Print this page

Events for readers and writers

Journalist releases debut novel

Set amid the windswept prairies of Wyoming and rounded mountains of southwest Virginia, Shadows of Flowers is a debut novel about love, loss and the power of place from award-winning Smoky Mountain News journalist Holly Kays. 

Kays will host a reading at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, at the Waynesville Public Library. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the reading. 

It follows the story of Virginia native Dana Stullman, whose world turns upside down when her boyfriend dies in a car accident. At 22, she finds herself moving across the country to escape reminders of the tragedy and the life that preceded it. Becoming lonelier than she could have imagined, Dana finds solace in an unexpected friendship, but her life remains paralyzed until a crisis in the wind-swept Wyoming wilderness forces her to confront the past and choose her path into the future.   

Kays is a writer and journalist who makes her home in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Having earned more than 20 state and national awards during her news reporting career thus far, she covers a range of topics for the regional newsmagazine The Smoky Mountain News and explores the area’s many hiking trails with her four-legged best friend whenever possible. 

Originally from Williamsport, Maryland, she is a graduate of Virginia Tech’s creative writing program and began her reporting career at small newspapers in Idaho and Wyoming. This is her first book. 

Shadows of Flowers retails for $12 and is available online at for a $16 payment that includes shipping. 



• Dr. Bart Ehrman will be speaking about his new book, The Triumph of Christianity, at noon Saturday, Feb. 17, in the Harmon’s Den Bistro at the Haywood Arts Regional Theatre in Waynesville. Tickets for the event are $30 each and are available at Blue Ridge Books. The ticket includes a soup, salad, and sandwich buffet with tea or coffee and a coupon for $10 toward the purchase of The Triumph of Christianity.