READING NATION MAGAZINE June 2022

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Past Purgatory by Debbie Baldwin - Book 4 in the Bishop Security Series A freelance reporter is murdered in Philadelphia. A tech billionaire is poisoned in a Tampa restaurant. Are these seemingly random killings connected? Former CIA officer Finn McIntyre is out of options. After being captured and tortured on a SEAL mission, he was left with a scarred face and a mountain of rage. Years of working undercover in a drug cartel have only augmented his ruthlessness and isolation. His best friends at Bishop Security have all but given up on him, and the one woman—the only woman—he has ever loved has let him go. Finn has to get his head straight or end up dead. With no one to turn to and nowhere to go, Finn takes off and finds himself in the strange town of Purgatory, West Virginia. The whistlestop is haunted and entrancing, and soon Finn finds himself with a home rehab project, an older neighbor in need of his help, a judgemental wolf, and a loitering little boy. Purgatory is a town full of secrets, and Finn is determined to unravel them while exorcising his own demons. Charlotte Devlin—Twitch to those who know her—fell in love with Finn seven years ago. Before he was captured, before he became an angry, heartless man, before he discarded her like a regrettable onenight stand. If she hadn’t welcomed him into her bed that final time, maybe she could forget about him. Unfortunately, the baby growing inside of her makes that impossible. To make matters worse, Twitch can’t stop the constant anxious feeling that she is being watched. When it becomes clear that someone is trying to harm her—and that the suspect is much more than an obsessed stalker—Twitch is forced to turn to the one man who can help her uncover what is really going on and keep her safe.Finn and Charlotte finally realize their love was meant to be, but can they stop a madman threatening to take it all away?


False Front by Debbie Baldwin Book 1 in the Bishop Security Series Emma Porter is not real. She is an accomplished young woman, living a fulfilling life in New York City, working for an online news agency, and striving toward normalcy. The truth, however, is something else. She was once Emily Webster, a child of privilege, and the twenty-first century Lindbergh Baby. Her highprofile, unexplained abduction and subsequent rescue led to a childhood of paranoia and preparedness, as her kidnapper remained at large and still on the hunt. With her father’s guidance and resources, Emily became Emma Porter, living each day in her new identity, vigilant and unattached. Unattached but for the seemingly unbreakable tether that connects her to the man who, as a young boy, lived next door. Like Emma, Nathan Bishop is not what he seems. Preparing to helm his family’s defense contracting company, Nathan is better known for his womanizing and reckless behavior than his business acumen. His striking image peppers the pages of society tabloids and police blotters, but beneath the facade of a rake, lurks a warrior. When an arms dealer procures a lethal bioweapon and is rumored to be selling it on U.S. soil, Nathan and his team must use every resource at their disposal to stop the threat. With danger closing in, fate, once again, puts Emma in Nathan’s path, and the two must determine if the weathered bond between them is enough to find the truth behind their false fronts. False Front is a BookBub Featured Deal and is free for the month of June.


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READING NATION MAGAZINE Untethered: Faith, Failure, and Finding Solid Ground by Laura Whitfield

When Laura Whitfield was fourteen, her extraordinary brother, Lawrence, was killed in a mountain climbing accident. That night she had an epiphany: Life is short. Dream big, even if it means taking risks. So, after graduating from high school, she set out on her own, prepared to do just that. Laura spent her first summer after high school on North Carolina's Outer Banks, a magical few months filled with friendships, boys, and beer. There she met a handsome DJ who everyone called "Steve the Dream," and risked her heart. When September came, Steve moved to New York City to become a model --prompting Laura to start thinking about modeling, too. After just one semester of college, still seeking to fill the void left by her brother's death, she dropped out and moved to New York to become a cover girl. But while juggling the demands of life in the big city--waiting tables, failed relationships, and the cutthroat world of modeling--she lost her way. A stirring memoir about a young woman's quest to find hope and stability after devastating loss, Untethered is Laura's story of overcoming shame, embracing faith, and learning that taking risks-and failing--can lead to a bigger life than you've ever dared to imagine. "…Whitfield's narration is often engaging in its spirited expression of a resolute search for meaning. A candid and inspirational coming-of-age story." Kirkus Reviews "The writing is engaging and welcomes the reader into the author’s story and thoughts . . . telling a story that is unique to her yet in which readers will recognize the ebbs and flows of ISSUE tragedy, challenges, and joyNO we15all experience in5 life." The BookLife Prize


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Hello Readers! Welcome to READING NATION MAGAZINE, THE magazine for readers and booklovers everywhere. This month’s issue is filled with more great books to add to your TBR list, new authors to follow, a great interview with authors Claire Matturro and Penny Koepsel, Call for Submission for In The Kitchen with the Pulpwood Queens, Off The Page with River Jordan, book trailers, pet interviews, and so much more. Enjoy! As of May 29th Reading Nation Magazine has received over 102K views! PQ & TG Authors - standard pages to advertise your books or only $50. If you’d like to advertise here email readingnationmagazine@gmail.com.

Reading Nation Magazine is just one of the benefits of being a Pulpwood Queen or Timber Guy Book Club Author.

Mandy Haynes

Pulpwood Queen Author Creator, Editor, and Publisher of READING NATION MAGAZINE, Owner of three dogs write press

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OFFICIAL PQ BOOK CLUB PICKS WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A PULPWOOD QUEEN WATCH THIS! BOOKS TO ADD TO YOUR TBR LIST AUTHORS INTERVIEWING AUTHORS CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS FOR IN THE KITCHEN! TOO GOOD NOT TO SHARE IF OUR PETS COULD TALK READING WITH QUEEN MAMA KAT TIARA WEARING BOOK SHARING GUIDE TO LIFE READER RECOGNITION FRIDAYS CALENDAR OF EVENTS NETWORKING FYI OFF THE PAGE WITH RIVER JORDAN

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January 13th - 15th LIVE at the b on Ameli

Order your Girlfriend’s Weeken HE

Friday Night Meet and Greet so we can finally see all t Saturday Night will be the Great Big Ball of Hair Ball

the lounge, or at The Sandbar across the street. A local favo

Sunday Night will be our Award Show to celebrate the

Official Announcement of the 2023 International Pulpwood

During the day on Saturday and Sunday, we’ll have lot your favorite authors. Per member request, we’ve adde of time to shop, check out the Island, make new friends

A limited number of vendor booths will be available for pu apparel, books, etc. Email thepulpwoodqueen@gmail.com

*Keynote Speakers, panels, and more surprises, will be an reservation will be sent whe


beautiful Courtyard by Marriott ia Island!

nd Book Club Convention ticket ERE

the faces we’ve been Zooming with for the last two years!

from 8pm to 10pm - night owls can continue the party in orite spot with live music right on the beach.

Best Books of 2022 and other prizes, and we’ll make the d Queen and Timber Guy Book Club’s Reading List.

ts of interesting and entertaining panels with some of ed long lunch and dinner breaks so you’ll have plenty s, and catch up with old ones.

urchase for both author and reader members to sell art, m for pricing and availability.

nnounced soon. Link for PQ discounted rate for your room en you purchase your ticket


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The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare by Kimberly Brock The fate of the world is often driven by the curiosity of a girl. What happened to the Lost Colony of Roanoke remains a mystery, but the women who descended from Eleanor Dare have long known that the truth lies in what she left behind: a message carved onto a large stone and the contents of her treasured commonplace book. Brought from England on Eleanor's fateful voyage to the New World, her book was passed down through the fifteen generations of daughters who followed as they came of age. Thirteen-year-old Alice had been next in line to receive it, but her mother's tragic death fractured the unbroken legacy and the Dare Stone and the shadowy history recorded in the book faded into memory. Or so Alice hoped.

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The Kimono Tattoo Rebecca Copeland

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“I jostled her shoulder and noticed when I did that her skin was cold to the touch....her entire torso was covered in tattoos from her collar bone to the midline of her thighs. All were of kimono motifs-fans, incense burners, peonies, and scrolls." This ghastly scene was the last thing Ruth Bennett expected to encounter when she agreed to translate a novel by a long-forgotten Japanese writer. Returning to her childhood home in Kyoto had promised safety, solitude, and diversion from the wounds she encountered in the U.S. But Ruth soon finds the storyline in the novel leaking into her everyday life. Fictional characters turn out to be real, and the past catches up with the present in an increasingly threatening way. As Ruth struggles to unravel the cryptic message hidden in the kimono tattoo, she is forced to confront a vicious killer along with her own painful family secrets.

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Disassembly Required: A Memoir of Midlife Resurrection by Beverly Willett A raw and riveting memoir, Disassembly Required invites readers along, moment by gutwrenching moment, on one woman's journey from betrayal and devastation to resilience and recovery. From learning of her husband's affair, to family court, to life as a single mother, Beverly Willett perseveres in resisting injustice, the loss of her family unit, and the sale of the beautiful Brooklyn Brownstone her family had called home. Willett knows selling her house will require taking inventory of her possessions; she does not realize it will require taking inventory of herself. But as she surrenders her hopes for a life that hasn't turned out the way she imagined, the world opens back up. And Willett leaps toward it, embracing uncertainty. Disassembly Required is a story of quiet struggle and persistence. Unflinchingly honest in its examination of the discomforts of change, it celebrates the opportunities for transformation. 16

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To Squeeze a Prairie Dog: An American Novel by Scott Semegran 2020 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award Gold Medal Winner for Humor, 2019 Readers' Favorite International Book Award Winner: Silver Medal for Fiction - Humor/Comedy, 2019 Texas Author Project Winner: Adult Fiction This is the story of J. D. Wiswall, a sincere young man from a small town, who joins a state government agency in a data entry department comprised of quirky clerks. Quickly endearing himself to the diverse group in Unit 3, J. D. learns his coworkers have a pact to share the $10,000 prize if they win a cost-savings program for a suggestion that could save the government money, in turn helping them rise above their own personal struggles. From award-winning writer Scott Semegran, To Squeeze a Prairie Dog is an American, modern-day tale with workingclass folks--part fable, part satire, and part comedy-revealing that camaraderie amongst kind-hearted friends wins the day over evil intentions. ISSUE NO 15

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Published by Brother Mockingbird and edited by Pulpwood Queen Author, Susan Cushman, this collection of essays by authors, book club members, and supporters of the Pulpwood Queens is a love letter to the founder and CEO, Kathy L. Murphy. An ode to the written word and the place that literature and reading play in all of our lives.

