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Wednesday, 06 December 2017 00:00

Events for readers and writers

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Reading Rover Bookmobile

Fontana Regional Library’s Reading Rover Bookmobile recently received grants of $2,500 from the Macon County Community Foundation and $1,370 from the Jackson County Community Foundation. Last summer, the Swain County Community Foundation also awarded $1,000 to support Rover services to area children. All three county Community Foundations are affiliates of the North Carolina Community Foundation but make their own funding decisions.

The grants will help sustain the Rover’s storytime visits to preschools and daycare centers in Jackson, Macon and Swain Counties. The money will be used to purchase books and materials for the Rover, as well as help with vehicle maintenance and fuel costs.

The Reading Rover “takes the library” to child care centers and family child care homes. The service brings quality materials, such as storytelling kits, books, puppets, puzzles and educational games, songs and music to each location, where they may be borrowed from and returned to the Rover at monthly visits.

A visit from the Reading Rover includes a 15-20 minute storytime program for the children (with teachers/caregivers observing), involving interactive book sharing, songs, storytelling, finger plays, rhymes and puppets. These activities encourage the development of essential pre-reading skills as well as other school readiness skills.

“Keeping Rover on the road providing service to preschoolers and their teachers is a priority for Fontana Regional Library,” said Regional Director Karen Wallace. “This grant will help us meet our goal of sharing the world of books and reading with the youngest residents of our region.”

For more information about Fontana Regional Library or the Reading Rover, visit or call 828.488.2382.


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 journalist Holly Kays.

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 is a reporter with 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.

Shadows of Flowers retails for $12 and is available online at for $16, which includes shipping. No orders will be sent until the first printing arrives, by Dec. 12.


Book covers Biltmore history

New York Times Bestselling author Denise Kiernan will present her new book The Last Castle at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva.

The Last Castle chronicles the Biltmore family and the history of the Biltmore Estate. Kiernan is also the author of the bestselling The Girls of Atomic City and has been published in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and numerous other publications.

To reserve copies of her books, call City Lights Bookstore at 828.586.9499.


Consequences of exile

Norma Watkins will present That Woman From Mississippi at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8, at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva.

The book is a sequel to her first memoir. She will have a conversation about the book with Jean Forrister. The first book, The Last Resort, describes coming of age in the civil rights movement, with the book ending when she leaves Mississippi.

The sequel explores the consequences of exile. The nurturing mother is our model, and society does not easily forgive a woman who leaves her children. Humorous and discerning, the book shows how excruciating it is for women to do what men take for granted: find a harmony in love, work and parenting.

To reserve copies of her books, call City Lights Bookstore at 828.586.9499.



• City Lights Bookstore in Sylva’s 19th annual “Giving Tree” program is now underway. They have partnered with local service agencies who have offered anonymous lists of children in need this holiday season. You can help by providing that child with the gift of a good read. Come by the store and select an ornament from the “Giving Tree” and match-up a book for the age, gender and language listed. They will collect all the books and give them to the agencies in time for the children to receive books for Christmas. All “Giving Tree” purchases will receive a 20 percent discount. For more details, call 828.586.9499.

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