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Portfolio – Published and In Progress

 Surgeon in Progress

Krista Puttler

Submitted to the Syracuse University Press and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) as an entry in the “Veterans Writing Award.” Awaiting decision.


The only fully qualified physician on a nuclear aircraft carrier tells her spellbinding stories of saving lives among the ship’s crew of 5,000 sailors across the Atlantic and through the Mediterranean to the Gulf of Aden.


  Her story is written as a series of gripping emergencies and surgeries, case by case, each virtually a short story on its own. Her operating room is the size of a walk-in closet, and the stakes could not be higher. If not for her surgical skill, each sailor in her care would have died.


   She endures all this and succeeds in all this, even as her heart is calling her home to her children and husband. At the end of the voyage, it’s her heart that wins.


  One chapter of this book, published as “Beyond Tears” in As You Were: The Military Review, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.


    [The Pushcart Prize was named among the most influential projects in the history of American publishing by Publishers Weekly.]


Planting a Seed

Kate Gaertner

Page Two Publishers (2021)

2022 Nautilus Award Winner: Silver, Green/Restorative/Sustainable Practices.

Discover your path toward a more sustainable life.






   In Planting a Seed, corporate sustainability expert Kate Gaertner shows you how to develop a personal action plan for yourself and your family, how to base it on your income, resources, and intensity of commitment. Your plan then will yield new habits and ways of living that fit into your daily life.

   With her guidance, you can start discovering and embracing your values every day through your actions, commitments, and purchases.


Editor’s note of modesty: I was the first developmental and line editor on the MS of this book, and after giving it my best editing at the time, I helped Kate write the Book Proposal that succeeded in getting a publisher.


   It was my first effort in developmental editing, and together we turned out a good book and better yet, an attractive and successful Book Proposal.

    The publisher brought in a second editor who, in turn, re-edited the book and turned it from good to great — into a superb book. I learned a lot from reading that final version.


  You’ll learn a lot from reading it too. It’s deeply informative, and it’s a good read, incorporating Kate’s personal experience as well as a planning guide that will enable your family to calculate your degree of commitment and base your practices on that and your family’s own budget.



Pulled by the Root

Heidi Marble and Allyssa Zalma, M.D.

2024, Koehler Books, Available in Kindle or on Amazon

   Pulled By The Root is a raw and vivid account of Heidi Marble’s lived experience as an adopted person and a breast cancer survivor.When I began editing the MS, I had no idea how deeply it would affect me.

Only when I began reading her draft did I get a glimmer of her genius, her ability to use a breathless style to probe deep corners of her own and others’ psyches.

   Like a tightrope walker, she balances the wind of emotion against the weight of experience and uses the combination to hold your attention, breathless and terrified, and then reach the other end and safety with triumph.

    It is a rich tapestry filled with humor, angst, and spiritual fire. Introducing each character in a new chapter, she creates intimacy with each one that grips  a reader’s spirit and explodes onto each page.

   Heidi leads the reader through the chapters as she pieces together her identity from adopted mother to real mother, from tragic adopted brother to glorious and almost-a-twin real sister and finally to her own husband and child and her ordeal of breast cancer as she comes home to her true self.


   Each chapter is followed by Psychiatrist Alysa Zalma, M.D.’s  analytic commentary which extracts the essence of Heidi’s development, psychologically and spiritually. The layering of their writing adds texture and unexpected revelations. Without the restriction of a therapeutic relationship, they traverse the hard and complicated truths adopted people suffer. In order to be adopted one had to be rejected. If pre-verbal and attachment traumas are left unhealed and unheard they will be repeated in subsequent generations.

   Their book represents Heidi and Alysa’s souls on paper; the friendship and respect they have for each other has given space for universal truths about child development to live and breathe in these pages. These two women have melded their hearts so this book can be an awakening not only to the experience of being adopted but to the experience of being human.




A Sample — Want some lively reading? Here is how Heidi describes her birth mother —



“Birthed children couldn’t stay put girl

Lined men up like toy soldiers knocked ‘em down girl

Made no apologies stood by her choices kind of girl

Burn your bra find your groove girl

She was the truths of nature wild and free girl

Bell bottoms, tan skin girl

Saying “yes” when others said “no” girl

Giving the peace sign while flipping the bird kind of girl

Feet on the dash, hand out the window girl”




Editor’s note:  I guess I’d say that Heidi is a “writes so gripping you’ll read all night kind of girl.” \


And the Podcast too:  You may also want to listen along with 5,000 other followers to Heidi’s podcast,  also named “Pulled by the Root,” which you can reach by clicking here.

