Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Authors Tent 2012

If you're shopping for early Christmas presents of the literary persuasion, the Authors Tent will be a great place for you to visit. Here are just a few of the books that will be available: 

We'll have a little something for everyone—but we'll have a lot of memoir, regional history, and cookbooks. Writers groups as well as individual authors will be in the tent: 

The Lake Writers: Mike Davis, already featured in this post, will have romantic suspense and science fiction. Sally Roseveare will have her two Smith Mountain lake murder mysteries, Secrets at Spawning Run and Secrets at Sweetwater CoveGinny Brock will have her recently published memoir, By Morning's Light. Tom Howell, a psychic investigator, will have some steam punk stories and ghost stories, and his mother Lillian's memoir, Life With Charlie. He'll also have some prints of the Boones Mill depot for sale. Jane Smith will have her Christian novel, Finding Amelia. Sue Coryell won't be able to attend but her book. A Red, Red Rose, will be available at the Lake Writers Table. Veronica Church doesn't have a book, but she'll have some moonshine shirts in jars, some moonshine cornhole bags, and some wine bottle ring book marks.

Valley Writers:
Jim Morrison (who is a member of both Valley and Lake Writers) will have his WWII history book, Bedford Goes to War. Rumor has it that there aren't many left in the current press run. Linda Cheek will have her novel, Pain Doc, and Dick Raymond might be able to make it with his Civil War poetry collection, Ballads in Blue and Gray.

Piedmont Writers: Avis Turner  will have her new memoir, In the Land Where Fairies Cried Tears of Stone, Mary Farris will have her poetry, Dorothy Carter will have her young adult novel Facing Fallout, and Margaret Atkins will have her two memoirs—the latest is Two's Company.

Virginia Writers Club: Had to cancel.

Many people have already bought James M. Nagy's brand new book, Franklin County, and he'll be glad to sign your copy. If you haven't yet bought Franklin County, he'll have copies to sell.

Dwight A. Hayes will have his non-fiction book, Banished, and some of his photography. He'll also some of Michael Abraham's books, including Providence, VA. Michael has an out-of-state commitment and isn't able to attend this year's festival.

Becky Mushko will have Stuck, her middle-grade novel and Ferradiddledumday, an Appalachian folktale. She'll also have The Girl Who Raced Mules & Other Stories, Peevish Advice, and Patches on the Same Quilt.

Judith Riker Damon will have A Genteel Spy, her great-grandmother's memoir of the Civil War (see this post), and she'll also have some of her own art.

Peggy Shifflett  will have four volumes of her memoirs of growing up in a holler near Harrisonburg—The Red Flannel Rag, Mom's Family Pie, The Living Room Bed, and her new book, On the Way to Toe Town

The Sweet Potatoes from Winston-Salem, NC, who would have had heir down-home cookbook, Well, Shut My Mouth!, had to cancel at the last minute because of family illness.

Beverly Merritt will have a table full of her history & genealogy books, including The Clement-Witcher Feud and Franklin County True Stories, Letters and Recipes from the Grapevine. Beverly is a wealth of knowledge about local history and genealogy.

Charles Lytton will have his memoirs of growing up along the New River— New River: Bonnets, Apple Butter, and Moonshine and The Cool Side of the Pillow.

Ibby Greer  will have her own books—her novel A Season of Letters and her autobiographical poetry Paper Faces—as well as her late husband Keister Greer's The Great Moonshine Conspiracy Trial of 1934. She'll also have some of her delightful painted Gourdfriends.

Oma Boyd will have her "old woman's" memoir, Round This Mountain.

Karen J. Hall will have several books: Mount Airy Granite, Building the Blue Ridge Parkway, The Blue Ridge Parkway, and Wythe County, Virginia.

Rodger Doss will have his two historical novels, 'Shine and Killing of a Court.

Cara Modisett will have her lovely Blue Ridge Parkway Impressions as well as some CDs of her music.

Curtis Nester  will have his inspirational book, Faith Will Keep You Afloat.

Shea Lemone will have his novels, Corner Pride and The Spring of Unexpected Consequences.

Barbara Roberts  will have her two novels, What A Christmas!, and its sequel, Not in my Wildest Dreams.

Tina Hanlon and Rex Stephenson  will have a variety of Appalachian Literature resources, including some of Rex's plays.

Lynn Salsi will have several books including Appalachian Jack Tales, Jack and the Fire Dragon, The Life and Times of Ray Hicks, and others.

Morris Stephenson will talk to festival-goers about his moonshine book, A Night of Makin' Likker, even if it isn't yet out in time for the festival. Odds are good he'll be taking orders.

Jack Powell will be unable to attend, but the Artisan Center has three volumes of his moonshine memoirs—A Dying Art.

Ethel Born will have postal service history, Carrying the Mail in Rural Virginia, which mentions some Franklin County post offices.

Fred First  will have Slow Road Home and What We Hold in Our Hands, as well as some of his photo notecards. Fred will also have Michael Abraham's books for sale—The Spine of the Virginias; Union, WV; Harmonic Highways, and Providence, VA.

