The Coach’s Wife
During the NCAA Basketball Finals and several weeks following, Marla Connors, recently married to head basketball coach Neal Connors, struggles to cope with her new life of hectic schedules, grueling travel, problem athletes, insane fans, and everything else that goes along with being the wife of a well-known Division 1 coach. Then she discovers she is the target of a sinister and diabolical plan to destroy her and everything she loves.
The House of Kane
Enter the world of bestselling publishing, filled with intrigue, power, betrayal, ambition and greed. Yet for Aislinn Marchánt it represents the attainment of a life’s dream, a point of destiny, as she is caught up in the storm that is the House of Kane.
Just Like Family
All in one day, thirty-five-year-old Hallie Marsh is involved in a car accident, learns that the man she loves, works for, and is living with has found someone else, and that her mother is planning to leave her father for another man. With no job or a place to live, embittered, filled with anger, and wanting revenge, Hallie decides to take a year's sabbatical and write a novel that would reveal the unethical, if not illegal, real estate business practices of her former boss and lover.
The Gospel According to Prissy
Three Army veteran misfits, a college dropout, an unmotivated high school graduate accused of murder, a controversial warden of a women's prison, and a little girl with the gift of prophesy – these are the people 31-year-old Lara Kruger invites into her life after suffering a miscarriage, a divorce from an abusive husband, and unemployment.
With her life spinning out of control, brought on by her recent marriage, an overbearing mother-in-law, a constant stream of her husband’s visiting relatives, and mounting bills, thirty-five-year-old novelist Shyla Wishon becomes entangled in soul transference and animal sacrifice through the ancient Santerian beliefs of Regla de Ocha while teaching a creative writing course, allowing her to escape her present life and become a totally new person.
Velvalee Dickinson: The “Doll Woman” Spy
Small-boned, petite—no more than 5 feet tall, if that, and weighing less than 100 pounds, Velvalee Malvena Dickinson hurried into the Midtown Manhattan bank. She feared that the FBI was watching her, and her immediate mission was to remove the contents of her safety deposit box in case she needed to make a quick escape.
She was too late, however.
In fact, the FBI had been surveilling Velvalee for well over a year. They now had enough evidence for an arrest on the suspicion of violating wartime censorship codes, at the very least, and possibly espionage, which, if convicted, carried the death penalty.
As one agent tried to handcuff Velvalee, the frightened, diminutive 50-year-old woman fought desperately, kicking, scratching, and screaming in an attempt to escape. Quickly, effectively, and efficiently, the agents lifted Velvalee off the ground by her armpits, all the while being pounded by Velvalee’s pocketbook, and carried her from the bank as shocked employees and patrons watched in silence. The date was January 21, 1944—a Friday; and Velvalee Malvena Dickinson had become the first American woman to face the death penalty on charges of spying for a wartime enemy.
Assata Shakur: A 20th Century Escaped Slave
In 1977, after numerous trials for murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, bank robbery, and kidnapping—all eventually leading to acquittals or dismissals—JoAnne Deborah Chesimard aka Assata Shakur was found guilty of the murder of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster and the grievous assault of Trooper James Harper. Convicted to life plus 33 years, Shakur escaped two years later from the Clinton Facility for Women and fled to Cuba where she has lived in exile ever since. Assata Shakur: A 20th Century Escaped Slave is the story of the first woman to become the FBI’s “Most Wanted Terrorist”—before she became a fugitive and since.
Kathryn Kelly: The Moll behind Machine Gun Kelly
The 1930’s produced some of the most violent crimes known in the history of the United States. Fed by need and greed during the era of Prohibition, some of the notorious criminals included women, one of which became a legend in her own right for establishing the feared persona of her husband—Machine Gun Kelly. Her name: Kathryn. Kathryn Kelly: The Moll Behind Machine Gun Kelly is the story of the woman who made a career of crime. With a lust for danger, she masterminded the crimes that took her and her husband, and others who included her own mother and step-father, on a spree across Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Young Adult Fiction
The F.I.G. Mystery Series
Dara Roux, abandoned when she was 7 years old by her mother. Exceptionally gifted in foreign languages. Orphan.
Mackenzie Yarborough, no record of her parents or where she was born. Exceptionally gifted in math and problem-solving. Orphan.
Jennifer Torres, both parents killed in an automobile accident when she was 16. Exceptionally gifted in music and art. Orphan.
Book 1: The Cadence of Gypsies
Three high-spirited 17 year olds, with intelligent quotients in the genius range, accompany their teacher and mentor, Carolina Lovel, to Frascati, Italy, a few weeks before they are to graduate from Wood Rose Orphanage and Academy for Young Women. Carolina's purpose in planning the trip is to remove her gifted, creative students from the Wood Rose campus located in Raleigh, North Carolina, so they can't cause any more problems ("expressions of creativity") for the headmaster, faculty, and other students – which they do with regularity. Carolina also wants to visit the Villa Mondragone where the Voynich Manuscript, the most mysterious document in the world, was first discovered and search how it is related to a paper written in the same script she received on her 18th birthday when she was told that she was adopted – a search that will fill in all of the missing pieces of her past and help each of her students to begin their own journeys to find the answers to why they were orphans.
