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About Ray Anselmo
Ray Anselmo was born in San Francisco on December 9, 1969, and grew up in the Sacramento, CA area. Since 1987 he has lived in Stockton, CA (not always by choice). He has been married to the former Nina Harting (aka the Supermodel, Jennifer Garner's Double, the Grace of God) since 1999, and they have two children.
At heart, Ray is a storyteller - sometimes to the chagrin of people who wish he would shut up once in a while - and has found that writing is a socially acceptable way to be himself. He has survived his parents' divorce, his father's alcoholism, unemployment, Dilbertesque job situations, club foot, diverticulitis, cataracts, car accidents, not having his Asperger's officially diagnosed until he was 42, and living in Stockton since 1987. You won't scare him with any zombie-apocalypse nonsense, trust me.
Favorite Authors (in no particular order): Bill James, Salman Rushdie, Spider Robinson, Malcolm Gladwell, Joe Haldeman, Brennan Manning, Robert Harris, Orson Scott Card, Donald Miller, Terry Pratchett, Bill Simmons, Philip Yancey, Neil Gaiman, Geralyn Beauchamp.
"I had a lot of creative energy locked up inside. When I was a kid at school, I had a lot of outlets for that. And then time passed and I was suddenly married with two babies, and all this creative energy was in there. And I was sick all the time, because I couldn’t let it out. Once I started writing, I could let it out, and I got well again ... If you start thinking about your legacy when you are writing, it’s not going to work. You can’t start thinking about lasting impact or what a critic would say. I write because I can’t NOT write. I can’t help it. It has to come out." – Judy Blume
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March 1900 …
Ulysses Weaver knew what he wanted – a wife who would join him on his family’s farm in Washington, a big healthy girl with a love for life. He sent away for a mail-order bride, and Marguerite Berac answered from New Orleans. She came to him, they were wed and prepared to live happily ever after.
But after every wedding comes a marriage. And that’s where the trouble started.
From discarded socks to spicy food, from old flames that weren’t to new experience that don’t pan out, the country boy from the West and the city girl from the South found themselves in one conflict after another. Will Ulysses and Maggie be able to work through them and build a life together? Or are they all signs that they shouldn’t be together at all?
Get ready for the bumpiest ride in the entire Romancing the Weavers series in ULYSSES – when worlds collide, can they survive?
THE OPENING SALVO OF A BRAND-NEW POST-APOCALYPTIC SERIES!
One Monday morning, Kelly Sweeney called in sick from work. A week later, her world was gone.
Kelly, a grocery store manager in tiny Sayler Beach, California, just thought she had a bad case of the flu. But when she recovered, she found everyone else in town dead, and days-old news reports of a rapidly spreading pandemic. There’s no way of telling if anyone else has survived anywhere. Soon the power and water go out, and she’s left to scrabble if she wants to survive.
She’s tough and practical, and she has an entire town’s resources at her disposal. But she’s also facing a long series of new challenges, from disposing of bodies to preserving food to dealing with packs of newly feral dogs. That’s in addition to keeping the balance in her own brain, which has been a lifelong struggle.
And as she works to find food, to stay clean, to stay sane, to figure out what happened, and finally to search the world outside her hometown, the question hangs over her head: of all of humanity, is she now the LAST?
Washington state, June 1898.
He's looking to pursue his career – which can’t happen on his family’s farm.
She's stuck around the world from home – with nowhere to go and no way to go back.
They can find each other, but can they find what they need?
Hugh Weaver, the last of Calvin and Bella’s three sons, is an accomplished cook. But the enormous Weaver clan isn’t lacking for kitchen skills, and as much as he loves them, he knows his destiny lies elsewhere – running his own restaurant or café. But where?
Hamasaki Ichiko doesn’t even speak English, but her family sent her and her sister from Japan to America to find work. She’s escaped the clutches of a human trafficker, only now she’s stranded in the tiny village of Nowhere, living off the charity of its citizens. She’s ready to get a job and make a life. But how?
Toss in two other Japanese girls who just want to go home, a railroad detective disguised as a doting grandma, a diner owner making plans for the future, an ambitious milkmaid who has Hugh in her sights, and a town and family that put the “wild” in the Wild West, and you have the makings of an international incident … or maybe an international affair? Get the answers to all these questions and more in HUGH, the farthest-reaching Weaver adventure yet!
Washington state, summer 1896
Seven years ago, Andrew Jackson Smith Jr. tried to take advantage of Gabriella Cucinotta, a relative of the sprawling Weaver clan. It didn’t go well for him – he ended up on the horns of a dilemma … or rather, the tines of a pitchfork. Gabby was arrested for murder in a case that divided the town of Nowhere, but found not guilty due to self-defense.
Things between the Weavers and Smiths have been tense ever since. Mostly, they do their best to avoid each other.
