Pinecones & Pages: the Boone Literary Festival

Pinecones & Pages is a literary festival in Boone, North Carolina where the books come to life as the characters appear and interact with each author and audience.
Saturday, May 14th, 2022



Pinecones & Pages, The Boone Literary Festival begins at 11:30AM at The Jones House (604 W King St, Boone, NC 28607)and will feature authors there, and in The Appalachian Theatre Community Room across the street, til 5PM p.m. It is free to attend. Go from room to room to hear authors read as their books spring to life with music, chocolate, or when characters take over the dialogue. 
At 7:00 p.m. go to The Appalachian Theatre Community Room for a show of literature and music with Nashville stars and a world class band.  Donations are accepted but not necessary.

Browse the authors and books we have joining us at this one of a kind event in our beautiful part of the world!

Sharon Lutz

Sharon Lutz is the author of Untouchable: A Story of the Ridgeview Panthers as told by Xenophone Lutz Jr., which was the number 1 New Release in Children’s Football Books the first week of release. She is a 22-year veteran teacher from Hickory, NC. She has two daughters and resides in Greensboro, NC. She writes children’s books to inspire young readers.
In 1964, the Ridgeview Panthers of Ridgeview High school in Hickory, North Carolina, went the entire football season undefeated and NO OTHER TEAM SCORED ON THEM THE ENTIRE SEASON. At the end of the season, the cumulative score was 446-0. They became known as “The Untouchables”. They were the 1964 AA State Champions and they hold records in North Carolina High School State football for 74 consecutive regular season victories and 14 consecutive shutouts. The team has been inducted into Catawba County Sports Hall of Fame as a “Team of Distinction”. The school was closed in 1966 but the memories and accomplishments of the students and staff at this all black school, live on today.

Keith Flynn

Keith Flynn is the award-winning author of eight books, including six collections of poetry: most recently The Skin of Meaning (Red Hen Press, 2020), and two collections of essays, entitled The Rhythm Method, Razzmatazz and Memory: How To Make Your Poetry Swing (Writer’s Digest Books, 2007), and Prosperity Gospel: Portraits of the Great Recession (RedHawk Publications, 2021). From 1984-1999, he was lyricist and lead singer for the nationally acclaimed rock band, The Crystal Zoo, which produced several albums. He is the Executive Director and producer of the TV and radio show, “LIVE at White Rock Hall,” and Animal Sounds Productions, both which create collaborations between writers and musicians in video and audio formats. His award-winning poetry and essays have appeared in many journals and anthologies around the world. Flynn is founder and managing editor of The Asheville Poetry Review, which began publishing in 1994.
Prosperity Gospel: Portraits of the Great Recession is a collaboration between Keith Flynn and photographer Charter Weeks, who spent three years conducting over 100 interviews with citizens living within about 200 miles of Asheville, NC. Each stunning photographic portrait is accompanied by these oral histories and interwoven with vignettes and details of each subject’s experience with The Great Recession, which landed on the American public in Sept. 2008, and affected every aspect of their lives as the economy and banking industry collapsed. The book is broken into four main sections: Profiles of the Working Poor, Working Around It, One Crisis from Catastrophe, and Where the Money Goes. Each section is anchored with well-researched essays outlining the subject matter and focused on the causes and consequences of the crisis as it unraveled each commentator’s previously held conceptions about our country.

