My first novel, Shadow of the Rock, has received very positive reviews from Midwest Book Review and Foreword Online Reviews. MBR calls the book “a riveting story of time and humanity, highly recommended.” Foreword Reviews called it “a bold adventure” that moves quickly “in a mixture of danger, excitement and pure enjoyment.”
It is available on Amazon.com and elsewhere. I’ve spent years researching and writing this book, spending countless hours in libraries, driving the back roads all over Florida, and exploring ancient cemeteries in St. Thomas and Gibraltar. I walked the planks of the frigate, USS Constellation, and toured the kasbahs of Morocco. One fascinating fact led to another, and three stories emerged to weave into the fabric of this novel.
The story springs from an enticing tidbit I read in Florida history books about Barbary pirates capturing the grandmother of the Florida’s first senator, David Levy Yulee, in the 1780s. They took her to Morocco and sold her to the grand vizier. She eventually escaped in a palace coup and went to Gibraltar.
And then what? Did she ever return to her family? Was the story even true? I was intrigued by the tragic horror story this poor woman found herself living and wondered what actually happened to her?
So I began a search for the true story. The result is this book about two women, two hundred years apart, who seek their past and their future in journeys that will link the old world with the new and change the map of Florida.
The first story is Rachel’s. Setting sail for America in 1781, Rachel Levy and her father Moses are captured by Barbary pirates and brought to Morocco for sale. The loathsome vizier forces Moses into slavery as his assistant and compels Rachel to choose between himself and the king’s harem.
Two hundred years later, Sara Miller’s sweet, apron-wearing grandmother is killed, and Sara discovers Ruth’s buried past, long hidden by the terror of the Holocaust. Ruth’s bequest sends Sara on a journey that will uncover Ruth’s mysterious past and eventually link Sara’s family to her ancestor Rachel Levy.
I hope you will read and enjoy the novel. All comments will be welcome.