• Blessed


    A 2019 Foreword Indies Book of the Year Winner, Bronze, Religious (Adult Fiction)  A 2019 Foreword Indies Book of the Year Finalist (Fiction: General Adult and Religious)  Finalist in the Fiction: Religious category of the 2020 International Book Awards Grayson Armstrong’s vision for a dying church has everyone in small-town Mercy, Kentucky, talking. The truth is everyone has been talking about Grayson ever since this dark-haired twenty-eight-year-old preacher with shoulder-length hair and an ill-fitting suit drove into town twelve years before in his silver convertible with his pretty wife and two rambunctious boys. It’s his untimely death, though, that has everyone trying to understand who they thought he was. This vivid, poignant, and heart-breaking story is told by multiple characters whose paths intersect with Grayson: a homeless Vietnam veteran haunted by demons of war; the local diner’s young waitress grappling with her family’s dark history; aggrieved and supportive congregants and townspeople confronting change and the power of love and hate; and Grayson’s wife and his coming-of-age gay son, struggling to understand their own feelings about Grayson.  During a time when communities and countries are split apart, Robinson’s calming prose and timely story encourages us to put aside our fears, hate, and biases and to open our hearts and challenge our perceptions. Blessed is ultimately a story of hope and of the power of forgiveness.
    Foreword Reviews Features Interview with Sherry Robinson
    Editor in Chief Matt Sutherland: "By way of introduction to her latest novel, be aware that as vice provost at Eastern Kentucky University as well as a food pantry volunteer in Richmond, Kentucky, Sherry is perfectly positioned to observe the human condition in all its shades. In Blessed, she tells the story of a young, charismatic preacher brought in to revive a struggling church, with tragic results. Susan Waggoner recently reviewed Blessed and called the novel “an appealing, thought-provoking work of contemporary Christian fiction.” Finally, it shouldn’t surprise you to know that Sherry’s father served as a lay preacher when she was young—further establishing her life-experience bonafides."
    For more insights on Blessed and Sherry's writing, read the full interview.
    Reading Group Guide
  •   “These poems are at once cerebral, naturalistic, and elegiac. Blessedly free of any dogma, they are a most welcome and refreshing read.” —Chris Holbrook “James Riley has produced an elegiac collection that also celebrates the mystery of existence, reminding us, like the poet H. D., that the mysteries remain.”—Rhonda Pettit “There is a grave tenderness in these poems…a mixture of love and pain and grief and hilarity.”—Mary Ann Taylor-Hall “If as readers we are willing to consider Einstein’s posit that the separation between past, present, and future is only an illusion, although a convincing one, then Broken Frequencies offers proof of this connection and more.” —Audrey Naffziger Broken Frequencies confronts the disconnect between the present and the past in our personal lives. Each poem is a search for meaning in an otherwise random sequence of events which lean always toward the relationships which lend significance to our lives, the connections between those we love and those we have lost, and the many possible futures each moment implies. From “The Heart’s Sad Music,” there is no escaping the realization that We are surrounded by the ghosts of those we love.
  • Cradled by Skeletons Cover Cradled by Skeletons Cover


