Our mission is to help authors bring their stories to light with professional editing, design, and good exposure to the marketplace. Through Belle Isle Books, we offer personal guidance and accessibility, encourage authors to actively participate in the publishing process, and produce high-quality books that exhibit editorial quality of the highest caliber.
We treat the publishing process as a partnership because when the book comes off the press, we want our authors to be confident and successful.
Verities: A Journey by Tracks
ON SALE 3/4/2020!
written by Randy White
“When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.” Take a ride down the train tracks in the small town of Verities, and you’ll see one young man’s quests for meaning in his troubled life. Follow Sam’s journey as he grows up facing ugly truths about love and loss on the wrong side of the tracks. Verities is a hopeful story of rising above one’s circumstances, even in the cruel face of social injustice.
PRAISE FOR VERITIES:
“What’s important in life? No, what’s really important? Is it material possessions; what others think of you? Or, what at the end of much searching leads you to real happiness and contentment? Through a tornadic life, Sam faces questions about family, friends, trust, love, and the price to be paid for securing his dream. Fast-paced, with unexpected but clever plot twists, Verities carries the reader along with its stand-out characters every inch of the way. It also spotlights, in an era of receiving information in short bursts, the enduring value of books that make you think and see things you might never have seen.”
—Rich Garon, author of Felling Big Trees and Lee Fitts
The Unstoppable Jimmy
ON SALE 3/15/2020!
written by Liam O'Brien and Noreen O'Brien
illustrated by Jessica Berg
Nothing’s going to stop this kid! When Jimmy gets an unexpected diagnosis, his parents seem to take it a lot harder than he does. As negative feelings come out, Jimmy has an important lesson for his parents: he’s still the same old Jimmy!/
Wacky on the Junk
ON SALE 3/31/2020!
written by Kathy Varner
In this hilarious debut memoir, Kathy Varner reflects on a life lived on the fringes of ordinary. From an awkward childhood as the youngest of five, living off sweets and processed foods, to a wild adolescence of drinking, drugs, and Deadhead hijinks, to a harrowing career with social services, Kathy takes it all in stride, embracing the beauty and pain of life with a sardonic wit and a sense of adventure that remains undampened—no matter how wacky things get!
PRAISE FOR WACKY ON THE JUNK:
“Kathy Varner’s freewheeling memoir Wacky on the Junk takes readers on an engaging and spirited journey fueled by sugar (and a few other substances) and told with heart. If you came of age in the era of Wonder Bread and the Grateful Dead, this book speaks your language—and if you, like Varner, feel you were airdropped on the Island of Life, Wacky On The Junk might just have some of the survival tools you need.”
— Anne Sofee, author of Snake Hips: Belly Dancing and How I Found True Love
“. . . an honest and candid account of a young woman’s coming of age. . . . Kathy shows just how positively one can turn a seemingly hopeless life around and become a more complete person, by pure depth of character or simply growing up and seeing the error of one’s ways. Thought-provoking and reflective. . . .”
—Matt McAvoy, author of Granjy’s Eyes, Kill the Witch!, Clouds, and The Black Line
Le Mouse Caper
ON SALE 4/6/2020!!!
written by Marilyn Seigle
illustrated by Maegan Penley
Âllo, mon chéri! Join Chloe, a mouse from Paris, and Philippe, her American cousin, as they explore a little house on Maine’s coast. Together, they’ll scurry from the top of the attic to the basement floor. But they’ll have to watch out—the humans are home and cats lurk about! Come along with these mischievous mice for a summer adventure you won’t soon forget!
Peter Polo and the Snow Beast of Hunza
ON SALE 4/17/2020!!!
written by Craig Bradley
illustrated by Laurie Conley
Peter Polo has been waiting his whole life for this: The Great Khan has sent him on a dangerous quest to the far-off valley of Hunza. Peter finally has a chance to step out of his famous brother’s shadow and into the light of his own adventure. But the path to greatness is treacherous. Someone (or something) is causing the sacred snow leopards to disappear, and the people of Hunza fear the return of a legendary monster known as the Snow Beast. It’s going to take great courage for Peter and his friends to uncover the truth and save the people of Hunza . . . before it’s too late.
Grow with Me Poetry
ON SALE 4/30/2020!!!
Grow with Me Poetry uses poetry as a means of introducing children and early teens to the practice of mindfulness. In Grow with Me Poetry, you will find both a primer on mindfulness and basic meditation techniques, as well as a guide to incorporating that practice into your daily life. Through unique interactive exercises and discussion prompts, adults and children alike will have the opportunity to engage, to converse, to learn about each other, and ultimately, to grow. This book is sure to become a treasured keepsake on any family’s bookshelf!
