Never Retreat

ArtsMart

BOOKS, ART, TRAVEL AND MORE


Take a minute to scroll through the delightful offerings in ArtsMart, and you’ll find fascinating books on every subject, for every taste, and from every genre--poetry, memoirs, history and biography, children’s books, essays, mysteries, fiction both speculative and historical. You’ll also find writing workshops and retreats, note cards, prints and paintings, even grownup coloring books - something for each and every taste and hour and mood.



Persimmon Tree is an Amazon and Bookshop.org associate, which means our journal receives a small royalty every time you make a purchase by clicking through to Amazon or Bookshop.org. The price to you is no higher, but your purchase helps Persimmon Tree continue its vital work.

In Any Given Room

In Any Given Room
Stories on the Indian Experience
by I. D. Kapur


“Indra Kapur’s writing is illuminating, entertaining, and perceptive, gracing each topic with beauty and wit that leaves you both completely satisfied and wanting more.” Katherine Longshore, author of the Gilt series

“Indra Kapur’s courage in embracing and committing her life to another culture is clear. Her stories delight, break our hearts, and show us an India most of us have never seen before.” Ann Saxton Reh, author of the David Markam mysteries.

“These stories deftly capture the nuances and contradictions of their well-drawn characters, many from India, in a range of intriguing and dramatic situations.” Jack Adler, author of The Tides of Faith and other novels.

Available on Amazon and from you independent book store.

Sixty-Something and Flying Solo

Sixty-Something and Flying Solo: A Retiree Sorts It Out in Iowa
by Marian Mathews Clark

 
Sixty-Something and Flying Solo: A Retiree Sorts It Out in Iowa is an edgy, humorous memoir with serious ponderings. An Oregon transplant with no kids and no significant other, the author is someone about whom readers could say, “I wouldn’t want to be in her shoes, but if she can make it, I can, too.” Pieces such as ‘What Not to Say at a Funeral’ and ‘Dusting and Other Insanities’ provide a backdrop for monthly accounts of her fall into retirement’s abyss where she clings to her to-do lists while she alters her diet, her wardrobe and her vow to become more domestic. When she resurfaces a year later, she’s surprised at the landscape and what has saved her.

Marian Mathews Clark grew up among loggers in Mist, Oregon (pop 50), then caught the Union Pacific to Iowa to attend Graceland College. In the ensuing years, she capped perfume bottles on Coty’s assembly line in New York, was stranded on Loveland Pass during a blizzard, ironed costumes for Polynesian dancers at the Calgary Stampede, tried to shear a sheep in Australia, earned an MFA in Fiction from The Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and with co-writer Patricia Stevens was a finalist at O’jai’s Film Festival for their feature script Timber.

Bart Yates, author of The Distance Between Us, said of her memoir, “Clark is a sly writer; she lured me in with…broken garbage disposals and mysteriously disappearing walls; only later did I realize she was…writing about mortality, loss, joy, and love. Great stuff.”

2015 edition available from Amazon, Culicidae Press, and from your local independent bookseller.

Modern Women: 21st Century Dance, A Coloring Book – Dec2023

by Julie Lemberger, edited by Elizabeth Zimmer

Women, the largest and yet most unrecognized population of the dance arts community, are spotlighted in renowned dance photographer Julie Lemberger’s Modern Women: 21st Century Dance, a coloring book, edited by Elizabeth Zimmer.

Lemberger, who has been photographing dance for almost two decades, transformed her photographs into illustrations almost ready to color and then added psychedelic, floral and abstract backgrounds for the figures “to dance in.”

The 92 page volume features today’s leading dance innovators and interpreters, and celebrates their diverse genres and perspectives.

Modern Women: 21st Century Dance is a perfect gift for children-of-all-ages including grandparents and grandchildren, especially those who love women, dance and art.

Two options available:
Coloring book for $20

Shipping & handling is $5 each for U.S. addresses. Please contact for International shipping costs.

Available at etsy.com/shop/dancecoloringbook or julielemberger.com

Scribbly

Scribbly
A Gentle Writing Program
by Kim Duke

Imagine calling yourself a writer. Now it’s time to make it real. Let Scribbly help you become the writer you’ve always wanted to be…without the pressure.

My name is Kim Duke and I’m a full-time writer, Amazon best-selling author and my work has been featured on NBC News, the Globe and Mail and other international media.

My mission is simple. To get more women writing with intention, fun and freedom!

