FORBIDDEN LOVE  is the true story of Father William Grau, a black Catholic priest and Sister Sophie Legocki, a white nun who, in 1955, defied the church and society with their passionate secret love affair that lasted for 10 years and produced a son, Joe Steele. Through heart-wrenching conversations with his birth mother, Joe learns how she fell in love with his birth father and about their life together as secret lovers. Joe also shares his life with the incredible Steele family who adopted him out of foster care as an infant. FORBIDDEN LOVE  is about the right to love and will resonate with anyone who refuses to let society define your love.

"If you Loved Forbidden Love You won't be able to put a Dead Man Speaks Down"


A DEAD MAN SPEAKS is a supernatural murder mystery and the story of Clive January, a successful African American investment banker in NY who has it all—money, power, a beautiful wife and an even more beautiful mistress, until he’s killed, shot in the back by an unknown assailant. As he lies dying, he hears voices that tell him that he must look back and find out who killed him or he’ll have no peace. Through dreams and visions, his spirit works with Detective Bob, the white cop assigned to his case. Detective Bob is psychic and has the gift of communicating with those who’ve been killed without knowing who or why. Through dreams and visions of Clive’s life from an early age until the murder, Detective Bob is able to piece together the crime. But at the moment when he and Clive discover the chilling truth, Clive learns that unless he’s able to love and forgive his murderer he’ll have no peace. Ultimately A DEAD MAN SPEAKS is about the redemptive power of love and forgiveness.



5.0 out of 5 stars
Do yourself a favor…

This is hands down the best novel I’ve ever read. What makes it so? The intention of the Author to not only intrigue and entertainment, which she does most effectively, but her intention to provoke change in the reader.

Not since Shogun by James Clavell, have I been pulled into a novel and forced to carry it with me so I could take advantage of every spare moment to continue the journey. Not since Devil In The Blue Dress by Walter Mosley has a tale of the Black experience captivated me so thoroughly. And never, in any of these reading experiences have I walked away improved from the experienced. I’m talking about a tangible effective transformation based on the experience the finale of the book provoked in me. And do yourself a favor…don’t read the end to see what I am talking about. Part of the process I experienced occurred because I resisted the urge to do so and flowed sequentially through the material and thus had the experience the Author intended and created the vehicle to accomplish.

Writing in multiple First Persons, Lisa Johnson gives us both the objective AND subjective experience of the major characters from her novel, an interesting juxtaposition of what we thought we knew from what we observed, and what the characters actually knew from their prospective, which results in a greater understanding of ourselves and what we might need to do to improve our self, as do the two main characters.

I think this book is the point of transition to the next area of literary focus, namely Human Transformation. So if you are almost tired of murder as the focus and subject matter of nearly all English writings in the fiction vain, and plan to stop reading the genre all together soon, then make A Dead Man Speaks your last stop along this road. I think you’ll be glad you did.

5.0 out of 5 stars
Dead Man Speaks Spoke to ME!

I am an avid reader – and I love thrillers. I love books by Lee Child and James Lee Burke and everyone in between. This first novel by Lisa Jones-Johnson is very intriguing. And it certainly is worthy of the “in between” category I describe above. Her concept is so unique that at first I thought it might be contrived or the story line would be too obvious. But, happily, I was wrong on both counts. The characters are completely independent of each other- so much so that you will quickly visualize them as they take on their own form and personality. And for a first time novelist the consistency of the characters and the story line is remarkable. You can almost see this story “happening” before you as you read. It is definitely “film” material. The story itself, while simple, is seriously complicated by the nature of the basic theme– a man unable to “let go” and die is trapped by the need to uncover his murderer and must “visit” those living persons who are involved in the crime to help guide them to the answers he – and they – seek – to solve the mystery.

I highly recommend this book to serious readers. It will “enter” you the same way the dying Clive January enters the minds and souls of those whose help he needs….And you will travel with them to unravel the clues and find the answers to this very fascinating story.

Cindy R.
5.0 out of 5 stars
Gripping and thought-provoking!

A Dead Man Speaks by Lisa Jones-Johnson is not only entertaining, but it has a very important message (unusual for a murder mystery) which the reader experiences as the story comes to a close, although you get glimpses of the message throughout the book as well. Congrats to the author on creating a murder mystery that includes this powerful message within its pages. I won’t give anything away I shouldn’t. While reading this book I felt like I could get into the hearts and minds of the characters involved because of the descriptive way their stories were told. What I liked most was that the author (Lisa Jones-Johnson) chose to have the reader view the lives of the characters as told through THEIR eyes/perspective and that made me feel like I really got to know the personality of the character on a more personal level. It was brilliantly written on so many levels and through the experiences of the characters raised my understanding a bit on the Civil Rights movement as well which I really appreciated. I highly recommend this book because it is not only entertaining (I couldn’t put the book down) but it was thoughtfully written and highly worth my time.

Joseph C.
5.0 out of 5 stars
Psychological Thriller With A Twist

This is an engrossing read that I could not put down until I finished it (at about 2:00 AM). Although this book works extremely well as a classic thriller, with all of the plot developments and red herrings, what makes this book so involving is the strong character development and evocative writing. The story also touches on many issues as we see the rapid success of a self-made man who is haunted by his past. I also liked that the book had something to say about forgiveness and learning to come to terms with your past. I think this was a fantastic fist book and I hope to see more from this author.

ene G.
5.0 out of 5 stars
A must read!

“A Dead Man Speaks” is a top notch thriller with well-defined characters. I couldn’t put the book down. It kept me guessing “who done it” until the very end. It was also thought provoking in showing how people are often a product of their pasts, and in order to move on forgiveness is key. A must read! Can’t wait for the movie and the author’s next book!

5.0 out of 5 stars
Mystery with a message

This is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. Couldn’t put it down once I picked it up. It’s a mystery with a message on life, growing, self and other awareness, forgiving. It makes you think and ponder about your own experiences. Looking forward to more books from this author!

Sumi K
4.0 out of 5 stars
Psychic Murder Mystery

Truly and enjoyable book that I couldn’t put down from start to finish.

I felt like I was able to experience life back in those times through the eyes of Clive, his family and those whose lives became inextricably entwined with his…with an unflinching, searching gaze. This book is a definite Must-Read!