Ron Baxley, Jr. will be attending the 2019 Aiken Wine & Sign!
Ron is a renowned author in the genre world with several novels set within the universe of L. Frank Baum’s Oz series, with his latest Oz-universe novel O.Z. DIGGS HIMSELF OUT published in March 2018 and his first Oz graphic novel “ZIGGY ZIG ZAGS THE LIGHT AND DARK FANTASTIC” coming Summer 2019, both published by YBR Publishing LLC of Ridgeland, SC.
Ron’s Southern background figures in his work as does his love of Oz and his faith.
He received a lifetime membership from the International L. Frank Baum and All Things Oz Foundation in 2016 in Chittenango, New York for his work as an author related to the Wizard of Oz, work which dates back to 1999 when the First Edition of his book “The Talking City of Oz” was published. Ron has been a special guest, guest, and visiting author at Oz festivals and cons across the country since 2010.
Ron also likes most anything related to Disney, fantasy, and science fiction, which he has also written and published. He, in addition, helped his late father with a side satellite dish business when he was a youth and was encouraged by his father, a techie, to get interested in computers; he equates all of this with furthering his interest in science fiction.
After working on his certification and being an educator for 15 years in various capacities away from his home town, Ron returned home to Barnwell, SC, in 2015 to become a care-giver and to work as a part-time correspondent for the Orangeburg “Times and Democrat”, returning to an earlier career which he had for two years as a reporter at “The Aiken Standard” upon graduation from USC-Aiken in 1998. Ron, while working as a correspondent, began selling different types of Disney vacations through a travel agency on the side.
He lived in Columbia, S.C. for most of his life outside of university but also lived for a few years in Groton and Charlton, Massachusetts, while working for an outdoor education program, and for a few years in Charleston, S.C. and Prosperity, S.C. He considers his rescued Corgi, Ziggy, to be his child and even a fur-angel, and the dog figures largely in a lot of his work, being a minor character in “O.Z. Diggs Himself Out” (YBR Publishing) and the upcoming graphic novel “Ziggy Zig Zags the Light and Dark Fantastic” (also from YBR Publishing). For more information on Ron, please visit his author page at http://rbaxley37.wixsite.com/ronbaxleyjrofoz or do a web-search for “WIX” and “Ron Baxley.”
Synopsis of “O.Z. Diggs Himself Out” (available at the Aiken Wine and Sign):
“O.Z. Diggs Himself Out” is a young adult and adult fantasy novel which couples Southern literature with Oz fantasy in a satirical travelogue. A cursed seventh generation descendant of the wonderful Wizard of Oz, O.Z. Diggs VII, can longer mention that he is from that magic family as part of a curse from the Wicked Witch of the West before she died. O.Z. Diggs VII, an eccentric storyteller with rainbow-dyed hair and who was once reluctant to use magic, has been in Boone, N.C. as a displaced Ozian-turned-Southerner and goes on a quest throughout the Southeastern, Eastern, and Midwestern United States to regain his magical roots. He does this through finding pieces of his ancestor's wizarding costume he left behind, and even using the Cowardly Lion staff which was left to him. O.Z. Diggs VII contacts and meets the Society of the Walking Cane, a group of senior citizen good wizards and witches from Oz who are incognito as a walking group with their walking canes being their disguised staffs. But he also discovers a group of evil witches and wizards called the Society of the Stitches, so-named for stitched red symbols on their clothing. The Society of the Stitches will stop at nothing to keep O.Z. Diggs VII from breaking his curse and returning to Oz. Not only this, but the annoying Nomes of Oz (gnome-like creatures who love jewels they claim they made) are on their way to the United States to reclaim their jewels and cause mischief. Even with the help of some new fantastic friends, including a Corgi brought to life straight from the pages of another book, can O.Z. Diggs figure out how to stop the Society of the Stitches and the evil Nomes as well as break his curse? Along the way, on his quest, O.Z. Diggs VII becomes so much more than his Southern identity and background. He shows that anyone can transcend both!
“Ziggy Zig-zags the Light and Dark Fantastic”, Volume 1 (available Summer 2019)
This graphic novel follows the adventures of Ron's real-life Corgi companion, Ziggy, in a new hardback adventure in early summer, with art by Vincent Myrand, and lettering and lay-out by Ali Tavakoly. Within this graphic novel Ziggy the Corgi, who has been a steed for the elves, goes on his own quests to rescue various characters from different fantasy worlds, including Neverland and Oz among others, and does his best to evade the Dark Elf and his minions during his mission!