      "Embrace[s] immigrants, broken people, and people otherwise disillusioned and dispossessed ... at once intimate, poignant, and raw." Foreword Clarion Reviews (4-star review) Cradled by Skeletons: A Life in Poems and Essays (Mecida por Esqueletos: una vida poemas y ensayos) is a raw expression of identity and place. This memoir relates Marta Miranda-Straub’s experience of trauma, resilience, and transformation. The book also portrays how her life’s work as a social worker, educator, leader, activist, advocate, and community organizer has been fueled by discernment, resistance, and transformation of individual, institutional, and societal systems of power. Miranda-Straub has a keen sense of awareness and she questions injustices with intention, compassion, humility, and humor. There is a shared connection with both the victim and the perpetrator in her writings that exalts the grit and grace of humanity.  When asked what makes Cradled by Skeletons unique, Marta replied:  “I believe the uniqueness is the personal narrative, it is my life. ‘Everyone else’s is already taken,’ Oscar Wilde."  Cradled by Skeletons may be similar to other books in this genre; however, every fiber of my thumb print is exposed and every skeleton that has cradled me has been surfaced and adorned with the beading it deserves. It is una Fiesta de los Muertos, a feast of the dead for those of us living due to their generosity of spirit.”    
  • 2016 Foreword Reviews INDIES Book of the Year Awards Winner (True Crime) and winner of two 2017 IPPY Awards! This compelling investigation of the gripping true crimes behind American ballads dispels myths and legends and brings to life a cast of characters—both loathsome and innocent—shadowy history, courtroom dramas, murders, mayhem and music.
    Peek Inside
  • Gaslight Lawyers - Back Cover
    2018 Independent Publisher Book Award Silver Medal (True Crime) 2017 Foreword Reviews INDIES Book of the Year Awards Finalist (True Crime) A fascinating history of crime and punishment, Gaslight Lawyers paints a serious and entertaining portrait of colorful characters, courtroom drama, and the emerging importance of forensic science and medical-legal jurisprudence.

  • I Am Not a Nobody I Am Not a Nobody


    Nine hundred twenty-five Appalachian women have graduated from the life-changing New Opportunity School for Women programs located in Kentucky, North Carolina, and Virginia/West Virginia. In I Am Not a Nobody eleven of these courageous women share their life stories—difficult and painful stories of abuse, poverty, limited education, drugs, and early marriages. They also share their life-changing journeys with the New Opportunity School for Women where they became empowered to believe in themselves and their values and abilities and gained the courage to succeed—for themselves and their families.
  • No Shroud of Silence No Shroud of Silence
    "Powerful…her poems give voice to emotions most of us hold but cannot express."—Sandra P. Aldrich "A psalm of hope that teaches us to hold hands across the centuries and embolden each other to sing out, to never again be stopped, so that our daughters and granddaughters will always know how loved and how lovely they are." —Rebecca Gayle Howell. No Shroud of Silence, a collection of literary poems and stories that span decades of life in Appalachia (southeast Kentucky), speaks of family, place, loss, grief, domestic violence, prejudice, perseverance, resilience, spirituality, humor, and hope. In the title poem a woman declares her independence and refuses to bend to the wishes of others. I am a force as real as your financial security/and so-called clout./I will not keep mum about injustice,/prejudice, political bigotry, racism, sexism,/or be quiet about the fact that/IN GOD I TRUST. "There is much healing going on here for reader and writer in poems and stories that study old wounds, / then bandage them with those healing words./ Read this book..."—Rob Merritt Reading Group Guide for No Shroud of Silence
  • New Release!  Finalist in the 33rd annual IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award™ program in the following category: Best New Voice: Children's/Young Adult "A rich coming-of-age tale that sheds light on an uncommon Civil War perspective." Kirkus Reviews Fourteen-year-old Manny Weaver, a Mennonite boy living near Harrisonburg, Virginia, in 1861, has a habit of biting off more than he can chew. The Weavers are Unionists and pacifists who do not wish to secede from the Union nor to participate in the fighting. In the past, Manny’s father and uncle have avoided militia service by paying a small fine, but when Virginia secedes from the Union, the payment is no longer accepted. Manny loves his family and would do anything to protect Father and Uncle Davy from being forced to join the Confederate army. That’s when his trouble begins!
    With his world crumbling into chaos, Manny is forced to deal with issues of honesty, justice, loyalty, and judgment. He must find answers to serious questions. Is it really better to "turn the other cheek," as his Mennonite faith tells him? What actions lead to peace? How does a boy grow into a man?
      "Manny and his family, their Mennonite community, and how their values shaped their response to the Civil War in Virginia made for a compelling story. Fourteen-year-old Manny had three men for role models—his father, his uncle and his grandfather. While his grandfather was old enough to escape fighting, his father and uncle were tracked down and forced to fight. Historical fiction is the way to make history come alive—The Peacemakers takes us back to Harrisonburg, Virginia, during President Lincoln’s presidency and the recruitment of soldiers in the south to fight for the confederacy. Slavery, religious beliefs, voting rights and gender roles are among the issues that make this story ripe for young readers and a school classroom studying the evolution of America.” CARRIE COOPER, Dean of University Libraries, William & Mary "[The Peacemakers] reads quickly, drawing the reader into the thickets of dilemmas that Mennonites faced during the worst days of the American Civil War in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Manny Weaver, fourteen, had to watch when both his uncle and father were taken away into the desperate Confederate war efforts. During the war in the Shenandoah Valley, for the peace-minded Mennonites, there were no easy answers of how to respond. They faced excruciating dilemmas of faith and conscience. Manny grew up quickly, growing into a young man in the vortex of war. … The Peacemakers is a book that youth will want to read, to learn from, and to enter into the story of faith and war-time challenges of a terrible war that ripped the country apart in the mid-19th century. I recommend this book for students and adults alike. It's great reading!” ELWOOD E. YODER, History & Bible Teacher at Eastern Mennonite High School, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Editor, Shenandoah Mennonite Historian      
  • Publication Date: July 14, 2020 Now Available in Paperback

