The Day Steam Died
Published: January 5, 2015
Ann sneaks out to meet her lover, Rick Barnes, who lives across the hall in their creaky old apartment house to collect spilled coal in the rail yard of the dying railroad town. Escaping her alcoholic father for stolen moments of intimate bliss, they plan their future together. A future that Tank, the son of Sam Johnson, the most powerful man in town, aims to disrupt.
Suddenly, Ann and her family vanish without a trace. Rick is devastated. Using his resources as a successful newspaper reporter he begins investigating Tank’s political career, the man he believes is complicit in Ann’s disappearance.
Living in another city with her family through a financial arrangement with Sam Johnson, who shuts down the railway repair center, Ann is well paid to keep silent about her maternal condition. Even though she marries later, she is never able to totally shut Rick out of her fantasies. Sam pays for her silence, but doesn’t stop her determination to punish him and Tank for what they did.
A shocking murder of a friend and colleague gives Ann the evidence she needs to incriminate Sam and Tank. Her revenge is bittersweet, but an unexpected twist changes her future prospects.
King of the Mountain
Published: September 1, 2008
In 1980, the U.S. Olympic hockey team defeated the mighty Soviets. Two years later, tiny Chaminade beat the University of Virginia and seven-foot-four Ralph Sampson. But those upsets took place on the underdogs home turf.
When the Appalachian State Mountaineers played the No. 5 football team in the country on September 1, 2007, they did so before 110,000 screaming Wolverine fans at the Big House in Ann Arbor. The result? Appalachian 34, Michigan 32. This, wrote John Feinstein in the Washington Post, might very well be the all-timer.
It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy than Appalachian head football coach Jerry Moore. In King of the Mountain, journalist Dick Brown traces Moore's life from his playing days in Texas to his climb through the coaching ranks and his tenure in his adopted home in the North Carolina mountains. Appalachian fans celebrate Moore's three consecutive national championships beginning in 2005, but they may have forgotten the calls for his head just a year earlier. And all those millions who admired Moore's gracious handling of the epic Michigan win are likely unaware that he nearly died one night when his plane was forced to land on a country road during a recruiting trip, or that he gave up coaching in the prime of life, or that he quit a high-paying job to begin his football comeback as an unpaid assistant.
Through all the highs and lows, Moore has been sustained by his religious faith and by the love of his family, particularly his wife, Margaret. Appalachian boosters and football fans far and wide will enjoy this intimate look at a coach so down-to-earth that he could talk about his upcoming game with Lenoir-Rhyne while the nation marveled over his win at the Big House, a man more devoted to nurturing young men than amassing football victories.