Book Release: DARKWATER

Happy publication day to Michael J. Sholtes, author of Darkwater: A Pastor’s Memoir of Depression and Faith.

There is a voice in Michael’s head.

A voice that tells him he is worthless and unlovable. The voice masquerades as his own, wreaking havoc on his friendships and romantic relationships. It keeps him from pursuing his calling—a career as a pastor. It tears his life apart piece by piece, leading him to attempt suicide on more than one occasion. The voice almost defeats him, and yet there is another, more powerful voice—the still, small voice of God always whispering to him, “I love you.”

This is the true story of Michael’s journey from a precocious child in a small town to the spiritual leader of a faith community, and how he slowly and fitfully learns how to listen to the better angels within. Told with brutal honesty and insight into his own mental condition, this is a story of friendship, depression, despair, faith, and a God who refuses to let go.

Darkwater is available worldwide at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all major retailers as a paperback and e-book. (We recommend ordering it from your favorite local bookstore!)

Praise for Darkwater

“Take a risk and walk alongside Michael as he struggles with devastating self-messages, as he climbs a tree with a noose in his hand and gathers courage to become vulnerable again and again. It is estimated that in the United States, two thirds of all cases of depression are undiagnosed. Michael and all those with the courage to tell their stories are beginning to reduce this number.”

—Deacon Terry Lieb, National Board-Certified Counselor, Licensed PA Mental Health Counselor, Retired Executive Director, Diakon Family Life Services

“Pastor Scholtes has captured the voice of depression, a major mental disorder, through the richness of his metaphors, poetry, and personal narra-tive—a narrative that took courage to write. Anyone who wants to under-stand what depression is like needs to read this book, including pastors and laypersons alike. Through his journey, which is clearly rooted in a deep spiritual struggle, he tells us several crucial things about the illness. First, the negative impact of stigma. He captures elegantly how stigma, the fear of letting others know, compounds the illness leading to isolation. Second, the importance of support. The last thing someone needs is to be abandoned, to fend for oneself. Family, friends, the church family all have an important role in healing. Third, the importance of treatment. Treatment, which does not always “cure” completely, provides an important pathway for hope, a way to manage the dark voices of depression. Finally, even devout religious persons are not immune to mental disorders, and spiritual guidance can be an effective tool toward healing. I highly recommend this book.”

—Dennis E. Schell, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Psychology, The George Washington University

“Get ready. Darkwater is Michael Scholtes’ authentic, meticulous, and intimate account of his unrelenting confrontation with depression. We get to follow this confrontation from his childhood to middle-age. Michael pulls back the curtain so we see him—son of a minister, floundering adolescent, bright student, restless pastor—stripped of pretension… Darkwater is Michael’s attempt to be honest with the world, with God, and with those in his life. When you put the book down, what makes it a satisfying read is not a happy ending, but the realization that what makes Michael strong against the depression is that he lays claim to and has learned to value the humanity, the honesty, the stubbornness, the pain, the will to persevere, the guilt, and the love that always came his way. It’s clear: while it came at a price, the renewal of his life journey is real.”

—Rev. Dr. Samuel R. Zeiser, Bishop Emeritus, Northeastern PA Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

“Michael Scholtes has given us a gift through this poignant memoir of one pastor’s journey with depression. His writing is evocative, raw, creative, and poetic. If you suffer from depression, his story may give voice to your own struggles. If you want to understand what it looks like to live with depression, Scholtes has opened the door to his soul and invites you inside. Wading into Darkwater will reveal a depth of reflection, faith, and honesty that is rare and needed for those wanting to understand the inner world of mental illness.”

—Rev. Dr. Leah Schade, Assistant Professor of Preaching and Worship, Lexington Theological Seminary

Darkwater artfully captures the reality of an individual living with a mental illness.  Scholtes masterfully highlights the delicate balance that occurs at the intersection of his faith, mental health, and mental illness.  In a society where individuals battling mental illnesses are shunned and highly misunderstood, Scholtes shows great courage in sharing the true nature of his internal struggles. The book captured my curiosity and drew me in with the author’s relatable style and coming-of-age authenticity.  Entertaining and stimulating from cover to cover!”

