Hot Season Hot Season

Hot Season

Hot Season

Hot Season

by Susan DeFreitas

2017 Gold IPPY Award Winner


“One of 25 Oregon writers every Oregonian must read” –The Oregonian

Featured on Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB Public Radio), with her writers group,The Guttery

One of the most-listened to interviews on ‘Today’s Best Writers in Conversation with Host David Naimon’, KBOO 90.7 FM Between the Covers podcast

Hot Season was recently featured on the Rose City Reader book blog 3-27-17: Mailbox Monday

More Features and Events

3-30-17: Book Beginning; 4-4-17: Teaser Tuesday; 4-8-17: Author Interview

Spillers interview, “The Voice of Phoenix Fiction”

She was recently interviewed by Portland public radio station, OPB, for a show called State of Wonder, with her writing group, The Guttery: Airtimes TBA.

She is presenting at book clubs this spring

2.23.17 at 5:30 pm Happy Hour with Indigo Editing at Zeus Cafe (303 SW 12th Ave,) Portland, OR

3.26.17 at 2:00 pm Author Appearance at Newport Public Library (35 NW Nye St.) Newport, OR

4.2.17 at 7:00 pm Presentation at Tsunami Books (2585 Willamette St) Eugene, OR

4.7–8.17 at (panel various times) IBPA’s Publishing University (Benson Hotel, 309 SW Broadway) Portland, OR

4.11.17 at 7 pm Author Appearance at Broadway Books (1714 NE Broadway St) Portland, OR

4.17.17 at 7:30 pm Group reading for City of Weird anthology at Post 134 (2104 NE Alberta St) Portland, OR

4.18.17 at 7 pm Reading at Annie Bloom’s (7834 SW Capitol Hwy) Portland, OR

4.20.17 at 7 pm Group Reading at Another Read Through (3932 N Mississippi Ave) Portland, OR

An outlaw activist on the run. A pipeline set to destroy a river. And three young women who must decide who to love, who to trust, and what to sacrifice for the greater good.

In the tinder-dry Southwest, three roommates—students at Deep Canyon College, known for its radical politics—are looking for love, adventure, and the promise of a bigger life that led them West.

Based in part on real events in the early nineties and mid-aughts—Hot Season explores what Oregon Book Award Winner Cari Luna called “the charged terrain where the youthful search for identity meets the romantic, illicit lure of direct action.”

Praise for Hot Season


Hot Season

by Susan DeFreitas
Release date: November 1, 2016
Genre: Eco-activist-fiction, Suspense
Price: $17.88
ISBN: 978-1-941861-28-8


“A stunning debut novel.”

Huffington Post Books

“DeFreitas oscillates between elegant description and coarse dialog, between cool river grove shade and damning desert sunshine. From the unforgiving arid land that baked it, HOT SEASON prospers in the heat.”

Snow Day

“Enjoy the gorgeous prose and thought-provoking narrative in HOT SEASON, and wait for the next novel from this talented writer.”


“Magnificent. A stunning book.”

—Rene Denfeld, multi award-winning author of The Enchanted

“Steeped in a slow-boil sensuality, and the wide-eyed innocence of the young, but also with the suspicion of the status quo, this examination of current climate fears is a must-read.”

—Powell’s Books

“A true Prescott novel, Hot Season asks big questions — not only about water rights and the importance of riparian corridors in the West, but about what it means to fight for the natural world. Young and idealistic, the three protagonists, Katie, Jenna and Rell, attend Deep Canyon College (whose real life inspiration was our own Prescott College). These three roommates negotiate love and the lure of monkey-wrenching in the time of rumored undercover agents in the classroom. And heat — did I mention the heat? For much of the novel it is summer, the air scorched, the heat palpable. Beautifully written, “Hot Season” sizzles with nuanced friendships, passion, and the search for identity, so malleable during the college years. As DeFreitas eloquently puts it, “All these selves were turning into other selves, burning off in the heat of this strange summer.”

Peregrine Book Company

“That Hot Season remains universal while at the same time remaining centered on an all female cast of main characters speaks to the importance of diversity in fiction…. Reading Hot Season is a trip to who we all used to be and might provide some insight on just who exactly we are now.”


“Forsaking savvy precociousness in favor of off-putting credulity is a calculated risk that pays dividends as Katie incrementally transforms from a culturally expropriating green-horn to the mohawked eco-warrior known only as ‘K’….the reader can feel the electric thrum of the landscape, the region, and the natural world…she weaves an unconscious illusion into a dawning truth…that the land is alive and that it has reached us at last.”

Texas Books in Review

“She is carving a niche for herself among environmental novelists such as Margaret Atwood, Edward Abbey and Barbara Kingsolver.”

—Amazon review

“DeFreitas gives us a moment on the timeline of our lives–when, over a four-year span, we grow from someone in search of an identity into fully formed humans with ideas, opinions, true friends and a wisdom often gleaned from our own stupidity.”

Carmel Magazine

“Earth-shatteringly good…as if Donna Tartt had been edited by Gordon Lish. Hot Season is that wonderful mix of literary thoughtfulness and instinctual storytelling gifts.”

Read It Forward

“A brisk read with a potent mix of wit and edge.”

Arizona Daily Sun

“DeFreitas carries this laidback realism through Hot Season, from seemingly minor details that build her rich universe—the color of a sunset, the horrible white-people dreads of college manarchists, the yerba maté beside the soil science textbook—to the book’s complicated, relatable women characters. (The men of Hot Season are refreshingly peripheral.) From unhappily coupled Jenna’s fantasy of solo life on a ranch without men, to Rell’s levelheaded attempt to balance her political ideals with the practical demands of her life, to Katie’s dangerous attraction to self-mythologizing, Hot Season is really a book about women. It’s a sad fact that in many activist movements, women and other marginalized people are often drowned out by swaggering white-guy hypocrisy. Here, they’re given room to breathe, and watching their various sundry selves evolve is something I’m glad to have witnessed.

Portland Mercury

“Hot Season by Susan DeFreitas brings contemporary environmental activism into the literary vernacular at an interesting moment. ….the novel’s saga of political tension surrounding commercial development chimes intriguingly with current news.”

—Donna Miele, Rain Taxi

“Hot Season, Susan DeFreitas’s finely wrought debut novel, explores the charged terrain where the youthful search for identity meets environmental activism and the romantic, illicit lure of direct action. A compelling book.”

—Cari Luna, Oregon Book Award winner,
author of The Revolution of Every Day


“In Susan DeFreitas’s riveting debut, the desert looms large over the dreams and desires of three friends contending with big questions — such as who to love, who to trust, and what to sacrifice for the greater good. A tale of youth, lust, and activism, Hot Season is a beguiling college novel in the tradition of The Secret History.”

—Mo Daviau, author of Every Anxious Wave


“Susan DeFreitas’s powerful, timely novel asks big questions—not only about water rights and the importance of riparian corridors in the West, but about what it means to fight for the natural world.”

—Michaela Carter, author of Further
Out Than You Thought


“A beautiful book that asks the crucial question, is it worse to destroy a dam or to destroy a river? Which is to say, how do we live our conscience on a crowded, corrupted planet?”

—Monica Drake, author of The Stud Book


Prescott Arts Beat Interview

Prescott’s Daily Courier

Portland Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC) Interview

Praise for Susan DeFreitas


—Jess Walter, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller
Beautiful Ruins

“Irresistible—funny and whip smart and dead-on.”

—David Long, author of The Inhabited World

OPB Radio on Susan’s writing group, The Guttery


About the Author


Susan DeFreitas’s fiction, nonfiction, and poetry have appeared in The Utne Reader, Southwestern American Literature, The Nervous Breakdown, Story Magazine, and Fourth River, among other publications. DeFreitas lived in the high country of central Arizona, where Hot Season is set, for fourteen years, and covered topics related to the environment and green technology until 2009, when she moved to the Pacific Northwest. Melanie Bishop, writing for Huffington Post Books, called her “a spokesperson for our times.”
Web site: http://susandefreitas.com/books/

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The Chinese Woman from the Painting The Chinese Woman from the Painting

The Chinese Woman from the Painting

The Chinese Woman from the Painting

The Chinese Woman from the Painting

A novel by Florence Tholozan

Translated from the French by N. Theo

A contemporary romance, faithfully reproduced in a historical painting, directly leads a couple on a mysterious journey into the heart of China.

Nautilus Book Award Silver Medalist, Small Press Fiction; Next Generation Indie Book Award Finalist, 2022, FIRST NOVEL (70,000 TO 90,000 WORDS); Semi-finalist in the Chanticleer Paranormal Book Awards Novel Competition for Supernatural Fiction, 2022; St Clément Authors’ Words Prize Winner, 2020; Romantic Book Prize finalist,  2019; Lions  Literature Award,  2021 finalist; Asia 2021 Award finalist; Prix des Auteurs Inconnus Shortlisted, 2020


With discussion topics at the back, this English edition explores themes of the role of art in generational trauma, healing, and reincarnated love. Melisande teaches Mandarin and is passionate about China. Guillaume is an architect. Their meeting seems unexpected yet predestined. Without knowing why their love for each other is absolutely obvious to them. It is true love at first sight. One day, as Melisande and Guillaume are browsing the stands at a garage sale, their gaze falls upon a strange painting. In the foreground, they see a serene Chinese woman, while in the background they spot a couple who could easily be taken for them. They are further intrigued when they notice that Guillaume’s precious watch is faithfully reproduced and it seems that the painting really does depict them as a much older couple. How can such a coincidence be possible? Or is there something more to it?

When they decide to have this odd painting examined, Melisande and Guillaume do not yet imagine all of the secrets that the Chinese woman is hiding and how much their life will change. To unravel its mysteries, the two lovers set off on a great journey through China during which they discover the source of their unconditional love. Their shared and abiding feeling of déjà vu at last makes sense in the Chinese painting. Driven by an irresistible curiosity and guided by their feelings for each other, they make many discoveries about their common destiny, each more surprising than the last.



The Chinese Woman from
the Painting

by Florence Tholozan
Release: 6/21/2023 English Translation, Paperback ISBN 9781941861905; Price: $18.91
11/15/22, English Translation, Hardback ISBN: 9781941861875; Price: $29.95
Release: 4/23/22, French-English Facing-pages Translation
Genre: Literary/Visionary Fiction; Historical; Romance
Paperback Facing-pages bilingual translation ISBN: 9781941861820; Price: $22.95


Praise for The Chinese Woman from the Painting

“A captivating novel with several voices that makes you travel. I really appreciated this magnificent love story embellished with reflections on life, the passage of time, with a very well done alternate point of view. Finally there is suspense with a fantastic tone from the beginning of the book. What mystery is hidden behind the painting? I really liked all the references to art and some descriptive passages are written with a lot of poetry. A beautiful writing, a beautiful discovery!”

