Blank Slate Press, now an imprint of Amphorae Publishing Group, has had a banner year! We’ve published some amazing books and you’ll be hearing more about them as we do our best to keep this blog more up to date and active. Plus, there’s more exciting news coming in 2016, too! In 2015, we published:

And our first title for 2016 is coming out in February. THE WRECKING CREW  is an exciting thriller in the tradition of Clive Cussler and James Rollins written by, by Taylor Zajonc, a terrific new writer whose life off the page is almost as exciting as his characters’! Click here for an interview with Taylor.


The Wrecking Crew coverTHE WRECKING CREW (Feb. 2016) is a thrilling, fast-paced adventure set in the world’s last frontier that will resonate with James Rollins and Clive Cussler fans alike.

In exchange for his freedom from a secret Moroccan prison, deep-water salvage diver Jonah Blackwell agrees to lead a covert search for a missing research team in the dangerous coastal waters of Somalia, an area plagued by pirates and a deadly red tide killing all marine life within its reach. But when his expedition threatens the ambitions of billionaire industrialist Charles Bettencourt, Jonah’s survival depends on hijacking a hostile submarine and assembling an unproven crew who must simultaneously investigate the source of a mysterious oceanic plague and face down Bettencourt’s commandos.

Taylor Zajonc’s background is almost as thrilling as that of his hero, Jonah Blackwell. As a maritime historian and shipwreck expert, he has personally setting a deep-ocean depth record, and his archival field research contributed to the discovery of some of the most incredible treasure shipwrecks in history, including a 110-ton trove of sunken World War II silver. He is a member of the famous Explorers Club; a former researcher for Odyssey Marine Exploration, a treasure-hunting company whose activities were featured on the Discovery Channel television show “Treasure Quest” as well as a number of specials; the Research Director for Endurance Exploration Group, which is expecting a substantial amount of media attention on their major projects this year; and also has the distinction of being a  part of the first Titanic expedition to be accompanied by a marine archaeologist.

We hope you enjoy our interview with this talented new author:

You’re quite the adventurer. How did you get into the business of hunting long-lost shipwrecks?

It’s a family business of a sort. In the late 90’s, my father become involved in an expedition to the I-52, a gold-laden Japanese WW2 submarine lost in the Atlantic Ocean while on a secret mission to Germany. Not long after, I joined him on an expedition to the RMS Titanic and later a voyage to a sunken 1812 trading ship lost three miles deep in the Bermuda Triangle.

In 2003, my dad joined a company that searched for lost shipwrecks in the deep ocean. They’d just struck it big and were in the process of recovering 51,000 gold and silver coins from the SS Republic, a Civil War-era paddlewheel steamship lost in a hurricane a hundred miles off Savannah, Georgia. I took a job as an Assistant to the Archaeologist, leaving college early and completing my degree by correspondence. It was a busy time—at one point, the archaeologist, myself, and another staff member counted gold and silver coins for 14 straight hours as they came off the shipwreck site.

I joined the company Research Department shortly thereafter. I started as an admin, doing small jobs around the office. It wasn’t long before I read the entire research library from end to end, organized every book, pamphlet, page and folder, and then developed a research “white paper” on how shipwreck investigation should be performed. Soon they were regularly sending me overseas to work in European libraries and archives, and I began corresponding and coordinating with researchers all over the world.

I now work as Research Director for Endurance Exploration Group. Based on my research work, we recently found the Connaught, a side-wheel steamship luxury liner lost off Boston with a cargo of gold coins. This upcoming summer could be very exciting for us as we film and excavate the site.

What is your favorite adventure story? Is it going three miles into the abyss of the Bermuda Triangle?

I’ve never done anything quite like the Bermuda Triangle dive before or since. There is no other deep water system like the twin Russian MIR submersibles, and the Russian scientists, engineers, and crewmen were consummate professionals.

