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What's Up Magazine

Local Lit: Notable, Quotable, and Homegrown

Nov 05, 2013 03:19PM ● By Cate Reynolds
Embrace the cooler temperatures of the season by snuggling up to a book by one of our talented area authors, many of whom use the region as the setting for their works of literature. Here’s a sampling of some of the many offerings.

1. Beneath the Mimosa Tree by Stephanie Verni
Set in Annapolis, New York City, and London, Beneath the Mimosa Tree explores the themes of self-discovery, family relations, and forgiveness through the story of Annabelle Marco and Michael Contelli. Verni, an Ellicott City resident who spent her childhood and early adult years in the Baltimore-Annapolis area, takes readers through the course of 10 years, as Annabelle and Marco’s relationship moves from friendship to love, facing its share of hurdles along the way—namely an unplanned and unexpected decision Annabelle comes to regret.

2. The Sum of All Fears by Tom Clancy
The best-selling thriller from the late Maryland author Tom Clancy—part of his Jack Ryan series—takes place as peace may finally be at hand in the Middle East. Deputy Director of the CIA Jack Ryan is laying the groundwork for a peace plan that could end centuries of conflict, but ruthless terrorists have a final, desperate card to play in the form of a nuclear weapon on American soil to disrupt the plan and create nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia. The Sum of All Fears is one of Clancy’s 17 New York Times best-selling novels. Clancy passed away in Baltimore in early October at the age of 66.

3. Tarnished Silver by Susan Reiss*
The first book in D.C. native turned St. Michaels resident Susan Reiss’ Sterling Silver Mystery Series, Tarnished Silver (Ink & Imagination 2013) follows Abby Strickland as she tries to uncover who is behind a murder committed using one of the sterling silver serving pieces she unexpectedly inherited from her aunt. Traveling to the crime scene in St. Michaels, Abby becomes entangled in a web of wealth, greed, and family secrets—not to mention the allure of a handsome guy.

4. The Right-Hand Shore by Christopher Tilghman*
Fifteen years after the publication of his acclaimed novel Mason’s Retreat, Christopher Tilghman returns to the Mason family and its decaying plantation on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay—modeled after Tilghman’s own family farm in the area—with The Right-Hand Shore (Picador 2012). In his new novel—a national bestseller like its predecessor—the Masons and their former slaves attempt to create a just and viable community in the tumultuous years after the Civil War.

5. Family Secrets by Fran White
What should have been an enjoyable evening between husband and wife turns into a painful trip down memory lane, as Brandy Grey confronts her past abandonment and lies, trying to close a chapter that has been haunting her for her entire life—the secret of her heritage. Part autobiography, part fiction, Eastern Shore resident Dr. Fran White—a psychologist and marriage and family therapist—shares her family secrets and emotional traumas in her debut novel (Tate 2013).

6. The Golden Hour by Sue Ellen Thompson*
A collection of personal, tender, and moving poems that span a range of emotions and life events—from birth to loss, joy to sorrow—The Golden Hour (Autumn House 2006) is a lens into Eastern Shore resident Sue Ellen Thompson as a mother, daughter, wife, and intellectual.

7. The Delmarva Review*
Twenty-seven writers are represented in the fifth volume of The Delmarva Review, a literary review chock full of original short fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and reviews. With an emphasis on captivating storytelling and engaging poetry, The Delmarva Review is published yearly by the Eastern Shore Writers Association, a nonprofit group composed of writers from across the Delmarva Peninsula.

8. The Right Guard by Alexandra Hamlet*
In her first novel, former journalist and defense and cultural anthropologist Alexandra Hamlet takes readers through the twists and turns of the secretive world of intelligence as the CIA attempts to uncover who is behind the theft of more than a million weapons from U.S. military inventories across the country. Based on actual events and her own personal experiences, Hamlet, a St. Michaels resident, paints a picture some critics say is reflective of the political and economic climate today.

9. (See a Chat with Area Author Erika Robuck)

10. The Last Refuge by Marcia Talley
The eleventh novel in Annapolis resident Marcia Talley’s Hannah Ives mystery series, The Last Refuge (Severn House 2012) has survivor and sleuth Hannah Ives contemplating whether she made the right decision joining the cast of the Patriot House, 1774, a reality show recreating 18th century Colonial life during the days leading up to the American Revolution. A series of events away from the camera turn out to be just as dramatic as those on it.

11. Heaven Should Fall by Rebecca Coleman
From the author of the critically acclaimed The Kingdom of Childhood—suburban D.C. resident Rebecca Coleman—comes Heaven Should Fall (Harlequin 2012), the story of Jill Wagner, a girl alone since her mother’s death who becomes completely engrossed in Cade Olmstead from the minute he bursts into her life. Putting college on hold seems like a minor sacrifice when she discovers she’s pregnant with Cade’s child. But it won’t be the last sacrifice she’ll have to make.

12. The Survival of Sarah Landing by Margaret Meacham*
A popular author of children’s and young adult books, Margaret Meacham ventures into the adult scene for the first time with The Survival of Sarah Landing (Sunbury 2012), a mystery novel set on the Eastern Shore—where Meacham spent summers as a child visiting her grandmother. The book follows Sarah Landing as she searches for answers when one of the students in her art class is found dead, leaving behind the manuscripts for two striking picture books.

*Available at Mystery Loves Company, Oxford.