Water Lily

“A good story and a great translation”

―Katie Lemons, Hot and Sour

“I don’t know if it’s because this author is also French (I read the book with the French text on the other side of the English), but the story reminded me a lot of Musso’s books, so I liked it just as much as I usually like his books. Non se per via del fatto che anche questa autrice sia francese (ho letto il libro con il testo francese a fronte), ma la storia mi ha ricordato molto i libri di Musso, e quindi mi é piaciuto proprio come di solito mi piacciono i suoi di libri.”

Gonza Basta, Nardini Maria Cristina, Berlin


Praise for the original French version, La Chinoise du Tableau

“Winner of the Saint Clément Prix de Paroles d’auteur(e)s de Saint Clément 2020, and finalist for the 2019 Prix du Livre Romantique from the Charleston and City of Cabourg Publishing, the book tells a fascinating story of mysteries and emotions.”


“A novel evoking life’s encounters, eternal love, and plunging us into a fascinating adventure.”

Rencontre des Auteurs Francophones

“Florence Tholozan, school teacher in Castelnau, is the author of a debut novel that brings the reader to China. A welcome literary voyage during these times when borders are closed.”

Magazine de la-Ville de Castelnau le Lez

“The first words that come to mind to describe the encounter with this story are ‘sweet’ and ‘delicate’. The same sweetness and delicacy that characterizes Chinese culture, which this novel reveals better than an organized trip.”

Prix des Auteurs Inconnus

“A novel filled with tenderness, written with a fluid and easy-to-read pen.”


“I quickly became attached to Mélisende and Guillaume. They are a beautiful couple, full of tenderness and love for each other. They complement and resemble each other at the same time, these are what we call soulmates. It’s a very complete story, very well constructed, which explores all sides of a life. A little touch of magic and fantasy brings another dimension to existence.”

Marie-Nel lit

“Florence Tholozan manages to put into words the brevity of certain moments, intuitions, impressions and feelings. She translates, through language, the beauty of these moments suspended in the void, almost unreal. She finally wraps everything in a soft style, a melodic phrasing, as if not to rush these impressions, not to scare them away. ”

Zoé Prend La Plume

In The News

91 FM Plus, France – podcast

Anchor.fm, France – podcast

About the Author

Florence Tholozan is a teacher of clinical psychology in Hérault, France. As far back as she can remember, she has had a love of words. The Chinese Woman from the Painting is her first novel.

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Clovis Clovis





The debut, eco-novel by Jack Clinton
Winner of the 2019 Best Book Award for LGBTQ Fiction

Montana NPR interviews Jack Clinton

Workshop and book signing with Jack Clinton at the Jackson Hole Writer’s Conference, June 28, 2018; and at the Mendocino Coast Writer’s Conference. 2-4 August, 2018


Trapped in the orbit of the buttes and a black obsidian Clovis, Hanna is sure there’s nothing romantic about her hot and dusty job as an archeologist in the cultural and real desert. As she negotiates the misogyny of this no-woman’s-land, she’s on the move to evade physical and spiritual abuse at the hands of oil-field boys, and guard the damaged and angelic Paul. She’s vegetarian in a fast food wasteland and a transcendentalist who can’t quite catch the wave of nothingness. Her clan of fellow archeologists tries to keep her from harm, but everything she truly needs lies outside the aegis of their reach.

Clovis casts an eye across the vast, empty lands of the Western American basins where the endless clamor of petroleum developments rings tirelessly. Told from the point of view of a working crew of archeological contractors who labor to save endangered artifacts from the churning machinations of the CanAm gas pipeline, Clovis bears witness to the quiet environmental usurpation of American public lands.

Clinton’s novel explores the possible history of the Clovis people and their apocalyptic demise at the hands of their own elegant invention, the Clovis Point. The relevance of the eclipsed culture to the precarious balance of our own clouds the intense joys the characters feel as they navigate the wealth of the natural world.

Clinton’s novel is an artful literary response to the unutterable and largely ignored decline of our collective natural wealth. Clinton mixes a sardonic misanthropy of our own current environmental course with jubilation, and the joy of love, the celebration of the human condition, and the intense passion of being immersed in the natural world.

Clovis will continue Harvard Square Editions’ tradition of promoting fiction that furthers civil and environmental causes in a market that would rather leave such voices unheard.




by Jack Clinton

Release date: January 12, 2018
Genre: LGBT; eco-Fiction
Price: $22.95
ISBN: 978-1-941861-53-0


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Clovis by Jack Clinton


by Jack Clinton

Giveaway ends January 20, 2018.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Praise for Clovis


“Clinton’s novel is an artful literary response to the unutterable and largely ignored decline of our collective natural wealth. Clinton mixes a sardonic misanthropy of our own current environmental course with jubilation, and the joy of love, the celebration of the human condition, and the intense passion of being immersed in the natural world. Clovis will continue Harvard Square Editions’ tradition of promoting fiction that furthers civil and environmental causes in a market that would rather leave such voices unheard.”



“In Clovis, Jack Clinton spins a wonder-filled tale poetically rendered in the Western landscape, ripe with classic, modern-day struggles, and inhabited by characters you grow to love.”

Jackson Hole Skier Magazine

“Clovis is a lyrical tale set in the New West where the interests of oil companies clash with the need to preserve and record the artefacts left by long gone inhabitants of the land. In this novel, Hanna and her archeological compatriots are hired by CanAm Oil Company to assess the impact of an oil line on historical native sites. The complex relationships between her and her co-workers fascinate. The lush descriptions of the natural beauty she encounters are seductive. This is truly a wonderful look into the unique personality of people who choose to make a living doing field work. They are a breed apart. An excellent read that keeps you engaged from the beginning.”

Big Sky Independent Press, 4.5/5 Stars

“Clovis is a wonder of a novel that will dazzle you with its impassioned understanding of archeology, Western landscapes, and human connection. Jack Clinton’s writing about hiking and climbing and seeking solace in the outdoors is among the best I’ve ever read. In Hanna, Clinton has created an unconventional heroine for all seasons, a humane and restless seeker who can master every terrain except that of her own heart.”

—Alyson Hagy, author of Boleto


“Hanna is a heroine , straight and true. She protects Paul and guards against the day-to-day ridicule of the men in the fields. It’s a tough job, but it is one she was born to do. It is a testament to a spirit undaunted by words.”

—Daphne Manning, Edelweiss Reviewer

About the Author

Jack Clinton is the winner of the The Neltje Blanchan Award, for which $1,000, is given for the best poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, or script which is informed by a relationship with the natural world. Clovis is his debut LGBT, climate fiction, literary novel.

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Transoceanic Lights Transoceanic Lights

Transoceanic Lights

Transoceanic Lights


Transoceanic Lights

2016 National Book Foundation ‘5 Under 35 Award’ Winner

Leapfrog Fiction Contest Semifinalist; Asheville Award Finalist; Willow Books Literature Award Finalist

First published by Harvard Square Editions, March 2, 2015 – Read an excerpt on Electric Lit

Listen to S.Li reading an excerpt at the National Book Foundation Celebration

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Loveoid Loveoid




by JL Morin

Cygnus 1st Place Sci-fi Award Winner; eLit Silver Medalist 2022; Book Excellence Award Finalist; ScreenCraft Semifinalist (top 12% of submissions); Fish shortlist (top 4% of submissions);  Global Thriller Book Awards for High Stakes and Lab Lit Novels shortlist
Prose Writing Competition ‘Second Rounder

Listen to the beginning


An American euthanasist and an Egyptian astrological farmer delve into the evolution of the collective soul, as an extremophile virus targets a select few.


Cli-Fi at its best, where the twisted scientific changes of our present-day lives catalyze love in parallel universes. Loveoid grapples with the dilemmas of the latest generation of humankind ⎯ that the loving don’t survive. In the present-day novel Loveoid, Olivia unravels a virus that only harms the corporate upper crust. In combat with media, governments and corporations, as love-lacking predators on top kill off life on earth, Olivia finds love, and comes to question her own ideals. The impossibly mixed match encounters life-threatening obstacles, as Khalid elicits her darkest fears, yet lights the way with astrological farming, ancient holistic remedies and spiritualism. Will love allow them to stay human?



by JL Morin
Genre: eco-fiction, cli-fi, literary fiction,
speculative fiction, sci-fi, romance
Hard cover, case laminate: $15.80; ISBN: 978-1-941861-83-7; March 16, 2022
Paperback: $11.95; ISBN: 978-1-941861-54-7
eBook: $9.99; ISBN: 978-1-947386-29-7
Audiobook: $2.99; ISBN: 978-1-947386-01-3
December 6, 2020; Pages: 278


Praise for Loveoid

“Loveoid is a wildly unique and immensely realized science fiction thriller set in a dystopian present in which overpopulation is decimating the Earth and its natural resources at a rapid rate. Additionally, the world of the story is incredibly deep, filled with dense detail and nuance that give the impression of a very realized universe.”


“With a new, scary virus as the backdrop, Olivia and Khalid navigate love, cures, and a different world. A timely novel with an interesting message about love and nature”


“About time some serious writers and artists took on the biggest issue of our time⎯⎯maybe all time. This novel shows that engagement fully underway!”

⎯Bill McKibben, Founder 350.org

“The smart choice to set this eco-thriller in the present brings home the tenebrous climate prognostications we usually reserve for another year.”

Brussels Express

“I take heart from JL Morin’s authorial intuition: true love is what eventually will separate man from vegetable.”

⎯A. Bergsten, author, The Rift

“As overpopulation grows, natural resources are depleted, species go extinct, and the polar ice caps continue to melt. People now check into euthanasia hotels to escape a hopeless future…. The story’s premise is interesting.”

Library Journal

Get Loveoid in French

“This is a short, interesting read bordering on eco-fiction that would make for a fascinating movie”

⎯Denver Public Library

“In Loveoid, J.L. Morin spins a tale of awakening and vision, a tale that has hopefulness in it but does not overdo the optimism. Morin writes with both passion and great intelligence, at ease with complex philosophical ideas. She is not afraid to tackle head-on the most pressing and dire issues of today, and she does so with focus, storytelling verve, and an admirable clarity.”


“Loveoid is a rare and most accurate reflection of contemporary LGBTI people: I both love and find highly enlightening JL Morin’s particular reference to the Navajo culture—it reminds me of the recent apology of Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau for suppressing the ‘two-spirit Canadian Indigenous peoples’ values and beliefs’. Many ancient cultures accepted non-binary people, and it is important to be constantly reminded of this, given the current confusion, deliberate misunderstandings and hatred around this subject. Also, focusing on love (rather than sex, which is primarily linked to reproduction) is the perfect romantic, humane and noble premise.”

