ISBN: 978-0-9843081-9-4
ePub: 978-1-936332-49-6
6 x 9, 334 pages, $15.95
BISACS: FIC031000; FIC050000; TRU003000; FAM029000

Special Features


  • Semi-Finalist
    —The Writers Foundation Awards
  • Semi-Finalist —America's Best Screenplay
  • Semi-Finalist
    —Austin Screenwriters
  • Semi-Finalist
    —The Writer's Network
    - Thailand
    - Spain

WWII mafia Heroine

"Ron Russell has done an excellent job of blending history; intrigue; power into one delicious epic adventure that you will not want to put down. A woman as the head of the Mafia, who shows her family her resourcefulness, strength and survival techniques. Unique, creative and powerful! A must read!"
— Linda Gray, Actress, "Dallas"

Southern Italy in the 1930s was chaotic and violent—the rise of dictator Mussolini, the dawn of Europe’s descent into another World War, and continuation of turf battles between Mafia families. This was certainly no place for a young woman to assume power, but seventeen-year-old Carina would have no choice in the matter.


A father's death in Southern Italy in the 1930s—a place where women who can read are considered unfit for marriage—thrusts seventeen-year-old Carina into servitude as a "black widow," a legal head of the household who cares for her twelve younger siblings. A scandal forces her into a marriage to Russo, the "Prince of Naples." As head of the mafia, or Camorra, he turns her seven younger brothers into criminals.

Her black widow skills prove invaluable to Russo, and his enterprise prospers, until Mussolini allies with the Nazi Germany war machine. With three children under the age of seven, the Russo family faces food shortages, martial law under the Gestapo, and devastating Allied air raids. One night, a bomb rips through their house causing Russo to lose his mind and start babbling secrets. If the Camorra learns of this, Carina knows an ensuing turf war will rob her of her home, her life, and the lives of everyone dear to her.

By cunning force, Carina seizes control of Russo's organization and uses her skill and savvy to control the most powerful of Mafia groups. Discovery is inevitable—and, Interpol has been watching as well. Nevertheless, Carina survives to tell her children her stunning story of strength and survival.


A great, romantic, sweeping, historical saga in the tradition of Zhivago and The Godfather! —Dan Gordon, Writer/Producer, Wyatt Earp, The Hurricane, and, Murder In The First

Beauty and viciousness–two words that explain both the character and story of Don Corina, which is a mesmerizing journey of a woman who will do anything to survive in a world of war and crime. There are not enough of these powerful female characters in stories today. —James Cotten, Director, La Linea (The Line)

You know Don Corleone, now meet Don Carina, the first woman to assume ruthless control of a Mafia crime family. Set in Naples during the desperate times of World War II, Don Carina will stop at nothing to protect the ones she loves. A great story.— Hudson Hickman, Producer, MacGyver

The flowing metaphors and visualizations of this elegantly told story make you present each moment.—Bradley Miller, actor


A multiple award winning journalist, Ronald Russell's human interest stories have appeared in national and regional publications including the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times Magazine, The World and I, L.A. Weekly. His play, "Beethoven: Heaven's Voice," received rave reviews from critics and audiences and sold out performances. Mr. Russell is also a composer and an artist whose work has appeared in a number of outlets. Mr. Russell is popular Los Angeles restaurant owner, but makes his 'real living as an Internet Marketer.