My Books

Eight people. One weekend. Eight lives forever changed.

In the mid-1960s, at an elite college in the quaint town of Barrie Hill, Connecticut, a group of literary-minded students met regularly off-campus at the Vanessa Grand Hotel. Often late into the night, they would discuss the day’s news, analyze literature, philosophize, trade barbs, and socialize.

Twenty years after graduation, in 1986, the group’s founder, Clare Dreyser, organizes a weekend reunion. Seven former Barrie Hillers and one guest get together, eager to re-create an extraordinary time in their lives and reunite with old friends.

From the outset, and baffling the group, Leah Brent displays a brash, condescending attitude for nearly everyone and everything. To the chagrin of actor Bart Younger, Leah immediately lays out the unwelcome mat for his wife, Aimee. No one, not even Leah’s husband, Colin, is immune to her wrath, but Leah is relentless in her bizarre and cruel quest to bring down her primary target: Clare.

As the reunion progresses, the Barrie Hillers strive to enjoy their time together as they become enmeshed in personal dramas, struggle with matters of ethics, and weather escalating uncertainties that threaten to destroy their lives. By Saturday night, the second day of the reunion, karma makes a surprising and shocking visit. As the Barrie Hillers’ time together draws to an end, each is changed forever.

 

The Desert Series

It all began in a dying desert town when the past came back to join the present.

The Desert Series, a YA paranormal trilogy, takes place over a span of six years in a town called Mystekal in the Southern California desert.

The story unfolds in Book 1, Mystical High, when sudden paranormal activity at Mystekal High and around the town, makes its presence known. The two main characters, Jessie and Jinxsy, high school juniors, are best friends. As each girl struggles with her own family problems, seemingly random and bizarre incidents occur that complicate everything. Eventually, after a string of shocking events expose explosive secrets, the answers to decades-long mysteries are revealed.

Book 2, Desert Star, features River Dalworth, who makes his debut in Mystical High as Jessie’s younger brother. River is brilliant, funny, and a talented artist. Now a senior at Mystekal High, as the book opens, River steps in to defend a new student, Larsen Davis, who is being bullied by two other seniors for being gay. Larsen is grateful to River and confides in him that the biggest bully is the one at home—his mother.

Eventually, Larsen accepts a job with River’s mother, Arielle, who is in charge of renovating The Desert Theater. Larsen soon learns that the theater, abandoned for 40 years, is not without its secrets. Opening night at the Desert Theater sets the stage for a crime, never-imagined reunions, long-awaited explanations, and otherworldly miracles.

In Book 3, Drawn Apart, one of the main characters is Avalon Martelli, a student from Jersey City who was introduced in Desert Star. Avalon’s entire family now lives in Mystekal. Her best friend, whom she met at the beginning of the 11th grade, is Stephanie Lambert. Aside from having a home state in common, each girl possesses a talent for art and the heartbreak of a broken family. Avalon has the gift of sight, where the future is sometimes revealed in her paintings, while Stephanie’s drawings are all about forever love. As Stephanie, a self-described poetry geek and hopeless romantic, talks about past lives and eternal happiness, Avalon tries to deny she’s in love with her best guy friend, River.

Now seniors, the two friends are only weeks away from graduation when Stephanie is rendered unconscious and unresponsive after a car accident. As she lies comatose in the hospital, Stephanie’s mom and friends pray for a miracle while Avalon, who hears Stephanie telepathically, begs her to wake up so that she can meet her soul mate.

CONTENT WARNING: Mild sexual content and non-gratuitous profanity. Recommended age: 14+

 

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Drawn Apart

When Avalon Martelli and Stephanie Lambert meet at the start of their junior year at Mystekal High, they form an instant connection. Stephanie is from South Jersey and Avalon from North Jersey, and they both feel out of place in the Southern California desert.

Aside from having a home state in common, they each possess a talent for art and the heartbreak of a broken family. Avalon has the gift of sight, where the future is sometimes revealed in her paintings, while Stephanie’s drawings are all about forever love. As Stephanie, a self-described poetry geek and hopeless romantic, talks about past lives and eternal happiness, Avalon denies she’s in love with her best guy friend, River Dalworth, who is attending art school in Los Angeles.

Only weeks before graduation, Stephanie is in a car accident and falls into a coma. Devastated, Avalon believes it is all her fault. The night before, she had painted Stephanie with her head against the steering wheel—and hadn’t told her. She confides this to River, who has come home to be with her, but he can’t convince her she’s not to blame. Avalon loudly proclaims to the universe that she no longer wants her gift, but River warns her she may receive another one in its place.

Avalon and her family, along with Stephanie’s mother, pray for a miracle. River tries to console her, but she finds his presence difficult, knowing he has someone else who “just might be the one.” Trying to push her own pain and disappointment aside, Avalon keeps vigil for her best friend, hoping that Stephanie will wake up and have her greatest wish fulfilled— the meeting of her soul mate.

Drawn Apart on Amazon.com

 


Frontcover_award_SmallerDesert Star

Larsen Davis isn’t afraid to stand up to those who bully him, but in a two-against-one situation at Mystekal High, it’s never easy. When classmate River Dalworth witnesses the abuse and intervenes, the two seniors become good friends. Larsen explains that he’s fighting another battle at home: his own mother, Raylene, bullies him for being gay.

When Larsen meets River’s mother, Arielle, and learns she is overseeing the renovation of the Desert Theater, he shares his dream for a career on stage. Soon, Arielle offers Larsen a job as her assistant, but Raylene is dead set against the idea of her son doing what she considers “gay work.” After Raylene gets a new boyfriend, Reggie, the bad situation at home worsens and Larsen has no choice but to leave.

