Local authors at Bissell Park to talk, sell and sign books – News – Oakridger – Oak Ridge, TN


The Friends of the Oak Ridge Public Library (FOL) will participate in the Secret City Festival Friday and Saturday by sponsoring local authors. The authors will be in the Oak Ridge History Museum (old Wildcat Den) autographing and selling their books at the times listed below.

The Friends of the Oak Ridge Public Library (FOL) will participate in the Secret City Festival Friday and Saturday by sponsoring local authors. The authors will be in the Oak Ridge History Museum (old Wildcat Den) autographing and selling their books at the times listed below.

On Friday, June 8, 10 a.m. to noon will be Connie Green; from noon to 2 p.m. will be Barbara Turner; from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. will be Jeri Duke, Christina M. Eder, D. Ray Smith and Wes Sims.

Saturday, June 9, from 10 a.m. to noon will be Beverly and Charles Connor and Judy DiGregorio; from noon until 2 p.m. will be Shirley Raines; Christina M. Eder and Patricia Hope (aka Leisa Lake). From 2 to 4 p.m. will be D. Ray Smith and Jeri Duke.

Connie Green of Lenoir City is the author of two Margaret McElderry Books for children, “The War at Home” (based on growing up in Oak Ridge, during World War II) and “Emmy” (based on her Kentucky mining community roots) (both reprinted by Iris Press in 2016). She has two complete works of poetry, “Darwin’s Breath” (Iris Press 2018) and “Household Inventory” (winner of the Brick Road Poetry Prize, 2014), and two chapbooks “Slow Children Playing” and “Regret Comes to Tea” (Finishing Line Press).

Barbara J Turner of Kingston is an award-winning writer of inspirational prose. Her poems and essays have been published in nature journals and in the Grace Writers’ anthology, “In God’s Hand.” Her first book, “Soul Whispers: Listening to the Wisdom Within,” was released in 2018 and includes universal truths and wisdom illustrated with a photograph for each poem or verse. Turner taps into her own life experiences and Appalachian teachings to emphasize the importance of listening to the intelligence within through reflective contemplation.

Jeri Duke of Clinton began her writing career eight years ago after working on her family genealogy. Jeri comes from a family of writers and is an 11th-generation Quaker dating back to the 1600s on Nantucket Island. Her stories were formed from actual family history. Her most recently published book is “Friends of Freedom, Stories of The Underground Railroad.” The plot centers on the faith and lives of two women. One is a Quaker who helps hide runaway slaves and the other is a Southern slave who helps other slaves escape to freedom. Jeri’s first book, “The Faraway Spirit,” is the story of the families who bought and settled on Nantucket Island.

Christina M. Eder, is an Oak Ridge-based author who has published several newspaper and magazine articles. In addition to her online FROG Blog, she recently fulfilled a dare to publish a book. In her book, “Life’s Too Short for Dull Razors, Cheap Pens, and Worn Out Underwear,” Christina candidly writes about her thoughts during long distance running miles. Her latest book, “The FROG Blog, Learning on a Lily Pad” includes 23 authors who uniquely describe their slice-of-life experiences in short story format. More details can be found on her website www.gueststarcoaching.com

D. Ray Smith, Oak Ridge’s historian has more than 45 years of experience at the Y-12 National Security Complex. He has co-produced the highly acclaimed and award-winning Secret City set of two 90-minute DVDs that has become the definitive history of Oak Ridge. He has also written 14 books on the East Tennessee area history consisting of nine “Historically Speaking” volumes, “The John Hendrix Story,” “1944 Troop Train Wreck,” “Historical Sketch of Oak Ridge Schools,” “Oak Ridge International Friendship Bell” and “Delina.” Ray has also published four photo books of East Tennessee scenery and the Oak Ridge International Friendship Bell. Ray continues to publish a weekly Oak Ridge history newspaper column, “Historically Speaking,” which form the basis for annual books on Oak Ridge history. The column is published weekly in The Oak Ridger. His most recent film is the documentary, “Ed Westcott – Photographer.”

Wes Sims, of Oak Ridge, has published one poetry collection, “Taste of Change,” and one chapbook of poetry, “When Night Comes” (Finishing Line Press, 2013). His work has appeared in Connecticut Review, G.W. Review, South Carolina Review, Pine Mountain Sand and Gravel, Praxis Magazine, Liquid Imagination, The Avocet, Nature Writing, Pangolin Review, and others.He enjoys writing nature and humorous poetry.

Beverly and Charles Connor are Oak Ridgers and author of “The Poplar Creek Murders,” which is set in Oak Ridge. Beverly is also the author of the Diane Fallon Forensic Investigation series and the Lindsay Chamberlain Mystery series. Before she began her writing career, she worked in the Southeastern United States as an archaeologist specializing in Southeastern Indians of the Mississippian period: A.D. 900 through 1700. She weaves her professional experiences as an archaeologist and her knowledge of the South into interlinked stories of the past and present in both her series of mysteries.

Judy Lockhart DiGregorio, an Oak Ridge author, is a YWCA Woman of Distinction in the Arts. She is the author of three humor books from Celtic Cat Publishing, “Life Among the Lilliputians,” “Memories of a Loose Woman,” and “Tidbits,” as well as a CD of humorous stories called “Jest Judy.” Judy’s humorous essays and light verse have been published in anthologies, newspapers, and magazines including

The Army Times, The Writer, ByLine Magazine, CC Motorcycle News-Magazine, New Millennium Writings and the “Chicken Soup” books.

Shirley Raines is a much sought after speaker, consultant, and author. Shirley’s leadership roles culminated in her service for 12 years as the first woman president of the University of Memphis. She is a member of the Tennessee Women’s Hall of Fame, and was invited to speak at the White House Conference on University Entrepreneurship for the FedEx Institute of Technology. Raines speaks with humor, enthusiasm, and authority. She has written 18 books, 15 for educators, two for children, and her newest leadership book, “An Uncommon Journey: Leadership Lessons from a Preschool Teacher who Became a University President.”

Award-winning writer Patricia Hope has appeared in numerous publications including Southern Writers, The Writer, and Blue Ridge Country, and many newspapers and anthologies. She has edited and published two poetry anthologies (2010 and 2017). Her novel “Lonely Way Back Home” was published in 2017. She writes romance novels under the name of Leisa Lake.

The Friends of the Library (FOL) is a non-profit organization that holds used book sales to raise funds for the Library as well as to recycle publications, supports the Library’s summer reading program for children, sponsors a book club and takes part in other activities, all to benefit the Oak Ridge Public Library and the surrounding communities. Membership forms are available in the library lobby or at the sale. 

Contact Nancy Hardin, (865) 482-4560, nehardin@hotmail.com, for additional information or visit the group on Facebook www.facebook.com/foloakridge. For more information, visit www.secretcityfestival.com.


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