she-oak

This week’s other featured books, “Endings & Beginnings,” by DeWitt Henry, and “The Anatomist’s Tale,” by Tauno Biltsted, can be found by scrolling down below this post, or by clicking the author’s name on our Authors page.

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THE BOOK: she-oak

PUBLISHED IN: 2019

THE AUTHOR: Linda Goin.

THE EDITOR: Paul Grimsley was the editor, layout artist, cover designer, and publisher.

THE PUBLISHER: Musehick Publications.

SUMMARY: The she-oak is indigenous to Australia. It is not an oak but resembles a pine that has a woody fruit instead of a pinecone. The poems in this chapbook focus on “she”, or any woman. They, like the she-oak, are ambiguous and undefinable.

she-oak

THE BACK STORY: I was participating in several poem-a-day (PAD) challenges over several years and had hundreds of poems that I could pull together to create a chapbook. But I didn’t have a theme until my friend, Paul, in Australia, told me about a dream he had about the two of us. I wrote a poem about our relationship and built a theme around the premise of his dream, which was ambiguous yet pointedly plant-based.

WHY THIS TITLE?: See above.

WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT? I like to have fun with words, and sometimes readers catch my double meanings, sometimes they catch the poetry tools such as internal rhyme and metaphor. All that aside, it’s a short book – 40 pages – and the poems are no longer than a page. A reader could absorb the work in one sitting or read a poem a year for 40 years.

REVIEW COMMENTS: I have no reviews. Just one five-star rating. The book is over at Good Reads, where the Ohio Beat Poet Laureate for 2019-2021, John Burroughs, gave it five stars. My publisher also gave it five stars. As you can see, I’m an acquired taste.

AUTHOR PROFILE: I began writing poetry in the early 1990s, and had a poem accepted in an anthology that paid $100 for the piece. I was married to a poet/writer at the time, and I got the distinct feeling that he and his writing group did not take anyone seriously who didn’t have a master’s degree. So I divorced him and obtained a master’s degree in history. That college experience really did teach me how to write, and I have made a good living with that skill over the years; however, my first love is poetry. I have thousands of poems that all need revision. Perhaps that’s what I’ll do in 2022. Revise and publish.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: This first chapbook, she-oak, is a statement of sorts about the ambiguity assigned to women and that women assign to themselves. “She” in the third person, “she” as the other, “she” who remains nameless, yet who experiences so many feelings through loss and success. I hope readers can put a name to “she” in the process of reading these poems. If not, that’s fine…if an impression is made. That’s all any one of us really want, isn’t it? To leave an impression.

SAMPLE: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51481738-she-oak https://www.amazon.com/she-oak-Linda-Goin/dp/1944864547/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=she-oak&qid=1622727103&sr=8-3

WHERE TO BUY IT: Only available on Amazon.

PRICE: Currently at $13; currently no used edition for sale on Amazon.

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: lindagoin@gmail.com

Endings and Beginnings

THE BOOK: Endings & Beginnings: Family Essays (paper, 150 pp)

PUBLISHED IN: 2021

THE AUTHOR: DeWitt Henry

THE PUBLISHER: MadHat Press (www.Mad-Hat Press.com; editor-in-chief and designer, Marc Vincenz, who comments: “MadHat publishes work that stretches imaginative and structural boundaries. We lean toward passionate, lyrical and explosive work, well-crafted and somewhat cerebral”).

SUMMARY: Endings and Beginnings: Family Essays marks the third and concluding volume of my trilogy-in-memoir, a work that began with Sweet Dreams, A Family History and extended to Safe Suicide: Narratives, Essays, and Meditations. In the first, I described coming of age in the 1950s: Philadelphia’s Main Line; dysfunctional, candy-manufacturing family; an alcoholic father, artistic mother, and two older brothers and a sister.

In time, I follow my siblings in debating and defying our WASP heritage, its dreams of dynasty, and its prejudices about class, race, place, morality, and material success. Each of us marry, settle, and raise families elsewhere. And each negotiates decades of cultural revolutions, future shock, and personal mid-life crises, which became my impetus for the second volume. Now with this last collection, I measure my own searches and becoming by the outcomes for my parents and older siblings, and by the adult struggles and crises of my daughter and son, along with hopes for their futures.

As John Skoyles writes in the introduction to Endings & Beginnings: “In Henry’s world, Family is not restricted to the household of his parents, siblings and extended relatives. A graceful writer of tremendous compassion, Henry sees all lives as interconnected and each of his essays breaks the boundaries of its original impulse. The resulting collections often focus on family at the start, but reach well beyond, and have an appealing sweep of understanding of all walks of life.”

The Writer's Workshop Review - An Online Literary Magazine

THE BACK STORY: I began as a novelist who believed that to make your deepest emotions signify, you need to imagine lives different from you own. I worked for 13 years on my novel, The Marriage of Anna Maye Potts (2000), based on characters who were life-time workers in our family’s candy factory. I thought of it as an objective fiction; but after I finished, I realized that the characters and conflicts of my imagined working-class couple actually mythologized my own parents’ conflicts and that my parents’ struggle was the true epic in my emotional life. So I turned, of necessity, to writing memoir, thinking there wasn’t time to speak the truth in lies, as it were.

I would begin, I thought, with “the autobiography of my father,” narrated by him as I imagined him. Then tell my own autobiography as researched and narrated from midlife by me (and in reality from still later, with later understanding). Then would conclude from an imagined future, say 2050, as narrated by my daughter in midlife after my death.

This design soon proved beyond my powers, though I remained intrigued by the relation of individual destinies in families to cultural surrounds over generations. How do our different “times” (and I would add “landscapes”) shape not only us, our particular family, but all families? I love Tolstoy’s theory of history at the end of War and Peace: that each one’s self is an integer in epic events, and a measure of common nature. Hence my family’s story was connected to my nation’s. We were typical and representative in our WASP privileges and pretensions in the 1950s, in the secret of my father’s alcoholism and adultery, in our ambitions to out-achieve and escape our pasts, and in our failures and future shocks.

Yet as I explored our story, I discovered experiences and perspectives I could not imagine, which remained baffling, private, and beyond me. I learned to make speculation part of the form. Increasingly I learned my material by living it. Increasingly, from my second volume to the present one, I used abstract topics as occasions for insights, or like frames through which the personal pressed, as if obsessively and always emphasizing the search: experiences of sports, such as swimming, golf, and marathon running, or of concepts such as gravity, parenthood, mortality or conscience. The more I learned relatedness the more I relied on collage, rearranging experiences in overlays, parallels, and contrasts that registered love, regard, bewilderment and wonder.