Book 2: The Wish Rider
Seventeen-year-old Dara Roux and her two best friends, Mackenzie Yarborough and Jennifer Torres, the three collectively referred to as the FIGs (Females of Intellectual Genius) because each has an intelligence quotient in the genius range, have just returned from Frascati, Italy. It was there that their much loved teacher and mentor, Carolina Lovel, discovered that her birth parents were gypsies, and that she had a connection to the Voynich Manuscript, the most mysterious document in the world. Now, with graduation from Wood Rose Orphanage and Academy for Young Women behind them, Dara asks Mackenzie, Jennifer, and Carolina to help her locate her birth mother when she learns that she might be living in New York City. All the young women have to work with are five addresses, and when Mackenzie prepares a grid showing the location of all five addresses, four of the locations form a square with the fifth in the middle—which is also Grand Central Terminal. Relying on Dara’s gift for speaking and understanding foreign languages, the black and white images that stir musical cadences in Jennifer’s mind, and Mackenzie’s mathematical calculations that normally provide numerical solutions and answers to life’s most difficult questions but now keep showing the number “61”, the determined young women tirelessly go from one address to another in search of Dara’s mother. Their determination turns to desperation, however, and they ignore caution and the dissonant chords Jennifer frantically scribbles on her eight-stave musical paper as they pursue one final address—the one located in the middle of Mackenzie’s grid. Encountering a dark hidden society and sub culture more dangerous and terrifying than they could have imagined, it is there that Dara learns why she was abandoned as a seven year old in a candy store all those years ago.
Book 3: The Clock Flower
The three FIGs—Females of Intellectual Genius—as they are called, have graduated from Wood Rose Orphanage and Academy for Young Women after returning from New York City where Dara learned why her mother abandoned her all those years ago, and they are now attending universities where they can further their special talents. This means they will be separated from each other and from Carolina, their much-loved mentor and teacher who is “one of them,” for the first time in their young lives. They vow to try living apart for one semester, in the so-called real world that doesn’t include the orphanage; but if things don’t work out, they will come up with another plan—a plan where they can be together once again. Dara is invited through Yale University to take part in an exciting archeological project in China. Jennifer, once again visualizing black and white images and the unusual sounds of another cadence that seem to be connected to Mackenzie, is engrossed in creating her next symphony at Juilliard. Mackenzie, because of her genius at problem-solving, is personally chosen by a US Senator to get involved in a mysterious, secret research project involving immortality that is being conducted in a small village in China—not too far from where Dara is involved with the archeological site. Once there, however, she finds herself facing a terrifying death from the blood-dripping teeth of an ancient evil dragon. Her best friends, the FIGs and Carolina, rely on their own unique genius and special talents to save her as she discovers the truth of her birth parents.
Book 4: The Nightjar's Promise
Jennifer Torres, one of the three FIGs (Females of Intellectual Genius) who is a genius in both music and art, is the last to leave the closed rehearsal for her upcoming performance over Thanksgiving break at Carnegie Hall when she hears something in the darkened Hall. Recognizing the tilt of the woman’s head and the slight limp of the man as they hurry out an exit door, she realizes it is her parents who were supposedly killed in a terrible car accident when she was 15 years old. Devastated and feeling betrayed, she sends a text to Carolina and the other two FIGs—THURGOOD. It is the code word they all agreed to use if ever one of them got into trouble or something happened that was too difficult to handle. They would all meet back at Carolina’s bungalow at Wood Rose Orphanage and Academy for Young Women to figure it out.
As soon as they receive the text, because of their genius, Dara starts thinking of words in ancient Hebrew, German, and Yiddish, while Mackenzie’s visions of unique math formulae keep bringing up the date October 11, 1943. That is the date during World War II when the Nazis—the Kunstschutz—looted the paintings of targeted wealthy Jewish families and hid them away under Hitler’s orders. And as Carolina waits for the FIGs to return to Wood Rose, she hears warnings from Lyuba, her gypsy mother, to watch for the nightjar, the ancient name for the whip-poor-will.
As they search for “The Nightjar’s Promise” and the truth surrounding it, Carolina and the FIGs come face to face with evil that threatens to destroy not only their genius, but their very lives.
Book 5: The Seraphim's Song
Many changes have taken place at Wood Rose Orphanage and Academy for Young Women while Carolina and Larry were on their honeymoon in Frascati, Italy, on the Granchelli farm. The newlyweds have been given a larger bungalow; Ms. Alcott, niece of the founder of Wood Rose, and Mrs. Ball, assistant to the headmaster, have moved into a bungalow together; and Jimmy Bob, caretaker and night watchman at Wood Rose has moved from his family home down the road a bit into a small bungalow on the orphanage property with his hound dog Tick, as well as his new cat and her litter of kittens. Most important, thanks to the persuasive powers of Ms. Alcott and Mrs. Ball, the F.I.G.s have been given a forever home at Wood Rose.
