Caribbean Tremors Trilogy

Destiny brings Leah Barton, USA director of Prisoners of Conscience International, and Fr. Javier de Cordova together again after parting ways 14 years earlier in the Caribbean Islands nation of Santo Sangre. The tiny country’s dictator, Raúl Montenegro, has lured the priest into a sham diplomatic mission to meet with European and American POCI leaders, pleading his country's case—innocent of imprisoning political prisoners. Armed only with government misinformation about the issue, Javier agrees to represent this man he distrusts for one reason only. It will give him one last opportunity to see the woman he once loved and lost. Javier intends to admit to Leah, now a widow with two children, that he made a terrible mistake in rejecting her love to remain faithful to his calling. During Leah and Javier's brief reunion in San Francisco (CA), they discover two life-changing truths. The very love that once drove them apart still burns within them. But it may be too late. Javier discovers that he has led an assassin to her doorstep and that her son is targeted for death. Putting their rekindled love and lives on the line, Leah and Javier pool their meager resources in a seemingly hopeless attempt to avert an unstoppable, cold-blooded murder.

 

Adoptee Analisa Marconi loses her family—for a second time—when her parents die in a private plane crash in which she is the only survivor. The trip was to celebrate her completion of grad school and the start of her new career. Devastated and alone in the world, now, and finally recovered from her own injuries, she sets out on a perilous journey of self-discovery to Santo Sangre, the Caribbean country of her birth to search for her birth mother and siblings. In a chance meeting, she meets and is immediately drawn to Arturo de Cordoba, a local music icon. But, these days, her island birth-country is a dangerous place for young women adoptees who innocently escaped lives of destitution through adoption. Thrust into this unwelcoming environment, Analisa is brutally kidnapped from her hotel room by domestic terrorists calling themselves Los Dejados (“those left behind”). Their insane cause is to recapture Santo Sangre-born female adoptees, get them pregnant—again and again—and thereby make up for the perceived losses to their nation. When Analisa pulls off a daring escape from her captors, Arturo volunteers to accompany her to the interior of the island where she hopes to find those ruptured familial links to her past. At last she finds her birth mother and her child self, but again faces danger from Los Dejados. Love a great read packed with tender romance, life-threatening danger, and heart-stopping suspense? Finding Isabella is waiting for you.

 
Liberty “Libby” O’Neill has it all. A business partner-fiancé she adores. A thriving Victorian restoration business in San Francisco, a city forested with raw material sufficient to keep them employed—and comfortable—for years to come. Then, why the sense of dread stirring her from sleep at 3 a.m.? Why the sudden terror? The cold sweat? This makes no sense, she tells the darkness. But it does. Libby awakens to reality of imminent bankruptcy after her fiancé abandons her, absconding with all the company’s cash. In desperation, she hires a half-demented street person, known only as Painter, to help her complete a Victorian restoration that can save her from ruin. As work progresses, Libby discovers a surprising reserve of wisdom in her new assistant. The restoration of the grand 19th century house parallels the transformation both Libby and Painter lives, as individuals and, over time, with each other. Their working relationship faces a severe challenge, when she discovers that her homeless day laborer is someone quite other than a street person who spiraled into booze-driven self-loathing. Can their mutual healing survive revelation of Painter’s true identity? Or are they each too irreparably broken to put their lives together and become whole—for themselves and for each other?
 

Other Novels...

A bat. A ball. A swing. A bullet. A death. A guide. A Life. A bat — varnished, rays of setting sun splintering north, south, east, west, until tension-stilled, it is ready. A ball — virgin white, never pitched nor struck, rocketing from hurler’s hand. A swing — fluid, potent contact, propelling the ball moundward. A bullet — fired in revenge, racing ball to target. A death — accident? murder? Ball and bullet share the stage as dual protagonists in this unplotted drama. The pitcher falls, forehead concaved, a blackening hole deep at the crater’s base. A guide — a most unusual companion, heaven-sent to assist at this unexpected crossing-over. A Life—“There’s more . . . .” Relief pitcher Jack Thorne stares at his catcher’s target. His single focus is to get this batter out. If he does, a coveted World Series ring will be his. But the Universe has a different plan for this Catholic priest-turned-ballplayer. "There’s More . . ." is a creative imagining of the ultimate human mysteries—death and Afterlife. This gripping story invites readers to expand their existing concepts and consider broader cosmic possibilities in answer to the universal question, “What’s next?”

A Roman Catholic nun, Mother Marie-Thérèse, is the surviving victim of one of Belgium’s most notorious crimes, involving kidnap, torture, and murder. It all took place in enchanting, picturesque Bruges, Belgium, the Venice of the North. Her co-victim, an American priest, Father Thomas Jensen, did not survive. Although his body was never found, Piet Van Kampen confessed to killing the priest, for which he received a life sentence without parole. Twenty years later, on the day after the convicted killer's death, journalist Célèste De Smet draws a career-making assignment, an exclusive, first-ever interview with the nun. Reeling from the day-old breakup of a long-term relationship, Célèste arrives at the motherhouse of the Servant Sisters of Jesus and Mary in Florenville, a town in Southeastern Belgium. She expects to spend an afternoon with the nun and be on her way back to the capital. Mother Marie-Therese (Tesse) has a different plan. She bargains with Celeste for an exchange of life experiences, the reporter's for hers—in that order. Caught off-guard by this unexpected request and a possible delay in her return to Brussels, Célèste weighs her options. She chooses the interview's career potential over her reluctance to open her life to this stranger.Thus begins a cycle of deeply personal revelations that will occupy the two women for several days. Célèste outlines her youth and upbringing, including a secret vow made to God and broken. In return, Tesse responds to the reporter’s opening query, how she and Fr. Jensen happened to be in Bruges together on the day of the kidnapping. Tesse then gets Célèste to discuss an unresolved adolescent trauma. The reporter has carried the guilt and shame of being responsible for her missionary priest-uncle's leaving the active ministry and marrying an African woman who was pregnant with his child. Célèste has never spoken of what she considered triggering incidents that occurred when the priest was visiting the De Smet family. In return, Tesse relates details of her and Tom’s captivity, including repeated druggings and physical abuse. Sensing that Célèste has yet another secret to tell, Tesse coaxes her to share it, using as bait the promise to reveal the one final piece of her own Tesse-and-Tom story. Unable to resist, Célèste agrees. But she is unprepared for the shock of Tesse’s final revelation. Having received the information, the reporter fears that curiosity might have involved her in an ongoing crime that could cause her to lose everything.

