The path to publication of my novel, Better Than This, had a challenging, steep learning curve. I couldn’t have done it without the incredibly supportive community that my publisher, Brooke Warner, has created at She Writes Press (SWP.) I have made wonderful friends and am awed by the talented women authors at SWP, many of whom have been guest authors on this blog and others whose books I’ve written about in earlier posts. Here are some of the SWP books I’ve highlighted in past blogs.
In Blog #8: Back In Time, I talked about my love of being transported to another time when reading historical novels. Barbara Ridley’s When It’s Over, had a London setting (as well as Prague and Paris) during WWII.
In Blog #13: Books as Teachers, I discussed books that have been helpful in my writing journey including Brooke Warner’s books, What’s Your Book? and Green Light Your Book and Betsy Graziani Fasbinder’s From Page to Stage: Inspiration, Tools, and Public Speaking Tips for Writers.
In Blog #17: The Power of Remembering, I shared some favorite memoirs such as Andrea Jarrell’s I’m the One That Got Away, Betty Hafner’s Not Exactly Love, Betsy Graziani Fasbinder’s Filling Her Shoes: A Memoir of an Inherited Family and Francine Falk-Allen’s Not a Poster Child: Living Well with a Disability.
Blog #21: Psychologically Minded, included Entangled Moon by E. C. Frey and Blog #22: City by the Bay described books set in San Francisco such as Christie Nelson’s Beautiful Illusion, Bonnie Monte’s The Sleeping Lady, and Betsy Graziani Fasbinder’s Fire and Water.
Finally, Blog #23: My Marie Kondo Books, listed Donna Cameron’s A Year of Living Kindly, as one of the books I would have if I could choose only 30 to keep on my bookshelf.
Books from She Writes Press authors continue to pile up on my TBR shelf, but here are a few more that I loved.
The River by Starlight by Ellen Notbohm
I’m in awe of this exquisitely written historical novel. With authentic period language, well-drawn characters, and beautiful, descriptive prose, Ellen transports readers to Montana in the early 1900’s with all the hardships and struggles inherent in homesteading. The protagonist, Annie, bears tragic losses and heartbreak, suffers postpartum psychosis, and is abandoned and institutionalized. And yet her resilience and will to live shine through in her extraordinary steadfastness. Ellen brings a depth of emotion to her writing that engenders empathy and understanding in the reader. As a psychotherapist and former Labor and Delivery nurse, I especially appreciated her sensitive and genuine depiction of the severe but greatly misunderstood (even today) depression many women suffer postpartum. This is an extensively researched and masterfully written book.
The Same River by Lisa Reddick
There is so much going on in this novel – environmental science, Native American spirituality, and the mystical connection of lives two hundred years apart — but Reddick masterfully weaves them all together in an engaging and enjoyable story with wonderful, relatable characters. The protagonist, Jess, is strong and passionate about “her river,” and the secondary protagonist, Piah, has an evocative, vivid, and heartbreaking story. And I have to add – I’m always a sucker for a good love story – and this one was authentic and enjoyable.
Hard Cider by Barbara Stark-Nemon
This beautiful novel introduced me to both the landscape of Michigan and the production of hard apple cider. The protagonist, Abbie Rose, is embarking on a late-in-life quest to fulfill her dream to create a cider business, unsupported by her family. She is no stranger to adversity — having coped with loss, infertility, and parenting challenges — and she pushes forward, determined to persevere. But when a young woman with a secret enters her life, her steadfastness is challenged. An engaging novel about the importance of family, forgiveness, and pursing your dreams.
Gina In The Floating World by Belle Brett
This well-written erotic thriller was so suspenseful I had to put it down. Literally. Since I typically read at night before bed, it was too unsettling to keep reading as the protagonist, Gina, a Midwestern girl in Japan for an internship, got pulled deeper into a dangerous, dark world. I finished it on the weekend — in the light of day and in one sitting — desperately hoping Gina could find her way out. Belle is a wonderful storyteller in this captivating coming-of-age tale. A great debut that stayed with me long after the past page.
Unreasonable Doubts by Reyna Gentin
This book is promoted as a legal thriller, but for me it was much more about the intricacies of human relationships – and the vulnerability that it takes to really open our heart to another while keeping our eyes open to the truth of any situation. The protagonist, Liana, is struggling with those questions on several fronts, while also confronting her burnout as a NYC Public Defender. This book crosses genres – and I think many will find something here to enjoy.
I know books by my She Write Press sisters will continue to show up in this blog as I make my way through that shelf of books. What about you? Any SWP books on your shelf? Do you have a favorite?