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Embroidery and Sacred Text
New Designs in Judaic Needlework

By Rachel Braun

Embroidery and Sacred Text introduces new designs in Judaic and Biblical embroidery. Erudite and insightful commentary adds a spiritual dimension for appreciating the designs. Braun shares forty embroidery motifs for fellow needle artists, along with ten new embroidery alphabets in Hebrew and English. A chapter explaining the mathematical considerations in embroidery design provides clear, accessible explanations of how geometric and algebraic factors underlie embroidery patterns.

Rachel Braun’s sabbatical project yields a treasury of embroidery, combining the precision of a mathematical mind with the spiritual depth of a true artist. Her embroideries comment on Torah texts and the experience of the Israelites in the wilderness. Rachel’s embroideries walk us deeper into the texts, and her brilliant commentaries open up the “blackwork” that underlies her creative vision. For anyone curious about how art, mathematics, and Judaics can be gloriously woven together, this book is a delight.

—Rabbi Gilah Langner

Rachel Braun’s embroidery design fuses intellect and spirituality with the visual beauty and sensual pleasure of the fiber arts. … I particularly appreciate her remarkable use of mathematics in blackwork embroidery patterns to embody and express profound Jewish thought. What a pleasure to sink the hands and eyes into this elegant work!

—Debra Band, Kabbalat Shabbat: The Grand Unification

To enjoy some of the embroideries, CLICK HERE.

To order, CLICK HERE.

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The Butterfly Hours

Transforming Memories Into Memoir

By Patty Dann

The Butterfly Hours

Patty Dann is the author of three novels: Starfish, Mermaids, and Sweet & Crazy. She has also published two memoirs, The Goldfish Went on Vacation: A Memoir of Loss (and Learning to Tell the Truth about It) and The Baby Boat: A Memoir of Adoption. Her work has been translated into French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. Mermaids was made into a movie starring Cher, Winona Ryder, and Christina Ricci.

Her articles have appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer, Christian Science Monitor, O, the Oprah Magazine, the Oregon Quarterly; Redbook, More, ForbesWoman; Poets & Writers Magazine, Writer’s Handbook, Dirt: Quirks, Habits; and Passions of Keeping House, and This I Believe: On Motherhood.

To order, CLICK HERE.

For more information, CLICK HERE.

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The Garden Lady

By Susan Dworkin

This is a novel about complicity.
Its rewards. Its dangers.

 
Maxie Dash married for wealth and security. To her astonishment, she also found romance and contentment. All her adoring husband asked was that she give him her unswerving love and loyalty and agree to know nothing – absolutely nothing – about his business.

Susan Dworkin wrote the New York Times best-seller, The Nazi Officer’s Wife, a story of love and terror in the Third Reich, with the woman who lived it, the late Edith Hahn Beer. Other books include Making Tootsie, the inside story of the great film comedy with Dustin Hoffman and Sydney Pollack; The Viking in the Wheat Field, about the eminent seed banker Dr. Bent Skovmand; Miss America 1945, Bess Myerson’s Own Story; Stolen Goods, a novel of love and larceny in the 80s, and The Commons, a novel about an agrarian revolt led by a pop star and set in the not too distant future. She was a long-time contributing editor to Ms. Magazine. Her plays have been performed in regional and off-Broadway theatres. She lives in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts.

Susan Dworkin’s work has the ability to draw us into new dreams of justice, and to make them irresistibly practical, humorous and human.

—Gloria Steinem

To order, CLICK HERE.

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It Never Ends

Mothering Middle-Aged Daughters

By Sandra Butler and Nan Fink Gefen

It Never Ends: Mothering Middle-Aged Daughters explores the complex challenges and unexpected rewards of aging mothers in their relationships with their midlife daughters. Based on interviews with women between 65 and 85, it illuminates issues of closeness, distance, longing, and need that arise. Mothers speak openly about the ongoing effects of the past on the present, the cultural, familial, and interpersonal conflicts that remain, and the varied and often invisible ways they continue mothering.

