Books

I always have three of four ideas for books I want to write, says OBXPG author Scott Fields

Outer Banks Publishing Group Author Scott Fields shared this recent newspaper article with us on the release of his newest book, The Geezer Bench.

Reprinted with permission from John Jarvis and The Marion Star

By John Jarvis
The Marion Star, Marion, Ohio

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The Geezer Bench

Scott Fields had written more than a half dozen books when a friend sat with him at his house to share his idea for another.

“I even have a title, The Geezer Bench,” Fields said, recalling the conversation. “Well, with just the title he got my attention.”

The novel tells the story of four friends who share their thoughts of the day as they sit on a public bench before returning to and from their private lives of mixed sorrow and happiness.

According to Fields, the book has been getting attention, “doing real well,” which pleases him for himself and for his hometown of LaRue, where he set the story in his eighth book.

“It’s not quite the same as it was back in the ’50s,” Fields, now a Mansfield resident, said. “In the ’50s it was your Norman Rockwell kind of setting: three or four grocery stores, five gas stations. You didn’t have to worry about taking your keys out of your car. … I’d go down to the Scioto River and go fishing and swimming.”

His previous book, “The Mansfield Killings,” based on a murder spree in 1948 in the Richland County city, has been his best-seller, he said. It also represented a departure from the type of writing he prefers: “I like for people to have a good feeling when they get done reading a book of mine, to see there’s a bright side at the end. That’s what life really is. That’s what I try to put in my books.”

Ironically, he’s writing another book about Robert Dale Henderson, a serial killer who claimed victims in southern Ohio, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina and Florida. He learned of the murders at a book-signing for “The Mansfield Killings” in Delaware, where he met a woman who said her aunt had been married to Henderson.

“I’ve got to write something I can’t imagine,” he said, referring to the violence at the center of the story.

Retired from retail management of Kmart and Pep Boys stores, the 65-year-old Fields in his youth was a talented pitcher for Elgin High School, having been drafted 34th in the 1966 Major League Baseball Amateur Baseball Draft by the Detroit Tigers, after future Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson and before stars such as Steve Garvey and Bernie Williams. He chose instead to go to Ohio University “to learn about writing.”

Scott Fields, sitting, at one of his recent book signings.

“My grandson still does not forgive me for that,” he said. “I played baseball. My dad worked with me all those years. (But) I really didn’t like baseball. I loved to pitch. … It’s something I’ve got to live with the rest of my life. You’re 18. You don’t know much about the world. I decided I’d go to college to learn about writing.”

He said the college instruction helped, but decided a person either has the skill to write or doesn’t. “You just need to practice,” he said.

Professional writing for Fields began about 20 years ago with short stories. “I got a few published, and someone said, ‘Why don’t you write a novel?’ So I did.”

He then started looking for an agent to help him market his books. The process took about 10 years, he said, remarking, “It’s harder to get an agent than to get a book published.”

The effort has been worth it, he said, sharing that with his agent’s help he likely will have two more books published this year.

He’s been around writing his entire life.

“My mother was a writer,” he said. “She never got published, but she was a very talented writer. From the time I can remember, probably since I was 5 years old, I had the idea of a story I always wanted to write. The pressure of family and making a living kind of put it on the back (burner).”

He said in his retirement he always has three of four ideas for books he wants to write. His son, Michael Scott Fields, also recently had a book, “Spirits of the Darkness,” published.

He said he “absolutely loved writing” his latest novel, adding that typically he doesn’t read a book after he writes it, but did read The Geezer Bench and found tears running down his face. “And I wrote it. It has some real touching things in it.”

LaRue has been the setting for some of his other books, as well, but not always without constructive criticism from local residents. He said none of “The Geezer Bench” arises from his own life, adding that he won’t even claim any allusion to places and things in the story to be entirely accurate.

“Even the stuff I put in as fact like the bench in front of the dry good store is up for debate,” he said, good-naturedly.

He said although they are not yet scheduled, he plans to do two book-signing events in Marion County.

jjarvis@marionstar.com
740-375-5154
Twitter: @jmwjarvis

Why Outer Banks Publishing Group is Green

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It’s nice to say you are a green company, but doing it effectively is another story.

With digital printing we don’t have thousands of books sitting in warehouses waiting to be sold – spent resources that may or may not be purchased and read.

We print books only when an order is received.

The majority of our book sales (85%) are electronic as manufacturers of ereaders have opened their walled gardens allowing their books to be read on any device, any platform, anywhere, anytime.

Think printed books will go away? No way. Did movie theaters close when home theater systems became mainstream?

The Association of American Publishers reported that the annual growth rate for eBook sales fell during 2012, to about 34% – a sharp decline from the triple-digit growth of the preceding four years.

But that doesn’t mean ebooks are going away.  A recent Pew Research Center survey showed that adults who have read an e-book increased from 16% to 23% in the past year. It also revealed that 89% of regular book readers said that they had read at least one printed book in the last year.

Ebooks are merely another channel, another technology to promote, sell and enjoy books. It compliments printed books. Printed books won’t go away – there will just be fewer printed.

Fewer printed books is not good for the big six publishers, but it won’t bankrupt them – just lower their sales volume and profit margins.

That’s why they won’t fully embrace ebooks and why they charge artificially high prices for their ebooks close to the full price of their printed books.

They want to revive the same high profit margins they enjoyed with print books for so many decades.

But they will never convince their customers or the general public that ebooks cost as much as print books to edit, process and distribute.

