The library supports local writers in the Stillwater and Payne County area and those connected to OSU. We encourage you to READ Local and support our writing community.
If you are a local author or know of another Payne County author not listed on this page, please email email@example.com to submit your information. Thank you to author Susan Walker for her research and assistance on this list.
To see the annual lists of published OSU staff and faculty, visit https://library.okstate.edu/news/Celebratingbooks.
Brent K. Ashabranner (1921 - 2016)
Born in Shawnee, OK in 1921, Ashabranner died in 2016 at age 95. After graduating from OSU with a Masters in English, he taught at OSU for several years. In 1955, he accepted a curriculum development position in Ethiopia, leaving the US with his wife and two young daughters. For the next 30 years, Ashabranner worked in Libya, started the first Peace Corps Program in Nigeria, was the Peace Corps Director in India, and then the Deputy Director of the Peace Corps from 1967-1969. After serving for 10 years in the Philippines and Indonesia with the Ford Foundation, Ashabranner retired in 1985. In his retirement he wrote over 30 books for junior readers on cross-cultural topics and won over 40 awards for this body of work.
Some of this prolific local author’s titles are listed below. Many can be found at the Stillwater Public library and/or amazon.com.
Reader review: [The Choctaw Code is] one of the very best books I've ever read for this age group. Through his Choctaw friend, Tom learns many things about the forest, its occupants, and people. He learns some things that will make him a much stronger man as he grows older. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn about friendship and honor. ~ Renee
Matthew Quinn Baldwin taught middle school and junior high English for nine years. He is presently Stillwater Middle School’s library media specialist. Quinn lives in Stillwater with his wife and two children. Quinn’s books are available on Amazon.com as both paperbacks and e-books. Crossover may be checked out from the Local Author’s shelves.
Available at the Stillwater Public library and on amazon.com.
Reader Review: [Crossover is] An amazing first novel! Quinn Baldwin will be someone to read for years to come. This book was sci-fiction about time-travel, history, family, and divorce. He wrote with words that any teenager might feel as the family comes apart. A successful, acceptable "new normal" is found at the end of the book for this loving family. It had the feel of a "boy book" even though the main character was a female. Lots of adventure and great character development, I would recommend this book to any young middle school friend. It was a thrilling, suspenseful story that wouldn't let me put it down. ~Dosha
|Cynthia Canfield Barnes
Cynthia was raised in Yale and graduated from Stillwater High School and OSU. Her book takes place in Yale.
Polly Basore was born and raised in Stillwater, Oklahoma. After graduating from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor’s degree in journalism, Basore left Stillwater to pursue big-city dreams that took her to New York, Moscow and Washington, D.C. Basore says that now she is “quite content to call Wichita, Kansas home. It is a jewel of a place.”
Reader review: [In What Heaven Left Behind] Polly Basore chronicles how she triumphed over personal loss and despair to use an unexpected inheritance to become a vehicle for helping those who truly need it. She very honestly tells the reader of the pain she felt and mistakes she made on the way. Anyone who has experienced similar losses in their lives can easily relate to her feelings, but few of us use them to do so much good. I believe this very personal memoir will also do many people a lot of good. ~ Frank Dudgeon
Basore’s books are available at the Stillwater Public Library and amazon.com
Donita who published under D.S. Baze has lived in Stillwater for over 25 years. Her book is available at Barnes & Noble and Lulu Publishing and can be checked out at the Stillwater Public Library. Keywords for Lulu search are Soul Mates, soulmates. Baze, teen, young adult fantasy, sexual abuse, dreams, dreaming, love story.
Author site: http://d-baze.wix.com/mybooks
Dawn lives in Stillwater and works at OSU. Her books can be checked out at the SPL and purchased on amazon.com.
Author site: http://benjaminboobooks.wordpress.comReader Review: Benjamin Boo Real Super Hero is an adorable book that toddlers and children will enjoy. The cute pictures and short lines on each page will be great for a toddler's and child's short attention span. The story teaches that the real superhero is the person who shows kindness, who is helpful. These are teachings that everyone should apply in life. I look forward to reading the next book in this series. ~Josephine Calabrese
Long-time Stillwater physical education teacher Art Bieri, who has lived in Stillwater since 1959, was asked to create the district’s physical education program when he was hired by the district in 1959. Both of Art’s books can be checked out at the Stillwater Public Library and A Squirrel’s Dilemma can be found on amazon.com.
Reader Review: Art Bieri writes about a community of squirrels and their adjustment to change as the squirrel's environment is changed to make way for a community project. Progress forces some squirrels to make a home elsewhere, but there is one squirrel that makes a different choice.
Except for the cover and one small black-and-white picture at the end of the book, there are no pictures, so it is a quick story to read. I found it was hard to keep the interest of the younger children because they wanted pictures, but the older children seemed interested in the story to the end. The ending of the story seemed to leave my group of readers wanting to speculate.
