The Genius of Home by Catherine Read, Ph.D.

In recent years, there has been a notable increase in the number of parents choosing to teach their children at home rather than sending them to school. Many parents find that public schools cannot offer their children the individualized support they need, and private schools can be an intense expense. 

In The Genius of Home (Bell Pond Books, November 2021, 978-1952166099, original trade paperback), Dr. Catherine Read describes her experiences following her decision to school her children at home and to follow the curriculum used in Steiner-Waldorf schools. Read is a pioneer of this method, among the first ever to document her journey and her success. To some, using the Waldorf curriculum at home may be a contradiction, but The Genius of Home provides both an informative base for why this method works, as well as instructional guides for those considering homeschooling. 

Catherine Read shares her journey as the primary teacher of her two daughters through the entire Waldorf curriculum – from early childhood through high school. She outlines what she did, when she did it and why. In this inspiring account, Read reveals the flexible, artistic, challenging and ultimately rewarding nature of this unique approach to education. There are many approaches to homeschooling, but Read and her children found their success through the guidance and insight of Rudolph Steiner using the Waldorf method. Both of Read’s daughters have gone on to pursue higher education, with one graduating in veterinary medicine at Cornell and the other receiving her Master’s in Art Therapy at Long Island University. With Read’s book as a guide, parents can help prepare their children for further education in a thoughtful, balanced way. She emphasizes a balance between observation and critical thought, sleep schedules and biological rhythms, and between intellectual work and time in nature.

“To educate means to draw forth (Latin, educare: to lead, to bring up); the teacher must draw forth, but, also, must meet the new individual at their own level. But what does the teacher draw forth from the child?”

The Genius of Home, by Catherine Read, includes detailed instructions on classroom materials and setup, sample lesson plans, curriculum adaptations, and day-by-day examples of how the author adopted the Steiner-Waldorf curriculum into her home. Explore how rhythm, creativity, and nature come together to give a comprehensive education from kindergarten to high school graduation. Part memoir and part how-to, the account from Read’s years as both a parent and teacher will be an encouraging and instructional companion to anyone thinking of engaging in their own school-at-home.


Uncontrollable by Sara Staggs

Epilepsy, seizures, brain surgery—these are not the everyday problems of everyday people. For Casey Scott, a high-powered civil rights attorney in Portland, Oregon, they are a part of her life. Like many smart and super capable women, she is determined to manage her demanding boss, two kids, a husband—also with a big career—and her health conditions, until one day she can’t. Finally, up against a wall where sudden death from a seizure is a real possibility, Casey must make a heart-breaking decision that will alter everything she had carefully planned for her successful life.

Based on her real-life struggles with epilepsy, UNCONTROLLABLE (Black Rose Writing, 978-1-68513-201-9, $22.95, May 23, 2023) is a debut novel by Sara Staggs. It is the story of 

Casey and Jonah Scott, a power couple, who fell in love and married expecting to conquer the world. But when Casey’s seizures start occurring more frequently Jonah insists that they need to get serious medical help and make extreme changes to her career plans. 

An extensive hospital stay and painful testing takes Casey halfway across the country, while Jonah tries to handle his own failing aspirations at work and with the kids. Meanwhile, Casey is determined to return to work on a prominent civil rights case, after brain surgery. The strain on their marriage has unexpected consequences and Jonah and Casey will have to find even more strength and courage to save Casey and their family.

Sara Staggs was a civil litigator in Portland, Oregon. Two brain surgeries were successful at limiting the severity of her seizures, which can now be controlled with medication and proper self-care. She had to close her law practice and bid farewell to that chapter of her life for good. For Sara, writing is the next frontier. She has contributed to several publications including: Huffington Post, Flash Fiction Magazine, In Parentheses Literary Journal, Five Minute Lit, and Tiny Seed Literary Journal literary journals. She also has several other projects in the pipeline.

UNCONTROLLABLE is an inspirational story of a woman whose life is derailed by something out of her control, and how she chooses to face life on its terms, abandoning what she once dreamed she could be. 

