by Karen Gansel

Book Cover: Celeste Unraveled
ISBN: 978-0-9690556-7-9
ISBN: 978-0-9690556-8-6

Celeste’s former role as a high-profile nurse manager in a busy urban hospital ends abruptly when restructuring hits, her personally. Like her peers, she has dreamed of retirement as a time for herself, to explore other parts of her personality, but not now. When her husband, Adrian, loses his job and embarks on a new career as a consultant, they leave the city for the sophisticated small town of Niagara-on-the-Lake where they link up with like-minded couples.

Instead, a year later, Celeste opened her eyes to blue sky and a circle of bare legs and black boots, the noise of a siren in the background. When she tried to move her head, she realized every part of her hurt. Blood streaked across her silk dress, down her arm and over her fingertips. Her careful plans about a new life lie around her in shreds. How did she get here?

Publisher: Gansel Publications

As she fought her way through a dense fog, Celeste tried to focus on the voices around her. All she could see was blue sky through the circle of black boots and bare legs in cut-offs. Her skin felt wet causing her to shiver and she watched a streak of blood run down the bodice of her blue dress, and drip down her arm over her fingers. A strange man was bending over her wet and freezing body.

“Hi there. I’m glad to see you’re awake. That’s a good sign. You’re a very luck lady.” He pointed into the crowd. “Those three young guys were riding their bicycles at the bottom on the hill when your car hit the water. They called emergency right away.”


Reality hit her. She remembered putting the car into gear, stepping on the gas, and heading down the embankment towards the canal. Anger had engulfed her from the scene in the restaurant. She felt hooked by the vision of Adrian’s shocked face when he heard the news. He’d pay for his insensitivity. She remembered her hands clenched the wheel while she kept her foot on the gas. A bump caused her to open her eyes. Shock had hit her like cold wet rain as she saw from the corner of her eye, three teens in t-shirts and jeans riding down the trail towards her. God! Please don’t let me hit them. It was far too late to stop.

Celeste closed her eyes and gave no reply as they loaded her into the ambulance. How could she thank them when she didn’t want to be alive? When she tried to move her head, every part of her hurt. Would the pain ever go away. Thankful for the warm blankets, she tried to sleep, but the man kept shaking her.

Reviews:Agent from The Rights Factory wrote:

"Celeste Unraveled is a readable novel with sympathetic characters and a credible relatable premise. I like the character growth and themes and how you show how retirement shakes people’s identities and roles."

Randi Evans, St. Catharines, ON wrote:

"This was a nice read, compelling reflection on family and friendship dynamics as I accompanied Celeste through betrayal, despair, self-doubt, and rebirth."

About the Author

Karen Gansel graduated from the University of Toronto Master of Health Administration and had a nineteen-year career with the Ontario Ministry of Health as a senior manager. Karen’s first self-published novel, Differences Between Us, is a psychological suspense that is available on and A short story, Canal of Destiny, was published on the Quick Brown Fox blog in 2010.

A member of Canadian Authors Association since 2009, Karen was president of the Niagara branch between 2011 and 2016, and joined the board of directors in 2016. Karen lives in Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, and is self-publishing her second novel, Celeste Unraveled, in fall 2020.