O.Z. Diggs Himself Out, a fantasy book by author Ron Baxley, Jr. which combines Oz fantasy with Southern literature in a satirical travelogue. The book has an eccentric storyteller narrator go on a quest, a quest to determine that he is so much more than his Southern identity and background; that he can transcend it
“Ron Baxley, Jr. writes in an imaginative first person perspective style which, alongside a serious plot, has elements of humour, and also darker humour to it…There is a lot to like about this story, such as adventure and world building. It definitely fits quite nicely into the fantasy genre, and will appeal to that audience. Imaginative, fun, and enjoyable, O.Z. Diggs Himself Out makes for an entertaining read, whether you're a fan of the Wizard of Oz or not.” British fantasy author K.J. Simmill for Readers’ Favorite
QUOTES FROM 6 FIVE STAR REVIEWS OF O.Z. Diggs Himself Out:
“I must say I really dig ‘Oz Diggs Himself Out’. As a fan of the original fourteen canonized books of The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. I came across this book “Oz Diggs Himself Out” and decided to give it a try. I am so glad that I did. It was apparent from the very beginning, the talented author Ron Baxley Jr. created a truly unique masterpiece…” – brand new February 2019 review from author Dennis Vasko II
“Ron Baxley, Jr. has outdone himself! This is a fantastic new take on ‘The Wizard of Oz’ is exciting from beginning to the grand finale. He knows more about the Oz universe than almost everyone else on the planet! I anxiously await Mr. Baxley's next journey to Oz and beyond!” – children’s author Steven Metzger
“Truly a masterpiece. I have never read a story so.. indescribable. It’s wonderful. I truly feel no one understands the oz universe quite like Mr. Baxley. 10/10 very good book.” -- Alex, older young adult female avid reader and actress who has performed in Oz plays
“Cleverly combining lore from Oz, Southern Literature, and elements of current events, Ron created a tale that was delightful to read. Ron is quite knowledgeable about Oz and it was fun to read the extra details of original Oz characters. He's also not afraid to create new characters that fit equally well alongside the Oz Pantheon… During the story, Ron tackles Southern bigotry, racism, Black Lives Matter, and others with ease. He also engages issues such as extreme hoarding in a very humane way. Finally, his characters are all quite believable – if a bit eccentric. And that makes them all the more lovable!” – James Krych, author of the Flight to Oz series
“Ron Baxley's book about the great-x4 grandson of the great and terrible Oz is a book that contains the perfect balance of humor and emotion. Ron's comedic tale introduces those new to Oz with places familiar to those who are well-versed to the Baum books, but these references are given an emotional and relatable tone as the author weaves his own life experiences into the characters, making them life-like and believable.” – Erica Oliviera, Oz fan and author
“Author and fan of the Oz series, Ron Baxley Jr. took to writing and has published several different Oz books among others. However, O.Z. Diggs Himself Out happens to be his best work by far. His creativity is sensational in this fantastic tale about a curse on the Wizard of Oz's male family line set by the Wicked Witch of the West many, many years ago.” – Sera Alexia Starr, Oz fan
Jaclyn Weldon White was born, raised and has lived all her life in the South. She was a police officer for six years. As a patrolman she investigated street crimes and traffic offenses. She worked for four years as a detective with the same department, investigating murders, sex crimes, burglaries and other offenses. She left police work to take a position as administrator for a large metropolitan Atlanta juvenile court, a position she held for sixteen years.
She is the author of eight books and numerous articles which have appeared in local and regional magazines. Two of her books have become Mercer Press bestsellers.
White is an avid cook and herb gardener, and designs and makes her own line of kiln-fired silver jewelry. She also enjoys genealogical research. She has three living children and seven grandchildren. White shares her Hoschton, Georgia, home with three cats, two of which were planned. Jackie's new book, THE WITCH OF BEN HILL COUNTY, has just been released by Deeds Publishing. It's the story of Emily Christopher who, after 30 years in law enforcement, is ready for retirement in an active-adult community north of Atlanta. But a dead friend's last request for justice sends her south to Ben Hill County where, determined to right a wrong, she takes on a powerful local developer. She's helped in her mission by a few good friends and a kind woman known as the local witch. Meanwhile things are getting interesting in Emily's own neighborhood where there have been a rash of petty thefts and burglaries. And who was that naked man seen slipping into the woods? THE WITCH OF BEN HILL COUNTY is a fast-moving mix of suspense, humor and romance that proves over 55 doesn't mean over the hill!
Jackie and Milam McGraw Propst collaborated on SIDETRACKED, Two Women, Two Cameras, and Lunches on Sherman's Trail. It's a series of stories which chronicle the zigzag adventures of these two authors searching for a better understanding of their state and its history. The two are good friends who love to chat, dine and explore out of the way places. There was only one difficulty. Neither of them have any sense of direction and often got sidetracked, made countless U-turns and frequently found fascinating stories by accident. It's a story of newly revealed truths and longstanding friendship.
In A SOUTHERN WOMAN'S GUIDE TO HERBS, she took a break from penning stories of murder and mayhem to share her love and knowledge of growing and using herbs, the helpful plants. In a manner as informal as a neighborly chat, White explores designing herb gardens to suit the reader and gives commonsense tips on planting and caring for them. In later chapters she concentrates on preserving herbs for year-round use and shares some of her favorite recipes, covering everything from cocktails to desserts. The shrimp and herb pasta for two is perfect for a romantic evening while the lavender cookies with their pastel icing will have the kids begging for more. In addition to using herbs for cooking, White presents a number of the most common medicinal and cosmetic uses for these plants along with a delightful chapter of herbal crafts. Illustrated with the author's own photos, it even includes a humorous chapter of magic spells and potions using herbs.
The Greatest Champion That Never Was is Jackie's latest biography. Publisher's Weekly has already declared this biography of boxer W.L. "Young" Stribling one of the top ten sports books of the fall of 2011 and Jackie won the Georgia Author of the Year - Biography for it. Stribling was born in a small south Georgia town in 1904 and should have lived his life in that rural setting. But he was performing in vaudeville before his fourth birthday and was a professional boxer by sixteen. His career spanned only twelve years before his death at age 28 and, during that time, he fought 287 matches, losing only 12. Although he never achieved the championship he sought, Young Stribling was true to himself and the values with which he'd been raised. The most important things in his world were sportsmanship, honor and doing his best. He never did less.
Of course, Jackie hasn't given up delving into the criminal side of life. Her most recent novel,Mockingbird in the Moonlight introduced readers to Dixie McClatchey, who was a rising young homicide detective when she inadvertently caused the death of a loved one. In this unsentimental Southern novel, Dixie puts her past behind her to build a new life in Macon, Georgia, a charming city where ghosts, gracious living and blackmail live side by side. She makes some friends, opens a bookstore and volunteers with Friends of the Library. When one of the volunteers is killed behind her shop, and evidence points to members of the library group,Dixie is reluctantly drawn into the investigation. As the story unravels, she learns she's not the only one with a past.
