Tag Archives: Journalists

J. Keith Jones. In Due Time. Hamilton, MI: White Feather Press, 2010.

As this novel opens, the American republic is getting a second chance.  Decades after the independent United States of America was absorbed into a world government, a rebel movement has ousted the globalists.  The rebels were led by Alexander Birch, a fighter from the mountains of North Carolina.  But while Birch is satisfied with the turn of events in the nation, a mysterious threat of a scandal is troubling him.  For help, he turns to another North Carolinian, the writer Howard Spence.  Through Spence, Birch and the reader learn the story of two young men, their unlikely friendship, the loves they find, the company they build, and the role they play in bringing liberty back to this country.  It’s a story of danger and personal betrayals, but also of  faith in the old values, courage–and time travel.

 

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

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Jones, J. Keith, Mountains, Piedmont, Suspense/Thriller

Jeanne Webster. Strays. Fawnskin, CA: Personhood Press, 2011.

Jane is deeply unhappy. At 24, just starting out in life, she feels as though she has come to the end of the road. She lives with a smothering boyfriend in Atlanta, a city she dislikes, putting her dreams of being an author on hold just to make ends meet. She exists, but she does not live, no matter how hard she tries or prays for some kind of sign. No one answers. Things disintegrate further when she looses her job. With only a few hundred dollars in her bank account and feeling lost, she heads north to a cabin in the Smoky Mountains to regroup and get her life back on track. One wet, rainy day, she stops at a mountain outlook, thinking that if God is anywhere, surely she will find Him here. But the silence is louder than ever. Enraged and frightened, she pleads, screams, and threatens whatever is out there until a chance misstep sends her crashing onto the stony outcrop.

Waking with a large, throbbing lump, Jane is at first frightened and then bewildered to find that she has developed an interesting gift: she can understand the speech of animals and plants. Soon, a guide arrives: a tough and capable but compassionate stray mutt who calls himself Max. With Max as her companion, Jane slowly learns about the power that has always existed within her to change, to choose, and to fill her life with meaning. Together they wander the mountains, speaking with ancient trees, animals, and insects who share their purpose and wisdom with the two strays.

Jeanne Webster, a certified life coach, has written a narrative that is both a novel and a guide for those of us seeking our own passion and authenticity as human beings. Based around Native American stories she heard as a child, the plot is heavily focused on Jane’s, and by extension the reader’s, inner journey. As Jane finds her truth through the wisdom of the natural world, we begin to believe that such a transformation is possible for us as well. Readers will be particularly charmed by the sweet and lovable Max, a familiar figure of wisdom and grace to any friend of dogs.

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

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Mountains, Religious/Inspirational, Webster, Jeanne

Deborah Wallis. Sweet Dreams and Flying Machines. New Bern, NC: McBryde Publishing, 2010.

What would you do if your husband died and no one will give you a straight answer about why it happened?

When Major Danny Weaver’s Harrier jet goes down during an air show at Cherry Point Marine Air Station everyone’s initial assumption is that it was a terrible accident.  Did a part break?  Was the maintenance check incomplete?  Was it pilot error?   Abby, Major Weaver’s widow, is relieved when the commanding officer tells her that a preliminary investigation has ruled out pilot error, but she is disturbed when he warns her to expect a prolonged investigation and some uncomfortable questions.  It seems that Danny’s unit is under investigation for an unspecified problem.

Abby had some hints that the unit had problems.  Not long after the unit returned from Iraq, Danny had words with another officer, and an enlisted man asked for Danny’s help with a personal problem that forced Danny to go up the chain of command.  Abby didn’t push Danny for details, but after his death she wished that she had.  Using the skills she learned as a reporter, Abby embarks on an investigation that exposes the dark side of several service members’ lives. She also puts herself and her young son in danger.

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

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Carteret, Coast, Craven, Mystery, Novels in Series, Wallis, Deborah

Alice J. Wisler. Hatteras Girl. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2010.

