• New Rivers Press (1996)
  • Delta Paperback (1997)
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Meet the Gabriel family: LaDonna, an entrepreneur of prodigious creativity has been sentenced to a term in the Shakopee Women’s Detention Center, which is extended when she puts a hex on a judge.  Undaunted she creates a line of cosmetics from her cell.

Marcus, LaDonna’s significant other, spends his days pining for LaDonna, teaching his classes at Hawthorne Elementary and hanging out with his teenage son.

Verda, Marcus’ mother, seizes the opportunity to find someone suitable to replace LaDonna.  She sets about hiring a maid to infiltrate the household and capture Marcus’s affections.

During this trying time, one woman–Dr. Ione Wilson Simpson, a teacher at Mid North Bible College–remains loyal to LaDonna.

Ali and the other teenagers in the book view all the machinations from a safe distance, with typical teenage aplomb.

Haynes demonstrates throughout that he knows that these folk and their problems; that he has eyes that can see a voice that can speak–with wit and even wisdom.