Scuppernong Books Hosts Frank McNair, Author of “Life on the Line: Football, Rage, and Redemption”

Life-on-the-LineWinston-Salem-based author Frank McNair will appear at Scuppernong Books in Greensboro on Saturday, October 28, at 3 p.m. for a book signing to promote his new award-winning football novel Life on the Line: Football, Rage, and Redemption (featured in Yes!Weekly June 29, 2017)      

Published by Bagpiper Press, the novel was named Best Book in the Young Adult category during the Spring 2017 Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards.

Frank McNair is a veteran author of business-oriented books but this is his first work of fiction.

The book revolves around two boys on the same middle school football team who despise each other as soon as they meet on the practice field. Their animosity simmers throughout the season until it finally boils over in a “dramatic confrontation” that Forsyth Family Magazine’s Vonda Henderson describes as “swift, surprising, and rattles and shocks them and those around them.” She adds: “The outcome illustrates well that stage between boy and man.”

As a former football player himself, McNair offers his readers authentic, play-by-play gridiron action. Yet Life on the Line is about much more than football

“I thought football was a good petri dish in which to tell a story about adolescence and coming of age,” McNair told the Winston-Salem Journal recently. “My book is a good yarn about two young men living regular lives in a small Southern town. The story looks like it’s about is. But it’s also about boys trying to figure out what it means to be authentically male. It is about class differences, religion, grief, and coming of age. And  ultimately it is about rage, reconciliation, and redemption.”

Intended for middle- and high-school readers, Life on the Line: Football, Rage, and Redemptionis receiving a steady stream of positive reviews among Amazon Customer Reviews from parents of teenagers. One wrote, “Outstanding! Don’t let your sons (or daughters) miss this gripping story of boys growing up in the world of football.” The mom of now-grown boys said, “I wish Frank had written the book 10 years earlier when my son and his friends were this age.”

After reading selections from the book, McNair will take questions and sign copies that will be available for purchase.

Scuppernong Books is located at 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro, NC 27401.  For more information and directions: www.scuppernongbooks.com.

For more information on Frank McNair and Life on the Line: Football, Rage, and Redemption, including sample chapters, visit www.lifeonethelinebook.com.

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Coming Oct. 1: “Chanukah Tales from Oykvetchnik,” a collection of new stories that celebrate Jewish history, culture, and the Old Country


1.chanukah-tales-from-oykvetchnik-cover-300dpi copy On October 1, in time for National Jewish Book Month (November) and Chanukah 2017 (December), Jewish Storyteller Press will release its latest title, Chanukah Tales from Oykvetchnik , via  Amazon.com, BN.comPowells.com, and other online and local bookstores. The publisher predicts that the 120-page book will become a new tradition for an ancient holiday.

Chanukah Tales from Oykvetchnik is a collection of eight original Jewish folk tales – one for each night of the Festival of Lights – written by Scott Hilton Davis (Souls Are Flying!, Between Heaven and Earth), with illustrations by Amy F. Levine.

On its website, Jewish Storyteller Press offers, “Chanukah Tales from Oykvetchnik is a storybook to be read each year as the chanukiyah (nine-branched Chanukah menorah) comes off the shelf, dreidels start spinning, and the smells of freshly fried latkes waft through the house… [It] will fill your heart with the light of Jewish history, culture, and values.”  The eight stories are:

  1. Chaim the Chanukiyah
  2. Myzeleh the Mouse
  3. Dvorah Rohkl’s Chanukah Party
  4. How Oykvetchnik Got Its Name
  5. Reb Shimon the Shammus
  6. Peter Markovich the Soldier
  7. The Rabbi’s Daughter
  8. The Pawnshop Menorah
2.scotthdavis-photo-300dpi copy
Scott Hilton Davis

An Emmy Award-winning public television producer and storyteller, Davis has spent many years bringing the works of his favorite 19th-century Yiddish writers to 21st-century English-speaking readers by publishing new translations, adaptations, and original stories based on the works of once-famous writers such as Sholem Abramovitsh (Mendele Moykher Sforim), Jacob Dinezon, Sholem Aleichem, and I. L. Peretz.

Chanukah Tales from Oykvetchnik (Oy + Kvetch + Nik) is Davis’s first completely original book.

