BY BOBBY BRIER
Fill up your summer reading list with some new releases from local authors.
From mysteries and memoirs to history and children’s stories, these writers have something for everyone. So clear some room on your bookshelves and curl up with one of these titles.
‘The Case of the “Carousel” Killer’
- Author: Susan Moore Jordan, Stroudsburg
- Publisher: Shaggy Dog Productions LLC
- Pages: 296
- Cost: $13.95
Spice up your summer reading list with this new murder mystery novel, the seventh book in Jordan’s “Augusta McKee Mystery Series.” The book follows McKee, a college voice teacher and former opera singer, as she performs in the musical “Carousel” at the Pocono Playhouse in the summer of 1966. On the third night of the show, the body of a fellow Cincinnatti woman is found in the parking lot. Evan Llewellyn, an old boyfriend of McKee’s who has the lead role in the show, is instantly suspect in the murder. McKee’s husband, Malcolm Mitchell, a homicide detective for the Cincinnati Police Department, then joins her to begin looking into the death.
The author of 14 books, Jordan has contributed articles to The Guardian and Musical America and directed high school musical productions and community theater in Monroe County for more than 30 years.
- Author: Tunkhannock native Jennifer Jenkins
- Publishers: Northampton House Press
- Pages: 300
- Price: $17.95
Set in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, this novel focuses on Caleb McKinsey, owner of Bourbon Sweet Tea, which he started to steer federal agents away from his illegitimate moonshine business. When the distillery explodes on the side of a mountain, however, it draws the attention of townspeople and agents. Meanwhile, McKinsey faces health issues and must deal with his children, who don’t speak to him or each other. One of the main themes running through the book is the effect alcohol can have on a life.
‘Willie the Earthworm’
- Author: Jean Hoffman Fetchko, Drums
- Publisher: Dorrance Publishing Co. Inc.
- Pages: 44
- Price: $23
This children’s book tells the story of a young earthworm navigating the world above ground. Willie must dodge a robin looking for a quick bite to eat and a boy seeking bait for his fishing pole, but he also experiences the pleasures of life. Fetchko spent her youth on local farms and took inspiration for her book from tending to her garden. A mother and grandmother, Fetchko also served in the Air Force, where she was the first woman on the judo team, and later was the first woman to work in her local post office.
- Author: Elizabeth Mathers, Clarks Summit
- Publisher: Dorrance Publishing Co. Inc.
- Pages: 48
- Price: $23
In this spooky new children’s book, Mathers tells the story of one family’s night on Halloween and its encounters with ghosts. A teacher for several decades, Mathers is the mother of four children and enjoys writing stories that help children learn how to read. Her son illustrated the paperback.
‘A Doctor’s Stories — Behind Closed Doors’
- Author: Dr. John McGeehan, Waverly Twp. and New Jersey
- Publisher: Austin Macauley Publishers LLC
- Pages: 339
- Price: $15.95
Reflecting on one’s journey through life can inspire others to do the same, something doctor and author John McGeehan aimed to accomplish in this memoir. Born and raised in Hazleton, McGeehan lived and practiced internal medicine for three decades in the Scranton area. He served as chairman of medicine at the former Mercy Hospital and helped establish what is now Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine in the city. In 2010, he left for Camden, New Jersey, to start a new medical school and be closer to his grandson. The book delves into true stories from his experience as a doctor, including his passion for life and love of medical ethics and caring for others. McGeehan addresses the complexities of life and how they intersected with his career.
‘Who Rescued Who?: Ocean Pals Book 1’
- Author: Jamie Mitchell Hadzick, Pocono Lake
- Publisher: Self-published
- Pages: 239
- Price: $13.99
Pets came to the rescue during the pandemic, and Hadzick pays homage to these lifesavers in her debut book, “Who Rescued Who?: Ocean Pals Book 1.” In the story, four strangers meet while volunteering at an animal shelter and quickly become friends. Together, they navigate the kaleidoscope of challenges in their personal lives and at the shelter while experiencing the joys of helping homeless dogs. Hadzick wrote the book from personal experience, having volunteered at her local animal shelter. She hopes it will inspire readers to adopt pets, and she plans to release a second book later this year.
‘Toward Cherokee Removal: Land, Violence and the White Man’s Chance’
- Author: Adam J. Pratt, Ph.D., Scranton
- Publisher: University of Georgia Press
- Pages: 240
- Price: $59.95
The professor of 19th-century history at University of Scranton explores Georgia’s social and political environments around the time of Cherokee removal. The book details the lengths to which white people in the 1820s forced indigenous people of the Cherokee Nation off their land through violence and intimidation. These aggressive tactics had the support of the state government, which used the forced removal as a way to ensure that more white colonizers would come in and take the land. These actions accelerated the federal policies of Cherokee removal and what became known as the Trail of Tears.
‘The Particulars of Peter: Dance Lessons, DNA Tests and Other Excuses to Hang Out with My Perfect Dog’
- Author: Scranton native Kelly Conaboy
- Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
- Pages: 256
- Price: $27
In this memoir that blends blends humor and reporting, Conaboy details her love affair with her adorable rescue dog, Peter, and their relationship as they navigate life together. This includes trips to places like Woofstock, “the largest outdoor festival for dogs in North America,” and an exploration of Peter’s DNA. Conaboy — who has written for the Atlantic, the New York Times and the Cut — took in Peter after his previous owners gave him up because of his excessive urination problems. He needed a home with an owner who did not need to leave the house often, and Conaboy was the perfect fit.
‘Waiting for Armageddon: A Twinoir’
- Authors: Michele Mansour, Lenox Twp., and Maryam Mansour, Scranton
- Publisher: Waiting for Armageddon
- Pages: 216
- Price: $19.95
The twin sisters explore the intricacies of growing up in a big family in this memoir. After their father’s death in July 1974, their mother began homeschooling her four youngest children, setting off a chain of events that included her arrest, the children being taken away and subsequently escaping, and more. The book details one family’s adventure of growing up and sticking together.
‘Shaking Up Shakespeare’
- Author: Carbondale native Brian Eltz
- Publisher: Christian Faith Publishing
- Pages: 30
- Price: $24.95
A University of Scranton graduate and adjunct professor at Harrisburg Area Community College’s Lancaster campus, Eltz focuses his newest children’s book on siblings Helena and Robin as they attend a rehearsal for a play. Helena wants to watch, but Robin has his own agenda, causing disruptions. Readers are left wondering whether Helena can subdue him and if he’ll cause further problems for Shakespeare. Despite the unexpected interruptions, Shakespeare must press forward with the production.
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