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Open Books author James Hitt discusses his most recent novel, The Courage of Others and recaps his career as an author.
Jim says, "To be a good writer, you have to be a good reader."
Stories, Poems, Articles, Excerpts, Videos, Interviews, Fine Arts Expo
Literary & 
Cultural Journal
Open Books author Christy Fearn discusses her debut novel, Framed, as well as her novel-in-progress, Notorious, in a video filmed by Andrew Kells at the Nottingham Writers Studio. Christy Fearn writes historical fiction and is an avid devotee of the poet Lord Byron. 
Open Books author Susie Duncan Sexton roasts actress Shirley Jones in a reading from More Secrets of an Old Typewriter: Misunderstood Gargoyles and Overrated Angels at the Ann Arbor Arts and Culture Series.
Free For Your Enjoyment... Since 2002!   

Open Books author Alan Ramon Clinton talks about his love life (and reads from his letters to women on the web site
Return to Mameluke Bath
A twenty-minute documentary by Eleanor Bowen-Jones about Andrew Asibong's novel Mameluke Bath. Like the book, the film explores in alternately comic, serious and horrific modes, the themes of stigma, trauma and zombification in contemporary and futuristic provincial England. 
An Open Books Event
Book Launch Celebration in Toronto, Canada for As a Thief in the Night by Chuck Crabbe.
In their own voice...
Open Books author Miha Mazzini
Author of 28 books published in 9 languages
Winner of the Pushcart & Golden Palm for best film of 2012 and Best Director at Highgate Film Festival, London
discusses the writing of his novel, Paloma Negra
Simply entitled "Donald", this heartfelt biopic video chronicles author Donald O'Donovan's colorful history as well as the characters that populate his fiction. O'Donovan talks about his travels and his lifelong writing career, his love of great literature, his devotion to Southern California and, last but not least, his current indulgence, chicken farming.
Authors (click photos for full bios)
Adele Elliott
Alan Clinton
Andrew Asibong
Christy Fearn
Chuck Crabbe
David Rat
David A. Ross
Donald O'Donovan
Gregory Heath
James E. Tatooles
John Leahy
Keith Ainsworth
Kelly Huddleston
Linda Sands
Melissa Palmer
Miha Mazzini
Omoruyi Uwuigiaren
Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang
Roy Sexton
Susie Sexton
Sandra Cuza
Teri Louise Kelly
Tim Cole
Amy McLean
Kathleen Curtin
Bobby Williams
Open Books author Sandra Cuza talks with Joe Barlow of CBS Morning about her novel Passion Fruit based on her 21-year experience as an ex-pat living in Brazil.
Open Books author Teri Louise Kelly is simply "Outspoken"
Open Books Welcomes
Author Judy Volhart
Judy Volhart graduated from Montreal’s Dawson College Retail Management program with a firm understanding that she hated the retail industry and a resolution to never work in that field. Today she manages a health and dental insurance claims department. 

Judy started writing her first novel at the
 age of fifteen, and her second during her twenties, but never completed either work. In her thirties, she wrote a children’s novel, then in her forties switched to the mystery genre.  The combination of mysteries, romance and food are the perfect fit for 
her quirky sense of humor and writing 

Judy currently resides in Ottawa, Canada, and much the same as her character Amalia Kis, she enjoys wine, cheese and salamis. When she’s not eating, drinking or writing, Judy enjoys traveling, walking and cycling.

Open books will publish Judy's 'Whine and Cheese' mystery series, the first book, Asiago and the Accomplice to be released in May 1016. Two more great Judy Volhart mysteries, Ice-wine and Irish Cheddar adn Feta and the Fat Bastard will be released later this year and in early 2017. 

The Courage of Others by James Hitt

Sixteen-year-old Davy Stoneman accompanies his Aunt Esther to the train station to greet his Uncle Marsh, returning home to Twin Forks, Texas from World War I in 1919. When Davy’s uncle steps off the train, Davy realizes that the army has sent him home to die.

Aunt Easter seeks the help of Sister Rose, a black woman known for her herbs and cures. As Sister Rose slowly restores Uncle Marsh’s health, a friendship develops between Sister Rose’s teenage son Daniel and Davy. Through his new friend, Davy meets Rachel, a black girl his own age, and he finds himself attracted to her.