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READING NATION MAGAZINE WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A PULPWOOD QUEEN

Thank you Brother Mockingbird Publishing for letting us share some stories!

Big-haired Fun An Ode to the Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys Tim Conroy

Transcending cultures, labels, and lifespans, Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys embrace word-hounded writers who create our stories alone in book-rich rooms to ease our isolation and to be heard—if we can. Queens and Guys discuss the essence of “good books,” and learn from every notion. ISSUE NO 15

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We need each other’s differences to flourish. There are revelations of the heart and mind when you wear tiaras and leopard print among your tribe— As Kathy Murphy rouses, let’s have some big-haired fun. The Girlfriend Weekend is a reunion and a welcome, where lone wolves can turn social with howls of acceptance and chewed wisdom. Prayers here in North Texas are made of poetry, honesty, foolery, and faith, to be read aloud before a barn dance. You can’t pigeonhole these authors into types when book club characters are dynamic. Yodeled and blessed, spirits of readers and writers soar toward new creations and through our shared travails — As Kathy Murphy whoops, let’s have some big-haired fun. Purchase your copy of THE PULPWOOD QUEEN CELEBRATES 20 YEARS and read more stories about what it’s like to be at Girlfriend’s Weekend from other members of the Pulpwood Queen and Timber Guy Book Club! 20

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Aunt Truly's Tales: Enchantment for Story Lovers by Laura McHale Holland A dash of whimsy and a dose a wisdom for our times. If you like stories that call to mind a simpler era and words strung in lyrical ways, this collection will take you to a wondrous world where ordinary rules do not apply. Podcasts, blogs, movies, vlogs-people spin yarns in many ways. But nothing dazzles like a story told in person. In the right teller's hands, a simple narrative has unfathomable power. Such is the case with Aunt Truly, a spellbinding character in Laura McHale Holland's novel The Kiminee Dream. She is old, but no one knows her age; she travels, but where she goes is a mystery. One thing is certain: she collects stories. The ten tales in this book present traditional and original stories Aunt Truly might tell you if you happened by her home, Windy Wood, where snow falls from November through April, and reality is open to interpretation. In her tales, you'll meet a determined frog, clever seamstress, wise handyman, stolen wife and more unlikely heroes who face daunting trials. Some succeed; others do not. In the process, they are all transformed. 26

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The Art of Traveling Strangers by Zoe Disigny It's the 1980s, and art historian Claire Markham reels from a series of heartbreaking losses. Desperate to escape her shattered reality, she becomes an art guide in Europe for quirky stranger Viv Chancey and embarks on a life-changing journey through the art-filled cities of Milan, Venice, Ravenna, Florence, Siena, Rome, and Paris. Once abroad, Claire tries to hide her woes by focusing on Viv's art education, but Viv--who is not who she seems--has a different learning experience in mind. Frustrated and wanting to reimagine her life, Claire embraces the idea of reality as illusion and finds herself slipping into the tales of art and history. When threatened with one more crushing loss, Claire must learn from the spirit of her eccentric companion and the lessons from the art they encounter to take charge of her life or lose the most precious thing in it. The Art of Traveling Strangers is a journey of self-discovery and personal empowerment inspired by the great art masterpieces of Italy and France. It's a tale of female bonding and the amazing powers of perception. After all, reality, like art, is just an illusion. ISSUE NO 15

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Crazy To Leave You by Marilyn Simon Rothstein “A heartfelt, delicious story.” ―Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author of The Magnolia Palace From the author of Husbands and Other Sharp Objects comes a witty, bighearted novel about the happy accidents that lead to love and second chances. Forty-one years old, the last of her friends to marry, and down to a size 12, Lauren Leo is in her gown and about to tie the knot. There’s just one thing missing: the groom. With one blindsiding text, Lauren is unceremoniously dumped at the altar. In the aftermath, her mother is an endless well of unsolicited advice (Stay on your diet and freeze your eggs). Her sisters only add to the Great Humiliation: one is planted on Lauren’s couch while the other is too perfect. Picking her heart up off the floor, Lauren turns to her work in advertising as she gathers courage to move on and plan her next step. She should know by now that nothing in life goes according to plan. What lies ahead is the road to selfacceptance and at long last feeling worthy. With a new way to measure love and success, Lauren chucks her scale―and finds a second chance in the most unexpected place. 28

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Ninety-Nine Fire Hoops: A Memoir by Allison Hong Merrill Allison Hong is not your typical fifteen-year-old Taiwanese girl. Unwilling to bend to the conditioning of her Chinese culture, which demands that women submit to men’s will, she disobeys her father’s demand to stay in their faith tradition, Buddhism, and instead joins the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Then, six years later, she drops out of college to serve a mission—a decision for which her father disowns her. After serving her mission in Taiwan, twenty-two-year-old Allison marries her Chinese-speaking American boyfriend, Cameron Chastain. But sixteen months later, Allison returns home to their Texas apartment and is shocked to discover that, in her two-hour absence, Cameron has taken all the money, moved out, and filed for divorce. Desperate for love and acceptance, Allison moves to Utah and enlists in an imaginary, unforgiving dating war against the bachelorettes at Brigham Young University, where the rules don’t make sense—and winning isn’t what she thought it would be. ISSUE NO 15

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Behind the Lens Jeannée Sacken

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American Writing Award, 2021 Book of the Year (fiction), Best Women's Fiction, Best Suspense Firebird Award, 2021 Fourth Quarter, Best Debut Fiction, Winner Women's Fiction, Winner Suspense Shelf Unbound, 2021, Winner Notable Book of the Year Recipient of the 2022 Hawthorne Prize Eight years ago, seasoned photojournalist Annie Hawkins Green barely survived a Taliban ambush that left her military escort dead and a young Afghan girl dying in her arms. Since then, she has managed to suppress her memories of that brutal day-until she returns to Afghanistan to teach a photography workshop at the secondary school for girls run by her expat best friend Darya Faludi. As the Taliban gain prominence in the once peaceful region, Annie's nightmares from her last time in-country come roaring back with a vengeance. But are they just dreams? 30

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The unshakeable feeling of a grim, watchful presence makes Annie think otherwise. As Annie struggles with her nightmares, more trouble brews with the suspicion that Darya's teenage daughter is sneaking away at night to meet her shadowy boyfriend. Meanwhile, Annie's own daughter wages war with her father and stepmother back home, feeding Annie's all-consuming mom-guilt. Her only comfort, a poetry-writing U.S. Naval officer who saved her life all those years ago, is now at the other end of a satellite phone 7,000 miles away. How can he possibly keep her safe? How can anyone?

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“From the haunting first line, The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare transports the reader to a myster ious land, time and family . . . the cap tivating women of the Dare legacy mu st find their true inheritance hiding beh ind the untold secrets.” —Patti Callah an, New York Times bestselling aut hor

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QL 4 by James Garrison PFC Bell, a newly-minted U.S. Army MP, quickly discovers that there's more than a war going on along QL 4, the main road from Saigon into the Mekong Delta. It's old-fashioned crime and corruption. He doesn't want to get involved, just serve out his time and go home, but life for an American MP in Vietnam in 1970 doesn't work that way. QL 4 leads Bell deep into a swamp of deception, mayhem, and death that insinuates its way both into towns the MPs patrol each day and into the old French villa where they live. QL 4 was a highway in South Vietnam. In 1969, anyone going south from Saigon into the Mekong Delta would follow this national route, traversing an expanse of green rice paddies, passing through busy towns and quiet villages, and crossing wide fingers of the Mekong River by ferry. Squat red-and-white concrete posts marked the highway as “QL 4.” These concrete markers—old and battered and faded—mimicked those on the country roads of France. 34

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Much of the material for QL 4 comes from Jim Garrison’s experiences with the U.S. Army Military Police in the Mekong Delta in 1969–70. After growing up in a small town, in a blue-collar family, Garrison was drafted during his first year in law school. The violence, corruption, and poverty he saw in Vietnam, along with the daily challenges of being a military cop in a war zone, left a lasting impression that reached well beyond his years of practicing law. Over those years he wrote reams of legal briefs and other legal folderol before his son, who was working on a video project for art school, asked him, “What did you do in the war, Dad?” Jim Garrison is a recovering lawyer who lives and writes in Houston, Texas. Born in Statesville, North Carolina, he attended the University of North Carolina, where he nurtured his interest in creative writing, and Duke University Law School. After his first year in law school, he took a long sabbatical at Uncle Sam’s expense to tour the Mekong Delta, along with a couple of side jaunts to Tokyo and Sydney, whetting his appetite to visit exotic places. ISSUE NO 15

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When You Leave Me (Friday Harbor Novel Book 5) by Susan Wingate On the surface, a small, remote island in the Pacific Northwest looks quaint and placid. However, trouble brews deep below the water when the island is rocked by an unexpected, brief and violent earthquake, and Jamie Michael’s husband, Larry, who has dementia, goes missing. Det. Sgt. Rob Rimmler along with Search & Rescue deploy forces. They scour the grounds and neighborhood only to find a widening gorge on Jamie’s property—a heavily wooded, five-acre rural country plot. After giving up the search for Larry, three months later, Rimmler begins to track Jamie’s every movement— appearing wherever she ends up whether in town or while alone at home. One night, he admits he suspects her. Now, she must prove her innocence or end up indicted on murder charges. Sometimes when you think all seems lost, it usually is. 36