“Chanukah has always been my favorite Jewish holiday,” the author explains. “So it’s not surprising that when I finally began writing my own short stories, they turned out to be Chanukah tales set in the ‘Old Country’ – the tiny towns and villages of Russia and Eastern Europe – before the turn of the 20th century. For many of us who are Jewish, this was the birthplace of our alte bobes and zaydes – our great-grandmothers and grandfather.”

In his review for Readers’ Favorite.com, book critic Jack Magnus writes, “Scott Hilton

Chanukah Tales from Oykvetchnic
Illustration for “The Pawnshop Menorah” by Amy Levine

Davis brings to life the little village of Oykvetchnik and shares a glimpse into the village’s celebration of the Festival of Lights with his readers… I was hooked by the stories and the history I was learning about this special holiday, as well as the culture and lifestyle found in the shtetls. Davis’s stories are grand fun for reading aloud, and Amy Levine’s black and white drawings work perfectly with each tale.”

Chanukah Tales from Oykvetchnik will be available in paperback ($9.95) and hardback ($16.95) at Amazon.com, BN.com, and Powells.com, and other online and local bookstores.

About Jewish Storyteller Press: Founded in 2007 as a way of celebrating Jewish literature, culture, and values, Jewish Storyteller Press is a small independent publishing company committed to using print‑on‑demand and e‑book technology to bring the works of 19th century Yiddish writers to 21st-century English-speaking readers. For more information: www.jewishstorytellerpress.com.

 

FORSYTH FAMILY: “Frank McNair, Life on the Line”

82FF-FrankMcNairLifeOnTheLine

By Vonda Henderson

Frank McNair, a native North Carolinian, knows about football. He loves the game. The football team of his youth was the Laurinburg Fighting Scots, the same as that of his characters. “I had a 72-hour career as a football player for the University of North Carolina,” Frank shared. “I was invited to walk on on Sunday and left on Wednesday. I know when to walk away.” Frank did continue to enjoy playing football while in college, and with other club football teams well into his twenties.

After graduating from UNC, Frank worked for a time in the banking industry. He earned his MBA at Wake Forest and worked for a number of years in corporate America. He and his wife have worked together in their consulting business for the past 30 years. He has written two non-fiction books, and Life on the Line–Football, Rage and Redemption is his debut novel, a ten-year labor of love.  READ MORE…

THE INDIE VIEW: “Interview with Frank McNair, author of Life on the Line”

Life-on-the-Line

My agent retired and I am a 65-year-old man with a first novel. Given the state of publishing today, I was never going to find an agent.

Frank McNair – 28 August 2017

The Back Flap

Life on the Line is the ideal book for the sports novel enthusiast or the reluctant teenage reader. It is the gripping story of two middle school boys struggling to understand themselves and the world around them. Life on the Line gives teens and adults a front row seat to authentic gridiron action, the struggles and joys of adolescence, and the redemptive power of love and faith.

About the book

 What is the book about?

The book is about two eighth-grade boys and the struggles they face as they overcome their differences (and deep mutual antipathy) to lead the Fighting Scot football team to an undefeated season. The book is nominally about football (hence the title: Life on the Line), but it encompasses coming-of-age, the effects of family circumstances on the boys, and – as the subtitle says: “Football, Rage, and Redemption.”

When did you start writing the book?

I began the book in a class at the Duke University Writer’s Workshop in the summer of 2007.

How long did it take you to write it?  READ THE ENTIRE INTERVIEW…

Award-winning Novelist Mark Spano Joins 2017 “Meet The Author” Series June 25th

NC Author, lNC Filmmaker

Chapel Hill novelist Mark Spano will read from his new book Midland Club. 

June 8, 2017 (Raleigh, NC) — As part of the Raleigh LGBT Center’s 2017 Sizzling Summer “Meet the Author” Series, novelist Mark Spano of Chapel Hill will read from his critically acclaimed and award-winning novel Midland Club on Sunday, June 25th, beginning at 1 p.m.

After the reading, Spano will sign copies of the 120-page book that GayBook.Reviews.com critics have called “a dark and cynical tale that reads like a film noir classic,” “…a small jewel…melancholic, lyric, flawlessly smooth and realistic,” and “…more than just a murder mystery. It speaks to the human condition.” Most recently, ReadersFavorite.com reviewer Romualdo Dzemo praised the book as a “pure delight, composed of beautiful social commentaries and wonderful themes.”

