B&H Blog

Charles B. Neff Upcoming Title -- Fractured Legacy

Sun Oct 20, 2013 11:37 pm Celeste Bennett

Keep an eye out for the most masterful yet of Charlie Neff's thrillers that explore murder as well as the mysteries of the human heart. Set in the Pacific Northwest.

Suzanne Griffin's Memoir on Life in Afghanistan to release March 2014

Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:06 pm Celeste Bennett

Do you wonder what hope there is for lasting education and healthcare systems in Afghanistan? Read Lessons of Love in Afghanistan by Suzanne Griffin, releasing March 2014.

In 1968, Suzanne followed her heart and began living in Afghanistan, a country she knew little about. She was a newlywed; the wife of a Peace Corps Assistant Director with a sense of adventure and an 18-month contract. Soon, she realized she needed a vocation in Afghanistan. She put her college education to work and began teaching. It did not take long for her to fall in love with the Afghan people.

In 2002, she decided to return to Afghanistan. By this time she had earned her Ph.D. and been appointed Dean of ESL at South Seattle Community College. She and her husband had always hoped to retire in Afghanistan, but circumstances prevented it: she would be returning to Afghanistan a widow, an elder, educated widow familiar with the culture and capable of leading under sometimes difficult and sometimes dangerous conditions.

What began as a one-time sabbatical has turned into an eleven-year-plus phase of life. She is continuing to work alongside Afghan leaders--young, old, male, and female--to build national and provincial healthcare and education systems.

Lessons of Love in Afghanistan will release in March 2014, in conjunction with the Afghan new year. Reading it will give you reasons to hope.

Visit www.suzannemgriffin.com for more information.

Video Interview with Terry Andrews

Fri Apr 16, 2010 4:27 am Celeste Bennett

Dance of the Jaguar is the focus of this video interview with Terry Andrews: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WiI2NZkhjLc

Read Glenn Rockowitz' Article in the April 14 Seattle Weekly

Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:26 am Celeste Bennett

Pick up the April 14, 2010 edition of Seattle Weekly to read author Glenn Rockowitz' article "How Not to Cheer Up a Cancer Patient." Glenn has readings coming up, if you'd like to cheer him up yourself: Third Place Books, 17171 Bothell Way N.E., Lake Forest Park, 366-3333, thirdplacebooks.com. 7:30 p.m. Fri., April 16. And May 5 at Pacific Lutheran University's Bookstore in Tacoma

Paul Michel at Third Place Books, Ravenna, Wednesday May 19

Tue Apr 13, 2010 2:15 am Celeste Bennett

Wednesday, May 19 at 7pm at Ravenna Third Place 6504 20th Ave NE Seattle, WA 98115 Paul Michel reads from his novel Houdini Pie: BOOTLEGGING, BARNSTORMING and a Hard-Rock BOONDOOGLE. Los Angeles, 1934: Based on a true chapter of California history, Houdini Pie explores the depths to which a family, and a city, will sink when hard luck comes knocking and there's nothing left to lose. Young Hal Gates is a celebrated pitcher for an upstart rural ball club, and the son of a notorious booze smuggler who vanished at the end of Prohibition. At his lonely mother's urging, and with the desperate backing of the municipal powers-that-be, he teams up with a crackpot geologist to mine for a mythical Hopi treasure trove buried miles beneath the downtown streets. The deeper they tunnel the more Hal learns about loyalty, treachery, hunger and hope, and mostly--in ways he never would have imagined--about love.

Book Release Party: Paul Michel's Debut Novel Houdini Pie

Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:15 am Celeste Bennett

April 17 in Seattle's Wallingford District Place: CUTZ Meridian salon/gallery 4515 Meridian Ave. N. Seattle See: http://www.belvaslist.com/april.html

Cognitive Fitness Teaching Continuing Education Course based on Fresh Off the Couch!

Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:48 am Celeste Bennett

The authors of Fresh Off the Couch! are teaching Continuing Ed classes for Social Workers and Nurses at the University of Washington. The class is called CHANGING THE SELF-CARE PARADIGM THROUGH EVIDENCE BASED FITNESS PRACTICE. Nurses and Social Workers are eligible for CEU's. University of Washington - Continuing Ed classes for Social Workers and Nurses Time: February 26, 2010 all day Location: University of Washington Graduate School of Social Work Organized By: Cognitive Fitness See more details and RSVP on the Cognitive Fitness website: http://freshoffthecouch.ning.com/events

Just Deceits Book Launch

Sat Oct 18, 2008 7:01 am Celeste Bennett

The following article with photograph can be viewed at The Ballard News Tribune by clicking here.

