You will want to meet Jim Bastian, author of “Willa’s Pursuit” and “Wisconsin Logging Camp 1921”

Here’s a glimpse of what his new book “Willa’s Pursuit” is about:
In the winter of 1971, graduate student Willa immerses herself in a sensory deprivation tank for a routine psychological experiment. The hallucinations and delusions she experiences in the tank are considered normal side effects, but the sudden ability to speak fluent French is not. Each time she enters the tank, she becomes more convinced the hallucinations are actually someone else’s memories. Her boyfriend dismisses her delusions and resulting anxiety and depression as proof that she is having a psychotic break. But what if her new abilities mean something more? Set in Wisconsin during the social turmoil and budding psychological science of the early 1970s, and inspired by actual events, Willa’s pursuit of the source of her visions and fluency in French (a condition called xenoglossia) unearths an unlikely archaeological discovery and a shocking truth that changes her life forever.

Meet, talk and hear Jim Bastian speak in person at Martha Merrell’s Books June 8th 6pm – 7:15!


You’ll not be disappointed.

MEET AUTHOR LYNDA DREWS at Martha Merrell’s Books

Friday, June 16th, 6:30-9pm

The Maid and the Socialite: The Brave Women Behind Green Bay’s Scandalous Minahan Trials (released in 2023) takes place in Lynda’s hometown in an era where women were treated as less than equal to the city’s powerful men. The Midwest Book Review states that this true story is told with “the drama of fiction and the compelling research of fact.”

Lynda Drews, a Wisconsin native, gave the commencement speech at her University of Wisconsin-La Crosse alma mater. She encouraged students to journal their lives as she had. In 2009, Run at Destruction: A True Fatal Love Triangle was the outcome. Publisher’s Weekly said: “the author and victim’s shared moments… are remarkable.” The Investigation Discovery Channel filmed a segment based on that book, and it was endorsed by Ann Rule, the best-selling true crime author.

Lynda’s Door County, Wisconsin mystery novel, Circle of Innocence, was published in 2014. Midwest Book Review said it “excels in psychological depth,” and Brian Freeman, the best-selling author of The Bone House, endorsed it.

Desperate Parallels was inspired by Lynda’s IBM global executive career. While working in America and Japan, she learned first-hand the issues women faced, and continue to face, in the corporate business world.


Martha Merrell’s Community Involvement

Martha Merrell’s Books is a community-minded independent bookstore, meaning that we host, participate, or are involved in many community events.

Examples of the depth of our commitment to Waukesha and the community include:

Event and Community

  • Waukesha Downtown Business Association
  • Waukesha Friday Night Live
  • ProHealth Care RiverWalk for Breast Cancer, 1st Saturday in May each year
  • Alzheimer’s Walk, 1st Saturday in September each year
  • Waukesha’s Friday Night After Dark Music Series (indoor music from October – December)
  • Downtown Trick or Treating on the Saturday before Halloween
  • Holiday Stroll featuring Author Mania (before the Christmas Parade)
  • Christmas Clearing Council
  • Silver Bells activities during the Christmas season
  • Santa’s Breakfast Workshop on Saturdays from Thanksgiving to Christmas
  • Art Crawls on the 1st Saturday in March, May, August, October & December
  • Waukesha JanBoree

Other Community 

  • Waukesha Farmers’ Market on the RiverWalk
  • Waukesha GuitarTown Project (a public art project with Gibson Guitar Company)
  • Waukesha County Reading Council
  • Waukesha Reads Program each October
  • Wisconsin State Reading Association

If at all possible, we try to be supportive of any proposals brought to our attention.

Norm and Eve Bruce

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