Mark Allen Baker tells the stories of “Spies of Revolutionary Connecticut”

Spies? In Connecticut? Yes…..there were “Spies In Revolutionary Connecticut”! and author Mark Allen Baker is here to tell the tale!

About the book: Spies of Rev. CT

Covert intelligence played a critical role in the American Revolution. Connecticut produced an extraordinary number of spies on both sides of the conflict, from the infamous traitor and Norwich-born Benedict Arnold to Patriot Nathan Hale, executed by the British for espionage. Spying during the Revolution entailed coded messages, early submarines with the first exploding torpedoes and the penalty of death for those caught in the act. Despite the risk, some spies even played both sides as double agents, such as Edward Bancroft, who was never caught. With stories of Silas Deane, Ethan Allen, Thomas Knowlton, the Culper Spy Ring and others, author Mark Allen Baker navigates the intrigues, dangers and double crosses of Connecticut’s most legendary Revolutionary spies.

About the author:

Mark Allen Baker is a resident of Hebron, Connecticut and is a former business executive of General Electric/Genigraphics Corporation, author, historian and writer. Baker is a graduate of the State University of New York, with postgraduate work at M.I.T., R.I.T. and George Washington University. He is currently the editor of The Pen & Quill, a worldwide book and manuscript journal serving the needs of historians, archivists and major auction houses.

 

Nan Rossiter joins us to discuss her book, “Under a Summer Sky”.

Connecticut author Nan Rossiter will join us for Book Group Thursday September 18th at 7:30p.m. to discuss her book “Under a Summer Sky”!

About the book:

New York Times bestselling author Nan Rossiter transports readers to Cape Cod with a warm, compelling story of family, new beginnings, and finding the courage to love honestly and well

The old Cape Cod house that Laney Coleman shares with her minister husband Noah and their five boys is usually brimming with cheerful chaos. There’s nothing fancy about the ancient kitchen or the wooden floors scuffed by the constant parade of activity and the clicking claws of their two Labrador retrievers. It’s a place to savor the sea breeze wafting through the windows, or sip coffee on the porch before another hectic day begins. This summer, life promises to be even busier than usual, because Noah’s younger brother, Micah, wants to hold his upcoming wedding on their property.

Under a Summer

Though thrilled that Micah has found happiness after past heartache, Laney is apprehensive about having her home turned upside down. She has other concerns too her youngest son is being bullied at school, and Noah’s father is not the robust patriarch he once was, in mind or body. As the bride and groom’s large, close-knit families gather, there will be joyful celebration but also unexpected sorrows and revelations, and a chance to store up a lifetime of memories during the fleeting, precious days of summer.

About the author:

Nan Parson Rossiter is the author / illustrator of several award-winning books for children including Rugby & Rosie, The Way Home, and Sugar on Snow. She lives in rural Connecticut with her husband, two handsome sons, and a yellow re triever named Mul ligan. When not working, she enjoys hiking with her family and vacationing on Cape Cod.

Marina Marchese of Red Bee Honey writes about bees and honey

MarinaA leading authority in the world of honey tasting, Marina Marchese has dedicated her life to honeybees and to educating chefs, foodies and beekeepers across the country about the culinary delights of single-origin honey. Marina has shared her inspirational journey as a beekeeper in her international best selling book “HONEYBEE Lessons from an Accidental Beekeeper” and now the groundbreaking concept of terroir and tasting and pairing honey in her recent book “The Honey Connoisseur” (co-written with Kim Flottum, editor of Bee Culture magazine). Red Bee honey is now carried at Byrd’s Books.

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David K. Leff has published his new novel in verse, “Finding the Last Hungry Heart”

David K. Leff has published his latest novel in verse, “Finding the Last Hungry Heart”. As David stated, “It’s a project I’ve worked on for thirty-five years.”

About the book:  Finding the Last

The story is a confluence of the present and the 1960s.  Caleb Dempster, a disillusioned refugee from that turbulent era makes his living operating a municipal landfill, dealing with the waste of a society he’d once hoped to reform.  One night Dempster catches some teens climbing the landfill fence in the hope of spotting a bear that’s feeding on the garbage.  The kids’ interest in Dempster’s past enables him to see some value in experiences that had only tormented him with disappointment.  There’s some small town politics and violence, but ultimately the kids enable Dempster to triumph by finding value in what he had thought was a wasted youth of unfulfilled promises.

About the author: David K. Leff

David K. Leff, author of numerous essays, columns, and stories for the Hartford CourantAppalachia and other publications, is a former Deputy Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. He is a member of the Collinsville Historic District Commission and was chairman for twenty years, is a former volunteer firefighter, and a Boy Scout merit badge counselor.

The author of three nonfiction books and three volumes of poetry, David has read his work, given book talks, and lectured on literary and environmental topics throughout Connecticut and beyond.  He is on the board of Directors of the Riverwood Poetry Series.

 

Writing Workshops With Judith Marks-White

Judith Marks-White returns to teach a series of workshops, “Tickling Your Funny Bone: The Art and Marketing of the Humorous and Reflective Essay”  Cover Seducing HarryJudith M-W

 “Why do writers write? Because it isn’t there.” – Thomas Berger
 Learn to “put it there” in your own inimitable style. Discover your unique voice and talent as you create essays that will bring to life both the funny and serious person that you are.
The classes will function as workshops where you will be introduced to style, technique, tricks of the trade, and critiques of your work as you create a publishable piece of writing targeted to the current markets.

Once again, join Judith Marks-White at Byrd’s Books and learn how to release your “inner writer” by creating marketable essays by the person who knows you best: yourself.

The dates and times: You may register for one, or all of them (see registration button below). The fee for each workshop is $20.00, which is passed directly to the instructor.

Saturday August 16th, 4:00p.m.
Saturday September 13th, 4:00p.m.
Tuesday September 30th, 7:00p.m.
Tuesday October 7th, 7:00p.m.
Saturday October 11th, 4:00p.m.

About the author:

Award-winning Westport News columnist and novelist, Ms. Marks-White has been involved in the design and instruction of creative writing programs in Connecticut, and has taught writing for many years. She was an adjunct Professor of English/Writing at Norwalk Community College for many years where she won Teacher of the Year Award for 2005 “for imparting wisdom with contagious enthusiasm” and where she continues to teach a course in the Art and Marketing of Humor Writing. 

Ms. Marks-White turned her attention to novel writing.  ”Seducing Harry” was her debut novel.  Her second novel, is “Bachelor Degree”. Both are published by Random House/Ballantine.  She is presently working on her third novel. Ms. Marks-White lives in Connecticut.

To register for the workshops click here. You can come to one- or all of them!!

 

Amy Nawrocki returns to Byrd’s Books! Saturday March 1st at 7:00 p.m.

Some of you may remember Amy when she joined us for our “History of Connecticut Food” and “History of Connecticut Wine” slide show and food/wine event. Well, we heard Amy was coming out with a new poetry book and we wanted her to come to Byrd’s Books to share it with you!! We love Amy’s poetry, and we know you will too.

Advance praise for Amy’s book:

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From poet Leslie McGrath:

Amy Nawrocki’s poems celebrate preservation and renewal in New England landscapes. Births, deaths, and the whimsical appearance of the mysterious—all are welcomed as the poet invites us to “light the light that will unblind us.” Nawrocki is a deft observer of the beauty of work, be it pickling or pulling a quahog from the muck. The weathered and the wasting, too, are treated with wonder by this poet who describes a bygone farm in which pumpkins in a field are “sitting like children watching a magic show.”

Letters from Sandy Hook-Newtown to the World

Letters from Sandy HookEdited by Suzanne Davenport

A deeply heartfelt collection of original letters written by members of the Sandy Hook-Newtown community, giving the world a simple and honest view into their lives. The Sandy Hook-Newtown community is a wonderful, typical New England community. This book is a compilation of letters from Sandy Hook-Newtown residents who are old and new. A tragic, horrible event happened in this community on December 14, 2012. With the world, this community cherishes the lives lost and grieves the senseless act of violence. But December 14th does not define this community. This is not just a book about that day it is a book about who the people and community of Sandy Hook-Newtown are on any given day. Since the tragic event on December 14, 2012, this community has been shown a tremendous amount of love and compassion from all over the world in so many different forms. Letters from Sandy Hook-Newtown to the World is a small offering from the people of Sandy Hook-Newtown, letting you know who they are and have always been. The book contains nearly 100 letters, presented in both original handwritten and typed forms. They are further organized into loose groupings that the editor felt were appropriate in the sense that they seemed to echo a common theme or feeling. Additionally, the book is beautifully illustrated with nearly 100 photographs from Sandy Hook-Newtown, giving you a visual feel for this beautiful community and its surroundings.

