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by Maria R. Owens

In this dramatic thriller, the reader becomes voyeur, peering into the lives of three families. Secret coalitions, agonizing experiences, and irreversible decisions collide in one unforgettable climax.

The story unfolds around Cimion Braten, the perfect little girl with a fairytale childhood; Stacy Johnson, the sweet spirit tortured by inner conflict and the devastating effects of dangerous decisions; and Deandry and Willie Davidson, two boys raised by damaged parents and who select dramatically different paths to cope with the pain. Cimion is the self-assured product of a loving and sheltered environment. She lives a charmed life, seemingly incapable of making foolish decisions.

All her life, Stacy has sought to measure up, to be good enough. When she decides she never could, she gives up trying, with catastrophic results.

Willie is the good-natured, golden boy who never met a basketball or beautiful woman he didnt like. He handles both like a master sculptor with a magic blade. Deandrey is damaged but not deterred by his hurtful childhood. He resolves to be what his useless father was not and what his spineless mother could never be: his own person. Not caring what he has to do to get there, he elects at a young age a ruthless route to infamy.

As Deandrys crime conglomerate is thrust into the path of Cyclone Cimion, each makes life-altering choices. Each of them learns that success sometimes comes with an excruciatingly expensive price tag. When you are fighting for your very life, you will do anything to survive.

Cimion, Willie, Stacey, and Deandrey enter a life-or-death game in which it will be impossible for all of them to make it out alive. No one could foresee the explosion as their lives are sent hurling on an inescapable course bound for disaster.

About the Author

Maria R. Owens is a lifelong Chicago resident and a graduate of Percy L. Julian High School.

Currently, she is a partner in the Chicago law firm Owens & Robinson, where she has practiced for over twelve years in civil and criminal litigation. Her firm is also the legal consultant for a nationally syndicated court television show, The Judge Mathis Show. Mrs. Owens has written several plays, including Coming Up from Slavery: Getting down to Business and The Journey, as well as several poems and orations.

She has been married for twenty-three years and has two children. A woman of faith, she is an Evangelist concerned for African-American youths.

Mrs. Owens is engaged in community-outreach efforts, such as feeding Chicago-area homeless; providing for children of incarcerated parents; serving women and youth residing in shelters and rehabilitation residences; and ministering to incarcerated youth. She is affiliated with the Chicago Bar Association, the Baptist State Convention of Illinois, Inc., and the Progressive National Baptist Convention. Shes also an alumnus of Illinois State University, Loyola University-Chicago School of Law.

Combustion is Mrs. Owenss premier publication and the first in a series of novels featuring heroine Cimion Braten.

(2009, paperback, 242 pages)