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A stunning new work revives the history America’s favorite ghost town: Bodie, California

Bodie: Good Times and Bad

San Diego, CA – Called “A fearfully and wonderfully bad place,” by Bodie Daily Free Press on January 7, 1880, the Bodie of yesteryear had as notorious a reputation then as its remnant ghost town does today, drawing in roughly 200,000 visitors annually as a California State Historic Park.  A stunning new publication entitled Bodie: Good Times and Bad rekindles the life into the historic settlement through the masterful storytelling of writer Nicholas Clapp with plentiful reproductions of historic documents, images, and accounts. The text combined with the powerful images of present-day Bodie from photographer Will Furman has resulted in a work that is sure to please.

Many of Furman’s photos might be mistaken for double exposures.  That’s because he uses a technique he’s dubbed “inside-out” photography, in which he captures scenes at just the right angle, and in just the right lighting, so that the scene inside a window blends perfectly with the scene outside.  The result is a hauntingly beautiful composite that speaks to past and present.

Clapp’s storytelling lends its own special magic.

“Bodie State Historic Park is a very special place and this is a very special book,” says Brian Cahill, Acting Chief of the Interpretation and Education Division for California State Parks. “Will Furman’s captivating photos tell a powerful story on their own, but accompanied by Nick Clapp’s compelling narrative, the place truly comes alive.”

The pair plan to promote the book through a series of signings and presentations throughout California—Clapp handling the southern half of the state, and Furman the north.  Readership, on the other hand, is expected to expand far beyond state lines, with Clapp already giving consideration to October’s annual Frankfurt Book Fair, noting that “Both Germans and the French love the American West, and its frontier lore.”

Visit Bodie: Good Times and Bad on our product page.



San Diego, CA

Who-o-o's Awake in the DesertThe desert animals scurry about to get everything done,

Trying to beat the desert sun.

Owl prepares to go out into the night,

To ensure all the animals are tucked in tight.

So begins the charming new illustrated bedtime story, Who-o-o’s Awake in the Desert, the debut work of Tucson-based writer Jenny Holt. Featuring a beautifully illustrated cast of Sonoran desert animals, the story includes the coyote, Gila monster, hummingbird, javelina, and of course, the infamous Western Diamondback to name a few.  The book takes early readers on an aerial journey with owl as the warm sun of a desert afternoon melts into cool darkness.

Illustrations from H.M. are colorful and charming, sure to induce the same awe and appreciation for southwest wildlife conveyed in the author’s rhymes. Holt, a Tucson native, spent much of her childhood hiking and exploring the lush Sonoran desert surrounding her hometown and has long loved the desert landscape and its unique wildlife. She obtained her pharmacy doctorate from the University of Arizona and still lives in the desert with her husband, three children, dog, bearded dragon, and a small herd of desert tortoises. She wrote this book both as bedtime story and as a way to share her passion for the desert with children everywhere.

Holt will sign copies of the book on April first at Mildred and Dildred in La Encantada shopping center in Tucson from 9:30-10:30 am.

Author Jenny Holt
Author Jenny Holt

Book Details

Author Jenny Holt with Illustrations by H.M.
ISBN: 978-1-941384-31-2
Publication: Feb 2017
Format: 8.5 x 11 in.
Retail price: $12.95
Page count: 32
Press materials:






color-me-fit_frontSan Diego, CA – The season of resolutions for a great new year is upon us and a new book for kids provides a fun, informative, and interactive introduction to the six functional movements for daily exercise anytime, anywhere. Color Me Fit: You Can Do It, written by Nick North for the non-profit North American Fitness and Health (NAFH), features a cast of cartoon animals demonstrating a variety of simple fitness movements that encourage healthy living.

In addition to the 30+ coloring pages of stretching, lifting, and running animals, Color Me Fit includes an introduction to basic fitness equipment, step-by-step instructions for each exercise, a weekly log for tracking fitness progress, and an overview of the functional movement patterns of the human body.

NAFH was formed based on the concern about juvenile obesity and the diseases that stem from it. Developed by retired U.S. Navy Seal, Certified Personal Trainer, and CEO of NAFH Nick North, with contributions from General Manager Patricia Brown and North’s granddaughters, Taylor and Madeline, Color Me Fit is proof that fitness can be fun. The improved academic performance, increased self-esteem, and improved cardiovascular health attributed to exercise can start with this book.

