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An Atlanta Writers Club Conference Best Submission Award 2013

“It’s not easy to achieve the beautiful balance of this cover, with its carefully set type and simple illustration style. Focused and calm, yet with a clear line into the novel’s story.”

— Joel Friedlander, March ebook cover awards at TheBookDesigner.com

“Edwards writes superbly. A delightful and vivid, briskly-moving, satisfying read."
Kirkus Reviews

“It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book as thoughtful and captivating as What We Set in Motion. Edwards’ has a way of drawing you into Nadine's life, to the point that you almost feel you are next to her for every step of her journey. And what a journey it is. I’m not a dancer, have never been to New York, and have only visited South Carolina for vacations, and I still felt each moment as though I were there. Decisions made years ago come back to haunt and have the potential of destroying everything Nadine holds dear. However, the wisdom of Aunt Amelia guides Nadine down the right path every time. For a debut novel, Edwards has surpassed all expectation; she has a way of capturing human emotions on paper like few others. I am eagerly anticipating whatever this author publishes next. "
Linda Thompson, Host of www.TheAuthorsShow.com
“The voice Edwards gave to her protagonist Nadine feels like a mix between Anne Rivers Siddons and Nora Ephron – feminine, intelligent, sassy, and definitely Southern. I was hooked from the first page."
“Right from the start, I thought…this is a remarkable read. This is one of those books that you don't rush through the story...you savor it. Every word, every passage, every page takes you deeper into the tale as it unfolds and the characters as they develop into something more than you ever expected."
“With masterful narrative control, Stephanie Austin Edwards has crafted a coming-of-age novel that will appeal to anyone who has ever risked everything to pursue a dream, or wondered what their life would have been like if only they had. Nadine Barnwell is a spunky heroine who learns that no matter how far we travel, or how many obstacles we face on the way, the search for our true selves is always the longest and most difficult journey. What We Set in Motion is an impressive debut by an exciting new voice in Southern fiction!”
Best-selling author Cassandra King-Conroy, author of The Sunday Wife
This passionate and engrossing novel explores the human struggle for independence — particularly for women, particularly for southern women from very traditional families. Each page shimmers with a boundless energy. The author has created a world that is real, which means there are profound lessons here about life and love that you will carry away. It’s a book I’m thrilled to recommend."
Judy Goldman, author of Losing My Sister
Stephanie Austin Edward’s debut novel, WHAT WE SET IN MOTION, beautifully explores the tension between a young woman’s need for freedom and her longing for connection. Filled with a rich cast of characters—starting with the wonderful protagonist, Nadine, whose love of dance takes her far from her childhood home — this is a deeply compelling novel of loss and redemption, secrets and revelations, connections severed and restored."
Abigail DeWitt, author of Lili and Dogs

What readers are saying from around the country:

San Jose, Ca.
"Reminiscent of Skeeter in The Help, Nadine Carter Barnwell, daughter of a prominent old Southern family, does not fit in with the person she is expected to become in the 1960’s South. Her unflinching love of modern dance has her set her sights on more. But as her plans to study dance in New York City become more complicated and alienating, she must learn to accept that her choices in life, some in her control and some not, can eventually, by accepting all the joys and heartaches, surpass what she had set in motion - a fulfilling and happy life."
Carol Darcy, Former High School Administrator

South Carolina
In this richly crafted novel What We Set in Motion, Stephanie Austin Edwards sets in motion a series of events that are both heart-wrenching and heart-warming. She has described the choices of seventies with nostalgic tenderness. Nadine choreographs her life from fish camp to Broadway, from gracious Southern home to Manhattan loft with determination, grit and an out of date guidebook. In the pre-aids world, she might not know a gay man from a Gomba, but she is guided by her Aunt Amelia’s amulet and the power of her dreams. If it means shopping in thrift shops and waitressing on the side, so be it. But there is one choice and one secret that eventually blocks Nadine from reaching her goal. She must face her past and everyone she loves to in order to dance, dance, dance."
Joan Fewell Harris, Educator and Author of Hurricane Sisters

San Diego, CA.
The novel What We Set In Motion is a wonderful story of a young woman who tries to make changes in her life story and the emotional impact it has not only on herself, but all those around her. This idea of how we can direct our own lives by what we set in motion hits home to many of us. So often we just dream of what could be and not realize how we can move toward that goal. Maybe if I had read this story 40 years ago I would have chased my “dreams” differently."
Janet E. Darcy, School Board and Non Profit Volunteer Leader

South Carolina
A must read for real Lowcountry Folks. This is a tug-at-your-heart coming of age story for anyone who has a dream. The will and means to achieve the dream is always inside you; you just have to know how to access it and let it happen.

The story line is inspirational. It validates that one is in charge of one’s destiny, and the choices made along the way determine the outcome. It reminds us that our choices affect those people whose lives we touch."
Patsy Hand, Educator and Past Chairman Beaufort County Libraries
"What We Set in Motion is the story of a young, independent woman striking out on her own in the big city. Nadine Carter Barnwell is a Southern woman coming of age in the 1960s and 1970s in New York City. Along the way, the choices she makes shape not only her own life, but the lives of those nearest to her. The author expertly tells the story of Nadine, the characters that come in and out of her life, and the effect they have on each other. It is a must read for those who've struck out on their own, searching for independence away from the comforts of home."
Clay Chapman, Real Estate Professional and Developer

South Carolina
"What We Set In Motion is about strength and determination. A well-to-do girl from a strong southern family, Miss Nadine Carter Barnwell is determined to move to New York City to dance. And in the midst of disappointments, betrayal, tragedies, and danger she consistently evidences unmatched tenacity, character and integrity in a world that’s too big for most people, let alone a sheltered girl from the south. At one point in my reading I started to envy the dogged determination and strength this girl shows in challenging circumstances. I got the sense that she felt she had no choice but to dance; simply because that is who she was. Sadly, most of us become who others think we should be."
Gloria Singleton, Educator, Vocational Coach, Author of Divine Musings

North Carolina
"What We Set in Motion is a multi-themed novel with its foundation in the Lowcountry of South Carolina and its layers in the mountains of North Carolina and metropolitan New York City. Nadine determinedly follows her dream but not without difficult decisions to make and losses to bear. As I read this down-to-earth story of following a dream, I realized that all of our actions, regardless of how simple or sophisticated our lives are, impact to some unpredictable degree on ourselves and those around us."
Greta James, MSW Educator Writer

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