A great way to stir writing creativity in children is to not have a resolute ending. Some of the older children added their own ending of what they thought happened to the squirrels. I recommend A Squirrel's Dilemma to elementary schools, parents and grandparents, and churches. ~Jewel Sample, local author of Flying Hugs and Kisses
Judith and her husband Rod lived in Stillwater until their retirement. Presently they are enjoying retirement in Colorado Springs, Colorado and Princeville, Kauai, Hawaii. Judith’s book is available at the Stillwater Public Library as well as from amazon.com
Reader review: Judy’s amazing story of an abusive, seemingly hopeless childhood, turns to joy and freedom. You will be surprised by the ease and simplicity of her life-changing formula. ~Peter Bradley, Former President, International Bible Society (now Biblica)
Mac, a long-time Stillwater resident, wrote his first novel, Right: A Novel of Politics, in Stillwater; thus, Right is heavily based on Stillwater and its surrounding area. Available at the SPL and amazon.com.
Author site: https://www.facebook.com/partyapocalypse
Reader Review: Mac Boyle's first published work is a great read. His story held my interest from the opening pages. The characters are genuine and compelling. This is not a comedy but I found myself laughing regularly. I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Boyle's novel and will look for more by this young writer. ~Booklover (Kindle edition)
Caleb’s passion for ministry is rooted in his own life-changing experience of Christian hospitality. As a drug addict with a history of jail time, his future looked dark—until he encountered a group of believers who met him with acceptance instead of judgment.
Caleb holds a B.A. from Oklahoma State University and a Master of Divinity degree from Gateway Seminary. He has worked as a college professor and a young adult pastor.
Reader review: This is an excellent book on what is likely the most neglected aspect of Christianity in America today. I especially liked how Caleb displayed with his own life the impact hospitality had on himself and the impact we can have on others. The details given, not only that we need to show hospitality, but how we should act (for example, a lack of judgment), were certainly convicting. My opinion is that the information given in this book is the missing bridge between pew-sitting Christians and those that truly follow Christ. ~Brian Wegley
Camp’s book is available at the Stillwater Public Library and amazon.com.
Judith lives in Stillwater and writes under the pseudonym J. Midgley.
Alton, a former foster child and a police officer was the first person in his family to graduate from high school and college. Now the director of youth ministries for the First United Methodist Church of Stillwater, the Oklahoma State University alum has dedicated his life to working with young people. Carter’s popular books are available for purchase on amazon.com.
Author site: http://www.altoncarter.net
Reader Review (one of 46): Buy this book!! Alton Carter is a phenomenal guy, and you will love him after reading this book. I am the same age and I grew up in the same town he wrote about. Alton is as genuine in person as he is in his book. Overcoming adversity is something we all face at one time or another, but Alton does this with more courage than anyone I know. Alton will inspire you to make a positive difference in a child's life, just as caring adults have made in his. This is a must read! ~ C. Prewitt
|M. Scott Carter
Scott was raised in Yale, graduated from OSU, and is a former NewsPress photographer.
Author site: http://mscottcarter.com
Reader Review: Mr. Carter's first novel [Stealing Kevin’s Heart] is a winner, telling the story of a young man learning to deal with the death of his best friend for which he feels partially to blame. The first-person narrative creates a very realistic and likable main character. The plot moves along to a not entirely unexpected conclusion, but it holds the reader’s attention along the way.
Kudos to Carter's use of dialog. One of my biggest complaints in YA literature is the poor representation of realistic dialog. Carter never has characters speak in ways that read like an adult imitating an adolescent. Definitely a good read. ~Amazon customer
|Fred Causley, Sr.
Fred, an OSU graduate, is the owner of Stillwater’s Causley Productions, a business that specializes in tee shirts and screen printing, awards and laser engraved gifts, apparel, and vinyl lettering designs.
Causley’s book is available on the Local Authors shelves at the library.
Author site: http://www.wordandspiritpublishing.com
From cover: "This is a book of Christian poetry......the author has simply shared what life experiences have shared with him."
|Carla Chlouber (1939 - 2011)
Carla and her husband Dale founded the Washington Irving Trail Museum located between Ripley and Stillwater on the ranch homesteaded by Otto Gray’s parents. Using photographs from the museum’s collections and from the families of the band members, she tells the story of America’s first commercially successful western band. Both the book and the stationary are available for purchase at amazon.com.
