Friday, April 27, 2012

Jane McCloskey

Jane McCloskey has been many things, including house painter, Christmas wreath maker, environmentalist, and writer.  She lives in a house she built herself on Deer Isle, Maine, near the island where she grew up.  She is Robert McCloskey's younger daughter and appears in many of his books.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sarah L. Thomson

Sarah L. Thomson has published more than twenty-five books for young readers. A versatile writer, she has created fiction and nonfiction, poetry and prose, fantasy and realism, for age levels from kindergarten through high school. Her books include an adventure about two friends who rescue a dragon’s egg, a picture book biography of Abraham Lincoln, and a novel about a real-life vampire, along with poetry for picture book readers and nonfiction I-Can-Read titles about tigers, whales, sharks, gorillas, and snakes. She loves the field of children’s literature because readers are so committed to and passionate about books.

The Washington Post said that the plot of Sarah’s book, The Manny, is “worthy of Jane Austen,” and Booklist called her Arthurian novel, The Dragon’s Son, “a spellbinding tale of love, intrigue, and betrayal.” Her biography of Abraham Lincoln, What Lincoln Said, was reviewed in People magazine, her fantasy novel, Dragon’s Egg, was the winner of the Maine Lupine Award, and her most recent YA novel, Mercy, was selected as one of Barnes and Noble’s top ten YA books of 2011.

Sarah worked for nine years as a children’s book editor for HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster before leaving New York to devote herself full time to her own writing. She now lives in Portland, Maine, with her daughter and her two cats. Her daughter helps with inspiration, and her cats help by lying on the piece of paper she needs most.

Learn more about Sarah’s work at

Friday, April 20, 2012

Kate Gerteis Shaffer

A veteran of countless California restaurant kitchens, Kate Gerteis Shaffer moved to Maine in 2000 and landed her dream job—cook at an almost impossibly romantic lighthouse inn on remote Isle au Haut. When, five years later, the owners decided to retire, Kate was determined to find a way to use her rather limited battalion of skills to stay on the island—and with the community—she had accidentally grown to love.

Severely impaired by the inability to think inside the box, Kate and her husband, Steve (both of whom knew squat about chocolate) dreamed up a business making gourmet truffles out of their home kitchen, with a cafĂ© in the middle of nowhere from which to sell them. With the inception of now iconic Black Dinah Chocolatiers, Kate and Steve set out to make a living—and, almost in spite of themselves, ended up making a life. In November, Kate was named one of North America’s Top Ten Chocolatiers by Dessert Professional Magazine.

Desserted: Recipes and Tales from an Island Chocolatier (Down East, $29.95) tells the story of Kate unlikely career and shares her tips and recipes for chocolate confections and other popular items served at the couple's seasonal cafe. Lavishly illustrated with 50 color photographs, the book includes detailed instructions not only for making chocolates, but for incorporating chocolate into a variety of sweet and savory dishes. From building a successful business on a remote island to creating fabulous gourmet chocolates, Desserted removes the mystery but keeps all of the magic.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Lea Wait

Maine author Lea Wait admits that she was born in Boston and grew up in both New Jersey and Maine. She did her undergraduate work at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, then her graduate degrees at New York University while she was living in Greenwich Village (an author's dream, and full of histories and mysteries) and working in the corporate world. She adopted 4 older Asian girls as a single parent, and is now the grandmother of 7 and the wife of Bob Thomas, a Maine artist who grew up in Lebanon. She writes historical novels for children as well as adult mysteries, and loves to row her skiff on the Sheepscot River.

Born in New Jersey, she grew up in a family where books were an important part of life. Her family summered in Maine. She did her undergraduate work at Chatham College - now Chatham University - in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and her graduate work at New York University, completing all requirements for a doctorate except for the dissertation, a 'DWD', and joining AT&T as a manager. Her grandmother was an antiques dealer, and in 1976 she started an antique print business, and decided she should become a writer. She also, as a single parent, adopted four “older” girls born in Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong and India.

It was in 1998 that she left the corporate life and moved to live in Edgecomb, Maine. She now divides her time between her writing and her antique print business.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Morgan Callan Rogers

Morgan Callan Rogers is the author of Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea. She grew up in Bath, Maine, an historical shipbuilding city situated on the Kennebec River. Growing up, she spent her summers in a small cottage with her parents and three siblings, exploring the woods and fields with the family dogs, wandering along the rocky shore of the New Meadows River, swimming off the rocks, reading anything she could get her hands on, and writing stories at a rickety table located on a screen porch. She has been, in her lifetime, a librarian, a journalist, an actress, an editor, and a teacher. She holds a BA in English and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine. Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea is her debut novel. She currently splits her time between her beloved Maine and western South Dakota. She is busy writing another novel.  

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Lisa Turner

"Lisa Turner is one of the best [farmers]...she has pioneered new crops and new techniques. Who better to write a cookbook than someone who really knows what it takes to create great food" - Eliot Coleman, author of The New Organic Grower

With this shift toward local food sources, shoppers are finding a wide variety of items not available in large supermarkets. Many wonder how to prepare them. Thanks to Lisa Turner, whose Laughing Stock Farm supplies Maine’s best kitchens, preparing great dishes from these local foods is fast, easy and delicious. As past president of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (the oldest and largest state organic organization in the country), Lisa has a deep appreciation for the value of foods grown close to home. Her new book, Eat Local (Down East, $27.50) is a collection of over one hundred recipes from Maine’s top chefs, farmers, home cooks, and Lisa’s own kitchen.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Eva Murray

Eva Murray moved from the Rockland area to Matinicus Island in 1987, having been hired to teach at the island’s one-room school. Two years later she married the island electrician and stayed to raise their family there (the children are now in college). Over the years she has become an emergency medical technician, started a small bakery, taken on a number of roles in municipal government and local organizations, started the community’s recycling program, and been a first responder to emergencies both real and imagined. Since 2003 she’s also been a regular columnist for several publications, among them Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors, the Working Waterfront, the (Rockland) Herald Gazette and Free Press, and Down East Online.

Her first book, Well Out to Sea—Year -round on Matinicus Island, published by Tilbury House in 2010, is a collection of essays about how things really work in a tiny, isolated community. Island Schoolhouse-one room for all: the 21st century one-room schools of Maine, also published by Tilbury House, should be out in August of 2012.

Eva bakes bread in a wood stove, spins wool, digs potatoes, collects useful herbs, cuts hay with a scythe and swings a blacksmith’s hammer. She sometimes writes her articles with pencil and paper.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

James Hayman

After twenty-five years writing advertising for Madison Avenue ad agencies, James Hayman moved from New York to Portland, Maine in 2001.

Recognizing that Portland would make an almost perfect setting for a thriller series, Hayman started writing his first Mike McCabe thriller, The CuttingThe Cutting was published by St. Martin’s/Minotaur  in 2009.

The second McCabe novel, The Chill of Night, came out last year.

Both books have been published all over the world and have been translated into half a dozen languages. Hayman has just finished writing his third thriller, Darkness First, which takes place in Downeast Maine and features McCabe’s partner, Detective Maggie Savage.