The sad life and tragic murder of René Descartes,
the world’s most famous philosopher
by Andrew Pessin
Who would want to murder the world’s most famous philosopher?
Turns out: nearly everyone.
The feminine spirit of the West comes alive in early twentieth century Montana.
by Milana Marsenich
Set in the Copper Camp of Butte, Montana in 1917, Copper Sky tells the story of two women with opposite lives. Kaly Shane, mired
In 1649, Descartes was invited by the Queen of Sweden to become her Court Philosopher. Though he was the world’s leading philosopher, his life had by this point fallen apart. He was 53, penniless, living in exile in Amsterdam, alone. With much trepidation but not much choice, he arrived in Stockholm in mid-October.
in prostitution, struggles to find a safe home for her unborn child. Marika Lailich, a Slavic immigrant, dodges a pre-ar-ranged marriage to become a doctor. As their paths cross, and they become unlikely friends, neither woman knows the family secret that ties them together.
"Copper Sky is a riveting story of darkness and redemption, rising from the ashes of two fiery tragedies in Butte, Montana. Marsenich creates two heroines whose great losses lead them ever closer to truth. And as their stories unfold, the Butte of one hundred years ago startles to full and undeniable life." -- Phil Condon, author of Clay Center, Montana Surround, and Nine Ten Again
Beneath the Same Heaven is a love story of an American woman and a Pakistani-born Muslim man, who seem to have bridged the divide between Western and Islamic world views. But when the husband's
The Swan Keeper
by Milana Marsenich
Author of Copper Sky
Girlhood, courage, nature, and flight from a tyrant’s hand in post-frontier Montana
The Swan Keeper is an historical, coming of age novel set in Northwest Montana's Mission Valley in the late 1920s.
Lillian Connelly loves trumpeter swans and vows to protect them from a hunter who is killing them and leaving their carcasses for the wolves and coyotes to ravage.
On her eleventh birthday Lilly’s family visits the Cattail Marsh to see the newly hatched cygnets. The family outing turns tragic when Dean Drake shows up with his shotgun and fires on not only the swans, but on Lilly’s family. Unable to prevent tragedy, Lillian witnesses Drake kill her father, injure her mother, and slaughter the bevy of trumpeter swans.
The sheriff, Charlie West, thinks that Lilly is reacting to the trauma and blaming Drake because of a previous conflict between Drake and her father. Lilly’s mother, sister, and her best friend, Jerome West, the sheriff’s son, all think the same thing: that Lilly is trying to make sense of a senseless accident.
Left alone to bring Dean Drake to justice, Lilly’s effort is subverted when Drake woos her sister, courts her mother, and moves into their home.
World War Two. Japanese occupied China. One cousin's courage, another's determination to help a wounded American pilot.
In the summer of 1942, Danny Hardy bails out of his fighter plane into a remote region of western China. With multiple injuries, malaria, and Japan-
ese troops searching for him, the American pilot’s odds of survival are slim.
Jasmine Bai, an art student who had been saved by Americans during the notorious Nanking Massacre, seems an unlikely heroine to rescue the wounded Flying Tiger. Daisy Bai, Jasmine’s younger cousin, also falls in love with the courageous American.
With the help of Daisy’s brother, an entire village opens its arms to heal a Flying Tiger with injured wings, but as a result of their charity the serenity of their community is forever shattered.
Love, sacrifice, kindness, and bravery all play a part in this heroic tale that takes place during one of the darkest hours of Chinese history.
“A gripping adventure in which 13 young Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) seek to regain the honor of their band. A delightful work of historical fiction.”
—Midwest Book Review
As the Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) slowly migrated into the Lake Superior region centuries ago, they were met by a potent adversary—the Dakota (Sioux) who fiercely resisted their spread into its territory. Gradually the Anishinaabe pushed them out of the northern woodlands and into the plains to the south. This long-running and bloody conflict lies at the heart of the story of Ashi-niswi, The 13.
Following a devastating raid on their camp, 13 Anishinaabe teenagers vow to restore the honor of their band by tracking down and savaging the Dakota raiders. The story is a parable posing the universal question: “What is the price of honor?” It is also a poignant coming-of-age story as the youngest of the youthful warriors struggles to come to grips with the aftermath of the quest.
Passionate and forbidden love clashes with tradition and caste in a changing India.
