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Before, during, and after writing a novel, the dedication and acknowledgement page is always on an author’s mind. Including one in the book’s backmatter is a tradition. Expected. De rigueur.


Composing a dedication forces me to put into words what writing the story meant to me and gives me the kind of closure I need to move on to my next story.  


Now in pre-order, When Winds Howl is my twelfth novel since I was published in 2011. I dedicated my first eleven books to friends and relatives.

This one praises three professionals, people I barely know, who have very little information about who I am. Yet, you will soon understand why they deserve recognition.


I fought cancer, stage four melanoma, for three years while I was writing When Winds Howl. My heroine has a similar battle with the disease while she’d holding down her first gig as a yacht captain. The very act of writing the novel distracted me and gave me a focus that wasn’t cancer, speeding my healing. By giving the disease to my main character (note: she’s a lot younger and much tougher than I am), I had the chance to deepen my heroine’s challenges at the same time I evaluated and corrected my own approach to the illness. Yes, Maggie was my ‘head’ coach while I dealt with cancer.

Simply said, I owe my life (and When Winds Howl) to three doctors and their capable staffs:

  1. Dr. Jim Allison developed the immunotherapy (Opdivo-Yervoy) that killed my cancer. Please see information about his work here:  and view a documentary about him here:  Because his scientific discovery was so unorthodox, it took Allison years of fighting for FDA approval, finally awarded in 2015 (he won the Nobel Prize in 2018). If I had developed Stage Four Melanoma before 2015, this author and When Winds Howl would not exist.

2. My local oncologist, UCLA’s Dr. Brian DiCarlo, a smart and personable physician, was the one to diagnose and treat me with Dr. Allison’s wonder drug, helping me fight a raft of nasty side effects as the chemistry did its work (sometimes too vigorously) in my body.

3. I chose Dr. Katy Tsai, from UCSF’s Melanoma Clinic as consultant in this journey because she treats hundreds of melanoma sufferers every year and comes with a wealth of knowledge to add to Dr. DiCarlo’s. UCSF’s sharp-eyed radiologists and Tsai’s brilliant counsel, helped me chart my way to beating cancer.


Here’s a taste of When Winds Howl-now in preorder at a dollar off!


She’s a first-time yacht captain on a nightmare cruise.


Maggie switches from being an attorney to captaining a yacht. Her eight guests and four crew are bound for Alaska’s glorious glaciers when she learns the anonymous host who paid all expenses for the trip, is bent on revenge and retribution.


When ‘accidents’ begin to happen, how will Maggie separate the villains from the vulnerable? A relationship with her first mate might catch fire, but his bad-boy past makes

him a suspect.


If she can’t solve a myriad of mysteries and keep her passengers alive,

she’ll never captain a ship again.


Grab this page-turner. It’s a modern twist on an Agatha Christie,

full of suspense and surprises!


Pre-order the digital version for only $3.99 until March 1 when the

book goes to $4.99:



Note: Watch for my release of the paperback version;

I’ll let you know when it’s available.


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