Embrace the Whirlwind




Since I am again merging some of my blogs, there will be pages at this site dedicated to my five published novels.

Embrace the Whirlwind is the story of one young woman’s tempestuous journey, and how even the most flawed individual can find love and fulfillment.

Here I will be providing stories about the characters and excerpts from the book.


Now that I am working on a sequel to Embrace the Whirlwind, I wanted to briefly recapture some of the essence of that original story.

Here is Amber’s story:

Seemingly compelled by unseen forces, Amber Cushing whirls through her life, from one poor choice to the next.  Even as she bemoans the impulses that govern her, she cannot seem to control them.  Isolated and estranged from family, she drifts from Sacramento, to San Francisco, to LA, and finally, in the early nineties, finds herself in the Central Valley town of Fresno.  Pregnant and discarded by a charming cowboy, she unexpectedly meets Hal Cummings, with whom she develops an obsessive and sometimes self-destructive relationship.

Happy at last, she is suddenly confronted by Hal’s wife, which precipitates premature labor.  With her newborn daughter, Ariel, she returns to Sacramento, finding temporary refuge in the home of her mother, Hilary Redmond, successful attorney and the source of her deepest insecurities.  Her emotional pain drives her into therapy, and in one of her sessions, she discovers a long-buried secret and the origins of some of her darkest impulses.

Instead of staying and facing down her demons, Amber whirls off into still another series of poorly thought-out scenarios, but by some stroke of fate or destiny, finds herself back in San Francisco, and a resident of a unique boarding house.  The proprietor, Denise Richardson, is a retired social worker with her own demons; she has made a mission of taking in young women down on their luck, and welcomes Amber into the fold.


In this excerpt from Embrace the Whirlwind, Savannah looks for her own place, and wants to share the experience with new love Garth.

Savannah finally found the perfect place.  But she wanted Garth’s opinion.  Not that they would be moving in together, but wherever she decided to live, she knew that Garth would be spending time there.

She still had most of the money from the Nobles.  Both installments had gone directly into the bank, after which she had invested a large portion in annuities for her future, hers and Sasha’s.  Even though some of the money had gone for medical expenses, she still had a substantial sum remaining.

These thoughts reminded her of the Nobles and the whole empty feeling that suddenly threatened to overwhelm her.  She had to take action.   So she called Garth and asked him to meet her at the house she had found.

She had looked at apartments, but felt forlorn and edgy after leaving each one.  After she decided to include small houses in her search, she didn’t have to look far.  Right around the corner from Denise’s boarding house a small, two-story house seemed to beckon.  Typically San Francisco-style, the colorful stucco exterior appealed to Savannah’s artistic eye.  Stairs led up to the first floor living quarters above the garage and the door opened onto a wide expanse of hardwood floors.  Thick walls boasted niches, built-in bookcases and curio cabinets.  A fireplace conjured up images of nightly cuddling.

“Well, what do you think?”  She eagerly threw her arms wide toward the expansive room and then led him across a narrow hallway to the country kitchen.  She skipped along the hall to the downstairs bedroom and bath.  Then they climbed a flight of stairs to a huge bedroom and bath occupying the whole second-floor space.  For a house with only two bedrooms, this one was a pleasant surprise.

For the bedroom, Savannah pictured a huge bed with room left over for a sitting area complete with an entertainment armoire.  Bay windows featured a window seat on one side while the opposite wall opened onto a tiny balcony through French doors.  And the bathroom held an old-fashioned claw foot tub.