Posts

Camas author, Seth Sjostrom, releases his latest thriller this September. Dark Chase, an FBI paranormal thriller uses rural America as the setting for the novel.

Why are the residents of a quaint farm town inexplicably dropping dead?

An FBI team has been called to investigate why the population of the seemingly sweet town of Hope, ND appears to be being literally scared to death.

Professor Ryder Chase and his team of paranormal researchers have been assigned to assist with the 
investigation, much to the bane of no-nonsense FBI Special Agent Devon Jeffers. The oppositional mix of 
Professor Chase, Agent Jeffers and their respective teams struggle to manage their stark, at times comical, differences.

Faced with unexplainable events, weathering brutal storms and wild chases through cornfields, the team takes the case deadly serious as one of their own go down.

Can they pull together in time to solve the mystery before more people die? 

A fascination with finding scientific facts to explain the seemingly unexplainable inspired Sjostrom to write Dark Chase. A lifetime of family trips to Hope, North Dakota to visit his grandfather and extended family inspired him to make Hope the setting for his latest thriller. “I always love visiting Hope. There is such charm and the epitome of Americana. The kindest people you would ever meet, overwhelming sense of peace, just a wonderful town in the middle of our country. I wanted share it with my readers and pay homage to my family,” Sjostrom shares.

Sjostrom
www.champpizza.com

“I’ll admit, I was a bit nervous making Hope one of the stars of the book. After all, it is a thriller with unpleasant things happening there and a brash FBI agent with no qualms turning his nose up at the simple, hardworking community…I wanted to make sure that the town and the people of Hope were represented as the way I see them. Kind, generous and welcoming,” Sjostrom added.

A serial entrepreneur, adventurer and author, Dark Chase, is Sjostrom’s seventh novel. The thrillers Blood in the SnowBlood in the Water, Blood in the Sand, Penance, as well as the romances, Finding Christmas and Back to Carolina were his first books published.

Dark Chase all of Sjostrom’s books are available anywhere books are sold, including online through Bookshop.org and Amazon.com.

For more information regarding Seth or his books, visit www.sethsjostrom.com.  

Sjostrom
Book author, Seth Sjostrom.

The Camas Public Library is pleased to announce racial equity as its first annual ‘Read for Change’ theme. Launching next week, the community reads initiative will feature speakers, exclusive access to a local documentary, discussion groups, a book giveaway, and racial equity community lending library—all at a safe social distance.

Starting Monday, August 17th, patrons can contact the Library to request a free copy ofHow to be an Antiracist and/or Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, both by Ibram X. Kendi (the latter coauthored for young readers by Jason Reynolds). There is a limit of one of each title per household, while supplies last. Library staff will treat the items like a curbside pickup request and place the book(s) at the 4th Ave entrance at an appointed time. When the recipient is finished with the book, the Library suggests they pass it along to a neighbor or friend. All books have been purchased and donated by the Friends and Foundation of the Camas Library (FFCL). 

Read for Change will feature two keynote speakers to bookend the 12-week program. Portland-based equity speaker Alexis Braly James hosts Building Bridges: Race as a Social Construct on Tuesday, August 25th at 5:30pmAt 6pm on Thursday, November 12th in partnership with Humanities Washington, the Library will host Timothy Golden for Equality on Trial: Race, Fairness, and the US Supreme Court. Both speakers will present via Zoom.

Library
https://www.lesschwab.com/store/?storeId=714

Between the two keynote speakers, the Library will offer exclusive online access to local filmmaker Melissa Lowery’s documentary Black Girl in Suburbia. In addition, community facilitators are teaming up with Library staff to host book discussion groups for both titles, and the Library is also adapting several of their regular programs to tackle racial equity. Finally, a small “take-one-leave-one” type lending library at the Library’s curbside pickup with racial equity themed books donated by the community will round out the offerings. All details can be found on the Library’s website at www.camaslibrary.org.

“We are thrilled to kick off the inaugural Read for Change program with such an important theme. We have already had incredible community support, just in the planning stages. We knew we had to adapt and make this work in a virtual environment because the timing is so crucial. Providing a place for community conversations around race is key,” said Connie Urquhart, Library Director.

