An excerpt from THE WOMEN OF THE COPPER COUNTRY

Prologue Turn tears to fire! – Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare The dream is always simple. The memory never is. It's an echo from 1903 when she was almost sixteen. A rare family outing down to the county fair in Houghton, Michigan. Her father probably expected the excursion to cheer her up. There were horse races and ox pulls, all day long. A merry-go-round and a Ferris wheel. Games of chance. Vendors calling their wares. Quilts, pies, and jams vying for blue ribbons. The promise of fireworks after dark. But there were crowds as well. Strangers. People who'd never before ...
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One day only!

On Tuesday, March 19, Kindle readers can get A Thread of Grace for $1.99 ...
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One day at a time

Amid this week's tumultuous current events, I've been working through the galleys of The Women of the Copper Country, which will be published on August 6th this year. Galley proofs are the preliminary versions of publications meant for review by authors, printed up with extra-wide margins so we can pencil in changes and clarifications. Most of the changes to Copper Country were done last month in the copy-edited version of the pages, but there were still three passages that were snarled sufficiently to require rewriting. Also: a few dropped words; a lot of "this could be shorter and better;" some ...
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New Year, new book!

It's official. Women of the Copper Country will be out on August 6, 2019. Here's a link to the Simon & Schuster page with a short description and a picture of the cover art. The online catalog has a set of BUY NOW buttons and I will shamelessly urge you to pre-order as soon as possible. The more "sell-through" there is at this stage, the more likely it is that S&S will send me out on a book tour. Please consider ordering through IndieBound link, which will send you to independent bookstores in your area, many of which will mail ...
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Books make good gifts!

If you’d like autographed or personalized copies of my books to give this holiday season, you can order them from Mac's Backs/Books on Coventry, a local independent bookstore that makes the process easy. You order what you’d like, the staff brings the books to my home for me to sign, and then they’ll mail them to you. Simple! The deadline for ordering is December 14th for delivery by Christmas, but you can order any time for birthdays, etc. To have the books personalized, leave a detailed message in the COMMENTS box at the end of the order form! ...
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The Days of Awe

Every year, at my brother's request, I repost this essay. Please give it a few minutes of thought. And then say "I love you" to someone who needs to hear it ...
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A book by any other name

Titles are hard. An author routinely makes about 200,000 individual decisions about what goes into a novel and what comes out, but those last few words are a group project involving the author, the editor, the marketing department, and the art director. A book's title has to reflect the story, but it also has to be marketable and not so abstract as to be impossible to illustrate. It's a multi-faceted and collective decision. Some wise and pragmatic writers call the book they're writing "WIP" for work in progress. I always have a working title  and often that title gives me ...
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Still looking for a thread of grace

Seventy-five years ago, on September 8, 1943, hundreds of Jewish families fled a Nazi round-up in France by climbing the Maritime Alps, hoping to find shelter in the hills of northwestern Italy. Now there is a yearly march to commemorate that exodus -- Marche de la Mémoire  -- when the descendants of those refugees gather to remember those awful days and the extraordinary decency they found in Italy. But this is not only the stuff of history. Now, at this moment, the world is slamming doors on those who flee oppression and genocide, making A Thread of Grace is tragically, ...
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Coping.

There are a lot of variations on "those who do not study the past are doomed to repeat it." My response has always been, "Those of us who do study the past are doomed, too. We just feel worse about it." We are living in a country that past presidents warned against. We have institutionalized the military-industrial complex that Eisenhower predicted. We have the "unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics" that Teddy Roosevelt railed against. We have a Supreme Court that has ruled that money is the same as speech and that corporations are people. Gotta admit: I ...
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Not on my watch.

If you've read more than one of my books, you probably won't be surprised by my politics. If you follow me on Facebook, you certainly know where I stand in great and vivid detail. Ordinarily I confine this blog to book-related posts. Today, I can't remain silent. When I was writing A Thread of Grace, I interviewed an elderly Italian immigrant to the US who had saved many lives by warning Roman Jews when the Nazis were planning a deportation sweep through their neighborhood. When I asked Carmello Furnari where he found the courage to do that, he pointed to ...
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