Published by Thunderfoot Press, Midland Club has maintained a 4.2 (out of 5) rating on Amazon since it appeared there in December of 2016. Earlier this month, Midland Club received a Pinnacle Book Achievement Award from the National Association of Book Entrepreneurs (NABE), one of only two books honored for Winter 2017 in the Mystery category.

Set in a midwestern city in 1958, Midland Club has all the elements of a good mystery: vibrant characters, a familiar setting, and a plot in which the solution to the mystery is ultimately revealed. Beyond a good mystery, it also addresses the pain of one gay man, alone in a town that despises him. And if the reader is paying attention, that pain foreshadows the conclusion.

Midland Club is now part of the LGBT Center of Raleigh Library.

This and all other “Meet the Authors” events this summer are free and open to the public.

The LGBT Center of Raleigh is located 324 South Harrington Street in downtown Raleigh. For more information: www.lgbtcenterofraleigh.com.

For more information on Mark Spano and Midland Club, go to http://blog.markspano.com.

About The Author:

MARK SPANO is the author of five works of fiction and a memoir. As a filmmaker, his work includes The Quality of Light: A Biography of Claude Howell and the definitive documentary on Sicily, “Reimagining Sicily.” He holds advanced degrees from Marymount University of Virginia and the American University in Washington, D.C., and now resides in rural Orange County, North Carolina.

 

New Critically Acclaimed Murder Mystery, Midland Club, Is Now Available at The Regulator Bookshop in Durham

new murder mystery/gay lit book by Mark Spano

Book reviewers compare it to “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” and film noir classics.

Chapel Hill author Mark Spano is pleased to announce that his new, critically acclaimed mystery novel, Midland Club, is now available at The Regulator Bookshop on Ninth Street in Durham.

Since opening in December of 1976, The Regulator Bookshop has remained an independent store, selling “a little bit of everything,” as the owners state on the website. “Fiction, mysteries, poetry, cookbooks, kids’ books…You name it, we’ve got it.”

The Regulator is also an icon in downtown Durham that’s committed to serving the community by carrying books from lesser known authors, especially local authors and including self-published books; by buying and selling used books; and by hosting reading and author events.

“Having my book on the shelf at The Regulator Bookshop feels a bit like playing the Palace,” said Spano. “I’m a pretty lucky author.”

Published by Thunderfoot Press, Midland Club is a tale of corruption, lies, and murder in a Midwestern city in 1958. “Only one man is willing to reveal the truth – at the risk of his own life,” the synopsis teases.

Thus far, all of its reviewers have praised the 120-page book for reading “like a film noir classic.” One critic offered, “There’s a bit of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil amidst the melancholy and I highly recommend this book.” Another called it “a small jewel…flawlessly smooth and realistic…” And an appreciative reader posted, “Spano can be proud of his story as it perfectly captures that place and time to create an engaging work of noir fiction. It kept me reading non-stop until the end, meriting this hearty recommendation.”

For more insight into Midland Club, follow Thunderfoot Press’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ThunderfootPress/.

The Regulator Bookshop is located at 720 Ninth Street, Durham, NC 27705. Hours are Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. until 8 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. For more information, visit www.regulatorbookshop.com.

fiction/mystery/gay literature
Author Mark Spano

About The Author:

MARK SPANO is the author of five works of fiction and a memoir. As a filmmaker, his work includes The Quality of Light: A Biography of Claude Howell and the definitive documentary on Sicily, “Reimagining Sicily.” He holds advanced degrees from Marymount University of Virginia and the American University in Washington, D.C., and now resides in rural Orange County, North Carolina.

Chapel Hill Author/Filmmaker To Serve As Judge for 2017 Film Festival

NC Author, lNC Filmmaker
Author Mark Spano

Mark Spano joins the jury for “OUT at the Movies Int’l LGBT Film Fest” 

March 30, 2017 (Chapel Hill, NC) — Mark Spano, author of the critically acclaimed mystery novel Midland Club and producer/director of the new documentary “Reimagining Sicily,” will serve as a judge for OUT at the Movies Int’l l LGBT Film Fest ‘17 presented by BB&T.

