The following are just a few of the many books I've written under my own name or on which I have collaborated as writer or editor over the years. To see more of my work, click here to read my writing samples.
U.S. Congressman Emanuel Cleaver approached me in 2017 with an ingenious plot for a political thriller, one that seemed ripped straight from the headlines. Over a period of several months, he asked for my advice and assistance in plotting his story of political intrigue, murder, domestic unrest, and power grabs. The result is a fast-paced page-turner in the style of Dan Brown's edge-of-your-seat thrillers. I'm deeply grateful for Congressman Cleaver's kind mention of my contribution on the book's acknowledgements page and for being able to guide him in writing his first novel.
Dr. Jonathan Javitt, a senior White House health advisor for the past three administrations, has written a riveting thriller in which the threat of genetically modified food from a leading chain of drop-in coffee stores is suspected of causing a national health crisis. Gwen Maulder, division chief of the Food and Drug Administration, begins the investigation after the sudden death of her good friend, lawyer Marci Newman. The quest for answers to a growing number of unexplained deaths leads to powerful politicians and international intrigue on three continents. I am proud to have been editorial consultant for this novel by Dr. Javitt, who is also a Senior Fellow for the National Security Health Policy Center. "Almost impossible to put down." — NEW YORK POST
Border Crossings by David H. Beyda, MD, is the compelling story of Dr. Beyda's medical mission trips to Cambodia, Kenya, the Dominican Republic, Swaziland, and Haiti to give aid to the forgotten children and adults who receive little or no medical attention or nutrition. The book contains dozens of moving stories that put faces on those desperate for healing and highlights the need for their basic human rights. It was an honor to edit Dr. Beyda's book, which he wrote in the field over the course of many years. Dr. Beyda is Division Chief of Critical Care Medicine at Phoenix Children's Hospital.
Robert J. Flower, PhD, is an investment specialist, scholar, and systems specialist who has traveled the world in search of truth and understanding in multiple disciplines of study. In Decoding Potential, Dr. Flower reveals the pathway to achieving potential in any area of life using his revolutionary system called NATI — Natural Thinking and Intelligence. Using educational psychology, quantum physics, and systems analysis as a foundation for NATI, Dr. Flower explains that we can reach our true potential through understanding thirteen types of innate intelligence shared by every human being. Dr. Flower has lectured on NATI around the world, including the United Nations. It was a privilege to have been editor for Decoding Potential.
Abuse and Betrayal is Richard Joseph's autobiographical account of his high-conflict divorce. It chronicles the emergence of his wife's narcissist personality and how it caused the alienation of Joseph from his daughters. A faithful husband and loving father, Joseph was harassed by police, lawyers, and a judge, and faced imprisonment based on false evidence and testimony despite the flagrant sexual misconduct of his wife. It was a privilege to edit this story on Legal Abuse Syndrome, parental alienation, and the rights of fathers. This is a must-read for anyone, especially fathers who face discrimination in pursuit of child custody.
Circling Goes the Wind — Ten-year-old Nathan Caulder thinks he might be going crazy. He can't remember his childhood, he hears voices when alone on the Nebraska prairie, and a mysterious woman he encounters on the road tells him that he will soon learn dark family secrets.
But there are clues that guide Nathan in his search to unravel these mysteries: a gypsy fortuneteller speaks to him in a trance while gazing into her crystal ball; he has a recurring dream of touching the winter moon; and his eccentric grandfather begins calling him Jake. Circling Goes the Wind is a book that speaks of magic, forgiveness, and the quiet inner voice that guides us when we strive to learn what is lasting and true in our lives. It is a coming-of-age story in which Nathan not only confronts his past but also encounters a power beyond human understanding that seeks to guide him towards a future destiny enabling him to heal the wounds of others.
Duty to Investigate by J. W. Stone is the story of trial lawyer and Marine Reservist Mike Beck, who is ordered to Iraq when an embedded female reporter reveals the apparent killing of Iraqi civilians by a U.S. Marine. The novel is a taut military thriller that weaves together personal stories, friendship and love, terrorist activity, and the action of battle. Stone realistically portrays military protocols and takes readers inside the urban warfare that was the hallmark of the war in Irag. Skillfully drawn, the character of Mike Beck demonstrates that finding the truth is difficult in the emotionally and politically charged atmosphere of war. I edited this book before its publication in 2013.
While most clients prefer confidentiality, some do not mind acknowledging the collaboration. In 2004, I worked on One Hell of a Ride by Lou Federico. Mr. Federico was one of the first men to build luxury resort hotels in Baja, California, constructing his own roads and airstrips in the barren terrain while battling the Mexican government for the necessary licenses and permits. He is an avid fisherman and hunter who entertained people like John Wayne, Fred Astaire, Jayne Mansfield, and other Hollywood notables on their vacations to Mexico. His is an engaging life story, and one that I am proud to have helped shape.