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Praise for WHEN YOU LEAVE ME: “A twisty mystery about love, betrayal, and obsession. In a small town, everyone’s a murder suspect. The ending packs a punch and remains in the reader's mind long after turning the final page. Thriller aficionados will devour this story.” —Robert Dugoni, New York Times bestselling author of the Tracy Crosswhite series “A cup of hot coffee at my side, I dove into Susan Wingate’s When You Leave Me. The coffee was cold when I reached for a sip, so enthralled I was by the storyline. Artfully constructed, melodic, and insightful, When You Leave Me is not just a complex, captivating mystery—it’s a poignant reminder to never take love for granted.” —Christopher Rosow, author of the bestselling False Assurances and the Ben Porter thriller series “Susan Wingate grabs you from the very first sentence of When You Leave Me and never lets you go. This thriller is a roller coaster ride of tension and suspense, delivered in punchy, elegant prose and with dialogue that provides a window into the personalities of the author’s characters. You’re going to love this one.” —Joseph Badal, awardwinning author of The Carnevale Conspiracy ISSUE NO 15

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“What Susan Wingate does best in When You Leave Me, as in her previous novels, is to make human pain palpable to the reader. In this newest offering, threads of pain run through every page. On San Juan Island off the coast of Washington, a husband with dementia goes missing. Then a foot in a sneaker washes ashore amidst a rash of such grotesque discoveries. Thus begins, for Jamie Michaels, the missing man’s wife, a tormented journey as she claws her way through a sea turgid with grief, guilt, and fear. Is Jamie responsible for her husband’s fate? The police seem to think so, and so does she. But that, in the end, isn’t the question. The real questions, as every person knows who has ever cared for a loved one with dementia, are how long must this punishment last? And how can I possibly survive it?” – Randall Silvis, author of the critically acclaimed Ryan DeMarco mystery series AUTHOR OF ADULT AND YOUNG ADULT FICTION Susan Wingate writes about big trouble in small towns. She lives with her husband on an island off the coast of Washington State where, against State laws, she feeds the wildlife because she wants them to follow her. Her ukulele playing is, "Coming along," as her Sitto used to say. Susan is a #1 Amazon bestselling and award-winning author. How the Deer Moon Hungers was chosen by The International Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys Book 38

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Club as their October 2022 Official Book Selection of the Month. It has won eight book awards, including a first place award in the 2020 Chanticleer Somerset Awards, a Silver Award in the 2021 eLit Book Awards, the 2020 SABA Book Awards for the Judge’s Selection “Best Fiction Author,” Best Fiction in the 2020 Pacific Book Award, a Silver Award in the 2020 Moonbeam Children's Book Award, and July 2020 Book Cover in the Book Cover of the Month Awards. Susan’s poetry, short stories, and essays have been published in journals such as the Virginia Quarterly Review, the Superstition Review, and Suspense Magazine, as well as several others. Susan is represented by Chip MacGregor. A Proud Member Of PENAmerica, International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, and Women's Fiction Writers Association Join Susan's readers club and get a free copy of Deer Sanctuary, a Friday Harbor Short Thriller, available exclusively to club members. Plus, you'll be the first to hear about contests, giveaways and new releases from Susan.

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“…devilishly fun… A clever, endearing, and funny tale of one woman’s missteps and her efforts to atone.” –KIRKUS REVIEWS

Community Klepto Kelly I. Hitchcock 40

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Luz by Debra Thomas

Alma Cruz wishes her willful teenage daughter, Luz, could know the truth about her past, but there are things Luz can never know about the journey Alma took to the US to find her missing father. In 2000--three years after the disappearance of her father, who left Oaxaca to work on farms in California-Alma sets out on a perilous trek north with her sister, Rosa. What happens once she reaches the US is a journey from despair to hope. Timeless in its depiction of the depths of family devotion and the blaze of first love, Luz conveys, with compassion and insight, the plight of those desperate to cross the US border. 42

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"This is a novel of great tenderness and great brutality-Debra is right inside of her characters' minds, bodies, spirits, their souls, and doesn't spare the reader either tenderness or brutality." --Alma Luz Villanueva, author of The Ultraviolet Sky, winner of the American Book Award "Debra Thomas has deftly interwoven the horrors and indignities, as well as triumphs, of the harrowing journey of Mexicans and Central Americans to the United States, 'bringing to light' the commonalities of what by appearances are insurmountable differences. With love there are no borders." --Luis J. Rodriguez, author of Always Running, La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A., and It Calls You Back: An Odyssey of Love, Addiction, Revolutions & Healing "Luz is a deeply generous novel, steeped with compassion, [and] written with an open, observant heart. Our narrator, Alma, is enamored with math, and this book becomes a beautiful equation in itself--pain and hope and love adding up to a timely, magnificent story." --Gayle Brandeis, author of The Book of Dead Birds, winner of Barbara Kingsolver's Bellwether Prize for Fiction of Social Engagement "Debra Thomas has written a novel of beauty and the nobility of the human spirit in the face of brutality and overwhelming odds. It's an adventure as well, full of vivid characters, most notably Alma Cruz, as wise and courageous a heroine as you'll find anywhere in literature. Luz is a story we need to read now more than ever." --Elizabeth McKenzie, author of The Portable Veblen ISSUE NO 15

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Trouble The Water by Rebecca Dwight Bruff "Before this decisive night, I'd not fully appreciated the subtle line between inspiration and insanity. But now, with all our lives at risk, I found myself navigating that most perilous edge…" Inspired by the life of an unsung American hero and slave, Trouble the Water navigates the rich tributaries of courage, betrayal, and redemption. In his inspiring journey, Robert Smalls witnesses great privilege and suffering alongside his owner's daughter and the dangerous son of a firebrand secessionist. At the age of twelve, he's sent to work in Charleston, where he loads ships and learns to pilot a cotton steamer. When the Civil War erupts and his cotton steamer becomes a confederate warship, Robert seizes the opportunity to pursue freedom for himself and the people he loves. Robert Smalls is one of America's 44

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great unsung heroes, and Trouble the Water finally brings his story into the light. Perfect for fans of The Invention of Wings, Homegoing, The Underground Railroad "With this stunning debut novel, Rebecca Bruff establishes herself as an exciting new voice in historical fiction."Cassandra King Conroy "Debut author Rebecca Bruff has made her mark with this exceptional examination of family, freedom, and what it really means to fight for the light." — Julie Cantrell, New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of Perennials Rebecca Dwight Bruff was born in Amarillo, Texas – which she remembers as flat, brown, and dry, and later moved to the Dallas suburb of Richardson – which she remembers as flat, a little less brown, and humid. Bruff earned an education degree at Texas A&M and Master and Doctorate degrees in theology (Southern Methodist University. An ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, and served several Dallas area congregations, focusing on spiritual formation and cross-cultural partnerships. Rebecca has organized and led numerous youth and adult work teams in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Louisiana and international teams in Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Ecuador, Russia, Nigeria, and the Taizé community in France. She says she’s better at getting people out of the church than in it. ISSUE NO 15

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After writing hundreds of sermons, lessons, wedding homilies, and funeral eulogies, Rebecca heard the story of Robert Smalls on her first brief visit to South Carolina in 2013. She was so captivated that in 2017 left her job and moved across the country to research and write this extraordinary man’s story. Trouble the Water has received First Place/ Gold awards for Debut Novel and Adult Fiction, and a Bronze award for Historical Fiction from The Feathered Quill Awards, and First Place/Gold in Fiction from American Bookfest, and most recently the 2021 International Grand Prize for Best Book from Chanticleer Reviews. Rebecca and her husband Tom – and their silly golden retriever Bentley - are at home here in Beaufort – enjoying the beauty of water, trees, birds, and the gentle pace of the lowcountry. She now serves part time at the Carteret Street United Methodist Church and volunteers at the Pat Conroy Literary Center in Beaufort, South Carolina. She's published a children’s book, Stars of Wonder, inspired by her own wondrous grandkids, as well as the non-fiction Loving the World with God, published by Upper room Books. Rebecca believes deeply in the power of stories to inspire curiosity, cultivate empathy, and catalyze change. Every story matters. 46

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Trouble the Water Written by Rebecca Bruff Adapted by Ellen Geer Directed by Gerald Rivers July 9th – October 2nd World Premiere of Trouble The Water Inspired by the real-life story of Robert Smalls, who escaped slavery to become an American hero, Trouble the Water navigates the rich tributaries of courage, betrayal and redemption. Freely adapted by Ellen Geer from the 2019 award-winning historical novel by Rebecca Dwight Bruff. ISSUE NO 15

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“Genesis Road is a sprawling travel narrative that centers on Glenna Daniels, a woman from Appalachia, and her childhood best friend Carey, who as a gay man abandoned small town living for an urban cultural center. As Glenna and Carey make their way across America, readers grapple with something new while also being aware that every landscape and every character has a vast and untold history. Throughout this complex journey, Underwood carves out a deeply rendered story of America that reveals the deep scars of its history even as it is also a place where we love and lose each other, searching for a definition of home.”—Mike Hilbig, author of Judgment Day & Other White Lies

“The Iron Scar brought me on a journey that unexpectedly and artfully had me thinking about my own father and my sons throughout the book, as well as introducing me to the wild, warm, and colorful world of Siberia. Thank you for bringing me onboard with you and your son.” —Martin Sheen, actor and author of Along the Way: The Journey of a Father and Son

