Tanya Hughes, a Black thirteen-year-old girl struggles with self-identity and self-love as she navigates family relationships and friendships in her Hartford, CT neighborhood in the 1980’s. While babysitting for her best friend, she meets JohnL, the handsome, charismatic brother who is seven years older than she. They form an unshakable bond that weathers the gossip and false assumptions of family and neighbors alike. Is this seven-year difference in age,  love or an infatuation with youth?

While enduring the difficulties and hardships of her teenage years and constant conflict with her mother, Tanya blossoms into the actress she had always hoped she could be under the gentle urgings of JohnL and imagines a loving future together, until on a cold fall day when she returns to his apartment to find that he has disappeared…

The story picks up in January eighteen years later to find Tanya, a famous and highly successful filmmaker. She is planning her May wedding to wonderful Brian, renovating the house they will live in, and raising millions for her next blockbuster. In the midst of her happy chaos, she receives a call from one of JohnL’s sisters who begs her to fly to Detroit: JohnL needs to see her. Tanya’s life is brought into turmoil as she jeopardizes her future while she attempts to reconcile her past with her present. The unfolding of what she thought the relationship was, and what was really happening, makes Tanya examine how our memories are shaped to either assist or help us deny truths about ourselves. This encounter with JohnL makes Tanya reexamine: What is love? What is manipulation? And in a complex world, how do you justify selfish acts that inevitably lead to unresolved conflict? What she finds is her perception of the past was not the reality.

Without A Trace is a multi-tiered generational love story, encompassing the love between a granddaughter and grandmother, a man and a woman, and between memories and truths.

Coming soon from Crystal R. Emery

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