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Archive for the ‘Novels’ Category

Libraries, the heartbeat of Small Town America

Both books in our Summers Run series have been donated to libraries in the Bitterroot Valley, Montana: The Missoula Public Library, the North Valley Library, and the Bitterroot Public Library in Hamilton.

Books have been donated to public libraries in Meadville, Titusville, Springboro, Cambridge Springs, Cochranton, Washington, Williamsport, and Lock Haven, all in Pennsylvania.

It’s been our pleasure to do this, in this day of limited resources and budgetary restraints.
Patronize your local libraries: there’s more going on there than just books. These are not the dull, stereotypically dry and dusty halls of yesterday. They are alive and lively institutions of learning, entertainment, and imaginative, worthwhile stimulation. . . . Jim Cotton
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words, my next novel in the Summers Run series. The publisher is in a bit of a dilemma in categorizing this one. Is it a:

Young Adult

Young Adult Coming-of-Age

A Literary Work

An Intergenerational Novel

Or should it be classified as General Fiction/Baseball?

The issue arises because Return To Summers Run involves all the above. It should be available later this month or early June through online retailers, from the publisher, or through your local bookstore. It’s being published as a softcover and e-book.

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This studio still depicts Claude Jarman, jr., Jane Wyman, and Gregory Peck and their resolve after the region’s black bear raided the homestead and killed the family calf. The bear scene is remarkably realistic and required a trained bear, a bear suit, and reportedly much in the way of skilled cinematography plus days to complete as can be imagined. Quite significant for its time and achieved without today’s special effects.

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the Edna Ferber Pulitzer Prize-winning novel being aired on the Turner Classic Movies channel. Three different film versions of this work have been produced, the last in 1953, starring Jane Wyman, shown here with Claude Jarman, Jr., in a scene from The Yearling. So Big will air on Turner Classic Movies, May 8 at 3 pm EST.  Check with TCM.com where one can confirm showing for different time zones. So Big deals with a teacher’s experience on the frontier. Here’s TCM’s blurb:

“A schoolteacher-turned-farmer fights to save the land and her son.”

As described, this film appears to fit the themes and interests of this blog. Ferber and Willa Cather were contemporaries and occasionally wrote of their American experiences on the frontier and the state of the nation’s development during the early 1900s. Aside from So Big, Ferber’s Showboat and Giant have enjoyed wide acceptance and were produced as feature films. Cather’s Pioneer Trilogy–O Pioneers!, Song of the Lark, My AntoniaOne of Ours, and Death Comes for the Archbishop were also critically acclaimed. O Pioneers, Song of the Lark, Paul’s Case, and A Lost Lady have been adapted to film.

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At Kobobooks.com , Smashwords.com , Barnes & Noble.com , Amazon.com , iUniverse.com , and enTourage.com 

It continues to be well-received, appealing to those who like a “feel-good-at-the-end” novel. If you like Jan Karon’s Mitford Series and the Father Tim novels she’s written, you should like Summers Run: An American Boyhood. Jan Karon’s website is www.mitfordbooks.com

Reviews and sample chapters of Summers Run: An American Boyhood can be found at afeelgoodnovel.blogspot.com or www.alongcountryroads.com

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Here are Darryl Hickman on the left and Shirley Mills, right. They flank Henry Fonda, of course, the leading character of this farm-based drama depicting Oakie migration to California in the 1930s and during the depth of the Great Depression. Hickman went on with his career in front of the camera for several more films and eventually gravitated toward production. Shirley Mills was groomed to be a performer from her early days in Tacoma, WA, and eventually wound her way into dancing in early television commercials. She later married a cattle rancher and clergyman and then following his death, became a party and wedding planner in Bel Air, California. Hickman wrote The Unconscious Actor: Out of Control, In Full Command in 2007 and is often cited as a leading teacher of the art of performance in acting and life.

Hickman played the character, Winfield, and Mills was cast as Ruthie Joad.

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