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          by Michael J. Vaughn


A painful break-up/break-down chases high-tech marketing wiz Sandy Lowiltry from her Silicon Valley home. She comes to rest on the Oregon Coast, where she seeks solace in the opera-themed sanctuary of the Hotel Bel Canto and the arms of a handsome eccentric who spends his days combing the beach for sea glass.
Sandy soon learns what the tourist ladies already know - it's easy to fall for Frosted Glass Man. Besides great sex and alarmingly intricate campsite cuisine, Frosty offers do-it-yourself mythologies that would melt even the coldest heart. But will it be enough to quiet the whisper of ambition, the voice inside Sandy's head that chides her for settling? Will she really leave behind Silicon Valley for love in such a strange package?

Critical Reviews:

"A breezy, richly-textured romp through the inner circuitry of a postmodern heroine."
          – Christina Waters, PhD, Metro Newspapers (San Jose)

"…a most unlikely tale of discovery and passion. …a shimmering fable, as delicate and whimsical as a handful of glass."
          – Debra Bokur, Many Mountains Moving literary journal


          by Marty Gallanter

A LITTLE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS is a spiritual novel inspired by an ancient Jewish legend that relates how God, throughout all of history, has placed among us thirty-six righteous people... three dozen human beings, each of whom "knows the divine will." Should humanity ever seek to know the will of God, there are always thirty-six among us to help us learn.

Suzanne Rosewell is a Wall Street lawyer, the youngest female partner in the history of her prestigious firm. She's a strong, driven woman with the will to succeed and a head start on her chosen path. She knows what she wants and is willing to do whatever is necessary to achieve her goals... until she meets Elias Garner, the enigmatic black Jazz musician, who carries an ancient golden trumpet and represents the even more furtive "Chairman" (whom we learn is "the head of the most powerful corporation on earth").

Elias wants Suzanne to set aside her career and take on the task of finding "five missing righteous people." Through a series of mystical happenings and strange coincidences, all of which seem to involve Elias, Suzanne decides to accept the quest, starting an odd journey that takes her from New York City, to the Black Hills of South Dakota, to a holy Native American shrine, and back to New York again.
Suzanne is not without opposition. Elizabeth Luckholt, a woman described by Elias as his "opposite" in the great unnamed corporation, is determined to stop Suzanne.

Elizabeth sits at the left hand of the Chairman and has a vested interest in seeing Suzanne's search fail. And Elizabeth has the power to muster considerable resources in pursuit of this goal. All of this is set against a deadline for success set by the Chairman himself. Without 36 names on the list, it appears that the world itself cannot exist beyond the sunrise.

Critical Reviews:

A LITTLE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS is an extraordinary read by a fabulously talented author.  I HIGHLY recommend this book.
          – Bev Haynes, Running River Reader, February 2000.

Gallanter does a wonderful job taking the basic good vs. evil plot and giving it the complexity to resonate with today's audience.
          – Jan Kozlowski, Inscriptions


        by Michael J. Vaughn


Fifty-year-old Bill Harness is on a strange but seemingly benign journey, rambling across the country in an old Pontiac and anonymously leaving large checks with promising young opera singers.  His fuel, however, is sorrow, and it isn’t until he arrives on a small island outside of Seattle and befriends Gabriella Compton, a phenomenally talented soprano, that he is able to address the three great tragedies of his vocally gifted family.

Critical Reviews:

Michael Vaughn has composed a literary opera that combines love, tragedy and music into a memorable tale of talent and artistry.
          – BookPage, Review by Gregory Harris, December 2000

“Michael J. Vaughn has turned out a beautiful, lyrical novel.  I was caught up in the narrative within three sentences and was held spellbound by the story until the end.  It is as captivating as a well-performed La Boheme, as tragic and triumphant as Tosca.”
          – Ani Harrison, Tacoma Reporter
 
“By turns rousing, lyrical and intoxicating, Gabriella’s Voice is the work of a virtuoso.”
          – Calder Lowe, The Montserrat Review
 
“Vaughn performs the… task of invoking sounds from the silence of words on paper.  Arias whirl from the pages… a treat for the ear as well as the mind.”
          – Gregory Harris, BookPage


          by William Schmalfeldt

With the Vice President's recent death and President DeWitt's health worsening by the day, the precarious balance of power between the Democratic President and a Republican-controlled Congress has moved to the right. Albert Wantner, the politically shrewd Speaker of the House, will ascend to the Presidency if the ill and elderly President dies before a new "veep" is appointed. For this reason, Wantner plans to delay Congressional approval of any candidate, and the President realizes that he must choose a person so politically pure that the public will clamor for his confirmation and punish Wantner for any delay.

Enter Roberto Huerta, a disillusioned first-term, Democtratic congressman from Texas, who recently became American's newest celebrity by rescuing a woman from an assault by Washington street thugs. After some soul searching, Huerta accepts the President's offer, and a bitter - but ultimately successful - bid for Congressional approval takes place. Soon after Huerta is sworn in, the President drops a bombshell in a speech to a joint session of Congress, leaving a frightened and somewhat astonished Huerta struggling to establish a Capra-esque executive branch that is truly directed ..".by the people...."


          by Dr. Lisa Rene Reynolds

For the first time ever, we are able to glimpse behind the cloak of clergy privilege, to finally hear from the priests themselves on the pedophilia scandals that have rocked the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. Renowned family therapist and counselor Lisa R. Reynolds, PhD, poses the questions we’ve all wanted to ask but were scared to - topics ranging from isolation and loneliness to masturbation and sexuality. With an introduction by best-selling author and priest Andrew Greeley, this book discusses the reality of daily life in the priesthood and presents an even-handed collection of the personal thoughts and reflections of practicing priests.

