At 81, Orange County na­tive achieves dream to be pub­lished

The News & Observer (Sunday) - - Read - BY CINDY SCHAEFER

Mary Frances Howard long dreamed of be­com­ing a pub­lished au­thor. After suf­fer­ing two strokes and need­ing to re-train the mus­cles in her hands and arms, she de­cided to use the time to write her mem­oir.

“We Thought It Would Last For­ever” (Cen­terPeace Pub­lish­ing) re­counts her ex­pe­ri­ences grow­ing up in ru­ral Orange County, where her fam­ily raised tobacco and dairy cows, and her pen­chant for turn­ing life’s chal­lenges into op­por­tu­ni­ties. Five years and two chil­dren after mar­ry­ing her child­hood sweet­heart, he was killed in a log­ging ac­ci­dent. A sec­ond mar­riage ended in di­vorce and her third hus­band was taken by Alzheimer’s Dis­ease.

Howard’s time as a care­giver for her hus­band led her to lead a sup­port group in Fuquay-Va­rina, later be­ing hon­ored as the town’s cit­i­zen of the year.

Howard, 81, lives in Holly Springs.


“Heaven-Sent War­rior” (Soul Mate Pub­lish­ing), Nancy Lee Badger’s 24th book, was in­spired by the Rodin stat­ues on ex­hibit at the N.C. Mu­seum of Art. This para­nor­mal ro­mance is set in North Carolina, with trips to an art mu­seum, the Blue Ridge Moun­tains, and a ter­ri­fy­ing dip in the At­lantic Ocean at Ro­dan­the on Cape Hat­teras.

Badger, who lives in Raleigh, is a mem­ber of the Ro­mance Writ­ers of Amer­ica, Heart of Carolina Ro­mance Writ­ers, Fan­tasy-Fu­tur­is­tic & Para­nor­mal Ro­mance Writ­ers, and the Tri­an­gle As­so­ci­a­tion of Free­lancers.


Two books by Holly Springs writer Sherry Mon­a­han were hon­ored at the Will Rogers Medal­lion Awards in Oc­to­ber. “Tin­sel, Tum­ble­weeds, and Star-Span­gled Cel­e­bra­tions” (TwoDot) re­ceived the 2018 Gold Medal in Cook­books. “The Golden Elixir of the West: Whiskey and the Shap­ing of Amer­ica” (TwoDot) by Mon­a­han and Jane Perkins was awarded the Bronze Medal in non­fic­tion.


The N.C. Writ­ers’ Net­work is launch­ing a new con­test to honor the best in short prose by AfricanAmer­i­can writ­ers in North Carolina. The Ja­cobs/ Jones African-Amer­i­can Lit­er­ary Prize will be open to short works of fic­tion and creative non­fic­tion. The win­ner will re­ceive $1,000 and pos­si­ble pub­li­ca­tion of the win­ning en­try in “The Carolina Quar­terly.” Sub­mis­sions will be ac­cepted Nov. 1 through Jan. 2. For in­for­ma­tion, visit www.ncwrit­


LaHoma Smith Ro­mocki and Cindy Waszak Geary talk about “Go­ing to School in Black and White” (Torch­flame Books) at 11 a.m. Sun­day, Nov. 11, and at 5 p.m. on Tues­day, Nov. 13, on UNC-TV’s North Carolina Bookwatch. Their book is the dual mem­oir of Ro­mocki and Geary, who were teenagers liv­ing across town from each other in Durham in 1970 when court-or­dered de­seg­re­ga­tion landed them both at Hill­side High School. The women, one black, one white, share com­ing-of-age sto­ries that are part of a big­ger story about ed­u­ca­tion and race in Amer­ica.

Tri­an­gle-area au­thors: We want to hear about your new book. Send in­for­ma­tion to book­beat@new­sob­server .com. As space per­mits, we will men­tion self-pub­lished books by lo­cal au­thors that are for sale on com­mer­cial sites.

Cen­terPeace Pub­lish­ing

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