—F. Dave Williams, licensed clinical social worker

About the Author

Reverend Michael J. Scholtes is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He has served as pastor of several congregations in eastern Pennsylvania. Michael currently lives in the Lehigh Valley with his wife Heather and children Alex and Ben.

New Author Announcement: Stop the Road by Evans Paull

We’re excited to add Evans Paull to our author list! Paull is the author of Stop the Road: Stories from the Trenches of Baltimore’s Road Wars. Stop the Road will be released in fall of 2022.

Stop the Road is a microcosm of a clash over values and ideas about cities and the transportation systems that provide the lifeblood of the urban economy. That Baltimore avoided committing “urbanicide” (a term coined by Baltimore Sun news columnist James Dilts) was a testament to the astonishing victory of a ragtag band of community activists, environmentalists, and preservationists that turned the tables on the economic and political establishment. They won three major expressway battles, eliminating two highways and rerouting a third, thereby saving the waterfront that later became the bedrock of Baltimore’s late-1900s revival. However, the lasting impact of the highways that were built through the city’s African American communities (including Baltimore’s infamous “Highway to Nowhere”) tells quite a different story. Here we see highway plans that reflected racial inequities and discriminatory practices deeply embedded in Baltimore’s history. This is a storyline that still resonates today, as the country faces up to a long-overdue reckoning over racial issues.

Enlivened by the up-close-and-personal stories of the Road Warriors (much of it gained from 53 interviews of those involved), Stop the Road charts a course that is engaging on a human-interest level. This is a story of Baltimore at its best and at its worst all at the same time; a story of the mob retaking “Mobtown”; a story of monumental struggle for the “Monumental City.”

“Paull’s surgical dissection of the 40-year battle produces a book that is essential for understanding today’s Baltimore—and the many other American cities which experienced similar highway wars.”
Antero Pietila, author of Not in My Neighborhood: How Bigotry Shaped a Great American City.

Stop the Road is an engrossing saga of Baltimore, not just because the events depicted are so significant for our city, but also because the history is enlivened by in person storytelling. You will marvel how this combination of community protectors, civil rights activists, preservationists, 1960’s idealists, and environmental advocates gained the upper hand over the road building establishment.”
M. J. (“Jay”) Brodie, former Baltimore Housing Commissioner and President of Baltimore Development Corporation.

“If you think about the things that have really changed the face of Baltimore as we know it today, to me there is nothing more important than the road wars.”
C. William Struever, Baltimore developer and urban strategist

Evans Paull is a retired city planner, living in northwest Baltimore with his wife, Rosemarie. He has three children and one grandchild. Paull’s career started in the Baltimore City Department of Planning where he worked with quite a few of the interviewees featured in this book (but he had no direct involvement in either transportation planning or the Road Wars). In mid-career he shifted from generalist planner to specializing in the redevelopment of brownfields (vacant former industrial or commercial properties, the reuse of which is complicated by contamination).  He started and managed Baltimore’s Brownfields Initiative; then went on to work on these same issues at a national level, working first for Northeast-Midwest Institute, later acting as Director of the National Brownfields Coalition, later still starting and running his consulting business, Redevelopment Economics. You can find previously published articles and papers on the Redevelopment Economics website. Paull has won a number of awards, including: Brownfields Leadership Award; Phoenix Award (for brownfields redevelopment); Governor’s Smart Growth Award; and Professional Achievement in Economic Development Award, Maryland Chapter American Planning Association.

Cover Reveal: For the Minds and Wills of Men

COVER REVEAL! For the Minds and Wills of Men by Jeff Lanier will be released worldwide this spring.

