Have a question about my books, blog, podcast, or editing services? I'd love to hear from you!

I typically respond within 48 hours. If you haven't received a response by then, please resubmit your message.

Alternatively, if you have a manuscript that’s ready to go and you’re looking for a free assessment and sample edit, hop on over to the form on my editing page.

Name *

Macungie, PA 18062

Website of author and professional editor Rachelle M. N. Shaw. Find information about her books, her editing services, and her blog, From Mind to Paper: On Writing and Editing.



This women's fiction short about two sisters torn apart by envy and guilt will tug at your heartstrings and transport you back into the 20th century during a time where war raged and early feminism was still evolving. If you enjoy period pieces and unconventional female characters, this story is for you.


Inspiration behind the story

As part of the early Millennial generation, I grew up during a time when most modern technology hadn't yet reached most households. In fact, we didn't have a computer in our house until I was nine, and we didn't have internet access until I was twelve. Having said that, I experienced the birth of modern technology, which was really cool to see. My extended family was a huge part of my life, and because I didn't have any siblings myself, my cousins and I became very close throughout the years. I wanted to capture that feeling of a close-knit family and a time before technology had invaded everyday life in this story, because the childhood memories I have are near and dear to my heart, as are the many stories my grandma shared with me while I was growing up.

The first draft for this piece came to me during my early days in college. I wrote it for a creative writing class, then it sat gathering cobwebs in a folder on my computer until recently when I picked it up again and polished it for publication. Both main characters have a rich backstory that proved very difficult to relay through such a short piece, so my hope is to one day expand on that, perhaps trying my hand at a novel about the two sisters.

*This story first appeared in the 10 Minute Novelist Insider magazine.


When tragedy strikes in the lives of two young girls, claiming the life of their father, envy takes hold. Childhood memories fade, and spite replaces the once immovable bond between Matilda and her sister, Charlotte, as the years go by. One settles for a traditional life with her husband and kids, burying the punishment and shame of her past, while the other cultivates a career set in the early days of feminism, pursuing work as a nurse during the birth of World War II.

Both spend their days reveling in a facade of happiness. But after reality strips away their youth and they face the onset of another era, tainted wounds still mark their hearts. Are family ties enough to overcome life's arduous trials?