Endings & Beginnings consists of meditations, narratives, and journeys. Different essays, some brief and lyrical, some fugue-like and symphonic were written between 1994 and the present, but their design is other than chronological. I am baffled, I confess, by history, personal and public, as were such models as Robert Lowell and Frank Conroy.

WHY THIS TITLE?: Discrete beginnings, middles, and ends don’t feel true to my experience. Instead my chapters spiral, in theme, incident, and character, returning with deeper insights to life facts. The cover image of M.C. Escher’s “Bond of Union,” also suggests both form, where there are no endings or beginnings, and relatedness, where we view individuals through their connections. In families, as in nations, as in cultures, we move forward, backwards, and even sidewise in our stories, choices, values, generations and heritages.

WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT?

1) stylistic grace and range;

2) “reality hunger” in content and form;

3) imaginative generosity;

4) cultural and moral criticism;

5) family themes (deracination, impact of social/cultural/political changes, rebellion and growth);

6) breadth of material in time, characters, setting, and life passages;

7) vulnerability, honesty, and good humor.

REVIEW COMMENTS:

“How many people get their big moment on the stage, and if so, for how long? This is the writer’s implied question throughout. Maybe it’s better to resist the usual tendency to extrapolate from accounts of other people’s lives in order to better understand our own, and to simply read them as individual statements that point inward, to the heart of an individual. These would be good essays with which to start.” —Ann Beattie, author of A Wonderful Stroke of Luck

“In these superb essays, DeWitt Henry shows himself to be a master of the form. Whether he is writing about his life-long experience as a golfer or with guns or having grown up in the shadow of privilege and alcoholism, one senses that Henry is stepping nakedly, and with a clear and unsentimental eye, into the abiding mystery of the decades of his life thus far: as a son, a brother, a husband and father, a writer, a teacher, a friend. But he accomplishes all this without trying to solve that mystery but to simply live it. This is not an easy path, but perhaps it is the only path toward wisdom, which is abundant in this moving, deeply compelling, and indispensable collection. Endings & Beginnings: Family Essays is a gem.” —Andre Dubus III, author of Townie.

“Endings & Beginnings is a stirring distillation of what it means to be connected—whether through life-long rituals of golf and swimming, or the more monumental of weddings and family losses. As well as through the things of our lives; Henry recalls the BB pistols of not only his own childhood, but of his son’s, when he sets up a makeshift range in his office to shoot at cartoon targets; then of his dying brother teaching his son how to shoot another gun he remembers. The careful refining of such moments into, as Henry describes, ‘a wholeness to the landscape in which I live,’” is the driving power behind this keenly thoughtful and at turns, humorous and haunting new collection.” —Sandra Tyler, author of Blue Glass

“A writer who depicts with fearless precision his own longings, flaws, and remarkable gifts.” —Margot Livesey, author of The Boy in the Field.

AUTHOR PROFILE: In late career, I am a writer, a husband, a father to a daughter and son, and grandfather to three granddaughters.

I left for college from the Philadelphia suburbs and settled for keeps in the Boston suburbs. I was the founding editor of Ploughshares in my thirties, married an elementary school teacher, and taught writing and literature at Emerson College for four decades.

As well as literature, I love fitness and athletics: running, swimming, and trail hiking.

ENDINGS & BEGINNINGS is my seventh book, not counting four anthologies of fic-tion and nonfiction that I’ve edited. (Details at http://www.dewitthenry.com).

AUTHOR COMMENTS: I’ve tried to capture time in its flight, measured by lives I know, imagine, and don’t or can’t know. Challenges wanted, wonted, sought and unforeseen. The personal never is, really. We’re all clues to each other: such wonders and becomings. “Memoir” is about the reader, finally, not about the writer. That is the adventure.

SAMPLE:

On Swimming (2003)

I was a good swimmer as a teenager, in a swimming family. My mother had been good and loved swimming still, even after operations in her shoulders and elbows for bursitis. She told stories about diving off cliffs at Cornell. My older brother Chuck was on the team at Martin’s Dam, our swim club, and also at Haverford School. He swam a hard crawl and also butterfly and I don’t remember if he ever won.

My sister Judy, however, was better than good. She was a star on the Martin’s Dam team, doing crawl, butterfly and backstroke, and practicing for hours in the lanes set up for fifty yards between the diving float and racing dock. At Baldwin School she swam races but also water ballet. She and her best friends, Kathleen and Cathy, practiced manically, and I went to their meets. I remember the smell of chlorine and slick seal-like clinging of wet suits, as well as the inane music of Blue Tango they used for ballet. For racing she specialized in rac-ing dives and for backstroke in flip turns. I tried to imitate all this on my own, as a junior at Martin’s Dam.

I don’t remember if I ever placed. but I must have at some meet, second or third. We were given ribbons and badges. I remember the practices, grueling, under the aegis of the Martin’s coach, who was also my science teacher at public school. I imitated Judy’s smoothness in my crawl stroke, turning my wrist to slide into the water, and cupping my hand for thrust, rather than slapping the water. When she swam, she seemed streamlined and effortless, gliding. She would pull ahead of her rivals so smoothly. Just the steady, powerful glide and pull, and she would surge ahead. I tried my best. But my wind, even after hours of practice, laps and laps, was never good for swimming. I could push myself to the brink of nausea, but that was never the equal of the gifted.

I remember varsity meets at Martin’s. The shivery dawn. The butterflies in the stomach, which Judy had too and tried to calm with jelly beans. The pretense and pomp of a real race, team to team. Standing on the block, arms back, ready for a racing dive. The tense expectation of the starter’s gun, then crack! And spring forward for a shallow splash and already churn-ing kick, and stroke, pulling deep. Trying to keep in my lane. Barely aware of anyone ahead or behind. Plunging, digging each stroke, pull, kicking hard. Heart wild. Gasping every third stroke for breath. Harder. Hitting the slimy edge of the diving dock and duck-ing under for a tuck and turn, then push, glide, and back, pulling, digging, as my strength failed, arms ached, gasping, keeping in the lane, between the floats, kicking my best, can I make it, harder, one hundred yards, gasping, failing, and dimly aware of splashing in the adjacent lanes ahead of me, all body, all effort, finishing fourth, fifth, sixth, my hand hitting the dock. Heaving breath at the finish, hardly able to lift myself out.

