Books

Author set new novel in Oakwood

“Hearing Things” by Nancy Young is a romantic suspense novel set in Raleigh’s historic Oakwood.
“Hearing Things” by Nancy Young is a romantic suspense novel set in Raleigh’s historic Oakwood. World Castle Publishing

Nancy Young says a lack of fresh reading material was the push she needed to try her hand at writing full-length fiction.

“Three years ago, I was scouting the shelves of my local library, scanning book after book and finding the same tired plots and the same cardboard characters,” she said.

Young already had a wealth of poetry and short stories to her credit when she decided to shift her focus. “I started to write the kinds of books that I wanted to read and couldn’t find. ... I work to make my characters into real people, the kind that you both identify with and shake your head over.”

Her latest work, “Hearing Things” (World Castle Publishing), is a romantic suspense novel set in Raleigh’s historic Oakwood.

“For setting, I draw on the places I know and love. The Philadelphia Main Line where I grew up and the Raleigh area, where I’ve lived most of my adult life. ... Both areas are rich in twisted history and haunting atmosphere.”

Young says that for artistic inspiration she turns to the talent at the long-running Third Thursday reading series in Fuquay-Varina, which she co-hosts. “The readings include flash fiction, poetry, short story and novel excerpts by local authors who range from teen to senior citizen, fledgling to polished professional,” she said. “Our list of featured readers is like a Who’s Who of North Carolina writers.”

Young is a former English and film instructor at a local community college. She lives in Fuquay-Varina.

New titles

“Yesterday’s Magnolia” (Total Recall Publications) is the latest book by Raleigh author Betty J. Vaughn. “ ‘Yesterday’s Magnolia’ was my first manuscript and is based on two sisters, a mutual friend and Frenchman, and the interconnections between them,” she said. Vaughn won awards for historical fiction from the North Carolina Society of Historians for her three previous novels.

Cary’s Darryl Rodgers shares the story of the life and death of his 20-year-old son Chase in “A Life Half Lived: A True Story of Love, Addiction, Tragedy, and Hope” (CreateSpace). Chase, who appeared to have it all, died last year in a tragic wreck on Interstate 40. “The choices you make today will shape your future,” Rodgers said. “One of the most important choices young people make is the choice of who to associate with. Introduce me to your top five peers and I know all I need to know about you.” For five days beginning Dec. 30, the electronic version of the book will be available for free on Amazon.

Local writer AlexSandra Lett shares anecdotes and insights from her upbringing in the country and career in the city in her sixth book, “The Harvest: Timeless Lessons for an Abundant Life” (Transformations).

Raleigh authors Clay and Susan Griffith have released “The Geomancer” (Pyr), the first in their Vampire Empire series. The Griffiths’ seventh novel combines action and romance in an urban fantasy world.

Bookwatch

Scott Syfert discusses “The First American Declaration of Independence?” (McFarland) on UNC-TV’s North Carolina Bookwatch at noon Sunday Dec. 27 and 5 p.m. Thursday Dec. 31. One of the long-standing debates about our state’s history concerns a date on the state flag: May 24, 1775, the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. Charlotte lawyer Syfert presents both sides of a dispute about the validity of “Meck Dec.”

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

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