She Writes Press News: Announcing The Belief in Angels by J. Dylan Yates

Jules Finn and Szaja Trautman know that sorrow can sink deeply, so deeply it can drown a soul.

Growing up in her parents’ crazy hippie household on a tiny island off the coast of Boston, Jules’ imaginative sense of humor is the weapon she wields to dodge household chaos. Somewhere between routine discipline with horsewhips, gun-waving gambling debt collectors and LSD-laced breakfast cereal adventures, tragedy strikes with the death of her younger brother.

David, Jules’ surviving brother, turns up the TV volume when their parents start screaming, but Jules calls the police, anonymously reporting child abuse and later concocts a timely Mafia-like death threat, complete with a dead fish, to rid the household of her father’s tyranny.

Jules’ story alternates with the saga of her grandfather Szaja, an orthodox Jew, who survives the murderous Ukranian pogroms of the 1920’s, the Majdanek Death Camp and the torpedoing of the Mefkura, a ship carrying refugees to Palestine. Unable to deal with the horrors he endures at the camp, Szaja develops a dissociative disorder and takes on the persona of a dead soldier from a burial ditch, using that man’s thoughts to devise a plan to escape to America, where he eventually reunites with his remaining family.

While Szaja and Jules’ sorrows are different on the surface, adversity requires them both to find the will to live despite the suffering in their lives.  Throughout their struggles, they question the existence of a higher power. Both encounter, in their darkest moments, what could be explained as serendipity or divine intervention. For Jules and Szaja, these experiences offer the hope they can come to the rescue of their own fractured lives. 

THE BELIEF IN ANGELS is a generational survival story, spanning the 1920’s to the late 1970’s. 


Raised on a tiny New England peninsula, J. Dylan Yates pursued her BFA from the University of Colorado-Boulder.

THE BELIEF IN ANGELS, Dylan’s debut novel, was written over the course of many years while she attempted a number of BFA related jobs, including: teaching, corporate training, real estate, nursing, interior design, parenting, and reluctant housewifery. 

Dylan supports her writing habit working as an RN with the midwives at UCSD-San Diego’s Birthcenter, where she has found several correlations between natural childbirth and novel writing.

Her second novel, TASTE, the first in a series, introduces a young synesthete, Ari Niles, beginning her college experience at the New York University of the Arts. TASTE is a sexy, sensorially-stimulating, coming-out—coming of age story set in late 1970’s Greenwich Village.  

THE BELIEF IN ANGELS won the Alexis Masters Scholarship Award at the February 2012 San Francisco Writers Convention.


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Comment by J. Dylan Yates on August 7, 2013 at 1:23pm

Thank you so much, Terry, Sherrey and Karen. I just found this page and the announcement by Google-ing myself!  I had no idea this had gone out!!!  :)  Your support feels incredible!  Once I get familiar with this site and moving around a bit I would love to correspond. Please tell me what you're working on?  Best wishes to you and I'm sending prolific vibes your way. Now to the editing process...

Terry, where did you grow up?

Comment by Karen Szklany Gault on July 31, 2013 at 7:40am

Wow...Congratulations on your books!. They sound like great reads!

Comment by Sherrey Meyer on June 18, 2013 at 8:40pm

Congratulations on your books!  I'm especially excited about Tastes -- I'm fascinated by synesthesia.  :)

Comment by Terry Crawford Palardy on June 18, 2013 at 3:07pm

Congratulations on your two books ~ I look forward to finding and reading them. I'm from Northeast Massachusetts, and am happy to find another East Coast writer here. Be well, and be busy!

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