GOOD BOOKS

Joy to the Book World

Supporting local authors pays off in gifts that keep on giving

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By KATHY DES JARDINS CIOFFI
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Looking for presents that pack the biggest bang for a holiday buck? It’s hard to beat books by local authors. Like most writers this time of year, the 12 featured here, minus perhaps two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree, will be drumming up business every way they can throughout December.

 “The best book-selling time of the year is October through Christmas,” said Bob Babcock, founder and CEO of Deeds Publishing Company, a family-owned and operated publisher working with both experienced and first-time authors.

Deeds Publishing – Babcock, his wife Jan, son Mark and a small staff – offers titles in print and e-book formats in a range of genres from roughly 100 writers across the country, including many from North Fulton and Forsyth County.

Babcock himself has penned five military books and one on business. A Vietnam vet who spent 34 years as an IBM sales executive, Babcock had written several titles by 2005 when the Army hired him to draft a history of the first year in Iraq. When his publisher went out of business “I was left high and dry with 1,500 presold books,” he said. “So I became a publisher.”

And business is booming. Deeds Publishing produced its 100th title in 2014, shortly before moving from East Cobb to Athens. Just two years later, it published its 200th book.

“We never slow down,” Babcock said, and certainly not during the holidays. Of the seven writers featured here who are published by Deeds, most will be signing books in December, including Babcock. And all 12 are available to speak to clubs and groups, which is yet another bonus of filling stockings with offerings from hometown wordsmiths.

“Instead of a tie or a gaudy sweater,” Babcock said, “books make great gifts.”

MYSTERY/SUSPENSE:
“Aftermath,” by George Weinstein, Roswell.
Janet Wright left tiny Graylee, Ga., at 5 when her mother fled a destructive marriage. Now 40 and reinventing herself, Janet returns as the sole inheritor of her recently murdered father’s valuable estate. She is soon tangled in Graylee’s web of secrets, lies, and scandals — and in fear for her own life.

Weinstein will be at The Chandlery, Roswell, Dec. 10, 18, 21, 22 and 23 from 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Book clubs can receive discounted, personalized copies as well as schedule Weinstein to speak by going to georgeweinstein.com/contact.

“The Martyr’s Brother,” by Rona Simmons, Cumming.
A suicide bomber at a Middle East checkpoint shatters more than those around him. Shafra, his brother, wants to follow in his footsteps, and Alicia Blake is haunted by her husband’s violent end in the attack. When Shafra arrives in America with his sights set on Atlanta, Alicia holds the key to stopping him before he rips the world apart.

Simmons will be appearing with two other suspense writers, a trio known as The Killers Next Door, at Bookmiser, Roswell, Dec. 10 from noon-3 p.m.

“Smitten,” by Jeremy Logan, Alpharetta.
Between 1967 and 1982, 26 people were suspected victims of serial killers in Atlanta. In this coming-of-age romance interrupted by a serial killer, Michelle and Ben were 18 and in love when Clay killed his first victim. Why her? And why did he start sending Michelle letters two years later? How could Ben prevent Michelle from becoming the next victim?

Logan, one of The Killers Next Door, will be at Roswell’s Bookmiser Dec. 10 from noon-3 p.m.

“Wasted,” by David Darracott, Cumming.
Winner of the 2015 Georgia Author of the Year for this book, Darracott’s Jack Player is pushing 40, broke, and stuck in a dead-end job, with a busted marriage. Facing too many days without meaning, he sees no future for himself – until his best friend suggests a way out: an easy, painless score to turn his life around. What could go wrong?

Darracott will be one of The Killers Next Door at Roswell’s Bookmiser Dec. 10 from noon-3 p.m.

“Let Vengeance Be Mine,” by David Twilley, Alpharetta.
Tom is a decorated NYPD Captain, and Daniel is considered the best defense attorney in New York. When two criminal masterminds cleverly pit them against each other in court, a twist of fate leads to a tragic personal loss that impacts both men. Each ends up on opposite sides of the law and must determine how far he will go to stop his best friend.

Schedule Twilley to speak by emailing d.twilley@yahoo.com.

COFFEE-TABLE BOOKS:

“You’ll Never Get in the Game,” photos by Jimmy Cribb, with George Henry.
The Atlanta Falcons photographer since 1980, Cribb has photographed the Falcons in every NFL stadium, the Tokyo Dome and London’s Wembley Stadium. He has been on the sideline shooting 17 Super Bowls and has also covered NASCAR and entertainers. Henry is a long-time Associated Press sports writer based in Atlanta.

Cribb will be signing books throughout the metro area, including an appearance in Alpharetta. Go to deedspublishing.com for more information.

“Bygone Treasures and Timeless Beauties: The Barns of “Irish Pubs in America: History, Lore and Recipes,” by Robert Meyers, Alpharetta.

For his pair of coffee-table books, perennial holiday best-sellers, Meyers spent two years documenting over 50 of the oldest historic barns in the area once known as Old Milton County. Then, with Ron Wallace, he focused on 52 Irish pubs from the East Coast to Hawaii, depicting them in photos, history and recipes. Among the pubs featured are both Olde Blind Dog locations in Milton and Brookhaven.

Schedule Meyers to speak by emailing bobmey@bellsouth.net.

HORSE FICTION:
“The Right Girl for the Job, Book III of The Dressage Chronicles,” by Karen McGoldrick, Alpharetta.
McGoldrick, who rides, teaches and trains dressage at her Prospect Hill Farm in Alpharetta, believes the best part of being a dressage instructor is sharing the insights, joys and sorrows of riding, training and loving horses. Fiction is another way to reach her vast, passionate following.

McGoldrick will be launching the third book in her series Dec. 3 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Dover Saddlery, Alpharetta.

FICTION:
“Return to Roseland,” by John Sheffield, Roswell.
Andrew Ferguson has waited two long years to get back to Roseland, a remote island in the southern Atlantic where he once spent months studying the habits of the mysterious native auk. Now he hopes to settle down and marry the love of his life. But the island community won’t let him back in so easily.

Go to deedspublishing.com for Sheffield’s book-signing schedule.

“Leave a Crooked Path,” by Simone Paradis Hanson, Roswell.
A small Maine town should be an idyllic, carefree world for Claire during her last summer before high school. Instead, Claire finds herself caught between her loving father and the cruel man he becomes when he drinks. When a tragic accident tips this precarious balance, all illusion of her idyllic life is gone.
Schedule Hansen to speak by emailing sjhanson2@bellsouth.net.

PERSONAL GROWTH:
 “Chasin’ Meditation: The Step-by-Step Guide to a Stress-Free Life Through Meditation,” by C. Chase Carey, Alpharetta.
This how-to guide walks readers through five steps for a perfect meditation, taking the mystery and misunderstanding out of the concept. Carey’s book caters to readers wanting to accelerate positive change in their lives.

Schedule Carey to speak by emailing info@ChasingMeditation.com.

CHILDREN’S:
“The Pirate Who Couldn’t Name Her Ship,” by Sara Sutton, Milton.
Captain Jane and her motley crew of characters have embarked on an adventure but, as they near their treasure, they realize they have forgotten a most important detail. They’ve forgotten to name their ship. Captain Jane needs something original to stake her claim.

Schedule Sutton, a senior at Cambridge High School, to read to elementary-aged children by emailing sksutton14@gmail.com. ■






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