Kamala Kumari is more than a Gemini Studio starlet: she’s a classical dancer trained in the age-old line of Devadasis, a caste set in place a thousand years ago when girls were first dedicated in south Indian temples to serve the gods and men. From the promise of art and devotion, the sacred dancers fell into the hands of priests who both exalted and betrayed them. Beautiful, brilliant and proud, Kamala struggles to escape the old ways, entangling her Indian assistant, Dutch lover, and his young American wife.
father is killed by a US drone attack near the Afghan border, their cross-cultural family descends into conflicting ideas of loyalty, justice, identity, revenge, and terrorism. With candor, beauty, and unusual insight, their story reveals both how decent people can justify horrific acts, and the emotional power required to heal.
5 Must-Read Fiction Books Featuring Cats
Available Now from
Now available from
by Kery Arquette
(Poetry / Social Conscience)
As long as I reside in their minds and hearts, I will never truly be gone.
The devastation caused by World War II is described by historians in terms of military strategies and battles, the toll on economics, and
the numbers of dead. But only the stories of those whose lives were changed or lost, can convey the true horror of the war. These were people very much like ourselves—men, women, children, siblings, poets, soldiers, students, professionals, laborers, givers, takers, jokers, dancers, lovers, dreamers, cowards and brave.
Like all of us, they want to be heard. They want to be understood. Most of all…they want to be remembered.
With its turbulent passions amid social upheavals, The Last Devadasi takes readers on a sensual feast in the 1970s palm-shaded trading city of Madras.
Debut Novel 2018
Rosemary in Bloom
by Khristy Reibel
What if war separated you from your true love? What if you married the wrong man? What if the power of love brought you together again?
When Rosemary meets Albert it is instant chemistry. But it is also the summer of 1942, and scores of young men—Albert included—feel compelled to enlist to fight the war against Hitler. Albert wants to marry Rosemary before he leaves for Europe, but she just can't commit. Like so many young women of her time, Rosemary finds herself left behind to work and worry, desperate for love but frightened of abandonment.
Three years later, and with Albert's fate still unknown, Rosemary meets Harry, a charming and handsome man. Rosemary feels guilty for spending so much time with Harry, but she has all but lost faith that Albert will make it safely back home, especially when she receives news of her brother's serious combat injury. Should she wait for Albert, or settle for second best?
Inspired by a true story, Rosemary in Bloom explores faith, forgiveness, enduring love against all odds, and the difficult decisions that strong, smart women on the home front had to make during World War II.
“Spotte has an eye for ironic detail, couched in vigorous, pragmatic prose. In him, Hemmingway meets Kafka.”
—Bruce R. Powers, co-author (with Marshall McLuhan) of The Global Village
The 19 stories in marine scientist Stephen Spotte's latest collection penetrate the stormy, watery depth of the human psyche, blending elements of make-believe with sharp, systematic observations and insights into the twisted manifestations of life, love, and death. The tales skip across genres at breakneck speed, mixing humor and pathos with fantasy, sometimes in settings that juxtapose gritty reality with magical realism. Throughout, Spotte scrapes aside the thin patina of everyday existence, offering a glimpse into the strange abyssal world of his imagination.
As a novelist, journalist, editor, teacher and actor, Wayzata native Anne Marie Ruff Grewal has spent most of her life capturing ideas and shaping
Swiss Cheese and Sibling Rivalry:
Whine & Cheese Cozy Mystery Series: Book 4
by Judy Volhart
Can Amalia cut through the cheese and find the killer before she goes Emmental?
When her wine and cheese tasting class gets creamed due to a brutal murder, she soon finds that investigating a case proves to be more challenging when it involves family.
Nathan’s never-before-mentioned sister returns to the town of Robin, only to get jacked before he has a chance to see her. The ex-lawyer had swindled many, including her family, before fleeing across the country and disappearing from their lives, leaving behind a mystery that fermented in their hearts for years.
As if that’s not bad enough, it seems Stephan has gotten himself into some financial trouble. Is he responsible for the latest break-in at the bistro? What type of Muenster would do that to his own sister?
In this story of cheese, greed, lust, wine, deception, love and soul searching, Amalia is left questioning not only those around her, but her future and her very own sexuality.
In her last mystery, and with more stress on her shoulders than she Camembert, Amalia must stay sharp as she muddles through this case that has more holes than Swiss cheese.
Sworn brothers—one American, one Chinese—captured, imprisoned, tortured. Survival is just the beginning of the battle...
In 1942, Birch Bai, a Chinese pilot, and Danny Hardy, a downed American pilot, become sworn brothers and best friends.
In the summer of 1945, both airmen’s planes go down in Yunnan Province of China during one of many daring missions. They are captured, imprisoned, and tortured by the Japanese for information about the atomic bomb. Just days before the end of WWII, Danny makes an
irrevocable decision to save Birch's life.
