Women of Southie

Women of Southie tells the story of six women, who grew up in and, in most cases, still live in their beloved town of South Boston, a place sadly and most notably recognized as the home of James “Whitey” Bulger, the organized crime boss captured in 2011 after 16 years on the run, and sentenced in 2013 to life in prison for 11 murders. But while Bulger might have been ruling the town with an iron fist, as depicted by Johnny Depp, in “Black Mass,” what the town ought to have been recognized for are the far braver women who ruled their own lives and their families with equally strong but far more beneficial hands. Six of these women are depicted in this book, each of whom faced hurdles more frightening than mobsters.  Death of loved ones, suicide, murder, addiction, abuse, post traumatic stress disorder are some of the demons they faced. Yet, none of these women ever backed down from an important fight, each one emerging, on the pages of this book as a shining light of what love and courage and an indomitable spirit can accomplish.

 The stories of these women, whose ages range from 40-67, are filled with honest details, some heartbreaking but all ultimately courageous and inspirational. Talking always honestly, about their children, their men, their losses, and their successes, they are shining examples that, in today’s world, it is the words of strong women that offer the antidote to loss and pain.

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Praise for Southie

In “The Women of Southie,” Phyllis Karas gives us compelling portraits of six enduring vibrant women who have made it through the worst that life can throw at them – –physical abuse, addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder. Yet, their intense family love and loyalty carried them through whatever was going on around them.

Everyone knew the neighborhood that was ruled by legendary crime boss Whitey Bulger wasn’t your white picket fence suburbia. There were drugs, an epic war between rival gangs, and more than a few murders. But most didn’t know that behind this façade, even stronger women lived and loved and overcame and made their own families rocks of stability. They hold little back in telling their stories and Phyllis Karas lets us see the world through their eyes in vivid detail. Their strength and resilience are amazing  making the book a real page turner. You won’t soon forget these women,  who never stopped loving their town of Southie.   

~Caryl Rivers, author of the best selling novel “Virgins”

More Praise for Southie

This powerful book reads like something out of Hollywood -- colorful, passionate, but in this case all too real.  Women of Southie  pierces the stereotypes of working class white women, telling their stories  through the eyes the women themselves.  Karas and Weeks pull no punches in their unblinking portrait of Southie women who at one turn make savagely poor decisions and on the other reveal deep reserves of compassion and grit.  It is the story of despair, struggle and resilience.  Not to be missed.

~ Judy Stoia

 Executive Producer, Public and Commercial Broadcasting

The Onassis Women

At age seventeen, Kiki Feroudi was offered a job that would change her life -- working for the most renowned man in Greece, Aristotle Onassis. Now she relates the details of his marriage to Jacqueline Kennedy; his travels with his mistress Maria Callas; and the turbulent lives of his children, Alexander and Christina, in a compelling, compassionate glimpse into their private, privileged -- and often painful -- lives...

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Brutal: The Untold Story of My Life Inside Whitey Bulger's Irish Mob

I grew up in the Old Colony housing project in South Boston and became partners with James "Whitey" Bulger, who I always called Jimmy.

Jimmy and I, we were unstoppable. We took what we wanted. And we made people disappear—permanently. We made millions. And if someone ratted us out, we killed him. We were not nice guys.

I found out that Jimmy had been an FBI informant in 1999, and my life was never the same. When the feds finally got me, I was faced with something Jimmy would have killed me for—cooperating with the authorities. I pled guilty to twenty-nine counts, including five murders. I went away for five and a half years.

I was brutally honest on the witness stand, and this book is brutally honest, too; the brutal truth that was never before told. How could it? Only three people could tell the true story. With one on the run and one in jail for life, it falls on me. 

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An Actor and and Gentleman

Award-winning African American actor Lou Gossett Jr. takes an unvarnished look at the daunting challenges and incredible triumphs of his fifty-five year career

Louis Gossett Jr. is one of the most respected African American stage and screen actors, who rose to fame with his Emmy-winning role in the television miniseries Roots and Oscar-winning performance in An Officer and a Gentleman. Now he tells the story of his fifty-plus years in the entertainment world—from his early success on the New York stage appearing with Ruby Dee and Sidney Poitier in A Raisin in the Sun, through his long Hollywood career working alongside countless stars, including Marilyn Monroe and Dennis Quaid. He writes frankly of his struggle to get leading roles and fair pay as a black man in Hollywood, his problems with drugs and alcohol that took years to overcome, and his current work to eradicate racism and violence and give our children a better future.

  • Includes revealing stories and reminiscences involving famous performers, including Sidney Poitier, Paul Newman, Shirley Booth, Sammy Davis Jr., Steve McQueen, Richard Gere, Maggie Smith, Halle Berry, and Gena Rowlands

  • Spans half a century of American theater and film history, people, and performances

  • Highlights the problem of racism in Hollywood and the challenges faced by African American actors from the 1950s and 1960s onward

 

An Actor and a Gentleman penetrates the celebrity glitz and glamour to offer an honest, heartfelt portrayal of the African American experience both in Hollywood and the New York theater world, as told by one of the nation's most enduring and highly esteemed actors.