Manhattan, 1953. Fear of communist subversion and espionage are tearing America apart. In the art world, the growing popularity of abstract expressionism is poised to catapult gritty New York to a cultural epicenter of the world. While recovering a stolen Jackson Pollock for a wealthy client, art insurer Will Oxley falls for the client’s daughter, Liz. This relationship leads Will deep into the rebellious, seductive world of abstract expressionist painters, their Village bar haunts and East Hampton binges. But when Will learns the painting⁠—and Liz⁠—may be hiding communist secrets, he finds himself caught between exposing the girl he loves or risking his life to trust her.

Audiobook Release: LIES IN BONE

Today is the official release of the audiobook version of LIES IN BONE by Natalie Symons! Natalie partnered with renowned voice actor Tawny Platis to bring this award-winning novel to life for listeners worldwide. Find the audiobook version of LIES IN BONE on Amazon here, or download it from any major audiobook retailer.

We’re so incredibly proud to have Lies in Bone in our catalog of titles. Released less than six months ago, Lies in Bone has already won awards, accumulated over 250 Amazon and Goodreads reviews, garnered media praise, and generated a cult following of readers. Natalie has worked so hard to market this book, and we can’t wait to see her book be exposed to a new subsect of book-lovers with the release of the audiobook version.

If you believe in something don’t take no for an answer, and always do what your gut tells you. IN MY CASE: publish with a small independent press that believes in the book; then work your tail off to market the book so it reaches readers and reviewers

–Natalie Symons

WINNER: 2021 BEST BOOK AWARDS in Fiction: Cross-Genre
1ST PLACE: 2021 ROYAL DRAGONFLY AWARD for Fiction Novel
FINALIST: 2021 BEST BOOK AWARDS in Fiction: Literary
BEST PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER OF 2021: Linda McCutcheon Reviews
TOP 10 BOOKS OF 2021: Reading Untamed
BEST MYSTERY/THRILLERS OF 2021: MicheleReader.com
BEST DEBUT NOVELS OF 2021: MicheleReader.com
BEST BOOKS OF 2021: Featzreviews.com


Told by a tart-tongued young woman with a love of Bruce Springsteen, Lies in Bone is at once a mystery and coming-of-age tale fueled by dark secrets involving love, murder, and the truths worth lying for.

On Halloween 1963, eleven-year-old Chuck Coolidge and his brother Danny are lost in a toxic smog covering the steel town of Slippery Elm, Pennsylvania. When the smog lifts, half the town is sick and twenty people are dead. And Danny is missing.


Now, over twenty years later, Chuck’s teenage daughter Frank plots escape from this “busted and disgusted” town. When a murdered child is found in the river, investigators link the crime to the disappearance of Danny in ’63, and Frank’s life is turned upside down. In the face of her worst fears, she must uncover her family’s dark past if she wants to keep her sister Boots from the hands of The State. Led to discover the unimaginable truth about Danny’s disappearance, Lies in Bone culminates in a shocking eleventh-hour reveal and an emotionally charged finale.

Learn more about Natalie on her website here: www.NatalieSymons.com.

Book Release: One More Day

Happy publication day to Diane Chiddister, author of One More Day!

GROWING OLD, FACING DEATH, SEEKING HOME, AND OPENING TO LOVE… At Grace Woods Care Center, residents and staff face life’s greatest challenges with yearning, wisdom, trepidation, and hope. Thomas, an anthropologist, approaches old age with fear and curiosity, while Lillian, a woman with dementia, searches for home. A shy and compassionate nurse’s aide, Sally, pushes back when love appears, unable to see herself worthy of the same happiness she instills in the residents. The center’s director, Beth, navigates hard changes that threaten to derail her career and the quality of care she’s worked so hard to foster.

One More Day is available worldwide at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all major retailers as a paperback and e-book. (We recommend ordering it from your favorite local bookstore!

Praise for One More Day

“Achingly beautiful, heartbreaking, and ultimately a tender celebration of life. Diane Chiddister has written a moving, sometimes humorous exploration of the universal tragedies of human existence—grief, guilt, and death. It’s through Chiddister’s exquisite prose and storytelling that we come to know and love the lonely, the lost, and the dying souls that inhabit Grace Care Center. And it’s through their eyes that we revel in the many splendors of life.”

