What It Might Feel Like to Hope, the third collection from award-winning author Dorene O’Brien, is a masterful and eclectic mix of stories that consider the infinitely powerful, and equally naïve and damning force that is human hope. A couple tries to come to terms with one another as they travel west in the uncomfortable twilight of their youth; a mortician and an idealistic novelist spar about the true nature of death; an aspiring author hopes to impress Tom Hanks with zombies; a tarot reader deals out the future of Detroit. Showcasing her diverse talents, O’Brien offers a panoply of characters and settings that dwell beyond the borders of certainty, in a place where all that has been left to them is an inkling of possibility upon which they must place all their hopes. These stories offer a variety of tones, forms, and themes in which O’Brien displays an amazing range and control of her craft, all while exploring the essential nature of humanity with nuance, empathy, and at times a touch of skepticism.More info →
Invincible Summers follows Claudia Goodwin through eleven summers, from the age of six through twenty-three, as she adjusts with varying degrees of success to what it means to be a daughter, a sister, friend, and lover in a world of loss, betrayal and bad judgment. Set in a middle class suburb outside of Detroit in the 1960s and 1970s, the novel show's Claudia's pursuit to find a purpose as she struggles with feelings of rootlessness in a world torn apart by assassinations, riots, and the Vietnam War. It is a coming-of-age story of one woman's journey through the guilt and responsibility she feels for her father's death, her mother's career-altering disfiguration, and her brother's downslide into drugs and alcohol. Invincible Summers weaves a tale about grief and forgiveness and the indelible heartbreak of all the things left unsaid.More info →
Even the beauty of Northern Michigan can’t put a smile on the face of Emily Kincaid’s perpetually cranky friend Deputy Dolly Wakowski, and when someone tries to destroy the only family Dolly has ever had, her crankiness turns lethal, even as the crime threatens to overwhelm her.More info →
Escaping the city, and her coed-chasing ex-husband, part-time journalist and full-time failed mystery writer Emily Kincaid has moved into a cozy cabin nestled in the woods of northern Michigan. Emily spends her days writing for the local newspaper and crafting her latest forgettable novel.More info →
Springtime in northern Michigan: a picture-perfect scene. Until struggling mystery writer Emily Kincaid gets a visit from her foul-weather friend Deputy Dolly, who frantically demands Emily's help. Sandy Lake's receding waters have revealed a bullet-pierced skull, along with a keepsake that could mean serious trouble for a man Dolly once loved.More info →
While an end-of-the-world revivalist group shakes up Leetsville, Emily Kincaid is deep in the northern Michigan woods researching her latest story for the local paper. But her walk gets cut short when she comes upon an eerily motionless woman propped against a tree . . .More info →
In The Colored Car, Jean Alicia Elster, author of the award-winning Who's Jim Hines?, follows another member of the Ford family coming of age in Depression-era Detroit. In the hot summer of 1937, twelve-year-old Patsy takes care of her three younger sisters and helps her mother put up fresh fruits and vegetables in the family's summer kitchen, adjacent to the wood yard that her father, Douglas Ford, owns. Times are tough, and Patsy's mother, May Ford, helps neighborhood families by sharing the food that she preserves.More info →
Who's Jim Hines? is a story based on real events about Douglas Ford Jr., a twelve-year-old African American boy growing up in Detroit in the 1930s. Doug's father owns the Douglas Ford Wood Company, and Doug usually helps his dad around the scrap wood yard located in the side lot next to their house.More info →
I Can See With My Eyes Shut Tight (ages 2 - 6) is a children's concept book encouraging readers to use their imagination while exploring all their senses. This book can also be used to teach an understanding of what it might be like if you didn't have one of your senses. What if you couldn't see? How can your other senses help create pictures just for you?More info →
Sterling Script: A Local Author Collection features editors, journalists, poets, bloggers, and novelists with award-winning books and years in the writing industry, DWW members, as well as newcomers experiencing their first published work within these pages. Dive into this diverse collection of short stories and poetry from metro Detroit writers.More info →
Inspired by Foster's first trip to Poland in 1996 and her Polish-American heritage, Amber Necklace from Gdansk explores Polish immigrants' experiences with assimilation in the US, those immigrants' children's attitudes toward their ethnicity, and how these attitudes have been colored by America's typically disinterested view toward Eastern Europe- the other Europe that only recently began to emerge from history's shadow.More info →
In this book of personal vignettes, the author discovers hopeful spiritual lessons hidden in difficult situations.
Cindy shares how the spiritual lessons she learned freed her to focus again on her own goals instead of the difficult behavior of others.More info →
Being a homebody, Nancy never would have spent a year in Italy had it not been for her husband’s wanderlust.
