KELLI DONLEY BOOKS
(2022): From the author of the acclaimed novel COUNTING COUP comes DESERT DIVIDE, a gripping, ripped-from-the-headlines story of family, revenge, and justice spanning the ranches of southern Arizona to the dinner tables of Mexico City’s elite.
It’s 2016. Sarah McDaniels receives a call in the night that her mother has died unexpectedly. Returning to the family’s ranch in the high desert of southeastern Arizona, Sarah finds her childhood home and her father’s health in tatters.
More than a decade ago, Sarah left to chase a dream in New York City. Now, faced with burying her mother and trying to arrange care for her father, Sarah takes a walk across the family’s land to clear her head. When she stumbles over something on the desert floor, the last thing she expects to find is the body of a young woman her own age.
Who was this woman? Why was she on their family’s ranch? Who killed her?
DESERT DIVIDE is a a true-to-life story of secrets, sacrifice, and redemption as one woman tries to face down her demons while saving what’s left of her family.
(2018): Happily consumed with her academic career, Professor Avery Wainwright never planned on becoming sole guardian of her octogenarian Aunt Birdie. Forced to move Birdie—and her failing memory—into her tiny apartment, Avery’s precariously balanced life loses its footing.
Unearthed in the chaos is a stack of sixty-year-old letters. Written in 1951, the letters tell of a year Avery’s grandmother, Alma Jean, spent teaching in the Indian school system, in the high desert town of Winslow, Arizona. The letters are addressed to Birdie, who was teaching at the Phoenix Indian School. The ghostly yet familiar voices in the letters tell of a dark time in her grandmother’s life, a time no one has ever spoken of.
Torn between caring for the old woman who cannot remember, and her very different memories of a grandmother no longer alive to explain, Avery searches for answers. But the scandal and loss she finds, the revelations about abuses, atrocities, and cover-ups at the Indian schools, threaten far more than she’s bargained for.
(2016): Reeling from the loss of their first baby, Macy Duncan and her husband Ben flee their grief and enter an unknown world as Ben accepts a job offer that takes them to the far reaches of Southern Bolivia. While Ben’s work takes him into the dangerous politics of coca farmers and indigenous rights, Macy sinks deeper and deeper into a bottomless depression, one that threatens to never lose its hold. Seeking to run away from it all, Macy trips over a mysterious basket left on her doorstep. A basket that begins to cry. In BASKET BABY, a tale of loss, grief, and the overcoming power of love, Macy and Ben must embark on a journey to find the mother of this abandoned baby and, maybe, find the path back to each other along the way.
Under the Same Moon
(2010): Abena Udate is 15 when kidnapped by an American businessman and brought to suburban Arizona.
In Mozambique, her younger brother Kupela works to reach his lost sister. Abena is just starting to adjust to her new life when faced with an impossible decision: return to her village and Kupela, or stay in America in a life she couldn’t have imagined just months prior.