2018 Winner for Outdoor Literature!

2018 Winner for Outdoor Literature!

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A 10-year Odyssey by award-winning journalist Annette McGivney


PURE LAND by Annette McGivney

October 2017

354 pages

978-0-9985278-8-8 (print)

978-0-9992232-6-0 (ebook)

AUXmedia, a Division of Aquarius Press


Distributor:  INGRAM

A True Story of Three Lives, Three Cultures, and the Search for Heaven on Earth

Download the Media Kit

“McGivney intuitively grounds her narrative while exploring humanity’s roots of culture and origins of character...She is a storyteller of the highest caliber, with a style reminiscent of Jon Krakauer’s journalistic skill and unmistakable purpose.” — Carine McCandless, author of The Wild Truth, the New York Times bestselling follow-up to Into the Wild

PURE LAND is the story of the most brutal murder in the history of the Grand Canyon and how McGivney's quest to investigate the victim's life and death wound up guiding the author through her own life-threatening crisis. On this journey stretching from the southern tip of Japan to the bottom of Grand Canyon, and into the ugliest aspects of human behavior, Pure Land offers proof of the healing power of nature and of the resiliency of the human spirit.

Tomomi Hanamure, a Japanese citizen who loved exploring the rugged wilderness of the American West, was killed on her birthday May 8, 2006. She was stabbed 29 times as she hiked to Havasu Falls on the Havasupai Indian reservation at the bottom of Grand Canyon. Her killer was an 18-year old Havasupai youth named Randy Redtail Wescogame who had a history of robbing tourists and was addicted to meth. It was the most brutal murder ever recorded in Grand Canyon’s history. Annette McGivney covered the tragedy for Backpacker magazine where she is Southwest Editor and she wrote an award-winning article that received more reader mail than any story in the last decade. (See the story here.)

While the assignment ended in June 2007 when the article was published, McGivney could not let go of the story. As a woman who also enjoys wilderness hiking, McGivney felt a bond with Hanamure and embarked on a years-long pursuit to learn more about her. McGivney traveled to Japan and across the American West following the trail Hanamure left in her journals. Yet, McGivney also had a connection to Wescogame, Hanamure’s killer, and her reporting unexpectedly triggered long-buried memories about violent abuse McGivney experienced as a child.

PURE LAND is a story of this inner and outer journey, how two women in search of their true nature found transcendence in the West’s most spectacular landscapes. It is also a tale of how child abuse leads to violence and destroys lives. And it is, ultimately, a story of healing. While chronicling Hanamure’s life landed McGivney in the crime scene of her own childhood, it was her connection to Hanamure— a woman she did not know until after Hanamure died — that helped McGivney find a way out of her own horror.  

“Pure Land reads like Into the Wild, but with a female protagonist, and by an author who is even more fearless than Krakauer in her quest to understand her past, her motivations, and her desire to make sense of a brutal, possibly unavoidable murder.” —Tracy Ross, author of The Source of All Things, a Memoir

“There is such tragic irony here. The very things that Japanese tourist Tomomi Hanamure is so deeply passionate about—the wild, stark, beautiful American West and Native American culture—are what leads to her violent death...McGivney has masterfully woven three separate, highly personal narratives.” — S. C. Gwynne, Author of Empire of the Summer Moon, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize

“Take this tour into Pure Land’s treacherous canyons. With unflinching courage, Annette McGivney investigates the deep shadows of tragic, cyclical abuse, where old wounds caused by family disintegration, tribal erosion, and cultural genocide continue to fester. But this journey is a healing journey. McGivney’s open-hearted compassion imbues dignity on even the most troubled of our species. A compelling, illuminating and important book.” — Ann Cummins, author of Red Ant House and Yellowcake

Tomomi Hanamure

Tomomi Hanamure


When the Swan Sings on Hastings

Feature Film Coming 2019!

Pre-production has begun on one of the most important Detroit stories to ever be told! 



Thomas Galasso was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. He has a B.A. in English from Wayne State University in Detroit and a M.A. in English from Marygrove College, also in Detroit. He is currently a teacher in the Detroit Public Schools Community District where he has taught English and Drama and currently teaches students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Aside from being a writer, Galasso is a musician and an actor (Hoffa). 

These stories are drawn from his experiences working as an orderly in a hospital, an assembly line worker in the Detroit auto plants, a bartender, a waiter, an actor and a teacher. 



Blue Nestira by Aliete Guerrero

Blue Nestira by Aliete Guerrero


A Novel of Music and Intrigue from Brazil...

Sofia de Menezes, a twenty-six-year-old opera singer from Rio de Janeiro, had her career cut short with the death of her beloved fiancé. 

Now years later, she gets another chance to shine on the Met stage by entering into a contract with an opera manager named Didier Guisan. He turns out to be a master at carving a path that will make Sofia the world’s number one diva for as long as he owns her voice, body, and desires. Will she agree to a complete metamorphosis to become Didier’s dazzling diva? Will Sofia give up her cultural heritage to fit into the fast and sleek new world Didier has to offer and achieve her dream? Will she give up the life of her unborn child to realize her greatest desire? 

Two years later, on the cusp of stardom in Brazil, the convicted killer of her fiancé escapes from prison and makes an appearance during the most important performance of her career. Will Sofia’s life be cut short? His intent is clear, he wants Sofia dead. 

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Writing is her freedom...


Aliete comes from coffee, coconut water, and mango juice. She comes from soccer, samba, and Carnival.Growing up in a dictatorship in Brazil inspired her to come to the United States in search of freedom. Writing is her calling, and she carries her notebook and pen wherever she goes. She also loves classical music, taking long power walks, and being in nature with her writers group.

Aliete’s work has appeared in Catamaran Literary Reader and Chicago Quarterly Review, among other publications. Her writings grapple with complex emotions. Her prose is lyrical, dark, and sometimes funny.

She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Henry, her youngest son, Chris, and her cat, Derrick Rose.



Read a free excerpt HERE

BLAZE by Kahn Santori Davison

BLAZE by Kahn Santori Davison     AMAZON

BLAZE by Kahn Santori Davison  


“It’s hot in Kahn Santori Davison’s BLAZE, and I’m not just talking about the high school honey with ‘Kool-Aid colored eyes…skin-tight Calvin Klein jeans’ and ‘a belt buckle that said H O T T I E.” This collection, like the tale of the Phoenix, is about a young man rising from personal destructions renewed and more enlightened. With the love of his aunts and grandparents, Kahn’s speaker not only accomplishes this, but does so gracefully.”

--Alan King, author of DRIFT

Poetry collection by Kahn Santori Davison. A photographer and music writer for the MetroTimes, Kahn has photographed and interviewed many notable musical artists, including Jack White of the White Stripes. Kahn is a Cave Canem and Kresge Fellow.

Blaze explores the poet's quest for selfhood after he uncovers a long-buried family secret about his mother's death at the hands of his father and his father's suicide. The poet frames his life through his explorations of hip-hop and rock music. 

“BLAZE ignites in its reclamation towards self-identity above and beyond tragedy and instigates for the renewal of one of Detroit’s own. Kahn Santori Davison’s language muses, ‘This/alchemy began with Conga/drums, not 808s.’ He traverses beyond his historical migration of familial ties and connects with a cultural mysticism—finding a bittersweet station in life. From KRS-One to Eminem—from Jimi Hendrix to Jack White—Davison pluckily examines/defines what place and family mean—all the while blazing on.”

--Curtis L. Crisler, author of WONDERKIND and Dreamist

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