My gentle writing program is mailed to your home every 30 days. Each Scribbly is loaded with quirky writing tips, prompts and examples. My team and I devote over 100 hours into each issue. Gorgeous illustrations, research, art, science and writing that reach out from the pages to inspire you. I can’t wait for you to see your Scribbly!

Scribbly is a gentle writing program that encourages your creativity and gets you writing in five minutes. If you want to explore creative nonfiction writing (without pressure) – you’ll love Scribbly! The best part? When you’re a Scribbly member, you get a chance to submit your writing for publication in Scribbly.

Hooray for Snail Mail!

More about the Scribbly Program can be found at www.kimdukewrites.com/Scribbly

Miami in Virgo

Miami in Virgo
A Feminist, Mystical Novel
by Sally Mansfield Abbott

 

A disturbing encounter with a hermaphrodite at a county fair presages teenage Miami’s loss of innocence in 1970’s California. MIAMI IN VIRGO is a literary fiction coming-of-age novel narrated by precocious seventeen-year-old Miami.

She and her friends form a tight-knit circle practicing feminist Wiccan ritual, as her childhood fundamentalism casts a long shadow.

Conflicts with her friends over boys threaten their newfound feminist solidarity. An anticipated trip to a women’s demonstration devolves into a nightmarish questioning of her sexuality, further fracturing her friendships. An ill-fated romance at a Halloween party becomes thoroughly spooked when Miami winds up exiled in her new family after her mother’s remarriage.

Her peccadilloes take on a spiritual dimension and she goes through a soul-searing scrutiny which eventually leads to the resolution of her conflicts through the deepening of her character. The twists and turns of her fast-paced story make a compelling read.
 

Learn more about the book and its author: https://miamiinvirgo.com/

Available from Amazon or from your independent bookstore.

The Zen of Art

The Zen of Art
by Carolyn Schlam

 
Carolyn Schlam invites artists and non-artists alike to engage their imaginations and explore a pathway to affirmative living and joyously creative art making. This is a book that can be read and reread and would make a wonderful gift for a contemplative person or for anyone who enjoys making or appreciating art.

Carolyn is the author of THE CREATIVE PATH: A VIEW FROM THE STUDIO, ON THE MAKING OF ART and THE JOY OF ART: HOW TO LOOK AT, APPRECIATE, AND TALK ABOUT ART, and the forthcoming sequel MORE JOY OF ART. She is a working painter and sculptor. Learn more about her at http://www.carolynschlam.com.

A captivating exploration of the intersection between creativity and self-discovery. Each chapter delves into different facets of life and art, offering profound insights into acceptance, non-attachment, imperfection, and gratitude . . . Whether you’re an artist or someone seeking inspiration and wisdom, The Zen of Art is a treasure trove that resonates with the soul, fostering a newfound appreciation for the art of living.
— Mark Reid, host of the podcast Zen Sammich
Available from https://www.shantiarts.co/, Amazon, Bookshop.org, and other major booksellers.

Night at the Musée d’Orsay: Poems of Paris & Other Great European Cities

Night at the Musée d’Orsay: Poems of Paris & Other Great European Cities
by Judy Wells

Night at the Musée d’Orsay: Poems of Paris & Other Great European Cities is a vibrant memoir of travel poems centering on Judy Wells’ appreciation of well-known European painters, architects, writers, and musicians associated with great European cities. Her poems explore artists in France, Italy, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Spain, from Van Gogh, Chagall, Matisse, and Balzac in Paris, to Velázquez and Goya in Madrid, and Gaudí in Barcelona.

Wells interweaves her own personal life into her poems, which illustrate her creative responses to her travels at different times—from young adult in France to older woman confronting aging in Barcelona. Her poetry encompasses various poetic styles—lyric, narrative, and surprisingly for a book on European travels, haiku.

Night at the Musée d’Orsay
 
If the curators knew
I, a moth, was in the Van Gogh room
they’d be shocked!
But what do they expect—
I love light and I’m particularly
attracted to a painting
of stars—globs of light
reflected in a river.
 
I’ve sat on top of these yellow blobs
and survived though I can feel
the heat of these stars
right through the paint.
Light bulbs are cold by comparison
though I’m not singed by Van Gogh.
I’m transformed and waves of ecstasy
wander through my wings.
 
