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About author Lynn F. Casella

Marrying into an immigrant Sicilian American family fueled the idea behind my new thriller The Don’s Wife because not only did I say “I do,” but also “I will” embrace all things Italian, including wearing one’s passions on my sleeve. I faced the culture shock of how old world customs and business practices spanned the oceans and the generations to influence modern American immigrant family life.

Seeking a literary agent for my debut thriller The Don’s Wife

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I am looking for the right agent for my thriller The Don’s Wife. I wrote the novel as I earned a certificate in Fiction from the prestigious UCLA Extension Writer’s Program. It represents at least 36 graduate units of class work with other writers and came with a detailed final critique from one of my published author instructors.

According to Shamus Award winning author Lynn S. Hightower, my thriller is about “when the California wine industry clashes with the California Mafia, Sarina Donato is caught between her boss, her husband and her conscience. When an intriguing Russian wine collector complicates her life, and Sarina is betrayed, she decides to do it her way and take no prisoners, in this sexy, balls to the wall thriller.”

In my fast paced character driven story, the names have been changed to protect the guilty. It is not a story about old Italian men, but about a strong woman who proves she is a capable adversary to the male dominated California Sicilian and Calabrian Italian Mafia. I have begun writing the sequel, Lady Don, when Sarina returns to Italy at the request of Calabrian Don Luciano. But, she has other plans, to seek revenge for her father’s murder.

Professional journalism

After earning a BA in history from UCLA and an MA in communications from University of La Verne, I enjoyed careers in secondary and college education, as well as professional journalism. I also became a professional hospital market communications manager and fund development director. These experiences shaped my fiction and published journalism. I’ve published in more than 15 publications including city and life style magazines (Élan and La Verne City Magazine, Redlands Finer Things), medical and health publications (San Antonio Regional Hospital Health Scene and Hoag Hospital Foundation volunteer quarterly newsletters, 552 Club Scanner, Heart Beat, Circle 1000), business journals, specialty newspaper and University of La Verne U.S. Energy Report. As a communications professional, my press releases with photos and captions sent to media contacts resulted in a million-person readership in any one-month over the last 30 years. I met and publicized Nancy Reagan and Peter Ueberroth (of 1984 Olympics fame), who spearheaded California Newport Beach’s Hoag Hospital cancer fundraisers, through printed articles, photos and captions in the media.

Published book on Alaskan painter Sydney Laurence

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Publishing and marketing are not new to me. I published The Man and the Mountain: Sydney Laurence’s Mt. McKinley by Cyrus Peter Francisco when I identified it first as my father’s handwritten manuscript. It was found by KAKM-TV in Anchorage, Alaska, in researching for their television documentary (Laurence of Alaska) about the famous landscape oil painter Sydney Laurence. Many of his paintings are on view in the Anchorage Museum of History and Art. My father met Sydney in Los Angeles where Sydney and his wife Jeanne spent many of their winters. He became Laurence’s only painting apprentice. When more than a hundred of Laurence’s landscapes traveled to West Coast U.S. museums, I borrowed money from my mother Barbara Kent Francisco Lievsay to print my father’s book. My plan was to sell the book about Laurence being grubstaked to go into the wilderness to paint the mountain, now Mt. Denali, but in his day, was Mt. McKinley. I sold half of the book’s first printing of a 2,200 book run in one day to book stores and museum gift shops, and paid off my mother.

What I do for fun

I enjoy deep sea fishing off Islamorada in Key West, fly fishing and navigating four and five rapids on the Rogue River in Oregon.

I snorkel, swim and kayak the world over: Hawaiian Islands, Cozumel, Black Water Swamp (South Carolina), Everglades, Cabo San Lucas, and in and around the largest sea caves in the world (off the California Coast).

I’ve competed in the Aetna Healthy Food Fight Contest judged by Chef Bobby Flay and other noted chefs. I made the news with my Tuscan Vegetable Soup.

I’m a native Californian, born in Carmel. I manage a fruit orchard and also brew authentic Italian limoncello and orangello.

I enjoy my family who live in Southern California. Read more about my favorite things in my Blog.