THELMA ADAMS is an established figure in the entertainment industry. For two decades, she has penned celebrity features and criticism for high-profile publications. Her portfolio of actor interviews includes Julianne Moore, George Clooney, Jessica Chastain, and Matthew McConaughey, among many others. While covering film for the New York Post, Us Weekly, and Yahoo Movies, Thelma became a regular at film festivals from Berlin to Dubai, Toronto to Tribeca. She sits on the Hamptons International Film Festival Advisory Board and twice chaired the prestigious New York Film Critics Circle. Her debut novel, Playdate, published by Thomas Dunne Books, won high critical acclaim. Adams is often recognized, as she has been invited to share her expertise on many broadcast outlets, including appearances on NBC’s Today, CBS’s Early Show, and CNN. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a history degree from UC Berkeley and earned an MFA from Columbia University. She lives in Hyde Park, New York, with her family.
Lake Union Publishing - November 6, 2018
In turn-of-the century New York, a mobster rises—and his favorite sister struggles between loyalty and life itself. How far will she go when he commits murder?
After midnight, Thelma Lorber enters her brother Abie’s hangout under the Williamsburg Bridge, finding Jewish mobster Louis “Pretty” Amberg in a puddle of blood on the kitchen floor. She could flee. Instead, in the dark hours of that October 1935 night before the dawn of Murder, Inc., she remains beside the fierce, funny brother who has nurtured and protected her since childhood. There are many kinds of love a woman can feel for a man, but few compare to that of the baby sister for her older brother. For Thelma, a wild widow tethered to a young son, Abie is the center of her world. But that love is about to undo everything she holds dear…
Flipping the familiar script of The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire, and The Godfather, Bittersweet Brooklyn explores the shattering impact of mob violence on the women expected to mop up the mess. Winding its way over decades, this haunting family saga plunges readers into a dangerous past—revealed through the perspective of a forgotten yet vibrant woman.
praise for bittersweet brooklyn
"Thelma Adams is our new Dickens in her effervescently vivid tale of Jewish hardscrabble living, gangsters, torn-apart families and a young woman desperate for love, family and a stable future. Set in a 1920s, and 30s Brooklyn so rich, raw and bristling with life that you can taste the brine on the deli pickles and see the flasks of whiskey hidden in a garter, this is the kind of novel that’s lived, rather than read."—Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You, and Cruel Beautiful World
"Bookies! Bubbes! Bossy big-mouths! Thelma Adams’ Bittersweet Brooklyn takes you back to an early twentieth century Williamsburg teeming not with too-cool-for-school Millennials, but rough-and-tumble Jewish and Italian immigrants. You’ll race through this raucous historical saga, admiring its gritty detail and street-smart dialogue. Inspired by real events, Thelma Adams brings to life an unforgettable family ruled by filial love divided by biting dysfunction."—Sally Koslow, author of Another Side of Paradise
"Thelma Adams has found her niche as a wonderfully vivid historical chronicler of the female spirit. Her tale of a Jewish girl making her way amid gangster-studded NYC is a marvelous must read."—Michael Musto, columnis
"Bittersweet Brooklyn is gripping from Page one. An intimate look at the dynamics of a broken family in gangster-riddled New York, it will have you rooting for protagonist and antagonist alike as wounds are open, healed, scarred, and exposed. With some of the finest dialogue I've ever come across, this is one I will not soon forget."—Camille Di Maio, bestselling author of The Way of Beauty and The Memory of Us
"Set in the savage underbelly of a Mafia-linked social club and amusement park, Bittersweet Brooklyn tells the sizzling and unforgettable family saga of a brother and sister who must pit survival against loyalty, desire, and compassion."—Susan Henderson, author of The Flicker of Old Dreams
"Terrific! A great story, suspense, a vibrant heroine, complex and colorful supporting characters and amazing period details: I couldn't put it down."—Caryn James, Cultural Critic and author of the novels Glorie and What Caroline Knew
"Smart and complex, Bittersweet Brooklyn is a riveting journey into a glamorous and deadly underworld. Fascinating characters and a backdrop of New York in the 1920’s kept me churning through pages. Add in twist after twist to an already vibrant plot, and you’ve got the makings of a perfect read! No one writes women in history better than Thelma Adams. I loved this book!"—Heather Burch, bestselling author of In the Light of the Garden
"Thelma Adams has found her niche as a wonderfully vivid historical chronicler of the female spirit. Her tale of a Jewish girl making her way amid gangster-studded NYC is a marvelous must read."—Paula Froelich, New York Times bestselling author of Mercury in Retrograde
THE LAST WOMAN STANDING
A Novel of Mrs. Wyatt Earp
Lake Union Publishing – July 1, 201
Two decades after the Civil War, Josephine Marcus, the teenage daughter of Jewish immigrants, is lured west with the promise of marriage to Johnny Behan, one of Arizona’s famous lawmen. She leaves her San Francisco home to join Behan in Tombstone, Arizona, a magnet for miners (and outlaws) attracted by the silver boom. Though united by the glint of metal, Tombstone is plagued by divided loyalties: between Confederates and Unionists, Lincoln Republicans and Democrats.
But when the silver-tongued Behan proves unreliable, it is legendary frontiersman Wyatt Earp who emerges as Josephine’s match. As the couple’s romance sparks, Behan’s jealousy ignites a rivalry destined for the history books…
At once an epic account of an improbable romance and a retelling of an iconic American tale, The Last Woman Standingrecalls the famed gunfight at the O.K. Corral through the eyes of a spunky heroine who sought her happy ending in a lawless outpost—with a fierce will and an unflagging spirit.
Praise for THE LAST WOMAN STANDING
“Who doesn’t want to read about the woman who married Wyatt Earp? A legend of her own, she was Jewish, beautiful and exotic, and Adams has made her alive and kicking on the page. A Wild West story made even wilder, more poignant and inspired by Adams’ fascinating research and glittering prose.”—Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Is This Tomorrow and Pictures of You
“An exciting meld of fact and fiction.“—Examiner.com
“The well-known historical scoundrels and lawmen of Tombstone come alive in this book, from Curly Bill and the Clantons to Doc Holliday. These men are vividly portrayed. The phrases used and conventions of daily life feel authentic to the 1880s. Overall, Josephine’s voice is strong and bursting with personality. It makes for an engaging narrative.“—Historical Novel Society