A mysterious letter from a Peruvian woman arrives just as jet-setting surpermodel Natalia is leaving her Scottsdale, AZ hotel for a few solitary days at her Santa Monica, CA beach condo. As she speeds west, one sentence nags at her, intruding on her consciousness: "I could be mistaken, but I believe I know your mother, your real mother." Why should Natalia care? Now living a storybook life, she has never given high priority to learning the details of her entrance into the world.

Without consciously deciding to do so, Natalia detours from her itinerary, heading north toward Flagstaff. As if a passenger in her own car, she finds herself at El Retiro de Cristo Rey, a Sedona retreat center, where she meets Fr. Gregory Martindale. Confiding in this unusual priest and spiritual guide, she tells him about the stranger's letter and her lack of curiosity--until now--about her birth and adoption. With Fr. Martindale's encouragement, Natalia embarks on a sojourn of body and soul, beginning with a meditation walk on the retreat center's outdoor labyrinth. This pattern of concentric circles of stone becomes a metaphor for her search for truth and a more authentic life. In the weeks that follow, Natalia's odyssey leads to discovery of shocking family secrets and, subsequently, to life-changing decisions.

Circles of Stone, by Alfred J. Garrotto, is an uplifting story told with great serenity and insight about a beautiful adoptee's journey to love, happiness, and the meaning of her existence.


International model Natalia Edgerly has relocated from the U.S. to Lima, Peru, where she supports and works at the same orphanage from which she was adopted as an infant. Natalia experiences a maternal awakening when ten-year-old Marisol Lagos is abandoned at the orphanage gate. She nurtures and mentors the child and plans to fund her education in the States. Natalia’s dream for Marisol is shattered when the girl’s mother, a rebel leader intent on overthrowing the government, resurfaces and demands the return of her daughter. This sets in motion a series of events the reader will ponder long after turning the final page.

Press Release

I'm a native Californian now living in the San Francisco East Bay Area. I was born into a theatrical family and began my career in the arts at the age of 7, with my big sister, doing bit parts that required Italian-looking kids. My sister used her magnificent coloratura voice to pursue a career in grand opera. By my teens, I had taken a different road into academics and spirituality. Although I did a lot of writing (mostly on Christian themes), I did not get the book-bug until my forties. Once the muse bit me, I couldn't stop and have written12 books through both commercial and independent publishing. These include both fiction and non-fiction.


My most recent fiction works are the Caribbean Tremors Trilogy: A Love Forbidden, Finding Isabella, I'll Paint a Sun. 


The Soul of Art (nonfiction) explores the underlying spirituality that gives birth to all creative endeavors. I use the book as a source for workshops for creative pople of all genres, called the "Spirituality of the Arts." Contact me for details and possible bookings.


My novella, There's More, explores the greatest mystery of all: what happens at the instant of death? In it, a major league ballplayer--a former Catholic priest

--

is simultaneously murdered and killed during a game by accident and by two different people! The plot explores questions about death and afterlife, as the ballplayer-priest reviews major moments and decisions of his life under the guidance of none other than Victor Hugo's catalytic character in Les Miserables, Bishop Charles Francois Myriel.


My love for Les Miserables (in all its iterations) led me to write my nonfiction book The Wisdom of Les Miserables: Lessons From the Heart of Jean Valjean. My next nonfiction project is to back that up with a book titled The Wisdom of Les Miserables: Lessons From the Heart of Bishop Myriel.


Other novels include Down a Narrow Alley and Circles of Stone.
In addition to writing, I am a freelance writer and manuscript editor (need help?)
After 20+ years, I retired in 2018 from my day-and-night job as a lay minister in a Roman Catholic parish in the Oakland (CA) Diocese. 


I invite you to visit me online at:
my Authors Express blog,
Authors Express author's page,
my personal website, my Authors Den site and my personal blog at "The Wisdom of Les Miserables", on Facebook and on Twitter @algarrotto
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Non-Fiction

What can a 21st century seeker learn about life, love and spirituality from a 19th century French novel? Plenty.

Alfred J. Garrotto offers Victor Hugo’s flawed protagonist as a model for anyone in search of practical wisdom for everyday living. One of fiction’s most beloved characters, the former convict and life-long fugitive represents humanity in both its brokenness and its potential for selfless—even saintly—living.

Reflection topics range from forgiveness and the primacy of conscience to the joys and sorrows of parenthood. Each Reflection explores a universal theme, including the daily call to spiritual and moral conversion and the life-lessons parents impart to their children. Questions at the end of each Reflection invite you to use the book as your personal wisdom journal.


"The Soul of Art" invites professional and aspiring artists, writers, composers, singers, actors, dancers, musicians (of all instruments and genres), playwrights, fimmakers, potters, quilters, et al., to reflect on the intimate relationship between their gifts and talents and the Creator-Spirit, who inspires them and uses their creations to speak hope, love, and compassion to the whole world.