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Fiction

Non Semper Fidelis
A Novel

Sam Foster
ISBN 978-1-56474-591-0
176 pages, paperback, $14.95
Publication date: November 7, 2016


Set during the Vietnam War era, this short novel takes place at the Officer Candidate School in Quantico, Virginia. The story follows the progress of Private Jack Kendrick as he learns about the chain of military authority. He and his fellow soldiers must learn to stand at attention, before their superiors, and show respect for hierarchy. Also it shows how our hero and his companions dare to stand at attention before their superiors and respectfully protest the edicts of authority.

The chain of authority is challenged when Kendrick's black friend Corporal William Buck is on leave in Memphis, visiting his mother. Martin Luther King, Jr. is shot dead and the city erupts in a race riot. Corporal Buck chooses to remain AWOL rather than to leave his mother in the urban war zone. When he eventually returns to Quantico he is willing to face discipline, but unwilling to tolerate the hateful taunts of a racist sergeant. This is a novel charged with emotion and moral quandry. How will Jack Kendrick, who has a mind of his own, survive the authoritarian code of the military career he has chosen?

After discharge from the U.S. Marine Corps, Sam Foster returned to Los Angeles, California. Since then he has lived and raised a family in beach towns, and been a member of the Los Angeles business community. It took Foster 40 years to write Semper Fi. He says, “I knew what happened in real time. It took most of a lifetime to know what it meant.” He is the author of Alpha Male—A Tale of the Battle of Commerce.

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Flashes of Lightning
52 Short, Short Stories

Neil Tarpey
ISBN 978-1-56474-590-3
84 pages, paperback, $12.95
Publication date: November 7, 2016


Flashes of Lightning comprises fifty-two fiction stories (each one 101 words or less) that touch the reader's funny bone, heart, mystery-solving mind and sometimes, dark side. What drives this collection of economical stories are a medley of memorable characters and a tight combination of realistic dialog, interior monologues and irony. The cast of characters—both likeable and despicable—have motives varying from healthy to diabolical, despite the limited word counts preventing detailed back stories. The stories take place in a variety of settings, including the desert, forests, a funeral home, beaches, bayou, basements, bars, cliffs, churches, a counseling session, a wedding reception,Ireland, New York City, and Paris. Characters include scoundrels, liars, cheats, murderers, hit men, psychics, ghosts, sleepwalkers, evil faeries, cats, dogs, a horse and a skunk.

Neil Tarpey hails from New York City, and lives with his wife and their two dogs along Northern California's redwood coast. Neil quit alcohol and other drugs at age thirty-one and enjoys sober living. He earned M.A. degrees in Teaching Writing and Counseling Psychology from Humboldt State University, and a B.A. in English from St. Bonaventure. For his M.A.T.W. project, Neil taught a ten-week writing therapy class to patients with chronic mental illness. He worked a combined forty-one years as a substance abuse counselor, college instructor and sports writer. Eighteen of Neil’s micro or flash fiction stories and five of his poems have appeared in print or online.


Poetry

Love, Solitude, and the Face of Death
Selected Poems by Edity Södergran

Translated by Stina Katchadourian
ISBN 978-1-56474-593-4
112 pages, paperback, $15.00
Publication date: March 6, 2017


A young poet receives posthumous recognition after her early death
.

Edith Irene Södergran, one of the first modernist poets within Swedish-language literature, was born in St. Petersburg in 1892 and died in Raivola, a Finnish town near the Russian border, in 1923. Her first published poems were not well received by the conservative critics because of their free-verse style. At her death from tuberculosis, which she contracted as a teenager, she was thirty-one years old and known only within the narrow confines of the Swedish-speaking literary world; but after her death she became recognized and appreciated, and she is now considered one of the greatest poets in Swedish literature. Her poetry has been translated into some thirty languages and her passionate lyric voice continues to win new readers all over the world.

Stina Katchadourian grew up in Finland and moved to the United States in 1966. She has published book-length translations of poetry by Märta Tikkanen, Tua Forsström and Edith Södergran; a play, The Raspberry Patch; as well as three nonfiction books.
She works as a journalist for Scandinavian media and has made numerous programs for Finnish radio and TV. She has won several prizes from the Finland-Swedish Literature Society and is an honorary member of the Society.

She lives in Stanford, CA with her husband, Herant Katchadourian, Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry.



Non Fiction

Rise Up!
Discoveries in an Urban First Grade

by Linda Katz
ISBN 978-1-56474-592-7
160 pages, paperback, $14.95
Publication date: March 6, 2017


What do we want these children, our children, to become?


This is an account of an ethnically and racially diverse classroom of funny, endearing, and often poignant six-year-olds in a Seattle inner-city elementary school. The author, their volunteer literary coach, describes the classroom, their heroic teacher, a number of clever teaching modules, and the evolution of this school toward excellence. The children’s confidences, essays, and poetry sparkle with humor, and the unexpected viewpoints of childhood. Eight captivating students are profiled and featured for us in line drawing illustrations.

In the final chapters some startling school district data is introduced as well as three common-sense recommendations to give all kids a fair chance in school. Having learned so much about the realities of public elementary education in her five years in the classroom, the author wanted to share the good news of what is possible with others who might otherwise view this as a grim subject.

Linda Katz enjoyed a long career in child welfare as a clinician, administrator, child advocate and lecturer. As a writer and trainer she developed innovations to make the child placement system better serve our most vulnerable children, the abused and the poor, and taught these methods nationally and internationally. She is the author of many articles in professional social service journals. After retirement she found she was missing the company of small children and was lucky enough to find a place where she could be useful at the local elementary school.


My Dear People
The World War I Letters of Private Ned Crawford

Ned Crawford; edited with commentary by Constance Crawford;
including A Short History of Ned Crawford’s Amy
by Christopher McManus
ISBN 978-1-56474-594-1
240 pages, paperback, $16.95
Publication date: March 6, 2017


What do we want these children, our children, to become?


My Dear People is made up of three different alternating ingredients, each by a different author: a historical account of surrounding military events by Christopher McManus, Constance Crawford’s commentary on her father’s life and writing, and the letters themselves by Ned Crawford. These writings are interwoven chronologically here to make Private Ned Crawford’s story comprehensible, entertaining, and moving. The letters Ned wrote to his best friend while serving as a soldier in World War I offer an intimate, quirky, and intelligent account of what it was like for a thirty-one-year-old man who abhorred war and any official interference with individual freedom to submit to a wartime draft and to perform his part in the enormous human drama that was the American Expeditionary Forces.

A self-educated man, limited in formal schooling to the sixth grade in a small-town Ohio public school, Ned Crawford managed to develop a terse, graceful, and humorous writing style. All his life he wrote letters. “Getting my letters written” was always on his mind, and, in many ways, doing so could be considered his central life work. During the last year of World War I, Pfc. Crawford served as a communications engineer in the American Expeditionary Force in Belgium and France.