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The Writers Next Door

Is your neighbor the next New York Times bestseller?

The death of reading — like the death of Mark Twain — may be greatly exaggerated.
    For the Digital Age has given us high-quality, nearly instant do-it-yourself publishing. Thus the book each of us has within can find a publisher — if it finds an author.
    Then it must find readers.
    If you’re a reader in search of an author, you’ll find them on May 31 at Prince Frederick Library’s huge Author Festival.
    Forty-some authors, all with ties to Chesapeake Country.
    “We put on this event every few years to give local authors an opportunity to promote their work and to remind our community of what talented neighbors we have,” says library director Carrie Plymire.
    Impressed, Bay Weekly invited them to write a few words for you. We challenged them to the brevity modeled by The New York Times Magazine One-Sentence Book Review.
    Thirty-three responded. Here’s what your bookish Chesapeake Country neighbors have to say about themselves and their books.
    -Sandra Olivetti Martin

Breaking Tecumseh’s Curse a young wife tries to keep it together while her Secret Service agent husband tries to prevent the assassination of the president; a real-life memoir.

by Jan Marie Ritter of Chesapeake Beach: grandmother, retired teacher, cancer survivor

Eleven Minutes … a true crime novel with many photos, recounts the first bombing of a commercial airliner in U.S. aviation history, Flight 629; the massive investigations and nationwide manhunt leading to the arrest of a son who packed a dynamite bomb in his mother’s suitcase.

by Edward Davenport of Lusby: childhood follower of famous FBI investigations, possibly fell under the spell of the Flight 629 bombing during an FBI Museum tour

Father’s Day … At the Baltimore aquarium, a man takes a group of children hostage and threatens to kill them if his demands aren’t met; of course, it’s not that simple: There’s always a twist.

by A.T. Nicholas of Owings: family man and thriller novelist

The First Book of Carrie … change is only the beginning when you enter the paranormal universe …

by D. Antoinette of Baltimore: first-book fantasy novelist

In Full Glory Reflected: Discovering the War of 1812 in the ­Chesapeake … gripping stories of devastating raids, heroic defenses, gallant privateers, freedom-seeking slaves and threatened lands in the Chesapeake, where much of the War of 1812 occurred.

by Ralph Eshelman of Lusby: historian, first director of Calvert Marine Museum, authority on the War of 1812

The Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay and Other Tales of the Forgotten Chesapeake … dips into the chilly Tidewater to find a lost colony, play with really cool robots in the name of archaeological discovery and uncover a great white elephant of American history.

by Donald Shomette of Dunkirk: forensic underwater archaeologist and author of 17 books, many on Tidewater history

Hurricanes and the Middle Atlantic States … hurricane history is repetitive; the Bay region is due for something worse than Hurricane Isabel; that’s the lesson of 400 years of weather and storms in Chesapeake Country.

by Rick Schwartz of Alexandria: born on June 1, the first day of the official hurricane season; Southern Maryland childhood sights of ocean-like waves and strong gales of Hurricanes Camille and Agnes fueled a life-long interest

Living the Dream Again … a female hockey player wins a place on a major league men’s team; she forges friendships; falls in love (naturally) and comes close to death — twice.

by Lucia Wall of Gambrills: family woman and romance writer

Mary’s Land was born when I thought it was time to write about my people, Anglicans, hence the story of Lord Baltimore’s rowdy colony of settlers both high born and low in the 1630s.

by Lucia St. Clair Robson of ArnoldHistorical novelist with 9 novels set across American’s past; wrote her first, Ride the Wind, while working at the Eastport/Annapolis Neck Library

The Optimistic Autistic: Our Testimony … a testimony of love, dedication and faith guides families in the face of adversity.

by Leah ‘Sage’ Reynolds of Calvert County: author, family woman and autism advocate

The Pirate’s Ruby … a classic mystery set in gemstones, warmed and humored by human and canine antics.

