Sonoma County Writers Published in 2012
The Lighthouse Beckons is a book of broad-based, incisive, sometimes ethereal poems. The Lighthouse Beckons invites you to sample its various forms of light: the light that is apparent, the contrast of light and dark, or the luminescence of one’s soul.
Emilio Gonzalez-Llanes — Cigar City Stories: Tales of Old Ybor City
A kidnapping, a hold-up, a shark attack, a deadly duel, and murder are some of the intrigues you will encounter in these pages. In Old Ybor City you will also meet a teenager coming to grips with his sexual identity, an activist mother who resists Jim Crow laws, and an unexpected baby that changes everyone’s life.
During the first half of the twentieth century Cuban, Spanish, and Italian immigrants came to Florida to find work in the bustling cigar factories. Spanish language newspapers and radio served the community and lectors read classic novels and articles from back home to the workers. Latin music flowed from wrought iron balconies and the aroma of coffee roasting, bread baking, and cedar used to make ornate cigar boxes, filled the air. Cigar City Stories is a snapshot of this lost island in time.
Available as an ebook-$3.99; paperback-$9.95; hardcover-$19.95. At amazon.com and other retailers.
Arresting and original, The Ice Cream Vendor’s Song introduces a new side of Laura McHale Holland, whose memoir, “Reversible Skirt,” won a silver medal in the 2011 Readers Favorite book awards. In this richly nuanced collection of very short fiction, the author tilts the everyday and spins characters in unexpected directions. From an online purchase that takes over a woman’s life to a plain box that brings a tired clerk a magical gift, from a spurned woman hiding in her ex-husband’s closet to a doting wife coaxing her ailing husband to eat, The Ice Cream Vendor’s Song reveals worlds familiar yet strange, haunting yet tender, all rendered with emotional clarity and exquisite prose.
Catharine Bramkamp — Trash Out
Catharine Bramkamp’s fifth Real Estate Diva Mystery, Trash Out, is now published and available on Amazon for Kindle and paperback orders. Trash Out features the perfect wedding in the wine country. But the grand event may end less like a romantic comedy and more like a slasher flick. Who is stalking the bride? How did Ben’s former Friend With Benefits turn into Injured With Repercussions? And why must Allison wear 90 pounds of red tulle during the hottest season of the year? While innocent bystanders fall like flies, Allison copes with selling her house in Sonoma County, scrambling to finance the shower from hell, and wondering if the person responsible for the last murder can be hired to take out her ex-boyfriend before her own nuptials.
Renée Owen, featured in Half the Moon, Half of Me
With poets Bruce Feingold, Naia & Michael McClintock. This chapbook, from Two Autumns Press, was produced in conjunction with a September reading in San Francisco, the 23rd in an annual series sponsored by the Haiku Poets of Northern California. The longest-running haiku reading series outside of Japan, it features some of the best haiku poets writing in English today. Edited by renowned gendai haiku poet Susan Diridoni, this chapbook, with it’s vivid colors, vellum flyleaves, and evocative cover image by artist Peter Pendergrass, features four stellar poets. In Susan’s lyrical introduction, she writes, “Untangling the knots of whispered summons, all of these poets have served their poetic journeys with verve and dedication, resulting in a distinctive style…”
Each of the four featured poets have been widely published in journals and anthologies and have won numerous awards. Renée Owen’s haiku, haiku sequences & haibun are forthcoming in a prize-winning collection, Alone On A Wild Coast, from Snapshot Press in late 2012, as well as in her own traditional hand-sewn art book, Blossoms. Michael McClintock, a pioneer of early American haiku, has published innumerable collections, most recently Sketches from the San Joaquin, from Turtle Light Press. He serves as tanka editor for Notes from the Gean, and writes for the Tanka Society of America’s journal, Ribbons. Naia has edited several anthologies, Bits of Itself (Haiku Society of America), and Above the Tree Line and Shell Gathering (both for the Southern California Haiku Study Group). Bruce Feingold is the author of two collections, A New Moon and Sunrise on the Lodge, both from Red Moon Press.
Dan Coshnear — Occupy and Other Love Stories
This fall Kelly’s Cove Press is proud to publish an extraordinary collection of stories, Occupy and Other Love Stories, by the prize-winning Guerneville writer Daniel Coshnear. Dan’s stories focus on the type of folks Mitt Romney dismisses as part of his 47%, single parents, janitors, staff members and residents of halfway houses, adjunct professors at community colleges, all memorable characters who are trying to get their lives together.
Celebrated Oakland painter, Squeak Carnwath, enhances the collection with sixteen paintings and graphic works in color.
