Shadow of the Taj

“Lara Bernhardt writes with ferocious honesty and tenderness, laying open the ugly world of the trafficking of young girls with a bright spear of hope.”—Jacquelyn Mitchard, New York Times best-selling author of The Deep End of the Ocean

★Oklahoma Book Awards Best Fiction Finalist★

How much would you risk to save one child?
Leslie Matthews travels to India with her husband on a business trip, never expecting it will turn her life upside-down. During a trip to the zoo, she meets Raveena, an orphan desperate for someone to save her from a harrowing fate. Leslie tries to rescue Raveena from a sordid, exploitative underworld, but powerful and brutal men hold the girl and don’t intend to let anyone take her. Leslie tumbles into a terrifying underworld of systemic abuse she knows nothing about. But she won't stop until Raveena is safe, regardless of the cost.

In a battle against impossible odds, Leslie wagers everything she has—including her life—to free Raveena.
Shadow of the Taj is a deeply moving, inspirational novel that will stay with you long after you finish reading it. A must read!

The Wantland Files

★Oklahoma Book Awards Best Fiction Finalist★

She sees dead people. He's sure they don't exist.

Psychic Kimberly Wantland investigates paranormal disturbances. Her television show, The Wantland Files, catapulted her from private paranormal investigator to media sensation. She receives thousands of requests for help every day, but the desperate pleas of a distraught mother terrorized by a ghost touch something deep inside her.

Her producer invites Sterling Wakefield, a renowned illusionist and confirmed skeptic, to join the investigation. Despite his mesmerizing eyes and playful smirk, Kimberly instantly dislikes Sterling.

Her investigation leads her to a conclusion she never expected—the mother’s children are in grave danger. Pushing all her powers to the limit, Kimberly must repel the spirit before it possesses the children—even though it means enlisting Sterling’s help and putting her own life at risk.

No Names to Be Given

1965. Sandy runs away from home to escape her mother’s abusive boyfriend. Becca falls in love with the wrong man. And Faith suffers a devastating attack. With no support and no other options, these three young, unwed women meet at a maternity home hospital in New Orleans where they are expected to relinquish their babies and return home as if nothing transpired.

But such a life-altering event can never be forgotten, and no secret remains buried forever. Twenty-five years later, the women are reunited by a blackmailer, who threatens to expose their secrets and destroy the lives they’ve built. That shattering revelation would shake their very foundations—and reverberate all the way to the White House.

Told from the three women’s perspectives, this mesmerizing story is based on actual experiences of women in the 1960s who found themselves pregnant but unmarried, pressured by family and society to make horrific decisions. How that inconceivable act changed women forever is the story of No Names to Be Given, a heartbreaking but uplifting novel of family and redemption.

After the Fire: Love and Hate in the Ashes of 1967:

Newark, 1968. Junior Friscella, Montclair State football star and Italian North Ward hero, has a bright future ahead of him. His family and friends adore him. He doesn’t expect to be blindsided by Mickey Washington, a tough, smart black beauty from the wrong side of town—or to fall completely in love with her.
Mickey Washington, raised by a single mother in the Black Central Ward, works hard to contribute to her family, put herself through college, and make her mother proud. Italian golden boy Junior Friscella is the very last thing she needs. So why can’t she stop thinking about him?

Still recovering from the 1967 riots, Newark seethes with racial tension, corrupt politics, and rival mob families jostling for influence—and is the wrong place and the wrong time for Junior and Mickey. When their relationship becomes public knowledge, neighbors turn on neighbors, family members refuse to accept them, and racially charged violence meets them at every turn. Junior takes a bullet for Mickey, and his family must decide whether to stand up against a city on the brink of riot or push him to break off the relationship.

Junior and Mickey believe their love is more powerful than the hate swirling around them. But can they ever find acceptance and peace in a world that wants to tear them apart?

Ghosts of Guthrie

The ghosts of the past always return to haunt you.

Psychic paranormal investigator Kimberly Wantland has gained celebrity with her hit television show The Wantland Files, resolving hauntings for people with nowhere else to turn. When a desperate family in Guthrie, Oklahoma pleads for help, she can’t say no—even though she and her crew have no idea the secrets they’re about to uncover.

The Johnsons are a gentle, God-fearing family, with deep roots in the history of Guthrie. Their youngest daughter, Faith, has come down sick. And no doctor can cure this mysterious illness.

With a mob of protestors harassing her every move, a poltergeist plaguing the family, and her relationship with Sterling heating up, Kimberly faces her most difficult case yet. But nothing stays buried forever. Kimberly will face down hell itself to defeat the spirit possessing Faith and to put the ghosts of Guthrie to rest.

The Haunting of Crescent Hotel

★KBR 2019 Semi-Finalist Horror/Suspense★

Some spirits won't rest in peace...

Kimberly Wantland never needed anyone, especially not Sterling Wakefield, the arrogant if charming debunker of all things supernatural. Now he's her cohost and she's forced to adapt as The Wantland Files crew investigates The Crescent Hotel, the Most Haunted Hotel in America.
The Crescent always teemed with spirits, but a new presence is terrorizing the guests. He says only one word: Revenge.
Kimberly must determine what the malevolent spirit wants and exorcise it from the hotel. Determined to use her gifts to help those who have nowhere else to turn, Kimberly refuses to give up whatever the cost.

Only one thing is certain--Kimberly is running out of time to purge this nightmarish fury. That is, unless she's ready to join the ghosts of Crescent Hotel.

The Novice

A young, new detective. A serial killer with a bizarre fixation.

Newly promoted detective Paige Stone is no stranger to gruesome killings. But even she is disturbed by the strangled, mutilated body in her first homicide case. As the surrogate daughter of a homicide detective, she's well acquainted with ridicule from her fellow male officers who believe nepotism is the only reason she's made it this far. But she's determined to prove her ability no matter the cost.

Jordan Trinity has been a Special Agent for the FBI for fifteen proud years. His passion for catching serial killers has driven him ever since the disappearance of his twin brother—an unsolved case that haunts him to this day. He arrives in the Midwest for his current assignment, sure this latest murder is the work of the predator he’s tracking.

When the captain reassigns Stone due to a misunderstanding, she works a missing person case and becomes convinced the victim is connected to the serial killer. A local celebrity goes missing and the race is on to find her before she becomes the latest deadly display. The perpetrator leads them in a grisly game—one they can’t win with the rules constantly changing. If she can’t stop the killer, Detective Stone’s first case might turn out to be her last.

The Novice is a gripping thriller that will keep you turning pages in a race to stop a killer!