Our Writers and Their Books

We publish our books as both print and ebooks and you'll find them available from online booksellers or through your favorite independent bookstores. See our favorites listed to the right. 


Joint Ventures: A Life Enriched by the Good Will of Others is both timeless and timely. Olin Sansbury’s thoughtful reflections on his life remind us that people and institutions create the breadth, depth, and richness of human experience. He shows us that the process is not always easy. Who would not give up some of that richness for an easier path? But Sansbury does not flinch from experiences that roughed him up and, perhaps with the passage of time, finds humor in events that frustrated or bemused the young man from a small Southern town. He writes of the inevitable losses of loved ones, of battles large and small, of compromises that must be made and of others that cannot be made, with grace and strength. His message, that human existence is a web of joint ventures and that the web is far-reaching and often surprising, is one we all need to hear and embrace, especially in this third decade of the 21st Century.


Mary Bess Dunn's collection of linked short stories will remind you of Olive Kitteredge and Olive Again. Each story is a gem and the collection is greater than the sum of its parts. Enjoy!


One of the first books we published was The Life and Times of Persimmon Wilson by Nancy Peacock. It went on win awards, the 2013 Shelf Unbound's Best Indie Book and the 2015 Writer's Digest 22nd Self-Published Book Awards - First Place - Mainstream Fiction. Then in 2017, the book was bought and reissued by Atria Books, an imprint of Simon and Schuster. We are very proud to be part of this great book's history. 


Seventeen year-old DARLA KAYE DIAMOND, the child of carnival stunt motorcycle riders, dreams of a better life than the one into which she was born, but even with her gifts and talents will she be able to leave carnival life or will she discover that her choices merely allow her exchange one kind of carnival for another as people and circumstances conspire against her. 

C.F. Stice's young adult novel is a great read for all ages! 


Peter J. Stein was a witness to history, a keeper of Holocaust memories and teller of its stories. He grew up the child of a Catholic mother and a Jewish father who was forced into slave labor and later disappeared. Nazi-occupied Prague was full of German soldiers everywhere and Peter’s loved ones vanished in mystery and secret. As a 12-year-old immigrant in America, he searched for a new identity that left his past behind.

But as Faulkner tells us, the past is never past. When, as a college professor, a group of students sought his help to challenge a Holocaust teacher, Stein’s memories of his childhood resurfaced. A Boy’s Journey makes the past present and carries it into our future so that we do not forget.


Pretty Much: A Memoir is the story of a girl named Clara, born when little girls wore white ruffled dresses, though she preferred handmade brown jodhpurs she stitched in pink. Clara, of necessity, grew into a woman who made her own way in the world. No obstacle she encountered deterred her from having her own way, “pretty much.” Her daughter, Betty, grew up in Clara’s shadow and then had to find her way out from under it to realize her own dreams. 


Our first new book in 2019 is a poignant memoir that celebrates our shared humanity. Linda Patterson’s What We Do for Love: Cats in the Family explores the lessons she and we can learn from life with animals. Her cats amuse, annoy, confound, comfort, and delight. But her book is much more than a collection of cat stories. It shows us how love and loss are part of what it means to be human and how our animals can show us the way through dark as well as bright days.


In Prime: Poems, Myrna W. Merron explores the meaning of prime numbers and the word “prime” as it is applied to life: excellence, of first importance, quintessential, time of greatest vigor in a person’s life. She looks back at the forces that shape a life but her poet’s energy is in the moment and looking to the future with humor, wisdom, and acceptance.  


Beyond the Egg Timer authors Sharon Praissman Fisher and Emma Williams share their experiences having children as older moms, from decision-making to delivery date. It's a serious topic, especially for women who have difficulty getting pregnant, but Fisher and Williams approach it with humor, empathy, and a lot of good solid advice. 

The father who came home from World War II was a stranger, both because his child was too young to remember him and because, inevitably, war changed him. Harvey Corson’s story is a very American one, a self-made man, resourceful, proud, both loving and demanding of his daughters, especially his eldest, Nancy. She inherited his character and found her own way in the wider world as a feminist, an environmentalist, a peace activist, a quiet but persistent rebel. Nancy Corson Carter’s honest examination of her father and herself has universal meaning as long as men and women go to war and their children inherit the consequences. Read this powerful and thoughtful memoir. 

Novelist Mary Ann Claud explored the Blue Ridge Mountains and wrote about the people, places and adventures she found. She has collected her columns in a lovely new book, Blue Ridge Pilgrimage. You may be inspired to follow her path from your armchair or to get out discover your own. Either way, it's a wonderful trip.


