Tag Archives: authors

New Arrival: The Titanic – Lily’s Story by Jamie Contreras

On April 15, 2012, it will have been 100 years since Titanic sank. Titanic set sail with 2,228 passengers and crew. Only 705 Titanic people survived.

This is the story of one of its passengers, Lily and her family. They are traveling first class with their servants and the family dog, Khloe. Lily is a rambunctious little girl that is always looking for adventure! While on board, Lily meets a little red-haired girl, name Katy Grace. Katy is traveling from Ireland with her aunt’s family to America. Katy recently lost her parents and even though her Aunt took her in, she is not welcome. Lily and Katy become quick friends and enjoy having the run of the ship. Lily’s Father was one of the designers of the Titanic and worked for Harland and Wolff, so Lily knows all about the ship from him.

Will Lily’s family survive the sinking?

Will Katy’s spiteful family survive or will an unfortunate fate place her in the care of a family that she longs for so desperately?



Jamie will be at Barnhill’s on Saturday, April 21st from 11-1 reading from and signing copies of her book.


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Green Gospel by L.C. Fiore

Charles Fiore, author of Green Gospel was recently in the store discussing his debut novel.

Fleeing the FBI, eco-terrorist Edie Aberdeen escapes to the small, rural town of Arcadia, Florida. She hopes to reinvent herself and forget her criminal past. But when she falls in with a mega-church whose pastor preaches a fiery brand of environmental fundamentalism, she must choose between abdication and one final, radical act to save the church from financial ruin.

Several unforgettable characters narrate this vivid debut novel that examines the roots of fundamentalism, the powerful sway of community, and cuts to the heart of the question of whether or not people change.

Here is a brief video taken while he was here describing why he felt compelled to write this book.


Alex Shakar, author of The Savage Girl wrote:  ” A powerfully unfolding story of the changing landscapes of our time – physical, cultural, and personal.  With Green Gospel, L. C. Fiore establishes himself as a writer of extraordinary sensitivity and insight.”

Here is another brief clip of Charles reading from his book.


Autographed copies of this book are still available at Barnhills.

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Coming Soon to Barnhills: Green Gospel by I.C. Fiore

Here is a great review that was published in the Greensboro News & Record on Oct.  18th about this book.



Page Turners

Books with a North Carolina accent.

October 18, 2011

Dark green

Image accompanying article

The new novel, “Green Gospel,” the first by Durham resident L.C. Fiore, examines an age-old question: Can people change? The question, this time, is posed in terms that burn and explode. It’s a story so today that the actions that drive it could be online at the Huffington Post right now.

Ecoterrorist Edie Aberdeen, a California college dropout, is on the run from the FBI in the opening scene. She has hooked up with a coyote hauling a truckload of illegal immigrants to harvest crops in Florida. She’s fleeing the botched firebombing of a lab in San Francisco. She’s not sure, but she might have killed her lover in the chaos at the lab.

I’ll pause a minute here so you can check for such a posting. …

Aberdeen winds up in the fictional small town of Arcadia, which seems to be Central Florida, somewhere north of the theme parks. She becomes a live-in nanny with a single mom. The mom is struggling to raise two small boys on a hospital aide’s salary. As Edie emotionally adopts them, they, in turn, almost literally adopt her. The rhythms of their domesticity allow the novel to examine the nature of family and community.

People aren’t born terrorists. It’s a job you learn. Aberdeen’s political development and growing frustrations with situations that seem immune to change are nicely developed. She’s entirely believable.

She isn’t the only well-drawn character. The novel has several. Mae — she’s the hospital aide — is overweight, overworked and unable to keep a clean house and properly feed and clothe her two young sons. Her ne’er-do-well husband, in and out of jail, is mostly absent. But the emotional carnage he left in the household is present every day. One of the boys doesn’t talk since his father left.

The author tagged him with a terrible name, Vester, which I found annoying. It’s one of those Southern backwoods names that reeks of stereotypes. The meanest country boy I ever met was named Roger.

Mae is a member of a fundamentalist church, whose pastor, the Rev. Reginald Dancer, is trying to salvage his career through a gospel-inspired solar farm. He doesn’t think small, but financial machinations and a declining membership are putting the squeeze on him.

Mae is so insistent that Aberdeen becomes involved in the church, too. One of the nicest scenes in the novel is the church Christmas pageant, which centers on what is called the Living Christmas Tree. The choir stands on scaffolding to project a tree effect. At the top of the tree, just under the roof of the church, stands the star, Edie Aberdeen.

What makes the tree such a rich metaphor is that it echoes an earlier scene in the novel. Aberdeen is a true-blue tree hugger. She camped in the branches of a California redwood in an attempt to prevent the tract from being logged. It ended in disaster, further radicalizing her.