Now working at the Desert Theater, Larsen feels the unearthly presence of someone in the long-abandoned theater. Meanwhile, as the theater nears completion, a talent show is scheduled for opening night. As it becomes more evident that the theater may have a ghost, it also comes to light that someone may be sabotaging the renovation and the show. Is the ghost real or just the handiwork of someone with a grudge?

Opening night at the Desert Theater sets the stage for a crime, never-imagined reunions, long-awaited explanations, and otherworldly miracles.

CONTENT WARNING: Mild sexual content and non-gratuitous profanity. Recommended age: 14+

Desert Star on Amazon.com

 


Cover MH final_AwardMystical High

In Mystekal, a small, dying town in the Southern California desert, only 75 students attend the old, sometimes creepy high school dubbed “Mystical High,” where strange things have been known to happen. Jessie Dalworth and Jinxsy Patterson are juniors and lifelong best friends. At home, Jessie deals with the pain of an absentee mother who has abandoned the family for the lure of Hollywood; Jinxsy contends with a 17th “birthday present” she never wanted or expected.

Meanwhile, at school, the unexplained activity begins to escalate when Jinxsy keeps seeing a long-haired guy in the hallway checking her out. Jessie can’t see him, but her younger brother, River, can.

Then, in English class, a stapler mysteriously flies off teacher Eve Carrow’s desk, hitting a student in the face who has just mouthed off to her. The beloved teacher is in the unenviable position of having her brute of a father as principal, so she hates sending any student to his office. As Principal Ernest Carrow begins to terrorize Eve and others more openly, something or someone unseen decides that it’s payback time.

School is getting stranger, and Jinxsy and Jessie are faced with mind-boggling changes in their home lives that complicate everything. When a string of shocking events expose explosive secrets, decades-long mysteries are finally revealed.

CONTENT WARNING: Mild sexual content and non-gratuitous profanity. Recommended age: 14+

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 Winner, 2014 eFestival of Books: Best Young Adult

 

Mystical High on Amazon.com

 

 

 

SNMcoverSqualor, New Mexico

Darla McKendrick is nine when she first hears her mother and her aunt Didi secretly discussing their younger sister, Rebecca, speculating about her life in squalor. From the moment Darla asks to know more about her mysterious aunt, she is offered nothing but half-truths, distortions, and evasions. As Darla grows into her teen years, her life is oddly yet profoundly affected by this woman she has never known. She can’t help but notice that Rebecca seems to exist only in dark corners of conversations and that no one ever wants to talk about her-with Darla. SQUALOR, NEW MEXICO is a coming-of-age story shrouded in family mystery. As the plot takes twists and turns, secrets are revealed not only to Darla but to the “secret keepers” as well. Darla learns that families are only as strong as the truths they hold and as weak as the secrets they keep.

 Squalor, New Mexico on Amazon.com

 

 

CM-front cover-RGBCrooked Moon

Crooked Moon, first and foremost, is a human drama, an emotional journey into the lives of two women and those closest to them. As children, Frankie Cavalese and Callie Mason were the very best of friends, growing up together behind opposite walls of a row home in a blue-collar neighborhood of Philadelphia called Rainytown. The friendship they shared was special – the kind that storybook heroines had – and neither ever considered the possibility of it not lasting forever. But after high school, life interfered and circumstances separated them as they each went on to live in drastically different worlds. Twenty-three years later, one hot unsettled summer, their lives come crashing back together when Callie, who has led a life of privilege, returns to Rainytown and finds her old friend still living in her childhood home, unmarried, and caring for her angry dying mother, Ruby. Frankie is faded. Her signature tenacity is threadbare as she routinely implores her playboy brother, Paulie, to help ease the burden of being their mother’s sole caregiver. As the two women reconnect, Frankie tries to forgive Callie for abandoning the friendship, while Callie wrestles with the guilt of having disappeared. To complicate the fragile reunion, Callie’s marriage to her husband, Jackson, is suddenly at risk, further muddled by the affections of (and attraction to) Paulie. Tensions and passions explode in the sweltering heat, and amid pain and tragedy, each woman not only ends up with a life-altering secret regarding the other, but the burning question of what to do with it.

Crooked Moon on Amazon.com

 

MH cover 8-55pm-Wed   Molly Hacker Is Too Picky!

At thirty-two, newspaper reporter Molly Hacker vows to never attend another wedding until she has had her own. And that’s a problem because Molly’s younger sister, Hannah, is going to be married in one year. Armed with snark, wit, and fabulous good looks, “Picky Molly” embarks on a quest to find Mr. Right in her hometown. Things get complicated fast. In no time at all, Molly has four “men of interest” and the memories of a lost love to send her overanalytic, befuddled mind into serious overdrive. Determined not to let her “helpful” girlfriends help her right out of another relationship, Molly tries to keep mum on the state of her love life. Her BFF male coworker, Randy, becomes her closest confidant as he stumbles over romantic issues with his new Mr. Right, Kyle. Meanwhile, Molly’s gal pals aren’t too happy about being left out of the loop. Tweaking Molly’s last nerve is the town’s most visible socialite, Naomi Hall-Benchley, who, for self-serving reasons, is hell-bent on setting up “Picky Molly Hacker” and she doesn’t care who she has to manipulate or hurt to do it. Just how far will she go? Molly Hacker Is Too Picky!” takes the reader on a yearlong romp through Molly’s mind and a joyride through her life. Her dating life, town secrets, a group of quirky, crazy characters, and Naomi’s machinations collide head-on at a holiday gala that will change the social landscape of Swansea forever. As the New Year rolls in, Molly gets earth-shattering news. Can she go on? Will life ever return to abnormal again?

Molly Hacker Is Too Picky! on Amazon.com

 

All books by Lisette Brodey are also available with all major e-tailers.

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