Books by Veda Dalsette


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The Sandpuppy

Inspired by the 1965 film The Sandpiper starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton

Dr. Roy Bettencourt, who prides himself on being a very moral man, is a professor of Morality Poetry at Seaside City College. His marriage to Diana isn't perfect but is stable, even though they suffer with his deep, dark bedroom secret.

When Roy is summoned to Mayor Chilblain's office, he's given an ultimatum—either convince the sexy new artist in town to sell her beach house so a pet real estate development project can move forward or lose his cushy job at the college. Now Roy not only has to protect his job but also his morality and marriage, while risking exposure of his deep, dark, bedroom secret in a courtroom climax.

Step back to 1965 in The Sandpuppy, to the days of hootenannies, surfer gangs, and free love, back when a lucrative cat resort carried more weight than human decency.

Femur on the Beach

Inspired by the 1955 film Female on the Beach starring Joan Crawford and Jeff Chandler

Ivy Borax, escaping her high-living past, moves to a quiet beach house to walk on the beach, paint, and maybe even write a novel. She marks this new beginning with a ceremonial Catholic confession.

But her new life comes with its own complications. People turn up uninvited at her new home, a young, handsome beachcomber claims her beach, and her shady old flame resurfaces. Amid all this, human leg bones appear at her door and the scourge of devil worship clouds her life like a Donora smog. Who is damning her new start in life and why?

Return to 1955 in Femur on the Beach, back when living in sin was more damning than being ugly as sin.

Suddenly, This Summer

Inspired by the 1959 film Suddenly, Last Summer starring Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift

During teen Birdie Cassady's summer vacation, she focuses on writing a top-drawer essay for her first semester at Miss Dalrymple's School for Ladies. A strange man on the beach awakens her to an amazing discovery, but when she tries to share it, others claim she's mad.

Why won't they believe her? And what terrifying steps will they take to control her?

Revisit 1959 in Suddenly, This Summer, when only the best families bred their respectable daughters to display the utmost poise when snagging a most suitable husband.


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The Old Cheap Room

Inspired by the 1962 film The L-Shaped Room starring Leslie Caron and Tom Bell

When Jane Krump moves into the old, cheap room at the Tobacco Road rooming house, she's alone and in need of a husband fast, but the vivacious Cedric comes to her aid. While he's advocating this Plain Jane snag the powerful Animal Control Commissioner, she's interested in anyone younger. And employed. And not a sex pervert.

Inspired by the lady power she's discovered in a pivotal novel, she takes action, resulting in shocking consequences—including the threat of death.

Check in to 1962 in The Old Cheap Room to learn why good girls once had to be good.

All About Boyd

Inspired by the 1950 film All About Eve starring Bette Davis and Anne Baxter

Nel Havermayer is a successful lady robot designer, who has a well-ordered life, with love interest Perry and best friend Tooty. All is well, until the day a young man claiming to be her son appears at her door, and his very existence threatens her success.

Luckily, Tooty helps her ride the outrageous events that follow, as they try to put a lid on the damage wrought by Boy Doe. Through it all, she learns what being a woman means—with the right person.

Fasten your seatbelts, because All About Boyd, set in 1950, is a very bumpy tale.

Far Far Out!

Inspired by the 1966 film Way Way Out! starring Jerry Lewis and Connie Stevens

When astrogeologist Harvey Klinkschlopper took a lonely job on the Moon's outpost, he thought he'd fled anyone who could distract him from his rocks—but he had rocks in his head to think that.

Enter sexy scientist Dr. Whiting, who has more on her mind than lunar gravel. Add to that two robots with attitude and two very unwelcome visitors, and you have a recipe for sabotage and mayhem.

Blast off to 1966 in Far Far Out!, back to a retro future, when smoking and drinking in space was compulsory and all space furniture was inflatable plastique.


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Copweb

Inspired by the 1955 film Copweb starring Richard Widmark and Lauren Bacall

Esteemed psychiatrist Dr. Brent Havidol has, by all appearances, an enviable life as the head of mental clinic specializing in a self-policing environment for privileged young adults. But appearances can be deceiving, as his disintegrating marriage and attraction to a new lady psychologist complicate matters. However, the complications arising from the introduction of live theater produced and performed by the patients are what put his reputation and career on the line.

