This month at ABITH

On December 9, ABITH will present Nancy Rubin Stuart and Kevin Symmons.


DEFIANT BRIDES:The Untold Story of Two Revolutionary-Era Women Who Married Radical Men by Nancy Rubin Stuart tells the true story of these young women who defied their parents and married radical patriots, leading one to become a patriot and the other, a spy. 


Award-winning author/journalist Nancy Rubin Stuart has written seven nonfiction books, including her latest, DEFIANT BRIDES which Beacon Press published in April 2013. Nancy has contributed to the New York Times, American History Magazine, Huffington Post and other national periodicals.  She also serves as the Executive Director of the Cape Cod Writers Center.   

OUT OF THE STORM, by Kevin Symmons, is a contemporary romantic thriller set on Cape Cod's Bass River.

Kevin Symmons just completed his fourth and final term as President of the Cape Cod Writers Center. He's first two novels, Rite of Passage, and OUT OF THE STORM, for The Wild Rose Press have been Amazon best-sellers and his third, Solo, will be released this spring. Kevin also teaches creative writing at Massasoit Community college's three campuses.

On November 11, ABITH will present Shirley Vogel and Clint Hull.


Faith, Favorites, Fun, and Fotos of Cape Cod by Shirley Vogel is an inspirational book with 80 full colored “fotos” as well as stories, anecdotes, and favorite pieces by Shirley and others; some of which will make you laugh, while others might bring you to tears. 


In addition to Faith, Favorites, Fun, and Fotos of Cape Cod, Shirley is the author of wHispers (when He is so precious even rocks sing), many articles that have appeared in newspapers and magazines, and she often speaks for women’s groups.  She and her husband, Stefan, lived in Brewster for 22 years until they downsized to a condo in Yarmouth Port which they love.  They worship at Grace Church (across street from this library) and when not there or visiting their six children and 15 grandchildren, Shirley keeps busy as a mentor for Bridge to Hope Prison Ministry, and, of course, writing!


Clint Hull’s novel, OCCUPYING POWERS, set during the latter months of World War II, is a coming-of-age story that carries its protagonist, 18-year-old Chet Devlin, through basic training in Florida, replacement depots stateside and overseas, and wartime service on the island of Cebu in the Philippines before he participates in the occupation of Japan.



Clint has been writing fiction since he retired from Civil Service in 1986.  He has degrees from the University of Vermont, the University of Rhode Island, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.  OCCUPYING POWERS is his second novel to be published.


On October 14, ABITH presented Christie Lowrance and Jennifer Gosten.


Jennifer Gostin’s novel, WONDERSTRAND TALES, is set in a rundown cottage colony in a forgotten corner of the outer Cape, where past secrets and hidden ambitions force the characters to confront their true selves.


Jennifer lives in Eastham.  She holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and studied folklore at University College, Dublin, Ireland. WONDERSTRAND TALES is her second novel.



NATURE’S AMBASSADOR: THE LEGACY OF THORNTON W. BURGESS by Christie Lowrance is a biography of an internationally popular 20th century American children’s author and influential naturalist whose animal books, syndicated newspaper stories and popular radio nature program entertained, educated, and inspired millions of children and adults.


Christie's freelance articles have appeared in Good Housekeeping, Shape, Country Journal, Oceans, Americana, the Boston Globe, Cape Cod Times, Barnstable Patriot, Cape Cod Compass, and A-Plus Arts and Antiques, among others. For fifteen years she worked as an area travel writer/editor for Fodor’s Cape Cod Travel Guide, Insider’s Guide to Cape Cod, and Cape Cod Travel Guide. Ms. Lowrance has taught writing at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Cape Cod Community College, and the Cape Cod Writers Conference; she has a B.A. in English from Hobart-William Smith College and an M.A. in Professional Writing from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. 


