A dusting of snow and the twinkling of tabletop Christmas tree set the mood for holiday greetings to friends and family, near and far. This has been a very special year, with the launch of Molly Waldo! and the realization of a dream more than 50 years in the making.

Mother and I have just concluded a whirlwind of book signings during the Marblehead Christmas Walk and we want to thank everyone who has welcomed our book with such enthusiasm.

Below you will find a few reactions from early readers. If you are looking for a Holiday gift for someone who loves history or adventure or just a good story, please consider giving them a voyage to the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. Just don’t wait too long. Our ship is leaving port soon! 

 "A Terrific Book” (First Review on Amazon)
This is a terrific book, and not just for kids. It tells the story of a fishing voyage from Marblehead in the latter 1800s with accurate and evocative detail. In many ways it is more engrossing and more realistic in its characters than Kipling's Captains Courageous, which is the only predecessor in its class. Although told from the point of view of a 16 year old, the old salts aboard are fully drawn, and have their own experiences. Clamber aboard from your armchair for a satisfying and informative experience.    (John Kimball, author of
Disasters Etc., the Maritime World of Marblehead, 1815-1865.

"A Fabulous Story"
Thank you for writing such a fabulous story. . . . It is a moving story of people caring for each other, with the tensions of camaraderie, coming of age, accusation, covetousness, and affection beautifully woven together.  Thanks for a great read and educational adventure. . . . While not a children's book only, it is certainly a fabulous read that any young person can appreciate. 
(Head of University Libraries, with special interest in Children's Literature; formerly at the Libra)ry of Congress)

"A Story that Every Marbleheader Should Read!"
Just a short note to let you know how much I appreciated reading your book. Although I have read many other books about Marblehead and its wonderful history, Molly Waldo captures Marblehead history and spirit in a unique an thoroughly entertaining way. ...  It is truly a story that every Marbleheader should read!    (Resident of Front Street in Marblehead, MA -- Locale of home of J.O.J. Frost)

If going to sea in the chilly north Atlantic is not your cup of tea, remember you can always go to the sunny south with Until Brazil. 

Both book are available at


Wherever December finds you, I wish you a wonderful holiday season and the very best in 2014!

Put on your rubber boots and get ready to set sail. Molly Waldo! has bee  launched as an eBook on Amazon's Kindle and has been submitted to other ebook vendors that will have it on their "shelves" soon. 

In a couple of weeks, the hardbound book will be available, but you don't have to wait to get a taste of this sea adventure.

The publication of Molly Waldo! is a dream realized for my mother, Priscilla, and I am thrilled that the book is out in time for her 90th birthday, which we will celebrate in October. Over 50 years ago, she was inspired by the folk art of J.O.J. Frost at the Marblehead Historical Society. At last, we are bringing him to readers everywhere with a visual and verbal journey.  

You can learn more at 


Morning coffee may seem an improbable catalyst to contemplate the visible and invisible, but today’s first cup has set my mind spinning.

At a window table in Argentina, I order café con leche. Or should I say “coffee with life?”  For that is what I will be served as fragments flow pass the plate glass, just inches away.

July 4th is behind us, summer is flying past and Bethe’s Blog has been unusually quiet.  You might think that I have stopped writing. Quite the contrary!

May and June bring many “Rites of Passage.” Graduation celebrations and wedding ceremonies abound. Families unite to mark important achievements and new beginnings. Congratulations and good wishes flow as cakes are cut and hugs exchanged.

Memorial Day weekend is upon us with the promise of summer. I fear the Memorial Day Sales outnumber the Memorial Day Parades, so I would like to pause in the original spirit of this holiday -- to remember and honor those who sacrificed their lives to protect the freedoms we cherish. 

A week ago, on a beautiful spring day, I was in Boston, enjoying the museums on the Fenway.  Today, I mourn the tragic bombings just a few miles away in a city that has opened its doors to the world, for education, cultural and athletic enrichment. Although we do not yet know the “who” and “why” of this deliberately destructive act, this deed is the worse face of cultural conflict. Whether international or domestic in its origins, the tragedy was triggered by one value system lashing out against one with which I identify and that I hold dear.

I have just packed my bags to attend the Women’s Summit at the Harvard Business School to mark 50 years of women attending that institution.  However, even as I go to celebrate the growing leadership of and opportunities for women, I want to thank the many men who have been my mentors. Oh yes, and I want to share some pointers that have served me well in a business “culture” that was dominated by men.