The dive itself was incredible. It took 2 1⁄2 hours to descend the three miles to the bottom. There were three of us in all—myself, David Concannon (who later became the VP of Flags & Honors of the Explorers Club) and our Russian ex-MIG fighter jock submersible pilot, Victor. My dad gave up one of his voyages to the bottom so that I could have the chance to go—but only if I could convince a very skeptical Russian mission director that a nineteen year old could handle 15 hours in a cramped steel sphere measuring only six feet in diameter. I told him I wanted to be a writer, and I somehow won him over.

I’m very lucky—I get to do exciting things with regular frequency. These experiences run the gamut from dangerous to simply surreal. For example, two years ago I had the opportunity to join a trip to a small African country to discuss partnering to explore and film the colonial-era wrecks within their waters. As we arrived and exited the plane, we found ourselves walking along a red carpet with a brass band playing and dozens of fatigue-clad men with AK-47’s carpeting the whole area. Turned out that we were on the same commercial flight as their president, and the armed guard was his security detail. It was like something out of a movie—quite the we’re-not-in-Kansas-anymore moment. I seem to have had a lot of those moments over the course of my career. Then again, I’m only 33… I’m hoping there’s a lot more in the future as well. (That being said, I don’t ever need to be greeted with rifles as I step off a plane. Once was quite enough.)

In The Wrecking Crew you draw from your knowledge as a shipwreck expert, what was your inspiration, though? What put the story together for you?

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to work on a very special project. During the course of an underwater survey in the English Channel, the company I was working for at the time found two unidentified German U-boats. We came to realize a great number of the final accounts of these lost submarines were cobbled together from German and Allied records, and were simply the best guess at the time. This was an opportunity to identify the submarine from the ground up, and then integrate (and correct, as necessary) the historical record of what had transpired.

During this research effort, I fell in love with stories of World War II submarines. These submariners fought in the harshest possible environment despite the incredible dangers and uncertainty. On balance, these submarines were not captained by old, seasoned commanders—they were led by young, quick-witted survivors. I wondered what it would take to run one of these submarines in the modern world—and what type of man it’d take to command it.

What is your favorite part of THE WRECKING CREW? What did you enjoy writing about the most and why?

I loved writing the rescue scene where Jonah first meets Klea. I think any reader will be able to immediately tell how much I dislike the damsel-in-distress trope; it gets stomped on and ripped to shreds in the first couple of pages of that chapter. Jonah and Klea are survivors and loners, but are forced to work together and trust each other when each have their carefully-laid plans fall through in the worst possible way.

Who is your favorite character? What makes Bettencourt such a great villain to you?

My main character, Jonah Blackwell, was the greatest pleasure to write. Throughout the story, I had the opportunity to thrust him into one impossible situation after another and then watch as he figured out how to escape, recruit allies, and finally strike back. I’ve never liked stories where the hero is simply stronger, faster, smarter or—worst of all—luckier than his or her adversaries. Instead, I wanted a hero who used guile, endurance, leadership, or was willing to try an idea that everybody else thought was crazy.

Bettencourt makes a great villain because ultimately he wants to do the right thing. He has a vision of helping people, even making the world a better place. The problem is that he is willing to take shortcuts that hurt a lot of lives, believing that the ends justify the means. In his mind, he’s the good guy of the story, and he doesn’t understand why Jonah, the crew, or the people of the Horn of Africa might feel differently.

There is a lot of humor in The Wrecking Crew. Do you think of this as a serious novel, humorous, or just a great adventure?

I think of The Wrecking Crew as a great adventure—and serious adventure fiction doesn’t have to be dour! Anybody who has spent time with people in high-stress occupations (firefighters, paramedics, military personnel, pilots) can attest to meeting some of the funniest people in the world. Humor ties us together, helps us trust each other in stressful circumstances, blow off steam, and understand difficult times. The more serious the circumstances, the more irreverent capable people become. It’s not just a coping mechanism; it’s a survival mechanism.

You also do a great deal of writing on your website at Your writing seems to run the gamut of subjects – including CANNIBALISM! What’s that about? What besides this can readers find on your site?