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Pause by Sara Stamey First Place, Somerset Award, Women’s Fiction Lindsey Friedland, former riverrafting guide and avid outdoorswoman, has hit the worst stretch of water she's ever faced: divorce from an abuser, breast cancer, menopause symptoms that her friends seem to have paddled serenely by. Lindsey needs to get her spark back. Dear Diary, Disastrous blind dates so far: The walking cologne bottle. The “really want a gal to give me babies” guy. Grabbyhands-man… Will Lindsey make it past the rocky shoals of family upheavals, job crises, sexism, and ageism... not to mention toxic love traps? Does happily ever after now mean settling for occasional (but hot!) sex with Mr. Maybe? Can she reclaim her environmental journalism dream? “A must-read novel about friendship, love, and killer hot flashes.” - Mindy Klasky A 2022 International Pulpwood Queen & Timber Guy Book Club selection “Stamey’s lovely, inspiring, often funny novel… will touch the hearts of readers…. Stamey’s achievement is the realistic, 50

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down-to-earth, eminently relatable Lindsey and all she offers contemporary readers.” Publishers Weekly Booklife “Sara Stamey’s novel PAUSE–whose heroine is a feisty, determined, middle-aged woman endeavoring to restart her love life and a career in journalism–is filled with lyrical prose and pure, thought-provoking joy.” IndieReader review, 5 stars “Lindsey’s banter with her best friends as well as her complex family dynamics feel extremely realistic…. Lindsey herself is an appealing and capable hero, both intelligent and relatable. A solid, engaging tale about the importance of selfknowledge.” Kirkus Reviews Award-winning author of six published novels, Sara Stamey has indulged her lifelong wanderlust with extended travels in out-of-the-way corners of the globe (inspiring some of her novels); operating a nuclear reactor at Hanford; treasure hunting and teaching scuba in the Caribbean and Honduras; and owning a farm in Southern Chile. Now resettled in her native Northwest Washington, she taught creative writing at Western Washington University. She stays grounded with her native-plant restoration project in her sprawling Squalicum Creek back yard, shared with wild critters and her cat, dog, and paleontologist husband Thor Hansen. More info, newsletter, and travel/ writing blog at www.sarastamey.com ISSUE NO 15

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Fore Play by Linda Sheehan Fasten your seatbelts for a rollicking ride with more twists and turns than a bowl of pretzels. L.A.'s historic Bellstone Country Club is famous for its star-studded membership, championship golf course, and glamorous parties. Here, sexy golfer Mandy Manville is expected to win the club's Women's Golf Championship, which will qualify her to tee it up with legendary golfers in Scotland's Cialis Open. But when ex-college star golfer Jody Benson joins the club, Mandy's beautifully manicured nails become claws as she stops at nothing to keep the newcomer from entering the tournament. Meanwhile, the Bellstone president's bet on an upcoming heavyweight fight could cause an already struggling club to go bust. Add in a corrupt priest with a free membership, a down-and-out ex-movie star working as a caddy, an LAPD cop on the take, a pregnant stripper on the hunt for her baby's daddy, and you'll find yourself laughing, hooting, booing, cheering, and maybe even taking up golf! 52

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"A company of spineless, scheming men try to gouge a California country club for every penny it's worth in Sheehan's seamy, steamy comedy of errors." -Kirkus Reviews "Good book, great read! Laughs, sex, golf, and good wine. What more could you want?" -Danny Jacobson, Creator and Executive Producer of NBC-TV's Mad About You "For a rollicking read, Fore Play delivers a hole in one in this engaging and funny novel from the rousing story to the high-voltage characters." -Sublime Book Reviews "Sinfully delicious!" -David Noonan, author of Memoirs of a Caddy Linda Sheehan is a career writer living in Napa, California where she’s the co-owner of Poe Wines that makes highly acclaimed Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet, Rosé, sparkling wines as well as organic grapefruit vermouth awarded 95 points from Wine Enthusiast Magazine. “Decanted” is her second novel. Besides indulging her passion for great wines, she pursues her addictions of horseback riding and golf.

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Squeaky Wheels: Travels with My Daughter by Train, Plane, Metro, Tuk-tuk and Wheelchair by Suzanne Kamata A mother-daughter travel memoir woven with comparative culture and accessibility awareness. Kamata's adventures with her teen-who happens to be deaf, with cerebral palsy, and in a wheelchair-through subterranean Tennessee, to the islands of Japan, and to the top of the Eiffel Tower ultimately lead to a daughter's increasing independence, a mother letting go of expectations, and advocacy for travel which prohibits discrimination. "…Kamata's skill as a journalist vividly immersed me in Japanese daily life (education, social mores, food, high and low culture, parenting) from the perspective of an American mother raising a biracial child in Tokushima. The second half of the book brought Paris to life in delicious detail. Having lived there twice, I delighted in how beautifully Kamata captured the sights, the sounds, the Gallic character I so miss." -- Claire Fontaine, co-author of Come Back: A Mother and Daughter's Journey Through Hell and Back and Have Mother, Will Travel: A Mother and Daughter Discover Themselves, Each Other, and the World. 54

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Imperfect Strangers: An Inspector Inoue mystery by Lea O'Harra 'Imperfect Strangers' is a murder mystery set in small-town, present-day Japan. President Nomura, head of a small university in Kyushu, the westernmost island of Japan, is found with his throat slit in his office. Chief Inspector Inoue of the local police learns that the victim had many enemies and few friends. Inoue uncovers a web of deceit and self-deception, with nearly everyone involved harboring his own secrets and lies. To find Nomura's killer, Inoue realizes he must take into account issues festering in modern-day Japanese society. He faces his greatest challenging, risking professional ruin and personal disgrace, in his race to solve the case. “A compelling thriller that leaves you wanting more…” Five Star Reader Review “An authentic Japanese novel for English speakers.” Five Star Reader Review ISSUE NO 15

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"A twisty mystery about love, betrayal, and obsession. In a small town, everyone’s a murder suspect. The ending packs a punch and remains in the reader's mind long after turning the final page. Thriller aficionados will devour this story." -Robert Dugoni, New York Times Bestselling author of the Tracy Crosswhite Series

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THE INTERNATIONAL PULPWOOD QUEENS AND TIMBER GUY BOOK CLUB

By the Hands of Men (6 book series) by Roy M. Griffis

An English Lieutenant and an immigrant Russian nurse meet scarcely a mile from the bloody trenches of World War One France, where they witness the hell that the hands of men can create. The memory of their brief weeks together will follow them for years as they cross a world staggered by war, revolution, and duplicity. Epic historical fiction, the six-book saga sweeps across four continents in a gripping tale of fate, loss, redemption, and love. 58

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“Brilliant. I couldn’t put this down. I loved every page!” --5 star Amazon review “Wow what an Epic read. I literally couldn't put this down. I can't recommend this enough. Absolutely riveting.” -- Australian Amazon Reviewer, 5 stars “Again an amazing work!!! Written by an amazing author. He handles each character so that there is no doubt of their true character and his scenes so brilliantly yet sensitively descriptive that I cried all the way through, so completely did I relate.” -- Kindle Reviewer (5 Stars) “I have been an avid reader for many, many years and my "3 best reads of all time" have been eclipsed by this mostbeautiful of books telling an epic tale in, horrendous and uplifting terms, and still sustaining the long yearned for humanity to be found in all our souls. For a superb read Mr. Griffis, like many readers, I am in your debt.” Five Star Reader Review “A fabulous book I read all 6 books.I was in tears. What a beautiful love story. What drama and adventures. Held me all the way to the wonderful end” -- Amazon Reviewer, 5 Stars ISSUE NO 15

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Sugar Baby and Other Stories by River Jordan "River Jordan is a holy truthteller who can make even the bad things in life seem as sweet as sugar. The stories in Sugar Baby and Other Stories are as real as life itself, but the language River uses to coat the pain is something from another world. Writer, storyteller, heart healer. River Jordan is simply the best." Wiley Cash, author, The Last Ballad A union soldier who deserted, a scared girl in an abandoned, antebellum home, a gravedigger looking for a wife, seven sisters who will kill to protect each other, a stake-out at a rundown hotel, a Spanish priest trying to save his people from the Spanish flu, a young girl sneaking off with an encyclopedia salesman, an old woman aiming to use her last bullet. a woman framed for murder on All Saints Day, a oneeyed outcast who lives down by the river. The characters in Short Baby and Other Stories are infused by desire, touched by love, and seeking retribution and redemption at every turn. Sugar Baby is storytelling of the highest order, plucking up the reader and transporting them to a world of mystery, spirituality, violence, love, and everything in between. 60

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The Messenger of Magnolia Street by River Jordan Twelve years have passed since Nehemiah Trust left his hometown of Shibboleth, Alabama. Now a successful aide in Washington DC, Nehemiah is shocked when his brother Billy and high-school girlfriend Trice show up on his doorstep warning that something is stealing the life of what should be their idyllic hometown. Billy and Trice are convinced that only Nehemiah can help. As the three friends join together to save the place they call home, they learn the solution may require a willingness to sacrifice everything. “River Jordan had me at hello. This is wonderfully written, a dazzling debut.” Michael Lee West, author of Mad Girls in Love “This is a book that inspires as well as it entertains -- and that is a rare achievement.” Terry Kay, author of To Dance with the White Dog ISSUE NO 15

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The Cicada Tree by Robert Gwaltney When an eleven-year-old, whisky drinking, piano prodigy encounters a wealthy family possessing supernatural beauty, her ensuing obsession unleashes family secrets and a cataclysmic plague of cicadas. The summer of 1956, a brood of cicadas descends upon Providence, Georgia, a natural event with supernatural repercussions, unhinging the life of Analeise Newell, an eleven-year-old piano prodigy. Amidst this emergence, dark obsessions are stirred, uncanny gifts provoked, and secrets unearthed. During a visit to Mistletoe, a plantation owned by the wealthy Mayfield family, Analeise encounters Cordelia Mayfield and her daughter Marlissa, both of whom possess an otherworldly beauty, a lineal trait regarded as that Mayfield Shine. A whisper and an act of violence perpetrated during this visit by Mrs. Mayfield all converge 62