I rest on Van Gogh’s stars all night.
In the morning I flit to a cottage
and settle on a deep blue iris.
The tourists think I’m part of the painting.
I laugh. I’m just a moth
with grand taste.

Available from Amazon, Bookshop.org, and www.regentpress.net

Silent Sisters
Profiles of the Short Lives of Karen Carpenter, Patsy Cline, Cass Elliot, Ruby Elzy, Janis Joplin and Selena Quintanilla-Perez
by Ellen Hunter Ulken

With raging talent and heartfelt bonhomie, these twentieth-century American women sang their way to stardom. All died before the age of 36. Within separate chapters, one for each celebrity, the book reveals their triumphs and tragedies, the details of their final hours, and explores the notion that frantic, constant, touring schedules may have contributed to the anxieties and dramas surrounding their early deaths. Through these illustrated pages, the reader will become familiar with these outstanding singers and their music. Endnotes, bibliography and discography are given for each subject.

Ellen Ulken began writing later in life as a retired person. In 2005, she wrote Beautiful Dreamer, The Life of Stephen Collins Foster. Through Arcadia Publishing, in 2009, along with Rebecca Watts and Clarence Lyons, she contributed to a history with pictures and captions of Peachtree City, Georgia, where she lives with her companion, Jerry Watts, MD. Silent Sisters: Profiles of the Short Lives of Karen Carpenter, Patsy Cline, Cass Elliot, Ruby Elzy, Janis Joplin and Selena Quintanilla Perez was published in 2014.

She and Jerry are members of The Peachtree City Writer’s Circle, The Friends of the Peachtree City Library, The Peachtree City Garden Club, and three historical societies.

Available from Amazon, Bookshop.org, or your independent bookstore.

Coloratura On A Silence Found In Many Expressive Systems

Coloratura On A Silence Found In Many Expressive Systems
by Alice Fulton


Coloratura On A Silence Found In Many Expressive Systems extends tactile mysteries to existential questions of invisible miracles, connection, and faith in the face of silence: “By praying you, I create you,” Fulton informs an elusive God. Reveling in the stunning possibilities of language, she seeks joy to counteract trauma and grief, empathizes with the silent pathos of animals, and finds solace in art, friendship, and the mysterious power of gifts. Without denying suffering, this enthralling volume extends a fervent prayer for gratitude and healing.

Fulton borrows tropes and theories from science, linguistics, visual art, [and] mathematics…It is this kind of sonic and imaginative range—which puts into conversation the music of what is voiced with what is silent, invisible—that makes it almost impossible to talk about the powerful hold of these poems…Perhaps more than any poet writing today, Fulton takes to heart John Keats’s belief that writing poetry is a ‘vale of soul-making.’…‘You have to listen,’ she admonishes, ‘louder than you sing.’ Is there a more attentive listener than Alice Fulton? A more haunted and haunting singer?
— Lisa Russ Spaar, On the Seawall
 

Alice Fulton is the featured poet in the spring 2024 issue of Persimmon Tree.

Available from W.W. Norton, Amazon, or Bookshop.org.

A Year Without Men

A Year Without Men
Stories of Experience and Imagination.
by I.D. Kapur

It’s 2054 A.D., and the world needs a rest from men. Women have developed a novel solution, and the men can’t wait to leave. When my taxi driver tells me he has bullet wounds from the Russian police, speaks five languages, and is teaching at Harvard, I start taking notes. After the funeral, a widow loses all her married friends. Then karma sends flowers.

“Indra Kapur writes with clear insight and an acute sense of humor. The stories in A Year Without Men are varied, clever, and often delightfully surprising! Cue me rubbing my hands together with glee.” — Katherine Longshore, author of the Gilt series.

“The stories in A Year Without Men create a powerful sense of place with rich sensory and emotional detail. Characters are appealing in their humor and the compassion they inspire. I want to meet these people and be there with them! Some endings surprise us, and others give us a satisfying sense of the inevitable playing out. The stories have a depth of reality that makes them unforgettable.” — Ann Saxton Reh, author of the David Markam Mysteries

“Mickee Voodoo is a very entertaining parody of a “hardboiled” detective story in the mode of Chandler, Hammett, and, more recently, Robert B. Parker…witty banter ensues with the detective cracking wise in a colorful idiom both in dialogue and narrative…delights in wordplay…very clever, and is quite funny…Kapur is a talented and skillful fiction writer.” — John DeChancie, author of The Skyway Trilogy and The Castle Perilous series.

