Whether you’re someone who wants to wind down at night with a short story, fill the empty moments with poetry, or allow yourself to get swept into a novel that illuminates the past and delves deep into our present cultural realities, you’re sure to find something from Erin Bartels that challenges, inspires, and entertains.
The Bone Garden (working title) COMING JANUARY 2019 from REVELL BOOKS
When disgraced reporter Elizabeth Balsam moves in with her elderly Great Aunt Nora, she is surprised by a number of mysterious things tucked away out of sight in the 150-year-old farmhouse. Every closet and drawer seems stuffed with fabric, though her aunt claims not to sew. The expansive attic is lined with dozens of dusty cots and anchored by an enticing locked trunk. A door in the cellar is padlocked shut. The overgrown herb garden hides graves from another century. A puzzling line of large stones may indicate a long-gone wall—or something else entirely.
As Elizabeth searches out the answers to these mysteries, the stories of two women who lived in this very house, separated from one another by a tumultuous century of history, emerge as testaments to true love, resilience, and courage in the face of war, persecution, racism, and misunderstanding. And when Elizabeth finds herself witness to a racially motivated attack, she finds that the past is never as past as we might like to think.
From the explosive streets of 1960s Detroit to the Underground Railroad in rural 1860s Michigan, readers take an emotional journey through time to uncover the past, confront the seeds of hatred, and discover where love goes to hide.
I Hold the Wind (working title) COMING NOVEMBER 2019 from REVELL BOOKS
On the morning of her father’s scheduled execution, Robin Windsor receives an eerily familiar book in the mail: a first edition of The Catcher in the Rye with a coffee ring on page 23. It was originally given to her nearly twenty years ago by Peter, her first crush—and the second man in her life who would betray her trust. As she fights to save her beloved used bookstore from bankruptcy, another classic novel arrives each day—all past gifts from Peter which she had returned to him in a fit of anger after he exposed her true identity as the daughter of a disgraced US senator to a local news station.
Running parallel to the present day story is the tender coming-of-age tale of how Robin and Peter first connected over the grave of his mother with their shared love of classic novels. Struggling in both storylines to forgive the father and the friend who ripped the floor out from beneath her, Robin discovers that words—the ones we say, the ones we read, and the ones we write—have more power than she’d imagined.
This lyrical exploration of the meaning we find in great books and the shared experience of reading them is a celebration of the printed word and an insightful commentary on what we lose when we no longer value and share it. It explores how we form our identity through the books we read, how we sometimes trust the dusty words of dead authors more than those uttered by those closest to us, and how we can find our way again by revisiting the words we’ve read and the words we’ve written.
In twelve engaging stories, the joys and sorrows of life glow against such varied backdrops as a snowy wood, a quaint country inn, a crumbling metropolis, the shore of Lake Superior, and a lonely country highway. A man in the twilight of his career falls in love with a young woman at the dawn of hers. A girl at the end of her rope finds an unexpected friend in an eccentric stranger. An artist takes stock of his life’s work and discovers an unwelcome truth. With prose that evokes wonder and fear, regret and relief, Erin Bartels draws meaning from the small moments of life, challenging us to be still, to notice, to dream—and to hope.
Poems for spring, summer, fall, and winter. More details coming soon.