas come from? What is your writing kryptonite?

These are just a few of the questions I’m asked about my life as an author. I could ramble on about any of them probably longer than you’d care to read. Instead, I beg you to just give me a break!

I’d rather tell you about why I find the time my fingers aren’t flying across the keyboard the most beneficial, productive, and rewarding minutes and hours of my day.

About ten years ago, I was living and working in Seattle, WA. The company I was working for was about to be sold. Anxiety abounded. For everyone, including me. Would there be a layoff? How would my role change? Who would my new manager be? Would I even want to stay with the newly-formed organization?

Can you spell STRESS? You bet. An eerie feeling of déjà vu swept over me.

I was swept back to another time in my life when my life turned upside down. At the close of 2001, I was facing divorce, a move to Boston from CT, and yes, a layoff. As the calendar flipped to January, my health started to deteriorate. A bad cold, Bell’s Palsy, nerve issues on the left side of my body, from my fingers to my toes. Great! 2002 was the year, I’d fall apart. It took the doctors (plural) and tests (also plural) to diagnose that I had a parathyroid tumor in my neck. Could that be what was causing all my problems? Not likely, the doctors collectively shook their knowledgeable heads.

Nevertheless, in July, a week after my divorce and departure from my job, the top surgeon in the country for this type of ailment removed the little benign bugger. Miraculously, in less than one month, all of the nerve-related issues disappeared. I was cured! The doctors were stunned.

What caused the tumor? Only one conclusion. Stress! I was cured! And determined never to let stress take me down again.

So, when I recognized it rearing its ugly head again in 2013, I said “No!” to being a victim to extreme anxiety again. That’s when I discovered mindfulness and tai chi. 

The timing of this discovery is critical because, without knowing it, I was preparing myself for the next round of stressful situations—retirement and a cross-country move back to the East Coast. All of which I can report I handled much better in 2016 than I did in 2002!

I didn’t start seriously writing What’s Not Said until 2018, after settling back in my home state of Connecticut. Over the last five years, I’ve settled into a routine of what I call author-y stuff and being a grandmother. Totally time consuming, sometimes exhausting, and yes, at times stressful. (Like when I need to write a blogpost on demand!)

To overcome my self-imposed anxieties, I give myself a break. Sometimes I purposefully meditate or do tai chi, but often I just try to stop thinking about the author-y stuff and challenges of grandparenting, and instead, I try to lock into my senses. Whether I’m at home, driving, or walking somewhere. Why is there a twenty-foot statue of an elephant on that front lawn? Where is that siren heading? Why are people laughing? How does that chill feel on my face? Is that vanilla I smell coming from the unlit candle on the bookshelf? Is that really a woodpecker on the tree outside my writer’s room?

I let it all soak in. Refresh, reboot, regenerate. And then I’m reborn for another day, or at least a moment. Until the next day when life has its never-ending way of interfering, and I’ll need to take my own advice and give myself a break.

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Meet the Author:
Six years retired, three years a published novelist, always a reader of good stories. Valerie Taylor was born and raised in Stamford, CT. She had a thirty-year career in the financial services industry as a marketer and writer. After her divorce, she spread her wings and relocated her career to Boston and then to Seattle. When she retired, she resettled in her home state to be near her two grown children and granddaughter. Taylor’s a member of the Westport Writer’s Workshop, the Independent Book Publisher’s Association, the CT Authors and Publishers Association, and the Women’s Fiction Writer’s Association. She’s a published book reviewer with She enjoys practicing tai chi and being an expert sports spectator. With the expected release in February 2023, What’s Not Lost is the final season in the What’s Not trilogy. Her debut, What’s Not Said, was published in 2020, with the sequel, What’s Not True, following closely in 2021. Taylor’s next journey will be into the world of cozy mysteries.

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