The Mahogany Door: A New Fantasy-Adventure Book for Young Readers

Split Rail Books releases the first book in The Bruinduer Narrative Trilogy

May 23, 2011 (Durham, NC) — After the last Harry Potter film is released this summer, what will young fans of fantasy-adventure fiction have to look forward to? Split Rail Books in Durham, NC, suggests its new title, “The Mahogany Door,” the first novel in a new fiction-fantasy-adventure series written by J. Mark Boliek of Durham especially for young readers.

And it comes with an original-music soundtrack CD.

“The Mahogany Door,” book one of Boliek’s The Bruinduer Narrative series, is told by an unnamed grandfather who captivates a group of children with his fascinating story, first out on a beach then huddled around the fireplace of a beautiful mansion by the shore as a fierce thunderstorm rages outside.

The story centers around three friends, separated years ago by a traumatic event, who are compelled to reunite so that they may once again pass through “The Mahogany Door” and into the fantasy Vryheids world of Bruinduer. They must fulfill a destiny they left undone nine years before to keep Bruinduer from collapsing. One of the friends lost his parents and his memory in a horrible accident and has no idea what to expect. One knows too well and has tried to forget. The third friend’s insistence that they must return to Bruinduer is mysterious and suspicious.

Cover and interior illustrations by Lauren Gallegos

The friends’ journey back to the world behind “The Mahogany Door” leads to the book’s “teaching moments,” which resonate with the author’s own life – about things in life not always being what they seem, about the value of friendship and the importance of completing tasks, and about the secret to tapping into the power of a their only  “guide” along the journey, a monstrous being they call “Billy.” And the end is designed to leave young readers anxious for book two.

Author J. Mark Boliek is a former football player and military man, a computer programmer and musician, and the son veteran broadcast journalist Dave Boliek of WTVD-TV. He began working on The Bruinduer Narrative nine years ago. His initial 157-page draft turned into three distinct stories in which the first tale, “The Mahogany Door,” evolved into a 353-page children’s fantasy novel. He is currently working on the other two books in what he expects to be a trilogy.

“The Mahogany Door” features cover art an interior illustrations by California artist Lauren Gallegos. It is published in paperback with a typeface and size optimized for

The soundtrack CD accompanies the book.

young readers ages 10 and up. The songs on the accompanying CD, written primarily by the author, reflect certain themes in the book, from “All Alone” to “Here Is My Pride, Here Is My Anger.”

For more information about “The Mahogany Door” by J. Mark Boliek, published by Split Rail Books, go to Each track from the accompanying CD can be heard at and the book with CD can be ordered directly at

Facts about The Mahogany Door:

Author: J. Mark Boliek.  Publisher: Split Rail Books.  Publication Date: May 2011.  Genres: Fantasy-Fiction, Adventure-Fiction.  Illustrator: Lauren Gallegos.  Age Group: 10 and up.  ISBN: 978-0-9832900-0-1.  Paperback: 353pp.  Retail Price: $24.95Currently available:

About J. Mark Boliek:

J. Mark Boliek, the author of “The Mahogany Door” and the entire Bruinduer Narrative series, grew up in Eden and Durham, North Carolina. An avid writer and athlete, he received a football scholarship after high school but chose to join the Navy instead. He graduated from Concord University in Athens, WV, in 1997 and lived in Wilmington, NC, for a while, where he began to develop The Bruinduer Narrative, a fantasy-adventure series for young readers, as well as the soundtrack CD that accompanies “The Mahogany Door.” Mark and his wife Jill now live in Durham, NC, where they own and operate Split Rail Books and Split Rail Multimedia LLC. For more information on the author and “The Mahogany Door,” visit and his Facebook page.

Film Critic Godfrey Cheshire Joins Raleigh Metro Magazine

Godfrey Cheshire
Godfrey Cheshire

October 1, 2008 (RALEIGH, NC) – Godfrey Cheshire, the Raleigh-born New York City-based film critic – and writer and director of the critically acclaimed documentary film Moving Midway – will join Raleigh’s Metro Magazine beginning with the November 2008 edition.

Cheshire will write a monthly essay for Metro and contribute regularly online to Cheshire is ending his previous association with The Independent Weekly of Durham.

Cheshire, who served as chairman of the New York Film Critics Circle is an award-winning film critic and journalist whose writings on film have appeared in numerous national and international publications. His areas of special interest include Southern and American independent filmmaking; international films (he was responsible for introducing films from Iran and China to the US); and the conversion to digital cinema.

Born and raised in Raleigh, N.C., Cheshire was educated at the Ravenscroft School, Raleigh public schools, Virginia Episcopal School, and UNC-Chapel Hill. He began his career by joining founder Bernie Reeves at the former Spectator Magazine in 1978. He served as an editor and the magazine’s film critic for the next 20 years.

Metro Magazine’s editor and publisher Bernie Reeves says Cheshire’s new association with Metro  “brings us full circle.”

“Thirty years ago this fall, I joined Bernie in founding Spectator Magazine, an innovative and ultimately very successful alternative weekly for the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area,” Cheshire said. “Although my primary duties during the magazine’s first dozen years involved supervising its arts coverage, I also got my start as a professional film critic in 1978, beginning a conversation about movies with North Carolina readers that continues to this day.”

Cheshire and Reeves have collaborated on many projects since then, including numerous film festivals and other special events – including the Comboland project in 1985. Cheshire, frustrated that the music scene in the Triangle was ignored by area and national media, compiled a collection of local music and delivered it to the UK and European market where it was well received and resulted in deals for several bands.

Most recently, they collaborated on Cheshire’s film Moving Midway.

“In early 2004, I started making Moving Midway – my documentary about my family’s plantation outside Raleigh – and Bernie came aboard as the film’s executive producer,” Cheshire said. “When the film was released to great reviews in New York in September, I felt like a new chapter in my life began. I am now a filmmaker with a couple of exciting new projects that I’m working on. But I also am still a critic and writer, and I am extraordinarily pleased that Bernie has invited me to be part of the Metro family.

“Thirty years on, Bernie remains a visionary and an innovator as well as a friend,” he added. “Much like Spectator, Metro is a vital, forward-looking publication that has a deep connection to the part of North Carolina where we grew up and started out professionally. I am looking forward to returning ‘home,’ yet again, by writing for its pages.”

About Godfrey Cheshire:

Cheshire moved to New York in 1991 and began a 10-year stint as chief film critic for the Manhattan weekly New York Press. From 1995-2000, he reviewed for the show business journal Variety, for which he covered Cannes, Sundance, Montreal and other festivals. His reviews and articles have also appeared in publications including The New York Times, The Village Voice, Interview, Filmmaker, Cineaste, Oxford American, The American Scholar, Cinemaya and Film International, and have been anthologized in several books.

In 1992, Film Comment invited him to write articles on Chinese and Iranian films. The first of these assignments occasioned a trip to Beijing and led to subsequent investigative visits to Hong Kong and Taiwan. The second involved several visits to Iran beginning in 1997; his interest in Iranian culture has entailed an ongoing study of Islamic thought and its connection to Western philosophy, as well as several projects aimed at using film to bridge the political divide between the U.S. and Iran.

In 1995, Cheshire and Spectator helped organize the North Carolina Film and Video Festival, and he served as artistic director for the three years of its existence. He has served as an advisor, programmer, panelist and juror at numerous other festivals in the U.S. and internationally.

In 1999, his essay “The Death of Film/The Decay of Cinema,” about the cultural and aesthetic ramifications of the conversion to digital cinema, gained international attention and led to several events including a “Millennial Symposium” to discuss his ideas at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and special panels at the Sundance and Seattle film festivals.

A former chairman of the New York Film Critics Circle, Cheshire is also a member of the National Society of Film Critics and the international critics group FIPRESCI. Twice since 2000, his film reviews have won Best Arts Criticism prizes from the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies.

In spring, 2007, he premiered his first feature film, Moving Midway, a documentary about the relocation of his family’s plantation and the Southern plantation’s place in American myth, on which he served as writer, director, narrator and producer. While in North Carolina making the film, he taught a course in the History of Film at his old alma mater, UNC-Chapel Hill. He is currently developing two other feature film projects, both large-scale historical drama.