New Books by HTB Authors


Student, Sailor, Skipper, Survivor: How WWII Transformed the Lives of Ordinary Americans
by Julia Gimbel

(Orange Hat Publishing, March 2020)

Student, Sailor, Skipper, Survivor goes beyond the often-told battle stories to describe the life experiences shared by millions of Americans serving during WWII. Using her late father’s journal as the framework, researcher and author Julia Gimbel fleshes out what it was like to go through accelerated officer training, set sail, and live life at sea during the tumultuous war years.

Step into the shoes of one sailor and, by extension, millions more to catch a whiff of the American spirit and determination of WWII. Learn how young Americans navigated military life and connected with their new brothers over the simple pleasure of a meal or a smoke, all while keeping their eye on the goal of returning home to resume the life they put on hold.

Julia Gimbel’s story, “In a Sailor’s Footsteps,” appears in Family Stories from the Attic. Follow Julia on her Facebook page, Julia Writes WWII, where she shares photos and stories gathered in writing her book.


This is How We Leave by Joanne Nelson

(forthcoming August 2020 from Vine Leaves Press)

A memoir of resiliency, This Is How We Leave is an intensely poignant account of a tumultuous life lived with curiosity and humor. In this unique narrative of vivid prose, Joanne Nelson explores her Milwaukee childhood and baffling suburban adulthood against a backdrop of familial alcoholism, illness, and the occasional disappearance. With her effortless gift for characterization and strong attachment to the importance of place in shaping a life, she explores her past with an attention to detail that honors the interconnections of events and relationships over time.

Joanne Nelson’s essay, “In My Office,” appears in Family Stories from the Attic. Listen to Joanne read her essay on WUWM, Milwaukee’s NPR. Visit her website to read more about Joanne’s work and watch for the release of her memoir.


Take Me Home to Woodstock: A Novel by Sally Cissna

(Sulu Press, September 2019)

John Wienke of Woodstock, Illinois, is looking for a wife and Ida Doering of Racine, Wisconsin, has all but given up on finding a husband.  Mutual friends step in, and soon Ida and John are engaged in a long-distance courtship through letters, trips on the new electric train, and the newfangled contraption called a telephone.  Eventually, Ida can stand it no more.  She gives John an ultimatum, and the date is set. But moving to Woodstock means beginning a whole new life including moving in with John’s mother. Now with John’s job at the typewriter factory in question and the possibility of a baby on the way, John and Ida must decide whether to face the hardships of the new century together – or apart.

Sally Cissna’s story, “Come Home, Peter,” appears in Family Stories from the Attic. Visit her website to read more about Sally and her work. You can also connect with Sally on Facebook.



Nothing To Lose by Kim Suhr

(Cornerstone Press, December 2018)

Drawing on the rich complexity of the American Midwest, Kim Suhr peoples her debut book of fiction with characters that we know, carved out of the Wisconsin landscape and caught between expectation and desire. An Iraq war veteran stalks the streets of Madison. Four drunk friends hunt deer outside of Antigo. A mother tries to save her son. A transplanted New Yorker plots revenge against her husband. A man sobers up and opens a paintball range for Jesus. A woman with nothing to lose waits for her first kiss. Personal and powerful, Kim Suhr’s Nothing to Lose shows us a region filled with real people: less than perfect, plagued with doubts, always reaching.

Kim Suhr’s essay “Wind the Fabric Tighter,” appears in Family Stories from the Attic. Visit her website for more information about her book and her other works. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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