—Natalie Symons, award-winning playwright, author of Lies in Bone

One More Day is a probing, compassionate—and sometimes funny—look at that most universal of experiences. Set in the Grace Woods Care Center in Small Town, Ohio, we meet a diverse cast of well-drawn characters. Their stories, told in wonderful detail, are about time, friendship, family, and forgiveness—but most of all about hope. My favorite character is the indomitable Lillian, a dementia patient, whose feisty spirit and dogged determination made me cry and cheer for her.”

—Lucrecia Guerrero, author of the award-winning novel Tree of Sighs

“One More Day is a novel that needs to be read. Diane writes with a respect and empathy for her characters that will resonate with readers of all ages. It is a heartwarming—and heartbreaking—story that will leave you smiling and crying at the end.””

—Joe Downing, author of The Abundant Bohemian

“One More Day is a clear-eyed examination of aging, death and dementia at Grace Care Center, an American assisted living center; it is also a joyful celebration of life. Diane Chiddister penetrates deeply the lives of both residents and their devoted caretakers: Lillian in her hallucinatory world of Alzheimer’s; Thomas the anthropology professor, alienated but ever curious; executive director Beth, pressured to change by prospective new owners; and nurse Sally, who lives her life vicariously through her patients.

“Told without illusions, One More Day is amazingly uplifting and wonderfully written with gentle humor and subtle insight. If you enjoy Ann Tyler’s novels, you’ll love Chiddister!”

—Ed Davis, poet, novelist, workshop leader

About the Author

Diane Chiddister is a journalist and former editor of the Yellow Springs News in Yellow Springs, Ohio. She’s also a short story writer and 1981 MFA graduate of the University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop, where she was a Teaching-Writing Fellow. This is her first novel. She lives in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

Book Release: A Beautiful Land

Congratulations to Susan Beth Miller on the publication of her novel, A Beautiful Land!

A Beautiful Land is a story of menace, the maternal imagination, and the forest primeval.

Raissa, middle daughter of three, watches her family flee their violence-torn homeland.

But she stays behind, bound to her birthplace by memories of a sweet young man.

Driven by danger and grief, Raissa struggles toward a mysterious forest and imagines solace through the unexpected allure of a child. She joins many who have fled their beautiful homeland. Each speaks in turn as they parse their tangled stories and consider whether they dare return to what once was home.

A Beautiful Land is available worldwide at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all major retailers as a paperback and e-book. (We recommend ordering it from your favorite local bookstore!

Praise for A Beautiful Land

Every genocide is unique, and yet the suffering and endurance of the survivors of each such outbreak of madness transcends both time and place. In A Beautiful Land, Susan Miller has rendered with exquisite compassion the struggles of those who have been exiled from their homes by the unspeakable violence of their former neighbors. Detail by detail, she follows their journeys as they attempt to carry on, to continue breathing, to continue loving, to comprehend what they have been through, to find a new home and perhaps even return to the old one. These characters and their stories are unforgettable.
—Eileen Pollack, author of The Professor of Immortality and Breaking and Entering


Throughout, Miller’s prose is crisp and powerful, with evocative imagery and metaphors that are often stunning … as she develops her expertly crafted characters, she beautifully and compellingly considers pressing human questions regarding evil, motherhood, and the possibility of redemption. A striking, searing work that will linger long in readers’ memories.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review), Best Indie Fiction List


Miller’s A Beautiful Land is rich in detail, often mythical in nature, timeless in relevance, and beautifully, thoughtfully, written. I feel as if I’ve been on a journey. She takes us into worlds we cannot see and reveals them. As with Indigo Rose, her ability to convey the human condition through character and events is as compelling as it is meaningful. I was drawn deeply into the story.
—James Meyer, author of These Fair Days