Before the Foundation of the World
written by Susan Weiner
Before the Foundation of the World examines the nature of good and evil in God’s creation. Using poetry and song lyrics, this collection offers a celebration of joy in response to God’s covenant with man. From Christmas poems to simple lullabies, the author paints a vivid picture of the incredible experience of wonder in a world of God’s design. An extended exchange in Appendix I with “The Father of Lies”(“Pater Mendaciorum”) and the promises of Christian faith reflects our reconciliation with God and explores the redemption of mankind in the face of radical evil. Journeying from the psychology of evil to the good news of the spirit, Before the Foundation of the World speaks to the ways of God, embodying gratitude and love as the foundation for mature Christian belief.
PRAISE FOR BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD:
“Before the Foundation of the World is poetry of the highest sort. It is a wonderful fusion of artistry and truth. It takes the reader to places where prose cannot go, into the mystery of the spirit where good and evil reside. Susan Weiner has created an enduring Christian testament that speaks to both believer and unbeliever. It is a triumph for her. I feel myself drawn back into her poetry again and again.”
—Curtis J. Young, senior pastor, Church of the Atonement, Silver Spring, MD
“Poetry challenges us to see things in a different way. Susan Weiner’s lovely poems lead us to meditate on God’s love and greatness, His Son’s birth and ultimate sacrifice, and of His mysterious workings in our lives and in the world around us. In these verses, biblical events come alive, urging us to see the stars and the stable, hear the thunder of the stormy seas, feel the sand beneath our feet, smell the spices, taste the honey—and marvel at what God has done for us.”
—Anne Morse, author (with Charles Colson) of Burden of Truth and (with Congressman Frank R. Wolf ) of Prisoner of Conscience
“Like fine cuisine, Susan Weiner’s Before the Foundation of the World is rich food for the soul not to be devoured hastily, but savored slowly and deliberately. Powerful images engage all the senses, transporting the reader back to biblical times, bringing to life the realities of good and evil and the ultimate victory God has given us in Christ. This is poetry for our time—a beautiful declaration of God's glory and His unfathomable love for His people.”
—Joanne Hamilton, former president, Associate Reformed Presbyterian Women’s Ministries
Happy Tails: Jitterbug Makes a Name for Herself
written by Joy Metzer
Jitterbug lives in a modest cabin in the Ozarks of Arkansas. The runt of a litter of dachshunds, she’s hopelessly at odds with her surroundings and can’t help but dream of making a name for herself in the big city. When opportunity knocks, Jitterbug escapes her pet carrier and lands herself in show business. Her impromptu adventure takes her across the country, acting on stage, on TV, and in commercials. But how fabulous is a life of work, work, work? And how long before she starts to miss home?
Chester Chipmunk Will NOT Sleep
written by Kathleen George
illustrated by Louisa Mae
It’s bedtime in the nook of Cherry Hill, but Chester Chipmunk just can’t sleep! He’s had too much fun playing today, and he isn’t ready to stop now. Good thing Mom knows a trick or two to help change his mind! Join Mama Chipmunk and Chester on a whimsical journey to discover all the many adventures that await in his dreams!
PRAISE FOR CHESTER CHIPMUNK WILL NOT SLEEP:
“Chester Chipmunk Will NOT Sleep is a heartwarming story that celebrates the wonders of childhood. Through its title character and majestic illustrations, the reader is whisked away on an exciting journey through the imaginative world of dreams. This book is sure to delight and awaken the inner adventurer in all of us!”
—Stephanie Parwulski, author of Beatrice and the Sunflower Gift and Gloria’s Hope Tree
The Power in Me
written by Meaghan Axel
illustrated by Michelle Simpson
Are your thoughts in a tizzy? Doubts making you dizzy? Tell those feelings to shoo, with the power in you! Young or old, we all have problems that weigh on our minds. Learn how to keep your cool and control your thoughts on even the toughest days with this delightful book about the power of breath.
PRAISE FOR THE POWER IN ME:
“The Power in Me offers an invaluable reminder to us all: to be still, to breathe, and to recognize the strength within us. This gentle reminder about mindfulness will find a home at story times and bedtimes.”