To meet the NAFH team in person, visit the Santee Active Lifestyle Expo on January 28th where Nick North will be introducing kids to a fun and active game based on functional movement patterns. The event is held from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Santee Trolley Square where visitors can stop into Barnes and Noble booksellers to purchase a copy of Color Me Fit.

Event Details



jeff-headshotSan Diego, CA – Jeff Moore, owner and specialist at Solana Succulents, produced two stunning compilations of photographs and information on succulent plants: Under the Spell of Succulents in 2014 and more recently Aloes and Agaves in Cultivation.  The books have been available locally sold through a few bookstores and nurseries in addition to Solana Succulents’ store and website.  Now partnered with Sunbelt Publications for distribution, these jaw-dropingly beautiful works are available to retailers and consumers nation-wide through wholesalers, big box stores, and online retailers.
“We would have loved to have published both of Jeff’s books,” says Sunbelt’s Production Manager, Debi Young.  “The timing and finances just didn’t line up.  We’re extremely impressed with what Moore has accomplished on his own and are pleased to be able to offer these works to the many wholesalers and retailers we work with.”

Under the Spell of Succulents: A Sampler of the Diversity of Succulents in Cultivation
is filled with information on the “fascinating botanical subculture,” major succulent categories, and the many ways to interact with these wonderful plants.  Its biggest selling point is the stunning photographs of the beautiful and bizarre plants, taken mostly by the author.

Aloes and Agaves in Cultivation
, which Moore released in May of this year, tackles the specific subject of using these plants in Mediterranean landscaping, with most examples coming from California landscapes.  With even more photographs than its predecessor, it certainly rivals that book in beauty.  Moore advises his distributor, “Show people the book.  They’ll buy it.”

Both books are now available through sources locally and nationally in time for holiday shopping.

Book Details

Under the Spell of Succulents

Author: Jeff Moore

Format: Softcover w/flaps

Pages: 244

Dimensions: 9.5 x 10

ISBN: 978-0-9915846-0-4

Year Published: 2014

Aloes and Agaves in Cultivation

Author: Jeff Moore

Format: Softcover w/flaps

Pages: 335

Dimensions: 9.5 x 10

ISBN: 978-0-9915846-1-1

Year Published: 2016

TheNAT Botanist Uncovers ‘Lost’ Mexican Plants


An undated photo of a sabazia purpusii plant, one of the 50 "lost" species found by San Diego Natural History Museum botany curator Jon Rebman.


An undated photo of a sabazia purpusii plant, one of the 50 “lost” species found by San Diego Natural History Museum botany curator Jon Rebman.

Aired 9/19/16 on KPBS Midday Edition.

TheNat Botanist Uncovers ‘Lost’ Mexican Plants


Jon Rebman, botany curator, San Diego Natural History Museum


An undated photo of a mirabilis triflora plant, one of the 50 "lost" species found by San Diego Natural History Museum botany curator Jon Rebman.


An undated photo of a mirabilis triflora plant, one of the 50 “lost” species found by San Diego Natural History Museum botany curator Jon Rebman.

It’s been more than 120 years since botanists have seen some flowers, ferns and shrubs in Baja California Sur. They’re called “lost plants,” with scientists in possession of only a handful of old specimens.

Scientists may not have been actively looking for the plants all this time, but they still never came across them in more than a century, according to Jon Rebman, botany curator for the San Diego Natural History Museum. So last year, Rebman spent 10 months in Baja California Sur on the hunt for these rare species to see whether some had gone extinct.

“Extinction is a really hard thing to say because some of these species require winter rainfall which is really rare in that part of the peninsula,” Rebman said. “If they get enough, the plants can pop up on these big plains. You could look for years, but unless it’s the right conditions, they’re not even going to show their heads.”

Rebman said last year it rained more than it normally does and he found 50 lost plants, traveling to remote areas and through abandoned, overgrown paths. The finding is significant even if these plants don’t have any immediate applications in medicine or other fields.

“I hate that aspect, that it has to be something that we value (in order to be worthwhile),” Rebman said. “But it’s a part of a healthy ecosystem. To me, it’s like we’ve inherited this rich heritage of biodiversity. You don’t want something to blink out on your watch. Now we know at least 50 are there and the threats to them.”

Rebman will be presenting some of his findings at theNAT Tuesday at 7 p.m. He joins KPBS Midday Edition on Monday with more on how areas of the the Baja California Peninsula has changed since botanists last visited.


