Monday, November 6, 2023


In their attempts to have a child, a husband and wife must contend with personal desires, crossed boundaries, and broken trust as they reimagine what it truly means to be a family.

Nikki and Kyle Sebastian have a loving and healthy marriage. It’s only missing one thing they want—children. When the couple is diagnosed with “unexplained infertility” and endures several failed rounds of IVF, Kyle, for both their sakes, is unwilling to bury them deeper in emotional and financial debt.

Desperate to have a baby, Nikki betrays Kyle’s trust in an attempt to try IVF one more time. The choice fractures their once-stable union. Now burdened with suspicion, resentment, and further grief, their little family is falling apart.

Picking up the pieces of their broken home means reassessing their dreams for the future—dreams that Nikki’s not ready to give up. If she can’t find a way to forge a new path forward with Kyle, she may find herself alone at the end of the family tree she longs to help grow.

Reviews ~

All We Could Still Have is a deeply moving story about having no control over the thing you desire most and discovering a different way of looking at that desire along the way. Diane Barnes masterfully weaves through darkness to discover light and takes the reader on a beautiful journey with a host of compelling characters that feel like they could be any one of us.” —Suzanne Redfearn, #1 Amazon bestselling author of In an Instant

“In All We Could Still Have, Diane Barnes deftly navigates soul-achingly difficult issues and betrayals of the heart with such honesty and care that you just know—at each anticipated turn of the page—her story will leave you with the most redemptive emotion of them all: hope.” —Alli Frank and Asha Youmans, authors of Never Meant to Meet You and Tiny Imperfections

“Diane Barnes is a masterful storyteller, unafraid to lay bare the needs and desires of her characters. All We Could Still Have is the poignant story of one woman’s yearnings that lead her down a path of deceit from which she barely recovers, only for her to be thrust into an agonizing position where all her choices are heartbreaking. Or so they seem. Readers will fall in love with All We Could Still Have from the very first page.” —Barbara Conrey, USA Today bestselling author of Nowhere Near Goodbye

“With wry precision, Diane Barnes tackles what it’s like to be in a good marriage stretched to its very limits by desire, betrayal, and the definition of family. All We Could Still Have begs the question: Does deep struggle always signal a red flag to the end? Or, is it the very foils of being human that turn a good marriage into a great one? I read this book in one night, holding my breath until the very last line.” —Ann Garvin, USA Today bestselling author of I Thought You Said This Would Work

All We Could Still Have by Diane Barnes manages to be both heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. An emotional family drama, this story will leave you thinking about the ways we hurt the ones we love most and the power of forgiveness—for others and ourselves. Put this book on your TBR list!” —Alison Hammer, author of Little Pieces of Me

Author interview with Diane ~

Tell us a little about yourself and how you started writing.

I started writing in second grade. We came in from recess one day, and there was a trail of big paper footprints through the classroom. The path went under chairs, over desks, and eventually out the window. The teacher gave us a composition book and asked us to write a story about how we think the footprints got there. I filled the book and asked for another. When I went home that afternoon, I still wasn’t done with my story. The teacher gave me a stack of the composition books to take home. I filled them all, and I’ve never really stopped writing since that day.

What are some things you enjoy when not writing?

Like most writers, I love reading, especially on the beach or by a pool. More active things I enjoy are tennis and golf. The thing I enjoy most is spending time with family and friends, just catching up, having drinks or food, or going for walks.

Do you have a particular writing routine?

Write a sentence, check Twitter. Write another sentence, check Facebook. Write another sentence, check email. Just kidding, sort of!  I actually do my best writing in our camp in Maine because there is no cell signal or Internet connection there.

Is there anything major that changed in this novel from when you first plotted it out?

Yes, based on comments from beta readers, I felt I had to change my ending. I don’t want to give anything away, but if you read the book and want to know my original ending, email me ( and I’ll tell you what it was. 

Finish this: “I can’t write without…”

A computer! I’ve tried to write in notebooks at the beach or in classes I take, but my handwriting is so bad that even I have trouble reading it sometimes.

If I had to spend a week on a deserted island, I would need…

My husband, dog, and chocolate

What career did you think you’d have as an adult? 