Dan Coshnear’s previous collection of stories won the Willa Cather Fiction Prize. In praising his work, novelist Rosellen Brown said: “Daniel Coshnear writes about a dozen kinds of desperation and a few kinds of peace with mordant wit and the kind of emotional exactitude that clears a reader’s vision the way sharp new flavor clears and challenges the palate. He is a thrilling discovery.”
Maxine Chernoff, professor of creative writing at San Francisco State University, credited Coshnear’s stories “wise and true in the manner of Walt Whitman, Paul Robeson, and Woody Guthrie. Dan understands America and its preoccupations with work and love, conflict and joy, and everything in between.”
Squeak Carnwath’s work is represented in major museums and private collections around the world. She is professor emeritus of painting at Univeristy of California, Berkeley.
Books are available for purchase from selected bookstores and from the press at kellyscovepress.com.
Robert Harstein — A Place in Life
A Place in Life is a fictional memoir about the life of a boy told through a series of catastrophic events and failed relationships. The author has written a fine “time” piece in which he captures the turmoil of the 50’s and 60’s, navigating those incredibly complex decades, their feelings and emotions, with tenderness and insight.
The story begins with six year old Joe being forced to grow up quickly after learning that his father won’t be returning home from the Korean War. On the same day, his mother is struck and killed by a speeding car. Forced to endure the sterility of New York’s child protective institutions, he is finally pulled cross-country and finds himself fighting to overcome the old world bigotry of the immigrant family who adopts him. So begins Joe’s incredible journey. We are led through Joe’s childhood, adolescence, formative years, through Vietnam and beyond. Unsettling yet honest, the story examines a plain spoken love story and the complex relationships between a father and his sons. As we accompany Joe through life’s lessons, we see him experience hardships, both commonplace and unusual—and while the common issues connect us, the unusual situations make this story a unique and compelling read.
Readers will care for Joe—respect his courage in the face of adversity, be disappointed in his judgment and celebrate his successes. He grows into a complex man, but we come to understand him completely and emphatically.
A Place in Life is an unflinching commentary on the best and the worst that we are capable of, and the tenderness that keep two people together in the face of all odds. It is available through amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com and all local book sellers Sonoma County, including the Books, Inc. chain in San Francisco and Copperfields in Sonoma and Napa Counties.
Jeanne Jusaits — Lilah Dill and the Magic Kit
Lilah dreams of performing magic on stage as Shagundula the Magician, but first she needs a magic kit. Will her dreams come true? Lilah Dill and the Magic Kit will work magic on young readers. “Lilah Dill, a six-year-old wannabe magician with attitude, will keep readers in stitches from beginning to end. Despite pitfalls and pranks, Lilah remains charming and upbeat though challenged by her bigger-than-life daddy. A great read for kids 5-9 years old. Don’t miss JL Jusaitis’ first in her Lilah Dill series.” (Sandy Baker, author of Zack’s Zany Zucchini Garden and other “stories with plots.”) Illustrations by Edytha Ryan. For sale on amazon.com. Lilah Dill and the Magic Kit received a 2013 BAIPA award for best children’s chapter book.
Redwood Writers — Vintage Voices 2012: Call of the Wild
The annual anthology of Redwood Writers, edited by Arlene Miller. “This engaging collection of poems and stories reminds the reader over and over of the wealth of wise and honest voices to be discovered in the territory Jack London once called home. The writing is crisp and evocative and heartfelt, the subject matter poignantly and refreshingly human. Pick a spot in the sun or shade, settle in, open this book, and remember what it means to be a Californian—and to be alive.” (David Corbett, prize-winning author of Do They Know I’m Running?). The book may be purchased at: www.createspace.com/3915945. A portion of each sale will be donated to Jack London State Park.
Christopher Reibli — The Body’s Perfect: A Novel in Stories
“Meet Irv, Dorna, Junior, Jackie and Angelo, the Miller family of Petaluma circa 1956 and in the two decades that follow. Who better to introduce you than Chris Riebli who has known them all his life, who is intimately familiar with their work and their dreams, their desires, fears and regrets. Here are twelve unsentimental tales told with loving attention and perfect pitch. These Millers of Petaluma belong to Chris Riebli in the way that Winesburg, Ohio belongs to Sherwood Anderson, or as the Salinas Valley belongs to John Steinbeck.” (Daniel Coshnear, author of Jobs & Other Preoccupations) Illustrations by Michael L. Loffredo. To purchase this book, go to: www.createspace.com/3903933
Pat Nolan — The Last Resort
Deep in the redwood wilds along the Corkscrew River, someone is shooting neighborhood dogs. The year is 1985 and Lee Malone, former fashion model, queen of the runways from Paris to Milan, once dubbed the most beautiful woman in the world, now a part-time reporter for The Corkscrew County Grapevine, is looking for a story to sink her teeth into. When Lee finds the owner of Kelly’s Seaside Resort brutally murdered, it leads her on an adventure that includes a mysterious gray van, another murder, extortion, pornography, sex slavery, and a shadowy organization of militant feminists known as SAPHO. In the process, Lee Malone’s notorious past catches up with her.
