Works In Progress

Better Strangers

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The Registry, Bedford Square (Bloomsbury). Copyright Russ London, Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 2.5

Historical fiction, elements of magical realism

London, 1952: Isabel Goldsmith is working to uncover the molecular structure of a protein, but she must deal with/negotiate professional rivals, her family’s expectations, her own health, and her reluctance to rely on anyone for support. Will she reach her breakthrough before time runs out?

Sixty years later, Kristin Talland’s academic career has fallen apart, and so has her personal life. Unsure what to do next/where to go from here, she heads to London for an academic conference and discovers a letter from Goldsmith in her lodgings. Who is the dark-haired woman she keeps seeing near the university, always in a hurry?

Rescuing the Willoughbys

Middle-grade urban fantasy

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Rogers Park, Chicago. Author photograph

Sam is an only child living with his mom in Rogers Park, a neighborhood of Chicago. He has a favorite neighbor, Ms. Willoughby, and one day she disappears–no one remembers her at all. When a mysterious silver box arrives in the mail, Sam discovers he’s not alone…

Nessa is a middle child living in the suburbs, but she also has a box and a missing Ms. Willoughby. And she has information about a third Willoughby in danger of vanishing.

Soon Nessa and Sam venture into downtown Chicago, where they are drawn into a centuries-old conflict between the hidden, enchanted world of the city and the everyday world they know. They discover a powerful adversary, imprisoned since the Great Fire of 1871, who is determined to stop them from rescuing their missing friends and restoring the delicate balance between the two worlds. As the kids try to find and warn the third Willoughby, their unknown enemy’s allies move to intercept them.