Ebooks are a disruptive technology and like all disruptive technologies is condemned, rejected and deemed catastrophic for society by those who stand to lose.

The market will determine the accepted price of ebooks, not the publishers and there is nothing they can do to stop it. The tsunami has already hit land.

Who by Fire wins Notable Indie Award by Shelf Unbound Magazine

 

Mary L. Tabor
Outer Banks Publishing Group author Mary L. Tabor’s literary novel, Who by Fire, won the Notable Indie award for best books in 2013 by online magazine Shelf Unbound.

 

(Read Mary’s interview with Shelf Unbound in the February-March issue, Pages 14-15 for more about Who by Fire.)

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Mary L. Tabor’s interview with
Shelf Unbound magazine

Shelf Unbound’s second annual writing competition had over 1,000 entries with 100 titles chosen as winners, according to Shelf Unbound’s publisher, Margaret Brown.

Mary’s book was featured in the December-January 2014 special edition of Shelf Unbound magazine (Page 35).

“Thanks to the Internet, artists can be discovered by a global audience-and in some cases even be funded by philanthropic strangers. The challenge, of course, is the discovery part-how do the indie artist and the indie audience find each other? That’s what this special issue of Shelf Unbound-honoring the winner, finalists, and notable entries in our second writing competition for best indie book-is all about,” wrote Ms. Brown.

Congratulations to Mary for her notable achievement!

Notable

 

 

 

Could GIFs be the next big wave in book reviews and even book promos

Book reviews with GIFs, those tiny videos that play over and over, are rather controversial among the old guard of book reviewers. Read Laura Miller’s insightful and informative piece. Start with the excerpt below.

From Salon.com – Thursday, Nov 7, 2013 06:59 PM EST
GIFs, memes and liveblogs: The controversial new language of book reviewing
Do animation, memes and pictures of Emma Stone have a place in literary criticism? Yes

reading-icarly

Click on the GIF to activate

“The GIFs and images used in the two reviews are, like the vast majority of visual elements cropping up in reviews and other critical discussions online, reaction GIFs: looped clips taken from commercially produced film and television, often featuring popular actors such as Emma Stone or Jennifer Lawrence rolling their eyes, gaping in astonishment, jumping with glee, shrugging their shoulders. They serve to underline the reviewer’s point, rather than to make it, and they can come across as exaggerated and sarcastic, even bratty. But so what? It’s not as if traditionally published professional book reviews haven’t been equally harsh at times, and in this case, the reviews are highly attuned to their intended audience with its densely networked language of cultural references. Besides, as longtime Goodreads member Ceridwen (who doesn’t use images or GIFs herself) explained to me in an email, ‘These reviews often use the very same critical tools found in professional reviews — parsing of character and tone, close reading, comparison with other works or larger cultural positioning — [but] there’s no fiction of critical distance, and the emotional reaction is as important as the aesthetic one.’” >more

Last Bluegrass Drama Released Today, Nov. 1

Ron Rhody’s last novel in the THEO Trilogy,
When THEO Came Home, now available


FRANKFORT, KY – Kentucky’s Capital City is reeling as a new Governor’s actions play havoc with the town, a perfect murder is still unsolved; there is a suicide, a showdown, and a long-ago love rekindling—that’s what he had to deal with When Theo Came Home, the concluding novel in Ron Rhody’s Theo Trilogy.

When Theo CamAuthor Ron Rhodye Home was released at the Kentucky Book Fair in Frankfort on Saturday, November 16, but Outer Banks Publishing Group is offering a special pre-launch price of $12.99 .

The Kentucky Book Fair is the state’s largest. It is co-sponsored by the Kentucky Department of Libraries & Archives, the University Press of Kentucky, and The State Journal, the capital city’s daily newspaper. Held at the Frankfort Convention Center, the Fair attracts over 150 authors and averages over 4,000 attendees. All proceeds go to support public schools and libraries throughout the Commonwealth.

The three books in the Theo Trilogy are set in the Commonwealth’s fabled Bluegrass region and the Capital City of Frankfort and cover a time span ranging from the early 1950s to the first few years of the 1980s.

Rhody grew up in the town he writes about and began his career there. He’s been a reporter, a sportswriter, a broadcast newsman, and covered the Kentucky legislature before moving on to a career as a corporate public relations executive in New York and San Francisco. Both cities figure in this story, too, and the mountains of the Southern Appalachians where snake-handling cults still thrive.

The two other books that make up the Theo Trilogy are Theo’s Story, published in 2010, and Theo & The Mouthful of Ashes, published in 2011.

Order your copy at a special pre-launch price of $12.99, list $15.99.

“The characters are richly drawn. The action runs at a riveting pace. What happened When THEO Came Home is a helluva read and a fine, fine story.” – Ian Kellogg

When THEO Came Home is the concluding novel in the THEO Trilogy. The other books in the series are: THEO’s Story and THEO & The Mouthful of Ashes, both available on Amazon in print and ebook format and in fine bookstores everywhere.

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When THEO Came HomeLast novel in the THEO Trilogy
List Price: $15.99
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
360 pages

Outer Banks Publishing Group
ISBN-13: 978-0982993101
ISBN-10: 0982993102
BISAC: Fiction / Suspense

JCC Clip from Mary Tabor on Vimeo.

Listen to the podcast by Mary L. Tabor with Richard Kramer, TV producer of Thirtysomething

 

Mary L. TaborHere’s what Richard Kramer, writer and producer of the TV show Thirtysomething, among others, and author of These Things Happen, a novel he wrote and has adapted for an HBO series produced by Oprah Winfrey wrote about Mary L. Tabor’s  sensual, sensitive novel, WHO BY FIRE.

 

“This brief, elegant, passionate novel accumulates and gathers force like a poem, in which language is compressed and edited and somehow bursts its bounds as it goes along. It made me want to write a book just like it, although I don’t have Mary Tabor’s wisdom and insight and willingness to stay so intently focused. Maybe someday … Until then, I can heartily recommend this, maybe especially to people who haven’t written a novel but who want to, because WHO BY FIRE can show you what a novel can be.”

Mary L. Tabor with Richard Kramer 08/07 by rarebirdradio | Books Podcasts.

Who by Fire by Mary L Tabor

New cloud radio interviews Mary L. Tabor

Listen to Mixcloud’s interview with Outer Banks Publishing Group author Mary L. Tabor. She discusses her newest novel, Who by Fire, where one of the main characters who died, lives throughout the story.

The interview starts at 50:26 into the broadcast.

Mary L Tabor 03-14-13 by Total Education Network on Mixcloud

Mixcloud connects radio content to listeners more effectively. Mixcloud is re-thinking radio by joining the dots between radio shows, Podcasts and DJ mixes. We refer to them as Cloudcasts – audio shows that are stored in the “cloud” and available to be streamed on-demand.

Meet Mary L. Tabor and her groundbreaking novel, Who by Fire

If you haven’t read the latest review by Small Press Reviews of Outer Banks Publishing Group’s Who by Fire by Mary L. Tabor, view the video and discover some significant revelations why people love, cheat and later regret what they did to a loved one.

Mary Tabor “Who By Fire” Reading from William Holloway on Vimeo.

From BuzzFeed – 18 People Who Missed The Point Of Classic Novels

Misguided one-star reviews, taken from Amazon and Goodreads. Via Love Reading Hate Books.

By Siraj Datoo BuzzFeed Staff

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Read the rest>
Google+

Neil Gaiman – on everything creative, but more importantly be yourself

 
For anyone who is creative, you must watch this video of Neil Gaiman’s address to the 2012 graduating class of the University of Arts in Philadelphia.

From the zenpencil.com blog:

“Neil Gaiman (1960-) is one of the best fiction writers in the world in my opinion. His work covers novels, short-stories, children’s books, comics, film, television – pretty much the whole pop-culture gamut.

This quote is taken from Gaiman’s commencement address at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, which was all over the internet last week. In an absolutely beautiful and inspiring speech, Gaiman shares the best tips that he wished he knew when he was first starting his writing career. It’s required listening for anyone passionate about the arts and I’ve bookmarked it so I can watch it whenever I lose my direction. Seriously, if you haven’t seen it, stop what you’re doing and click here.”
 

Neil Gaiman Addresses the University of the Arts Class of 2012 from The University of the Arts (Phl) on Vimeo.

Can geckos write books?

 

Well, yes, because the lovable, popular Geico Gecko has written and illustrated a book called You’re Only Human: A Guide To Life, released today by Workman Publishing for $11.95.

Gecko's book

Courtesy of Workman Publishing

Bloomberg Businessweek online quoted Workman saying the Gecko “has spent the last few years traveling across America, like a modern-day de Tocqueville.” What’s more, it adds:

“He’s a philosopher, an aphorist, a humorist, an artist, a warm companion, a natural storyteller—and, in a grand tradition, a keenly observant and wise outsider who in the course of living and traveling among us has discovered quite a lot about the things that make us human.

“He makes curious and interesting observations on everything from dreams to job interviews to adversity, Twitter to the Golden Rule (it’s not what you think it is) to talking animals: I’m really not sure what all the fuss is about. Lots of animals talk, including humans. The bigger question is, what do you have to say worth listening to?

See the trailer on YouTube.

Available at bookstores everywhere.

________________________________

Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company (April 23, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761174826
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761174820
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 6 x 0.7 inches

 

 

 

If you liked ARGO, The Man Who Fooled SAVAK is for you

 

If you liked ARGO, you will love The Man Who Fooled SAVAK, a similar story based on true events.

Order your copy at a special publisher’s discount price of $12.99, list is $15.99.

Just click on our Bookstore tab and then click on Fiction.

We decided to reprint this interview with Douglas Roberts about what inspired him to write such a book. The interview was  originally published June 19, 2011.

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Cover for The Man Who Fooled SAVAKWhen Doug Roberts approached us with his manuscript, The Man Who Fooled SAVAK, it was one of those stories that completely engrossed you where you couldn’t put it down until it was finished.

Inspired by true events in the early 1970s, The Man Who Fooled SAVAK captures what it is like to live in a dictatorship with secret police monitoring your every move – an atmosphere of fear that still pervades today in many countries in the Middle East.

What makes Doug’s book so appealing is that what he wrote today about events 40 years ago is still going on today in many parts of the Middle East. And all of these events are carefully woven into a love story that will make you fall in love all over again.

Q. The release of your book coincides rather well with Arab Spring.   When did you start writing it?

A. In the summer of 2008. A woman I’d met on line named Erica Murray was interested in Iran so I started writing to her about it.   I started doing some very preliminary research into the history and politics of Iran in 1971 in order to refresh my memory of things I had experienced when I was in Iran during that time.   The book was completely finished several months before the uprising in Tunisia.

