January 19, 2021

#ReadLocal – Books by North Shore Authors to Add to Your List this Winter

by joeyphoenix

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You owe it to yourself to take a screen break. So find your comfiest armchair and your choice of warm beverage and check out some of these books by local North Shore Authors.

Scroll to the bottom to find a list of indie bookstores where you can pick up some of these works curbside or have them delivered directly to you!

Editor’s Note: Are you a North Shore or New England-based author and would like to have your book added to this list? Send our editor an email at joeyphoenix@creativecollectivema.com for inclusion.

Hint: while you’re doing the good work of supporting local authors and expanding your knowledge, buy two – one for yourself and one for a friend. Because sharing is caring!


Murder in the Marsh by Kevin Carey

Read Our Review: Beasts Walk Among Us in Carey’s Murder in the Marsh

A new murder mystery by Kevin Carey from Darkstroke Books. It’s 1980, Revere Beach, Massachusetts (just outside of Boston), wise guys and gamblers on every corner. Eddie Devlin is about to be relieved of his duty as a detective on The Revere Police Department. He has problems, chief among them is a missing body…

One Night in Salem by FunDead Publications

Throngs of tourists pack the streets from Derby to Essex. Costumed children and adults visit haunted attractions and browse t-shirt shops and street vendors’ booths. A veiled figure appears, and you catch her out of the corner of your eye, but she quickly disappears into the crowd… or perhaps into thin air? 

The Map of True Places by Brunonia Barry

Zee Finch has come a long way from a motherless childhood spent stealing boats—a talent that earned her the nickname Trouble. She’s now a respected psychotherapist working with the world-famous Dr. Liz Mattei. She’s also about to marry one of Boston’s most eligible bachelors.

The Book of Essie by Meghan Maclean Weir

Esther Ann Hicks–Essie–is the youngest child on Six for Hicks, a reality television phenomenon. She’s grown up in the spotlight, both idolized and despised for her family’s fire-and-brimstone brand of faith. When Essie’s mother, Celia, discovers that Essie is pregnant, she arranges an emergency meeting with the show’s producers: Do they sneak Essie out of the country for an abortion? Do they pass the child off as Celia’s? Or do they try to arrange a marriage–and a ratings-blockbuster wedding?

Mercy House by Alena Dillon

Inside a century-old row house in Brooklyn, renegade Sister Evelyn and her fellow nuns preside over a safe haven for the abused and abandoned. Gruff and indomitable on the surface, warm and wry underneath, little daunts Evelyn, until she receives word that Mercy House will be investigated by Bishop Hawkins, a man with whom she shares a dark history. In order to protect everything they’ve built, the nuns must conceal many of their methods, which are forbidden by the Catholic Church.

OMG by Jenny Pivor

Kylie Maynard wants to make the world a better place—and she’s willing to break the rules to do it. This spunky Boston millennial struggles with independence and relationship issues—while trying to solve a heinous crime through her tech startup called OMG.

Magic Lessons by Alice Hoffman

Where does the story of the Owens bloodline begin? With Maria Owens, in the 1600s, when she’s abandoned in a snowy field in rural England as a baby. Under the care of Hannah Owens, Maria learns about the “Unnamed Arts”. Hannah recognizes that Maria has a gift and she teaches the girl all she knows. It is here that she learns her first important lesson. Always love someone who will love you back.

Gallows Hill by Rory O’Brien

In therapy and still shaken after having killed a suspect, introverted police detective Andrew Lennox hasn’t revealed the full story behind the shooting that sent him into therapy and put him on Xanax. He and his partner soon discover that the hanged man is the lost heir of the Musgraves, an old family with a twisted history, who deny all knowledge of the victim…


Green Card & Other Essays: A collection of first-person essays on immigration by Ainé Greaney

In Green Card & Other Essays, Áine Greaney invites her readers to follow her three-decades’ long journey from Irish citizen and resident to new immigrant and green card holder to dual citizenship that now includes naturalized U.S. citizenship. These first-person essays offer an intimate perspective on the challenges—fear, displacement, assimilation and dueling identities—faced by many immigrants from all countries.

A Newburyport Marine in World War I: The Life and Legacy of Eben Bradbury by Bethany Groff Dorau

Eben “Bunny” Bradbury, son of two historic Newburyport families, joined the United States Marine Corps just days after the declaration of war in April 1917. Everyone in the city knew him, and his his sudden death a year later in at the Battle of Belleau Wood in France was commemorated with a public monument. Ninety-seven years later, a chance encounter brought a local historian and distant cousin to ask about his monument, leading to the discovery of intimate letters, personal diaries, photographs and military records, held by people across the world who had not forgotten Eben. Author Bethany Groff Dorau reveals a story that goes beyond a tragic battlefield death and uncovers a rich and complex American family, rooted deeply in a truly American city.

Romantic Outlaws by Charlotte Gordon

This groundbreaking dual biography brings to life a pioneering English feminist and the daughter she never knew. Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley has each been the subject of numerous biographies. Yet no author has ever examined their lives in one book — until now.

