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You are cordially invited to attend a virtual Reading and Author Discussion featuring Carter Sickles and Sherry Robinson, hosted by Shadelandhouse Modern Press, on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Please register for this Zoom meeting event with the link below:

After you register, you will receive a confirmation email with detailed information on how to join the webinar.

Carter Sickels is the author of the novel The Prettiest Star (Hub City Press), a Kirkus Best Book of 2020, Winner of the Weatherford Award for Best Books about Appalachia, Winner of the Southern Book Prize, and a Best LGBT Book of 2020 by O Magazine, among many other recognitions. His debut novel The Evening Hour (Bloomsbury) was a 2013 Oregon Book Award finalist, a Triangle Publishing Award finalist, and a Lambda Literary Award finalist. Carter lives in Lexington, Kentucky, and is an assistant professor of English at Eastern Kentucky University, where he teaches in the Bluegrass Writers Low-Residency MFA program.

The Prettiest Star, “[t]he story of Brian’s return to small-town Ohio is told in a chorus of voices: Brian’s mother Sharon; his fourteen-year-old sister, Jess, as she grapples with her brother’s mysterious return; and the video diaries Brian makes to document his final summer. Written in prose that seeks “to answer without flinching away from ugliness and without demonizing the ignorant” (Salon), The Prettiest Star offers an urgent portrait of a family in the center of a national crisis, in order to tell a unique story about the politics and fragility of the body, and to explore the bounds of family and redemption.

Courtesy of Hub City Writers Project

Learn more about Carter and The Prettiest Star at

   Sherry Robinson is the author of two novels, Blessed (Shadelandhouse Modern Press, 2019), a 2019 Foreword Indies Book of the Year Winner, Bronze, Religious (Adult Fiction), a 2019 Foreword Indies Book of the Year Winner (Fiction: General Adult and Religious), and  Finalist in the Fiction: Religious category of the 2020 International Book Awards. Her debut novel My Secrets Cry Aloud (2009) received high praise from Lee Smith and Silas House.  She is the recently retired Vice Provost and Professor of English at Eastern Kentucky University, where she spent thirteen years specializing in American Literature before moving into administrative positions.

Blessed, a vivid, poignant, and heart-breaking story of small town preacher Grayson Armstrong, is told by multiple characters whose paths intersect with Grayson: a homeless Vietnam veteran haunted by demons of war; the local diner’s young waitress grappling with her family’s dark history; aggrieved and supportive congregants and townspeople confronting change and the power of love and hate; and Grayson’s wife and his coming-of-age gay son, struggling to understand their own feelings about Grayson. “This story has depth; characters’ recollections and experiences result in a complex, multidimensional view of Grayson. …Noteworthy for the questions that it raises, Blessed is an appealing, thought-provoking work…” Foreword Clarion Review


Learn more about Sherry and Blessed at

To register  for this virtual event please click:

After you register, you will receive a confirmation email with detailed information on how to join the webinar.

We look forward to you joining us for this special event with authors Carter Sickles and Sherry Robinson.

East Lansing Public Library to Host Virtual Book Launch for Poet Marianne Peel Forman on November 8, 2021, from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm

Join us for a Virtual Book Launch hosted by East Lansing Public Library.  Poet Marianne Peel and friends (poets Laura Apol, Joyce Benvenuto, Leila Chatti, Bill Richardson, Katerina Stroykova, and Therese Wood). will read from her debut poetry book, No Distance Between Us (Shadelandhouse Modern Press, October 26, 2021). Register for this event.

About No Distance Between

“Marianne Peel’s collection, No Distance Between Us, is filled with poems of discovery. Through her extensive travels, the narrator’s revelation are often more internal than they are about any foreign geography or culture. Amazed, confused, perplexed, often frustrated, her interior journey is where the ultimate epiphanies lie. …The narrator’s outward journey takes place over six regions, and while we are privy to her experiences, as readers we also bear witness to her emotional and spiritual transformation—the lessons she learns as the result of her expeditions.” from the Foreword by Deni Naffziger, author of Desire to Stay, former editor of Riverwind Literary Magazine

