Lady Banks' Commonplace Book is a newsletter for people interested in Southern literature, sponsored by booksellers who are members of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) and featuring an overview of the literary news and events found on Authors 'Round the South.


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{Of alligators and pans full of hot grits}

In which mothers hand out books like communion wafers, a woman scorned gets even with the help of a pan full of hot grits, a family is proud of their indoor plumbing, alligators do battle, Kathryn Magendie admits that her mother is always right, and divine inspiration arrives at a wholly inappropriate moment.

Septmber 18, 2011

In This Issue

Special to the Southern List

(Books that appear on the Southern list, but not the national list)

Click on a book to purchase from a great indie bookstore!

Killing the Blues

Ballad of Tom Dooley

New York to Dallas

The Family Fang

Iron House

What it is Like to Go to War

Just My Type

Crooked Letter Crooked Letter

In the Company of Others

Safe Haven

The Reservoir



In the Sanctuary of Outcasts

Clark Howard's Living Large in Lean Times

Fall of the House of Zeus


DEvil in the White City

Fahrenheit 451

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Strategic Moves

Llama Llama Red Pajama

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes


Author Readings

starsValerie Nieman, author of Blood Clay at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, NC  (September 23 2011)

starsLisa Patton, author of Yankee Doodle Dixie at Litchfield Books in Pawleys Island, SC  (September 23 2011)

okraSharyn McCrumb, author of The Ballad of Tom Dooley at Malaprop's Bookstore & Cafe in Asheville, NC  (September 23 2011)

Myra McLarey, author of Water From The Well at That Bookstore in Blytheville in Blytheville, AR  (September 23 2011)

Stuart Woods, author of Son of Stone at Inkwood Books in Tampa, FL  (September 23 2011)

Scott Phillips, author of The Adjustment at Nightbird Books in Fayetteville, AR  (September 24 2011)

Janice Hardy, author of Darkfall at FoxTale Book Shoppe in Woodstock, GA  (September 24 2011)

Meg Medina, author of Tia Isa Wants a Car at Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, VA  (September 24 2011)

starsDebra Moffitt, author of Awake in the World at Park Road Books in Charlotte, NC  (September 24 2011)

Lisa Shroyer, author of Knitting Plus: Mastering Fit + Plus-Size Style + 1 at Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh, NC  (September 24 2011)

starsHaywood Smith, author of Wife-In-Law at Eagle Eye Book Shop in Atlanta, GA  (September 24 2011)

Casi McLean, author of Wingless Butterfly at Eagle Eye Book Shop in Atlanta, GA  (09/24/2011)

STEPHANIE PERKINS, author of Lola & the Boy Next Door at Malaprop's Bookstore & Cafe in Asheville, NC  (September 24 2011)

Dr. Erica Abrams Locklear, author of Negotiating a Perilous Empowerment: Appalachian Wo at Malaprop's Bookstore & Cafe in Asheville, NC  (September 25 2011)

William Rohe, author of The Research Triangle: From Tobacco Road to Global at Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh, NC  (September 25 2011)

JEFF SHARLET, author of Sweet Heaven When I Die at Malaprop's Bookstore & Cafe in Asheville, NC  (September 26 2011)

Arthur Golden, author of Memoirs of a Geisha at Hub City Bookshop in Spartanburg, SC  (September 26 2011)

okraSharyn McCrumb, author of The Ballad of Tom Dooley at Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh, NC  (September 26 2011)

Rick Bragg, author of The Prince of Frogtown at Alabama Booksmith in Birmingham, AL  (09/26/2011)

Stephanie L. Tyson, author of Well, Shut My Mouth: The Sweet Potatoes Restauran at Literary BookPost in Salisbury, NC  (September 27 2011)

Carl T. Smith, author of Louisiana Burn at Fiction Addiction in Greenville, SC  (09/27/2011)

Carolyn Sakowski, author of Touring the Western North Carolina Backroads at Park Road Books in Charlotte, NC  (September 27 2011)

Sandra Gutierrez, author of The New Southern-Latino Table at Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, NC  (September 27 2011)

Monika Schröder, author of My Brother’s Shadow: Berlin 1918: A Nation in Turm at Malaprop's Bookstore & Cafe in Asheville, NC  (September 27 2011)