Reader’s Review: The Oklahoma Cowboy Band: Images of America. The Oklahoma Cowboy Band was the first western string band in the nation to broadcast over radio and appear on Vaudeville. Their popularity was largely responsible for the cowboy imagery still present in country music. Strings, comedy, vaudeville.128 pages of historic photos. They [the book and postcards] are keepsakes and gifts. Otto Gray/his wife and son played on Radio in 1925. Traveled all over the west------were popular for 10 years. A great group! ~BBP
|M.E. Cooper (1933-2010)
Mary Ellen Cooper, the former owner of Cooper’s Bicycles (est. 1930), which daughter Mary Cash now runs, was a prolific writer of true crime books as the list below attests. All of her books can be reviewed on Amazon (search by title) but are available only from third-party sellers; Cooper’s books can also be found on the library’s Local Author shelves and are available locally at Cooper's Locksmith, 228 S Main Street.
Author site: http://www.mecooper.com
Reader review: "...[the] characters [in Uncivil Death] come forth in such blazing reality that you will see, feel, taste and smell the entire military operation..." ~ Dusty Richards, western author
Lisa Courtaway lives in Stillwater, Oklahoma and is married with four children. An entourage of four dogs and two cats follow her everywhere. She has worn many career-hats, from advertising to insurance to education. But her most rewarding title was Medical Paraprofessional to a fabulous bunch of kids at a middle school in Littleton, Colorado. She loves a good ghost story, and has lived in several homes that spoke to her in mysterious ways. True crime stories, watching a binge-worthy series, reading, and taking care of her family are her favorites. Since she was young, people have often told her she should write a book ... so she did.
Reader review: A very good ghost story with a difference. I liked the idea of giving the background to the reason the haunting came about at the end of the book. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to the next installment. ~ Michael Hunt
Walt Cross has lived in the area since 1979 and is a Cushing and OSU graduate. Walt writes mostly non-fiction history books about the Old West and the military. He holds degrees in both history and science and is a combat veteran of the 7th U.S. Artillery. Born at Fort Hood, Texas, Walt is the son of a cavalryman as his father served in the 87th Cavalry.
Author site: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/greenpheon7 Go to this prolific author’s website to see additional titles or to purchase.
Reader Review: [Custer’s Lost Officer is a ] Very readable and historically interesting account of the search for one of Custer's "lost officers" - Lieutenant Henry Moore Harrington. Called "lost" because his body - along with several other officers’ [bodies] - was never recovered at the Little Bighorn Battle scene. Great detective work on the part of author Cross to track down both the actual remains and what probably happened to this young lieutenant at the horrific Little Bighorn battle, where Custer's 200-man command was confronted with close to 2,000 warrior braves who were better armed than their 7th Cavalry counterparts and who knew the landscape, so critical to this battle. Cross provides a great deal of additional information about life in the US Cavalry during this campaign and insightful research on the battle itself. This is a fine read for those interested in the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Not the book to start with on this topic, but if you want an "inside baseball" look at an enigmatic participant in the battle and some CSI-style investigative work, it's a great book for you. ~R. McNealy
Davis got her education at Oklahoma State University and was a librarian at the Stillwater Public Library before quitting to write her first novel. She lives in Stillwater with her husband, Lenny, and their cat, King. She enjoys reading, writing, and chocolate, and she loves toys. Debora's work is inspired by the masterful writing of Stephen King. She has written a screenplay based on January 3rd ½ and is presently working on a sequel entitled All Lost Things, which will introduce a supernatural being who lives in the magical place between heaven and earth called "Twixt." January 3rd ½ is available on amazon.com.
Publisher Review: What Would You do on a Day Without Consequences? January 3rd ½ explores universal fantasies and asks the reader to imagine a day free from social responsibility, morals, and laws. What would you do if you had the chance to experience a day that doesn't exist? A "Free Day" on which you could do anything you chose with no consequences? Would you take revenge? Express yourself in some way without restraint? Make real your darkest fantasies? Tempt death? Five people receive the chance to do just that when they find a mysterious invitation under their Christmas tree in the form of a silver ticket embossed with the words "Free Day January 3rd 1/2." All of the characters in this compelling fantasy think they will benefit from their "Free Day," but the lesson of the story is really, "Be careful what you ask for -- you just might get it!" This fantastic story is designed to make us take a close look at our hidden desires and the reality we choose to live in and react to. Magic and suspense drive the story to places beyond imagination and into an alternate reality.
|K. Lynette Erwin
Lynette, a Stillwater native, still lives in the city. As a Mozart historian, K. Lynette Erwin is recognized as an authority on the life and career of Anna Storace, for whom Mozart created the role of Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro in 1786. Available for purchase at amazon.com.
Reader Review: Spell-binding historical fiction at its best, this love story of Nancy Storace & Wolfgang Mozart made me look forward to bedtime, my reading time. That is a rare feat! The writing is so well crafted that the words disappear on the page as the story swells and develops beautifully into a living movie in the reader's mind. I'm looking forward to this gifted writer's next project! ~Lori Werth
|Allyn Mitchell Evans
Allyn Mitchell Evans is a voice in cultural influences from a female perspective. Founder of QueenPower.com, a dynamic website for women [no longer extant], Evans created a supportive online community. Evans's essays and articles have been published in a variety of online and print publications. A native Mississippian, Evans now resides in Oklahoma with her daughter and husband.