Q. Even though that was 40 years ago, there are many common elements with what is happening across the Arab world.

A. Yes, especially the fear people experience when living under an autocratic regime is something I hope I have captured, and as the book proceeds, the breaking out of that fear.  Perhaps it will give people hope.  Just like in my book, the methods used by various dictatorial regimes to maintain control seem to be taken from a common playbook:  trample a free and independent press, keep the people fooled, use an iron fist to silence dissent, eliminate fair trials, use torture to extract confessions – the list goes on and on.

Q. But when you wrote the book, you weren’t thinking about that.

A. (laughs) True! I don’t have a crystal ball and the Arab Spring was as big a surprise to me as the rest of the world.

Q. Can I ask you about one of the characters in your book?  Was there really a Junior?

A. Yes there was.  I think Junior made the story possible to write.  We really did sell our liquor and cigarette rations to him.   I recently learned from a fellow who served in ARMISH/MAAG just before I arrived that Junior mostly dealt with the domestic workers, the Iranian nationals who worked at the bachelor quarters where we lived.

Q. I’d like to ask you about another character, Mihan Jazani.  She is a historical figure, the wife of the Bijan Jazani who founded one of Iran’s guerilla movements.   It appears that she’s a friend of yours on Facebook.

A. (Blushes)  Um, well yes…so it would appear.   (laughs)  Actually, Mihan Jazani doesn’t like Facebook and never uses it.  The Facebook account was set up for Mihan by her granddaughter, Aida.  Aida and I exchange messages occasionally.

Q. How were you able to remember so much about what happened then?  It was 40 years ago after all.

A. I was assisted in several ways.   I had some writings I had done about Iran when I was in journalism school at Kent State in 1972.  I had a large number of slides that I’d taken when I was there.  Those were crucial in reviving old memories.  A huge help was finding a 1977 map of Tehran on the (now defunct) Tehran American School website.  I was able to use the exact names of places, even street names.  The fellow I’d mentioned earlier who told me about Junior had sent me a copy of the ARMISH/MAAG directory, which was very useful.  Finally, talking to people I worked with at that time was extremely important, namely Heidi Eftekhar and Barry Silver, who are characters in the story.  I obviously couldn’t remember all events specifically, but I found I could generate them as needed by being very specific in my language.  I would take seeds of ideas and extrapolate and grow them into full blown events.   For example, a certain lecherous officer really did say to Heidi, “I think you’re a woman who needs a lot of loving.”   I took that and ran with it.  Last, but also important, the Internet was a valuable tool in researching the historical incidents in the book.

Q. So, where does the novel part come in?

A. Some of the human rights related events are novelized, but they’re very accurate in their portrayal of the times.  I’ll leave historians to figure all that out.   They will have their work cut out for them because I’ve spent a lot of effort weaving the story line into the history of those days.

Q. How close is your character Doug Roberts to the way you actually are?

A. That’s a really good question. (laughs) I had originally intended that Doug the character would be an extreme version of myself.   But after having read my book now over and over, I’ve come to see that what’s extreme are the circumstances he’s in.   Doug the character is a lot like I was back then: ok in the smarts department, and a little too cocky sometimes.  He’s not very romantic or knowledgeable about women, but does all right in spite of himself. (laughs)  There’s an element of male fantasy in the book I suppose. In the story, I have two charming female lunch companions in addition to Fari my Iranian girlfriend/fiancée.

Q. But you really were friends with Heidi Eftekhar your co-worker in the story.

A. I still am.  Heidi and I communicate regularly by email and her input on the book was immensely helpful.  Miss Farou is the fantasy.  She actually didn’t like me all that much. (laughs).

Q. I get the impression you had a lot of fun writing your book.

A. It was pretty trippy for me at times.  I would totally submerse myself in it.  For example, I had written the scene describing how I spent New Year’s Eve in Iran just a couple of weeks after New Year’s Eve in real life.  When someone asked me about how I’d spent my New Years, it shocked me as to how much effort I had to put into pulling up what I’d actually done versus what I’d just written.  That was a little scary.

Q. What do you think people will get out of your book?

A. I’m sure everyone will get a little something different, but what I’d like for people to take from it is that, like in the story, life may present you with some extreme circumstances.  When that happens, keep a level head and your wits about you.  Try to see beyond what appears to be happening on the surface.  There will always be some good things happening at any given moment. Try to focus on that.  To get through your ordeal it’s a good idea to engage all your friends to help you and your faith if you have that.  Most important of all:  never give up.

The Man Who Fooled SAVAK is available as an ebook on Amazon Kindle and in various ereader formats from Smashwords.com

Available in print Feb 2013

Preorder your copy at a special publisher’s discount price of $10.99 plus 4.99 shipping & handling – $15.98 or $5 off list price.
Send an email to info@outerbankspublishing.com with your name, address, phone number and email address.
List Price: $15.99
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
376 pages

Outer Banks Publishing Group
ISBN-13: 978-0982993125
ISBN-10: 0982993129
BISAC: Fiction / Espionage

Renowned Shelf Unbound Magazine interviews Mary L. Tabor

 

Outer Banks Publishing Group author Mary L. Tabor was interviewed by Shelf Unbound, the literary magazine for small press and independent books.

This is probably the most enlightening interview I have ever read on why writer’s write. A must read on Page 12.Mary L. Tabor interview with Shelf Unbound m

Here is an excerpt from the interview – Mary explains how the main character, Robert narrates and invents the story as it is told.