More photos and text are available at the Seattle P-I by clicking here.

Just rewards

By Peggy Sturdivant

Monday, October 06, 2008

Loyal Heights resident Michael Schein has been traveling two paths for nearly two decades. Husband and father, neighbor, legal professor and poet on one path, while on the other he's been writer and detective on the trail of 200 year-old courtroom mystery. Last week his paths crossed as his novel, Just Deceits, about that famous trial launched in the place where the idea was originally birthed - on Loyal Heights.

"I must have died and gone to heaven," Michael said as he stood in front of an audience at the Loyal Heights Community Center that included his legal, literary and Loyal Heights' worlds.

"I've always written but I didn't necessarily want to be published," he said. "I believe you're a writer if you write, not because you're published. But I had stories I wanted to tell and I wanted those stories to be read. It seems you need to be published to make that happen."

If the evening seemed magical, with its period Mozart, 18th century recipes, stage setting and reenactments from the novel that was also because Michael's collaborative publisher, Celeste Bennett of Bennett & Hastings had wanted to create a very special book launch. The fairy godmother at the end of Michael's literary journey is Celeste, who rightly likened a book launch to that of an actual birth. It just so happens the gestation period was almost 18 years.

Michael Schein grew up in Vermont and attended Reed College in Oregon. His wife's graduate studies brought them to the Seattle area; they bought a home near Loyal Heights Community Center 20 years ago. He taught Legal History at University of Puget Sound, before it was acquired by Seattle University and still hopes his passion for history, theater and law helped make his courses interesting for former students.

While teaching he became interested in a court case from 1793 Virginia that involved two members of the state's most imminent family, the Randolphs. For the defense were a young John Marshall, the fourth Chief Justice, and Patrick "Give me liberty" Henry. Michael's subsequent research led to John Marshall's original trial notes at the Virginia Historical Society, detailed cultural studies pertaining to plantation life, slave culture, architecture, and 18th century food while he worked on a fictional account of an enduring legal mystery.

Sometimes the book would sit in a drawer for years, or more literally on a computer's hard drive. Meanwhile Michael also wrote poetry and appeals on the Exxon Valdez case as a maritime law attorney, all the while returning to the book, revising it, attending conferences, workshops, working with various agents. Then he began to focus on being able to share his work, which led him to contact New York publishers. Time passed, his older daughter left for college, his younger entered Salmon Bay Middle School. There were rejections, waiting periods, other projects. Last spring he decided to look online for local publishers and found Celeste Bennett and George Hastings had founded an independent press within ten blocks from his home.

On Saturday, Sept. 27 it was already dark by 7:30 p.m. The poster version of the Just Deceits cover design featuring one oversized green eye seemed to suggest horror story rather than a historical novel. Then again the true story of a man and woman accused of infanticide is haunting. An activity room on the second floor of the community center had been transformed into parts of a Southern plantation, drawing room music, a bedroom and a huge buffet of food prepared using recipes from Thomas Jefferson's cookbook. In the hallway six actors in wigs and period dress prepared to act out two scenes. Seated just inside the door Michael was beaming as he autographed copies his book, a heavy box sitting on the floor next to him that had been airlifted in advance of the truckload of books on its own way from the Southern states.

Michael and I had met a few weeks earlier for tea at Miro's on Ballard Avenue to talk about his first novel. "It was a way to explore what I've learned from trial work," he said. "And a trial is a trial even if it was 200 years ago." As for creating a fictional account rather than non-fiction, he told me. "In a novel you can get at certain essential truths in a way that most history books cannot; it allows you to go beyond the facts and think about what is really happening in their lives."

I asked Michael if the intended release date would be a special day after his long odyssey with this book. "Well," he said, "I try to practice that every day - every moment is special but there will be a day when a whole bunch of books arrive and I can open the box and take one out. That day is will be a little more special."

For all his measured remarks over timed teapots, it was obvious that September 27th was very, very special for Michael, his family and all of his friends. The entire evening was a convergence of overlapping orbits and talents - his wife's preparation of an elaborate buffet, Celeste's sister creating a plantation setting from materials on-hand at the community center, a mutual connection to Taproot Theater providing the actors. It was evening designed to be special for veterans of readings, and first timers.

