FICTION

Sartoris Literary Group books can be purchased in eBook and paperback on Amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com, and in paperback from bookstores across the U.S., Canada, and Europe. If your bookstore does not have what you want in stock they will be happy to order it for you.

 


Cold Eye

A Collection of Short Stories

Margaret Skinner | Fiction | Literary

In the collected stories of Cold Eye, the characters face emotional mishaps, soulful sorrow and sucker-punch surprises in the City of Memphis, alternately known over the years as the murder capital of America, the home of the blues, and the birthplace of rock 'n' roll. With a backdrop like that, it figures that the stories told in the bars, barbecue joints, and churches of such a gritty city would offer a unique perspective on life. Margaret Skinner lives in Memphis and is the author of two novels.

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Tractor

Ryan Uytdewilligen

Young Adult Fiction | Adventure | Coming of age

Set in Oklahoma in 1961, a small town teen named John gets a spur of the moment job driving an old tractor across Arkansas to Oklahoma for a crotchety old farmer. John is about to enter his senior year of high school and has doubts about his future and the kind of man he wants to be. Unbeknownst to him, this trip will be just what he needs to figure all that out.  For young adult readers who have an affinity for farm life—and grand adventures.

 

Born in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, Ryan Uytdewilligen was raised on a family farm where story ideas began to filter through his head at an early age. Like many young farm boys, he was a member of 4-H. After studying and working in television and radio, Ryan made the move to Vancouver where he studied film, produced short films, and optioned several movie scripts.

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Deacon's Folly
James Thibeault | Fiction | Young Adult


When a backwoods town has a barbecue, it's to mock a teenage boy who nailed himself to a tree house. While Devon’s not the brightest bulb and has no recollection of his childhood, he’s a kind soul who seems friendly enough. Still, the whole town despises him. Only the new deacon in town takes sympathy towards the boy and is determined to discover Devon’s forgotten past, and the reason why it is never discussed. At its core this book is about a young man who is forced by an entire town to come to terms with his disability and his efforts to learn to live in a community of individuals of lesser humanity than himself.

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Memphis Hoodoo Murders
Kathryn Rogers | Fiction | Mystery / Occult

 

People have been hunting down Addie Jackson's family her entire life. Now the people who have targeted her grandparents, Pop and Grandma, have their wicked sights on her. The Memphis police have been unable to stop them because they have been bewitched to stay away by practitioners of a virulent strain of Memphis Hoodoo. To make matters worse, Addie is disturbed to discover she is being stalked by a witch doctor named Hoodoo Helen. The more secrets Addie uncovers, the more danger she finds.

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Seven Turns

Bill Smith | Fiction / Mystery

The 100,000 ancient books in the Great Library of the Benedictine monastery were just part of the majestic beauty of Austria’s 12th century Melk Abbey. But that beauty was marred when the monks discovered that scores of valuable books had been marked and disfigured. A mysterious code left by German soldiers, a deep fjord, and a stainless steel cylinder all lead to a fantastic war-time discovery. Smith is the founding executive director of a statewide public broadcasting network, founder of a 17-state public broadcasting system, and the recipient of the George Foster Peabody Award.

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Casey's Last Chance

Joseph B. Atkins | Fiction | Suspense

Casey’s Last Chance takes the reader into a treacherous, race-torn South in 1960, where small-time hustler Casey Eubanks is on the run from both the law and the Memphis-based crime syndicate that hired him to do a hit he couldn’t deliver. His last chance to survive is to team with his intended target, labor organizer Ala Gadomska, and an alcoholic reporter and renegade FBI agent in a wild plan to bring down the syndicate’s boss, an old Nazi named Max Duren, that just may work.

"Casey’s Last Chance works well on many levels, including that of being an effective historical novel focused on the years leading up to Civil Rights legislation and other societal changes of the 1960s . . .  The principal characters are gloriously designed and truly memorable. They are hardboiled, softboiled, and scrambled. I hope Joseph B. Atkins will give us more."—Phillip K. Jason, Southern Literary Review

 

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The Coming Woman

A Novel Based on the Life of the Infamous Feminist, Victoria Woodhull 
Karen J. Hicks | Fiction / biographical

Victoria Woodhull was the first woman to run for U.S. President, 50 years before women could even vote. Victoria was also the first woman to own a successful Wall Street firm, the first to publish a successful national newspaper, the first to head the two-million-member Spiritualist Association, and the first to petition the Senate Judiciary Committee, advocating for woman’s suffrage. She spoke boldly on the great social issues of her day, which led to her persecution and imprisonment and the longest, most infamous trial of the 19th century.

