Lobstering Women of Maine

Seapoint Books announces its release of Lobstering Women of Maine: Paintings and Stories of Women and Girls Who Fish the Maine Coast by Maine Artist, Susan Tobey White on May 31, 2023. “These wonderful paintings and brief biographies show their hard work and also the beauty and camaraderie of the women who fish for lobsters,” says publisher Spencer Smith, “you’ll never look at lobster fishing the same way again.”

In Lobstering Women of Maine, Susan Tobey White vividly captures Maine women’s participation in today’s lobster fishing industry. Her paintings tell the story of what women have to do every day to be successful in an industry dominated by men. 

Several generations of women and girls along the Coast of Maine are represented. These are hardworking women who juggle family, school, and other jobs, along with their joy of being out on the water. The women hail from Wells, Rockport, Stonington, Corea Harbor, Chebeague Island, Sprucehead, Vinalhaven, Little Cranberry Island, Searsport and Rockland.

Among the 18 portraits is Virginia Oliver, known worldwide as the ‘Lobster Lady.’ At 103 years old, she’s still going strong. She learned how to haul traps when she was just seven or eight on her father’s boat off of Rockland. Today, Ginny fishes 200 traps with her 78-year-old son, Max. Often asked if she will continue fishing, she has a resounding answer: “Of course I will! It’s important to keep moving.”

Susan Tobey White is a Maine artist whose work has always portrayed the theme of women. She lives on the coast of Maine and is the wife of a part-time commercial fisherman. She has measured lobsters and filled bait bags, and understands the work of fishing. Inspired by Maine’s lobster women, she was compelled to paint them and gather their stories. 

Susan’s work is in private collections throughout the United States and internationally. Her lobstering women paintings were first displayed at the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport, Maine. 

Lobstering Women of Maine: Paintings and Stories of Women and Girls Who Fish the Maine Coast (Seapoint Books, May 31, 2023, ISBN: 979-8987208410, 48 pages, 10”X10”, hardcover) is available in local bookstores throughout New England or you can order a copy online.

Join David Tory Thursday, June 17 at 6:30 p.m. ET – in person, in the Book Shop at Beverly Farms — as we all celebrate the publication of EXPLORATION by Hamilton author David Tory!

The first in a series, the book follows the life of Isaac Stanfield, a reluctant merchantman in 1600s England who finds himself among the first to explore the so-called New World.

See you there!

The 15th annual Newburyport Literary Festival kicks off Saturday Morning As a Live, Online Streaming Event

Rotondi_InheritIG Author Jessica Pearce Rotondi, a West Newbury native, will discuss her book, What We Inherit: A Secret War and a Family’s Search for Answers, on Saturday during the online Newburyport Literary Festival.

NEWBURYPORT DAILY NEWS | APRIL 23, 2020 | By Jack Shea | The 15th annual Newburyport Literary Festival kicks off Saturday morning as a live, online streaming event with numerous authors broadcasting to viewers from their homes across the country.

The festival had been scheduled for Friday and Saturday in Newburyport, but was canceled in March for the first time since its 2005 debut to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Shortly after, co-organizers Jennifer Entwistle and Vicki Hendrickson announced the festival would be held online with a subset of the fiction and nonfiction authors who were originally scheduled to appear at the in-person event.

Events will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and will resume for a second day on May 3 during the same timeframe.

Authors will broadcast from their own homes for a mix of readings, interviews and panel discussions. Each session will be approximately 30 to 45 minutes, including time for questions and answers from audience members.

Because of the large number of authors involved, there will be three simultaneous event schedules being broadcast Saturday. On May 3, the festival will have only one series of events.

The festival is free but registration is required for each event. Viewers will sign up for an event on the festival website ahead of time, and will then receive an email with a link to the event’s Zoom Webinar page.

Entwistle said each event will allow up to 500 viewers, and she is not concerned about any of the events reaching capacity.

She said despite being less extensive than the original event schedule, the online Literary Festival lineup will be just as diverse and have something that appeals to all sorts of readers.

“We tried to fit as many people in as we could, and we always try to have a good selection of events,” Entwistle said. “Hopefully, it will kind of feel like the festival even though we’re all in our own homes.”

Among the featured authors on Saturday is West Newbury native and current New York resident Jessica Pearce Rotondi, whose debut book “What We Inherit: A Secret War and a Family’s Search for Answers” was just released Tuesday after a decade of work.

What We Inherit follows Rotondi’s investigative journey of her uncle’s disappearance during the CIA-led “Secret War” in Laos in 1972, which took her across the world and helped her understand her family history and the “Secret War’s” impact on Laos.

Rotondi said on Tuesday that she was looking forward to her program Saturday, which is one of a few online literary festival appearances she has on her schedule with the release of her new book. And while she may not be able to promote it in person, Rotondi said online events’ ability to reach so many people around the globe have proven to be a silver lining during the pandemic.

While Sunday will see her call into an Amsterdam-based festival, Rotondi said she is excited to share her work with viewers from the area where she grew up.

“My grandfather and my mother both read to be connected to the people they love and they miss, and now I get to do the same thing to the Newburyport Literary Festival,” she said.

