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. 

I have been doing yoga for thirty years, so I am proud to bring this book into the world. Tim Keim is a gifted teacher. This book is for anyone new to yoga, and it is for those of us happily still learning. 


The world is a better place with MAXIMILIAN XAVIER WHITE, PERFECTLY NORMAL KID, in it. Jennifer Gambrel has written a book kids and parents will love. 


As one reviewer said: Katherine Snow Smith is five-star storyteller, and the thing is, you don’t just want to read her, you want to be friends with her. Readable, relatable, fun, funny, poignant and occasionally piercing, Stepping on the Blender is like sitting with a buddy who tells the best tales because she knows exactly when to cut to the chase and always leaves you wanting more. I did not want to put this book down, and neither will you. —Frances Schultz, author, The Bee Cottage Story



Vaughan Earle Justice’s Repercussions begins with that telephone call. She will come to question everything she knew—or thought she knew—about her childhood, her parents and older sister. Old griefs are fresh again and are made more complex. Old joys are fresh again, too, and her family expands and is strengthened because of her efforts to sort memory and truth. 

Vaughan Earle Justice's story will resonate with readers who have experienced the repercussions of long-help family secrets. And isn't that everyone? 


In the 1970s, Janet Hurley’s older brother, Brian, was the teenage protégé of a World  Heavyweight Champion who lived in their hometown. Brian was a young man of brilliance and wit. His talents were broad, yet boxing was the path he chose. And, soon enough, family life revolved around his training, his bouts, his future: Olympic medals? A pro career?

Glove Shy is a tender-tough memoir, a loving look at how a sport as elemental as boxing can obscure the powerful forces this family never saw coming. But, when one of your own is in the ring, slugging, being slugged, what else can matter?


                                    Praise for Myrna Merron's Coda: Poems and More

Myrna Merron’s poems have the gift of a well-turned image, as well as insight into human inner workings, digging deeper and deeper, past the psychological and into the spiritual. Her explorations of memory, family, and aging are tinged with sepia as well as acceptance.

            --Marjorie Hudson, author of Accidental Birds of the Carolinas and Indigo Field

  Myrna Merron’s poems speaks to our heart and our head without our having to go to a third party for interpretation.  You will find yourself  rereading the poems not to decipher its meaning but to treasure its message.  

             --Barbara Nadler, EdD

                                    Available online or through your favorite bookstore. 



Lizzie Borden took an axe, gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one. Or did she?


Lizzie was charged with the August 1892 murders, tried in a court of law, and acquitted, but the court of public opinion convicted her anyway and for the rest of her life she was hated, feared, reviled, and shunned. But what if she really was innocent?


What if, in May 1927, with Lizzie near death, Emma, Lizzie’s older sister, breaks decades of silence and grants a lengthy interview to an eager young reporter from the Boston Globe? What if in that interview Emma reveals what really happened that terrible August morning thirty-five years earlier? Her story connects the known facts of the case with a few previously unknown to expose a complex web of greed, petty jealousies, infidelity, loneliness, cruelty, betrayal, and several serious mistakes in judgment.


This novel answers the prosecution’s central question, “If not Lizzie, then who?” At that point only one question remains. Why was Emma’s story never published?

C.F. Stice's historical novel is a fresh look at a story we all think we know. It's a great read! 


Everything Was & Everything Is tells four stories of fathers and sons, husbands and wives, long-held friendships, aging, loneliness, and connection in the Twenty-First Century. John T. Welch is a deep observer and a tender storyteller who brings readers into his characters’ worlds and reminds us of our shared humanity. True storytelling takes on a universality that transcends times and space. True storytelling can heal. Welch achieves true storytelling in his collection of novellas. 


It’s modern day in the New South City of Charlotte, North Carolina, when an unlikely trio of retirees at the Independence Retirement Community, a/k/a The Indie, team up to solve two mysteries related to the death of a 96-year-old resident. Why was his manuscript about the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence missing when they found his body? And why did his handwritten will dated the day he died disinherit his beloved granddaughter (his only heir), and leave his $50 million fortune to Sue Ellen Parker, the most despised resident at the Indie? At the urging of Chuck Yeager Alexander, an optimistic soul who loves historical conspiracies, and Harriet Keaton, a former businesswoman with an extreme dislike of Sue Ellen Parker, Craig Travail, a trial lawyer recently ousted from his law firm after 40 years, reluctantly goes to court to challenge the dead man’s will for the granddaughter. This decision sets in motion a series of dangerous events that could lead the threesome to discover the answer to a colonial mystery that has evaded historians for 250 years. That is, if they don’t die trying. 


M. Ruth Little’s memoir, The Book of Ruth, shows what happens when an artist and a historian inhabit the same life. The ghosts she tames are those she carries from her childhood and those she finds in the lost places of North Carolina. The artist examines those ghosts from all sides and uses her art to understand them. The historian sees old and forgotten houses, crab shacks, commercial and farm buildings. The artist envisions the lives that once inhabited them, and the historian fights to preserve them so that we may all remember. 


Walter Bennett's novel, The Last First Kiss, is drawing praise from reviewers and other writers. Author Lee Smith said this: Here is the story of an American generation, the Sixties, of all our lost young loves, and a brilliant meditation on the passing and relevance of time. . . Walter Bennett has written a compulsively readable novel which rings true all the way through. 

Please visit Walter's website, to see what other writers and reviewers have said about this fine novel. Walter Bennett (walterbennettauthor.com)


You Can't Make This Stuff Up by Gregg Naclerio is for all fans of "Law and Order," legal thrillers, and true crime. Gregg is a retired defense attorney and a natural storyteller. This books lifts the curtain, takes readers behind the scene. It is funny and sad by turns, full of aha moments, always entertaining. 


In the dead of winter, sixteen-year-old Ben Landry is exiled to a remote island in Lake Michigan, learning to hunt with his uncle and cousin and hiding out from gangsters. On his fi rst day there, he sees a girl at the edge of the woods, her long, white-blonde hair swirling around her. Or is it merely a gust of wind, a rising spiral of snow, and his imagination? Ben wants to be back home with his friends, his swim team, and reliable Internet service. But his father’s enemies have threatened him and his family. As Ben explores the island, the pale girl reappears. He wins her trust and discovers she has a story to tell, of her past life and a tragic death on the island. Ultimately, the unlikely duo become allies in a battle against time and the dangers that stalk Ben. Will he survive, and if he does, how will having befriended this haunting figure affect him? Will it alter his relationships and change his life forever? 

C.F. Stice adds another fine young adult novel to her list of publications. A great book for shared family reading. 


The Rope of Life: A Memoir

Mirinda Kossoff took one flight in her father’s Cessna Skyhawk as he piloted and navigated by landmarks that revealed themselves through openings in the trees below. A short three years later, he was dead at age fifty-six.

Memory of that ride fueled Kossoff’s desire to understand who her father was and the forces that shaped him. And by extension, how he shaped her life. Her need to know and to understand became a life-long pursuit.

The Rope of Life: A Memoir is a daughter’s story told with love and compassion. Readers will come away wiser about family bonds and the ways in which they can hurt or heal. 


Joint Ventures: A Life Enriched by the Good Will of Others


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 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.


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

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,


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 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


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 

In Attorney 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


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 
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.


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/


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