Fiction

 A daydreamer by nature, a novelist by passion…

 

the Avenue novels

THE AVENUE

With an open heart and a willingness to forgive, you can go home again.

Driven to the edge by the dissolution of her marriage, the foreclosure of her Nob Hill penthouse, and the bankruptcy of her business, fifty-year-old Clara Russell is left with no money and no resources. Reeling from betrayal, she secretly withdraws the deserted studio of her father—whom she believes is dead—on a neglected corner of the sprawling estate of her 90-year-old estranged mother of 30 years. Locked behind a hidden gate in a vine-covered wall on a rundown and economically ruined dead-end avenue in Santa Cruz, Clara hopes to plan and move on before her mother or her ex-husband’s loan sharks discover her.

Like so many others during the 2009 depression, Clara quickly learns just how difficult mere survival is, especially so in the middle of a decaying surf-town neighborhood. A dangerous drug house across the way, characters living in abandoned cars lining the avenue of more boarded-up houses than lived-in, and a mysterious stranger steer Clara into a yearlong journey of self-discovery and forgiveness.

The heart of the story rests in the expanse of the Monterey Bay where Clara’s father took her surfing as kid. The counterpoint is her mother’s seemingly dead garden separating her father’s studio from her mother’s house. Battling drug dealers as she battles her own demons, Clara works to restore the garden shut away for nearly three decades. Between the watery realm of the bay and the earth that grounds, supports, and gives life, Clara braves the barriers of each to follow the path of discovery. The changes she brings as she transforms the weed-choked and garbage-strewn parkland to life as a vegetable garden to feed many slowly reflect in the avenue’s outer alterations and the inner transformation she undergoes.

A dark, grown-up version of the children’s story The Secret Garden 
collides with a dangerous drug gang on an avenue of boarded-up houses 
as a mysterious stranger steers Clara into
a yearlong journey of self-discovery and forgiveness in THE AVENUE.

Coming Summer 2018

 

* * * * * * *

 

Parallel Lives novels

PARALLEL LIVES ((A Novel))

I knew even as I uploaded the pdf for Parallel Lives on CreateSpace and Kindle that the historical love story needed work. The novel may not have been ready but I was. And I knew if I didn’t push the button right then, I might never.

Now the book is in the capable and supportive hands of my editor. As he nears the end of his line edits, conflicting emotions rush at me like a turbulent sea. I have no idea how long before all the elements come together to ensure the best possible reader experience.When that time arrives, I’m be eager to compare the “before” with the “final” product.

I leave up the current version on Amazon. Experience the 1960s first-hand through the eyes of a mute girl and a reckless boy who are haunted by the other and the lessons they each must learn to be united.

Spanning 10 years across the ever-changing face of San Francisco when the great divide of economics and culture no longer kept people separated, no matter how different, Parallel Lives demonstrates that our chances for love and happiness are never truly over or used up. Success hangs on readiness and timing. 

Coming of age during the relative calm of the ’50s, Maj and Billy’s paths cross during the turbulent ’60s at pivotal historic moments as they each attempt to survive the edgy challenges of the great transition toward change. Now, as adults, before they can set out on their own, first they each must find and confront the unforgettable and mysterious other.

What if each of us is promised one wild and precious someone for a lifetime?
What if to seize this true love 
first both parties must undergo an arduous and dangerous journey separately? 
Would you?

A 1960s novel about parallel lives/power of communication/redemptive fire of love set against time of cataclysmic change

Buy Today from Amazon 

 

* * * * * * *

 

SPIRITS AT WAR

Author’s Note: Our bloodline is our link to our past. Or is it? After my father’s death, I began to wonder what of the more metaphysical vital essence—our spirits? Is that too passed down in an organized generational fashion or at death does spirit randomly reappear somewhere else? These are the sorts of questions I began pondering when I discovered an old chest of his. Before that, I had always been much more interested in looking forward than looking back. I certainly never considered that there might parts of the past that were rightfully mine to delve into and others that were definite hands-off.

When I first spotted the copper-colored maple chest sitting on its four squat legs, I fell to my knees afraid to touch it. Even covered in cobwebs and dust, the age and beauty of the box shone out at me.

A three-inch smooth wooden lip framed a thick, teeming jungle with a miniature village, a place so vibrant as to be alive. Tiny people and animals and birds caught in the time it takes to draw a breath. Their next step, next flight, an illusion.

That day when I finally mustered enough nerve to run my hands over the smooth warm wood, I’m sure I heard the words:        

“Our past is who we are, Martha.”

 This early American historical novel is coming Fall 2018 

 

* * * * * * *

 

SURRENDER

Just as Krista yields to the power of death, from somewhere deep inside her explodes the mightiest force of all–the will to live. Surrender is the tale of one woman’s search for spiritual strength the face of mortality and the mystical journey she must take to find it.

Fifty-five year old Krista Ray hears the words she has dreaded throughout the endless days of her late husband’s suffering. Only this time, the doctor speaks to Krista alone, striking a death knell of frightening proportions: Malignant…Melanoma…Little time. Stunned, Krista refuses to enter the hospital. Instead, she and her only source of strength, her beloved dog Mara, journey up the Northern California coast where they join a demonstration to protest the impending clear-cutting of the largest old-growth redwood forest in the world. Desperate to know that her life has been worthwhile, Krista waits for the chance to martyr herself for the trees she loves.

Just as the opportunity presents itself, her dog runs off into a forbidden section of the forest. Against all warnings not to proceed alone, Krista secretly goes in search of Mara. She is drawn deeper and deeper into the forest. Loggers angry about the threat to their livelihood make her the object of their retribution and leave her to die. Krista struggles to save herself so she can warn the other crusaders. In the process, she is forced to face her greatest fear–staying alive.

Coming Spring 2018