New patient Kip, who has a crush on the play's girl director, comes to her rescue by providing a stage curtain solution, but an opening night calamity leads to compounding misfortunes. Misplaced affections and bad assumptions flame a VD scare and muddy relationships across both staff and patients. Events snowball to test and rock the foundation of the clinic's therapeutic model.

Set in 1955, Copweb shines a light on professionals who get so wrapped up in their own lives they forget about the mental problems their unstable patients have.

Beyond the Florist

Inspired by the 1949 film Beyond the Forest starring Bette Davis and Joseph Cotten

Beautiful Rhoda Malone is a bored, restless housewife who wants to escape Dependaboro, a small flower town with a stench that's wilting her. However, her husband Fred, the local psychoist, has no desire to leave the townspeople whose mental health relies on him.

When wealthy, handsome Trent Boscum breezes into town on his seaplane with plans to build a new flower factory there, Rhoda decides he'll be her ticket out of the petunia-picking, snapdragon-scented, bee-bitten burg. She wastes no time bedding him and makes plans to anoint him husband number two.

Now, she has to figure out, short of murder, how to get rid of husband number one. But like a Dependaboro rose bush, things get thorny and seedy, with kidnapping, violence, and movie fandom all playing a role.

Set in 1949, Beyond the Florist harkens back to those days when being labeled a communist was worse than child molester. Just like today.


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Dolliday

Inspired by the 1938 film Holiday starring Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant

Beautiful blonde fashion doll Babsy loves Kent, but her glamorous French cousin, brunette Babette, snags his heart. However, the love triangle doesn't end there. Babsy's plain roommate Madge and Kent's dipso friend Alfred also complicate these affaires d'amour.

When a surfing tragedy befalls Kent, Babsy doesn't let petty jealousy stop her from performing her volunteer nursing duties, not even when the situation turns critical. She learns love is an untamed beast—one doll's perversity is another's delight—and that life, especially doll life, has a way of working things out neatly for everyone in the end.

Appropriately set in 1962, Dolliday highlights the fallout when two related but very different girl dolls love the same boy doll. And the story does this without a single change in facial expressions.

Dollar Hotel

Inspired by the 1932 film Grand Hotel starring Greta Garbo and John Barrymore

The goings-on at most hotels often make for thrilling melodrama, but they're especially titillating in Dollar Hotel, the Grand Hotel for dolls.

Mitzi is posing as bellhop Mitch so she can spy on her bellhop fiancé Alvin, whom she suspects of cheating. However, she's soon drawn to a new guest, battle-fatigued G.I. Moe, and soon discovers why their bond is so strong. As evidence mounts to confirm Alvin's infidelity and she confronts him, he surprises her with a stunning defense.

Maid Darby also has love woes. She secretly loves desk clerk Sven, who's focused on the fate of the hotel when millionaire wheeler-dealer Ben Corrupt registers. Also adding to the drama are a sexy hotel guest and two old-timer hotel residents.

Make a reservation in 1962's Dollar Hotel, a hotbed of passion and intrigue, things you don't have to be a house detective to enjoy.

A Doll's Face

Inspired by the 1941 film A Woman's Face starring Joan Crawford and Melvyn Douglas

Brie's love for Poindexter transcends his terrible case of resin-bubble acne. Sadly, her parents find the disfigured doll unsuitable for their daughter, and this creates a rift between the lovers, so Brie runs away. Her journey takes her from living on the streets to cinching a TV news model job to ultimately meeting the Muttel God. Fate reunites her with Poindexter multiple times, but when she finds herself financially fleeced by blowhard doll millionaire Dollhand Plump, she puts her faith in her true love's scheme to recoup her money.

Take your own journey back to 1962, as A Doll's Face explores how one man's face can change the fates of others. Prison, exotic dancing, aliens, the penis, and inventions all play a role this exciting tale of the power of beauty, brains, and "facing" reality.

Dolleria

Inspired by the 1942 film Casablanca starring Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart

Casablanca has the Nazis and Dolleria has the Nisis, but both have love and espionage in dangerous times.