When I was young, I dreamed about writing for a soap opera, General Hospital or Days of Our Lives.

What is something about you that would surprise people?

When it comes to playing games, I am wickedly competitive. When my nieces and nephew were young, I would never let them just win, and my brother-in-law always got mad at me.

Do you have a ‘day job’ as well?

I do. I work as a Marketing Writer for a company in the health care industry. I’m lucky that the job allows me to do what I love: Write.

What was the original title of this book?

My working title was Life, Unplanned. 

Where do you get your ideas, or what inspired this book plot?

While I was working on my debut, I was lucky enough to attend a writing workshop taught by Elizabeth Berg. She gave each participant a customized writing prompt. Mine was about a woman who bought sexy lingerie and parades in front of her husband wearing it, but he ignores her. I thought about why that would happen and came up with an idea that the couple had been unable to conceive. When I read the scene, everyone in the workshop was laughing at the beginning. By the end, they were all crying.

That my writing evoked so much emotion gave me a big boost of confidence. I finished my debut and wrote two other novels before going back to that scene and turning it into a novel, All We Could Still Have. During revision, I had to cut that original scene from the book. It killed me to do so.

If I wasn’t an author, I might be…?

I really can’t imagine doing anything other than writing.

Do you have a go-to first reader after you feel your manuscript is ready?

Two, my sister Susan and my friend Susan. As I’m writing, I always bounce ideas off my friend Julie, who is also a writer.

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published (or this book?)

I had a fun type of challenge with All We Could Still Have. I sent this book to my agent in the late spring. We did a round of revisions and went on submission in early summer. I started working on my next novel and put that book out of my mind. I was on vacation in our camp in Maine that has no cell service or Internet connection. One day I was out in the boat and there are points in the lake where I get an unstable signal, and my agent called to tell me we had an offer, but then I lost the signal. I kept trying to call back but the call kept dropping. By the time I was able to get to a place with a reliable connection and talk to her, we had multiple offers. So, that was really exciting.

What are you working on now?

The working title of my next novel is Mary Mulligan Gets a Do-Over. It’s about a 54-year-old woman who dreams about being young again. She gets her wisdom teeth removed and wakes up from the procedure as a 24-year-old.  She soon realizes that her daughter doesn’t exist in this second version of her life so she wants to get back to her old life.

Do you have a favorite character?

I really love most of the characters in All We Could Still Have, Nikki, Dana, Aunt Izzie, Hank, Sharon, Elizabeth, Casey, and the dog! I have mixed feelings about Kyle. I do think the way Nikki changes throughout the story is really special.

In my novel Mixed Signals, I love Mr. O’Brien, and readers always mention him to me.

Do you have other books you’d like to talk about here? (The research, how you came up with the idea for your story, etc.)

Before I wrote All We Could Still Have, I published a novel named More Than with Red Adept Publishing. The idea for More Than came from a boot camp style exercise class I attended at my local gym. The story is about Peggy Moriarty, an overweight widow whose twin children leave for college. Before they go, they give Peggy a gift certificate for an exercise class at the gym. Peggy reluctantly attends. Though her body doesn’t change much in the class, her attitude toward life does.  It was a really fun book to write, and I’ve heard from so many readers that Peggy’s story has inspired them in their own journeys. So, I’m really proud of that book.

What would your dream job be if you didn’t write books? (assuming this is your dream job!)

Shortstop for the Boston Red Sox or a professional tennis player.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

A rejection is just one person’s opinion. Never give up. To be a writer, you need to keep your butt in the chair and your fingers on the keyboard, even when nothing is coming to you.

What are the downfalls of your writing career? The best parts?

The best part is the people I have met along the way. The writing community is so supportive. There’s nothing like it.

Favorite band or music? 

I love country music, Luke Combs and Carly Pearce, especially. I also have an affection for music from the ‘80s.

Place you’d like to travel?

I’d love to visit Italy. It’s where my grandparents are from. Also, I’ve read a few books that take place in Positano, and they make me want to climb through the pages into the setting.

Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers and fans?

There are so many great books to read; thank you for choosing mine! If you have left a review for any of my novels, I’m sending an extra thanks. 

To connect with Diane ~

Twitter/Instagram: dianebarnes777

No comments:

Post a Comment