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to kindle Analeise's fascination with the Mayfields.Analeise's burgeoning obsession with the Mayfield family overshadows her own seemingly, ordinary life, culminating in dangerous games and manipulation, setting off a chain of cataclysmic events with life-altering consequences-all of it unfolding to the maddening whir of a cicada song. "Following in the magnificent footsteps of Carson McCullers and Harper Lee, Robert Gwaltney creates a wonderful snapshot of the friendship that forms between Analeise and Etta Mae, two eleven-year-old girls in '50s small town Georgia... This is a book to love and remember, and every book club in America would be wise to snap it up."- Robert Goolrick, #1 New York Times bestselling author" "Gwaltney's Southern Gothic, THE CICADA TREE mesmerizes and seduces, the language redolent and deadly, the characters steeped in secrets and madness, and the whole of it an enthralling and perfect read. Easily my favorite book of the year."-Kim Taylor Blakemore, bestselling author of After Alice Fell ISSUE NO 15

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He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother: Guns, Girls, & Gambling in East Texas by Rocky D. Hawkins More than just the title of a popular song of the time, He Ain't Heavy...He's My Brother is the story of two boys who grew up with only each other to rely on, and the enigmatic father who drifted in and out of their lives. “This a great book written from the heart. It is truly amazing what Rocky and Reggie went through and survived. Obviously those guys have a well of inner strength. I know this book took a lot of courage to write and put the truth out there for everyone to see. I believe that this book also shows the power of God's will when you surrender to Him. Thanks Rocky - you are an inspiration to all.” 5 Star Reader Review “This a great book written from the heart…” 5 Star Reader Review “Fantastic Read!!!!” 5 Star Reader Review 64

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Oliver by Mandy Haynes 5 stars TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD WORTHY, REALLY “Reading the fast paced, witty, heartwarming story of siblings Oliver and Olivia places author Mandy Haynes in the company of great Southern writers. Heck, great writers. This novella is a joy and a lesson. Scout and Boo Radley together. This book has feeling! Haynes perfectly captures the voices of her characters.” - Grace Sammon, author of The Eves 5 stars A gentle reminder to rewind and be kind “Brilliant storyteller Mandy Haynes has done it again! In this charming novella, Oliver and his little sister Olivia learn the joys and pitfalls of doing "small things with great love" for neighbors in their small Southern town. Full of adventure, mishaps, and magic, Oliver transports us back to a gentler time. Haynes' gift for dialogue draws us in and leaves us laughing, crying, and wanting more. A delightful and moving read. Highly recommend!”- Laura Whitfield, author of Untethered: Faith, Failure, and Finding Solid Ground ISSUE NO 15

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"It may be fiction but it's all true. Mandy writes razor-sharp, down-to-the bone southern tales about total strangers that you've known your whole life. She knows us better than we know ourselves. This is the good stuff." Mike Henderson, Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter, musician

Walking The Wrong Way Home Mandy Haynes 66

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Death by Poison by Abigail Keam "Well-written with descriptive language, entertaining wit, engaging mystery!" Kathleen Costa, Kings River Life Magazine Josiah Reynolds is hitching Morning Glory, her American Paint Horse, to an antique pony cart when horse whisperer, Velvet Maddox, hurries over to them. Pointing a thin, crooked finger at Josiah, she announces that Josiah can’t participate in the annual Shawnee Trace Horse Parade. “I see death standing next to your horse. Beware, Josiah. Beware.” Startled, Josiah is worried as Miss Velvet is never wrong about such things, but decides to plunge ahead. Surely this time Velvet is mistaken. No one can see death. The event goes off without a hitch until spectators surge forward onto the parade route and surround the horses, causing them to spook. Morning Glory rears up and the pony cart runs over something. Josiah stops her horse immediately and peers over the side of her cart. There is a shoeless leg sticking out from underneath the cart. Josiah realizes that Miss Velvet was correct. Death was, indeed, hovering near her horse. 68

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The Queen of Paris: A Novel of Coco Chanel by Pamela Binnings Ewen ''Ewen dazzles in this outstanding historical thriller that chronicles the life of Coco Chanel in occupied France...Ewen's Chanel is arrogant and fragile in equal measure, and the author does a marvelous job of digging into the motivations of a woman born into poverty as she defends the fortune she built for herself, making this a refreshingly nuanced character portrait and also a real page-turner. This is top-notch historical fiction.'' --Publishers Weekly (starred review) ''Through meticulous research, Ewen vividly brings the enigmatic Coco Chanel back to life. The Queen of Paris is multilayered and compelling, the characters lingering, like the delicate scent of Chanel No. 5, long after the final page.'' -Sonia Velton, author of Blackberry and Wild Rose ''Ewen's Coco is a proud and image-conscious character, sprung from a painful, lonely childhood to become a self-made triumph ... More morality play than fashion fable; a reminder that fame does not always guarantee goodness or likability.'' -Kirkus Reviews ISSUE NO 15

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Work In Progress edited by Mandy Haynes Have you ever finished a book and wondered, "What made the author think of that?" Or wondered if there was a chapter in the original manuscript that didn't make it through the final edits? Maybe you'd like to get a sneak peek at what an author is currently working on. Work In Progress includes fifty-nine excerpts from some talented authors' works in progress in different stages of the writing process, followed up with the story behind the story of the piece, and the story behind the author who wrote it. Where did the idea come from? What were they thinking during the writing process? Why did they delete a chapter, or change a character? Find out the answers to these questions and more inside...

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“What a brilliant idea for a book! I enjoyed every entry, and was pleased to find work-in-progress by writers whose work I had read before, like Claire Fullerton, Kathleen Rodgers, Debra Thomas, Kathy L. Murphy, Susan Cushman, and Heather Frese, as well as selections by new-to-me writers such as an excerpt of Jan Moran's HEPBURN'S NECKLACE, a scene from THE ART OF TRAVELING STRANGERS by Zoe Disigny and the first chapter of Robert Gwaltney's atmospheric and delightfully weird Southern gothic novel-in-progress. And so much more! Brava to editor Mandy Haynes for putting together this winning collection!” Suzanne Kamata, author of The Baseball Widow “I just finished Work in Progress! Wow, I am in awe of all of the talented authors who contributed! I absolutely do not know which book to start first. Mandy Haynes, you truly are as Kathy L. Murphy says, "incomparable." You have curated a wonderful selection of works. Now, I just have to sit down, close my eyes, and point at the table of contents to choose the order of the books to read! Thank you Kathleen M. Rodgers for introducing me to this group, the copy of Work in Progress, and, most importantly, the gift of your friendship!” Michelle Williams

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WAYWARD GIRLS is one of our July Bonus Books selected for The International Pulpwood Queen and Timber Guy’s Book Club Official Reading List for July. When I read this story, I couldn’t stop thinking about it - it’s one of those novels that stay with you long after you finish the last page. I was fortunate to get to know the authors through emails and the more we talked, the more I wanted to know about them and the story behind this powerful novel. The story was too good to keep to myself so I asked if they’d consider submitting an Authors Interviewing Authors piece for Reading Nation Magazine. They took the challenge and knocked it out of the park. I’ve been waiting for the right time to publish this and it’s finally here! It’s my pleasure to introduce you to Claire Matturro and Penny Koepsel,

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Claire Matturro interviews her Wayward Girl co-author Penny Koepsel Introduction: Claire Matturro, former lawyer and college teacher, and author of seven prior novels, and Penny Koepsel, a psychologist whose short fiction and poetry has been published in literary journals, teamed up to co-author Wayward Girls (Red Adept Publishing 2021). In Wayward Girls, teen girls isolated at a boarding school are targeted by a sexual predator who has labeled them “crazy girls, the ones who lie.” No one believes them—then it’s too late. Years later, as adults, two of the women confront their shared past when they journey back to the school to watch its demolition. Q: (by Claire) Penny, let me first share a touch of background. We are co-authors of Wayward Girls, a novel which combines women’s fiction/suspense and psychological thriller aspects. You and I are now friends, and yet when we first began to discuss writing Wayward ISSUE NO 15

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Girls together, we barely knew each other. Please share a bit about how all this came about. A: (by Penny) Claire, as you know, you and I attended the same girls’ boarding school in Florida, albeit a few years apart. Jesse Mercer, our English professor, was a constant source of support and encouragement. Jesse stoked that flame of creativity for me. We lost contact for decades, but I never forgot him and thanked him in the acknowledgements section of my PhD dissertation. I located Jesse in 2005, emailed him and we remained in communication via emails, phone calls, and cards. During one conversation he mentioned a former student who he thought I had a great deal in common with, that was Claire, who I contacted, and the rest is history. Sadly, Jesse passed away before he knew the impact he made on both of us and Wayward Girls. Claire and I became friends over the internet, phone, and a few visits to her home in Tallahassee. She and I drove together to a 2011 multi-year school reunion. I shared with her the strange connection between our boarding school, a psychologist in Texas, and a wilderness school where a student died amidst allegations of wide-spread abuse. At the end of the first night of the reunion, and after a few glasses of wine, we shared that strange connection with former students who were as excited about it as we were. We 74