The three young people are soon working together to repair an old house that will be used to teach black children to read and write. As a result, Davy and his uncle and aunt find themselves caught up in events that lead to death and tragedy. 

In the face of tragedy, Davy learns that the true nature of each person is deeper than one’s skin, that depravity can reshape a soul into something ugly and mean and destructive, and that the courage to confront such depravity, no matter what the cost, is often learned through the ‘courage of others’. 

James Hitt
Unconscious Knowledge by Beaird Glover

​Growing up poor and within a troubled family, Marcy Harris takes a job at a hospital cafeteria, and the monotony is killing her.

Then, on Christmas Day, she meets Syd McComb, a jet-cool punk rocker recently returned from a ten-year stay in Mexico, and Syd looks like all the trouble she’s been dying to get into.

Together they are as explosive as dynamite, and once the fuse is lit, they vent their frustrations with style, taking vengeance where it’s due and staying one step ahead of the disgraced cop who’s seething to catch them.

And they don’t feel guilty, doing what they do, because bad people should die—that’s just unconscious knowledge.

Open Books Welcomes
Author Sid Gustafson
In addition to being a longtime veterinarian and a university educator at the University 
of Guelph, where he teaches Equine Behavior, Dr. Sid Gustafson is a journalist for the New York Timeswhere he has a 
large and faithful following of readers.

As the renowned Montana novelist Diedre McNamera says: "Sid Gustafson writes like the language is a race horse and he is the rider, ready to go as far and fast as they both can go.”

"Few novelists have a sense of place, for Americans are a rootless people - Sid's is acute, and he tells a great story of his land and the people on it and in it ...” says Peter Bowen, the great Métis mystery novelist.

"Sid Gustafson's understanding of 
Montana - real cowboys and Indians, 
and the love-hate dependency that ties them, the land, and its animals together - 
is bone deep, blood true, and beautifully described."   --Neil McMahon, bestselling Montana novelist.

Open Books will publish Sid's third novel, Swift Dam, in April, 2016.

The Value of Men by Robert T. Hunting

When the bank forecloses on their family home during the Great Depression, young Justyn Morrow’s father is unable to bear the weight of financial collapse and suffers a fatal heart attack. Justyn’s grieving mother tries to maintain some semblance of stability for herself and her son, but she soon follows her husband to the grave.

With nowhere to go and no way to support himself, Justyn joins the ever-growing community of hobos riding the rails from coast to coast in search of a better tomorrow. This society of outcasts is populated by all manner of characters, some dangerous, and some simply quirky, and Justyn is often overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers, as well as victimized by meanness and cruelty. 

Whether sharing a meal cooked over an open fire with a disgraced academic, or staring down the barrel of a Browning held by an attractive woman escaping her abusive husband, or being trapped in a copper mine a mile below the earth’s surface, Justyn’s personal beliefs are tested over and over again. Beyond simple survival during hard times, what is he really seeking, and where might he find it? Surely, the answers lay not around the next bend in the road, but within the terrain of his own character.

I Shot Bruce by Brett Busang

Set in London, beginning in the early sixties and spanning five decades, I Shot Bruce follows Vijay Asunder, a rock-and-roll wannabe who, many decades after he is spurned by the manager of a singing group that eventually becomes world-famous, finally decides that he must kill the one person that symbolizes the success that has eluded him, his replacement. During a fifty-year span of time, Asunder follows the fortunes of the band and its various members as he pursues the alternate and ever-so-quiet,  but not-very-satisfying life he's made for himself as an antique dealer. Yet with each passing year, and with each reminder of "what might have been", his obsession for revenge grows, until finally he must act. 