Jackie Donovan is about to turn thirty and she still has not realized her two life-long goals: to be married to her soul mate and to own and operate a bed and breakfast at the old Bailey House. When she interviews Davis Erickson, a local Outer Banks real estate agent, for a magazine article, Jackie finds a charming, handsome bachelor who also happens to be the owner of the Bailey House. She shares her interest of the property with him, and they begin seeing each other. When Davis decides that Jackie has the right passion for the Bailey House, he offers her a rent-to-buy option. The catch is that she and Minnie, her best friend, must agree to run it exactly as his grandparents, the Baileys, had. The two women had been fond of the Baileys and are happy to continue their traditions, such as serving their special lemon cookies.

Just when Jackie begins to think that her situation is too good to be true, she realizes that it is. She catches Davis cheating on her, and her close friend, Buck, gives Jackie evidence that Davis is a dead-beat landlord. She enlists the help of her devoted family members, friends, and co-workers to expose Davis’s crimes. He quickly cowers at the threat of a damaged reputation and agrees to properly fix up the house. At last, just a few months after turning thirty, Jackie finds herself falling in love with Buck and the proprietor of the newly reopened Bailey House.

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

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Coast, Dare, Romance/Relationship, Wisler, Alice J.

Cheris Fredricka Hodges. Searching for Paradise. San Jose: Writers Club Press, 2001.

Kenya Washington is just starting out as a journalist.  After a stint in Georgia, she is back in North Carolina, working in Greensboro.  She likes being back in the state where she went to college and feels that she is making some progress in her career, but her love life is stalled.  Her good friend, Drew, a DJ on an Atlanta radio station, is in a similar boat. Drew’s radio show is just taking off, but she is still within the orbit of her college boyfriend, Xavier.  Luckily for Drew, a young doctor has moved into the apartment next to hers.  Drew may find love, but what about Kenya?

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2001, Guilford, Hodges, Cheris F., Mecklenburg, Piedmont

Sharon Wildwind. Soldier on the Porch. Detroit: Five Star, 2007.

For the past two years, former military policewoman Avivah Rosen has been trying to make a new life in Asheville, North Carolina and to forget about her role in a scandal in Vietnam. However, after a deadly explosion at the Veterans Affairs hospital where she works as a security guard, Avivah’s life is in grave danger. When she is approached by the F.B.I. and offered protective custody, Avivah realizes that the ugly truth will surface. In Long Bien, Vietnam, Avivah’s major ordered his four officers to kill six American soldiers – all Black and Hispanic. Now, Avivah is the only surviving officer with knowledge of the crime.

Elizabeth Pepperhawk, also known as Pepper, is a nurse at the VA hospital and Avivah’s housemate and best friend. After coming into work intoxicated on the night of the explosion, Pepper also finds herself at risk – of losing her job. To keep her job Pepper agrees to attend workshops led by the hospital’s personnel department. She meets an interesting cast of characters in class, but Pepper often butts heads with the Director of Personnel and the session leader. When a team-building outing in the mountains goes wrong, the lives of Pepper and her classmates are put at risk.

Avivah and Pepper’s stories merge as the F.B.I investigates the explosion and the two women, along with their friends, explore why Avivah’s former major was in Asheville. As their lives become increasingly more at risk, the women realize that they can trust no one. They must figure out who is killing people close to them – before they become the next victims of an unlikely perpetrator.

Soldier on the Porch is the third novel in Sharon Wildwind’s Elizabeth Pepperhawk/Avivah Rosen Vietnam Veteran Mystery Series.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2007, Buncombe, Madison, Mountains, Mystery, Novels in Series, Suspense/Thriller, Wildwind, Sharon

Edward Vaughn. The Evil That Men Do. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2007.