A rich, thoughtful, multi-layered look into the ways that mothers experience their relationships variously with love, joy, fulfillment, sorrow, anguish and longing…

—Paula J. Caplan, Don’t Blame Mother: Mending the Mother-Daughter Relationship

 
A brave book, and one that will help many aging mothers feel less alone…

—Ellen Bass, Like a Beggar, coauthor of The Courage To Heal

 

To order, CLICK HERE.

To learn more about Sandra Butler, CLICK HERE.

To learn more about Nan Fink Gefen, CLICK HERE.

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Unmasked
Women Write About Sex and Intimacy
After 50

Edited by Marcia Meier and Kathleen A. Barry, PhD

Unmasked is intended to surprise, inform and encourage all women of a certain age to (re)discover their sexuality. In a society that reveres youth – and particularly young, sexy women – little attention is paid to sex and intimacy among women in later life. Unmasked gives women from around the world an opportunity to share their stories.

This collection of 32 poems and 21 essays features works by women who are published writers and also mothers, grandmothers, playwrights, professors, teachers, psychotherapists, copywriters, city councilwomen, and a model for a foot fetish website. They come from places as diverse as Australia, California, Delaware, Iowa, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Washington, Wisconsin, and the United Kingdom, among others. Many have prestigious fellowships and Pushcart Prize nominations and other awards to their names. They range in age from 50 to 87, and reflect the full spectrum of race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status.

Unmasked is a diverse array of perspectives… each unique enough to keep readers intrigued. A refreshingly blunt chorus of older women’s voices.

—Kirkus Reviews

Sex for women after 50 is invisible for the same reason that contraception, abortion, and sex between two women or two men has been forbidden: Sexuality is supposed to be only about procreation. This lie was invented by patriarchy, monotheism, racism, and other hierarchies. Sexuality is and always has been also about bonding, communicating, and pleasure. Unmasked helps to restore a human right.

—Gloria Steinem

To order, CLICK HERE.

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Nice Nipper

By Julie Norton and the late Mira Harmer

Nice Nipper is part memoir, part novella–two accounts written seven decades apart by a mother and daughter. Their stories dovetail together as the daughter travels back in time to be an invisible participant in her mother’s childhood in 1920s Marylebone, London, giving a different take on “Back to the Future”.

Mira Harmer was one of ten siblings brought up over a second-hand furniture shop in a condemned slum building, and her account – which is memoir written as fiction – centers around her own mother giving birth for the 15th and last time (five children died). As a backdrop she provides a fascinating insight into early 20th-century schooldays, when, for families like theirs, having a bathroom was an unimaginable luxury and where the girls wore their Guide uniforms for best when visitors came.

Seventy years later, suffering from dementia in a nursing home, Mira believed she was a schoolgirl once again and her reclaimed 14-year-old self sees the matron as headmistress and the nurses as teachers. “This is my new green uniform,” she said proudly. Then she lowered her voice conspiratorially, “The teachers wear blue, you know….”

Julie Norton’s account relates Mira’s day-to-day experiences and encounters at the nursing home where Mira believes her daughter is her sister, and confusing conversations ensue where they are talking at cross purposes across the years.

To order, CLICK HERE.

<i>Barbara Ridley: When It’s Over</i>


When It’s Over

By Barbara Ridley

“Historical fiction at its best”

When It’s Over is a literary novel set in Europe during World War II. Coming of age in Prague in the turbulent 1930’s, Lena Kulkova meets Otto, a refugee from Hitler’s Germany, and follows him to Paris to work for the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War. As the war in Spain ends and a far greater war engulfs the continent, Lena gets stuck in Paris with no news from her Jewish family, including her beloved baby sister, left behind in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia. Otto, meanwhile, has fled to England, and urges Lena to join him, but she cannot obtain visa. When they are finally reunited, they face anti-refugee sentiment and wartime deprivations, while Lena is desperate for news from her mother and sister.

In extraordinary times, a single decision can mean the difference between life and death…. When It’s Over brings the forces of history to a very human level.”

Booklist

When It’s Over was a finalist in the 2018 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards, the Indie Book Awards, the International Book Awards, the Sarton Women’s Book Award, and the American Fiction Award.

Barbara Ridley was born in England but has lived in California for over 35 years. After a successful career as a nurse practitioner, which included publication of academic articles in peer-reviewed journals, she is now focused on creative writing. When It’s Over is her debut novel and is based on her mother’s story.

