Category Archives: Watauga


Mark Schweizer. The Diva Wore Diamonds. Hopkinsville, KY: St. James Music Press, 2009.

It seems as though things are getting back to normal in (fictional) St. Germaine, North Carolina. St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, which was destroyed in a fire nineteen months ago, has been rebuilt.  Various ecclesiastical bigwigs will be present for the re-dedication, as will most of the townspeople in this little mountain village.  Hayden Konig, town police chief and choir director at St. Barnabas, is looking forward to the festivities, which will include the opening of a time capsule that was placed in the church’s foundation in 1900. Konig and everyone else is shocked by the time capsule’s contents.  Diamonds!–and a note that refers to the location of more diamonds on nearby land. Soon, the hunt for diamonds consumes some of the locals, but that is not the only thing stirring up the little town: a referendum to allow the sale of liquor by the drink on Sunday has brought in protesters whose powerful prayers may have caused lightning to strike The Bear and Brew, a church camp is the scene of much mischief under the excitable new youth minister, and a man who might have been both a land speculator and a blackmailer is murdered.

This is the seventh novel in Schweizer’s Liturgical Mysteries series.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2009, Mountains, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Schweizer, Mark, Watauga

Edith M. Hemingway. Road to Tater Hill. New York: Delacorte Press, 2009.

Although Annie Winters is in her favorite place on earth – visiting her grandparent’s house on Tater Hill – her summer is not going well. Annie’s family is in the midst of a tragedy. Her baby sister, Mary Kate, was born prematurely and died a day after her birth. With her father in Germany with the Air Force, Annie and her grandparents must help her mother through her debilitating grief while dealing with their own sadness. Annie, independent at ten, feels as though no one understands her sorrow. One day, she runs into the woods to escape her feeling of loss and is surprised to find an old woman. Over time she builds the courage to talk to her and discovers the stranger, Miss Eliza, has an unusual past. In spite of this, Annie secretly befriends Miss Eliza, who shares her love of reading. Annie’s unlikely friend helps her address her confusion and sadness at losing her sister and, in a sense, her mother.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2009, Children & Young Adults, Hemingway, Edith M., Mountains, Watauga

Tom Mendicino. Probation. New York: Kensington Books, 2010.

Andy Nocera seems to have it all: an adoring wife, a successful career, a beautiful house in High Point, and a doting mother. He is content, but he is not satisfied. Andy has long been attracted to men, and he feeds this desire one night in the bathroom stall of an Interstate 85 rest stop. Although in the past these trysts have been discrete, the police catch Andy this time, and he is arrested. Andy’s wife, at the insistence of her father (who is Andy’s boss), kicks him out, and he moves in with his mother. At his hearing, the judge offers Andy probation and an expunged record after a year if he if he goes to counseling. He is reluctant, considering his sessions with Reverend Matthew J. McGinley, S.J., M.D., to be a waste of his time. However, Father McGinley is persistent in helping Andy explore his past, even when that past is difficult. After a period of depression, alcohol and drug abuse, dangerous flings, and the death of his mother, Andy is able to make peace with himself and with his loved ones, including his former wife. In getting Andy to discuss his life, Father McGinley helps him to understand and accept where he is in the present as a gay man.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Gaston, Guilford, Mecklenburg, Mendicino, Tom, Piedmont, Watauga

Bart Bare. Girl. Vilas, NC: Canterbury House Publishing, 2010.

Loren Creek has been described as “precocious.” At fourteen, she wants people – specifically Judge Tilson and the foster care authorities – to take her maturity and independence seriously. The death of her mother has put Loren in danger of being forced to leave her home to live with strangers. When the judge rules that Loren must live with guardians until she becomes an adult, she and two surprising accomplices hatch a plan for Loren to leave Piney Flat, Tennessee and move to Boone, North Carolina, where she can blend in with Appalachian State University students. Dressing as a boy to evade the social worker who is searching for her in an effort to save his reputation, Loren starts anew as “Lorne.” Although she finds acceptance from an unlikely landlord, Loren must walk a fine line to protect her story. With interest from the football team, advances from smitten girls, and a dangerous confrontation from a friend’s angry ex-boyfriend, Loren’s task is more complicated than she ever imagined.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Bare, Bart, Children & Young Adults, Mountains, Watauga

May Dikeman Hoss. The Pike. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1954.

The Clabos are unconventional people living in the northwest corner of North Carolina (possibly Watauga County). The father, Lute Clabo, had been a fundamentalist preacher but now he’s an atheist. Mother Salie has also left any pretense of religion behind, but their daughter, Georgia, took a shine to the local Episcopal priest and has gotten mighty religious.  The two Clabo boys have left home–Earl marrying up and moving out, Hugh going to college and then the merchant marines.  It’s Hugh’s return that shakes up the family and the community as Hugh’s affairs scandalize all in this novel of family tensions, working class anger, and violence.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 1950-1959, 1954, Hoss, May Dikeman, Mountains, Watauga

Maggie Bishop. Murder at Blue Falls: The Horse Found the Body. Boone, NC: High Country Publishers, 2006.

