Italians in WA, OR, ID

Recently joining the acclaimed series from Arcadia Publishing drawing upon localized history by regional authors is this book on the Italians that settled in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington states.

Local author and community historian Tessa Floreano draws primarily on unpublished images, stories, and memorabilia from the Italian American community in three Pacific Northwest states. Tessa is a dual Italian-Canadian married to an American, who is interested in exploring history, and chose this book as a way to honor fellow Italians in her adopted homeland. 

From hardscrabble days as homesteaders and farmers in the 1880s to becoming successful entrepreneurs of the postwar boom generation, Italian immigrants settled and later thrived in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. Italians labored in several industries including railway tie hacking, coal mining, logging, canning salmon, terra-cotta and brick manufacturing, truck farms, and grocery stores. They also contributed to inventions from the collapsible crab pot to the atomic bomb, the vaudeville circuit, the Pellegrini bean, and one-of-a-kind accordions. It is the author’s hope that this book highlights the contributions of many Pacific Northwest Italians, known and unknown.

Available from the publisher, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and probably your favorite local bookstore.

How Do You Idaho?

Rick Just, Idaho historian and author of numerous books, has just released a definitive guide to How To Be An Idahoan — The Idaho Conversion Kit.

This is the second book in his Speaking of Idaho history series. The Idaho Conversion Kit is a tongue-in-cheek instruction manual on becoming an Idahoan in ten easy steps.

One step is a pronunciation guide to Idaho place names, the first of its kind since 1975. Readers will learn how Idaho got its shape, which Idahoans were notorious enough to have nicknames, the Idaho connections of famous people, and much more.

Oh, and you’ll never use the term “glove compartment” again.

Available on Amazon, or purchase a signed copy from the author (scroll down on this page).

Michael K. Edwards – Spirits of Idaho

He grew up on farmland in the Magic Valley before earning a degree in biology from Idaho State University, and then did research on potato variety development in Aberdeen before moving to a position in factory automation with Lamb-Weston. After moving with his family to Kennewick, Washington in 1992, he returned to Idaho with his wife following his retirement where they’ve lived in Meridian since 2010.

Just Launched

In the enigmatic mountain town of Copper Creek, Rachael Greystone must trust her abilities as a Comanche Spirit Talker to uncover long-buried secrets that will ultimately decide her fate, as well as that of the entire town.

Rachael Greystone has denied having special abilities since childhood, insisting it was all superstition. However, superstition doesn’t explain the woman in a long white dress along a lonely stretch of mountain road – particularly when Rachael stops and finds a necklace by the roadside and the woman vanishes before she can return it. That was before Jason Coleman hires her to restore the historic Coleman Theater as part of his plan to revitalize the gold mining town his great-great-grandfather founded. But there are forces in the valley that resist change…

Available on Amazon.

Meet the Author

The timing is great to meet this author whose website address says it all:

Do you have a writing routine? Where and when do you write?

I usually write in the morning. I get my best ideas for the next chapter at night before bed.

Do you have any patterns or rituals associated with your writing time?

I drink lots of coffee.

What do you do when you hit a wall with your writing?

I usually work on something else for a while, and then go back when I feel inspired.

Do you plan your book in advance (plotting and outlining) or are you a “discovery writer” (AKA “writing into the dark”)? Or are you somewhere in between?

I usually have a general plan in mind, but it changes over time and re-writes. Once I get a good start, I have a spreadsheet that I use to keep track of chapters, characters, events and a timeline. One important column is purpose of chapter. Sometimes I realize that I have already fulfilled that purpose in another chapter.

What’s the last book you read that made you go “wow!”?

I recently read Beulah by Christi Nogle.

What book or author do you find yourself recommending and why?

I really don’t have a favorite author. I used to read a lot of Stephen King, but he had a season for his best books.

What’s on your To Be Read pile?
  • Beyond the Veil by Nicky Shearsby
  • Mark of a Demon by Desponia Kemeridou
  • The Ghost Manuscript by Kris Frieswick
What advice do you have for readers?

If you start reading a book and give it a good chance, but it hasn’t grabbed your attention, unless it is a textbook, drop it.

What author, past or present, would you wish to have a long conversation with? Why?

Shirley Jackson. I read The Haunting when I was in high school and it has haunted me ever since. She could create a mood without jump scares or blood and murder.

Do you have early memories of reading or writing you’d like to share?

I had two high school teachers that encouraged me to go into writing. At that time, I did mostly humor. I actually started college to become a writer, but changed majors.

What books and/or authors have most influenced you as an author?

I think, by far, Shirley Jackson. But King’s earlier books (The Shining, IT, The Stand) were also good. For example, IT was more about kids growing up than a monster.

What do you most enjoy about being a writer? What do least enjoy about being a writer?

