My First Novel, CROOKED LOVE, is available on Amazon.com in paperback and in Kindle version for only $5.99.
Two dollars of each book sold goes directly to the charities who saved my son, Shriner’s Hospitals for Children and The Infantile Scoliosis Outreach Program.
After the sudden death of her mother, Kai Weston channels her grief into her hobby for fashion design, which becomes a glamorous, burgeoning career. She meets her husband-to-be, Teddy, and they soon joyfully discover she is pregnant. Everything changes, though, when their baby boy develops a rare and potentially fatal form of progressive scoliosis. Teddy abandons them before they reach the altar, and Kai’s fairy-tale future is turned upside down. Terrified for her baby’s life, which could end before age three, Kai receives dangerous advice from an entrenched medical establishment, and discovers a shockingly unconventional treatment. She finds herself falling for a kind and handsome surgeon, but when Teddy reappears, the undertow of her life’s upheaval threatens everything and everyone she loves.
The novel is in the category of mainstream fiction, a medical drama with a love story, in the tradition of Jodie Picoult meets Nicholas Sparks.
Bio of Author Type Person:
I began my career in the film industry in 1997, when I sold a screenplay to producer Arnold Kopelson and 20th Century Fox Studios. I have since sold and optioned many original screenplays, as well as having been hired to rewrite feature projects for major studios, including Disney, Warner Bros., MGM, and New Line Cinema.
The medical facts in Crooked Love are drawn from my own experiences with my young son’s rare form of scoliosis, although the characters are fictionalized. There are approximately 200 million people with scoliosis worldwide.
My deepest intention is for Crooked Love to help other families facing scoliosis and other serious health conditions with their children. If it entertains some people, that would be nice, too.
P.P.S. Here are some sample pages (protected under U.S. Copyright):
CROOKED LOVE (NOVEL)
The monster came to take not one life, but two, with no conscience or concern for human suffering, not even that of an innocent child. It was the worst nightmare Kai had ever experienced, worse than anything she could ever have imagined. She was standing in a large crowd of people, in front of commuter train tracks at a modern metro station, and everyone was staring at an 18-month-old baby boy. The baby was uncomprehendingly tied to the tracks as the powerful train thundered toward his small, wriggling, terrified body. It cast a shadow like a futuristic, menacing metallic robot on rails.
The tracks curved and corkscrewed, like a sadistic theme park ride, but the twists didn’t slow it down. It hurtled ahead at what seemed like light speed, on a collision course to crush him, and no one was doing anything to stop it. The baby was crying, hysterical, as the crowd looked on—concerned, but bizarrely unmoving. Kai was paralyzed by fear—why was no one untying this baby boy? Her mind raced—SAVE HIM—PLEASE—HELP!!!
It was like an old-fashioned melodrama, with a victim lashed to the tracks in a dusty, sepia-toned town, but these were modern times, and Kai knew that this was very, very real. This was happening. She opened her mouth to scream, but nothing came out, as if the terror had sealed off her throat. She tried to move, but she was locked—frozen—with searing fear and horror coursing through her veins.
Her desperate eyes saw several doctors in white coats at the front of the crowd, looking on, even one doctor in light-blue surgical scrubs, holding a shiny scalpel. That doctor looked concerned, caring, even, but what was he going to do, operate on a baby on the train tracks? The sunlight glinted off the scalpel as the train’s blaring whistle pierced her mind, and everything started to spin.
Suddenly she noticed a very handsome, dark-haired young man in the crowd, with a small cleft in his chin. She looked back at the baby boy, crying hysterically. He had this man’s jawline, but he had honey-blonde hair and green eyes.
Kai looked at the man pleadingly, begging him with her eyes to help, “Save him—” but he slowly shook his head, backing away.
“It’s not my baby,” he said sadly, disappearing into the crowd.
The way the handsome man looked at her struck her as odd, surreal. This man, this dark stranger, knew her. And the way he looked at her told her something else—it hit her like a punch in the stomach. This baby no one was saving was hers. He had her wavy, honey-blonde hair, her green eyes. Hers.
The fear and pain was overwhelming. She desperately fought the urge to pass out; her dizzy, reeling mind was threatening to close down. She was only 20 years old, she had never had a baby! She had never even been pregnant. But she knew—she now knew in her very cells that this baby was her son.
Suddenly she could move her legs, and she dashed to the baby, lurching, then staggering forward and falling to her knees, struggling to untie the ropes with violently trembling hands. No one stopped her, and no one tried to help her. She couldn’t untie him, it was too complex, too twisted—wrapped around the metal tracks in complicated loops and knots…
NO NO NO NO NO NO NO, this couldn’t be happening. The crowd just looked on silently, shaking their heads, as the sunlight danced like daggers off the metal of the charging, thundering train.
She was sobbing now, realizing in that instant it was too late to save him. The doctors were giving up, walking away, and the malevolent train was almost upon them, an unstoppable beast. The engine roared, the wind created by the machine’s force nearly blowing her away from the child, nearly knocking her away from her son. No, she had to be touching him. She had to.
She had time to escape, to leave him there, to live. That was no option.
Kai lay down on the tracks beside her baby and put her arms around her boy, holding him and starting to sing the only song she could think of, “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley. “Don’t worry…about a thing…’cause every little thing’s…gonna be alright…”
The baby stopped crying as the train bore down. His big, green eyes were trusting now. They were flecked with bits of gold, exactly like hers, but hers were filled with terror. They locked eyes for a long moment, and he looked at her as if they were one, as if she was his safe place, she was his home. Her heart ached, and guilt surged through her body like a knife as she looked to the sky. It was a sunny, blue-skied day. Palm trees waved, dotting the horizon. How could anything bad ever happen to an innocent?
“Please, God,” Kai prayed, “take me, not him.”
Just before the train hit, Kai closed her eyes. The cruel tracks shook violently, and she whispered, “Mama.” The baby’s tiny, warm hand touched her cheek, and everything became enveloped in an inky ocean of black.
Once, Kai had nearly died. Once. Now, whether she was riding the wave or just paddling out, she knew she had led a mostly charmed life. She took deep, cleansing breaths, soaked in the brine of the surf, and thanked God and the universe for every single, amazing day she got to be alive, alive, alive. The tide cleaned the darkness away. It always would, wouldn’t it?
From me: You can read more pages using the “look inside the book” feature on Amazon, just click here.
I have also recently completed an essay collection of stories from my crazy life so far:
10 West: One small-town girl’s wild ride from Kansas to Hollywood to Mommyhood
If you think the confessions on this website are shameful…Mercy!