Author Archives: Joan Leggitt

Upcoming Events

Susan Leicher: Acts of Assumption

Author Talk
Wednesday, October 16, 7 pm
Broadside Bookshop
247 Main St
Northampton, MA

 

Lisa Sturm: Echoed in My Bones

Launch #1
Thursday, September 12, 7 pm
The Woodland, Parlor (upstairs)
60 Woodland Road
Maplewood, NJ

Launch #2
Sunday, September 22, 4 pm
The Book House
281 Essex Street, Millburn, NJ

 

Elizabeth McCulloch: Dreaming the Marsh

Book Launch
Sunday, September 15, 3PM
Matheson History Museum
513 University Avenue Gainesville, Florida

Dreams of Payne’s Prairie, a Book Talk
Monday, October 28, 8PM
Kendall-on-Hudson
1010 Kendall Way
Sleepy Hollow, New York

Reading and Signing
Saturday, November 2, 2PM
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park 
County Road 325  Cross Creek FL

Two New Releases from Twisted Road

ECHOED IN MY BONES
A story of race, class, and the meaning of family.

When sixteen-year-old Lakisha White gives up her biracial twin daughters, she has no idea that eighteen years later she’ll be desperate for their help to save her son’s life. Echoed in My Bones is rife with loss, hidden truths, and, ultimately, redemption.

After Lakisha surrenders her newborns, Jasmine who looks black, and Tessa who looks white, are raised in neighboring New Jersey towns, but worlds apart. Jasmine scrapes through a harrowing childhood in the foster-care system while Tessa struggles with her perfectionist mother and the the pressures of being the youngest child in a high-achieving family of physicians and attorneys. Neither Jasmine nor Tessa know of each other’s existence until Lakisha’s son is diagnosed with leukemia. In order to find a compatible bone-marrow donor, Lakisha is forced to choose between keeping her traumatic history hidden from her longtime boyfriend, or searching for the daughters she abandoned, a decision that could change everything. How Lakisha, Jasmine, and Tessa come together again is the story of the mistakes that threaten to destroy us and the injuries that echo in our bones; the ones that only love can heal.
(Scheduled for release August 15. Available for pre-order now)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lisa Sturm’s short stories have been published in literary journals such as Tulane Review, Serving House Journal, Mom Egg Review, Willow Review, and Turk’s Head Review, and in an anthology entitled SISTERS BORN, SISTERS FOUND (Wordforest Press, 2015)She received the Willow Review Fiction Award and the Writer’s Relief Peter K. Hixson Wild Card/Fiction Award for selections from her debut novel, ECHOED IN MY BONES, a story inspired by her work as an inner-city psychotherapist. She has degrees from Barnard College and New York University School of Social Work, and is now in private practice in Mountainside, New Jersey. A former fitness/dance instructor, she’ll use any excuse to sneak out to a Zumba class or grab a good novel and find a shady spot beneath a leafy tree.

DREAMING THE MARSH
An Environmental Fable

Mother Nature has had enough and a day of reckoning is coming, foretold by words that mysteriously appear on the side of a shiny new building. When the reckoning arrives, in the form of a giant sinkhole that swallows the site of a planned development, a large lake, and several miles of interstate highway, the citizens of Opakulla, Florida struggle to understand what is happening. A geologist wants to study it, the developers relish its wild beauty, and the mayor plans to stop it. Only the owner of a local café, who speaks with the Ancients, understands it, and she isn’t telling.
(Scheduled for release September 10. Available for pre-order now)

About the Author: Elizabeth McCulloch was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and lived in New England, the Midwest, Canada, and the South, before putting down roots and finding her home in Gainesville, Florida, almost forty years ago. Previously a lawyer, then a teacher, she has had children of various stripes: one born, two foster, one step, and the granddaughter she is now raising with her husband. She has been writing fiction for thirty years, and her blog, The Feminist Grandma, for eight. This is her first published novel.

The Reformed Queen of Plastic Wrap

I love to cook – always have. One of the joys of being able to set my own schedule is that I can make time to keep up with old friends, make new friends, and cook food for every occasion that presents itself, even if it means editing until the wee hours of the morning and then putting a casserole in the oven  at dawn. I love potluck dinners. I might have called myself the Queen of Potlucks, but I have too many friends with a much stronger claim to the title. But I was, for a while, the Queen of Plastic Wrap.

Transporting food in glass containers works fine, but unless they have snap-on lids (and most of mine are nearly as old as I am, so they don’t), those glass tops just don’t do the job. They slide off. Plastic containers with plastic lids? I never had many of those, probably because the ones I did have kept going off to picnics and never coming home. So, it was pyrex bowls covered in plastic wrap for me!! Two layers, so nothing leaks!!

Plastic wrap is not reusable, not recyclable, and not biodegradable. This stuff is terrible, which slowly dawned on me as I watched the news feeds showing ginormous islands of plastic floating in our oceans. Fortunately, the other thing I  saw was savvy manufacturers starting to market alternatives. I began working toward eliminating as much plastic from my kitchen as I could.

I still don’t have those lovely new glass containers with snap-on lids – I would never be able to stuff them in the cabinets around my beloved pyrex. But now I have beeswax wraps (reusable and biodegradable) and still sometimes use aluminum foil (reusable and recyclable, aluminum being one of the most valuable things in the recycling stream). I have several sizes of silicone bags to replace plastic bags.

Recently, I bought some reusable straws that I can wave around in restaurants while telling the waiter/waitress “no straw please!” to head off the tossing of fistfuls of plastic onto our table anyway, because they seem to think I’m incapable of lifting a glass to my lips. (Do I really look THAT old?) And, over time,  I’ve developed strategies to remember to take my reusable grocery bags and mesh produce bags with me when I go shopping. One of the disappointments of this private little campaign of mine is the fact that, except for the aluminum foil and reusable grocery bags, I had to buy all of the plastic alternatives online. So, my current project is lobbying our local supermarkets to stock these things

When I started Twisted Road with the aim of giving voice to the marginalized, one of the things I realized – urged on by some really talented writers – is that some of the most marginalized creatures on the planet live in rivers and oceans. Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, whales, and other marine mammals, and more than 1 million seabirds die each year from ocean pollution and ingestion or entanglement in marine debris. Meanwhile, we continue construct off-shore drilling rigs, and every day I hear people say “sure” when the bagger at the supermarket asks “Is plastic okay?”

I’ve published books and stories with environmental themes. I’ve published books and stories about people who can’t find jobs and the devastation that unemployment can inflict on families. The petroleum industry and the plastics manufacturers provide millions of jobs worldwide, but it’s also making a mess no one knows how to clean up. I don’t claim to know how we’ll find the balance between all the competing priorities, but I urge us all to work harder at finding it.

Coming Soon From Twisted Road Publications

August 2019: Echoed in My Bones, a story of race, class, and family by Lisa Sturm

September 2019: Dreaming the Marsh, an environmental fable by Elizabeth McCulloch