SARA STAGGS was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. She practiced civil rights litigation for several years before turning to writing. Her debut novel, Uncontrollable, is based on her experiences with epilepsy, and has been called “a compelling story that tackles complex themes with sensitivity and nuance” by Pacific Book Review and is a Five-Star Readers’ Favorite.

She loves to write fiction, both adult contemporary and YA. Sara is an epilepsy advocate and an LGBTQ+ advocate. She writes a blog that covers epilepsy, LGBTQ+ concerns, writing and publishing tips. She has appeared on television and podcasts to talk about epilepsy and works to dispel the stigma that surrounds the condition. She lives in Portland, Oregon, and, when she’s not writing, can be found reading, hiking, mountain biking, or camping with her husband and two children. 


Find her online at

The Shakespeare Killer by Douglas J. Wood

“Dick the Butcher wanted to get rid of the only people who could stop him from committing the crimes he planned. Shakespeare meant that if you kill all the lawyers, chaos will ensue. So only the lawyers kept criminals at bay.”

“Exactly. As I said, Dick got it right.”

“So you want chaos?”

“No. I want dead lawyers.”

When Jacob Schneider– a prominent criminal defense attorney– is found washed up on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, his death is ruled a suicide by authorities. Given the suicide note found on his body and no other signs of a struggle, it seems like an open-and-shut case. Just like the other defense attorneys who recently died across the U.S. 

Special Agent Chris DiMeglio is back in Douglas J. Wood’s latest thriller, The Shakespeare Killer (Plum Bay Publishing, 979-8-9858564-1-5, June 2023). While DiMeglio is busy balancing his work as a federal agent and his newly appointed position of improving the public image of the FBI, he receives a tip from a local reporter who suspects the deaths of three lawyers are connected. Between the victim profiles, the suicide notes, and the unusual methods of death, it soon becomes obvious the FBI has yet another serial killer on its hands. 

This case is particularly sadistic and not long after he begins working on the case, DiMeglio starts receiving cryptic texts referencing Shakespearean characters and a clear motive to “kill all the lawyers.” With the lives of so many at stake, DiMeglio is forced to play a heart-pounding game of cat-and-mouse to find the culprit and stop the killing. Through guileful messages and hints, DiMeglio must dissect the killer’s vendetta and figure out who the Shakespeare Killer is at all costs before the next victim dies. 

“One of the most fundamental questions people have about defense attorneys is, ‘How can you do that? How can you go to bat every day for a person that you may not know is guilty but you have a pretty good idea that he’s not so innocent?’ It’s a question that defense attorneys answer for themselves by not addressing.”  — David E. Kelley, American television writer, producer, and former attorney

Douglas J. Wood’s gripping new detective novel, The Shakespeare Killer, picks up the story of Agent DiMeglio, who fans may recognize from Blood on the Bayou. Whether you’re already a fan or you want to read it as a standalone work, The Shakespeare Killer is a thought-provoking mystery that will have readers alongside DiMeglio trying to guess the killer. While it is a work of fiction, Wood’s tireless research into the federal justice system and interviews with professionals in that field culminates into an unnervingly accurate police procedural. The Shakespeare Killer is a book that readers won’t want to put down. 


Do You Know What a Book Publicist Does?

Do You Know What a Book Publicist DoesDO YOU KNOW WHAT A BOOK PUBLICIST DOES?
A Guide for Creating Your Own Campaigns
By Claire McKinney

For more information on the book visit our Plum Bay Publishing page or on Amazon.

Book publishing is an ever-changing industry—between technological advancements, the emergence of self-publishing, and the rise of social media, how can an author distinguish their book from the competition? Whether traditional or self-published, authors can be left in the dark when it comes to promoting and marketing their books.

Book publicity expert Claire McKinney has found that the lack of information on how book promotion works has left most authors without a clear idea of how they can contribute to their campaigns. Her new book DO YOU KNOW WHAT A BOOK PUBLICIST DOES? A Guide for Creating Your Own Campaigns, stems from over twenty years of experience in the field.