Mike Lupica, author of The Underdogs at Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh, NC  (September 27 2011)

okrastarsPatti Callahan Henry, author of Coming Up For Air at Book Exchange in Marietta, GA  (September 27 2011)

Heather Brewer, author of THE CHRONICLES OF VLADIMIR TOD and THE SLAYER CHRO at Octavia Books in New Orleans, LA  (September 28 2011)

starsLisa Patton, author of Yankee Doodle Dixie, Whistlin Dixie in a Nor'easte at Park Road Books in Charlotte, NC  (September 28 2011)

okraJanisse Ray, author of Drifting into Darien: A Personal and Natural Histo at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva, NC  (September 28 2011)

Amy Kalafa, author of Lunch Wars: How to Start a School Food Revolution at Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh, NC  (September 28 2011)

Tom Ryan, author of Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Lit at Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, VA  (September 29 2011)

starsNorma Watkins, author of The Last Resort at Inkwood Books in Tampa, FL  (September 29 2011)

Martha Southgate, author of A Taste of Salt at Eagle Eye Book Shop in Atlanta, GA  (09/29/2011)

starsNorma Watkins, author of The Last Resort at Inkwood Books in Tampa, FL  (September 29 2011)

Jenny Wingfield, author of The Homecoming of Samuel Lake at Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, NC  (September 29 2011)

Oma Boyd, author of Round This Mountain at Barnhill's in Winston-Salem, NC  (9/29/2011)

Alina Simone, author of You Must Go And Win at Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh, NC  (September 29 2011)

starsLisa Patton, author of Yankee Doodle Dixie at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, NC  (September 29 2011)

Carolyn Sakowski, author of Touring the Western North Carolina Backroads at Malaprop's Bookstore & Cafe in Asheville, NC  (September 29 2011)

Michelle Buckman, author of Rachel’s Contrition at Litchfield Books in Pawleys Island, SC  (September 30 2011)

Hank Wesselman, author of The Bowl of Light at Malaprop's Bookstore & Cafe in Asheville, NC  (September 30 2011)

Jenny Wingfield, author of The Homecoming of Samuel Lake at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, NC  (September 30 2011)

Thomas D Perry, author of Mount Airy North Carolina (History and Memory) at Barnhill's in Winston-Salem, NC  (9/30/2011)

Charles Frazier, author of Nightwoods at Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh, NC  (September 30 2011)

Authors Round the South

Dearest readers,

Her ladyship spent last week in the "Holy City," Charleston, SC and while she did not attend any church services, it was nevertheless a pilgrimage of sorts. Last weekend was "#siba11" -- that is twitter-shorthand for the SIBA Trade Show, a book industry show held every year to showcase new fall titles. And while yes, her ladyship attended to meet the many authors, see the many new books on the exhibit tables, she also attended simply to be surrounded by people who love books. And she can assure her readers that there is no single group of people who love books and reading more than those who have decided to make their living at it. The Man in the MoonSo as gratifying as it was to see an early glimpse of The Man in the Moon, William Joyce's newest children's book (the picture doesn't do it justice), or hear the laughing tones of Sandra Brown's unmistakably Texan accent as she deftly avoided saying where she gets the ideas for all those sex scenes in her books, the real pleasure for her ladyship was simply in walking the isles, talking to all sorts of people about what they were reading and what books they couldn't wait to read next.

Tables were often baited with bowls of candy and chocolate to entice the attendees closer to the exhibits, like flowers calling to bees (or perhaps spiders calling to flies?). "What I wouldn't give to see a bowl of carrot sticks," grumbled one health-conscious bookseller but her ladyship was more than satisfied with the endless supply of individually-wrapped Reese's Cups. At the end of one long aisle stood a man dressed as a cowboy and a woman dressed like Caroline Ingalls (she must have been quite warm in that outfit). At the end of another aisle waiters were rolling out a table covered with plates holding slices of sweet potato pie. And as her ladyship walked by one table, a nice elderly woman began reciting poetry to her; all original, all rhyming, all divinely inspired. Her ladyship was inspired to ask the woman how many poems she knew by heart--which only received a vague wave of a hand that suggested "too many to count", and yet another recitation. "The Lord sends them to me at any time," the woman confided. "Once, I was in the shower! I had to get out to write it down. And once, I was at a funeral," (her voice was outraged) "and I thought 'Lord, I am at a funeral!'" But it turned out for the best, she explained, because in the poem was a message of comfort for the grieving family--who had it put onto a plaque. The gentleman at the table on her left, who had written a memoir about growing up during the Depression, and the woman at the table on her right, who had written a book about riding a horse from Mexico to Canada by herself, were both riveted by the story.