Dolleria intelligence agent Langford is assigned to rural Irishtown to prevent an act of industrial terrorism against a new resin refinery. For this, he first has to uncover the Nisi collaborator who facilitated the trashing of the local priest, a D.I.A. informant. However, Langford, a dashing, suave lover of girl fashion dolls, has to operate under the guise of a replacement priest. A celibate priest. Cue now a gorgeous nun doll, who complicates his mission even more than he could have imagined, and you have shifting priorities set against an abandoned resin mine's secrets, a holy stone relic, a bedroom ghost, a gun ban, and howling bagladies.

Rewind to 1985's Dolleria, a story of love, duty, and the challenge of thwarting evil enemies who fear self-reflection most of all.


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Broad Avenue

Inspired by the 1949 film Flamingo Road starring Joan Crawford and Zachary Scott

Dreams! Drive! Danger! BALLS! It's 1954. Mona Winston, now a ripe fifty-two, is hell-bent on finding fame on the stage. She's devoted ten years to chasing after Hollywood film roles and New York teevee jobs. After a gig as a carnival hootchy-kootchy dancer, she lands in Cosmotown, the Broadway of the Midwest. Filled with more drive and self-delusion than talent, the hard-scrabble Mona knows she'll make it, "because I'm tough!"

Nevertheless, life is still a struggle. She survives prison time and a bout with amnesia. She tangles with dangerous men, including two exes, a lynch-happy farmer, and a merciless drama critic, but yearns for the only guy she trusts, a three-armed musician with an extra shoulder to cry on. Mona finally scores a choice role in a major Cosmotown play. On the brink of stardom when opening night arrives, she makes two startling discoveries and must choose between her shot at fame and a shot at being a stand-up broad.

The Shanghai Barn Swallow

Inspired by the 1941 film The Maltese Falcon starring Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor

Private dick Serge Serenade's life is on the skids, when beautiful dame Mayo Kingsmill hires him to prove her art dealer husband is trying to knock her off. Serge's assignment—and heart—take some sharp turns as he tries to get up close and personal to the valuable Shanghai Barn Swallow, a treasure that possibly could put Mayo's hubby in the clink.

Set in 1947, The Shanghai Barn Swallow is steeped in hard-boiled humor and promises a ride that dreams are made of.


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Sinday in New York

Inspired by the 1963 film Sunday in New York starring Jane Fonda and Rod Taylor

Jan makes a visit to The Big Apple with the hope of gaining acceptance to Professor Pierogi's self-improvement program, so she can choose the perfect career path. Unfortunately, after she literally runs into a young man at the train station and sprains her ankle, her plans for that evening to fulfill a program prerequisite are ruined. But all is not lost, because over the next day, she gets major lessons in life and love not found on any syllabus.

Step back to 1963 with Jan and company, and discover the curse of secondhand shoes.

Susie Strayed

Inspired by the 1961 film Susan Slade starring Connie Stevens and Troy Donahue

Unmarried teenager Susie and her mother Gisele return to the States from Europe with Baby Walter, Susie's newborn. The real name of the infant's father isn't discussed, and the motherhood story Gisele provides to others is convoluted and improbable—but she's wants to salvage her daughter's reputation.

Tensions mount with a handsome local doctor and further escalate when Susie's father returns from a long job in South America and first learns of Baby Walter. Yet, the real trouble occurs when Susie's mother becomes gravely ill, and only one person can help.

Return to 1961, back to the days when unwed motherhood brought an unrivaled shame to women.

The Long, Hot Summer Fete

Inspired by the 1958 film The Long, Hot Summer starring Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward

When drifter Duke turns up in an oppressive Mississippi town and befriends the beautiful but handicapped Serena, the dreary routine of the long-suffering Beauchamps women takes a turn for the better. However, during the annual Summer Fete, passions flare and old wounds reopen, spilling tightly guarded family secrets. It's then Serena's true tragedy is made known.

Take a ride on an emotional roller coaster in this unforgiving southern gothic set in 1960.

The Chapman Census

Inspired by the 1962 film The Chapman Report starring Efrem Zimbalist Jr. and Shelley Winters

A new national Marriage Census has been implemented where only housewives are "invited" to be interviewed about their "intimate" lives. Newlywed housewife Malbro suffers with an intimacy problem and her mandatory invitation brings much anxiety. However, interviewer Rex offers a cure, one which, sadly, leads to new problems.

