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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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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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Senior Space
A Memoir

By Suzanne Juhasz

Discovering Senior Space: A Memoir is not an academic book but was written for a general audience. It was precipitated by Juhasz’ retirement at 64, when she suddenly became aware of living in what she calls “senior space”: the moment in time between middle age and old age. Here she began to experience confusion, a sense of instability, and most importantly, questions about her own identity. Yet the messages that she heard were either dismissive, as in “You’re no different from before,” or “Sixty is the new 40” or unrelentingly positive: “Now you can be anyone you want to be!” Few spoke to her own experience. In this memoir she seeks a more relevant understanding of senior space and consequently this particular moment of aging. From the present she moves to the past, looking at her life from the vantage point of daughter, granddaughter, mother, grandmother, lover, teacher, and writer. Through stories and reflection, she explores the threads of her earlier identity and how they are woven together to see how they might help to define who she is today and how she can live fully.

Suzanne Juhasz is a retired Professor of English and Women’s Studies from the University of Colorado, Boulder. In many books and essays she has written on women writers (especially Emily Dickinson), feminist theory, psychology, queer theory, and sometimes ballet. She has published two essays in Persimmon Tree: “Classroom Ballerina: The Sequel” (Winter 2013) and “Feminism’s Many Facets: A Response to Vivian Gornick” (Summer 2015).

To order, CLICK HERE.

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Searching for Pilar

By Patricia Holmes

Pilar, an innocent young wife and mother, is abducted during a fake job interview in Mexico City. A cartel smuggles her and two younger girls to Houston, where their pimp forces them into sex slavery in the glitzy men’s clubs and a barrio cantina. Does she have the ability to survive the horrors of a world-–one many are unaware of or ignore—long enough for her brother, Diego, to find her and a younger girl she is determined to protect?

Searching for Pilar breaks open the secretive and dangerous world of sex trafficking while exploring human nature and our connections to one another. Diego’s guilt for his part in Pilar’s disappearance transforms him from a vain, rudderless youth into a man of purpose and courage. Neither the threats of the cartel nor being in a strange country and city deter him. While he searches, Pilar finds a strength that could save herself and a thirteen-year old girl kidnapped and imprisoned with her from drugs, disease, despair and death. Diego is helped by a young woman legal aid worker, a retired sheriff’s undercover deputy, criminal and immigration lawyers and a barrio priest. The themes of greed, family, love, faith and the law intertwine in this action-packed tale of the Bayou City. Reviewers have called this a “page turner.”

To order, CLICK HERE.

For more information, CLICK HERE.

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Hiroshima, Remembering 1945 & 1958

By Virginia Moffat Khuri

The book tells two parallel stories. The first, on the morning of August 6, 1945 the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima. The second, on the morning of August 6, 1958 an American teenager spoke from the Children’s Memorial in the Peace Park to the people of Hiroshima and the youth of Japan – and the world. These two ‘stories’ mirror each other on opposite pages: one words of survivors, witnesses in 1945; the other an image from 1958. The first story is one of horror; the second, one of hope for peace on earth.

The images are from transparencies that were made by an exchange student to Hiroshima in 1958, a 16-year-old with no photographic experience using a borrowed 35mm camera lacking a light meter, auto-focus and film that had to be loaded into cartridges before leaving home. They were badly stored in an attic for 50 years and were so damaged that they were almost thrown away. But the light leaks and emulsion cracks might be reminiscent of the atomic bombing thirteen years earlier and the dust could also be seen as the Black Rain that caused radiation sickness. Even the mundane street scenes caught on a bright sunny morning in 1958 mirror August 6, 1945.

To order, CLICK HERE.

<i>The Widows’ Handbook</i>

TheWidowsHandbookThe Widows’ Handbook:
Poetic Reflections on Grief and Survival

Edited by Jacqueline Lapidus and Lise Menn
Foreword by Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The Widows’ Handbook is the first anthology of poems by contemporary widows. This stirring collection celebrates the strategies widows learn and the resources they muster to deal with people, living space, possessions, social life, and especially themselves, once shock has turned to the realization that nothing will ever be the same. As Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says in her Foreword, losing one’s partner is “a loss like no other.”

The Widows’ Handbook includes the work of 87 American women of all ages, legally married or not, straight and gay, whose partners or spouses have died. Some are already published widely—including more than a dozen prizewinners, five Pushcart nominees, and two regional poets laureate. Others are not as well known, and some appear in print for the first time here. Anyone who has lost a loved one or is involved in helping the bereaved will be able to relate to their experiences. But, while both men and women understand the bewilderment, solitude, and change of status thrust upon the widowed, women suffer a particular social demotion and isolation shown here in all its variations. With courage and wry humor, these women—including the editors—write frankly about being paralyzed and about going forward. Their poems are honest, beautiful, and accessible.

When a partner dies, we begin a long journey down a path we’d rather not take, and we may imagine that life could never be bearable again. The poems in this Handbook offer much more than guidance or comfort. Their searing honesty and vivid depictions of resilience offer us invaluable reassurance that our grieving, however painful, will not destroy our capacity to live with meaning–and even joy.

–Judy Norsigian, Executive Director, Our Bodies, Ourselves

I wish this collection had been available when I was a new widow. What a spectacular group of women this is! Their reactions and experiences as widows are varied, but each woman brings her own special intelligence to mourning, managing alone, and making a new life. Poetry makes those experiences immediately, emotionally accessible.

–Jacqueline M.S. Winterkorn, M.D., Ph.D., Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology in Neurology and Neuroscience, Weill Cornell Medical College

To order, ,CLICK HERE. Also available at BarnesandNoble.com.

For additional 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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Termination of Benefits
Secrets, Psychotherapy, Managed Care, and Murder in Maine

By Jane Sloven

Therapist Sarah Green is skilled at helping her counseling clients untangle their emotional dilemmas but doesn’t do so well with her own problems, and she’s got big ones—ghostly visits from a murdered friend and frightening flashbacks. Then someone starts stalking Maine’s counseling community, and Sarah joins forces with a take-no-prisoners defense attorney, a top-notch private eye, and her office mate Louise to catch the killer.

With an ex-husband hot to reconcile and the heat turning up with a sexy detective, Sarah struggles to separate past trauma from present danger. When the next life in peril is her own, Sarah realizes she’s stronger than she thinks and welcomes assistance from this world and the next.

Termination of Benefits is an intelligent book that also manages to be a gripping, challenging mystery featuring a contemporary, insightful, compassionate heroine, an irresistible combination.

—Michelle Cacho-Negrete, Stealing, Living in America

Termination of Benefits is a brilliant debut. It was impossible to put down. Good plotting is rare, and the final chapters brought me clever plot twists and surprises.

—Steve Steinbock, “The Jury Box,” Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine

Sarah Green is a lawyer-turned-therapist, honest about her own neuroses but wary of her psychic gifts. With its memorable characters, Termination of Benefits is a fast-moving, often riotous tale that will be enjoyed by those who like a dash of humor with their dead bodies.

—Brenda Buchanan, Joe Gale Mystery Series

To order, CLICK HERE.

For information, CLICK HERE.

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Ulken_image Silent Sisters
Profiles of the Short Lives of Karen Carpenter, Patsy Cline, Cass Elliot, Ruby Elzy, Janis Joplin and Selena Quintanilla-Perez

By Ellen Hunter Ulken

With raging talent and heartfelt bonhomie, these twentieth-century American women sang their way to stardom. All died before the age of 36. Within separate chapters, one for each celebrity, the book reveals their triumphs and tragedies, the details of their final hours, and explores the notion that frantic, constant, touring schedules may have contributed to the anxieties and dramas surrounding their early deaths. Through these illustrated pages, the reader will become familiar with these outstanding singers and their music. Endnotes, bibliography and discography are given for each subject.

Ellen Ulken began writing later in life as a retired person. In 2005, she wrote Beautiful Dreamer, The Life of Stephen Collins Foster. Through Arcadia Publishing, in 2009, along with Rebecca Watts and Clarence Lyons, she contributed to a history with pictures and captions of Peachtree City, Georgia, where she lives with her companion, Jerry Watts, MD. Silent Sisters: Profiles of the Short Lives of Karen Carpenter, Patsy Cline, Cass Elliot, Ruby Elzy, Janis Joplin and Selena Quintanilla Perez was published in 2014.

She and Jerry are members of The Peachtree City Writer’s Circle, The Friends of the Peachtree City Library, The Peachtree City Garden Club, and three historical societies.

To order, 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.