The festival will take place in Winston-Salem, NC, October 5 – 8, 2017, in the Aperture Cinema, 311 W. Fourth St.; Wake Forest University Welcome Center, 1834 Wake Forest Road; and the UNC School of the Arts ACE Film Complex, 1533 S. Main Street.

“Being asked to be a judge for the OUT at The Movies Festival is such an honor,” Spano said “There is so much going on in film and the arts in general across North Carolina. I’m always pleased to contribute in any way I can.”

From the films submitted and screened, the invited jury will award Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, Fest Short, Best Actor, and Best Actress.

Mark Spano, owner/operator of Mark Spano Communications Inc. and Thunderfoot Press, has spent decades working in both film and television. He has produced numerous television series and programs, including “Models of Teaching,” a national television series on excellence in education funded by The Kenan Alliance for Partnerships in Education, and “Carolina Countryside,” a weekly public television series, among many others.

As a filmmaker, Spano’s work includes “The Quality of Light: A Biography of Claude Howell.” In homage to his Sicilian heritage, he recently completed the definitive documentary “Reimagining Sicily.”

A resident of Orange County, NC, near Chapel Hill, Spano met key people involved with OUT at the Movies during a book reading/signing event for his new novel Midland Club hosted by the North Star LGBTQ Community Center in Winston-Salem. After the event, he was invited to be a judge at the 2017 Film Fest.

About “OUT at the Movies Int’l LGBT Film Fest” —  Rex Welton and Lee Mecum founded Winston-Salem’s OUT at the Movies LGBT Film Series in 2004, screening films monthly. The Film Fest began as a way to celebrate 10 years of making quality LGBT movies available to the Winston-Salem community. Filmmakers, documentary subjects, and actors travel from as far away as California to introduce their films and participate in Q&A and meet-and-greet sessions. For more information, go to outatthemovieswinstonsalem.org.

For more information on Mark Spano, visit blog.markspano.com.

 

North Star LGBTQ Community Center Hosts Mark Spano, Author of the Critically Acclaimed Novel “Midland Club” for Book Reading, Signing

Author Mark Spano

North Star LGBTQ Community Center in Winston-Salem will host a book reading and signing event with Chapel Hill’s Mark Spano, author of the new, critically acclaimed mystery novel Midland Club, on Sunday, March 26, from 3-4 p.m. The Center is located at 930 Burke Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101. Admission is free and open to the public.

Released on Amazon in December 2016 where it has maintained a 4.2 rating among Customer Reviews, Midland Club is a knotted tale of corruption, lies, and murder in a Midwestern town in 1958 — the kind of town where the author grew up, and at a time in history when homosexuality was never mentioned, much less acknowledged, in high society. Only one man is willing to reveal the truth about a murder that everyone else considers a suicide. But he’ll risk his own life to do so.

One reviewer calls Midland Club “…a dark and cynical tale that reads like a film noir classic.” Another considers the 120-page novel “a small jewel…melancholic, lyric, flawlessly smooth and realistic… an excellent piece of gay fiction of exceptional quality.” And an Amazon reader observed: “Spano is a very evocative writer. He re-creates a period of time, full of treachery and secrets. You can practically smell the cigar smoke and see the dark paneled walls and mahogany of the club. But this book is more than just a murder mystery: it speaks to the human condition.”

After introducing his book, reading a passage, and answering any questions, the author will sign books that will be available for purchase.

For more information on the book signing event, email Rayce Lamb, North Star LGBTQ Community Center’s Outreach Coordinator: outreach@northstarlgbtcc.com.

For more information on Midland Club, visit Thunderfoot Press’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ThunderfootPress/.

About North Star: North Star is Winston-Salem’s first LGBTQ Community Center. The Center opened on September 21, 2013, and offers many educational, social, and collaborative activities for the whole community in the Piedmont/Triad area. For more information: www.northstarlgbtcc.com.

About author Mark Spano: Mark Spano is a writer and filmmaker and the author of five works of fiction and a memoir. His films include “The Quality of Light: A Biography of Claude Howell” and the definitive documentary on Sicily entitled “The Sicilians.” MHe holds advanced degrees from Marymount University of Virginia and the American University in Washington, D.C. He now resides in rural Orange County, North Carolina. For more information: http://blog.markspano.com.

Thunderfoot Press Hires Blueplate PR To Promote New Premiere Title, Midland Club

 

thund-press-logoThunderfoot Press, a small publishing house in Orange County, NC, has commissioned Blueplate PR of Raleigh to market and promote its premiere title, Midland Club, a new murder mystery by Mark Spano with particular social relevance.

“November 8, 2016, marked the beginning of a surge in hate crimes in this country, including crimes directed at our LGBT citizens,” said Blueplate PR owner Kim Weiss. “The first time I read Midland Club, which is set in 1958, the relevance jumped off the page at me.

mc-cover_sm“Fear of that heinous type of crime informs how the book’s main character, Rich St. Pierre, responds to the death of a friend – a gay black man. Everyone in the mid-western city believes it was suicide. Rich knows better. I’m deeply honored to work with Thunderfoot Press to promote this gripping and relevant page-turner, which will remind readers of the best in noir filmmaking.”

Blueplate PR is a boutique public relations firm Weiss founded 2004. Since then she has promoted a variety of book genres, including business, fiction, humor, young adult fantasy, and supernatural. An award-winning journalist and former magazine editor, Weiss also ghostwrote and edited The Bridge Builders, a memoir of master landscape architect Richard C. Bell’s life and work. For more information, visit www.blueplatepr.net.

Thunderfoot Press has published five works of fiction and a memoir by author and filmmaker Mark Spano.

Advance/review copies in paperback and digital editions are available by contacting Kim Weiss by phone (919.819.0064) or email: blueplatepr@gmail.com. The book is available for purchase in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon.

A Small Jewel…Flawlessly Smooth and Realistic…An Engaging Work of Noir Fiction

mc-cover_smCritics and readers alike praise Mark Spano’s Midland Club.

(Chapel Hill, NC) — Thunderfoot Press author Mark Spano’s new 120-page book, Midland Club, officially released just one month ago, is already receiving rave reviews from critics and readers and remains ranked at 4.3 stars out of five among Amazon Customer Reviews.

“I’m stunned and humbled by the favorable critical responses to Midland Club,” Spano said recently. “What, though, is of greater consequence is that the book has struck a chord with its readers. That is surely every writer’s ambition.”

Set in 1958 in a Midwestern town, Midland Club is a 120-page mystery novel about corruption, lies, and murder. The protagonist, Rich St. Pierre, is compelled to expose the truth about a friend’s death knowing he’s risking his own life in the process. The protagonist is a gay white man and a member of a highly respected family. The deceased is a gay black man.

The premise intrigued two reviewers with Gaybook Reviews.com. One described the book as “a small jewel…melancholic, lyric, flawlessly smooth and realistic… an excellent piece of gay fiction of exceptional quality.”

The other reviewer called the book “a dark and cynical tale that reads like a film noir classic,” adding: “The beauty of Midland Club is the telling of the tale, rather than the answer to the mystery…There’s a bit of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil amidst the melancholy and I highly recommend this book.”

Mark Spano admits that he set Midland Club in his old neighborhood in his hometown, Kansas City, MO. But in his book, he refers to the location only as “a Midwestern city.” Yet one Amazon reader, also a Kansas City native, said he immediately recognized the city’s “repressive social strictures of decades ago, designed to prevent the intersections of ethnicity, class, and forbidden love at the heart of this tale of passion and loss.” Spano “can be proud of his story,” he wrote, “as it perfectly captures that place and time to create an engaging work of noir fiction. It kept me reading non-stop until the end, meriting this hearty recommendation.”

Another reader echoed that sentiment, adding, “This book is more than just a murder mystery. It speaks to the human condition.”

Midland Club is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. Review copies are available by emailing publicist Kim Weiss of Blueplate PR: blueplatepr@gmail.com.

About The Author:

MARK SPANO is a filmmaker and author of five works of fiction and a memoir. As a filmmaker, his work includes The Quality of Light: A Biography of Claude Howell and the definitive documentary on Sicily, “Reimagining Sicily.” He holds advanced degrees from Marymount University of Virginia and the American University in Washington, D.C., and now resides in rural Orange County, North Carolina. (Headshot available on request.) For more information: blog.markspano.com.