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raised glasses and toasted our decision to write a book about the death of the wilderness school student and to examine fictionally the connection between our school and the Texas school. We chose a setting similar to that of the boarding school we attended, and our creative juices began flowing. Even though it had no name at that point in time, Wayward Girls was in its infancy. Q: (by Claire) Wayward Girls is set primarily in a remote boarding school in Florida in the 1970s. The book in so many ways is your brainchild, and you were a driving force behind our writing it. In the novel, the primary characters, Camille and Jude, as well as another student, are targeted by a sexual predator and probable pedophile. Please tell us a bit about the evolution of the ideas behind the novel. A: (by Penny) I always like to preface this by emphasizing that Wayward Girls is a work of fiction, but some of the events were loosely based on actual events experienced by students at private schools, wilderness schools, boot camps, and other facilities who were sent there by parents, guardians, or the courts. Two years after graduating from the boarding school in Florida, I read a local newspaper article about the death of a female student in a Texas wilderness school. She died from ISSUE NO 15

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poison. A psychologist who owned and operated the school was arrested in connection with her death. However, the charges were later dropped due to a change in a criminal statute, but the death and other accounts of abuse triggered an extensive investigation, which led to the State closing the school. I later became friends with a former student from that wilderness school who not only attended the school at the same time as the deceased teen, but who knew her. Over the years this former student has shared some of the abuses they experienced as students at that wilderness school. I visited the isolated area on an old country road in the middle of nowhere to see for myself where the school was located. I got out and walked around the area, closed my eyes, and felt the hair raise on the nape of my neck as I imagined the horror the students felt. Wayward Girls is dedicated to the students at that school, and to the countless and needless others who voices were never heard as they were known as those crazy kids, the ones who lie. Q: (by Claire) Penny, you are a Licensed Associate Psychologist, and a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology with a Ph.D in Clinical Psychology, and as such, your expertise played into crafting both the characters and the plot. Might you discuss the impact of your profession as a psychologist both as process and inspiration 76

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in Wayward Girls? A: (by Penny) I apologize at the beginning of this because it will be a lengthy section because it encompasses decades, and to abbreviate it lessens the importance of each event, and I cannot do that. Even as an elementary school student, I was keenly aware of the differences between children, and how they were systematically separated from other students. Special Education was a place back then. Sadly, we never saw those students —not on the playground, not in the cafeteria – never. I never understood why. My mother was on the PTO and I asked her to take me to the orphanage where these students resided. She did, I played with many of them, and sometimes rode their bus with them to the orphanage. I realized that many of them had experienced horrific emotional, sexual, and physical abuses. That has remained with me my entire life. I have always wanted to be a voice for those less fortunate such as my friends at the orphanage. Fast forward to my career choices. I began writing short stories and poetry in elementary school and fancied myself as a writer someday. In my undergraduate training I had a major in both Psychology and English. As the Sirens in “Odysseus,” they both called my name. Psychology won out, and I earned a MA in Psychology, and a PhD in Clinical Psychology. Before working toward my doctorate, I ISSUE NO 15

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provided psychological services in community mental health agencies with children and adolescents with serious and persistent mental illnesses. I learned so much from those years and that was the impetus that spurned me toward obtaining my PhD. Later, during my internship as part of my PhD requirements, I provided services at a children and adolescent foster care organization whose mission is: “We strengthen the lives of children by enhancing their mental health and physical well being.” I provided psychological services for some of the same types of children who attended my elementary school and resided in the orphanage I visited many times. A cumulation of all the events above broadened my experiences, my awareness, and further reinforced that I wanted to make a positive difference in the lives of children and adolescents, their families, and hopefully a microcosm of difference on society as a whole. I retired as a school psychologist from a large school district and contracted back to try to continue to make a difference. Writing, my other passion, kept reminding me of just how important that was. I continued to write poetry, short stories, and novels (none of those published until Wayward Girls). Being a voice for those less fortunate and attempting to make a difference in their lives has been a recurring passion and theme throughout my life. 78

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Q (by Claire) We both get asked a lot about how we managed to actually co-write the manuscript, so let’s both talk about that moment. One of the first things we did was figure out how we would divide the work. Since we had two main characters—Jude and Camille–we decided to divide the writing by character. Penny would write the chapters from Camille’s point of view, and I would write those in Jude’s voice. Then we would edit each other’s chapters. As such, Jude is “my” character, and Camille is Penny’s. This original division fell away because once we fully understood each other’s character, we could write in either voice. Ultimately the resulting book is an amalgam. Yet certain parts remain distinctly either Penny/Camille or Claire/Jude. For example, the chapter where the teens hold a sit-in protest over the expulsion of a student is very much Penny’s chapter, just as the scene where the adult Jude has a PTSD episode when they break into the abandoned school is very much my chapter. A third character, Wanda Ann, a scholarship student whose wild stories masked a truth that threatened to destroy them all, is a product of our collective imagination. We both seemed to channel Wanda Ann, who was the catalyst to the ultimate fiery climate of the book. A (by Penny) This is my first novel-length work of fiction, so I have no point of reference. I have authored and/or coISSUE NO 15

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authored research-based articles and a dissertation. Wayward Girls was written from the points of view of Camille and Jude – their descriptions, personalities, strengths, and weaknesses loosely based on ours. Claire is tall and with red hair, as is Jude. Like Camille, I am short, petite with auburn brown hair (or at least it was as it is now gray). Claire and I have similar writing styles, so it soon became the norm for us to suggest corrections or additions to certain passages that the other had written. Even my husband once mentioned that he could not tell when it was Claire writing or when it was me. So, we meshed wonderfully. Thank you, Penny, for sharing so much of the story behind co-authoring Wayward Girls.

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READING NATION MAGAZINE CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS FOR IN THE KITCHEN!

Mamoo’s Biscuits Julia Brewer Daily

1 cup plain flour ¼ teaspoon baking soda 2 teaspoons baking powder ½ teaspoon salt 2 Tablespoons Crisco shortening (lard) ½ cup buttermilk Makes 4 biscuits

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease cast iron skillet with a thin layer of shortening or butter. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and add buttermilk. Roll out the dough and cut it into circles. (Instead of cutting the biscuits, you may pat them in your hands to form “cathead” biscuits. Allow the biscuits to touch in the pan to increase their height. Bake for 18-20 minutes until lightly browned. Brush melted butter on top and split, and add favorite toppings. Enjoy! ISSUE NO 15

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One of my favorite recipes from my childhood is my maternal grandmother’s Biscuits recipe. I remember standing at Mamoo’s yellow Formica topped table and watching her mix the ingredients in a large wooden bowl. She scooped the dry ingredients into a mound, dug a hole, and poured the buttermilk into the indention. Using her hand, she stirred the wet mixture and rotated it until all ingredients were incorporated into the sticky mixture. She dusted the tabletop with a dash of flour and placed the dough 84

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onto it. Using a rolling pin, she pressed until the floured damp bread reached the height and width she desired. She handed me round aluminum cutters with red wood knobs, and I cut circles and placed them on a buttered black iron skillet. She thrust the large pan into a hot oven, and we waited, not so patiently. Smells wafted into the kitchen, and we poured thick sweet cane syrup into a pitcher and gathered strawberry, blackberry, and plum preserves jars next to butter. As soon as the biscuits browned, we turned them out onto a blue and white platter, and hands began to grab and decorate them with sweet and savory toppings. Yum! Every time I smell baking, it takes me back to that kitchen with my Mamoo standing beside me and butter dripping off my chin. I still have my great-grandmother’s dough bowl, and my father grew sugar cane and cooked the juice into the syrup we enjoyed.

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Julia Brewer Daily is a Texan with a southern accent. She holds a B.S. in English and a M.S. degree in Education from the University of Southern Mississippi. She has been a Communications Adjunct Professor at Belhaven University, Jackson, Mississippi, and Public Relations Director of the Mississippi Department of Education and Millsaps College, a liberal arts college in Jackson, MS. She was the founding director of the Greater Belhaven Market, a producers’ only market in a historic neighborhood in Jackson, and even shadowed Martha Stewart. As the Executive Director of the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi (300 artisans from 19 states) which operates the Mississippi Craft Center, she wrote their stories to introduce them to the public. She is a member of the Writers’ League of Texas, the Women Fiction Writers’ Association, The Official Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys Bookclub, the San Antonio Writers’ Guild, Writing the West, and the Women’s National Book Association. Her debut novel, No Names to Be Given, published in 2021 and her second novel will publish in September, 2022. She is the host of Authors Over 50 podcast to celebrate writers who launched their first book over the age of fifty. A lifelong southerner, she now resides on a ranch in 86

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Fredericksburg, Texas, with her husband Emmerson and Labrador retrievers, Memphis Belle and Texas Star.

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CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS FOR OUR FIRST PULPWOOD QUEEN COOKBOOK! But this is NOT just a cookbook – it’s a book of recipes from our favorite childhood memories, along with a 650-1000 word story, and photo of the person who either made the dish for you or taught you how to make it. I’m looking for submissions from reader AND author members. I plan to have it finished and published by the holidays – I think it will make great hostess gifts and special Christmas presents. (All contributors will receive a free copy). If you’d like to submit your story for consideration, please send your Recipe, 650-1000 word Story, Photo of the person who gave you the recipe, taught you how to make it, or is connected to the memory, and your bio by September 1st to mandy.pulpwoodqueen@gmailcom BIG THANKS to Julia Brewer Daily who let me use her submission as an example. I’m so excited to see what you send, and I can’t wait to learn more about you during the process. So many stories! I KNOW our readers are going to love it! ISSUE NO 15

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Y’all know how much I love Pulpwood Queen and Timber Guy Suzanne Hudson and Joe Formichella - two very talented and multi award-winning authors - but that’s only part of the reason they’re two of my favorites. Suzanne edited my first two collections and y’all - I can’t sing her praises enough. I still can’t believe how lucky I was to get her. If you haven’t read IN THE DARK OF THE MOON by Suzanne do it asap! And put Waffle House Rules (and everything he’s written) by Joe on your reading list. Joe and Suzanne are both so supportive and giving to everyone in the creative community, but they’re hard to find on social media. Imagine my surprise when I found this! Of course I had to share… 90

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WATERHOLE BRANCH PRODUCTIONS No fancy airs, judgmental attitudes, or sharp edges here: Waterhole Branch Productions is simply a river-rat spirit laced in the Southern soul of Spanish moss. We are a collaborative collective of a shapeshifting, organic group of artists, writers, and musicians, whose goal it is to foster creativity, produce art, and put it out into the world. The profit motive is not our engine, although we hope to break even in our collaborative endeavors. We offer literary works and editorial services, produce audio books and music CDs, partner with musicians and visual artists to present engaging experiences to the larger public, and contribute time to community projects for the greater good. We believe that the most pure art comes directly from an independent individual, free of the strings of middle men or management, or from an autonomous, democratic group of ISSUE NO 15

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planners whose synergies mesh easily into a positive and carefree offering.