The great thing about blogging is that I can write about literally whatever interests me, though I generally stick to science, history, and exploration. I’d definitely encourage readers to check out a few of the featured series.

In “The Dive,” I talk about joining a Russian expedition to the deepest archaeological site on the planet, descending three miles into the abyss of the Bermuda Triangle aboard a Soviet-era submersible. In “Undersea Arsenal, Poisoned Oceans” (a 9-part series!), I discuss the development of chemical weapons and how so many of them ended up at the bottom of the ocean … and more importantly, why they may not stay buried forever. In “The Early Submariners,” I explore the development of submarines and the cast of dreamers, schemers, and investors that contributed to their invention. It’s full of underwater fistfights, insane contraptions, incorrigible romantics, and dead fools.

So about the cannibalism thing … a number of years ago, I decided to try and find every account of cannibalism at sea in recorded history. Looking back, I can’t even tell you exactly why I did it… I’ve always been the sort that gets a bit fixated with a subject and can’t let it go until I’ve explored it from every possible angle.

THE WRECKING CREW is your debut novel. What do you have in-store next for your readers?

I love the world of THE WRECKING CREW, and I’m currently hard at work on the sequel. I think that Jonah and his crew have a lot of adventures ahead. Beyond that, I love writing about science, history, the oceans, and the environment. I have a number of stand-alone novels in various stages of development, and I’m hoping that interest in THE WRECKING CREW will extend to them as well.

We’ve Merged!


Blank Slate Press, Walrus Publishing, and Treehouse Publishing Group have joined forces!

We’re excited to announce our three publishing companies have merged to create Amphorae Publishing Group, and we’re looking forward to bringing you a growing library of great books, including our existing line up of exciting titles, many of which are award-winners. Our three imprints are currently accepting submissions, and we’re eager to discover the next new breakout author.

  • Blank Slate Press is looking for historical fiction, crime/mystery, commercial fiction, and literary fiction.
  • Walrus Publishing is looking for science fiction/fantasy, romance, regional fiction and non-fiction, and humor.
  • Treehouse is our children’s imprint publishing picture books, middle grade, and YA fiction and non-fiction. To submit to Treehouse (the website is under construction), email Donna Essner directly.

You can download our entire 2015 Amphorae Catalog.


And we’re starting out 2015 with some terrific and award-winning titles including:

    First Place Winner, Humor category at the 25th Midwest Independent Publishing Association.

The antics of Patrick Cantwell and his family, featured in the award-winning Never Hug a Nun,  return as they head to Grand Haven,   Michigan for summer vacation.

ISBN: 978-0985808600 – paperback
ISBN: 978-0985808655 – ebook





      2015, Winner, Silver Medal, Regional Fiction (North-East), Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPYs) from Independent Publisher.

Caroline Marcum thought she’d escaped the great mistake of her life by leaving Wellfleet harbor, but is forced to face it when she returns,       reluctantly, to care for her dying mother.

ISBN: 978-0985808617 – paperback
ISBN: 978-0985808624 – ebook



And we’re thrilled to announce that we’ve taken on the 2nd Edition of PAINTING FOR PEACE IN FERGUSON. The new edition will have more art and a more comprehensive list of the artists and community members who made the Paint for Peace project so successful.
      Awarded the 2015 IPPY for Outstanding Book of the Year & Gold Medal in the Peacemaker category!

      Through poetry and art, PAINTING FOR PEACE IN FERGUSON tells the story of hundreds of artists and volunteers who turned                      boarded up windows into works of art with messages of hope, healing and unity in the aftermath of the Ferguson, MO riots.

      ISBN: 978-0-9892079-9-7 – paperback | ISBN: 978-0-9963901-0-1 – hardback

And THIS OLD WORLD is a finalist for the M.M. Bennetts Award for Historical Fiction. Learn more about Steve Wiegenstein and the award here.

