~ Newly Published Works ~
"American Gypsy Girl" (Kindle or Paperback)
American Gypsy Girl - is a humorous novel of the dysfunction, friendships, lies, and loves that make up one girl's pursuit of the American Dream.
April 28, 1969. The future looks bleak for the baby girl asleep on top of her father's boxer shorts in the laundry basket, but she doesn't seem to notice. At the moment, Charlene Rae Bucher is blissfully unaware that she will spend her formative years living inside an aluminum camper with a disinterested, dope-smoking father and a vacant, vodka-loving mother. Her extended family will consist of a bunch of equally uninspired adults who park their campers alongside the Buchers. She is truly an unlucky baby. But babies grow up, and the teenage Farrah Fawcett wannabe stuffs her bra and learns what she can about life within the chain-link fence of Creek's Edge Campground. A lesson learned inside a rubber tractor tire forces Charlene to grow up quickly—even when no one else around her will. With the help of the retired Methodist minister on site 11A and some eccentric people she meets outside Creek's Edge, Charlene begins to see that there's more to life than getting the high score on Donkey Kong. Traveling through a maze of misunderstandings, chance meetings, and new discoveries, eighteen year-old Charlene begins to build a life of her own that isn't on wheels.
"The Making of Mathilda MacGregor" (Kindle or Paperback)
The Making of Mathilda MacGregor - is a story about how one woman's carefully planned life is rearranged by fate and how a look into the past gives her the strength and courage to welcome a very different future.
Thirty-six year-old Mathilda MacGregor has her entire life outlined. Her goals are simple: getting ahead in her career and enjoying life with her charismatic, Scottish-born husband, Robbie, without the "inconvenience" of children. Matti's career as an infant clothing buyer for Hart's Chicago branch is proving successful, and her marriage to the celebrated salon owner and hairstylist to the elite is nothing short of blissful. Having children is not part of their plan.
But it all begins to unravel when Matti's elderly mother, Anna, is diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. Matti, an only child haunted by the loss of her father twenty-four years earlier, feels obligated to spend more time with the mother she had never formed a bond with. During this time, Robbie has a change of heart about their premarital agreement to remain childless and returns to his homeland to follow plans of his own. Matti is forced to put her future—as well as a possible company promotion and relocation—on hold.
While Matti struggles with a life gone off course, Anna, obsessed with genealogy, introduces her to a branch of their family tree in hopes that the past might bring clarity to the present. As Anna recounts stories of their ancestors and of her own past, Matti begins to recognize that a lot of hardship, trials, and love had taken place so that she could exist.
The stories of the past begin to bring clarity to the present. Can these glimpses into the lives of those who had come before her help Matti put her life back on track?
"Lark of Yesteryear" (Kindle or Paperback)
Lark of Yesteryear - a middle grade / young adult ghost story.
The haunting tale of a girl bound to a world in which she no longer belongs.
At age eleven, Lark survived the Great Peshtigo Fire of 1871. She died tragically two years later and has been lingering in this world ever since. But she isn't alone. Lark's father watches her from the shadows of the attic, intent on holding her there forever. When her home becomes part of Yesteryear Settlement, a living history museum, Lark is discovered by Owen, a teen-aged tourist who sets her on a course to uncover her long-forgotten past. When Lark learns the truth about her life and, more importantly, her death, she has a decision to make. Should she help her father let go of the deeds that bind them both to the earth or stay with Owen in a world they can't possibly share?
Mary Zinda loves all things old, run-down, and haunted. She has never met a real ghost, but she hopes to one day. In the meantime, Mary writes from her ghost-free home in the beautiful Kettle Moraine region of Wisconsin.
"Owen's Journal" read sample here (Kindle)
Owen's Journal - a companion book to "Lark Of Yesteryear"
If you've read Lark of Yesteryear, you'll want to know the story behind Lark's friend Owen. In this companion book, Owen reveals how he first came to realize that he could sense the other side and how he struggled to accept that gift, understand it better, and use it to help Lark and other spirits that are trapped in this world of the living.
Shortly after a terrible accident that took his father's life, fifteen year-old Owen awakes in a hospital bed with a strange, new sensation. As Owen's physical and emotional wounds are healing, he hears his father's voice. Owen is forced to recognize that he has been given a second chance and a gift that will change the course of his life forever.
Read Owen's personal thoughts when you peek inside the journal he wrote after the accident that made him "different." How does Owen discover his new psychic gift? What does he think when he first meets Lark? What is it like for a teenager who suddenly has the ability to communicate with the spirit world? This book answers these questions and more from Owen's perspective. (Note: Read Lark of Yesteryear first!)