“As Robert and I invented the story he didn’t know, my own memories invaded as they inevitably will for the writer of any story. Memory is by its very nature is flawed, but the need to revisit memory over and over again is part and parcel of being human and alive. Revisiting memory is the way we search for meaning in our lives, for the narrative of who we are and who we might become. In some sense, we’re inventing. But in fact we’re searching for emotional truth.”

You can find Who by Fire on Amazon in print or as an ebook and in bookstores and retailers everywhere.

 

 

 

Mansfield Killings Novel comes to life for Author

 
It was the worst two-week killing spree in Ohio’s history. On the night of July 21, 1948, Robert Daniels and John West entered John and Nolena Niebel’s house in Mansfield, Ohio with loaded guns. They forced the family including the Niebel’s 21-year-old daughter, Phyllis, into their car and drove them to a cornfield just off Fleming Falls Road in Mansfield. The two men instructed the Niebels to remove all of their clothing, and then Robert Daniels shot each of them in the head.

Scott Fields of Mansfield, Ohio was so intrigued by this true story that he turned the horrific events into a page-burning novel that you cannot put down until you turn the last page. During a recent book signing in his hometown of Mansfield, Scott was approached by a man he had never seen before. The man introduced himself and Scott’s jaw dropped.

By Scott Fields
Author of The Mansfield Killings

I had just begun a book signing when a dignified, older man walked through the door. He stood in the back of the room as I finished with the person in front of me. He then approached me and shook my hand introducing himself as Roger Winger. I had no clue as to who he was in spite of his obvious pause as he waited for me to take heed of his presence.

Roger Winger

Roger Winger and Scott Fields

“You don’t know who I am, do you?” he asked.

“No, I don’t,” I said. “Sorry.”

“In July of 1948, I saw the dead bodies of the Neibel family lying in a cornfield off of Flemming Falls Road.”

For several seconds I stood there with mouth open trying to comprehend what he had just told me. “What did you just say?”

“I actually saw the dead bodies.”

I grabbed him by the arm and led him into another room. “How could you have seen such a thing?”

“I was six years old at the time. I lived next to the cornfield where the Niebels were found. That day was like any other summer day. I had seen the group of boy scouts marching down Flemming Falls Road earlier in the day. I hardly gave notice because boy scouts on that road was a common sight to see. Later that day, I stepped outside my house to see find police cars, ambulances and even fire engines all up and down the road. Out of curiosity, I walked down to the cornfield. There were men rushing back and forth but seemed to be concentrating on a spot about 50 feet into the field. I cautiously walked through the corn stalks until I was within a foot or so from the spot where the three people had been shot.”

“Did you see the bodies?” I asked.

“Yes, I did. Their bodies had turned white and were extremely bloated.”

“Was there signs of blood?”

“No. I don’t remember seeing any blood.”

“That’s a bit surprising,” I said. “Considering thThe Mansfield Killings Cover IIat they were shot in the head. What happened next?”

“One of the policemen saw me and yelled at me to get the hell out of here. I took off running thinking they were chasing me.”

“Daniels declared that they did not rape twenty year old Phyllis, and yet the bodies were found completely nude. The first coroner stated that there was no evidence of rape and yet the coroner at Daniel’s trial stated that she had been raped. Why do you think Daniels would admit to everything but deny raping Phyllis?”

“I’m not sure,” said Roger. “I personally think he did it. Back in those days, murder was one thing. Rape was another.”

Small talk followed, and soon we said our goodbyes. I did manage to get his phone number and address, because I have many more questions for him.

_______________________________________

The Mansfield Killings now at this special publisher’s discount price of $12.99 (List $14.99).

Publication Date: December 3, 2012

Discount Price: $12.99
5.5″ x 8.5″
Black & White on Cream paper
280 pages

ISBN 10 – 0982993137
ISBN 13 – 978-0-9829931-3-2

Binding Type: US Trade Paper
Language: English

Review: Who by Fire, a dissection of the turmoil and pleasures of straying couples

Reprinted with permission from Michael Johnson

By MICHAEL JOHNSON

Novels about love affairs outside of marriage are a genre unto themselves and I try my best to avoid them. John Updike made a career of these stories anyway, so what’s left to say? Yet once in a while a new writer emerges with such sharp sensibilities, such descriptive powers, and such a rich story that I am forced to reconsider.Who by Fire by Mary L. Tabor

Mary L. Tabor is such a writer, and her new book, “Who By Fire” (Outer Banks, $17.95), launched a few weeks ago to a full house in a Washington, D.C. bookshop, kept me turning pages to enjoy the careful prose, the fascinating digressions and most of all the unspooling of the story.

To my mind, the story is the fire in the relationships. The ice is Ms. Tabor’s masterly control of the complex plot. The reader begins to suspect what is to come as hints are dropped along the path toward the climax. This book is hard to put down.

“Who By Fire” is a near-surgical dissection of the turmoil and pleasures that straying couples experience – and the effect on the betrayed.

Ms. Tabor takes the time to develop characters so that you care about what they are going through. She finally kills off Lena, the woman who succumbed to her lover’s charms, and she does it abruptly after setting the scene: “And then she died.”

Who by Fire by Mary L TaborMary Tabor is a writer who likes to say it is never too late. She started publishing her prose at age 60 and already has to her credit a frank memoir of her life and marriage entitled “(Re)Making Love: A Memoir.” Her best short stories are collected in “The Woman Who Never Cooked.”

