Pearl City Press

Pearl City Press is the publishing imprint of Writers on the Avenue. We give voice to vibrant stories telling a human truth from a new or unheard perspective.

Titles Available from Pearl City Press

The Adventures of Bobby, Iowa Farm Boy

by Bob Bancks

Born in 1940 to three generations of eastern Iowa farmers, Robert Charles “Bobby” Bancks enjoyed a childhood unique to that era: playing among the crops and animals in warm weather, sledding down snowbanks in cold, attending his one-room school, and learning the lessons of love, loss, and togetherness that sustained his rural community.

From funny anecdotes and family vacations to reflections on hardship and tragedy, this memoir of growing up as an Iowa farm boy provides a unique snapshot into a vanishing way of life and a portrait of the character that such a life builds. Full of humor and whimsy as well as gentle reflection, Bancks conjures to vivid life the events that shaped him, the relationships that inspired him, and his feelings for the landscape he calls home.

The Adventures of Bobby takes the reader on a journey on an Iowa farm where everyday life experiences in the forties and fifties are brought to life through poignant, gripping, and captivating stories about four generations of Iowa farmers. The honesty, information on farming, and recollection of his family’s journey make it a must-have book for any gatekeeper of history, agriculture, or life experiences. Bob Bancks’s sense of humor and wisdom help seal the stories in our memory.

Esperance Ciss, founder of Invision Hope

For those who didn’t grow up in the Midwest, The Adventures of Bobby is a superb introduction to what twentieth century life there was like. Bancks writes with the simplicity that belies the rural life he describes. His memoir takes the reader back to a less encumbered life, an honest look at the homes, lives, and industry of honest people. He relates a lifestyle devoid of frills, yet replete with plenty. It will give those unfamiliar with this life the comfort of being there in the moment. If you didn’t grow up in rural Iowa, after reading this, you’ll wish you had.


Bob Bancks dreamed up many stories in his hours driving tractor on his family’s farm, and after he retired from farming, he had the time to write them down. He is the author of several novels and stories that capture the flavor of rural life. His books are for sale online and in many places around Blue Grass, Iowa, where he lives with his wife, Jane.

The Last Voyage of the Marigold by Dan Moore

Irish sea captain Johnny O’Scanlon hates the idea of closing the family shipping business, but there’s no other way to raise the money he needs to pay the medical bills for his grandfather, who raised him after his parents died under mysterious circumstances. To secure his grandfather’s future and his own, Johnny has to sell the last, beloved ship of his fleet, the Marigold, for scrap—but what his future holds without the sea, Johnny can’t imagine.

When his grandfather’s former IRA compatriot, Dillon O’Connor, offers Johnny one final consignment—to deliver a cargo of construction materials for a UN project in the Congo—the offer seems too good to be true. And it is. The last voyage of the Marigold pits Johnny against corrupt officials, threats from the locals, and treachery from within his own crew. Barely escaping with his ship and his life after a gunfight with pirates, Johnny wonders just what in his hold men seem willing to kill for. But when he can’t trust anyone—especially his alluring cook, Miranda, who seems all too willing to learn his secrets—Johnny has to outwit Dillon O’Connor, solve the mystery his grandfather has spun around him, and deliver his cargo, and the Marigold, before it costs him his life.

Dan Moore is a master of suspense. The Last Voyage of the Marigold is mesmerizing, can’t-put-down reading. Moore immersed me in a thrilling tale on the high seas. To my pleasant surprise I enjoyed learning how those big ships and their crew work–especially when pirates show up. Moore creates three-dimensional characters with backstories that tug at your heart and have you rooting all the way to the end of the story.

Christine DeSmet, mystery author, screenwriter, and writing coach

Dan Moore is a graduate of Duke University and a retired US Navy captain. He has published nonfiction in the Naval War College Review, award-winning short stories with the Midwest Writing Center; short stories and poetry in anthologies for Writers on the Avenue, and poetry in Iowa Poetry Association’s Lyrical Iowa. His submarine novel Westpac was featured on the WVIK 90.3 FM radio Scribbles. He lives with his wife in Davenport, Iowa. The Last Voyage of the Marigold is his first published novel.

Married, Living in Italy by Misty Urban

An evocative third collection from an author whose work has been hailed as “exceptional,” “extraordinary,” “uncanny,” and “refreshing, compelling, and moving.” Urban is a “great storyteller” who writes “almost unbearably lovely prose.”

What unites the protagonists of these very different short stories is their search for refuge. Some flee the country and some choose an imaginative escape, but all of these characters are crushingly believable with their broken hopes, endearingly real in their defenses, their damage, their sheer will as they turn suffering into salvation.

Full of disappearing children and surfacing secrets, fragile triumphs and imminent loss, these eloquent tales laced with hilarity and grief illuminate shared human truths about betrayal, rescue, the places we seek shelter, and the stories we tell ourselves to survive.

Misty Urban delivers a collection of short stories that entice the senses and primes the reader for an exotic experience. Her imagination roams far afield and supplies new twists to familiar settings. Each story offers the reader the chance to explore a complex moment in a human life. An overworked waitress shows mercy. A ritual of fire proves cleansing and forgiving. The wounded in body and soul find ways to survive. Find out what happens when a carefully constructed fantasy world collides with reality. Urban uncovers the resilience of human nature and offers hope.

Mary Davidsaver, author of SHADOWS OVER BISHOP HILL

Married, Living in Italy, Misty Urban’s third short story collection, is about grief, loss, longing, and survival despite it all. Urban demonstrates once again that she is a keen observer of the human condition, a skillful wordsmith who writes with powerful clarity, and an absorbing storyteller who commands your attention. The people and their stories stayed with me long after I finished the last page.


“If you’re too happy, something’s missing. . . It means something doesn’t matter enough.” Words of advice from the grandmother, Oma, in “A Many-Chambered Vessel,”one of a dozen poignant stories in Misty Urban’s new collection, Married, Living in Italy. Written with beautifully crafted sentences, Urban’s stories depict how we struggle to cope with the losses that shape the rest of our lives.

Karen Musser Nortman, author of the Frannie Shoemaker Campground mysteries

Misty Urban’s fiction includes the comedic body-swap novel My Day As Regan Forrester and three short story collections. She has also authored assorted medieval scholarship on the topic of monstrous and misbehaving women. In her historical fiction and romances, she likes to reward her ambitious, rule-breaking heroines with handsome heroes and happy futures. She lives in Iowa with a handsome park ranger, two other budding authors, and a rather heavy collection of books. Find her online at

“This author has an uncanny ability to explore relationships, love, and loss in a fresh and original way.”

Publisher’s Weekly starred review of A Lesson in Manners
PLEASE NOTE: Pearl City Press is currently closed to submissions. Check back to see when our submissions window will open and what sort of work we are seeking.