books that preserve and speculate about days gone by
Adder in the Path
Beautifully written and unflinchingly honest, Adder in the Path is a tragic chronicle of the Mormon War, and two very different families caught up in a maelstrom of intolerance and violence. It is a tale that teaches the fragility of human connection and the destruction caused by fanaticism and hypocrisy--crucial lessons that resonate long after the last word.
Smashwords ebook available here ($2.99)
Kindle ebook available here ($2.99)
The Age of Dinosaurs in Virginia and Nearby States
Although the fossil dinosaur deposits of the western United States are justly famous and widely appreciated, the fossil deposits of the eastern United States have received much less publicity. The Age of Dinosaurs in Virginia and Nearby States is intended to provide a detailed guide to the little publicized history of the age of dinosaurs from the perspective of the Mid-Atlantic states. This book focuses primarily on Virginia, but it also extensively covers the age of dinosaurs in North Carolina, Maryland, Delaware, southern Pennsylvania, and southern New Jersey. This has resulted in a more comprehensive view of the age of dinosaurs in the Mid-Atlantic region than has ever been previously attempted.
Fighting Hitler from the North Jersey Suburbs
For children residing an ocean apart from the imminent dangers of World War II, the war’s effects were nonetheless felt in a way that shaped a generation. In Fighting Hitler from the North Jersey Suburbs, author James C. Berrall focuses a nostalgic lens on the American home front during the second great war, offering a child’s-eye view of the commotion and peculiarities of wartime. Drawing on his boyhood experiences, Berrall recalls everything from popular contemporary songs and radio programs to the looming anticipation of air raids and military invasions. A true portrait of an era, Fighting Hitler from the North Jersey Suburbs chronicles the formative years of both a young man and an emerging superpower.
In Service to Their Country
by Captain Alexander G. Monroe, USN (Ret.)
On a Virginia hillside overlooking the Rappahannock River, at Christchurch School, sits a simple granite monument. It was placed there to honor the school’s faculty, staff, and alumni who have served in the American uniformed services. From its early years, and continuing still today, Christchurch has been home to men and women of diligence, accountability, and humble valor, often taking in struggling youths and cultivating in them the virtues and life skills they’ll need to make their way in the world. The path many graduates have chosen is one of service to country.
Together with the hillside monument, this book exists in tribute to those members of the Christchurch family who have dedicated years of their lives—often their best years, and sometimes their last—to the protection of the United States of America.
Juan Patron: A Fallen Star in the Days of Billy the Kid
Follow the life and times of Juan Patron, one of New Mexico’s leading frontiersmen!
Juan Patron lived through one of the bloodiest chapters of the American West: the 1878 feud known as the Lincoln County War in New Mexico. Reputed for his heroics, Patron tried to tame a frontier plagued with violence, illiteracy and greed--first as a teacher, then as a desperado hunter, and eventually as speaker of the territorial house at age twenty-five, the youngest person to hold this position in New Mexico in history.
With keen, well-researched detail and the art of a master storyteller, author Paul Tsompanas leads us through Patron's life and times--and his fate at the hands of a Texas cowboy named Michael Maney, who outdrew him in a dramatic showdown. Many believe that, had he lived, Patron would have become New Mexico's first congressman when it entered the Union in 1912.
Smashwords ebook available here ($1.99)
Kindle ebook available here ($2.99)
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.
The Man Called Jesus
by T. F. Lloyd
The Romans rule Israel with an iron fist, and young Hanan is angry and conflicted. The soldiers murder his father and take their livestock, and he becomes sole provider for his mother. Yet without the cattle that had been his family’s livelihood, Hanan turns to a secret life of thievery. He manages to care for the family while keeping his ways hidden—until he pilfers a valuable Roman necklace and becomes a wanted man. Riddled with guilt and fear, he believes his fate is sealed. Only one beacon of light shines to give Hanan hope for removing his guilt and cleansing his soul: the man called Jesus. Hanan follows the teacher, feeding on his every word and miracle, hoping to find the salvation he craves, before it’s too late.
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.
One Leaf in Time
One Leaf in Time chronicles the life of Sylvia Churchill Prince, born in Tientsin, China, where her father was a successful businessman. For the first eight years of Sylvia’s life, the Churchills enjoyed a life of luxury among a community of foreign businessmen and dignitaries. The outbreak of the Second World War brought that life to a sudden stop, as the Churchills were rounded up by Japanese occupiers and transported to an internment camp in Weihsien. Prince offers a warts-and-all description of camp life, describing the harsh treatment imposed by Japanese officials, but also the resilience of internees from countries across Europe and North America. As her account reveals, it was possible to find entertainment, respite, and even joy in an environment where danger was but one misstep away.
Portrait of a Town: Cape Charles, 1940-1960
written by Patricia Joyce Parsons
Situated on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, Cape Charles was once a vibrant railroad town, serving as a vital hub for troop movements between the northern and southern states during World War II. Its placement on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, along with its fleet of ferries and fishing boats and its position among the farming communities of the Eastern Shore, made it a town of plenty in the lean times of rationing that occurred during the war—and a perfect place for a child to grow up.
PRAISE FOR PORTRAIT OF A TOWN:
“In Portrait of a Town, Pat Parsons reflects with warm nostalgia on her experiences growing up in a lovely and proud Victorian bayside village on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Her delightful portrayal of daily life during WWII, and of Cape Charles’s struggle to survive the changing times, provide valuable insight into the history of the area.”
~ John M. Barber, Fellow, American Society of Marine Artists
“Pat Parsons’s new book, Portrait of a Town, speaks of her youth growing up in the Chesapeake Bay waterfront/railroad town on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Parsons’s straightforward approach to storytelling and marvelous memory capture the very essence of small-town American life during the decades of the 1940s and 50s. Her tales make the reader long for those wonderful, simple days of youth. Although specific to the town of Cape Charles, her well-written stories will interest those near and far as her life memories are a reminder for many of their own lives growing up in small town America. The book is a read well worth reading!”
~ Larry Chowning, author of Harvesting the Chesapeake: Tools and Traditions; Chesapeake Legacy: Tools and Traditions; Chesapeake Bay Buyboats; Deadrise and Cross-planked; Barcat Skipper: Tales of a Tangier Island Waterman; and other books on the Chesapeake Bay
The Ride of Molly Tynes: A Tale Passed Down
illustrated Emily Hurst Pritchett
When Molly Tynes learns of an impending attack on a neighboring town, she mounts her horse without hesitation, risking life and limb to warn and protect her community. Four mountains, rough trails, and wild animals stand between Molly and her journey’s end. Through this legendary tale of a courageous Civil War-era woman, the storytelling tradition of Southwest Virginia lives on.
PRAISE FOR THE RIDE OF MOLLY TYNES:
“The Ride of Molly Tynes is a tale well remembered and very well told. . . . Molly’s story will inspire parents and children alike to be their very best selves and to face hard times with bravery and confidence.”
— Susan Weiner, author of Pirates and Spooks, Beware! and Before the Foundation of the World
“I wish my grandma could have had stories like this to tell me when I was a child—the story of one young woman’s selflessness, daring, and bravery. Molly Tynes is an inspiration not only for young girls but for us all.”
— Ted Lewin, author and illustrator of more than 170 books for children
Peter Polo and the Snow Beast of Hunza
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.