And at nearly every table there was this--someone clutching a new book, or galley, or sometimes just a sheaf of papers glued together--telling anyone who would listen "You've got to read this!"

Which may be her ladyship's single favorite sentence in the English language.

Happy, happy reading!

her ladyship, the editor

Southern Indie Bestsellers

For the week ending Sunday, August 28, 2011

Columbia, SC - September 4, 2011 - The Southern Indie Bestseller List, as brought to you by and SIBA, for the week ended Sunday, August 28, 2011. Based on reporting from the independent booksellers of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance and

STARS - A STARS Author | Okra Pick! - A SIBA Okra Pick
Titles in red are SIBA Book Award winners and finalists!
Printable versions: Hardcover | Paperback | Children.

Hardcover Fiction

1. The Night Circus
Erin Morgenstern, Doubleday, $26.95, 9780385534635
2. The Paris Wife
Paula McLain, Ballantine, $25, 9780345521309
3. State of Wonder
Ann Patchett, Harper, $26.99, 9780062049803
4. Rules of Civility
Amor Towles, Viking, $26.95, 9780670022694
5. The Art of Fielding
Chad Harbach, Little Brown, $25.99, 9780316126694
6. Robert B. Parker's Killing the Blues
Michael Brandman, Putnam, $25.95, 9780399157844
7. A Small Hotel
Robert Olen Butler, Grove Press, $24, 9780802119872
8. A Dance With Dragons
George R.R. Martin, Bantam, $35, 9780553801477
okra9. The Ballad of Tom Dooley
Sharyn McCrumb, Thomas Dunne, $24.99, 9780312558178

10. New York to Dallas
J.D. Robb, Putnam, $27.95, 9780399157783
11. The Leftovers
Tom Perrotta, St. Martin's, $25.99, 9780312358341
12. The Family Fang
Kevin Wilson, Ecco, $23.99, 9780061579035
13. The Language of Flowers
Vanessa Diffenbaugh, Ballantine, $25, 9780345525543
14. Iron House
John Hart, Thomas Dunne, $25.99, 9780312380342
15. The Keeper of Lost Causes
Jussi Adler-Olsen, Dutton, $25.95, 9780525952480

Hardcover Nonfiction

1. Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy
Caroline Kennedy, Michael Beschloss, Hyperion, $60, 9781401324254
2. Unbroken
Laura Hillenbrand, Random House, $27, 9781400064168
3. That Used to Be Us
Thomas L. Friedman, Michael Mandelbaum, FSG, $28, 9780374288907
4. In the Garden of Beasts
Erik Larson, Crown, $26, 9780307408846
5. Go the F**k to Sleep
Adam Mansbach, Ricardo Cortes (Illus.), Akashic, $14.95, 9781617750250
6. In My Time
Dick Cheney, Threshold Editions, $35, 9781439176191
7. Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness
Alexandra Fuller, Penguin Press, $25.95, 9781594202995
8. 1493
Charles C. Mann, Knopf, $30.50, 9780307265722
9. The Greater Journey
David McCullough, S&S, $37.50, 9781416571766
10. The Eighty-Dollar Champion
Elizabeth Letts, Ballantine, $26, 9780345521088
11. The Black Banners
Ali H. Soufan, Norton, $26.95, 9780393079425
12. Bossypants
Tina Fey, Reagan Arthur Books, $26.99, 9780316056861
13. What It Is Like to Go to War
Karl Marlantes, Atlantic Monthly, $25, 9780802119926
14. Just My Type
Simon Garfield, Gotham, $27.50, 9781592406524
15. Here Comes Trouble
Michael Moore, Grand Central, $26.99, 9780446532242