Our meets were tense with other clubs, sometimes away. I remember Colonial Village, just down the street from Martin’s. The different format, different pool. And shivering, having to show up early, Saturday at 8 a.m. When I got to college, swimming was too difficult a sport. Not only in muscle and stamina, but in time. At Amherst freshman year there seemed barely time to breathe and think, let alone go out for demanding sports, and swimming was one of the most demanding. I watched a couple of meets. I remember a star, Jack Quigley, now a doctor. The conditioning, the regimen, the dedication, and the performance were utterly beyond me. As for Chuck, I think he tried swimming at Franklin and Marshall, after he had flunked out of Cornell, but then he quit. Judy, I think, tried too at Swarthmore freshman year, but then she quit when she got pregnant and married an upperclassman. We never amounted to much, as swimmers.

My mother, after our father died, lived alone in their suburban Philadelphia ranch house, and had the notion to install a swimming pool for health. In her late seventies, said she was too fragile to travel anymore, so she wanted to make her house a spa, where we all would visit. The pool, in a sheltered Plexiglas enclosure, became our baptismal pleasure, and we all clamored in, splashing, playing, with our wives and children. Alone, she swam laps for as long as she could.

I don’t swim much anymore, I confess. In my pre- retirement sixties, I am dedicated ath-letically to workouts in a gym. Neither my wife, my daughter, or my son are serious swimmers. Our New England waters are mainly Walden Pond (inland) or various beaches south of Boston and on the Cape, or the local MDC pool, less than a mile from our house.

Walden for our family has spiritual connotations. From the time our children were young, we and friends would go there, stunned by the privacy no matter how crowded the park. Our family’s best friends also swam there and had appropriated a beach near the original Thoreau cabin, on the far shore of the pond. Sometimes we joined them for picnics. Sometimes they went with our children and without us.

My daughter, always precocious, sneaked into Walden as a teenager for illegal skinny dips. Years after these family friends had suffered untimely losses to cancer, first of their eight-year-old son (best friend to our son), and then of the father, Pat (a second father to our son), we rarely swam at all, and rarely took the trip together to a beach or to Walden.

Now summers, in the heat, I may run ten or twelve miles around the Charles River, then dip in the MDC pool alone on the way back home. It is a shallow pool, crowded with frolicking teens and sub-teens, but exhausted and hot, it is a blessing on a long run. I try a few laps in the old free-style crawl of my sister, but my stamina is only good for twenty yards, if that. Sometimes, special times, my wife Connie joins me, and we swim together in these shallow, neighborhood waters. One of the lifeguards is Caitlin, sister and daughter of the family friends with losses to cancer. We are middle-aged. Two teachers. My wife at an elementary through sixth-grade school, to which she has given her life and now is assistant director, and me to Emerson College, where I have given my professional life.

Two summers ago we are alone at Walden. We both feel the losses and the toll of time. But there is a lovely buoyancy. We wend our way through the paths around the rim and discover that our favorite spit has been reclaimed for conservation. We slip into the wa-ters from a nearby beach. And the waters are warm. We swim together. The bottom falls away to the deep of the pond. I love my wife. I cannot speak to her or to others in words how much. She is a pure, constant and affirming soul against all the doubts and contra-dictions of living. My loving is not worthy of her. But in this twilight we swim as newly-weds.

LOCAL OUTLETS: On special order: Harvard Bookstore, Newtonville Books, Porter Square Books, Brookline Booksmith.

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online sellers, as well as the publisher’s website: http://www.mad-hatpress.com

PRICE: $21.95

CONTACT THE AUTHOR:

Email: dewittphenry@gmail.com

Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/dewitt.henry1/

Twitter handle: @dewitthenry

Web: DeWitt Henry – Welcome

The Anatomist’s Tale

THE BOOK: The Anatomist’s Tale; Being the confessions of an unwilling pirate, marooned for a time upon the shores of New Madagascar.

PUBLISHED IN: 2020

THE AUTHOR: Tauno Biltsted.

THE EDITOR: Christine Neulieb.

THE PUBLISHER: Lanternfish Press. Founded in Philadelphia in 2013, Lanternfish Press publishes literature of the rare and strange, fiction that crosses the boundary between literary and speculative, and tales of characters at the margins of history.

Tauno Biltsted - Allegra

SUMMARY: Drawn from contemporary first-hand accounts of pirate raids, slave narratives, and travel stories, “The Anatomist’s Tale” is a literary adventure story and a meditation on uncertainty. Set in the early 18th Century the book explores the origins of wage work, slavery, solidarity, resistance, gender, maps, the human tendency to classify the natural world, and many other things.

Born to a peasant family broken apart by poverty and enclosure, our narrator aspires to a better life as a ship’s surgeon, until a tyrannical captain provokes a mutiny, forcing him into a life of piracy and eventually to a tropical commune of maroons called New Madagascar.

THE BACK STORY: Did you know some people have suggested that Benjamin Franklin took some of his models for American democracy from the egalitarian way that pirates made decisions, as well as the democratic practices of the Iroquois confederacy? I’ve always been fascinated by pirates, less for the way that they were depicted in Disney movies and Hollywood, more for ways that pirate ships represent an egalitarian and multi-racial form of outlaw democracy, and by the dream of freedom on the high seas.

The early 18th C was a time when many of the dynamics of our modern world were being established, and I was curious about exploring a space and time that actively questioned some of the more troubling aspects of our world, including social hierarchies, racism and inequality. In exploring a story of pirates and maroons set in the waning years of the Golden Age of piracy, I think I found a fun way to explore some important questions within a great story with compelling and interesting characters.

WHY THIS TITLE?: The narrator of the story is the titular Anatomist – a little outside of the action and with a sometimes morbid curiosity, he is really busy trying to understand the characters and the situations they find themselves in. The long, narrative subtitle reflects the way a lot of books were titled at the time. I did a lot of research along with writing the book, and spent some time with books and accounts written in the early 18th C. I hope the title and the style of the book reflect the work that went into writing it in a way that makes “The Anatomist’s Tale” feel engaging and fun for readers.

WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT? Beyond the compelling subject matter and themes the book is very readable, it has action and movement and explores big ideas, intimate relationships, and unique characters in ways that are fun and engaging. Some of the best feedback I’ve gotten is from people who said they wouldn’t normally read a book about pirates but they found the writing to be compelling and the story to have such a unique voice.

REVIEW COMMENTS: “The Anatomist’s Tale” was chosen as a finalist for Foreword Magazines best independent press historical fiction 2020 – final result announced June 17!

Wisconsin Book Watch said: “An inherently riveting read from cover to cover, “The Anatomist’s Tale” showcases author Tauno Biltsted’s exceptional talents and originality as a narrative driven storyteller. This is a unique and gripping novel that will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to personal reading lists…”

Paul Lafarge, author of the Night Ocean called the book: “a marvel of knowingness and concision ..:”

And Peter Linebaugh, author of “The Many Headed Hydra” wrote: “With all the authenticity of the social historian, Biltsted writes in a swift, beautiful style. These ‘confessions’ lead to an inevitable destination, leaving the reader pensive, satisfied, and ever willing to lend a hand, hoist a sail, and set out anew.”

AUTHOR PROFILE: I come to writing with a real sense of curiosity, and the themes, topics and characters I write about refract my own life experiences in sometimes obvious and other times obscure ways. Although I’ve been reading and aspiring to be a writer since I was a kid I don’t have a lot of formal training as a writer. I have a degree in political science, although I’ve worked as a social worker, and also do construction work. I’ve been involved in grassroots community projects my whole adult life, and I bring a real curiosity about people and the ways that we work things out in our lives, from personal relationships to community projects and connections, and I hope that curiosity is reflected in my writing.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: My main goal in writing “The Anatomist’s Tale” was to write an exciting and well-told story that holds space for readers to relax and enjoy the story, as well as connect with themes, sensations, and ideas in the story that feel resonant in their own lives. I really believe that writing and reading are deeply intertwined, and that writing is ideally an act of co-creation, a spark that travels between the reader and the writer.

SAMPLE: I don’t really have any links to excerpts from the book, but here’s a link to a podcast where I read an excerpt and have a great conversation with Pearson Bolt from Coffee with Comrades:

https://coffeewithcomrades.com/episode-87-of-shipworms-surgeons.

LOCAL OUTLETS: Well, as you can imagine, 2020 was quite an unpredictable year for independent bookstores and small presses! The disruption of the past year and the tentative re-openings of your favorite independent bookstore means that a lot of bookstores are still trying to sort out what to put on their shelves – so honestly I’m not sure who’s carrying “The Anatomist’s Tale” at the moment. But most bookstores would be glad to order if you request, and if you buy online through bookshop.org you can also support your favorite local independent bookstore.

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: If you order “The Anatomist’s Tale” through your favorite independent bookstore your purchase will help support them, also available on Bookshop.org, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and directly from Lanternfish Press. Thank you for your support!

PRICE: $16.

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: If you’re curious about the book, want to invite me to your town to do a reading, have any questions, or just want to be in touch, feel free to email me at: builtsteady@gmail.com. You can also find me on Facebook where I generally announce any online or other events. I should do Instagram and Twitter and whatnot but I just can’t wrap my head around it!

Weather Report, June 14

Pirate skull — Stock Photo, Image

Our currently featured books, “The Man Who Loved His Wife,” by Jennifer Ann Moses, “Francesca,” by Don Tassone and “Orion,” by L.K. Hingey, can be found by scrolling down below this post, or by clicking the author’s name on our Authors page.

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You’re invited to check out the latest version of We Who Create (www.wewhocreate.com).

UPCOMING ON SNOWFLAKES IN A BLIZZARD, JUNE 15-21.

THE ANATOMIST’S TALE,” BY TAUNO BILTSTED.

Drawn from contemporary first-hand accounts of pirate raids, slave narratives, and travel stories, “The Anatomist’s Tale” is a literary adventure story and a meditation on uncertainty. Set in the early 18th Century the book explores the origins of wage work, slavery, solidarity, resistance, gender, maps, the human tendency to classify the natural world, and many other things.

Born to a peasant family broken apart by poverty and enclosure, our narrator aspires to a better life as a ship’s surgeon, until a tyrannical captain provokes a mutiny, forcing him into a life of piracy and eventually to a tropical commune of maroons called New Madagascar.

“ENDINGS & BEGINNINGS,” BY DeWITT HENRY.

Endings and Beginnings: Family Essays marks the third and concluding volume of my trilogy-in-memoir, a work that began with Sweet Dreams, A Family History and extended to Safe Suicide: Narratives, Essays, and Meditations. In the first, I described coming of age in the 1950s: Philadelphia’s Main Line; dysfunctional, candy-manufacturing family; an alcoholic father, artistic mother, and two older brothers and a sister.

In time, I follow my siblings in debating and defying our WASP heritage, its dreams of dynasty, and its prejudices about class, race, place, morality, and material success. Each of us marry, settle, and raise families elsewhere. And each negotiates decades of cultural revolutions, future shock, and personal mid-life crises, which became my impetus for the second volume. Now with this last collection, I measure my own searches and becoming by the outcomes for my parents and older siblings, and by the adult struggles and crises of my daughter and son, along with hopes for their futures.

As John Skoyles writes in the introduction to Endings & Beginnings: “In Henry’s world, Family is not restricted to the household of his parents, siblings and extended relatives. A graceful writer of tremendous compassion, Henry sees all lives as interconnected and each of his essays breaks the boundaries of its original impulse. The resulting collections often focus on family at the start, but reach well beyond, and have an appealing sweep of understanding of all walks of life.”

“SHE-OAK,” BY LINDA GOIN.

This first chapbook, she-oak, is a statement of sorts about the ambiguity assigned to women and that women assign to themselves. “She” in the third person, “she” as the other, “she” who remains nameless, yet who experiences so many feelings through loss and success. I hope readers can put a name to “she” in the process of reading these poems. If not, that’s fine…if an impression is made. That’s all any one of us really want, isn’t it? To leave an impression.

The Man Who Loved His Wife

Jennifer Anne Moses

This week’s other featured books, “Francesca,” by Don Tassone and “Orion,” by L.K. Hingey, can be found by scrolling down below this post, or by clicking the author’s name on our Authors page.

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THE BOOK:  The Man Who Loved His Wife

PUBLISHED IN
: 2021

THE AUTHOR:  Jennifer Anne Moses

THE PUBLISHER
: Mayapple Press, an Indie located in Woodstock NY, run on sweat and devotion.

SUMMARYThe Man Who Loved His Wife is a collection of 13 Yiddish-accented short stories about Jews being Jewish, meaning that the book is informed, soaked in, and shot through with Yiddish and Yiddishkeit. A mashup of Hebrew and German, with trace elements of French and the Slavic languages, Yiddish became the everyday vernacular of European Jews living across both linguistic and political borders. Yiddishkeit–or “Yiddish culture”—is the wonderful messy and eclectic culture that the Yiddish language expressed. My stories–about an elderly European refugee living in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who comes to believe that his dog is the reincarnation of the sister who died in the death camps, another about a group of middle-aged children mourning the death of their beloved mother among non-Jews—are all, primarily (and of necessity) about the human heart.

The settings of the stories vary– Tel Aviv, suburban New Jersey, the Deep South, London—but characters’ challenges– with God, their loved ones, fate, death, hope, Hitler, transcendence, and the 4000 year old history of Judaism—transcend borders.

THE BACK STORY
:  I wrote the stories over many years, and as they were published in literary and small magazines, it occurred to me that I had a collection. That said, the real back story is my childhood: I was raised in Virginia among ur-wasps who rode horses and had summer cottages in Maine. Then I went to college, where not only were there other Jews, but where I stumbled on a class called “Yid Lit.” From there I was off to the races, reading all the works of Yiddish and modern Hebrew literature I could get my hands on, from Sholom Aleichem all the way up through I.B. and I.J. Singer and eventually to the Dir Nister and Babel.

I think at a certain point most writers of fiction would agree that you write what you have to write, because why bother doing it if it isn’t pressing so persistently against your soul that you have to give voice to it? My own soul, it appears, is indeed Jewish, which is perhaps why I love Yiddish literature more than any other world literature: because it speaks to me, way down in my kishkes.

WHY THIS TITLE?: I originally titled the collection “The Uncircumcised,” which is the title of the first story. But my publisher pointed out that such a title would invite pornographic mis-readings and perhaps worse. Then I thought “The Holy Messiah”—the title of another story in the collection—would be dandy, but again my publisher had reservations, this time because she thought that such a title would be understood as distinctly Christian (and Jesus-centered) literature. Finally I chose “The Man Who Loved His Wife” (the title of the seventh story in the collection) because I liked it.

WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT? Anyone who has a drop of Jewish in their soul would find the collection an immense pleasure to read. I’ve gotten comments from readers across the spectrum—from religious Jews to atheists to Episcopalians to Southern Baptists—who get it, who feel the human plight of the mainly Jewish characters who populate the stories. That said, readers whose hearts and souls—and histories—sing to distinctly Jewish melodies will recognize themselves, their families, their anxieties, their histories, and their fellow Jews in the stories. Plus many of the stories are funny.

REVIEW COMMENTS:

“Jennifer Anne Moses has mastered the art of character voice. Everyone in her anthology The Man Who Loved His Wife is distinctly his or her own person. And the characters speak to you as you read, as if you’re in the middle of this interesting conversation about careers or food or relationships, and you can hear them. You can hear their nasally voices, their hiccuping cries, their disdainful mutters.

“Trust me when I say you’ll love Esther. You will.

“As I read this collection, I looked for the themes and the golden thread throughout. There is a strong sense of Jewish family culture and forgiveness. Some of the families have secrets and the author immerses readers in them until you feel like you’re on stage with them. You’re there in the building in the city wondering who else knows your business. You’re one of the students hearing rumors about the teacher. You’re consoling your mother who just wants you to be happy and find love.

“Moses is a storyteller and conversationalist combined. Her collection is theatrical and bold. She has a way of taking ordinary life events and transforming them into these peculiar moments that readers will remember long after they’ve closed the book.— Shelf Media Indie Review

“Jennifer Anne Moses has the Malamudian touch, and an uncanny gift for transposing the Yiddish mixture of mordancy and compassion into lively English stories” – Leon Weiseltier – Editor, Liberties

“In The Man Who Loved His Wife (Mayapple Press, 2021), Jennifer Anne Moses creates characters who grapple with the minutiae of their lives while considering family, fate, love, death, the afterlife, the divine presence, and spirituality. Peppered with Yiddishisms and salted with sisters, brothers, parents, children, grandparents, neighbors, and friends, Moses tells the stories of regular people faced with the problems of daily life but weighted with the 4000-year-old history of Judaism. She is reminiscent of writers like Isaac Bashevis Singer, Cynthia Ozick, Chaim Grade, and Philip Roth (to name a few) who captured the spirit of humanity in a specific time and place.” — JP Gottlieb, New Books Network

AUTHOR PROFILE: I’m the author of seven books of fiction and non-fiction: The Man Who Loved His Wife is number seven. My journalistic and opinion pieces have been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Newark Star Ledger, USA Today, Salon, The Jerusalem Report, Commentary, Moment, and many other publications. I’m also a painter in the Outsider tradition, where I fuse Hebrew prayer with a distinctly Southern sensibility, born from the many years I lived in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with my husband and three children.

According to Google I am a “multi genre” writer–but it’s more than a matter of genre. I’ve internalized different worlds and voices, and eventually it all bubbles up into my work.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: Before the Holocaust, Europe was some to 11-to-13 million Yiddish speakers. Hitler murdered most of them, and assimilation, both in Israel and North America, all but wiped out what was left of Yiddish itself. I myself knew Jews of my parents’ generation who, ashamed of the old language and its associations of being “jargon,” and uncouth, forbade the use of Yiddish expressions in their homes. Meantime, in Israel, Hebrew waging an all-out battle with Yiddish, not just as a matter of linguistics, but as a matter of identity, Zionism, philosophy, religion, and literature. Thus the loss of one of the world’s most vibrant, poetic, pugnacious, and soulful languages.

These days, somewhere in the neighborhood of between half a million and one million people speak and use Yiddish as their everyday language. Of these, most are Haredim—extremely religious Jews of various sects, easily identified by their old-timey garb—men are bearded, women cover their hair. (Versus nine million Hebrew speakers. And 360 million English speakers, one reason why for most of my life I was strictly monolingual.)

How do Jews express their Judaism? Why do we bother? What is our heritage? What is our connection to the divine? These questions permeate my work and dwell inside me.

LOCAL OUTLETS: Watchung Booksellers, Montclair, NJ

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IThttp://mayapplepress.com/the-man-who-loved-his-wife-jennifer-anne-moses/

https://www.spdbooks.org/Products/9781936419968/the-man-who-loved-his-wife.aspx

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-man-who-loved-his-wife-jennifer-anne-moses/1138623896

PRICE: $20.95

CONTACT THE AUTHOR:

www.JenniferAnneMosesArts.com

Francesca

THE BOOK: Francesca.

PUBLISHED IN: May 2021

THE AUTHOR: Don Tassone

THE PUBLISHER: Adelaide Books

SUMMARY: It is 2055, and there’s a new pope. It’s Jessica Simon, an American, a wife and a mother. She’s taken the name Francesca. A lifelong advocate for the poor, she be-lieves the Catholic Church must return to Jesus’ teachings and bring God to life in the world.

But powerful forces are aligned against her. They see Francesca as a threat.

Will Pope Francesca succeed in renewing the Church? In an hour of darkness, can she rekindle the light?

Don Tassone

THE BACK STORY: This novel is not only about religion. It’s a reminder that we need to periodically re-examine and renew our purpose and make sure what we’re doing lines up with that purpose. It’s also a reflection of my belief in women as leaders in every realm of life.

WHY THIS TITLE: Francesca is the papal name Jessica Simon chooses. It’s a tribute to two of her progressive predecessors, Pope Francis and Pope Francis II, and her spiritual hero, St. Francis of Assisi.

WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: To imagine what’s possible.

REVIEW COMMENTS:

A woman from Missouri ends up on the balcony of St. Peter’s in Rome in 2055, having just taken the name Pope Francesca. Like “the visitable past” Henry James speaks of, Tassone’s future is visitable. The reader can go there, to that balcony, that life; and though impossible now, it seems a possible future when imagination and reason to-gether see what the mind alone cannot see now. I enjoyed suspending disbelief and getting to know Pope Francesca. She has a lot to offer that speaks to the needs of our world today, a lot that makes a woman Pope not so far-fetched as it may seem now. What can be imagined is often not far from what can happen. — Murray Bodo OFM, author of Francis: The Journey and the Dream.

Francesca reminds the reader of an untapped potential of emerging faith and growth within the Roman Catholic Church. Women! To some readers that may be alarming. To them Francesca invites the question, “What is there to fear?” To others who believe Jesus still speaks to his followers today to come follow him, perhaps in renewed and vigorous ways, Francesca challenges, “How will you believe? How will you share the Good News in the 21st century?” To both groups of the faithful Francesca reminds, “Nothing is impossible with God.” — Patti Normile, author of Following Francis of Assisi

AUTHOR PROFILE: After a long career in the corporate world, Don Tassone has returned to his creative writing roots. Francesca is his sixth book. The others are the novel Drive and four short story collections: New Twists, Sampler, Small Bites and Get Back. His fifth story col-lection, Snapshots, will be published in August 2021. Don and his wife Liz live in Love-land, Ohio. They have four children and five grandchildren.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: Once in a while, someone comes along who reminds us of what’s most important. The main character in this story is such a person. In times of great change, these people in-spire us to think deeply about the new normal we want to create. I hope this novel will open hearts and minds.

SAMPLE CHAPTER:

Here’s the very short first chapter.

Chapter 1

May 2055

Rays of the rising sun hit the Egyptian obelisk in the center of St. Peter’s Square, casting a long, thin shadow, pointing like a finger toward the Basilica.

Twelve hours earlier, a newly elected pope had appeared briefly on the balcony. Now the new pontiff was about to hold a news conference, the first ever at the Vatican. Everyone was eager to learn more about this improbable new leader of the world’s two billion Catholics.

Reporters jockeyed for seats or spots to stand. Their cameras, microphones and lights stood in stark contrast with the fourteenth-century, frescoed room.

At 8:00 sharp, with no introduction, the pope entered the room and stepped up to the podium, scanning the curious faces of those gathered and smiling.

“Good morning, everyone,” she said with a slight Missouri drawl.

LOCAL OUTLETS: Joseph-Beth Booksellers

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Amazon https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1955196443/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i5

PRICE: Kindle $7.99, Paperback $19.60

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: dptassone@gmail.com, https://www.dontassone.com

Orion

ORION: Book Two of The Elyrian Chronicles

THE BOOK: ORION

PUBLISHED IN: June 2021

THE AUTHOR: L.K. Hingey.

THE EDITOR: Katelyn Cooney, at Katelyn Cooney Copy Editing.

THE PUBLISHER: Amazon KDP/ Self-published.

SUMMARY: ORION is book two in the KIMBER series. Readers continue on a journey that chronicles an experimentally-enhanced/ genetically-manipulated race of 23 individuals as they come of age in an underground city that has forced them into a life of servitude. When dark secrets are exposed that break the bonds of slavery, another secret surfaces that has been long buried; The cave civilization of Inanna, thought to be last metropolis on Earth, is not the last surviving city. A journey west ensues across the wasteland of America, to a place where beauty, surprise, and unparalleled tragedy awaits.

L.K. Hingey

THE BACK STORY: The KIMBER series was born in the mountains on the Appalachian Trail. I had recently medically separated from the U.S. Army and decided to take a 6-month backpacking trip with my dog. As we hiked from Maine to Tennessee, the story line for the KIMBER series came alive in my mind, and a few years later, it is now in print! Upcoming works include books three and four, and a complete prequel trilogy!

WHY THIS TITLE?: There is something extra-extra special about this title; a major story Easter egg if you will… and that’s all I’ve got to say about that! 😊

WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT? Not only does the KIMBER series take a heavy look into social struggles that plague our world today, but the series has been commended for its extreme attention to detail on the science half of science fiction! If anyone loves well-built post-apocalyptic worlds, or hidden meanings that underlay… well, everything, then this series is definitely for them!

REVIEW COMMENTS:

“A superbly crafted dystopian sci-fi by a novelist with a genuine flair for originality and the kind of entertaining narrative storytelling style that keeps and holds the reader’s total attention from the first page to the last. The Elyrian Chronicles promises to be a block-buster of a Sci-Fi saga.” -Midwest Book Review

“There are elements that relate to today’s social landscape and the story is original in a genre where there is just as much challenge in staking a claim in authenticity as there is filling the pages.” -IG reviewer

“After reading KIMBER, one thing stood out above all- the science half of the science fiction. It was fascinating. While parallels can be drawn to other post-apocalyptic book series, KIMBER sets itself apart simply because it’s smart writing.” -Amazon reviewer

“Great weekend read! I found myself completely intertwined in the story and had trouble putting it down! The book reads really well. Beautiful attention to detail that paints a vivid scenery in your mind. I would recommend to readers of all ages. Beyond excited for the next one!” -Amazon reviewer

AUTHOR PROFILE: L.K. Hingey was born, raised, and enlisted into the U.S. Army out of Detroit Michigan. She graduated from the University of North Dakota in 2012 as a private and commercial helicopter pilot with a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics, before commissioning as a U.S. Army officer. She has since medically retired from the military and continues the Army lifestyle as an Active Duty spouse. She resides with her husband, Jonathon, who is a U.S. Army Black Hawk pilot. L.K.’s many interests include her dogs, fitness, backpacking, traveling, and writing. Upcoming works include Book Three of The Elyrian Chronicles, and Books One and Two of The Elyrian Prequels!

AUTHOR COMMENTS: My books look at the struggles of slavery, survival, genetic enhancement/ manipulation, and the ethical ramifications of scientific concepts that are ever developing, like cloning. I love real science and the social landscape and am excited to hear what readers think!

WHERE TO BUY IT: Amazon! In person: Author L.K. Hingey does live appearances at Comic Cons and expos across southeast USA! PRICE: Price varies, but debut price will begin at $10.99!

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: http://www.instagram.com/scifi.saga_the_kimber_series http://www.thekimberseries.com http://www.facebook.com/thekimberseries LKhingeybooks@gmail.com

Weather Report, June 7

St. Peter`s Basilica interior, Rome, Italy. ROME, ITALY - DECEMBER 31, 2016: St. Peter`s Basilica interior on December 31, 2016. St. Peter`s is the most stock photo

St. Peter’s Basilica

Our currently featured books, “Hillborn,” by Richard Winters, “Until September,” by Harker Jones, and “Marching On,” by Paul Castellani, can be found by scrolling down below this post, or by clicking the author’s name on our Authors page.

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UPCOMING ON SNOWFLAKES IN A BLIZZARD, JUNE 8-14

“FRANCESCA,” BY DON TASSONE.

It is 2055, and there’s a new pope. It’s Jessica Simon, an American, a wife and a mother. She’s taken the name Francesca. A lifelong advocate for the poor, she be-lieves the Catholic Church must return to Jesus’ teachings and bring God to life in the world.

But powerful forces are aligned against her. They see Francesca as a threat.

Will Pope Francesca succeed in renewing the Church? In an hour of darkness, can she rekindle the light?

“THE MAN WHO LOVED HIS WIFE,” BY JENNIFER ANNE MOSES.

Jennifer writes: “The Man Who Loved His Wife is a collection of 13 Yiddish-accented short stories about Jews being Jewish, meaning that the book is informed, soaked in, and shot through with Yiddish and Yiddishkeit. A mashup of Hebrew and German, with trace elements of French and the Slavic languages, Yiddish became the everyday vernacular of European Jews living across both linguistic and political borders. Yiddishkeit–or “Yiddish culture”—is the wonderful messy and eclectic culture that the Yiddish language expressed. My stories–about an elderly European refugee living in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who comes to believe that his dog is the reincarnation of the sister who died in the death camps, another about a group of middle-aged children mourning the death of their beloved mother among non-Jews—are all, primarily (and of necessity) about the human heart.”

“ORION,” BY L.K. HINGEY

ORION is book two in the KIMBER series. Readers continue on a journey that chronicles an experimentally-enhanced/ genetically-manipulated race of 23 individuals as they come of age in an underground city that has forced them into a life of servitude. When dark secrets are exposed that break the bonds of slavery, another secret surfaces that has been long buried; The cave civilization of Inanna, thought to be last metropolis on Earth, is not the last surviving city. A journey west ensues across the wasteland of America, to a place where beauty, surprise, and unparalleled tragedy awaits.

Hillborn

Image

This week’s other featured books, “Until September, by Harker Jones and “Marching On,” by Paul Castellani, can be found by scrolling down below this post, along with the First Tuesday Replay. Or, just click the author’s name on our Authors page.

THE BOOK: Hillborn.

PUBLISHED: January 30, 2021.

THE AUTHOR: Richard Winters.

THE EDITOR: Diana Winters.

THE PUBLISHER: Two Winters Woods
http://www.2WintersWoods.com Twitter @2WintersWoods.

SUMMARY: Nine linked stories and a novella, Hillborn creates a mosaic of lives: a man, a woman, a child, in time. Like tributaries of a stream, their lives wind through remote hills, Pennsylvania towns and cities, a mountain farm, as they find their lives, each other, and the land they live on.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is hillborn-cover-2-1.jpg

THE BACK STORY: I wanted to tell the story of the beginning of a life, with the thought that in any life, there is a kind of mythic or “dream” time which we can hear tell of but never fully know: the lives of our parents, the currents that brought them together, the events and emotions (however unknown as they occurred) that led them to us. So I wanted to tell the story of a life by tracing it through that unknown, preceding time into origin and then further, like a new spring flowing for a time along the course of an old streambed before going further on its own. As the story goes on, the older characters fall aside and the story becomes fully the child’s story, and her own new view of herself and her land, and that is the point. I wrote the first part of it and published that on its own, a sequence of stories; then understood I needed to go further, the characters had more they needed to do. So I went on with the novella portion of the work. For various reasons, some years passed before I finally went back to it, put all the pieces together, and finished the full book for publishing a few months ago.

WHY THIS TITLE?: A few years ago I published a novella titled Sawhorse. The last line begins: “I am hillborn…” The line and the word stayed with me because it was true, of the character in Sawhorse and of me as well, and so –after numerous other thoughts were discarded — I took it for this book. Makes sense anyway as while the stories are completely different, the land is the same (always has been).

WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: I was once called a “regional voice,” which may be so, but the literal locality I’m describing isn’t what I’m writing about. What I have always wanted to get at has been the sense in which a living being — any being, human and all else– lives as a creature on, and of, a landscape. All I wanted was to describe my own sense of that. I have nothing like the caliber of artists like John Haines, Edward Abbey or Barry Lopez, or Bruce Chatwin, or J. A. Baker, or the painter Walter Anderson, or Hesiod, I can only bow to them. But they are my masters.

REVIEW COMMENTS:

“Winters looks consistently at people not at society’s edges but at its center — people who are deeply embedded in the soil of our world, who exist in a continuum with the past. These characters are not surface foam flung from the latest breaking wave. They are of the land. … Bewitching in simplicity and equally rewarding.” — Mark Rich, Small Press Review (of the earlier version).

“A pure unsullied folk artist” — Guida Jackson, Touchstone.

AUTHOR PROFILE: I come from a small Pennsylvania farm with woods and a little mountain ridge as my backyard. I was made of that farm, body, heart and soul. Wherever I was over the years, I was never anything other than a piece of that land. So when I began to write, for awhile I thought I was writing of myself, but really I was always writing of that place. Not by self-knowledge but by instinct, I became a writer of a place and found my vein ran there. I never took any course. I didn’t learn to write. I just read and worked until I could do what I wanted to do and what I thought was my best. I tried to write and worked at it because it was the best thing – also the hardest thing—I could think of to do. I came to see the craft of making sentences as like shaping wood or cutting stone. Eric Hoffer said somewhere that he meant to write “sentences with hooks” and the physicality of that line taught me to think of every sentence as a piece with a sound and look on the page that had to fit and had to be worked until it did fit.

My own nature, and my daily working life, required me to work slowly and on small pieces so I had to learn concentration and care. I lived for that work, and for the feeling of having done the work, the craving to be lifted by it… I lived for that. That’s all there was. That’s all there is.

SAMPLE CHAPTER:

http://www.2WintersWoods.com/Hillborn.

An extract from Hillborn, “She heard the plow first,” can be viewed from a link on this page.

WHERE TO BUY IT: Direct from publisher at http://www.2WintersWoods.com/Hillborn.

PRICE: $14.00.

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: 2WintersWoods@gmail.com or via Twitter @2WintersWood

Until September

Until September: A Gay Coming of Age Love Story by [Harker Jones]THE BOOK: “Until September”

PUBLISHED IN: 2018.

THE AUTHOR: Harker Jones.

THE EDITOR: Harker Jones.

THE PUBLISHER: Kindle Direct Publishing

SUMMARY: “I was so young when it all began that the blame hardly feels like mine. …”

So begins “Until September,” a sensual, poignant throwback to haunting love stories like “Brokeback Mountain,” “Call Me By Your Name,” and “Atonement.”

In the lull between the conservative ’50s and the turbulent ’60s, Kyle Ryan Quinn, an introspective, sentimental boy, leads a golden life. He’s rich, beautiful and smart, and he vacations each year on the same island with the same circle of friends: entitled Adonis Trent; acerbic Claudia; practical Dana; and frivolous Carly. Haunted by the ghosts of a tragedy that took place in his youth, Kyle is more sensitive than his privileged friends. He understands loss, and secrets.

Harker JonesWhen he meets Jack Averill, a quiet, bookish boy, his fateful 18th summer on the island, Kyle falls hopelessly, heedlessly in love. As he befriends and attempts to woo Jack — and tries to integrate him into his tight-knit yet troubled circle — he’s pursued himself by another summer boy, Trey, who will stop at nothing to win Kyle’s love, all while Trent toys with the affections of an island girl. Amid mounting familial, sexual and peer pressures, all four young men make heartbreaking decisions that will steal their innocence, destroy lives and consume them forever.

 THE BACK STORY: I was suffering a bout of unrequited love in college and, having nowhere to put those feelings, I wrote a book. As one does. The boy who inspired those feelings has no idea this happened. I think about reaching out once in a while to let him know about the book but I’m also afraid I’ll sound crazy, remembering him so many years later. But it’s not about him, has nothing to do with him, he just inspired the feelings I needed to create. And even though he never loved me back, I feel like I still won because I created art that defines me.

WHY THIS TITLE: Because as events unfold throughout the summer, Kyle realizes he has only until September to salvage his future…

WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: Because we all remember our first love. Emotions run high, everything feels both fragile and indestructible, you know it will last until the end of time. Everything is heightened, and in Kyle’s world, the stakes are higher than they are for most, creating even more suspense and drama.

REVIEW COMMENTS:

“This was a lovely, thoughtful and compelling read. Absolutely hits the mark and really gets me excited about reading more from this author.” — Justin B.

“Destined to be a classic. Harker Jones is the voice of his generation.” — Katie Jane Thomas.

“It’s a wonderful story of friendships, understanding, and accepting one’s self, dealing with grief and that all-too-familiar, relatable story of lost and unrequited love. I realize this was fiction, but something about it was so terrifyingly real. Rarely does a book create such a guttural response from me. I’d highly recommend it. — Thomas Southern

AUTHOR PROFILE: Harker Jones holds a degree in written communication and literature from Eastern Michigan University. He has written seven screenplays and two novels, including the Amazon #1 best-selling love story “Until September.” His short thriller “Cole & Colette” won the Get It Made Short-Form Screenplay Competition and was subsequently produced and accepted into thirty-four film festivals, garnering several awards. He loves cats and carbs, would like to be a pop star, and is a member of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle and a card-carrying member of Mensa.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: This is for fans of “Call Me By Your Name,” “Atonement,” and “Brokeback Mountain.” This isn’t a romance. This is a love story.

SAMPLE CHAPTER:

I was so young when it all began that the blame hardly feels like mine. But no matter how minor a part I played, mine was the most pivotal. In the end, it was a decision I made.

So though there are many stories I tell, this is the one I’ve never shared. I can’t bear to think about it, except in my most submerged recesses, releasing it in the deep deep dark of night, when it will not be evaded.

How many years would you have to go back to change your destiny? That question plagues me. Because if I can think in terms of destiny, I can afford myself a slight reprieve, a misguided waft of air in a stagnant, decaying well. If I can think in terms of destiny, I can believe that I did what I did because I had no option. It had been predetermined and I’d only acted out my role.

But destiny is the weak man’s conception. To believe in destiny is to take no responsibility for your choices.

And I won’t allow myself the luxury.

I learned a little from Trent that summer, but not enough to open the eyes of a self-involved, spoiled, jealous 17-year-old. Then, later, years later, I ran into Dana. We had drinks, both of us smoking too much, talking too much, drinking too much, wondering if the other was glossing things over. I saw a subtle loneliness in her eyes that I recognized only because it was in mine, too. She knew. And she knew that I knew. It’s scary, that loneliness, because you want so much to have someone alleviate it, yet the only people who can are those who know it, too. And when you find one of those people you’re terrified that that person can see through your carefully wrought facade, and you realize you’re naked in front of a virtual stranger, so you just run.

Run.

I learned most of it from Kyle. The details. The things I couldn’t have known. Those things pursue me. Those and the things Dana told me happened after. After I passed out of the picture. I was able to spend some uncomfortable but pleasant time with her until she told me. That was when I had to flee. I had to escape. That was when the running became all.

I’m still running.

 Just as Kyle is still chasing.

 Neither of us will succeed—me in escaping or Kyle in capturing.

 We know this.

 We don’t stop.

 Someone once told me that tears water the soul. I do not believe this. If it were true, my soul would be fertile and verdant. But it is stunted and gnarled and withered and cracked.

Which is something I could live with.

If Kyle’s had been spared.

Kyle would say this is Jack’s story. But, just as this is the only story I can never share, this is the only one Kyle will ever be able to tell.

So I think of this as Kyle’s story.

LOCAL OUTLETS: It’s available only from online outlets at this point.

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07V46MPBT

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/until-september-harker-jones/1138665517

Google Play:

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Harker_Jones_Until_September?id=9iz6DwAAQBAJ

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/until-september/id1551067517

PRICE:
$1.99

CONTACT THE AUTHOR:

Email: HarkerJones@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/UntilSeptemberBook/

Twitter: @HarkerJones

Instagram: @harker_j