Book Beat: A roundup of new works by local authors
Authors in the region continue to write adroitly and in prolific fashion. Here's an overview of recent independently published works:
"The Unheralded Prince of Preston Plains Middle" by Jedah Mayberry (River Groves Books, $13.46) - Mayberry is the pen name of Kevin Shelby, a 1983 graduate of Fitch High School now living and writing in Austin, and "The Unheralded Prince of Preston Plains Middle" is his first novel. The story, set in southeastern Connecticut, is a family-wide saga about the Hopkins clan and in particular the title character, Langston, who comes of age dealing with tragedy, dashed hopes and redemptive love.
Shelby, a 2013 finalist for the Best New Author Award sponsored by the National Black Book Festival, is in the area for two events on Saturday. From 3-5 p.m., he'll sign books in Mystic's Bank Square Books, 53 W. Main St., (860) 536-3795. And at 11 a.m., Shelby will lead a roundtable discussion with New London's Writer's Block Ink, a program that encourages students to experience the arts.
"Fell's Hollow" by A.J. Abbiati (LAK Publishing, $13.99) - Subtitled "an episodic novel" by this Mystic-based author, "Fell's Hollow," is a daily beehive of "swords, sorcery and sinister dealings." The ambitious Abbiati has cleverly invented his own mythology and language, all interwoven with conventional fantasy staples.
"Living With Cancer - A Journey of Hope: My Personal Story of the Power of Positive Thinking" by Margot Larson (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. $6.99) - Inspiring memoir by a Niantic writer who is a five-plus-year survivor of Stage IV non-small cell lung cancer.
"Within Scope of Ascension - A Poetic Litany of Philosophies and Prose" by Vincent Shawn Augmon (Strategic Book Publishing, $14.95) - New London author who appears at a signing at 7 p.m. on Sept. 17 at the Waterford Public Library. Augmon's tome aims to broaden awareness of the world's conditions through an analysis of specific political, economic, cultural and social agendas.
"Stumbling Thru - Book One: Hike Your Own Hike" by A. Digger Stolz (Follyworks Publishing, $11.99) - After successfully hiking the Appalachian Trail in 1999, Preston native Stolz set out to capture the ecstatic journey with the written word. He chose the novel format, and created a hero in Walter, a significantly unlikely sojourner who learns many things from his assault on the Trail.
"Trashlight" by Ray S. Kent (Damnation Books, $14.50) - Norwich writer Kent turns his parodic horror skills to the whole "Twilight" genre of romantic vampire novels by setting this fang-and-blood love story in a decidedly white trash part of central Connecticut.
"Remarkable Women of Old Saybrook" by Tedd Levy (The History Press, $21.00) - Levy, a local historian and regular columnist for the Shoreline Times, has penned this account of women's contributions to a quintessential New England town - ranging from Katharine Hepburn's mother to Anna Louise James, the first black female pharmacist in the state.
"A Mystic Garden - Working with Soil, Attending to Soil" by Gunilla Norris (Blue Bridge Books, $12.95) - Norris chronicles a year's time in her garden and describes the pacific and therapeutic properties of working the earth.
"When Seltzer was Two Cents a Glass - A History of America and Me, 1929-1955" by Bernard I. Murstein (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, $15.95) - The first of a planned multi-volume autobiography by Murstein, a psychologist/historian who held an endowed chair at Connecticut College and a Fulbright Chair at the Université of Louvain, and was designated a 20th Century Distinguished Psychologist by Papeles Psicologos del Colegio of Spain.
"Connecticut Miscellany - ESPN, 'The Age of Reptiles,' Cowparade & More" by Wilson H. Faude (The History Press, $16.99) - A compendium of short essays on an eclectic variety of Nutmeg State topics, including Eugene O'Neill's Monte Cristo Cottage and the Goodspeed Opera House.
"Gotcha! The Last Days of Bluefish (SSN-645)" by Samuel Báez (Vantage Press, $17.95) - A retired Navy captain who served as chaplain at the Sub Base in Groton, Báez has penned a thriller about a commander whose last voyage on a soon-to-be-decommissioned sub is anything but routine.
"Hardships and Magic: Memories of Growing Up in Germany 1939-1955" by Renate Doost-Schneider (Xlibris, $24.99 paper, $34.99 hardcover) - A memoir by longtime Noank resident and former reference librarian at the Groton Public Library.
"Impressions of Reality" by Jean-Yves Solinga (Little Red Tree Publishing, ) - Latest collection by the prolific Gales Ferry poet, out from the estimable New London-based publisher.
"Stonington's Old Lighthouse and Its Keepers" by James Boylan and Betsy Wade (Stonington Historical Society, $25) - Authors describe a dark history of scandal, graft, illness and death.
"My Big Tow" - The Adventures of Captain Recovery" by Kyle L. Chirgwin (Tow Times Publications, $9.95) - First in a new series of children's books by a former Old Lyme resident. The captain and his heavy duty tow truck, Big Blue, come to the aid of an airplane that ran off the runway.
"He is The Scarlet Thread - Connecting God's Heart to Yours" by Deborah L. Walker (Tate Publishing, $19.99) - Ledyard writer delves into biblical issues from the books of Genesis through Ruth.
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