—Dimitris Politis, author, LGBTI rights champion

“Loveoid is one of the most incredibly meaningful books I’ve read in recent times. Author J.L. Morin, very cleverly discusses so many topics in one story. We, being in a pandemic situation right now, can relate to the story so much. After reading this book, my faith in love is restored since I, too, believe that love is the cure for many ailments in this world.”

—Madhuri Palaji, author and book reviewer, The Clipped Nightingale


“Loveoid, the new novel from JL Morin, aims to change the evolutionary trajectory of life on Earth by putting power into the hands of those who love rather than those who prey…. The often poetic narrative looks at life on a grand scale while also magnifying a story of unlikely lovers…. Most intriguing and satisfying are Morin’s blending of Nature on Earth—light, shadow, sea turtle, snake, extinct species,and sandstorm—with self and ponderance. The author lifts the gaze of humans to what exists outside our walls and windows and establishes how these things shape and inspire us. Breathing life into ancient wisdom, Loveoid demonstrates how we might fit in with Nature, or get back to it. How we might preserve it before it’s too late.”   

—Mary Woodbury, eco-literature curator, Dragonfly.eco

“The author is quite obviously a talented writer with a flowering imagination….I loved the thought that the act of loving could cure. ‘Love heals all wounds.’ ”

Tattooed Bibliophile




ScreenCraft Names Short Story Semifinalists: Semifinalists have been announced for the 2017 ScreenCraft Short Story Contest, representing the top 12 percent of submissions received —MovieBytes

On the ‘New and Noteworthy’ shelf —NewPages



” ‘Animals don’t love,’ she said. ‘Is that what you think? Let me do the thinking.'”


“If money’s not a problem, it will be.”


He rolled his eyes. “They told me who you were with these last few months. What’s next, Olivia, a saber-toothed tiger?”



The dilemma ebbed from every chain of life, the loving perished, while predators stalked the food chain, chain of command, blockchain…



“They might want to put him out of his misery. Euthanasia is legal here, as is assisted suicide.”

As secretary to the director, she actually felt for Luther, with a kind of love that wouldn’t let her do the obvious.


Olivia nodded doubtfully, unsure she’d even want to go on living inside a giant mind with galaxies for neurons. She found it highly unlikely that she’d gravitated toward any particular constellation happening to brand the sky when she’d ‘manifested on the material plane’. If she could make such an impression on the universe, she would have done it already in the lab.



“We’re in World War III…Chéri.”

“You realized? With three eyes closed! Laisse tomber. You’re safe here. I’m not a terrorist. I don’t even like globalization.”


“We also didn’t agree with your linking overpopulation to a rise in homosexuality,” said a willowy scientist.

“Well, it would champion homosexuals as a cure for overpopulation, but why get hung up on sex? The more interesting issue is love. For man to use people and worship things is robotic. No surprise that nature would force him to re-connect with his roots.”

“You say ‘his’.”

“When you bring in a female case, I’ll add ‘her’.”

Of course, there were plenty of female cases, just none running the top corporations and getting the red-carpet treatment.

The discussion proceeded with pre-ordained circularity. The scientists exchanged glances. One muttered, “Love as a survival skill!”


About the Author


JL Morin grew up in inner-city Detroit. She proffered moral support while her parents sacrificed all to a failed system. Wondering what the Japanese were doing right, she decamped to Tokyo. Her debut Japan novel, Sazzae, won an eLit Gold Medal, and a Living Now Book Award. Her second novel, Travelling Light, was a USA Best Book Awards finalist, and her third, Trading Dreams, became ‘Occupy’s first bestselling novel’. Her climate fiction novel, Nature’s Confession, won first place in the Dante Rossetti Book Awards; a Readers’ Favorite Book Award; a LitPick 5-Star Review Award; and an excerpt received an Honorable Mention in the Eco-Fiction Story Contest, published in the Winds of Change anthology of eco-fiction. Her second cli-fi novel, Loveoid, is a Cygnus Sci-fi 1st place winner, among others.

Her cli-fi novels are on course syllabi at many universities. Ivy League professors have facilitated discussions with JL Morin’s writing, and it is discussed in textbooks, such as Science Fiction and Climate Change: A Sociological Approach, by Andrew Milner, ‎and J. R. Burgmann, 2020, published by Oxford University Press.

Her most recent work, Tuck-a-tuck Dragon, is a diverse rhyming children’s book illustrated by children throughout their childhood from the ages of 2–21.

JL Morin’s writing draws on a breadth of experience. She traded derivatives in New York while studying nights for her MBA at New York University’s Stern School of Business; worked for the Federal Reserve Bank posted to the 103rd floor of the World Trade Center; presented the news as a TV broadcaster; and she is adjunct faculty at Boston University. Morin’s fiction has appeared in The Harvard Advocate and Harvard Yisei, and her articles and translations in The Huffington Post, Library Journal, The Detroit News, European Daily, Livonia Observer Eccentric Newspapers, The Harvard Crimson, and Agence France Presse while she worked in their Middle East Headquarters.



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Living Treasures by Yang Huang Living Treasures by Yang Huang

Living Treasures by Yang Huang

Living Treasures by Yang Huang

Living Treasures

by Yang Huang

Nautilus Award Winner

nautilus award

Gold Medal: Next Generation Indie Book Awards, Multicultural Fiction; A top 3 historical novel of 2014; Living Now Book Award Medalist; Bellwether Prize and INDIEFAB finalist
“As with her previous books, Living Treasures and My Old Faithful, Huang…explores the generational push-pull of family life in post-Tiananmen China.” —Lysley Tenorio, The New York Times Book Review


A woman can have a career and family, but which comes first?

A starving panda eats a hen in order to nurse her cub in the dead of winter—there begins the perilous adventure of Gu Bao, a girl who grows up under the Chinese government’s one-child policy. Bao falls in love with a handsome soldier during the tumultuous Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. The demonstrations transfix her fellow students and kill one of her friends. Bao finds herself pregnant and faces the end of her academic career. Her grieving parents arrange for a secret abortion and ship her off to her grandparents’ house in the remote countryside where she was raised.

Bao searches for her inner strength while exploring the evocative Sichuan mountain landscape. She befriends a panda mother caught in a poacher’s snare, and an expectant young mother hiding from villainous one-child policy enforcers bent on giving compulsory abortions. All struggle against society to preserve the treasure of their little ones. Can Bao save a rural family from destruction, and help a giant panda along the way? She devises a daring plan that changes the lives of everyone around her.


B&N Hillsdale

Author Signing Barnes and Noble Hillsdale
Saturday, May 30, 2015 from 11:00am – 2:00pm

B&N Blossom Hill

Book Signing at Barnes and Noble Blossom Hill
Saturday, March 21, 2015
1:00pm 4:00pm
Barnes and Noble Blossom Hill
Join author Yang Huang for a signing of her book Living Treasures, a gripping page-turner and an incisive social critique.

Read my blog: Sex Is a Lesson about Life.

Join author Yang Huang for a signing of her book Living Treasures, a gripping page-turner and an incisive social critique, portraying a young woman’s quest for romance and justice in a rigid society.

Book launch Tuesday, November 18, 2014 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM (PST) Food, drinks, and prizes:
Green Apple Books, 506 Clement St., San Francisco, CA 94118

Dec. 6: San Francisco Public Library (bilingual talk)

Book talk: Hercules Book Club, Saturday, January 10, 2015
1:00pm 5:00pm, Yang will talk about Living Treasures with Hercules Book Club hosted by Christine Nadeau.

21st Annual Festival of Women Authors, Saturday, January 31, 2015 from 9:30am – 3:00pm, HS Lordships Restaurant , Berkeley Marina
Eliminating racism, empowering women, YWCA Berkeley/Oakland

Feb. 7: Reading at Barnes and Noble San Jose, Stevens Creek, San Jose, Saturday, February 7, 2015, 1:00pm 3:00pm

Feb. 9: Book talk at Albany library

Saturday, May 23, 2015, San Jose Public Library, 10:00am 3:00pm

A deeply moving story of family, passion, and courage, Living Treasures is both a gripping page-turner and an incisive social critique, portraying a young woman’s quest for romance and justice in a rigid society. Bao, a law student, aspires to have both a career and family, but which comes first? A baby rarely arrives at a convenient time. The decision about the woman’s body is not an easy choice but rather a compromise that comes with a dear price. Bao’s struggle encapsulates many women’s journeys through life, as they experience the triumphs, suffer the heartbreaks, and learn to live with the consequences.


Book Club Kit




“Living Treasures is a book that breaks your heart, and then mends it with hope. Best book I’ve read this year.”

—Jiayu Jeng, KTSF Channel 26 Talk Tonight host


Living Treasures is nothing short of spectacular; especially for readers who want a story steeped in Chinese culture, tradition, and politics but cemented by a powerful young woman who emerges as a savior to others.”

Midwest Book Review

“The personal and the political merge in Yang Huang’s debut novel about a college student in post-Cultural Revolution China. Gu Bao negotiates the shifting landscape of a country still struggling toward modernity, as China’s education system, family planning policies and the deaths of her fellow students in Tiananmen Square sometimes push her to desperate measures. The story moves from city life to the rural home of Bao’s grandparents, acquiring an epic feel in a compact length.”

San Jose Mercury News


“True to life . . . focuses refreshingly on the human spirit”

Library Journal


“Huang does an admirable job balancing Bao’s individual story against the canvas of China’s evolution using crisply drawn characters who reveal their layers as the story progresses. A knotty, engaging novel of China’s recent history.”



“Huang’s winning novel is more than another work of historical fiction. Living Treasures is endearing, extraordinarily moving, and its timely message about life makes it a must read for young and old readers alike.”

San Francisco Book Review


Living Treasures

by Yang Huang

A law student finds out what it feels like to be an endangered species

Release date: October 23, 2014
Genre: Fiction, Multicultural, Suspense
Price: $19.95
ISBN: 978-0-9895960-5-3



“A deeply human and sympathetic portrait of people living as best they can in an imperfect society”

Foreword Book Review

“The novel is itself a treasure. . . . All of the characters are rich and complex. Huang writes in such a way that the reader sympathizes with each one. This isn’t easy to do, but she’s done it well. . . . The theme is love and it circles round and back to it again and again. Bravo! I recommend this to others.”

—Marlene Thomasson, The Ocean Observer


“Living Treasures is a gripping and extraordinary historical and cultural novel that declares author Yang Huang as a talented, master storyteller.”

—Aditi Saha, BookStopCorner


“Living Treasures is real, stunning, heartbreaking and intense . . . . If you read one book this year, consider this one—it’s full of real, achievable, human magic—you might even learn something too.”

