General Fiction

A wide variety of top notch writing….

The Latest from Carolina Book Beat

Long Gone Daddies

R09_0023 Long Gone Daddies

Long Gone Daddies by David Wesley Williams (broadcast 7-15-2013) A tale told to the cadence of a rocking chair on a porch back of the house on a summer night, fireflies, maybe a guitar strum now and again, a sip of something.  Long Gone Daddies is written like a song for anyone who has ever responded to the rhythm of the road and the wail of southern blues or wished they had the nerve to try.

Luther Gaunt follows the trail of the men of his line before him through the back roads and music joints of the South carrying Cassie, the guitar that seduced them all.  He’s looking for his history and the song waiting for him around the next corner.  He finds it all and more than he wanted when he and his bandmates, Jimmy Lee Vine and Buck Walker, meet up with Delia, who could sing the songs into your soul and wanted to ride them to fame and fortune.

With Memphis as much as a player in the story as any, Williams doesn’t explain the whys and wherefores of the people who live for the songs, he tells their stories the way they would want them told, with heart and a good downbeat.  Along the way he brings us a taste of the lives that benefit us all with their music but one few of us would dare to live.

The next time you listen to Patsy or Otis or Elvis or Johnny you’ll remember the Long Gone Daddies and hear the songs a little better.  Find out more at

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When A Scot Loves A Lady  by Katharine Ashe (broadcast 2-13-2012) A perfect Valentine filled with romance, passion and intrigue is ours with Ashe’s new novel, book one of the of new Falcon Club Series.  The author asks  “What would you dare for the perfect love?” and then tells us tales of those who would dare a lot.  But beyond the page turning storytelling this university history professor also talks with us about the “romance novel”, when it began and what it might tell us about the roles women have been given, or taken, in society both past and present.   Find out more at Katharine Ashe.

In the Arms of a Marquess by Katherine Ashe (broadcast 9-26-2011)  Ashe has written a perfect example of the historical romance novel.  This third installment of the “Rogues of the Sea” trilogy takes us to Regency England and the romance and danger of the West Indies.  Supported by thorough historical research her story of passion blends seamlessly into the cultural mores, adventure and political intrigues of the time.  For lovers of historical romance this is a definite winner.  Find out more at

The Magician King by Lev Grossman (broadcast 9-5-11) Here is an invitation to enter another world, a world of magic, challenging, oft times dangerous, but always offering the possibility of achieving all one might wish for.  The Magician King continues the story of very human individuals who happen to have rare and special gifts.  How these gifts effect their lives, their humanity and the worlds they live in forms the basis of the literary fantasy series that began with the  bestselling The Magicians.  Listen in as Grossman talks about the difference between Fantasy and Science Fiction, writing and why we need the printed page.  Find out more at The Magician King.

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The Solitude of Prime Numbers: A Novel by Paolo Giordano (Viking) (broadcast 4-18-2011) A best selling international literary sensation about whether a “prime number” can ever truly connect with someone else
A prime number can only be divided by itself or by one-it never truly fits with another. Alice and Mattia, both “primes,” are misfits who seem destined to be alone. Haunted by childhood tragedies that mark their lives, they cannot reach out to anyone else. When Alice and Mattia meet as teenagers, they recognize in each other a kindred, damaged spirit.
But the mathematically gifted Mattia accepts a research position that takes him thousands of miles away, and the two are forced to separate. Then a chance occurrence reunites them and forces a lifetime of concealed emotion to the surface.   Find out more at

Journal of a UFO Investigator by David Halperin (broadcast 2-7-2011)  A book within a book, within a book, Halperin, UNC Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies, offers a universe of experience from which the reader can choose.  A boy in his early teens whose mother is dying becomes involved in investigating a suspected government cover-up of UFO activity.  What is real, what is fantasy and how they intertwine with what it means to believe are some questions that, along with skilled storytelling, makes this a book that will keep you reading…and thinking.  Find out more at

The Wanderer of  New Hope by Bob Crowley (broadcast 10-25-2010)  For those of you who love to curl up with a good ghost story to make you wonder what else is out there in the dark, this is the ticket.  Crowley spins a riveting tale of a mysterious figure that wanders the woods around New Hope, NC, startling and changing people’s lives down through generations.  Is it imagination or is it real?  You decide.  Coming soon from Peak City Publishing.

