A daydreamer by nature, a novelist by passion…
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 to 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 on a dead-end avenue in the middle of a decaying surf-town neighborhood, Clara schemes for way out before her mother or her ex-husband’s loan sharks discover her.
Like so many during the 2009 depression, Clara quickly learns just how difficult mere survival is. A dangerous drug house, 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. Her counterpoint is a 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 and gives life, Clara braves each barrier on the path to 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
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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. 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 does arrives, I’m 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?
A 1960s novel about parallel lives/power of communication/redemptive fire of love set against time of cataclysmic change