AFTER MOVING FROM NEW York City to rural Illinois, writer Letitia Moffitt met veterinarian Ken Welle. As she began to share more of her life with him, Letitia realized this would also mean sharing her time with animals. Yet she never suspected how tense, terrifying, and noisy those moments would be. Ken loved birds—big, beautiful macaws in particular—and he did not merely want to own them. He wanted them to fly free.
Bird People tells the story of Ken’s struggle to make his dream come true, and how Letitia found her own way to share that dream. It’s a tale of love, delight, sorrow, adventure, and truly massive amounts of work, as Ken and Letitia trained the birds – a blue-and-gold named Boston, and a green-wing named Phoenix – and transformed their living space to be not just bird-friendly, but bird-centric. It’s the tale of two adult humans, the dog who helped them find each other, and the birds who became the focus of all their lives. It’s a story about living your dreams, even when they don’t turn out how you expect.
Above all, Letitia Moffitt’s touching, inspiring, often-hilarious memoir is a reminder that hard times are as valuable as good times, and that all the moments matter.
LU JAKES LIVES WITH her alcoholic father and abusive stepmother at Hidden Creek Lodge in the Utah mountains. When the beautiful Lisa is sent by her protective parents to stay at the lodge for the summer, Lu makes her first real friend—dangerously unaware that Lisa’s is not the only new face at the resort.
For Lisa has been followed by Rad Sanders, a sadistic killer who has plans for the girls— sick plans that will drag them and their families to the very brink of hell. Rad stalks Lu and Lisa, waiting for his moment, certain that his deadly plan cannot fail.
But unknown to Rad, Lu has a secret. She can see things that nobody else can see: the spirit Talion and his companions. But are these spirits real or a trick of the mind? And will Lu’s special gift help her and Lisa as the killer closes in . . .
AS A TEENAGER, LU Darlington attracted national attention when she and her friend Lisa escaped a sadistic killer known as the Professor of Death. She never told anyone about the daemon who saved her life that day.
Ten years later, Lisa shows up at Lu’s door, fleeing another psychopath stalker. But Lisa’s not the only one seeking Lu after all this time. One by one, the daemons descend:
Voracious Chama. Sinister Black Claw. Beautiful Talion.
Chama wants Lu, but Talion claims her. The women of Lu’s family have always belonged to Talion—and they’ve suffered deeply for it. As the human threat draws closer, Talion demands that Lu bind herself to him in a harrowing ceremony that will destroy an innocent man and change her forever—but might save Lisa’s life.
Can she navigate the violent intrigues of the daemon world without being consumed by its terrible demands?
NOLA LANTRY IS A tracist: she can sense the particles of energy that are released when the human body expires. It’s a somewhat gruesome ability, and one of questionable value, but Nola tries her best to use it to bring a little more meaning and excitement to her otherwise drab life in upstate New York. She has assisted the Redfort Police Department on missing persons cases, and while most of the cops have little respect for her work, Nola is determined to prove her worth.
The chance to do just that comes when the richest man in town, Culver Bryant, disappears.
Suddenly Nola finds herself in the middle of a case that is both baffling and increasingly dangerous, the danger appearing in the form of death threats as well as the missing man’s brother, Grayson. Does Grayson Bryant pursue Nola to seduce her or to stop her–and why does Nola feel a connection with him despite her mistrust?
BARELY A WEEK has passed since she solved her last case and Nola Lantri is already involved in several new mysteries—with a couple of people who may be just as unusual as Nola herself.
Eric Lafferty returns to Redfort City a little too late for his father’s funeral but just in time to get mixed-up in a mystery that involves Nola Lantri, Grayson Bryant, a dead girl, and a missing woman. Eric’s ability to read the vibrational changes in brain waves should be an asset, yet it only seems to make life more difficult for him—and given that he and Nola might be the next victims, things are difficult enough.
Emjay used to steal things—nothing big, just enough to get by—but after a terrible accident changes her life, Emjay has only one thing on her mind: revenge. Suddenly private investigator Nola Lantri appears and questions Emjay about her past—and informs her that the mysterious man she works for has a complicated past of his own. Emjay must figure out the best use of her odd ability to “sync,” a technique intended to help people heal—but one that also can cause a lot of harm.
