Great Rock Press

Great Rock Press

Welcome to the website of Great Rock Press, the publishing home of

Susan Posey’s A Home on Wilder Shores and

                          A Weave of Old and New


Bill Jacobs’ Whence These Special Places? — The Geology of Cashiers, Highlands & Panthertown Valley.

Here, you can learn more about these wonderful books and their authors, find retailers, submit inquiries, or order on-line (free USPS domestic shipping).

To shop for either book, click here:

To learn more about the authors, click here:

“Whence” — From what  place, source or cause 

The theme and objective of this book, in one concise (albeit slightly archaic) word



This title is available in softcover format, on the <Shop> page.  It is also available in e-book format for your Kindle or Nook.

The wait is over!  The much-requested sequel to A Home on Wilder Shores is available on the <Shop> page. E-book format to follow in early July.

By William S. Jacobs 

This book presents the geology of the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau of Western North Carolina. Using everyday language and over 100 photographs and graphics, it explores how the region’s mountains, waterfalls and other special features formed, and how geology has created both their similarities and their differences.  

 To learn more about Whence These Special Places?, click on <More About “Whence?”> in the Main Menu














































































































































 Reviewer Comments

The Highlands and Cashiers region is not only stunning but the geology is fascinating.  The localities featured in this book are noteworthy, and I think the book’s accessible geologic perspective will make them even more interesting and enjoyable to visit.

          Dr. Jackie Langille, Associate Professor of Earth Sciences, Department of Environmental Studies, UNC Asheville


I agree with Bill that “whence” is indeed a concise word for the myriad of questions surrounding the striking geologic features of the Plateau.  He describes the geologic history of the Southern Appalachians in easy-to-digest language with little sacrifice of detail or higher-level scientific reasoning.  His admiration of these places, along with their sources and causes, highlights just how special they are to individuals as well as to cultural and geologic history.

Dr. Brittani D. McNamee, Assistant Professor of Earth Sciences, Department of Environmental Studies, UNC Asheville


I thought I understood the geology of the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau, but Bill Jacobs’ readable and entertaining geologic tour of the Plateau and many of its unique sites has given me a much deeper and better understanding of the processes that shaped our wonderful places here in the mountains of North Carolina.

Dr. Gary Wein, Executive Director, Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust

      What Readers Are Saying

“Excellent book.  I am a career Earth scientist, and found this book to be a very well-written and insightful summary of the local and regional geology.”

 I just finished reading Whence These Special Places ?   Congratulations on a superb piece of work; just outstanding !”

“First time through was a great pleasure…. It will provide much future pleasure and knowledge.”

“I finished your book yesterday and I wanted to write you and tell you how engaging and informative I found it…. Bravo to you.”

Contacts and Inquiries

Book sellers, as well as organizations interested in sponsoring a book presentation/signing event, should use this form to submit their inquiries: 

7 + 5 =

Great Rock Press
43 Sheffield Circle
Asheville, NC 28803

By Susan Posey

Inspired by the author’s Welsh ancestors, who immigrated to Philadelphia and the North Carolina frontier in the 1750’s, the novel follows the stirring adventures of sisters Ardath and Gwyn. After their mother disappears in Wales and their estranged father dies in the smallpox epidemic on their voyage across the stormy Atlantic, they assert their growing maturity in Ben Franklin’s colonial Philadelphia. However, in hopes of finding their mother, they leave the safety of civilization, bound for North Carolina along the primitive wilderness track that would become the Great Wagon Road — where the wilds of frontier America sorely test their resourcefulness and resolve.


 Reviewer Comments

Inspired by a true story from the Author’s family, [A Home on Wilder Shores] is a wild ride of a read, full of the excitement and hardships of a new land of promise.

Sandra Mason, author of the plays Long About Sundown” and “Return of an Angel”

The novel fictionalizes an incident from Posey’s family history and weaves in historical figures.  Ben Franklin befriends Ardath, a young George Washington helps them on their journey south, and they meet poet Susanna Wright on their way.  Ardath and Gwyn are well-developed characters, gaining confidence as they are freed from their ultra-religious father’s authority, learning to navigate a ship, and becoming abolitionists when Ardath buys a slave family from a dying man and arranges their freedom.  Readers will learn historical lore such as colonial herbal medicine…. [T]his is an exciting 18th century adventure with strong female characters.

B.J Sedlock, Historical Novels Review, Issue 95

What Readers Are Saying

A sampling of readers’ numerous 5-star ratings on Amazon for A Home on Wilder Shores:

The characters became real.  A wonderful story full of adventures, drama and success. I was embraced by this magnificent saga from the first page.

 Engaging, easy read. I was completely swept up in A Home on Wilder Shores. The well-crafted story and characters were engaging and captivating. The pacing and tension held me captive, and I couldn’t wait to get back to it every time I had to put it down. I did not want it to end.

 History comes to life in this one! I’m a fan! The historical accuracy reflects a lot of research into early American history which I always appreciate in my reading. Since my ancestors followed a very similar path, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the aspect of seeing the early colonies through a young woman’s eyes. The plot will keep you reading and the detail is vivid. Enjoy!

If you liked Outlander….  Although this book does not involve fantasy, this story will appeal to Outlander fans – high praise. I rushed through this book and stayed up later than I meant to in order to finish it. There is danger, intrigue, romance, smart independent women and early American history. Don’t know what a “variolation” was? You will after reading this book. Enjoy!

A Real Page-Turner. In our time of the coronavirus, the opening pages of this novel will engage you right away with a pandemic from an earlier century! Two sisters, each gifted in their own way, encounter realistic losses, danger, adventure, love and a final welcome surprise in this page-turner. I appreciated how the author deftly added vivid imagery of Colonial medicine, plants, and landscapes. Couldn’t put it down!

Cannot put it down.  One knows the book is good when you want the sequel! Enjoyed it very much….a great read!

You will love these 3 women!  This is a terrific book: well paced, almost Dickensian in its plot line, featuring characters you get to know and with whom you can readily identify and empathize. Mz Posey has done her homework, and her account of mid-18th Century colonial life rings true even today. It would make a great movie or mini-series.