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Releases

  • Kathleen Jacobs has a new book, “Fireflies Dancing in the Night.” The book tells the story of Luna who dreams of summer vacation and an annual trip to the midwest. After packing the car, the family, including Luna’s pet hedgehog Thistle, begin their trip. This is a story of youthful innocence, nature’s beauty and the intricacies of the ties that bind us to one another. “Fireflies Dancing in the Night” is available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble.com, and through Jan-Carol Publishing, Inc.
  • Danae Samms, a native of Sissionville, recently published “The Queen of Hell.” The story is a retelling of Persephone and Hades, but set in colonial America, and is available on Amazon.
  • Chuck Fry of Ona has a new book, “God at the Center: The Majesty of God and the Twenty First Century.” Fry writes about our society and how the Western trajectory has affected all of us. The book is free and if you’d like a copy, please contact me for more information at authoramydeal@gmail.com.
  • The late Paul Grant’s book of poems, “Thin Times,” will be available soon at Four Seasons Books in Shepherdstown. Paul Grant was a longtime fixture of Shepherdstown’s poetry community until his passing in 2019.
  • Eric Quinn has a new book of poems, “Naming the Spirit,” which includes original poems, translations from French and Chinese poets, and an extended extract from Eric’s translation of the “Epic of Gilgamesh.” Those interested in getting a copy can email Quinn at eric_quinn@yahoo.com.
  • A Shepherdstown resident and mother whose leg was amputated due to cancer is featured in Stewart Acuff’s new book of poems, “Justice Travelogue, Walking Denmark.” The collection in verse details his walk across Denmark with Tracey Danzey and others to protest plans to build the Denmark-based Rockwool stone wool manufacturing plant in Jefferson County. Danzey completed the 70-mile walk — on one leg — in 11 days. The book is available at Four Seasons Books in Shepherdstown or by contacting stewartacuff0180@gmail.com.

Awards and recognition

  • Deesha Philyaw’s “The Secret Lives of Church Ladies,” published by WVU Press, is on its way to the screen. Tessa Thompson (whose film credits include “Sorry to Bother You” and “Thor: Ragnarok”) is working on the project for HBO Max.
  • The Mom’s Choice Awards has named West Virginia author Matt Browning’s “Chicks and the City” as among the best in family-friendly media, products and services. The children’s picture book, a kid-friendly exploration of urban farming, received Gold Level recognition in the annual awards contest.
  • Mike Mallow’s “In The Country Dark” was chosen as Appalachian Book of the Year by Appodlachia Podcast. Mallow also just finalized plans to have an audiobook produced. He’s also hard at work on the sequel, “Burning Without Knowing.”

Book and author news

  • Charleston Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin today announced the February/March featured book for the Charleston Reads city-wide book club initiative. “Murder on Staunton Road” by Charlie Ryan and Mitch Evans will be the book club selection. The book club will meet via Zoom to discuss the entire book on Tuesday, March 23 at 6 p.m. The discussion will contain a question and answer section with the authors. Books can be checked out from the Kanawha County Public Library in-person or online at kanawhalibrary.org. Books can be purchased from Taylor Books in-person or by calling 304-342-1461 or Capitol Market in-person or by calling 304-720-2244. Taylor Books will donate 20% of each book purchase to Faith in Action of the Greater Kanawha Valley. Books can also be purchased at murderonstaunton.com.
  • Lil Frazier has two books receiving awards. “Wildflowers and Train Whistles: Stories of a Coal Mining Family” won a bronze award for Non-Fiction Cultural from Reader’s Favorite. Another book, “Uncovering Roots: The Rheas of Augusta, Bath and Rockbridge Counties, Virginia,” won the award in Regional Non-Fiction Southeast in 2020 from National Indie Excellence Awards.
  • The Kanawha County Library book mobile is once again rolling down the road. The mobile library will be available at the Patrick Street Plaza on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Patrons may request items or holds from the KCPL website (www.kanawhalibrary.org) or by calling the Main Library at (304) 343-4646. Those items will then be sent to the Mobile Library to be picked up at the Patrick Street Plaza.
  • Dreama Denver’s children’s book “Four Bears and a Box” can be purchased at bobdenver.com or through Amazon. The book tells the story of three bored bears and their adventures. Three bears, but the title says four? You’ll just have to read the book, which is inspired by Denver’s husband and their son.
  • Marshall University in a partnership with the Cabell County Vocational Technical Center is putting Little Libraries in both the Tri-State and Yeager airports. They will also be listed on the Little Free Library website, which lists the locations of Little Free Libraries across the country.

Highlights

  • Jim Lilly, formerly of Barboursville, has an article in the February 2021 edition of Trains Magazine. The article, “Growing Up With A Mallet,” gives the history of these steam locomotives and gives an in-depth look at No. 1308, which currently resides at the railroad park on the corner of 14th Street West in Huntington. I had the pleasure of reading the article and enjoyed every word. If you love trains, this is a must read.
  • Jason Lilly of St. Albans has a podcast, “The Lilly Pad,” through which he interviews and spotlights writers, book, musicians and artists. Check it out on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Author spotlight

Anna L. Campbell, of Nicholas County, has published “The Passage of Time: Stories of Nicholas County, West Virginia.” The book is a collection of newspaper columns written between 2008 and 2012 by Campbell and her late husband, Robert. The Campbells, lifelong residents of Nicholas County, used their love of pioneer life and local history to craft stories that gave the reader an insider’s look at the characters, creativity, culture and Christian values of the people in Nicholas County.

The stories, along with pictures, portray caring people who made up Nicholas Country from the 1600s to 2012. Events such as World War II and how it affected the community are featured. Other stories focus on community establishments such as schools, churches, cemeteries, businesses and notable buildings. Pioneer life stories provide insights into earlier times. The book is available through Amazon, eBay, Goodreads and elsewhere.

Contests

The WV Writer’s 2021 Annual Writing Contest offers cash prizes in all categories and is judged by some of the best in their fields. Categories are Poetry, Short Story, Nonfiction, Emerging Writers and a Student Writing Contest. Check out the WV Writer’s website for more information.

Programs, conferences and seminars

Join hostess Carter Taylor Seaton, author of “Hippie Homesteaders: Arts, Crafts, Music, and Living on the Land in West Virginia,” as well as two new novels, for the March 15 Writers Can Read event. An open mic night reading series that takes place on the third Monday of each month, the March event will feature Ellen Birkett Morris reading from her short story collection, “Lost Girls,” and Meredith Sue Willis reading from her novella, “Saving Tyler Hake.” The readings take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. via Zoom during COVID-19 restrictions and at The Inner Geek at Pullman Square in Huntington at other times. Afterwards, the mic is open to anyone in the audience that would like to share a creative work. For further information, please visit the Writers Can Read Facebook page.

Amy Deal is a resident of Huntington, West Virginia, a network admin by day and a writer and reader at all other times. She blogs about her literary experiences at authoramydeal.com and can be reached by email at authoramydeal@gmail.com.

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