Rona Simmons is the author of Postcards from Wonderland (February 2015) and a previous work of historical fiction The Quiet Room (November 2013), both published by Deeds Publishing. She retired in 2011 after a thirty year career in the financial services industry and turned to writing. Today she is an active member of the Atlanta Writers Club and Georgia Writers Association.
With the release of Postcards from Wonderland, Simmons cements her interest in historical fiction, the first half of the twentieth century in particular. Whether writing of the Depression, Prohibition, or the two world wars, Simmons examines the impact of these turbulent times on the lives of everyday people, especially women and their hopes and desires, successes and failures, loves and losses. Some come through unscathed others survive but are deeply wounded. and devises a plan of escape.
Rona Simmons' work also includes a ghostwritten biography of a prominent Atlanta businessman, a collection of short stories compiled from interviews of family and friends from the early to mid 1900s, articles for a local Atlanta magazine and a horticultural journal, and flash fiction broadcast on internet radio.
Rona Simmons was selected as a Regional Author for both the 2015 Dahlonega Book Festival, a Featured Author and Panelist for the 2015 Milton Literary Festival, and as a Panelist for the 2015 Decatur Book Festival, one of the country's largest book festivals. She has led workshops on writing, research, and editing for a number of local writing events.
THE MARTYR'S BROTHER
A martyr’s duty is to die. And kill. Five years ago, a suicide-bomber named Nadheer detonated an explosive-filled Toyota outside a Middle East military checkpoint. The blast shattered more than those immediately around him—it forever changed two other lives. Shafra, his brother, who worshipped Nadheer and longs to follow in his footsteps, and Alicia Blake, whose husband’s violent end in the same terrorist attack haunts her and drives her overactive imagination. Now Shafra has arrived in America, with his sights set on Atlanta. Alicia holds the key to stopping him before he rips the world apart, but time is ticking away.
Paperback | ISBN 978-1-944193-61-4 | 314 Pages
FICTION / Action & Adventure
FICTION / Thrillers / Suspense
POSTCARDS FROM WONDERLAND
One night, at the end of an alley, Rose Margolin’s world changes forever. Everything she’s ever known and trusted is pulled like a rug from beneath her feet.
Everyone sees Isador for the dreamer he is—he’s a talker and ambitious to a fault. Everyone, that is, except his wife, Rose, who ignores the warnings. She is in love and determined to follow Isador wherever he leads, never imagining she’ll find herself sitting across a table from one of Revere Beach’s Prohibition-era mob bosses. Or that she’ll seek help from Jacob Moll her young neighbor, and from Samuel Bloom—better known as Earl the Ear—one of the mob’s most feared leg-breakers.
The setting for Rona Simmons’s second novel is no accident. The beach at Revere, once known as “America’s Beach,” was home to Wonderland Park, an extravagant amusement park some consider a precursor to Disneyland. It was unlike any park seen before. But Wonderland proved unsustainable, bankrupting its founders and dashing their dreams. The park soon vanished, leaving behind only memories and postcards.
Paperback | ISBN 978-1-941165-64-5 | 328 Pages
FICTION / Historical
THE QUIET ROOM
An enthralling story of love, loss, and discovery that unfolds during the first half of the twentieth century.
The novel follows the steps and missteps of Liese Stephens, daughter of an evangelical preacher and his ailing, passionless wife. Neither spare time for their daughter and both are oblivious to her mistreatment at the hands of an elder. Thrust by default into the responsibilities of adulthood while still a child, Liese stumbles in relationships with the men in her life—her young cousin by marriage, an Irish farmhand, and a worldly-wise railroad man. Each introduce her to unfamiliar terrain and temptation, yet the scars of her early days leave Liese unable to respond on an emotional level.
The novel casts a spotlight on the claustrophobia of small town America, with its farmhands, saloonkeepers, family doctors, and abortionists, and the even smaller microcosm of Zion Church’s congregation and its plethora of widows and women’s benefit societies. It explores the turbulent era and its impact on Liese’s German-American family from the rise of tension and fear preceding the first world war to the widespread loss of work and self-esteem they suffer during the great depression. Amidst this backdrop, Liese turns inward to wage her private battle, seeking solace in the minutiae of everyday life, in music both spiritual and secular, and in baking countless pies and cakes, and eventually in the simple joy of solitude.
This deeply moving tale will wrap itself around the hearts and minds of readers who, like its heroine, still search for themselves.
Paperback | ISBN 978-1-937565-91-6 | 268 Pages
FICTION / General
Connect with Rona on:
Oct 14 | "Growing Your Story" workshop | Brenau Literary Festival | Gainesville, GA
Oct 16 | Bookclub meeting | Bookmiser | Roswell, GA
Oct 21 | Bookclub meeting | Roswell, GA
Nov 11 | Veterans Voices panel | Milton Literary Festival | Milton, GA
Nov 18 | “Marketing for Authors” workshop | Red Clay Writers Conference | Kennesaw, GA