After the war, James Turner and the other men of Daybreak return home to find that war has changed their Utopian community forever. Charlotte Turner, Marie Mercadier and the other women they left behind survived raiders and bushwackers, raised up children, and survived on little more than dogged determination. Now that the men are back-those who fought for the North and those who fought for the South-the community must somehow put the past behind them. But some carry scars too deep to heal, and others carry hate they have no intention of letting go.

ISBN: 978-0985808631 – paperback
ISBN: 978-0985808648 – ebook

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SLLC LIT IN THE LOU posterWe are so excited by the amazing line-up we’ve got for our first annual LIT IN THE LOU Book Festival. We’ve got our program set, although there still might be a few tweaks! Please check it out here:

Please note that the schedule is a two-page spread, so that when you download the pdf, 
go to VIEW and select TWO PAGES UP to see the times.

Here’s how you can be involved:

  • Attend the Launch Party Friday night:
    • 7:30, 5th Floor of the University City City Hall building. We’ll hear from poets and politicians! And we’ll have music and appetizers from Racanellis and the first annual TRADITION OF LITERARY EXCELLENCE AWARD will be given to local literary lion William H. Gass.
  • ATTEND THE FREE READINGS AND WORKSHOPS ON SATURDAY AND SUNDAY:  International bestselling and award-winning authors from our home town will be NOT ONLY reading, but participating in workshops and sharing their experiences with readers and writers like YOU. Don’t miss it! It is FREE.
  • SUPPORT LIT IN THE LOU by contributing to our IndieGoGo campaign so we can grow our book festival in the years to come!

Blank Slate Press is thrilled to be a part of LIT IN THE LOU. 


Please visit the festival webpage at and find out how you can be involved by:


A few years ago cupcakes were all the rage. Adorable little cupcake shops were cropping up everywhere and customers were flocking to them. I admired these entrepreneurs and their gumption for transforming their passion–baking cupcakes–into a business.

But what if Hostess (owned by a venture capital firm before it went bankrupt) declared it had the only real recipe and process for baking cupcakes? What if Entenmann’s (which produces all manner of baked goods, including cupcakes) declared only its processes could produce a quality product? What if these large companies spent millions upon millions in advertising and marketing to convince others in the baking industry that any cupcakes not produced, marketed, and sold by them were somehow not only of poorer quality but that they damaged the whole cupcake baking enterprise? That they were dangerous! That entrepreneurial cupcakes were more fattening and led consumers down the road to laziness and sloth and that with all those inferior and dangerous cupcakes lurking out there, how were lovers of baked goods to sift through the chaff to find the wheat of goodness that they themselves produced?

That’s crazy, you say. Well….

Let’s say your passion is not baking. Let’s say your passion is writing. And let’s say you’d love nothing more than to write a novel and publish it yourself–hire editors, proofreaders, designers, and, being entrepreneurially minded, sell it directly to readers. Just a few short years ago, you’d have been be a pariah in the publishing world. How could you–a writer?!–deign to write, package, publish, and market your own book? How could you create an actual business around that when obviously (the publishing world would say) your recipe and your ingredients and your processes are so inferior as to be dangerous to the culture at large. How could you even KNOW if your product is ready for the marketplace if it hasn’t gone through the processes established by the major players in the industry? And publish your OWN WORK?  It’s permissible to start a small press and publish OTHER people’s work–but your own? No, no, no! No writing and publishing for you–unless your work has been vetted by the Hostesses and Entenmann’s of the publishing world. Unless you hand over your recipe to a traditional, established company to produce, your work is of no value at best and dangerous at worst.

Sound ridiculous?

Unfortunately, it’s not. That attitude still exists in some corners of the publishing world, and the only reason it changed at all is because of Amazon–that horrible, terrible, no good, very bad Amazon that developed the technology and opened up a platform to entrepreneurial authors and revolutionized an industry. Of course there is a difference between baking a cupcake and writing a book. So let’s expand the cupcake example out to cooking in general.