—Matthew C. Winner, school librarian and host of The Children’s Book Podcast
“We all have the power to manage our stress and anxious thoughts. This book will help children and adults remember to breathe through anxiety, knowing that every emotion eventually passes. An inspirational book to share with the children in our lives.”
—Connie Bowman, actress, yoga teacher, and author of Back to Happy, Beau’s Day Care Day, There’s an Elephant in my Bathtub, and Super Socks
“Written in lovely rhyme with adorable illustrations, The Power in Me is a fantastic book, empowering children through relatable language that is a joy to read and easy to understand. Schools and libraries need more books like this!”
—Elena Reznikova, author of Thank You, Me
“Through rhyming verse and colorful artwork, Ms. Axel invites her readers to find feelings of peace, calm, and well-being through the secret power of breath. Simple, interactive steps empower children to not only understand the nature of their thoughts and emotions, but to experience the transformative effects of short, guided breathing exercises. The Power in Me is sure to appeal to educators and caregivers searching for an accessible and kid-friendly introduction to mindfulness.”
—Paula Smith, school psychologist and certified dynamic mindfulness/transformative life skills trainer for Niroga Institute
“The Power in Me delivers the message which we all need to be reminded of again and again; be still and breathe. Lyrical rhymes coupled with simple, powerful concepts make this book meaningful as well as fun for children and adults alike.”
—Kira Willey, author of “Breathe Like a Bear,” children’s artist, kids’ yoga & mindfulness expert
From a Tree to a Chair
written by Roseanne McDonald
illustrated by Mary Barrows
Look around you. Do you see something made of wood? A chair or table, a toy or tool, perhaps
even the building you're in right now? Have you ever wondered where these items come from?
Prepare to find out! Beginning at a busy logging site deep in the woods, we'll follow the journey of a tree as it is harvested, processed into lumber, and carefully crafted into a beautiful set of chairs. With a deep respect for the trees, and for the useful things they give us, this book reveals all the hard work that goes into making the items we take for granted every day.
PRAISE FOR FROM A TREE TO A CHAIR:
"Rose McDonald takes an innovative look at how the trees we live under become the furniture we use. Readers will see just how much goes into the process, and may even be inspired to pursue one of the many careers described. From a Tree to a Chair is interesting and fun."
—Rob McCallum, social studies teacher and former newspaper reporter from timber country
Impressions Beyond the Terminal Cancer Diagnosis
written by Norma Woody
In this collection, as in her first book, Impressions Behind the Pink Ribbon, Norma explores a range of emotions and trials only a woman facing her own death can experience. A true and rich testament that only the examined life is worth living, she probes the depths and meaning of honesty, hope, friendship, and faith, as well as her own fear, isolation, heartache, and failures. For Norma, life was a kaleidoscope of miracles and experiences she felt compelled to capture in her writing, and had she lived, she would have penned many more books. We regret that this is her final manifesto of life, love, and hope.
PRAISE FOR IMPRESSIONS BEYOND THE TERMINAL CANCER DIAGNOSIS and IMPRESSIONS BEHIND THE PINK RIBBON
“As a Community Manager for the American Cancer Society, I work with people who have and have not been diagnosed with cancer. Because I work in the field of cancer and experience loss so often, I find myself wondering how many people live their lives with life itself going unnoticed until the moment of diagnosis. I am deeply moved by and profoundly grateful for Norma Woody’s honest and enlightening account of what it is to face a Stage 4 cancer diagnosis and try to live in the dying, make sense of the senseless, and yet acknowledge all the good things there are in the midst of the daily struggle. These very sentiments are what inspire the human spirit to find the hope and faith that are necessary to sustain life. Impressions Behind the Pink Ribbon is a gift for everyone who is searching to express the inexpressible about what cancer steals from us. Truly, we are all terminal from the day we are born, but cancer brings fear and starts the life clock ticking, which steals peace from those who are diagnosed and from those
around them. This book faces the tough emotional issues head on and will make you cry, make you laugh, but most of all it will allow you to see the beauty of the human spirit in the midst of the storm.”
—Amy Swartz, community manager, American Cancer Society
“Wow. Norma Woody has written a grace-filled, unflinching, and even, at times, whimsical book about her battle with Stage IV, Grade 3 cancer. Norma writes, “If we trust in God’s love, no matter where we are in life and no matter how difficult it can be at times, He will still bring beautiful people and beautiful things into our lives when we need them the most.” Norma and her book will be the beautiful person and beautiful thing many will find when they need them the most in the midst of their own life struggles.”
