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After a one year break The Huntington Museum of Art’s annual Hilltop Bookfair is planned for Saturday, August 21 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, August 22 from noon to 5 p.m. at the Huntington Museum of Art. Admission is $5 on Saturday and free on Aug. Sunday. Books are sorted by volunteers into categories such as children’s books, mysteries, romances, art books, and more. On Sunday guests can fill a box with books for $10. HMA will provide the boxes for this special deal. Its been two years since this event and I am so excited it’s back.

The new edition of “On Dark and Bloody Ground, an oral history of the West Virginia Mine Wars,” has just been released by West Virginia University Press to mark the Battle of Blair Mountain Centennial. It’s one of three recent WVU Press books that will be celebrated at the event “New Books about the Mine Wars,” which is part of the Labor Day Blair Mountain portfolio of events overseen by the Mine Wars Museum. The event is being held at Taylor Books in Charleston on Saturday, September 4 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Join writers Chuck Keeney, Ginny Ayers, and Anne Lawrence as they take part in a panel discussion, with author Catherine Moore as moderator. The story of the West Virginia Mine Wars has provided inspiration to artists, writers, and scholars for decades.

Author Spotlight

Charleston Attorney and former Judge Mike Kelly has released his first book, a self-published, historical novel and thriller entitled “Marrowbone.” It follows two fictitious West Virginia families, the Murphys and the Quinns, through a primary election season wrapped against the backdrop of the fight for civil rights, a high profile murder and the Matewan Massacre.

At the heart of the book: a message.

“West Virginia is going to have to fight for its future,” said Kelly. “As I have one character say, if we don’t start doing things differently, ‘Pretty soon the only ones left will be Mamaw and Papaw and the people who change their diapers.’” “Marrowbone” is available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Taylor Books and other book sellers, or contact Mike Kelly for an autographed copy at

Stories you might like

Dr. Annette Shelton, formerly of Lorado, has written “Presumed Insane: The Story of Ernest Watts Handsome Williams, the West Virginia Coal Miner,” self-published through Bold Production and Publication. Written with the passion of one who knew and lived this story personally, the book details the stunning injustice she says her father, a coal miner, met in 1940 – when he was arrested following a minor argument and then imprisoned for three decades at the Lakin State Hospital for the Colored Insane.

Shelton lays out the accounts of doctors she says admitted to having falsified the commitment forms and the “Ice Pick Doctor” who allegedly performed lobotomies on the patients, including Williams. Shelton is a 1959 graduate of Buffalo High School and will be signing copies and discussing her book at the Buffalo Creek Memorial Library on Monday August 16 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.


James (JT) Hill of Charleston has released his second book, “Blind Mans Bluff”. This memoir tells the story of how Hill, who is legally blind, hid that fact from everyone for fifteen years. Then at the age of thirty with things falling apart around him, he asked himself the question: “What if there was a better way?”

West Virginia native Danny Kuhn has released “O, Mountaineers! Volume II — Noted (or Notorious) African-American West Virginians”. The book tells seventy biographical stories from John Henry to Steve Harvey and is filled with lots of genealogical information.

Casey Bond of Milton released “House of Eclipses” on August 13. This first book of a new duo-logy tells the story of Noor, who finds herself a pawn of her father, who will stop at nothing — even sacrificing his daughters to steal the crown that will give him the ability to further his reign. Noor will find herself pitted against her sisters in a battle for ultimate power, a battle she must win to finally defeat her father once and for all.

West Virginia native Mike Mallow has just released the audiobook of “In the Country Dark”. It is read by actor and West Virginia native Daniel Abraham Stevens.

Amy Deal is a resident of Huntington, West Virginia. She blogs about her literary experiences at and can be reached by email at authoramydeal

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