Stories in the heart of forgotten places

A middle grade mystery about addiction, loyalty and the start of a beautiful friendship. A dangerously fun, adventurous, and relatable story.

The day two twelve-year-olds stumble across a secret tunnel being used to smuggle opioids is the day they start to save their dads.

Pablo is a Dreamer kid whose father is always one arrest away from deportation. Though their octogenarian mentor warns them away from the infamous Prohibition tunnel that leads to the mill, Pablo goes back anyway and witnesses a murder at the upstairs pill mill. But he’s agile and slips away to figure out how the drugs are smuggled in. As Pablo and Mindy’s sleuthing with cryptic clues buried in their gaming code outwits the grown-ups their friendship grows strong. When self-assured Mindy surprises Pablo by asking him to distract her dad, a doctor, from taking any more pills, especially opioid recovery pills, he realizes she too has a father to save. The pair uncover a callous scheme to yank the safety net away from drug users by lacing recovery pills with fentanyl. Now they must kill the plan.

But when Pablo returns to the mill he’s captured. 

On a floating fish factory in the middle of the Atlantic he finds out they’re producing fentanyl candy for kids, and he’s to be part of the testing program—though not if Mindy’s smarts have anything to do with it.

See the cover came together on my blog: here.

Never Less Book Cover
Illustration and Design by Leah Palmer Preiss.

Never Less is a thriller for older middle grade readers that will give them agency over even the toughest grown-up problems.

It is thematically similar to You’d Be Home By Now, by Kathleen Glasgow. And because Pablo feigns running away, it’s also reminiscent of Kate DiCamillo’s Beverly, Right Here. This cross-generational novel about addiction, loyalty and the start of a beautiful friendship will keep readers turning the pages.

They’ll see how they can rely on their true friends
more and more . . . never less.


“Never Less is a compelling story
told through the eyes of two engaging and very likable
12-year olds. Their bravery and friendship made me want them to succeed against a truly evil villain and kept me reading until the riveting ending.”

~Dr. Lawrence Walser, M.D.

“Nicely paced with a few unexpected twists which kept the momentum going. I comfortably read it in one session. It has an interesting take on the drug scene . . . 
It is certainly a thought provoking novel.”

~Laurie Robertson

“This is not just a story about addiction, but a story about two teens who care so much about their fathers that they are willing to do anything to keep them safe. Pablo and Mindy are wise beyond their years, and their tenacity and big hearts showcase the importance of family, biological or chosen.”

~Lindsay Larris, MSW, LCSW, LCADC,
licensed therapist and alcohol and drug counselor

“I found this to be a unique book, allowing our family to look at the opioid epidemic. (It was) a safe way for our kids to discuss what was happening in their schools. I cannot rate this novel high enough. We all need to look at this epidemic, and what our parts are in this. If we join together like these two kids did can we help to curb it?” 

The Trilogy for Freedom

Will a war heroine turned activist drown in a Long Island wetland? Delve into her psyche as she weighs her choice to care against her freedom to belong.

Watch the interview.

Read about the books of the Trilogy below.


Book One:
A thriller about a quest for freedom in a nation struggling for its own liberation.

He faked her death to escape the secret police.

Gida works for the shipping company and knows too much. Three warring factions on the verge of revolution want the name of the ship with a cargo of guns. Raf, a student on vacation, helps her escape across the border by faking her death. But the lovers split up, disagreeing about their commitment to freedom. Loveless years slip by until Raf gets a blackmail note. Facing ruin, he must prove he did not murder Gida in Mozambique. As if destined to be forever caught up in a fado, his regret and melancholy from the Portuguese folk song compels him to find her. Yearning to be liberated from his emotional apathy, he must uncover her treacherous life—as a double agent.

He must find her.

Book Two:
The FBI tells her they are trading ivory on her website. They say she can help.
She doesn't believe them.
But she must...

Passionate to regain her online status with composers she refuses to be a victim. In New York, they team her up with a Tanzanian street vendor but this no place to track down warlords who fund their wars by killing elephants. Drawn deeper into the mission they go undercover to infiltrate the black markets of Dar es Salaam. The mission quickly falls apart when she’s captured and forced to witness the poisoning of elephants at a waterhole. Her handlers can no longer be trusted. However, a clue in her music helps her partner to spring her from the warlord hideout. They run. They go dark and fall in love on a dhow headed for Mombasa. Are they headed into oblivion or will they return to New York changed forever?

Book Three:.
An eco-thriller about finding belonging
in a lost ecosystem.
Two women protecting a bay...
their way.

Does she lose her way in this heartbreakingly real eco-thriller?

To stay free Allison must keep a secret from a young refugee boy: his activist mother is never coming home. With the hacking skills that sent her to prison, she has, on her release, discovered the activist’s unpublished blog. She’s left her family and her adopted boy, to fight for the bay.

About me and my books

My books draw from my involvement in the environment.  I have observed elephants in Botswana, farmed oysters with the Cornell Cooperative Extension, and have videotaped five seasons of Long Island Grown, a lecture series with farmers and chefs for the Peconic Land Trust. I participate in triathlons and swim the open water of Peconic Bay.

Read my biography

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