Susan Miller’s novel, A Beautiful Land, explores the lethal tension between rival ethnic groups and the resulting destroyed lives. With vivid prose and page-turning suspense, she follows the paths of Raissa and her son as they struggle to survive a deranged world in a mysterious forest and create a new family. Miller’s archetypal fable examines life after the worst has happened as the etched characters reinvent families, heal their humanity, and resurrect community.
—Ann Pearlman, author of the Pulitzer nominated Infidelity and The Christmas Cookie Clubseries


Susan Miller’s A Beautiful Land quickly bonded me with its truthful characters. I became enthralled by the sheer humanness of the heroine, Raissa. Susan Miller expresses a deep solidarity for the hardships her characters suffer, and Raissa shines throughout with an inner resiliency giving hope through whatever hardships life hands us.
—Doug Wheeler, host of the podcast From the Belly

About the Author

Susan Beth Miller lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She is the author of Indigo Rose, a novel (Bantam 2004), and a number of psychology books: The Shame Experience; Shame in Context; Disgust: the gatekeeper emotion; When Parents Have Problems: a book for teens and older children who have a disturbed or difficult parent; and Emotions of Menace and Enchantment: horror, disgust, awe, and fascination

Book Release: Dispatches from the Edge: Exploring the Limits of Science and the Sacred

We are excited to announce the publication of G.A. Tyler’s Dispatches from the Edge: Exploring the Limits of Science and the Sacred!

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDGE presents a rich but accessible mosaic of contemporary arguments about atheism, spirituality, human evolution, and consciousness. With a critical eye and a science writer’s hand, Tyler shows how new insights from some of the brightest minds in the Science vs. Religion debate open new possibilities for a unifying vision.

Dispatches from the Edge: Exploring the Limits of Science and the Sacred is available worldwide at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all major retailers as a paperback and e-book. (We recommend ordering it from your favorite local bookstore!

About the Author

George Tyler is a science and health
writer and former medical researcher
who lives in Essex Junction, Vermont.
He holds degrees in biology, biochemistry, and journalism and has won
awards for editorial and news writing
from the Vermont Press Association.

Book Release: LIES IN BONE

Happy publication day to Natalie Symons, author of Lies in Bone!

Told by a tart-tongued young woman with a love of Bruce Springsteen, Lies in Bone is at once a mystery and coming-of-age tale fueled by dark secrets involving love, murder, and the truths worth lying for.

On Halloween 1963, eleven-year-old Chuck Coolidge and his brother Danny are lost in a toxic smog covering the steel town of Slippery Elm, Pennsylvania. When the smog lifts, half the town is sick and twenty people are dead. And Danny is missing.

Now, over twenty years later, Chuck’s teenage daughter Frank plots escape from this “busted and disgusted” town. When a murdered child is found in the river, investigators link the crime to the disappearance of Danny in ’63, and Frank’s life is turned upside down. In the face of her worst fears, she must uncover her family’s dark past if she wants to keep her sister Boots from the hands of The State. Led to discover the unimaginable truth about Danny’s disappearance, Lies in Bone culminates in a shocking eleventh-hour reveal and an emotionally charged finale.

Lies in Bone is available worldwide at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all major retailers as a paperback, hardback, and e-book. (We recommend ordering it from your favorite local bookstore. Click here to order!)

Praise for LIES IN BONE

“The fantastic, fallible characters leap to life in these dialogue-filled pages and draw readers into an immersive world involving mysteries of missing children, mental illness and unsolved murders. A gripping tale of outcasts that keeps you guessing and, more importantly, caring how it will unspool. Mystic River meets Stranger Things in this engrossing debut novel.” —Lane DeGregory, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, The Girl in the Window

“A moody, hard-edged coming-of-age story that keeps the horrors coming until the very end.”—Kirkus Reviews

