NellieBelle FrontCover

Durham, NC—Light Messages Publishing is excited to announce the highly anticipated release of Sydney Avey's latest novel The Trials of Nellie Belle, available for purchase February 7, 2018.

Avey's latest novel, The Trials of Nellie Belle, is an ode to the author’s trailblazing great-grandmother who left a legacy of short stories about life in the West during the progressive era, where justice was swift and common sense over ruled.

When her parents marry off Kansas-born Nellie Belle to the ranch foreman, she never questions that motherhood will follow. Desperate to find a sense of self-worth, Nellie leaves behind her husband and son and takes her two daughters to the Northwest. She charges forward to become the first woman court reporter to travel the circuit in the region. But in the process, she loses her daughters, one to death, and one to vaudeville.

In small-town makeshift courtrooms and growing cities boasting new halls of justice, Nellie touches many lives, including independent-minded lawmen, enterprising women, hard working immigrants, a senator, a number of cads, and a cross-dresser. She earns the respect of a tight legal community with their own ideas of early twentieth century justice. But when her prodigal youngest returns home with a babe in arms, she must do what she can to pull together the remains of her scattered family.

Sydney Avey writes Historical Fiction novels about dynamic women in changing times and is the author of The Sheep Walker’s Daughter and The Lyre and the Lambs. Avey's poetry, short stories and articles have appeared in Foliate OakForgeAmerican AthenaeumUnstrungBlue Guitar MagazineRuminate and MTL Magazine. She has a degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley and has studied at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival as well as many other conferences and seminars.

To request a review copy or to schedule author interviews, readings, signings, or other author events (virtual or live), please email Sydney Sawaya from Light Messages Publishing at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. To learn more about Sydney Avey, visit

About Torchflame Books: Torchflame Books is an imprint of Light Messages Publishing, a family-run, general trade publisher located in Durham, North Carolina. We pride ourselves in bringing to light meaningful books by emerging and award-winning authors. For more information about Light Messages Publishing and Torchflame Books, please visit


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