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Spooks Branch, a human history story

Spooks Branch was a singular place in settlers’ loreby Rob NeufeldImportant editorial note:This is a significant historical story that is also, in parts, personal and controversial.  It is about a few families who settled a particular cove and played out their heroic and complex legacies in ways that interacted with place and time.  You don't read this kind of story much because people don't like to expose themselves or stir up trouble, even a little.  This caution makes history classes boring…See More
Dawn Trowell Jones updated their profile
City Lights Bookstore posted events
Nov 21
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

The Rise of Asheville by Marilyn Ball

History of the "Asheville 1000" and the 1970s renaissance                       Let’s not miss the history of Asheville’s renaissance, Marilyn Ball’s new book, “The Rise of Asheville,” advocates.            She’d come here in 1977, making her one of the advance guard of “artists, entrepreneurs, and off-the-grid…See More
Nov 20
Rob Neufeld posted a blog post

Century-ago woman's apple cake recipe

Mmm, them apples in Beaverdam coveIn 1972, Helen Nelon wrote about the traditions of old-time Spooks Branch, off Beaverdam Road.  Here's what she said about her use of apples in a cake.(The full story of Spooks Branch will appear soon.)There were apples for delicious cider cooled in the spring "dreem" (drain), apples for frying for cold winter days, and for special days there were dried apple sauce fruit cakes.These cakes were made of very thin, sweet dough with dried apple sauce spread between…See More
Nov 18
Rob Neufeld posted discussions
Nov 16
Rob Neufeld posted a blog post

Dignity is the key to Richard Russo's inspiration

So funny, and yet so exposing--Richard Russo's geniusSnakes on the lane            In Richard Russo's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Empire Falls, the protagonist, Miles recalls the time his father, driving, had accelerated into a box on a highway.  “What if that box had been full of rocks?” Miles asks.  Unfazed, Max quizzes his son about what he would do about the box.  Max says he'd stop and look in it,  “What if it was full of rattlesnakes? “ his father asks.            The verbal match…See More
Nov 14
Rob Neufeld posted discussions
Nov 13
Rob Neufeld commented on Mark de Castrique's video
Nov 12
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Humanize the history--especially with Civil War--writes acclaimed author

Writer illuminates tangled web of Civil Warby Rob Neufeld             David Madden has written a book, “The Tangled Web of the Civil War and Reconstruction,” that deserves special attention.            First, there’s Madden’s background.  In 1992, he founded the U.S. Civil War Center in New…See More
Nov 12
Rob Neufeld posted discussions
Nov 11
City Lights Bookstore posted events
Nov 10
Rob Neufeld posted a blog post

Coming attraction--Singleton at Malaprop's & City Lights for Calloustown

George Singleton's latest collection of stories, Calloustown...features the folk who try to survive in a place that has little to offer besides a Finger Museum and a taxidermy petting zoo,It's funny, but also tragic and angry.  The review, "Love-hate humor cries in Calloustown," appears in the Asheville Citizen-Times, Sunday, 11/15/2015.  Singleton's at Malaprop’s Bookstore, 7 p.m., Wed., Nov. 18; and at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva, 3 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 21.Here's an excerpt from the…See More
Nov 10
Lockie Hunter posted an event

Juniper Bends Quarterly Reading at DownTown Books & News

November 13, 2015 from 7pm to 8pm
Our very special Autumnal edition starts at 7PM and is sure to be a lively and vibrant set, with featured writers Randi Janelle, Tina FireWolf, Logan Parker, and Annabelle Crowe. Two of our readers have new books out, and as always there is wine flowing by donation. Hosts Lockie Hunter and Caroline Wilson look forward to seeing you there----remember, your wellbeing depends upon it.See More
Nov 9
Martha Arrowood Pelc posted a photo

Love and Mercy ~ Up On Roan Mountain

My family lived and loved up on Roan Mountain and in the surrounding mountain areas, and this is their story. It's woven into a tapestry that weaves down through the years, before the days of the Civil War and up to present day. They were…
Nov 9
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

It's All Relative--50 WNC women write about family

Family life as perceived by 50 WNC authorsby Rob Neufeld             If you have biases against small press books or anthologies of local writers’ work, I recommend you lay them aside and take a look at “It’s All Relative” (Stone Ivy Press), 52 stories and poems by 50 WNC women authors writing about family.           …See More
Nov 6