On September 9, ABITH presented its 5th Open-mike Night for local authors of unpublished books -- prose only. The participants were:


Barbara Leedom and William Richmond

Katrina Valenzuela

Barbara Strakele

Linda Conti

Christina Laurie

Ted Shrady

Francoise Webb

Anita Caruso

Jeanne Savage

Irene Paine

Joseph Cromarty

Ariel Stagg

Brian James

Ethel Debakker

Robert Surrette

Dean Coe

Elizabeth Moisan


On August 12, ABITH presented Katheryn Knight and Tom O'Connell.


Kathryn Knight is the author of SILVER LAKE and GULL HARBOR, two paranormal romances that incorporate unsolved mysteries, dangers, and several restless and desperate spirits.

Her bestselling paranormal romances are published by The Wild Rose Press. SILVER LAKE and GULL HARBOR are suspenseful combinations of love stories and ghost stories set in New England.  Originally from the Washington, D.C., area, Kathryn has lived in the Cape Cod town of Mashpee for 14 years with her husband, her sons, and a number of rescued animals. 


In his eleventh published book, writer/publisher Tom O'Connell's memoir UPWARD & DOWNWARD MOBILITY traces his work life from his days as an orphan in a Catholic Charities group home upward to top leadership careers as CEO, educator, columnist, host of his own public affairs show on Boston's Channel 25.

Writer and publisher of Tom O'Connell was described in Cape Cod Life's 25th Anniversary Issue as "one of the top 100 influential people" on Cape Cod. He served as CEO of the Massachusetts Safety Council and was a member of the Governor's Highway Safety Committee as well as president of American Medical Writers Association, New England Chapter. He wrote the Cape Cod Times column "On Addiction" and was national correspondent for the U. S. Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 


On July 8 ABITH will present Sarah James and Claudia Dillaire.


Sarah James, is the co-author of the award-winning book The Natural Step for Communities: How Cities & Towns Can Change to Sustainable Practices. She has operated a consulting practice in sustainable community planning for many years. In 2007, she received the Dale Prize for excellence in planning and design for her work in this field. 


The Natural Step for Communities offers advice on making cities, towns, and local governments more sustainable, and includes inspiring examples of communities from Sweden and elsewhere, which have made outstanding progress in this direction. 


Claudia R. Dillaire is a researcher of ancient civilizations, with a primary expertise in ancient Egypt. She is the author of three non-fiction books on different aspects of Egyptian magic, as well as a freelance proofreader, copy editor, and ghost writer. The Wrath of Amun is the first novel in the Qaa Mysteries Series.


The Wrath of Amun, a mystery set in ancient Egypt, transports the reader to the palace of Ramesses III and the intrigues of the royal family.




On June 10 ABITH will present authors Brian James and Velia Pola.


Crime humorist, Brian James, of Cape Cod, MA and Dunedin, FL, is in reality a mild- mannered, retired, municipal recreation director.  A seasonal member of writing circles in Brewster, MA and Safety Harbor, FL, he has just completed the sequel to his 2011 fictional memoir,  HEADSTONE 


James's newest book, FORTUNE, continues the saga he told us in HEADSTONE. What was actually taken from the trusting depositors during the great Fourth of July holiday weekend bank vault burglary of the early '80s is known only to the perpetrators. And few of them know what ultimately happened to their "fortune.”


Velia Pola is a Cape Cod native, raised in Sandwich and currently residing Dennis. She has happily managed to avoid being a "nine to fiver," and loves digging into new and creative projects. Having reawakened her love of writing, she hopes the publication of her family-based memoir, A BRIDGE BETWEEN, will open the lines of inter-generational communication in others and help sustain quality of life for our elderly.


A BRIDGE BETWEEN, part travelogue and part love story, set against the beauty of northern Italy, Velia Pola weaves a family’s past with the present and, with both humor and deep sentiment, follows them on a journey of discovery as they navigate the passage of time.


On May 13, ABITH will present authors Wendy Shreve and John Best.


In Wendy Shreve’s SHADOWWATER, Lili Ribault, a successful writer of supernatural stories,

has settled on Cape Cod where she’s found her soulmate, Cal "Sitting Crow" Green. But there is no escape from the cycle of death and when Cal's sister Rachel is mauled, and Lili begins to question what is real.