Like Mockingbird in the Moonlight, Jackie's first novel Distant Hearts combined suspense, romance and humor. And Distant Hearts adds a healthy dose of southern history and a primer on genealogical research as well.
But Jackie hasn't abandoned true crime. Whether recounting a forty-year-old tale of serial murder and black magic, as she did in Whisper to the Black Candle, or relating in The Empty Nursery the heart-breaking story of an infant's disappearance in present day Georgia, Jaclyn White has the unique ability to present a true story as if it were a novel.
White's ventures into the field of biographies has produced three acclaimed books. The above-mentioned Greatest Champion, A Very Special Gift, the history of a remarkable and generous family, and Bestest, which recounts the exciting life of southern businessman, bon vivant and philanthropist Peyton Anderson.
She also contributes frequent articles to local and regional magazines. Most recently she's been working on fascinating stories of bygone times in her home state for Georgia Backroads.
Katie Hart Smith
Columnist & Author
Katie Hart Smith, a published author for 25 years, has a wide array of work ranging from medical and academic, to historical fiction, non-fiction, and children's stories. She served on the editorial board and was a manuscript reviewer for the Orthopaedic Nursing Journal and was a former member of the advisory board for Atlanta Sports & Fitness Magazine. Her monthly column, “From the Heart,” is featured in the Gwinnett Citizen newspaper.
Inspirational people, places, and political and social issues are the driving forces for Smith’s work. She published Couch Time with Carolyn, a memoir, in 2014. This novel was followed by the Sacred Heart (historical fiction) series that focused on the medical community in 1900s Atlanta. The first two books, Aspirations of the Heart and Hope Never Rests, have been placed in the Georgia Governor’s Mansion Library. Katie has been nominated for the Georgia Author of the Year award in multiple categories in 2015, 2017, and 2018.
She and her husband, Jeff, reside in Lawrenceville. She is an active civic leader in the Gwinnett community to include her service on the City of Lawrenceville City Council and she was even the first recipient of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce’s Healthcare Professional of the Year award in 2011, recognized for her clinical, literary, and community contributions. Katie has been a featured author at numerous Georgia literary festivals and is a member of the National League of American Pen Women and the Atlanta Writers Club. She is a sought out speaker on a local and national level.
For more information, visit www.katiehartsmith.com.
For more information, visit www.katiehartsmith.com.
Jack Gannon & Cyndi Williams-Barnier
Co-Founds & Co-Owners of YBR Publishing
Since publishing their first novel, “Murder In Twos and Threes” (which currently has a 5-star rating on Amazon) in 2012, Jack and Cyndi have authored 8 more books together, and Jack wrote a special Christmas book as a solo venture.
After self-publishing their first two books and being picked up by a publisher who reprinted those books (before going out of business), they decided to take what they learned about publishing and start their own company, YBR PUBLISHING, as a full-services-publisher.
The first book with their personal imprint was I WALKED IN SANTA’S BOOTS by Jack, followed by their latest Task Force book, the 5-star reviewed THE LATRODECTUS MURDERS, and TEARS OF DESTINY in their InSpectre series.
At the end of 2017 they opened their brand to other authors, the first being Garry Richardson of Ridgeland. 2018 authors are Ron Baxley, Jr., of Barnwell, Horace Mungin of Ridgeville, and Gibbes McDowell of Saint Helena Island.
As YBR Publishing approaches 2019, new authors are already lining up for publishing during the new year, plus Jack has a new novel in the works.
Jack and Cyndi are always interested in talking with authors looking to get their manuscripts into print, and they look forward to meeting you during the 2019 Aiken Wine & Sign!
A. Gibert Kennedy earned a B.A. in history from East Carolina University and a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Tennessee. He retired from a career in nuclear engineering in 2015.
Kennedy has a bookselling business, Stuff Happens, selling used and rare books in Aiken, S.C. that specializes in South Carolina and Civil War history. The business is located in the Aiken Antique Mall, 112 Laurens St. SW, Aiken, S.C.
He lives in Aiken, S.C. with his wife, Pam and a feral cat.
Website: A Gibert Kennedy
Hope, sacrifice, and restoration: throughout the American Civil War and its aftermath, the Foster family endured all of these in no small measure. Drawing from dozens of public and privately owned letters, A. Gibert Kennedy recounts the story of his great-great-grandfather and his family in A South Carolina Upcountry Saga: The Civil War Letters of Barham Bobo Foster and His Family, 1860–1863.
Barham Bobo Foster was a gentleman planter from the Piedmont who signed the South Carolina Ordinance of Secession and served as a lieutenant colonel in the Third South Carolina Volunteers alongside his two sons. Kennedy's primary sources are letters written by Foster and his sons, but he also references correspondence involving Foster's daughters and his wife, Mary Ann.
The letters describe experiences on the battlefields of Virginia and South Carolina, vividly detailing camp life, movements, and battles along with stories of bravery, loss, and sacrifice. The Civil War cost Foster his health, all that he owned, and his two sons, though he was able to rebuild with the help of his wife and three daughters. Supplementing the correspondence with maps, illustrations, and genealogical information, Kennedy shows the full arc of the Foster family's struggle and endurance in the Civil War era.
About the the work
In 1998, my father asked me if I wanted my great-great grandfather's pockets. In the 1800s pockets were worn inside trousers, rather like a modern money belt. The pockets contained about 75 old letters and, as I began reading them, I found that they were mostly Civil War letters.
