Philadelphia, 1870

While the world continues to mourn the loss of brilliant inventor Dr. Charles Winter (known affectionately to his friends as the professor) most remain unaware of the great technical advances he had made in the areas of cloning, artificial intelligence and mechanical life-forms. Sadly, this ignorance of so much of his most far-reaching and astonishing work extends even to the professor's own family, including his four adult children, the product of his marriage to the late Millicent Pearson Winter.

As a whole, the younger Winters are quirky and independent, dedicated to social justice, rational science and intellectual achievement. Inculcated from earliest childhood with their mother's Quaker beliefs and their father's dedication to progress, the four siblings are tireless in their pursuit of whatever personal goals they happen to set for themselves.

However, at the time of their father's death they were as yet unaware of the fact that the professor's other offspring, their supposed half-sister Ophelia, was not the result of his infidelity as they'd long supposed. Rather, she is an automaton created in his lab. This misconception precipitated a crisis for Ophelia as documented in the series prequel, This Winter Heart.

This Winter Night
(Winter Hearts 0.25)

This prequel to This Winter Heart is available as a FREE READ.

Newlyweds Dario and Ophelia Leonides are passionately in love. The only things marring their happiness are Lia's homesickness and continued inability to conceive a child.

Dario would do anything to make Lia smile again. He's hoping to use the miraculous technology his father-in-law has pioneered, combined with the magic inherent in his native land.

But calling upon the forces of Kokopeli may have unintended consequences.

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This Winter Heart
(Winter Hearts 0.5)

Eight years ago, Ophelia Leonides's husband cast her off when he discovered she was not the woman he thought she was. Now destitute after the death of her father, Ophelia is forced to turn to Dario for help raising the child she never told him about.

Dario is furious that Ophelia has returned, and refuses to believe Arthur is his son - after all, he thought his wife was barren. But to avoid gossip, he agrees to let them spend the holidays at his villa. While he cannot resist the desire he still feels for Ophelia, Dario despises himself for being hopelessly in love with a woman who can never love him back.

But Dario is wrong: Ophelia's emotions are all too human, and she was brokenhearted when he rejected her. Unsure if she can trust the man she desperately loves, she fears for her life, her freedom and her son if anyone else learns of her true nature...

This story also appears in the anthology A Clockwork Christmas.

Currently available in digital format at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo
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Lightning in a Bottle
(Winter Hearts 1.0)

Heir to her father's creative genius, Persephone Winter is a dedicated scientist. More interested in the pursuit of knowledge than in love or marriage, she is content to leave matters of the heart -- and the flesh -- to her siblings. Percy's dream is to make "better living through chemistry" a reality for everyone. She wishes to eliminate suffering and advance scientific understanding. She has no time for inter-personal relationships, or the responsibilities they bring. The possibility that she could fall in love with one of her experiments is not one she's ever had to consider.

Adam Gardener thought he was doomed. Created to serve as one of the world's first mechanical soldiers, it appeared his life was over before it had even properly begun. Still unfinished at the time of his creator's death, he was left to languish, forgotten, in his lab for months after. Max is overjoyed and grateful beyond measure when Percy's curiosity compels her to take up her father's secret work.

But as Adam is about to discover, being alive is not without its own set of dangers. And as Persephone is about to remember, the human heart is a most vulnerable organ.

Releasing October, 2019
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Winter of our Discontent
(Winter Hearts 2.0)

When Persephone's revelations regarding the true nature of their father's work sets the Winter family in a tizzy, Beauregard Winter seizes his chance to flee the family nest with all its dreary, dreary responsibilities and seek a more relaxed lifestyle in the Republic of New Texacali. Beau has always been a lot less interested in social justice than the rest of his siblings. That is until he discovers a cause that's unexpectedly dear to his heart.

Jedidiah Hutchinson is also seeking a new life for himself. He's not real picky about where, just as long as it allows him to avoid being repatriated to the Confederate Republic. California sounds nice, and he's heard good things about Paris, France. But even freezing to death in the Yukon Territories would be a better fate than returning to a life of slavery. While he waits for the next airship to take him on his way, Jed is not averse to conducting a brief dalliance with Beau, but he knows better than to count on the handsome young peacock for anything more than a few nights of pleasure.

Beau can't argue with Jed's assessment of his character. He's never wanted to be responsible for himself, let alone anyone else! But that was before he met the one man who might be worth growing up for.

Release date TBD
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A Marriage of True Minds
(Winter Hearts 3.0)

Calliope Winter's faith in the institute of marriage - and in the entire male gender, for that matter - suffered a serious blow when she learned of her father's infidelity. A committed feminist, Calliope is determined to control the course of her own life. By nature, Calliope is a sensualist and, as such, she does not believe in denying herself the pleasures of the flesh. However, she longs for a true partnership, one in which mutual respect and personal freedom are a matter of course and she will cede her heart for nothing less.

Journalist Brooks Campbell doesn't quite know what to make of the fiery Miss Winter; she's nothing like he was expecting when his paper set him the task of investigating and reporting back on her crusade for women's rights. Brooks assumed Calliope would be a wealthy, spoiled debutante, someone who didn't know and didn't care about the plight of the working class.

Brooks is intrigued by Calliope's sensuous nature and quickly finds his way into her bed. Finding his way into her heart, on the other hand -- especially after she learns what he's really been up to -- that might require some serious persuasion. Not to mention a fair amount of groveling!

Release date TBD
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What the Heart Needs
(Winter Hearts 4.0)

As the eldest of the Winter siblings, Alistair Winter has served in loco parentis for the others for much of his life. As such, he's been forced to put his own life on hold. Indisputably the most serious of the four, Alistair suffers from an overdeveloped sense of responsibility, which is not improved by his career choice, serving as solicitor and financial manager to many of Philadelphia's undeserving rich. It's clear to everyone who knows him that what Alistair needs is a spouse who will teach him that life is meant to be lived, not merely suffered through, and that every mistake may be the catalyst for an almost magical transformation.

Luckily, he's about to meets just such a paragon in the person of one Mrs. Horace B. Chudleigh, the widow of a former client and a talented songstress who prefers to go by the name Delphinium Blue. Del's charming-but-shiftless late husband left her all-but-penniless. But the important thing, as far as she's concerned, is that he left her!

Now she's free to once again live life on her own terms. It just so happens that part of her plans include orchestrating a triumphant return to the stage and instigating a wild affair with her very proper solicitor. Alistair has no idea what's about to hit him.

Release date TBD
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