Wendy Shreve received her BA at Smith College and MA at University of Montana. Along with teaching ESL at schools and universities in Europe, Asia, and the United States, her professional experience has included working as a freelance consultant, publicist, and copy writer for organizations such as the Cape Playhouse in Dennis, MA, and Payomet Performing Arts Center in Truro. Cape Cod has inspired her to write the short story, Lamentations, published by Hamilton Stone, Fall 2011 for their Quarterly Review, and the novel, SHADOWWATER.



IN THE OUT DOOR, by John Best, follows the career of music teacher, Lester Worthy, as he faces the most dreaded of creatures, the adolescent student.


John Best is a life-long musician, nationally known glass artist, retired public school music teacher, and now, author. Living in Wellfleet with his wife, Elizabeth, they are the “Best Studios”, and over the years have sold their unique, one-of-a-kind work world-wide. John has composed, performed, produced, and recorded 14 albums, the last two as the duo, "Black Whydah" with his music partner, Jean Sagara. "Best Studios" work can be found in galleries around the Cape and at shows while "Black Whydah" can be found wherever Irish music is performed. 


On April 8, ABITH will present the Rising Tide Writers. This group meets weekly to share their work, thoughts, and constructive criticism, and on March 18 they launched their web site,

        Fifteen of the twenty writers will offer the audience a glimpse of their published work or works in progress. The Rising Tide Writers are:


Elizabeth Moisan: Master of the Sweet Trade*

Stephanie Reeve: The Way Home

Rachel Crosby: Nature’s Burden

Sebastian Mudry: White Boy in the Projects

Joseph Cromarty: The Thrilling Adventures of Captain All Right

Ingrid Stabins: Give Me Tomorrow*

Edward Cottier: The Other Side of Charlestown

Marjorie Frith: Lucky: The Autobiography of a Goldfish*

Lee Doty: A Chatham Mystery

Jeanne Savage: Cooking for Dykes*

Robert Surrette: Say Hello and Keep Walking*

Francoise Webb: Remembrances

Barbara Leedom and **William Richmond: For the Love of


Theodore Shrady: For Pullman Eyes Only*


Rising Tide Writers not participating:

A.J. Desrochers: Along the River’s Edge*

Melda Pike: Grandfather

Richard Fordyce: I Climbed Mount Rainier with Jimi Hendrix’s

                                High School Guidance Counselor*

Finbarr Corr: Broken Promises:

                                                   Whatever Happened to Vatican II?*


*Published authors

**William Richmond: The Tunnel of Love (pub. fiction)

On March 11, ABITH will present Pam and Dave Purdy, artist and author of ICONS OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT, and Rick Gifford, author of MACMILLAN WHARF.

Rick Gifford is a guidance counselor at Chatham High School who wrote MACMILLAN WHARF while he was a stay-at home dad with his son Benjamin.


Annie Macalaster had her dream summer job in Provincetown working on a whale watch boat. Little did she know that in a matter of minutes, her dream would turn into a nightmare. Over a tumultuous weekend, Annie finds herself at the center of a murder investigation that tests her mentally and physically as she tries to uncover who murdered her friend, and why.


In their book, ICONS OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT, artist Pamela Chatterton-Purdy and author David Purdy combine art and history to honor those who sacrificed for equal rights using the iconic art form to depict people and events of the Movement, with a one page history accompanying each of the 27 Icons.


Married in 1963, after the March on Washington in August, they moved to Chicago where David was an intern in urban ministry at the Ecumenical Institute and Pam became an art editor at Johnson Publications (Ebony, Jet magazines). These experiences solidified their involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. Committed to the cause of racial integration, they adopted two sons: one of African-American descent and one from Viet Nam to their family of two biological daughters, and began to personally experience the sting of racism. Pam has taught art at the high school and college levels for 30 years, and wrote BEYOND THE BABYLIFE: THE DIARY OF AN ADOPTION. David has served as minister in several parishes, and has had articles published in theological journals.