Christy Alexander Hallberg

Christy is the author of the award-winning novel Searching for Jimmy Page. She is a Teaching Professor of English at East Carolina University, where she also serves as Senior Associate Editor of North Carolina Literary Review. She received her BS and MA in English from East Carolina University and her MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) from Goddard College. Her fiction, creative nonfiction, book reviews, and interviews have appeared in such journals as NCLR, Main Street Rag, Eclectica, storySouth, Entropy, Litro, Concho River Review, Deep South Magazine, and Still: The Journal. Her creative nonfiction essay “The Ballad of Evermore” was a finalist for the Sequestrum 2020 Editor’s Reprint Award. Her flash story “Aperture,” originally published as Story of the Month in Fiction Southeast, was selected for the 2021 issue of Best Small Fictions.
The unraveling of eighteen-year-old Luna Kane’s haunted past begins in the winter of 1988, when her dying great-grandfather, a self-proclaimed faith healer, claims he hears phantom owls crying in the night. “Them owls, like music. Can you hear the music?” he implores her in his final moments, triggering Luna’s repressed memory of her dead mother’s obsession with Jimmy Page, Led Zeppelin’s legendary guitar wizard. Desperate to learn the truth about her mother’s suicide, to tease fact from family lore to weave her own personal narrative, Luna embarks on a pilgrimage from her family’s farm in the pines of eastern North Carolina to England, to search for the man whose music her mother held sacred. Searching for Jimmy Page is a story about grief and identity and the power of art and music and how they connect us to others and ourselves.

Order your book in advance, here:

Tony Granger

Tony Granger is a former stay-at-home Dad, electronics tech, window clerk, bulk mail tech, musician, basketball junkie and odd-job aficionado who somehow managed to graduate with a B.A. from Rutgers University-Camden and retire from both the U.S. Air Force Reserves and the U.S. Postal Service. He was born in Minneapolis, MN and also grew up in Cleveland, OH, Washington, DC, and Philadelphia, PA. After also residing in Texas, New York, Japan, and Turkey, he lives in New Jersey, where he reads, writes, runs, plays guitar, and roots for all the Philly sports teams. “It’s a New Day” features a tech savvy, jazz loving, martial arts teacher and mentor to underprivileged girls, Angela Edwards, who lives a double life as a serial killer. The story revolves around her love with Ty Conor, a happy-go-lucky musician with a quirky day job. Ty’s life offers a comical contrast to Angela’s dark path while their natural chemistry, enhanced by their mutual bi-racial experiences, is their bond. As they fall in love, Angela continues her killings in secret, even while operating her own school for girls. Once suspicious, Ty questions her and she confesses in a soul baring trilogy of back stories that enlighten the reader as to why she does what she does. Ty’s love for Angela keeps him silent in support despite the probing of detectives and federal agents on her trail. Assassins make attempts on her life, but Angela rises from near death powerfully transformed and more determined to carry out her school’s mission.

Paul Attaway

Paul Attaway is a Southern fiction writer and the author of Blood in the Low Country. Paul and his wife split their time between Charleston, SC and Phoenix, AZ, where they raised their three children. Paul recently retired from a 30-year career as a small business entrepreneur. His second novel, Eli’s Redemption, is set to release in 2022.
Blood in the Lowcountry- The year is 1973, and by all appearances, Monty Atkins has a wonderful life. Along with his wife, Rose, the girl of his dreams he met in college, they are raising two boys, Eli and Walker. Humble but competitive, Monty is slowly but steadily building a profitable and well-respected law practice in beautiful Charleston, SC. His hard work, steeped in a deeply ingrained Protestant work ethic, is paying dividends in the form of a second home on Kiawah Island and membership in the exclusive Wappoo Country Club. Rose, an aspiring socialite, chairs committees and works tirelessly for her church and the school their boys attend. In a flash, everything changes when a brutal murder and a shocking betrayal turns their world upside down. Brewing beneath the surface lurks a conspiracy of lies about who they are and what they believe.
Come and meet Paul at Daniel Boone Park on May 14th at Pinecones & Pages, The Boone Literary Festival.
Order your. copy in advance, here:

Barry Lee Swanson

Barry Lee Swanson is an author, poet, United States Army veteran, and assistant professor emeritus at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. After a career in public education as an English teacher, coach, and school administrator, Swanson served as a full-time lecturer in the College of Education at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. He is currently in the process of writing his second novel and publishing his complete poems. Barry and his wife, Gail, reside on Lake Norman in North Carolina. Still Point- Philip Zumwalt is an accomplished musician, poet, and idealist-a dreamer. Fresh out of college in 1940, he takes a job as a music teacher in a small, rural Illinois town. His plan is to teach for a few years hoping to save enough money to finance his dreams: go to Chicago to become a professional musician and get his pilot’s license. These dreams dominate his thoughts until one summer night when he meets Elinor Robinson. Philip and Elinor’s forbidden romance-and the specter of war hanging over the country-put Philip’s dreams on hold. When he enlists in the Army Air Force, the gifted artist goes on an unpredictable journey of lost innocence. Life and death hang in the balance as he overcomes his fears and spiritual doubts in a desperate effort to survive aerial combat in the maelstrom of the Southwest Pacific Theater. In the end, a single dream remains for Philip: to return home to the woman he loves.

Landis Wade

It’s modern day in the New South City of Charlotte, North Carolina, when three retirees at the Independence Retirement Community, a/k/a The Indie, team up to investigate two mysteries related to the death of a 96-year-old resident. Why was his manuscript about the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence missing when they found his body? And why did his handwritten will dated the day he died disinherit his beloved granddaughter (his only heir), and leave his $50 million fortune to Sue Ellen Parker, the most despised resident at the Indie? At the urging of Chuck Yeager Alexander, an optimistic soul who loves historical conspiracies, and Harriet Keaton, a former businesswoman with an extreme dislike of Sue Ellen Parker, Craig Travail, a trial lawyer recently ousted from his law firm after 40 years, reluctantly goes to court to challenge the dead man’s will for the granddaughter. This decision sets in motion a series of dangerous events that could lead the threesome to discover the answer to a colonial mystery that has evaded historians for more than two centuries.

Landis Wade is a recovering trial lawyer, host of Charlotte Readers Podcast (where he has conducted more than 300 author interviews), and author of books and stories. His short work has appeared in, The Charlotte Observer, Flying South, Fiction on the Web and in more than six anthologies, including by Daniel Boone Footsteps. He lives in Charlotte, Durham, and Watauga County, North Carolina, where he writes and podcasts, visits his grandchild, and fly-fishes. His love of history led to his novel, Deadly Declarations.
Get your copy in advance, here:

Jeremy Jones

Jeremy B. Jones is the author of the memoir Bearwallow, which was named the 2014 Appalachian Book of the Year in nonfiction and awarded gold in memoir in the 2015 Independent Publisher Book Awards. His essays appear in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including Oxford American, Appalachian Reckoning, and The Iowa Review. Born and raised in the mountains of North Carolina, Jeremy earned his MFA from the University of Iowa and now serves as an associate professor of English at Western Carolina University, where he teaches creative writing and directs the Spring Literary Festival. Alongside Elena Passarello, Jeremy is the series co-editor of In Place, a nonfiction book series from West Virginia University Press.
Jeremy Jones and his wife move into a small house above the creek where his family had settled 200 years prior. He takes a job alongside his former teachers in the local elementary school and sets out on a search to understand how this ancient land has shaped its people―how it shaped him. His search sends him burrowing in the past―hunting buried treasure and POW camps, unearthing Civil War graves and family feuds, exploring gated communities and tourist traps, encountering changed accents and immigrant populations, tracing both Walmart sidewalks and carved-out mountains―and pondering the future. He meshes narrative and myth, geology and genealogy, fiddle tunes and local color in his exploration of the briskly changing and oft-stigmatized world of his native southern Appalachians and particularly the mystical Bearwallow Mountain, a peak suddenly in flux.

Order your copy here:

Joe Palmer

A native of Waycross, Georgia and 30-year resident of Fernandina Beach, Florida, Joe Palmer is an award-winning former newspaper reporter and longtime columnist whose folksy column, Cup of Joe, ran for ten years in the Fernandina Beach News-Leader with a large and enthusiastic following. He’s written investigative reporting and feature stories for the Bradenton Herald, Macon Telegraph and News and the Florida Times-Union. A Navy veteran and medical corpsman, he went on to work as a surgeon’s assistant at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Jacksonville, Florida while attending college for his BA in English and Literature at the University of North Florida. He parlayed his newspaper investigative experience into a twenty-year career as an investigator for the Federal Public Defender’s Office, from which he retired in 2012. A Mariner’s Tale is his first novel. He’s currently writing his second novel. A sailor, he got the idea for his debut novel while working on an antique sailboat he and his wife painstakingly restored. He’s actively involved in local theatre, and will appear in a production of Scrooge at the Amelia Musical Playhouse in December. He lives in Fernandina Beach with his wife, Pam and a huge Great Dane named Harley.
In a Mariner’s Tale a county sheriff, a judge who’s skeptical about outside-the-box solutions, and a brooding, old sailor, unite in a perfect constellation to rescue an angry and wayward youth. Set on a lush, small barrier island in Northeast Florida, the author’s debut novel is at once a coming-of-age saga filled with anger and angst, and a bittersweet story of love and hope long after such expectations have faded in the mind of the protagonist, Jack Merkel. But it is above all a story of redemption and the power of love to flourish as one of nature’s most destructive furies, a major hurricane, bears down on the island threatening everything, including his marina and the mulligan stew of quirky characters within it.

Order your copy here:

Dale Neal

A psychopathic killer disappears into the mountains and haunts the troubled residents. After the murderous Angel Jones escapes from a prison work crew, he mysteriously vanishes deep into the North Carolina woods forcing newcomers Cal and Joy McAlister to deal with his macabre presence lingering in the secluded forest. Burdened with grief, guilt, and unfilled dreams, Cal and Joy are joined by an oddball handyman and a young detoxing neighbor as they grapple with the enigma of Angel’s menacing specter. Each of them brings their private ghosts to live and gives their worst fears flesh. This Southern Gothic tale blends ancient metaphysics with tantalizing thrills to make readers keenly aware of the wonders and woes of the world.
For Dale Neal, a veteran journalist and writing teacher, compelling fiction requires friction. He writes stories sparked by the spectrum of the human experience from humor to horror, tears to laughter, and hope to heartbreak. A practicing Buddhist and North Carolina native, Dale is the author of two previous novels, The Half-Life of Home and Cows Across America, winner of the Novello Literary Award.
Get your copy here:

Susan O’Dell Underwood

Susan O’Dell Underwood directs the creative writing program at Carson-Newman University, where she also teaches courses inAppalachian literature. Besides two chapbooks she has published one full collection of poetry, THE BOOK OF AWE (Iris, 2018). Her forthcoming novel GENESIS ROAD (Madville, June 2022) won the Tennessee Arts Commission Grant for fiction. And her poetry manuscript SPLINTER, about the Appalachian diaspora, recently won second place in the Arthur Smith Poetry Prize and will be published in 2023. Her poems, fiction, and creative nonfiction are published and forthcoming in a variety of publications, including theanthologies A LITERARY FIELD GUIDE TO APPALACHIA and THE SOUTHERN POETRY ANTHOLOGY: TENNESSEE Vol. 6.
Order your copy of The Book of Awe, here:

Eddie Huffman

Eddie Huffman, a ninth- or tenth-generation North Carolinian, has been writing about music legends, muscle cars, obscenity trials, moonshiners, Civil War reenactors, and murderous ventriloquist dummies since before Lady Gaga was born. John Prine: In Spite of Himself was the first book he wrote on his own. His biography of Doc Watson will be published by UNC Press. He has contributed to Rolling Stone, the New York Times, No Depression, Utne Reader, All Music Guide, Goldmine, the Virgin Islands Source, and many other publications. John Prine was a songwriter’s songwriter, writing “Angel from Montgomery,” “Sam Stone,” and “Paradise” during a career that spanned half a century. In John Prine: In Spite of Himself, Eddie Huffman traces the long arc of Prine’s musical career. He recounts the stories, many of them humorous, behind Prine’s best-known songs and discusses all of Prine’s albums as he explores the brilliant records and the ill-advised side trips, the underappreciated gems and the hard-earned comebacks that led Prine to found his own successful record label, Oh Boy Records. A new edition includes an afterword by Huffman about Prine’s remarkable final album, The Tree of Forgiveness; his death from COVID-19; and the ways his family, friends, and acolytes continue to honor his legacy.
Order your copy here:

Frye Gaillard

A Hard Rain: America in the 1960s, Our Decade of Hope, Possibility, and Innocence Lost documents a pivotal moment in American history. Frye Gaillard examines the competing story arcs of tragedy and hope through the political and social movements of the times – civil rights, Black Power, the women’s movement, and the Vietnam War and the protests against. But he writes about cultural changes as well – in music, film, literature, religion, sports, the space race; all of those moments and images that remind us not only of what happened, but how it felt. Howell Raines, former executive editor of the New York Times calls it “a riveting tour.” Novelist Sena Jeter Naslund called it “Totally Absorbing! Gaillard takes us there and makes it all so real that we forget we’re reading.”Frye Gaillard was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, coming of age during the civil rights movement in the South. Those historic events compelled a lifelong reckoning with the issue of race and its effects on the life of our country. Along the way, he became fascinated by the heroes of that struggle, not only the icons like John Lewis, Rosa Parks, or Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but by the thousands of lesser-known people who committed their lives to the cause of justice. His award-winning works include Cradle of Freedom: Alabama and the Movement That Changed America, winner of the Lillian Smith Book Award; A Hard Rain: America in the 1960s, chosen by NPR as one of the best books of 2018.
Order your copy here:

Rona Simmons

Candor, North Carolina. The town barber brandishes a copy of the May 1927 Charlotte Observer—on the front page, Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis on its cross-country flight. At the outskirts of town, best friends Lake, Roger, and Jim take turns hurling their wingless crate down a hill. Eyes closed, they imagine their future alongside Lindy. Pearl Harbor changes everything. The boys will have their chance to fly—not over North Carolina farm fields, but across Germany on bombing runs, facing a determined Luftwaffe. The odds of completing their tours of duty are slim. A Gathering of Men is the account of the boys who board their aircraft for the first time and the men they become in the blink of an eye. The terrors they witness and the pressure to go up again and again and again brings them to the breaking point. It is a moving tale, based on a true story, about shattered dreams and enduring friendship, duty, and honor.
Rona Simmons is an Atlanta-area based author. Her first published works were novels, primarily works of historical fiction set in the first half of the last century. She set her latest work, A Gathering of Men (Koehler Books, 2022) during World War II, and drew on her passion for history and research to offer a unique perspective on the war. “The sweep of events, from the First World War, to the Great Depression, to World War II, had momentous impact on our lives,” she says, “and is a period we can still almost reach with our fingertips” as she demonstrated successfully in her prior work, The Other Veterans of World War II: Stories from Behind the Front Lines (Kent State University Press, 2020), celebrating the remarkable but often untold contribution of noncombat veterans. Rona Simmons’s stories, articles, and interviews have appeared in regional and national literary journals and in online and print magazines and newspapers.

Order your copy here:

Robert Gwaltney

The summer of 1956, a brood of cicadas descends upon Providence Georgia, a natural event with supernatural repercussions, unhinging the life of Analeise Newell, an eleven-year-old piano prodigy. Amidst this emergence, dark obsessions are stirred, uncanny gifts provoked, and secrets unearthed. During a visit to Mistletoe, a plantation owned by the wealthy Mayfield family, Analeise encounters Cordelia Mayfield and her daughter Marlissa, both of whom possess an otherworldly beauty, a lineal trait regarded as that Mayfield Shine. A whisper and an act of violence perpetrated during this visit by Mrs. Mayfield all converge to kindle Analeise’s fascination with the Mayfields.Analeise’s burgeoning obsession with the Mayfield family overshadows her own seemingly, ordinary life, culminating in dangerous games and manipulation, setting off a chain of cataclysmic events with life-altering consequences—all of it unfolding to the maddening whir of a cicada song.A graduate of Florida State University, Robert Gwaltney resides in Atlanta, Georgia. By day, he serves as Vice President of Easter Seals North Georgia, Inc., a non-profit organization that strengthens children and their families during the most critical times in their development. Through his non-profit work, he is a champion for early childhood literacy. Robert also serves as Fiction Editor for The Blue Mountain Review. In all the hours between, he writes. The Cicada Tree is his debut novel. Please visit him at