Please take a few minutes and check out everything they offer, and while you’re there read through some of the notes. They’re more than “notes” they are well written stories that give you a little glimpse behind the Spanish moss curtain that surrounds their little piece of heaven at Waterhole Branch. I picked out one of my personal favorites to share ;). 92

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Do You Believe in Magic? Waterhole Branch Feb 1, 2020 “Why do you have that mule shoe upside down on the piano?” That’s what Mandy Haynes asked me one morning during her recent visit at Waterhole Branch. She stayed a few days for a couple of book events we lined up to celebrate her debut short story collection, Walking the Wrong Way Home. “Upside down?” “Yeah--horse shoes and mule shoes bring good luck, but the open part has to face up, to let the good energy in, let the luck in.” ISSUE NO 15

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Well, no wonder my new novel was not a best seller by now . . . dad gum bassackwards mule shoe . . . But methinks Mandy’s spirit-print on the Branch will only set more good things in motion; she’s just that kind of gal. Free-wheeling, animal loving (right down to the insects), throat-punching (when deserved), writer of mud tales, she’s a Tarot devotee, a seer and a seeker, a healer, a dog whisperer--a big ol’ wad of East Tennessee honeyed drawl wrapped up in a snake charmer’s sensibility along with the heart of an unapologetic tomboy. And she came bearing charmed gifts, the gift of a charm, a talisman she made (yes, she makes all manner of things, along with well spun tales). She knows that I’m a burner of sage, done burnt a few bushels of it behind the bad juju that rained down upon the Branch once upon a time. So her “host/hostess gift,” having been brung up right and southern, was full of thought and care, custom made for Joe and me. And she relished the sharing of it, the telling of the meanings and symbols . . . That’s a shark’s tooth, that brown-to-silver pointy thing dangling at the bottom, a symbol of protection. She picked it up on one of her walks on Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island. She’s one of those people who gather moss and feathers and rocks and “clues” and “treasures”--treasures the rest of us don’t notice at our feet. For future creations, 94

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like our talisman. Framed by pieces of driftwood, the flower jasper is a stone worn by shamans to help them with their magical practices, and the rounds of coral above and below it absorb negativity and support friendships and groups. Perfect for the collaborative soul of Waterhole Branch. The green garnet there above the shark’s tooth is another protective and grounding stone that helps to align and strengthen the physical and emotional self. Why pay a therapist when you have your green garnet? Finally there are the strands of copper that bind it all together, copper that came from the old wiring in the home she bought--and gutted--and renovated--after she quit her job in Nashville, sold her house, drove to the Atlantic Coast, and set about writing, landing a job in a book store. Lots of folks talk about doing such; this badass, throat-punching hill child did it up right. I was honored to help her with the editing process, and I am grateful to call her a friend. She adds her own kind of knack and style to the writing community--nothing affected or phony about it. The Real Deal. And she believes in magic. Maybe I do, too. I did a little poking around on my own and discovered that flower jasper is also a conduit to joy, and to ISSUE NO 15

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the ability to balance safety with adventure, the relishing of new experiences. Copper is also a conduit, malleable, symbolic of our ability to change for the better. And green garnet is the mother lode, as in a stand in for Mother Earth, steeped in empathy, prosperity of the soul, nurturing, understanding. Let’s do believe it. Stay back, you dark, malevolent forces-you negative, talent crushing feeders of self doubt. Plant not foot the first on the Branch of the Waterhole. Take up with another tribe, one that feeds on ego and control. We hereby give you a wide way to go . . . or else . . . or else we’ll sic Mandy’s magic on you, her beaded copper and tooth of shark, her openness, her honesty. The ability to be real and genuine. The Truth. You don’t stand a chance.

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Check the Calendar of Events for updates

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THE PULPWOOD QUEENS' TIARA WEARING, BOOK SHARING, GUIDE TO LIFE celebrates female friendship, sisterhood, and the transformative power of reading. It includes life principles and motivational anecdotes, hilarious and heart-warming stories of friendships among the Queens, and stories from Kathy L. Murphy about the books that have inspired her throughout her life, complete with personalized suggested book lists.

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The Pulpwood Queens’ Tiara-Wearing, Book-Sharing, Guide to Life KATHY L. MURPHY

The Pulpwood Queens’ Tiara-Wearing, Book-Sharing Guide to Life isn’t a book that’ll tell you the seven secrets of happiness. We all know that true happiness is fleeting. What my book will reveal is how one woman followed her passion and made her dreams come true. Mine is no Cinderella story, even though I do get to wear the tiara. I even went out and bought me some glass slippers, too. In my life, I have felt more like a Dickens character than Cinderella, if you want to know the truth. In this book I will share the beliefs and values that are the foundation of everything I do. It seems that these values are in short supply today. I believe that, if I am able to live this ISSUE NO 15

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dream of being “Hairdresser to the Authors” and bookgroup leader to many, then these values have had something to do with my success. We live in times where it seems like money—getting it, keeping it, and spending it—is the only thing people really care about. I can tell you that I married for love, not money. I may be a Queen, but I was never a princess. You know the expression “Necessity is the mother of invention”? Isn’t that what life is like for most of us? Like most women today, I have to work to help contribute to our family’s day-to-day living. But I like working, and I like having my own money, and working gives me a feeling of self-worth. I figure that if I’m working, I need to do something that my girls will see as important. You can talk until you’re blue in the face about how you should do this or how you should do that. I just happen to believe that children learn more by your actions than by your words. I want them to see that you can pursue your passion and be rewarded, too, with things far greater than the almighty dollar. There are four things I believe helped me—five, if you count hardheadedness. The first is that I know that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior and that my having a spiritual belief in God will carry me through to life’s final destination. Second, I’ve found my passion for reading and I let it be 102

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my lodestar. Third is having just enough faith in myself to get me through the hard times. The fourth is that I actually enjoy hard work and serving others. No one in this life gets something for nothing. It’s far better to give than to receive.

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CALL TO ACTION! FRIDAYS ARE ALL ABOUT OUR READERS! PLEASE JOIN OUR FACEBOOK GROUP - THE OFFICIAL INTERNATIONAL PULPWOOD QUEEN AND TIMBER GUY BOOK CLUB. LOOK FOR THIS GRAPHIC IN THE FEED.

LEAVE A COMMENT IN THE FEED UNDER THE GRAPHIC. 104

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READERS INTRODUCE YOURSELF - WE WANT TO GET TO KNOW YOU! TELL US WHO YOU’RE READING AND IF YOU MENTION ONE OF OUR PULPWOOD QUEEN AND TIMBER GUY AUTHORS YOU’LL BE PUT IN A DRAWING FOR SOME BOOKISH SWAG FROM THE PULPWOOD QUEEN HERSELF, KATHY L. MURPHY. AUTHORS MIGHT POP IN WITH SOME SURPRISE GIVEAWAYS! HAVE FUN!

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Upcoming Events For Our Members *Taken from our Calendar of Events All events will be posted on The International Pulpwood Queen and Timber Guy Reading Nation Facebook page and on Kathy L. Murphy's YouTube Channel. We encourage everyone to join us live. Each event is an opportunity to show support, share stories, and make connections! Join Kathy L. Murphy and special guests every Saturday at 6:30pm CST for The Pulpwood Queen Book to Film Club. Go to the PQ website to see which movie will be discussed. Links to join are posted on our Official PQ Facebook group under Events. Guest Host schedule for The Pulpwood Queen Presents Her Picks: May 30th – June 5th Kimberly Brock, The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare June 6th – 12th Rebecca Copeland, The Kimono Tattoo: A Novel June 13th – 19th Scott Semegran, Squeeze A Prairie Dog: An American Novel June 20th – 26th Beverly Willet, Disassembly Required

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Featured Author Schedule for Tuesday Night Online Book Club Links to join are posted on our Official PQ Facebook group under Events and on the PQ website. May 31st Kimberly Brock June 7th Rebecca Copeland June 14th Scott Semegran June 21st Beverly Willet

Writing Workshop (2nd Saturday of each month at 10am CST) Links to join are posted on our Official PQ Facebook group under Events and on the PQ website. TBA

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Pat Conroy Literary Center 601 Bladen Street Beaufort, SC 29902 Thursday through Sunday noon-4:00 p.m. Other times available by appointment

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If you’re a member of the International Pulpwood Queen or Timber Guy Book Club and have a story you’d like to share in the READING NATION MAGAZINE, I’d love to hear it. Book Club Reader Members that includes you! 114

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We love our readers and you will always have a place in the magazine to share your news. I’m looking for pets to feature on our If Our Pets Could Talk page, Authors’ and Their Art, stories about your local bookstores and libraries. As of

May 28th Reading Nation Magazine has received a total of 102,484 views! PQ & TG authors - the standard FULL PAGE ads to promote your books are only $50. That includes customized graphics that are shared with thousands of readers over several social media sites. This is a great way for new authors to introduce yourselves to the community and get your books in front of readers! If you’d like to submit your stories, send an email to readingnationmagazine@gmail.com.