February 11, 2013 --- Cancelled due to "Blizzard Nemo" (Latin for "no one".) Glad that's done, too.
January 14, 2013 --- Cancelled due to my moving that month. Glad that's done.
On December 10, ABITH will present Cape Cod authors Scott Ridley, author of MORNIING OF FIRE, and Rick Fordyce, author of I CLIMBED MT. RAINIER WITH JIMI HENDRIX'S HIGH SCHOOL COUNSELOR.

In Rick Fordyce's I CLIMBED MT. RAINIER WITH JIMI HENDRIX'S HIGH SCHOOL COUNSELOR - AND OTHER STORIES OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST:  Nine fiction stories of the Pacific Northwest, the title story the account of the 1976 summiting of Mt. Rainier by the author and the former high school counselor of Seattle-born Jimi Hendrix.


Rick Fordyce grew up in Seattle, Washington in the shadow of Mt. Rainier. His long story "Away" was published by Crab Creek Review and nomiated for a Pushcart Prize.  He is the author of the 2008 iUniverse novel, Glen, and his current book has been listed in the Cape Cod Times and reviewed by Seattle's City Living newspaper. He has lived on Cape Cod since 1985.  



MORNING OF FIRE, by Scott Ridley, is a non-fiction history book that takes readers on America's first epic journey into the Pacific in 1787.  


Scott Ridley is a policy analyst with a background in journalism and history.  He has written for The New Republic, The Nation, Newsday, the Denver Post and a host of other publications.  He is descended from a long line of New England shipbuilders and seafarers and lives in East Harwich.




On November 12, ABITH will present Susan Baur, author of The Turtle Sisters Learn the Best New Trick, and Theodore Shrady, author of For Pullman Eyes Only.

Susan Baur will present her latest book, The Turtle Sisters Learn the Best New Trick (the second in the Turtle Sisters series) which is based on a seven-year study of Cape Cod ponds and follows two young stinkpot turtles as they confront the dramas of daily pond life.


A native of New York, Susan has lived most of her life on Cape Cod where she has divided her time between writing, running, and practicing as a clinical psychologist.  She came to Woods Hole in 1968 to write two books on oceanography and went on to write five more on emotional turmoil, including The Love of Your Life, and two children's books on local pond turtles.  Having been published by big presses, small presses, and university presses, she has been happily surprised by how much she has learned about the book business by publishing her own turtle books.



Theodore Shrady will discuss his fifth railroad book, For Pullman Eyes Only--What Rare Internal Files Reveal, which brings to light behind-the-scenes documents never before seen about Pullman's daily operations of 9,800 sleeping cars--the good, the bad, and the impossible.


This is Ted’s fifth railroad book, following three editions of the Orange Blossom Special with co-author Arthur M. Waldrop and The Sleeping Car—A General Guide. He has also published over four dozen articles for various railroad publications. Shrady worked in middle management for the New York Central System from 1964 to 1968. The mileage on trains over the entire system and privileges on other railroads during that period, perhaps 175,000 miles, provided him with fodder for his writings. After 30 years in the audio visual/media business, he retired in 1999 from Harvard University and lived in several cities to continue his railroad research. While in Chicago, he had access to the Newberry Library to research the Pullman archives for this book. Now living on Cape Cod, Mass., he researches and lectures on various railroad subjects.



On October 8, ABITH will present Linda Conti and Billy Best, co-authors of The Billy Best Story, and Kevin Symmons, author of Rite of Passage. 

The Billy Best Story, by Billy Best as told to Linda Conti, is the true story of a young man who was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 16, ran away from home to escape chemotherapy, and ultimately treated his cancer successfully with alternative medicine.


Billy Best is now 34. He lives in Newton with his girlfriend and his 20-month old son, Max, and is a supervisor at Whole Foods in Wayland. Linda Conti started her memoir writing business in January 2011, and she learned how to self-publish from John Amiard's presentation one year ago in October at Shelf Space, a part of ABITH. Linda lives with her husband in South Yarmouth.