To order, CLICK HERE.

For more information, CLICK HERE.

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Blind Shady Bend

By Adina Sara

A rural road in the Sierra Foothills of California sets the stage for Blind Shady Bend, a novel in which Hannah Blackwell, approaching her 70th birthday, inherits a decrepit piece of country property. Widowed young, and caretaker to her parents until their deaths, her uneventful life suddenly takes a sharp turn when she receives this surprising bequest from a renegade brother who had disappeared from her life decades earlier.

While reason tells Hannah to get rid of the place, her curiosity keeps pushing her further into exploring her brother’s abandoned parcel. As she searches for clues of his checkered past, she inadvertently stumbles into an unexpected future.

Blind Shady Bend tells the story of ordinary people whose lives can change radically and passionately, no matter how stuck they may feel, no matter their age.

Utterly engaging, at times mesmerizing, addictive and magical.

—Jennifer Word, Goodreads reviewer

It is wonderful to have a ‘mature’ woman as the heroine of a contemporary novel….Her voice is as inspiring as her story.

—Jane Stallman, Berkeley Book Club

Deftly crafted from beginning to end, Blind Shady Bend is a rewarding and thoroughly entertaining read.

Midwest Book Review

Bay Area author Adina Sara has published two essay collections, and is currently completing a family memoir.

To order, CLICK HERE.

For information, CLICK HERE.

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Compassionate Journey
Honoring Our Mothers’ Stories

By Maggie Butler, Cheryl Gillespie, Jenny Radsma, Martha Rice, and Jane Sloven

Five women writers met at a writing workshop to explore their mothers’ lives. The questions raised were so intriguing they formed a writing group to continue the work. Compassionate Journey: Honoring Our Mothers’ Stories is the fruit of their efforts, an anthology of essays along with a writing guide for others wishing to share the journey, one which led these writers to a more compassionate understanding of both their mothers and themselves.

I was deeply moved by this book.

—Monica Wood, When We Were the Kennedys and The-One-In-A-Million Boy

This rich collection of mother stories abounds with compassion and nostalgia and insight about all that it means to be a daughter born of a mother….We can read it to understand more about what it means to be a woman.

—Susan Conley, The Foremost Good Fortune and Paris Was the Place

This is an exceptional read. The five women authors have created something new and startling here, a testimony of their own hearts and an invitation to all writers. This is a remarkable anthology, and even more remarkable in its generous invitation to all writers to make this same journey.

—Meredith Hall, Without a Map: A Memoir

This remarkable collection is a love story to women searching for a way to make peace with their mothers. Compassionate Journey belongs on every woman’s bookshelf.

–Pat Taub, The Mother of My Invention

For information, CLICK HERE.

To order, CLICK HERE.

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The Tremble of Love
A Novel of the Baal Shem Tov

By Ani Tuzman

A novel inspired by the legendary spiritual master, Rabbi Yisroel ben Eliezar, known as the Baal Shem Tov, the Good Master of the Name, who beckoned forth love from the hearts of rag pickers, ruby merchants, midwives, and murderers. 

Poor orphan.  Simpleton.   Harder to tame than the wind.  He hears what they call him.  But he listens to the presence his father promised would never leave him.

Yisroel finds his way to those who nurture his healing gifts and rare compassion—-until he embraces a destiny he cannot yet fathom nor deny any longer.

Honoring women, children, and the poor as his teachers.  Celebrating life’s simplest deeds as worship.  Praying with joyous abandon.  Loving without condition.  Yisroel’s “irreverent” practices threaten the established authorities, among them an embittered rabbinic leader with a mission of his own: to destroy the irrepressible master known as the Baal Shem Tov and his growing community of followers.

Set in the richly textured Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth of the 1700s, this exquisite reimagining of one of history’s most revered and revolutionary mystics transports readers back in time to experience the true meaning of power and the timeless grace of love.

To order, CLICK HERE.

To learn more, CLICK HERE.

For more information, CLICK HERE.

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If you’re looking to launch – or relaunch – your Website and want help from women who can speak your language and help achieve your goals, please contact Laura at laura@girlsaresmarter.com.