    First Prize Winner of the North American Academy of Spanish Language Children and Young Adult Award Premio Campoy-Ada for 2020 in the Category Picture Book of Special Cultural Content Bilingual Edition (English and Spanish) "Haunting, beautiful watercolors and pen and ink drawings highlight the proud traditions of the Central American Nahuas. This emotional narrative beseeches everyone, everywhere, to understand why some things are worth dying for." –Foreword Reviews Precious things are worth a thousand-mile walk, mija Las cosas preciousas valen una caminata de mil millas, mija "Spoken by a mother to her small daughter as they are detained at a border wall, Under the Ocelot Sun is a powerful account of refugees’ plight. The mother speaks of the beauty of their Honduran homeland and of her abuela’s wisdom. She also touches on the violent forces they are fleeing. She wants her little one to know her heritage and why they have taken this perilous journey. Lyrically told (in English and Spanish) and vibrantly illustrated, this is a picture book for our time."  George Ella Lyon Kentucky Poet Laureate 2015–2016 A portion of the net proceeds from the sale of Under the Ocelot Sun will go to support the work of El Futuro of North Carolina, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit outpatient clinic that provides comprehensive mental health services for Latino families in a bilingual environment of healing and hope. Interviews and Blog Posts Foreword Reviews Fanfare InterviewUnder the Ocelot Sun: The Making of an illustrated Book”  
  • Us, in Pieces is a daring and wildly imaginative novel, a coming-of-age story that is both timely and timeless. —Hannah Pittard, author of Visible Empire and Listen to Me   Us, in Pieces is a fresh and witty love story that follows two old friends into the unforgiving and wild terrain of the heart. In college, Lilly Jameson and Adin Driscoll were as close as friends could get, until Lilly leaves unexpectedly and without explanation at the end of their sophomore year. Nearly ten years pass without contact until a sudden invitation from her parents brings them back into each other’s lives. Old, unspoken feelings resurface, and they take a gamble on their limited time together: they will be a couple for forty-eight-hours, and then go back to their own separate lives—no strings attached. But when Adin returns to his life in Columbus, Ohio, and Lilly to Denver, Colorado, they find themselves unable to move on. They soon discover that who the other person was and who they’ve each become is as unclear as the sort of life they could build together. Are they really the ones they’ve been waiting for all their lives? Will they each risk the wildly different lives they’ve begun creating for themselves?  Can they bridge a lost decade to rekindle a life-long love and share a future they’ve only dreamed of? Told in sparkling prose in the alternating voices of Adin and Lilly, this beautifully crafted, tightly woven, debut novel is an exhilarating roller-coaster ride. Us, in Pieces is an enduring love story across generations.