—Jessica Highstead, Bookphile


Living Treasures is a treasure. Sensual, brave and relevant, the book takes you to a place in China that few of us have ever experienced. I couldn’t put it down.”

—Patricia Harman, author of The Midwife of Hope River

“This is a very well written and very touching story.”


—Roberto Mattos, Books and Movies Reviews

“The use of metaphor and symbolism is strong throughout the story, with many images of babies, mothers, and the visceral realities of life and survival. The theme of women’s bodies not always being their own is prominent.”

—School Library Journal


“The novel offers an incisive fictional account of the perils of Chinese motherhood in all of its contemporary manifestations.”

—Stephen Sohn, Asian American Literature Fans


“I feel like I have unearthed another hidden gem!”

—Dianne Bylo, Tome Tender


“Huang’s measured yet evocative novel heightens Bao’s journey from timid student to defiant adversary in the midst of personal and political upheaval….This title has been recommended for young adult readers: YA/Mature Readers: Older teens and new adults will likely identify with Bao’s coming-of-age, despite its unique circumstances.”

—Sarah Hunter, Booklist


Living Treasures is a poignant and fascinating exploration of how we shape and are shaped by the events and environments that choose us.”

—Amy Glynn, the award winning poet
and author of The Modern Herbal


“Yang Huang is a born storyteller. Her luminous tale of one woman’s struggles with love, cultural repression and the forces of nature is also the greater story of a country on the brink of transformation.”

—Clare Willis, the author of Once Bitten


“Living Treasures paints a lyrical and compelling picture of a young woman’s tumultuous journey from the remote mountains of Sichuan province to the barricades of Tiananmen Square and back again, putting her own life on the line to challenge China’s one-child policy.”

—John Byrne Barry, author of Bones in the Wash


“Like a young Alice Munro, Yang Huang—authoritative, compassionate, and witty—has a gift for creating characters whose actions, for good or evil, can take even themselves by surprise. Living Treasures is a suspenseful, soul-satisfying novel by an impeccable storyteller. I eagerly await her next book.”

—Elizabeth Evans, the author of The Blue Hour


“Living Treasures explores love against a backdrop of oppression in 1989 China. . . . Yang rightly keeps the plot focused on the human side of the nation-changing events taking place in the background of life-changing situations faced by the characters. . . . With the national, political, and cultural setting involved here, this would be a thought-provoking read for high school students, particularly if they are guided by a knowledgeable teacher.”

—Bill Wolfe, Read Her Like An Open Book


“Yang Huang has written a wonderful first novel. Bao is a complex and appealing character whose harrowing journey through 1989 rural China is told in quietly poetic language that illuminates and reveals. I did not want this book to end.”

—Elizabeth Graver, author of The End of the Point


“In Living Treasures, Bao is a first year law student living untouched within the bubble of her parents’ expectations when she falls in love with a young soldier, Tong, and finds herself pregnant. With this, she starts her journey, which will drive her to make hard choices. Part myth, part fairy tale, yet completely realistic in its depiction of daily life in China, this is the beautiful and unique coming of age story of a young woman at a moment of history in which her personal journey flows together with that of her generation, a journey of self-determination.”

—C.E. Poverman, author of Love by Drowning



About the Author:

Born and raised in mainland China, Huang was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Living Treasures is Huang’s debut novel. She is represented by Barbara Braun and has had short stories and a feature-length screenplay published in literary magazines including the Asian Pacific American Journal, The Evansville Review, Futures, Porcupine Literary Arts Magazine, Nuvein, and Stories for Film. Huang works as a computer engineer for U. C. Berkeley and a writer by vocation. She came to the U.S. shortly after taking part in the 1989 student movement. Find out more about Yang at www.yanghuang.com



Author Bio

Yang Huang grew up in Jiangsu, China and came to the US to study computer science. While working as an engineer, she studied literature and pursued writing, her passion since childhood. Her debut novel Living Treasures is a Pen/Bellwether Prize finalist and a Top Ten Historical Novel of 2014 at Foreword Reviews. Yang’s 2nd novel, My Old Faithful, won the Juniper Prize and was published by University of Massachusetts Press. Her third novel, My Good Son, was published by University of New Orleans Press, 2021 (see reviews in the The New York Times Book Review).

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How Fast Can You Run How Fast Can You Run

How Fast Can You Run

How Fast Can You Run

How Fast Can You Run

IPPY medalist

Living Now Book Award medalist
INDIEFAB Finalist#1 Amazon bestseller in biographical fiction
Featured in Drexel Magazine


Harriet Levin Millan at

Split This Rock Social Change Book Fair | April 19-21, 2018 | 10 am to 3:30 pm in Washington D.C.

How Fast Can You Run at the New Delhi World Book Fair

Included in Reader’s Digest’s Best Books That Inspire You to Travel

A migrant novel based on the true story of Lost Boy of Sudan Michael Majok Kuch


“The best war novel told from a young boy’s perspective since Jerzy Kozinski’s The Painted Bird.” —Nyoul Lueth Tong, author of There is a Country: New Writing from the New Country of South Sudan


Set across a backdrop of refugee migration that spans Africa, America and Australia, How Fast Can You Run is the inspiring story of Michael Majok Kuch and his journey to find his mother. In 1988, Majok, as a five-year-old boy, fled his burning village in southern Sudan when the North systematically destroyed it, searching for John Garang, the South’s leader. Majok, along with thousands of other fleeing people, many of them unaccompanied minors, trekked through the wilderness in Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya to arrive at a series of refugee camps where he would live for the next ten years. When the U.S. brokered an agreement, granting approximately 4,000 unaccompanied minors political asylum, Majok, now Michael, was given a new start in the U.S. Yet his new life was not without trauma. He faced prejudice once again, disrupting the promise of his new beginnings. This is a story of a survivor who in facing challenge after challenge summons the courageous spirit of millions of refugees throughout history and today.


How Fast Can You Run

by Harriet Levin Millan
Release date: October 28, 2016
Genre: True Fiction, Migrant Fiction, Suspense
Price: $22.95 ISBN: 978-1-941861-20-2 paperback
$35.50 ISBN: 978-1-941861-41-7 hardback

Harriet Levin Millan on Aspen, CO Public Radio

Iowa Public Radio interviews Harriet Levin Millan

Join “The Smart Set Read” book discussion on Goodreads, and get your free copy of How Fast Can You Run, as a download on Amazon.com from April 3-7.

Click here to accept the invitation.

WTOP Radio News Anchor Bruce Alan talks with author Harriet Levin Millan about her very real story of a young boy separated from his family at the age of 5 when his village was destroyed in Sudan’s civil war — how he survived — and what he’s up to now.

“Many people have heard of Africa’s lost boys, but none tell their story quite so well as Harriet Levin Millan, who shares her first-hand account, in this elegantly written book. As inspirational as it is lustrous, the book follows the journey of lost boy, Michael Majok Kuch, as he sets off to find his mother, after his village is burned down in Southern Sudan.”

Reader’s Digest

“…the strength here is in Millan’s ability to fully inhabit Majok’s consciousness; she has crafted a rich tale that authentically portrays—and doesn’t exploit—Majok’s refugee experience. A deeply felt novel of grace and intelligence.”


“For Majok, committing to a future in the U.S. feels like giving up on the prospect of resuming life with his family in Sudan. The novel brilliantly conveys how he carries the cumulative weight of his experiences, sometimes feeling most exhausted by it in quiet moments. Healing is not a straight trajectory, but a winding path through surprising places.”

Iowa Review

“Generosity and justice prevail in the storytelling . . . an unforgettable individual portrait of all-too-impersonal war. ”

The Rumpus

“How Fast Can You Run is an insightful, gripping, and compassionate account of the second Sudanese Civil War and refugee life in America. Michael Majok Kuch’s observations, as the author has written them, about what happens to him over the course of his young life are heartbreaking and hopeful in equal measure. Refugees are individuals. They are not the faceless, nameless millions we in the West encounter only on the evening news. How Fast Can You Run is an important reminder of this.”

Consequence Magazine

“The circuitous journey in How Fast You Can Run is like a story that never ends. The main character Majok struggles with warfare and starvation even within the confines of refugee camps. When he comes to America, he deals with the terror of a new country and betrayal.”

Frederick News Post

“The un-imaginable journey of Sudanese refugee Michael Majok Kuch becomes an epic tale through the telling of Harriet Levin Millan’s How Fast Can You Run. Genre bursting, this part memoir, part bildunsroman, part adventure tale, and part heart-felt family reunion avoids the pitfalls of many of its predecessors. Full characterization from Sudan to Philadelphia, exacting detail from beginning to end, clearly visualized African landscapes in all their complexity; there are no broad brushstrokes of civil war, refugee plight and immigration here. A fuller story than How Fast Can You Run cannot have been told of the tragic events of war in Sudan that uproot the young boy from the Dinka plains of Southern Sudan to Kakuma refugee camp to Nairobi and Philadelphia and how he has to fight a different kind of war in America from which he emerges victorious. Epic.”

—Bill Kahora, Editor, Kwani

“…an unforgettable individual portrait of all-too-impersonal war. A book like How Fast Can You Run is an eye-opening experience, awakening empathy for a much wider world.”


“In How Fast Can You Run Harriet Levin Millan turns novel-biography into a genre of its own and shows how empathy can turn into a true solidarity. This is a beautiful and crucial story told by two people, one Sudanese with dreams of independence, the other, an American poet who listens to Michael Majok Kuch through her imagination. For Mike in the United States, Halloween with strange fruit hanging triggers PTSD, ethnicity becomes race, soldiers become white police, tragedy there becomes tragedy here and in the end there is only one life for Mike to live. An enduring image for me – a refugee boy blowing up a discarded bloody surgical glove to make a soccer ball, this bio-novel reminds us that the most human of all activities, the one thing that binds us all is finding beauty even in impossible situations.”

—Mukoma Wa Ngugi, author of Nairobi Heat

“Harriet Levin Millan has transformed the story of one “lost boy” into an earthy, grittily told, highly affecting novel. With a poet’s piercing eye, attuned ear, and facility for recognizing resonant moments, Ms. Millan has written an emotionally rich-veined, dramatically moving and ultimately triumphant story. I emerged from this ingenious, fast-paced novel with the sensation of having been taken along by its protagonist on a poignant, heart-pounding journey, enlarged, and changed.”

—Okey Ndibe, author Foreign Gods, Inc.

“And an excellent wordsmith can bring everything together in a story line that’s completely accessible to newcomers to this history…. Few accounts can adequately capture such experiences, but where nonfiction may falter, How Fast Can You Run proves that an adept writer can step in and use the fiction format to capture the drama, psychology, and tension of civil war from a child’s eye (in this case, Michael Majok Kuch)….Because How Fast Can You Run is based on a true saga, the viewpoints and experiences of Kuch come to vivid life and weave a powerful saga of politics, struggle, and survival that’s hard to put down. Any reader interested in accounts of the Sudanese war will find this a compelling method of absorbing history at its most meaningful: through the eyes of a young eyewitness who didn’t just observe events, but lived through and survived them.”