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Street Soldier

For decades the FBI let James ''Whitey'' Bulger get away with murder, allowing him continued control of his criminal enterprise in exchange for information. He went on the lam in 1995, after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, 2011 followed top-ranked Osama bin Laden on the FBI'''s Ten Most Wanted List, and then was captured in Santa Monica, California weeks after Bin Laden's demise.

Edward J. MacKenzie, Jr. was a drug dealer and enforcer who would do just about anything for Bulger. In this compelling eyewitness account, Eddie Mac delivers the goods on his one-time boss and on such former associates as Stephen ''The Rifleman'' Flemmi and turncoat FBI agent John Connolly.

Street Soldier is also a story of the search for family, for acceptance, for respect, loyalty, and love. Abandoned by his parents at the age of four, Mackenzie became a ward of the state, suffered physical and sexual abuse, and eventually drifted into Bulger's orbit.

The Eddie Mac who emerges in these pages is complex: An enforcer who was also a national kick-boxing champion; a womanizer who fought for custody of his daughters; a kid never given much of a chance who went on, as an adult, to earn a college degree in three years; a man who lived by a strict code of loyalty but also helped set up a sting operation that would net one of the largest hauls of cocaine ever seized.

Street Soldier is as disturbing and fascinating as a crime scene, as heart-stopping as a bar fight, and at times as darkly comic as Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction or Martin Scorsese's Good Fellas.

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Where's Whitey?

When Joey Donahue is released from prison after serving six years for racketeering, he is determined to stay clear of the life of crime that has supported him for the past twenty-five years. Unable to find a legitimate job due to his association with the mob and Whitey Bulger, Joey finally surrenders to the temptation of a friend's offer to join him in a fast score - the simple robbery of a drug dealer - to help him make ends meet. The robbery is a sting operation set up by the FBI with the express purpose of forcing Joey to cooperate in the frustratingly unsuccessful search for his one - time mentor. Reluctantly partnered with an FBI agent, the hunt for Whitey takes place against an international backdrop until the old friends finally meet up in a high-stakes climax, ending the game of cat and mouse once and for all.

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Hunted Down

Writer Kevin Weeks was top Lieutenant to James "Whitey" Bulger, head of the South Boston Irish Mob, who was on the run for more than 16 years before his capture on June 22, 2011. While on the FBI Most Wanted list with a two million dollar reward, Whitey had been second only to Osama bin Laden. HUNTED DOWN is a story of murder, friendship and loyalty within the mob, using many situations that Weeks could have omitted from his NYT bestselling memoir, BRUTAL: THE UNTOLD STORY OF MY LIFE INSIDE WHITEY BULGER'S IRISH MOB. While HUNTED DOWN is fiction, its insider knowledge makes it all the more intriguing, with hints toward where Whitey and his companion Catherine Greig may actually have spent those 16 years on the run. 

 In this story, Joey Donahue is released from prison after serving six years for racketeering and crimes committed as deputy to the infamous South Boston Irish Mob boss and psychopathic murderer Whitey Bulger. This time, he is determined to stay clear of the life of crime that has supported him for the past twenty-five years. After a year of trying unsuccessfully to find a job due to his notorious association with Bulger, Joey finally surrenders to the temptation of a friend's offer to join him in a fast score, a simple robbery of a drug dealer that should pay the bills until he finds a viable job. The robbery turns out to be a sting operation set up by the FBI for the express purpose of forcing Joey to cooperate in the frustratingly unsuccessful search for his onetime mentor. With Joey reluctantly partnered with an FBI agent, the hunt for Whitey takes place against an international backdrop until the old friends finally meet up in a high-stakes climax, ending the game of cat and mouse once and for all.

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A Life Worth Living

Jessica Marks's wonderful life as a wife and mother is threatened when she discovers a terrible secret from her husband Jon's past, and she must come to terms with an uncertain future.

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The Hate Crime

Zack's dad is the district attorney, so Zack hears a lot about all kinds of terrible crimes. The latest case is about graffiti defacing the local temple, and Zack wonders why his dad is making such a big deal about it. After all, it's not like it's a murder.But what makes this hate crime a real shocker for Zack is that he knows the guy who committed it-a fellow lacrosse player, and a good student who's never been in trouble. And it's only when Zack tries to get to the bottom of this senseless act that he fully understands the terror these vicious scrawls evoke. When a sickness that once swept the world, killing millions, rear its ugly head in a quiet community and turns friend against friend, it's a very big deal.

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Cry Baby

Feeling like the black sheep of her family when she prefers lacrosse to tennis, a fifteen-year-old girl learns terrible secrets that threaten to upset her home life, her best friend's happiness, and her relationship with a new boyfriend.

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For Lucky's Sake

Twelve-year-old Benjy's life has changed since the tragic fire at his mother's animal shelter that had killed two greyhounds.  And while he investigating a research clinic that he suspects of the arson, he realizes there are many sides to every story.

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Spellbound

With a little help from a witch, Emily becomes a soccer star and bewitches the boy of her dreams.  But can she save her troubled brother from himself?

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Phyllis Karas

Marblehead, Massachusetts