Local writer A.L. Crouch recently released “The Muse” (alcrouch.com), the third installment of The Guardian series. The books are speculative fiction thrillers that feature spiritual elements.
“I think it’s important to note that I write Christian speculative fiction,” Crouch says. “I get knocked sometimes by people who think that my books aren’t Christian because I use a lot of creative license with my topics, but the themes and message are very spiritual.
“What’s important to me is the message my readers are taking away from my stories. If they come away with a desire to be closer to God, then I’ve done my job.”
Crouch, 36, says she turned to writing as a way to cope with being a single mom after her husband left her when she was pregnant with her second child. “When I was left with nothing but my dreams, I decided it was time to pursue them,” she says. “Three novels later and I’m still dreaming.”
She is an English teacher at Cary High School and spends her summers writing. “I have copies of my books in the school library and they are always checked out, so I think that’s a good thing,” she says. Crouch, who has remarried, says her husband and children are her biggest fans.
“Fathers and Sons” (Chapel Hill Press), by Dr. Witold Niesluchowski, follows a prominent cardiac surgeon who finds himself at the center of a whodunit and on an emotional journey to clear his name. Readers are treated to a realistic view of the operating room by Niesluchowski, who spent more than 30 years as a cardiac surgeon in California. He and his wife retired to Chapel Hill where he discovered a new passion in writing.
Triangle writer Suzette Faith Foster has released the revised edition of her book “Calling Back Your Power, Your Catalyst for Personal and Spiritual Transformation” (Balboa Press). Foster, whose recovery from a severe spinal cord injury has been featured in a Hallmark movie, is the founder of Choose 2 Thrive, a personal and spiritual transformational coaching and holistic healing company.
“The Perfect Christmas” (CreateSpace), by Patricia L. Christian, is the tale of three long-needled pine trees that grew up together on a tree farm in North Carolina, all dreaming of becoming beautiful Christmas trees. Christian, a registered nurse, lives in Chapel Hill.
Jennifer Riley’s “Opera: Journey From Wilderness to Paradise” (Amazon) offers a discussion of Mozart and Da Ponte’s operas, Le Nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni. Riley is from Cary.
Raleigh’s Ron Price, using the pen name James Aura, has written “When Saigon Surrendered: A Kentucky Mystery” (James Aura). The historical novel deals with an American family in the aftermath of the Vietnam and Korean wars. Price is a retired TV broadcaster and Army veteran.
Two writing contests are accepting submissions:
The 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize is open to all writers, regardless of geographic location or prior publication. It carries a $1,000 award.
The 2016 Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition awards $1,500 in prizes to a piece of lasting nonfiction that is outside the realm of conventional journalism and has relevance to North Carolinians.
For more information on both contests, visit the N.C. Writers’ Network at www.ncwriters.org.
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.