Advance Praise

“In this collection, Marianne Peel takes a reader on a journey of the heart—from Greece and Turkey to Nepal and China, from Ukraine to the US. With passion, curiosity, and a keen eye for detail, Peel introduces readers to places and lives that seem, on the surface, to be far removed from her own. These are people—loving, shattered, joy-filled, and oh so human—with whom Peel shares the intimacy of story, music, and dance. No Distance Between Us is indeed the message, not just for Peel in her travels, but for all of us who are transported with the poet.”—Laura Apol, author of A Fine Yellow Dust

“Peel’s poems… reflect an astonishing awareness of detail, encompassing empathy and transformation. A haunting poetic accomplishment.”—Jan Freeman, author of Blue Structure and Simon Says

“Peel’s…lyrical tenderness and compassion for humanity reveal a keen eye and an abundance of the heart. Each poem tells a story, and each story tells a truth. Stunning.”—Julie Maloney, founder and director of Women Reading Aloud

“From the beautiful to the unimaginable, compassion radiates from ‘the underbelly of each word’ of No Distance Between Us. [Peel’s] exquisite storytelling voice brings to life vivid characters with their human joys and heartbreaking struggles. … The poetry…opens our hearts ‘to let in the light.’ To hold each other’s hands, and sing.”—Katerina Stoykova, author of Second Skin

“Peel’s pen brings us into a community of wise women and caring men scattered across the globe, in out of the way places. No Distance Between Us is a rich estuary, a house boat of stories full of heart.”—Jeremy Paden, author of World As Sacred Burning Heart and Under the Ocelot Sun/Bajo el sol del ocelote

About Marianne Peel

Marianne Peel

Marianne Peel  is a poet, musician, and retired English teacher. She received Fulbright-Hays Program awards to further her research in Nepal and Turkey and to support her work as a teacher. She also served as an educator in China’s Guizhou province and as a volunteer at Kara Tepe refugee camp in Lesvos, Greece. Peel’s poetry has appeared in numerous print and online journals. She was a longtime resident of East Lansing, and taught English at MacDonald Middle School, Hannah Middle School, and EL High School for over 30 years. No Distance Between Us is her debut book.

About Shadelandhouse Modern Press

Shadelandhouse Modern Press, LLC is a Lexington, Kentucky-based, women-owned, family-operated independent book publishing company committed to the advancement of established and emerging writers, excellence in publishing, and the production of high quality, entertaining, and artistic books. We publish authentic and compelling books for adults and young readers, including nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. We believe that adults and children should have access to authentic and relevant stories that reflect diverse backgrounds, interests, and cultures.

Shadelandhouse Modern Press debuted in 2016-2017 with two award-winning nonfiction law/history/true crime books, CrimeSong: True Crime Stories from Southern Murder Ballads and Gaslight Lawyers: Criminal Trials and Exploits in Gilded Age New York.  Our first novel, Blessed, is a 2019 Foreword Indies Book of the Year Winner, Bronze, Religious (Adult Fiction), a 2019 Foreword Indies Book of the Year Finalist (Fiction: General Adult and Religious), and a Finalist in the Fiction: Religious category of the 2020 International Book Awards. In 2019 we published our first bilingual book (English and Spanish), Cradled by Skeletons: A Memoir in Poems and Essays/Mecida por Esqueletos: una vida en poemas y ensayos.

We published our first books for young readers in 2020. Under the Ocelot Sun / Bajo el sol Ocelote, a bilingual illustrated book, was released on July 14, 2020. Under the Ocelot Sun is a First Prize Winner of  The North American Academy of the Spanish Language Children and Young Adult Award Premio Campoy-Ada for 2020 in the category Picture Book of Special Cultural Content. The Peacemakers, a historical novel and “[a] rich coming-of-age tale that sheds light of an uncommon Civil War perspective” (Kirkus Reviews) was released in November 2020, and is the silver medal winner for Best New Voice, Children’s and YA in the 33rd  prestigious IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award™ program, the association’s flagship book award program recognizing excellence and innovation in independent publishing.

We are a member of the Independent Book Publishers Association, an associate member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and associate member of the American Library Association. For more information about our current titles and authors, visit our website  and follow us on Facebook (@shadelandhouse), Instagram (@shadelandhouse_modern_press), and Twitter (@smp_books).