Conceived loosely on the untimely dismissal and subsequent life of Pete Best, the so-called 'fifth Beatle', Asunder's perspective and his ultimate commitment to retribution differs markedly from Ringo Starr's predecessor. Intelligent and intense, I Shot Bruce chronicles and dramatizes obsession to the point of self-destruction.     
A Dandy Little Game by Bill McCulloch

Johnny Sharansky, a forty-three-year-old gambler who has avoided gainful employment for twenty-three years, takes big risks, crazy risks sometimes, but none bigger or crazier than his pursuit of a young, high-class shiksa, Margaret, who is fascinated by organized crime figures, and his infatuation lands him in deep trouble with the law, the blue-blood’s fiancé, and the Chicago outfit.

Johnny is savvy and slick, but he still has a big lesson to learn, and his North Shore obsession is ready to teach the well-heeled gambler A Dandy Little Game.  

Set in Chicago in 1942, McCulloch's novel evokes a period of post-Capone operators, petty racketeers and high society ingenues waiting out World War II.

Brett Busang
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Upcoming Author Events
Beaird Glover
Robert T. Hunting
Proud Sponsors Supporting Open Books & Our Authors
Open Books author James Hitt
Grand Prize winner for Fiction Next Generation Indie Book Awards
Author of​ The American West, Fiction to Film, which has been called the definitive monograph on the subject
“The Boy with Too Much Hair”
Grand Prize for best fantasy story from Once
Follow Jim's journey 
Black Butterfly by Victoria McGrew

Black Butterfly is a story of hope, perseverance, and destiny. It is a memoir of the events and memories that shaped Victoria McGrew's early life. 

"Black Butterfly is real, it is raw. It will change your attitudes and understanding, and you will find yourself pulling for Victoria. It is the story of the saddest, most hopeless upbringing you can imagine, and this amazing woman’s journey through rejection, abandonment and every other kind of abuse imaginable, to reconciliation and peace. You will ask yourself, 'What kept Victoria going?' And, hopefully, this book will encourage you to look deep into yourself and find something that you did not know you possessed. Victoria is a survivor. A heroine."—Doris Buffett, The Sunshine Lady Foundation

Swift Dam by Sid Gustafson

It had been a long snowy winter and spring. The rivers were late rising, and the mountains held onto a pure white snow-cover. Rain fell upon the deep winter snow the day before the Flood of '64. Waters rose, the rivers raged. The dam failed to hold the Birch Creek flow, and broke, giving way to a wall of water and drowning the Indians. 

​Veterinarian Alphonse Vallerone dreams out this novel of dreamers dreaming. He goes back 40 years to the day after the Flood, when he assisted the surviving Indians. Riding from one devastated ranch to another, he tends to the surviving yet devastated animals and tries to mend the grief wrought by the Flood. 

Underpinned by the lingering and harsh reminders of the Blackfeet Nation’s heroic, tragic, and vibrant past, Gustafson’s third novel chronicles the heartrending drama of the Blackfeet people.

Swift Dam celebrates the native land and the Natives who survive as they have survived throughout time, perilously. It is the story of a veterinarian who attempts to sustain and nurture life on the land, his empathy with the living, and his sympathy for the dead and dying.
Open Books Welcomes
Author Fergus MacRoich

Fergus MacRoich was born in Belgium and moved to the United States where he spent his early childhood in South Philadelphia and then moved to Brooklyn. After graduating high school, he joined the Medical Corps in the Air Force and was sent to Selma, Alabama during the Civil Rights Movement where he flew helicopter rescue. He received a B.A. in Russian Studies from the University of Alabama and earned a Masters and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in Russian Literature with a minor in French Literature. He worked as a Green Beret language instructor at Fort Bragg, NC from 1975-78. In 1988, he received a B.A. from the University of Alaska in Fairbanks in Spanish Literature. He has lived in Mexico, Spain, France, Russia, and Texas, and worked as a language teacher at the University of Alaska (1978-1997). Fergus was also  the poetry editor for Paper Radio for several years. He resided on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska for 15 years and has recently moved to Bellingham, Washington.

Open Books will publish two novels by Fergus: Fried Chicken, Jesus and Chocolate this spring, and Ishmael 
Crosses the River later this year.