I began typing these letters up, thinking that others in the family might want to read them someday. As I began digging into the letters, I learned that Barham Bobo Foster was a signer of the South Carolina Ordinance of Secession for the Spartanburg District and learned of the terrible cost of the war to his family. So the structure of a book began to form. As I continued my research, I found another 275 letters in the Caroliniana Library at the University of S.C.
Lt. Col. Barham Bobo Foster was second in command of the 3rd South Carolina Volunteer Infantry from its initial organization in 1861 until he left the army in 1862 in failed health. His two sons, Perrin and Tony, served in this unit until their deaths in combat.
In the final edited form, these letters reveal the lives of the Barham Bobo Foster, his two sons, his wife, and daughters during the period from late 1860 to early 1863. The Fosters were engaged at Bull Run, the Peninsula Campaign, the S.C. coastal defenses, Harper's Ferry, and Fredericksburg. In addition to battle descriptions, the letters offer insights into the thinking of an upcountry planter family on the war, politics, and home life as the war continued to grind away.
I have enjoyed getting to know this family. I hope that you will also enjoy getting to know them.
Kim Poovey is an author, storyteller, and living historian. She has traveled the Southeast for more than 20 years performing in period attire on 19th century fashion, mourning practices, and other Victorian era topics.
In 2011 she portrayed Mrs. Stanton, wife of Secretary of War Stanton (Kevin Kline), in the Robert Redford film, The Conspirator. Her published works include Truer Words, Through Button Eyes, Memoirs of an Edwardian Teddy Bear, and Dickens’ Mice, The Tails Behind the Tale.
In addition, Kim has written for several magazines to include Beaufort Lifestyles, Bluffton Breeze, Citizen’s Companion, and the Civil War Times.
Kim lives in a haunted 1890s Victorian cottage in the SC Lowcountry with her husband, Darryl, and their furry children.
Steve Gordy, Author
Steve has been an apprentice writer since 2003, when he joined the South Carolina Writers' Workshop. He has two books currently in print, both available from Amazon.com:
His first novel, Faith, Hope, and Dr. Vangelis, will be published in the spring of 2019. It poses the question: "In a world of pain, who heals the wounded healer?" The healers in this tale are Lukas Vangelis, a hospice physician and his niece, Diana Karras, a registered nurse. They have been both healers and spiritual guides to the dying for two decades. Lukas seeks relief from the burdens that have worn him down. A series of messages from departed friends and loved ones hint that the end of the road is near. The path to his healing is laden with obstacles and unexpected dangers. Only when he takes on the care of a dying young woman does he recognize that her four-year-old son is "the one who is to follow." It's a story that will leave you with a lump in your throat and, quite possibly, tears in your eyes.
He's at work on other projects as well, of which a recent addition is Meredith's Song. This celebrates the extraordinary, all-too-brief life of Meredith Legg Stapleton (1987-2014). A standout basketball player for the USC Aiken Pacers, her five-year battle against melanoma gave an example of courage, determination, and deep faith that are her legacy to the world.
Steve and his wife, Ruth, have lived in Aiken, South Carolina since 1988. He is a past state chairman of Kairos Prison Ministry in the state of South Carolina and is a member of the board of directors of the South Carolina Writers Association. He is also a member of the North Carolina Writers Network, the Georgia Writers Association, and the Florida Writers Association. He is retired from the Savannah River Site and Piedmont Technical College.
Arthur Turfa is originally from Pennsylvania. He now has lived in the Midlands of South Carolina for over a decade. His bi-vocational careers (as a pastor, educator, and Army chaplain) have taken him across the country, to Germany and to South Korea
In 2015 eLectio Publishing released his first book of poetry, Places and Times. Accents, his second poetry book, is now on Amazon KDP. In 2018 Gemini was released by Broad River Books,(a branch of Columbia’s Muddy Ford Press). That same year, Saluda Reflectionsappeared in Finishing Line Press. His poetry has also appeared in Altpoetics, the Munyori Literary Journal, SC English Teacher, and Metaphor Magazine .
Additionally, he serves as one of the owners for, Words on Fire, on Google+ and MeWe.
Arthur teaches German and English at Blythewood High School and as an adjunct in English at Midlands Technical College. He also serves as a supply pastor in the South Carolina Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and as a supply priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina.
Jonathan Haupt is the executive director of the Pat Conroy Literary Center, the founding director of the Pat Conroy Literary Festival, and the former director of the University of South Carolina Press, where he created the Story River Books fiction imprint in partnership with Pat Conroy. Haupt serves on the boards of the South Carolina Academy of Authors and the Friends of South Carolina Libraries, and on the South Carolina Humanities advisory committee and the American Writers Museum affiliates steering committee. With Charleston novelist Nicole Seitz, he is co-editor of the anthology Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy, which was named to the recommended reading lists of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Deep South magazine and recognized as a Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Okra Pick (booksellers’ favorite) and an official selection of the Pulpwood Queens book club. Sales of Our Prince of Scribes benefit the educational mission of the nonprofit Pat Conroy Literary Center: www.patconroyliterarycenter.org.
Praise for Our Prince of Scribes:
“His wound may have been geography, but his legacy was generosity. That’s the takeaway from this new collection of essays honoring the late Pat Conroy (1945-2016). Novelist Nicole Seitz and Jonathan Haupt, the executive director of the Pat Conroy Literary Center, pull together a who’s-who of writers from the Lowcountry and beyond for an ode to the real Prince of Tides… A fitting tribute to a unique, significant writer and man.”--Kirkus Reviews
“What could be better than so many voices coming together to celebrate Pat Conroy? This book is a testament to the enormous hold he had on our hearts and minds.”—Ann Patchett, author of Bel Canto and Commonwealth
Pat Conroy Literary Center
905 Port Republic Street | Beaufort, SC 29902
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Belinda Smith-Sullivan is a chef, food writer, spice blends entrepreneur and a commercial-rated pilot. She graduated summa cum laude from Johnson & Wales University with a degree in culinary arts.
