Story Plant paperback 

ISBN: 978-1-61188-143-1

Fiction Studio Books e-book

ISBN: 978-1-61188-144-8

Publication date: June 24, 2014

340 pages

Shaking Out the Dead is about love and the human struggle to love and be loved and to recognize when to walk away from those who can’t love back. 

Artist and fry cook, Paris, loves Tatum but he knows her own demons separate her from true connection. Does love mean waiting for her to break through, or does it mean not expecting her to be any different than she is? Haunted by the past, Tatum longs for a belief in her own worthiness of love. She aims, sometimes successfully and sometimes not, at overcoming her impulse to run and sabotage that closest to her heart. Geneva, older than the other two, is torn between a commitment to an addled and institutionalized husband and her own significant passions. 

A child with a dead mother, Tatum’s niece, enters their world and together they are forced to sort out the boundaries between longing and love, giving and taking, all while recognizing the limited time we have to love and live.

A poetic journey through the landscape of the human heart, reminiscent of the work of Alice Munro and Richard Ford, Shaking Out the Dead is a novel that will take residence in your soul.

From the author: 

"Shaking Out the Dead is Montana noir. 


"James Grady and Keir Graff described Montana noir as revealing 'Montana as real as it is mythic.' They say, 'No doubt the state’s beauty will still make the very idea of Montana Noir seem incongruous to some. Noir is black-and-white. Streets and alleys. Flashing neon lighting a rain-streaked window. But while noir was definitely an urban invention, it knows no boundaries. Noir is struggle. It’s doing the wrong thing for the right reasons. It’s being trapped. It’s hubris. It’s being defeated yet going on. Sometimes it’s being defeated and not going on.


'That’s life everywhere. This is our Montana.'"

This is Shaking Out the Dead. 


Shaking Out the Dead 

K.M. Chloewa

“K.M. Cholewa is a muscular writer. Everyone will find a character to identify with in Shaking Out the Dead and it won’t be the same for everyone. Read it with a friend. Read it in a book group. You’ll want to talk about it. Cholewa’s writing is hard to put down. Praise for a strong voice in literature!”

– Leah Joki, author of Juilliard to Jail

Shaking Out The Dead is the product of an author in command of her tools…the story will carry you along to a destination you will not expect.”

– The View from the Phlipside

“You will be cheering and crying along with the characters.”
– Book Bug


“Tight, implacable, penetrating, honest. Sometimes, because they have to, the characters flinch, but never

the prose...This is a brave and ambitious book.”
– Mark Costello, author of The Murphy Stories

“I highly recommend this novel to anyone daring to meet this wonderful cast of characters and fall into

their world that is as rich as the real one we live in.”
– Literarily Illumined

Shaking Out the Dead is a meditative work of dramatic fiction, often compared to the work of Alice Munro

(and rightly so), that will remain in readers’ hearts long after the last tear-stained page is turned! Cholewa is

a writer to watch and relish very carefully now and in the future! This reviewer believes Cholewa stands

in a unique place as a contemporary fiction author! Highly recommended!”
– Crystal Book Reviews

“Sharp, poetic and painfully honest, this book is for anyone who has ever loved.”

– Cayacosta 72

"K.M. Cholewa is a muscular writer," says Leah Joki, author of Juilliard to Jail. "Cholewa’s writing is hard to put down. Praise for a strong voice in literature!” K.M. Cholewa's characters are vividly and beautifully drawn, sweeping readers into their world and drawing readers into the matrices of their lives. Shaking Out the Dead, Cholewa's first novel is compassionate, aching, and deeply human.