Grady Jefferys of Raleigh says “Keeping it Together” (CreateSpace) is an improbable love story. He should know. It is his own.
With the blessing of his wife, Marie, Jefferys has chronicled the couple’s history, which includes events that once made news headlines. “Our three younger children urged us to write our story before we got too old to remember it,” he said.
“In some ways, the book is a matter of setting the record straight regarding some of the gossip that has followed us over the years.”
When Grady and Marie met, she was a troubled young woman seeking to free herself from a disastrous marriage to an older man, and he was a self-professed playboy with no intentions of a committed relationship. Their love affair faced family disapproval, a violent encounter with Marie’s husband, a long separation and legal turmoil. Their marriage defied the conventions and values of the 1950s and has endured for more than 60 years.
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Jefferys, 81, said the writing process involved many conversations with Marie, 80, about their past. “Sometimes it felt like we were tearing the scabs off unhealed sores.”
As a retired journalist, Jefferys had another motivation for making his story public. “I have told other people’s secrets, and many of those affected would have preferred that their secrets remained secret. I felt that to be less than forthcoming would be hypocritical.”
Set in 1840s New Bern, “Run, Cissy, Run” (Total Recall Publishers) by Betty J. Vaughn follows Cissy LaRoque, a child born to privilege in a loveless home who struggles with her mother’s rejection. When war breaks out in 1861, Cissy finally has the chance to find purpose for her life.
The manuscript for “Run, Cissy, Run” won the 2013 award for historical fiction from the North Carolina Society of Historians. The novel is the third for Vaughn, a former art teacher at Enloe High School who lives in Raleigh.
“Answers for Julie” (CreateSpace) by Cate Beauman is the ninth title in her Bodyguards of L.A. County series. In the romantic suspense novel, Julie Keller and bodyguard Chase Rider dig into a 25-year-old mystery. Beauman lives in Wake Forest.
Detective Sam McClellan uncovers a drug trafficking scheme along the North Carolina coast in Laura S. Wharton’s seventh novel, “Deceived” (Broad Creek Press). Wharton, a former Triangle resident, lives in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
For young readers
“The Adventures of Ricky the Golden Rooster” (FrisenPress) by Triangle resident Angus Fubara is the lively tale of a silly rooster and his road to maturity. Fubara said he was inspired by his 3-year-old son to write a book that encourages respect, friendship and second chances.
“Serafina and the Black Cloak” (Disney-Hyperion) by Robert Beatty of Asheville is a spooky historical mystery-thriller about an unusual girl who lives secretly in the basement of the Biltmore Estate.
Triangle-area authors: We want to hear about your new book. Send information to firstname.lastname@example.org. As space permits, we will mention self-published books by local authors that are for sale on commercial sites.