It’s the summer of ’54 in the sleepy midwestern town of Sand Flats, Nebraska. Four lonely misfits forge an unlikely friendship under the draping branches of the third willow–a safe place where humor, magic and sorrow coexist. There they discover that best friends can ease the pressures from the adult world that threaten to steal their innocence.
Told through their eyes, this is a tale of a summer of unbridled adventure, which ends unexpectedly and abruptly forces them all into adulthood. As tender as it is intense, THIRD WILLOW is what Kirkus Review has called "a haunting reminder about the loss of innocence."
Jude Black lives in that in-between, twilight place teetering on death but clinging to life in order to bring her baby into this world. Only she knows the circumstances surrounding her mysterious fall off the bluff that landed her in the hospital being kept alive by medical intervention. Only she knows who the father of her baby is. In this poignantly crafted literary novel, the mystery unfolds and the suspense builds as the consequences of Jude’s decisions threaten to reveal everyone’s deceptions, even her own. Bluff offers a sensitive look at essential questions such as the value of human life, the consciousness of those in a coma and the morality of terminating life support. At the core is the story of a tragically misunderstood woman who finds peace, acceptance, understanding and even love on her deathbed.
"This book blew me away."
"Skomal rises to the level of found poetry."
San Francisco Book Review
"Chronicling the adventures of four unlikely friends during the summer of 1954, the novel visits difficult themes of prejudice, abuse, isolation and war while remaining a poetic and exciting reflection on this coming-of-age time. For adult readers, the book will remind them of the joy and angst of growing up. For younger readers, the story will help them explore their own changing lives and provide a sympathetic page to lean on. The power of friendship and the perseverance of youth remain the focus throughout the intense and riveting story and makes the reader long for an escape from reality where freedom and friendship reign supreme."
The Eric Hoffer Award Committee
"From the first few pages of Bluff, we were hooked. Lenore Skomal keeps you guessing and wanting more. The characters never leave you!”
Blue Stockings Literary Society
“Bluff raises vital questions about the nature of our human spirit. This compelling story is a must read. You won’t be able to put this book down. It will change you.”
Sylvia Browne, bestselling author
- Novels -
Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter
The amazing story of a heroic woman—the keeper of Lime Rock Lighthouse in Newport, Rhode Island. Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter is the absorbing, painstakingly researched story of Ida Lewis and the fearless rescues she made at Lime Rock Lighthouse in Newport, Rhode Island. Born in 1842, Ida began tending the light at age fifteen after her father, the keeper of the light, was disabled by a stroke. When her father died in 1872, Ida’s mother assumed the role of lighthouse keeper but Ida continued to do the work. Then when her mother died in 1879, Ida was officially appointed to the job, where she remained until her death in 1911. Ida is credited with saving at least eighteen lives during her nearly forty years on the tiny island in Newport Harbor. She became famous internationally in the late 1860s after one of her daring rescues and was summarily forgotten by history--until now.
50 Stories of the American Spirit
The world stopped for America on September 11, 2001, the day of the worst terrorist attack ever on U.S. soil. It was also the day America showed its true colors. Firefighters, police officers, paramedics, and EMTs sped to the scene. Concerned more about others' safety than their own, they raced into the very buildings workers were fleeing from. Hundreds gave their lives so that others might live. Thousands of others put their lives at risk, day after day, working under dangerous conditions in the round-the-clock search for survivors. But the heroism sparked by the horrific events of that day does not stop there. It spans the country, indeed the globe, and Heroes tells the stories of the men, women, and children who stepped up to help. Most were ordinary citizens who saw what needed to be done and did it. Selfless concern for others links the fifty uplifting stories in these pages, stories of ordinary Americans who made heroic choices under the most terrifying circumstances and gave inspiration with their generosity and willingness to serve, stories that show definitively that the American spirit cannot be diminished but rather grows stronger and brighter in the face of adversity.
“[A] sensitive biography. . . . A remarkable story of an ordinary woman who did some extraordinary things.”
“Lenore Skomal . . . treats her solid historical homework briskly and lightly. . . . Fascinating.”
“Carefully combed historic records . . . numerous photographs, notes and a bibliography do justice to this remarkable . . . heroine.”
Cape Cod Times
“Fascinating. . . . [A] lively, fast-moving account to hold the reader’s interest. . . . Spellbinding.”
“Meticulously researched . . . recounts the story of Ida Lewis and other courageous women who tended the precious Fresnel lenses.”
“Oddly compelling book is of a tiny tigress . . . all of 103 pounds, bound to a lonely speck of rock.”
“Deadlines are nothing new to journalist Lenore Skomal, but she faced the challenge of her career when a call came… to do a book on some of the heroes of Sept. 11—in 30 days time. The result was a writing marathon [and] ‘Heroes: 50 Stories of the American Spirit’”
Connecticut Post, Bridgeport, CT
“Now there is a book that gives an uplifting view of a horrible situation… There will most likely be enough books written about Sept. 11 to fill a dump truck, covering an array of subjects. This is one not to miss.”
Salisbury Post, Salisbury, NC
“Inspiring, well-written, ‘Heroes’ is a short little book that lifts your spirit and reconfirms your faith in the American people.
Daily News, Bowling Green, KY
“‘Heroes’ will always have a place on my bookshelf because it is a tribute to all Americans… Skomal’s interpretations place me on Flight 93 and in the [World Trade Center] buildings. I empathized with the individuals involved, and I felt the fear but also the bravery.”
The Dispatch, Lexington, N.C
- Biographies -
The Statue of Liberty comes to life in this fascinating history of one of the most misunderstood national monuments. Filled with period photographs and journal and diary entries, this book shows the devotion and dedication many disparate parties had to bring the statue to America. Even after it was born, the statue was handed off from government agency to government agency, falling more and more into disrepair. In fact, as author Lenore Skomal and her excellent research point out, the Statue was left to the elements alone until a generation or two of immigrants, who remembered the statue as their first memory of the United States, came to her rescue. A must-read.
- Humor -
Winner of the Next Generation Indie Award for Humor (2012), and finalist is both the Global E-book award and Indie Excellence Award, BURNT TOAST is a must have for those who like to laugh. All of a sudden you wake up and you’re grown up. Look at it this way: You’re not alone. Award-winning humorist and columnist, Skomal shows you how to smile through the stages of life. Inside these pages, you will find wonderfully crafted pieces of wit and wisdom, sensitively written with a healthy dose of humor and peppered with insight. Lenore invests her jocular writing style in poking fun at everything life has to throw at us. Her satire and whimsical writing style, as well as bird’s eye perspective into life’s ups and downs, will have you laughing out loud and resonating with this book, page after page. ELBOW GREASE, literally volume II of the anthology, keeps up the laughs.
"A witty, heartwarming look at life."
Next Generation Indie Award Committee