Summer is coming to an end and the F.I.G.s will soon return to the universities to complete their special projects. They are starting to feel anxious, and the coping mechanisms they have used their entire lives are starting to work overtime. Dara’s thoughts turn to an unknown language, possibly from another world; Mackenzie focuses on the relationship of math to music; and Jennifer keeps hearing the note of B flat minor and is drawing dark swirls on her canvas board.
Deadly forces and natural disasters are unleashed into the world when Milosh, the evil young man who placed a curse on Carolina, steals an ancient artifact—a “key”—from an archaeological site near Puli, China on the Yellow Sea where he is working. This artifact, when paired with a certain note—B flat minor known as the Seraphim’s song—opens a portal that enables man to communicate with the gods. When the key gets lost in a storm, Carolina comes into possession of it through Jimmy Bob’s dog, Tick, and when she does, she hears Lyuba, her gypsy mother, tell her that time is running out. The F.I.G.s and Carolina must go to the forbidden cave on the Yellow Sea, the place where the early gypsies are believed to have settled before travelling into Europe. For it is there where the key must be returned before all is destroyed.
Other Young Adult Fiction
The Airs Of Tillie
Tillie, the young daughter of a sugarcane field foreman, lives in an imaginary world that is filled with beautiful horses, polite people, and luxurious homes. Her real world, however, includes living in a cane foreman’s small tenant house with her over-worked mother, an autistic sister, and a rebellious older brother who is searching for answers within a radical Muslim group. When Tillie is unexpectedly forced to assist in the difficult birth of a new foal, she proves that her determination and belief in herself will allow her to accomplish anything she sets out to do.
The spectators in the stands applauded politely as the beautiful Arabian horse named Arabesque was coaxed onto the stadium field by its young rider, Tillie Turpning.
"That girl won't even make it over the first jump," a man whispered to his wife.
"Why do you say that?" The woman studied the small figure sitting astride the large black animal.
"She's never ridden in competition before," he answered. "And look at her. She's so small. There's no way she can handle a horse the size of Arabesque, and especially one as temperamental." The woman nodded.
A gentle breeze stirred, scattering red and white petals from the potted geraniums that were decorating the field. The crowd noises softened. Arabesque picked up her gate into a slow gallop around the outer edge of the jumping field in response to Tillie's silent command, settling into her own pace, her natural rhythm.
Slightest in the House
When two sisters lose their parents in a freak accident, they are taken to live with their wealthy grandmother whom they have never met. Seven-year-old Beth immediately adjusts to her beautiful new surroundings on the island of Palm Beach. But her older half-sister, Meredith, struggles to find her way. Elizabeth Wallingford tries a number of things in an attempt to help her granddaughter: she sends her to a special summer camp where she can meet other seventeen-year-old girls, she gets her a car, she introduces her to the guidance counselor at the local college. But Meredith remains withdrawn.
It is by happenstance that Meredith meets a homeless woman, Ellen Forester, who was forced from her rural home she loved and, like Meredith, is trying to cope with a terrible loss. Without understanding why, Meredith is drawn to this woman whose only friend appears to be a peculiar-acting black woman, also homeless, named Matt. It is through this unlikely friendship and her desire to help Ellen that Meredith is able to overcome her grief, define her life and set goals.
On some level she was aware that an elderly woman had come out of the darkness and put her arms around her. Meredith heard her say that everything would be all right. But on another, more conscious level, the one where all of her senses saw, felt, processed and recorded what was happening, Meredith watched two black body bags being loaded into the back of an ambulance. Then she watched the ambulance turn around and drive off in the opposite direction. Her long, tumbling mass of blond curls hung loosely over her face, shielding it. For Beth, the reality of what had taken place would come later. But Meredith had seen what had happened and understood. That knowledge was now seeping through every pore of her body.
Grandma Jock and Christabelle
Christabelle Wallace definitely feels that she has nothing going for her. Her parents are divorced and she hates her mom's live-in boyfriend, her naturally-curly hair is a constant challenge, and just when she thinks it can't possibly get any worse, her grandmother, the one person who loves her no matter what, is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Christabelle is a sensitive and honest portrayal of a young girl struggling to understand an often difficult-to-understand world.
Bowls had been emptied, boxes poured out, everything had
been taken out of the refrigerator and dumped on the floor.
I felt cereal crunch beneath my feet. All the cabinet doors
were open and cans of food were everywhere. In the middle
of it all was Grandma.
"I was looking for the Jello," she said cheerfully.
I opened the refrigerator door. One dish remained. It was the Jello.
Military brat, Alexandra Britt, has recently transferred from Virginia to Hawaii with her family where her father is stationed in the US Marine Corps. She hates the heat, the bugs, and her school, and has only one friend, Judy. When a new boy at school, another military brat, loses his father in a helicopter accident, she becomes determined to adjust to her new school and surroundings by joining the girls’ track team, taking hula lessons, and making friends with Winnona, the school bully. She is equally determined that she and her family will have a Christmas tree, even though her father tells her they don’t need one since they live in the tropics.