Back to Carolina is a cozy beach romance set in coastal North Carolina. 

Dean Taylor is excited to tackle the final assignment before officially making partner at his firm, that is until he learns he must return to his hometown to close the deal. Driving past road signs and ball fields, he is overwhelmed by images from the past he had run away from a decade ago and of which he had no desire to return. 

Dean’s plans to get in, grab a signature, and get out quickly are abruptly dashed as the CEO of Cape Fear Commercial demands that Dean spends a week getting to know each of the company’s facilities. Compounding Dean’s challenge, Cape Fear’s Public Relations Director assigned to take him on the tour is a college ex-girlfriend, a relationship that he acknowledges he did not end in particularly gallant fashion. At every turn during his stay, Dean runs into people from his past. Unresolved relationships weighing on him, he launches into an ill-advised apology tour. 

As Dean confronts his past, he finds himself unwittingly smitten with Shelby James, a wary military widow struggling to move past the heartbreak of losing her husband. Life’s turns continue to pit the two together as they begin to build a fragile, reluctant relationship unlocking hearts and healing wounds of the past, cultivating a warm, coastal Carolina romance.    

A work trip inspired Sjostrom to write Back to Carolina.

Carolina
Seth Sjostrom.

“I left my hometown at such an age that my tail was on fire, ready to conquer the world. There was surely scorched earth in my wake. As I drove through my old college town, I couldn’t help but to consider friends and relationships that I either left behind or were simply overwhelmed by the overgrown weeds of time,” Sjostrom shares. 

Back to Carolina follows Dean Taylor as he struggles to overcome the fears of facing his past and rebuilding relationships that were once dear to him. In doing so, he finds his mature self finally ready to accept present day relationships, such as his budding romance with Shelby.

Seth is a Camas, Washington resident. A serial entrepreneur and author, Back to Carolina, is his fifth novel. The thrillers Blood in the SnowBlood in the Water, Penance, as well as the holiday romance Finding Christmas were his first books published. 

For more information or to order his books, check out www.sethsjostrom.com for pre-launch discounts. Back to Carolina goes to print May 1st.

Award-winning Camas author and playwright Gary Corbin has announced the release of his sixth novel, A Woman of Valor, with launch events and book signings in venues around the greater Portland/Vancouver area.

A Woman of Valor will be released to bookstores on June 27, 2019, although it is available for pre-order on Amazon.comSmashwords.com, and on the author’s web page (www.garycorbinwriting.com).

About A Woman of Valor

In this exciting, character-driven police procedural by acclaimed author Gary Corbin, rookie policewoman Valorie Dawes has a mission: take serial child molesters like Richard Harkins off the streets of her small hometown of Clayton, CT—for good.

But Valorie’s past includes childhood abuse trauma of her own, and her battle with this cunning, vicious criminal awakens memories and emotions she’d rather forget. Battling sexism within the department and vilification in the media as a reckless incompetent, Val finds few allies in the pursuit of this elusive, cruel criminal, even as he continues to victimize women and girls in the community. 

Can Valorie overcome the trauma she suffered as a child and stop Harkins from hurting others—or will her bottled-up anger lead her to take reckless risks that put the people she loves in greater danger?

Book Launch and Signings: Caps ‘N Taps, Vintage Books, and more

To help promote the book, the author will kick off a series of release events and book signings. The first event is a launch party at Camas’ popular taproom, CapsN’Taps, on June 28, from 6-8 PM. Corbin will sell and sign books directly, and CapsN’Taps will offer $2 off any beer to customers who purchase a copy of the book at the event.

“CapsN’Taps hosted the launch party for my very first novel, Lying in Judgment, which was a blast,” Corbin says. “Beer and books—what a great combination!”

On July 13, Corbin will read from the new novel and sign books at local favorite Vintage Books, 6613 E Mill Plain Blvd in Vancouverat 2 PM. Copies of all books will be available for sale at the event.