"I must have died and gone to heaven" Michael said after Celeste introduced him, clearly relishing every moment. In the next months there will be other readings, invitations to speak at the homes of Patrick Henry and John Marshall in Virginia. Along with Bennett & Hastings Publishing he'll be marketing the book, encouraging shops to carry it, beginning research on his next novel. But on that September night, just blocks from where he has lived and worked for 20 years the night itself was the culmination of a dream come true: one that was created, birthed, and celebrated in Loyal Heights.

Book Launch Party: Just Deceits by Michael Schein

Thu Sep 11, 2008 6:03 am Celeste Bennett

Loyal Heights Community Center 2101 NW 77th St, Seattle, WA 98117 RSVP 206-297-1991 Saturday, September 27 7:30pm In 1793, Virginia's most powerful family found itself embroiled in scandal: Richard Randolph and his sister-in-law, the beautiful Nancy Randolph, were charged with adultery and infanticide. Richard Randolph demanded a public trial. Richard's step-father, Judge Henry St. George Tucker, hired John Marshall, a young lawyer who was connected to their family through marriage. John Marshall would go on to become the greatest Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, a man whose theories of law are now taught to every first year law student, though at the time of the Randolph trial he was relatively unknown. Uncertain about Marshall's abilities, the Randolph family brought in co-counsel behind Marshall's back - none other than founding father and former Virginia governor Patrick Henry. Henry's wild, improvisational style clashed with Marshall's reasoned defense, but Henry was so successful that Marshall was forced to learn from him and then to improve on the master. Author Michael Schein, a former professor of American legal history, drew on John Marshall's actual trial notes in writing this novel that centers on the celebrity trial of the 18th century. Just Deceits shows how the remarkable defense team of wily Patrick Henry and ambitious John Marshall battled each other, their clients, the prosecution, and the truth itself, in an effort to save their clients from the gallows. In its ribald portrayal of a young legal system already driven more by spectacle than evidence, Just Deceits calls into question the feasibility of uncovering "the whole truth." Ultimately, as secrets are revealed and relationships brought to light, Just Deceits tells a story as much about the trials of love as about the trial in the courtroom.

Author Eugene Curnow featured on Silver Planet

Wed Aug 20, 2008 9:41 pm Celeste Bennett

"I was only going to scan Life, the Hard Way: Up from Poverty Flat. I would be talking to author Eugene Curnow soon and didn’t have time to read it entirely, so I was just going to choose things to talk about. But four hours later, I had to force myself to stop reading and adopt the mantra “Scan! Scan!” The range of stories quickly drew me in. His religious mother who, in fits of guilt, would report her husband’s bootlegging. The difficulty of staying fed during the Depression. The only-possible-when-young schemes and adventures of two unrepentant, fearless boys. The sobering horror of serving as a corpsman (the Navy 's version of an Army medic) with the Fourth Marine Division on Iwo Jima. Half a lifetime of keeping the war inside him, never talking about it. Curnow has written a compelling book about his growing-up years in poverty, his mischief making, his losses, and his accomplishments over the course of 83 years. The epilogue is beautiful.

The entire interview with Gene Curnow can be read online at www.silverplanet.silverplanet.com/lifestyles/article/6192/silver-star-eugene-curnow

See No Evil - The Constitutional Rights of Photographers, Panel Discussion, Thursday August 21st 6pm

Fri Aug 8, 2008 2:29 am Celeste Bennett

A Seattle woman was arrested for photographing power lines. Journalists have been prevented from photographing the caskets returning from Iraq. What are the rights of the amateur and professional photographers in America? ACLU attorney Venkat Balasubramani, photographer and film maker Jackie Renn, and photographer and instructor Mike Saylor join forces to discuss the rights American citizens have to document life on film. Free. Co-sponsored by Bennett & Hastings Publishing and Not-a-Number Cards and Gifts. RSVP for space: 206-297-1991.

Author Clay Moyle interviewed on KLAC570 AM in Los Angeles

Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:49 pm Celeste Bennett

A radio interview regarding Clay Moyle's new book Sam Langford: Boxing's Greatest Uncrowned Champion can be heard at http://www.xtrasportsradio.com/pages/podcasting/index2.html

The book, Sam Langford: Boxing's Greatest Uncrowned Champion can be purchased on line at www.bennetthastings.com.

Author Harry Rutstein featured on Silver Planet

Fri Jul 11, 2008 4:53 am Celeste Bennett

Harry Rutstein, who is releasing his book The Marco Polo Odyssey: In the Footsteps of a Merchant Who Changed the World has led a life of adventure. "Don't forget to talk to strangers," he was once counseled, and he took that advice. The story of the adventure by train that led to that travel tip is now viewable online at http://www.silverplanet.com/lifestyles/article/5770/silver-star-harry-rutstein.