Available from Amazon or on order from your independent bookstore.

Dancing Between the Raindrops: A Daughter’s Reflections on Love and Loss

Dancing Between the Raindrops: A Daughter’s Reflections on Love and Loss
by Lisa Braxton

 
Dancing Between the Raindrops: A Daughter’s Reflections on Love and Loss, is a powerful meditation on grief, a deeply personal mosaic of a daughter’s remembrances of beautiful, challenging and heartbreaking moments of life with her family. It speaks to anyone who has lost a loved one and is trying to navigate the world without them while coming to terms with complicated emotions.

Lisa Braxton’s parents died within two years of each other—her mother from ovarian cancer, her father from prostate cancer. While caring for her mother she was stunned to find out that she, herself, had a life-threatening illness—breast cancer.

In this intimate, lyrical memoir-in-essays, Lisa Braxton takes us to the core of her loss and extends a lifeline of comfort to anyone who needs to be reminded that in their grief they are not alone.

Dancing Between the Raindrops is a heartfelt homage to Braxton’s parents in the wake of their passing. She touches the soul of every adult child’s mourning in ways poignant, nostalgic, aching, and funny with a clever patchwork of writing styles. A must read!

— E. Dolores Johnson, author of Say I’m Dead, A Family Memoir of Race, Secrets and Love

Available from Amazon and Bookshop.org.

For more information see https://lisabraxton.com/.

Journey to Everland Bay

Journey to Everland Bay
by Lynne Shaner

 
 
Jemma Avalon is an unconventional mage-in-training, longing to return to Everland Bay, her ancestral homeland, and find a way to join the renowned magical research institute there, like the women in her family before her.

Daughter of a gentle part elf-fae mother and a father with fiery dragon blood, an unusual combination even in the magical world, ten years after her mother’s sudden death, she is working at a major museum in DC, where magic is all but outlawed. Her father wants her to assimilate and live without magic, but Jemma is determined to fully embrace her heritage.

When an ordinary day at the museum takes an extraordinary turn, Jemma is rocketed to an Everland Bay Institute under violent siege, where dark-arts mages threaten everything important to her. She joins forces with her companions, working feverishly to save Everland Bay from crumbling under enemy attack. In so doing, she finds a path to her own strength and mastery, and her heart’s true home

A Heroine’s Journey tale for our times.

“A beautifully engaging fantasy teeming with dragons, fae, magic, and the importance of family and friendship. A joy to read from beginning to end.”
— Julie Boglisch, The Elifer Chronicles

Available from Amazon and Bookshop.org.

SPIRIT CAPTIVE, Jerusalem in Poetry, Prose and Paintings

SPIRIT CAPTIVE, Jerusalem in Poetry, Prose and Paintings
by Helen Bar-Lev

 

Spirit Captive is the impressive collection of poems, short stories, memories and artworks that Helen Bar-Lev presents to us as a declaration of her love for Jerusalem, a city harboring as much pain as pleasure. Through Helen’s eyes, we see contested Jerusalem through the seasons and the hours, a city of exquisite beauty. To appreciate the real spirit of this work we should start from the end: reading the poem Spirit Captive, we can feel the bond that exists between the poet and her chosen city. We can also sense the universality of Jerusalem – the painful, sometimes suffering, beauty that permeates it.

In A Love Poem to Jerusalem, Helen wonders if God created the sweet air of the city just to intoxicate her and if every stone or gate or flower may have been created as a source of inspiration for her paintings. This book is Helen’s masterpiece, where her poems, prose and paintings pay magnificent tribute to Jerusalem.

— from the review by Lidia Chiarelli, President, Immagine & Poesia, Italy

 
Available from BookBaby and Bookshop.org, shipping now.

See the Desert and Die

See the Desert and Die
by Ann Saxton Reh


August, 1980. When Anthropologist Layne Darius comes to Arabia to study a nomadic tribe in the Rub-Al-Khali desert, she also has a personal mission—to find out why her mother vanished here eight years ago.

Falling in love with diplomat David Markam complicates her search, but her sympathy with a group fighting for social reform makes her the target of someone desperate enough to kill.

“Ethnographer Layne Darius challenges… the repressive Saudi government and the country’s unforgiving cultural restrictions… to discover deeply troubling truths about the disappearance of her mother. A sinuous, compelling novel.”
— Anne Da Vigo, award-winning author of Bakersfield Boys Club

“With great sensitivity and nuance, Reh . . . deftly weaves political turmoil with emotional tumult.”
— Kirkus Reviews

Available from Amazon or from your independent bookstore.