She takes stunning risks in her new novel, the most impressive being her decision to write from the perspective of Lena’s husband, Robert, the man who suffers as his emotions of widowhood and awareness of his dead wife’s affair mingle in his thoughts.

Jay McInerney tried the gender-swap in “The Story of My Life” but he never let you forget he was trying to sound like a girl. Ms. Tabor glides into the male perspective effortlessly and stays there.

As the narrator “Robert” reconstructs the story of his life, Ms. Tabor makes him recall what he had failed to see before his wife’s death:

“If I’d seen them on the street, I’d have known because they would have done the sorts of things that reveal: They would have passed between them a bottle of water, their hips would touch, as if by accident, when they walked; they wouldn’t touch with their hands the way safe lovers do, but an observant eye could catch both the intimacy and the caution—and know. It was when she was dying that I knew. It was the way he touched her head before he left her bedside. What I thought was an obligatory visit from a colleague changed with one gesture.”

I was propelled through this book most of all by the taut language, the dialogue and the perfect sentences, honed in the author’s years as a teacher of creative writing at George Washington University, Ohio State and University of Missouri, among others. From the outset, you are in the thrall of a confident storyteller.

Her digressions take the reader into worlds she clearly knows — the detail of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the art world, the finer points of classical music, quantum physics and the business of psychology. She has her psychologist character Evan say at one point:

“I’m beginning to think I give more comfort than cure. Not such a bad thing but not what I expected. I feel like an old broom—cleaning up, moving around the messes in people’s heads, never sure if that’s all I’m doing.”

She will throw odd words at you and expect you to understand. The apple trees are espaliered. The plants are pleached.

I was drawn into the suspense when the lovers realize that the betrayed wife is returning home early. With cinematic realism, the lovers find themselves about to be discovered when they hear the key in the lock:

“A familiar sound, merely a click, but they thought, almost as if their minds were one, that they heard the separate mechanisms of the lock moving, tumbling like thunder.”

This reader quickly turned the page to watch them awkwardly lie their way out of trouble.

Mary L. Tabor tells me she is at work on a new novel. Somehow she finds time to do a weekly internet interview about writing, broadcast on Rarebirdradio.

It is never too late, as she would be the first to tell you.

The Mansfield Killings – a true story on a brutal killing spree in Ohio

 

It was the worse two-week killing spree in Ohio’s history.

On the night of July 21, 1948, Robert Daniels and John West entered John and Nolena Niebel’s house with loaded guns. They forced the family including the Niebel’s 21-year-old daughter, Phyllis, into their car and drove them to a cornfield just off Fleming Falls Road in Mansfield. The two men instructed the Niebels to remove all of their clothing, and then Robert Daniels shot each of them in the head.

The brutal murders caught national attention in the media, but the killing spree didn’t stop there. Three more innocent people would lose their lives at the hands of Daniels and West in the coming week.

Scott Fields tirelessly researched the killings, the capture and trial of Daniels and even interviewed a surviving member of the Niebel family to weave this tragic story into a must-read novel bringing the reader back to those dark days in the summer of 1948.

What led to these brutal killings, and why was the Niebel family singled-out to be savagely murdered? It has been over sixty years since the tragedy, and, yet, this question still remains unanswered. The killing spree is not only remembered to this day, but is an important and dark part of Mansfield lore.

Order your copy today at this special publisher’s discount price of $12.99 (List $14.99).

Publication Date: December 3, 2012
Discount Price: $12.99

5.5″ x 8.5″
Black & White on Cream paper
280 pages

ISBN 10 – 0982993137
ISBN 13 – 978-0-9829931-3-2

Binding Type: US Trade Paper
Language:English

Who by Fire – a captivating story about relationships within the bonds of marriage

 

Who by Fire by Mary L. Tabor breaks new literary ground as a complex tale of love, betrayal, and the search for one self. Quite simply, we have chosen Who by Fire for publication under our name because it is like nothing else we have read and has earned its place among books that matter.
Order your discounted copy at a special publisher’s price of $13.99  (List $17.95) in our bookstore.
#WhobyFire
Reprinted from the author’s blog.

 

Who by Fire is told by Robert, Lena’s husband, as he attempts to understand her affair with Isaac, an affair that he has become aware of after her death. He imagines the story of his wife and her lover.

Robert the narrator is trying to know himself in the story he is writing as he tells his imagined version of his wife’s betrayal. The story becomes a paradoxical tale of his own undoing that he comes to realize by telling it.

In the epigraph to the novel, Robert says, “Life has a way of raveling. Story discovers how it happened. That is the fiction.” This is the reader’s first introduction to Robert’s persona, a man who must control the world he inhabits. The telling of the story as he imagines it, reveals more than he would have wished and as this occurs, his telling moves into real time, for there is no way for him to deal with what he discovers except to report what is actually happening versus what he has imagined.

Pre-publication praise:

Robert Olen Butler, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for A Good Scent From a Strange Mountain: Mary L. Tabor’s Who by Fire is a lovely, innovative, deeply engaging novel about how it is that human beings make their way through the mysteries of existence.

