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My Works

Star Lake Saloon and Housekeeping Cottages: a novel

Star Lake Saloon & Housekeeping Cottages, my first novel, was published in August 2005 by Terrace Books of University of Wisconsin Press. This account of Hannah Swann, a woman forced to take a midlife detour to save a run-down fishing resort from an international mining corporation in the northwoods of Wisconsin was praised by Publisher's Weekly as "a diversion as pleasant as a quiet summer day at the lakeshore."

 

Also available as an audiobook.

The Waters of Star Lake, a novel

A sequel to the popular Star Lake Saloon finds Natalie Waters revisiting her family's cabin in the Northwoods and becoming involved in adventures led by eccentric companions Ginger and Lily who have dreams of discovering Dillinger's buried treasure. Natalie's summer is complicated by a visit from her troubled granddaughter, Minnow, hunky but secretive Bud Foster and handsome ecologist Will Davis.  Wisconsin Public Radio says the book is "Enormously readable. The audience that enjoyed Star Lake Saloon will come back for more, and those who start this novel will want to enjoy the first one. Visiting the North as Sara Rath recreats it is a welcome treat." Jim Fleming, Chapter a Day.

Night Sisters, a novel

Publishers Weekly called this a "light-hearted novel" with "laugh-out-loud humor." It's narrated by Nell Grendon whose flirtation with mediumship and Spiritualism result in an encounter with a mischevious spirit and reflections upon the unresolved death of a childhood friend. Jill Gerard, editor of The Chautauqua Literary Journal says it's "Mysterious, compelling, and altogether human."

Seven Years of Grace: The Inspired Mission of Achsa Sprague

Achsa Sprague - (1827-1862) Vermont poet, social activist, spirit lecturer... and sister to Celia Sprague Steen who moved to Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin to teach school in 1854. Historical fiction told from Celia's point-of-view, drawn from Achsa's actual diary and hundreds of letters and personal writings. She traveled alone, campaigning for woman's rights, abolition of slavery and the tenets of Spiritualism -- which also promoted a promiscuous doctrine of Free Love. With her career flourishing, Achsa experienced a deep and passionate affair with a married man whose letters are at the heart of this book.

 

 



H. H. Bennett, Photographer: His American Landscape

Henry Hamilton Bennett of Kilbourn City (later Wisconsin Dells) was the subject of my early  biography published in 1979 by Tamarack Press. Now The University of Wisconsin Press has now published an expanded and revised version that includes an abundance of newly discovered Bennett photographs, an enhanced biography and a detailed photographic history of the Kilbourn (Wisconsin Dells) photographer whose work hangs in the Museum of Modern Art and Library of Congress.

 

Published by the University of Wisconsin Press,2010.

 

Finalist for Midwest Book Award.

The Complete Pig

The New York Times Book Review said The Complete Pig, published May, 2000 (paperback ed. 2004), "contains enough eccentric pig lore to leave the browser giddy with pleasure. And browsing is in order." The Los Angeles Times called it a "swine fest," and "eye-opening for those who think of the pig only as 'the other white meat.'" 


Leslie Cross Nonfiction Award, Council for Wisconsin Writers, 2000. An affectionate and eccentric collection of entertaining information re: Pigs!

The Complete Cow

Voyageur Press (1998) -- A companion book to The Complete Pig, this was reviewed on NBC's TODAY and re-issued in paperback in May, 2003.

 

A global view of the cow as icon; light-hearted yet serious history of cows of the world with beautiful full-color illustrations.

About Cows

Northword Press (1987); Voyageur Press (2000) -- 60,000 copies sold internationally; an affectionately humorous look at the Mother of the Human Race.

Pioneer Photographer and Easy Going Guide to Madison & Dane County

Pioneer Photographer: Wisconsin's H. H. Bennett, Tamarack Press (1979) - An early biography of Henry Hamilton Bennett, 19th century landscape photographer from Wisconsin Dells. This  contains an afterword by Bennett's daughter, Miriam E. Bennett.
Award of Merit, Wisconsin Historical Society.

Easy Going Guide to Madison & Dane County - long out of print, but it a fun book with lots of historical details and amusing trivia. Written before word-processors were readily available, it was a true cut&paste effort. Once in a while copies can be found on used book sites.

Poetry Collections

Dancing With a Cowboy, Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters (1991) -- Fourth collection of poems, praised by critics for "sensory and sensual exuberance...clarity, intensity and accessibility."

Remembering the Wilderness, Northword Press (1984). Named the 1984 Banta Award by the Wisconsin Library Association for the finest literary achievement of the year by a Wisconsin author.

The Cosmic Virgin, Wisconsin House (1973) - Poems

Whatever Happened to Fats Domino, & Other Poems, Wisconsin House (1971)