A Rabbi’s View of the Gospels: The Book of Matthew

        Every Christian and every Jew should read this. Rabbi Rob Abramovitz, formerly CEO of an electronics company, delves into the Gospel of Matthew from the ancient Israelite perspective. An experienced scholar and storyteller, he describes the cultural and linguistic gaps between the modern reader and the ancient Israelites as he uncovers the essence of the Gospel as Jesus and his disciples experienced living with their families and peers.


    In captivating storytelling, based on extensive research, he explores the tumultuous times in which Jesus lived, including the tradition of roaming preachers and prophets, the cruelty of the Roman military 0ccupation, the resistance by the Israelites, and the meaning of their intense loyalties to family, past, present, and beyond – all of which Jesus was a part of and some of which he was commenting on when he taught.


    Immersing readers in this historical backdrop, the book offers unique insights into how the ancient Israelites would have interpreted Jesus’s message – and how Jesus may have meant them to understand it.


     By demonstrating that the Gospel writers were deeply rooted in their Jewish identity, the book underscores the importance of understanding ancient Israelite culture to fully grasp the intended meaning of the scriptures.





Copy Editing in Academic Publications –

all published by Routledge


The Textbooks

Chinese Language Textbook
Advanced Language Textbook
Advanced Language Textbook


The Monographs in Cultural History and Law

Comparative Law - Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan
Cultural History
Cultural History

And – Work in Progress, A Dip Into A Coming Attraction

No More Daughters

Linda Viviane

A Work Still under Construction

– and, we hope Coming Soon



In 1905 a farm girl from the prairie of Kansas, still mourning her father’s desertion, goes with her extended family to create an orange orchard in warm, sunny Pamona, California. This is the beginning of a five generation saga of daughters, one after the other seeking to recover from the mistakes of her mother, until the last one emerges victorious. It will hold your attention on every page through however many volumes we end up creating.



In the first one

Bedazzled by her ag professor at the U. Cal in Berkeley, Ruth conceives a daughter, Vanessa. But her lover chooses career over her, leaving her in the lurch. She gives the baby to a prosperous couple who live on Nob Hill San Francisco.




That baby, Vanessa, grows up rich and wild and turns into a devil-may-care 1920’s flapper. She conceives children of her own, first with a secret lover in San Francisco and then with a suave English cruise-ship waiter – and in adult life, riddled with alcohol, she loses the struggle to reconcile her childhood as a rich teen-age wild child with the demands of motherhood.




Joy, one of Vanessa’s two children, bereft of her mother’s love, grows up with the protection of her brother on the LA streets and in foster homes.

    She in turn gets pregnant with a sailor who goes to sea to fight in the Korean war, returns, and in marriage turns abusive.

    Before she dies tragically and needlessly, she finds her way, through a miracle that she creates on her own, back full-circle through the orchard in Pamona to her real great-grandmother, Ruth, who is living with unresolved secrets and  undeserved shame on a farm in the desert that will become Las Vegas as it rises from the dust of the Arizona plain.




    There in a ranch house outside Vegas Joy bears her own daughter, Becky, the Fourth Generation in the line. Each of her forebears has birthed a daughter and then let her go. Will Becky be one more?

   But wait, Becky’s back in the care of great-grandmother Ruth, who is anxious to pass on the wisdom that she has gained through so much pain over these generations.

    And Becky’s love, David, brings her wisdom about sex and integrity in the context of real love. She loves him but in a college-girl way — and she yearns to grow into an adult – to come of age finally on behalf of her whole line.

   But that requires Ruth to face her responsibility with her.



    As her editor, I’m following spellbound, editing each story as Linda creates it — right through the last one – to see what it will reveal in No More Daughters.



   Will the story of these four generations turn into a one-volume saga or a series of novels? Neither Linda nor I knows. 


So hang on, either way, it will be an exciting ride – uh, I mean, read.