Frankie Holtz-Davis Takes Readers Along on a Personal Journey of Long-held Family Secrets and Revelations in Debut Novel “Mahrynie Red”

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A reminder of familiar times gone by with a few surprises along the way...

Every once in a great while an author comes along who tells a story as stories are meant to be told. Frankie Holtz-Davis' debut novel “Mahrynie Red: the Journey” (Xlibris Corp., Aug. 2003, 420 pp., hardcover $34.95 ISDN: 1-40109336-1; paperback $24.95 ISDN: 1-4010-9335-3) is the epitome of storytelling – just the right blend of transitioning emotion, torrential conflict, nail-biting intrigue, insatiable humor, unrelenting suspense, and page-turning anticipation.

“Mahrynie Red: the Journey” chronicles the life of the precocious title character from childhood in the rural segregated South to urban San Francisco's Gold Coast. She was named Mahrynie because of her unusually striking red hair (for a black girl), this, during a time when hair type and skin color mattered, even within families.

The novel reads like the pages of a family photo album. It is frothed with marital, parent/child and family conflicts. “Mahrynie Red” paints vivid pictorial accounts of long-held family secrets and revelations including romances, domestic violence, murder and suicide. All of Mahrynie's psychosocial development spans a fifty-year period.

Set in the Deep South state of Arkansas and continuing on to Galveston Island, Texas, Mahrynie's story commences with her mother abandoning her to be raised by the man who might or might not be her father; it spans three marriages, three divorces, seven children, and all that that entails. Her astounding life's story culminates with her family's ultimate survival of many life-shattering episodes.

Serious in its subject matter, Holtz-Davis' story is delightfully funny, yet poignantly sad and extremely spellbinding. The book is an unforgettable, zany roller-coaster ride, spanning a half-century of life altering, empowering events. At its inception “Mahrynie Red: the Journey” began as the author's memoir; it evolved into a novella as a courtesy to her family. Receiving consistent four-star ratings by its readers, this author's debut novel is a must-read!

Excerpt From “Mahrynie Red: The Journey:"

When Mr. Fleming returned that day at dusk dark, it was in some ways no different than most evenings he'd done so after unexplained absences from home. What was different that winter of 1941, he was not alone.

Miz Mary noticed that he walked softer and held a bundle in both arms. He cradled the package with more care than she'd ever seen him holding anything.

"Come here, Mary! Look who I got-oh, come on over here in the light and see."

Miz Mary couldn't help but feel suspicious whenever he laughed that sly chuckle.... Her heart beat faster and faster as she slowly walked across the linoleum floor to the place where he stood, gazing at the parcel in his arms.

Finally, she made it to the window near the back kitchen door.

"James, what's that? What have you done? I mean, who is this?”...

"It's a—well, this baby girl is called Mahrynie. Her momma say she my—I mean, I'm not saying she is and not say she isn't. I stopped at Auculo’s and Maydella's after work today. They told me I had a package, so I go inside, and they hand me this child. ...

Miz Mary drew a length of breath and prepared a response to counteract the unavoidable proposition before her. Her mouth opened, but no sound came out.

About The Author:

Frankie Holtz-Davis, who holds a Masters Degree in Social Work, is a Certified Mediator and a Certified Domestic Violence Counselor III. She manages a Child Protective Services/Domestic Violence Unit in San Francisco, Calif. Ms. Holtz-Davis has held university adjunct professorships over twenty years. The highly regarded consultant-in-demand taught graduate social work practice at Californian State University, Long Beach.

Holtz-Davis' professional publications include "Sarah: A Study of Multiple Personality Disorders," an article in "Forensic Psychological Journal," and "V.O.I.C.E.S," a monthly commentary for "African-American Round Table" - an Orange County Social Service Agency employees’ organization. She is the primary author of San Francisco Human Services Agency’s "Domestic Violence Service Protocol," which is co-authored by San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris who served as the legal authority. Looking forward to her impending retirement, the San Francisco Bay Area resident is working on her second novel titled "The Men Folk."

“Mahrynie Red: the Journey” is available at most major bookstores. It may be obtained from its publisher Xlibris Corp. at / 1-888-795-4274. The book is also available through major online booksellers, and

Ms. Holtz-Davis is available for phone and in-person interviews, and book club presentations.

Press kit with review galley mailed to reporters and book reviewers upon request.


Toni Beckham


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