Dancing with Fireflies by Clemens Carl Schoenebeck

Dancing with Fireflies is a story of a family living in the darkness and intermittent light of a mother’s paranoid schizophrenia. It is about three brothers dancing to the hide-and-seek choreography demanded by a mother’s voices in their search for safety. A telling of a father’s stubborn determination to keep his family together, in his attempt to fix what cannot be fixed, and the near-tragedy prevented by his three young boys when he reached his breaking point. 

Selfish Women’s Group by Vick Breedy

Has it ever felt like a back-handed compliment to be called a “Strong Black Woman”? That statement says more about your weaknesses than your strengths. The stereotypical strong Black woman does it all. She wades through the barrage of racism and misogyny designed to drown her, yet serves as the life vest for everyone else. They need her, but who tends to her needs?

Black Cat Tales by Daniel and Lara Fury

An in depth look at the history behind Salem’s most chilling legends and mysterious hauntings. This book is filled with the efforts of over fifteen years of research by local historians Daniel and Lara Fury, owners of one of Salem’s most respected and well reviewed walking tour companies.

Young Adult (YA) and Graphic Novels

The Indestructibles by Matthew Phillion

A solar powered girl. A ballerina vigilante. A boy with an alien living inside his brain. A werewolf with confidence issues.  A girl with a black hole for a heart. Five teenagers, each with their own unique abilities, are gathered by veteran hero Doc Silence to become their generation’s super-team. 

The Arrival of Someday by Jen Malone

In this emotionally candid contemporary YA, author Jen Malone delves into the world of a teen whose life is brought to an abrupt halt when she learns she’s in dire need of an organ transplant.

Pleading with Stars by Kurt Ankeny

Collecting all of Kurt Ankeny’s short story comics from 2014-2019, Pleading with Stars is his debut book with indie publishing legend AdHouse Books. This collection includes sold out stories such as Dark Desert Dawn, A Bomb, Saltwater Snow, E, and many more.


Rewilding by January O’Neil

Read our review in “When We Fly, We Find Our Fire.” – Reading January Gill O’Neil’s Rewilding

Rewilding, a relatively new ecological term, means to return an area of land to its original state. Reveling in letting go of the damaged and broken parts of ourselves while celebrating renewal and new beginnings, O’Neil’s poetry examines the external worlds of race and culture and the internal, personal worlds of family and desire. Ultimately, these poems tap into what is wild and good in all of us.

The Acute Avian Heart by Joey Gould

Read our review: Love, Grief, and Ornithology in Joey Gould’s The Acute Avian Heart

The poems in The Acute Avian Heart present to the reader a searing, yet conversational look at the inside of a fine poetic mind—one sharp & ready for the world & all of its bounty of nuance. It takes an astute & careful poet to create a landscape that not only holds many truths but also enacts the co-existence of said truths using form, song, units of sound. & perhaps the most startling & poignant aspect of this collection is that it does not shy away from harsh realities, but rather, invites the reader into them, shows facets softened with wisdom & praise, shot through with love.

Drinking from Snowglobes by Christopher O’Keeffe – Preorder

Read Our Review: I Heard Something Like Hope

Drinking from Snowglobes finds home in many places. The first collection of poems from Christopher O’Keeffe moves restlessly through time and space; from the backwoods of 90’s rural New England, to the crashing music dives of aughts-era Allston/Cambridge, to the teeming streets of Queens in the 2010s. Punctuated by dates and coordinates for each poem, the pages guide curious readers through blissed-out details and memories woven from noise, melody, great food, “just one more” drink and — most importantly — enduring friendships.

The Man in in the Booth in the Midtown Tunnel by Doug Holder

Main Street Rag– (S. Craig Renfroe, Jr.): “Aside from being the founder, publisher, and co-editor of the prestigious and influential Ibbetson Street Press, Doug Holder writes poetry with a passion and insight that deserves prestige and influence all its own.”

Children’s Fiction

How My Daddy Taught Me to Dance by Susie Rich

Young Jensine has two passions — music and dance. So when her ballet teacher tells her class about an upcoming audition, Jensine can hardly wait. She practices and prepares, and by the time of the audition she has all the right moves. But in the end, she finds that the advice her musician father gave her is what really moves her to success.

Space Mice by Lori Houran

When two hungry mice spot a giant yellow ball of cheese in the night sky, they get right to work building a rocketship so they can take a big bite out of that glowing full moon. After sailing through starry skies, the mice arrive at the feast of their dreams—and soon the moon isn’t so full anymore! Simple, rhythmic text makes this a great read-aloud for future astronauts.

One Day a Dot by Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb

Starting with one tiny dot and continuing through the Big Bang to the rise of human societies, the story of our universe is told in simple and vivid terms. But the biggest question of all cannot be answered: Where did that one dot come from?

Lights, Camera, Disaster by Erin M. Dionne

Hester Greene loves making movies. With her camera in hand, she can focus, make decisions, and have the control she lacks in life, where her executive function disorder (think extreme ADHD plus anxiety) sabotages her every move. But middle school is not a movie, and if her last-ditch attempt to save her language-arts grade–and her chance to pass eighth grade, period–doesn’t work, Hess could lose her friends, her year, even her camera.

Local Indie Bookstores

Are you a North Shore writer who wants to be included on this list? Send our editor a message at joeyphoenix@creativecollectivema.com

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