I most enjoy the writing. It is challenging and creative. The least I enjoy is trying to sell the thing.

What would you tell a new writer?

Keep after it and don’t give up. I was 70 years old when I started the first novel. I really had no intention of selling it, I think I just wanted to see if I could. Finding a publisher was the hardest.

Did You Know About the Whistlepig?

The Mountain Home Arts Council promotes creative works including producing a periodical issue of The Whistle Pig Literary Journal.*

(*a whistlepig, for those of you new to the area, is a nickname for a groundhog)

There will be a release party for Volume 15 at the Mountain Home Public Library, 790 N 10th E, at 7 p.m. Friday 13 October.

There’s more on their Facebook page, but here’s an example of what you might enjoy in this new issue:

Margaret Koger’s story “The Knife” will be featured in the 2023 Whistle Pig issue. A young Winnie Bullock faces the odds while helping her father homestead a claim between Mountain Home and Boise–as the family anticipates irrigation water that may never come. Two of Grove Koger’s stories will also be included in addition to many more excellent pieces.

“Thanks to the Whistlepig crew, especially Chris DeVore!” says Margaret.

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

Futuristic, with a Twist

Coming 12 September. Available for pre-order.

Promise collects Christi Nogle’s best futuristic stories ranging from plausible tech-based science fiction to science fantasy stories about aliens in our midst: chameleonic foils hover in the skies, you can order a headset to speak and dream with your dog, and your devices sometimes connect not just to the web but to the underworld.

These tales will recall the stories of Ray Bradbury, television programs such as Black Mirror and The Twilight Zone, and novels such as Little Eyes by Samanta Schweblin or Under the Skin by Michel Faber.

They are often strange and dreadful but veer towards themes of hope, potential, promise.

Promise is available from online booksellers, from Rediscovered Books and Barnes and Noble in Boise, select bookstores nationwide, and direct from the author.

Turn Back the Clocks

Be careful what you wish for! From Ponce de León to Dorian Gray to Benjamin Button, the quest for eternal youth has been a recurring theme. Meet Diane Devlin, a modern women with an age-old longing to stop the hands of time.

Not long after her 65th birthday, Diane noticed subtle changes to her body. She seems to be growing younger. While she savors this unexpected rejuvenation — and all its implications — she worries about a dark side. Could the process suddenly reverse? Will it kill her. Could there be something worse?

This is author Bonnie Schroeder’s third novel. She also has published short stories and screenplays. Follow her on her website.

Find Turn Back the Clocks at your favorite bookseller.

Hover Point

When America’s most-celebrated TV newscaster begins broadcasting the nightly network news not from a major city studio but from a ranch in Southwest Idaho, he jeopardizes his marriage, uncovers small town secrets, encounters dangers and discovers much about nature and about himself.

Filled with intriguing characters, philosophical observations, lyrical writing and humor, HOVER POINT raises the tantalizing questions:

  • Where do you feel most at home?
  • And how well do you know your neighbors?

Hover Point is available at many of your favorite booksellers including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Rediscovered Books, and Apple Books.

Author Eric E. Wallace is an author and playwright, working in fiction, poetry, drama, humor, radio and television. Learn more on his website.

The Last Dragonfly

This epic teen fantasy is the newest release from E. G. Moore (and is specially priced for the next few days).

Eragon meets The Forgetting in this powerful story about friendship, loyalty, and discovering that things aren’t always what they seem.

Sixteen-year-old Governor’s daughter Etoiny longs to throw off her upper-class responsibilities and become the first female scientist of Taachat. When she accidentally wounds a thought-extinct dragonfly, she must race to find a bygone cure in order to present it to the Science Society for admission.

She soon realizes two powerful people are on the hunt for the dragonfly and its healing ability. Just as Etoiny finds a way to save her dragonfly, she discovers horrors her father has allowed in the underbelly of Taachat and it makes her question who she wants to be.

Etoiny must decide whether to claim her place as a renowned scientist by offering the creature for experimentation or sacrifice her dream, team up with her animal friend, and fulfill their magical destiny.

Note: In case you’ve forgotten, we profiled this author last year!

About the author

E.G. Moore is an award-winning author and poet who loves to weave subtle fable-like lessons into her stories for middle graders and teens.

The South Dakota Beech Diet

You Are What You Eat. Laura Jenski has released her fourth Motorhome Murder Mystery, “The South Dakota Beech Diet.”

In this farcical novella, protagonists Wendy and Franklin Becker join the Black Hills Outdoor Club on a backpacking trip. When a hiker is murdered, the club members are only concerned about their upcoming dinner. Soon, the Beckers find themselves up to their bootlaces in trouble.

Learn more and read the first chapters of all the Motorhome Murder Mysteries at: