Two great books thanks to Betsy Connor Bowen

Betsy Connor Bowen’s novela, Spring Bear, a Maine Literary Award Winner, is a book you won’t want to put down once you start reading. So it’s good that the book is short. I read it in a couple hours one afternoon.

The story is intriguing, about a young high-school age girl, born and raised in the Maine woods, who gets pregnant and wrestles with the decision to keep the baby or give it up for adoption. Making her life even more difficult, her mother takes up with a very abusive man.

The girl finally decides to do something about that man, and her decision may surprise you.

Bowen lives and writes in central Maine, and you can learn more about her at


Along Thirty Mile River by Helen Caldwell Cushman

We are very lucky that when Helen Caldwell Cushman’s grandson, David Caldwell, shared her scrapbook with Betsy Connor Bowen, she quickly recognized it as a good book. Helen lived in my town of Mount Vernon, and died at the age of 81 in 1986.

Her stories are set along the Thirty Mile River watershed that Linda and I live beside, and they feature ghosts, with plenty of murder and mayhem. Today, some people believe her house is haunted. I’m glad that is not the house we purchased!

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.