As a personal chef in the early days of her culinary career, Belinda developed an interest in flavor profiling. That led to the creation of Chef Belinda Spices, her signature line of artisan all-natural spice blends.
A native Chicagoan, Belinda spent all her summers growing up in Mississippi on her grandparents’ farm, where she developed her love for peaches, Belinda has also lived in France, Kenya, and South Africa and travelled the world enjoying and learning about the foods of many cultures.
Belinda currently lives in Trenton, South Carolina, located in Edgefield County, in the heart of South Carolina’s peach region. South Carolina is the second largest producer of peaches in the United States, making it the ideal place for Belinda to grow her love of peaches and develop peach recipes over the past 14 years.
Belinda is the monthly contributing food columnist to Aiken’s Bella Magazine in Aiken, S.C., and the statewide South Carolina Living Magazine. She is publisher of The Flying Foodie blog and has written food-related articles for regional publications. Additionally, in her current role with South Carolina Living, she is featured on its website in monthly how-to videos designed to help readers improve their cooking skills and general food knowledge.
Belinda conducts cooking workshops and demonstrations throughout the Southeast; and is a registered volunteer in Chefs Move to Schools, an initiative that partners chefs with local schools to serve as resources on nutrition.
Belinda is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association, American Culinary Federation, Southern Foodways Alliance and Association of Food Journalists. She is also a member of The Ninety-Nines: International Organization of Women Pilots, where she is a past recipient of the Amelia Earhart Scholarship.
In 2015, she was inducted into Les Dames d’Escoffier International, a philanthropic society of women engaged in the food, fine beverage and hospitality fields.
Chef Belinda Spices
Author Tania Tipene is a mother, yogi, meditator, and, first time author. She is also an idealist.
As a mother, she encouraged a love for the written word. As a yogi and meditator, she crafted her story using yoga postures as principle characters, and added elements of meditation into the storyline.
The idealist, and, first time author, chose to weave spiritual themes into a simple and naïve adventure.
This author has written an endearing and interactive tale, to please both the listener and the reader.
Learn More http://www.seedsjourneyhome.com/
Seed's Journey Home,
A Children's Yoga Story
Book 1 : Red Gate
Have you ever felt afraid? Seed has. On her journey through Red Gate, she learns how to overcome Fear and Doubt. Join Seed on her journey, and discover what Seed learns.
Author J.A. Lyons
J. A. Lyons grew up in the South before wandering in the wilderness for forty years. After returning to his home country he has fought a never-ending battle against crabgrass and nap-weed. His latest works include Sweet Chariots – unending love among the Carolina marshes, and The Emerald Spire, a quest fantasy.
Set in the coastal islands of South Carolina during the mid fifties as the last vestiges of a dying culture fade into memory, Sweet Chariots follows Henry Jean Yuncie on his journey from boy to man. Can Henry Jean break free from the grandmother who loves him too much, and a mother who hates his very existence..., not to mention the ghost of his beloved Aunt Matilda and the silky wardrobe she left behind? Must he marry Mary Beth, his childhood companion and sweetheart, or can he sail to freedom across the endless marshes? Does freedom truly exist beyond Yuncie Island, or are all his dreams and desires simply the figments of an overactive young mind? Who can discern among love and hate, memories and ghosts beneath the Carolina moon? When Gracie, only daughter of the Island’s absentee landlord arrives, Henry Jean must choose between devotion to Mary Beth and passion for Gracie, as all three careen towards tragedy. Tensions build as Henry Jean weaves among the forces pressing him to action, and peak when Mary Beth reveals a secret that threatens to destroy all their lives. Now Henry Jean truly must choose his destiny as all paths lead to one fateful night... and no matter how he decides, everyone will suffer. Sweet Chariots is an intense journey into a young man’s struggle towards manhood. Adult themes and situations including love, hate and gender identity are central to the story. Parental discretion is advised for young readers. Praise for Sweet Chariots: “It tears your heart out, then puts you back together. This is not only wonderful Southern writing, it is simply great literature.” Barbara Steiner, Author of over 70 published works. Other books by J. A. Lyons: The Emerald Spire
Available through Amazon
Aiken author Ruth Kipnis drew from her equestrian background as she was writing her first love story, the 2014 book “Lane’s End.”
Through a twist of fate we turned a hobby into a thriving business when we added a Thoroughbred Training Center to our already growing broodmare operation.
After retiring we spent two years aboard our boat the Paradigm sailing the waters of Mexico. We finally settled in Puerto Vallarta. Returning to the States seven years later for medical reasons, and purchased a farm in South Carolina filling it with ex racehorses.
Writing came late in my varied career, but I've always believed that all of us have some secret desire, be it to ride a bike, pay a guitar, paint a picture, or in my case write a novel. Age should not dissuade anyone from the joy of following one's bliss.
Seeing my stories in print, knowing people are enjoying what I've written is reward enough. All proceeds from my books are donated to charity.
For her latest novel, Kipnis said she stepped away from her own experiences and looked to others’ romantic stories, particularly ones involving widowed or divorced people.
“A French Connection” was published in August by First Edition Design Publishing Inc., and was edited by Sue Clark.
The story opens on Norman Feinberg, a semi-retired, widowed businessman, living in San Francisco. When he wants to sell his two-story house, he becomes connected with Nicole Johnson, a widowed, French real estate agent who is 20 years younger than him.
