Laced with gardening tips, and wisdom, TIME IN A GARDEN (LIFE IN THE GARDEN Series Book 1, 2006) is an inspiring story of emotional and spiritual growth. Retired and in their sixties, Eve Brennerman and Adam Groft find themselves in an unlikely Eden as they help a senior citizen gardening crew beautify their struggling rural community of Xenaphon, Michigan. Eve’s marriage was saved from divorce only by the accidental death of her husband. Her daughters are estranged and living far away. Adam has spent a lifetime avoiding relationships and expectations that he run the family nursery business. When Eve begins to write a garden column in the local weekly, these unforgettable characters embark on a heartwarming, poignant journey to discover love and meaning as they cope with growth and loss in the changing seasons of their lives.  — “A must-read for the contemplative gardener. . .”Suffolk Times, 2006;   “Richly drawn characters who continue to be haunted by ultimate questions of mortality and spirituality. . . pure wisdom.” —  5-Stars,“. . . one of my top ten best reads. The characters are beautiful. I loved this book. It garnered positive reviews from our book club.” Barnes & Noble, 5-Star Review

LIFE IN THE GARDEN Series Book 2. Grief changes everything. For garden writer Eve Brennerman, romantic love has been meted out with teaspoons, not trowels. Devastated by the loss of her beloved Adam, she despairs of ever finding new ground upon which to rebuild her life. And then one wintery morning, Eve spots a rusty junker stranded outside the nursery she has inherited, an enduring reminder of Adam Groft’s dreams for her and their tiny town. Fate? Or coincidence? Earth begins to thaw and another growing season begins. Old friends and new join in the struggle to bloom where they are planted, even in the face of tough personal and economic challenges. “Inspired language. . .beautiful characters as remarkable and truthful as her setting.” “Intelligent, well-written and a sharply observed exploration of the human condition, particularly as it focuses on those who for various reasons find themselves to be alone. A lovely book and a no-nonsense inspirational one,” the prestigious Hampton’s magazine, Dan’s Papers, 2011.

StemcoverthumbnailThe LIFE IN THE GARDEN novels continue with this love song to the power of rediscovering what grounds us…whatever our age or stage in life.  DSC_0012adjNorthern Michigan garden writer Eve Brennerman has known both love and unthinkable loss. Even as she makes a pact with herself to rediscover life at its fullest, what she learns about love and its ‘opposite’ will shake her idyllic rural Eden to its core. “Love grows from tender stems, but once rooted is tenacious. Gardener, cultivate it well. From it comes flowers of enduring beauty.”

Grief-stricken at the death of his wife and unborn child, Political Science Professor A. J. Ferinelli buries himself in his teaching and scholarly research…that is, until Math Instructor Sam Pomerantz shows up accusing the Academic Dean of sexual harassment. Drawn into her quest for justice, he finds himself caught up in a firestorm of intrigue, betrayal and violence that threatens to destroy the college and with it his faith in higher education itself as a community of learning. 5-Stars, Highly Recommended, Midwest Book Review, 2009. “Captures academia with knowledge and sensitivity. A tale I won’t forget. Characters show beautiful personal growth. A winner.”

Job counselor and amateur weaver and organist, Char Howard makes a career of helping others “find their voice”. Force-retired at 59, she is spiritually and emotionally adrift as she returns to her hometown of Hope in western Pennsylvania. Her life-changing journey is only beginning. VOX HUMANA celebrates the transforming power of  friendship, family, community and shared human work—a powerful song of hope for those facing watershed moments in their lives, for the generations struggling to reconnect and for anyone confronting what makes our human experience meaningful. “A reflective portrayal of the ascent of goodness, reconciliation and love.” American Guild of Organists Magazine, 2007 — Suffolk Times, 2006

Their years spent full-time RV-ing were the happiest that Lib and Dan Aventura ever shared. Widowed and “homeless”—except for her motor home—she returns to the tiny Upper Peninsula of Michigan campground not just to reclaim her vehicle, but to rekindle her dream. “Wisdom, the kind that only a lifetime of experience can wield. Like Lib Aventura, may we never grow too old too live.” Dan’s Hamptons, 2008.

SECOND LEAVES: GROWING YOUNG GARDENERS — Combines a storybook, early reader and beginning botany text with beautiful full-color photos of plants from seed to sprout to flower. While gardening, a child learns what it means to grow: to appreciate his or her uniqueness and individuality. Recognizing those “second leaves” becomes the adventure of a lifetime. (“Thrilled…adults will learn as much as the kids,” David Kidd, MI pastor and well-known horticulturist; “A superb addition to your classroom library,” Janet Beam Smith, reading specialist; “A wonderful grandparent book to pass along the things we love best…,” Easton, MD

THROUGH THE GARDENER’S YEAR. 52 Weekly Thoughts on Gardens, Gardeners and the Gardening Life, revised and edited columns from the Petoskey News-Review (2007-2014).   Ms. Agria’s column was awarded first prize for published features in the Michigan Garden Clubs competition in 2017.

RANGE OF MOTION, Coming in 2019.  Long-time Northern Michigan cottager and avid gardener, Maggie Aron struggles to confront the ‘sciatica of the soul’ that can rob life of its vitality and meaning.  “Plants root themselves. Except life doesn’t end there. They grow toward one another. sharing space, building the community we call a garden. Plants stretch upward toward the sun. They dance on the wind. We can learn a lot from plants.”

NEW IN 2021: AN ITINERANT GARDENER’S BOOK OF DAYS: Multi-climate Gardening for Sunbirds, Snowbirds and all the Gardeners in Between. Inspired by Harbor Springs’ naturalist Alice C. Erwin’s Book of Days, Nature Talks, this day book follows a year in the gardening life of author Agria from the desert Southwest to the Northern Michigan shores of Little Traverse Bay. Dubbed ‘Petoskey’s Spiritual Gardener’ by HomeLife magazine, award-winning garden author Agria shares thoughtful and inspiring spiritual insights into the roots of gardens, gardeners and the gardening life.