“…Fierce teen protagonist, Frances “Frank” Coolidge… impolite, foul-mouthed, self-mutilating and rebellious, and she’s loving, loyal and has backbone to spare; a female Steve McQueen, a young Sarah Conner; totally icon-worthy. A heart-stopping work of suspense fiction… a tour de force of friendship, love and redemption. Organically woven and expertly balanced, Lies in Bone lightens the load of its heavy subject matter with quirky northern town humor. Gritty, campy and dark wit and, especially, a keen grasp of family dysfunction and its many varieties, all add to Lies in Bone‘s hypnotically page-turning appeal…” —Julie Garisto, 83 Degrees Media

“Symons’s language crackles and sparks…”—Diane Chiddister, author of One More Day

“This extraordinary story…refused to leave my thoughts for even a moment until I reached its explosive conclusion. Lies in Bone is dark, tough and visceral, and it’s rich with twists, turns and breathless suspense—the very definition of a page-tuner.” —Bill DeYoung, St. Pete Catalyst

“Finally, a heroine of substance growing into her own magnificence, bearing witness to the unspeakable with bravery outpacing her years. A tale told with unapologetic realism and voice crafted with skill and humanity.” —Lori D. Shannon, author of Superwoman Died Tonight

“Dickensian in the best sense of the word, Lies in Bone is a novel that grabs the reader and does not let go.” —Paul Wilborn, author of Cigar City

“Gripping and dark, Lies in Bone so precisely captures the angst of long hidden secrets and dysfunction—the slow, corrosive descents and the hard-won triumphs. To me, the most disturbing thrillers are the ones that are all too plausible—almost familiar. Consider me disturbed.” —Cindy Stovall, Beauty & the ‘Burg Podcast

“Symons displays her adept playwrighting skills with earthy dialogue that flows effortlessly…I’m reminded of the way Joan Didion writes about similar themes…in The Year of Magical Thinking, but in this one, we have an intriguing mystery thriller on our hands…This small-town mystery with family ties is an engaging and at-times humorous literary thriller.” —Frank Pizzori, Independent Book Review

Lies in Bones is a spellbinder…The book just refuses to be put down..” —Readers’ Favorite 5-Star Review

“You will want to read Lies in Bone all in one sitting – but don’t cheat yourself out of moving fully through the evolution of the story in its own time. An extraordinarily satisfying work.” —Roxanne Fay, author of Upon this Rock: The Magdalene Speaks

“A serious new novelist whose work cannot be ignored.” —Greg Fields, author of Through the Waters and the Wild

“The melancholic force of Lies in Bone will hold you hostage. The humor in this gritty, coming-of-age mystery is driven by a whip smart young heroine like none other.” —Hannah Benitez, author of Dike

Book Release – Haldred Chronicles: Alyssa

Congratulations to JG Cully on the release of their new book, Haldred Chronicles: Alyssa!

“They may slay my mortal body, but I am not so easily defeated. Time is on my side, and I will spend it well.”

Alyssa is the last vampire, changed by Igor Regorash himself before his permanent death. With this transformation comes power, but also a terrible loneliness that makes Alyssa long to be human again.

Victoria Haldred is a Council of Peace investigator, charged with maintaining order in a post-war world. Her days are spent combatting murder, assassination, bombings, and blackmail, not to mention dirty politics and double-dealing.

When a local drunk comes down with a bad case of dead, Alyssa and Victoria are set on a collision course that will change their lives (undead as Alyssa’s may be) forever. A dark entity becomes dangerously fixated on the two women. With no one to trust, and an inescapable power looming, Alyssa and Victoria must combine their strengths if they hope to survive a world turned sinister.

Order your copy of Haldred Chronicles: Alyssa today! Don’t forget to leave an honest review on Amazon or Goodreads when you’re finished.


Interested in becoming a published author? We’ve developed a five-step plan that will guide you through the process. For a limited time, download a free copy of The Self-Publishing Handbook here.

Cover Reveal: LIES IN BONE

We are so incredibly excited to reveal the cover for LIES IN BONE by Natalie Symons, to be released in the fall of this year.

On Halloween 1963, eleven-year-old Chuck Coolidge and his brother Danny are lost in a toxic smog covering the steel town of Slippery Elm, Pennsylvania. When the smog lifts, half the town is sick and twenty people are dead. And Danny is missing.