Review: Mirror, mirror on the wall: Who's the fairest of them all? "You are!" claims Allyn Evans in Grab the Queen Power. Evans takes a soul-searching look in the mirror and shares her experiences and journey to discovering her personal power and creating her destiny. She faces the beasts of her misbeliefs to recognize and acknowledges the beauty she is and the power she possesses. Evans helps each of us look beyond the shadows and fears in our personal mirror to claim our personal queen power. Grab the Queen Power has been a great gift for the special women in my life! Thank you, Allyn, for your soul-reaching and soul-touching words to teach and encourage us! ~Linda Allen
Evans’ book can be found at the Stillwater Public Library and on amazon.com.
|Jeff & K.M. Fortney
Jeffrey M. Fortney is a former U.S. Air Force firefighter and fire service training instructor. When not writing science fiction, military action/adventures, and political thrillers, he works as a senior technical editor/photographer at Fire Protection Publications in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
K.M. Fortney is a computer specialist with the Edmond Low Library at Oklahoma State University.
The books are available as paperback and Kindle editions on amazon.com.
Their books are available in e-book and paperback formats at amazon.com/author/jeffreyfortney:
Reader Review: Being a certified Techno-Geek, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I am always interested in stories that emphasize discovery and problem solving, especially when technology is used to do so, over the pathos and mindless violence which is becoming all too common in SF these days.
I grew up reading the "hard" SF by authors like Clarke, Asimov, Sheffield and Forward. Other than some of the technology available to the protagonists being a bit too advanced to be plausible (molecular fabricators in 2020?), the story brings to mind the kind of SF I enjoy; people overcoming obstacles to improve their lives and civilizations. ~Thomas J. Davis
Gronquist, a longtime Stillwater resident, was president of the Stillwater Writers Group for more than five years and for twelve years also put out the Group’s monthly newsletter. All of Gonquist’s titles are self-published and sold out of his home, but Time Trap, Time Trap Two, and Allah’s Torch are also available through amazon.com. Gronquist writes under the pseudonyms of De, D. E., and DE Gronquist, so it is best to search Amazon for his titles under his last name.
Reader Reviews: This novel [Time Trap] seems to target adult sci-fi fans; however, teens and young adults would enjoy it much more. It is not a long book, about 157 pages. There are no chapter numbers. Instead, each new section has a brief title, such as "Genworld" and "The Trial." It is a stand-alone story but has the potential of becoming a small series if the author so chooses. One word of advice to readers: Do not read the back of the book. It tells too much of the story and could spoil it for you. Simply open the book and begin reading. ~Detra Fitch
This [Socialism, Okie Style] is a great illustration of practical research. I was amazed at its breadth and the outstanding way that Gronquist presented his findings. A copy of this book should receive wide distribution to governmental employees and local officials who have responsibilities that they ignore or feel incapable of fulfilling. I congratulate Mr. Gronquist for his excellent study. ~Kenneth Shelby Armstrong, Th.D., Ed.D/Author and Publisher
|B.H.B. (Bena) Harper
B. H. B. Harper, a native of Kansas and a resident of Oklahoma, is a retired college professor. Murder in Morrill is set on the Oklahoma State University campus where she and her husband once taught. In addition to writing, Harper collects Native American art and studies the Kansas Indian wars from 1865 to 1878. She lives in Stillwater, OK.
Reader review: [Murder in Morrill is a] good read . . . the characters hold your interest well. This is a new twist on a murder mystery . . . the ending really makes you want to find the next in this series. ~ M. Gaynor
Harper’s titles can be found at the Stillwater Public library and amazon.com.
Debra has lived in Stillwater since 1979. Her book is available to be checked out from the Local Writer’s shelves at the Stillwater Public Library.
Hunt earned her degree in Radio-Television-Film from Oklahoma State University where she worked at a public radio station delivering the daily drive-time news breaks and producing a weekly program called “Oklahoma Opinions.”
Later in life, Hunt created a babysitting curriculum and started teaching neighborhood teens this new skill set. When the training took off, she and her husband launched Smart Kids 101. Today, their programs—Babysitting 101, Safe Kids 101, and Polite Kids 101—have trained more than twenty-five thousand students in important life skills through live-based teaching and online eCourses,
In 2004 Hunt and her husband moved to Tennessee and Julie became a parenting columnist for Nashville’s largest newspaper, The Tennessean. She continues her parenting advice in the form of blogging from her company’s website, smartkids101.com.
