Copyright 2016 Maxine Davenport
This collection of interwoven short stories focuses on one family during the Great Depression. The family hard-scrabbles a life to raise their children. Their joys and trials fill the book with memorable scenes from one of America's great by-gone eras. Written by an author who lived through those times on a farm and in a family that often made-do.
Tracy Hunter is a tomboy grown into a fearless, risk-taking police investigator who quits her job with the Chicago Police Department when the mayor's nephew gets the promotion she expected and deserved. Thumbing her nose at political jobs, she sets out to open her own business as a private detective, and in the process of fighting for justice for victims of social suppression, she discovers her real identity. This is the story of how Tracy becomes involved in two murders in her small hometown in Oklahoma, winds up in jail, unravels the mystery of her fraudulent birth certificate and challenges a handsome cowboy to explain his early rejection of her love.
Carmela Jared is practicing law in her small hometown of San Carlos, New Mexico, when Judge Salazar appoints her to defend the Reverend Paul Morrison, pastor of a conservative church, who has been charged with the sexual abuse of young Cody Vernon. She knows the public-outraged over Catholic priests suspected of similar acts but never criminally charged-will demand a conviction. Carmela hastens to turn down the appointment, but
Judge Salazar insists she represent the accused.
When Paul reveals he secretly is gay, the case seems unwinnable. Carmela realizes she must battle the prejudice of many who believe all gays are pedophiles. It also complicates her emerging romance with police captain Travis Hawk, who admits to being homophobic.
Carmela's best chance of victory is to find the real predator. Her private eye, Harry Rodriquez, and her secretary, Rosemary, add humor to Carmela's world and keep her grounded. They stand by her side when the trial comes to a shocking conclusion.
Readers will never forget Cara Morgan, the Rebel on Horseback, a fiercely solitary woman who wants to be left alone to run her ranch as she sees fit. Dodging predators on all sides, she must protect and control migrant laborers hiding from the INS; capture modern-day cattle rustlers; and win a lawsuit her brother files to overturn their father's will.
None of these struggles is more challenging, however, than her inner conflicts and questions about two men in her life. Is recently divorced Clay Thompson a twenty-first-century conquistador, bent on scoring another notch on his belt and acquiring her inheritance? And is Ramón Chavez truly an INS undercover agent or simply a rebel of another stripe, intent on having her recognize her Mexican heritage? After an assault from which she must heal physically and emotionally, Cara wants nothing more than to prove to the world that she needs no man in her life-but she first must convince herself.