Sunbelt comment:  Jon Rebman is the author of Baja California Plant Field Guide, 3rd Edition


San Diego, CA—Just as America struggles within itself against “us versus them” stances and notions of greatness that apply to a narrowly defined range of stories, a unique new book offers a look into human experiences that seldom fit within those margins. Reclaiming Our Stories: Narratives of Identity, Resilience, and Empowerment is the unexpected result of a community writing workshop in a San Diego neighborhood which, according to one essay, is often called, “ghetto, rough, and dangerous.” The text, which includes nineteen personal narratives from current residents of Southeast San Diego, offers insight from a community for which issues of race, class, immigration, human trafficking, addiction, biased laws, and police brutality represent many intimate struggles that have served to shape these people into the dedicated community members they are today.

9780976580157In the book’s foreword, activist, author, and lecturer Elbert “Big Man” Howard, a founding member of the Black Panther Party writes, “This collection is a monumental achievement…It will lay the inspirational groundwork for exceptional works by so many unheard voices.”  The voices in this book are black, white, Hispanic, Arab, and other. They are both devastated and hopeful. The essays grab readers with catching titles like, “Terrorist?,” “My Devil,” “The Night my Mother was Murdered,” and “Welcome to Blessed Like Dat’s Winter Wonderland.”

In an essay by Maria Sandoval called “Robbed,” the author recounts losing several of her brothers to incarceration for crimes as mild as throwing a toy at a friend.  “Around that time,” she writes, “the police seemed to routinely raid homes in my area…Anyone who fit the description of a gang member would get their picture taken and anyone with an outstanding warrant would get arrested.” And later, “I never knew how to talk to them about what they actually went through while incarcerated, nor did they know how to talk to me about my life without them.”

These stories voice the reality of the social problems of our time in a way that news stories featuring crime statistics and videos of disrupted rallies cannot.  The stories are gritty.  They are real. And they are written by a courageous community of motivated individuals.

Book Details

Reclaiming Our Stories: Narratives of Identity, Resilience, and Empowerment

Editors: Mona Alsoraimi-Espiritu, Roberta Alexander, and Manuel Paul Lopez

Publisher: San Diego City Works Press

Format: Softcover

Pages: 168

Dimensions: 5.5” x 8.5”

ISBN: 978-0-9765801-5-7

Year Published: 2016


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                  September 08, 2016

Media Contact

Kara Murphy

Marketing Coordinator

619-258-4911 ext. 114



Public release of Coast to Cactus trail and field guide spans two nights and two locations at Adventure 16


9781941384206SAN DIEGO, CA—In a stunning display of community partnership, Adventure 16 Outfitters will host the celebration and public presentation of a new hiking and field guide published by Sunbelt Publications, authored by volunteers for the San Diego Natural History Museum, and developed through weekly “Roam-O-Rama” columns in the San Diego Reader. 

Coast to Cactus: The Canyoneer Trail Guide to San Diego Outdoors is the latest release from El Cajon-based publisher Sunbelt Publications and is written by a group of Natural History Museum volunteers—highly trained citizen science trail guides—known as the Canyoneers.

The public presentations at Adventure 16—recently rated one of the 25 best outdoor stores in America—will include an overview of the book’s features and highlights with Managing Editor and Sunbelt Publications President, Diana Lindsay, Q&A’s with Canyoneers, and raffles sponsored by the publisher and the San Diego Natural History Museum.  Both events kick off with a meet-and-greet reception at 6:30 pm.

The programs at Adventure 16 come right on the heels of the opening weekend of the Canyoneer hiking season, which kicks off with a guided hike at Marian R. Bear Memorial Park on Saturday, September 17 at 8:30 am and another at Cleveland National Forest (Woodland Hill Extended) on Sunday, September 18 at 9:00 am.   On these public walks, Canyoneers encourage participants to look at the surroundings to see what makes it special—to stop, look, listen, touch, smell, and examine—to understand the interactions in nature.  This is the same message readers will find in Coast to Cactus.  The book was written to serve as a “virtual Canyoneer,” inviting readers to enjoy an experience akin to a Canyoneer-led foray into nature.

Event details are available at and For more information on public walks with the Canyoneers, visit

Title Information

Coast to Cactus: The Canyoneer Trail Guide to San Diego Outdoors


Release Date: September 12, 2016

ISBN-13: 978-1-941384-20-6

Retail Price: $29.95

Page Count: 636

Format: Softcover

Event Information

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

A16 Solana Beach Store

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Presentation: 7:00 pm


143 S. Cedros Ave.

Solana Beach, CA 92075

(858) 755-7662

Event Information

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

A16 San Diego Store

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30 PM

Presentation: 7:00 PM


4620 Alvarado Canyon Rd.

San Diego, CA 92120

(619) 283-2374


Sunbelt Publications publishes and distributes books that fulfill its mission to celebrate the land and its people through natural science, outdoor guides, cultural histories, and regional references that encourage readers to conserve the wonders of our southwest deserts, California, and Baja California.