Fried Chicken, Jesus and Chocolate by Fergus MacRoich

In Fried Chicken, Jesus and Chocolate
Ishmael is born to a heroin addicted mother whom he thinks is a spider. Much of his time while growing up is spent eating fried chicken and watching cartoons. When his mother overdoses Ishmael goes to live with Grandma Cecilia, who impresses the teachings of Jesus upon him. After Grandma Cecilia is murdered, Ishmael is taken to a Boy's Home where he is abused but is protected by 'higher powers' and his own will to survive. 

Fried Chicken, Jesus and Chocolate is as much about storytelling as it is about style, and the ending is as magical and fantastical as some of the moments in Ishmael's life. 
Whine & Cheese Cozy Mystery Series 
Asiago and the Accomplice by Judy Volhart
Book 1

There’s something cheesy going on around here…

Thirty-year-old Amalia Kis just opened a new bistro that specializes in selling mouth-watering platters of cheeses, salamis, artisan breads and wines with quirky names like Broke Ass, Well Hung and The Accomplice.  

But when she’s greeted by the body of the local town hoarder hanging from the coat hooks at her bistro, she finds herself in the midst of an unsavory murder investigation, and her plans for success are quickly thwarted. 

After a second body turns up in her stairway, the list of suspects steadily grows, as does Amalia’s desperation when her Hungarian parents decide to visit for a few days. To further complicate her life, Matt, an ex-cop who now owns his own private investigating firm, takes a sudden interest in her, but getting cozy with him proves to be difficult amidst concussions, break-ins, and her overprotective parents.

Amalia’s savings are quickly dwindling, as are the customers at the bistro amidst all the scandal. Desperate not to lose her bistro, and since the police don’t seem to be making much headway, Amalia starts investigating on her own.

Without a clue as to what she’s doing, will she end up pasteurized or live to Whine another day?

Eve's Folly
is the 
version of
Fresh Cut

​Buy eBook
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Judy Volhart
Open Books' author, film & theatre critic 
Roy Sexton
To Perform with 
The Penny Seats
"Jacques Brel
is alive and well
and living in Paris"

In his latest book Roy reviews Sting's new musical "The Last Ship", offers musings on shows by Lady Gaga, Cher, Randy Newman, and Katy Perry; and has written one of the snarkiest pieces you will ever read about a "Transformers" film!
Asiago and the Accomplice by Judy Volhart
Judy Volhart
Fergus MacRoich
Victoria McGrew
Bill McCulloch
Coming Soon!
Unconscious Knowledge
by Beaird Glover

Together, Syd and Marcy are as explosive as dynamite, and once the fuse is lit, 
they vent their frustrations with style, taking vengeance where it’s due and 
staying one step ahead of the disgraced cop who’s seething to catch them.

Open Books 
Welcomes Author 
Diana Tarant Schmidt
Diana Tarant Schmidt loves getting lost in a story, and it is that love that is the undercurrent to all that she does.

For fourteen years she has taught junior high school, and she shares her love of stories with her students. 

Through teaching, Diana has also gained an enthusiasm for service. With the help of her students, she executes several projects each year, donating money, objects and time to various organizations in the Chicago area where she lives and works.

When not teaching, she and her husband find time for small adventures. Diana’s favorites include running the marathon, mountain hiking and travel.

Outside the classroom, Diana writes curriculum and raises two incredible humans along with the best partner 
and true superhero imaginable.

Open Books will publish Diana's debut novel, Remember For Me, as part of its Spring 2016 catalog.

Remember For Me by Diana Tarant Schmidt

A war between good and evil has raged for as long as humanity has existed, and the balance of power between its forces has always remained equal. But that longstanding balance has begun to shift, and the survival of mankind may be at risk. What is the source of this duality, and how do the proponents of light and darkness use humans to further their cause?

When Clara Eros awakens with no memory, her questions are fundamental: who is she; and why is she here? The answer she receives is predetermined and singular: she has been recruited to fight a battle against the reign of darkness. But is Clara just a pawn in a much larger game?

Once her transformation is complete, Clara finds herself, in body and mind, as a younger, stronger version of the person she can no longer remember, and now she must search for the common thread hidden within malevolence and turn the tide in a war where humanity is succumbing to chaos and brutality. Will she be strong enough to bring humanity back into the light?

For Me
by Diana 
Tarant Schmidt