The Last Resort is a rollicking imaginative romp in the neo-pulp hard boiled genre told with the succinct directness of a Hammett, the witty hyperbole and lush locales of a Chandler, as well as a sly nod to Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys adventures.
August 2012, Nualláin House, $19.99 ~ 212 pages ~ Paper~ ISBN 978-0-9840310-2-3
Jim Brumm — Long-Term Thinking for a Short-Sighted World: Restoring happiness, balance, and sanity to our lives and our planet
Jim Brumm’s Long-Term Thinking for a Short-Sighted World focuses on the problems we face today that share a common, rarely discussed theme: a lack of long-term thinking. The book explores examples—past and present—of humanity pursuing short-term gains at the expense of our long-term well being. Topics include energy, debt, consumerism, agriculture and our skewed perceptions of time.
“In today’s world we are grappling at every turn with an increasing energy shortage, food production systems that struggle to feed increasing millions, environmental problems that threaten our survival, a debt crisis that is crippling individuals and governments, and so much more. All of these problems come with their own unique challenges and examined on their own they may seem completely different from each other, but they share one common, rarely discussed hidden thread that runs through the center of each and binds them together: a lack of long-term thinking. We’re very bad long-term thinkers.”
Jim delivers a message of hope, helping to answer the question, “How can I live my life in a way that brings satisfaction, balance, happiness, and a sense of value? In other words, how can I be part of the solution?” He suggests positive ways to improve our ability to embrace a larger vision of our place in the world.
Conversational, provocative, witty and often laugh-aloud funny, Long-Term Thinking for a Short-Sighted World will inspire readers who are seeking ways to realign priorities and re-examine what brings true, long-term happiness and sustainability.
Muse Harbor Publishing, June 2012, 300 pages. Available on Amazon.
H. B. Reid — The Year of the Tiger and Other Stories
“These are big little novels with big heroes making decisions of big consequence. Take McRae, an international criminal with an international romance, hunted equally by law enforcement and international semi-organized thugs. Take Joe ($13 Heist), too young to be a ne’er-do-well, but a not-yet-do-well who does quite well, better than he might have imagined in the romance department. By virtue of his elite education, and in spite of it, he hobnobs significantly in the hoosegow and with the highest of American high culture. Take Emily and Pole Cat and William Randolph Hearst. They and other leading actors (The Year of the Tiger) are making headline news in every way imaginable. They’re making history. And speaking now for Pole Cat and Emily, they’re describing a way forward for America if we can be similarly dignified, compassionate and curious.”
— Dan Coshnear, Jobs and Other Preoccupations
ISBN: 9781469950464, 276 pages, perfect bound, $12.00
This book may be purchased at http://www.createspace.com/3777282 or amazon.com.
“In this remarkable new book Katherine Hastings, as the title suggests, says hello to song: song of ‘A ceiling of stars,’ ‘slow lava flow,’ and a sensual iridescence that beautifully expresses Hawaiian love. Hastings does much more: the reader who begins to read these radiant words may start out ‘in the quenched hive of solitude’ but soon finds her or himself ‘Afloat in naked beauty,’ ‘Turned tenderly/toward/together’! Hastings is a poet of such skill and grace that the earth itself (in the spectacular form of Hawaii) achieves a lyric, singing voice in her work.”
The Argotiste Online Ebooks. Download chapbook at: www.argotistonline.co.uk/ALOHA%20MELE.pdf
Stefanie Freele — Surrounded by Water
Info here: www.press53.com/BioStefanieFreele.html
“With a poet’s ear and a scientist’s eye, Stefanie Freele recasts suburban ennui as existential terror, domestic drudgery as harrowing suspense. These stories are terrific—they are small in scope but their implications are enormous.”
— J. Robert Lennon, author of
Pieces for the Left Hand and Familiar
Patrick Fanning — The Venice of the West
Patrick Fanning’s The Venice of the West (Wordrunner eChapbooks) is an alternate history of a 19th century California where the (Mexican) Republic of Alta California prevails from south of the Russian River in Sonoma County and a (Russian) Rossland stretches from Alaska to Fort Ross (the Tsar’s summer palace on the coast) and east to Sakrametska (Sacramento). Fanning’s narrative switches between dispatches from journalist/novelist Mark Twain and his traveling companion, American impressionist painter, John Singer Sargent, who has come to California to launch a career as a portrait artist and possibly explore his own unspoken sexual preferences. Includes sketches and watercolors by Fanning, who like his protagonists is both novelist and artist, and a timeline of alternate history versus actual history.