Environmental expert sees change ahead; speed is issue

Source: San Diego Union Tribune, August 22, 2016

by Fred Dickey

Phil Pryde knows more about where you live than you do. No, not your street name or how far to the Vons store. However, the ground under your house, the water running through your faucets and the air above you are all things that he thinks about and knows about.

San Diego: An Introduction to the Region, 5th editionPryde, 78, lives in San Carlos and is the author of “San Diego: An Introduction to the Region.” The book’s five updated editions have for years been easy reading for learning about this area.

He is currently on the board of the San Diego River Park Foundation and the Anza-Borrego Foundation. In past years, he served on the county planning commission and the county water authority.

Pryde is self-described as an ardent bird lover. Which means if you ever have to pick a bird lover out of a lineup, choose the one who is gentle of manner, deep of intellect and passionate of beliefs. Him.

For all that, my purpose is not to quiz Pryde about where to view the California gnatcatcher, one of his favorites. I’m after bigger game, so to speak.

Pryde is a professor emeritus of geography at San Diego State University, the author of many academic papers that neither of us has any intention of reading. But when he speaks of the big-picture environment, it is wise to listen. In this case, I ask him about climate change.

(A travel advisory: If you’re a climate change denier, I ask you to lean back and relax on your trip through this story. Pryde is not from the United Nations or the New World Order. He’s a mellow guy who has learned some things he wants to share. You can take comfort that he doesn’t claim all the answers. As a low-grade (of the C+ variety) science dullard, even I shall swim upstream and try to learn something.) On climate change, Pryde draws a distinction among what is known, not known and maybe known. The inclusion of “maybe” should allow some doubting readers to exhale.

But to Pryde, the big ponderable on climate change is not maybe, but how fast. “Nobody really knows for sure, because we don’t know what the rate of acceleration is going to be,” he says.

What would not surprise you, Phil? “I don’t know, because we don’t have enough facts. Right now, it’s educated guesswork. That, of course, invites other people to say we don’t know, or we’re exaggerating, or even that it will never happen.

“There’s even disagreement over whether it’s human caused. But I don’t see how anybody can objectively look at the facts and say it’s not caused by humans, particularly theburning of fossil fuels. “People would like scientists to say that 25 years, six months and four days from now the ocean is going to collapse. Big headline. Obviously, they can’t say that. All they can say is they don’t know exactly, but they know where it’s headed.”

Ocean-side San Diegans have a vital interest in knowing the effects of climate change because of where we live, which we tell everyone— no doubt irritatingly—is the most gloriousspot on the planet.The change, as it happens,will be uncomfortable.


“Even if global temperature increases by five degrees, we’re going to sweat a lot more, we’re going to wear shorts a lot more, but we’ll survive that. We can always make more air-conditioners. Even most wildlife will adjust, but certainly not all.”

The seabird brown booby used to be found south of Ensenada, but increasingly is seen along the San Diego coast. The reason is that the water is now warmer here. Other birds are behaving similarly.

The big problem will be beyond the shore, Pryde tells us. Climate change is affecting oceans in several ways. One is the melting of the ice caps. As ice, they reflect the sunlight back. They’re white. But when the ice caps melt, they’re replaced by the dark ocean, and dark absorbs more heat, which then melts ice faster, which makes it warmer, and so it goes.

Pryde says, “Here’s another thing about warmer water: It expands a little as it warms. The oceans are actually getting bigger just by getting warmer. Only scientists think about that.”

He says ocean levels have risen thus far only slightly, a few inches, but the trend is definitely upward. And someday if it increases much more, the change will hit us where we live. Or, to be alarmist about it, where we used to live.

“As it gets higher, that’s going to send saltwater much farther inland. What’s that going to do? Well, lots of things. It’s going to salinize your wells. It’s going to salinize your groundwater. San Diego River will become more saline. It’s going to affect birds. It’s going to affect everything.”

As carbon dioxide levels in the air increase, it will mix with ocean water and increase the acidity of the sea, he says.

“Scientists are really worried about some things becoming extinct because of acidity, particularly small organisms at the bottom of the food chain.”

Ocean dwellers are similar to rich people: Diminished resources make them unhappy.

