I've written two novels. Please enjoy the introductory paragraph and click on the title to view more about the stories and where to find the complete versions.
We the People
Published March 2016 and available on Amazon and in Kindle format
It's Their Country. The Constitution is failing to keep up with the 21st Century demands of the population. The three branches of the government refuse to work together and the population is disenchanted with the whole thing. Where is their country?
It's Their Future. Who better to reshape the course of the country than its youngest and most involved citizens? They have no stake in the current structure and every stake in how their future will unfold. 155 young Americans are hired to do the job.
It's Their Challenge. As the original Framers worked in secrecy, so do the New Framers. Children of historic families working alongside young citizens from new cultures, all with fresh ideas, face unfamiliar obstacles and and agencies with hidden agendas trying to disrupt any change to the existing power structure.
The Old Lady of Elm Street
Published July 2017 and available on Amazon and in Kindle format
The once stately, but now abandoned, Victorian captivated renovator Eric Gates. He knew the risks of restoring architectural homes, yet this century old house drew him in as the Sirens enchanted Odysseus. As he and his partner clean out and rebuild the old house, the frayed threads of its history and the lives, loves and tragedies of those who once lived there begin to reweave themselves into a new and utterly surprising tapestry; one that changes the lives of anyone who touches The Old Lady of Elm Street.
He entered the closet in the front bedroom. It had a foreshortened width, but he knew, from downstairs, that a chimney had been walled off; another part of the antique heating system along with the brass gratings in the floor. Through the wall he heard Dinty tapping on the other side. He shouted, “Nothing!”
A moment later they met in the hall. “I didn't see any attic stair or trap. But, I did notice that this hall is shorter than the house. Look.” She walked to the bedroom door and paced off four steps from the door to the end of the hall. “Four. Now, come on into this room.” She entered the room and paced off eight steps from the door. “This hall is twelve feet shorter than the room.”
“Damn. I should have seen that from the layout”
“You weren't looking for it. There's a closet in that back corner, but it's narrow. There is no closet in the fourth bedroom. But, there is something at the end of this hall,” emphasizing the word 'something'.
Eric pulled his hammer from his belt, but winced as he raised it. He handed it to Dinty. “Would you mind? My shoulder is still sore from wearing a porch ceiling yesterday. And put your mask back on, will you?”
She complied, took his hammer and then looked at the ceiling. “Stand in the doorway, just in case.” She tapped tentatively on the wall at the end of the hall. “Sounds like a plaster wall.” She flipped the hammer around so that the straight claw of the framing hammer was leading, pulled her arm back and swung against the wall. The hammer claws made a dent, but did not penetrate.
“You must have hit a stud. Move six inches one way or the other.”
She swung again, harder and closer to the center of the wall. This time the entire head of the hammer penetrated. It was all she could do not to lose it. “Whoa!” As she pulled the hammer back, a chunk of wall came with it; falling to the floor.
Eric bent down to retrieve it. “Weird. This house is lath and plaster throughout.” He held up the piece. “This is plastered antique wallboard. Do you see any lath?”
Dinty stuck her fist through the small hole. “No, but there's also no other side to this.”
Eric pulled his carpenter pencil out and drew a rectangle 2' wide by 4' long in the center of the wall. “Follow that line with the claw. Just make a bunch of holes.” Dinty did. She struck the wall about thirty times. Each time the claws penetrated easily. When the line of holes met, she stepped back and looked at Eric. “Step to the side.” He backed up against the wall, raised his foot and kicked backwards, expecting to meet some resistance from a stud her efforts had missed. Instead, the 2’ x 2’ piece pushed through, leaving a dark space. It pushed in so easily that he was unbalanced and Dinty caught him in her arms.
“Come here often, sailor?” She steadied him and then bent down to look in. “It's a stairwell.”
***** But Wait! There's More! *****
“Good morning, troops. I received an interesting call this morning from one of our advertisers. It seems that his wife picked up a copy of Reader’s Digest, hot off the presses, and found an article in the ‘First Person’ section that vaguely resembled our article on ‘The Old Lady of Elm Street’ … almost verbatim.” He tossed a copy of Reader’s Digest on the table. “Anyone have anything they’d like to say?”
The silence was deafening, but short-lived. “To quote George Washington, ‘I cannot tell a lie.’ Terry spoke up. “The story was too great, a real tear jerker. We used to kill at the Digest for a story that good. I called a friend and asked them what they thought. They loved it, so I sent it to them. Hey, and we get the $250.”
Melanie took a deep breath and lowered her head into her hands. “Tell me that you got all the required releases? That isn’t your story. The words ‘First Person’ mean Eric and Dinty.”
Terry seemed to diminish. “Yeah. I know. No. I didn’t. It was a bonehead move.”
Dan was tempted to do something precipitous. Instead, he folded his notebook, took a look at Mel and said “She’s your intern,” before he stood and walked out of the room.
“In a world populated by assholes, you would be applying for unemployment insurance. I would imagine that would include your former employers at the Readers Digest, n’cest pas?”
“Probably, yeah.” She was crushed and truly worried that her bright future had just gone dark on her.
“Because we aren’t cast in concrete, or assholes, you have a single opportunity to save your neck. You will go and talk with Eric and Dinty; on your own dime, I might add. IF they buy off that you made a stupid, ignorant and - fill in a sufficient number of self-punishing adjectives - blunder and actually sign releases, you will return to a desk not cleaned out at your expense.” Melanie stood and gathered her own papers. “Is that a fairly concise description of your tasking?”
“Yes, ma’am.” The voice was meek.
“Then why are you still here?” Melanie slammed the door to the conference room as she left.
**** The Old Lady will be on Amazon in May. *****