—Lynne B. Einhaus, Ph.D., licensed clinical psychologist and collaborative coach
“Anyone who writes a book while living with a diagnosis of terminal cancer deserves to be read. Few get the chance to have the last word about their life. In this book, Norma Woody does just that. She has insured that her experience will survive as her legacy to all who are on the same journey.”
—Betty Booker, Boomer magazine columnist and former Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist
“Norma Woody takes an unflinching look at her life after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Her book is filled with poetry, pain, reminiscences good and bad, apologies for being sick, an assessment that her life by her own standards has been ‘mediocre,’ and a hard look at cancer and ‘all the stigma and negativity and needing that comes with it.’ I recommend it highly to anyone interested in how one should confront his or her own life and death or the life and death of a family member or friend.”
—Randy Fitzgerald, Boomer magazine columnist, former college educator and newspaper columnist
The Grit and Joy of Being
by Anne Poarch
There is grit and joy in life.
You can eat a peach,
taste the soft silky sweetness of the fruit,
and still catch a flake of pit in your mouth.
I’ll take the unwelcome to get at the heart.
Come and visit the orchard with me;
We’ll shake the trees and give out bushels of joy.
(“Grit & Joy” by Anne Poarch)
PRAISE FOR THE GRIT AND JOY OF BEING:
"Within the interplay of nature and sensuality is where Anne's poetry soars. This collection, while steeped in the Southern tradition, is also about soulful transcendence." —Tembi Locke, actor, advocate, and author of From Scratch
Airborne: An Anthology of the Real
compiled by Julie DiNisio and Christine Stoddard
Imaginary. Nostalgic. Otherworldly. These are the words that inspire the creators of Quail Bell Magazine every day. Since 2010, the Quail Bell Crew has explored the arts, history, folklore, and other oddities through a variety of fiction and nonfiction forms. This anthology represents a sampling of their favorite essays and articles from 2010 to 2012.
The Nest: An Anthology of the Unreal
compiled by Jade Miller and Christine Stoddard
Imaginary. Nostalgic. Otherworldly. These are the words that inspire the creators of Quail Bell Magazine every day. Since 2010, the Quail Bell Crew has explored the arts, history, folklore and other oddities through a variety of fiction and nonfiction forms. This anthology represents a sampling of their favorite short stories and poems from 2010 - 2012.
The Santa Beacon
written by Graham Gardner
illustrated by Nancy LeBlanc
Can Santa find you this Christmas?
It's Ava's first Christmas away from home and she's excited to spend it with her Grandmart and Pop Pop and all her fun cousins. But how will Santa know where to find her? Ava knows her younger brothers will be sad if they wake up and there are no presents under the tree, so she sets out to save Christmas. Ava soon learns, though, that Santa has a way of finding every good little boy and girl, simply by following their hearts.
Kindle ebook available here ($5.99)
Echoes in Ferryland
Echoes in Ferryland offers the rich perspective of a woman looking back at her life and describing history as she saw it unfold before her very eyes. Nancy Clark fondly reminisces about her childhood and memorable life spent in Virginia’s Northern Neck, a region of rivers that witnessed the rise and ultimate decline of the steamboat. Her story tells of a simpler life—and the “unabashed naïvete that came with it,” she writes—where there is a deep respect and honor for the past as well as the acceptance of inevitable change that comes with modernity. Join author Nancy Clark on her life journey through Virginia’s “Land of Pleasant Living.”
A Young Life of Light
written by Harry Hathaway Warner
iIllustrated by Patrick Gorman
What constitutes a life well lived? It’s a question often pondered in the wake of loss, and it’s one that catalyzed Harry Warner to write this book following the death of his seventeen-year-old grandson, Patrick. Patrick’s life was brief and far from easy. Born with Marfan’s syndrome and severe respiratory complications, he was given a fifty-fifty chance of survival; at eleven months, he contracted a virus that would leave him deaf in both ears. His early years consisted of a string of hospital visits and struggling to communicate in a hearing world. Yet, through it all, a remarkable young man was formed—a talented artist and sportsman with a love for the outdoors and an ability to inspire his peers in ways that would only be fully revealed upon his passing. In A Young Life of Light, Warner memorializes Patrick’s life, person, and achievements, and proclaims a simple, valuable truth: the good life is measured by the impression it leaves in the hearts of others.
