Alumna and award-winning journalist Holly Kays has released “Shadows of Flowers,” her debut novel about love, loss, and the power of place. It follows the story of Dana Stullman, whose world turns upside down when her boyfriend dies in a car accident in the final days of their time as students at Virginia Tech. Dana moves to the small town of Buffalo, Wyoming, to escape reminders of the tragedy and the life that had preceded it. Her life remains paralyzed until a crisis forces her to confront the past and choose her path into the future.

Kays, named the college’s outstanding graduating senior in 2011, earned degrees in natural resources conservation and English at Virginia Tech and worked as a student writer for the college throughout her years on campus. After stints as a reporter for small newspapers in Idaho and Wyoming, she has settled in Western North Carolina. She covers a range of topics for the weekly regional newsmagazine The Smoky Mountain News, which published “Shadows of Flowers.” For more details and ordering information, visit