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Retarded Girl Raised in Dog Pen

Authorities say girl witness to murder
Lauren Leigh | Category: Fiction / Suspense
Available Formats: Trade paperback and eBook Scheduled for Spring 2014

A young adopted girl diagnosed with developmental disabilities, paralysis of her legs, loss of speech, and blindness is raised in a dog pen by a cruel father who cannot reconcile with his disappointment in his child, and an abused mother who fears for her life. When the father is murdered, the mother is charged with his death and the young girl is sent by human services to a retardation center, where she finds it difficult to adjust to institutional life. Authorities know that she witnessed the murder, but they see no way to communicate with her because of her disabilities. The mother is sentenced to death, but the only witness who can save her is locked away in an institution until a brilliant psychologist discovers a way to unlock the secrets of the young girl’s mind.

"Be brave, honey . . . Mama has to go to prison"
"It was heart breaking and uplifting all at the same time. It really shows how strong a bond can be between a mother and her child, no matter the cost."— Bauman Book Reviews

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Secrets of the Spiral Tower

Joe Woods | Category: Fiction / Mystery / Suspense
Available formats: Trade paperback and eBook

A story of love and murder on the Mississippi River bluffs. The disappearance and subsequent murder of his beautiful cousin, sends Woody McKenzie searching for her killer and for the deadly secrets hidden in the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River and in the shadow of the spiral tower.

 

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Poster Girl

Joni McPherron | Category: Women’s fiction/romance
Available formats: Paperback and eBook

CJ Jones has it all. The perfect life. The letters M.D. behind her name, the “Chief, Emergency Services” embroidered on her white coat. Her home on the water seems designed for yoga and biking, and her vintage poster collection fits in perfectly with the décor.

Life is good. Until . . .

She wakes up as a patient in her own Emergency Room with the hand of the hottest surgeon in town on her bare skin. They’ve met previously over a warm patient. He was interested. She was not. She doesn’t need, or want a man in her life.

Dan Brown, Chief of Surgery and of the Medical Staff is more than interested in CJ. He’s determined to take care of her, in every way he can. When he invades her home to “keep an eye on her,” she finds him invading other places as well. Dan is in her heart and mind, and most definitely in her bed.

Life falls apart when Dan must suspend CJ from her post at the hospital. Did he screw her in more ways than one? She’s not sticking around to find out. A trip to Hawaii and a visit with an old friend land her a job in the ER. When it seems that her life in Portland is a thing of the past, Dan arrives on the island. Will true love (or lust) conquer all?

This energetic, first-time novel, which will give “Fifty Shades of Grey” stiff competition, is much more than a sexy romance. It offers a fascinating look at one woman’s struggle to merge her desire for independence with her equally strong desire for a loving relationship with a man.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joni McPherron is the pen name for a full-time medical professional in Jackson, Mississippi, where she lives with her husband, “Dr. Shrek,” and their gaseous English Bulldog, Bear. .

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Vampire Defense

James D. Bell | Category: Christian/Suspense
Available formats: Paperback and eBook

With its unforgettable cast of characters, mesmerizing plot, and pulse-racing storyline, Vampire Defense by James D. Bell bristles with suspense, courtroom drama, action, and intrigue. An inventive, imaginative, and spellbinding tale, Vampire Defense is a sensational and captivating debut.

Vampire Defense features protagonist John Brooks. A brilliant young trial lawyer, John Brooks is working hard—but hardly getting any notice. Admired for his work ethic, integrity, and intellect, Brooks’ friends think he needs one big case that will show off his talents and help him make a name for himself.

Defending Hal Boyd might be just the case. Charged with arson and four counts of murder, Hal Boyd, known as the Butcher of Belhaven, is the central figure in a grisly murder mystery that has gripped the nation. Eager to cover the case, media from the world over descend on Jackson, Mississippi, and it looks like the Butcher of Belhaven case might be the one to put John Brooks on the map.

But this case may well turn into a career-ender when Brooks announces his unorthodox, and highly unusual, defense: Not guilty by reason of insanity, as his client actually believed the person he killed was a vampire. The media ridicules the “Vampire Defense” rendering Brooks and his defense team the laughingstock of the legal profession. But then unusual things begin to happen . . .