Until they can’t. Because Alexander Stephens Smith, Andy’s much nicer younger brother, is back in town after graduating from college back East. Nineteen-year-old Truly Weaver catches his eye during a trip to the store – and he catches hers. Love is in the air, much to the opposition of both their families. But Truly and Alex are not so easily deterred, and will go to great lengths to make sure love conquers all … whether their warring clans like it or not.
The Old West meets Shakespearean drama in the latest addition to the Romancing the Weavers series. TRULY will keep you reading and win you over!
Autumn 1895, Washington state …
He always felt a little apart from the family he’d always known.
She and her family were left wandering after all they had was taken from them.
And they found each other deep in the wilderness.
As far as the Weavers were concerned, Sebastian was one of them, and they’d never treated him otherwise. But he knew he wasn’t, not quite – he was the result of an assault on his mother, before she met or married his pa. And as much as he hated to admit it, it bothered him. So when the time came to track down Ma’s runaway cow, he didn’t mind going alone – it would give him time to think, or so he assumed.
But fate had other plans for him – starting with a low-hanging tree branch.
Miriam Pescosa was exiled from her land, along with a band of her fellow Wenatchi natives, by white men breaking treaties and building towns for themselves. They’d taken the white man’s names and accepted the white man’s faith, only to find that they still weren’t accepted or regarded. Now left to the unpopulated forests and wastelands, dying one by one as even other tribes betrayed them, they were outsiders in every way possible.
But being outside doesn’t mean being without hope. And when Miriam finds Sebastian, it sets off a chain of events that could lift everyone out of their doubts, their suffering and a whole lot else … if they’re willing to let it.
SEBASTIAN is the latest book in the bestselling Romancing the Weavers series of Westerns. Are you ready to enter a whole new world?
Melania Cucinotta is crazy about Clinton Cooke. Clinton is crazy about Melania. But when they finally get together, can they keep from going crazy?
Over six years before, Clinton’s family visited Mel’s on the Weavers' sprawling farm for Christmas, and for the two teenagers it was hate at first sight. Mel did everything she could to spoil Clinton’s time there, including stealing a kiss from him and making sure her bossy older brother caught them. But that kiss started something she wasn’t prepared for, and ever since, she and he had been writing back and forth, forging a friendship … and maybe more than a friendship.
Now it’s the spring of 1886 and Mel gets a surprise! Clinton shows up at the Weaver farm in Washington Territory with three dozen head of cattle her family purchased from his family’s ranch in Oregon. Furthermore, he’s staying on as a hired hand to help take care of the new stock. This time it looks like love at second sight, which poses its own problems. Foremost among them is that Mel and Clinton are both healthy young adults … who have to exercise a lot of self-control lest they create a Victorian-era scandal. And with over two dozen Cucinottas and Weavers (and one other hired man) around, there are a lot of eyes watching them.
Can the two young people court and find out if they suit without going too far? Can Mel’s family safeguard her virtue without driving her batty? Will there be competition between the hired hands for Mel’s affections? And can someone find a way to keep an incredibly stupid cow from hurting herself? Find out in the fourth Romancing the Weavers book, and the wildest one yet!
In 1870, Antonio Cucinotta left Rome, Italy on the ship Gabriel, with his pregnant wife and seven children. His eighth child was born on the trip across the Atlantic. But in New York, his wife died, he tried to cover his grief with alcohol and gambling, and his oldest daughter Isabella, in a desperate move to save her siblings, went to Washington Territory as a mail-order bride to marry Calvin Weaver. Once she settled in, she brought all her brothers and sisters across the country to join her.
The Cucinotta children prospered in the Far Northwest. They grew strong, learned skills, and once they reached adulthood, they began looking for love. On the Weavers’ isolated farm, thirty miles from the nearest small town, husbands and wives could be hard to find. But the good Lord had a plan for each, and that plan included spouses that were perfect for them.
This box set includes three of their stories, with adventures ranging from the romantic to the ridiculous to the perilous:
- ALFONSO – Alfonso Cucinotta is sick of life on a farm with more family than he knows what to do with. Philadelphia Howe is headed for California with her baseball-manager father, the only family she has. When the Howes and their driver get lost and stumble on the Weaver farm, it sets the stage for romance, conflict and danger!
- MELANIA – After six years of correspondence, Melania Cucinotta is crazy about Clinton Cooke. Clinton Cooke, of the Clear Creek, Oregon Cookes, is crazy about Mel. But when Clinton leads a cattle drive to the Weaver farm and they finally get together, can they keep from going crazy?
- GABRIELLA - Gabby Cucinotta was perfectly happy living on the farm, unmarried and unworried. But fate had other plans for her. And when an unwanted suitor tries to force her hand, fate lands her in jail on a charge of murder!
Get ready for three of the wildest rides in the Wild West with Romans in Love, available now as a set for only 99¢!
Gabriella Cucinotta was perfectly happy living on her family’s farm, unmarried and unworried. But fate had other plans for her. And in Gabby’s case, fate was particularly forceful.
