The Vines by Shelley Nolden

🍃 Have you ever heard of North Brother Island? ⁣🍃

⁣I’m obsessed.

I’ve been down so many Google rabbit holes just wondering what it would have been like to be quarantined there. I had the unfortunate pleasure of having tuberculosis a few years ago, and thankfully I wasn’t banished to an island of sick people! Shout out to modern medicine! 🙌🏼⁣⁣

THE VINES is a twisted and dark bit of contagious fun! It’s like a historical-mystery-thriller-fantasy-sci-fi mash up of secrets and lies – and I loved every minute of it!⁣⁣

“In a debut that is part horror novel, part thought experiment, Nolden has accomplished the feat of getting readers to ask themselves what horrors can be done to serve the greater good.”


The off-limits decaying NYC island is the site of a shuttered hospital that was used for quarantines and human experiments. Cora, remains imprisoned there by contagions and the doctors who torment her. When Finn, a young urban explorer discovers her living there – it ignites an obsession to uncover her past — and his own family’s dark secrets in turn.⁣⁣

There’s some really fun twists and turns that The Vines takes – told in dual timelines, and cleverly meeting in present day. It’s a haunting story that questions the ethics of medicine – in particular, a family of doctors who stand out in some pretty horrific scenes. But the courageous and strong-willed Cora outshines their controversial objectives and steals the story with her unwavering spirit.

⁣⁣A haunting story that is definitely taken up a notch reading it in a pandemic! Coronavirus even makes a cameo – it’s funny how truth really is sometimes just as strange as fiction!⁣⁣

“Shelly Nolden’s first book — with a promise of more — is a wonderful mix of science fiction, history, fantasy and some wishful thinking; a worthy read on so many levels.”


Thank you to Over the River PR and Shelley Nolden for the gifted book!⁣⁣

Available Now! Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble

  • Publisher : Freiling Publishing (March 23, 2021)
  • Language : English
  • Hardcover : 412 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1950948404
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1950948406

About the Book:

In the shadows of New York City lies forbidden North Brother Island, where the remains of a shuttered hospital hide the haunting memories of century-old quarantines and human experiments. The ruins conceal the scarred and beautiful Cora, imprisoned by contagions and the doctors who torment her.
When Finn, a young urban explorer, arrives on the island and glimpses the enigmatic woman through the foliage, intrigue turns to obsession as he seeks to uncover her past–and his own family’s dark secrets. By unraveling these mysteries, will he be able to save Cora? Will Cora meet the same tragic ending as the thousands who’ve already perished on the island? 
The Vines intertwines North Brother Island’s horrific and elusive history with a captivating tale of love, betrayal, survival, and loss.

About Shelley:

Born and raised in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area, Shelley Nolden headed east after matriculating from the University of Minnesota. After living in New York City for five years while working in finance, she and her husband decided they weren’t meant for city life and moved to Ridgewood, New Jersey.

In 2011, Shelley was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia. The first sign of her disease was losing her baby during the nineteenth week of pregnancy. She spent the first forty days of her illness inpatient, simultaneously mourning the loss of her baby while missing her eighteen-month-old. Because this type of leukemia prevents platelets from maturing into functioning clotting cells, her daughter wasn’t allowed to visit because even a hug could have proved fatal. Throughout her ordeal, she kept a cancer blog and regularly contributed to cancer-related publications.

Stemming from her personal experience, Shelley developed a deep-rooted drive to help others affected by cancer, subsequently becoming a Co-founder of GRYT Health, whose mission is to improve quality of life and increase survival for people facing cancer through a relentless focus on patient experience. Additionally, resulting from her experience as a college athlete (as a swimmer and then rower), as well as her years as a woman on Wall Street, she acted on her passion for the advancement of women’s rights by becoming an Advisor to Goal Five, a women’s sports apparel company named after the United Nations’ Fifth Sustainable Development Goal: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

Shelley’s debut novel, THE VINES, will be released March 23, 2021. Her obsession with forbidden North Brother Island in New York City’s East River, as well as her personal health history and passion for equality, heavily influenced the creation of this historical fiction thriller.

Currently, Shelley lives in the Milwaukee area with her family and their dog Storm, named after one of the most powerful and respected superheroes. Because, naturally, her commitment to female empowerment extends to the family dog.


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