We Are Water

We Are WaterBy Connecticut author Wally Lamb

We Are Water is a disquieting and ultimately uplifting novel about a marriage, a family, and human resilience in the face of tragedy, from Wally Lamb, the New York Times bestselling author of The Hour I First Believed and I Know This Much Is True.

After 27 years of marriage and three children, Anna Oh – wife, mother, outsider artist – has fallen in love with Viveca, the wealthy Manhattan art dealer who orchestrated her success. They plan to wed in the Oh family’s hometown of Three Rivers in Connecticut. But the wedding provokes some very mixed reactions and opens a Pandora’s Box of toxic secrets – dark and painful truths that have festered below the surface of the Ohs’ lives.

We Are Water is a layered portrait of marriage, family, and the inexorable need for understanding and connection, told in the alternating voices of the Ohs – nonconformist, Anna; her ex-husband, Orion, a psychologist; Ariane, the do-gooder daughter, and her twin, Andrew, the rebellious only son; and free-spirited Marissa, the youngest. It is also a portrait of modern America, exploring issues of class, changing social mores, the legacy of racial violence, and the nature of creativity and art.

With humor and compassion, Wally Lamb brilliantly captures the essence of human experience and the ways in which we search for love and meaning in our lives.

The Book of Psychic Symbols

By Melanie Barnum

A strong feeling, a remarkable coincidence, a strange dream…What may seem ordinary could actually be an important message: a helpful hint or a warning from a deceased love one or spirit guide. Open yourself to a wealth of guidance and opportunities by learning how to recognize and interpret the signs and synchronicities all around us. The Book of Psychic Symbols can help you decode dreams, intuitive flashes, and all psychic impressions. Intuitive counselor Melanie Barnum explains what psychic symbols are, how we receive them, and where they come from. She also shares amazing stories from her life that clarify how the wondrous intuitive process works. In addition to a comprehensive dictionary of 500 symbols, there are many practical exercises for exploring symbols in your life, fortifying your natural intuition, and using psychic symbols to manifest your desires.

The Good House

The Good HouseBy Connecticut author Ann Leary

How can you prove you’re not an alcoholic?

You can’t.

It’s like trying to prove you’re not a witch.

Hildy Good is a townie. A lifelong resident of an historic community on the rocky coast of Boston’s North Shore, she knows pretty much everything about everyone. Hildy is a descendant of one of the witches hung in nearby Salem, and is believed, by some, to have inherited psychic gifts. Not true, of course; she’s just good at reading people. Hildy is good at lots of things. A successful real-estate broker, mother and grandmother, her days are full. But her nights have become lonely ever since her daughters, convinced their mother was drinking too much, staged an intervention and sent her off to rehab. Now she’s in recovery – more or less.

Alone and feeling unjustly persecuted, Hildy needs a friend. She finds one in Rebecca McCallister, a beautiful young mother and one of the town’s wealthy newcomers. Rebecca feels out-of-step in her new surroundings and is grateful for the friendship. And Hildy feels like a person of the world again, as she and Rebecca escape their worries with some harmless gossip, and a bottle of wine by the fire – just one of their secrets.

But not everyone takes to Rebecca, who is herself the subject of town gossip. When Frank Getchell, an eccentric local who shares a complicated history with Hildy, tries to warn her away from Rebecca, Hildy attempts to protect her friend from a potential scandal. Soon, however, Hildy is busy trying to cover her own tracks and protect her reputation. When a cluster of secrets become dangerously entwined, the reckless behavior of one threatens to expose the other, and this darkly comic novel takes a chilling turn.

The Good House by Ann Leary is funny, poignant, and terrifying. A classic New England tale that lays bare the secrets of one little town, this spirited novel will stay with you long after the story has ended.

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