Authors Showcase features the novels of Roy Pipes and Diane Pepper Smith.

The Book: Darby

The Author: William Roy Pipes:

DarbybookcoverThe Story: The novel, Darby, is named after a small community in the Appalachian Mountains of Western North Carolina. It is a story encompassing humor, danger, suspense, and intrigue.

Darby begins in 1895 when George Woodard, a rocky soil farmer, dram drinker, father, and husband is murdered. Floyd Caldwell, also a farmer found Woodard standing in Elk Creek where he cried out to Caldwell saying, “Floyd I’m stobbed and stobbed bad.” Caldwell tried to save him but was later blamed by the Woodard family for his murder.

This blame developed into a feud, and a duel in which Floyd Caldwell killed Virgil Woodard, George’s brother. This drew their eighteen year old sons, Andrew Woodard and William Caldwell, into the feud. Andrew was pretty much of a hothead and he took up the feud where Virgil had left off by holding a grudge against the entire Caldwell family.

In a bar fight, Andrew killed a man and was sentenced to ten years in prison. While in prison, he killed a fellow inmate and his sentence was increased to life in prison. Even though the inmate he killed admitted to killing his father, Andrew refused to believe him. He continued blaming the Caldwells and threatened to break out of prison and kill them all.

Andrew, in a high security prison, feigned insanity and was assigned to an insane asylum from which he broke out and headed for Darby and the Caldwells. This time he was caught prior to his reaching Darby, but not before he murdered three people.

Another time he was thought by hospital psychiatrists to be rehabilitated, and was given unsupervised probation. He, again, went after the Caldwells plus his mother and brother.

During this probation, he was unsuccessful in several attempts to kill the Caldwells. However, when he tried to kill his brother and mother, he was killed by his mother.

 About the Author: I am a Cherokee County, Murphy North Carolina, native. I retired after 44 years in education during which time I served as a high school science teacher and coach, an elementary and secondary school principal, school superintendent, and my last 16 years as a college professor. I earned my BS degree from Western Carolina University, my masters from Clemson University, and my doctorate from the University of Georgia.

I have always loved reading and writing and after retirement began writing a novel. My first two novels were murder mysteries based on my much-beloved Appalachian mountains. I have completed three novels, Doodlebug, Doodlebug, Your House is on Fire, Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star (published), and this my most recent, Darby. Darby is presently being published by Ecanus Publishing, and is presently available as an e-book on

The paperback edition will be available next month, July, 2013.  I am presently writing a fourth novel, Hanging Dog. I have also written several short stories. Two of my short stories, Hoppy and The Farm won first and second place in the Aspiring Writers Short Story Competition. These can be read free by clicking on my Author Platform. My website – and my blog:

In my college classes I taught mainly research and creative thinking at the graduate level to teachers working on their advance degrees. My doctoral dissertation was on critical and creative thinking. I wrote many articles over the years on educational issues.

Review by K. Stewart: It doesn’t take long for a study of these mountains, valleys, hollows and coves of Western North Carolina to yield stories of feuds. They rise up like the fog from the coves on an early summer’s day. For what was the Southern campaign of the Revolutionary War but the first Civil War with Patriots fighting Loyalist, neighbor fighting neighbor, old resentments and anger given action to a cause? And the second Civil War in these mountains once more pitted neighbor versus neighbor, even brothers and cousins against each other. Hard feelings from the past die slow here, and spread like wildfire.

In Darby, a mysterious death is blamed on a man in 1895, and the feud it engenders affects both families and the townspeople of the village they live near. Mr. Pipes has written a murder mystery full of suspense and intrigue, romance and wit, and most important, full of Appalachian history and culture. He knows these mountains and the people, and his homey style of writing draws us into their lives and makes us care. Move over Sharyn McCrumb, there’s plenty of room for another Appalachian modern storyteller!!

The Book: Untold Secrets

The Author: Diane Pepper Smith

Photograph (1) (981x1280) (2)The Story: Ronnika Shay’s long-time boyfriend is missing and no one seems to know where he is. When she enlists the assistance of police officer Brad Jones to investigate, she never thought she would fall in love with him.

Her boyfriend, Bill, is involved with two other individuals selling secret military information to a Pakistani terrorist group who in turn sells it to Libya.  They’ve amassed many fortunes most of which are gold bars stored at Bill’s house in a secret room. These activities have put Ronnika in danger because of her relationship with Bill.

Will Brad, with help from the CIA, be able to protect Ronni from harm?

About the Author: Diane Pepper Smith was born and raised in Springhill, LA and now lives in a small town in North Louisiana, Minden. She lives with her husband of forty years, Jack, and their sometimes  beloved Maltese, Sadie.  Sadie is – as Sadie does and a brand new Kitten named Tiger who is going to have gender issues because Diane will always call her Baby Girl and she just found out yesterday she is actually a he. Diane has published three books, UNTOLD SECRETS, a sequel to that, A HEART CAN MEND and BELIEVE IN MIRACLES. The first two are hard copy and Kindle e-books on Amazon. She is currently working on her next book DOPPELGANGER which is a sequel to BELIEVE IN MIRACLES. There is also a fourth book in the works which goes along with this series.

Diane began writing in 1999 while still working full time and had the first two books completed. She tried at that time to get them published but to no avail, so she put them aside along with the beginning of the third book. In 2010, Diane retired from her job and her second job of making and selling jewelry at Art festivals and chose to start writing again. She has taken a couple of writing courses online, which have given her greater insight into POV and tense. When reviewing books she is very fair and balanced in her opinions.

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