Weaving together the real and the fantastic, the linked stories in this collection introduce a diverse group of characters living in an urban neighborhood surrounding Martin Luther King, Junior Boulevard. A once middle-class, predominantly African American area, the neighborhood became riddled with poverty but is now in the midst of gentrification.
In the 15 stories in this collection, faith plays a key role, either through traditional religion, spirituality linked to nature or belief in the promise of a better life. The stories also present a microcosm of many neighborhoods in cities throughout the country, in which people of different races, ethnicities, class and sexual orientation are living in close proximity to one another, with neighbors being both strangers and friends.
TV weatherman Owen Martin is relieved to leave Southern California—the monotonously mild climate and the holistically hip trends—and head home to Iowa, back to the four seasons and the simple life he knew before his father died. But he can’t predict the atmospheric pressure awaiting him: The town his family founded has become the center of the Transcendental Meditation movement and host to all things alternative. There are mass meditations and dosha discussions, a vegan cafe has replaced the burger joint, and all the doors now face east. Far worse, however, is what the meditating mayor has planned for the Martin family’s farm.
In a town divided between “Regulars” and “Roos” (gurus), Owen is sure where he stands—until he falls for a levitating yogi. Before he knows it, he’s caught in a veritable tornado of midwesternness vs. mindfulness. Can he save the farm, get the girl, and reunite the town? Maybe . . . if he’s willing to forecast a change in the weather.
Trouble always came for "Champagne" Sánchez…this time, the law was on trouble’s side. Whether it is his attempts to make a living selling fireworks, vacuum cleaners or burritos, things can, and do, go terribly wrong. "The Fall and Rise of ‘Champagne’ Sánchez," is a fast-paced modern narrative, set in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is a “rags to riches to rejection to redemption” story. The witness to Champagne’s Fall is his cousin, the street-smart newspaper reporter, Adelita Chávez. The chronicler not only of the struggles of her cousin, but the scribe of her own observations of life around her (in the form of ‘Journal Entries’); she writes of the pain of watching her mother deal with breast cancer and describes characters in the barrio from Doña Mariluz to Magdalena Moya.
Two city kids from California move out to the country, to the Great State of Texas! With doubts as to whether they will fit in, they run into barbed wire attitudes and a lot of hard work. Can they last long enough to experience the warmth, good manners, and compassion that the good people of Texas have to offer?
A Kid’s Curiosity … A Parent’s Nightmare The award-winning author of Anybody’s Daughter is back with an addictive courtroom drama that gives readers a shocking look inside the juvenile criminal justice system. Graylin Alexander is a model fourteen-year-old. When his adolescent curiosity gets the best of him, Graylin finds himself embroiled in a sexting scandal that threatens to ruin his life. Jenny Ungerman, the attorney hired to defend Graylin, is smart, confident and committed. She isn’t thrilled, however, when ex-prosecutor Angela Evans joins Graylin’s defense team. The two women instantly butt heads. Can they put aside their differences long enough to ensure Graylin gets justice? Unbeknownst to Angela, her boyfriend Dre is wrestling with his own drama. Someone from his past wants him dead. For Dre, his response is simple—kill or be killed.
The Shared Lives are the Ladino (Jewish) community that resides world wide that share their faith outwardly Christian/Catholic and privately in their home--Jewish. The Twin Sun represents the original Sun that appeared in our universe that imploded and gave life to our Sun and Milky Way. This original Sun was the Semano-heaven for the original star that was cryptically hidden that provided the impetus for these writings. Garcia writes a "fascinating overview of the Ladino community -- Jewish people that have had to hide their religious identity (The Great Veil of Concealment)-- and fit in with a heavily Catholic society in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico."
For nearly thirteen years, the woman searched for the missing boy—the one with the blue eyes, the one destined to lead. The man secretly followed the boy's new life across the ocean, calculating the time when all would be changed, all made right. Thirteen-year-old Chinese adoptee Cal Vandiver resides in California with his adoptive parents, plagued with an ever-present fear of being "taken," exacerbated by his uncharacteristic blue eyes and extraordinary athleticism. Cal and his band of friends discover someone really is watching him. What happens next thrusts his under-the-radar existence into the spotlight, forcing him to a place that's anything but safe as he trains for the 2020 Olympic Games. The Olympian-in-training will be faced with decisions that will impact his future, as well as those for whom he cares—on both sides of the ocean.
In the late 1970s, self-assured Stephen O’Connell escapes small-town culture to seek a new life elsewhere where fresh ideas—and people, like the brilliant anti-feminist Madeleine Benson, musical genius Bryce, and earthy Julie—pull his soul in opposing directions. ‘By chance’ he prevents the murder of a Ugandan refugee, catapulting him irrevocably into a world of both need and danger. Black-and-white thinking is of no help to Stephen when he encounters the blood-red reality of violence in East Africa as a project developer some years later. On the edge of the Rwandan genocide, he must confront the demons of tribal violence and his own checkered past. When a case of mistaken identity nearly destroys his career, he must start afresh in a ‘civilized’ place where safety remains elusive. It is not the events themselves, but a healing relationship that moves Stephen from despair to hope, and gets him past the ‘wrong side’ of eternity. The Wrong Side of Eternity offers a deeply personal view of how people with very different perspectives respond to and deal with suffering. Comparable to books like The Poisonwood Bible and The Constant Gardener, Mary Mendenhall’s sweeping passion narrative depicts grim reality without giving in to hopelessness and despair.