Gabby, the youngest of the eight Cucinotta siblings, liked living on the Weaver farm in Washington Territory. She wasn’t in any hurry to marry, not even in 1889 when a single nineteen-year-old like herself was already several steps on the way to spinsterhood. If she wed, fine; if not, fine. She was content to be where she was.
But an unwanted suitor was not so content, and not willing to take “no” for an answer either. Soon Gabby finds herself being taken away from the farm, her family and her life – in shackles, facing a charge of murder! Her family is on her side, but the victim’s father is a powerful man in town, and is determined to make her pay for his son’s death.
Behind the bars of a sheriff’s jail cell, Gabby’s life hangs in the balance. How can she prove herself innocent? Will the town turn against her? Does a shadowy figure buttonholing the citizens of Nowhere wish her good or ill? And what to make of the sheriff’s deputy who's not only sure she’s not guilty, but may have more than a passing interest in her? As she waits for her trial, there’s more than one mystery to unravel.
All will be revealed in GABRIELLA, the sixth book in the Romancing the Weavers series and the most suspenseful of the bunch!
(Rated PG for one scene of violence. Some portions of the book may be triggering for victims of rape and abuse.)
Alfonso Cucinotta is sick of life on a farm with more family than he knows what to do with. Philadelphia Howe is headed for California with her father, the only family she has.
Alfonso came to the Weaver farm in 1874 with six of his siblings after a seventh – his older sister Bella – became a mail-order bride. Eight years later, he’s still there – and wishes he weren’t. But two sisters have wed and moved off, so Bella is committed to making sure he stays put. For now, he’s stuck chopping wood, picking fruit, making sausages and dreaming of a day he can go out on his own – while working hard to leave his childhood anger and bossiness behind.
Philadelphia has spent her whole life tagging along with her father as he travels from one base ball club to the next, first as a player and later as a manager. A snowstorm traps her and Papa with the Weavers, and she discovers a new sort of life with a big, boisterous family – and the handsome but taciturn Alfonso. Eventually, though, the roads will clear, and she’ll have to decide whether she’d rather stay there or follow her father to Silvertown and his next club.
Throw in mystery, romance, humor, loud Italian arguments and a coach driver who may be more than he seems, and strap yourselves in for another Weaver family adventure!
Life on a farm isn’t always the most exciting. Even if you love the wide open spaces, the closeness of a large family and a variety of work to do, part of you can still feel like going into the big wide world and checking things out.
This is Esther Weaver’s dilemma. She likes being part of the ever-growing Weaver clan and helping her ma in the kitchen, and looks forward to marrying and having children of her own. But over the last few years, she’s become fascinated with something that’s not only turned her head but is driving everyone else crazy …
Never mind that it’s still 1896 and nineteen-year-old Esther isn’t even allowed to vote. She can’t get enough of reading about party struggles, elections, labor battles and revolutions. But everyone around her has had enough of listening to her talk about them. Her parents despair of ever finding her a mate who can put up with it – and some days, so does she.
Until one day a speaker comes to town – and gets beaten up for saying what someone doesn’t want to hear. Marshall Meagher, “famed orator of the East,” is laid up for two weeks with his injuries. Esther’s parents, wanting to help him out, let Esther volunteer to aid the local doctors. And suddenly she has someone who’ll not only listen, but agree with her and tell her more than she knew.
Could they become more than that? It seems unlikely – Marshall is a traveling man who’s seen the whole nation. Esther is just a country girl who’s never been more than a day from home and family. But unlikely things happen in Nowhere, Washington and the Weaver farm all the time. And sometimes it takes the unlikeliest events to put everyone where they need to be …
Regardless of your politics, you’ll love ESTHER, the latest book in the smash Romancing the Weavers series. Get ready for a wild ride!
In this essay, part of his upcoming compilation The Cut Of The Diamond, the author of The Scotia Saga and The Circuit Rider's Bride gives twelve changes he'd make to the game at the major league level if he were in charge. From the mess of the Miami Marlins' ownership to the ballpark situation in Oakland, from player safety to the designated hitter, from promoting the game for kids to cleaning up the Hall of Fame, Ray outlines ways to raise the odds for the sport's future success. A must for anyone who cares about the state of the game and wants to see it succeed.
Sara Pike isn’t doing as well as she thinks she is.
In her mid-forties, the assistant pastor of one of northern California’s more innovative churches has the trust of her boss, her congregation, and her two grown sons. But she still bears the scars of betrayal from one she trusted: her now ex-husband, whom she caught with another woman. She’s kept up with her ministry – so well that the senior pastor orders her to take a vacation to get the black cloud from over her head.
Sara knows he’s not wrong. Which means it’s time for her to hop in her truck, head for her favorite place in the whole world – the Point Reyes National Seashore – and hope against hope that she can finally get past the grief for her lost marriage. Even so, she might need a miracle … or for God to use the Point for a divine ap-Point-ment.
From the Summer at the Seaside series comes a unique and inspiring romantic novella unlike any other – Ray Anselmo’s Divine Appointment. Hop in and enjoy the journey!