***Warning: This is not a shy and tender fairy-tale love story. It’s a raw, tragic, and gritty story inspired by true events. This book is not for the faint of heart, it contains graphic language, sex, violence, and drug use. MATURE Audiences Only. Not intended for young adult readers.***
*Rubs hands together* YES PLEASE!!! I love books with bold, glaring disclaimers. It lets me know my cozy little fiction bubble is about to get popped. A Woman Gone Mad didn’t just pop it. No. Kimber Dawn loaded that thing up with C4 and blew it to a new dimension.
Before I share my review, I want to share a little story about how I came to find A Woman Gone Mad, and the amazing author behind it.
I was scrolling through Facebook one day and came across a post that three of my favorite author friends commented on. Naturally, if it gets my girls talking, I want to know about it. So I read it, and decided- I like this chick. I’m going to message her. Within just a few short minutes, two things became very clear to me- 1. This chick is legit and 2. She is absolutely passionate about her work. Now in my mind, those two ingredients make for one very potent literary cocktail. I mean, she hadn’t even hit “publish” yet, and the girl already had haters! This book was going to be a good one and I couldn’t wait to get my hot little hands on it.
Forget everything you know about fairytales. There comes a point in a woman’s life when she realizes not everyone gets a happy ending.
And no one knows this better than Lillian Shaw.
The safety of a small southern upbringing and a happy normal family couldn’t keep life from chipping away at her.
And nothing leaves its mark like the bite of a broken heart.
Blow after blow, Lillian tries to stay optimistic, but when faced with a choice that could destroy her future, she gives in to the temptation.
When your first true love comes crashing into your happily ever after, you’re supposed to walk away. Not fall back in love.
But saying no to Leo was something Lillian could never do…
Once lines are crossed is there any going back?
Or is the risk that Lillian Shaw takes going to leave her broken again…
And this time be enough to make her A Woman Gone Mad?
A Woman Gone Mad is a beautiful tragedy. It reached out from the pages and pulled me right in to the story. I laughed. I hollered (think “Are you effing kidding me?!?!” “What the hell?!?!?” “Seriously”). I cried.
No, that’s not right. That implies I shed a few tears. What I really did was ugly bawl…mascara running down, tissues all over the place, an empty bottle of wine and two boxes of chocolate…
I wanted to throw my Kindle a few times. I wanted to grab Lil and shake her. I wanted to take a long good look in the mirror and analyze myself. The emotions in this book were so raw that, at times I felt like I’d been dragged through a pit of broken glass then dipped in a vat of salt water.
The tragedy of choice, experience and consequence is captured beautifully. You grieve, you fear, you rejoice. And you hope.
A Woman Gone Mad gave me pause. It showed me that no matter how many different, ugly things life throws at me, there is always another option. There is always another way. There will always be someone somewhere rooting for me. Even if I can’t see them.
Kimber S. Dawn
“I’ve never done a single thing in my life half way, I always go all in.”
Where did the inspiration for AWGM come from?
“From a combination of things. The main inspiration came from my own life’s feats and failures. It also came from the realization that being a grown up fucking sucks. I’d waited my whole life to grow up and it wasn’t any where near what I’d always imagined. I wanted to go back, take back some of the things I’d done. Mainly the chance to keep the love of my life… that I just let slip through my hands, not knowing that it was my last chance. Every day I look around at my life and still wonder how in the fuck I got to where I’m at, however it’s a double-edged sword… I wouldn’t have the accomplishments or blessings that I have in my life if it would have turned out any other way.”
At what point did you realize “I have GOT to write this story!”
“The premises of the story had been crawling around in my head for over ten years. I am a very impatient person, when I make a decision I go all in, I want it done now and I want it done my way. ‘Aut viam inveniam aut faciam tibi’ meaning If I cannot find a way, I will make my own. In October I decided to write AWGM, four weeks later I hit publish on Amazon ;)”
If AWGM was a song, what would it be?
“Say Something by A Great Big World”
You deal with a lot of very deep issues in AWGM. What would you say to readers who can relate in some way to Lil?
“Honestly? Thanks for relatin’ and not hatin’, lol.
~No, seriously anyone that can relate to Lil, anyone that loved, hated, wanted to hold, or wanted to bitch slap Lil I want you to know that I fucking love you, and you’re the ONLY reason I wrote AWGM.”
Who are your literary inspirations?
• Francette Phal
• J.B. Salsbury
• Madeline Sheehan
• C.M. Stunich
• And most recently… M.S. Willis
Are you a plotter or a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants writer?
“I just write what the voices in my head tell me to write.”
Where do you draw inspiration from for your characters and novels?
“The main characters are from my life, the secondary characters honestly just walk inside my head while I’m typing.”
Free time? Whatcha doin’?
“Lmfao, what fucking free time? I have three children. I’m a labor unit RN on a high risk labor unit. I run LipSmackin’ GoodBooks & LipSmackin’ Promotions… Oh and apparently I’m an author as well, lol, I don’t feel like an author though, I’m still in fan girl mode and trying to figure out why AWGM is as successful as it is.”
Whiskey or Wine?
“Depends on the night, weeknights wine. Weekends Jack & Diet Coke ;)”
Whats Next for Kimber?
“Who the hell knows? Lol, I guess it depends on my next decision.”
What are you working on right now?
“Leo’s story, Holding Her in Madness”
“I’m shootin’ for the first of April”
Future book plans?
“I have several that have reared their head and started telling me their story. The main one, and this is never before documented shit here, is Wes’s story. When he walked into AWGM he was PISSED when I cut him short and he hasn’t stopped bitching since. It will be a dual POV story with both Wes and the main female character, Brie. Brie is just as strong minded and ballsy as Lil, except her past is so fucked up that it makes Lil’s seem like child play.”
“I’ll be at Wicked Book Weekend in Ft. Lauderdale March 7th-9th