June 6, 2010

Lee Kessler

Kessler will thrill Tuesday at Auntie’s

Jim Kershner
The Spokesman-Review

Lee Kessler is a Hollywood actress, playwright, director and, most recently, a writer of fact-based thrillers.

She’ll make an appearance Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Auntie’s Bookstore, 402 W. Main Ave., to discuss her latest, “White King Rising” (Brunnen Publishing, $19.95).

It’s a sequel to her earlier novel, “White King and the Doctor.” It follows two young heroes as they fight to enlighten the country about how a shadowy figure known as “The Doctor” is using America’s freedoms to undermine its citizens. The two characters work out a plan to foil international terrorism.

Kessler said she will also talk about how America’s young people could become the new “hero generation.”

She has appeared in a number of TV shows, including “Days of Our Lives,” “Matlock,” “Hill Street Blues” and “L.A. Law.”

‘Wedding Cake’

Lynne Hinton’s newest novel, “Wedding Cake” (Avon, $13.99), is now on bookshelves.

Hinton is the pastor of the Chewelah United Church of Christ – and when she’s not writing sermons, she’s writing a popular series of novels.

She is the author of the Hope Springs series set in Hope Springs, N.C., including “Friendship Cake” and “Christmas Cake.” They are gentle stories about a woman pastor and her circle of friends.

Hinton’s writing has been compared to Jan Karon’s Mitford series. She moved to Chewelah in October to become the church’s interim pastor.

You can hear Hinton read from “Wedding Cake” – and find out how she juggles her two vocations – at Auntie’s Bookstore on June 15 at 7 p.m.

Tale of occupied France

I am engrossed in Pullman author Nicole H. Taflinger’s graceful and eloquent memoir, “Season of Suffering: Coming of Age in Occupied France, 1940-1945,” which was published this spring by WSU Press.

Few writers have more bittersweet stories to tell than Taflinger’s story of growing up in Nancy, France, surrounded by occupying German forces during World War II.

Here are a few sample passages:

• “I remember the smell of egg whites frying in my special, tiny, black-iron skillet. I’d sit on the window sill eating them at noon after Grandmother Marie Braux patiently removed the yolks to make cakes for our restaurant on Rue Jeanne d’Arc in Nancy.”

• “The first thing the Germans did was put up their flags, the croix gammee, the swastika. It hurt. It hurt so badly. Then they marched. They marched to their loud – and to our ears, barbaric – music. We felt transported back to the Middle Ages.”

• (On her father’s return from a German POW camp) “He had German bread with him and said he liked it. He couldn’t know how much this hurt us – we who’d scrambled to get fresh French bread every day in case of his return, thinking it’d be the first thing he’d ask for. We stood numbed – the wall of pain ever building. Mother remained speechless, but I exploded. I told him we couldn’t bear any thing German, even a single German word! He looked astounded, crushed.”

Taflinger is also an artist who co-founded the influential NICA Gallery in Pullman.