Rimsky Rises — Rimsky is a high school student whose life is split in two because of his parents' divorce. His troubles are compounded when the teacher he despises most falls madly in love with his father, while his mother seeks to have his uncle--the only cool adult he knows--locked up in a psychiatric hospital. Rimsky believes that his stressful life might just be bearable if he could only utter more than a few syllables to his classmate, the beautiful Sarah Petrovich. That's when emails from God start to appear in Rimsky's inbox. Rimsky Rises is a humorous yet penetrating look at a teen's search for meaning in a world in which sane people appear to be outrageously crazy — and crazy people seem to know the real truths underlying the absurd, confusing, and often comic reality called life.
Comedian, actor, and author Glenn Rockowitz writes with honesty, and at times dark humor, of his battle with cancer, beginning with his diagnosis that he had "three months at best" to live. Written in a unique narrative voice and form, Rodeo in Joliet describes the panic, fear, and extreme physical discomfort Rockowitz endured on his way to a miraculous remission. Rockowitz also narrates stories about the birth of his only child at this time of his life, as well as the sudden ironic death of his father, also from cancer, shortly after Rockowitz breaks the news of his own diagnosis to his dad. As an editorial consultant on this remarkable tale of cancer survival, I found the story to be tragic and heartbreaking but triumphant.
Street Magic — The people of Pace, Indiana, are jolted from their routine small-town lives when a street magician, Lark the Magnificent, begins staging one incredible show after another. There is seemingly nothing this man in an electric-blue suit can't do, from levitating above the sidewalk to making it snow on a sunny day. But Joe Bailey, meek bachelor and town archivist, notices that things in Pace aren't quite right. People are going missing, stores are closing, and someone—or some thing—is living in a row of abandoned homes on River Road.
In this homage to Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes, William Hammett has written a chilling novel in lyrical prose about the evil locked behind the doors of small-town America, an evil that Joe Bailey will have to combat with his own brand of street magic.
Dr. Melanie Watkins enlisted me to edit her manuscript chronicling her uphill climb from relative poverty in Mississippi to Stanford Medical School. Now a successful physician, Watkins writes from the heart of the daunting challenges she faced as a single teen mother in securing her education and beating insurmountable odds in order to attend medical school while raising her son. The memoir Taking My Medicine is a story of faith and perseverance, one that inspires readers to pursue their dreams despite the hurdles involved. Dr. Watkins has written for Chicken Soup for the Single's Soul and lectures on the challenges faced by single parents, people of color, and disadvantaged youth.
Gary Weart's A Teacher Shoots Back is an engrossing memoir about the author's fight to prevent school violence. Gary lost thirteen students to murder during his teaching career in the Charlotte-Mecklenberg school district of North Carolina. He helped form SAVE — Students Against Violence Everywhere — which has chapters in forty-six states and five foreign countries. Gary worked with U.S. senators, congressmen, governors, and mayors, as well as with two United States presidents. He recently received a letter from Hillary Clinton congratulating him on his book, and I am proud to call him my friend three years after our collaboration.
The Ghost of Richard Brautigan — I wrote this novel in 2000. It is an experimental novel using the short chapter format of 1970s cultural icon and author, Richard Brautigan. Lamont Bistro is a veteran from the first Gulf War. While attending art school on permanent disability for injuries sustained in the Middle East, he meets lovely nineteen-year-old painter Jaguar Montaigne, who puts herself through college by waiting tables at a Bourbon Street strip club. Lamont and Jaguar marry and move to Honey Island Swamp, where the ghost of Richard Brautigan gives Bistro lessons in writing and life as Jaguar proves to be a promiscuous woman with aspirations to climb the ladder of corrupt Louisiana politics. Several agents called the book one of the most innovative novels they'd read in years.
Christopher Forrest is a litigation attorney who created The Strategic Default Plan®. Forrest, head of The Forrest Law Firm, is dedicated to defending the rights of homeowners and consumers. I was privileged to edit Forrest's book, The Strategic Default Plan, which helps homeowners with underwater mortgages understand that they don't have to live trapped by crushing debt. The book discusses loan modification and also explains in easy-to-understand language issues such as taxes, credit scores, and retaining an experienced lawyer when it's time to walk away from a bad home investment in order to start a new debt-free life.
Kateri Courtney contacted me after a New York City editing company had completely botched her middle reader. The book they'd given her had hundreds of grammatical mistakes and dozens of plot inconsistencies. It was the worst editing job I'd ever seen, and she'd been charged eighteen thousand dollars for the shoddy work. I re-edited this enjoyable tale about Welby Wandernaught who must fight an evil spider-king in the fantasy landscape of an old woman's patchwork quilt. It is a work of great imagination, and I am grateful to Kateri for allowing me to reshape her book into publishable form. It's a great read for children eight to twelve.