Category Archives: 2009

2009

Paul Clayton. White Seed: The Untold Story of the Lost Colony of Roanoke. [Bangor, ME]: Booklocker.com, 2009.

White Seed follows the journey of the settlers of the Lost Colony, the third group sent to the Americas by Sir Walter Raleigh, as they fight to survive on what is now the North Carolina coast. But who would be daring, or desperate, enough to abandon his or her homeland, England, for the wilds of the Virginia Colony?

Maggie Hagger, a simple Irish girl running from a terrible deed, seeks indentured passage as a means of escape from the faceless man who pursues her. Accepted as a maidservant for Governor John White’s pregnant daughter Eleanor Dare, Maggie has no idea that she may be trading one death sentence for another. Thomas and Lionel, her erstwhile companions, flee from similarly unsavory fates in England, while others, like the greedy Portuguese captain Simon Fernandes, seek only the opportunity to take what fortune they can from the Natives or fat Spanish ships. As for Governor White, he plans to live out his days peacefully in the tranquil Chesapeake, where the Natives are friendly and the land is mild. But all these hopes are dashed when they are put ashore in Roanoke.

There, a bellicose chieftain, Powhatan, has already determined that he will capture and kill any English who return to his land. He is especially reliant on Towaye, the spy he instructed to be captured before the last English returned to their native land. Now Towaye is back with these new settlers, although he finds himself under the watchful eye of Manteo, a Native loyal to the English who raised him from a child in this interpretation of the tale. But Powhatan isn’t the settlers’ only problem. When John White returns to England for supplies, conditions begin to deteriorate, and soon Maggie, Thomas, Manteo, and others find themselves fighting not one, but two enemies: the angry Natives…and their own soldiers.

Readers will enjoy this fast-paced, epic account of the Lost Colony’s still-unknown fate, and will find the author’s artistic choices to be interesting deviations from accepted research and other fictional versions.

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

 

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2009, Clayton, Paul, Coast, Dare, Historical

H. Leigh Aubrey. A Keen Edge. New York: iUniverse, 2009.

Scott Davan is the man with everything: he is a partner in his father’s successful architectural firm, has a supportive wife and three loving sons, and at thirty-seven, is still in peak physical condition. Poised to run for state senator, he is Charlotte, North Carolina’s golden boy in every way. There’s no reason for him not to be happy…but he isn’t. Randall Davan is a controlling man who refuses to relinquish his hold on both his son and the business, and in reality, Scott’s relationship with his wife Paula has been cold and distant for years. When the senior Davan hires Scott an assistant without his knowledge, it’s the last straw, but not in the way he thinks. Instead of plunging Scott deeper into his father’s stifling grasp, Neil Phelan will free him.

Because Neil turns out to be just what Scott needs: he’s an excellent architect, a competitive jogging partner, and incredibly easy to talk with, not to mention handsome. There is an undeniable connection, and the two men fall for one another instantly. Neil has identified as gay for some years, always struggling with the fact. Scott has denied that he is anything but heterosexual for his entire life, and must now embark on an inner journey to find his true self. The outside world is little help. The Davans have always held conservative views on certain topics, homosexual relationships included. When Paula and Randall are faced with Scott’s self-discovery, a painfully difficult time ensues for all involved, especially the children.

H. Leigh Aubrey, a pen name for an author who has written over forty romances for straight audiences, has tackled some of the most charged issues in his first novel for “romantic gay men.” He fits a great deal into 288 pages, but the result is a combination of many different types of love: romantic, sexual, familial, and most importantly, the love and acceptance of oneself. Romance readers everywhere will enjoy Neil and Scott’s budding relationship, and applaud their courage in the face of so many trials.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2009, Aubrey, H. Leigh, Mecklenburg, Piedmont, Romance/Relationship

Richard Folsom. Indian Wood. [United States: BookSurge?], 2009.

Is it possible that three people were murdered because of something they found on an old reel of microfilm?  That’s what newspaperman Luther Surles wants to find out in this mystery that moves between the Court of Queen Elizabeth I and present day Greenville and Lumberton, North Carolina.

Carl Burden and Luther Surles met when they were covering a Klan rally in Robeson County in 1958. Carl was a cub reporter; Luther had been a newspaperman for a few years.  Luther stayed in journalism, but Carl went to graduate school and eventually became a history professor at East Carolina University.  Carl’s research interest is the Lost Colony and a possible connection between the colonists and the Lumbee Tribe.