Pryde says the rise of ocean temperatures is going to affect things far more than rising air temperatures, particularly in the oceanic food chain. We have plenty of evidence already that wildlife is struggling to adjust to changes in the ocean. Seals, for onething, will be forced elsewhere in search of the colder water their prey requires.

A key to the survival of ocean wildlife is the fate of the tiny (not lowly) krill, a crustacean that’s sort of the popcorn of the oceans, enjoyed by almost all. Krill flourishes worldwide, especially in cold waters, and no one knows what even a slight temperature rise will do to the species. To take chances with krill would be like us taking chances with corn.

“If the krill go, the oceans go,” Pryde warns.

He says there’s a form of ice other than bergs that could have a nasty surprise for us.

“We do know that the polar ice cap is melting, but something is happening that is a far worse threat— methane.

“Methane is much more potent of a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide,” he says.

Pryde knows methane because of extensive on-site studies that resulted in three books he wrote on the environmentof the Soviet Union before the fallof that government.

He says methane is trapped beneath the permafrost, especially in eastern Siberia. In the past, the top layer would melt in summer about 2 or 3 feet at the most. Thus, the methane to that depth has already been released. However, below that, it remains trapped by the frozen permafrost.

“Long story short,” Pryde says, “with global climate change and as Siberia gets warmer, the permafrost isgoing to melt deeper. That’s where a huge amount of methane is (trapped). The amount of methane that could come out of there would make us forget about carbon dioxide. Methane is basically poisonous. You make methanol out of it.”

Pryde says methane will go into the atmosphere and be distributed around the earth by air circulation. It’s a greenhouse gas, which means it doesn’t go into outer space. Methane will form a blanket and block the escape of heat far more than CO2.

Phil Pryde is a concerned preservationist, but not an alarmist. He sees the problems of our environment but is pretty upbeat about the future, so long as that future is hospitable to his beloved California gnatcatcher.

How did climate change become so damned political? Agree or disagree, it’s science that should be dispassionately sorted out.

Since we first wondered how a bug could fly or a bird could sing, scientific inquiry has required that we explore without fear, then question our findings and argue about them. But when we start to make a political or religious fight over those findings, someone ends up being exiled to Siberia.

At least that destination might be warmer now.

TheNAT Offers New San Diego Hiking Guide

TheNAT Offers New San Diego Hiking Guide

Aired 8/2/16 on KPBS Midday Edition.

TheNAT Offers New San Diego Hiking Guide


Diana Lindsay, publisher/editor, “Coast to Cactus: The Canyoneer Trail Guide to San Diego Outdoors”


The San Diego Natural History Museum last year opened the permanent exhibit “Coast to Cactus in Southern California,” which celebrates the region’s incredible range of habitat, climate and biodiversity.

Now, theNAT has gone one step farther — literally.

In September, the museum will release a new hiking guide to areas represented in the exhibit.

“Coast to Cactus: The Canyoneer Trail Guide to San Diego Outdoors” offers more than 250 trails, maps, photographs and descriptions of habitats and species San Diegans may encounter on hikes. Proceeds will benefit the museum.

“This book has been more than a decade in the making — you could say it took the scenic route — and is now finally coming to fruition,” museum board member Diana Lindsay said in a statement.

“It has been a labor of love for many of the volunteers who contributed content and helped to fund the publication of the book. It allows each reader the opportunity to go on a hike with a virtual Canyoneer that will give them a 360 degree view of the flora, fauna, geology and cultural and historical aspects found along their path,” she said.

Lindsay, who edited and published the book, told KPBS Midday Edition on Thursday that the guide includes popular and lesser-known areas, like the Manchester Preserve in Encinitas. She also offered some tips for hikers.

The book jacket cover of "Coast to Cactus: The Canyoneer Trail Guide to San Diego Outdoors."


The book jacket cover of “Coast to Cactus: The Canyoneer Trail Guide to San Diego Outdoors.”

“Of course, you want to be very sensitive to cultural areas so where there maybe cultural pictographs or rock art, you want to make sure that you actually don’t touch those,” Lindsay said. “Your oils in your hand can actually ruin pictographs. If you find, for instance, a shard that belonged to the Indians that lived here in the past, you may want to look at it but put it back in the same location. It’s extremely important to scientists and archaeologist who come later to study these areas.”

Lindsay added, “You want to have a deep respect for the nature that you’re actually seeing. Same with the animals, you don’t want to capture them or harm them in anyway. You want to learn about them, learn about the connection that you have with nature.”