During the mid-twentieth century, adoptions were less common than they are today and parents had fewer resources to guide them through the complicated circumstances of such a

childhood. As Carole Stice's memoir unfolds, she wonders who she really is, hungers for a sense of belonging, seeks answers to her questions, seeks her biological roots, and explores the meaning and importance of family in her life. Her story speaks to every person who has ever felt, even for a moment, like an outcast among the people they love the most.

C.F. Stice's new book, Always Yours: Memoir of an Adopted Child, explores all these issues with good writing and compelling story-telling.

To buy Always Yours, please use this link. https://www.createspace.com/7192074


In her collection of essays, Peace Like a Monkey, Marya Plotkin brings her experience living and working in Tanzania home to the U.S. Her humor, empathy, tenderness, and insight bring East Africa to life for readers. Her visit to a nail salon turns into a lesson in the challenges of delivering health care in an impoverished country then into a story about the importance of personal connection. She and colleagues disregard the cynical wisdom that the person who appears to be injured by the side of the road may be a robber waiting for a sympathetic passer-by, and prove that the urge to be kind should prevail. She loses a valued book, only to find it months later, far from the place it went missing, and spins a tale of its travels that illustrates the flow of things and people in a world that values connection above all else. And then there is the monkey.

Readers will come away from this book wiser and with their better angels nurtured.

To buy Peace Like a Monkey, please use this link. https://www.createspace.com/7197936


Mary Ann Claud's trilogy follows the generations of a legendary southern textile family. The third novel, Alex Dances, will appear in 2018.

In the first book, The Dancin' Man, a young man from a modest background marries into a powerful and wealthy southern family. Is it a blessing, or a curse? 


Whirlygig: The Dancin' Man's Daughter: It’s 1999. Volly Brunson comes home to Parkersburg, SC, determined to resurrect the family’s failing textile business and to assume the responsibilities she has run away from for the past ten years. In her early thirties, with a failed relationship behind her and an MBA in hand, Volly faces an aging business, a dysfunctional family, and the entrenched attitudes of a typical Southern town. But she’s smart and she’s ready. Or so she thinks.  

Alexandra Ward Dixon comes from a long line of strong-minded women. Her great-grandmother ran a southern textile mill when women of her class stayed home and served tea. Alex is the fourth-generation heir to the family textile dynasty, but she has other ideas: Alex dances. Her story is the third book in a trilogy that follows a large and sprawling family through decades of change to their world, changes from within and without. 


Ellen Rogers writes great mysteries full of North Carolina locales and themes. Every time the bells over Lanie Montgomery's shop door ring, the reader looks up to see who has come in. It’s always someone interesting, funny, and sometimes dangerous.

Southern Pines, NC, horse country. Peaceful, beautiful. Deadly.  

Deadly Trust is a fine who-done-it, well-plotted with good characters you will to be happy to see again in the sequel. Well, some of them are in jail now and some of them are dead, but Lanie Montgomery, her dogs and friends in their new adventures will be a treat.

Lanie Montgomery knows everyone in horse-centric Pinehurst, from the pony-clubbers to the trainers to the grande dames. When wealthy philanthropist, Anne DeKeyser, summons her to the exclusive Bald Head Island, Lanie goes—just in time for the discovery of Ted DeKeyser’s body. Lanie cannot walk away from a mystery, and Ted’s death is one. To solve it, Lanie must peel back layer upon layer of the DeKeyser family’s history. The closer she gets to center, the more she becomes a threat to someone who has already killed once to keep that history secret.

Meanwhile, Lanie’s own life takes on new complications, an attack-cat named Charlotte, the ongoing heart versus head tug-of-war involving SBI agent Michael Donovan, and whoever keeps sending her orange roses.


Linda Hardister Rodriguez has published two novels with us, each based on a story she knows well from life.

On January 8, 1959, the triumphant Fidel Castro leads his forces through the streets of Havana. Thousands of Cubans celebrate, cheer him on, and dream of a better life. The corrupt dictator Batista is gone and democracy is here in the form of this savior, Fidel.

No one is more excited than 14-year-old Francisco. He makes his way through the crowd to come face-to-face with his new hero.

A short 20 months later, Francisco fears for his life as Castro’s government forces him to leave his family, his country, and his culture.

Fleeing the Sharks: A Cuban Family Story tells of a revolution’s broken promises, of shattered families driven from their homes, and of a nation betrayed. For years, author Linda Hardister Rodriguez listened to her husband’s Cuban family story and it caught hold of her imagination. The result is a story that places the reader in the shoes of a boy coming of age while one of the 20th Century’s most formative events destroys the world as he has known it.

