16 August: Wild Within Book Launch by Melissa Hart

Book Launch for Wild Within by Melissa Hart: August 16th at 5 PM, Tsunami Books

About Wild Within: How Rescuing Owls Inspired a Family

Melissa HartIt’s impossible to be depressed about a lethargic adoption process when a baby owl sporting a bad mullet sits on a perch in your nursery.  Although my husband and I struggled three years to adopt a child, I kept my sanity by learning to train owls at the Cascades Raptor Center in Eugene, Oregon.  Weird work; on our first date, Jonathan and I drove two hours to pick up 600 pounds of frozen rats and an orphaned fledgling Barred owl.  Though talons terrified me, I began scrubbing mews alongside him and ended up committing several years to caring for birds threatened by poison and gunshot and habitat loss—work that reversed our decision to live child-free and plunged us into the world of international and domestic adoption.

Lyons Press will publish my memoirWild Within: How Rescuing Owls Inspired a Family in August 2014.  Through lively prose and compelling imagery, the book illuminates the unexpected connections between injured and orphaned children and birds of prey . . . and the people who work to help both.  On August 16th at 5 PM, Tsunami Books will host a book launch party with my presentation, “Everything I Know about Child-Rearing, I Learned from My Owl” and representatives from A Family for Every Child and The Heart Gallery.  

Wild Within will appeal to readers who love candid and quirky memoir, as well as to those who have an interest in adoption and unusual wildlife issues.  The memoir tells of feeding fledgling raptors in a ghost costume and entertaining a baby Barred owl in our nursery while we worked to adopt a child.  Gradually, I evolved from Los Angeles urbanite, clueless about the definition of the word raptor, to glove-training a permanently-injured baby Barred owl and an irascible imprinted Snowy owl with a penchant for fornicating with my sneakers. Wild Within is a testimony to the salvation of immersing oneself in a passion . . . even if one suffers a talon through the hand and nearly gets scalped by a wild owl in the process.

Check out the Wild Within Book Trailer.