Trade Paperback Fiction

1. The Help
Kathryn Stockett, Berkley, $16, 9780425245132
2. Cutting for Stone
Abraham Verghese, Vintage, $15.95, 9780375714368
3. Sarah's Key
Tatiana De Rosnay, St. Martin's Griffin, $13.99, 9781250004345
4. The Art of Racing in the Rain
Garth Stein, Harper, $14.99, 9780061537967
5. A Visit From the Goon Squad
Jennifer Egan, Anchor, $14.95, 9780307477477
6. Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter
Tom Franklin, Harper Perennial, $14.99, 9780060594671

7. Room
Emma Donoghue, Back Bay, $14.99, 9780316098328
8. A Secret Kept
Tatiana De Rosnay, St. Martin's Griffin, $14.99, 9780312553494
9. Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
Helen Simonson, Random House, $15, 9780812981223
10. Fall of Giants
Ken Follett, NAL, $25, 9780451232571
11. In the Company of Others
Jan Karon, Penguin, $16, 9780143119913
12. One Day
David Nicholls, Vintage, $14.95, 9780307946713
13. Safe Haven
Nicholas Sparks, Grand Central, $14.99, 9780446547604
14. The Reservoir
John Milliken Thompson, Other Press, $15.95, 9781590514443
15. Headhunters
Jo Nesbø, Vintage, $14.95, 9780307948687

Trade Paperback Nonfiction

1. Cleopatra: A Life
Stacy Schiff, Back Bay, $16.99, 9780316001946
2. Heaven Is for Real
Todd Burpo, Thomas Nelson, $16.99, 9780849946158
3. Unlikely Friendships
Jennifer S. Holland, Workman, $13.95, 9780761159131
4. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Rebecca Skloot, Broadway, $16, 9781400052189
5. F in Exams
Richard Benson, Chronicle, $9.95, 9780811878319
6. Outliers
Malcolm Gladwell, Back Bay, $16.99, 9780316017930
7. The Emperor of All Maladies
Siddhartha Mukherjee, Scribner, $18, 9781439170915
8. 1491
Charles C. Mann, Vintage, $16.95, 9781400032051
9. In the Sanctuary of Outcasts
Neil White, Harper Perennial, $14.99, 9780061351631
10. Clark Howard's Living Large in Lean Times
Clark Howard, Avery, $18, 9781583334331
11. Empire of the Summer Moon
S.C. Gwynne, Scribner, $16, 9781416591061
12. The Fall of the House of Zeus
Curtis Wilkie, Broadway, $16, 9780307460714
13. Night
Elie Wiesel, FSG, $9.95, 9780374500016
14. The Devil in the White City
Erik Larson, Vintage, $15.95, 9780375725609
15. Born to Run
Christopher McDougall, Vintage, $15.95, 9780307279187

Mass Market

1. A Storm of Swords
George R.R. Martin, Bantam, $8.99, 9780553573428
2. A Game of Thrones
George R.R. Martin, Bantam, $8.99, 9780553593716
3. To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee, Warner, $7.99, 9780446310789
4. A Clash of Kings
George R.R. Martin, Bantam, $8.99, 9780553579901
5. A Feast for Crows
George R.R. Martin, Bantam, $8.99, 9780553582024
6. Fahrenheit 451
Ray Bradbury, Ballantine, $6.99, 9780345342966
7. American Assassin
Vince Flynn, Pocket, $9.99, 9781416595199
8. Painted Ladies
Robert B. Parker, Berkley, $9.99, 9780425243626
9. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Mark Twain, Bantam Classics, $5.95, 9780553210798
10. Strategic Moves
Stuart Woods, Signet, $9.99, 9780451234452

Children's Illustrated

1. Goodnight Moon
Margaret Wise Brown, Clement Hurd (Illus.), Harper, $8.99, 9780694003617
2. Llama Llama Home with Mama
Anna Dewdney, Viking, $17.99, 9780670012329
3. Llama Llama Red Pajama
Anna Dewdney, Viking, $16.99, 9780670059836
4. The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Eric Carle, Putnam, $10.99, 9780399226908
5. The Wizard of Oz: A Scanimation Book
Rufus Butler Seder (Illus.), Workman, $14.95, 9780761163732
6. Skippyjon Jones, Class Action
Judy Schachner, Dutton, $17.99, 9780525422280
7. Otis and the Tornado
Loren Long, Philomel, $17.99, 9780399254772
8. Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes
Eric Litwin, James Dean (Illus.), Harper, $16.99, 9780061906220

