Sybil White Brown returns from Boston to the small West Coast city where she once lived, hoping to heal after a terrible loss. Summoned to jury duty, she is dismayed to be assigned to the jury of a murder trial alongside her ex-husband with whom she had a rancorous divorce. As the trial progresses, she and her ex tiptoe around each other but eventually become disastrously entangled. Meanwhile, Sybil obsesses about the female defendant, whom she believes is innocent. The situation explodes during jury deliberations when Sybil comes face-to-face with her own unexpressed rage.


“Emmons’ story pulls in the reader from the very first chapter: a woman, a lawyer, is accused of murdering and mutilating her husband. A second woman sits on her jury, alongside her ex-husband, a man she hasn’t had contact with for several years. What follows is a riveting, provocative tale about women, and anger, and how nothing is ever what it truly seems to be. Mostly though, the novel is a classic page-turner that riffs on the nature of guilt and love and trust and truth. It’s a book you find yourself thinking about long after reading the final page.”

— Whitney Otto, best-selling author of How to Make an American Quilt

 “Cai Emmons has an exquisite ability to delve into the inner life of her characters. Sybil the narrator has a confiding voice that we trust, even as we recognize that she is both perceptive and blinkered. The murder trial for which she is a juror has stirred an obsessive fascination with the defendant, and the stakes are further raised when Sybil’s former husband is also seated on the jury, hurtling her into a vortex of memories and feelings. The vivid and precise writing from one surprising page to the next is a rare treat. Hair on Fire is as nuanced and graceful a novel as I have read in a long while.”

—Katharine Weber, author of Jane of Hearts and Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear

Dark red cover featuring a single pair of scissors with one half black and one half gold, with white text stating "Livid, a novel by Cai Emmons"

Cai Emmons ( Author Website )

Publication Date: September 27, 2022

Genre/Imprint: Fiction

$18.95 Tradepaper

Shop: Red Hen, Bookshop, Barnes & Noble

ISBN: 9781636280752

Download the Press Kit Here

Sinking Islands

Sinking Islands continues the story of Bronwyn Artair, a scientist who possesses the power to influence the natural forces of the Earth. After several successful interventions, including one in Siberia, she has gone into hiding, worried about unintended consequences of her actions, as well as about the ethics of operating solo. But circumstances call her to action again, and an idea takes shape: What if she could impart her skill to other people? Gathering a few kindred souls from climate-troubled places around the world—Felipe from São Paulo, where drought conditions are creating strains on day-to-day life; Analu and his daughter Penina from a sinking island in the South Pacific; and Patty from the tornado-ridden plains of Kansas—she takes them to the wilds of Northern New Hampshire where she tries to teach them her skill. The novel, realistic but for the single fantastical element, explores how we might become more attuned to the Earth and act more collaboratively to solve the enormity of our climate problem.


“This prescient tale of a not-too-distant eco-dystopia will have readers on the edge of their seats. Shifting between vivid characters and far-flung settings, Sinking Islands spins a potent story about what happens when the unbelievable becomes reality, when the earth goes mad and takes all of us along for the ride. A captivating read.”—Diana Abu-Jaber, author of Birds of Paradise

“With a dazzling array of characters and locations and just enough magic to surprise and enchant us, Sinking Islands explores how connection, mentorship, and dedication might alter the course of lives and planet. This novel is an ecofeminist gem.”—Sharma Shields, author of The Cassandra

A collaged image of a tornado passing through a town and a small island surrounded by water with light yellow script that reads Sinking Islands a novel by Cai Emmons.

Cai Emmons ( Author Website )

Publication Date: September 14, 2021

Genre/Imprint: Fiction, Red Hen Press

$17.95 Tradepaper

Shop: Red Hen, Bookshop, Barnes & Noble

ISBN: 9781597093248