“Their business arrangement becomes something more than casual. The differences in age, religion and family present many ups and downs to a developing romance. A trip to Paris to meet her family sets them on a rocky road to marriage,” says the book’s summary.
The idea for the plot stemmed from the stories of second love Kipnis kept hearing from those who are divorced or had lost a spouse.
“If you lined these people up, you would think, ‘There is no way they would be a couple,’” she said.
These people also differed in traits such as age and culture, much like the romantic leads in Kipnis’ book. Kipnis is originally from San Francisco and came to Aiken with her husband Mervyn in 2002. He passed away in 2010.
In her travels, Kipnis has visited Paris.
“(San Francisco and Paris) are both liberal cities, yet culturally, they are as different as night and day,” she said.
Kipnis dedicated the book to her husband.
“I was fortunate enough to fall in love and marry a wonderful man who, throughout our lives together, encouraged me to pursue any over-the-top dream I had. ... Even though my husband is gone now, I still filter my endeavors through his prism and hope this story would have pleased him,” her dedications reads.
“A French Connection” is $14.95 in paperback and $4.99 as an ebook and can be purchased through major online retailers such as Amazon and Google Play.
Available on Amazon
V. A. Riccasola prides herself in being a well rounded individual: she’s a mother, daughter, sister, friend, career woman, writer, runner, kick-boxer, fad dieter, pseudo-nutritionist, home school teacher, cook, amateur political debater and public speaker, small-time daredevil and home maker. She is passionate about challenges and adventures and has found she loves roller coasters, rappelling, no ropes rock climbing, spelunking, skiing, martial arts, motorcycle riding and Corvette racing. Currently residing in Lexington County, South Carolina and working in Public Safety, she writes tales born mostly from her experiences in the Northeastern and Southwestern United States. Now she is accumulating experiences in the American South to share. Short yet valuable careers in hospitality, real estate, the medical field and public safety give her an experienced view of the world from which to draw. Her love of travel lends zeal to share the world's beauty and both personal and imagined experiences through her writing. Her stories are the culmination of many hours of pecking away at her keyboard between all that life has thrown at her and running. Mother of two teenage boys, she is often surprised when she can find even fifteen minutes a day to call her own. She dedicates that cherished time to writing. https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15336948.V_A_Riccasola
Sally Berk is a retired college professor who holds a master's degree in English literature from Northwestern University. She has studied the Bible for over forty years and taught about its influence in Western thought and culture. The mother of two adult daughters, Sally lives with her husband, John, in Aiken, South Carolina.
The Promised One: The Mystery of the Messiah
Ulla Ringle was born October 1948 in Germany live in the USA since 1985
She met her husband in Sri Lanka; that’s were she visited elephants every day and heard their stories;
A baby elephant falls into a well, he gets rescued and ends up in an orphanage; the book tells his trials and tribulations and how he becomes famous
AIKEN WINE & SIGN FOR ET DINE-AROUND RAFFLE
Raffles 1 ticket - $5.00 each
5 tickets for $20.00
List of Restaurants
Aiken Brewing Company
Betsy's on the Corner
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store
La Dolce Gourmet Bakery, Coffee, and Tea Bar
What's Cookin' Downtown
Whiskey on the Alley
Aiken Wine & Sign Event Raffle: terms and conditions
This raffle is organized and administered by the Diann Shaddox Foundation for Essential Tremor a accredited 501 (c) 3.
To be eligible to enter the raffle, entrants must:
The winner will be drawn by an independent person on April 21, 2018. The promoter's decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. The winner will be notified within 20 working days of the closing date by phone. The winner's names will be announced on DSF Website. Also:
DSF respects, and is committed to protecting your privacy. The personal information you provide will remain private and will only be used for the purposes outlined here.
DSF reserves the right to amend, withdraw or terminate the raffle or alter the raffle at any time without prior notice.
Hey, I'm Erica. I write poems and short stories, I lead workshops, I drink lots of coffee, I wear lipstick (sometimes). I'm glad you stopped by.
Erica is a poet, speaker, and artist who creates messages of love; mixing rawness with positivity, practicality with imagination, and curiosity with conviction. In 2015, Erica began A Poem Before Breakfast, posting a short poem to Instagram every before her morning meal. With the conviction that everyone is in love with someone or something, Erica created We Are Love Stories on Instagram, an experiment in empathy, kindness and creativity.
Erica is a dedicated advocate of female empowerment, and has spoken at the inaugural Allatoona Book Festival's "On Place" panel; and has taught workshops in haiku and blackout poetry as self expression in the Atlanta metro area. As an activist for job readiness and employment, Erica works with MUST Ministries in Marietta where she assists local clients in writing beautiful resumes and cover letters. She is a supporter for children's arts education, and works in after school programs within Georgia Schools.
Erica is a member of the female arts collective Atlanta Women's Poetry Collective and the Georgia Poetry Society. Erica's work has been featured in the Bella Grace Magazine, Badassery, ReVamped, Silver Birch Press, The Found Poetry Review, Flash Frontier, Serious Eats, Pure Slush, Blue Lyra Review, Non-Binary Review, Love & Ensuing Madness, Crab Fat Magazine, and The Borfski Press. She was born in Brooklyn, raised in Indiana and resides in Georgia.
Erica happily accepts questions, love notes, book recommendations, and offers for coffee and conversation at email@example.com.
Pia L. Bertucci holds a Ph.D. in Romance Languages from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Currently, Dr. Bertucci is the Director of the Italian Program at the University of South Carolina where she teaches courses on Italian language, literature, and culture. Her research interests include Italian Food Culture, Italian Women Writers, and Italian Mystery novels.
Between Milk and India is her first published work of fiction. When she is not writing, reading, or teaching, Pia Bertucci loves traveling, cooking, and spending time with her husband and four children.