Other books in the David Markam Mystery Series include Meditating Murder and the forthcoming A Killing in Kasauli. Read more about them at www.annsaxtonreh.com

September 12

September 12
by Andrea Carter Brown

 
On 9/11, Andrea Carter Brown was a resident of downtown Manhattan living just a block from the World Trade Center. September 12 chronicles her up close and all too personal experience of the attack, but, even more, the continuing horror and eventual healing of the months and years afterward.

September 12 won the 2022 IPPY Silver Medal in Poetry, the James Dickey Prize from Five Points, the River Styx International Poetry Prize, the Puddinghouse Press Chapbook Competition, The MacGuffin National Poet Hunt, and is cited in the Library of Congress Online Research Guide to the Poetry of 9/11.

“A more haunting memorial to 9/11 than this book will be hard to find. Reading September 12 is a wrenching but restorative experience you won’t soon forget”. 
— Martha Collins, poet, author of Casualty Reports and Blue Front

“… detail by detail, we watch the process of innocence captured by absolutely unpredicted trauma, and how the experience lives on and on, through shock and terror, through the kindness of strangers, through the heart of a beloved, through grief and elegy, through normality that will never again be normal.” 
— Alicia Ostriker, New York State Poet Laureate

“This brave book documents great loss, but also hard-won psychic resilience in poems of astonishing beauty and wisdom. September 12 is necessary poetry.”
— Cynthia Hogue, Poetry Editor, Persimmon Tree

Available from Amazon and Word Works.

Thirty Years Hence, A Novel

Thirty Years Hence, A Novel
by Denise Beck-Clark

 
This debut novel provides a wonderful sense of the New York City of the 1970’s. Washington Square Park, Greenwich Village, squalid six floor walk-ups and posh co-ops, streets crowded with hustlers and cabbies, all come to life. The bars Michelle frequents have characters right out of central casting. The reader becomes submerged in the sights, sounds, and smells of NYC.

Beck-Clark does a great job of tackling weighty topics in a way that inspires introspection without detracting from the narrative flow. Given the exploration of trauma, it might not always be a comfortable read, but it is an important one. – Erin Britton, San Francisco Book Review

The novel’s plotlines are excellently weaved throughout, and the novel’s narrative moves ever forward, with several twists and turns maintaining the interest of the reader. The characters are fully developed as the reader gains a large measure of intimacy with them and identifies with their struggles and motivations. At the end of the day, Beck-Clark succeeds in spinning a true to life tale of Holocaust memory, trauma, and recovery, that is both sad and inspiring.
– David Keenan, Manhattan Book Review

Available at Amazon.com, B&N, Apple, Bookshop.org, and most booksellers online and in bookstores.

For more information: www.denisebeck-clark.com

When Life Speaks Listen

When Life Speaks Listen
by Linda Piotrowski

 
 
Our lives are filled with moments so fleeting that it can be easy to miss the great impact they may have on us. That is, unless we learn to listen when life speaks, even if only in a whisper.

Author Linda F. Piotrowski is a master of listening and learning from all life has to offer. She is a retired board certified chaplain with a master’s degree in theological studies as well as advanced study in palliative care and being with the dying. She ministered as a chaplain for over 40 years. In her retirement she serves as a Stephen Minister.

Always an avid reader she loves reflecting on the rich gifts of ordinary life. She lives in Green Valley, Arizona with her Maine Coon cat, O’Malley. This is her first book. Through reflections,  beautiful photographs, questions for reflection, and suggestions for journaling Linda unpacks many of life’s lessons, as learned through events from childhood through the adult years, and shows you how to do the same.

You will start with learning to honor your origins, teasing out the minute day-to-day moments as well as major events that have shaped you.From there you will explore what makes you all you are today—your little rituals, what feeds your soul, what makes you ache, and who or what guides you. Finally, you will explore what will move you forward and ready you for what lies ahead in your life. Learn to embrace what serves you, and release the rest.

As Piotrowski says, this book will guide you to, “Find your way to the ‘holy and hidden’ heart of your life.”

Available from Amazon.

RIBBONS AND MOTHS: Poems for Children

RIBBONS AND MOTHS: Poems for Children
by Laura Rodley

Ribbons and Moths is for children. But it is also for children of all ages.

