Keepsakes by Shawndra Russell
“You’re moving to ITALY? And you want a DIVORCE?”
“Yes,” she said quietly.
“What about ‘til death do us part?” he yelled. “Didn’t that mean anything to you?”
“Of course it did. But this means more.”
“How can it mean more than us?”
“Because it does.”
“I don’t understand Bridgette. When did this happen?”
“I applied for this artist’s residency on a whim about six months ago and was notified I’d won a spot a couple months after that.”
“So you’ve known for four months and didn’t tell me?”
“I’m sorry, Gabe. I thought this would be easier.”
At that moment, he heard a car horn. What else could he say? She had her bags packed, her one-way flight booked, and her mind set. She was going to Italy to look at masterpieces, paint masterpieces, be surrounded by greatness. Apparently, she didn’t think Gabe was all that great anymore. Apparently, she thought he was holding her back from her true potential. Apparently, she was a cold, heartless bitch.
Keepsakes begins with a divorce bomb when Bridgette tells Gabe she's leaving him and moving to Italy moments before her cab pulls up to whisk her away. In the aftermath, Gabe and his group of friends living in Charleston, South Carolina, navigate through the pain and confusion together. Gabe turns to the keepsakes of he and Bridgette's relationship to remember the good times and figure out what's next. Should he fight for his marriage, or begin the next chapter of his life?
Shawndra Russell is an author, digital marketer, and freelance writer who has contributed to Forbes Travel Guide, Society South, Travel+Leisure, BeerAdvocate, Media Bistro, Snooth, and Business in Savannah, among others. Her novels include Couple Friends and Keepsakes, and she has published three social media resources titled 51 Ways to Help Your Social Media Manager Crush It!, Start Today: DIY Social Media for Small Businesses, and Start Today: Social Employee Advocacy Program.
Russell splits time between her adopted cities of Asheville, North Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia, and lives with her husband and first-look editor Gary and their Boston terrier, Massy. Her free time is spent trying craft beers, traveling whenever possible (so far hitting China, most of Europe, Canada, Mexico, Dominican Republic, and thirty of the states including Hawaii and Alaska), and of course, reading some of her favorite authors like Nora Ephron, Emily Giffin, Veronica Roth, and Candace Bushnell.
“I like to explore milestones in people’s lives with my fiction,” Russell explains. “Love, friendship, divorce, careers, death...these are the topics that affect us all, and through my novels I aim to take readers through the ups and downs of life.”
She's also an alum of Ashland University where she played college volleyball and earned her BA in English before heading on to become a Thundering Herd at Marshall University, earning her MA as the Graduate Assistant Coach for the volleyball team.