Sunday, December 7, 2008
The Phillips and Lloyd Book Store in Hayesville offered only a little wiggle room Saturday with many people lined up at the counter to buy books. I found my way to the back meeting room
where Brenda Kay Ledford, Carole Thompson and Nancy Sales Cash were signing copies of the new anthology which holds their short stories and essays, CHRISTMAS PRESENCE. I bought a copy for myself and had them sign it. Christmas Presence is edited by Celia H. Miles and Nancy Dillingham, published at Catawba Press. It presents stories, essays and poems by 45 western North Carolina women writers.
This anthology has something for everyone. I enjoyed the poems. I read them first. There are many good memoir essays: "I'll Be Home For Christmas" by Nancy Purcell, "The Christmas Catalog" by Nancy Sales Cash, and "Memories of Wartime Christmases" by Mary D. Marsh which is set in the blitz of 1940. I enjoyed the humor in Brenda Kay Ledford's "Miss Bessie Mae and the Christmas Biker."
What I like best about the book is that most of the writing is set here in the Appalachian Mountains. My favorite short stories are, " A Bag of Sugar for Paula" by Carole Thompson, "Grand Pa and the Snow Snakes" by Penny Morse and "A Logging Camp Christmas" by Exie Wilde Henson. The strongest and best essays are: "And the Animals Knelt" by Celia Miles, "The French Harp" by Glenda Barrett and "Jewish Christmas" by Jessica Harriot.
The more I read, the more I find to like. The more read, the more I mark pages and plan what I will read to my family on Christmas Day.
Copies of the book can be ordered at Catawba Publishing Company (704) 717-8452
and are for sale at Phillips and Lloyd Book Store in Hayesville, NC.