—D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

“How Fast Can You Run is the story of the indomitable spirit of a boy who overcomes inconceivable loss and countless instances of physical and emotional danger, exiled from everything he had ever known. Millan’s telling of Kuch’s story is a refugee’s dark odyssey that witnesses the vicious realities of the Sudanese conflict and the power of a single human life to overcome impossible trauma with perseverance, hard-won wisdom, and an unyielding grace. Devastating, moving, full of magical grace.”

—Tyler Meier, Executive Director, University of Arizona Poetry Center

“In How Fast Can You Run, Harriet Levin Millan tells the story of one boy’s search for a mother’s love through almost unimaginable pain and suffering. After being separated from his family at the age of five during Sudan’s civil war, Majok and later Mike, the novel’s real-life South Sudanese protagonist, braved war, hunger, and desperate illness before arriving in the United States as a refugee. Millan, who met Michael Majok Kuch when her creative writing class interviewed Sudanese immigrants, brilliantly renders the contours of Dinka and refugee life as well as the internal life of a young refugee tormented by the loss of his family and his childhood. Congratulations to Millan. How Fast Can You Run is a marvelous achievement.”

—Deborah Scroggins, author, Emma’s War: A True Story of Love and Death in Sudan

Michael Majok Kuch returned to his homeland of South Sudan in 2010, after attending high school, college, and graduate school in Philadelphia. In 2005, he was featured in the PBS Documentary, Dinka Diaries, as one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. In 2008, he was the recipient of a Fulbright U.S. Department of Education Scholarship to Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya. He currently works for the government of the Republic of South Sudan, where he is an advisor in Research and Policy in the Office of the President. He lives in Juba with his wife and daughter.

Readings & Presentations

Sept 13, 2016, 6:00 PM, Katz JCC, 1301 Springdale Road, Cherry Hill, NJ

Sept. 27, 2016, 7:00 PM, Federation for Jewish Philanthropy of Upper Fairfield County, Fairfield, Conn

October 13 2016, Merchantville Book Club, 7-9 PM

*October 28, 2016, 4:00-6:00 PM Book Launch, Drexel University, Pearlstein Gallery
(concurrent with Warp & Weft; work by Caroline Lathan Steifel), 3401 Filbert Street, October 28, 4:00-6:00 PM

*October 30, 2016, 10:30 AM, Har Zion Temple, Penn Valley, PA

*November 1, 2016, Live! Radio Times with Marty Moss Coane, WHYY 90.9 10-11 AM

*November 1, 2016, 6:00 PM, Philadelphia City Institute, Free Library of Philadelphia, 1905 Locust Street

*November 2, 2016, 7:00 PM, Main Line Books, 116 North Wayne Avenue, Wayne PA

*November 3, 2016, Center for Africana Studies Center, University of Pennsylvania, 3401 Walnut Street, Phila.

*November 9th, 2016, The Peace Center, featuring a talk by Michael Majok Kuch, 109 Maple Avenue, Langhorne PA

*November 15, 2016, 4 PM, Arcadia University, 450 S. Easton Road, Glenside, PA

*November 17, 2016, Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania, Lock Haven, PA

*November 18, 2016, 9:40 AM, Friends Central School, 1101 City Ave., Wynnewood, PA

*November 20, 2016, 3:00 PM Marcus Jewish Community Center, Atlanta Georgia

*November 22, 2016, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, 500 W Willow Grove Ave, Phila., PA

*November 30, 2016, University of Pennsylvania, International Social Work Class, Fisher Bennet Hall Room 141, 5:00 PM

*December 1, 2016, University of Pittsburgh, African Studies Program, 4217 Posvar Hall, 2-3:30 PM

*December 1, 2016, 8 PM City of Asylum at Alphabet City, 40 W. North Ave. – Pittsburgh, PA – 15212

*December 12, 2016, 7 PM, Amy and Anne’s Book Club, New York New York

*December 15, 2016, 7 PM, Kesher Israel, 4th and Lombard, Philadelphia PA

December 20th, 2016, Bryn Gweled Homesteads Book Club

*January 9, 2017, Australia Book Launch The Avid Reader, Brisbane, Australia

*Jan 19, 2017, 4:30 PM, LaSalle College High School, 8605 Cheltenham Avenue, Wyndmoor, PA

*Jan 20th, 2017, 9:00 AM, Central High School, Philadelphia

*January 22, 2017, 2:00 PM, C. Burr Artz Public Library, sponsored by Curious Iguana Books, 10010 East Partick Street, Frederick MD

*January 24, 2017, 7 :00 PM, BookCulture, (with Jill Bialosky) 450 Columbus Avenue, New York, New York

*January 25, 2017, 4:30 PM, La Salle High School, 8605 Cheltenham Avenue, Glenside, PA

February 15, 2017, Merchantville Women’s Club, Merchantville, NJ

February 8-11, 2017, TBA, Associated Writing Programs Annual Conference, Washington D.C., “When Authors Move in and Out of Their Countries and Genres,” with Garth Greenwell, Dina Elenbogen and Fabienne Joshaphat.

Feb 16 or 21, 2017, 12:30 PM, Sheree’s Book Club, Bryn Mawr, PA

Feb 16, 2017, 7 PM, Wooden Shoe Books 704 South Street, Philadelphia, PA

*February 22, 2017, (Online) Charter for Compassion Global Read—Free, Register here. Charter for Compassion International is thrilled to be collaborating with Harriet Levin Millan for their Global Read Program! Charter members from all around the world have been reading Harriet’s novel How Fast Can You Run and will come together for an online conversation with Harriet (and the protagonist from the book itself!) on February 22nd at 9:00 am PST. This will be their kickoff Global Read Session of 2017!

March 1, 2017, 7 PM, SUNY Stony Brook Southampton MFA Program, Writers Speak Series with Omar Bah.

March 6, 2017, 7:00 PM, Poetry Reading, Free L library of Philadelphia (with Jill Bialosky), Philadelphia, PA

March 29, 2017, 5:00 PM Temple Beth Zion Israel, 300S 18th St. Philadelphia, PA

April 9, 2017, 10:00 AM, Beth El Men’s Club, 8215 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda, MD

May 7, 2017, 9:30 AM, Congregation Sukkat Shalom, Willamette, IL

May 8, 2017, Prairie Lights Bookstore, Iowa City, Iowa

June 8, 2017, Explorer Book Store, Aspen, CO

June 9-11, 2017, 3-4 PM, Philadelphia Writers Conference, Novel Writing Workshop – *appearing with Michael Majok Kuch

June 12, 7:30 PM, My Book Club, Huntingdon Valley, PA

June 23, 12 noon, PEN Haiti, (Poetry Workshop) Thomassin, Haiti

*September 8, 12-2 PM, South Sudan Flag Raising Ceremony, City Hall, Mayor’s Conversation Hall, 2nd Floor, Philadelphia, PA—postponed to 2018

Sept 19, Janey’s Book Club, Cherry Hill, NJ

Sept 26, 7 PM, Gerri’s Book Club, Swarthmore, PA

*October 13, Mighty Writers West, 3861 Lancaster Avenue, Phila, PA workshop 4-5:30; reading and presentation, 6-8 PM

November 3, 7:30 PM, Bucks County Community College, 275 Swamp Road, Newtown, PA http://tickets.bucks.edu/event/b2673d8f4d475af733e199532c450346

November 8th, 7:00 PM, Temple Beth Zion – Beth Israel, 300 S. 18th Street https://bzbi.org/learn/adult-learning/sicha/

Miami Book Fair, November 18-19th, Miami Florida

Jan 31, Amherst College, Amherst, MA

March 8, AWP 2018, Tampa Florida, “Poets Who Write Prose,” with Gregory Pardlo, Marilyn Chin , Jill Bialosky and Joy Harjo


More news on the migrant crisis

Inside the World’s Biggest Refugee Camp‘—The BBC interviews refugees from Somalia in the largest refugee camp in the world

where 300 000 people live in Kenya.


Jewish Novelist Writes Inspirational Story of Sudanese Refugee’s Life

Refugees Run for Rio Olympic Dream Team

Article on Kakuma, the camp Mike lived in.

Malala Yousafzai Spends Her 19th Birthday in World’s Largest Refugee Camp


Poetry by Harriet Levin Millan

Harriet’s poetry in Ghost Town


About the Author

Harriet Levin Millan is a prize winning poet and writer. Her poetry collection, The Christmas Show, (Beacon Press) was selected for the Barnard New Women Poets Prize and The Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay di Castagnola Award. She received a MFA from the University of Iowa’s Writers Workshop and has written for The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, The Harvard Review, The Iowa Review, PEN America, The Smart Set, among other publications. She and her family founded the Reunion Project and along with the participation of Philadelphia-area high school and college students, raised money to reunite several Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan with their mothers living abroad. She teaches creative writing in the English Department at Drexel University and directs the Certificate Program in Writing and Publishing. She lives with her husband outside Philadelphia.

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Tears Before Exaltation Tears Before Exaltation

Tears Before Exaltation

Tears Before Exaltation

National Indie Excellence Award Winner; Reviewer’s Choice Award Winner; CIPA EVVY Award Winner; and
Readers’ Favorite Award Winner

Tears Before


A diverse, medical novel by Fidelis O. Mkparu

At Barnes & Noble’s Summer 2018 Local Author Exhibition, Akron, OH

When Ben Ava, a struggling medical student facing insurmountable financial worries, receives a scholarship offer for a Medical Center in Memphis, he thinks that his tenuous future is finally secure. But Ben’s past will not leave him alone. His fellow scholarship winner is his old friend Brenda—a young medical student with extraordinary talent whose troubled past has made her self-destructive and dangerous. In Memphis, their lives become increasingly tangled as Ben is pulled into Brenda’s orbit. Soon, he finds himself risking his medical education, his new romance, and his entire future in the hopes of steering himself and Brenda through the tumult of their shared loneliness and trauma.

Tears Before Exaltation is a literary drama about coping with the past, surviving the present, and the blurred lines between courage and insanity, hate and love.


