Donna Meredith Interviews Betsy Reeder

Donna Meredith interviews Betsy Reeder for Southern Literary Review. Reeder is the author of an historical trilogy: Madam’s Creek (2017), Broomstraw Ridge (2019), and her latest, Salt in Boiling Water (2022). These stories center around the lives and loves of characters caught up in vivid events of the Civil War and its aftermath in southern […]

“Their Houses,” by Meredith Sue Willis

Reviewed by Donna Meredith The richly drawn characters in Meredith Sue Willis’s latest novel, Their Houses, are stumbling about in an effort to meet one of the most basic needs Maslow identifies in his famous hierarchy, a need which must be met before people can move on to find love, esteem, and self actualization. They […]

“Blood Creek,” by Kimberly Collins

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Kimberly Collins deftly plants the vicious Paint-Creek/Cabin Creek coal wars at the heart of the first installment in her Mingo Chronicles historical series. The novel is titled Blood Creek (Blue Mingo Press, 2019). While the West Virginia and Kentucky mine wars have been the focus of both fiction and nonfiction, Collins […]

February Read of the Month: “Waters Run Wild,” by Andrea Fekete

Reviewed by Phyllis Wilson Moore Andrea Fekete’s first novel, Waters Run Wild (Guest Room Press, 2018) is a brutal story of the struggle for equity in the West Virginia coal fields in the industry’s early days. Before federal laws and unions intervened, workers were exploited in every imaginable way. Unions were prohibited, wages were low. […]

“Depth of Winter,” by Craig Johnson

Reviewed by Phyllis Wilson Moore In Craig Johnson’s fourteenth novel, Depth of Winter (Viking, 2018), Sheriff Walt Longmire is far from Absaroka County, Wyoming.  He is in Mexico on a desperate lone-wolf mission to rescue his only daughter from a vicious drug cartel. He has no authority. He has no passport. He is about to experience […]

“Trampoline: An Illustrated Novel,” by Robert Gipe

Reviewed by Phyllis Wilson Moore Back in 2015 I received an advanced copy of Robert Gipe’s novel Trampoline and proceeded to read it. The author, Robert Gipe, was new to me and the first-person story featured some of his line drawings scattered in appropriate places. They were different. I’m not a fan of illustrations in […]

October Read of the Month: “Finding Joe,” by Rebecca Hunn

Reviewed by Donna Meredith If you’re looking for an entertaining mystery crafted around a strong setting and unusual characters, check out Finding Joe, Rebecca Hunn’s debut novel. The protagonist Donna Cain is “an oil and gas leasing agent—part sleuth, part genealogist, part salesperson,” who believes she has “the best job in the world.” She lives […]

“Snakehunter” and “Last Mountain Dancer,” by Chuck Kinder

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Snakehunter and Last Mountain Dancer: Hard-Earned Lessons in Love, Loss, and Honky-Tonk Outlaw Life, by Chuck Kinder, offer a glimpse into the wide-ranging styles mastered by one of West Virginia’s most talented authors. Each of his four books is unique and wholly original in approach. His writing eschews the formulaic, the […]