LUDLOW, Vt. – The Book Nook proudly sponsors a homegrown arts festival featuring Jackson Ellis, Rachel Carter, and Asher Ellis, who grew up in the Okemo Valley.
On Friday, July 6 at 7 p.m., there will be book talks and a movie premier at the Frank Heald Auditorium at the Ludlow Town Hall.
Jackson Ellis will talk about his new novel, “Lords of St. Thomas.” In the Mojave Desert, at the southern end of the isolated Moapa Valley, sat the town of St. Thomas, Nev. A small community that thrived despite scorching temperatures and scarce water, St. Thomas was home to hardy railroad workers, farmers, shopkeepers, teachers, and a lone auto mechanic named Henry Lord. Born and raised in St. Thomas, Lord lived in a small home beside his garage with his son, Thomas, his daughter-in-law, Ellen, and his grandson, “Little” Henry. All lived happily until the stroke of a pen by President Coolidge authorizing the construction of the Boulder (Hoover) Dam.
Within a decade, more than 250 square miles of desert floor would become flooded by the waters of the Colorado River, and St. Thomas would be no more. In the early 1930s, the federal government began buying out the residents of St. Thomas, yet the hardheaded Henry Lord, believing the water would never reach his home, refused to sell. It was a mistake that would cost him – and his family – dearly. “Lords of St. Thomas” details the tragedies and conflicts endured by a family fighting an unwinnable battle, and their hectic and terrifying escape from the floodwaters that finally surge across the threshold of their front door. Surprisingly, it also shows that, sometimes, you can go home again, as Little Henry returns to St. Thomas 60 years later, after Lake Mead recedes, to retrieve a treasure he left behind – and to fulfill a promise he made as a child.
Jackson Ellis is a writer and editor from Vermont who has also spent time living in Nevada and Montana. His short fiction has previously appeared in The Vermont Literary Review, Sheepshead Review, Broken Pencil, The Birmingham Arts Journal, East Coast Literary Review, Midwest Literary Magazine, and The Journal of Microliterature. He is the co-publisher of www.VerbicideMagazine.com, which he founded in 1999.
Rachel Carter likes to write about time travel and faraway worlds. She’s the author of the “So Close to You” series with HarperTeen, and a regular contributor to www.BookTrib.com. These days you can find her working on her next novel in the woods of Vermont, where she also teaches creative writing at Champlain College.
In “So Close to You,” Lydia Bentley has heard stories about the Montauk Project all her life: stories about the strange things that took place at the abandoned military base near her home and the people who’ve disappeared over the years. Stories about people like her own great-grandfather. When Lydia stumbles into a portal that transports her to a dangerous and strange new reality, she discovers that all the stories she’s ever heard about the Montauk Project are true, and that she’s in the middle of one of the most dangerous experiments in history.
Alongside a darkly mysterious boy she is wary to trust, Lydia begins to unravel the secrets surrounding the Project. But the truths behind these secrets force her to question all her choices – and if Lydia chooses wrong, she might not save her family but destroy them . . . and herself.
Asher Ellis is the author of “The Remedy,” a horror novel set in the backwoods of northern Vermont. He is also a screenwriter, having written the award-winning short film “Exit 7A,” as well as the “My Name Is Art.” Written by Asher Ellis and directed by Shahab Zargar, “My Name is Art” wears its “Black Mirror” and “Twilight Zone” inspirations on its sleeve. As fans of suspense, horror, and sci-fi, Asher Ellis and Shahab Zargari are excited to share this unique story with the world! This event will be the World Premier for “My Name is Art.”
In “The Remedy,” college senior Leigh Swanson knew her friends’ vacation to Montreal would become a drug-and-booze-filled road trip. Yet despite her best judgment, she gave into her roommate’s pleas and hopped aboard the Canada-bound van. It will soon prove to be the biggest mistake of her life. On the road, Leigh and her friends meet Sam Tucker, a mysterious hitchhiker who is willing to exchange directions for a ride. Sam takes the gang on a shortcut – a detour through a dark Vermont forest. Among the many horrors that await Leigh and her friends is a fatal fungal disease, a grisly infection that has already claimed a number of victims. There is a cure – but Leigh is about to discover that sometimes, the only thing worse than sickness is: the remedy.
The Book Nook is an independent bookstore in Ludlow, Vt.