9. Where the Wild Things Are
Maurice Sendak, Harper, $17.95, 9780060254926
10. Pat the Bunny
Dorothy Kunhardt, Golden, $9.99, 9780307120007

Children's Interest

1. Wonderstruck
Brian Selznick, Scholastic, $29.99, 9780545027892
2. Darth Paper Strikes Back
Tom Angleberger, Amulet, $12.95, 9781419700279
3. The Book Thief
Markus Zusak, Knopf, $12.99, 9780375842207
4. Wildwood
Colin Meloy, Carson Ellis (Illus.), Balzer & Bray/HarperTeen, $17.99, 9780062024688
5. The Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book
Jeff Kinney, Amulet, $12.95, 9780810989955
6. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Ransom Riggs, Quirk, $17.99, 9781594744761
7. Thirteen Reasons Why
Jay Asher, Razorbill, $10.99, 9781595141880
8. Charlotte's Web
E.B. White, Harper, $7.99, 9780061120268
9. Hatchet
Gary Paulsen, Aladdin, $6.99, 9781416936473
10. Perfect
Ellen Hopkins, Margaret K. McElderry Books, $18.99, 9781416983248

Children's Fiction Series Titles

1. The Hunger Games
Suzanne Collins, Scholastic, $8.99, 9780439023528
2. Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)
Suzanne Collins, Scholastic, $17.99, 9780439023498
3. Mockingjay (The Final Book of the Hunger Games)
Suzanne Collins, Scholastic, $17.99, 9780439023511
4. Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer
John Grisham, Puffin Books, $7.99, 9780142417225
5. Big Nate on a Roll
Lincoln Peirce, Harper, $12.99, 9780061944383
6. Dogs in the Dead of Night (Magic Tree House #46)
Mary Pope Osborne, Sal Murdocca (Illus.), Random House, $12.99, 9780375868245
7. Theodore Boone: The Abduction
John Grisham, Dutton, $16.99, 9780525425571
8. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
J.K. Rowling, Scholastic, $12.99, 9780439358071
9. The Power of Six (Lorien Legacies, #2)
Pittacus Lore, Harper, $17.99, 9780061974557
10. Torn (The Missing, #4)
Margaret Peterson Haddix, S&S, $16.99, 9781416989806


Good Gossip

Literary News & Gossip passed along from the readers, the writers, the reviewers, the resellers, the riff raff, and dutifully repeated here by her ladyship (who falls into the last category).

As I Lay Dying"Faulkner’s novel, Fuller says, “shows the mind of each Bundren turning itself inside out, struggling to understand the world in his or her own exceptional but distorted way.”" Faulkner's As I Lay Dying on Stage

"To my mother, a library was a palace of desire masquerading in a wilderness of books," Conroy writes. "She distributed books to me as though they were communion wafers." Pat Conroy chosen for first Author Read Series

Silver SparrowTayari Jones grew up hearing the story: Mary Woodson White, scorned girlfriend of R&B legend Al Green, doused him with hot grits, supposedly because he refused to marry her. Okra pick author Tayari Jones novel The Silver Sparrow Featured in Harvard Gazette

Her grandparents’ house, just across the ditch, had the first indoor plumbing in Teachey, NC and family lore swears that people came from miles around just to watch the toilet flush. You Don't Sweat Much for a Fat GirlIn the studio with Celia Rivenbark and River Jordan

About an hour later, when Gavin was getting ready for bedtime, he couldn’t find Goggy. This disappearance was a bit of a problem since the puppet was known for having trouble sleeping unless Gavin was nearby. Indie Bookstore Park Road Books rescues frog puppet.

Plus, Eudora Welty's Garden, That Bookstore in Blytheville (AR) celebrates their 35th anniversary, Inkwood Books (Tampa, FL) will be twenty years old this fall, and Fannie Flagg receives the Harper Lee Award, for which she is properly in awe.

