Always a daydreamer, I’ve been writing novels for more than thirty years.



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 Jonna 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 financially ruined dead-end avenue in Santa Cruz, Jonna 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, Jonna 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 Jonna into a yearlong journey of self-discovery and forgiveness.

Battling drug dealers as she battles her own demons, Jonna works to restore her father’s garden shut away for nearly three decades. 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 Jonna into
a yearlong journey of self-discovery and forgiveness in THE AVENUE.

Coming Fall 2017



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

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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 definitely 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.

On the lid, a three-inch smooth wooden lip framed a thick, teeming jungle with a miniature village carved out of the middle, a place so vibrant as to be alive. Tiny people and jungle 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 am sure I heard the words:        

“Our past is who we are, Martha.”

 This early American historical novel is coming Fall 2018 




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 inside herself to find it.

            Fifty-five year old Krista Ray hears the words she had 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.

            But just as the opportunity presents itself, Mara 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 where loggers make her the object of their angry 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.

            Through a series of spiritual challenges, she learns to let go of regrets, fend for herself and persevere. Ultimately she takes possession of her life and sees who she really is–a divine and sacred being connected to all living things. Reunited with Mara and armed with nature’s wisdom, Krista starts back, knowing now that the strength and commitment to fight the cancer have always been hers.


Coming Spring 2018