"Breathtaking." - Jennine W. 

Never the Same

The differences between all-American midwest farm kid, Briggs Sullivan, and silver-spooned city slicker, Lucy Cartwright, are undeniable, but when they meet in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, the attraction between them is instantaneous. As they delve into a long-distance romance, Lucy’s haunted past underscored by a depressed, absent mother and a workaholic father with a huge secret, seems, for the first time, alleviated. But, just nine months after their first meeting, September 11, 2001 comes along, derailing in every way Briggs and Lucy’s plan for happily ever after. 

Laugh, cry, and fall in love with these characters as they tell a powerful story about love and family amidst the all too real, yet unimaginable circumstances of terrorism, war, illness, and separation. By novel’s end, you’ll see the mess within the picture perfect, high-values Sullivan family, and the love you weren’t sure existed among the dysfunctional, despondent Cartwrights.
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“This book was amazing! I always worry when reading new authors, not knowing their writing style and if I will enjoy the story line. From the moment I started reading, I couldn’t put the book down. A complete page-turner beginning to end! It was so easy to relate to the characters, I laughed and cried. I cannot wait to read any other books [Bess] write[s].”
– Melissa W.

“This book was amazing. A great first novel for the writer and I can’t wait to read what’s next. A beautifully written page-turner that will keep you drawn in until the very end. Be prepared to laugh and cry, so have the tissues ready. I definitely had moments of hating to love this book, but love it I did!”
– Kasey S.

“This story has something everyone can relate to. From love, loss, family dysfunction, to the power of faith. It’s not just your everyday love story, it’s much deeper than that. I felt as though I knew these characters inside and out and related to them throughout the story thanks to an amazingly descriptive and touching writing style. You might cry, you’ll definitely laugh and you’ll fall in love with Lucy and Briggs and their story! Can’t wait to see what is next from Bess!!”
– Jenn G.

“What an amazing love story. You will immediately fall in love with Briggs and Lucy, their families and their quest for happiness despite all that life throws at them. This novel takes you through the ups and downs of relationships, living through utterly devastating loss and the freedom that comes from learning a secret that almost wasn’t revealed...I really loved reading how the individual characters reacted to each situation, and how the small pieces perfectly dove-tailed together to form a lifetime of memories and regrets...A must read!”
– Danielle C.

“Perfect! An amazing love story...”
– Jillian D.

“This book is truly an all-American love story. You’ll experience it all with Lucy and Briggs: love and affection, hope and anticipation, God and country, heartbreak and loss, but most of all, family and acceptance. Bess Richards’ characters are so honest and real, you’ll wish they could be a part of your own life. Believe me, you won’t be able to put this book down and when you do, you’ll be begging Bess Richards for more!”
– Kari R.

“Bess is a fresh, young author with a beautifully descriptive writing style. I immediately fell in love with Lucy and couldn’t put the book down. The story is a heartfelt telling of love, loss, patriotism, faith, and family. It will make you think about how you face the hard times in life and inspire you to appreciate the good things that come your way. I can’t wait to read what Bess writes next...hope it’s soon!”
– Cheryl G.

Author's Note

The seed of the idea for Never the Same was simple: a young couple meet on New Years Eve in a city that will soon experience what we know to be 9/11/01. I wanted to see what this event would do to their lives, where the tragedy would take them, and the story evolved into something more special than I even intended. 
There's a quote that says, "There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at the typewriter and bleed." This is what it was like to write Never the Same.
Working on this project was at the same time emotionally draining and satisfying in a way I predict none of my other novels will be. My aim was to tell the stories of many and weave them together in a way that we could all say, "me too." Because of the subject matter, I think some will interpret the themes as a political statement, but I think they're more of a heart statement to which we can all relate in one way or another. 
In this present time, it's easy to get discouraged over the state of our union and when we turn on the news, not much of it is good. I hope you'll find something in Never the Same that will make you feel proud again, and if the story hits a little too close to home, if you find it to be more like reality than fiction, my sincere desire is that I did right by you, and I want you to know that I was thinking of you with every chapter. 
Our country, our world, will never be the same after the events of September 11, 2001, and in a similar but much less devastating way, I haven't really gotten over Never the Same being completed. The last few chapters took longer than they should have because I was stalling and didn't want the story to end. Even now I find myself missing the characters and wondering what they're doing, and when I mention this to others they look at me like I'm crazy. But...a blank page and a keyboard are less expensive than therapy, so perhaps one day the Sullivan's and company will return for a visit and spin a story or two.
10% of all proceeds from
Never the Same will go directly to the Wounded Warrior Project.
Visit woundedwarriorproject.org
to learn more about their mission in honoring
our wounded service members.

Thank You!
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