Human trafficking novel inspired by woman who escaped

Margaret Dardess of Chapel Hill zeroed in on a difficult topic for her debut novel, “Brutal Silence” (Mason Point Press).

The thriller, set in North Carolina and Mexico, is the story of a Southern woman’s terrifying experience with human trafficking. Once she escapes, she sets out on a mission to find out why she was targeted. “ ‘Brutal Silence’ is my effort to dramatize human trafficking in a way that I hope will encourage others to learn and become involved and, at the same time, provide engaging reading,” Dardess says.

She was inspired to write the book when she attended a conference sponsored by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and met a young woman who had escaped after being trafficked. “I was so moved by the woman’s story that I determined to find out everything I could about human trafficking and to do something about it.”

Proceeds from the sale of the book will support Make Way Partners, an international anti-human trafficking organization.


“Just Ordinary Soldiers” (Chapel Hill Press) by Don Overby has been recognized as a finalist in the 19th annual Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards. Editors narrowed the field to 169 finalists from more than 2,200 individual titles. The novel, which recounts his experience as a young man drafted in the 1960s to serve in Vietnam, is Overby’s first. He is an administrative law judge and lives in Johnston County.

Durham’s Andrew Peery was honored this month at the 33rd Annual L. Ron Hubbard Achievement Awards in Los Angeles. Peery’s winning story, “Useless Magic,” is included in the science fiction anthology series “L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future, Volume 33” (Galaxy Press). Peery is an anesthesiologist at Duke University Hospital.


Knightdale author Dion Wingate will be signing copies of his book “Auto Pilot” (CreateSpace) from noon to 1:30 p.m. April 29 at the New Bern Avenue Wal-Mart in Raleigh. “Auto Pilot” is Wingate’s story of growing up in Sanford and overcoming a dark past to become a community activist. A percentage of the proceeds from the signing will be donated to The Children’s Miracle Network.

For writers

Early registration for Write Now! 2017 closes April 27. The conference, to be held April 29 at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh, is sponsored by the Triangle Association of Freelancers. To register, go to

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.