The Ku Klux Klan was a dividing force in many southern families in the middle of the twentieth century. For the Morris-McConnell family of Cumberland County this is especially true. In a story that spans the 1930s to the early 1960s, the reader witnesses how the hate group affected relationships as well as influenced opinions. Opening on the day of LT McConnell’s birth, this novel reveals how ingrained the KKK is in the lives of Wadesville men. LT’s father, grandfather, and doctor are all members. However, LT’s strong-willed mother, Birdie, has no respect for the group, and she teaches her son to be accepting of all people. For example, one of Birdie’s best friends is Sara Willis, the black woman she insisted deliver LT, much to her husband’s displeasure. Birdie’s resolute attitude against the KKK puts her at odds with many member of the community, including her husband and father.

When LT’s father is away serving in World War II, Birdie takes over his poorly-run weekly newspaper, turning it into a respected daily publication and fulfilling her dream of a career in journalism. Because she writes with a liberal tilt and encourages Sara to write a medical column in the paper, Birdie captures the attention of the local KKK. When she and her friends find suspicious fires set on their properties, they persuade LT, who is now a Duke medical student, to infiltrate the KKK so that they will be aware of the group’s next move. Tricking his grandfather into believing that he disagrees with his mother’s “socialist” ideas, LT joins the KKK and learns that members plan to burn down Sara’s house – with her in it. With the help of the FBI, LT is able to protect his mother and her friends from danger and to shut down the local KKK. LT and Birdie are willing to take a stand against the hate group, even if it means going against his or her father’s wishes and putting their lives in peril.

The Evil That Men Do is Edward Vaughn’s first novel in his “Cumberland County Series.”

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2007, Coastal Plain, Cumberland, Historical, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Vaughn, Edward

Kevin Burton McGuire. Fire Gazer: Arson at the Wolfe House. Asheville, NC: Reminiscing Books, 2009.

It’s the summer of 1998 and newspaper reporter Ben Jennings is assigned to interview a man who claims to have seen ghosts on the grounds of the old Highland Hospital in Asheville.  DC is that man.  He’s intelligent and provocative and he has a ragtag following.  DC is also on the scene of an unexplained fire that breaks out in downtown. As Ben accompanies DC to his camp near Riverside Cemetery and then around town, he begins to fall under DC’s spell even as he witnesses DC’s eerie ability to make a fire on any spot. Although as reporter Ben sees clues that point to another fire, he doesn’t suspect that it will be at one of Asheville’s most famous landmarks.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2009, Buncombe, McGuire, Kevin Burton, Mountains

Fern Michaels. Fast Track. New York: Kensington Publishing Corp., 2008.

Fern Michael’s Sisterhood, the tight group of women who seek revenge on individuals who dodge justice, is back in the States after banishment to a Spanish villa as a result of their last adventure. Now on a remote mountaintop estate in western North Carolina – Big Pine Mountain in Yancey County, to be exact – the fugitives are faced with undertaking a new high-stakes, extremely dangerous venture. When approached by World Bank board members who are concerned with the misplacement of twenty billion dollars (yes, billion with a “b”), the women accept the challenge to find fairness for the bank’s beneficiaries… and the blank check. The Sisterhood travels to Washington, D.C. to take down the slimy Maxwell Zenowicz, who is serving as World Bank president thanks to his questionable Capitol Hill connections. The money is recovered, the corrupt playboy is punished, and the elusive group succeeds once again.

This is the tenth novel in Fern Michaels’ Sisterhood Series, but not all of the novels in the series are set in North Carolina.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2008, Michaels, Fern, Mountains, Novels in Series, Suspense/Thriller, Yancey

Tom Wicker. The Devil Must. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1957.

Just outside of Marion (a town that might be Lumberton, Hamlet, or Rockingham), a farmer is murdered.  A young African American man is accused of the killing, but newspaperman Sandy Martin thinks he is innocent. The murder itself is gruesome, but what Martin uncovers during his investigation is worse: political corruption, personal betrayals, witchcraft. This is a dark picture of a small southern town in the last days of one party rule and Jim Crow.

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

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Filed under 1950-1959, 1957, Coastal Plain, Mystery, Wicker, Tom