"In 1999, on the eve of the millennium, Tressa Novak wanders the streets of Boston trying to make sense of her shattered life. Her teenage son has disappeared and her twenty years of marriage are all but over. Ducking into an internet bookstore to get out of the rain, Tressa makes an incredible discovery: an old microfilm machine that doubles as a time portal. Tressa endeavors to answer the age-old question: if you could go back in time and fix one thing, what would it be?"
Horace Mungin was born in Hollywood, South Carolina in 1941. His family moved to New York City in 1946 where he attended public schools, and majored in English at Fordham University. He served three years in the U.S. Army and was a member of the 82nd Airborne Division. He married and raised his family in New York City. In 1989 Mungin and his wife, also from South Carolina, moved to Ridgeville, SC in the Charleston, Low-country.
In the early sixties Mungin joined The Betterment League, a local civic and anti-drug activist organization; he served as Public Relationship Manager until 1965. The organization was based in a mid-Manhattan public housing project plague with a heron abuse epidemic and it developed programs to turn the community’s youth away from drugs. Mungin started writing poetry in the mid-sixties, during the genesis of the Black Arts Movement. His focus was the drug problem he worked on while in The Betterment League and the racism he experienced during his life time. Through this period, he published two volumes of anti-drug poetry, “Dope Hustler’s Jazz, 1968” and “Now See Here, Homes, 1969.” Some of his early writings appeared in The New York Times, literary magazines, and poetry anthologies. The Negro Book Club, Inc. selected Horace as its Artist of the Month in June of 1969 for his literary crusade against the drug plague of the sixties. Later that same year, he continued his anti-drug campaign in a published collection of short fiction.
In the early seventies, Mungin helped found Black Forum Magazine, a widely acclaimed national publication for writers and was its first editor. Black Forum worked from office space donated by Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center and published the works of hundreds of new young black writers and poets. It also ran featured articles, interviews and profiles of many established poets and writers like Amiri Baraka, John Oliver Killens and Louise Meriwether Nikki Grimes and others. Black Forum Magazine is now honored in a Black Arts Movement exhibition at the Smithsonian’s Nation Museum for African American History and Culture in Washington, DC.
Mungin also edited Press-Time, a literary newsletter from 1980 until 1984.
In the late seventies, Mungin wrote a column for a Charleston, SC weekly newspaper that employed satire to explore a variety of political and social issues. The column was later syndicated to ten other weekly newspapers and had a six year run (’78 – ‘84). In 1991 a collection of those columns was published under the title Sleepy Willie Talks about Life. In May of 2001, Sleepy Willie Sings the Blues, the second book in the Sleepy Willie series was published. Mungin has been working on the final book in the series for over 20 years.
Mungin’s other published books are The Devil Beats His Wife, 2004, San Juan Hill, 2006, Subway; After the Irish, 2008, Poetic Portraits: The African People of San Juan Hill, 2010, A Different Point of View, 2013, and Truth & Absurdities, 2014, …Or Does It Explode.
The Charleston City Paper featured Mungin in a major profile in its July 12th. 2017 edition. Or Does It Explode, Mungin’s latest novel was a finalist for the Phillis Wheatley Literary award.
Swing, Hard Bop, Bop & Bebop is a celebration of the bebop era of jazz music in a collection of biographical prose/poems – here you will find the musical history of over 60 of the greatest jazz artists of swing and bebop music ever assembled. Here you’ll find delicate facts about the lives of these great men and women of jazz; where and when they were born, where they went to school, how they got started playing an instrument or singing, the trials and tribulations of their lives – but more - tributes are also paid to the venues and clubs where bebop was featured; places like Minton’s Playhouse where Thelonious Monk was in the house band and where bebop was invented, Birdland, named for Charlie (YardBird) Parker, one of the creators of bebop, and even the Jazz Mobile that brought popular jazz bands to New York City’s jazz fans in Harlem free of charge.
Rose O. Hayes, Ph.D.
Books: Atomic Wilderness & Politics Trumps Nuclear Science
Dr. Rose O. Hayes is a medical anthropologist who spent her career in public health. During the 1970s phase of international technology transfer to modernize the so-called Third World she worked in the Nile Valley, based in Khartoum, Sudan. Driven out by the Al Qaida murders of the American and Belgium ambassadors, she returned to the U.S., joined the faculty of her alma mater, State University of New York (SUNY), and eventually accepted a position with the federal government where she spent the next 20 years managing occupational health and safety programs. She holds a B.S., M.S. M.A., and Ph.D. from SUNY and completed post-doctoral work in skeletal biology at The George Washington University. Dr. Hayes served on the U.S, Department of Energy Site Specific Advisory Board for the Savannah River nuclear plant,, chairing its Nuclear Materials Committee from 2009-2015. She has served on many other national boards and authored publications in nuclear waste management.
Diann Shaddox is an author, speaker, an advocate for awareness and research toward finding a cure for ET and Founder of the Diann Shaddox Foundation for Essential Tremor.
Diann Shaddox is best known for her released books: A Faded Cottage, a SC love story about an artist with Essential Tremors; Whispering Fog, a time travel romance; Miranda, The Pink Rose, a historical fiction, a journal of a young girl living in the late 1800's; Spirits of Sacred Mountain, about a young Native American Indian boy's life spinning out of control and a magical mountain with deep hidden secrets; and The Gatekeeper of Crystal Pond, Not What Lies Above, but Below" www.diannshaddox.com
She was diagnosed with Essential Tremor in 1982. She has since become an advocate for awareness and research toward finding a cure for ET. She created the Diann Shaddox Foundation for Essential Tremor March 2014.
