About My Books


Poker, poker everywhere. Seems we can't turn on the TV without finding a Texas Hold'em tournament in progress somewhere. And the granddaddy of them all is the World Series of Poker held every summer (and fall) in Las Vegas, Nevada. I thought, why not take advantage of this popularity and send Egypt to Vegas during the tournament. Might be fun.



When I was a boy in Los Angeles, my grandmother used to enthrall me with strange stories of her girlhood in old California. Tales of twenty-foot-tall apparitions floating across dirt trails late at night; animals with smiles on their faces; ghosts and goblins and magic. And stories of treachery, love affairs, and murder among old Spanish families. Rich material for CALIFORNIA LADY. 

I’d read a newspaper story some years ago about a man who’d been released from prison on bail and granted a new trial because the prosecution had failed to inform his attorney of a psychiatric exam.

I thought it would be interesting to write a novel about what might happen to such a man when he got back to his hometown. I made him a surgeon (folks love to read about doctors in trouble), gave him a desperately sick wife, tossed in an incompetent lawyer, and two faithful friends, and the result was CALIFORNIA RETRIAL.

JFK's assassination took center stage in Dallas in 1963, as well it should have. But life went on in Big D--overshadowed, of course, by the events in Dealey Plaza.

I thought it would be fun to write twelve stories about what else was happening that year and about how November 22nd loomed in the background.

I hope you find the tales as compelling to read as I did to write.

Rachel, Janie, and Justin became such a part of my life while writing RUNAWAY TWINS, I decided to continue their adventures after their move to Alaska. I had a great time writing their story. Hope you enjoy it.

Reading the citations of those who have been awarded America's highest military honor has always taken my breath away: brave young people, willing to give up their lives for their comrades and their country. What more could they do?

But there's a darker side to the Medal, those who fraudulently claim to have received it, and those who have been awarded the Medal inappropriately. The former are pathetic braggarts who are guilty of stolen valor. The latter are in a different class altogether, actual recipients who shouldn't be allowed to hold the Medal, much less wear it. Witness the twenty Medals awarded (never rescinded) to the Seventh Cavalry for the cowardly attack on the Sioux at Wounded Knee, South Dakota. Gag.

As with most novels, EGYPT AND THE MEDAL OF HONOR begins with a "why" question: Why did a retired Marine Lieutenant General commit suicide in his dress blues with his Medal of Honor draped around his neck?

Egypt Rosen is hired to find out.

I set EGYPT AND THE TURNCOAT SENATOR in Covina, California. It was a perfect location—a hometown atmosphere with a monster city (Los Angeles) looming just over the horizon.

The book was super fun to write. All of you who write novels know the shock of creating a character who takes on a life of her own, who touches you, amuses you, and causes you to wonder, “Where did she come from?” To me that’s Egypt Rosen.

Egypt was born on the first day of the Begin/Sadat talks at Camp David, Maryland. Her optimistic Jewish father had high hopes for better Arab/Israeli relations, so he did his part by naming his middle daughter for a Muslim nation.

This is where I started and the book followed—or led, I’m not quite certain which.

SHOW ME YOUR FACE is a change of pace. I wrote the book because I have a child with autism in my family. When he was diagnosed we immediately began Intensive Behavioral Intervention (also known as Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA). The treatment was wonderfully effective, and he is now a near straight-A student in high school. Of course, not all affected children respond so well, but ours did; and today it would take a trained professional to detect even residual autistic tendencies.

But I wondered what would have happened had he been born forty years earlier in an era when quack psychiatrists and psychologists dominated early childhood development, blaming parents—especially ice-cold mothers—for the disorder. Would we have bought into that myth and institutionalized our child, since that was the order of the day? God only knows.

In Show Me Your Face (set in Washington D.C. in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s), a strong-willed mother refuses to believe the accepted garbage regarding “refrigerator mothers” and determines to one day hear her little boy’s voice and see his true face.

RUNAWAY TWINS could be labeled a novel for young people, but I decided against such a label because upon reflection it seemed to be a story for all ages.

I’d been reading about those jackasses in polygamous cults in Montana and elsewhere who use religion as an excuse to ravish young girls; and I thought, what if I wrote about beautiful pre-teen twins who refused to be ravished. It might be a compelling tale. I think it turned out that way. I hope you agree.

Back to California for this one. Matricia (Mattie) Lee, the owner of a small town weekly newspaper fights influence peddlers, her own failing health, and the Internet’s destruction of the print media (including her weekly). In the process she works to solve two brutal murders and a horrifying suicide (from the ingestion of Drano). And incidentally, Mattie is a friend of Egypt Rosen of The Egypt Rosen Chronicles.