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"Valley of the Shadows" is a duet of two novels, concerning the fickleness of pursuing fame in a society that measures success by media adoration. In the title novel, Marya Brooks, an experienced poet in her seventies, decides to practice amateur "obeah" (voodoo) to cast negative spells on her favorite top five poets, the thriving competition. Only when each poet begins to die mysteriously does she develop guilt for her actions. Her former student, H.D., believes her research can dispute Marya's fallacious theories. "Surrender," the second poem-novel, alternates between viewpoints of Rory Pole, an aspiring songwriter, and her idol, country music rising star, Maggie Moore. Also set in the southeast, primarily on both coasts of southern Florida, Rory is bitter when she receives no response from Maggie but notices that lines of her poems begin appearing in the singer's songs. In both novels, all characters eventually give up illusions and false patterns of behavior in these chilling stories, regarding the relevance of mass recognition and inordinate acclaim and adulation. They are novels-of-the-future, in accord with Anais Nin's tenets that commingle art with moral issues for compelling psychological literature.