“Vintage Books has been amazing at finding readers for my books, and they’re incredibly supportive of local authors,” Corbin says.  “Vintage was one of the first to put my books on its shelves. It’s a great local bookstore with great selection and terrific event programming. I can’t say enough good things about it.”

Another “Beer and Books” event will take place Thursday, July 18 at Portland’s new books-and-beer tavern, the Rose City Book Pub.

“I’m very excited to hold an event in Northeast Portland, the area where I lived for 15 years before moving to Clark County,” Corbin says. “Rose City Book Pub’s informal atmosphere is perfect for hosting an event, and since they’re also a bookstore, they’ll also be stocking the book for sale. I don’t know if I’m more excited about the beer or the books!”

Other events include book signings at Jan’s Paperbacks in Aloha, OR on July 28, and participation on Cascade Library’s 2019 Words and Pictures Festival in October.

Full details of all events are available on the author’s website, garycorbinwriting.com.

New York Times Best-Selling book author, Kristina McMorris, will be meeting with the Salud Wine Co. Book Club Monday, February 25, from 7-8 pm to discuss her book, “Sold on a Monday,” and will be available for book signings. Everyone is welcome to attend, and encouraged to bring a friend.

Salud! Wine Co. is located in Downtown Camas on 224 NE 3rd Avenue.

About her book, Sold on a Monday

The sign is a last resort. It sits on a farmhouse porch in 1931, but could be found anywhere in an era of breadlines, bank runs, and broken dreams. It could have been written by any mother facing impossible choices.

For struggling reporter Ellis Reed, the gut-wrenching scene evokes memories of his family’s dark past. He snaps a photograph of the children, not meant for publication. But when it leads to his big break, the consequences are more devastating than he ever imagined.

Books
Available at Amazon.com

At the paper, Lillian Palmer is haunted by her role in all that happened. She is far too familiar with the heartbreak of children deemed unwanted. As the bonds of motherhood are tested, she and Ellis must decide how much they are willing to risk to mend a fractured family.

Inspired by an actual newspaper photograph that stunned the nation, Sold on a Monday is a powerful novel of love, redemption, and the unexpected paths that bring us home.

To learn more about the author, visit www.kristinamcmorris.com

Salud! Wine Company is a wine bar, event center, and wine storage business that offers memberships. They regularly host events with live music and offer a nice variety of small plates to accompany your event. To learn more, visit www.saludwine.com

Artful Attic
www.ArtfulAtticBoutique.com

The Camas Public Library has some fun upcoming events!

TEEN OVERNIGHT MOVIE LOCK-IN!

Teens, spend the night in the library! Vote for and watch movies all night long. More information and permission slip. Deadline for turning in the permission slip is Tuesday, January 29th.

We are still looking for adult chaperones! Email [email protected] if you are interested and want more information.

BOOK TO ART, JR.

A new book group for students in grades 6-8 and their adult. Pick up your free copy of the book at the Library. Read the book, make some art, meet at the Library to discuss both, and then you get to keep the book for free!

We will be discussing The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett on Thursday, February 28th at 6:30pm. Sign up required, and space is limited.

Call the Library at 360.834.4692 to sign up.

NEEDLE FELTED BIRDS

A workshop for teens and adults. Led by visual artist LeBrie Rich. Supplies provided; sign-up required. Saturday, January 26th at 1:00 

 

OREO COOKIE CHALLENGE

Can you guess the flavor? For 6th through 12th grade. Friday, February 15th at 4pm.

MAKE ME!

A fun drop-in craft opportunity for teens! Every month we will make something different. Middle and High School students welcome. Tuesday, March 27th 4-5:30pm.

 

TEEN ZINE CLUB

Are you the creative type? Come to our Teen Zine Club! Work alone or in groups on zines, comics, artist books, or other paper projects. The first Wednesday of every month 4-5:30pm. For 6th-12th grades.

CROCHET CLUB

All ages and skill welcome! Instruction and yarn provided, and loaner hooks available. Thursdays at 3:30-5pm. Led by Laurinda Reddig from ReCrochetions.

 

ALL AGES BOOK SWAP

Trade your used books with others, and take home as many as you bring. Saturday, February 23rd at 3-5pm. Come any time!