In her book, McKinney exposes the depth of extensive campaigning necessary for successful promotion. From this, authors can begin to understand the everyday workings of their in-house publicist—and for indie authors, how they can improve their own promotional efforts.

Book promotion can be rife with opportunities to make or break an author’s career, and McKinney examines these pitfalls. Showing writers how to brand themselves and identify their professional goals to properly prepare their books for success, McKinney also dives deep into important topics such as creating a personal image, writing press kits, and the importance of building momentum through media with unique insight that could only be provided by a seasoned industry professional.

Combining professional advice with charts and case studies, authors will see the inner workings of book publicity at every angle from initial idea generation to event planning.


• How to promote their book to the media
• How to create their own media contact list
• How to write press release materials and how to use them
• How to create a timeline and plan a campaign on their own
• How to pitch, who to pitch, and when
• How to talk to their publisher about publicity

With McKinney’s clear voice, readers will be equipped with the tools they need to create a campaign from scratch, and have fun in the process. DO YOU KNOW WHAT A BOOK PUBLICIST DOES? serves as a comprehensive step-by-step guide that every author should have in their arsenal.

About the Author
Claire McKinney is twenty-year veteran of the publishing industry. She has worked for major publishers, including Little, Brown and Company, Putnam, and Disney Publishing Claire has appeared on CSPAN and on the Today Show as an expert on self-publishing. She travels regularly to speak to authors and audiences about book promotion, publishing, and social media marketing. Visit her at

A Guide for Creating Your Own Campaigns
Claire McKinney
Plum Bay Publishing, LLC
Publication Date: June 2017
ISBN: 978-0-9988617-0-8
Price $11.99
146 pp


ReInception by Sarena Straus

“[T]ranscranial magnetic stimulation beams targeted magnetic pulses deep inside patients’ brains — an approach that has been likened to rewiring a computer. “We are actually changing how the brain circuits are arranged, how they talk to each other…” ―UCLA Newsroom, June 12, 2017

Since at least 2017, technology has made it possible for scientists to “rewire” connectors in the brain. These techniques, originally developed for people suffering severe depression, are already being used in other therapies such as habit modification.

In REINCEPTION (Winding Road Publishing LLC; October 25th 2022; $14.99; 979-8986604336), the first in a new sci-fi trilogy, Sarena Straus, a former prosecutor in the Bronx District Attorney’s office, imagines a time when using technology to eliminate unwanted behaviors is the norm. REINCEPTION takes place in 2126 in New York City; there is an extreme class divide, and parents are allowed to modify their kids’ brains until they are twenty years old. Now, a technology originally invented to help addicts— referred to as ReInception— is being used for everything from taming unruly children to reprogramming pedophiles.

Leandrea, an “unmodified” young college student, is not comfortable with the idea of ReInception.  She also feels empathy for the Proles—a working class forced to live at ground level where they are exposed to the harsh environment of the future.  There, the Proles work in service positions paid for by the privileged class.

Like many young people, Leandrea has not had the motivation to be proactive about her rebellious feelings. That is, until her boyfriend is illegally modified by his pro-ReInception family in order to separate him from Leandrea’s “bad influence” as a detractor.

In desperation, Leandrea turns to Ward, a Prole who is involved in a plot to undermine modification practices. Although Ward tries to push her away, Leandrea is determined to make a difference in the world and in the process captures Ward’s heart and renews his faith in mankind.

REINCEPTION is a sci-fi thriller that explores what happens when good-faith technology is taken too far and abused. The novel touches on many of the issues facing society today around privacy, reproductive rights, and class divide. The tension is palpable on the pages as Leandrea and Ward work to execute their plan to take down ReInception, while escaping capture by the Authority. Their mantra: “Trust no one and escape modification at all costs”.

by Sarena Straus
Winding Road Publishing LLC
Publication Date: October 25, 2022
Paperback ISBN:  979-8986604336
Price: $14.99
Page count: 289