6 really cool books by local writers

We got Connelly and Theroux, but which other locally based authors published this year?

The Bay area is a hotbed of literary talent.

Michael Connelly, who has a home in Tampa, has just released his fifth thriller about criminal defense attorney Mickey Haller, The Gods of Guilt, providing a starring role for Matthew McConaughey, who has expressed interest in starring in the sequel to The Lincoln Lawyer. Travel writer and literary critic Paul Theroux lives in Belleair. The father of Louis and uncle of Justin (Jennifer Aniston’s fiance) has just released a fun, quick read called Q-23: A Novel of Espionage and Racqueteering.

Which locals besides these world-famous scribes have published new books this year — which we heartily recommend? Read on ...

1. Obitchuary by Stephanie Hayes Talk about a wedding date gone wrong. In addition to being stuck wearing a godawful dress, obit writer Penny must deal with her dead date, too. Indie Reader calls the new book “the perfect blend of sweet, tart and salty.”

2. Dead Mountain by Donnie Eichar Find out what’s behind the deaths of The Dyatlov Pass Incident, a 55-year-old Russian mystery that became a cornerstone of JFK-like conspiracies in Mother Russia. Eichar, originally from Largo and now residing in L.A., claims to have the answer, which can be found in his new book, Dead Mountain. Read an interview with Eichar here.

3. Fringe Florida: Travels among Mud Boggers, Furries, Ufologists, Nudists, and Other Lovers of Unconventional Lifestyles by Lynn Waddell Former CL Staff Writer Waddell navigates Florida’s countercultural terrain in entertainingly titled chapters like “Radical Rednecks,” “Alien Riviera” or “Spirits, Fairies and a Blow-Up Mary.”

4. Alligators in B-Flat: Improbable Tales from the Files of Real Florida by Jeff Klinkenberg The living legend and award-winning journalist has become synonymous with Florida storytelling, and here’s an evocative collection that shows you why.

5. Truth & Affection by Peter and Jeanne Meinke Poet Peter Meinke and wife Jeanne Clark Meinke share columns that have appeared in Creative Loafing over a period of more than six years. CL Editor David Warner writes in his foreword, the entries are “difficult to define, a tasty bouillabaisse of poetry, politics, and personal essay ... winning hearts and minds of all ages … and a few awards along the way.” Available at utpress.ut.edu.

6. Healthy You! by Dawna Stone The St. Petersburg resident and national health and wellness expert teaches a practical, non-dieting approach to diet. Stone made headlines in the Tampa Bay area for winning The Apprentice: Martha Stewart.

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