Award winning books

Twenty percent of our books have won significant awards and literary commendations – an incredible achievement for a tiny indie publisher! We are so very happy and proud of our talented authors.

Here is the esteemed list; titles are linked for more information:

Wesley Yorstead Goes Outside, by Stephanie Harper

WESLEY YORSTEAD GOES OUTSIDE, by Stephanie Harper

NATIONAL INDIE EXCELLENCE AWARD FINALIST, CONTEMPORARY NOVEL, 2021

NEXT GENERATION INDIE AWARD WINNER, GENERAL FICTION, 2021

COLORADO BOOK AWARDS, FINALIST, GENERAL FICTION, 2021

WINNER, LITERARY FICTION | CONTEMPORARY FICTION | GENERAL FICTION, Speak Up Talk Radio Network’s Firebird Book Awards, 2021

WESLEY YORSTEAD GOES OUTSIDE was also nominated for the PEN/Hemingway Book Award for Debut Novels.

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CROSS BODY LEAD, by Elie Axelroth

CROSS BODY LEAD, by Elie Axelroth

WINNER, READER VIEWS BRONZE AWARD, GENERAL FICTION, 2021

READER VIEWS FIVE-STAR REVIEW

READERS FAVORITE FIVE-STAR REVIEW

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LATE, LATE IN THE EVENING, by Stephen Grant

LATE, LATE IN THE EVENING, by Stephen Grant

WINNER, “IPPY” INDEPENDENT PUBLISHER BOOK AWARDS, BRONZE MEDAL, EUROPEAN FICTION, 2022

FINALIST, ERIC HOFFMAN AWARD, GENERAL FICTION, 2022

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A LIFETIME OF MEN, by Ciahnan Darrell

A LIFETIME OF MEN, by Ciahnan Darrell

WINNER, READER VIEWS BRONZE AWARD, GENERAL FICTION, 2020

WINNER, READER VIEWS Mid Atlantic Regional Award, 2020

FINALIST, ERIC HOFFER DA VINCI EYE AWARD, 2021

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UNTIL WE’RE FISH, by Susannah Rodriguez Drissi

UNTIL WE’RE FISH, by Susannah R. Drissi

WINNER, NAUTILUS AWARD, FICTION, 2021

WINNER, INTERNATIONAL LATINO BOOK AWARDS, HISTORICAL FICTION, GOLD MEDAL, 2021

UNTIL WE’RE FISH was also nominated for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN Open Book Award, and the PEN/Hemingway Book Award for Debut Novels.

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BOTH SIDES, THE CLASSROOM FROM WHERE I STAND, by Rebecca Potter

BOTH SIDES, THE CLASSROOM FROM WHERE I STAND
by Rebecca Potter

READERS FAVORITE FIVE-STAR REVIEW

KIRKUS REVIEWS Featured Review, included in the print and online editions! “An absorbing and inspiring remembrance” – Kirkus Reviews

Submissions open January 6, 2022

We will be accepting submissions in a limited number of categories starting Thursday, January 6, 2022. Believe it or not, we are still working through some of the submissions from last year, in which we received more submissions than all of the last five years combined. The pandemic seems to have been an invitation to many to write down thoughts, to finally start that novel, to craft a poetry collection. This is all wonderful, and we encourage creative writing in all its forms. Because of this, we will be setting submissions caps and deadlines for each category. As the year progresses and we clear through submissions, we will be opening up additional categories, so please check back with us from time to time.

2022-2023 Short Story Anthology

Photo by Aaron Huber on Unsplash

The theme for our Fourth Annual Short Story Anthology is The Natural World. Stories should take place predominantly outdoors or in some natural context, with nature a defining aspect of the work. Man-made environments and situations should take a backseat in the characteristics of landscape, plot, and other elements of your submission. Merriam-Webster defines “the natural world” as “all of the animals, plants, and other things existing in nature and not made or caused by people.” We would love to see stories that explore how interactions with nature cause tension, excitement, wonder, and/or increase the knowledge of the reader and characters in the story. Reconnecting with the natural world is vital in these times of pandemic, resulting in working from home, avoiding crowds, being cooped up in enclosed spaces, away from each other. How can we maintain our humanity without nature? How often should we try to be outside, in nature? What can happen because of it? Without it?