Lady Banks' Commonplace Book

Noteworthy poetry and prose from her ladyship's bedside reading stack.Bartram: Travels & Other Writings

Alligator Battle Royale

The verges and islets of the lagoon were elegantly embellished with flowering plants and shrubs; the laughing coots with wings half spread were tripping over the little coves and hiding themselves in the tufts of grass; young broods of the painted summer teal, skimming the still surface of the waters, and following the watchful parent unconscious of danger, were frequently surprised by the voracious trout; and he, in turn, as often by the subtle greedy alligator. Behold him rushing forth from the flags and reeds. His enormous body swells. His plaited tail brandished high, floats upon the lake. The waters like a cataract descend from his opening jaws. Clouds of smoke issue from his dilated nostrils. The earth trembles with his thunder. When immediately from the opposite coast of the lagoon, emerges from the deep his rival champion. They suddenly dart upon each other. The boiling surface of the lark marks their rapid course, and a terrific conflict commences. They now sink to the bottom folded together in horrid wreaths. The water becomes thick and discoloured. Again they rise, their jaws clap together, re-echoing through the deep surrounding forests. Again they sink, when the contest ends at the muddy bottom of the lake, and the vanquished makes a hazardous escape, hiding himself in the muddy turbulent waters and sedge on a distant shore. The proud victor exulting returns to the place action. The shores and forests resound his dreadful roar, together with the triumphing shouts of the plaited tribes around, witnesses of the horrid combat.

--William Bartram, Travels & Other Writings (Library of America, 1996)


Club Read: Chapter Four

Club Read!3:30 – 4:15 -  Author Panel:  Dying to Love – Loving to Die?
Amy Stolls, The Ninth Wife
Greg Olear, Totally Killer 
Caroline Todd, A Lonely Death:  An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery
Passion Play!
Bananagrams with Jessica Anya Blau
Crossword puzzlers and Scrabble players will LOVE Bananagrams!  It's fast, fun, and there's no waiting around for the other players to find their words.  Come play--I'll teach you how!
Passion Play!
Ten Songs that Inspired a Writer with Matthew Norman
Hear the ten songs that influenced the writing of Domestic Violets, and the songs that always inspire me to write.

Passion Play!
In the Kitchen with Dolen  Perkins-Valdez
I love to cook. Join me in the kitchen where I’ll share a family recipe for a scrumptious coffee cake made with love.   I am from a family of southern cooks, and I love to serve cake & coffee.


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Okra Picks

Great southern books, fresh off the vine! Picked for you with care by Southern Indie Booksellers

Ballad of Tom DooleyThe Ballad of Tom Dooley

"A literary triumph--what began as a fictional re-telling of the historical account of one of the most famous mountain ballads of all time became an astonishing revelation of the real culprit responsible for the murder of Laura Foster 

"Hang down your head, Tom Dooley...The folk song, made famous by the Kingston Trio, recounts a tragedy in the North Carolina mountains after the Civil War. Laura Foster, a simple country girl, was murdered and her lover Tom Dula was hanged for the crime. The sensational elements in the case attracted national attention: a man and his beautiful, married lover accused of murdering the other-woman; the former governor of North Carolina spearheading the defense; and a noble gesture from the prisoner on the eve of his execution, saving the woman he really loved. 

With the help of historians, lawyers, and researchers, Sharyn McCrumb visited the actual sites, studied the legal evidence, and uncovered a missing piece of the story that will shock those who think they already know what happened--and may also bring belated justice to an innocent man. What seemed at first to be a sordid tale of adultery and betrayal was transformed by the new discoveries into an Appalachian Wuthering Heights. Tom Dula and Ann Melton had a profound romance spoiled by the machinations of their servant, Pauline Foster. 

Bringing to life the star-crossed lovers of this mountain tragedy, Sharyn McCrumb gifts understanding and compassion to her compelling tales of Appalachia, and solidifies her status as one of today's great Southern writers.

Was Tom Dooley Innocent?


Great Bookstores

An Indie Bookstore you should know

Burry BookstoreBurry Bookstore in Hartsville, SC

Then and now. . .

Burry Bookstore was established by Charles E. Burry, Sr. in August, 1972. Emily Burry Phillips took over the family business in 1994 and has continued the tradition of excellence that was built during those early years.

" Mr. Burry welcomed me to the store as if I was an old family friend. --a customer"

Burry BookstoreBurry Bookstore is a high-quality, full-line, family-type bookstore. We are members of the American Booksellers Association, the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, the Hartsville Downtown Development Association and the Greater Hartsville Chamber of Commerce.

