Story Circle Book Reviews

                        reviewing books by, for, and about women

December 18, 2015. Vol. 8, No 12

If You Love Women's Books...

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 nearly 1700 reviews and a team of forty-plus 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. For information about the 2014 Sarton Award for women's memoir, 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 J. Tweit's interview with Julie Whitesel Weston, author of Moonshadows.

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

Cover Stories

Meet Our New Reviewer:

Janet Brantley lives in Southwest Arkansas where she feeds deer and writes mysteries, historical fiction, and memoirs. She is retired from Texarkana College, and feels her Ph.D. in history gives her a great background for conducting research for her writing. She enjoys reading, traveling, crafts, friends, and her grandchildren. Her first novel, Murder by Any Other Name, debuted in March 2015, and she's currently working on a sequel, tentatively titled Fool's Gold. She's also working on a WWII novel, Leaving Dixon's Crossing. She plans to finish both in 2016.

Our editors and reviewers are active writers and writing teachers/coaches. Here are some of their projects:

Barbara Heming's mystery Death Wins the Crown was chosen by the Taos Mystery Book Club as their December selection. She met with the members for lunch and discussion.

Cheryl Bazzoui (aka Ann McCauley) blogs at She recently reviewed Time Underground for Bookmark for her regional NPR station,

Trilla Pando's poem "Montrose Monostiches" appears in the newly released book Untameable City: Poems on the Nature of Houston published by Mutabilis Press.

• Are you... Craving creative inspiration? Looking for new insight to fuel your words? Searching for the heart of your work? Needing an intense immersion in your writing? Join SCBR reviewer and award-winning author Susan J. Tweit, and acclaimed educator and writer Dawn Wink (also an SCBR reviewer) for the next Write & Retreat Workshop at the historic Murray Hotel in Silver City, NM, February 19-22, 2016. We'll write, workshop our writing, talk writing as a craft and as a business, and we'll also take breaks to wander the arts and gallery district of Silver City, eat great meals, and learn the surrounding landscape. This is a small-group workshop (limited to 15-20 participants), and participants also have the opportunity for an individual consult with either workshop leader. Go here for more information (click on the W&R pdf for the brochure).

Debra Winegarten had two articles recently published: one on Oveta Culp Hobby's leadership style, which came out in Houston Woman magazine, and a wonderful article that was printed in the Killeen Daily Herald.

• SCN Online Classes, the only online writing program designed exclusively for women. General writing skills, organization, and critical editing; book design and development, online marketing, blogging, and more. An Independent Study Program, too. For full class listings, faculty bios, enrollment, and more, visit our website.

• Browse through our listing of books by women about American women in their cultural and historical contexts. At Story Circle, we are passionate about women's stories and are grateful to the authors who bring these stories to us. The books on this list deserve to be read and appreciated. They are books that matter, about strong women who have played significant roles in all fields of human endeavor. (Special thanks to Susan Schoch, who compiled this list for us.)

• 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.

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.

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

"To read a book for the first time is to make an acquaintance with a new friend; to read it for a second time is to meet an old one."
—Chinese Proverb

Read more thoughtful words from women writers.

Story Circle Network Books

What Wildness is This     With Courage and Common Sense     Kitchen Table Stories     Starting Points

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                

Where the Words End and My Body Begins
by Amber Dawn

From Mary Ann Moore's review:
Amber Dawn wanted to gloss. That is, she wanted to write poems called glosas: four ten-line stanzas in which the last line of each stanza "derived sequentially from a quatrain of another poet." It gave Dawn an opportunity to interact with her peers and the poets who influenced her. She connected with the "survivorship verse" of Lucille Clifton and other legendary poets as well as contemporary poets who are among her friends and "part of larger queer literary communities."

Reviewer of the Month:
Mary Ann Moore
Thanks to our advertisers
for helping to support SCN

The Beet Goes On:
The Beet Goes On

by Susan Troccolo

The perfect GIFT book for your friend, your favorite gardener and favorite dog lover
Desperate Straits:
Desperate Straits

by Janet Squires
Winner & Finalists
2013-2014 Sarton Memoir Award

(click on the images for more info!)
by Yelizaveta P. Renfro
Not the Mother I Remember
by Amber Lea Starfire
Short Leash
by Janice Gary


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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 1670, Estes Park CO 80517-1670). ©2015 Story Circle Network

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