Lee Martin, author of Break the Skin and The Bright Forever, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize: Mary Tabor’s Who by Fire, is a lyric meditation on love and desire, one that will catch you up in the blaze of its eroticism, its tender evocation of love and the passions and accommodations of a life lived through the flesh and through the imagination. Can memory lead to forgiveness? Who by Fire explores that question in a story I won’t soon forget. The beauty of the prose, the nuances of the characters, the ever-building plot—everything is in place for a novel that will touch you in all the right ways.

 

Marly Swick, author of Paper Wings and The Evening News: Who By Fire is a profound and lyrical novel, deeply felt and deeply moving. Intricately layered, this novel loops through time with the dare-devil courage and grace of a seasoned stunt pilot. In the narrator’s unflinching journey of self-discovery, he comes to understand the past, both his failures and his saving graces. In the end, it is a hero’s journey, both for the narrator and the reader. This is beautiful truth.

Michael Johnson, foreign correspondent and writer for The International Herald Tribune, American Spectator and The Washington Times: Mary Tabor’s captivating story of love and death tackles the tangle of relationships within and outside the bonds of marriage. Her eye-popping knowledge of men’s and women’s behavior is effortlessly recounted as couples face their anguished choices. Set in a world of art, music, anthropology and science, her novel enlightens the mind while it stirs the emotions. She does all this in a confident style of prose that ranks her alongside the finest novelists working today.

• “The Fire,” excerpt from completed novel, Chautauqua Literary Journal, summer 2006, review of The Woman Who Never Cooked also appears in this issue.
• “The Fire,” excerpt from novel, second prize for prose, Tall Grass Writers Guild (Lee Martin, judge) and publication in Falling in Love Again, anthology, Outrider Press, September 2005 (Mary L. Tabor, featured reader at Chicago Book Fair, June 2005).
• “The Fire,” excerpt nominated in January 2005 for Pushcart Prize XXXI by Joan Connor.
• Semi-finalist, 2004 James Jones First Novel Fellowship under former working-title Controlled Burn.

Paperback: 248 pages
ISBN: 978-0-988299-314-9
Language: English
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 inches
Publication Date: November 2012

Kentucky Author Ron Rhody to announce next THEO novel at A Gathering of Authors

 

Outer Banks Publishing Group Author Ron Rhody will be one of the guest authors at The Paul Sawyier Public Library at its fifth A Gathering of Authors on Saturday, August 25th from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Ron Rhody

Ron Rhody

Ron will introduce his next THEO novel, the third in a series, at the library.

The Gathering is a celebration of the rich tradition of literature in Kentucky.

This event features gifted writers who play an integral role in the library’s service to readers throughout Frankfort, KY and the Commonwealth.

Authors from across the Bluegrass come to sell and sign their works as well as carry on a dialogue with attendees about their craft. The Gathering is an excellent opportunity to meet some of your favorite authors in a casual atmosphere. Stop by and chat with the participants, and be sure to pick up their newest releases!

This event is free to the public and open to all ages.  For more information, please contact Diane Dehoney at (502)352-2665×108 or Mark Kinnaird at mark@pspl.org.

Excerpt from Scott Fields’ steamy novel, Summer Heat

 

From Chapter 3 of Summer Heat

Earl glanced at her chest. Her firm, ample breasts strained the buttons on her blouse. He slightly lowered his head to peek through the openings at the soft skin. Earl swirled his finger down her arm to the soft skin on the inside of her elbow. She was panting now. Her eyes were closed and sweat trickled down her neck and disappeared behind her blouse. He could see the outline of her hard nipples. His finger was only inches away. So far, it had all been innocent play. He had not crossed any line, but that was about to change. His head throbbed. He could feel the blood pounding through his veins.

 

It was near closing. The last of the patrons were walking out the door. Jessie was wiping down the bar when Earl leaned back in his chair.

“Hey, there, Lil’ Darlin’, bring me a bottle of the good stuff,” he said. “And bring two glasses.”

Jessie knew what the good stuff was. Earl loved Crown Royal and kept cases of it in the backroom. She carried the bottle and two glasses across the room and set it on his table.

“Sit down, girl,” he said. “I don’t want to drink alone.”

“It’s late, Earl,” she said.

“What are you talking about? We still got a half hour before closing.” He poured two drinks. “Here, this will get you where you need to go.”

“I don’t think I ever had any Crown Royal before.” She sipped the drink. “Damn, that’s good stuff.”

“How come that old man of yours never got you any?”

“Frank doesn’t drink.”

“He doesn’t? Hell, that don’t sound American.”

“He ain’t never even tried it.”

Earl gulped his drink. “Don’t know what he’s missin’, does he?”

Jessie took another sip. “This stuff is so smooth.”

“Drink up, girl,” said Earl filling the glasses. “We got this whole bottle here to kill off.”

“Must be terribly expensive.”

“Are you enjoying it?”

“Yes.”

“Then don’t worry about it,” he said. “It wouldn’t hurt you none if you untied a few of them knots.”

Jessie gulped her drink. “What are you talking about?”

“You just look like you might need to unwind,” said Earl. “You seem tense or upset about something.”

“You might be right.”

Earl filled her glass again. “Must be hard on you with Frank gone.”

She leaned back in her chair. “Yeah, I miss him a lot.”

“Pretty young thing like you must miss havin’ a man carry you off to bed.”

“Oh, Frank isn’t that kind of guy,” she said, her words slurring already. “He loves me. I got no doubt about that, but in his own way.”

“In other words, you ain’t getting any.”

Jessie filled her glass and took another drink. “Why? You applying for the job?”

Earl reached out and placed his hand on top of hers. “That I am, darlin’,” he said with a sober voice.