For Birch, surviving the war is only the beginning of the battle. He must deal with the dreadful reality in China—the civil war, the separation of the country, the death of one friend in the Communist-controlled Mainland and another under the Nationalist government, and his wrongful imprisonment in Taiwan.
From Chungking to Yunnan, and from Taiwan to San Francisco, the sequel to Wings of a Flying Tiger takes readers along on an epic journey.
Veterinarian Alphonse Vallerone dreams out this novel of dreamers dreaming, going back 50 years to the day after the Flood, when he assisted the surviving Indians. Riding from one devastated ranch to another, he tends to the surviving yet devastated animals and tries to mend the grief wrought by the Flood.
Underpinned by the lingering and harsh reminders of the Blackfeet Nation’s heroic, tragic, and vibrant past, Gustafson’s third novel chronicles the heartrending drama of the Blackfeet people.
Heartbeats will quite literally "warm your heart...
Heartbeats is a light-hearted memoir of one of the pioneers in modern cardiac surgery, Constantine "Dino" Tatooles, M.D. Dino's stories, as told to his brother James E. Tatooles, will quite literally "warm your heart" as well as provide a background to the advances in cardiac surgery made over the past fifty years.
Ironically, Dr. Tatooles recently had some difficult medicine of his own to swallow when he discovered that he needed a quintuple bypass. As his brother James E. Tatooles relates in Heartbeats, a procedure that Dino helped to develop eventually saved his life.
The Cheapo Snob’s Guide to the City andAmericans Who Lived There
by Jayne R. Boisvert
An easy-to-use guide devoted to Paris, Pilgrimage to Paris: The Cheapo Snob’s Guide to the City and Americans Who Lived There includes travel tips, main attractions, free (and nearly free) things to do, shopping, museums, churches, cafes, restaurants, as well
Stunning beauties, elaborate sets, and captivating song-and-dance numbers. Forget Hollywood. Hindi cinema—otherwise known as Bollywood—is the world’s largest film industry with an estimated 3.6 billion tickets sold annually across the globe.
them into stories that have won the hearts of audiences across the globe.
Open Books Featured Titles
The Autobiography of Satan (Authorized Edition)
by William A. Glasser
The story of Satan's many struggles, across the history of Human existence, to unshackle the Human mind, and open the gates to forbidden knowledge.
From the moment of his first emergence as a single spark in the dimness of prehistory, to the more
enlightening force into which he evolves across the full span of human existence, Satan, as he now clearly illustrates, has been urging human beings to open their eyes to the world around them, and to continue seeking, with unfettered minds, for ultimate answers, yet to be found.
The Soulful Leader: Success with Authenticity, Integrity and Empathy
by Arthur P. Ciaramicoli, Ed.D., Ph.D. with Jim Crystal
The Soulful Leader provides poignant and practical examples of Dr. Ciaramicoli's ground-breaking AIE (authenticity, integrity and empathy) leadership platform for leaders in all industries to help them successfully optimize the potential of employees.
"We are all far more alike than we are different. “The other” is a bogeyman used to create fear and paranoia for the basest of political motives. It’s not speaking figura-tively to say that the starving babies of the world are part of the single human family to which we all belong.
My grandchildren this Christmas are going to be surprised and pleased, I hope, that their gift
from gramps is a letter from Save the Children International thanking them for sponsoring a child.
Nathaniel Popkin is a nationally recognized writer and editor of fiction and non-fiction, film, criticism, and journalism. He is the author of three books of non-fiction and two novels, including Everything is Borrowed (New Door Books) and Lion and Leopard (The Head and The Hand Press), which re-imagines the life and tragic death of the first great American genre painter, John Lewis Krimmel. Lion and Leopard was a finalist for the Foreword Reviews Indie Book of the Year Award. He is also the co-editor of a recent anthology, Who Will Speak for America? (Temple University Press). In 2018, he turned his attention to the ecological crisis, describing the present era as an “age of loss” in a short essay in The New York Times.
Popkin has been a Fellow of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Writer-in-Residence at the Athenaeum of Philadelphia and Jefferson University, and an artist-in-residence at Rivendell Writers Colony in Tennessee and the Gullkistan Center for Creativity in Iceland. Popkin is the writer of the 2018 film documentary “Sisters in Freedom,” the extraordinary
A how-to guide for new and experienced collectors, How to Collect Great Art on a Shoestring explores the unique opportunity to acquire one-of-a-kind works for $2000 or $3000 by hundreds of mostly forgotten yet startlingly good artists who are in the permanent collections of MoMA, the Guggenheim, the Whitney, the Met, among many other museums.
A veteran and avid collector, Gersh offers pro tips on how, what, and which artists to look for while providing unique insights, an invaluable perspective, and a dash of humor into the world of collecting great art.
