I had the absolute pleasure this past week to mail off several packages:

And they were BREAK IN THE FIELD and ECHOES FROM THE HOCKER HOUSE heading out to five different judges each, to be contestants in the National Book Awards.

Ellis Elliott is a founding member of our new poetry cooperative: OLD SCRATCH PRESS. But I met Ellis when she was working on her cosy mystery, which will be on its way to print next year. For this year, Ellis’ poetry collection: BREAK IN THE FIELD is the first collection of poetry to be published by the collective, and In this wonderful collection Ellis reflects on parenting, blending families, and becoming a parent to a child with a disability. The book releases in a few weeks! Ellis is a gifted poet, and her website, if you are at all involved in your own writing, is one you want to check out (click the image to visit):

Virginia Watts (Ginny to all of us) is also a founding member of OLD SCRATCH PRESS, and a poet. But when I met her, I didn’t know that. I fell in love with her prose, and her book, ECHOES FROM THE HOCKER HOUSE is collection of moody, atmospheric, stories from deep in the woods of Pennsylvania, where things aren’t quite as they seem, as the shadows come down through the dense trees. We consider this a literary collection, because it’s not horror, but that doesn’t mean that literature won’t make the hair stand up on the back of your neck. The writing has shades of Flannery O’Connor at her best. Ginny’s website gives you a peak of what lies in wait in her collection (click to visit her website and get a taste of her writing):

and Ginny’s book also releases in 2023, when the Pennsylvania trees are at their most spectacular: fall.

Both authors make writing that I find I can’t put down.

I began my working life in the field of disabilities, and I so identify with the challenges Ellis describes in her poetry collection, and the love she feels for her stepson, her own sons, and her family on both sides of her second marriage. BREAK IN THE FIELD does just what it promises to do, disrupt that perception of our lives we have gotten so used to, and it does it both with insights into the demands of blending families, and the strong undertow of love, that won’t let us loose.

Dave and I both come from the wilds of Pennsylvania. My father’s people are coal people, and Dave’s father’s people are steel people, and being from those people comes with a certain something, the vein of precious ore in the rock, the granite the does not yield. Ginny’s stories in ECHOES FROM THE HOCKER HOUSE have that grit running through them, and people will keep going, even when the way forward is knee-deep in coal dust, and the hands you use to pull yourself through the day are calloused and permanently stained.

Two authors, two founding members of our new poetry collective, two collections: one poetry, one prose. One releases soon, and when you finish venturing into two families with BREAK IN THE FIELD, you can venture into the woods with ECHOES FROM THE HOCKER HOUSE. Your reading pile has never been more enticing.

PLUS! Pre-order and get a discount, and a special little something extra that is not available in stores or on Amazon, and that is signed by the author!