Tears Before Exaltation

by Fidelis O. Mkparu
Release date: March 16, 2018
Genre: Fiction; Diverse Fiction
Price: $22.95
ISBN: 978-1-941861-60-8


WDPN AM-1310 Interviews Fidelis O. Mkparu >>


“When Ben Ava, a struggling medical student facing insurmountable financial worries, receives a scholarship offer for a Medical Center in Memphis, he thinks that his tenuous future is finally secure. But Ben’s past will not leave him alone. His fellow scholarship winner is his old friend Brenda—a young medical student with extraordinary talent whose troubled past has made her self-destructive and dangerous. In Memphis, their lives become increasingly tangled as Ben is pulled into Brenda’s orbit. Soon, he finds himself risking his medical education, his new romance, and his entire future in the hopes of steering himself and Brenda through the tumult of their shared loneliness and trauma. Drawing upon his own medical background, Tears Before Exaltation by Fidelis O. Mkparu is a deftly scripted literary drama about coping with the past, surviving the present, and the blurred lines between courage and insanity, hate and love. While very highly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that Tears Before Exaltation is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).”

Midwest Book Review


“Tears Before Exaltation is a stunning literary drama that combines key elements such as romance, suspense, and psychological intrigue. The author immediately caught my attention by creating a likable, compassionate hero who rules his life by acting with integrity. He is surrounded by several key players who do not share his ethical standards. The writing is contemporary and compassionate, tackling highly relevant social issues such as mental illness, including alcoholism and depression. The story has an engaging pace that makes it hard to put down with twists and excitement that will leave you wanting more.”

Reader Views


“Fidelis O. Mkparu succeeds in making readers fall in love with his protagonist, making Ben very real and believable. I enjoyed the pacing, the gorgeous prose, and the exciting conversations. Tears Before Exaltation is one of those novels that explores the struggles of medical students, and it succinctly captures the drama that takes place behind closed doors in hospitals. A very engaging story!”

Readers’ Favorite 5-Star Review, Arya Fomonyuy


“Tears before Exaltation is an engaging story that won’t leave you indifferent, a page-turner that will keep you reading eagerly until the end.”

Consuelo Murgia


“In his new novel Tears before Exaltation, Fidelis O. Mkparu’s literary growth is evident as he delves deeper into matters only touched on in his previous novel, Love’s Affliction. His characters are dealing with realistic issues that you and I can identify with, but with a twist of suspense, curiosity and intrigue. Packed with pathos, the impact of Fidelis O. Mkparu, Tears Before Exaltation, will stay with you long after you put it down. Fidelis O. Mkparu has written yet another worthwhile read.”

—Kayron El-Kildani, Michigan Book Club


“Tears Before Exaltation is a story that is filled with a lot of emotion, and the writing itself is compassionate. Fidelis O. Mkparu’s prose flows gracefully, adding a powerful ingredient to an already quickened pace. The author crafts dialogues that are real and engaging, using them to heighten the tension and build conflict as well as character. Ben is a character that the modern American student will easily empathize with, and they will love how he explores the medical system and brings to light the challenges that millions are going through. The story feels so real that one could imagine it happening just next door.”

Readers’ Favorite 5-Star Review, Romuald Dzemo

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Tears Before Exaltation by Fidelis O. Mkparu

Tears Before Exaltation

by Fidelis O. Mkparu

Giveaway ends March 29, 2018.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

“Tears before Exaltation is a suspenseful book that drives the readers in high gear sparking curiosity and a craving for more.”

—Patrick Achebe, Author of Whispering Waves

“Ben is the type of character that anyone can find ways to relate to. He’s overwhelmed, torn, emotionally wrung out, stressed and more, but at the same time he is kind, supportive, dedicated and a passionate friend. In this book, not only do you see all of that, but you see him grow and become even more developed as time goes on. You never know what’s going to happen to him or what’s going to happen to any of the characters throughout this book, but you’ll definitely want to. I loved the way the story unfolded and the way that each of the characters continued to become stronger because of each other. Tears Before Exaltation by Fidelis O. Mkparu is a story about overcoming obstacles and most certainly a story about friendship.”

—Samantha Dewitt (Rivera), Readers’ Favorite 5-Star Review

“The story of the relationships between the doctor character and Brenda is captivating and easily draws the reader into a narrative that successfully blends social, economic, intercultural, and interracial issues. This book is part of a literary production which is very important and deserves both critical attention and analysis.”

—Babacar M’Baye, PhD, Professor, Kent State University, author of The Trickster Comes West

About the Author

Fidelis O. Mkparu is a Harvard-trained cardiologist who has written medical articles for both scientific and lay audiences. His previous novel, Love’s Affliction, was a 2016 Nautilus Book Awards Silver Winner for Fiction, a Reader Views Literary Award Winner for 2015/2016, and a finalist for the 2015 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award for Multicultural Fiction. He lives in Canton, Ohio. Web site: http://fidelismkparu.com

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Tuck-a-tuck Dragon Tuck-a-tuck Dragon

Tuck-a-tuck Dragon

Tuck-a-tuck Dragon

“Here’s a rhyming bedtime story with a difference…Tuck-a-tuck Dragon, fierily illustrated by Stephan and Nicole Theo. It’s all about an outsider at a draconic sleepover party …” ―Bookloons

Tuck-a-tuck Dragon

Indie Book Award Finalist

Chanticleer Little Peeps Book Award longlisted

by Stephan Theo author, illustrator, actor; co-illustrated by guitarist singer-songwriter Nicole Theo; co-written by JL Morin, author

Audiobook Excerpt

Order on Audible, Kindle, Amazon, Apple Books

TV Interview December 31, 2021 New Year’s Edition on Culturescope.eu, Season 2 Episode 8 (S2 E8) at 1:16:01 hrs

Delightful dragons lead the way through this diverse, rhyming children’s book to overcome childhood fears

Audio, ebook and hardback formats in English, French and Greek, bring to life the tale of an outcast dragon who overcomes childhood fears, bravely lulling a pair of scary babies to sleep with his magical sand. The “boring Tan Dragon” wins the respect of his colorful peers when he faces his fear and realizes his special gift. Brilliant, often abstract, paintings by Stephan Theo and Nicole Theo illustrate this enchanting rhyme-Stephan Theo from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television voice acts the audio book, to singer-songwriter Nicole Theo’s guitar accompaniment. The dragons in this bedtime story frolic to poetry, while delighting, empowering and motivating. Kids will love the award-winning author’s charming tale of a rainbow of silly dragon friends pulling together and overcoming their fear of the littlest humans. “It gives a different perspective,” says Stephan Theo, who sees “the simple complexity of everything as mind-opening: the more options someone has, the more perspectives, the more choices they will feel ― they will feel free!” With an activity at the back of the book, Tuck-a-tuck Dragon teaches: facing fear to find unique virtues; diversity; colors; reading words finishing rhymes; counting.

More reviews

“A cute rhyming children’s book teaching colors and co-operation.”

― Melissa Dials, Teacher, Cool Ridge, West Virginia; Rating: 9 out of 10

“Soothing tale”


“Much love for Tuck-a-tuck Dragon”

― Beenish Arif, Children’s Book Reviewer

“Rating: 9 out of 10”

―Derek Uibelhoer, School Librarian, Livingston, NJ

“A strength of this book for little children is how it presents the often-petty behaviour of young ones, and the casually hurtful way in which they can interact, even with accepted members being subjected to jeering and cutting behaviour. The story meanders through the dragons’ play, with them eventually settling down to a traditional end to any children’s get-together by telling tales to scare each other for fun. And what scares dragons the most? It is children! Because ‘babies throw tantrums, as everyone knows!’ The climax of the story is when the ‘last picked for teams’ Tan Dragon is sent to deal with a wailing baby, and how our hero, Tan Dragon, overcomes his fear, to settle both baby and the other dragons to sleep.”

The Book Review, Literary Trust

“I enjoyed the story in this book. Each of the dragons is a unique colour and they all enjoy having fun and playing games together. I love how some of the dragons are described like the white dragon being made of cloud. While the dragons all enjoy their games they are annoyed when Tan dragon, who is late, arrives. The way the dragons think of and treat Tan Dragon is reminiscent of how some children can be treated unfairly among their peers, but I like what happens in this story and how later, Tan Dragon essentially ‘saves the day’ for all of the other dragons…. There is a good rhyming pattern throughout the story, and I like how this book sounds when heard as an audiobook. I was lucky enough to have access to both a digital copy and to hear an excerpt of the audiobook which features some nice music, mainly some nice and subtle guitar music playing throughout in between the narrator’s sentences…. I love some of these illustrations especially when you can see the dragons like the cloud white dragon in the sky and the others flying in the sky together. All of the illustrations have a quality that make them look a bit like children’s paintings which I actually love…”

The Strawberry Post



Tuck-a-tuck Dragon

Illustrated by Stephan Theo & Nicole Theo; written by Stephan Theo and JL Morin
Fully returnable
Release date: June 19, 2021
Genre: Children's Rhyming Picture Book; Diverse Verse
Price: $16.99
Hardback ISBN: 9781941861714; Audio 978-1-941861-73-8; eBook 978-1-941861-74-5;
French language hardback 9781941861769; French language eBook: 9781941861790; July 29, 2024
Greek language hardback 978-1-941861-75-2; Greek language eBook ASIN: B09BG6Q3TF
58 pages, 8 x 10 inches
Interest Age Range 0 - 11; Grade Range: pre-Kindergarten to 5th grade
Available through Gardners, Bertram Books, Waterstones, Amazon, Ingram, Coresource, iTunes, Nook, Kindle, Rakuten Kobo, Overdrive, Findaway, Baker & Taylor


Now translated into Greek,
French and Spanish


Get the hardcover at

Baker & Taylor


Excerpt of Tuck-a-tuck Dragon

One blustery autumn, three dragons came out
To romp, stomp and tumble and frolic about.
On their way to a sleepover party they flew,
Big Red Dragon, Pink, and Small Green Dragon, too.

Toward Sun Yellow’s huge house, three dragons did fly,
Where they saw seven more dragons mount to the sky!
Old Blue came, and White, made out of cloud,
With a mountain of Purple, who rumbled out loud.

They found the right house, dropped their bags by the wall,
Then started the games for one dragon and all.
The Grey Dragon soared, with his wings full of rain!
And everyone played, until Tan Dragon came.

The last picked for teams, in the game Knights and Knaves,
He was last up the hill, fast asleep in the caves.
They would not let him in, till the rain started pouring,
And said, “There was never ever a dragon so boring.”