The couple didn’t go there to buy or restore a house or to heal a trauma from the past. As ordinary boomers, they simply wanted to experience “The Dream” – to live in Italy. They settled down in traditional Umbria, just east of Tuscany.More info →
What is “the shadow” in these stories? It’s what lurks in the dark, and it’s different for everyone.
• For Isabel, it’s the whisper from the basement that invites her to come on down.
• For second-grader Emma, it’s the tortured spirit that has haunted her family for generations.
• For Deacon William, it’s the damaged android that frightens visitors in the retreat house halls.
All ten short stories in this collection are about how the different characters deal with what they find in the dark. Two of these stories received recognition from Writer’s Digest and others won awards or were published.
Is it ever too late to leave the secrets that haunt you behind?
Angelica Schirrick wonders how her life could have gotten so far off-track. With two children in tow and a husband in jail, she begins a journey of self-discovery that leads her back home to Ohio. It pains her to remember the promise her future once held and the shattering truth about her family that derailed her life. She must learn to accept the violence of her beginning before she can be open to life, and a second chance at love.
"The first lines in Linda Nemec Foster's Ten Songs from Bulgaria, sing 'Small lives, small lives/we are trapped inside/small lives.' The paradox here is that Foster's poems reveal how large and rich the worlds are in which these small lives are lived. In line after line, we encounter the depths and reach of those who live outside the zones of everyday safety. Foster makes herself vulnerable to a world 'as tangible as fog' with her own penetrating observations...
and her poems reflect the haunting music of ode and elegy." Jack Ridl
A baby with breast cancer? A disgruntled morgue attendant! A medical chief who self-destructs! Today's complex hospitals are places where life and death events occur around the clock, where love affairs happen, where ambition gets thwarted, and where greed and ego can motivate action—just like in other human activities. This is a collection of dramatic tales about hospital staff. And much moreMore info →
Nancy Owen Nelson's engrossing memoir is about her search for her mysterious grandmother, Nannie B., who died while giving birth to the author's mother in 1905. She was subsequently erased from the family memory, her death a too painful memory for Nancy's grandfather, successful Alabama businessman Robert Chandler. However, that erasure had a significant impact not only on the author's mother, but also on the author. Nancy Owen Nelson’s search resulted in raising more questions about herself, even as it answered questions about her mysterious grandmother. Nonetheless, in the end her journey toward discovery was one of startling self-awareness and connection.More info →
People are either straight, gay, or bi, right? Well, not exactly. Sexual orientation and sexual behavior are not so simple. This book explains some of the complexities -- for example, why some straight men seek sex with men -- in an easy-to-read story-based format. Even if you're not concerned about your partner's orientation, this book will intrigue you and tell you some things you don't now know.More info →
“A richly-imagined tale of the struggle between the persistence of goodness and the corruption of power within the heart of a single youth—an absorbing follow-up to Blood Seed, the first book in the series.” ---Debra Doyle, PhD, co-author of Knight's Wyrd, winner of the Mythopoeic Fantasy AwardMore info →
A small group of resistors races against a deadly poison to save the lives of twin brothers, the only ones with the power to challenge a vicious despot’s rising malice. In a journey of risk, heartbreak and courage, a divided community learns what it takes to be forged into one.More info →
Essence Lafontaine and Grace Woodson don't know each other, but soon Hurricane Katrina will force them together. Evacuated to Houston from New Orleans, Essence finds herself in the posh world of St. Catherine's Academy. She and her little sister, Chardonnai stay with the Woodson family as they fight bullying and racism in their new community. Buoyed by the lessons they learn from reading To Kill a Mockingbird, Essence and Grace leave old ties behind to forge a new friendship of healing and renewal.More info →
From sunrise to sunset, season to season, we do not know what hardship will fall upon our path. It is by faith and grace we do not stumble. And when we do, it is by faith and grace we rise again.
SO BEGINS the Mahari love story, at once a keen and fertile legend of a noble people who live by the Maker’s truth, mercy, loving-kindness, forgiveness, and resilience.More info →
Fifteen-year-old Cara Jenkins feels most at home high off the ground, clinging to a rock wall by the tips of her fingers. She’s enjoyed a roaming life with her mountaineering parents, making the natural world her jungle gym, the writings of Annie Dillard and Henry David Thoreau her textbooks. But when tragedy strikes on an Ecuadorian mountaintop, Cara’s nomadic lifestyle comes to an abrupt halt, and she's sent to live with her grandparents in Detroit. Cara's story is about love and loss, the transformative power of nature, and discovering that home can be far from where you started.
https://www.kristinbartleylenz.com/More info →
Three people face life’s powerful issue of which path to take. Enter William Bell, a quirky fellow who calls himself a life facilitator but hates the term. Whether they want assistance or not, William uses unique approaches to help them.
