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Works in Progress

On this page and the next are descriptions of my finished book manuscripts, at various stages on their journey toward the goal of publication. For more information, please be in touch via the form on the "Contacts" page. 

UNHOLY SPIRIT, a feminist horror novel for the #MeToo era, is about two women fighting demonic possession:  Bernadette O'Quinn, 20, haunting the mansion where her married lover hid her dead body in 1926; and, in 1968, Sister Genevieve (Gigi) Leblanc, 33, a nun in the convent school that now occupies the mansion. Gigi fears that her own rage against men, the result of a traumatic sexual assault in her teens, has roused the vengeful demon inhabiting Bernadette's spirit, causing the deaths of three male visitors to the school. When Father Trovato, an elderly Italian exorcist, is brought in to rid the convent of its diabolical presence, Gigi assists him in the ritual, which becomes a battle to save not only Bernadette’s soul but Gigi’s as well, as the demon tries to lure her into its power.

INVENTED LIVES is the story of an unbalanced friendship that tips into disaster. Reggie Stallworth, 27, has come home to western Massachusetts to recover after losing her mother, lover and job. She meets the dazzling Clarissa Dawson, 35, at an animal shelter, where Clarissa matches Reggie up with Rufus, a shy Lab mix who becomes her canine soulmate. Clarissa urges Reggie to get out of herself, which leads her to a new love with Aidan Lynch, an Irishman with a lilting voice and a way with dogs. But gradually the women’s relationship becomes strained by Clarissa’s jealousy of Aidan and by Reggie’s realization that Clarissa lies compulsively. The crisis comes when Reggie discovers Clarissa’s most shocking deception and confronts her with it. Clarissa strikes back: first she claims to have had sex with Aidan, mentioning something she could only know if she'd seen him naked. Then she disappears, taking Rufus with her.

In SOMEBODY'S DARLING, Jessie Gibbs is a twenty-six-year-old musician, living in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and performing with a Civil War band  at reenactments and historic sites. Camping out at an event near the Stones River National Battlefield, she meets a young man in the woods. Lemuel Sanders is handsome, with an old-fashioned courtesy, and the attraction between the two of them is instant and powerful. Then he shocks Jessie with the revelation that he is the spirit of a soldier killed in the 1862 battle of Stones River. He has kept vigil at this unmarked wilderness grave in order to fulfill a mission – to find a living person who will locate his people in the Smoky Mountains and tell them of his death and burial place. He is unaware that 145 years have passed, but that does not diminish his resolve. After overcoming her initial horror, Jessie agrees to assist him. Throughout the summer he tells her his tragic, self-sacrificing war story and they fall in love. She is torn, knowing that if she helps him complete his mission she will lose him, but if she fails and he remains in the world, she may never be free of her passion for him to seek a real-life love.

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