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WHEN YOU PURCHASE YOUR FAVORITE PULPWOOD QUEEN OR TIMBER GUY AUTHORS BOOKS HERE, EMAIL KATHY AT THEPULPWOODQUEEN@GMAIL.COM SHE MAY HAVE SOME SWAG FROM THE AUTHOR FOR YOU!

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Looking for some fun gifts for yourself or a book-lover in your life? Visit the New Swag Shop

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Purchase your package for 2023 Girlfriend Weekend today!

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READING NATION MAGAZINE IF OUR PETS COULD TALK

Well hello there! My name’s Albert and I’m a fourteen-yearold yellow-bellied slider. My current person rescued me from a five gallon tank nine years ago. I went from a small glass box on top of a piano, to a forty-gallon tank complete with a sun lamp, rock ledge (perfect for my morning yoga), and water deep enough to do handstands in. Bless her - I think she thought I needed her, but it was obvious she was the one who needed me. Y’all she used to sit with me on the living room floor and share pieces of fruit with me, or sit by my tank and read by my warming lamp. She even took me for walks in the yard…She was kind of pathetic honestly. Okay, so maybe I did like the foot massages and neck rubs, but seriously… who does that to a turtle? Then came the hounds from hell, first Moe and Curly, then the little rascal Pearl, and I had help keeping her occupied. Thank god, because I’d started to worry about her mental state. A few years ago we left Tennessee and moved to Florida. I had vague memories of sitting in a fishbowl, waiting to be purchased like a cheap souvenir somewhere in Florida so I wasn’t sure what to expect. But she surprised me with my very own outdoor water garden - 460 gallons to swim in, with lots of rocks to sun on, and some loose dirt to dig in when I want. She still visits and shares her dinner with me and I realized she’s not crazy. She’s just weird. Albert’s person is Mandy Haynes. ISSUE NO 15

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OFF THE PAGE with River Jordan

The wind is whipping up the hill. The leaves on the trees trembling with each gust, making patterns like waves that wash across the tops of them. I follow the ripple of this – trees bending, and swaying and it brings so many things to mind at once I have to close my eyes and just stop and remember. The sound of waves lapping at the edge of the surf. The tinkling of the bubbles as they swing back towards the deep. Like the sound of Champagne just poured, a sound that brings a soothing kind of delight. Watching the wind make ripples across the water of Holmes Creek as I fished with Daddy, pulling up my worm thinking I’d gotten a bite and Daddy saying, “It’s just the wind.” I’d drop my worm back in the water, watch that red cork dance 126

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on the surface, the sunlight creating a thousand dazzling as diamonds stars, the cicada’s singing louder with each burst of wind, lower when the wind died down. The silver tree my Mother put up each Christmas in the little living room right in front of our window with the colored light twirling around and casting shades of blue, red, green, against the branches. The low, struggling sound of the motor as the colored wheel grew older and me and sister grew up. How precious the essence of these times where I stood in the midst of the happy moments of my life. And in spite of all those where things went sideways in my world, the good far outweighs the heartbreak. I’ll be speaking in California this weekend and one of the topics I’ll be speaking on is the preciousness of time in the simplest of terms. How it’s in these moments of everyday life, our boring rituals if you will, that a great magic rests. We don’t always see it as its happening. Don’t appreciate it. Don’t realize that as we are doing the dishes, washing the dog, fighting with spouses, parents, children – that we are in the middle of some of the most magical moments afforded to a human on earth. The tender moments that thread the larger events together. ISSUE NO 15

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It’s easy to hang onto memories of major happenings in life. That first dance at a wedding. That great concert. An incredibly enjoyable first date. Baby’s first steps, first words. Winning a contest, an award. Earning a degree. Landing a new job. All these types of things are etched so strongly into our fabric they stand out at a moment’s notice but the tender, tiny minutes in between sometimes become rote, taken for granted, or tiredly taken for granted. For anyone who kept up with me taking care of Mom, her taking care of me, us taking care of each other – then you know I had a contentious type of relationship with my Mom. It was rather simple. She wanted to change me. I won’t be changed. She wanted me to be successful in a profession that was a sure thing, a locked in deal, something with some security that would withstand all the ups and downs life might throw my way. But, I wasn’t born for that. And, would never bend to her desires for that even if I were able to. In spite of that fact – we laughed a lot. Mom had a wicked sense of humor, was highly intelligent, survived things that surely, I would have given up and died but not her. Toughest stuff I have ever witnessed. She also read to me as a child, always bought me books, joined the Episcopal church when 128

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I was eleven which is one of the best things that ever happened in my life. She was open-minded in almost everything – except me – and loved the underdog because she sure had been one growing up poverty stricken in the deep south and picking cotton alongside my Grandmother to try to make enough to eat. (No one picks cotton as a way to work on their retirement fund.) I waited on Mom hand and foot for years. And to a greater degree with every passing year and month. I fought with her till the end about my vocation as a writer explaining I didn’t choose it – it chose me. And in my tiredness which is a certain always for caregivers, I missed just a few things. I missed a few moments. I was in them but rushing to the next thing. Not realizing the holiness of those moments at the time but only now from a distance in retrospect. The same happens when you are a young parent and your children are small and demanding and needy and your tired, trying to help with homework while cooking dinner and then there will be baths and PJ's and the brushing of teeth. And you blink and it’s gone, shifted forward and the present has fallen into the past and you are beyond those moments. (It’s also the reason Grandparents become sudden Superstars as if they had always been the most aware and perfect parents of all time – because now, from this distance, ISSUE NO 15

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they know how fast the time will fly and how soon those children will grow out of whatever stage they are in.) We busy and hustle through our days working towards that thing. You know – the thing you are working towards, desiring, wanting. Dot those i’s, cross those t’s. And, In the middle of all these minutes and moments, this energy that is us twirling through the vast universe, rotating day and night, circling the sun. In all that vast, star-studded darkness, the tiny light that is our life a spark on this big, blue planet never realizing we are at every moment a walking miracle of light and laughter, of story and struggle, lovers of the human soul. If there should be a thing as a monthly resolution then for June, smack dab in the middle of my thousand deadlines and upcoming changes, I am determined to not let the light that is my life slip through my fingers. To breathe and inhabit the ground I stand on with great thanksgiving in my heart, and a kind of fearlessness in my mind. Wishing for you this month the magic of all your moments in this sacred thing we call life.

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River Jordan is an author, speaker, teacher and radio host. As a southerner with a global perspective she is a passionate advocate for the power of story.River's writing career began as a playwright and she spent over ten years writing and directing. She is the best-selling author of four novels and a three spiritual memoirs. As a critically-acclaimed author her work has been most frequently cast in the company of such writers as Flannery O'Conner, William Faulkner, and Harper Lee. Ms. Jordan lives on a hill just beyond Nashville city limits surrounded by her wild, southern family. When not on the road you'll find her on her porch at night watching the moon move through the star-filled sky and contemplating all manner of things human and divine.

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THE INTERNATIONAL PULPWOOD QUEENS AND TIMBER GUY BOOK CLUB “Letters from Sadie: Letters Written by Sadie Claire (Marcum) Montgomery from the Norton, Kansas, Tuberculosis Sanatorium (1932–1933)” by Darla Hedrick Quinn is a true compelling story told through a

collection of photos and letters written in the depths of the Great Depression from 1932 to 1933. The book tells the story of Sadie, a wife and a mother and shares the feelings of faith, separation, fear, hope and love that she experienced while suffering from a debilitating illness. The memoir chronicles part of one woman’s life events by demonstrating a love for family and portraying opportunities for advocation for an ill or elderly family member requiring assistance. It also provides a historical glimpse into the lives of a poor farm family living in Southeast Kansas. Quinn served as the primary caregiver and advocate from afar for her mother for eleven and a half years while her mother was a resident at assisted living facilities in Parsons, Kansas, and San Antonio, Texas. In 2020, one month after entering isolation due to COVID, her mother died. Following that, Quinn came upon a collection of photographs and letters written by her grandmother to her mother’s family while at the Norton State Tuberculosis Sanatorium in Norton, Kansas. The author Quinn composed this collection along with a useful caregiver’s guide and created “Letters from Sadie.” Letters from Sadie has been chosen to be promoted at the L.A. Times Festival of Books 4/23-24/2022 on the USC campus as an entry in the "Memoirs" category Brilliant Books Literary. JUNEby 2022 132


MAGAZINE In 2020, it was estimated that there were 53 READING millionNATION caregivers in the United States. These are family members and friends providing physical, medical and emotional support for loved ones who can no longer perform certain functions. The author was her mother's caregiver from afar for 11 years and some of those tasks included: medical, physical and financial decision maker, transportation to and accompanying her to medical appointments, arranging for assisted living facility, and working closely to meet her medical, physical and emotional needs including being her advocate at the facility as her health continued to fail. The author wanted to make the book more useful to caregivers and included a section, "The Final Journey", which gives guidance as to what to look for in an assisted living facility and how to advocate for a loved one living there.

Darla Hedrick Quinn earned a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas and her executive Master of Business Administration degree from Washington University St. Louis, Missouri. In 2008, she retired as Executive Director and Project Manager at AT&T after a thirty-one year career. Quinn is a keen book reader and photographer. She enjoys traveling, hiking, and golfing. Quinn currently resides with her husband, Francis, and their toy schnauzers, Turner and Hooch, in San Antonio, Texas. Sadie and Little Mary Far right Little Mary and her daughter - author Darla Hedrick ISSUE NO 15 133 Quinn


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