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Local Author Showcase: R.A. Nelson, Esma Ashraf & Biff Thuringer

Please join us for an evening highlighting three local authors and their recently published works. Each author will have a table for meet-and-greets, book signings, and conversation with friends, family, fans, and potential new readers.

Fans are welcome to bring books from home to have signed, or to purchase books here. Refreshments and beverages are also available for purchase throughout the event. Please, no outside food or drink.

About the books:


My first meeting with the Ancient was also my last ... With these words, a discontented modern-day English professor is thrust deep into the world of the Ancients. Ever since the Making, this race of immortal beings – known to Humankind as the creatures of mythology, from the Dragon and Unicorn to the Griffin and Phoenix – have sought to cultivate the Light of creation, pushing back ever against the malignant forces of the Wasting. Fear, Pride, Violence, Death: with barbarians from the sea wreaking havoc and good men cowering behind their walls, the future of the Light has never seemed more precarious. The struggle comes to a head at a monastery in 10th century Ireland, where the last two Ancients join with a mortal boy to make one final stand for the Light – before the Wasting snuffs out the flame forever ...

R.A. (Ruth Ann) Nelson has a Bachelor of Arts in Music and Theatre and a Master of Fine Arts in Acting. She has been an active participant in the world of the arts, performing, directing, teaching, and writing for both musical and theatrical organizations. She is also author of the "Gatekeeper" trilogy and "Songs in the Gate: Poems from the Borderland of Now and Not Yet."


From the passage of dreams
To the doorsteps of wisdom…….I imagine
Through the landscapes of fantasy
Beyond the heights of reality….I discover
Under the hue of candlelight
With an ink of tears…..I write
Because Shamma; “A flame of the candle”
yearns to illuminate
determines to ignite
and promises to love

Esma Ashraf is a passionate writer, inspired by the power of words, where she finds freedom to live without any barriers. According to her, “When I am not writing, I am not breathing.” She became published for her poem, “Wish List” in Brown Girl Magazine. As a bilingual writer, her poetry has also been recognized in Urdu Language.


Nate Randall is an almost-was rock star, licking his wounds and failing in a relationship with his financially successful but nihilistic girlfriend, Sheila McNally, when she calls him from her hated job on the 97th floor of World Trade Center Tower 2, which is on fire and about to crumble into lower Manhattan. As her final act, Sheila tells Nate the combination to the safe in her apartment containing a secret trove of damning information. The documentation implicates her employer, United Silicon Enterprises, along with high government officials and members of the garbage mob that include her despised father, Bill McNally, in a scheme to profit from the massive stream of toxic waste the company produces every day. Shaken and transformed by Sheila's death, Nate metamorphoses himself into a cub reporter for a small newspaper in Dutch Hollow, the upstate New York town of Sheila's birth. While initially finding a new lease on life as a muckraking investigative journalist living among a tribe of quirky fellow misanthropes (and reluctantly falling in love with a young reporter in the process), Nate becomes increasingly radicalized by the revelations he discovers.

Biff Thuringer is the stage and pen name of Stephen Hopkins. Hopkins has been a social worker, computer systems analyst, recording artist, musician, journalist and publisher, as well as a New York City bicycle messenger, concert promoter and pioneering pedicab driver. He was executive editor of three newspaper chains and a number of satirical publications, wrote award-winning commentary, and toured America with the Neville Brothers and Al Green. He has been a traveling cameraman for a news website, operated an urban farmers' market and helped found a successful private school. Wasted is his first full-length novel.