Author Appearance

A Field Guide to Mermaids Event

City Lights Bookstore and The Jackson County Public Library are pleased to host author and artist Emily B. Martin for an event at the library on Saturday, December 3rd at 1:30 p.m.  The event will focus on Martin’s newest book, A Field Guide to Mermaids. The book is a gorgeous and vibrantly illustrated field guide cataloging various species of mermaids, based on real ecological details with a strong environmental focus. The event will also feature mermaid-themed drawing tips, crafts, and activities for all ages.  City Lights Bookstore will have books available for purchase at the library during the event. 

Emily B. Martin splits her time between working as a park ranger and an author/illustrator, resulting in her characteristic eco-fantasy adventures. An avid hiker and explorer, her experiences as a ranger help inform the characters and worlds she creates on paper. In addition to A Field Guide to Mermaids, she has written two fantasy series: Creatures of Light and Outlaw Road.

A Field Guide to Mermaids By Emily B. Martin Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250794321
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) - September 27th, 2022

Woodwalker: Creatures of Light, Book 1 By Emily B. Martin Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062473714
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Voyager Impulse - June 14th, 2016

Ashes to Fire: Creatures of Light, Book 2 By Emily B. Martin Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062473738
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Voyager Impulse - March 21st, 2017

Creatures of Light: Creatures of Light, Book 3 By Emily B. Martin Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062688972
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Voyager - March 6th, 2018

Sunshield: A Novel (Outlaw Road #1) By Emily B. Martin Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062888563
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Voyager - May 26th, 2020

Floodpath: A Novel (Outlaw Road #2) By Emily B. Martin Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062888594
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Voyager - March 23rd, 2021

Louise Morgan Runyon Poetry Reading

Sylva resident Louise Morgan Runyon will release her fifth book of poems, Where Is Our Prague Spring?, on October 1, 2022. This book examines Runyon's deep love for the mountains of Western North Carolina; her childhood experience of love here; and her attempts to reconcile this love with the hatred and division found in the present.  A great-niece of Lucy Morgan, founder of the renowned Penland School of Crafts, Runyon honors her visionary and activist family in these poems.

The in-person launch will be Saturday, November 5, 4 p.m., at City Lights Bookstore, 3 E. Jackson Street, Sylva, NC 28779. Attendees are requested to wear masks.

Says poet Catherine Carter of Western Carolina University, “…Runyon interrogates the place and her family’s long history there to illuminate a complicated tradition of Appalachian progressivism dating both back to and forward from the Trail of Tears.  These thoughtful poems evoke an Appalachia that few outsiders know: simultaneously progressive and conservative, woven into the wider world in unexpected ways, and rooted deeply in the labor and vision of women.” Kami Ahrens of Foxfire Museum notes, “Runyon's manner of writing engages the reader in conversations about contemporary themes that reflect stories of the past while providing lessons for the future. A must-read for any lover of Appalachian literature.”

Louise Morgan Runyon was born and raised in New York City but grew up at Penland School in the summertime. She lived most of her adult life in Atlanta before coming back to western North Carolina in 2019. A dancer and choreographer as well as poet, she is Artistic Director of Louise Runyon Performance Company. The publication of her new book is supported by the Jackson County Arts Council.

Where Is Our Prague Spring? By Louise Morgan Runyon Cover Image
ISBN: 9781665305242
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Louise Morgan Runyon - October 1st, 2022

Cynthia Newberry Martin & Lee Zacharias Reading and Book Signing

This will be a delightful double-feature with two talented novelists reading from each other’s books and talking about what their stories have in common. No long readings. Lots of fun. Books connect us, so come join the conversation at City Lights Bookstore on Saturday, November 19th at 3 p.m. Cynthia Newberry Martin, author of Tidal Flats, reached out to us last summer and proposed that she bring her 50-state book tour through Sylva. We are so pleased that this is going to work out, particularly since it will mean Lee Zacharias will return to City Lights for this leg of Cynthia's tour. Lee will give us a sense of her latest novel, What a Wonderful World This Could Be.   

Cynthia Newberry Martin's first novel, Tidal Flats, won the Gold Medal in Literary Fiction at the 2020 Independent Publisher Book Awards and the 14th Annual National Indie Excellence Award for Fiction. Martin's second novel, Love Like This, will be published in April of 2023. She holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and has served as the Review Editor for Contrary Magazine and the Writing Life Editor for Hunger Mountain. Her website features the How We Spend Our Days series, over a decade of essays by writers on their lives. She grew up in Atlanta and now lives in Columbus, Georgia, with her husband, and in Provincetown, Massachusetts, in a little house by the water.    

Tidal Flats By Cynthia Newberry Martin Cover Image
ISBN: 9781642509816
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bonhomie Press - June 14th, 2022

What a Wonderful World This Could Be By Lee Zacharias Cover Image
ISBN: 9781948692502
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Madville Publishing - June 1st, 2021

Robert Gurevich Reading and Book Signing

Former WCU Anthropology professor Robert Gurevich will visit City Lights Bookstore on Friday, September 16th at 5 p.m. He will present his novel, The Razor’s Edge: Embezzlement, Corruption, and Development in Ethiopia.  His novel stems from his experience as a Chief of Party, Project Director, and evaluation consultant on several development projects funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and other sponsors.