Now, to play, play, and play was just never enough,
But without any sleep, it was ever so tough,
So they rolled out their bags, and got in them, each one,
Telling stories to frighten each other for fun…FOR MORE, REQUEST YOUR REVIEW COPY

Get the audiobook at


Google Play

“This delightful, almost seven-minute audiobook relates an imaginative story adapted from a picture book tale. The story’s colorful young dragons play, then settle down to tell scary stories before sleep, but cannot fall asleep because they are afraid of humans, especially babies. It takes the most boring dragon of all, the tan dragon, to venture into the babies’ room and put them to sleep. The Spanish-accented narration done by the illustrator is heartfelt and vibrant. The story sounds like a father telling his child a favorite bedtime story. The performance has a lot of heart, enthusiasm, emotion, and drama. The story is told in verse with voice quality, pacing, and drama to delight toddlers and preschoolers. The production is free of edits and technical flaws. The introduction was simple, naming only the title and the narrator. The story is told in verse, with simple guitar music as transitions between verses/pages. Short, simple sound effects of babies crying and a music box playing are added at appropriate places…. The title, Tuck a Tuck Dragon, refers to a well-performed dramatic point in the story that will delight young listeners. The cover art shows a dragon settling down to sleep outside and reflects a scene from the story. This tale about young, colorful dragons is beautifully told in short verse and vibrant language. The original picture book story has well developed language and pacing that adapts well as an audiobook.”

—Independent Book Publishers Association

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Nature’s Confession Nature’s Confession

Nature’s Confession

Nature’s Confession

As governments give $5.3 trillion a year to fossil fuel companies, while the media propagates the idea that solar and wind energy are unprofitable (IRL!), comes

Nature’s Confession

The tale of two teens in a fight to save

a warming planet, the universe . . .

and their love

“The novel is epic” –The Guardian

“It makes no apologies for its mission: to save our Planet Earth from self-destructing. A thought-provoking novel that brings the genre of ‘cli-fi’ to young adult readers.”

—Florence Griswold Museum Reading Club, in an event featuring
Dr. Mark J. Schenker, Senior Associate Dean and
Dean of Academic Affairs at Yale University



First Place Winner, Chanticleer Dante Rossetti Award

Readers’ Favorite Award Winner

Book Excellence Award Finalist

A Top 10 Best Science Fiction book

New York Book Festival Honorable Mention

This cli-fi quest full of romance, honor, and adventure is the #1 Top Marinovich Fiction Read of the year

LitPick 5-Star Review Award Winner

Best of a New Genre, included in “12 Works of Climate Fiction Everyone Should Read”

Eco-Fiction Honorable MentionRead the excerpt!

Best Climate & Environmental Fiction Book

Hitch onto JL’s Blog tour

When a smart-mouthed, mixed-race teen wonders why the work that needs to be done pays nothing compared to the busywork glorified on holovision news, the search for answers takes him on the wildest journey of anyone’s lifetime. Their planet is choked with pollution. They can’t do anything about it . . . or can they? With the girl of his dreams, he inadvertently invents living computers. Just as the human race allows corporations to pollute Earth into total desolation, institute martial law and enslave humanity, the two teens set out to save civilization. Can they thwart polluters of Earth and other fertile planets? The heroes come into their own in different kinds of relationships in this diverse, multi-cultural romance. Along the way, they enlist the help of female droid Any Gynoid, who uncovers cutting-edge scientific mysteries. Their quest takes them through the Big Bang and back. Will Starliament tear them from the project and unleash ‘intelligent’ life’s habitual pollution, or will youth lead the way to a new way of coexisting with Nature?

Nature’s Confession couldn’t be more timely, just as the IMF reveals that governments spent $5.3 trillion on fossil fuel subsidies. With illustrations and topics for discussion at the back of the book, JL Morin entertains questions about busywork; economic incentives to pollute; sustainable energy; exploitation; cyborgs; the sanctity of Nature; and many kinds of relationships in this diverse, multi-cultural romance.

Read the eco-fiction honorable mention excerpt Dragonfly

Meet the characters

Wuhvie, Valentine, Kendra . . . Mom . . .Yda . . . Porter . . .

“You want to talk about RACE? Humans! And you still think you’re superior, pft. Look what homosapianity has done to its own environment. Do you know how RARE planets like Earth are?” —Any Gynoid

More Reviews

Nature’s Confession by JL Morin: The eco-novel is wonderful and reminds me of classic science fiction I watched or read as a kid. It was a genre that fascinated me then, and this book has joined that memory. The novel is epic in that it doesn’t just tell a story (which it does do too), but it puts our very survival into question while romping through the universe or discovering new quantum physics that are both scientific and spiritual in nature. In the meantime, universal symbols are unearthed, codes are investigated, fat corporations are dominating, a romance is blossoming, computers come alive, and native tribes and Nature on another planet bring our own treasured past into the future.”

The Guardian


“As she continues to craft creative stories that are based on prominent issues, Morin is proving herself to be one of the most interesting storytellers for teens. What allowed NATURE’S CONFESSION to resonate with me was not only the fast-paced, urgent need to save the world, but the fact that love drove so much of what happens.”

Teen Reads


“A classic” — Fjords Review


“Adventure, satire, dystopia, all in one well-written speculative-fiction package.”

—5-heart review, Foreword Reviews

” . . . I have to say it’s one of the best books I have ever read.”

I Love Books video reviews by Louise Colclough


Nature's Confession

by JL Morin

Two teens fight to save civilization
from ecological disaster in this unique, eco-loving cli-fi (climate fiction) adventure

Release date: January 8, 2015
Genre: Cli-fi, Science Fiction, Multicultural, Suspense
Paperback Price: $13.10
Kindle eBook: $9.99
ISBN: 978-0-9895960-7-7


“Morin’s novel is the literary embodiment of a distinctly different way of perceiving, and one that will no doubt work its aesthetic, as well as political “magic” on everyone who reads it, in the process transmogrifying their perception of extant social and natural reality. The kind of work that reinforces corporate domination in the world constructed by Nature’s Confession is “busywork” — a neologism that conveys precisely its function of keeping workers “busy” — so busy that they do not have time to reflect on the ecological damage that corporate operations are doing to the ecosphere — busywork keeps them locked in an ideological, or discursive, prison. The link between corporate logic and enslavement is made explicit by prefacing the names of things with an “e”, rendering eParliament, eHarvard, etc. The meaning of people’s lives has been defined by their corporate enslavement, which goes hand in hand with the incremental pollution of the planet in the name of profit….. This book should be prescribed to every student and school-going child on the planet.”

Mail & Guardian, Dr. Bert Olivier


“Caring and flawed, the enthusiastic adolescents and their disillusioned parents are extremely likable and the fact that they care what happens to one another and what happens to the environment they share makes them sympathetic. I’ve certainly met other likable characters in other science fiction and fantasy books but as these characters seem so much more so, I asked myself why. The one word answer is generosity – the sympathetic humans and androids in this story are generous toward one another. And this spirit of generosity contrasts greatly with the greedy and malicious villains, led by the evil Emperor.”

YA Books Central


“The variety of viewpoints give the reader a more complete view of the world the characters experience, and are a huge asset to the story.… I loved the universe Morin described. While the world clearly reflected our own Earth, there was plenty of thought and imagination put into ‘Enslaved Earth’.…The book was not only a fast-paced, entertaining read—the themes of thinking for one’s self, valuing individuality, and the corrupting power of money are woven throughout Boy’s story. The readers are called to think critically about their own lives, and their own role in enabling the greed of the human race. The author’s ability to combine intense social commentary with a genuinely enjoyable reading experience is impressive…. Fans of science fiction and dystopian novels will love Nature’s Confession, and I would recommend the book to teens and young adults interested in a fun, thought-provoking read.”

LitPick, VBat



“What I enjoyed the most was the author’s ability to combine serious concerns about the environment on Earth, with a sense of humor, at times almost a double-take slapstick, and obviously her wish the polluters on earth, and the policy-makers who foster those polluters could be slapped upside of the head with a dose of reality. Instead, she gives us sublime comedy, which is much better than being preached to, or crying that the sky is falling. Although, I bet she could write a pretty good version of the Sky Is Falling.”

Midwest Book Review, David W. Wooddell

“Such an evocative book”



“Nature’s Confession—that she might not be able to sustain the human race anymore—will appeal to readers who like their sci-fi broad and far-reaching. This novel continually moves from one plot point to the next, often switching characters to give a broader sense of the story, and never lingers too long on the technicalities. Alien lifeforms, alternative clean energy sources, intergalactic travel as well as time travel, multiple realities abound in this diverse, multi-cultural love story. Morin does an excellent job using Nature’s Confession as a timely foil for the challenges our society faces regarding climate change, big industry, sustainability and how the human race will survive. Highly recommended. Nature’s Confession won 1st Place in the CIBA 2017 Dante Rossetti Awards for Young Adult Fiction.”

Chanticleer Book Reviews


“It was incredibly tough to come up with a favourite, but in the end, I chose on JL Morin’s, Nature’s Confession. It’s a zany, fantastical read and a product of a clearly whimsical mind. This book, however, covers some serious and important topics that are affecting the planet we live on, so very relevant. It reminded me a little of Star Trek, infused with The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, and a little Dr Who thrown in the wonderful mix.”

Best Read of 2014, Marinovich Books


“Points to Morin for writing a diverse character without emphasizing his ethnicity . . . . This is a book that gets better the second time around . . . . NC crosses the bridge between teen and adult fiction, and may aspire to be appointed as a new classic.”

Offbeat YA


“The theme of climate change is beautifully developed and it is a very relevant one, considering the controversies surrounding the Paris deal on climate change. I also enjoyed the fact that the key characters are young and they are very symbolic of a new era. How often do we hear people preach that the youth are the future of the world while doing everything to destroy the world they promise the youth would inherit? That two youngsters should set out to fight for the world they will inherit is a brilliant idea. The plot isn’t too complex, but the characters are very interesting and well-developed. Here is a book that is purposeful, written with a vision, and one that every decision maker should read. Nature’s Confession is well-written, entertaining, and character-driven; a book that speaks about the one thing everyone should worry about. “

Readers’ Favorite

“What I found most riveting about J.L. Morin’s Nature’s Confession is the concept of busywork. Her young hero is disgusted by how most people are trapped being kept so busy that they have blinders toward the bigger picture and how the planet is being harmed. Aren’t we all so wrapped up in our own lives and stress and work that we feel unable to get involved or make a change or start a revolution that will put a stop to climate change? I applaud the author for showing so creatively and cleverly the consequences of our busywork.”

Got a Written Work


“J.L. Morin has done an excellent job of getting her message across in a way that provides moments of humor, danger and adventure for younger readers. The discussion topic at the end would provide an opportunity to raise awareness in the classroom and encourage youngsters to ‘go green’ at every opportunity as they become aware that Earth is our home and depends on us as much as we depend on it.”

Tome Tender


“There is no doubt that this cli-fi (Climate Fiction) piece has a unique plot and creative characters who inhabit not only Earth, but Grod and Phira as well. Of note is Cuppy, a many-tailed pet. There is an educational aspect to the work, with questions for discussion at the end.”

InD’Tale Magazine


“Nature’s Confession clearly shows our teens how humans can be both a force for good or bad when it comes to taking care of the Earth. The book’s provoking message intermingled with the need to make a difference, and to develop good friendships has much to offer those who enjoy this new genre of sci-fi. Hope to see more of it.”