Visit our Bookstore

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Our catalog has grown by leaps and bounds over the past two years! If you haven’t checked it out recently, please hop on over and pay us a visit.

And remember, it’s never too late to start writing. Perhaps one day, you will see your own words on our pages!

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Comforts of Home, and Ancient Wisdom

I don’t know about you, but I really hate shopping.

Photo by Stéphane Juban on Unsplash

Continuing the tradition of food and family togetherness that we celebrate here in the US on the third Thursday in November, when the fridge is stocked with delicious leftovers and the weather outside is chilly, the last thing I would want to do is fight crowds and traffic. No thank you!

Speaking of Thanksgiving, it’s a good idea to think of the indigenous folk who lived in your area prior to the invasion and colonization of Europeans. In our case, that’s Occaneechi and Monacan peoples. Where I was born and where we celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday in a small town near the Virginia/NC border, the Saura people lived in Upper Sauratown near the Dan River. Their numbers were drastically decreased in the Tuscarora and Yemassee Wars, which were partially perpetuated by the settlers, before dying out entirely due to disease brought by traders.

Photo by Richard Ebert of Sauratown Woman on the steps of the Museum of History in Raleigh, NC.

The Monacan Indian Nation, another Algonquian tribe here in Central-Southwest Virginia, has survived over 400 years since European settlers came to Jamestown. After an interminably long battle, in 2018 the Monacans won federal recognition. These people are one of the few indigenous American nations that have continuously occupied ancestral lands.

Photo by Mladen Borisov on Unsplash

Some people have long recognized that the connection that indigenous people have with natural rhythms and seasons reflects ancient wisdom that should be respected, even emulated. Native people have much to teach others about how to live lightly and in harmony with ourselves the earth around us. Some Native societies have a tradition of storytelling during the cold weather months. It is also seen as a time to reconnect with the deeper self, to reflect on the past year, and to channel one’s creative energy into making things both useful and decorative.

Photo by Алексей Мойса on Unsplash

As we move through the winter holidays, I am looking forward to more time to slow down, settle in, and catch up on some of the things we had to put off during busier times. The waning light and cooler temperatures cause our bodies to shift into protective mode, as our metabolism slows, and we crave more rest. The wintertime, for me, has always been a time of quiet, a time to reflect and feel grateful for the life we have. And to share our bounty with others, as best we can.

2020 and 2021 have been challenging, but good to us as a Press. We’ve been able to bring nearly two dozen new books to readers in the past two years or so. Please share our good fortune with the coupon below, which offers an additional 15% off the already low discounted prices in our bookstore. The code is good from November 26 through November 30, 2021. Remember, free shipping always to continental US addresses, and low international shipping to everywhere else.

All from the comfort of your own home – no need to brave crowds or traffic. So reconnect with yourself, pick a new story, or share with someone you love. Peace and blessings to you all.

http://www.visitourbookstore.com

Memorial Day in History

Originally known as Decoration Day, the event now called Memorial Day in the US first honored those who died in the American Civil War. It is widely believed to have sprung from the Appalachian tradition of cleaning family gravesites and decorating them with flowers, emblems, and memorabilia on a day set aside when the weather warms up in Spring. These events grew to include gatherings at the cemetery where families would sing, pray, and sometimes even serve a home-cooked picnic dinner among the graves. According to the US Veteran’s Administration, it was not until after World War I that celebrations on Memorial Day were expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars. Congress declared the day a national holiday in 1971. It was then also placed on the last Monday in May, as were some other federal holidays.

