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New novel by Darden North - Release set for June 15, 2017

In "The Five Manners of Death" there are five ways to die. Surgeon Diana Bratton believes that homicide is the only one left. Then the police prove her wrong. Diana learns that murder is her family secret. After a construction worker unearths a human skull on the campus of the University of Mississippi that dates to the 1960s, an older woman’s desperate attempt to erase history counts down the five manners of death. Surgeon Diana Bratton is surrounded by bodies after the discovery of her Aunt Phoebe’s 50-year-old note detailing the five ways to die. Suicide, accident, natural cause, and one death classified undetermined are soon crossed of this list—leaving Diana to believe that only homicide remains. Then the police prove her wrong. 
When Phoebe is linked not only to that death, but to the recent deaths of two local men, Diana is torn between pursuing Phoebe’s innocence and accepting police theory that her aunt is involved in multiple murders. Diana steals precious time from…

2017 Southeast Region Writing Conferences

"Writer's Digest" is sponsoring writing conferences in Alabama, Louisiana, and Tennessee in 2017. The magazine's editors will be speaking and literary agents are scheduled to be on hand for one-on-one pitches.

For more information, check out these links:
      February 24, 2017 alabamawritingworkshop.com
      April 22, 2017  neworleanswritingworkshop.com
      July 22, 2017  tennesseewritingworkshop.com 
I received a tweet message from The Writer's Digest team about the conferences and thought I would pass along the information. An email contact was also provided: chuck.sambuchino@fwmedia.com.
If you are a budding or blooming writer, you might want to check out these opportunities.
----- Darden
Darden North www.dardennorth.com

A lot went on before the fall - Review of "Before the Fall" by Noah Hawley (audio book)

Noah Hawley's vivid character development and descriptive settings make this satirical narrative of successful corporations and extravagance (as well as the almost parody of Bill O'Reilly and Fox News) shine. "Before the Fall" is an entertaining, not totally predictable, story of Scott, a struggling, alcoholic painter and swimmer, who draws on the inspiration of the original fitness guru Jack LaLanne to save a four-year-old boy. As Scott becomes the scrutinized hero after their private plane crashes into the Atlantic, Hawley's social commentary on the evils of the rich and famous slows the action at times but still keeps the reader's interest. I "read" and enjoyed the audio book edition and recommend it highly. Robert Petkoff as audio book narrator is splendid with the addition of his English and Irish accents, while doing well with both male and female voice inflections.
-----Darden North
      www.dardennorth.com

Where was Cleveland?

Audio Book Review - "Dispatches from Pluto: Lost and Found in the Mississippi Delta"
Author - Richard Grant

By Darden North | September 5, 2016

I guess Grant never reached Cleveland during his tour of the Delta, that vibrant community an antithesis of this liberal discourse on Mississippi race relations, overall poverty, and crumbling education. Regarding the English narrator's cadence in the audio book, it was often repetitious, and he sometimes mispronounced words including names of Mississippi counties, such as Bolivar. The narrator could have spent a little time on research in that regard. Of course, I grew up in Cleveland and Bolivar County, so I guess I'm partial. Grant's own hours spent in research and with live interviews of his subjects sets the memoir apart. His description of race relations is clear and accurate, showing that we Mississippians may actually be very high on that positive list. I envy Grant's knack to describe physical appearances and…