Reader review: Raw, honest, practical, and insightful. The journey through Julie Hunt's tragic loss and ensuing grief is painted with raw and honest emotion. Rarely do you find someone willing to pull back the curtain and bare their life, heart and soul to this depth, holding nothing back, even when it's unflattering, but shows the good, bad, and ugly. Not only is this an inspirational read for anyone battling grief, but it is also a practical tool for those wanting to help. I shared with my Sunday School class the practical, precious, and priceless advice listed in the back of the book. Through this book, we are better prepared to help those we know and love as they face loss. Thank you, Julie Hunt. ~Peggy Nail
Hunt’s book is available at the Stillwater Public library and amazon.com.
H. Melvin James
H. Melvin James was born in Cherokee, Oklahoma. His family relocated to a farm in southwestern Pawnee County when he was nine years of age. After graduating from high school at Glencoe, Oklahoma, Mr. James served four years in a secretive branch of military intelligence. Following his military enlistment, Mr. James worked in construction and in the electrical power generating industry while earning Bachelor of Science degrees in Electrical Engineering and Business Administration from Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma.
More information about the author can be found at www.h-melvin-james.com and his book is available as hard-cover, paperback, or e-book from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Apple iTunes, Kindle, GooglePlay, Books-A-Million.
Tim attended The University of Tulsa in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he earned a bachelor of fine arts degree, graduating cum laude, in commercial design. When not at his drawing board, this talented artist spends his time with his wife and three children in Stillwater, Oklahoma, where Tim coaches his children’s teams in baseball, softball, football, & basketball. He also trains falcons in the sport of falconry. Tim’s illustration style is pertinent to a broad range of market applications, including advertising, point of sale, corporate use, editorials, books, and more. Falcon and Dog Diaries are available commercially and on the SPL’s Local Author shelves.
From Publishers Weekly: Jessell, a prize-winning magazine illustrator, achieves an exceptional harmony of narrative tone, art and design in this beautiful picture book [Amorak] . . . . His suggestively lit paintings, rich with nocturnal blues and golden firelight, sustain the intensity and wonder of his tale.
Reader’s Review: This [Falcon] is a wonderful book! It is well written and the illustrations are gorgeous! I have been looking for a falcon book for our "Reading with Raptors" program which introduces small children to the world of raptors one bird at a time. It is the right amount of information for the age group and the pictures beautifully compliment the story and the live peregrine falcon we bring to the program. I highly recommend it to all.Author/Illustrator site: http://timjessell.com
Shannon Meyers Kelly and Courtney Lynn Kelly
A book brought Shannon Myers Kelly and Courtney Lynn Kelly together—and perhaps led to them becoming relatives. Shannon was looking for an artist to illustrate a children’s book she wanted to write. In a phone call with her brother, Walter, who was going to college in Boston at the time, she mentioned her search for an artist, and Walter suggested Courtney.
“Courtney was living in Stillwater and practicing her art here, but not actually working in the field,” Shannon said. “She was excited to be hired to do books, and I was excited to have her.” The two worked for a while on the book that would eventually become My Visit to Grandma Judy’s, but put it on the shelf when, as Courtney said, “life happened.” Part of that life happening included Courtney’s marriage to Walter.
Grandma Judy's house is full of animals and Fun!!! You are invited to join Grandma Judy and Amanda in the fun and adventures of Grandma's home. Even the bees are buzzing with delight! From sunup to sundown, there is never a dull moment. Grandma Judy and Amanda are waiting for you!
Reader review: Our kids love the book! Well written and the illustrations are wonderful. This is a must-have for any family. ~ Sam Mortimore, 2008My Visit to Grandma Judy’s is available at the Stillwater Public Library.
Nate Lee was born and raised in Oklahoma, where he graduated with a bachelor of science in manufacturing engineering technology from Oklahoma State University. Shortly thereafter, he moved to Wichita, Kansas, where by day he presently works as an aircraft manufacturing engineer, but by night he is an avid player of video games, lover of music, husband and father of four. Imposter, a supernatural novel in which a young woman pursues a culprit who robbed her sister’s grave and stole her identity, is Lee’s debut novel. Imposter is available from amazon.com in paperback, hardcover, and Kindle formats.
—Woven throughout the mystery, Lee grapples with the overarching theme of God’s hand in suffering. He says, “We all endure hardship to some degree. The Bible even instructs us to rejoice in our suffering, knowing that it eventually produces hope.” ~ West Bow Press
—I wanted a good summer read and I found it in Nate Lee's Imposter! I couldn't put it down as I kept wanting to figure out the plot. It kept me interested the entire time. I especially loved the overall message of the book. It has challenged me (in a great way!) to consider how I'm fostering my talents. Overall loved it! Please write another!! ~ Alison S—Hard to put down, this book kept me intrigued. It kept me guessing and anxious to solve the mystery. The characters were believable and well-developed and the storyline unusual. Imposter left me with food for thought, even after its conclusion, making me ponder how I am using for His glory the talents I've been given. ~ J Parsons
Sherrill M. Lewis (1949-2016)
Sherrill Lewis is a self-taught artist across diverse media. Since her senior year in high school, she has won awards for writing, art dolls, beadwork, crazy quilts, and photography. In 2010, her first technique-oriented book, Splendiferous Bead Motifs!, was published. In 2014, Uncultured Pearl, her first novel in the Maggie Storm Blue Mystery Series, was published. She then published her second (Deadly Chevrons) and third (Deadly Facets) books in the Series. Raised in Maine, Lewis moved to Stillwater in 1997 where she resided on an idyllic, never boring, five acres in Payne County, Oklahoma, with her husband Gene. Lewis’s titles can be found on the library’s Local Author shelves as well as on amazon.com in both paperback and Kindle editions.
