Novels

Deseré: A Love Story of the American South


Deseré a skilled seamstress and slave, lives on a South Carolina cotton plantation. Fair-skinned and astonishingly beautiful, she is owned by a kindly master and given his permission to marry the man she loves, a carpenter enslaved on a neighboring plantation. Yet when her master dies before her wedding and his nephew inherits the plantation and its slaves, Deseré's marriage is indefinitely postponed, pending consent from her new owner.

Lawyer Anthony Sinclair arrives from Ohio on the mend from a broken heart, leaving behind a career derailed by scandal. Owning a plantation presents a vibrant opportunity. Yet torn by inklings of abolitionist beliefs, Anthony struggles with the damning prospect of owning human beings.

Upon first seeing the alluring Deseré, Anthony is immediately dazzled by her golden skin, shimmering blond hair and ocean blue eyes. Yet Deseré perceives the tall, dark-haired and handsome “Masta” Anthony as rather stupid. He knows nothing about running a plantation, nor being a planter. But as long as he allows Deseré to marry the man she loves, she will be happy.

Anthony, however, desires Deseré for himself. To what lengths will he go to win the forbidden love of a slave? Will owning Deseré be the only way Anthony can ever possess her while her heart belongs to another man? 

Look in my Novel Excerpts Page for a sample of  Deseré: A Love Story of the American South.


The Governor's Sons

"Realistic, multifaceted characters make for an especially engaging novel." - Kirkus Reviews

Providing a different glimpse into the lives of the hired help, The Governor’s Sons is a heart thumping account of forbidden love and political ambition in the deep South, a suspenseful tale of romance, deception, racial tension and ultimately, racial reconciliation within the powerful Kroth family.

During the summer of 1936, Ash Kroth, a young law student from a southern family of wealth and political prestige, falls in love with Kitty Wilkes, a beautiful “Negro” girl.

Nearly thirty years later, as a segregationist governor in the midst of civil rights turmoil, Ash is forced to confront the inevitable consequences of his love for her.

In 1965, Harland Hall, a black Civil Rights leader, moves to the capital city in an effort to quell the racial violence occurring not far from his mother's home. But what mysterious link does this young man have to the Governor’s past?

Look in my Novel Excerpts Page for a sample of The Governor's Sons!

Author's Note
Essie Mae Washington Williams's memoir Dear Senator provided the idea for The Governor's Sons.  Ms. Williams is the African American love child of South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond.  After reading her story, I wondered what would have happened if a southern governor fathered a son by a black woman, and that son grew up to become a civil rights leader.


The Unchained Trilogy
The Unchained Trilogy is an explosive American family saga filled with love, deceit, emotional destruction and in the end, forgiveness...


Escape: Book One

"...A very simple, compelling and historically authentic read."
Maria Mohan, Maria's Book Blog

Daniel and Lori love each other, yet to live as one in 1856, they must escape from the unyielding society that imprisons them.

Lori was born a slave in North Carolina, yet by chance was raised alongside Daniel in a wealthy abolitionist household. The sudden death of Daniel’s mother catapults Lori back into bondage.

Relegated to chattel on a rice plantation, Lori lives in constant fear under the tormenting scrutiny of Daniel’s wretched Aunt Lucinda.

After Daniel fails to convince his relatives to free Lori, he is compelled to devise a daring escape. Although a life threatening endeavor for both of them, Lori’s freedom is priceless to Daniel, and he’s willing to pay such a price for her love.

Look in my Novel Excerpts Page for a sample of Escape!


                        
Masquerade: Book Two

"If, like me, you are a fan of historical fiction -- especially when it's done with a real feel for previous eras -- then you'll love Masquerade..."
Robert Masello, author of The Romanov Cross and Robert's Rules of Writing


Celebrated actress Lavinia Hargraves performs her most challenging role offstage.

Although born in 1872 to Daniel Taylor, a white man and wealthy landowner in southern California, Lavinia’s mother, Lori, is a Negro and former slave.

Lavinia, who appears white, is desperate to hide her Negro ancestry, as well as pursue her dream of becoming the world’s greatest actress.    