 

JAPANESE ANIME AND CULTURE

Teens! Take a look at Japanese anime and learn the connections it has to modern Japanese culture. Come if you love anime or want to learn about Japan! Japanese snacks provided. Tuesday, March 5th at 4:30pm.

Presented by Camas High School Senior Megan Shellman.

 

Camas, WA — Former Seahawks star running back Curt Warner and his wife, Ana, along with writer Dave Boling, are excited to officially release their new book, “The Warner Boys: Our Family’s Story of Autism and Hope,” this weekend.

Published by Little A, an imprint of Amazon Publishing, “The Warner Boys” is a raw, emotional depiction of the reality of dealing with twins with severe autism, and the closeted life that ensued.

Curt is a two-time All-American at Penn State, a 2009 College Football Hall of Fame inductee, and a former All-Pro running for the Seattle Seahawks and the Los Angeles Rams. A three-time Pro Bowler, Curt was inducted to the Seattle Seahawks Ring of Honor in 1994.

Ana has dedicated her life to the care of her family, and the study and treatment of autism spectrum disorder. Both have served as keynote speakers at the National Autism Conference at Penn State, and the Texas Autism Conference in San Antonio.

The couple were prominent figures in Seattle during the 1990s, and when they dropped from the public eye following Curt’s retirement, the reality of their situation was a closely guarded secret.

“When Austin and Christian were born, everything seemed normal,” said Ana, who was already the mother of 18 month-old Jonathon. “But as they got older, they were really hard to control, and were nothing like Jonathan. By age 2, we started noticing really odd behaviors. They were very hyper.”

Ana said they wrote the book in part to explain why the disappeared from people socially.

“We were forced to isolate ourselves for their safety,” said Ana. “We were in survival mode for a long time.”

Curt said the book is also a story of hope.

“We take them from diagnosis at age 5 and prior to that the issues we were dealing with, and where we are today,” he said. “It’s not a fix-it book, it’s a book that is testimony of what we’ve been dealing with for the last 23 years. We just happened to find the right channels from point A to point Z. We ended up speaking at a 2013 Autism conference at Penn State, and after that we realized we do have something to share with people who are going through this. We are able to help people, and to promote awareness because there are families dealing with the autism spectrum and still looking for answers. We can relate to families coping with this. Ultimately, you’re not alone when it comes to this.”

Autism

Their new book is available at www.Amazon.com

Ana explains the autism spectrum of 1-10, with 10 being severe.

“You have people who can go to college and be successful and you have the other end of the spectrum,” she said. “We are at the 7-8 of the spectrum. Our kids are probably in the more severe end of spectrum. They need 24-hour assistance.”

Like the book, during our interview the Warner’s were very raw and candid about their daily struggles. During the two-hour interview, Curt acknowledged the daily roller coaster ride.

”As fathers, we’re supposed to be solid, not show emotion, we have to be strong,” Curt said. “But, this thing is tough. It’s tougher than any football game, any strategy. It’s tougher than anything I’ve had to deal with. There are moments of sheer frustration, anger, pain, and moments of total gratitude and love. We love our children.”

Ana said she escapes through sleep, and they are currently going through times when they can’t take the boys out.

“Mentally, they’re at 5-6 years old,” said Ana. “It’s hard to manage because they’re men.”

The book addresses the physical activities they do, and what foods work best. The couple provides counsel to other families, and encourages families to never give up.

“Our advice would be to not give up on your child or your marriage,” said Ana. “Try not to isolate yourself (like we did) and ask for help. In the case of someone who had never encountered anyone with autism before, be kind, don’t judge, if possible try to help.”

You may purchase the book here: The Warner Boys

 

 

Book author Pat Jollota is at it again, with her just-released, well-researched, and riveting historical account of a murder case that rocked Vancouver in the 1950s. “The Murder of Joann Dewey in Vancouver Washington,” published by The History Press, is a decade in the making by Jollota, 81, a retired Vancouver City Councilwoman, museum curator, and the author of seven books.