Quiet time by Selena Morar at Unsplash.com

This Memorial Day may be quieter than in former years. Solitude and reflection on the weighty cost of war are always appropriate. Perhaps we will want to have a quiet picnic with a book, read aloud in the soft space of time spent with a loved one or ancestor who has gone beyond: Communion of the highest order, we think.

There is a deeply meaningful memory set down by David W. Blight about the first Decoration Day, which happened in Charleston, South Carolina, on May 1, 1865. It was celebrated not by grieving Civil War soldiers’ widows, but by 10,000 free blacks, who affirmed their freedom and sense of belonging within the newly recreated United States; and because they felt it was the right thing to do, re-interred thousands of Union prisoners of war on an old racecourse, a classic symbol of southern wealth and privilege. Not surprisingly, when the annals of history are consulted, little record remains of this first celebration. Read more about this meaningful event and the brave individuals who conducted it here.

 

Freedom, of course, isn’t free. There will probably always be instances of one individual’s or group’s wish to dominate over another, or all the rest of us. Quiet, resilient, strong, and yes, stubborn resistance and dedication such as was shown by black men, women, and children in Charleston on May 1, 1865 may be, in the end, the most steadfast of struggles. By definition, it is also the most difficult to counteract, which makes it one of the best.

Violence is never the answer, as we all know. It’s a good time to remember this, as we honor those who went before, in their struggles for belief and protection of those beliefs. Let’s not give over to mindless celebrations vaunted by “giant corporations, which make guns, bombs, fighter planes, aircraft carriers and an endless assortment of military junk and which await the $100 billion in contracts to be approved soon by Congress and the President,” as Howard Zinn admonishes in his 1976 classic essay. He correctly states, “Let the dead of past wars be honored. Let those who live pledge themselves never to embark on mass slaughter again.”

So pack a basket, and take a book to the cemetery for a solitary meal with those who’ve gone before, and perhaps share a song and lay some flowers. Or we can read of peace, in quiet understanding, in our homes where those of us who consider such things important continue to self-isolate and care for our families. Here are a few ideas, including recent offerings, that in the coming weeks may help pave the way toward a different way of thinking about your brave new world.

 
 
 
 

 

Coming March 16: Like Soldiers Everywhere

Like Soldiers Everywhere - Final Cover4-web
Pre-order at $14.99“So what do you think of Israel?”

You just here for the summer?” David said. “What are you doing?”
“One month. I was in a kibbutz for two weeks and I’ve been touring. Next week I’m going home. This is my last stop.”
“So what do you think of Israel?”
“It’s very nice.”
“What do you do at home?”
“I’m at Ohio State. I’m going into my junior year.”
“You’re twenty?”
“Yes. How old are you?”
“I’m twenty too.”
“Twenty-two?”
“No, twenty, too.”
“I see.” It made her laugh. “When do you finish the army?”
“Next year.”
“Then what’ll you do?”
“I don’t know. Work, I guess.”
“At what?”
“I don’t know. With my hands, I guess. Fixing things.”

In this sweet novella by Fred Skolnik set in the 1960s, a young American coed and an American-Israeli soldier meet at a café in Jerusalem, enjoy each others’ company, and fall in love. Upon her return to America, they begin writing letters back and forth. Eventually they meet again. Their story is sweet, simple, and breathtakingly beautiful, but in the background, the unrest in Israel foreshadows and finally demands the ultimate sacrifice. This is a tragic love story set just before the Six-Day War involving two young Americans — and representing, in effect, the tragic end of the Zionist dream itself, perhaps too fragile in its purity and innocence to endure.

Like all of our books, this wonderful novella will be available on March 16, 2020, in both ebook and paperback, wherever books are sold.

Pre-order your copy of Like Soldiers Everywhere in our bookstore, and get the lowest price available, with free shipping

Fred Skolnik is the editor in chief of the 22-volume 2nd edition of the Encyclopaedia Judaica, winner of the 2007 Dartmouth Medal, and also the author of six novels, three under the pen name, Fred Russell. A collection of his short fiction, Americans & Other Stories, was published by Fomite Press in 2017. He lives in Israel.

