Having spent 27 years as an educator, Lisa Lawmaster Hess often heard her colleagues joke about writing a book. Now, two years after declaring her intent to retire early, Hess is celebrating the release of her first novel, “Casting the First Stone.”
Published by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, “Casting the First Stone” tells the story of a custody dispute that arises when a non-custodial father, who has been only peripherally involved in his daughter’s life, decides to pursue full custody of her just before she turns thirteen. The novel is written in alternating point-of-view, with the story told from the perspective of the child’s mother, who got pregnant at 16, and her stepmother, who is trying to have a baby of her own.
Weaving in themes of faith and family, the novel explores the concept of parenting from several perspectives and raises the issue of what makes a person a good parent.
A native of New Jersey, Hess moved to Pennsylvania to attend college at Bucknell University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in education. While working as an elementary school counselor, she wrote two books inspired by her interactions with her students (“Acting Assertively” and “Diverse Divorce”), along with numerous articles and two columns in local publications.
Although she retired in 2012, Hess remains an educator. In addition to working as an adjunct professor of psychology at York College of Pennsylvania, she teaches community education classes through York Suburban School District, and has taught at Elizabethtown College’s Institute for Learning in Retirement as well.
“Casting the First Stone” is available on Amazon and at independent booksellers including Hearts & Minds Bookstore in Dallastown, Aaron’s Books in Lititiz and Barnes and Noble Booksellers in Lancaster.
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