The Hounds of Barkerville

A collection of delightful mysteries featuring sassy sleuth hound Kimi. The setting is a semi-tropical Florida neighborhood where Kimi and her band of canine friends help their humans track down missing rare orchids, valuable violins and other mysteries. Based on my own experiences adopting a puppy with an excellent nose from the Humane Society of Sarasota County, I gave voice to a wide range of dogs, from spunky Hernando the Chihuahua to Biz-Kid the Pit Bull with a goofy smile. Pen and ink illustrations adorning each chapter add another dimension to the tales, which are appropriate for young adult readers.

The Yomy Tales, an American Experience
(Finalist in the 10th Annual Indie Excellence Awards in Juvenile Fiction)

The idea for this book came to me when I was looking at a display of vintage African American dolls at the Toy and Dollhouse museum in Bennington, Vermont a few years ago. I have always loved the thought that a doll could be imbued with its owner’s spirit, so with this in mind it seemed a logical step to create a doll as the narrator for one of my books. In The Yomy Tales, however, I decided there would be two identical dolls, both named Yomy to tell the reader of their adventures. This book covers more than a century of African American history as seen through the dolls’ little shoe button eyes. Crafted by a slave mother for her twin girls, Goodie and Gracie, the Yomys are passed down through generations of children and come in contact with many historical figures such as Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, and Josephine Baker.

The Adventures of Moon Spirit - A Girl from Florida's Past

Florida’s Native American history comes alive for kids with three linked stories about a young native Floridian girl named Moon Spirit who lived thousands of years ago at Spanish Point on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Although this is fiction, I based the book on historical evidence and experience leading archeology tours as a docent at the Spanish Point site. It is written for older grade school and middle school readers and is full of lively pen and ink illustrations. Moon Spirit is a girl of many skills and through her adventures young readers will learn how coastal Native Americans made pottery, shell tools and dugout canoes, used herbal medicines and gathered their food. The accompanying illustrations offer shadowy peeks into this ancient world and would be the ideal gift for budding archeologists.

Anna Heart of a Peasant

This is the story of the real life of an extraordinary woman-Anna Anisovich Olchick. From her birth in 1886 in a small peasant village in Byelorussia, to her epic journey to America in 1914, Anna, shows how determination and hard work earned her the American dream- a home of her own. Anna just happened to be my maternal grandmother and I grew up in that old house that she and my grandfather bought in the little river town of Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. When thinking of those early memories, I initially wanted to write a memoir, but Anna’s spirit took hold and it is mostly her fascinating life story that enfolds. Preparing and cooking food was deeply rooted in Anna’s soul. She cooked on an old wood stove, used a pinch of this and a handful of that, remembering oral recipes passed down through generations of her ancestors.