Charlene Winston hates her life.
When she was four years old her father, giving up hopes for a son, decided to make his youngest daughter his buddy, nicknamed her Charlie and began taking her along on hunting trips. While other teenage girls are learning to apply makeup, dress attractively and flirt with boys Charlie, dressed in jeans, boots and a flannel shirt, is tromping fields, hunting pheasant, ducks, deer—whatever is in season. Raped by her father’s hunting companion, Sam Gordon, she shoots him in the crotch, confiscates his pickup, and flees to Chicago where she finds a job in a gun club. With new friends, and a job she likes, she is happier than she has ever been in her life—except for a nagging fear of being discovered. Carlo Penna, a former crime boss, and a regular patron of the club, takes a liking to Charlie. When Gordon tracks her down and tries to abduct her, Carlo intervenes. Taking her to his home, he treats her as if she were the daughter he hasn’t seen since he and his wife divorced. He introduces her to Christina, a modeling agent under whose guidance Charlie blossoms into the beautiful young woman she was meant to be. When she begins dating “Rod” who, unknown to her, is active in Mafia drug dealing and prostitution, Carlo has him called back to his Miami headquarters. Rod swears to get even. His vengeance leads to an explosive moment in which Charlie shoots two men who attempt to assassinate Carlo. To protect Charlie, Carlo sends her to Paris. She enrolls in the Sorbonne and obtains a modeling agent. In Paris, she finds success as a model and a fashion designer, and is courted by highly eligible men, including an English Earl, an Italian wine producer and a French professor. Despite her success, Charlie feels that something is lacking and, as she searches for that elusive je ne sais quoi that will give meaning and purpose to her life, she learns that all is not going well back in Chicago. Her former Mafia boyfriend’s persistent effort to infiltrate Carlo’s businesses threatens not only Carlo’s reputation, but his life as well. Deciding to eliminate the problem once and for all, Charlie flies to Miami intending to kill him; someone else beats her to it. Once this threat is removed and the shooting incident case settled, Charlie returns to Chicago where she discovers the man of her dreams as well as answers that, until now, eluded her. They have been there all along.
Fragile Hopes, Transient Dreams
Bell-Pearson's book,Fragile Hopes, Transient Dreams and Other Stories, portraying the strife and struggles of Southwest Kansans during the 20th Century,was chosen one of 150 Best Kansas Books by the Kansas Sesquicentennial Committee (From books published between 1860 and 2010).
Pablo Picasso once said, "Art is lies that tell the truth."
Although these stories are fiction, they delve deeply into the realty of life on The Great Plains.
WHAT OTHER WRITERS SAY:
Fragile Hopes, Transient Dreams is a saga you'll not easily forget. It is love and trust, hardship and turmoil, life and death from the settlement days forward in Southwest Kansas. Edna Bell-Pearson masterfully brings to life the hard times and the spirited people who lived and died there.--Gordon A. Kessler, author of Brainstorm, Jezebel, Dead Reckoning and Novel Writing Made Simple.
Edna Bell-Pearson's book, Fragile Hopes, Transient Dreams, is a clear and honest story about pioneer life in southwest Kansas. Her steady voice and compassion for her subject breathes life into her characters and reveals the conflicts and struggles early Kansas settlers faced as they attempted to tame the frontier. You won't be disappointed.--Troy Boucher author of Prince of the Plains and The Last Kansas Exit.
17 1/2 Big Steps
Nursing sunburns and sipping margaritas, we lazed away the afternoon on our private patio overlooking the beach at the Playa Del Rey Hotel. The sun cast shimmering rainbows on the sea and scorching rays on the hot white sand and on sunbathers sprawled on bright colored towels. Young, bikini-clad mothers watched their Norte-Americano children play in the surf while, down the beach, native children, delving for clams, pawed the wet sand like rat terriers digging for prey. Grimy buckets filled, they disappeared back into the slums of the city. Bored with the beach, with margaritas, tired of nursing sunburns, we decided to walk up the narrow, sandy trail back of the hotel—used mostly by service vehicles and the comings and goings of hotel employees—to the Playa Mazatlan where we could enjoy a cool drink while browsing the indoor shops. We might even venture further north where the beach was not yet spoiled by hotels, houses and tourists. We set out barefoot, carrying slip-ons and a bottle of water which we sipped from time to time. We had walked about a hundred yards when we came upon a makeshift sign. On a rough board, nailed to a post, which leaned precariously in the sand, a crude black arrow pointed north. Scrawled beneath, in English, were the words “17½ Big Steps.”
Cul de Sac
Woodland Circle, a cul de sac in the retirement community, Paradise Village, is not Wisteria Lane. However, no household is without its secrets, concerns and agendas.
What our friends do not know is that a newcomer—an author who chose the peace and quiet of Paradise Village to write a book—is writing it all down.
Cul de Sac is a book about a writer writing a book about life in a retirement village—and it isn’t all sweet dreams and roses.
As can be expected with this age group, all does not end “happily ever after.” Although the book addresses issues concerning aging, the subject is treated lightly. The unique personalities of the characters, their foibles and escapades hold the attention of the reader who will find not only humor, but also romance and intrigue. This is not only an enjoyable read, but also an excellent character study and a portrayal of retirement life worthy of note.
While on a mid-winter holiday in the Yucatan Peninsula--a graduation gift from her parents--Megan Lockridge finds herself stranded on an idyllic tropical beach. Playa Gloriosa provides everything she dreamed of in a vacation--friends, fun and games--and romance. Two incredibly attractive gentlemen vie for her attentions; Francisco, an amorous Latino who arouses emotions she never dreamed she was capable of and Kevin, a handsome New York advertising agent who, she suspects, might turn out to be the love of her life.
A full moon was streaming through the window when, for no explainable reason, Megan awakened shortly after midnight. She could hear the soft sound of the waves brushing against the sand. Sitting up, she drew the drape aside and reached for her crutches.
Except for a shimmering moonlit path, the sea was a deep indigo blue. Her heart quickened when she remembered another moonlit night, on another beach.
Since the accident, she had tried to put Francisco out of her mind and she wondered now why he returned so persistently to her thoughts. He meant nothing to her. Kevin did; she should be thinking of him.
She became aware that something had intruded on the tranquil scene--a solitary figure strolling on the moonlit beach.
It looks like--but it can't be! Megan thought. What would Francisco be doing here?