New releases by Concord-area authors perfect for cold winter days

Monitor staff
Published: 11/27/2019 8:46:09 AM

As days draw shorter, darker and colder and the outdoors more formidable with snow and freezing rain, what could be better than tossing another log on the fire and curling up with a book?

If your to-be-read pile is dwindling, several authors located in and around Concord have some new releases that you can check out. So put on the kettle for tea, grab a freshly printed copy and hunker down in your comfiest chair with book and blanket at hand.

Old is new again

The second edition of Preserving Old Barns by John Porter of Boscawen, Francis Gilman and photography by Lowell Fewster is now available. It is a book to help barn owners assess, care for and celebrate their special structures.

It was originally published in 2001. The new edition includes the history, internal features, re-use, and preservation of old barns. This illustrated, full color edition, is sponsored by the New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources.

It also features more than 200 pictures, 100 pages of new information and barn preservation techniques from timber framer Arron Sturgis. It provides a practical understanding of the history, function, and preservation of old barns.

It is available locally at Bow Blue Seal, Clark’s Grain Store, Concord Camera, Gibson’s Bookstore, Marshall’s Florist, Penacook Pharmacy and Osborne’s Agway. It can also be ordered online at for $29.95 plus postage.

A good mystery

Salisbury author Paula Munier has just released Blind Search, the second book of her mystery series. Heroine Mercy Carr and Elvis, her lovable retired bombing sniffing dog, are on the case when a boy who has autism witnesses a murder.

Henry, a 9-year-old boy, wanders into the woods and while there sees the killer. The race is then on to find the killer before the killer finds Henry. An early blizzard complicates matters by cutting everyone off from the rest of the world. The riveting story is set on a Vermont mountain during hunting season.

“The idea for this book was inspired by a real-life story about a boy with autism who wandered off into the Vermont woods and got lost,” Munier said in a New Hampshire Writer’s Project release. “He was rescued safe and sound, but the writer in me thought: what if a boy with autism got lost in the woods and witnessed a murder? Mercy and Elvis would have to save him ... and I was off and running.”

A Borrowing of Bones, the first in the Mercy Carr series, was nominated for the Mary Higgins Clark Award and hit the USA Today bestsellers list.

Blind Search can be purchased at Gibson’s Book Store in Concord, the Toadstool bookstores, Amazon and most popular book sellers.

Aging deftly

Gail Schilling of Concord is a frequent writer, though it took a while for her latest released to be published.

Do Not Go Gentle, Go to Paris: Travels of an Uncertain Woman of a Certain Age, is part memoir, part travelogue, was released in August. It is a coming of age book for women who are concerned about losing their keys, walking into a room and wondering why, losing their looks and edge, in other words, aging.

At age 62, Schilling suddenly announced she was pursuing her life-long dream of discovering Paris. Visiting France was a goal deferred for 40 years and through the journey, she learned how to age. She draws wisdom from women and places that gracefully endure and, despite her fickle sweetheart, discovers that joie de vivre has no expiration date.

About six months after taking the trip, Schilling, also a teacher, found herself without any adjunct courses to teach for the semester. She seized the opportunity and found an artist community where she could write and live without any expenses.

“To apply, I needed a project, so I quickly expanded my French journals into chapters of a possible book,” she said in a New Hampshire Writer’s Project release. “My first chapters earned me a month at the Jentel Artist Community in Wyoming – and I landed writing classes at the last minute, too. Success!”

Once Schilling finished the draft she shopped for an agent and publisher for several years, intensely for one.

“Most of the agents and publishers were 30-somethings who perhaps didn’t understand my targeted audience: older women who fear growing old,” she said in the release.

The manuscript might have languished forever had she not taught “Memoir” at the Learning Institute of New England College and at GoodLife Programs and Activities. There, whenever she would read a chapter to her elder students, they encouraged her to publish.

“I knew several high caliber writers who had self-published and trusted their wisdom, especially in not allowing a single agent or publisher to determine the destiny of a well-written book,” she said. “I figured if I could teach myself Greek last year, I could figure out the instructions on Kindle Create. And with the help of a few friends, I did.”

You can purchase Do Not Go Gentle, Go to Paris: Travels of an Uncertain Woman of a Certain Age at Gibson’s Bookstore, Toadstool bookstores and Amazon.

Two collections of poems

Concord poet, essayist and humorist, Glenn Currie, has put together his fourth collection of poems and photographs, called Ball of String.

The underlying theme of the collection is how we are all tied together, as if by string, and the qualities people share that allow us to live on Earth somewhat harmoniously. The many metaphoric strings connect all of us through shared experiences, emotions, the need for humor, and the things we learn from our travels, wherever they may take us.

“I started writing my poetry in Vietnam, and that has been a consistent influence in my writing,” he said in a New Hampshire Writer’s Project release. He has been writing and contributing to other publications for more than 30 years.

Currie’s own photography is featured in much of his work including, Ball of String, Daydreams, Riding in Boxcars, Granite Grumblings, In the Cat’s Eye, A Boy’s First Diary and Surviving Seventh Grade.

He is married and has two grown daughters and three grandchildren, who gleefully appear on the front cover of Ball of String. The collection is available for purchase at Gibson’s Bookstore, Toadstool book shops, Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

The other collection of poetry is from Hopkinton writer, Laurie Morrissey, with her first book, The Slant of April Snow.

The poetry in the collection is structured similarly to traditional Japanese haiku, including the focus on nature and seasonal elements.

“A haiku is a short poem that captures a sense of wonder and illuminates a moment of perception,” Morrissey said in a New Hampshire Writer’s Project release. “Written in simple, direct language and using clear images, they reveal a moment of vision into the nature of the world and the world of nature.”

Each section – The Slant of April Snow, Still Pond, and Winter Moon – is accompanied by the work of Warner artists Laurette and David Carroll.

“When I began thinking about this collection, I immediately thought of the Carrolls’ work. Using a line of my haiku for inspiration, Laurette created the painting that is now the cover,” Morrissey said the release.

Morrissey is a poetry editor at The Worcester Review and her poems have appeared recently in journals such as Poetry East and Common Ground Review. Her haiku appear frequently in journals including Modern Haiku, Frogpond, The Heron’s Nest, Acorn, Blithe Spirit, Akitsu Quarterly, and Wales Haiku Journal.

The book is available at Gibson’s Bookstore and MainStreet BookEnds of Warner, as well as online from

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