"I'm tired. Tired of the corkscrewing pitches of the boat, tired of being unable to sleep, to really sleep,
tired of getting it wrong, tired of my vain hopes for storybook happiness, tired of the nausea, tired of the
cramped cabin, tired of being helpless, tired of hoping it will be like when we met, tired of the Pirate's
this is nothing, you should have been there off Molucca.
I'm tired of not understanding her and wishing I did, tired of wanting to live long enough to smell land again in the darkness before dawn, to see the creamy line of a breakwater at first light, to steer this once-glorious boat into calm waters and tie up at the first pier, never mind if we have permission, and stagger from the dock to solid ground, lay down on the earth and feel the immense deliciousness that it isn't moving.
But we're far from solid ground and I need to get on with the story. Im not sure where it should begin, but what I remember is my friend Coltrane gazing up from his black-and-white photos of our street rallies and commenting, 'There she is again.' "
Read an excerpt (PDF)
Audience: Anyone seeking a mystery with a fresh take on the genre.
Who should pass: Those seeking a story about a hard-bitten police detective, hard-bitten ex-cop, etc. revolving around horrifically violent crimes.
Sex/violence level: zero.
On the eve of a wedding, what to do when the groom mysteriously disappears? When the police and private investigators come up empty, what's a desperate bride to do?
Call in the man with no qualifications: Caverlock Victor Oliver -- the world's only Consulting Philosopher.
Will he prove there's no mystery that can withstand his prodigious powers of Applied Philosophy?
Will he succeed in reuniting sweet Victorine with her lover?
The answers to these questions (and many more you would have never thought to ask) are all found in The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher.
Genres: romantic comedy, screwball comedy, Shakespearean send-up
Audience: Anyone seeking a few hours of comedic escapism, a light read/laugh with ample doses of absurdist humor and romance-related hijinks.
Who should pass: Anyone offended by absurdist humor, non-graphic romantic references, San Francisco locales or Shakespearean gender mix-ups.
Sex/violence level: sexy suggestiveness in adult situations (for mature audiences)
Crossing swords on the cyber-battlefield of online auctions, curmudgeons Alexia and Ross each win rare collectibles the other needs to escape financial doom. Each recruits a young neighbor (Kylie and Robin) to coax the key collectible from the other. Their schemes go awry and the resulting complications push all four to the brink of financial and romantic ruin. Set in San Francisco, this is a deliciously distracting romantic romp. For Bidding for Love home page (sample chapters)
Genres: young adult fiction, adventure, travel adventure
Audience: mature teenagers 15-19, adults seeking a light adventurous read.
Who should pass: Those seeking a sensitive coming-of-age tale set in a quiet English flower garden. (These girls use throwing stars.) Parents of young teens should read the book first to judge if it is appropriate.
Sex/violence level: some martials arts, a few kisses; threatening situations and occasional sexual innuendo.
Sixteen-year old Claire, overprotected her entire life by a hardworking worry-wart Mom, must now find the father she never knew in Paris, France, and soon, or she'll never have the chance: he'll be dead.
What starts out as a simple summer visit to Paris with her best friend Camden and their guardian, Claire's spinster aunt May, quickly splinters into multiple mysteries: where is her father? What did he do to make such tenacious enemies? The silver ring he sent her--can it really protect her? What do the ring's Chinese characters mean?
Claire and her plucky friend Camden are soon up to their eyebrows in predicaments no one could possibly predict, each one more impossible to escape than the last. With the aid of a peculiarly skillful friend they make along the way, Claire and Camden end up fighting for their lives--and for Claire's wayward father's freedom--in a shadowy Shanghai and an underground Paris few ever see--or would want to see. The first chapter .
Genres: humor, zany adventure, social satire, crime/Hollywood/media send-up
Audience:: Anyone seeking a few hours of escapism, a light read/laugh with delicious doses of satire.
Who should pass: Anyone offended by the Kama Sutra, absurdist humor, spoofs of sacred cows and the occasional firearms accident.
Sex/violence level: a few shootings with a tiny .22, suggestiveness in adult situations (for mature audiences)
After his last one-night stand--a new baby and a crushing mortgage came hand in hand-- the last thing Hollywood has-been Hayward West expected was to fall in love.
But as 19-year old Valentina, fresh from a border crossing, wolfed down four tamales in a row, he was wildly, uncontrollably, passionately in love. She needed $25,000 to save her father, and he needed $250,000 to stave off bankruptcy. There was a way to raise the cash and win the woman he desired, but it required a marriage--a marriage of many things... The first chapter .