Critical Reviews:

A one-of-a-kind...treasure trove of clerical reflections.
          – Father Patrick Bascio, PhD

[A] remarkably candid snapshot of ordinary priests coping with post-scandal suspicions....
          – Father Lawrence Boadt, C.S.P.

[A]n important contribution to understanding the priesthood at this troubled time
          – Father Andrew Greeley, PhD


         by Michael J. Vaughn

Tommy Folgett's life is littered with disappointments: a broken marriage, alcoholism, and squandered artistic talent. But he did create one hell of a softball team. Under Tommy's tutelage, this hodge-podge of characters has lived out ten years of victories and defeats, joys and squabbles, on Friday nights at the Double River softball complex. They have, in fact, become a family.

When a broken relationship sends Tommy back to the bottle, the self-abuse spills over to his housemate and shortstop, Honus. Tommy's envy of Honus's writing career, and the campaign of subtle sabotage that follows, threatens to destroy his one great achievement: the legendary Barons.


      by Michael J. Vaughn

Shawn Turk flees his bible-thumping hometown girlfriend only to fall for a Christian girl named after his new city. But this girl is different - she writes her own rules, and her beliefs don't preclude adventurous sex and agnostic boyfriends. So why is Shawn walking across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge at midnight, holding a copy of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe? And who was that possessed creature at his door that evening, trying to pull a foxhole conversion?


         by Michael Kelleher

In the late sixties, a serial killer calling himself the Zodiac terrorized the San Francisco Bay Area, committing brutal, random attacks, and bragging about them in letters to the San Francisco Chronicle.

In Santa Rosa, fifty miles to the north, investigators Manny Bruin and Mick Millian were asked to tail potential suspect Byron Avion, an odd, portly man admittedly obsessed with the Zodiac. He had other eccentricities as well, not the least of which was his large collection of cardboard boxes, carefully stacked and tied shut with white nylon rope.

But peculiar habits do not a criminal make – that is, not until the bodies of young female hitchhikers began appearing in ditches, tied up with white nylon rope. That and a dozen other connections convinced Bruin and Millian that Avion was the Highway 101 Murderer, a Zodiac-style killer who prowled the Santa Rosa area.
Despite the connections, a decade-long investigation was unable to connect Avion to the crimes, or connect Zodiac to the northern murders. Bruin and Millian eventually became so frustrated that they dubbed Avion "Suspect Zero," and hoped for something to break the case open. When that break finally came, it re-wrote the book on homicide investigations and forever changed the direction of each man’s life.


        by Michael Kelleher

These are terrible times for Lieutenant Chris Spell, once acclaimed as San Francisco's premier homicide investigator. At the heart of his beat, the City's chaotic Mission District, women are being systematically murdered, their bodies mutilated and dumped on neighborhood doorsteps. Spell is unable to stop the carnage.

Understaffed, desperate, and beleaguered by the press, the Lieutenant quickly assembles a rag-tag task force to take on the investigation. He recruits the station's forensic psychologist, borrows an old friend and fellow investigator from a neighboring District, and convinces a young, inexperienced beat-cop to join his team. But the killings continue.

Cryptic threats are issued to the press and to Spell's task force. Then, in a stunning act of mayhem, the killer kidnaps the youngest member of the team, a woman with an uncanny resemblance to the half dozen victims he's already claimed.
Out of options and out of time, Spell formulates a plan to get her back and bring the killer down, but the plan might require the life of a second team member. Worse, Spell's prey has already made a last, shocking plan of his own - one his pursuers hadn't considered.

In a final confrontation, orchestrated by the serial killer himself, Spell's world collapses when he learns the killer's motivation and realizes the answers were within his grasp from the very beginning.


          by Fr. Patrick Bascio

Mary Nichols, a beautiful young FBI agent, begins to have flashbacks to an event from her childhood. The flashbacks intensify after visiting her uncle's newly purchased home, the site of a murder 25 years ago. Privately, she begins to investigate. The local priest, Father Leo, becomes her primary suspect. Her flashbacks continue, each one bringing her closer to the killer's identity. But, all the while, unknown to Mary, the prominent psychiatrist from whom she's sought help, has been seeing many of the community's prominent members as patients, including Father Leo. Treachery, deceit and the pain of memories suppressed by sheer will drive this tumultuous murder mystery. Who's the guilty one? The banks of the famous Charles River holds the answer. But will Mary find it before he finds her?


          by John Ouellet

Edgar Rittenauer, a floundering, unemployed laborer is cajoled by his younger brother into joining the Michigan Militia, a ragtag group assembled under the command of Pete Adler, a wealthy, charismatic real estate developer and all-around extremist.

Looking for thoughtful political dialogue, Edgar is instead introduced to the mindless banter of conspiracy radicals, the tactical buffoonery of has-been weekend warriors, and the sadistic Sergeant Avery Stone. Amidst the testosterone madness Edgar meets and falls for First Sergeant Pam Trombley, a petite, fiery gal with whom he stumbles onto Operation Trenton ─ a clandestine, multi-state militia endeavor plotted to awaken America to its post 9/11 threats.

When Brigade Commander Adler learns of their discovery, Sergeant Stone is sent to silence the pair. Pam falls victim, but Edgar escapes, desperate to find the operation’s order before the militia’s dark forces strike.
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