So, when she’s in the Christmas tree, a comic situation, the scene is filled with tension as you remember the earlier tree episode. Fiore deserves a congratulations for bringing this off.

Fiore is communications coordinator of the N.C. Writers Network, based in Carrboro. He holds an M.A. in creative writing from Northwestern and has had several short stories published.

His sentences sound forced at times: “She felt the pavement spin as if she were the handle of a Chinese yo-yo — flimsy and brightly colored paper twirling in a child’s hand.” In another instance, “gliding through intersections like the blade of an ice skate glides across a frozen lake.” He was describing a car.

The annoyances and shortcomings are small. This is a well-written, well-structured novel.

So, can people change? Yes, some can. Some do.

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New Arrival at Barnhill’s: Over Her Dead Body by Karen Vaughn

 Over Her Dead Body Author: Karen Vaughan Reviewed by Fran Lewis

Just how far would you go to keep your man? To what lengths would an over the hill, used up pushing forty year old due to keep her hot 84 year old husband of more than 20 years? After all he is rich, gives her all the perks she wants and for that she keeps him relatively happy if you know what I mean. So, why would she be jealous of an octogenarian old woman who is friends with her husband? Ethel Peterson had an untimely death. Well, not really she had some help. Someone came into her apartment and beat her over the head with a bat. From the prologue of the story we learn that someone was paid one million dollars to rid the world of this lovely lady. But, just who and why remains to be seen. From the talented author of Dead On Arrival where our main character Laura comes home and finds a dead coworker in her living room comes another hilarious murder filled with twists, mayhem, wild and zany characters and two building supers that play sleuth to help solve the case. Once again author Karen Vaughan delivers a first rate mystery. Ethel is gone but her family does not seem to care. Or do they? Coming to see her affects and check out what needs to be done, her niece Adrianna shows no emotion and just wants to be done with anything related to poor Ethel. Laura is more than upset at this girls unacceptable behavior and can’t imagine why she treated the incident and Ethel like yesterday’s trash. But, there is much more as we meet Sanford Brown who has a special interest in this case and who adored Ethel. Well, wife Leena who is tons years his junior, does not like and did not like the relationship and who will do anything to keep her rich sugar daddy. But, would she commit murder? Just as Laura and her live in boyfriend Gerry begin cleaning out apartments, dealing with Ethel’s death several incidents happen letting the reader know that someone is not happy that she is snooping around and someone just might get hurt. Her car is vandalized, her boyfriend is injured and someone on the phone verbally threatens her but she thinks she knows who that might be. Added to that to make matters even worse her ex-husband is hired by the owners of the restaurant where she works as the cook. Dealing with that and much more Laura surely needs more than just a hug from Gerry and support from her friends and family. So, what will happen when wife Leena learns that Sandy is about to try and cut her loose? What will be the killer’s next move? Things get complicated as Gerry is injured, Laurie’s car is vandalized, Sandy is shot and one loony tune wife is on the run or just out there causing more havoc than she is worth. Let’s not forget sister Jackie who has issues with Leena of her own. Added to that Jackie and her father are definitely two of a kind and have a borderline personality that tips in the wrong direction when crossed. Did Leena pay someone with her father’s money to off poor Ethel? Just how far would this lunatic go before more bodies are found? If Laura did not have enough trouble she relates to the reader how her ex-husband is having trouble with his parents and his new boyfriend who is pressuring him to make a permanent commitment. Sandy relates how Leena followed him to the Senior Center and demanded his drop poor Ethel? Poor Detective Gibbons never knew what hit him when Laura came to live in his town and poor Gerry is getting fed up with her playing amateur detective. Poor Laura can’t seem to win and she is getting it from all sides. Added to that a star witness is murdered, the sister needs protection, security has to be beefed up at Sandy’s and Laura now needs a police escort. What will happen next? When will the nightmare be over and will they ever be able to prove who killed Ethel and why? Then Laura and Jackie are kidnapped and taken to stand trial. Wait until you find out who the judge is. Threatening to shoot jurors, kill Laura and Jackie will anyone find them before it’s too late? With an ending that will keep you guessing, laughing and definitely in suspense author Karen Vaughn once again delivers a wild and zany mystery with characters that are so unique and different you hope they come back for more. Will poor Laura ever go home and not find herself smack dab in the middle of a murder? Will they remain where they are or will they decide to move? Will Gerry and Laura ever tie the knot? What happens to Leena will endear you not only to the police department but to Sandy, Laura, Jackie and of course Gerry in more ways than one. What happens when a woman decides no one is going to take her man? What really happened to Ethel and how many people were involved in her murder? That is something I promised Gerry, Laura and Office Gibbons I would never divulge. After all: They still have to bring the culprit to trial. What is next for Laura and Gerry? Let’s hope author Karen Vaughan has more mysteries, plots, murders and excitement in store for our two favorite supers, amateur sleuth and of course readers. What happens at the end to prove that Adrianna might not be so cold and that she just might have loved her aunt? Find out for yourself when you read this great book.

