A daydreamer by nature, a novelist by passion…
What if each of us is promised one wild and precious someone for a lifetime?
Set in the San Francisco Bay Area, 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 concert for farmworkers at the Fillmore Auditorium with Dolores Huerta, Cesar Chavez breaking his fast with Robert Kennedy in Delano, 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 and Billy, 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
COMING August 28, 2020
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 deceased father on a neglected corner of the sprawling estate of her 90-year-old estranged mother of 30 years. Hidden behind an overgrown, vine-covered walled garden on a rundown and economically ruined dead-end avenue in Santa Cruz, Clara hopes to devise a 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 on 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 the seemingly dead expanse 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 into 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
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.”
This early American historical novel is Fall 2020
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.