Linda's first novel, Up From the River, tells a very American story.

Imagine.  You are a small town southern factory worker--disabled on the job--and you believe what your boss, your surgeon, and the government bureaucracy tell you.  Everything will be fine.  All you have to do is wait.  You will return to your middle class  life.  Imagine people lying to you. Linda Hardister Rodriguez explores the fragile edges of middle class American life in her novel, Up from the River. 


Jasmine Kumalah is a brilliant young writer. We are proud to publish her first book. 

Three young men are brutally murdered in a city where people are struggling to recover from a tragic civil war. Detective Alu is given the job of finding out who killed them, and why. 

Holding Demons in Small Jars by Jasmine Kumalah is powerful story in which the biggest mysteries are those of the human heart. 


Landis Wade's Courtroom Adventure Series combines legal expertise and gentle humor. You'll want to read all three. 

The Christmas Heist: A Courtroom Adventure has been called a mash-up of the Grinch and Miracle on 34th Street with dialog as crisp and funny as that of My Cousin Vinny. This book is destined to be a new tradition. 

In The Legally Binding ChristmasAttorney Thad Raker represents an eccentric client living in a house with a Christmas secret. When the county goes to court to take the client’s property, Raker must battle conspiring adversaries, a cantankerous judge and his own personal feelings and doubts. What's at stake? The future of Christmas itself. 

The Christmas Redemption brings Thad Raker back into the courtroom to save Christmas yet again. This time, the North Pole itself is in danger of sinking beneath the rising seas. Thad has to battle the U.S. Government, an unbelieving judge, and his old nemesis from the first two trials.

The third book completes the Courtroom Adventure Series with the humor and warmth you expect for Landis Wade. 


Mother and daughter, Leslie and Lindsay Bigoness, combine their talents to write a delightful children's book, illustrated with Susanne Frueh's beautiful art. 

Remember watching out the window for snow to start falling? Remember hoping for a snow day? Sea Snow by Leslie and Lindsay Bigoness will stir all of those memories. You'll share a day of adventure with their characters, Bailey and Skye. The illustrations by Susanne Frueh will further transport you. Share this book with a child, or curl up on your own to dream with it. 

Sea Snow is available as a beautiful limited-edition book. For information about ordering, email seasnowbook@gmail.com or lystrabooks@gmail.com.  


Douglas Beye Lorie explores Brazil in the time of colonialism, when European fortune-seekers clashed with the indigenous culture.

Acaju blends Brazil in the 1700s was a land of mystery for explorers, of potential wealth for exploiters, of converts for the Catholic church. And it was home to indigenous people with their own rich culture. In magical prose, Acaju tells the story of what happens when all these visions and histories converge to become the future.


In After the Race, Michael B. Jones has written a father and son drama to rival The Great Santini in intensity.  


Nora Gaskin is the founder of Lystra Books & Literary Services. Her new novel, The Worst Thing, will appear in 2018. Please read her first novel and the non-fiction book that is related to it.

Time of Death by Nora Gaskin.

A murder 1963 on Christmas Eve began a long search for justice. The search ended with justice half-served. And innocent man was exonerated, but a murderer went free, too. This true story contains the seeds that became Nora's novel, Until Proven. 

Until Proven: A Mystery in 2 Parts by Nora Gaskin.

Until Proven: A Mystery in 2 Parts
Two young women are murdered in their homes, forty years apart. Their deaths have the it-can't-happen-here horror that tears into the heart of a community, in this case, the small Southern town of Piedmont, North Carolina. Their deaths have the it-can’t-happen-here horror that tears into the heart of a community, in this case, the small Southern town of Piedmont, North Carolina.

The two families aggrieved by the first murder suffer again with the second—and find that four decades are not enough for healing. When the old scars are torn off by the second murder, the pain of each is magnified.

Until Proven is a mystery, a family saga, and an examination of how a community changes--or doesn't.


Tim Keim is an accomplished and talented yoga teacher.

Dynamic Dozen: 12 Accessible Yoga Poses for Bone Density, Strength, and Balance by Tim Keim provides the knowledge you need for health and healing. Watch for Tim, reading and teaching. http://timkeim.wordpress.com/


Buy the ebooks from www.amazon.com, www.smashwords.com, or your favorite ebook store. 
Order the paper bound book from www.amazon.com or your favorite real book store.
 To order from an independent store, click here,

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