Diann is a Native American and a member of the Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma.
Proceeds from the sale of her books go to www.diannshaddoxfoundation.org
When a love letter written by a teenage boy becomes lost after a summer filled with passion, it brings about an incredible love story of two people being reunited after thirty years. What if you were able to relive your life, if only for two weeks, and rediscover you teenage love? Would you? Quaid Witherspoon is a man turning fifty, a man with success and money, a world acclaimed artist, but a simple feat of holding a paintbrush turns Quaid’s life upside down when fate steps in. Essential Tremors have taken over his body. The calming waters off the coast of South Carolina call Quaid home to a small, faded cottage, one with a leaning front porch and worn paint so similar to him, flawed. And to the same beach where he began painting as a young boy, the place he met his one true love, and the place he let her go. Sandy, Quaid’s lost love from the past, learns Quaid’s wondering about her, just as she’s wondering about him. Their love is still alive and when they reconnect, it’s easy to let the years they’d been apart fade away. But, sadly, fate has another twist.
WHISPERING FOG, a Time Travel, Historical Fiction
One fall night a mystifying fog captures a young girl from the 20th century and a captain of an old sailing ship from the 18th century bringing them together.
On an unusual foggy night in 1959, Belinda sees an image out in the sea, a ship of years ago, begins her descent into the misty vapor climbing down the steep, rocky cliff to help the ship’s crew, and falls literally into the whispering fog.
Did the story end that night for Belinda when she fell down the cliff, or was it a dream of a young girl? On foggy nights, fishermen have heard an old ship’s bell tolling and voices from the fog whispering Belinda’s name.
The Pink Rose
Miranda is an executive, the owner of a bank, carries a gun in her purse, kills a man, and falls in love with a gambler. What’s different about Miranda? She doesn’t live in the twenty first century she lives in the late 1800’s.
A forbidden passion prevails over a lifetime between a spirited young socialite and a known gambler in the late 1800’s. Miranda Cathleen Curry, a feisty young Irish woman and an heir to a large fortune is a survivor even after the loss of her family, husband, and baby. Miranda vows to rebuild the Old Grand Hotel, her bank, and her life after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire, never letting anyone or anything get the best of her.
Miranda’s story is one of a love that transcends social norms, encompassing two love stories one with Vaughn, a known gambler and her one true love that is forbidden, and the other with Oliver a socially correct marriage. The precariousness of social class and class prejudice in the late 1800’s contributes to the loss of Vaughn, forcing him to leave a life she had planned. Miranda is unwavering as she fights loneliness, her albatross that shows no mercy as it tries to squeeze the life out of her time after time.
Spirits of Sacred Mountain is a middle grade book for all ages.
A young boy discovers a magical world hidden deep in a mountain,
Spirits of Sacred Mountain
“The Spirit of Two, the Power of One”
Spirits of Sacred Mountain is a story about a young Native American boy who discovers a magical world hidden deep in a mysterious mountain.
Cody Tanner looks like a normal eleven year old, except he can blur/disappear, use his mind to move objects, and stop time. Normal if you’re a spirit of the mountain.
Cody didn’t know about the secrets of his family and rightfully didn’t care, until a car accident claims the life of his father. After his father’s death, he moves into an old farmhouse with his grandfather Ashby. Cody begins the school year in a new school called Ravensnest, in a town full of Hinkles, non-spirits, and overflowing with bullies. Eli Horowitz and Bailey Parker become his best allies, not only from the bullies of the school, but also from his family’s secret past.
Cody learns of an old Indian fable about Nightwalker, an Indian warrior and Mingan, a snow-white wolf. He discovers a hidden secret that will change his life forever. He understands he can’t win against Hatidehsoh, a fierce evil spirit, without the spirit of two, the power of one.
Spirits of Sacred Mountain takes you on a journey to discover a world of Native American folklore and pure imagination, blending fact and fiction.
Of Crystal Pond
“Not What Lies Above, but Below”
Maddy Sayers is on a mission to find Crystal Pond’s secret that has been hidden for centuries, but will she pay the ultimate price for her answer, the life of the man she loves.
July 11, 1989, Maddy witnessed Ryan, her best friend and first love, disappear into the clear water of Crystal Pond. Every year on July 11th, Maddy has returned home to the old farm, sixty miles from Charleston, to say she is sorry to Ryan, believing she should have stopped him that day from getting near the water.
July 11th, 2000, Maddy, a special agent with the FBI, has decided, with help from Terry Maples a forensic scientist, to begin an investigation into the secret of the pond: how the pond claims its prey, but never lets them go. Their research uncovers Clayton Montgomery, a man living in Savannah, GA…a man who drowned in the pond in 1956. When Michael, the son of Clayton joins the search, things begin to heat up, not only romantically, but also dangerously as they prepare to enter into the world of Crystal Pond.
The Diann Shaddox Foundation for Essential Tremor is a Non-Profit public organization 501 c(3). Essential Tremor (ET) is a progressive neurological condition that causes a rhythmic trembling of the hands, head, voice, legs, or body. Over 42 million people worldwide including children have ET, the largest movement disorder in the world. DSF’s mission is to educate and increase awareness about people afflicted with Essential Tremor. DSF works with people worldwide to show that ET is an international progressive disorder. We are unwavering to assist families with our Anti-Bullying Program, Suicide Prevention Program, Family Assistance Program, and to donate medical research grants to doctors to find a cause and cure. ET can begin at any age, from birth to 100. ET doesn't discriminate with age, race, sex, or national origin. DSF will make a difference in millions of people’s lives and directly change the future for everyone who will inherit or develop Essential Tremor. www.diannshaddoxfoundation.org