James D. Bell is a retired Judge who received the highest bar association approval ratings ever given to a Mississippi Circuit or County Judge. Bell, who is listed in Preeminent Lawyers and Outstanding Lawyers of America, has been involved in some of the most significant cases in Mississippi, and drew on actual experiences in writing Vampire Defense. James D. Bell is a Mississippi native who lives in Ridgeland, Mississippi with his wife Joanne. Vampire Defense is his first novel.

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The Legend of the Soul Eater

James L. Dickerson | Category: Fantasy
Available formats: Paperback and eBook

A fictional look at the enduring and controversial Native American legend that Jesus and Mary visited the Mississippi River Valley more than 2,000 years ago. The visit is seen through the eyes of the chief’s son, Miko, a warrior-in-training who desperately wants to make sense of life. When two strangers from a faraway land visit Miko’s village, he learns that there is an alternative to the evil force known as the Soul Eater. Suitable for young adults. “The force of evil cannot be deterred so easily. The Legend of the Soul Eater is a novel set two thousand years among [the Native Americans who inhabited] the Mississippi Valley. Miko, son of the chief, encounters the force known as the Soul Eater, and he learns about its nature, and finds that he and his father must stand against them and learn the rules of mortality. The Legend of the Soul Eater is riveting fantasy of pre-colonial America, a strong pick for those looking for something different.”—Midwest Book Review

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Love on the Rocks: Romance to the Rescue

James L. Dickerson | Category: Romance
Available formats: Paperback and eBook

With the sudden death of her husband and daughter in a boating accident in the picturesque Thousand Islands region of New York/Canada, a woman tries to put her life back together and has a difficult time choosing between two men, an American psychologist and a playboy member of the Canadian Parliament..

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Creature From Reelfoot Lake: The Merman Who Loved Women

James L. Dickerson | Category: Horror
Available formats: Paperback and eBook

The Creature from Reelfoot Lake: The Merman Who Loved Women is a literary horror novel that it is reminiscent of the classic cinemas of the 1950s. But with one major difference: The Reelfoot creature is half-human, a merman who has been on an obsessive search for his birth mother that has lasted more than 200 years. At the heart of the story are three former college roommates, two male, one female, who all have childhood and relationship issues that dominate their lives. The roommates converge at Reelfoot Lake, Tennessee, where the creature is inflicting a reign of terror that makes it difficult for two of the ex-roommates to locate a treasure that has been buried since the New Madrid earthquake of 1811.

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Two Women, One Man:A Memphis Love Story

James L. Dickerson | Category: Women's Fiction
Available formats:Paperback and eBook

Imagine falling in love with someone who is the person of your dreams, only to meet a second person who also is the person of your dreams. Do you break off one of the relationships? Or do you continue both? Jack continued both relationships at the insistence of both women, neither of whom wanted to risk rejection. Lori, who was Jack’s age, was a political power, a representative in the Tennessee General Assembly, someone who shared his passion for politics and public service. Faith, who was a decade and a half younger, had a more mundane career, but she was incredibly beautiful and she forged a powerful bond with Jack after he helped her come to terms with her childhood abuse.

“There’s more than one magnificent guy in the world. Two Women, One Man is a romance from James L. Dickerson, who tells the story of Jack, a man who thought he found the one with Lori. But when Faith enters his life as well, he struggles to find what’s the right path for his heart and for all three of them, where the wrong choice will leave all of them unhappy. Two Women, One Man is a strong pick for those seeking a work of romance, highly recommended.”—Midwest Book Review

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Last Dance at the Sudden Death Café

James L. Dickerson | Category: Suspense
Available formats: eBook

Last Dance at the Sudden Death Café is a classic thriller with outrageous, dark-comedy overtones about a paramilitary takeover of the American government by mysterious, behind-the-scenes players who use the dreaded yellow fever virus as a terrorist weapon. When President Angus McDuff’s ranch foreman dies of a sudden illness, along with the Secret Service agent assigned to protect him, the Dallas hospital that treated him is shaken. Later, when it is determined that they both were infected by a yellow fever virus while attending a New York Knicks’ game in Madison Square Garden, it becomes apparent that they—and thousands of spectators at the game—are victims of a terrorist attack. Next target? New Orleans.

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Someone Is Trying To Kill Me

James L. Dickerson | Category: Suspense
Available formats: Paperback and eBook

A 26-year-old woman turns to a Memphis psychologist for help after she concludes that someone is trying to kill her. Then the unthinkable happens. The psychologist is marked for murder.

