Local authors make their mark

Here is a look at some works by local writers.

'Get Back in the Game'

AUTHOR: Terry Leiden

RELEASED: April 1

WHAT: An inspirational novel about a group of men dealing with their diagnoses and aftereffects of prostate cancer, written "as irreverent and humorous as possible," Mr. Leiden said.

WHY HE WROTE IT: Mr. Leiden, an Augusta lawyer, felt called to fill the void of uplifting, optimistic literature about prostate cancer after his own diagnosis in 1996. The idea started with three hours in the waiting room with his comrades in cancer. He turned to the man next to him and asked to hear his story.

"I started talking to the people, and then next thing I knew, everyone in the waiting room wanted to come over and talk to me," he said.

THE TITLE: Get Back in the Game doesn't just signify the characters' bond over playing on a senior softball team -- the story is an example of what your life can be, even after cancer.

"Don't despair, don't give up; get on with the rest of your life -- it might be even better than you thought," Mr. Leiden said.

'Complicated: Diamond Evolution'

AUTHOR: Joshua Kennedy

RELEASED: March 5

WHAT: Mr. Kennedy's experiences have shaped and inspired his poems. In his second book of poetry, he touches on topics such as homelessness, HIV, discrimination, politics and just being different.

"I've never been the average person that does everything that everyone else does," the new Augusta resident said.

Mr. Kennedy has seen his poetry touch people on a personal level -- one poem about people who keep their HIV status a secret had an impact on someone he was considering dating.

"After he read that, he told me he was HIV-positive," he said.

He hopes his book will inspire readers to accept themselves and others and to persevere through difficult times.

"I'm a living witness that it will get better," he said.

'BBQ Joints: Stories and Secret Recipes from the Barbeque Belt'

AUTHOR: David Gelin

RELEASED: April 1

TIP: The author writes that you've probably found some good barbecue if the joint's name is a combination of someone's real name and a variation on the spelling of the word "barbecue."

AUGUSTA AREA LISTING: Freeman's Bar-B-Q, 1060 Sand Bar Ferry Road in Beech Island got that part right, and its barbecue also was deemed so good that it is just one of just three from South Carolina to earn a listing in Mr. Gelin's book.

'A Woman's Guide to Hormone Health'

AUTHOR: Dr. J. Ron Eaker

RELEASED: January

WHAT: After becoming frustrated with the traditional routes of treating patients with menopause symptoms, Augusta obstetrician and gynecologist J. Ron Eaker decided to investigate other forms of treatment: herbs, alternative medicine and faith.

He first published a book, Holy Hormones!, in 1999, but this edition from January, published by another company, Bethany House, has updated information and a section on libido.

The timing is good: A large number of baby boomers are now reaching menopause, he said.

"These women are looking for answers in a different way," he said in a recent telephone interview.

The biggest issue for women debating treatment for menopause is concern about the risk of cancer by taking hormones. His book, he said, offers options.

"For them to make intelligent choices on their own or in concert with their doctor, they have to be informed," Dr. Eaker said.

'The Candlelight Conviction'

AUTHOR: Judy R. McCoy

RELEASED: Feb. 25

WHAT: A story of family, jealousy, manipulation and tragedy in the Kagan family. The novel is the first by the Belvedere resident.

Reach Sarah Day Owen at (706) 823-3223 or sarah.owen@augustachronicle.com.

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