Imagine the presidents of such culinary behemouths as McDonalds, Applebees, Olive Garden, Chick-fil-A and Subway taking a stand and telling the world that Grant Achatz–owner of Alinea in Chicago, recognized leader in molecular gastronomy and someone who has revolutionized cooking and dining–and his recipes and his processes are of dubious quality and that he is a threat to the culture of food because he didn’t franchise his restaurants through one of their companies. After all, although he might have a degree from an established culinary school, he can’t just run around starting restaurants using his own recipes. That’s, horrors, self-restauranting! 

The idea that any group that publishes books by “writers” like Snookie and the latest YouTube cat sensation owns the moral high ground and should be taken seriously when they run around declaring they are the only true arbiters and protectors of culture is ridiculous. And the idea that they need to be protected from competition is even more ridiculous. We’re in the middle of a publishing revolution, and, I’m afraid, as in most revolutions, blood (metaphorical, in this case) will be spilled. War cries are echoing far and wide as publishers and authors take sides, declare loyalties and allegiances, and brand one side as the devil incarnate and the other as innocent victim.

I have, my whole life, been a writer. I’ve written bad poetry, worse short stories, and started and completed several novels. But it was only in the past five years or so that I ever attempted to actually get published. I polished off a novel, sent queries to about twenty agents and editors, got lots of rejections and a few requests for partials and fulls and even an if-you-edit-this-a-bit-more-and-send-it-back-we-think-it-will-fit-our-list maybe from one editor. So I hired an editor, reworked the manuscript, and then didn’t send it back. Why? Because in the meantime, technology changed, Amazon single-handedly created a forum through which authors could publish their own work, and, after looking at the book covers and reading plenty of books repped by or published by those I’d queried, I decided I could do the publishing end of the job just as well as they could. After all, don’t I run a small press? Don’t I publish other people’s work? Why should I be ashamed to publish my own? As a restauranteur, would I only prepare and serve other people’s recipes?

Oracles of Delphi, my historical fiction set in 340 BCE in Delphi, Greece and put out under the name Marie Savage, will be published by an imprint of Blank Slate Press this fall. Why the pen name? Because I’ve also co-written and am in the midst of self-publishing a sci-fi/YA trilogy with my daughters under the name K. Makansi and I don’t want to confuse the two author names in the marketplace.

I have great admiration for entrepreneurs in general. Folks who put it all on the line to create a new business and to put themselves out there. Take indie bookstores. I have often dreamed of owning my own bookstore/coffee shop/wine bar/art gallery and so I’ve always sympathized with and recognized the challenges independent bookstores face when competing against huge retailers. Just a few years ago, it was Barnes & Noble and Borders who were the big boys throwing their weight around and the indie bookstores had to compete against their ability to discount titles given that the big publishers gave the big chains better terms because of higher volumes.

Bookstores–big and small–are wonderful. But back in the old days (last year), your local indie was most likely the only bookstore to take on a book (let alone feature it) by a local entrepreneurial author. It hadn’t been vetted was one reason, and it might be awful (and often times I’m sure it was awful) was another. Or it had to be sold on consignment, which is a pain. And if a store took one self-published book, it would open the floodgate to a gazillion others begging for limited shelf space. Certainly no chain bookseller would touch a self-published book–at all. Period. Unless, of course, somehow the book had sold a gazillion copies already.

But now?

All that has changed thanks to Amazon. Amazon, along with advances in digital printing and companies such as Ingram/Lightning Source, created opportunity for entrepreneurial authors–authors that everyone else in the publishing world treated with scorn–and  now every big publishing company on the planet wants a piece of that same self-pubbed author’s purse. These big publishers are snapping up companies like Author House or are creating their own paid self-publishing platforms. Amazon created a market for authors to reach readers (and in the process allowed many authors to make real money off their writing for the first time ever) and the very publishers who decry Amazon’s dominance are scrambling to get a piece of that same market–a market they wouldn’t have touched with a 100-foot pole just a few short years ago.