Debra is a newly-widowed woman who is struggling with the grieving process. She dreams of houses and happens upon William in an unusual way. William helps Debra through some truly difficult times.
Sam, a just-fired advertising director, receives career advice from William. Did he want career advice? No. But that didn’t stop William from providing memorable counsel.
Emma – an intense and extremely private person -- has the gumption to serve as William’s attorney. Roles shift as William works mightily to help her achieve her secret dreams.More info →
A delightful memoir about the rustic woodland near Brighton, Michigan that became a summer haven for five generations of Ukrainian immigrants. Rich with stories, imagery, poetry, legends and personal anecdotes, it is the universal story of displaced people separated from their ancestral land who search for a stability, community and home.
Includes 40 drawings by Luba Kytasty (author's sister) of Dibrova landmarks and critters.
Available from the author's website: http://dibrovadiary.comMore info →
"This novel sees a secluded tribe thrive on forgiveness and a dedication to building emotional bridges...
An engaging and instructive adventure that emphasizes humans' collective ability to rise above life's challenges."
Available for purchase from the following websites:More info →
How does a progressive woman with southern roots confront the racial tension that exists in our country today? In these poems, Nancy Owen Nelson grapples with how to embrace her ancestry while resisting, as Rev. Dr. Stephen Butler Murray states, “the social sins that drench the soil of that beloved ground” on which her ancestors are buried. The poems move from the violence of the 2017 Charlottesville incident though Nelson’s family history, focusing on women who loved and sustained their families and men who, farmers, fought for the Confederacy, narrative accounts of former slaves, and finally, to the 20th century Civil Rights Movement.More info →
In "Portals: A Memoir in Verse," we enter Nelson’s liminal dreamscape into poems populated by Beckett, Godot, Hemingway, even Johnny Cash, who have passed through an aperture filled with light and longing, transfixed in time and space. Portals is a collection filled with moving elegies and profound meditations on the seminal moments when one is transported to another plane via myriad conduits. Nelson’s astute introspection transfigures even the minute moments in life, making this a collection worth savoring and returning to again and again.
Kelly Fordon, author of Goodbye Toothless House, a poetry collection, and Garden for the Blind, a novel-in-stories.
Can be purchased from: https://kelsaybooks.com/products/portals?_pos=1&_sid=b4333cf32&_ss=rMore info →
This book is intended to aid those recovering from enabling or codependent behavior. Acting “As If” uses a monthly meditation format. Readers will find a two-page meditation for each day of the month, as well as nine bonus pages that focus more closely on some of the topics in the daily readings. The meditations and bonus pages are written as reflective advice. The format allows readers a chance to review each month the steps they can take to keep their relationships more in balance with others.More info →
Set in the Sleeping Bear Dunes along Lake Michigan, the Other Side of Sanctuary is about the fate of a young couple's troubled marriage as a dark series of events unfolds. In contrast to the scenic beauty of their small beach town that fills with summer tourists, Laura and Rob Sanders grapple with a failing business and a dying love. Nothing prepares them for the tragic accident that follows and the harsh revelations that cast them adrift. They search for answers, unaware they're traveling toward a collision that will either save or shatter their vulnerable family—or maybe, both.More info →
There’s no twelve-step program for recovering psychics, but Detroit mechanic Sydney Hoven has been working hard on her supernatural sobriety. Too bad Hell didn’t get the memo. When Syd meets Devon on her first night back out, she doesn’t have to be psychic to see ‘really bad idea’ written all over his stunningly gorgeous face.
Pledge of Ashes is the first book in the Rise romantic urban fantasy series that features angels and demons, men who have no business looking that good, and a heroine learning to wield incredible power.
Author's Website can be found here.More info →
Sterling Script 2019 is an eclectic anthology featuring the talent of over twenty authors from metro-Detroit. Our collection highlights artists, journalists, poets, and novelists with award-winning books and years in the writing industry, as well as newcomers experiencing their first published appearance. In these pages, learn why you “Don’t Put All Your Dragon Eggs in One Basket,” visit the “Kingdom of Googol,” or climb aboard for “The Tale of the Ferry.” Dive into the variety of creative works in this second volume of Sterling Script.
Terry Hojnacki is Editor-In-Chief and a contributing author in this 2019 edition of Sterling Script.