TALENTED BUT UNSTABLE PHOTOGRAPHER Day Randall has been living rent-free in Kelly Durrell’s Colorado condo for eight months. Day needs someone to keep an eye on her. Kelly needs someone to draw her out of her stable but not spectacular life. The arrangement works for both of them.
Then Kelly comes home one day to find Day gone. There’s no note, no phone call. Day’s car is still parked out front, but her room is starkly, suspiciously spotless.
No one seems to care. The police certainly aren’t interested in a missing bipolar artist, but Kelly knows something is wrong. Day wouldn’t just leave.
Alone, Kelly traces Day’s last steps through shadowy back rooms of Boulder nightclubs and to a remote mountain estate, where the wealthy protect themselves behind electric fences and armed guards. Along the way, she uncovers a sinister underworld lying just below the mountain snow, and a group of powerful people who will do anything to protect the secrets hidden in Day’s enigmatic photographs.
If she trusts the wrong person, Kelly herself will be the next to disappear.
JUNKIE BURNOUT TROY INGRAM murders an elderly couple outside small-town Morrison, Illinois. He’s supposed to make it look like a robbery, but there’s so much blood he panics and flees. When he’s caught by police, he falls back on Plan B: tell everyone who will listen his motive was revenge on the Durrell family.
See, twenty years ago, Kelly Durrell broke his heart and ruined his life.
When Kelly returns to Morrison for the funerals, leaving her life in Boulder still packed in boxes and her relationship with detective Cash Peterson in its infancy, local gossip is quick to reach her. Troy’s story doesn’t make sense, but everyone in town seems happy to blame Kelly.
She can’t even turn to her family for consolation: she and her mother get in an argument every time they talk, her dad doesn’t want to make waves, and her cousins are too busy fighting over their inheritance to care about anything else.
But Troy’s lawyer, Lizzy D’Angelo, is sure someone forced Troy to commit the murders, and that Kelly is the key to finding out who. With Lizzy’s help, Kelly starts digging. Soon she discovers just how many secrets a small town can hide.
Can Kelly shine a light in her hometown’s dark corners without getting herself and her family killed?
IN THIS UNFORGETTABLE COLLECTION, Lee Isaacson Roll combines her talent for poetry with her bent for self-deprecating humor, adds the ability to tell a good story, and leavens this mixture with a deep understanding of human nature. Her talent is evident whether she’s writing about her children and husband, living in Brazil, or the cancer that eventually took her life. Isaacson Roll writes with humor, honesty, and insight.
THE WRITERS IN THIS anthology belong to the Past~Forward Memoir Group, based in Charleston, Illinois. Their offerings include poems and 55-word stories as well as creative nonfiction. The writers share memories that are bittersweet, humorous, and nostalgic.
There are coming-of-age stories: a first perm or first bra. A young girl learns the meaning of prejudice. A schoolboy and his friend dream of canoeing to Canada. There are stories about animals: a beloved horse, an old dog who must come to terms with his cataracts. Some of the writers recall childhood friends. Others explore the lives of their ancestors or the history of their town.
The group has been together since 2008. The Memory Pool is their second anthology. The first,Occasional Writers appeared in 2011.
OCCASIONAL WRITERS: BRINGING THE Past Forward is the work of the Past~Forward memoir group based in Charleston, Illinois. Past/Forward began in 2007 when Daiva Markelis, a professor at Eastern Illinois University whose memoir White Field, Black Sheep: A Lithuanian-American Life has garnered critical acclaim, taught a memoir writing class for adults.
Open to anyone with a love for writing, the group grew. Its members were serious about learning their craft. They gave and received constructive criticism, brought in guest speakers, and participated in focused workshops.
These are writers with fascinating stories to tell. They write about growing up in small-town America, about love and disappointment, about blackberry picking and baseball and being fat. They write about a father who worked for the FBI and a mother who was an expert Greek cook. They write about having cancer. They write about taking chances.
“These are, in effect, stories of ordinary, everyday existence made very engaging through keen observation; patches of vivid cloth stitched into a comfortable, lovely quilt.”
— Ted Gregory, Pulitzer Prize winning reporter, Chicago Tribune