What's it like being the only expatriate manager of a multi-million dollar development project with an Ethiopian staff of over 200?


What's it like to start dealing with major embezzlement on a previous project before your arrival?


What's it like to work with senior staff who hate each other and could be complicit in the embezzlement?


What's it like dealing with a donor agency and host government that views you with deep mistrust while demanding that you get project activities up and running quickly?

It deals with ethnicity, gender, kinship, bureaucracy, management, staff recruitment, local politics, relations with the donor, and much more.


To reserve copies of The Razor’s Edge, please call City Lights Bookstore at 828-586-9499.  

Danita Dodson Poetry Reading

Danita Dodson will visit City Lights Bookstore on Saturday, September 10th at 3 p.m. She will present her poetry collection, Trailing the Azimuth.  Her collection guides the readers down various trails through striking imagery, resonant language, and intensity of vision. Linked by allusions to the "azimuth," the poems in this collection represent the search for direction in a world that is complex and uncertain, prompting the journey toward light and more mindfulness of self, others, and God. These lyrical compasses exhibit a multiplicity of style and subject informed by the poet's travels, interest in hiking, and cultural awareness. 


Danita Dodson is co-editor of Teachers Teaching Nonviolence (2020). Her critical articles have been published in various literary journals. This is her first book of poetry. She holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Southern Mississippi. Combining a love of scholarship and diverse experiences, she has been a Fulbright-Hays fellow in Turkey, a professor in Nicaragua, an amateur archaeologist in the Southwest, and a Spanish teacher in Appalachia. She lives in East Tennessee, where she teaches English and Humanities at Walters State Community College.

Trailing the Azimuth By Danita Dodson Cover Image
ISBN: 9781666731767
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Resource Publications (CA) - November 23rd, 2021

Ronald Evans to Present His Novel

 Franklin, NC, author Ronald Evans will present his historical novel on Saturday, October 1st, at 3 p.m. at City Lights Bookstore.  In The Odyssey of Robert Peake, Ronald Evans explores the story of an English indentured servant, Robert Peake, who set sail for the Virginia colony in 1623. The Odyssey of Robert Peake is a novelization about the real-life ancestor of the Peak (Peek) families still living in the North Carolina and Virginia mountains.  

Ronald Evans is a descendant of the Peek family of Macon County, NC. The Odyssey of Robert Peake is his first book of historical fiction Evans is also the author of two local true-crime volumes, Swift Justice and Frankie: A Life Cut Short.

The Odyssey of Robert Peake By Ronald C. Evans Cover Image
ISBN: 9798435910445
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Independently published - April 25th, 2022

Cullowhee Native Plant Conference

In 1984 the Tennessee Valley Authority had $14,000 available for outreach projects in the Southeast. Half the money was used to train first responders in white water river rescue. It is believed that this ongoing training has reduced fatalities on our rivers by fifty percent over the years. The other $7000 was directed to underwrite a “Plant Utilization” meeting that has become an annual event that has changed the American landscape.

Dr. Charles Stallings Book Signing

Dr. Charles Stallings will visit City Lights Bookstore on Saturday, September 17th. Beginning at 3 p.m., Dr. Stallings will be available to greet folks and sign his book, A Path From Tobacco Road. Stallings served as principal of Camp Laboratory School in Cullowhee, NC and later owned and operated the Speedwell General Store. To reserve copies of A Path From Tobacco Road, please call City Lights Bookstore in Sylva, NC at 828-586-9499.

A Path From Tobacco Road By Charles D. Stallings Cover Image
ISBN: 9781737690849
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Catch the Spirit of Appalachia - June 1st, 2022

Heather Newton in Conversation with Meagan Lucas

Join us at City Lights Bookstore for a conversation with authors Heather Newton and Meagan Lucas on Saturday, August 27th at 3 p.m.  Part of the discussion will focus on Heather Newton’s new novel The Puppeteer’s Daughter. In it, three daughters of a famed and eccentric puppeteer must confront their family divisions and tenuous relationships with their father and each other when, sinking into dementia, he announces there is a fourth daughter in this powerful story of family, ambition, and legacy.

Meagan Lucas is the author of the award-winning novel, Songbirds and Stray Dogs. Meagan’s short work has been published or is forthcoming in journals like The Santa Fe Writers’ Project, Still: The Journal, MonkeyBicycle, Cowboy Jamboree, BULL, Pithead Chapel, and others. She is Pushcart-nominated.

The Puppeteer's Daughters By Heather Newton Cover Image
ISBN: 9781684428588
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Keylight Books - July 26th, 2022

McMullen Circle By Heather Newton Cover Image
ISBN: 9781646030767
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Regal House Publishing - January 17th, 2022

Songbirds and Stray Dogs By Meagan Lucas Cover Image
ISBN: 9781599487526
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Main Street Rag Press - August 1st, 2019


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