Yes, Amazon’s dominance in this new marketplace is real, but I suspect part of the reason large publishers fear that dominance is because through the democratization function of the self-publishing platform, power has shifted away from the publisher as gatekeeper to the author as creator. This is, as a small publisher and self-published author, a welcome development, and I don’t understand how anyone who believes in free and unfettered access to the marketplace could see this as a bad thing. With lower barriers to entry, there will be more suppliers and more choices for readers, a more competitive market that will drive authors to strive to improve their work in order to stand out from the crowd, and lower prices to the consumer. And, readers, authors, publishers and retailers benefit (not to mention trees) when books sitting on “online shelves” don’t have to be returned and pulped to make room for the next big (or small) thing. At the end of the day, the best thing for the marketplace is a diverse ecosystem in which consumers have the widest choice, authors have agency over their product and are valued and monetarily rewarded for their creative content, and publishers and retailers can make a profit. There will naturally be give and take on all sides as the marketplace evolves.

My mantra in life is that if you meet anyone who insists they KNOW the THE TRUTH, turn and run the other way. Life is complicated. Nothing is black and white. Markets are messy. Companies put their own self-interests first. If publishers believe Amazon is out to ruin them and, in the process, usher in the end of books and of culture itself, why continue to do business with it? If authors truly believe Amazon is the devil incarnate, why are they not stipulating in their contracts that small independent bookstores be the only outlets for selling their books?

As  a reader, I ADORE brick and mortar bookstores (especially the small, often quirky indies!), and I have spent countless hours in them browsing, finding new gems to read, and generally soaking up the ambiance. But, as an author, I THANK my lucky stars that Amazon has revolutionized the technology to democratize publishing and to give writers like me (and my co-authors) the ability to compete for readers without bias or without being segregated or scorned for daring to be entrepreneurial. As a small press publisher, I LOVE BOTH indie and chain brick and mortar stores AND Amazon and other online retailers for allowing me to connect the authors I believe in with the readers who will enjoy their books.

I’m not great at baking cupcakes or at creating innovative recipes, but as a writer and a publisher–both of other people’s work and of my own–I shouldn’t be ashamed of the desire and the drive to be entrepreneurial, and I am thankful that Amazon created the market environment in which I was able to transform my passion into a business.

Now, I need a cupcake.


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Slant of Light by Steve Wiegenstein - cover

THIS OLD WORLD by Steve Wiegenstein

Thanks to BSP author and former MWG president Steve Wiegenstein for allowing us to reprint this blog post. Steve’s is the author of SLANT OF LIGHT (2012) and THIS OLD WORLD (Sept. 2014). 

I’ve just returned from the annual meeting/conference of the Missouri Writers’ Guild, an organization I have had the privilege to serve as president for the last two years. I came away with several reflections that I will be sharing over the next few posts.

First, and most important from the personal perspective, I was reminded that all writers–all writers, I repeat–need to continually sharpen their craft. At the conference, we had beginning writers and authors with multiple books. But I think every one of us came away with something to remember. It’s easy to get stuck in a stylistic rut, or to grow insensitive to one’s weaknesses. A conference, with its wide variety of sessions and viewpoints, is a great way to pause and reexamine old habits. I was in a session this weekend with an insecure beginning writer who in the space of two minutes told us the most amazing and moving story, reminding  me that inspired thoughts can come from the most unexpected sources and that everyone deserves to be listened to.

I was reminded as well that writers, for the most part, are generous people with their time and thoughts. Throughout the conference, people gathered in hallways and side chairs, conversing and sharing. That’s where the real conference is taking place, as much as in the formal sessions and workshops.

It’s an ongoing, evolving art form, this act of writing, and a gathering of writers both humbles and refreshes. How much there is yet to know. How much there is yet to write.

You can find the original post on Steve’s blog.