Always a character and full of life, Jollota, walked us through the nuances of the case of 18-year-old Joann Dewey, whose Vancouver kidnapping in 1950 was on full display by upstanding citizens who did nothing while the young woman, who was just 60 feet from her destination, fought for her freedom.

It’s the story of a life cut short, the craziness of a criminal investigation that included the arrest of the investigating sheriff, and the ultimate convictions of two brothers, Turman Wilson, 26, and his brother Utah, 18. They would eventually hang for their crimes.

“The crime happened at 13th and D Street in Vancouver,” said Jollota. “On April 22, 1950, the victim, 18-year-old Joann Dewey, was just 60 feet away from St. Joe’s Hospital when she was grabbed by these two guys — in front of two upstanding citizens. She was fighting and screaming and they told her she was Utah’s wife and that she had too much to drink. It’s tragic.”

It’s a complicated case, said Jollota. The Sheriff had no police experience, and was tried for public intoxication. He had been the director of Labor and Industries for Washington. The prosecution was praised for its work, and the case even brought in Earl Stanley Gardner, author of all the “Perry Mason” books. Gardner wrote a report about the investigation, and he had nothing but praise for the Vancouver Chief of Police and veteran prosecutor, RD Jones.

“This whole crime is fascinating, and I was riveted by it,” said Jollota, who spent many years researching to write this book. “We’ve had pretty strange crimes around here.”

And, it gets weirder.

“At one of my book signings, the Wilson family came, and they stood right behind me,” said Jollota. “They believe their family was framed. So what I did, I gave them a little time to present what they believed, and then they were content. They bought two of the books. This was Saturday at Vintage Books. This whole case is weird, the trial is weird, the investigation is weird.

Jollota

“The Murder of JoAnn Dewey” is available at Barnes and Noble.

“If I had found one shred that pointed to their innocence I would have written it that way, but all I found was pointed to them. They had incorrigible evidence — a beer bottle with big bubbles in it, with fingerprints on it.”

And, she said it fits a pattern of criminal behavior.

“Ten years before three of the brothers were in an almost an identical crime, and they were sentenced to an Oregon penitentiary,” said Jollota. “The oldest brother was killed in World War II. The family had a history of crimes, including a pardon by Oregon Governor McCall for Rassie.”

Jollota did extensive research for the book. She started day by day in her role as Clark County Historical Museum curator, and found the stories in The Columbian archives. The more she dug, more facts emerged. It took her about a decade to do the research.

In February 2018, she was approached to write the book, which took three months to complete.

“I just focused on writing every day,” she said. “My challenge was to take all of these stories, the trial, the crime, the investigation and weave those together in a way that made sense. The trial was five weeks long, and trying to make sense of that was a challenge. I asked Judge Suzanne Clark to read it, and she did. She just changed some of the phrases that a judge would use. She was kind enough to do it for me.”

Jollota also wants people to remember JoAnn.

“She never had a chance at love, at getting married, at raising a family, or starting a career,” said Jollota. “I want people to remember her.”

The book is available at Vintage Books, Barnes and Noble, Philbin’s Hardware, and, of course, www.Amazon.com

On November 24, Jollota is going back to Vintage Books for Small Business Night.

The book was released on October 29.

Camas, WA — At Thursday’s Camas-Washougal Rotary Club meeting, member Tina Simmons announced she would be having a book signing for her book, “Zandreal.”

Wait, what?

Simmons, who works for a wine labeling company, and whose pen name is Tee Griffen, spent a year writing and editing “Zandreal,” and got it published in 2016.

“It’s really not a new book,” said Griffen. “But because of life issues, I had to delay its marketing, so we’re doing that now.”

“Zandreal” is young adult fantasy fiction about a young girl named Andrea and she finds out she’s not quite human. So, she must figure out why she’s here, and she ends up doing a lot of external travel,” said Griffen. “The book is about our responsibility to share our gifts with the world, taking care of the Earth, and working together.”

Griffen’s no stranger to writing, as she previously was the ghost writer for two books — the first was “Tracks: Memoirs of a Vietnam Veteran” by Clyde Hoch. The second one was a book called “Turbo Charge Your Life,” by Troy Spring. Those were written in 2011 and 2012.