Pre-orders: Something Like My Name

Something Like My NameYou can now pre-order your print or digital copy of the fantastic new novel by Adam Phillips, Something Like My Name. Pre-orders allow you to receive your copy at a substantial discount and before many online or brick-and-mortar dealers have the book in their stores. Books will begin shipping next week, and if you order now, we waive the shipping charges!

Click or tap here to place your order today!

To read more about this breakthrough debut, we invite you to review the press release for Something Like My Name.

 

Arthenia Bates Millican, American Author

imageThe writing of Arthenia Bates Millican opens a window to a world that is hidden from many, unless you were alive in the southern United States in the mid-twentieth century, and even then, you may not have experienced it. The lives of “Black folk” were the subjects of her creative, yet authentic pen, as she faithfully transcribed into fiction the unique stories that she observed and heard among some of her friends, relatives, and neighbors. Raised in a family that valued education and standing in the community, as she grew into adulthood, Dr. Millican found that listening to, and learning about, the values, work, and passions of the laboring classes revealed a stronger fabric of community and spirit than perhaps some had realized. For many first-time readers of her work, the voices of the people may initially appear quaint, perhaps even unintelligible, but the earnestness and fragility of their everyday circumstance is unmistakable. You are drawn in, you hear the click of knives chopping vegetables, you smell wood smoke, feel the sweat of a dusty walk to town in the heat of a summer day, hear the swish-swish softness of taffeta as your neighbor settles into the adjacent pew at church. And the most troubling of circumstances can be ringed with a wry observation amid laughter in spite of heartbreak.

These are happenings that all but the most jaded can feel, and to which most can relate at least on some level. The value that Dr. Millican placed on the black experience is one of authentic realism, and few capture it with the deft selection of words that she has. She has been compared, rightly, to Zora Neale Hurston, Paul Lawrence Dunbar, and Thomas Hardy, in the way each has given a microphone to voices of the everyday experience of folk who may be forgotten in the faster, more urban places of civilization. Dr. Millican knew and recognized that these experiences are a vital part of our human language and understanding, and to ignore them would be a grave injustice – not only to them, but to us. Her stories cut right to the heart of what it is to be a part of a family, a neighborhood, a village. Her characters care about one another even when they are at odds; they pierce directly to the point without artifice or “beating around the bush.” Life is short and precious; people can be mean or sordid, but that doesn’t make them worthless; beliefs can be hard to bear but sometimes they are the “warp and woof” of a community, the very thing that brings people together, in spirit and reality.

The latest collection of stories published by Propertius Press is The Bottoms and Hills: Virginia Tales, by Arthenia Bates Millican, to be released on the occasion of the author’s 99th birthday, June 1, 2019. We are proud to be a part of this project, in conjunction with the Arthenia J. Bates Millican Literary Foundation. Pre-order your copy today at http://bit.ly/virginiatales and check the Facebook page frequently for updates at https://www.facebook.com/thevirginiatales/.

 

Pre-Orders for Upcoming Releases!

We are excited to offer five new books set to be released in 2019 that are available for Pre-Order! These books are available, or soon will be, for pre-orders at your favorite online book merchants (Amazon, BN.com, iStore, etc.) – However, you will get the best prices, and delivery on the day of release, by purchasing directly from us through our website.

For a limited time: FREE SHIPPING on all orders when you use our Shopping Cart!

 

 

New eBook Releases for Spring

We are pleased to announce three unique new eBooks soon to be available in our catalogue! Eye Exams, by Richard Krause, is a collection of witty aphorisms that will catch you off-guard, make you smile, and pause with new understanding of the world around you and the people within it. Metamorphosis is our long-awaiting anthology of short stories by fifteen talented writers, and each will linger with you long after you’ve finished reading. Simple Gratitudes, by Hannah Greenberg with Rivka Gross, is a beautifully written series of chapters based on daily life that will invite you to step back, take a deep breath, and find ways to bring the sacred into your own everyday experiences.