by Lynn Franklin    of Chesapeake Beach: jeweler, author of the five-star Amazon bestselling Jeweler’s Gemstone Mystery Series and wife of double Pulitzer Prize ­winner Jon Franklin

Secret Agent of God … kidnapped by terrorists seeking her prophetic visions, Marylander Janice Morrison must use her gift to prevent hundreds of deaths, including her own.

by Eileen Slovak of Chesapeake Beach: family woman and debut author of a spiritual thriller

Singles Moving Forward: Favored, Focused, and on Fire … it’s possible for a single person to be content while having hope in God’s promises and living with love, joy, purpose and wisdom

by Anita Hairston of Calvert County: minister and federal projects manager

Spirited … a psychic who hates her gift and a cop out to solve a string of burglaries fight their attraction to focus on the case when her ghostly visions suggest that thefts have turned to murder.

by Mary Behre of King George, Virginia: 1990 Calvert High School gradudate

So Am I: What Teaching in a Prison Taught Me … get to know the men locked in maximum security — as I did as their teacher — and you’ll find that most of them are just like the rest of us; flawed, capable and seeking to fulfill their purpose.

by Merle Morrow of Sunderland: retired lawyer, teacher in a maximum-security prison and volunteer in Maryland’s prisons and ­juvenile detention

Soul Awakened … Egyptian underworld gods return to life with the action, romance and deadly curses you’d expect from a mummy movie.

by Jean Murray of Sunderland: nurse by day, writer by night of Key to the Cursed series: Soul Reborn, Soul Awakened, Soul Unbound and Soul Unleashed

Spyglass House …  an adventure in time travel, with Rex Barney on a steam train ride to steal the jewels of Norpur.

by Peter E. Abresch of Prince Frederick: Spyglass House is his 12th published novel.

Those Iconic Weather-Worn ­Tobacco Barns … encapsulates the months and years of labor dedicated to family provisioning in generations past.

by J. Carlton Sharp of Severn: traveled the world with the National Security Agency only to return to an interest born in the 1940s, watching Edward R. Murrow’s TV show See It Now

Tiger Upstairs on Connecticut Avenue … poems inspired by love, karate, critters, war, jungles, painters, prisoners, the dying, the living and the ­loving.

by Elisavietta Ritchie of Brooms Island: author of 17 books translated into a dozen languages; mentor and world traveler

Tomorrow My Sunshine Will Come: Memoirs of Women Who Survived Domestic Violence ... offers hope to women still trapped in abuse and helps survivors heal, restore and ­forgive.

by Jennifer Foxworthy of Lusby: 21-year Navy woman, founder of both Internationally Speaking and Unstoppable You Women’s Conference

Trident Deception … the 24 missiles carried by a TRIDENT ballistic missile submarine can obliterate a country, leaving behind a wasteland; only a single radio transmission stands in the way.

by Rick Campbell of Germantown: Florida-born newly retired 30-year Navy man, on his last submarine, shared authority to launch 24 nuclear warhead-tipped missiles; this debut novel, published by St. Martin’s Press, is hailed as the best submarine novel since Tom Clancy

Traitors Kiss/Lovers Kiss … two novels bound as one, both set in 1815, begin when a “nun” helps Gabriel Pennistan escape from a French prison. In the second volume, Lady Olivia Pennistan, dressed only in a shift, is found wandering in the woods.

by Mary Blayney of Port Republic: New York Times bestselling author of more than 20 novels and novellas

Wanted: One Ghost … historian April Branford finds love and a bit of mystery with 238-year-old roguish colonial ghost James ­Addison.

by Loni Lynne of Fredrick: world traveler and debut novelist with this paranormal romance novel


For Kids and Families 

Crabbing with Granddad … a granddaughter and grandfather share their love for being on the water, catching blue crabs and each other.

by Amy MacWilliams Schisler of St. Michael’s: family woman with three teenage daughters