Located in downtown Hartsville, South Carolina, on Carolina Avenue, we have been serving our community and the surrounding area for many years. We are known for offering our customers outstanding service, above and beyond their expectations. We enjoy reaching out and making a difference in our community. Please visit us when you are in the area and see for yourself what our friends and neighbors have been talking about for over 35 years.

See the newly renovated children's section!

Shop | Blog | Press | Events | facebook | twitter

Author 2 Author

Kathryn MagendieTake Me Home Mountain Mama: Kimberley Brock talks with Kathryn Magendie

It’s rare that you’ll come across an individual like Kathryn Magendie — in fact, I don’t believe you’re likely to find another. She is unique in many ways, a quirky little soul who is kind and full of laughter, bubbling with energy and a quick wit. She looks at the world (and believe me, she is looking) with a twinkle in her elfish eye. Don’t let her fool you. Her stories are described as unflinching, bittersweet, haunting and poignant. And I would say the same of this wise mountain woman, herself.

SweetieWhat is your favorite quality in a person?

Honesty. And that word means more than first apparent, because, to me, honesty means being authentic and respectful, among other things. It doesn’t mean someone uses the word “honesty” to spout off hurtful words to others under the guise of “I’m just being honest with you because I’m just the one to do it; you know, dear, if you can’t take a little criticism why don’t you grow a backbone, bless your heart . . .”

Really, if one were to pick apart some “honesty” or “let me tell you what I think because apparently you aren’t aware of what everyone thinks about you” they’d find some hidden motivations—envy/jealousy, lack of respect, fear, etc.

You’ll know Respectful Honesty when it inspires you to be a better person, when you feel positive and alive instead of negative and discouraged.

What is your least?

Lack of respect/dishonesty. Dig into the words and find the truth/honesty of them and discard the rest as rubbish (I just love saying/writing “rubbish” – it’s such a British term and makes me grin.)

As a child, did you dream of becoming a writer?

Naw, I don’t really recall it. However, my mom says I did and if a mom says something, then it has to be true, right? I vaguely remember winning a first-place prize for a short story I wrote in eighth grade, but I do not remember what it was about. No one really said anything more about it, so I suppose I just shrugged it off. But I also remember somewhere around that time writing a horror story and the school called my parents, alarmed about its content—lawd! My parents called me into their room, all serious, and I was so baffled. I said, “It was just a story. I just made up some stuff.” I don’t write horror because apparently I can tap into some awful dark stuff *laugh*

When I was a child, it was all about books and libraries and the book-mobile. I was a reading fool. I lived for books—my sanctuary from a chaotic life was the library, and the books inside were my friends and comforters and the ones to take me away to places where I’d rather be with the characters than where I really was (and oft-times the characters were animals—I went through a mighty dog, horse, wolf stage!).

Who/what influenced you to pursue your dreams?

My mother often said, “You can do anything. You can be anything.” But I didn’t believe that because . . . well, because of other influences in my life. Three things started me on this journey to believing in myself and what I do, even if I was in my forties before it all clicked.


Katherine Magendie is a STARS Author

Kathryn Magendie is a writer, editor, and co-Editor/Publisher of The Rose & Thorn. Her short stories, essays, photography, and poetry have been published in both online and print magazines. The Graces Sagas: Virginia Kate's Stories--Tender Graces released April 2009; Secret Graces released April 2010. SWEETIE, a novel, will be released Fall 2010.

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Kimberly Brock’s first publication, a short story in Summer in Mossy Creek, is part of an anthology published in mass market by Berkley Books. A second short story with publisher Bell Bridge Books is scheduled for release in 2011, as well as her forthcoming women’s fiction novel,The River Witch, out in May 2012. She has published in parenting magazines and won numerous awards, most notably first place in the Low Country Romance Writer’s Jasmine Contest and the Georgia Romance Writer’s Maggie Award for Single Title Fiction. She lives with her husband of fifteen years and their three children, north of Atlanta where she is working on her next novel.


STARS Authors on Tour

STARSWhat are "STARS" authors? These are authors listing in the Southern Traveling Authors Registration Service--a directory of authors who live in, or are traveling in the South and are interested in meeting with book clubs, civic groups, classrooms, and readers of all kinds. The STARS directory is brought to you by Southern Indie Booksellers, who want to connect readers with their favorite writers.