Why Men Don't Ask for Directions
by Roger Loring
Roger Loring shares wisdom gained from years of keen observation about many of the difficult questions we all must answer: why spitting has helped make baseball the slowest game on the planet, how a bill becomes a law, assuming Congress ever actually votes on a bill, why children should give up their textbooks for sports equipment, the importance of pocketknives at Christmas, and much more. He unravels complex issues that have remained unsolved for far too long, such as the role of psychic predictions in society, the value of DNA testing on reality TV, the significance of astrology, and the value of making lists. Proving that nothing is beyond his discerning eye, he explains why auto mechanics are more frightening than clowns and reveals the hidden dangers of political campaigns. But perhaps his most important accomplishment is that he settles, once and for all, the age-old question of why men don't ask for directions.
Looking Through Great-Grandmother's Eyes
Nine-year-old Piper Louise Conrad is sure that the summer of 1943 will be the worst summer of her life. The world is at war, her father is fighting in North Africa, and Piper must spend three whole months at her great-grandmother’s farm in Catlett, Virginia. Grandma Jessie doesn’t seem at all like the sweet old lady Piper’s mother described. She’s bossy and cranky. She doesn’t even seem to like Piper. But Piper is about to discover that she and her great-grandmother have more in common than she thinks. In fact, Grandma Jessie holds the key to a family history Piper never knew she had. Maybe, justmaybe, this summer might not be so bad after all.
by Jody Rathgeb
When Cherry arrives on the island of East Taino as part of an ecological documentary film crew, she has two things on her mind: proving to her boss and male colleagues that she can handle anything they can throw at her; and figuring out what to do about her husband back home, whose notions of wifely duties have become increasingly stifling. Her job is to interview the women on the island to document how they drove out a seedy land developer named Benny Royston. Cherry delves right in—only to discover that the real story is far more complex than it appears. She quickly finds herself sucked into an insular world of booze, gossip, sex and religion—a world in which she might lose herself or find a sense of purpose and a place within the unlikely Taino sisterhood. If only she can stay out of trouble and root out the secrets no one’s telling her.
Smashwords ebook available here ($9.99)
A Chookamook Came Over for Breakfast
written by Cliff Davis
illustrated by Heidi Gibson
Lizzie Lewis hates breakfast. She’d rather eat candy and other sweet treats. But then Mama brings home a new box of cereal for Lizzie to try—magic cereal. With one bite, she finds herself shrunk down to a few inches high and entering the world of Breakfastland, where mountains are made of marshmallows and palaces are made of pancakes. There she meets the Chookamooks, tiny mouse-like creatures that help make breakfasts for the whole world. Can the Chookamooks teach Lizzie that breakfast isn’t so bad? Can she help save Breakfastland from the evil Dr. Darktooth?
To learn more about Cliff Davis and Heidi Gibson, click here.
Matzo Balls and Christmas Trees
The holidays bring a special ache to those who have lost a loved one in December. The winter of 1974 rendered Randi Wolf Lauterbach a twenty-two-year-old orphan and changed her world forever. Thirty-seven years later, with the anniversaries of her parents’ deaths approaching, Randi’s mind was immersed in thoughts of her mother—thoughts clamoring to be recorded. A first-generation Jewish-American, Margaret Wolf possessed a sharp wit, a penchant for music and gambling, and a strong foothold in her cross-cultural community of family, friends, and neighbors. When she passed suddenly, the woman who had seemed larger than life became but a memory cradled in the hearts of those who knew her. But, oh, what memories she left! Framed with humor, nostalgia, and warmth, Matzo Balls and Christmas Trees paints a timeless portrait of familial love—a love that transcends life and death and is renewed with each passing season.
A Cup of Pretend
written by Tansill Johnson
illustrated by Susan Emery
When it’s too cold to play outside, a cup of pretend is just the thing to warm your heart and spirit! Join a little girl named Rainbow and her grandmother for an afternoon of make-believe. You’ll discover that a little imagination goes a long way, and that you’re never too old to be a kid at heart!
Redeemed by the Light: With the Faith of a Mustard Seed
In Redeemed by the Light, author K.W. Rustin tells the story of his harrowing journey through a blur of alcohol and drug addiction, broken marriage, serial housing situations, unemployment and the inevitable depression and loss of self-esteem that accompanies a life gone wrong. Along the way, he is blessed by the mercy and grace of God, so this is also a story of his redemption. As he writes, “the dark veil of alcohol covers a lot of people, and the testimonies of Christ are for all who will hear. If I can help one person shake off the weight of depression and save one child from hopelessness, I will have done my part, because we are not alone. There is hope in the words of Jesus Christ.” Join Keith as he travels from the darkness into the light.