The Stars That Govern Us

Publication Date: December 1, 2020.

Format: Print, eBook

Genre: Historical Fiction / Realistic Fiction / Medical Fiction / General Fiction

ISBN: 9798566620367

Word Count/Page Count: 98K/341 pages.

A gifted young surgeon. One of the Twentieth Century’s boldest inventions. And the unconquerable, fragile, and amazing human heart. 

As one of two dozen teams worldwide performing congenital heart surgeries in the middle 1950s, Alec Serafeim and his best friend, Pete O’Neill, excel in an unforgiving field where the line between life and death is eyelash thin. But while Pete is satisfied with all they have accomplished, Alec aches to do more. Desperate to save more children, he also wishes to be remembered for something other than his mental breakdown ten years earlier.

Alec’s opportunity arrives via a chance to join the race to perform Australia’s first open-heart surgery using total cardiopulmonary bypass. Swept up in the competition, with a heart-lung machine cobbled together in the hospital basement, Alec charges ahead with surgery on a gravely ill child over Pete’s misgivings.

But the heart, for all its amazing strength, is a fragile organ. And when events conspire to shatter Alec’s heart, he is left questioning everything. With sick children’s lives hanging in the balance, as well as his career as a surgeon, he must find a way to cope with his fallibility—if he hopes to finish what he started.

A touching and inspiring novel set in 1956 against the backdrop of the invention of the heart-lung machine and open-heart surgery, The Stars That Govern Us blends history and medicine and is perfect for historical fiction fans looking to broaden their horizons. The novel also features an #ownvoices main character (mental illness).

Links: Trailer.

Five Fathoms Beneath

Publication Date: October 25, 2018.

Format: Print (paperback), eBook

Genre: Literary Fiction / Realistic Fiction / Medical Fiction / Magical Realism

ISBN: 9781729210062

Word Count/Page Count: 112K/387 pages.

Five Fathoms Beneath is an emotionally engaging, thought-provoking, and life-affirming novel about suicide, the invisibility of mental illness, fathers and sons, and crafting a meaning from the meaningless.

If Ambrose Serafeim’s life is not quite perfect, then it’s very good—he is nearing the end of medical school, he has a lovely fiancée, and he is well on his way to fulfilling his childhood dream of becoming a physician. Brose owes no small part of his station in life to his famous father, Alec, a gentle and idealistic pediatric heart surgeon who lives by a simple moral code—do good and be good. Brose believes in his father and that code the way he believes in absolutes like oxygen or gravity. But when Alec shatters Brose’s perfect world by acting in a way Brose can neither forgive nor understand, Brose is left foundering amidst an existential crisis and clinical depression, unsure not only who he is, but who his father was.

That is until a catastrophic injury in a 10K race changes everything.

The road from that catastrophic injury leads Brose to the same heart-stopping precipice on which Alec once stood. Facing the possible end of his marriage and having seemingly lost his career, will Brose repeat his father’s terrible mistake, or will Brose blaze a new path forward, one where he finally realizes his potential to help others?

A twist on Loren Eiseley’s famous essay, “The Star Thrower,” Five Fathoms Beneath blends a realistic medical backdrop with a dash of magical realism to tell the heartbreaking yet ultimately life-affirming tale of a man’s quest to find his life’s meaning.

Links: Trailer, Awards & Reviews.