Genres: "Thinking persons espionage adventure," travel adventure, spy thriller
Audience:: Readers who favor spy/adventure stories with some humor, sharp male and female characters and a dash of techno-gadgetry, those seeking light/fun escapism/intrigue.
Sex/violence level: Occasional pain and suffering, two suggestive romantic scenes (for mature audiences)
Garrett Trask needed a job, badly--and this weird one would do. If only he knew ....
"At some point you're willing to take a job, any job, just to break the dispiriting cycle of looking for work: hopeful application, positive interview, anxious wait, polite rejection, numbing disappointment. Getting tipsy and wandering onto the Golden Gate Bridge in a deep fog was an optional step six, and then it was back to step one again."
So begins a tale of espionage, betrayal, treachery, exotic locales, and events too outlandish to give away here. Both a thriller and a gentle send-up of that genre, this will appeal to fans of "thinking persons spy tales" and realistic sci-fi. The first chapter .
Genres: contemporary romance, contemporary women's fiction, literary romance
Audience: Anyone interested in the complexities of adult romance, anyone who is drawn to a 29-year old mixed-race libertine who does not think of herself as a libertine.
Who should pass: Anyone offended by non-graphic love scenes, guys who hate complex/sensitive women, anyone offended by affairs/adultery.
Sex/violence level: no violence, large doses of flirting, sex play and adultery in adult situations (for mature audiences)
Verona Uyeki is in a romantic pickle she never expected; three men claim to love her, but she only loves one. Two want to marry her, but not the one she is mad for. Beset by family pressures and precarious finances, Verona must respond by Sunday to a suitor's sudden ultimatum. On the weekend she must decide between the three, her first love pays her a surprise visit in San Francisco. What a young woman from Hawaii remembers, and discovers about herself, is also unexpected....
"A line from Mimi's last letter came to her"how did such a smart girl like you get in such a pickle?"and she thought, you don't know the half of it.
The Genet quote which she'd buried in her journal came to her, and its sweet-sour taste of exalted imprisonment struck her anew: "Anyone who hasn't experienced the ecstasy of betrayal knows nothing about ecstasy at all." Excerpt from first chapter .
Genres: action/adventure, war, spiritual quest, family drama
Audience: Anyone drawn to a tale of The Desert War's aftermath on a seemingly lightly injured National Guard soldier; readers who seek an adventure story of romance, combat, and spiritual and marital crises.
Who should pass: Anyone offended by death, small-arms combat, non-graphic love scenes, the St. Jacques de Compostelle pilgrimage, funerals and spiritual renewal.
Sex/violence level: Graphic depictions of combat, killing and death. Non-graphic depictions of love scenes. (for mature audiences)
Not everyone who served in the Desert War returned home untroubled. When all the other cures for a wounded soul have failed, then action may be the only cure left.
"My Dear Collette:
I considered setting this aside for your 25th or even 30th birthday, but realizing you might marry young, as your mother and I did, I want you to know all this before you marry.
It is the fondest wish of any parent that their child might learn from their own painful mistakes rather than from the harsh school of experience, and as foolish as this hope may be, I have held nothing back in the belief that unadorned honesty is more likely to be of value to you than half-truths." The first chapter .
Genres: road trip, coming of age, humor, spiritual quest
Audience: Anyone interested in smart-mouthed young Hapa (mixed-race) guys cruising across country in an old Dodge Lancer. Anyone who finds "On the Road" interesting but dated, those who enjoy U.S. travel
Who should pass: Anyone offended by slang/vocabulary they don't (yet) know, readers who prefer a strictly linear story-telling, those offended by youth and their annoying desire to skewer sacred cows--even cellphones (gasp).
Sex/violence level: One scene each of fisticuffs violence and suggestive lovemaking. (for mature audiences)
"Alex says its me, but its him. Its got to be him, because this kind of weird griff never happens when Im alone.
Take our bus ride from Kansas City. It should have been the snooziest cruise in the Universe to get to Alexs uncles farm in Liberty. But no, everybody else on the bus makes it to Iowa except us. Why? Alex." The first chapter .
Excerpted stories from the book:
Adventures of Daz and Alex .
Additional material--ideas for homework papers, a cryptological puzzle and other bits: More about ISL .