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Contemporary Fiction

Chestnut Springs

Chestnut springs
Will her second chance cost her everything?

Brenda Maxwell's successful career vanished in one disastrous day. Now she's traded her L. A. condo for a new life, settling in an off-the-grid cabin in rural West Virginia.

But the seeming tranquility of Chestnut Springs is more of a challenge than she ever expected. Brenda's self-reliance is p ut to the test as she faces savage weather, a hungry bear, a jealous rival, and a false arrest.

Independence only goes so far. Can Brenda find help among her new friends?

Chestnut Springs is an upbeat story of love and friendship that will keep you turning pages until dawn.

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The Disappearance of Bobo Blando


One mysterious man's stories both divide and unite a small community of immigrants as they struggle with isolation and misunderstanding in their new home. Under the simple tale of Simón's search for Bobo Blando's true identity and Karen Salazar's quest for purpose lies a religious allegory for modern times.

Print books are available directly from the author or on Amazon.

Click here for E-book locations.


The Dark Room

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Synopsis: Why do intelligent women stay in relationships after they’ve been abused? Why don’t they just leave? Why do they fall for controlling men in the first place? What prompts men to beat their wives? Are they crazy? Are they monsters? The Dark Room is a gripping story tackling the complex issues of child abuse and Battered Woman Syndrome. From the age of three—when her young mother, Amy Leonard, is arrested on drug charges—Jodie is chained to the bed in a small, dark room with barely enough food to keep her alive. Her only chance of survival rests with her grandmother, Stella, who is being abused by the child's grandfather, Hank. Will Stella and Jodie escape from Hank’s abuse? Will Jodie finally enjoy a normal, healthy childhood? Will Amy be reunited with her mother and daughter?


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By Cindy Freeman

Allison Harmon discovers that being a wealthy heiress does not guarantee a carefree life. She spends her childhood groomed by her father to take over his billion-dollar textile conglomerate. After his death, Allison is tormented by flashbacks. Convinced her family kept a secret from her, she searches for the truth. In Paris, Allison meets Jack Sanderling, an American doctoral candidate. Despite the mutual attraction, she does not divulge her identity. Jack discovers she misrepresented herself and fails to show up for their second meeting, leaving Allison heartbroken and confused. Will Allison and Jack find their way back to each other? Will Allison uncover the mystery of her childhood?

Available at:
High Tide Publications

Unholy Scandal: Based on a True Story

Unholy scandal
By Patti Hornstra

Father Paul Freemont was the beloved pastor of a thriving Catholic Church in a suburban Virginia community--until he was accused of the sexual abuse of minors.

Based on a true story, Unholy Scandal is the fictional account of a Catholic priest's quest to prove his innocence of the accusations, which were alleged to have occurred decades prior during his tenure as principal at an all-boys Catholic high school.

His years-long struggle was intensified--and his life changed forever--as the number of accusations grew and the circle of those he could trust got smaller.

Available on Amazon

The Heartbreak of Josie Whitt

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BY E. Compton Lee 

Foster kids and best friends Shadaisy and Tristan live in New York City. The problem is, they just shot their social worker, a man who performed heinous acts every week. Now they are fleeing, with a tenuous plan in place for their future. But the clock is ticking, and they need to hide.
Josie Whitt and her dog have escaped to a run-down farmhouse in upstate New York. Josie is despondent, barely able to function. Her twin, Jaylene, is dead. It is all Josie can do to simply get through each day without disappearing into herself.
When Shadaisy and Tristan stumble into Josie Whitt's life, their journey changes from escape to understanding. The Heartbreak of Josie Whitt examines the complexities of life, family, and love in a haunting novel that will remain in the hearts of readers long after the last page is turned.
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Whippoorwill Hollow

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By Jeffrey Price (Davidson Lee Price) 

Having served two tours in Afghanistan, Hudson Lee returns home to Georgia mentally traumatized after the death of his good friend, who sacrificed himself to save Hudson in battle. Deeply distraught and unable to see a way out of his depression, Hudson makes plans to end his life at the family farm, Whippoorwill Hollow. Just when he’s about to follow through, however, he encounters an abandoned dog that’s been bitten by a snake and in dire need of help. Hudson’s protective instincts kick in, and he and the mistreated red-nose terrier, named Hank after Hudson’s deceased friend, form an extraordinary bond.

Across town, Katie Carter is increasingly despondent about the prospect of ever escaping her abusive fiancé, Sean. When Hank guides Hudson and Katie together, she, too, has nearly lost her will to live. No matter where she goes or what she does, Sean always seems to find her.

But love, family, and forgiveness are powerful, and with Hank’s help, Hudson and Katie stand a chance of outrunning the demons of their past and facing a future together. Davidson Lee Price’s debut novel is a tender and moving story of what happens when unspeakable pain is finally shared and how a community can come together to heal it.