Kala AmbroseFeatured: Kala Ambrose

Kala Ambrose is an author, intuitive, wisdom teacher and voice of the highly acclaimed Explore Your Spirit with Kala Show. She is the author of 9 Life Altering Lessons: Secrets of the Mystery Schools Unveiled, Ghosthunting North Carolina and The Awakened Aura: Experiencing the Evolution of Your Energy Body. Kala is also the creator of a trilogy of sacred site guided meditation CDs and the National Metaphysical Spirituality Writer and National Haunted History Writer for the Examiner. As a wisdom teacher, she lectures on - the Ancient Wisdom of Egypt and Greece, Business Intuition, Auras, Chakras and Energy Fields, and Wise Woman Wisdom (also known as the Divine Feminine). Kala Ambrose is on a mission to educate, entertain and inspire.

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More STARS Authors:
see the full list online here and find the authors touring in your area here

Kala Ambrose   

Raleigh, NC 9/30/2011
Winston-Salem, NC 10/1/2011
Charlotte, NC  10/8/2011
Asheville, NC 10/15/2011

Ellyn Bache  

Pawleys Island, SC 11/4/2011
Wilmington, NC 11/5/2011
Asheville, NC 11/19/2011

Ben Baker  

Ashburn, GA 10/6/2011

Tracy Barrett   

Murfreesboro, TN 9/30/2011

Maggie Bishop  

John C. Campbell Folk School, GA 10/30/2011

Nancy B. Brewer   

Gold Hill, NC 9/24/2011
Arart, VA 10/1/2011
Mooresville, NC 10/4/2011 &  10/18/2011
Charlotte, NC 10/5/2011
Concord, NC 10/6/2011
Durham, NC  10/7/2011

Nancy Cohen 

Orlando, FL 10/1/2011
Delray Beach, FL  10/29/2011

Elizabeth O. Dulemba  

Brasstown, NC 12/2/2011

Mark Hainds 

Ponchatoula, LA  10/29/2011
Tallahasee  11/1/2011
Birmingham, AL 12/3/2011

Jennie Helderman   

Orange Beach, AL 10/4/2011
Fairhope, AL 10/8/2011
Orlando, FL 10/20/2011
Sterling, VA 10/25/2011
Atlanta, GA  11/19/2011 

Jessica James   

Warrenton, VA 9/24/2011

Peggy Millin  

Lake Logan, NC 9/25/2011

Pamela Bauer Mueller  

St. Simons Island, GA 9/23/2011
Fernandina Beach, FL  9/24/2011
Jekyll Island, GA 10/7/2011

Nancy Naigle  

Suffolk, VA  9/30/2011
Charlottesville, VA 10/15/2011
Emporia, VA 12/5/2011 &  12/8/2011

Valerie Nieman   

Chapel Hill, NC  9/23/2011
Greensboro, NC  9/24/2011
Charlotte, NC 10/10/2011
Fairmont, WV   10/13/2011
Morgantown, WV  10/14/2011
Weirton, WV 10/15/2011
Philippi, WV  10/17/2011
Charleston, WV 10/18/2011
Charlotte, NC  10/22/2011
Charlotttesville, VA 10/29/2011
Hillsborough, NC 11/16/2011

Lisa Patton  

Pawleys Island, SC 9/23/2011
Charlotte, NC 9/28/2011
Woodstock, GA 10/1/2011
Franklin, TN 10/2/2011
Greenville, SC 10/3/2011
Fairhope, AL  10/5/2011 
Columbia, TN 10/20/2011
Blytheville, AR 11/1/2011
Collierville, TN 11/1/2011
Greenwood, MS 11/9/2011
Tupelo, MS 11/11/2011
Oxford, MS  11/17/2011  

Melissa Peagler   

Kingsport, TN 9/23/2011
Charlotte, NC 10/5/2011
Spartanburg, SC 11/23/2011
Lancaster, SC  11/23/2011
Chester, SC 11/23/2011
Columbia, SC 11/25/2011
Asheville, NC 11/26/2011

Norma Watkins  

Highlands, NC 10/10/2011
Miami, FL 11/1/2011