Joan Frank — Make It Stay
A novel published The Permanent Press, 2012. Kirkus Reviews, in a starred review, called it “first class fiction,” noting that “finely spun images and rich similes [make] one want to return to the beginning of the book just to savor the language all over again.” Publisher’s Weekly called it “poignant and painterly … the impressionistic quality of poetry.” Booklist said “Frank’s writing is deeply insightful, and her characters are memorable and authentic … rich descriptions … accessible and inviting.” The San Francisco Chronicle last Sunday called the novel “masterful,” comparing its prose style with those of Penelope Lively and Penelope Fitzgerald. Cambridge Review Press called Make It Stay “a stylistic tour de force”: http://coffeespew.org/2012/03/14/make-it-stay. More information at www.joanfrank.org
Jennie Orvino — Poetry, Politics and Passion
Jennie Orvino’s Poetry, Politics and Passion is a genre crossover because the author herself is a crossover—poet, journalist, interviewer, writer of personal essays and memoir. As Orvino offers up five decades of activism in the streets and on the page, we also get an intimate portrait of a woman from idealistic girlhood to grandmother, with all the complexity one might expect. The book is divided into three parts: 65 pages of memoir, 28 poems and 7 essays on topics from Robert Bly to online dating, from sacred sexuality to aging gracefully. There is also a section of photographs and ephemera which add a visual and historic dimension to an already vivid presentation.
Award-winning short story writer and college teacher Dan Coshnear has said of the book: “In these cynical times, be inspired by these fearlessly remembered, elegantly told tales of an American dreamer.” Jonah Raskin, author of Natives, Newcomers, Exiles, Fugitives: Northern California Writers and their Works writes: “What’s priceless about the book are the snap-shots of the 1960s. Jennie’s take on the era is absolutely new and unique. It’s funny and moves back-and-forth from past to present, from protest to romance to poems on the page. It’s a joy to read.”
Details at www.jennieorvino.com
Arlene L. Mandell has had two essays published in Women on Poetry: Writing, Revising, Publishing and Teaching, McFarland & Company, Inc., Jefferson, North Carolina and London. In reviewing the anthology, Supriya Bhatnager, Director of Publications, Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP)said, “In these 59 essays, published female poets share a wealth of practical advice and inspiration. . . .the essays address such topics as the women’s collective writing experience, tips on teaching . . . the publishing process, and essential wisdom to aid the poet in her chosen vocation.”
Jeanne Jusaitis — Journey to Anderswelt
Journey to Anderswelt is a contemporary middle-grade fantasy featuring Lulu McClough, a thirteen-year-old American girl. As she joins her tour guide mother in Salzburg, Lulu finds that she has been chosen to save the fragile environment of Salzburg, Austria. But first, she must find Danu, the Celtic Mother Goddess of the Danube. With the help of her best friend, Chloe, two brainiac brothers and an ancient map, Lulu finds her way through folk festivals, villages, salt mines and forests. Once they find their way to Anderswelt, and Danu, they must battle Mozart’s Queen of the Night and her minions in order to take the land back from the greedy land developers. Lulu and her friends discover their power to affect change, in themselves and in the world. Journey to Anderswelt inspires young readers to explore the world beyond their own.
Seré Prince Halverson — The Underside of Joy
To Ella Beene, happiness means living in the Northern California river town of Elbow with her husband, Joe, and his two young children. For three years, Ella has been the only mother the kids have known. But when Joe drowns off the coast at Bodega Head, his ex-wife shows up at his funeral, intent on reclaiming the children. Ella must fight to prove they should remain with her while she struggles to save the family market. With wit and determination, she delves beneath the surface of her marriage, finally asking the questions she most fears, the answers jeopardizing everything and everyone she most loves.
Rather than the fairy tale version of step-motherhood that pits good against evil, The Underside of Joy explores a complex relationship between two women who both consider themselves to be the children’s mother. Their conflict uncovers a map of scars—physical and emotional—to their families’ deeply buried tragedies, including Italian-American internment during WWII and postpartum depression and psychosis. What begins as an indelible portrait of loss broadens into a provocative consideration of the true meaning of family.
Seré Prince Halverson lives in Sebastopol and worked as a freelance copywriter for twenty years while she wrote fiction. She and her husband have four grown children. She is a mom and a stepmom, and grew up with a mom and a stepmom. The Underside of Joy is her debut novel. Read more at her website: www.sereprincehalverson.com and her blog: whomovedmybuddha.blogspot.com
Dutton, 2012. Pre-order at: www.sereprincehalverson.com/purchase.php