Author | Davidson Lee Price

Davidson Lee Price | Facebook

Places to purchase Whippoorwill Hollow:
Whippoorwill Hollow: Price, Davidson Lee: 9781736883617: Books

Smashwords – Whippoorwill Hollow – a book by Davidson Lee Price


I'll Get By

Patti procopi i'll get by

Starting over means figuring out where you are, how you got there, and where to go from here.

When Jane's life falls apart in a most spectacular fashion, she questions how she got to this point. How did she manage to choose a best friend who would do the most clichéd thing ever and run off with her husband? What blinded her to the abuse her husband, Frank, heaped upon her over decades of marriage?
The answers to her life's questions might be found in the generations before her. From her grandmother, Mamere, who threw away her family heritage to marry a baseball player, to her mother, Evangeline, who knew within moments of meeting John during WWII that he was the love of her life.
The choices the women in her family made alter Jane's outlook on love and life, but she learns that ultimately, strong women survive and love is cultivated in unexpected places.

Available from Amazon 

Please Tell Me More

Patti procopi book please tell me more

This heartfelt story about sisters, family and the tenuous connections we forge in life will stay with you long after you turn the last page.

Rose was a child when the worst possible thing happened.  Her baby sister Lily drowned while Rose was supposed to be watching her. This tragedy eventually destroys the family while Rose struggles to go on despite her guilt and sorrow. 

At times whimsical, always genuine, this story looks at the bonds of sisters and how family can become our foundation even when we don’t expect it.

Available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. 

Like a Mask Dancing: A Tanzanian Story

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By Sally Stiles

Aaron Chadwick's job is to save Tanzania's largest industrial complex. After three weeks in this vast, alluring country, his wife, Anna, has met missionaries and Muslims, Maasai herders, expatriates both indifferent and committed. She's slept among lions and giraffes and learned of men who chewed off cats' heads. She's seen a pleasure ground for the wealthy and a garbage dump which serves as a playground for the poorest of the poor. She's seen her husband angry and determined to save what may be impossible to save. She's seen all these things through the long lens of a visitor and now resolves to zoom in closer. She resolves to make Africa her home.

Available on Amazon 

Bennett Falls

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By Peter Stipe

A place where families came. Homes were built. Children grew, left for war, and returned.
Through it all, the river runs, as it always has.
But people change and dreams shift and towns grow, and nothing good ever lasts…
For years, Jack and Keira Sullivan discussed a future where they escaped the harsh urban realities in Boston. Instead, they would run a bed and breakfast in New Hampshire. When Keira’s mother dies, they use her inheritance to purchase a historically significant old house in Bennett Falls to pursue their dream.
What was once an ideal future soon becomes rife with problems: the isolation Keira experiences as Jack divides his time between Boston and Bennett Falls; the withdrawn attitude of the townspeople who do not want change; and the choices Keira must face in order to move forward with her life.
Can friendship and one small kitten turn things around for Keira and Jack, or will they find that their dreams are not what they once thought them to be?

Available on Amazon 

Finding Our Way

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By Peter Stipe

The eight short stories in Peter Stipe’s first book Finding Our Way investigate the complex connections between people, particularly between the lead characters in the stories and those who are closest to them as their relationships evolve.  Even though these eight stories are drawn from Peter’s personal experiences and from those of his friends, they are fiction.  Peter writes about the way the stories might have occurred rather than being constrained to tell the stories as they actually happened.  Sometimes the stories’ characters change as they struggle to find better connections in their lives; sometimes they don’t.

Two of the stories, Finding Our Way and Running Home, draw on Peter’s extensive experience as a marathon runner.  In his prime Peter was one of America’s top distance runners, winning many races, placing in the top fifty in the Boston Marathon on six occasions and competing in the 1972 U.S. Olympic Trials.  These two stories are semi-autobiographical, detailing the lifestyle of a competitive distance runner.

Sky City looks at the clash of two cultures, the ancient and traditional culture of Native Americans at Acoma Pueblo in New Mexico and the dawn of the nuclear age with the nuclear test at nearby Alamogordo, New Mexico.  Peter’s father was a part of the Manhattan Project that developed the first bomb.  Peter read an account of the first test in his father’s papers.  Peter also has studied Native culture and art.  He was struck by the contrast of these two cultures several years ago when he visited Acoma Pueblo.

Peter’s inspiration for his stories comes from many sources.  A woman who worked with him in New Hampshire came to work on a Monday morning in the fall telling the story of her first deer hunting trip.  Her tale led to The Deer Slayer.  An experience Peter had one night when he worked the third shift at a hospital in New Hampshire inspired Anna.  His story Seasons investigates his and his mother’s responses to the death of Peter’s father.  A childhood memory of an incident in a small Virginia town in the 1950’s is the foundation for the story Lawrence.  A mathematical game in Scientific American magazine led to the bizarre tale Moebius Trip.  The sources of inspiration are as varied as the types of stories in Peter’s book.