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Confession

Richard Freis | Category: Fiction / Southern literature
Available formats: Paperback and eBook Scheduled for May 2013

George Burden is a distinguished attorney who has fallen deeply in love with Becca Talbot, a divorced young woman with a 5-year-old son. During one noon encounter at a local hotel, Becca rejects George’s sudden proposal that he leave his wife and marry her. Later, he sees her walk from the hotel with an unknown young man. He becomes obsessed with discovering Becca’s true situation and persuading her to marry him. As he pursues Becca his misreading of successive situations draw him further into the ambiguities of Becca’s life. The unknown young man is revealed as Becca’s mysterious twin brother, Frank, and the story reaches its climax upon an off-shore island along the Gulf Coast, where George and Frank have a violent confrontation and George finally learns the truth about Becca . . . and himself..

 

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Wiggle Room

Darden North | Category: Fiction / thriller
Available formats: Paperback and eBook

Brad Cummins is an Air Force surgeon who returns from overseas deployment after serving four months at the height of the Iraq War, during which he fails to save an injured soldier but mends the GI’s attacker. He endures rigid criticism from his peers, yet survives the medical tribunal’s investigation. Back in Jackson, Mississippi, still blaming himself for returning the insurgent to the killing fields, Cummins discovers his look-alike brother shot to death and is certain that he was the intended target. Both the police and Brad’s fiancée discount his fears as paranoia, forcing Brad to consult a psychiatrist. Then his fiancée is found murdered in his apartment. Now there is no doubt in his mind that he is marked for murder. But who will believe him?

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The Thursday Morning Breakfast (and Murder) Club

Liz Stauffer | Category: Mystery
Available formats: Paperback and eBook

When Clare Ballard sports a new bruise on her right cheek the day after a contentious town meeting, the ladies of the Thursday Morning Breakfast Club suspect her husband Roger of abusing her. That same day Hester Franklin, another breakfast club lady, is called to rescue her grandson Patrick after he is arrested for transporting drugs. Proclaiming his innocence, Patrick threatens that those who set him up will pay. Roger Ballard is high on his list.

But it’s when Lillie Mae Harris, the club's leader, discovers the body of the local drug dealer on the nearby hiking trail, that the community is upended. Roger Ballard, the primary suspect, goes missing, and when his body turns up in his own back yard, Clare Ballard confesses to his murder. No one believes she did it, but Clare insists she’s guilty and mysteriously refuses to talk to her lawyer, the police, or her family and friends.

The Thursday Morning Breakfast Club ladies believe she’s protecting someone, and they vow to find out who it is. Charlie Warren, the town’s homegrown policeman, using unconventional means, collaborates with the breakfast club ladies to draw out the real criminal. But danger lurks.

Alice Portman, the matriarch of the breakfast club, is struck down in her own yard and is sent to the hospital. Then others in the small community start to disappear—one after the other. As the ladies get closer to the truth, they get closer to the danger. With no time to cry over spilled coffee, they form a plan to capture the true culprits before someone else is murdered.

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Killer Comedy: Is Murder a Laughing Matter?

James L. Dickerson | Category: Fiction / thriller
Available formats: Trade paperback and eBook

Each time a standup comic visits a city to perform at comedy clubs, a beautiful woman is murdered. Is the comic a serial killer—or is he the victim of a stalker who wants to incriminate him? The FBI is slow to see a pattern as the comic travels from state to state, but once it becomes obvious that a serial killer is at work the agency’s top profiler, a single mother who is constantly struggling to find a sitter for her young daughter, is sent to Memphis to find the killer.

 

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Trey’s Company

Frank Murtaugh | Fiction | Coming of Age

Love a little, die a little, and break the law. Trey Milligan did them all in one summer, and before his 14th birthday. Trey lives in Southern California with his parents and younger sister, but is spending the summer after 7th grade with his widowed grandmother in a small Tennessee town. The South becomes home to Trey, but also represents the freedom every child associates with the summer months. Three of Trey’s friends — Wendy, Devon, and Larry — come to personify love, death, and the criminal element, challenges every child must, at some point, confront. Together, the trio builds an unasked-for bridge to adulthood for Trey. The warmth and comforts of a “summer at Grandma’s” becomes a life-changing season of internal growth. Murtaugh is well known in Memphis as editor of Memphis magazine.

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