Jonathan Byrd

Devotion is a love story in the lineage of Delta of Venus and Song of Solomon, the second book of poems by North Carolina songwriter and poet Jonathan Byrd. One hundred poems, written in order over a year of a love affair, explore the edges of love — unfettered, emotional, imaginative, inviting, sensual, and provocative. Devotion also features the author’s hyperreal botanical photographs, modern analogs to Georgia O’Keeffe’s flower studies.
Jonathan Byrd is a stargazer, songwriter, poet, fine art photographer, and North Carolina native. Devotion is his second book.
Order your copy here:

Ben Loomis

Twelve score and four years ago… the Founders crash-landed in a new world. Fleeing cataclysm on the Old Continent, these brave refugees built a city on an island, based on golden principles of Merit, Logic, and Freedom. They named this new place Heaven.Two centuries later, solar shortages and food panics rule the day. The City Corps polices the streets with high-tech magic weapons, while the Wizard government mandates Academocratic solutions from their lofty glass pyramids. Beyond the lake-wall, hunters chase magical storms that transform beasts and shatter the human brain, risking sanity to make their fortune.Lower Heaven is a five-part serial, speculative, solarpunk urban jungle fantasy universe, the debut work of author and High Country resident Ben Loomis. Benjamin Loomis writes grants for nonprofits, lives in the High Country, installs fun vending machines, and scribbles these books at night. You can find more of his writing and projects at, though most of his scribbling time is focused on finishing Episode 4 of Lower Heaven.

Phil Madeira

In “God on the Rocks”, songwriter/musician Phil Madeira offers snapshots from his life: whether it’s a joke involving a glass eye in a family that doesn’t always see eye-to-eye, a judgmental “Grandmonster” who makes an (almost) redeeming connection in her final moments, or a crumbling marriage and the surprise of a new love, Madeira’s raw and tender stories illustrate the journey we all share, along with wise reflections to get through it.Phil Madeira is a musician, songwriter, producer, and singer. He has performed with major recording artists like Alison Krauss, Elvis Costello, May Kearney, Amy Grant, Garth Brooks, Buddy Miller, The Civil Wars, and many more. He is a member of Emmylou Harris’ band, The Red Dirt Boys, and the creator of the album Mercyland: Hymns for the Rest of Us. God on the Rocks is his first book.

Radney Foster

As a young musician straight out of Texas, Radney Foster spent the lengthy drives in between tour stops reading the likes of John Steinbeck, Larry McMurtry, and Harper Lee. Over 30 years of artist cuts later, there is no question that he himself is an established storyteller. Whether it’s navigating the ever-changing music industry or battling a sudden, terrifying illness – Foster definitely has a story to tell. For You To See The Stars is a project comprised of two parts – a book and a CD. The book is a collection of short stories published by Working Title Farm. Though the stories are fiction, they are informed by Foster’s upbringing on the Mexican border in Del Rio, TX. The story that most closely resembles memoir, “Bridge Club,” is a humorous and poignant retelling of the song “Greatest Show on Earth,” a recollection of playing music with family and friends on the back porch on a Saturday night.
AND… Radney will be previewing a new literary project at Pinecones & Pages on May 14th!
Order For You To See The Stars, here:

Henry Carrigan

Guitarist and music critic Henry L. Carrigan, Jr. has been playing Gospel music all his life and writes about Gospel, Soul, Blues, and Americana music for No Depression: The Quarterly Journal of Roots Music and Living Blues. He’s interviewed many musical greats including Rosanne Cash, Rick Bragg, and Kris Kristofferson. Andraé Crouch’s If Heaven Were Never Promised to Me changed Henry’s life when he was playing in a Jesus band in college, and he’s worked in churches, played spirituals in prison ministry, and taught religion and music in various colleges and in workshops. He teaches classes on Gospel in churches and has developed an extensive playlist of songs for such classes.
This inspiring book is part memoir (Carrigan is both musician and music journalist), part tour of gospel music hits and artists, and part a quick history of forgotten parts of America. Music touches people’s hearts in deep and enduring ways that words often fail to do. We all remember the time and place where we first heard certain life-changing songs. Carrigan explores fifteen Gospel songs with enduring power: each chapter includes a brief history of the song, its setting, composer and lyrics, and illustrates its themes of comfort, healing, community, hope, and love. Fifteen Spirituals encourages readers to listen to favorite, or unfamiliar, Gospel songs to discover their transforming power.
Order your copy here:

Ed Southern

Ed Southern is the author of The Jamestown Adventure, Voices of the American Revolution in the Carolinas, and the short-story collection Parlous Angels. His work has appeared in South Writ Large, the Asheville Poetry Review, storySouth, the NC 10×10 Play Festival, and elsewhere. Since 2008, he has been the executive director of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. He lives in Winston-Salem. Fight Songs explores the connections and contradictions between the teams we root for and the places we plant our roots; between the virtues that sports are supposed to teach and the cutthroat business they’ve become; between the hopes of fans and the demands of the past, present, and future.
Order your copy here:

Chad Elliott

C.A.(Chad Allen) Elliott’s path in poetry began with a love of music. For over 20 years Elliott has performed his original songs across the U.S. winning several awards for composition, such as the Woody Guthrie Songwriting Award in 2009. Elliott has penned nearly 2,000 songs. Early in his career, he learned some verses need no musical embellishment. They stand alone in their own cadence. Wilderman’s Treetop Tales is a collection of whimsical lyrics and paintings created by International award-winning songwriter, Chad Elliott. The book is designed for ages 3-10 and contains both heartwarming and giggle-worthy poetry accompanied by Chad’s own illustrations. Chad, who has been performing original songs for 20 years and is a winner of the Woody Guthrie Song contest, brings 10 of the lyrics from the book to life in the companion music album, also titled Wilderman’s Treetop Tales. Together, the book and album create an interdisciplinary offering of art, music and writing which allows the whole family to embrace wild imagination. Learn more about the project at
Order your copy here:

Peter McDade

Peter McDade teaches at Clark Atlanta University and plays the drums for the band Uncle Green. The Weight of Sound (2017) won the Georgia Author of the Year Award for first novel; Songs by Honeybird will be published in March 2022. In Songs By Honeybird, Ben and Nina separately cope with their breakup with the help of a long-forgotten Southern rock band and a reincarnated talking dog. Accompanied by a soundtrack of original songs, the novel looks at what can begin after a relationship ends.

Jennifer Vitanzo

Jennifer Vitanzo spent almost a decade working in wildlife conservation on various South African game reserves. An aspiring Jane Goodall, she has lent her storytelling talents as a writer, photographer, and social media maven to various NGOs, game lodges, conservationists, and environmental causes. On a few occasions, she also lent her body as bait for wildlife research. Before dropping herself in the South African bush, this NJ native and Georgetown graduate lived in Los Angeles, where she pursued a career as a singer/songwriter while simultaneously working as a photojournalist covering a variety of topics for various media outlets. This is her second foray into children’s books, her first being a series about a family of lint balls, written when she was in 8th grade. She clearly gravitates to offbeat subject matter.
The life of a newly hatched praying mantis takes an unexpected turn when he hitches a ride on a flower and ends up in a human’s kitchen. Now faced with surviving in an unknown land, he must learn to navigate the challenges of vacuums, dust bunnies, stovetops, and, most confusing of all, human beings. How will he survive in such an alien world?This is the true story of a wild praying mantis named Santiago and his many unusual adventures across South Africa with his adoptive family—two adult humans, three stuffed animals, a rotating cast of mantis‑sitters, and (for a short time, at least) a pigeon. All told from the mantis’s perspective, of course.
Order your copy here:

Shannon Hitchcock

Shannon Hitchcock was born in North Carolina and grew up in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. She is the author of four middle grade novels, Flying Over Water, One True Way, Ruby Lee & Me, and The Ballad of Jessie Pearl. Her books have been featured on many state awards lists and have received acclaimed reviews. Saving Granddaddy’s Stories and She Sang for the Mountains are the first two books in her storytellers series. Shannon currently lives in Asheville, North Carolina where she can see the mountains every day.
As a young boy living on Beech Mountain, Ray Hicks loved his grandfather’s stories because he told them “the mountain way.” After his grandfather’s death, Ray continued telling Jack Tales to anyone who would listen. Years later, Ray’s storytelling became so famous, he was named a National Heritage Fellow by the National Endowment for the Arts and was known as the “Voice of Appalachia.”
Order your copy here:

Zachary Steele

Broadleaf Writers Association Founder & Executive Director Zachary Steele is the author of three novels, including his latest, The Weight of Ashes. He was nominated for the Sidewise Award for Alternate Fiction and has been featured in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Publisher’s Weekly, Writer’s Magazine, Shelf Awareness and City Lights with Lois Reitzes on NPR. Currently, he is hard at work on the first book in his upcoming fantasy series, The Fallen Hero, for release in 2022. You can follow his ramblings on writing and life at
After a car accident claims his older brother’s life, Mark Murphy’s world is turned upside down. The silence of their shared bedroom, the memories of Mitch’s guidance, and his mother’s drunken spiral are constant reminders of the cost of his absence. But Mark isn’t ready to grieve. He isn’t ready to accept that his brother is truly gone. Despite the insistence of the adults in his life that he accept Mitch’s death, Mark is undeterred.They don’t know what he knows.They don’t know the story of the Witch on Spook Hill. Aided by his loyal band of misfit friends, Mark’s plan to carry Mitch’s ashes to the witch is complicated by the pursuit of the town sheriff and the cousin responsible for his brother’s death. With no time to regroup, Mark and his friends must navigate the dangerous path to Spook Hill before the sun sets, so that Mitch can be resurrected in exchange for the life of the one who took it.
Buy it here, now:

Steve Eoannou

Stephen G. Eoannou is the author of the award-winning short story collection, Muscle Cars, and the novels Rook (2022) and Yesteryear (2023). He holds an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte and an MA from Miami University. His work has been awarded an Honor Certificate from The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and won the Best Short Screenplay Award at the 36th Starz Denver Film Festival. Eoannou lives and writes in his hometown of Buffalo, New York, the setting and inspiration for much of his work.The stories in Muscle Cars explore the unique and sometimes flawed relationships between men, their families, and their friends. Featuring a diverse cast of inarticulate misfits, including a compulsive body builder obsessed by the death of his brother; a former boxer forced to sell his prized 1946 New York Yankees autographed baseball; and two boyhood friends who plan to steal Ted Williams’ scientifically frozen head, this is a stand-out debut from Pushcart-nominated Eoannou and a powerful journey through the humor, darkness, and neuroses of the modern American Everyman.
You’ll also be able to preorder Steve’s novel coming in June of 2022.
Order here:

Suzanne Simonetti

Suzanne is an award-winning novelist who grew up in the New York suburbs just outside of the city. She now lives on Cape May Harbor with her husband. The Sound of Wings is her first book. The Sound of Wings-Seventy-year-old Goldie Sparrows faces declining finances, questionable health, and a late husband who torments her from the beyond. She seeks refuge in her butterfly garden, which is filled with voices and memories from long ago.
Jocelyn Anderson is a struggling writer who finds escape from her custody battle in the journal of her late mother-in-law. As she gets pulled through the pages of time, Jocelyn discovers her own husband has a hidden history she knows nothing about. Krystal Axelrod is living a life she never dreamed she could have. And yet the demons of a dysfunctional childhood and mean girl culture from her cheerleading days cast their shadow over her ability to feel whole, capable, and worthy. A masterfully crafted tale of love, friendship, betrayal, and the risks we take in the pursuit of justice.
Order your copy here: