Story Circle Book Reviews

                        reviewing books by, for, and about women

January 2014, Vol. 7, No 1

We provide a review venue for small presses, university and regional presses, and for women authors whose books may not be reviewed elsewhere. If you're looking for strong, insightful, well-written books by women of strength and courage, you'll find them here. With over 1300 reviews and a team of sixty-some reviewers, Story Circle Book Reviews is the largest and most comprehensive women's book review site on the Internet. For previous issues of our monthly eletter, go here.

Book Report

Editors' Picks:
Every month, our editors choose remarkable books by and about special women. Here are our choices for this month:

Our Favorite Authors

Linda Hasselstrom Read Lisa Shirah-Hiers' interview with Linda Hasselstrom, editor of Leaning into the Wind & author of the critically-acclaimed Between Grass and Sky: Where I Live and Work.

Linda is the Friday night keynote speaker at Stories From the Heart VII, April 11-13, Austin TX.

If you're interested in joining our review team, go here for all the details.

Cover Stories

Judy M. Miller: Judy M. Miller has served as an editor at SCBR for several years. Here's what she tells us about herself:

Seven years ago I took my husband's advice and began my writing career. It was in my first writing classes that I came across Story Circle Network. I was drawn to the idea of women nurturing women in their quest to write and share their stories. I joined SCN soon after and volunteered to become one of the SCBR editors.

Since I'm a parent educator and coach focusing on adoption my writing niche is adoptive parenting, special needs, and tweens and teens. To date I've had hundreds of articles and essays published in parenting, adoption magazines, and anthologies like A Cup of Comfort for Adoptive Families: Stories That Celebrate a Special Gift of Love, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks Mom, and Pieces of Me: Who Do I Want to Be? I am also the author of the internationally known parent guide, What To Expect From Your Adopted Tween, and the creator of the popular class, Parenting Tweens, Tweens & Beyond. My second book, focused on adopted adults, will be released during the first half of 2014.

I live with my husband and four kids, ages 12 through 20, in the Midwest.

• Big thanks and a round of applause to Laura Strathman Hulka, Co-Editor, for managing our database. A lot of volunteer activity goes on behind the scenes here at SCBR: monitoring review queries, requesting review copies and tracking them as they are mailed to our reviewers, and editing and publishing reviews. Laura.s magical database keeps us from losing track.and losing our minds! Thank you, Laura, for all you do for SCBR!

• If you'd like to learn more about SCN, the best place to start is with our leadership team: women who have devoted their energies to making SCN a home for women who want to write about women's lives. Go here to meet these nine remarkable women.

SCN Online Classes. The Story Circle Network offers the only online lifewriting program designed exclusively for women. We teach general writing skills, organization, and critical editing, as well as technical skills in book design and development, online marketing, blogging, and other Internet-related activities. Through our Mentor Program, we can connect you with a helpful mentor who will provides you with individually tailored, constructive assistance designed to help you strengthen your writing, sustain your efforts, and complete your projects. For full class listings, faculty bios, enrollment, and more, visit our website.

Advertising with SCN. As you plan the marketing campaign for your book, writing program, or writing-related workshop or conference, please consider Story Circle as a partner in your promotional efforts. Story Circle provides a unique voice and a wide range of services for women readers and writers. Partnering with us allows you to target your promotion efforts and take advantage of SCN's growing reputation in the international community of women writers. Depending on your budget, you can choose from five packages.

Story Circle Editorial Service. We can help you find the editor who is just right for your project. Your manuscript deserves respect, careful attention, and an editor who understands your needs and goals. Our service is unique...designed just for you.

HerStories and One Woman's Day. SCN hosts two blogs and dozens of bloggers. The HerStories bloggers are a dozen women writers and teachers who regularly share their passion for the how-to and why, the art and craft of lifewriting. The One Woman's Day bloggers share occasional stories of the special days of their lives. If you're a member and would like to contribute to OWD, visit the blog and see how to get involved.

• Here at SCBR, we always receive more wonderful books than we can possibly review. So we've created a new feature on our website: a section called Briefly Reviewed, a selection of titles, briefly described, that represent the wide range of recently-published memoirs written by strong women who have been there, done that, and lived to tell the tale. Recommended for your reading pleasure!

• Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, & Pinterest.

True Words From Real Women

"I have never written a book that was not born out of a question I needed to answer for myself."
—May Sarton

Read more thoughtful words from women writers.

Three Books from SCN

What Wildness is This     Kitchen Table Stories     Starting Points


We appreciate your help in spreading the word about Story Circle Network. Please forward this e-Letter to anyone interested in books by, for, and about women. If a friend has forwarded this to you, add your e-address and click below to get your own subscription.

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Who We Are

Our mission: The Story Circle Network is dedicated to helping women share the stories of their lives and to raising public awareness of the importance of women's personal histories. We carry out our mission through publications, a web site, classes, workshops, writing and reading circles, and woman-focused programs. To join us, see our online membership form.

Our Newsletters: We publish four monthly e-Letters:

  • This monthly e-Letter brings you information about book reviews and features. You'll find archives here.
  • The monthly Story Circle National e-Letter brings you writing tips, quotes, and Story Circle news.
  • The Online Class e-Letter brings you information about women-only writing classes.
  • The monthly Internet Chapter e-Letter is sent only to members of the Internet Chapter; it features chapter news and events.

                Review of the Month                

Winter of Beauty
by Amy Hale Auker

From Dawn Wink's review:
"And so, sunset found her, this silver-haired lady, tough as leather on the outside, soft as the rich river bottom on the inside." —Winter of Beauty, p. 6

And so we meet Sunshine Angel Lewis (Shiney) in the novel Winter of Beauty by Amy Hale Auker, a novel as rich as the river bottom itself. Shiney Lewis is the center around which all else revolves on the rugged ranching lands of Bride Mountain, known simply as the Bride.

Dawn Wink
Reviewer of the Month:
Dawn Wink
Stories From the Heart

Plan now to join us for a unique and exciting event: the seventh national women's memoir conference of the Story Circle Network! Come, learn, share, celebrate with us as we honor our stories!

April 11-13, 2014
Wyndham Hotel, Austin, Texas

Submit your application to be an exhibitor at our Works of Heart Marketplace!

If you'd like to help raise money to support Story Circle, please donate an item to the silent auction or for a door prize. Or donate an item for our participant gift bags: small items, flyers, business cards, books, etc.

(click on the images for more info!)
My Mother's Funeral
by Adriana Paramo
Changes In Life
Pat LaPointe, Editor
A Wilder Rose
by Susan Wittig Albert

Kirkus' Best Indie Fiction for 2013!

Thanks to our advertisers
for helping to support SCN


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This e-Letter is written and edited by Peggy Moody & Susan Wittig Albert. It is a publication of the Story Circle Network, (PO Box 500127, Austin TX 78750-0127). ©2014 Story Circle Network

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