“I’ve always liked to write, but being an author wasn’t my goal in life,” said Griffen. “I went to school for Graphic Design at Cazenovia College in upstate New York. ”I wrote this as part of self-exploration. I’m an observer, a healer, a worrier, a wanderer, and a seeker. All the elements were there. I couldn’t write it fast enough. Once those five parts came to me, they formed the characters and the storyline came together.”

Initially, she worked with a publisher, but it didn’t move fast enough for her, so Griffen chose the self-publishing route.

“It was hard to self-publish,” said Griffen. “I felt more out there on my own, because with the publishing house I felt I would have had more support. The Kickstarter campaign was set in 2016 and I raised $4,000. It wasn’t hard to get, but it took a lot of marketing. They told you to find champions ahead of time. They also supported me. I had a community. It was an emotional roller coaster because it feels like baring my soul to the world.”

Sunday’s book signing at Caffe Piccolo in Downtown Camas is the only book signing she has scheduled for now. She’s been talking to the school districts about getting into the classrooms.

“I think it’s time to get the book out there,” said Griffen. “I feel like our country is very polarized, and I think we could use a little bit of unity.”

The book is available at www.Amazon.com and you can learn more at www.teegriffen.com

 

Camas, WA — Imagination, determination, and overcoming adversity were the main topics addressed by 2008 Camas High School graduate, and new book author, LK Walsh, while addressing Liberty Middle School students Friday afternoon.

Her book, “The Lavender Soul,” released in April through PelianWords Publishing House, is a fantasy novel about a young girl born with lavender eyes, portending she will be the annihilation of evil, or the impetus of world-consuming darkness. It is an adventure through a fantastical world with reimagining of classical characters, such as fairies and dragons, along with new beasts crafted from Walsh’s imagination. It’s about the main character, Vera, who is seeking out her purpose.

Now living in Lompoc, CA, Walsh is in town for the Portland Book Festival, and was invited to spent time in her hometown.

“I’m here to talk about dreams and how you can help them come true,” said Walsh. “I was a senior, and had my life plan right on track, and I had already applied to several universities. I was set. I was ready to go to Chapman to study Music Therapy. Chapman said they were ending the program, and that affected my scholarship. I was high and dry, and my mother had to call and begged to get to other schools. I had worked for years to become a music therapist, so I decided to become a Humanities major and went to Concordia in Southern California.”

 

She appreciated the experience, and was able to explore many things.

“I went into journalism, but that wasn’t for me,” said Walsh. “Then I worked for an art newsletter. That wasn’t for me. So, I decided to get into publishing.”

After earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Humanities Creative Writing from Concordia in 2011, she spent 18 months writing “The Lavender Soul” after spending eight years imagining it. Once completed, she went through the agony of finding a publisher, and after 38 rejection letters, she found a home with PelianWords Publishing House.

“I am fully able to admit that I felt like a failure because it really hurts when people say no,” said Walsh. “But failure isn’t real. You can fail because you didn’t pass a test. If you choose not to learn from the failure, then it’s a real failure. You have to learn from it.”

She said there’s “one key to success in any field and that is imagination, which is key to making all of your dreams come true.”

She encouraged the middle schoolers to always have imagination.

Walsh

LK Walsh addresses students at LIberty Middle School in Camas.

“Logic, science and math are not separate from imaginations,” she said. “Sometimes people give up on their dreams because of money. Authors don’t make money. My dream is to create worlds. My dream is to spread imagination. Dreams have such great value because it takes courage to dream. Every time you have a thought it creates a physical pathway in your brain. The easiest thoughts are negative ones. It takes imagination to be positive. Imagination gives you the courage to dream. Dreams don’t always have to be those huge paychecks. They don’t even have to make sense.”

Walsh has spent the last several weeks traveling to promote her book, and is working on a prequel, which has been approved by her publishing house.

Cat Rushing, Walsh’s mother, created the cover illustration, based on vision provided by Walsh.

To learn more, or to purchase her book, visit www.lkwalshauthor.com