Each will be available in paper formats later this year.

 

Eye Exams_final digitalcover2FEye Exams, A Book of Epigrams, by Richard Krause.

He started out carrying a notebook walking the streets of New York City, riding the subways, or just sitting in his taxi cab at night with a notepad on the front seat, writing what he saw and what occurred to him. Every morning he’d sit down and the shorts would be copied or new ones would come. At first, he looked through all he had read to find them. How could they come from him? Who was he to write them? But except for a few, he soon realized they were his and decided from then on, he would go where his mind led him.

Eye Exams is the production of the last four or five years, his struggle with the world outside and within. His sole object is understanding. The twists he imagines make them his, part of the aesthetic that confers value. Occasionally something comes out unadorned as a simple truth. He is surprised by that, feeling he has no more right to it than anyone else. Some that come from within are so thoroughly his own nature that he has to look on them as estranged. Writing these confers a certain immunity. He cannot be touched with shame or embarrassment, any more than he can be entirely proud of them.

For any readers still with him, the author hopes you will find something here you either were or were not looking for.

Metamorphosis, An Anthology edited by Propertius Press

Metamorphosis, A collection of stories. Edited by Propertius Press.

An old woman boiling laundry in her yard on a remote mountain top suddenly sees a rabbit and thinks dinner is on the way. A young student dealing with the aftermath of rape lashes out, opening a deeper wound. A poet, in despair over making a living, finds the keys to another world – whether real or imagined. A couple of brothers paint remarkable frescoes on the ceiling of a church. The individuals who make up the stories in this collection encounter the unexpected, and don’t necessarily live to tell about it. Working around the theme of life-changing experiences, these twenty-one tales were selected from over two hundred submissions received over a period of three years.

We recommend you take them in slowly, one at a time.

Coming soon!

In the preface to the beautiful and inspiring work, Simple Gratitudes, Hannah Greenberg begins, “It’s neither riches nor social status that makes our tenacious hanging on to life worthwhile. Rather, it’s our integration of challenging “sensibilities,” of deep feelings which might be sweet, but which are necessarily sharply disconcerting, that stretches us and that enables us to grasp the best qualities of this world. “Gratitude,” not “entitlement,” remains the proven route, within our mortal existence, to serving The Almighty and to finding joy in our service.

What’s more, it both behooves us to see the entirety of our commonplace experiences as spiritual, and to elevate all of our spiritual happenstances. So much work has yet to be completed in our process of releasing personal and social expectations and in replacing those anticipatory notions with simple faith. Simple Gratitudes invites us to live by working for The Boss.” With simple but clear-minded and visually rich descriptions, the author elevates normal everyday happenings to a spiritual plane that lies deep in everyone’s heart in a way that transcends religious creed, race, and time itself. No matter where you are or your pattern of belief, you will find her words resonate with gifts of a universal truth.

Click on the Bookstore tab to view our current catalogue.

Author Howard Winn featured

Author Howard Winn will be featured at Poughkeepsie Public Library
Saturday, April 14, 2018 – 2:30 PM – 4:00 PMDSCN0336adjust

Meet the Author: Howard Winn

Howard Winn will read from his book Acropolis. After returning from WWII, a small group of male soldiers enters Vassar College, courtesy of the GI Bill. The story details the clash of cultures between privileged and working classes combined with personal struggles with PTSD, survivor’s guilt, and simple readjustment battles amid the creative intellectual world of higher education. Winn is an Emeritus Professor of English at SUNY Dutchess and a widely published poet and fiction writer.
CONTACT: Adult Reference 845-485-3445 x3702  or email adultevents at poklib dot org
LOCATION: Boardman Road – Greene Room #1

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