New kids book from Linda Ashman celebrates coaches

Chapel Hill’s Linda Ashman, the author of more than 30 children’s books, has added one more. “Hey, Coach!” (Sterling Publishing) follows a young soccer team from its first practice to the final victorious game.

“I was inspired to write the book after many years of watching my son’s soccer, basketball and baseball games,” Ashman says. “Since most kids typically start with soccer, I decided to focus on that.

“I thought back to my son’s first team, and the challenges the coach faced in corralling a group of energetic 5-year-olds, most of whom knew very little about the game. The kids were so enthusiastic, but didn’t know the rules yet and were easily distracted – it wasn’t unusual for one to run the wrong way down the field or just stop and squat to pick a dandelion. …

“I wanted to convey some of the humor of those early athletic pursuits and give a shout-out to the good-humored and patient coaches who volunteer their time to teach young players.”

The picture book is illustrated by Kim Smith and intended for young readers and soccer enthusiasts aged 4 to 8. Signed copies are available at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill.

New title

Raleigh author Betty J. Vaughn is back with “The Intrepid Miss LaRoque” (Totalrecall Publications), the fourth book in the Ryan Madison series. With the war ending, Cissy LaRoque no longer needs to spy, but that doesn’t stop her from finding a new career where she can prove her worth.

Anniversary edition

The 20th anniversary edition of “Under the Tuscan Sun” (Broadway Books) by Frances Mayes includes a new afterword by the author. The book’s popularity was buoyed by the hit movie of the same name.

Mayes, who divides her time between Italy and North Carolina, will help celebrate the new edition on Sept. 13 at a Tuscan dinner at Antonia’s in Hillsborough. To win a paperback copy of the book email and include your name and address. Put Tuscan Sun in the subject line.

For writers

Registration is open for the North Carolina Writers’ Network Fall Conference. The annual event is the largest writing conference in the state. It will be held Nov. 4-6 at the Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley. To register, visit


Konrad Jarausch talks about “Out of Ashes” (Princeton University Press) at noon Sunday, Sept. 11, and 5 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 15, on UNC-TV’s North Carolina Bookwatch. Jarausch, a professor of European civilization at UNC-CH, describes what happened in Europe during the 100 years beginning in 1900 when France and England controlled much of the non-European world.

Triangle-area authors: We want to hear about your new book. Send information to As space permits, we will mention self-published books by local authors that are for sale on commercial sites.