The Wet Nurse’s Tale by Erica Eisdorfer (broadcast 9-13-2010) The author has written a tale that draws you into the life of Susan Rose, a bawdy professional wet nurse in  Victorian England.  The telling brings to mind the vibrancy and vigor of The Canterbury Tales.  Susan is always a survivor, never a victim as she deals with what was  a woman’s place in that era with infectious vigor and humor.   Find out more at

The Cauldronby Ned Condini (broadcast 2-8-2010)Fiodor Bulovski arrives in Texas during the Carter era from where he begins his peregrinations from Texas to New York, with flashbacks to Russia. Involvement with colleagues exposes him to rattlers-shakers and political bigots, incestuous cowboys and Southern secessionists, a tornado’s horrors and the bewitching beauty of Big Bend.  Find out more at

Persian Dreams by Maryam Tabibzadeh (broadcast 1-25-2009)  Through war and peace, loss and triumph this novel invites the reader to experience one hundred years of Iranian history through the eyes of its passionate characters. Interweaving fact and fiction, it brings to life a culture and history that is largely unknown to Westerners, revealing a family, and a story, you will never forget.  Clearly and intimately written, you are carried by the story while painlessly learning much about the people of this fascinating land.  Find out more at

Picara by Pat MacEnulty (broadcast 1-18-2010) In Picara a 14-year-old female Huck Finn type, Eli Burnes, takes off on a journey across 1970’s America and carries the entranced reader with her every step of the way.  Leaving home to go on the road after the death of the opera diva who acted as her mother, Eli meets with race riots, the counter-culture music scene, the Weathermen underground and many kinds of love, including that of her father.  Find out more at

Fires of Europe by Phyllis Harrison (broadcast 12-07-2009) Rebellion is not an option in the France of 1640.  The King and Cardinal Richelieu oversee a network of priests who set snares for those not following closely enough to their rules.  Gilles Montroville tries to live the life his parents have planned for him but he is launched into a world far away from his protected childhood.  Find out more at

Leaving the Comfort Cafe by Dawn Wilson (broadcast 9-7-2009) Readers will never again view small southern towns the same way after meeting the unique personalities of people living in Conyers, North Carolina.  From  Austin, newly arrived with his masters degree, who takes a job as town manager to the well-oiled machinery of “good ol’ boy” Southern politics to the Comfort Cafe with its famous raspberry pie and even more famous waitress, Blythe, you’ll be entertained and moved as you are carried along by skilled storytelling.  Find out more at

Where the Lake Becomes the River by Kate Betterton (broadcast 6-15-2009) “Homespun and profound, deadpan and poetic, hilarious and heartbreaking, Kate Betterton’s WHERE THE LAKE BECOMES THE RIVER puts me in mind of Walker Percy, John Kennedy Toole and Harper Lee. Her voice, like her imagination, is inspired and authentic to its deep-South core.” Joseph Bathanti.  Find out more at

On Agate Hill: A Novel by Lee Smith (broadcast 11-3-2008) It is 1872 shortly after the Civil War in Agate Hill, North Carolina. On her thirteenth birthday, Molly Petree starts to keep a diary that is destined to be found  during a historic renovation project in 2003.  Along with the contents of her “box of phenomena”   it provides the basis for this extraordinary novel which chronicles her passionate, picaresque journey through love, betrayal, motherhood, a murder trial—and finally back to Agate Hill to end her days under circumstances that even she could never have imagined.  Find out more at


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