Vera Long (1924-2016)
A collection of poems written by longtime Stillwater resident and Oklahoma farm lady Vera Long. Some are award-winning.
Guy Lozier, a fantasy and science fiction author from Cushing, Oklahoma, has written two books that combine technology, time travel, and philosophy. Because Losier belongs to a creative community of graphic designers, musicians and videographers, he is developing The Eternal: Guardian of Light into a film, which he is co-producing.
Both titles are available at the Stillwater Public Library and amazon.comReader review: [The Eternal: Guardian of Light is] an epic masterpiece that catapults the reader through space and time on this memorable journey with Auren, as he takes on Glaxus. His mission is to seek revenge and save the woman he loves, but his story takes many twists and turns where Auren is tested to the limits before he finally meets his fate.
A highly imaginative world, delivered with style. I understand this book is currently being developed for the screen, and I will be interested to see what that brings. Bravo! ~ Rachel Tetley
Carolyn West Meyer
If you went to elementary school in Stillwater, Oklahoma between the years 1975 and 2004, Carolyn West Meyer might’ve been your music teacher. She taught in the Stillwater Public Schools at each elementary except Sangre Ridge. Besides being an elementary music specialist, Carolyn West Meyer composed music wrote and performed professionally. She and her husband, Kel Pickens co-wrote educational albums, cassettes, books, and operettas that were published by two national educational companies and distributed nationwide in the 1980s and 1990s. Later, they produced a television show for fifteen years that featured the local Animal Welfare and Humane Society dogs and cats to help them get forever homes quicker. Their music video “Dogs In Cars” featuring a song composed and performed by Carolyn which starred their three large dogs along with them won second prize in a national video contest sponsored by “Video Review” magazine. They love to ride road bicycles and travel with their current dog, Berkeley who is sitting with her during one of his "dog vacations" in Carolyn’s author photo.
Both books are available at the Stillwater Public Library, Amazon, and Bliss Books & Bindery located at 120 E. 9th St. here in Stillwater. Ebook versions are also available from Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Scribd, Tolino, and Walmart. They are selling in storefront bookstores throughout the US, Canada, and even in London.
This book was like a breath of fresh air in the midst of the current world pandemic. A wonderful and easy read that I could not put down, I felt like I was a passenger in the adventures of Carolyn, Kel, and their sweet (and sometimes unpredictable) dogs, Bea and B.B.! Dog Vacations is a delightful trip through many parts of the country, with lots of interesting history sprinkled in. Of course, my favorite chapter was when B.B. was "skunked"! It left me both chuckling and also eagerly anticipating how Carolyn and Kel were going to handle that uncomfortable situation! When travel is deemed safe again, and with some careful planning (which Carolyn weaves into her story), I feel like I will be able to travel with my own pets - something I've never tried before! ~ Amazon Customer (LDO)I just finished reading "Dog Vacations" and had so much fun! I've lived in the same Oklahoma college town as Carolyn and Kel and their son Jeff for years, but I've never gotten to "know" them as well as I did in her book. What fun it was to travel with them, first to the East coast, then to the West and the South, then Sedona, and share their love of the girls." I am a dog lover, too, with two female dogs I also call my "girls." I recommend this book highly for fun, relaxing reading about vacation adventures and love of your dog families. I can't wait until Carolyn's next "Dog Vacations" book comes out! ~ Amazon Customer (Martha McMillian Stillwater, Oklahoma)
|MD "Melanie" Moffitt
Melanie lives in Stillwater and graduated from OSU. Melanie's books are available for download commercially.
|James E. Motes
Motes holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and a Phd in agriculture from Kansas State University. A professor and extension specialist in horticulture at Oklahoma State University, Motes and his wife live in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Author, educator, and journalist Anne Nelson returned to Stillwater in July of 2018 to discuss her new book Suzanne's Children. Go to Nelson’s amazon author site to read more about this Stillwater native and remarkable author:
Reader review [Suzanne’s Children is] an inspirational story of a small group of individuals who risked and, in many cases, gave their lives to rescue Jewish children. A story of heroism and moral character at a time when we never needed it more. Nelson's research is prodigious. Her writing cinematic in quality. ~John E Pepper
Nelson’s titles available at the Stillwater Public Library and amazon.com.
Sandra Onley, a teacher in the child development lab in the College of Human Sciences at Oklahoma State University, is the author of Halley the Sheepdog, a book that includes illustrations instead of photographs, showing Halley’s point of view about her new home and family members. Onley says: “I am an early childhood teacher and I know the importance of reading to every child’s success in life. If a child can read, he can achieve his goals.”
Author’s Site: http://sbpra.com/sandraonleyBook is available on the Local Authors’ Shelves and from amazon.com and barnessndnoble.com
|Wayne A. Pettyjohn (1933-2017)
Pettyjohn attended South Dakota School of Mines from 1952 to 1954and then joined the United States Marine Corps. After Honorable Discharge from the Corps in 1957, he returned to his studies on the G.I. Bill. He remained in the Armed Forces in the United States Army Reserve until 1962. In 1981 Pettyjohn became Head of the School of Geology at Oklahoma State University. He retired from OSU in 1995.wrote two historical fiction novels of the Marine Corps in the Great War.
Both books are available in paperback and Kindle versions on amazon.com.
Born and raised in Syracuse New York, Potter moved to Oklahoma when her husband, Dr. Howard Potter, accepted the position of Head of Music at OSU. After the move the couple found that Howard’s mother had Oklahoma roots. Howard’s great grandfather actually lived in Stillwater in a house that pre-dated the music building that Howard works in. Potter says, “My mother-in-law’s diary crystalized things for me in that we all have a history, we all have life stories. We need to remember the moments and save them for our children or for the world! There are many ways to do that and that is what How to Write Your Own Life Story is all about. Presently Potter’s projects include, My Daughter in My Pocket and Everything I Needed to Know, I Learned In Music Class.
I very much liked all the short stories. Some made me laugh, some made me cry, but overall very moving. I am a short story kind of person so this book was perfect for me. I only have one complaint...I want more stories (ha! ha!) ~ Torch007
Tim Prasil (rhymes with fossil) has lived in Stillwater for about 18 years. He teaches in the OSU English Department, but in 2018, he took some time off to focus on books and his indy publishing imprint, Brom Bones Books (brombonesbooks.com).
Reader review of Help for the Haunted: A Decade of Vera Van Slyke Ghostly Mysteries:
Full disclosure: The author of “Help for the Haunted” is married to my daughter. Fuller disclosure: I don’t usually like ghost stories. I bought the book mainly to be a thoughtful mother-in-law. Fullest disclosure: I thoroughly enjoyed “Help for the Haunted,” and would heartily recommend it. The author sets these stories in a period of history to which he has devoted his doctoral and professorial passion; therefore, the historical references to people, places, and events are authentic. I found myself fact-checking on my computer to see which people were real and which were inventions.
The stories themselves are well told, imaginatively clever and inventive, skillfully blending humor, mystery, and suspense. Perhaps one of my favorite things about of the book is the progression of the friendship between Vera and Lida, as their own personal histories gradually unfold to one another. Besides that, reading the book was just plain fun. I heartily recommend it. ~Mellow
Prasil’s books are available at the Stillwater Public library and amazon.com
Eric Reitan, a Professor of Philosophy at Oklahoma State University, specializes in ethics (especially nonviolence theory) and the philosophy of religion. An award-winning writer and scholar, he is the author of dozens of professional articles, several short stories, and two books:
Reader Review: "In the book [Is God a Delusion?] you get two things for the price of one. 1- An intro to the philosophy of religion and 2- a fun, readable, and vigorous critical response to the New Atheists." ~Tripp Fuller, Homebrewed Christianity
|Peter Rollins (1942-2015)
Peter Rollins, co-founder of the Southwest/Texas Popular/American Culture Association Columbia Companion to American History on Film and a contributor to Americana: The Journal of American Popular Culture spent his entire career as a professor in OSU’s Department of English. Rollins’ books are also available commercially.
Reader Review: "A commendably comprehensive analysis of the issue of Hollywood's ability to shape our minds. . . . The essays are vital, both in the sense of being invigorating reading and in terms of their significance to the growing body of film criticism." ~Booklist
Jewel Sample is an OSU graduate who lives in Stillwater. Her books are available for purchase at amazon.com.
Author’s site: http://jewelsamples.blogspot.com
Reader Review: This is a must have book for every family library. At some point families all have to deal with the stress of death, be it a baby, child or adult. This book is highly informative in such a kind and loving way. It can be used as a teaching tool or just a treasure of love to a friend or family in need. Jewel Sample is a compassionate story teller and wonderfully creative in getting the job done. Ms. Sample's story Flying hugs and kisses is deeply appreciated. ~Darren G. Thompson
Barbara was raised in Yale and graduated from Yale High School.
Fred, an OSU student, was born in Seminole and raised in Pawnee, Oklahoma. His love of history drove him to write books that make history come alive and at the same time provide the reader with action and excitement. Author of Rocha’s Treasure of Potosi, the number one best seller in its category in Bolivia, Staff is presently a teacher of history at Calvert School and an Educational Advisor for Jalasoft Foundation in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Staff’s titles are available at the SPL and also on amazon.com.
Reader Review: Great westerns are hard to find these days and Fred Staff does an excellent job of bringing them on in this account [Young Bass Reeves] of one of, if not the best, US Marshalls to exist based on historical fact. Written in the third person, this book starts out when Bass Reeves was a young slave telling of his upbringing and how he escapes slavery and becoming a free man in the Cherokee Nation Territory of Oklahoma. Fred Staff obviously spent many hours of research prior to writing this book. It is an excellent account of American West historical value covering slavery in Texas, the Cherokee nation and Indian Territory(Oklahoma) of the mid and late 1800s. ~John s.
Kirsten Tautfest spent eight years in Chicago, where the seeds for her first novel, Red Tales: In the Beginning, were planted. She presently lives in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Tautfest holds a BA in Philosophy from DePaul University. She is married with one son and continues writing and assisting her husband in his business.
|David Eric Tomlinson
David Eric Tomlinson was born and raised in Stillwater, Oklahoma, educated in California, and now lives in Texas. His first novel Midnight Man listed as a 2017 top crime debut by Austin’s independent bookstore BookPeople and was shortlisted for both the PEN Southwest Book Award and the Texas Institute of Letters Sergio Troncosco Award for Best Work of First Fiction. David has contributed to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and teaches craft classes for Writing Workshops Dallas. He now lives in Dallas with his wife and two daughters.
Reader review: "Tomlinson has nice timing, and a good handle on voice. The Dallas author is an Okie, born and raised, and you can really hear his characters. And the characters are nicely fleshed out, too — real human beings with flaws that never lapse into cartoon two-dimensionality. It's a book about hope, which comes at a good time. After last year's polarizing election, it feels good to see through the eyes of his creations — people who are really interested in understanding one another's lives as opposed to just shouting over them." ~The Dallas Morning News
Hannah Tuohy is a children’s book illustrator from Waukomis, Oklahoma. She attended Oklahoma State University and graduated with an honors degree in graphic design emphasizing illustration. In 2012 Hannah won the following awards: Oklahoma State University Graphic Design Senior of the Year; Creative Lightning Awards-1st in Illustration; 2012-Graphex 43- 1st in Illustration. Since her time at OSU, Hannah has illustrated over 27 books, including The Snarl, the Cob, & the Pflug as well as the Teddy Tales picture books of local author Susan Schuyler Walker. All of Walker’s books are available at the SPL. Tuohy, who presently lives and works in Tulsa, is an active member of the Oklahoma SCBWI chapter.
Below are some additional books Tuohy has illustrated. Go to Tuohy’s website for additional titles:
Illustrator site: https://hannahtuohyillustration.myportfolio.com/projects
|Susan Schuyler Walker
Walker has lived in Stillwater since 1979. Though now retired, Walker has worked for the Oklahoma Department of Vocational Education, Fire Protection Publications, and as an instructor in the OSU English Department. Her books were all released in 2015 or 2016 and are available on amazon.com.
Author site: www.susanschuylerwalker.net
Reader Review: The first thing my grandchildren asked when I went to see them in Switzerland last month was “Can we finish Charlie Snarly?” I had begun reading The Snarl, the Cob, & the Pflug to them at our family reunion, but had gotten only through Chapter 4. So, during my visit we read a chapter each night, and what a pleasure it was! “Kugs and hisses” tickles Juliette’s (8) fancy no end, and Oscar (5) inspects every spider he finds to see if it’s a brown recluse. And both of them asked if the book would become a film. Have you thought about that? You have a delicious imagination and a wonderful way with words. ~Cousin Marcia Couelle
|S.K. "Kaye" Waller
SK Waller, a musician, songwriter, and author, moved to Stillwater from Southern California in 2000.Her book is available on amazon as well as on the Local Author shelves in the library.
Author’s site: http://www.skwaller.com
|Mary Jane Warde
Mary Jane has lived in Stillwater over forty years where she has been active in the Payne County Historical Society and in teaching history classes through the Osher Lifeling Learning Institute.
Available at the Stillwater Public library and on amazon.com
Reader Review: Loved it....my grandpa is part of this history! ~Renee Burris
Both books are available at the Stillwater Public Library, Amazon, and Bliss Books & Bindery located at 120 E. 9th St. here in Stillwater. Ebook versions are also available from Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Scrib, Tolino, and Walmart. They are selling in storefront bookstores throughout the US, Canada, and even in London.