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On Friday April 28th at 4:00 PM, I will be on a discussion panel at Karen’s Book Barn, 127 E Main St, La Grange, Kentucky (502)222-0918.

The topic: Children’s Books “Educational or Entertainment?”

This is the night before the 7th Annual Authors Fair La Grange YMCA, 307 W Jefferson St, La Grange, Kentucky. Come by and say hi.

http://www.karensbookbarn.net/

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I have almost finished my YA urban fantasy, Lupus Rex: Blood on the Moon. Seventeen-year-old Will discovers that he is unique and has two werewolf genes, Double Alpha, which makes him Lupus Rex. He is not sure he wants the title or the werewolf life, and someone is stalking him to prevent him from becoming Lupus Rex.

I have taken the Arthurian myths, added Lupines (werewolves), and transported them to the present in the real world.

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BOOK: Louisville author plots ‘Murder on the Cherokee Reservation’

Jun 10 2015

 

By T. E. Lyons

Eighth Mask by Charles Suddeth
(Library Tales Publishing (Library Tales Publishing; 317 pgs., $18.99)

This Louisville author has already delivered a variety of tales: historical suspense novella “Halloween Kentucky Style,” YA tech thriller “Experiment 38” and now a novel subtitled “Murder on the Cherokee Reservation.”

The story is launched with an apparent (though not certain) murder that becomes a mystery due to its time and location — at the climax of a bawdy-but-spiritual Cherokee tradition called a Booger Dance. The eponymous dancers are masked — so the discovery of a body afterwards leads to questions such as who might have been posing as a dancer merely to have an excuse for a disguise. These questions are asked by the local sheriff’s office, but walls of silence (and what may be worse — surly half-truths and omissions) are what greet the interviewers when the dancers and potential witnesses claim they have the right to keep this matter private within the tribe. Gradually the interactions of the expanding cast of characters resolve into a form that’s familiar to fans of Hitchcock films: the innocent man sent on the run by a false accusation.

Best considered as a quick read with some slow buildup, this is a mystery-adventure that both offers and requires a certain, steady focus. Suddeth establishes his style early on: short chapters that gradually accumulate character and backstory, but are filled with point-of-view detail. The dynamic that’s most typical of today’s thrillers — with splashy sections of exposition that show off the author’s research on the background topic — is here muted, as the past and present of Cherokee customs and beliefs is given out a thimbleful at a time.

Suddeth understands the stars that guide this type of rural and natural mystery-thriller that’s infused with Native American lore and culture clashes: Tony Hillerman was a Mt. Rushmore-quality figure who wrote just this kind of novel. In recent years, Nevada Barr has been a go-to figure of very strong consistency (but with an emphasis on landscape/environment description that verges on travel-writing). Suddeth seems to be a more cautious writer than either of these, as he conveys his plot largely through the methodology of a procedural — albeit with some twists based on personal and cultural conflicts.

It’s surprising that with Suddeth’s experience he feels the need to confirm that the reader is sure of where suspicions are still open. His plot is tight enough that he doesn’t give away too much prematurely — yet he seems very cautious about confirming attributions and roles in accusations and personal clashes. The tight paragraphs are perpetually working to make sure the reader is in a very certain place with the heroes and villains. This is the deal Suddeth seems to make with the reader: I’ll get you involved with the characters at a steady pace — any smoke and mirrors will be in the plot, not the writing style. So the voices of Deputy Sheriff Charlie Yuchalla and murder suspect Lyle Gibbons aren’t as far apart as you might suspect, even as one claims to be merely the catalyst for the actions of a supernatural soul-stealer of Cherokee legend. When action scenes crop up, they move well and convincingly. If you can handle an especially-careful pace as the story proceeds, there’s entertainment here.

 

 

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Book Signing!

Saturday, February 25, 2017, I will be signing books from 11 to 4 at Karen’s Book Barn, 27 E Main St, La Grange, Kentucky 40031. Come by and say hi.

Eights Mask2

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My picture book, Spearfinger, has been delayed for translating. It will be released by 4RV Publishing in February 2017 as a bilingual English/Cherokee edition. I believe it will be the first Cherokee picture book.  A Cherokee boy battles Spearfinger, the evil witch.

Author: Charles Suddeth

English Editor: Wayne Harris-Wyrick

Illustrator: Carrie Salazar

Art Director: Aidana WillowRaven

Translator: Tim Nuttle

Cherokee Editor: Lawrence Panther

Children’s Corner Imprint Editor: Renee’ La Viness

spearfinger-cover-test-draft

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Kentucky Book Fair

Friday, December 2, from 4pm to 7pm I will be selling books at the Tiger Tree Fest, the annual Christmas Tree Lighting and festival at Campbellsville University. 1 University Drive, Campbellsville 42178

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Looking for an MG Agent

Hello agents: When Tsatsi and his sister get lost during the 1838 Trail of Tears, he fights Stone Man, a Cherokee monster. My great-great grandfather was a Cherokee whose family escaped and went north during the Trail of Tears. He died long before I was born, but I was privileged to meet his youngest son.

Mini-synopsis: After Twelve-year-old Tsatsi and his sister separate from their family during the Trail of Tears, a giant named Stone Man drags her to his lair. Tsatsi fights him, dodges renegades, and hides from soldiers, so he and his sister can reunite with their family in the Smoky Mountains. At 45,000 words, Stone Man’s Lair is an edited and completed middle-reader historical adventure. The background is authentic, and I have found no children’s books dealing with this aspect of the Trail of Tears.

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