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local author

12/04/2012 - 11:29am
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Blue, daughter of the town psychic, has grown up hearing that if she ever kisses her true love, he will die. So she has resolved to stay away from boys and, especially, to stay away from Raven boys – students at the exclusive Aglionby Academy. The Raven Boys, by Maggie Stiefvater, is the story of how Blue comes to break her own resolution and is drawn into the lives and adventures of some of those Raven boys she swore to avoid.

04/03/2014 - 1:43pm
Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr cover

Welcome to The City in the realm of the daimons. At the heart of The City is the Carnival of Souls where both murder and pleasure are for sale. The Carnival is also the site of a deadly competition where, once each generation, daimons can fight to the death for a chance to join the ruling class. Melissa Marr’s new book, Carnival of Souls, will draw you into a dark, violent world where daimons and witches are mortal enemies and the main characters are swept up in a deadly struggle for power.

10/07/2012 - 9:32am
Elanor H. Kindred

There’s a new author working in the library. Elanor Kindred, who can be found in the circulation department at our England Run branch, has been writing fantasy stories since she was a child growing up in Stafford County.  Through the years, the stories have become longer and more refined until they have emerged as books, two of which--The Immortal and Bound by Blood--are now published. Written for a young adult audience, they are set in parallel worlds both magical and not. The Immortal finds Lask Somadar, leader of an enchanted realm, pursuing a villainous beast into a land ill-prepared to deal with the griffin or his army.

03/12/2012 - 11:45am
War So Terrible: A Popular History of the Battle of Fredericksburg, by Donald C.

Excerpt from War So Terrible: A Popular History of the Battle of Fredericksburg, by Donald C. Pfanz, (pp. 44-46)

Donald C. Pfanz is staff historian with Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. He is also the author of Abraham Lincoln at City Point and Richard S. Ewell: A Soldier’s Life.  This chapter is reprinted on CRRL's history site with his permission.

“The Sacking of Fredericksburg”

By the time the fighting ended on Dec. 11, Fredericksburg was desolate.  Fighting in the streets combined with a bombardment by more than 180 cannons had left the venerable old town shattered and ruins.  Those citizens who had not fled Fredericksburg had seen their homes riddled with bullets, shot and shell.

10/31/2011 - 12:10pm
The Smoothbore Volley That Doomed the Confederacy, Chapter 1, by Robert K. Krick

The first eighteen pages of The Smoothbore Volley That Doomed the Confederacy, by Robert K. Krick, are reprinted here with permission from the author and publisher, Louisiana State University Press, which retains all republication rights. Library copies of The Smoothbore Volley are available for check-out.

Nineteen men in two distinct groups rode forward from the coalescing Confederate lines west of Chancellorsville at about 9:00 P.M. on May 2, 1863. Only seven of the nineteen came back untouched, man or horse. Although one of those nearest the offending musket muzzles, Major General A. P. Hill escaped among the unscathed handful. Lieutenant General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, among those farthest from the flash point, was one of the five men killed or mortally wounded. The capricious paths of a few dozen one-ounce lead balls caroming off the dense shrubbery of Spotsylvania’s Wilderness that night had much to do with the course of the Civil War.

From every imaginable perspective, the afternoon of May 2 had been a stunning Confederate success of unprecedented magnitude. Lee and Jackson had crafted between them a dazzling tactical initiative that sent Stonewall covertly all the way across the front of a Federal army that outnumbered the southerners by more than two to one. The redoubtable corps commander managed the remarkable march without serious interruption, arrayed his first two divisions in a wide line, and descended upon the Federals like a thunderbolt. Those northerners who rallied bravely against the tide faced an inexorable outflanking by the outriders of Jackson’s line, who stretched far beyond the center of the attack in both directions. In this fashion Jackson routed one Union corps, trapped another out of the line, and left the others shaky, uncertain, and vulnerable to be stampeded.

05/25/2010 - 10:56am

 It was a dark and rainy night . . . but that didn’t stop fans from coming out in droves to hear Maggie Stiefvater at the Salem Church Library, this past Monday! Books clutched in hands, hoping for an autograph, teens and adults alike were eager to hear this famous local author speak about reading, writing, and authorship.

     Ms. Stiefvater is the author of two popular young adult series, The Wolves of Mercy Falls and The Books of Faerie, as well as a talented artist and musician. A subsidiary of Warner Brothers has even purchased the movie rights for one of her more recent books, Shiver. Ms. Stiefvater arrived despite the gloomy weather and entertained the audience of nearly forty teens and adults for over an hour. Her honest, open, and easy-going style quickly relaxed the audience who kept her busy with questions for most of her time there. From publishing tips, to writer’s block advice, to detailed queries about her books and their characters, there was hardly time to pause, but Ms. Stiefvater jumped energetically around the stage (and occasionally onto her chair), keeping her audience laughing, often nearly in tears. One of her funniest tales was about how the titles for her books were chosen, as she acted out the various interpretations of, Still Wolves Watching, her original title for, Shiver.
 
     One of the ideas that kept returning when Ms. Stiefvater described authorship was that writers should write what they know and what they themselves like to read. Thus, she tends to write about, “homicidal faeries, angst, and kissing.” She also told anecdotes from her childhood writing efforts and college experiences, encouraging writers in the room to never take no for an answer unless it comes from their own heart. Turns out, she was a history major who had faith in herself and kept her passions alive by doing them on the side. The results can be seen not only in her published books, but in her music and artwork, which she has succeeded in as well. For inspiring examples, check out her book trailers, whose beautiful artwork and haunting music she arranged, created, and performed.
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