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Barnhills is going to be at Bookmarks on Saturday Sept 10th!!!

A free annual one-day street book festival featuring readings, discussions,
book signings, workshops, storytelling, demonstrations, and performances
with more than 30 authors, illustrators, and chefs representing all genres.
Reading-related exhibitors and food vendors, a Young Readers Central Area,
and an onsite bookstore selling featured authors’ books are also included.
Save the date of Saturday, September 10, 2011. The festival takes place in the
Downtown Arts District on Sixth and Trade Streets.

Bookmarks Website
Last years Festival

Check back for updates!

Authors at our booth include!
10-11 Children’s:
Kim Underwood with Illustrator Garnet Goldman, Libby Bagby, Carolyn S
 Michele Manderine, Roosevelt Pitts Jr
11-12 Poetry and Prose:
Helen Losse, Richard Krawiec, Patricia Hall, Malaika King Albrecht, Becky
Gibson Gould, Jessie Carty
12-1 Self Help and Personal Interests:
Janet Nestor, Allen Speer, Marta Felber, Robert Hardy, Sarah Bush, Wilt
1-2 Mainstream Authors:
Gary Bolick, Cathy Langston, James Munden, Steve Lindahl, Laura Wharton
2-3 Romance/ Sci-Fi and Fantasy
Richard Nance, J. Keith Jones, Leslie Neil Strickland, Susan Surman, John
Garland, Honey A Hutson,
3-4 Crime and Mystery
Sean Keefer, John J Hohn, Karen Fritz, Aaron Phillip Clark, Michael Renegar,
Amy Spease
4-5 Hodgepodge
Bowman Gray, Brian Clarey, Jean Rodenbough, Heather St. Aubin-Stout,

All Day Guests-
Second Wind Publishing:
Calvin Davis (Mainstream/Romance)
J Conrad Guest (Romance and Sci-fi/Mystery)

Sean Keefer (crime-mystery) 2:30-4:30
Honey A Hutson (Romance/Paranormal) 1-3
Leslie Neil Strickland (Steamy Romance 1-3
Libby Bagby (Children’s) 10-12

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This week at Barnhills

Whew!  Last week was busssy!  Terri Kirby Erickson was here on Thursday reading from her latest book, In the Palms of Angels – thank you Terri!  On Friday, children’s author, Laura Alston was here for storytime.  On Saturday, atty/writer Sean Keefer was here reading from and signing copies of his book, The Trust.  And on sunday, local author, Carolyn Peterson was here reading from and signing copies of her book, Fishing for Memories – a touching story about Alzheimer’s.

This  week we will be almost as busy!  On Friday, Iron Gate Winery will be here offering FREE tastings of their unique wines.

On Saturday, local children’s author Ross Mihalko will be here reading from and signing copies of his book, The Caterpillar’s Wings, at 11am.

Then starting at 2pm, author Jo Maeder will be reading from and signing copies of her book, When I Married My Mother – a touching tribute to her mother.  This books was featured on the AOL homepage for  Mother’s Day.

Then on Sunday we have a bookclub meeting here.  FYI, we also have room for bookclubs – just call us and reserve your time. 

Please check out our website at www.onlyatbarnhills.com for a complete listing of events.  Have you hugged your favorite book lately????  🙂

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This week at Barnhills

Last week was awesome!!!  On Sunday, May 1st, Jim Minick was here reading from and signing copies of his book, The Blueberry Years.  On Thursday, Mary Noble Jones was here again for storytime.  Saturday, Valerie Nieman was here reading from and signing copies of her latest novel, Blood Clay.  Also on Saturday, Surry Oak Vineyards was offering FREE tastings of their wonderful wines.  We now have all their wines open for tasting!!  🙂

This coming week will be just as fabulous!!!  On Thursday, the wonderful local poet, Terri Kirby Erickson will be here reading from and signing copies of her latest book, In the Palms of Angels.

On Friday, we will have storytime with Laura Alston, author of My Pet Rocky Renee.

 On Saturday, author/lawyer Sean Keefer will be here reading from and signing copies of his book, The Trust.  Blending elements of traditional southern literary fiction, suspense and mystery, you won’t be satisfied until the final page is turned.

Then on Sunday, Carolyn Peterson will be here reading from and signing copies of her book, Fishing For Memories.  This is an awesome tribute to her uncle who had Alzheimer’s and also a wonderful story for both children and adults.

Another busy week at Barnhills – have you visited our store yet?  If not what are you waiting for?  We have something for everyone in the family – a great children’s section, wonderful books, awesome gifts and art, and of course some fabulous North Carolina wines. FREE wine tastings daily.   Come visit us today!

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