Every Little Step She Takes is a story of seduction, scandal and the fight for self-respect. Scandals can be fun to read about in the newspaper, but not if they’ve happened to YOU. How does a person recover from publicly making such a mess of their life? How do they get past a colossal mistake? And how does their family survive and rebuild?
When 18-year-old Amanda Long, ballet student, meets Richard Gessler, the college’s benefactor and a high-profile businessman, he offers to take her under his wing and become her mentor. However, in a slow step-by-step seduction, Amanda is drawn further and further into a dangerous dance. The dark romance between the two takes an ugly turn, resulting in attempted murder and suicide. The spotlight’s glare drives Amanda further away from her home and family until she has to find a way to start a new life for herself. Just when it looks as though Amanda and her family might reconcile, Richard steps in again and she must figure out how to truly stand on her own two feet.
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It’s late 2008 and everything is just terrible. The Dow is dropping, unemployment is rising, nobody’s buying any cars, and even worse than that, the Cates sisters are forced to celebrate Thanksgiving together. Their late father’s will leaves everything in his estate to be divided among all family members, but how are they going to split up an eccentric old house between them when the bottom has fallen out of the real estate market? Not only that, but it turns out dear old Dad left behind a few secrets that may come back to haunt them all.
The three baby boomer sisters were already dealing with their own problems. Valerie, a cellist with the New York City Ballet orchestra, is facing job upheaval. Miranda, a free-spirited art gallery owner, is considering reviving an old love affair. Helen is developing a close and personal relationship with her Wii boxing instructor. They’ve got issues, but the rest of the family is pretty messed up too. Septuagenarian Aunt Reenie wants to relive her Hollywood heyday and eighteen-year-old triplets, Dee, Erica and Devon are dealing with boyfriends, girlfriends, revenge, and celebrity crappola. Valerie’s ex-husband Jack comes back into the picture, a movie director’s RV runs amok, and good times are had by all.
The Pleasure of Your Company explores all the joys of sibling rivalry, financial hard times, nearly-forgotten memories and plain old craziness in a story of family relationships too tangled to unravel and too funny to ignore.
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After the Wink and other stories is a collection of 36 short stories and essays (and two poems!) in which Carolyn Steele Agosta writes about relationships – man/woman, mother/daughter, friend/enemy, grandparent/grandchild, stranger to stranger. Indeed, Ms. Agosta’s stories are all about relationships and the twisting, turning paths they take. If she ever wrote a story about ax-murderers, they’d be a family of ax-murderers, comparing brands of axes and arguing over who Mother liked best. In After the Wink, a woman who feels she has lost sight of herself contemplates starting an affair with a man who sees her for – not who she is – but who she thinks she wants to be. Might like to be. Isn’t sure she wants to be. Well, you get it. In Coming to My Senses, Diane regains her sense of smell only to realize that too many of her other senses have also been clamped down into a narrow existence. The Last Time Dad Got Out of Jail looks at father/daughter relationships and the harsh injustices of justice. Two stories, A Stranger in a Lonely Place and Rest Area, I-40, consider the difficulties of a relationship with God.
In all her stories and novels, Carolyn Steele Agosta celebrates the importance of family and endorses the idea that, be it ever so insanity-inducing, there’s no place like Home.
To read an excerpt, click here. To order for Kindle or in paperback from Amazon, click here. To order from this site via PayPal, for an autographed copy and free shipping, click here. Special discounts are available for book clubs, if you will email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. My books are also available from Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million.