Author's Website
Facebook: PeterGStipe

Remember Me

By Peter Stipe

Family heirlooms and stories are passed along through the generations and very often become embellished over time. The history of family characters and events becomes fluid, and sometimes stories are deliberately hushed, stories of people and events that families are not proud of, black sheep who must be hidden. Heirlooms are kept but not always preserved.

What then is the truth of a family?

This is the unfolding story of the author’s great-grandparents, Oscar and Maggie McMurray. When Peter Stipe discovers heirlooms and old books that contain clues to the truth about the McMurray’s, his curiosity is piqued. As he researches his family history, the stories his mother told him begin to unravel. Who were Oscar and Maggie? How did their story get lost? Why was it changed? What is the truth about this, or any other family story?

Author's website
Facebook: PeterGStipe

The Art of Love

By Peter Stipe
Chamberlain has enrolled as a graduate student at the Rhode Island School of Design, leaving his secluded life on the coast of Maine and his home with an overbearing mother and his academic father.  Mary Flynn has come to Providence from New York City to study at Brown University.  She comes from a proud family with traditional values and brings with her a strict interpretation of her Catholic faith.  It is the first time both of them have lived on their own.  They meet and fall in love.

Patrick is guided by his artistic Uncle Win.  Mary’s mentor is her old professor, Sister Catherine.  Both Patrick and Mary are inspired by the lifestyle of their two artist friends, Aaron, a sculptor and free-spirited Melanie who works with glass.  Can Patrick and Mary reconcile the traditional values they have brought with them to Providence with the temptations of the life they seek together?  This is their story.

The Art of Love considers different types of love and relationships.  At the center is that of Mary and Patrick, built on a natural chemistry, but challenged by their inhibitions and conservative values.  In contrast there is the uninhibited relationship between Aaron and Melanie.  Perhaps Aaron and Melanie’s relationship is doomed.  Other relationships are also in play:  Mary’s sister Margie and her boyfriend Javier who are living together, Mary’s tradition-bound parents, Patrick’s uncommunicative parents, Uncle Win and his partner.

This is not a standard classic love story; boy and girl meet, fall in love, move in together, and live happily ever after.  Patrick and Mary are both so repressed that they struggle with even the most commonplace aspects of their love.  They both want more and neither knows what to do about it.  In the end that is what destroys their relationship.  As Uncle Win advises, “Sometimes no matter how much love you have, it’s still not enough to overcome whatever issues come up.”

Author's Website
Facebook: PeterGStipe

The Fairy Garden

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By Peter Stipe

A whimsical story about facing our deepest fears and greatest loves, and what we all must do to grow into the life we were meant to experience.
Elizabeth’s secret began when she was five years old, a secret she held close her entire life. As far as she knew, she was the only person who could see the fairies living in her grandfather’s garden. They play with her and show her their world, and as she grows older, they guide her through the important moments of her life. The fairies, and especially Olivia, were her closest friends.
But where were they when everything fell apart? Why didn’t they save her grandfather when he needed help, and why didn’t they warn her about the things she had to endure? Surely the fairies, who seemed to have a prescience about the future, knew what Elizabeth would have to tolerate.
After the death of her grandfather, Elizabeth moves into his house to begin the process of healing. But when her daughter begins to see and play with the fairies, Elizabeth has a choice to make. Will she accept her daughter’s new friends or will she find a way to banish them from her life forever?

"Fairy Garden is an entertaining coming of age story with a whimsical twist; life coaching delivered via fairies. Peter’s descriptive writing beautifully blends a bit of magic with the realities of life making the narrative relatable, engaging, and at times, a bit self-reflective for the reader."  - Caterina Novelliere, author of Mark of the Night and When the Moon Bleeds.

Author's website
Facebook: PeterGStipe


When we were wolves
By J.E. Tobin
Tom Wingfield lives in a small Virginia town famous as the birthplace of U.S. presidents and Sonny Rawlins, America’s most celebrated coach. For thirty years, Tom has kept secret the truth about Rawlins. But a news story breaks; setting off a chain of events that puts Tom and everyone he loves at risk. Only a desperate act can save them. Tom must enter Sonny’s Monster House one more time.
Whoopi Goldberg says  that the book is "a novel that's going to stay with me."  Brian Castleberry calls it "a timely gut-punch of a book." Michael Gurian, The New York Times bestselling author of The Wonder of Boys and The Stone Boys, says: “To enter the world of J.E. Tobin’s When We Were Wolves is to immerse ourselves in a vital David and Goliath story ripped right from the headlines.  Truth and courage are pitted against lies, lawyers, and hero worship.  The writing is vivid and the plot relentless.  This novel brims with empathy and insight and will stay with the reader long after the last page is read.  And it may just change our perception of what makes someone a hero.”  
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The book is available for purchase at:
Pale Horse Books
Barnes & Noble