Valerie Joan Connors, Author

   

In 1949, twenty-year-old Eva Larkin is forced to put her life-long dream of a writing career on the back burner in favor of marriage and motherhood, when an unexpected pregnancy changes everything. Eva soon discovers that she has married an alcoholic with a dangerous temper, but blames herself and “that smart mouth of hers” for her husband’s uncontrolled rage. When Leo’s violence and abuse become unbearable, Eva and her three-year-old son leave their home and family in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and set out for New York City to start a new life. Eva is faced with raising a child on her own, at a time when divorce was neither common nor easily obtained. With help from the friends she makes along the way, Eva struggles to build a career, provide for her son, and keep her demons at bay. But leaving the past behind turns out to be much more difficult than she had imagined.

This novel, funny at times and often disturbing, will leave the reader with a renewed awareness of how much women’s lives have changed in the past sixty-five years.

 A Promise Made is a story about hope, strong women, and the way things used to be.


Praise for A Promise Made

“With A Promise Made—a dark and brutal journey of domestic violence and single motherhood—we applaud author Valerie Joan Connors for shining a stunningly bright light on an evil that, despite three score and five years of enlightenment, remains a very dark place, indeed.”

--Jedwin Smith, author of Fatal Treasure and Our Brother’s Keeper

“A riveting tale about a courageous woman! A Promise Made throws open doors that hide purple bruises, broken bones, and broken hearts, the all-too-common dark family secrets before women could find safety in shelters and police could intervene in domestic matters. It reminds us how recent these protections are and how domestic violence haunts us still. Hurray to Valerie Connors for this inspiring story!”

--Jennie Miller Helderman, Pushcart Prize nominee, author of As the Sycamore Grows

"From the very beginning, the characters and situations that Valerie Connors creates, leap off the page and into my heart, where I will carry them forever. This riveting story offers a meaningful message for everyone who reads it."
 

--Terry Segal-Author of Hidden Corners of My Heart and The Enchanted Journey: Finding the Key That Unlocks You 


“Eva Larkin kept me up at night. She is a character who slips in the back door of your consciousness and suddenly every woman you meet, might be her. If there’s ever been a character I cheered for, feared for, grieved for or ultimately hoped for, more than Eva, this novel has made me forget her. Valerie Connors has created a timeless woman’s story in A Promise Made.”  

 --Kimberly Brock, 2013 Georgia Author of the Year for River Witch


"Rich with detail, A Promise Made is the heartfelt journey of a young woman surviving and thriving despite an abusive relationship in the post-WWII era, with lessons equally relevant for women of today."  

 ---M.J. Pullen, Author of The Marriage Pact and Every Other Saturday

 

"Intrepid Eva Larkin copes with and then overcomes abuse by her husband, setting her on a path to help others, but this is much more than a novel about domestic violence. A Promise Made showcases strong, courageous women—and men—who dare to defy the 1950's norms of silent suffering and hypocrisy."

 ---George Weinstein, author of 
The CaretakerThe Five Destinies of Carlos Moreno, and Hardscrabble Road


"Eva Larkin longs to be a writer. Escaping an abusive relationship, she finds true love and discovers that her own life is the real story. A wonderful novel about a strong woman, a loving child, loyal friends, and a family that binds them all together."   

 ---Michael K. Brown, 2015 Georgia Author of the Year for Somewhere a River

“An inspiring story of survival and hope.” 

 --Holly Sullivan McClure, author of Conjuror and Twisted Hair