Song of the Siren

Since childhood Lady Juliana has depended on her allure for survival. So when a sudden, debilitating illness robs her of her looks, her sense of her place in the world is shattered. The court that once idolized her spurns her. Who is she, if not the siren of men’s dreams?
Enter Felix Ossolinski—scholar, diplomat, Renaissance man. A riding accident in his teens forced him to redirect his energies from war to the life of the mind, and alone among the men of the sixteenth-century Polish court he sees in Juliana a kindred spirit, a woman who has never appreciated her own value and whose inner beauty outweighs any marring of her face.

At Felix’s suggestion the Polish queen offers Juliana a way out of her difficulties: spy for the royal family in return for a promise of financial independence. Facing poverty and degradation, Juliana can’t refuse, although the mission threatens not only her freedom but her life. Felix swears he’ll protect her. But no one can protect Juliana from the demons of her past.

“Across half a millennium comes this tale of a complex and fascinating heroine with threads that will rouse and resonate with women even today. Juliana is a woman at turns privileged, abused, coveted, and marginalized for her beauty and existentially threatened when misfortune robs her of it. The current of smart dialogue throughout the book weaves together a cast of characters—of whom we’re never quite sure who to trust—through betrayal, hope, fear, conflicting loyalties, determination, and love. Juliana ultimately emerges as a champion for all who think they are broken but instead find undiscovered, unimagined strength.”—Ellen Notbohm, award-winning author of The River by Starlight

The Not Exactly Scarlet Pimpernel

Have you ever wanted to rewrite your favorite novel—fix the heroine’s mistakes, win the hero’s heart?

Nina Pennington does. It makes her day when she lands the plum role as the heroine of The Scarlet Pimpernel in a class assignment based on a computer game. She knows she can win—until she realizes her one chance for success requires an alliance with her least-favorite fellow grad student, cast as the Scarlet Pimpernel himself.

The game challenges Nina in ways she never anticipated, and that least-favorite fellow grad student starts looking better by the minute. But then, she has always had a soft spot for the swashbuckling Scarlet Pimpernel.

Now Nina has to choose: win the game, or take a chance on love?



This question drives the first book in Legends of the Five Directions, a series that will sweep you to the distant world of sixteenth-century Russia, amid the descendants of Genghis Khan and courts that could teach the Borgias a thing or two about political ambition, assassination, and chicanery. Follow Nasan and her kinsfolk as they struggle for power, honor, identity, and love across the steppe and through the vast forests of the Russian North. 

“A ‘ripping good yarn,’ as adventure stories have always been. Enter the exotic, cut-throat world of sixteenth-century Muscovy in the company of a Tatar princess whose skills would have made her equally a heroine on the American frontier… . What more could a reader want except further adventures, which are heralded by the advent of another animal messenger?”—Ann M. Kleimola,  professor emerita of history, University of Nebraska 


Love plays no part in marriage arrangements on the desert planet of Tarkei. So when Danion, junior priest of the sun goddess, finds himself drawn, in defiance of his oath of celibacy, to a human ballerina  encountered by chance, he does his best to resist. The ballerina, tormented by memories of violence that may be real or just the product of an unknown enemy's twisted mind, has no interest in him anyway—or so they think.

But Tarkei has an ancient tradition: that two unusually compatible people, whether they believe they belong together or not, can bond at first touch. Once formed, the link lasts until death. Legend calls it “the joining.” Danion calls it a myth. He and his ballerina will soon discover who’s right.

Available in print and digital formats.
For purchase links, see the Five Directions Press book list.

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