Book Nook: Whaler’s Bride


The release of a new romance novel, The Whaler’s Bride, by local author, Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold, concerns a middle-aged widow who is obsessed by a scrimshaw carving given to her by her late husband on their honeymoon. Accompanied by her faithful Newfoundland dog, she sets out on a quest to discover the origins of the piece, only to embark on a journey that takes her across several lifetimes to another dimension. Spanning almost 200 years, this touching and mystical tale travels from midcoast Maine to New Bedford and Cape Cod in search of the answers to the questions of transience and timelessness, art and life, and the indestructible power of love.

The book is the award-winning author’s second novel, following on the heels of Verdino-Süllwold’s widely acclaimed 2012 debut novel and screenplay of Raising Rufus: A Maine Love Story, which won the grand prize at the 2011 Rhode Island International Film Festival’s Screenplay Competition.

Born and raised in the metropolitan New York area, Verdino-Süllwold received degrees at Sarah Lawrence College and Fairleigh Dickinson University. She began her career as a teacher and arts administrator before becoming a journalist, critic, and author, known especially for her scholarly works on opera, classical music, and visual arts. Together with her husband, Gregory, who handled the marketing, they established their own independent imprint, Weiala Press (an imprint of Mannahatta M.C.) which published several of her books, including The Whaler’s Bride.

Verdino-Süllwold and her husband also shared a life-long passion for the sea, especially Cape Cod and coastal Maine as well as a love of animals. Together they bred and showed internationally winning Maine Coon cats, a subject the author explored in the 2008 series of dramatic monologues, Top Cat: Tails of Mannahatta. In 2009, she and Gregory realized a lifelong dream to move to coastal Maine. Raising Rufus A Maine Love Story is a fictionalized account of the couple’s last year together with their beloved Newfoundland, Rufus, before Gregory’s fatal heart attack in February 2010.

Continuing in the semi-autobiographical vein, The Whaler’s Bride is a paranormal romance which will appeal to those with a passion for sea-faring New England and its majestic coasts, with a devotion to dogs, with an appreciation of art, and, most of all, to those willing to explore the metaphysical mysteries of existence.

Verdino-Süllwold now shares her home in Brunswick, Maine, with her kitties and a new Newfoundland puppy, Ruffian. She is a member of the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance. 

The Whaler’s Bride will be distributed to booksellers by Independent Publisher Services in Chicago, IL, and will be available directly from Weiala Press or online at and Book signings and readings are planned for the winter and spring of 2013.