Now, over twenty years later, Chuck’s teenage daughter Frank plots escape from this “busted and disgusted” town. When a murdered child is found in the river, investigators link the crime to the disappearance of Danny in ’63, and Frank’s life is turned upside down. In the face of her worst fears, she must uncover her family’s dark past if she wants to keep her sister Boots from the hands of The State. Led to discover the unimaginable truth about Danny’s disappearance, LIES IN BONE culminates in a shocking eleventh-hour reveal and an emotionally charged finale. 

Told by a sharp-tongued young woman with a love of Bruce Springsteen, LIES IN BONE is at once a mystery and coming-of-age tale fueled by dark secrets involving love, murder, and truths worth lying for. 

PRAISE FOR LIES IN BONE

A deadly smog washes over the rust belt town of Slippery Elm, Pennsylvania in the opening scene of Natalie Symons’ compelling debut novel, Lies in Bone. True to the title, the 1963 disaster lingers in the marrow of the survivors, like Chuck Coolidge, and in their descendants, including Chuck’s teen-age daughter, Frank, who refuses to surrender to the evanescence descending on her family and her father’s hometown. Dickensian in the best sense of the word, Lies in Bone is a novel that grabs the reader and does not let go.

—Paul Wilborn, author of Cigar City, 2019 Florida Book Awards fiction gold medal winner

The melancholic force of Lies in Bone will hold you hostage. The humor in this gritty, coming-of age mystery is driven by a whip smart young heroine like none other. Your appetite for answers will be satiated, but not before you’re tortured deliciously by author Natalie Symons.

—Hannah Benitez, author of GringoLandia and Dike

A taut, intense psychological investigation of trauma, loss and redemption, Lies in Bone draws the reader into a dense web of past sins and unresolved mysteries. Natalie Symons’ command of language allows this layered story to flow seamlessly around complex characters, actors in a drama seeking to reconcile the flotsam of very broken lives. With this book, Symons emerges as a serious new novelist whose work cannot be ignored.

—Greg Fields, author of Through the Waters and the Wild

Finally, a heroine of substance growing into her own magnificence, bearing witness to the unspeakable with bravery outpacing her years. A tale told with unapologetic realism and voice crafted with skill and humanity.

—Lori D. Shannon, author of Superwoman Died Tonight

Natalie Symons’ Lies in Bone vibrates within the reader. Following the intriguing, eerie first chapter, the story turns from its Stephen King-worthy opening into its own heart. As with her plays, Lark Eden and Naming True, Ms. Symons’ great strength as a writer lies in her achingly real characters. Lies in Bone resonates with a strong cast of characters, led by a young girl who fights to find her way out of the toxic fog of her past and answer the questions that have haunted her family and her town for decades. You will want to read Lies in Bone all in one sitting—but don’t cheat yourself out of moving fully through the evolution of the story in its own time. An extraordinarily satisfying work.

—Roxanne Fay, playwright, Thrice To Mine and Upon This Rock: The Magdalene Speaks.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Natalie Symons is an award-winning playwright whose plays have been developed and produced at theatres around the country. Most recently, The People Downstairs received the Broadway World Regional Award for Original Script of the Decade and was the 2019 official selection of American Stage’s 21st Century Voices New Play Festival. Naming True was included in Ashland New Play Festival’s inaugural Play4Keeps podcast and was a finalist for the 2016 Bridge Initiative Women in Theatre Playwright of the Year Award. Among other honors, Natalie was the recipient of the 2018 Creative Pinellas Professional Artist Grant, the 2018 Playwright-in-Residence at American Stage, and three-time choice for Best Playwright by Creative Loafing. Her work has been featured in Smith & Kraus’ Best of 2019 and Smith & Kraus’ 30th Anniversary Edition Best of 2020. Originally from Buffalo, New York, she now lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, with her husband Jim and their rescue dog Chloe. Lies in Bone is her first novel.