Aspiring illustrator Angelo Koutouvalis is known for his near-flawless sketches, yet he can't seem to render the picture-perfect life he desires. At twenty-four, he lives at home with his loving, yet overbearing mother and grandmother, and struggles to meet women, all while relying on the often humorously ineffectual advice of his few friends, and attempting to find a place for himself within the San Francisco Bay Area Greek community. Angelo believes the secret to gaining fulfillment lies in traveling to Greece for a reunion with his estranged father, who can hopefully pass on the mysterious ways of the kamaki--the classic Mediterranean ladies' man. But first, Angelo must find a way to overcome his crippling fear of flying. A course of mis-adventures--chaotic employment in an exotic bird shop, a disaster of a date with a co-worker, and a close encounter with a stripper--lead Angelo to Greece. During an excursion around the Peloponnesian peninsula, which takes him from the ancient theater of Epidavros to the majestic Lion Gates among the ruins of Mycenae, Angelo, emboldened by the ties to his ancestry, finally has it out with his father and learns the startling truth of the man behind the myth. Rife with references to Greek-American culture, and Oakland color, Wings of Wax evokes the work of Sherman Alexie and Junot Diaz in its tragically comedic scope of ethnic life and modern masculinity in America.
Our past life history veils a hidden saga of humanity.
September 11, 2001: Ooma Qadir is in the South Tower of the World Trade Center when a plane hits the North Tower. This horrific event triggers past life visions—a cabal of mysterious storytellers and a dangerous anthology in Islamic Cordova, 1001 AD.
When Ooma is rescued by Amar, her boss, her visions enter his mind as well. They are a part of a qaraq, a group with the gift to recall past lives. The souls of the qaraq keep reconnecting over millennia. Cast out of this powerful group, Ooma is desperate to be accepted again. These new visions of the qaraq’s creation of a subversive manuscript are the key.
The Qaraq and the Subversive Manuscript, Book 3 of the 1001 series, is an extraordinary story that recalls the historical intensity and cultural complexity of The Thousand and One Nights. Like Scheherazade, Ooma and the others tell their stories as if their lives depend on it. 1001 conjures up magical, dark, humorous, and visionary reincarnation tales.
The year is 1964 and Carl Gordon is an ill-prepared New York Assistant U.S. Attorney who has lied his way into a transfer to Stockville, Alabama, where he is supposed to monitor and enforce the Civil Rights Act. In a matter of days, the Ku Klux Klan takes aim at him, the outside agitator. Carl has agreed to represent Oleatha Geary, a black family matriarch who has inherited a mansion in an all-white, race-restricted neighborhood. Carl and Oleatha are engulfed in litigation that turns deadly. Meanwhile, Carl and Oleatha's daughter, Lenore, find themselves in a blossoming romance opposed by everyone, white and Black. Heroism for hatred, controversy in death, friendship and forbidden love fill the pages of this remarkable tale of societal ills, culture clashes and political change.
"As I read Black Hearts White Minds, I was reminded by turns of Harper Lee, Willie Morris, and John Grisham. Like Grisham, Mitch Margo is an attorney; like Morris, he's a former journalist, and like Lee, his writing is evocative with a moral center straight and true. With our new president publicly insulting Civil Rights icon John Lewis and the new administration looking to reverse 50 years of progress, this Civil Rights era page-turner is a must read." - Richard H. Weiss, Former Daily Features Editor, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"At once magical and poignant and terrifying ...You will be enchanted by this powerful story." - Michael A. Kahn, Award-winning Author, Rachel Gold Mysteries Series
Throughout the Kingdom, the grayness has returned and the ground is collapsing beneath Brandon's feet into a giant, bottomless void. Nutritious fruits and vegetables are no longer growing. And people are missing, including his Grandpa Alvin.
With the help of a giant bald eagle and his best friend, Brandon must elude the tenacious Officer Reed, escape from the dangerous Spider Riders, endure the robot Color Collectors, find the twin princesses Gwendolyn and Sapphire, and rescue his Grandpa Alvin.
In the final chapter in the Land Without Color series, Brandon must hurry to defeat the vile vipers and restore the color to the Kingdom.
A book about learning ones culture, race, and ethnicity in a fun way for all children and families. How to help answer the question of differences through example. Beautiful illustrations and simple text to show a child’s curiosity and boldness through the love of family and togetherness.
Meet Ella. She’s a curious five-year-old who loves to play, and she’s about to discover a little more about her heritage! When Ella goes to kindergarten, she realizes that she doesn’t look like the other kids. Her teacher, Mrs. Chang, suggests that Ella ask her parents about their culture. And so begins an entertaining and educational journey as Ella explores her American culture and her parents’ heritage. Through this multicultural book series, Ella discovers that learning about your family can be fun!