Jessie set her drink on the table and leaned back. Her head was spinning from the alcohol. It had all been light-hearted banter until now. Even in her drunken stupor, she could see that he was serious.

“Think you’re man enough?” she asked with a smile.

Earl tightly gripped her hand. His smile disappeared. “I know I’m man enough.”

It was about that time that the other waitress started towards the front door. Earl bolted across the room to let her out. He said his good nights, let her out and latched the door behind her.

“We’re all alone,” he announced with a smile.

Jessie pointed at a chair next to hers. “Come and sit down next to me.”

Earl slowly swaggered across the room. Beads of sweat erupted on his forehead. He had thought about this moment ever since he met her. Fantasies of her swirled in his mind.  His head throbbed with excitement. He pulled up a chair and sat next to her.

“Now where were we?” he asked, his voice raspy.

“You were telling me how much of a man you are.”

With one hand, Earl began rubbing her back and shoulders. Jessie moaned in approval.

“Tell me something,” said Earl. “How married are you?”

“What do you mean?”

“You know what I mean.”

She held up her hand. “I have a ring.”

Earl sneered. “That don’t mean anything.”

He ran his hand over her shoulders and lightly caressed her bare arm.

“I didn’t think that would make much of an impression,” she said closing her eyes. “Damn, that feels good.”

He ran one finger lightly over her cheek. “I know something else that would feel even better.”

Jessie said nothing. She groaned as he lightly swirled his finger over her bare skin.

“Relax,” he said. “You seem tense.”

“It’s been a long time.”

“A long time for what?”

“Since…since a man has touched me.”

“How does it feel?”

“Incredible,” she said with a slur. “Simply incredible.”

Earl glanced at her chest. Her firm, ample breasts strained the buttons on her blouse. He slightly lowered his head to peek through the openings at the soft skin. Earl swirled his finger down her arm to the soft skin on the inside of her elbow. She was panting now. Her eyes were closed and sweat trickled down her neck and disappeared behind her blouse. He could see the outline of her hard nipples. His finger was only inches away. So far, it had all been innocent play. He had not crossed any line, but that was about to change. His head throbbed. He could feel the blood pounding through his veins.

Earl reached over and lightly touched the side of her breast. It was firm and yet soft to the touch. Jessie jerked. She moaned and arched her back. Earl withdrew his finger. He wasn’t sure. Was that a cold reaction? Was she pulling away? Then, Jessie moved her chair closer and turned in his direction. “Please,” she uttered softly.

Her breasts were right in front of him, heaving now from her heavy breathing. Earl could see her nipples through the sweat-soaked blouse. He could feel his manhood throbbing in his pants. He reached over and gently unbuttoned the top button of her blouse. He glanced at her face for a reaction.

“Faster,” she muttered.

His hands trembled as he fumbled with the remaining buttons. When he finished with the last one, he slowly pulled her blouse open. Cool air from a slow-turning ceiling fan washed over her exposed breasts making her nipples even harder and leaving small bumps on her skin.

In spite of his gruff exterior, Earl knew women and he knew what pleased them. He reached over with both hands and lightly touched the sides of her bare breasts. She jumped slightly but moved even closer. He slowly moved his fingers to the underside of her breasts, caressing the soft skin, coming close to her nipples but never touching them. He then formed circles around the breasts even closer to her nipples, occasionally, brushing them as if by accident.

By then, Jessie’s chest was rising and falling as she gasped for air. Earl firmly grasped her ribcage and leaned towards her. He lightly touched her lips with his. As she moved closer to kiss him, he pulled away, then lightly, hovered his lips over hers.

Crazed with lust, Jessie pulled him close to her, savagely kissing his lips. The taunting and teasing was over. Earl wrapped his arms around her and kissed her long and hard. Still locked in a tight embrace, Jessie slid her cotton blouse over her shoulders and let it fall to the floor. Earl fumbled with his belt sending his pants sliding down his legs. He stepped out of them just as she did hers.

“Take me now,” she said with a raspy voice. “I don’t care where, just do it.”

Earl picked her up and sat her on the edge of the table. He grabbed her ankles and slid her closer to the edge. Jessie lay back on the table. She wanted to scream. Her whole body was on fire. He had to do, and he had to do it now. What was he waiting on? She could feel hot liquid as it dripped from the tender folds of her skin and onto the floor. He wasn’t going to tease her again. He wouldn’t do that. He couldn’t.

Then it happened. She felt his strong, hard manhood as it slid, effortlessly, into her. She screamed with pleasure. Her whole body screamed with pleasure. It was obvious that the teasing and taunting of foreplay was over. He was at the right height and could easily slam it deep into her. She screamed with pleasure at every thrust that he made.

Her first orgasm came within seconds, the second and third minutes later. He picked up speed, slamming home even faster. Jessie was delirious with pleasure. Her orgasms seemed to be coming with every thrust. It went on for what seemed like an eternity. She had never experienced anything like this before. He was man enough. That was for sure.

Just as she was about to pass out, he slowed his movement. He leaned his head back and emitted a guttural, almost primal growl. She felt him pulsating inside her, then, slowed to a stop.

___________________________

Summer Heat is available in print from The Outer Banks Publishing Group Bookstore at $9.99 and on Amazon, the Kindle, and bookstores everywhere.

Paperback: 212 pages
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0982993110
ISBN-13: 978-0982993118
Product Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 0.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces