Although I am personally way behind on my holiday shopping, I really want to recommend a few more books as gifts to readers who are always looking for something new or different. Today, I am focusing on some hometown writers that I admire and hope you will check them out either for the holidays or just whenever you get the urge.
The first recommendation is a new release, The Devil’s Waters, by the acclaimed writer David L. Robbins.
From Amazon: A giant freighter in the Gulf of Aden holds secret cargo that could bring down the governments of four nations. When Somali pirates grab the ship, the order comes down: get the freighter back, at all costs.
Only one combat group is close enough to respond before the hijacked freighter reaches Somali waters: the elite US Air Force pararescue unit—the PJs—stationed in Djibouti. Though their mission is to save lives, and their oath is “That Others May Live,” the PJs are battle-tested. The team doesn’t hesitate because one of their own, Sgt. LB DiNardo, is already onboard the hijacked ship.
LB has three tasks: provide intel on the pirates, stay alive until the team arrives, and withstand the humiliation of breaking the PJs’ cardinal rule: Never be the one who needs rescuing.
At the head of the pirates is the shrewd and ruthless Yusuf Raage, a clan leader who will sacrifice anything and anyone to keep his captured ship. The PJs have a mere hour to take down the ship before the Air Force blows it up. Even if they survive the wrath of Yusuf Raage, more secrets and danger await them.
I have been fortunate to see Mr. Robbins speak several times. He is not only an excellent writer but a driving force in our local writing community. He is a founding member of the James River Writers and more importantly, is also co-founder of The Podium Foundation, an organization helping kids find their voice – through oral and written word. If you like thrillers, this is a new release already getting lots of praise.
Another well-respected author in my hometown is Dean King. A non-fiction writer, he has published several books including Skeletons in the Sahara and Unbound: A True Story of War, Love, and Survival. Hot for 2013 is his new book, The Feud, the story of the Hatfields and McCoys, coming in May. King was featured in the 2-hour documentary on the feud that aired on The History Channel.
A lighter work but also by a local writer is the cozy mystery, Written in Stone: A Books by the Bay Mystery, by Ellery Adams, just published in November.
From Amazon: When Munin Cooper, known as the Witch of Oyster Bay, warns Olivia Limoges that death is coming, neither of them realize that it is the older woman herself who will soon be found dead. And Olivia’s instincts tell her that something—or someone—more sinister than a mystical force is at play…
Olivia has a lot on her plate preparing for the Coastal Carolina Food Festival. When she hears the news of Munin’s untimely death, however, finding the murderer takes priority. The witch left behind a memory jug full of keepsakes that Olivia knows must point to the killer—but she’s got to figure out what they mean.
With handsome Police Chief Rawlings by her side, Olivia starts to identify some of the jug’s mysterious contents—and finds its secrets are much darker than she suspected. Now Olivia must enlist the help of the Bayside Book Writers to solve the puzzle behind the piece of pottery and put an end to a vengeful killer before any more damage can be done…
And while Ina Garten’s latest book looks good (and I will probably buy it), one of my favorites is by Debi Shawcross (local, of course), Friends at the Table. What makes this book unique is that it’s all about hosting the traditional supper club with simplicity, fun, and fabulous food and drink. This is a beautiful book and I have found it to be a great gift.
Although this is only a sampling of ideas by a handful writers from my city, perhaps when you do your shopping this year, you will also look around in your own backyard. You may find that your city, too, is home to wonderful writers with a variety of talents. Happy Holidays to All!