Finally, the Friends of the Library will have a used book sale. They'll feature books of regional interest.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Genteel Spy

Last year, memoirs and books about history were popular at the Mountain Spirits Festival. One book that combines both history and memoir—Judith Riker Damon's A Genteel Spy—will be available at this year's festival.

During the Civil War, Judith's great-grandmother, Martha Broyles Royce of Franklin, Tennessee, was a spy for the Confederacy. She used the hem of her seven-year-old daughter Betsey's dress to send secret messages to her neighbors—messages that contained information about Union troop movements.

About a year after her husband Moses enlisted as a scout for Confederate General John Bell Hood's army, Union forces discovered Martha's spying activities. Martha and her two young daughters—Betsey and Sally—were thus forced into exile. Alone and facing an uncertain future, Martha and her daughters made a 1,200 mile journey that lasted two years. Ten years later, when Betsey was  in college, she wrote the story of their odyssey. Betsey's granddaughter Judith inherited the manuscript—and the rest is, well, history.

Judith Riker Damon explains her reason for publishing the manuscript:

Having taught young people, I felt it is vital to share this more personal side of the Civil War. Today's generations need to understand that wars are fought through the perseverence and sacrifice of thsoe left at home as well as through soldiers on the battlefield.
A Genteel Spy provides a rare look into the personal lives of a real family during the Civil War: little girls who must learn to play outdoors between practice firings of cannon balls over their heads; taking refuge in the cellar when a battle surrounds their house; salvaging guns from the battlefield afterward; and finally being exiled by the Yankees from their beloved home and friend. Grandmother's memoir reads more like a novel, with full dialogue and "stranger than fiction" characters. It serves as a reminder that sometimes, in the darkest hours, faith and determination are all that stand between life and death.

A Genteel Spy is illustrated by Judith, who is also an accomplished artist and sculptor. In fact, she'll have some of her art in the authors tent with her book.

A Genteel Spy is a compelling book. If you like history and memoir, you'll love this book. Stop by the authors' tent and take a look.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Michael Davis: Lake Writers

While many of the books in the authors' tent at the 2012 Mountain Spirits Festival are about Appalachian history, memoir, cooking, and fiction, several authors affiliated with writers groups—such as Lake Writers, Valley Writers, and Piedmont Writers—offer something else. 

If you like romantic suspense, mystery, and science fiction, Michael Davis—a member of Lake Writers—has a book for you. Mike's romantic suspense and mystery books include Blind Consent, Forgotten Children, Tainted Hero, Shadow of Guilt, Veil of Deception, Whispers of Innocence, Righteous Fury, Distant Obsession, and Beyond Forever. His science fiction works include Final Solution, Echoes, Touch of Blue, Rimfire, Brok Hon, and Essence. You can read excerpts from his books at his website:

Here are two of his latest books:

RIGHTEOUS FURY: Torn between past mistakes and her affinity for impossible relationships, Codi Emery is cast into a web of deception and intrigue. Her new assignment in a compartmented facility, shrouded in extreme defensive measures and secrecy, pits the young intelligence analyst against her emotions and nativity on what’s best for her career, and her heart. Serendipitously, Codi discovers an Arcanum program of clandestine operatives sanctioned not by the government but the ire of a select group of patriots with a bold plan to rewrite history. She struggles against competing factions, her loyalty and her core beliefs. When she confronts her findings, pleas for a sane explanation, something beyond her nightmares, the quest to understand the line between honor and treason puts her at risk from a rouge element. Only the strength and determination of a young maverick Marine can save Codi from herself.

WHISPERS OF INNOCENCE: Border violence; corpses abandoned in the desert. Trafficking in a previously unknown drug. A dangerous religious cult in an isolated community. Sounds like headlines ripped straight from today’s newspaper but it’s the reality of the romantic suspense, Whispers of Innocence. Enoch Smith, an intelligent, yet psychotic cult leader, uses more than his flock to execute God’s wrath on a sinful nation and evil government. Yet his power over the people exceeds mere theological influences, but instead dominants their very existence. Drake Elliot, a former US Marshal underestimates the power of the cartel that injures his son, destroys his wife, and maims himself. Under the guise of protecting his brain-damaged son, Drake seeks revenge and returns to Arizona to find the cold and calculating people responsible for this tragedy. Micki Lewis, an investigative journalist in Tucson, receives a tip regarding the origins of the latest drug to hit the streets and returns to Alta Vista, home of Enoch’s Children of God community in which she was once a member. The very same cult that killed Micki’s twin sister upon learning her attempt to escape. Drake and Micki join forces to uncover the secrets behind the cult and its success helping children like Drake’s son recover normalcy. What they find is far worse than just drugs coming across the border. They share a connection that entwines their lineage and past. One that goes beyond their imagination and nightmares. A discovery that provides answers to the shadows that haunt their dreams and their lives will never be the same.

Visit Mike at the Lake Writers table. He'll be glad to talk about his books and about publishing. And watch this blog for info about other authors and groups who will be at the festival.