There is so much pleasure in Laura’s images: llamas, harvest, cats and kittens, the moon, wise dogs and children, … the faith of farmers working in “the crumbly black earth,” … “beds of sparrows,” [and] milkweed pod fluff …. Even the Table of Contents is a poem, a delight … Treasured in these poems are … images full of caring, humor, charm, and joy. Special moments of awareness shine like small windows … such as the pony’s warm thick fur parting along her spine with winter’s icicles dripping down her sides.
—Joan Hopkins Coughlin, artist, owner of Golden Cod Gallery

Pushcart Prize winner Laura Rodley is a septuple Pushcart Prize nominee and quintuple Best of the Net nominee. She edited and published As You Write It, A Franklin County Anthology I-VI, and As You Write It Lucky 7, seven collections of memoirs from seniors she taught at the Gill Montague Senior Center. Her latest books are Turn Left at Normal (Big Table Publishing) and Counter Point (Prolific Press), a work in fiction about the real-life Whydah that floundered and sank off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, on April 26, 1717.

Click here to watch the book trailer.

Available from Amazon and through the publisher, Kelsay Books.

For more about the poet, go to www.LauraRodley.com

What the Country Wrought

What the Country Wrought
by Annis Cassells

What the Country Wrought explores and connects the meanings, nuances, and feel of “country.”

In this compelling collection you will discover poems of rural roots, legacies, and the mainstays of home, family, and personal identity. Poems that address societal issues and truths America as a whole has wrought. Poems that revel in the ideals and spirit of building a country: perseverance, independence, audacity, and sisterhood.

From motorcycling adventures to women’s suffrage, from the thunder of injustice to compassion and peace, Annis Cassells writes with an eye for description, an ear for musicality, and a heart for us all.

“Ranging from lyric to prose, haibun to ekphrastic, the poems shimmer with life. As we give ourselves over to the language and images of this luminous book, we may find that for us, too, ‘grief slides over,’ and that whatever else it is, ‘the world is wondrous.’” Catherine Abbey Hodges, author of In a Rind of Light
 
“With a mastery of storytelling through relatable poetry, Annis Cassells’s poems exude strength and self-compassion as she learns ‘to extend grace…even to myself’.” Ronald Montgomery, author of When Hearts Surrender
 
“Annis Cassells honors family roots, and tackles racial and gender injustices in this shimmering, honest poetry collection.” Kathleen Cassen Mickelson, co-founder, Gyroscope Review; author of How We Learned to Shut Our Own Mouths

Annis Cassells is a poet, teacher, and coach. What the Country Wrought is her second full-length collection. She longingly recalls her adventures traversing the USA on Big Red, her trusty motorcycle. To compensate, she is often over-scheduled for writing and poetry workshops in far-away places over Zoom.

Available from Amazon, Bookshop.org, and wherever books are sold.

Helen Bar-Lev

Ghana Paintings
by Helen Bar-Lev

Helen Bar-Lev, whose vivid paintings of Ghanaian men and women illustrate this issue’s poetry page, is offering a special set of her paintings of the people of Ghana, either as originals (for $350) or as signed and numbered prints ($20). The paintings, which Bar-Lev refers to as pencil paintings, are exquisite miniatures, each approximately 11cm by 15cm (4.5″ x 6″).

Sixty percent of the proceeds from the sale of these paintings goes to support the Ghana branch of the Sheenway School. Sheenway School in Sasekope Village is the first registered private school in the Volta Region of Ghana. Its partnership with the original Sheenway School in Los Angeles, its enriched curriculum, extended education, and cultural aesthetics provide an unparalleled opportunity for Ghanaian children from pre-K through secondary.

To see the full range of Ghanaian paintings or prints available as part of this special offer, contact Helen Bar-Lev and let her know you are a Persimmon Tree reader.

Understanding Moonseed

Understanding Moonseed
by Mary Pacifico Curtis

In Understanding Moonseed, we meet the big city girl with a precocious interest in politics, have brushes with pivotal historic moments in the 60’s and 70’s, and continue her journey with her as she falls in love with a man who becomes famous in the music industry, moves with him to Silicon Valley, where she founds what would become one of the region’s largest independent PR/branding firms. She settles into roles as wife, mother and executive, working 60-hours a week, until cancer takes the man who had become husband, father, and soulmate. The family’s grief and devastation give way to trying to understand how life will continue without this column of the family. The arc of the story bends back to love.