Here’s a few thoughts on writing, running, and reaching the finish line from Amira K. Makansi, a BSP associate, one of Kristy’s co-authors in the Seeds Trilogy, runner, and now solo author of THE PRELUDE: Soren Skaarsgard, a novella set in the world of the Seeds Trilogy and now available on Kindle.

Cover of The Prelude: Soren Skaarsgard by Amira K. MakansiWriting a book is like running a marathon. You start out feeling great. You’re flying. You’re not tired yet (not even a little bit!) and you fucking love what you’re doing. That’s the first few miles, the first few chapters, dominated by euphoria, the thrill of your story, the thrill of activity. Then you get into a rhythm. You’re breathing a little harder than you thought. Staying up late or waking up early to write before and after your day job is a happy sacrifice, but a sacrifice nonetheless. Eventually, you start to realize what you’ve committed to. You’re looking at the mile markers, watching your word count, and realizing how far you have to go. How many miles lie between you and victory, how many more minutes or hours of doing exactly what you’re doing now. The excitement wears off. All you’re thinking about now is the slog, while that finish line is little more than an ever-receding horizon.

Read more here.

Drumroll, please.
BSP is delighted to present the cover for A Matter of Mercy by Lynne Hugo. It’s a beautifully written book, perfect for the beach, for reading time curled up by the fire, for book clubs, and for giving (& recommending) to friends. We’d love it if you’d help spread the word. 
Cover Reveal: A Matter of Mercy

You’re going to want to pick this one up, especially if you’ve:
1) ever been to Cape Cod,
2) if you like oysters or clams,
3) if you’ve ever made a mistake in your life,
4) if you’ve ever had to forgive someone,
5) if you’ve ever had to take a chance on trust and/or love,
6) if you’ve lost a parent,
7) if you’ve lost a loved one to cancer,
8) or if you like, uh, just damn good fiction.
Here’s the lowdown on this beautifully written novel:Caroline Marcum thought she’d escaped the great mistake of her life by leaving Wellfleet harbor, but is forced to face it when she returns, reluctantly, to care for her dying mother. Ridley Neal put his past—and his prison term—behind him to return home to take over his father’s oyster and clam beds. Casual acquaintances long ago, when a nor’easter hits the coast, Rid and Caroline’s lives intersect once again. When Rid and two other sea farmers are sued by the wealthy owners of vacation homes who want to shut them down, and Caroline accidentally meets the person she most wronged, they each must learn to trust—and love. Inspired by an actual lawsuit, A Matter of Mercy is a riveting novel about treasuring the traditional way of life in the shallows of beautiful Cape Cod bay by discovering where forgiveness ends … and where it begins.

Today I hit “submit” on our new BSP catalog entry and am excited to announce that A MATTER OF MERCY by the wonderful Lynne Hugo will be published this August. Our final cover reveal is coming very soon, so stay tuned!

You’re going to want to pick this one up–especially if you’ve:

  1. ever been to Cape Cod,
  2. if you like oysters or clams,
  3. if you’ve ever made a mistake in your life,
  4. if you’ve ever had to forgive someone,
  5. if you’ve ever had to take a chance on trust and/or love,
  6. if you’ve lost a parent,
  7. if you’ve lost a loved one to cancer,
  8. or if you like, uh, just damn good fiction.

Here’s the lowdown on this beautifully written novel:

Caroline Marcum thought she’d escaped the great mistake of her life by leaving Wellfleet harbor, but is forced to face it when she returns, reluctantly, to care for her dying mother. Ridley Neal put his past—and his prison term—behind him to return home to take over his father’s oyster and clam beds. Casual acquaintances long ago, when a nor’easter hits the coast, Rid and Caroline’s lives intersect once again. When Rid and two other sea farmers are sued by the wealthy owners of vacation homes who want to shut them down, and Caroline accidentally meets the person she most wronged, they each must learn to trust—and love. Inspired by an actual lawsuit, A Matter of Mercy is a riveting novel about treasuring the traditional way of life in the shallows of beautiful Cape Cod bay by discovering where forgiveness ends … and where it begins.