What’s new with the region’s books

by Rob Neufeld


We End in Joy: Memoirs of a First Daughter by Angela Fordice Jordan (Univ. Pr. of Mississippi hardcover, Aug. 2012, 191 pages, $25).   The politically liberal daughter of a conservative Mississippi governor relates the in-the-spotlight life of her family, which underwent her parents’ divorce; an honest, intimate portrait of a popular couple’s fall from grace, and their coda.  Jordan now lives in WNC.  See author website at


Three Graves Full by Jamie Mason (Simon & Schuster: Gallery Books hardcover, Feb. 2013, 320 pages, $24.99).

Darkly humorous debut thriller novel about a man who accidentally kills another man and buries the body in the backyard, where landscapers later unearth two more unknown bodies; written by a WNC resident.   The novel got starred reviews in “Publisher’s Weekly” and “”Booklist.” See author website at  Mason speaks at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café, 55 Haywood St., Asheville (254-6734), 7 p.m., Feb. 23, 2013.


The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd (Balzer + Bray hardcover, Jan. 29, 2013, 432 pages, $17.99).  Debut novel by a Brevard native and Asheville resident; young adult Gothic thriller inspired by a story by H.G. Well’ “The Island of Dr. Moreau.”  A 16-year-old girl in 1894 London travels to her estranged father’s island and finds murder, madness, romance, and the taint of madness in herself.  See author website at  Shepherd speaks at Highland Books, 277 North Broad St., Brevard (884-2424), 5 p.m., Jan. 29; and at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café, 55 Haywood St., Asheville (254-6734), 7 p.m., Feb. 2.


Shadows Tail Them Home by Pris Campbell and Scott Owens (Clemson University trade paper, Dec. 2012, $15.00).  A continuation of an earlier work; a sequence of poems, collaboratively written, describing a relationship; written by local poets.  See Scott Owens’ website, “Musings,” at  The authors speak at Taste Full Beans Coffee House, 29 2nd Street Northwest, Hickory (325-0108), 2 p.m., Sat., Jan. 26.


Just Holler Bloody Murder by Dershie McDevitt (CreateSpace trade paper, December 2012, 298 pages, $12.12).  Debut mystery novel about a naturalist who returns to her home on Timicau Island, SC and encounters development, murder, and the disappearance of a 9-year-old boy; written by an Asheville resident.  See author website at  McDevitt speaks at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café, 55 Haywood St., Asheville (254-6734), 3 p.m., Mar. 10.


Awakening to the Dance: A Journey to Wholeness by Georganne Spruce (CreateSpace trade paper, June 2012, 290 pages, $12.99).  Memoir of the author’s search for an authentic identity through many forms of spiritual healing; written by an Asheville resident. See author website.  Spruce speaks at Grateful Steps Publishing House & Bookshop. 5 p.m., Feb. 9.


Alma’s Prayer by Robert Heffner (Dog Ear trade paper, Oct. 2012, 192 pages, $14.00).  A woman takes drastic measures to keep her family together as the Civil War begins to affect the Blue Ridge Mountains, and she worries about her son in the Confederate Army; written by a local author about WNC.


It’s My Trail, Too: A Comanche Indian’s Journey on the Cherokee Trail of Tears by Ronald Cooper (CreateSpace trade paper, Oct. 2012, 366 pages, $18.95).

The author, a member of the Comanche Nation, journeyed down the Cherokee Trail of Tears National Historic Trail in early 2011. This memoir of his experience expresses self-reflection, tribal pride, and inspiring determination; written by a Whittier resident.


The Hotten Report by Robert McDonald (Finbar Press trade paper, Dec. 2012, 168 pages, $14.95).

A “blow-by-blow account” of the Battle of the Bulge during World War II, “and a moving tribute to the indomitable spirit of the American combat soldier:; written by a WNC resident.


The Gathering by J. Dwayne Craigo (PublishAmerica trade paper, Aug. 2012, 155 pages, $24.95).  The 4th of July celebration in a small east Tennessee town is graced by the President’s visit and disturbed by others.



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