Wed Jul 9, 2008 5:47 am Celeste Bennett

Bennett & Hastings Publishing is proud to announce that the Nova Scotia Department of Education has selected of their recent publications, Sam Langford:Boxing's Greatest Uncrowned Champion, as a standard text for distribution within the province.

At the time of Sam Langford’s induction into the Boxing Hall of Fame (October 1955) he was the only non-champion accorded the honor. This detailed biography tells Langford’s life story and helps explain the circumstances behind that unique entry into the Hall of Fame.

Many ring experts considered Sam the greatest pound-for-pound fighter in the history of boxing, but he was fighting in an era when “the color line” could be drawn to prevent a fight between men of differing races. His was the era of “The Great White Hope”, and his biography brings into focus how other societal fights were being fought outside the ring during that era. Under different circumstances Langford might have been a champion at five different weights: lightweight, welterweight, middleweight, light heavyweight, and heavyweight. Although he stood no more than 5’7” tall and weighed between 170-180 pounds in his prime, Langford often fought and defeated bigger and heavier men. During Langford’s lifetime, Jack Johnson won the heavyweight championship, the first black man to do so. Langford then pursued the title for several years, goading Jack Johnson in as many ways possible but never successfully booking Johnson into a fight for the title. In the meanwhile, Langford was a prodigious fighter, taking part in over 600 bouts. He travelled the world as a prizefighter, earning reputations as a top competitor and, remarkably given the challenges he faced, a playful and generous man. His biography is rich with lively stories and humor.

In 1999 Sam Langford was voted Nova Scotia’s top male athlete of the twentieth century.

Angelo Dundee (Muhammad Ali's trainer) holding the Sam Langford biography written by Clay Moyle (in baseball cap)

Fri Jun 20, 2008 8:33 pm Jason Geiger

Author Clay Moyle met one of the greats on his recent Boxing Hall of Fame tour. Shown here is Angelo Dundee, holding a copy of Sam Langford: Boxing's Greatest Uncrowned Champion, which Clay published this month (June '08) through Bennett & Hastings.

Reading: Poems of the Empire at Not a Number Gifts, July 2nd

Fri Jun 20, 2008 5:21 am Celeste Bennett

Tacoma author Jim Wingard will read from his collection of poetry lambasting the Bush administration and calling Americans to look at the issues.

Woof Did You Say by Stacey Neary lauded by Australian Canine Psychology Centre

Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:00 am Celeste Bennett

Dr Peter Willmott of the Australian Canine Psychology Centre went out of his way to contact BH author Stacey Neary after reading her book on effectively communicating with canines.

"Can anyone please put me in touch with Stacey? I have her book and it is highly readable and a wonderful addition to any library. I would like to promote it through our website and instructor network, not because of the recommendations here, but because this is one of those rare and invaluable books that happens along once in a while.

Congratulations, Stacey!

Sam Langford Biography - Radio Interviews with Author Clay Moyle

Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:56 am Celeste Bennett

Clay Moyle is having fun and keeping busy after the release of his biography Sam Langford: Boxing's Greatest Uncrowned Champion. He is now scheduled to do two radio interviews, one on July 10th with WBRK in Pittsfield, MA and then another one on July 23rd with www.talkinboxing.com out of Poughkepsie, N.Y.

Poetry by Karl Dardick

Mon Jun 9, 2008 8:51 am Celeste Bennett

Seattle based poet Karl Dardick will be reading from his first published collection, Spelling Out the Name. With concise yet gratifying style, Karl presents readers with a thought-out, well developed collection of observations on life, both modern and ancient.

Because It's There

Mon Jun 9, 2008 2:56 am Jason Geiger

“Because It’s There”, was a finalist in the mystery/suspense/thriller category of the National Indie Excellence 2007 Book Awards. “1953, in a snow-swept death zone near Mount Everest, English mountaineer Allan Singleton clings to life as he strives for a first summit of Mount Chomoranga. Like George Mallory before him, he vanishes near the summit, leaving his wife to raise their three young children alone in England.

The remote Himalayan peak is not attempt- ed again until 2002, when a brash amateur mountaineer from Seattle climbs it and claims the monetary prize. Alleging the their father summitted first, before being lost on the mountain, Singleton’s adult children sue.

The trial progresses in Seattle, with surprise witnesses, burglaries, threats, and clandes- tine late-night evidence gathering. Could Al- lan Singleton still be alive, fifty years later?”