Dreamer by Nature
Novelist by Passion
With an open heart and a willingness to forgive,
Sixty-year-old Clara Russell swore she’d never return to her beach town roots and troubled past but when she’s betrayed one too many times by her husband of thirty-seven years she retreats to her father’s deserted studio sitting on a neglected corner of the sprawling estate of her 90-year-old estranged mother.
Reunited with the water, she hopes to outrun her heartbreak and find the solace she needs to heal as the mystery of her father’s death unravels. Everything changes when a mysterious surfer shows up intent on meddling in her life.
Meanwhile Marty, a battle-haunted veteran with a devastating secret, is determined to discharge the duty handed him by Clara’s father, Buck, who saved his life—keep Clara safe and protect Buck’s secret. Having taken the oath to never become emotionally involved with Clara, the last thing Marty wants is to fall in love with her.
What if each of us is promised one wild and precious someone for a lifetime?
Set during a time marked by upheaval and dissent, not unlike our current civil protests for justice, PARALLEL LIVES A 60’s Love Story untangles the destinies of a mute girl born into privilege and a loudmouthed Native American boy whose paths cross at pivotal historic moments in the 1960s as the country was splitting apart—a roadside accident, a Santana benefit concert for farmworkers at the Fillmore Auditorium with Dolores Huerta, Cesar Chavez breaking his hunger strike with Robert Kennedy in Delano, the autoworkers nationwide strike, and the Native American take-over of Alcatraz. During these brief encounters, Maja and Billy touch, they kiss, and they break each other’s hearts without ever knowing the other’s name as the currents of their lives pull them apart, again and again.
The story of Maja Hawthorne and Billy Wayman Wolfe, haunted by each other and the lessons they must learn to be united, is a 20th century bicultural coming of age romance novel about the redemptive fire of love during an unprecedented time marked by the assassinations of three beloved leaders, an unpopular war, and civil unrest with strikes, protests, and marches demanding an end to the Vietnam War and equality and justice for Native Americans, Blacks, women, farmworkers, and autoworkers.
PARALLEL LIVES A 60’s Love Story
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 actually open the smooth warm wooden top, I’m sure I heard the words:
“Our past is who we are, Martha.”
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.