Curtis’ sixth sense for what makes words ring– hollow, hallowed, or haunted–inside the walls of her personal architecture informs the themes of Understanding Moonseed. In this essay collection, “a love supreme” guides Curtis from Chicago’s Gold Coast to Silicon Valley branding executive, through reinvention as a memoirist and poet, to her second marriage with Michael, a union that interweaves the felt presences of their deceased spouses who haunt and steward them from grief’s unknowing to new births and epiphanies. In Understanding Moonseed, Curtis invites us with signature courage to grow rather than to retreat after loss in response to love’s call.
— Lise Goett, author of Leprosarium (Tupelo Press)

Available from Amazon and Bookshop.org.

The Secrets of Still Waters Chasm

The Secrets of Still Waters Chasm
by Patricia Crisafulli

The Secrets of Still Waters Chasm by award-winning, bestselling author Patricia Crisafulli is the eagerly awaited second book in the Ohnita Harbor Mystery Series from Woodhall Press.

A hike through pristine wilderness suddenly enters much darker territory…

The Secrets of Still Waters Chasm opens with the discovery of two people on the beach of a secluded lake—one dead, one dying. Gabriela Domenici runs back up the trail for help and returns to find the bodies are gone. Soon, from suspected poisoning deaths to a nefarious development that threatens to destroy the chasm, Gabriela is caught in a web of danger.

If Crisafulli keeps setting her mystery thrillers in Ohnita Harbor (and I hope she will), that fictional little Upstate New York town will not only have as many bodies to bury as Midsomer County, but will be as famous as Louise Penny’s Three Pines or even Agatha Christie’s St. Mary Mead – and justifiably so. – Jean Zorn, Publisher, Persimmon Tree

Available from Amazon, Bookshop.org, Barnes & Noble or your favorite independent bookstore.

A Place Like This

A Place Like This
Finding Myself in a Cape Cod Cottage
by Sally W. Buffington
A book for anyone who’s ever loved a house.

When newly engaged Sally Buffington is introduced to Craigville, she meets an expansive Cape Cod cottage that is virtually a family member itself. She quickly finds herself competing for airtime among the talkative, assured band of brothers—and her new mother-in-law, the cottage’s lively and confounding matriarch.

Sally, a Cape Cod local, soon wonders how she’ll ever maintain her independence, let alone her sense of self when the day’s agenda and every detail is already set in stone. But she navigates her new life with quiet persistence and a boundless curiosity that guides her to explore life through the creative lens of her camera and her pen.

Sally writes with a whimsical candor that is both honest and humorous. Through poetic prose and heartfelt reflection, A Place Like This reveals the beauty of Cape Cod and shows us that sometimes the simplest of moments brings us the most lasting joy.

Sally Buffington is a writer and photographer, also a classically trained musician. From her home in southern California, she migrates back to native ground in Massachusetts, especially her spiritual homeland of Cape Cod. Writing lyrically and imaginatively, ever aware of sensory experience and memory, Buffington takes the reader into her thoughts wherever she finds herself.

Buffington can “see things other people don’t see” in everyday scenes and find them beautiful. But her prose is where that ability most shines through. This memoir paints a vivid and lasting memory of a home with as much personality as the family who lived there.

– Book Life

“Punctuated by sensory delights, the author’s prose can prove particularly mouthwatering” …. “An elegantly observant account that transports readers to a beloved place.”

Kirkus

To learn more, and order the book, go to Amazon, Bookshop.org, www.sallybuffington.com, or your local bookstore.

Lying Down with Dogs

Lying Down with Dogs
by Linda Caradine

Lying Down with Dogs is a memoir told in interrelated essays about the years Caradine spent starting and running Other Mothers Animal Rescue. As in any worthwhile endeavor, life has a way of intervening, and she includes some of those non-animal adventures in her tale, as it is all a part of the Other Mothers saga. From rescuing kittens under a house to finding a farm sanctuary that would take in a pig, from birthing puppies to cats in the freezer, she tells the inside – often crazy – story of what is involved in managing such an enterprise.

But Lying Down with Dogs is first and foremost a story of the animals and the impact they have had on the author’s life through its many ups and downs. Sometimes, they’ve provided love, sometimes diversion and, always, they have prepared her for what comes next. Ultimately, her love of animals is the story of her own redemption.

Available from Amazon and Bookshop.org.