Books and Publications

An Ecotopian Cli-Fi Novel

for the Hopeful

Named 2018 Cat Book of the Year

by The Conscious Cat Blog

What if Time Travel were real? What if Time Travelers from 300 years in the future told you that there was a chance that you could prevent the catastrophic climate change, plagues, and wars that have shaped your world in 2050 by going back in time to key Pivot Points and ethically altering the outcome of elections that had been manipulated? What if failure would result in the destruction of the biosphere? Would you go?

In post-plague 2050 Britain, palm trees tower over the rice paddies of Stonehenge. Tara MacFarlane, a weary 96-year-old anthropologist originally from Taos, New Mexico, longs only to finish out her life in peaceful Buddhist meditation, and rejoin the great love of her later years, the humanitarian Scottish-Afghan doctor Xander, in a future incarnation.

Suddenly one stifling autumn day Tara, her great-granddaughter Leona, and Leona’s boyfriend Janus are faced with a trio of Time Travelers from a future alternate Timeline where humanity and the eco-system survived and thrived.

The fate of humanity and most of Earth’s species falls squarely on the shoulders of Tara, Leona, Janus, and Tara’s small gray cat, Georgie, who shows a surprising aptitude for telepathy. Time is short to reverse catastrophe that will bleed through into the alternate Timeline, and the three mysterious Time Travelers must determine the ideal Pivot Points by reading the Time Code vibrations off the great standing stones of Avebury.  Unexpectedly joined by the brave and wise cat Georgie, the six plunge into the Time Circle of Stonehenge on their mission. Where and when will they go, and will they succeed in restoring the Earth and humanity to balance?

Elizabeth’s journalistic objectivity is challenged by both this powerful sisterhood and her growing feelings for Dr. Yusuf Hakim, an idealistic, American-trained doctor who tends to both mujahedeen Resistance fighters and innocent civilians. Yusuf faces painful and often dangerous choices as he goes about his clandestine work in his ancestral province of Kunar, now governed by his pro-Soviet younger brother, Ayub Khan. Into this volatile brew is thrown the increasing threat of extremist Islamic fundamentalism, supported covertly by the CIA and threatening the influence of moderates like Massoud Khan, Yusuf’s longtime friend and mentor, and the mysterious commando leader, Rahimullah. Elizabeth’s worldview is shattered by the cruelty and randomness of war, and healed by the friendships she forms with the quietly feminist refugee leader Salima Khan and the dedicated nurse Malolai.  Her love for Yusuf comes ultimately to sustain her, as her Afghan friends teach her the humility of true heroism.

Love and War in the Land of Cain is a compelling story of love, war, idealism and hard moral choices during the brutal Afghan-Soviet conflict of the 1980’s. American journalist and photographer Elizabeth Owen, eager to jumpstart her career after a painful breakup, dares to go where few farangi men and virtually no foreign women have gone before: into the war zone with the mujahedeen in remote and forbidding Afghanistan. In the legendary Biblical “land of Nod, east of Eden” where Cain fled after killing Abel, Elizabeth finds instinctive sisterhood with Afghan women as she witnesses the rending of Afghan society in a confusing war where brother fights brother, and son bitterly opposes father. 

Find out more about Love and War in the Land of Cain at loveandwarinthelandofcain.com

Sisters on the Bridge of Fire

Now available directly from the author,

or at amazon.com

Sisters on the Bridge of Fire: One Woman’s Journey in Afghanistan, India and Pakistan was originally published in 1993, with a second edition published by Schaffner Press in 2002.

Sisters on the Bridge of Fire is a work of passion by a gifted writer who is unafraid of love and intimacy with her subjects. Debra Denker writes compellingly about a people and a land whose history and future have become crucial to everyone on earth.”

       ---Larry Dossey, MD,

       Author, Healing Beyond the Body

“Her writing is immediate and intimate.” —Library Journal

“Debra Denker has produced a book of essential value...a vivid, riveting account of travel and adventure, and a spiritual work which can guide us towards new ways of examining our relationship with the unfamiliar ‘Other.’”

     ---Jennifer Heath,

         Author, A House White with Sorrow: A Ballad for Afghanistan

One of the first women journalists to travel freely with the Afghan mujahedeen during the Soviet occupation in the 1980’s, Denker, a freelance writer and photographer, exchanged the safety and comfort of her Southern California home for a world “on the bridge of fire” to find powerful family and spiritual bonds with a people and culture torn apart by war.

Her subsequent travels to Pakistan and India were fueled by a passion for the land and its people as well as a keen eye for detail. Whether hiking dangerous mountains passes in the remote Hindu Kush or assisting the dying women at Mother Teresa’s hospice in Calcutta, her indomitable strength and compassion resonate throughout this fascinating account of a life-transforming journey. This is a powerful narration of one woman’s search for kinship and sisterhood, beauty and grace in a violent world.

Debra’s other notable publications include:

“People of Fire and Fervor,” National Geographic, October, 1981

“Along Afghanistan’s War-torn Frontier,” National Geographic, June, 1985

Excerpt, From the Field: A Collection of Writings from National Geographic, National Geographic Society, 1997

Debra has been a writer since she first learned to read and write. She has always harbored the idealistic hope that words can truly co-create a better world by shedding light on hidden darknesses through journalism, and by inspiring people with fiction and poetry.

Debra received a poetry award for her poem on the aftermath of nuclear holocaust from the San Fernando Valley Writer’s Club in 1968, and went on to participate in the Poets in the Schools program in Riverside, California and to facilitate poetry workshops in ESL classes at Capital High in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Her first published work was a travel article about the then-remote and exotic island of Lamu, off the coast of Kenya, in the Los Angeles Times in 1976. She went on to write a variety of travel articles for the Times, and to expand into political and social journalism throughout the 80’s. Since beginning her study of holistic healing in 1986 she has also written widely on that and related subjects. See her Biography for more detailed information.

Works seeking publication

and production financing include:

Messages from the Dharma Cybercafe: A 21st Century Tibetan Odyssey through Impermanence (non-fiction)

Second Chance Mesa, a screenplay set in Taos, New Mexico

“End Times, a screenplay set in contemporary Tibet

Shadow of the Hawk, (screenplay and novel), an environmental love story set on the Navajo Nation

Love and War in the Land of Cain screenplay

First Place Winner, 2022 National Federation of Press Women Communications Contest