Three book signings planned for Saturday

Posted: June 21, 2013

The Winchester Star

Millie Curtis of Clarke County will sign copies of her book “The Newcomer,” the third book in the trilogy “Three Young Ladies of Clarke,” Saturday at the Winchester Book Gallery. (Photo by Ginger Perry/The Winchester Star)
Monte Dutton
Roger Engle
Millie Curtis of Clarke County is researching World War I for her next book. She will sign books Saturday at the Winchester Book Gallery for her latest book, “The Newcomer.” (Photo by Ginger Perry/The Winchester Star)

Winchester — The Winchester Book Gallery has a full schedule of authors promoting their books Saturday.

The store at 85 N. Loudoun St. will have three book signings stretching from morning until evening to entice in book lovers, owner Christine Patrick said.

“We have had such great foot traffic on the Old Town Mall the last two Saturdays, I thought this Saturday might be a great time to have a full day of book events,” she said.

The events will include Roger Engle, “Stories from a Small Town,” 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Millie Curtis, “The Newcomer,” 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., and Monte Dutton, “The Audacity of Dope,” 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Millie Curtis

The only local author in the mix, Curtis, of Clarke County, will sign copies of the third novel in her “Young Ladies of Clarke” trilogy, which was released this month.

“The Newcomer” brings readers back to the town of Berryville as it might have been in the 1900s, Curtis, 77, said.

The book picks up in 1916, about a year after the end of her last novel, “The Milliner.” The first book in the series was “Beyond the Red Gate.”

The newest novel follows a year in the life of 20-year-old Elizabeth Fairchilds, who has moved to Berryville to take over as the new owner of the hat shop.

“She comes to Clarke County with a little bit of a cloud over her. She has a little bit of a history,” Curtis said. “Her parents have bought the hat shop for her to give her a new start in life.”

Elizabeth is not happy with the change and misses life in the big city — Washington, D.C. She struggles to come to terms with her new path and her future.

Interwoven into the storyline is the looming threat of World War I, which will certainly change many lives, Curtis said.

Readers who have followed the series will see the return of characters from the first two novels and get glimpses of what has been happening with them, she said.

“It has been fun. I have people who get involved with my characters,” she said. “They will come up and ask me about the characters. ‘What is going to happen to Catherine? What is Carolyn doing?’ That is what I enjoy the most.”

All three titles were self published, Curtis said. As she approached age 75, she wanted to realize a dream of writing a book but didn’t feel like waiting until she could find a publisher to have them printed.

With the trilogy completed, she doesn’t have any intention of stopping. She has three book ideas floating in her head and is trying to decide which one to start next.

The book which sells for $12.99 will be available.

Roger Engle

When Engle, 65, of Martinsburg, W.Va. started writing down stories about his youth, he never expected he would one day compile them into a book.

His idea was simply to share some of his childhood growing up in Hedgesville, W.Va., and the era he grew up in with the younger generations of his family.

When his daughter got hold of 13 of them and compiled them in a small book as a Christmas present, the idea to actually publish them was born.

The nonfiction “Stories from a Small Town,” which was released in August 2012, is a collection of 77 stories from Engle’s life from 1948 to 1964. It is a snapshot of what it was like to be a child at that time, he said. The book costs $19.95.

“We were so innocent. There were no locked doors,” he said. “Parents didn’t have that great concern for their children and knew that they would be OK.”

The Engle family recently traveled to New York, where the book received the 2013 Independent Publisher’s Book Award Bronze Medal for Best Non-Fiction Book in the Mid-Atlantic Region and a 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Award Finalist Medal for Best Overall Design in the United States.

Engle intentionally filled the book with stories set before he turned 16, when teens get their driver’s licenses and “your whole world changes and gets bigger.”

He has written his next book, picking up where he left off. Like the first book, he plans to publish it through Girls On Press, a startup publishing company owned by his daughter, Stephanie Engle.

Monte Dutton

The day ends with a book signing and music event featuring Dutton, 55, of Clinton, S.C.

Dutton plans to talk about “The Audacity of Dope” and his inspiration for writing it and then perform an acoustic concert. It is his first novel, but Dutton has written nonfiction books and magazine and newspaper stories about NASCAR since 1993.

The novel follows the story of Riley Mansfield, a pot-smoking musician who becomes an accidental hero when he stops a terrorist attack on a plane, Dutton said.

It becomes a political thriller as Riley navigates the waters with politicians trying to use him for their own gains.

“He fights for his own independence. He goes from being an accidental hero to being a real one,” Dutton said.

Because his main character is a musician, he included the lyrics to several original songs in the book, some of which he will sing at the signing.

The book, which sells for $16.95, was published by Neverland Publishing Company in December 2011.

Dutton was named Writer of the Year by the Eastern Motorsports Press Association in 2003 and Writer of the Year by the National Motorsports Press Association in 2008. His NASCAR writing was been syndicated by King Feature Syndicate in the form of a weekly page, “NASCAR This Week.”

Information

Winchester Book Gallery, 85 N. Loudoun St., will have three book signings Saturday. The events will include Roger Engle, “Stories from a Small Town,” 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Millie Curtis, “The Newcomer,” 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., and Monte Dutton, “The Audacity of Dope,” 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

For more information, contact 540-667-3444.

— Contact Laura McFarland at lmcfarland@winchesterstar.com