Events and Book News From City Lights Bookstore


July & August 2016

Book News and Events

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Curtis Blanton's Book of Humdingers


Curtis Blanton will present his new book,Humdingers,at City Lights Bookstore on Friday, July 8th, at 6:30 p.m. James Sellers, the book's illustrator, will also be in attendance to sign copies.Humdingers tells the stories and tales shared from the people of Western North Carolina.

Blanton and Sellers have been best friends since the 3rd grade, and later joined the U.S. Air Force together. Following their retirement, Blanton and Sellers returned to the mountains to make their way through the trails of their ancestors of Western North Carolina. Blanton and Sellers have collaborated on two previous books titled Tales from the Porch and Fireside Tales. Blanton is also the author of the novel, My Mountains, My Home

Ashley Terrell Book Signing



Ashley Terrell will present her new book,The Black Sheep Shadow, onSaturday,July 16th at 3 p.m. at City Lights Bookstore. Go inside the world of one courageous sheep as she discovers that her heart was under attack by darkness. As she travels on a spiritual journey to understanding her purpose, overcoming the undertones of low confidence, self-acceptance, and the importance of inspiration, she rises against the odds with forgiveness and strengthening her faith.


Ashley Terrell is the founder of Stella Bistro Foods and Black Sheep Inc. Terrell is the host and co-director of Cooking with Stella (2016) and Unaverage Ash (2016).  She resides on the East Coast where she enjoys blissful sunsets and sounds of ocean waves. To reserve copies of Black Sheep Shadowplease call City Lights Bookstore at 828-586-9499.



J.R. Thornton Presents His Debut Novel



J.R. Thorton will present his first book,Beautiful Country, at City Lights Bookstore on Friday, July 22nd at 6:30pm. Beautiful Countryfollows the story of 14-year-old Chase Robertson who is forced to move to Beijing after the death of his older brother. In China, he trains every day with the Beijing junior national tennis team and quickly learns of the cut-throat world of Chinese sport. Chase is caught up in secrets and must fight to protect his bond with his new friend while negotiating the complex rules of a new country.

J.R. Thornton graduated from Harvard in 2014 where he studied History, English and Chinese. As a 14-year- old, he spent a year living in Beijing studying the Chinese language and training with the Beijing junior tennis team. An internationally ranked tennis player as a junior, he later competed for the Harvard men's team and on the professional circuit.

Bob Mustin Presents New Short Story Collection 


Bob Mustin returns to City Lights Bookstore to present his new book,Collateral Damage and Stories onSaturday, July 30th, at 3 p.m. The stories in this collection examine the ways we use imagination to set aside human anguish and move on with our lives. Quirky, richly imagined characters populate these stories, inviting readers to measure them against their own lives and to want to read these stories again and again.

Mustin has been an instructor in writing, and has served as a mentor. He continues to write and publish novels, short fiction and nonfiction.

Stephen Crimi Book Signing

Stephen Crimi will be presenting his first book,Katabatic Wind: Good Craic Fueled by Fumes from the Abyss at City Lights Bookstore on Saturday, August 13th at 3p.m. Katabatic Wind is an inspired collection of essays drawn from the lost unknown sacred tradition of the West. Using the lens of mythology, pre-Socratic Greek thought, this book illumines how these traditions shadow life lived today. The kernel of these essays is loss, longing for return, and the grief of living in a society without an inkling of its sacred origin story.

Stephen Crimi has a degree in English literature from Union College, and spent over a decade in traditional Yoga study at Yoga Anand Ashram in Amityville, NY. He's done time as an editor, estate gardener, cook, massage therapist, and most recently, running a biodynamic garden and fiber farm, Philosophy Farm, for twelve years with his wife of three decades, Krys. They now live in Asheville, in the mountains of North Carolina, where they continue to write and publish.

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Meditations For Moms and Dads


Shana Smith will visit City Lights Bookstore onSaturday, July 9th at 3 p.m. She will present her book,Meditations for Moms and Dads: 108 Tips for Parents and Caregivers. Her book boldly claims that a thriving meditation practice is not only possible but an absolute must for the parent/householder.  It isn't an empty claim.  Shana is doing it. Her journey is profound, funny, and fabulous.


Shana Smith is a mom, musician, marine biologist, teacher, and writer.  She is an avid and longtime practitioner of Zen and meditation, a decades-long yogi, and a much sought-after kirtan wallah, or devotional chanting leader. She and her family live in Gainesville Florida. To reserve copies ofMeditations for Moms and Dadsplease call City Lights Bookstore at 828-586-9499.

William Ritter & Sarah Ogletree Fundraising Concert




William Ritter and Sarah Ogletree will perform a fundraising acoustic concert at City Lights Bookstore onSaturday, July 16th at 6:30pm. Donations will be collected for a friend, Aaron Shapiro, to help raise money for a volunteer trip to Malawi to assist with the construction of a school.

William Ritter and Sarah Ogletree have been playing traditional mountain music together in WNC for the past five years. Their self-titled CD is on sale in the bookstore and will be available during the performance. For more information regarding this event, please call City Lights Bookstore at 828-586-9499. 

Tyler Cook Presents His New Fantasy Novel


Tyler Cook will present the first book of his new fantasy series,Aluria, at City Lights Bookstore. This event will be held on Saturday, July 23rd at 3 p.m. Aluria tells a story about heroism, love and hope, when teenager Jason Conner allows an extra-terrestrial spirit to inhabit his body. Follow Jason on his journey to protect the innocent and hunt down the guilty, and avenging those that were taken from him.

Cook continues to write in his hometown of Franklin, working on the next installment in The Aluria Adventures.

Amy Ammons Garza to Present Her Memoir 


Amy Garza will be presenting her new memoir,Appalachian Storyteller in a Feed Sack Dress, at City Lights Bookstore onSaturday, August 6th at 3 p.m. Follow Amy as she tells the story of her life as she lived it, each chapter being a story in itself. These are the compelling stories of a mountain girl who found the courage she needed in her life to listen and retell the stories of her family and heritage.  

Amy Garza was born and raised in Western North Carolina, which leads her into her many lives: wife, mother, woman in the Air Force, co-owner of a nonprofit, playwright, publisher, and of course, storyteller. 

John Lane Presents His New Book


John Lane returns to City Lights Bookstore to present his latest book,Coyote Settles the South, onFriday, August 19th, at 6:30pm. Ron Rash, author ofSerena, says "John Lane takes readers into the heart of nature as well as into the nature of the heart, and he writes with wonder, wisdom, and profound attentiveness."


Coyote Settles the South is about Lane's journey through the Southeast, as he visits coyote territories, meets and observes those who interact with the animals, and gains insight on the migration of the American coyote, an animal that, in the end, surprises him with its intelligence, resilience, and amazing adaptability.

Lane is a professor of English and environmental studies at Wofford College. He has published several volumes of poetry, essays, and a novel, as well as a selection of his online columns, The Best of the Kudzu Telegraph.
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Carrie Highley's Memoir 

Carrie Highley will be presenting her first book and memoirBlue Apple Switchbackon Friday, July 15th at 6:30 p.m.

at City Lights Bookstore. Follow Carrie through four years of e-mails to Charlie, an older and wiser friend, as she chronicles her transformation from an ideal housewife and mother into an avid road cyclist with a hidden life as a lesbian. The story details her healing bicycle trips as she grapples with the challenges of a clandestine love affair, a divorce, a new career, and parenting her two young sons.

Carrie grew up in the piedmont of North Carolina before moving to the mountains and completing her bachelor's degree in therapeutic recreation at Western Carolina University. She now lives in Asheville, being an avid member of her community.

Coffee with the Poet Featuring Newton Smith 


The Coffee with the Poet series continues onThursday, July 21st at 10:30 a.m. at City Lights Bookstore. The May gathering will feature former WCU English professor and poet, Newton Smith and he will share some of his recent poetry.


The Coffee with the Poet series is co-sponsored by the NetWest program of the North Carolina Writers Network and gathers the third Thursday of each month. For question about Coffee with the Poet please call City Lights Bookstore at 828-586-9499.

NetWest Open Mic



The NetWest program of the North Carolina Writers Network and City Lights Bookstore will host an open mic night at the bookstore on Friday, July 29th at 7 p.m. Folks are encouraged to bring their poetry or short pieces to share. Sign-ups begin at 6:45 p.m. for10-minute reading session. The North Carolina Writers' Network connects, promotes, and serves the writers of this state.  They provide education in the craft and business of writing, opportunities for recognition and critique of literary work, resources for writers at all stages of development, support for and advocacy of the literary heritage of North Carolina, and a community for those who write. For more information please visit their website.

Katie Rose Guest Pryal & Lauren Faulkenberry Joint Reading



Katie Rose Guest Pryal and Lauren Faulkenberry will both be presenting their new books,

Chasing Chaos and

Bayou My Love respectively, on

Tuesday, August 9th at 6:30pm at City Lights Bookstore.


The third book in theEntanglement series, Chasing Chaos follows the story of Daphne Saito, a character from the previous installments of the series. Daphne, a beautiful and talented Hollywood screenwriter, might look like she has the perfect life, but on the inside she's lost. Still traumatized by an accident involving her best friend, Greta, five years earlier, Daphne is afraid to love. Danger is on the horizon for all of Daphne's friends-and for her. Katie lives in Chapel Hill, NC, and works as a freelance journalist, a creative writing teacher at Duke, and an author.


Bayou My Love is a story that is part love story, part mystery, and a blend of comedy and drama. It follows 31-year-old Enza Parker, a woman who is struggling to change the trajectory of her life. To prove to her overbearing father she can flip a house on her own, she takes on a project much too ambitious for her - and it puts her in the path of the most alluring man she's ever met. Lauren is a resident of Whittier, NC. She is a former writing instructor at Western Carolina University, and now she leads workshops at Penland and at Wildacres in book arts, printmaking, and more.

Robert Lee Kendrick Poetry Reading


Robert Kendrick will be presenting his first collection of poetry,Winter Skin, at City Lights Bookstore onSaturday, August 20th at 3p.m. Ron Rash comments, "Robert Lee Kendrick's poems transport the reader into the deep, dark souls of his narrators, but the elegance of his language gives the poems a rough, hard-earned grace. Winter Skinmarks the debut of a very talented poet."

Kendrick grew up in Illinois and Iowa, but found a home in South Carolina. He now lives in Clemson with his wife and their dogs. His poems appear in The Louisiana Literature, South Carolina Review, Kestrel, The James Dickey Review, The Sow's Ear Poetry Review, The Main Street Rag, and more. 

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