Weather Report, Oct. 25

Lowell downtown aerial view, Massachusetts, USA
Lowell, MA

Our currently featured books, “Black Bear Creek: Stories,” by Joshua Cross, “The Nature of Remains,” by Ginger Eager and “Two Truths and a Guy,” by Jeannine Henvey, can be found by scrolling down below this post, or by clicking the author’s name on our Authors age.


Each of this week’s offerings revolve around a particular city — Lowell, MA for Tom Sexton; Albany, NY for Paul Castellani and Austin, TX, for Lilly Belle.

To me, such “localization” adds both spice and credibility to a book, either fiction or non-fiction. It’s also a smart move by an author, because people love to read books about the places in which they live, and it saves him or her from having to invent a lot of places and settings when they already exist.

Even if you’ve never set foot in any of the cities mentioned above, however, that is not a requirement to connect with and enjoy the stories (and poetry) that Tom, Paul and Libby have spun for you.



Writes Tom: “I’ve always wanted to put together a collection about Lowell. I’m over eighty, and I’ve been publishing poems in this collection for fifty years. Revising as I go.

“Hugh Cummiskey led a group of Irish laborers from Cambridge to Lowell to dig the canals that made Lowell famous. The small alley that bears his name connects two streets. Few know who he was.

I’m known mostly for my Alaskan poems. I’ve lived in Anchorage for more than fifty years, and I was Alaska’s poet laureate at one time. I’ve published fourteen books including chapbooks. But Cummiskey Alley is closet to my heart, my one book I want people to read.


It’s February 2008, and the Morella family’s construction company is riding the wave of irrational exuberance. But Peter Morella wants out of the family business he’s been trapped in since his older brother left and has now returned to take a leading role. Before he can leave with his fair share, he has to make sure the risky financing for a new project his brother arranged doesn’t sink the company.’

As a rift grows between the brothers, a woman from Peter’s past arrives to dredge up dark and disturbing memories/secrets/episodes he hoped were long-buried. With his marriage teetering, Peter discovers his wife has her own secret that threatens to push them further apart and jeopardize her life. While Peter, his brother, and his wife struggle to keep their lives from unraveling, Peter’s daughter uncovers evidence of the deadly foundation on which the company was built. The cascade of secrets tumble out of the Morella closet toward a climax with devastating consequences for all of them.


Mix the ordinary with the extraordinary and find yourself walking hand in hand with these unordinary characters struggling to get through this crazy life one nutty experience at a time. Read these exciting stories for pleasure. Read for fun. Embrace your wonderful imagination!

Adds one reviewer: “Something familiar. Wrapped in humor, there is sadness and joy, injury and kindness, loneliness and friendship — and, of course, love. This is Libby Belle’s gift: to sketch a world you can hardly imagine but color it with details you know. You’ll lose yourself, then find yourself, in these fantastic stories.”

Published by


Recently retired after 35 years with the News & Advance newspaper in Lynchburg, VA, now re-inventing myself as a novelist/nonfiction writer and writing coach in Lake George, NY.

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