Jemma Chase’s parents own a dude ranch near Boone where she works as a trail leader.   The ranch’s dining hall serves as a gathering place for locals as well as guests, with good food and better gossip.  When a rash of strange crimes begin to happen in town, Detective Tucker and his partner investigate all possible suspects, including Jemma.  The crimes become more serious, and then Jemma’s horse finds a dead body near a trail.  Tucker realizes that Jemma isn’t a suspect, she’s a target.  Jemma’s natural curiousity leads her to play CSI and investigate the crimes on her own in order to help Detective Tucker and the police department find out who is behind the crimes.   Detective Tucker is impressed with Jemma’s moxie, leaving readers to wonder if his desire to serve and protect is purely professional.

This is the third novel in Bishop’s Appalachian Adventure series.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2006, Bishop, Maggie, Mountains, Mystery, Novels in Series, Romance/Relationship, Watauga

Maggie Bishop. Emeralds in the Snow. Boone, NC: High Country Publishers, 2004.

Emerald Graham, a petite math professor at Appalachian State University, has always had the best of everything – the right clothes, the best schools, the promise of a large inheritance, and plenty of the gemstones she’s named after.  Em decides to take up skiing and after an embarrassing fall, meets Lucky Tucker, a handsome and rugged member of the ski patrol.  Lucky has been working since he was a young boy to help his large, close-knit family make ends meet.  Despite their drastically different lifestyles, Em and Lucky quickly find that they get along well.  After Em finds an old treasure map that used to belong to her grandfather, the two decide to embark on what appears to be an innocent adventure.  When they uncover an old murder and a case of emeralds, the pair opens up a mystery that shakes up both their families.  Will this tension drive them apart or closer together?

This is the second novel in Maggie Bishop’s Appalachian Adventure series, and includes cameo appearances by Wes and Suzanne from Bishop’s first novel, Appalachian Paradise.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2004, Bishop, Maggie, Mountains, Mystery, Novels in Series, Romance/Relationship, Watauga

Maggie Bishop. Appalachian Paradise. Boone, NC: High Country Publishers, 2002.

Suzanne decides to take a break from her workaholic tendencies as a computer programmer for a large Baltimore company and go hiking alone in the Pisgah National Forest.  She’s fiercely independent, driven, and always has a plan.  In fact, her 5-day solo hike is practically planned down to the minute, but all that goes out the window when her concerned uncle sends along an uninvited mountain man named Wes to keep an eye on Suzanne.  Despite Suzanne’s reluctance to let go of her itinerary and the initial tension of hiking with a handsome stranger, Wes manages to teach Suzanne how to slow down and see the forest through the trees.  As their romance grows, Suzanne becomes more aware of past disappointments, especially her relationship with her father who she hasn’t spoken to in over ten years.  When he shows up at one of Wes’ family gatherings, she is forced reconsider her emotional distance and embrace the present.

This is the first novel in Bishop’s Appalachian Adventure Series.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2002, Bishop, Maggie, Mountains, Novels in Series, Romance/Relationship, Watauga

Maggie Bishop. The Appalachian Adventure Series.

Maggie Bishop’s action-packed novels are all set in the North Carolina mountains and feature an unforgettable cast of characters.  In her contemporary novels, you’ll find mystery, nature, camping, hiking, skiing, and always a little romance.  The novels are centered around four cousins – Wes, Lucky, Tucker, and Grady.  Bishop’s first two novels feature Wes and Lucky and take place in and around Boone and Appalachian State University while her later two novels take place in Banner Elk and Lees-McRae College.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2010-2019, Bishop, Maggie, Mountains, Mystery, Novels in Series, Romance/Relationship, Series, Watauga

Maggie Bishop. Perfect For Framing. Boone, NC: High Country Publishers, 2008.

Jemma Chase normally works as a trail leader at her aunt’s ranch just outside Boone. Once winter arrives in the mountains, Jemma tries to get her dream job with the local police and starts making money as an amateur photographer and cabinet-maker.  When one of her clients–the much-disliked president of the local property owners association–has a break-in, Jemma’s CSI-wannabe tendencies start to emerge. Blackmail, arson, and murder soon enter the picture, and Jemma and her boyfriend Detective Tucker are on the case. This is the second book in the Appalachian Adventure Murder series, which feature Jemma and Tucker’s crime-solving talents.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2008, Bishop, Maggie, Mountains, Mystery, Novels in Series, Watauga