Beaten but not down and determined to take charge of her life, Malbro joins some unlikely cohorts for much-needed relief.

Tug off your white gloves and join this 1962 clash of the sexes.


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Milkin' Hunny

Inspired by the 1962 film It's Only Money starring Jerry Lewis and Joan O'Brien

April Fools' Day, 1961, leaves TV repairman Gil "Hunny" Hunnicutt stiffed on a service call, and he'll be damned if doesn't get paid. His mission nearly kills him at the gun-toting hands of a crazy lady, not the only crazy lady to pull a gun on him.

While he envisions an unappealing future and has a slippery hold on a new-found love, he's still tethered to his two polar-opposite sisters and isn't sure, at his core, which of them he's more like. His wandering "antenna" has had a chokehold on him for much of his life, but now he's ready for love's chokehold. However, he first has to free himself from the chokehold of the Albanian Mob.

His journey leads him to Judy Garland and Carnegie Hall, a hitman in drag, questionable deaths, FBI spooks, and his very own felony—courtesy of the Mob—all while juggling family demands, true love, homophobia, racism, and the curse of shadow puppet shows.

Hunny learns growing up is hard, especially for an old dog used to running in circles and chasing tail.


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The Worst of Everything

Inspired by the 1959 film The Best of Everything starring Hope Lange and Suzy Parker

In 1962, that quaint time of polio, carbon paper, and the Constitutional right to an attorney, Junemarie leaves the farm for Manhattan to become a career girl—and to find a husband.

Along with being an oblivious racist and xenophobe, she's not the sharpest knife in the drawer and doesn't know the meaning of the word surrender, despite being an assistant editor in a prestigious publishing house. Her pursuit of handsome Ken Davenport is so relentless she's not deterred by her own acrophobia and the calamities to the city's tall buildings that season, including a tornado strike, towering inferno, defenestration, rooftop decapitation, and elevator mutilation. She learns about free love, beatniks, jazz, and psychoanalysis, attends the celebrated Leprosy Charity Ball, and pens her own space-age novel. The shocking secrets of a hard-boiled veteran editor, peculiar co-worker, and her beloved Ken are revealed, along with her own closet's skeletons.

Can Junemarie conquer the dizzying heights of modern Manhattan, especially when the worst of everything is within herself?

Buddy, Ladies' Man

Inspired by the 2000 film The Ladies Man starring Tim Meadows and Karyn Parsons

Simpleton Buddy Pangborn has a way with the ladies, an odd way, but a way nonetheless. When he captures the heart of mall cop Rosette and she captures his, the next step is to introduce her to his mother—who introduces the young woman to the legend of Bloodside Manor.

Set in 1991, Buddy, Ladies' Man returns us to those mall days before internet shopping, back when both sales clerks and the ladies could snub you to your face.

Corky Van Winkle, Cub Reporter

Inspired by the 1939 film Nancy Drew…Reporter starring Bonita Granville and John Litel

Corky breaks a glass ceiling by becoming the city newspaper's first female cub reporter. But she has a bigger dream—to become a famous newsmodel on teevee. First, however, she has to make a name for herself by solving a high-profile jewelry theft case. She interviews a collection of disparate characters, but which one will lead her to Dame Headsley's missing Magenta Pink diamond necklace?

Rewind to 1988, when good looks could take you further than brains. Well, actually, that's still true.

A Retro Romcom

A New Take on Sunday in New York

Spacestation Moonlight

A Tale of Modernistic Retro Lunacy

Tight Spots

Why Good Girls Once Had to be Good

Blessed Event

A Question of Maternity

Seaside Sensation

She Sells Sea Shells by the Sea Shore

Dreamyhouse Dreams

The Lives and Loves of Boomer Fashion Dolls

Dream Hotel

A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Greed, and Fate

Thumbs Down

A Story of Lovers and Losers

Dolleria

The Story of a Vigilant DIA Agent Doll Who Fights the Scourge of Nisism

Charged by Love

A Real-Life Credit Card Romance

Marooned in Heaven

When Nun Didn't Mean None