Story Circle Book Reviews

                        reviewing books by, for, and about women

February 2014, Vol. 7, No 2

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

Read Susan Tweit's interview with Jenny Barry, award-winning book designer and packager, about the collaboration that produced her new book with artist Maryjo Koch, The Artist, the Cook and the Gardener. Her answers offer a fascinating look at what goes on be-hind the scenes in dreaming up and producing image-rich books.

Read Lisah Shirah-Hiers' interview with Nancy Curtis, publisher and primary editor of High Plains Press; co-editor, with Linda Hasselstrom and Gaydell Collier, of three collections of women's writing published by Houghton Mifflin: Leaning into the Wind, Woven on the Wind, and Crazy Woman Creek; & one of our keynote speakers at the SCN Stories from the Heart Conference, April 11th-13th, 2014.

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

Cover Stories

Trilla Pando: Reviewer Trilla Pando regularly blogs for SCBR at HerStories and writes about books for the Story Circle Journal. Here's what she tells us about herself:

I live in my favorite city, Houston, Texas where I write, volunteer at the Museum of Fine Arts, play with a grandson, and enjoy all the plays, concerts, museums and general fun a city offers. I have been an SCN member since 2000, as well as a contributing editor to the Story Circle Journal for several years and a member of the board. In 2005, I became president for a two-year term. I am also a member of the poetry writing Internet Chapter—a great group. Of all of my SCN activities, I particularly relish writing book reviews. I'm planning to reach full star status—100 reviews—during the coming year. Reviewing has made me both a more careful reader, as I seek to capture the essence of a book, and a more adventuresome one, as I enjoy the fun of sharing a new experience and books I might not otherwise have chosen.

A Star Reviewer for SCBR, Trilla specializes in reviewing books about Food, Cooking and Kitchen Matters. Read her latest review.

• 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.

• Congratulations to reviewers Susan J. Tweit and Judy Alter, who have added stars to their reviewer's crown.

• Welcome to new reviewer Tiffany Benton, who reminds us of an old and dear story collection: Old Friends and New, by Sarah Orne Jewett. You, too, can be an SCBR reviewer. Here's how.

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.

Story Circle Network Books

What Wildness is This     With Courage and Common Sense     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.

To join any of our Story Circle Network e-Letter mailing lists, type your email address below, then click the 'Go' button:

To unsubscribe: see link at the very bottom of this email.

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                

The Roses Underneath
by C. F. Yetman

From Sharon Wildwind's review:
Anna Klein and her six-year old daughter, Amalia, are German displaced persons, at the end of World War II. Separated from her husband, who chose to remain in territory now under Russian control, Anna doesn't know if he's still alive. Since their escape didn't go as planned, they ended up in a part of Germany where he won't think to look for them.

Reviewer of the Month:
Sharon Wildwind
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!)
Starting Points:
A Year of Writing Prompts

by Susan Wittig Albert
Seasons of Our Lives
edited by Matilda Butler & Kendra Bonnett
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

True Words From Real Women

"Books are like lobster shells. We surround ourselves with them, then we grow out of them and leave them behind, as evidence of our earlier stages of development."
—Dorothy L. Sayers

Read more thoughtful words from women writers.


To read this e-Letter on our web site, click here:

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

      voice: 970-235-1477