Carl’s new graduate student, the lovely Roberta Locklear, is also interested in a Lost Colony-Lumbee connection, and soon both Carl’s research and his love life heat up.  But Roberta has her own history, and Luther begins to suspect that some piece of that ties into Carl’s murder.  This novel moves weaves stories of the wars, exploitation, and double-dealing of earlier centuries with a very twenty-first century story of property development and greed.  As a bonus, the book contains a novel-within-a-novel–Carl’s historical novella on the Lost Colony.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2009, Coast, Coastal Plain, Cumberland, Dare, Folsom, Richard, Greene, Historical, Mystery, Robeson

Eugene E. Pfaff, Jr. Guns at Guilford Court House. Greensboro, NC: Tudor Publishers, 2009.

The Revolutionary War has been going on for six years, and James Todd is beginning to feel even more conflicted about it. As a member of the New Garden Meeting House in Guilford County, North Carolina, he knows that he cannot participate in any violence, much less battle. To do so would put his Quaker standing into jeopardy. However, when James’s father is fatally injured by a British captain who steals the family’s horse, the teenager feels as if he has no choice. James must fight, in part to protect his family but also to avenge his father’s death. He befriends a free Black soldier named Glenn, and the two serve under General Nathanael Greene. General Greene, a disowned Quaker, understands James’ struggle in reconciling his religious convictions with his sense of patriotic duty. James provides geographic intelligence to the American army while addressing what to do when he comes face-to-face with his father’s murderer, accepting the Friends’ decision of his fate, and realizing the significance of friendship and family loyalty.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2009, Children & Young Adults, Guilford, Historical, Pfaff, Eugene E., Piedmont

Cleveland Jones. The Firescalds Road to the Sky. Summerville, SC: Holy Fire Publishing, 2009.

The Firescalds Road to the Sky is the life story of a young boy, called simply RC, growing up during the 1950s and ’60s. As a small child, RC lives happily on his family’s farm in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains. But when hard times come to the farm, RC’s father EC has to go back to work building ships in Newport News, Virginia. Getting by but unhappy at being separated, the family relies on hard work and their Christian faith, somehow finding a way to survive and be together. RC does his part, too: hauling groceries, mowing lawns, delivering papers, and anything else he can for his mother, sisters, and at times faraway father. He even has a furry, fierce companion for a few years: a spirited Airedale named Bobby. But the evils of the world are constantly at hand, and RC must remind himself to follow what he has been taught in order to stay safe and true to his faith. RC’s story is a successful one: he leads an upright, Christian life, and goes to college all the way in California. In the end, though, he returns to his roots in the Appalachians, where he finds what he has somehow always known: his family farm is the true road to Heaven.

This book promotes a strong Christian view of modern society and history and is filled with direct quotations from the Bible. It offers an inspiring story of a young man who pulled himself up by his bootstraps and found comfort in both the strength of his family and his religion.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2009, Jackson, Jones, Cleveland, Mountains, Religious/Inspirational

Elizabeth Towles. The Long Night Moon. Lady Lake, FL: Fireside Publications, 2009.

Darcie Edglon is a stereotypical teenage girl: she thinks mostly about boys, followed closely by shopping. But her whole world turns upside-down one terrible day in the spring of 1974 when her parents are killed in a car accident outside their hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. Her big brother, nineteen-year-old Ian, is suddenly in charge of the family. Strangely, he orders her to pack her things and drives a mystified Darcie out to the family house in the mountains, a spacious retreat known as Qualla’s Folly. When they arrive, Ian reveals that he knows Darcie’s shocking secret, one she tried to keep from both him and their parents. He intends to follow through with their parents’ plan to confine her in the mountain house, safe from gossip that might ruin the prominent Edglon name. Darcie is furious, but at least there is a distraction in the form of the quiet Native American handyman, Wa’si. Darcie is certain that all she has to do is ply him with her myriad charms and Wa’si will be her plaything. But the tall, dark and handsome Cherokee has a tragic past, and his stoic politeness presents a unique problem to a girl used to having her own way. But a reluctant lover is not the only difficulty Darcie faces. Left alone at Qualla’s Folly when her brother returns to school, the pampered teen must transform herself into a strong, self-reliant woman if she is to survive her shameful secret, the multiple dangers of the mountains, and maybe even find true happiness.

This suspenseful, surprising tale is the perfect addition to a blanket and beach umbrella on a relaxing summer weekend by the ocean!

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

 

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2009, Macon, Mecklenburg, Mountains, Piedmont, Romance/Relationship, Towles, Elizabeth

Blonnie Bunn Wyche. Cecilia’s Harvest: A Novel of the Revolution. Wilmington, NC: Whittler’s Bench Press, 2009.

Cecilia Moore is certain of two things: first, that she has to get away from her hardworking older sister Pauline and the hateful family tavern, and second, that Kenneth Black, atop his fine stallion, Big Boy, is the handsomest man in Wilmington, if not all North Carolina. The winter’s day in 1775 when he asks for her hand in marriage is the happiest of her sixteen-year-old life: he drapes her in a diamond necklace and promises to whisk her away to his prosperous farm full of servants. Cecilia cannot imagine that within a few months, just as the country plunges further into deadly warfare, she too will be fighting for mere survival. Murder, pregnancy, wild animals, and marauding British soldiers make life an unforgiving onslaught, and as quickly as Cecilia’s fortunes rise, the next day only brings more brutal tests. But Cecilia, in addition to being a crack shot with her rifle, is possessed of a nimble mind and a brave heart. Whatever dangers threaten, she finds she has the strength to rise and meet them again and again.