Billy Best will be at ABITH with Linda on the 8th. Be sure to come and meet him.


Set in 1947, Kevin Symmons' Rite of Passage is an energetic, historic, paranormal that describes the passionate romance between Boston society favorite Robert McGregor and the mysterious and exquisite Wiccan High Priestess, Courtney Wellington.


Kevin Symmons is a writer, college faculty member, and President of the Cape Cod Writers Center. His novels include Rite of Passage, a fast-paced paranormal romance; Voices, a sweeping women’s fiction work that details the tragic problem of domestic violence in contemporary America; and Sanctuary, a romantic thriller set on Cape Cod. He has been a successful businessman and consultant; and he and his family divide their time between Cape Cod and Plymouth.


On September 10th ABITH (A Book in the Hand) held our fourth annual Open-mike Night. Fifteen local authors read from their unpublished work. The subjects were diverse, and the writing quality high. Those who took part are:
Stephanie Reeve --- untitled YA novel
Bob Surette --- Say Hello (nf)
Anita Caruso --- As Ever, Pudd (memoir)
Yvonne deSousa --- Mess with MS (memoir)
Barbara Strunsa --- The Blue Teacup (mystery)
Steve Brown --- Concealed (novel)
Katrina Valenzuela --- Search for Zar (creative non-fiction)
Barbara Strakele --- Anne with an E (memoir)
Brian James ---Letters on the Lam (memoir/crime fiction)
Tom O'Connell --- A Work Memoir (nf)
Dave Purdy --- Icons of the Civil Rights Movement (memoir)
Deidre Callanan --- Beauty, Sorrow, and a Raggedy Heart (nf)
Bill Richmond --- The Chronicles of Sam Waters (adventure fic)
Elizabeth Moisan --- Five Days in August (historical fiction)






On August 13, ABITH presented authors Calvin Downes and Judy Dutra


 In Calvin's novel, Salem Twilight, the harvest fields of Danvers, Massachusetts only provide endless hard labor for 17 year old Claire Proctor until she meets a mysterious woman who will change her life forever.

Calvin Downes is an author who enjoys educating his readers about various topics through the in-dept and intense books he writes. Besides publishing books, Calvin is a UMASS Amherst psychology major who wants to be a psychotherapist.


Nautical Twilight, Judy's memoir is part love story, part seafaring tale and part historical record.


Judith J. Dutra is a retired school nurse who lives in North Truro with her husband and family. Together they have owned, worked and lived aboard a variety of fishing and sailing vessels. She has written short stories, a federally funded sea-scallop grant and is currently working on another book about the family's experiences aboard their 42 foot sailing yawl, the 'Arethusa'.





On July 9, ABITH presented authors Joan Harrison, and Elaine Tammi and Karin A. Tammi


Hydrangeas: Cape Cod and the Islands by Joan Harrison features hundreds of photos that celebrate the beauty of the hydrangeas growing in this region and their attractive settings throughout Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha's Vineyard.


Joan Harrison, the founding president of the Cape Cod Hydrangea Society, has traveled widely to view the best collections of hydrangeas in the world, including gardens in England, Wales, Scotland, Belgium, France, and Ireland. Having studied them all she knows our very own hydrangeas here on Cape Cod and the islands rival the best gardens in the world. She is also the author of The Colorful World of Hydrangeas and her website is


Scallops: A New England Coastal Cookbook, weaves together some of the best scallop recipes in New England with interviews from bay scallop fishermen, marine scientists from WHOI, NMFS, SMAST and NOAA, world-renowned chefs, and sea scallopers to provide an insider's view into these fisheries.

This is a mother/daughter cookbook, the only scallop cookbook ever written in the U.S. Karin Tammi is a shellfish biologist at the Luther Blount Shellfish Hatchery at Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI, and lives in Little Compton, RI.  Elaine Tammi is a former English teacher, a "washashore" from Sandwich who enjoys writing and reading mysteries, having two mysteries published in the Sandwich Writers Group Anthologies, This Side of the Bridge, and Adrift.