In Chechnya: The Inside Story historian and former advisor to the president of Chechnya Mairbek Vatchagaev chronicles the dramatic events that took place in Chechnya during the 1990s following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Engaged on one side of the Russian-Chechen conflict, he presents what he witnessed, how he
story of the trailblazing women who crossed racial lines in the fight to end slavery. He is the recipient of several Emmy Awards for documentary film writing.
Popkin is co-founder of the web magazine Hidden City Daily and the reviews editor of Cleaver Magazine. His literary criticism and essays have appeared in The New York Times, TheWall Street Journal, TheKenyon Review, LitHub, Tablet, Public Books, and Rain Taxi, among many other publications. As a close observer of Philadelphia and American urban history, Popkin has sought a fresh way to understand urban change through layers of human endeavor. His 2017 book Finding the Hidden City follows on 2008’s The Possible City and 2002’s Song of the City. He was the guest architecture critic of the Philadelphia Inquirer from 2011-12.
Open Books will Publish his latest novel, The Year of the Return in Fall 2019.
AIE leadership produces an environment where staff members grow to respect each other while producing on the highest possible level.
Dr. Ciaramicoli has developed this approach during 35 years of consulting with and counseling leaders in business, education, politics, and on athletic teams. His pioneering approach offers new promise to a society struggling with fear and doubt about those in powerful positions.
Foreword by Brian Kelly, Notre Dame football coach
As a California journalist, columnist, author, speaker and public radio commentator, Susan Swartz has researched and reported on the themes in her new novel, Laughing in the Dark.
She has written two books on women and aging: The Juicy Tomatoes Guide to Ripe Living After 50 (2006) and Juicy Tomatoes: Plain Truths, Dumb Lies and Sisterly Advice About Life After 50 (2000). 'Juicy Tomatoes' was turned into a theater performance and radio play.
Her newspaper columns, written for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat and the New York Times News Service, were read in newspapers around the USA. Her fiction has appeared in several anthologies.
Open Books will publish Laughing in the Dark in July 2019.
Considered an expert in the area of psychopathic behavior, Dr. Espy has interviewed more than 30 serial murderers including Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, and Eddie Gein.
But when he was assigned to evaluate inmate Nathaneal Bar Jonah, Espy encountered a parasitic personality beyond imagination: a modern-day Cronos, the Greek mythological figure who devoured his children.
Culled from hundreds of hours of exclusive interviews with Bar Jonah, dozens of others who either knew or were involved with him, Montana State investigators and prosecutors, and Zach Ramsay’s mother, Espy retells Bar Jonah’s entire life—from the time before he was conceived to after his death—and those who were harmed by him in unparalleled detail and scope.
Publication Dates: Eat the Evidence, March 2019; A Parasite in the Mind, June 2019; There is No Body, September 2019
Laughing in the Dark
by Susan Swartz
Three long-time friends go on their annual lake camp-out in Northern California to eat and drink, skinny dip and whoop into the night when the subject turns to death. What do you want to do before you die? What will you wear to your funeral? Who will do your makeup?
It gets darker back home as Jude fears she’s developing her mother’s dementia and starts to stash pills, research suicide and withdraw from her friends. Before the next camping trip each woman’s life is turned upside down, along with her faith in the future and her friends in a year of suspicions, infidelity, the latest in California dying styles, the politics of assisted suicide along with debates on why breasts are not boobs and what wine to have with your last meal. Because, what better way to deal with the absurdity and certainty of mortality than to cry and laugh with your best friends?
The Year of the Return
by Nathaniel Popkin
Set against the backdrop of 1976 Philadelphia, The Year of the Return follows the path of two families, the Jewish Silks and African American Johnsons, as they are first united by marriage and then by grief, turmoil, and the difficult task of trying to live in an America failing to live up to its ideals.
Paul Silk and Charlene Johnson are journalists whose love for each other and commitment to social justice were formed in the peace movements of the 1960s. But the idealism of that era leads to the urban deterioration of the 1970s. Mayor Frank Rizzo's Philadelphia is a place of crime, white flight, and class resentment that is inhospitable to their interracial marriage, forcing them to move away. But when Charlene dies of cancer, Paul returns. Unmoored and unable to let go of Charlene, he wades back into the lives of the two families, with the hope of helping Charlene's younger brother Monte, once a prodigy and now a troubled veteran of the Vietnam War. Their explosive reunion leads to the baring of personal revelations and dangerous secrets.
The Year of the Return is a vivid story of families trying to reconnect with and support each other through trauma and loss, and a meditation on the possibility of moving on to a better future.