As Americans, we know the story of the Revolutionary War: taxation, then Declaration, followed by fighting and eventually freedom. But what of the smaller stories, the personal tales that won our nation its liberty? Blonnie Bunn Wyche follows her award-winning novel, The Anchor: P. Moore Proprietor, with the suspenseful story of a young woman struggling to survive the bitter years of revolution. Cecilia Moore Black is a stalwart, gutsy heroine who will make an excellent addition to any young adult’s reading list.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2009, Brunswick, Children & Young Adults, Coast, Historical, New Hanover, Pender, Romance/Relationship, Suspense/Thriller, Wyche, Blonnie Bunn

Dixie Land. Deadly Company. Kernersville, NC: Alabaster Books, 2009.

There’s a saying, “No good deed goes unpunished.”  That’s certainly the case for Diana Delaney.  After the company accountant shows Diana evidence that the company’s president has been cooking the books, the two women take their evidence to the police.  Before he can be tried for fraud, Frank Weston disappears; it is unclear if he has been murdered or if he has fled.  Diana suspects the later because shortly after Weston disappears, she and the accountant receive threatening phone calls.

The threats prove too much for Diana, so she flies to Greensboro, North Carolina with the idea of staying with her cousin Nora for a few weeks.  Nora has problems too–a close friend has been killed in a car accident, leaving two young daughter and a grieving husband.  Diana is drawn into helping the stricken family, and she puts down roots in Greensboro, working for Nora’s company and living with the dead woman’s sister.  But suddenly Diana begins to receive threats again, and she fears that the person who drove her from Wisconsin will threaten her life in North Carolina.  Diana fears for herself and for the new people in her life whom she has come to love.  Only after Diana is kidnapped does she learn who her true enemy is.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2009, Guilford, Land, Dixie, Mystery, Piedmont

Andrea Johnson. Blood of My Blood. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2009.

Samantha thought her life was on the upswing when she was adopted from an orphanage by Janet and Paul Rivers who brought her to live with them and their two children in Jacksonville, North Carolina.  Samantha began to blossom, making good grades and becoming a cheerleader.  But suddenly bad things began to happen in Jacksonville–poisonings, accidents, explosions, murders.  As this supernatural thriller opens, Samantha is on the run with Jason, a young drifter to whom Samantha has given her heart.  The two young people know that the violence in Jacksonville wasn’t random and that an evil force is coming for Samantha. Their journey takes them to Charlotte and then on to New York City where they learn they must go back to the small town of Melrose, North Carolina so that Samantha can find out who she really is.  Before the novel is over, readers will read the stories of Samantha’s mother and grandmother and learn Jason’s true nature.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2009, Coastal Plain, Horror, Johnson, Andrea, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Onslow

Keith Spence. The Blood of Saints. Winterville, NC: Shadow Line Press, 2009.

Law enforcement is not an easy job. Especially when dealing with criminals who will kill. Or when the offenders are high-level politicians, government officials, and business executives. Add money, national security, and ego to the mix, and police work is a very dangerous field. For Mike Saville of the F.B.I. and Lowri Pritchard of the U.S. Park Police, these are moot points. Both individuals will test the limits of their careers in order to get to the bottom of difficult cases.

Although Saville and Pritchard do not know each other, they are working on the same case. A series of suspicious deaths, officially ruled suicides, occur both in Saville’s (fictional) Kendall County (near Pitt County), North Carolina, and Pritchard’s Washington, D.C. Because the victims’ autopsies suggest self-inflicted wounds, the cases are supposed to be off-limits to Saville and Pritchard. However, they believe that something more sinister has occurred. By the time their victims’ connections unite the officers, each is in the midst of a perilous situation. Saville is beginning to uncover a multimillion dollar anti-terrorism deal gone bad, and Pritchard has connected a colleague to the killings and cover-ups involved in that tainted agreement. The information that they share with each other makes them even more unsafe. When Pritchard’s co-worker discovers what she has unearthed, he holds her captive and tortures her. Saville comes to her rescue. Their agencies officially get involved, and the criminals are arrested. Saville and Pritchard’s perseverance helps them get to the bottom of high-stakes crimes, protect national security, and find each other.

Some readers may be uncomfortable with Spence’s graphic descriptions throughout the novel. The torture scene is especially disturbing.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2009, Coastal Plain, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Pitt, Spence, Keith, Suspense/Thriller