One author featured May 3 will be Anne Easter Smith, a Newburyport resident who has been part of every Literary Festival since it began.

Smith, a historical fiction writer, acknowledged that this year’s festival will be far different from any previous year. Fittingly, she and author C.C. Humphreys will lead a panel event that discusses the process of writing about plagues, titled, A Plague on Both Your Houses.

“I’m curious how it’s going to go, knowing how long-winded authors can be … but I think we’ll just try and focus on what we researched, and how we decided on what to include in our books and our plots,” Smith said. “I think it’s going to be an odd sensation not being able to see the audience.”

For a complete list of authors and to register for individual events, visit newburyportliteraryfestival.org.

Flyer for Andre at Emma2

The Emma L. Andrews Library, 77 Purchase Street, Newburyport, welcomes its own hometown award-winning writer ANDRE DUBUS III—author of House of Sand and Fog and Townie, among others—for a discussion of his much-anticipated latest novel, Gone So Long. Join us for a talk, Q&A and evening reception on Thursday, May 16 at 7:30 pm.

Few writers can enter their characters so completely or evoke their lives as viscerally as Andre Dubus III. In this deeply compelling novel, a father, estranged for the worst of reasons, is driven to seek out the daughter he has not seen in decades.For as long as she can remember, Susan Dunn has been trying to escape. But peace and happiness have always eluded her—now an adjunct professor, she is tortured by the novel she cannot finish, and a lack of feeling toward a husband who loves her. Just when she’s ready to abandon everything to try again, she receives a letter that forces her to reckon with the trauma that first sent her running: her mother’s murder at the hands of her father, Daniel Ahern, forty years ago.

Cathartic, affirming, and steeped in the empathy and precise observations of character for which Dubus is celebrated, Gone So Long explores how the wounds of the past afflict the people we become, and probes the limits of recovery and absolution.

Andre Dubus III is the author of Gone So Long, Dirty Love, The Garden of Last Days, House of Sand and Fog (a #1 New York Times bestseller, Oprah’s Book Club pick, and finalist for the National Book Award), and Townie, winner of an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. His writing has received many honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Magazine Award, and two Pushcart Prizes. He lives with his family in Newbury, Massachusetts.

The author will read a selection from Gone So Long and will be on hand to answer questions and sign copies of the book.

Light refreshments will be served. The event is free and open to the public.

Pleasure and Power by Doug Brendel

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How far are you willing to go for power, pleasure, justice, or revenge? Book Cover 275

May 2018 | Ipswich, MA |Set in rural Ohio in the 1950s, in a world before #MeToo, Pleasure and Power explores the weight of race, secrets, and the misogyny and sexism that women face in a white man’s world. Seductive and unsettling, the novel traces the intertwined fates of three people. Ruby, a black teen, wants to protect her helpless older sister. Jake, a charming white salesman, dreams of political prestige. Conservative Alice clings to her virtue and values. When a mixed race baby is born inside a mental ward, their lives are thrown together in desperately complex ways, setting events in motion that incite deep questions of right and wrong. Ruby, Jack, and Alice each have secrets to protect. Ultimately, revenge may be only way out.

Author Doug Brendel’s simmering novel veers from the humorous commentary he’s known for as the author of a blog and popular book series that focus on the quirks of small-town habits and politics through the lens of a newcomer in New England. But Brendel says his new book also has a basis in social and political observation and experience.

“For years, I had this dark, complicated story lurking inside me and finally I had to exorcise it,” Brendel says. “The drama and characters come first, but in this novel I’m also asking critical and current questions — not only do black lives matter, but also do half-black lives matter more? Or less? And how much is a person worth if he or she doesn’t know who their father was?”

Such questions are personal for Brendel, who has a mixed race family. He and his wife Kristina adopted a son and daughter, before giving birth to their third child. “Our eldest child, Natalie, is African-American. Our son, Kristofer, has blue eyes and blond hair. So questions of racial harmony and issues revolving around birth parents have been part of our family for three decades,” Brendel says. “Pleasure and Power raises those issues, but is by no means autobiographical. This is a story that challenges readers to decide what they believe about justice and revenge.”

Doug Brendel is a writer, speaker, and humanitarian. He blogs at Outsidah.com and is the author of the “Only in Ipswich” books, which include his cartoon illustrations. Doug works professionally as a copywriter of direct mail fundraising letters for nonprofit organizations. Some of his books deal with this industry. He previously served as a clergyman for 15 years and led a drama ministry. Pleasure and Power is the author’s debut novel. He lives in Ipswich, Massachusetts with his family.

Pleasure and Power: A Novel, Dragonhead Press, March 2018, ISBN # 978-1-984923844, Paperback, 236 pages, $14.99, Kindle edition, ASIN: B07B92B74M, $2.99, http://www.dragonheadpress.com/

Robert Lorayne, Making Music


Some artists make absolutely everything sound easy, and singer-songwriter Robert Lorayne is one of them. Also an accomplished guitarist, Lorayne has recently released his new album, Out of Nowhere. The album’s 10 tracks explore familiar themes—matters of the heart, including love, loss, and change—with forthright wisdom and awareness. Lorayne, who wrote the songs and music and produced the album, has a natural voice and original guitar style. The result is a clean sound that feels effortless and approachable, making this a great album you’ll want to listen to over and over again.