After eloping with the much older Vernon Hargraves, owner of New York’s premier theater troupe, Lavinia is provided with all she could ever want: a new life as white, stardom on the stage, and an abundant supply of money.  

Soon Lavinia’s seduction by a young and handsome actor sets in motion a devastating  turn of events. Dashing millionaire contractor Andrew Standish comes into Lavinia’s life at a time when she needs him most.  However, Lori's existence could demolish her daughter's carefully constructed facade. To what lengths will Andrew go to uncover Lavinia's past?

Look in my Novel Excerpts Page for a sample of Masquerade!




Revelation: Book Three

"This is my favorite of The Unchained Trilogy even though I loved the first two books... One cannot help be drawn into the emotions and struggles endured by the characters..."
Michele Prell, Amazon Review

Light-skinned Selina Standish lives a life of emotional pain and torment. In 1906, at the tender age of eight, she is convinced by her mother, actress Lavinia Standish, the daughter of a slave, to pass as white.  Although Selina yields to her mother’s insistence to pass, she refuses to cut ties completely with her “Negro” relatives, including her twin brother, a child her mother deems too dark to pass.
     
However, at age seventeen, in the year 1915, Selina meets wealthy southerner Jack Cosgrove, the man of her dreams. Keeping her ancestry a secret, Selina is conflicted by Jack’s “negrophobia” and negative attitude toward her race. She must determine if happiness with him could ever be a possibility, especially if she were to reveal her bloodline.

Later, a chance encounter with Pastor Tony Manning opens Selina’s eyes to real love. Although he is a progressive thinker regarding race relations, Tony appears to draw the line at interracial marriage. In order to live as his wife, Selina decides she must completely disassociate herself from all her “colored” relatives. 

While bound to a chain of secrecy, Selina struggles to live in honesty. How true can she be to her husband, if she can never reveal the truth about herself? In 1933, Selina’s brother reappears in her life. Can she successfully hide his existence? How will her decision touch the lives of future generations to come? 

Look in my Novel Excerpts page for a sample of Revelation.     

Author’s Note
Unchained was conceived in 1998 as I thought about how sad it would have been if my husband and I had known each other 150 years earlier. Then, being an interracial couple, we could not have married. The rest of the story snowballed from there, and eventually swelled to 814 pages!  I worked on it off and on until finally completing it in 2008. After letting it sit in my drawer for while, thinking it was too long to do anything with, I decided to turn it into a trilogy.  I hope you’ll enjoy this ride through time and see how one family faded from black to white!


From Cad to Cadaver: A Black Ops Detective Agency Mystery

A Contemporary Funny Romantic Mystery  

"The mystery hooks you, and you can't wait to see what the main character, with her lively imagination, abundant insecurities and creative resourcefulness, is going to say or do next."
J. Allen, Amazon Review 

Ex-cop and former FBI agent Tracy Black is plagued by serious trust issues stemming from two horrific failed relationships.

Leaving behind the memory of one bad relationship, along with the excitement and high voltage sizzle of Atlanta, Tracy moves back to her hometown to pursue a career as a private investigator. Cincinnati’s atmosphere is low-key and uncharged, and unfortunately not great for Tracy’s new business. Yet her sister knows someone who can help. 

In addition to a chiseled set of GQ cheekbones, all around tough guy and ex-Navy SEAL Adam Slade is tall, built and hot. On the mend from a broken engagement, Adam, who works as a PI and security consultant, is eager to meet Tracy. With his connections and their combined investigative skills, he thinks they’d make a great team—and that picture he saw of her in a sexy sweater wasn’t bad either.

Tracy, however, is convinced she can get along fine without Adam’s help, especially since their first meeting left her utterly humiliated.

Eventually, Tracy is willing to lend a hand when Adam offers her a chance to work alongside him in a lucrative out-of-state gig.

Once back home, Tracy is convinced that things are looking up, until she is accused of murder. What will it take to get her off the hook? As Adam puts his life on the line for her, will he die, or at the very least die laughing, in a series of mishaps to help Tracy clear her name?  

Look in my Novel Excerpts Page for a sample of From Cad to Cadaver!