Library of Clean Reads


“The characters were so beautifully created that they jumped out of the pages into my mind and touched my heart.”


Melonie’s Poetic Life


“Morin creates a character in this novel that invents eco-friendly living computers to combat the pollution of earth by corporations. The heroes uncover scientific mysteries that hopefully will teach ‘earthlings’ respect for Nature that they have forgotten. Great for teens and adults.”

The Compendium


“Nature’s Confession is a riveting contribution to the burgeoning field of climate fiction, providing an imaginative, powerful call for sustainable action over the myopia of corporate logic.”

—Dr. Pietari Kääpä, Lecturer in Communications,
Media and Culture, University of Stirling


“Witty, with a keen eye for the absurd, Nature’s Confession puts an ambitious new spin on environmental protection.”

Fintan O’Higgens, Television Writer


“JL Morin’s Nature’s Confession challenges readers to consider a future for Earth, balanced precipitously on the edge of uncontrolled greed. Could one family change the course of history? Read the book!”

—White House-based Freelance Journalist, Kris Anderson


Cli-fi in the News

Nature’s Confession is a 350+ cli-fi pick

The Associated Press covered cli-fi books being turned into movies in an article called, “Climate change inspires rise of ‘cli-fi’ flicks”

NPR on the new strain of fiction: “The genre has come to be called climate fiction — cli-fi, for short.”

The Washington Post gets behind cli-fi in ‘Climate change has created a new literary genre’ saying, “. . . fiction can stir emotion and action in a way scientific reports and newscasts don’t.”

A panel on Climate Change Narratives discussed the new genre at London 3, the World Science Fiction Convention, August, 2014. Cli-fi made it on to the agenda of the Edinburgh International Book Festival in 2014 for the first time in an event for schools.

Praise for Sazzae


“Step into Sazzae and embark on an ethereal journey of lyrical imagery, manga-esque twists and turns, and intriguing characters at once both fanciful and engaging.”

— Alex Sanchez, Author of Rainbow Boys and Bait

“Morin’s wit can be delicious.”

Canberra Times


“Her most delightful descriptions are of the intrigues in the personal lives of the protagonists.”

The Harvard Crimson


Praise for Trading Dreams


“…vivid scenes at a kinky sex club on the outskirts of Greenwich Village with references to the bursting economic bubble and the federal government’s bank bailout.”

Publishers Weekly

“Occupy’s 1st bestselling novel”

Occupy Virtual Worlds


“…exposing enough greed, hypocrisy, and blatant illegality to make even the least informed reader deliciously angry.”

Harvard Independent


“An ideal read for suspense lovers interested in the current financial crisis.”



Articles by JL Morin

World Economic Forum – Is Sustainable Growth Possible?

HuffPo – A Mountain of Beans

HuffPo – Universities Make Cli-fi Dreams Come True

Offbeat YA – Science Fiction Grew a Conscience: “We Have Been Fighting the Wrong War”

Sustainable Cities Collective – The Sustainable Growth Oxymoron

Huffington Post – There’s More to the Oil Crash Than Meets The Eye

LitPick – Six Tips on Writing Reviews

Teenreads.com – The Veil

About the Author


JL Morin grew up in inner-city Detroit. She proffered moral support while her parents sacrificed all to a failed system. Wondering what the Japanese were doing right, she decamped to Tokyo. Her debut Japan novel, Sazzae, won an eLit Gold Medal, and a Living Now Book Award. Her second novel, Travelling Light, was a USA Best Book Awards finalist, and her third, Trading Dreams, became ‘Occupy’s first bestselling novel’. Her climate fiction novel, Nature’s Confession, won first place in the Dante Rossetti Book Awards; a Readers’ Favorite Book Award; a LitPick 5-Star Review Award; and an excerpt received an Honorable Mention in the Eco-Fiction Story Contest, published in the Winds of Change anthology of eco-fiction. Her second cli-fi novel, Loveoid, is a Cygnus Sci-fi 1st place winner, among others.

Her cli-fi novels are on course syllabi at many universities. Ivy League professors have facilitated discussions with JL Morin’s writing, and it is discussed in textbooks, such as Science Fiction and Climate Change: A Sociological Approach, by Andrew Milner, ‎and J. R. Burgmann, 2020, published by Oxford University Press.

Her most recent work, Tuck-a-tuck Dragon, is a diverse rhyming children’s book illustrated by children throughout their childhood from the ages of 2–21.

JL Morin’s writing draws on a breadth of experience. She traded derivatives in New York while studying nights for her MBA at New York University’s Stern School of Business; worked for the Federal Reserve Bank posted to the 103rd floor of the World Trade Center; presented the news as a TV broadcaster; and she is adjunct faculty at Boston University. Morin’s fiction has appeared in The Harvard Advocate and Harvard Yisei, and her articles and translations in The Huffington Post, Library Journal, The Detroit News, European Daily, Livonia Observer Eccentric Newspapers, The Harvard Crimson, and Agence France Presse while she worked in their Middle East Headquarters.

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Love and Famine Love and Famine

Love and Famine

Love and Famine

Love and Famine

A true-fiction, historical novel by Han-ping Chin


A 9th-grader, Dapeng Liu, greets the 1949 communist victory in China with awe and confusion. While trying to shed old traditions and fit into the revolution, he’s constantly caught between incomprehensible reality and his conscience. Amid his struggles with shifting political dictates, academic and financial adversity, purges, a broken marriage, and loneliness, he learns to swim in the stormy sea of Mao’s first decades in power. As his professional achievement and ideological remolding win Party favor, he quietly maps a path to a brighter future and his lost love.  One of the readers dubbed it “The Chinese Dr. Zhivago.”

This coming of age story set in China from 1949-1965 during the Mao Zedong Era portrays a fate inextricably intertwined with the way Chinese people lived during the formative stage of modern China. Han-ping Chin’s historical autobiography fills the niche left by Ha Jin, winner of the National Book Award, and other modern Chinese writers.



Love and Famine

by Han-ping Chin
Release date: September 8, 2017
Genre: True Fiction, Immigrant Fiction, Historical Fiction, Romance, Suspense
Price: $22.95
ISBN: 978-1-941861-45-5


Praise for Love and Famine

“One should add ‘Politics’ to the two abstractions of the title, for Chin’s fictional world is infused with the cultural and personal consequences of Mao’s Great Leap Forward…. Because the author is an engineer who’s lived in the U.S. since 1978, the novel has a particularly autobiographical feel. Both epic and personal, this novel chronicles two decades of love, loss, history, and culture—and the complex tensions that arise from these forces—during the turbulent Mao era.”


“Set during the turbulent years of Mao Zedong’s rise and into the Great Leap Forward, Love and Famine is a rich and detailed look at the lives of both Chinese intellectuals and peasants alike. Han-Ping Chin’s autobiographical novel offers a glimpse into the way the Chinese lived during the formative years of China’s communist regime…. Dapeng’s struggles and slow rise to triumph pull the reader along hoping for a semblance of a happy ending in the face of the near-insurmountable hardships surrounding him. A fascinating look at life during the Great Leap Forward, and a fine addition to the study and literature of the period.”

Historical Novel Society

Love and Famine
at the New Delhi World Book Fair

…carrying in the books

About the Author

Han-ping Chin was born in Wuhan and driven by Japanese troops to South China, where he spent his childhood in an abandoned coalmine district, a place of poverty, plagues, and superstition. He survived the war and the diseases it spread, while five of his siblings died. From 1956 to 1978, he worked as an engineer stabilizing tunnels and dams. Traveling through the provinces and living at various construction sites, he came know the people in all parts of China. In an era when propaganda replaced entertainment and friendships turned into political liabilities, he spent most of my spare time alone with the Chinese classics.

He came to the US as one of the first 52 PRC exchange scholars in 1978. Later, he received his PhD from the Mechanical Engineering Department at UC Berkeley, and registered as a civil engineer in California. Exposed to Western society and history that was heavily censored in China, he was forced to face the emotions, feelings, and memories of his earlier life that he’d thought long-since extinguished. An urge to offer a glimpse of an ancient, vanishing world to Western readers and younger generations of Chinese has lured him from his engineering profession. He’s been writing for the past thirty years, and his short stories have appeared in The Partisan Review and Willow Springs.

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No Worse Sin by Kyla Bennett No Worse Sin by Kyla Bennett

No Worse Sin by Kyla Bennett

No Worse Sin by Kyla Bennett

No Worse Sin
by Kyla Bennett


Will two teens in love make the ultimate sacrifice to avert global disaster?

First-period English class is the last place 17-year-old Laena expects to have her entire existence thrown into a tailspin. But when Cree, a jaw-droppingly gorgeous boy, mysteriously appears in her classroom, Laena knows nothing will ever be the same. Before Laena can decide who Cree really is or whether anything he says is true, she falls for him. Hard.

Cree claims he has seen the future, and it is devastating. Working frantically to avert impending disaster, the two teens plunge into a battle between science and faith that threatens everything Laena has ever known. Surviving high school is tough. But it’s even tougher while fighting for your life, the boy you love, and the fate of the planet.



No Worse Sin

by Kyla Bennett

Will two teens in love make the ultimate sacrifice?
Release date: May 11, 2015
Romance, Cli-fi, Science Fiction, Suspense
Price: $19.95
ISBN: 978-1-941861-01-1


“Romance is a good angle for telling the story!”


“As riveting a read as it is entertaining, No Worse Sin will have special appeal to teenage and young adult adventure novel enthusiasts. No Worse Sin documents author Kyla Bennett as an exceptionally talented writer who is able to deftly craft a complex, original, and deeply engaging story. Very highly recommended for school and community library YA Fiction collections….”

Midwest Book Review


Book events:

June 25th, 6:30 p.m. at Ames Free Library – Queset House, 51 Main Street, North Easton, MA

Sharon Public Library, 11 N. Main Street, Sharon, MA 02067 – Autumn 2015 – A panel of 5 authors

Mansfield, MA – To be determined


About the Author

After receiving a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Connecticut, Kyla Bennett attended Lewis and Clark’s Northwestern School of Law, where she obtained a J.D. with a certificate in Natural Resources and Environmental Law. Kyla returned to the east coast in 1989, when she began work at the Boston office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency doing wetlands permitting and enforcement. She soon became EPA’s Wetlands Enforcement Coordinator for New England, and stayed in that position until she left EPA in 1999. Kyla then worked as the Deputy Director of Habitat for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), headquartered on Cape Cod. After two years of protecting wildlife and their habitats around the world, Kyla joined Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Today, Kyla is the Director of New England PEER, working to protect local, state and federal employees who protect the environment.

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