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My Works

The Witch of Ben Hill County

A fast-moving mix of suspense, humor, and romance, the story follows Emily Christopher in her mission to grant a dead friend's last request for justice.

Sidetracked - Two Women, Two Cameras, and Lunches on Sherman's Trail

Sidetracked chronicles the zigzag adventures of two writers searching for a better understanding of the landscape and history of their state. It's informative, funny, sad: the story of newly revealed truths and longstanding friendship.

A Southern Woman's Guide To Herbs

An informal guide to growing and cooking with herbs, preserving them for year-round use and making herbal crafts and gifts

The Greatest Champion That Never Was

W.L. "Young" Stribling had his first professional fight at the age of 16. His rise through the boxing ranks was meteoric and soon earned himself a place among top fighters in the world. He traveled the world rubbing shoulders with celebrities, sports legends and even royalty. Jack Dempsey counted him a close friend and Al Capone wanted to buy his contract. Although his career lasted only 12 years, he fought nearly 300 matches, losing only 12.

Mockingbird in the Moonlight

Former police officer Dixie McClatchey moves to a small Southern town where she takes it upon herself to solve the murder of an acquaintance, a woman many feared and none liked. During the excitement of the annual Cherry Blossom Festival, Dixie and her friends discover some ugly secrets that could solve the murder or get one or more of them killed.

Bestest: The Life of Peyton Tooke Anderson, Jr.

Peyton Tooke Anderson, Jr. was many things in his long life. He was a successful businessman, a community leader, a family man, a bon vivant and a philanthropist. His parents taught him that you have to give back to the community. Until his death, no one knew just how very much he would give back.

Distant Hearts

Graduate student Jill Barnes is running out of time to produce a thesis while struggling to come to terms with her mother's recent death. When a collection of papers belonging to a prominent 19th Century statesman become available for study, Barnes leaves her home and travels to Barnett County, Georgia, to take advantage of the opportunity.

However, Barnett County is a community in turmoil, where differences over politics and the environment erupt into violence. And Jill finds herself less and less able to concentrate with her grief intruding into her work.

Jill finds a Civil War diary among the papers that captures many of the events of her own life. In the diary she discovers the solution to a 150 year old mystery and a young woman's life and loss that mirror her own.

The Empty Nursery

In July of 1992, seven-month-old Haley Hardwick was reported kidnapped. Her father Kenny Hardwick told police that he had stopped to assist two stranded motorists and, upon returning to his vehicle, discovered his daughter missing. The case became a media sensation overnight. People in metropolitan Atlanta became obsessed with the mystery of the baby's disappearance. Huge searches by hundreds of volunteers produced no trace of the child.

Although they spent hundreds of man-hours following up leads about the kidnapping, early in the investigation the police began to believe the father was responsible. Finally, along with the media, the police began a campaign to pressure Kenny Hardwick into revealing the truth.

Numerous interviews with the lead investigators and the child's mother have provided in-depth insight into the case from two very different perspectives. While the police followed one lead after another, the child's mother was torn between believing a husband she loved and the authorities who kept telling her he was responsible for the baby's disappearance. As the investigation wore on, Haley Hardwick became everybody's baby. The solution to the mystery and the aftermath of the investigation are both heart-breaking and uplifting.

Whisper to the Black Candle

In the 1950's, Macon, Georgia, was a sleepy little town where doors remained unlocked and crime was something that occurred in other places. Glamorous Anjette Lyles owned one of the most popular restaurants in downtown Macon. While the food was average, the atmosphere was delightful. Most customers came to be near Anjette and her charismatic personality. Then one day Anjette Lyles was charged with the murders of two husbands, her mother-in-law, and her nine-year-old daughter, all committed over the course of seven years. The case was the most sensational Macon had ever seen. The newspaper accounts spiced up the allegations of murder with references to voodoo ceremonies and black magic. The trial attracted record crowds and received worldwide coverage. Opinions about the defendant ranged from "cold-blooded" to the "sweetest woman I ever knew". The book is both lucidly written and emotionally engaging. Despite the overwhelming evidence and her conviction, many still believe today that Anjette Lyles was innocent.

A Very Special Gift

Emily and Remer Crum astonished the educational community when, in 2000, they announced that they would bequeath the sprawling 83-acre Century Center Office Park in Atlanta, which was valued at over $120,000,000, jointly to Mercer University and LaGrange College. The administrations of both schools were thrilled with such a remarkable gift and the future possibilities it presented. However, few people knew that the seeds of the gift were sown nearly 200 years earlier in a tiny northeast Georgia community and were nurtured through five generations of a very special family.

A Special Gift takes the reader on a long, winding trip from a hardscrabble farm in the North Georgia mountains through wartime Hawaii to present-day Atlanta. Beginning in the middle of the 19th century, the book follows the lives and fortunes of the Hemphill, Ayers, Fisher and Crum families. From the unwavering loyalty of Nancy Hemphill and the irrepressible spirit of orphaned Bessie Ayers to the adventurous lives of Bessie and T. Orr Fisher and Emily and Remer Crum, this is a fascinating tale of everyday people who accomplished extraordinary things.