Several songs tackle the heartache of romantic relationships gone astray. In I’m on the Floor, his lyrics tell the story of an abrupt departure: You left me lying there on the floor, a cool breeze and a slamming door.” In contrast, Little Baby dishes up a tender, joyful message, “Oh little baby, you are everything to me. Oh little baby, you are everything I need.” The title song, Out of Nowhere, deals with the loss of one’s familiar surroundings, “I felt somewhere and never felt alone, out of nowhere, I looked around and you were gone.”

One song, Bricks and Mortar, has a compelling message for our current time:

“There’s a hate across the world.
Have we forgotten that we’re just boys and girls?
Everywhere the hate is growing,
fear is growing of just not knowing
how the world will be tomorrow.
It must be more than hate and sorrow.
We must learn to join together,
things are bad, but they’ll get better.
Do it for the sons and daughters—
we’re the bricks and they’re the mortar.”

Every moment of this record bears Lorayne’s stamp. His vocals are simply superb, the arrangements ambitious, and his frank songwriting a perfect match for his elliptical style. We think you’ll enjoy it. You can listen to Robert’s songs at http://www.robertlorayne.com. His album is available for purchase on iTunes.

The son of legendary memory-training expert and author Harry Lorayne, Robert Lorayne grew up in Manhattan (New York City) and counts The Doors, The Who, and Pink Floyd among his early music influences. Currently living in Newburyport, MA, he’s working on yet another new album with Joe Holaday, of The Fools and Beetle-Juice, on lead guitar.

Chandler Vreeland Launches UFO Novel, Invites Golden Ticket Winner to Dinner with the Author

Light Caller Cover 150 Marietta, GA—In his charming novel, Chandler Vreeland transports readers to Barbados to meet a collection of likable characters and mysterious lights in the sky. Vreeland will launch and sign his debut novel, The Light Caller, at the Book Worm Bookstore, 4451 Marietta Street, Powder Springs, on Saturday, June 17 from 1:00‒3:00 pm. The event is free and open to the public.

As a special bonus, the author has inserted a golden ticket in one his books being sold, which invites the lucky finder and a friend to enjoy dinner and conversation with the author at Muss & Turner’s, Smyrna.

In The Light Caller, John, an 83-year-old self-proclaimed psychic, has an uncanny ability to communicate with UFOs that he encounters on his native island of Barbados and beyond. “I am the ‘Light Man’— at least, that’s what some people call me. I am what others call a ‘UFO caller’.” As the story unfolds, John’s narrative is not only filled with tales of supernatural communication, healing and awe, but also his deep love of family, and a humility for his calling. This gentle novel shimmers with the drama and magic of a cast of characters whose lives are touched, and sometimes transformed, by unexplainable lights in the sky.

The Light Caller was inspired by the author’s real life experience on a trip to Barbados many years ago. One evening on the beach, Vreeland and his father saw a UFO over the sea. “It was an eerie experience, like seeing something from another world. My father suggested that it would make a great story for a book and the idea stuck with me,” he says.

While Vreeland has a general interest in UFOs and related phenomena, he says he leaves it to readers to form their own conclusions about the actual existence, intentions, or origins of mystery lights in the sky. “Whatever view a reader may have, I hope that each one finds my book enjoyable and meaningful.”

L. Chandler Vreeland is a Marietta, Georgia, based trial lawyer. A former Assistant District Attorney, he interned in Washington DC for the United States Senate. He received his undergraduate degree from Henry W. Grady School of Journalism, University of Georgia, and earned his Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from The Cumberland School of Law, Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama. He also studied international law at the Exeter University in England. Vreeland looks forward to discussing writing, law, and UFOs with the golden ticket winner.

The Runaway Dandelion

Launch Day

A once idyllic meadow, home to animals, birds, insects, wildflowers and ancient apple trees is clear cut by a bulldozer to make way for new construction. Miraculously, there is one survivor—a lonely little dandelion. When her golden petals turn to white fluff, she takes flight in search of a new home.

We get a bird’s eye view of her journey over many big houses and manicured green lawns. When she spots a lush green meadow, surrounded by wetlands, we follow her down to earth, and cheer as she puts down new roots.

We meet all the inhabitants of this small Family Farm and observe their daily life. What’s special about this farm is that each of their activities contribute to a sustainable lifestyle, and consequently lead to a brighter and more promising future.

The Runaway Dandelion by Jill Regensburg is a contemporary fable that is as informative as it is timely. Young readers, as well as parents and teachers, can explore many earth friendly techniques including organic gardening, solar and wind power, water harvesting, alternative heating, growing medicinal herbs, and cultivating gourmet mushrooms on logs.

There is a Glossary, and suggestions for family friendly cooking-with-dandelion recipes. A comprehensive resource list of follow up links encourages readers to further explore these Permaculture techniques.