Libraries to feature local authors

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The M.P. Baker Library of Panola College will co-host a local author showcase with the Sammy Brown Public Library from 2-4 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 24 in the Murphy-Payne Community Rooms at Panola College.  Six East Texas area authors will be on hand to sell and sign copies of their various works.  Authors include Bobi Ann Allen, Jake Keeling, Doris McKelvey, Bill O’Neal, Rusty Williams, and Gae-Lynn Woods.  Several genres will be represented including suspense and mystery, history, Christian studies, and Christian fiction.

East Texas native, Bobi Ann Allen, is a pastor’s wife, mom and ministry leader.  Bobi Ann travels throughout the United States speaking to women and parents about topics relating to nurturing spiritual growth and is the author of Jesus, Our Joy; Home—A Devotional for Families; and her newest book, There is More to Your StoryThere Is More to Your Story is a flexible six-week study of hope from the book of Ruth with free online teaching and daily homework.  According to the author, the story of Ruth isn’t a fairy tale of redemption for one woman thousands of years ago.  Ruth is a story of God’s providence to redeem us all—even you.  God’s divine intervention is woven through this masterfully told story as we see His hand at work through seemingly small events.

Bobi Ann currently lives in Round Rock with her husband, Jared, their children, Kati Ann (11) and Kie (8), and a Boston Terrier named Poppy.  You can learn more about Bobi Ann and her ministry at

A lifelong resident of the Jumbo community on the Rusk/Panola County line, Jake Keeling was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at 18 months of age. He overcame various physical challenges and graduated from Henderson High School in 2007. Keeling earned a Bachelor of Science in education from East Texas Baptist University in 2011 and a Master of Arts in history at Stephen F. Austin University 2014. From an early age he enjoyed listening to stories from days gone by. With the support of family and friends, he also lives out his love for the outdoor lifestyle and horses in particular. These longtime interests- along with a deeply held faith- are woven throughout the fabric of his novel, Horseback Days and Lightning Bug Nights. Keeling says, “The book draws on my own experiences of living with a disability, highlights the unique culture of East Texas, and emphasizes the importance of family relationships across generational lines.”

Doris McKelvey is an independent Christian author.  She is an elementary teacher with 30 years of experience and holds a Master of Education degree in curriculum and instruction. She says she can take a concept and explain it in easy to understand details. She uses these skills to teach a women’s Bible study group.  She and her husband Bill live in Carthage.  They have one daughter and two grandchildren.  Her book titles include A Relationship with Jesus, Text Messages from God, The Decision, and Secret Things which are Bible Devotionals.  She has one fiction book entitled Distractions.

Texas author, Bill O’Neal has written more than 40 books and 300 articles and book reviews on the American West, including gunfighters, lawmen, and ghost towns; Country music, with emphasis on Texas artists; baseball, such as his study of the Texas League, and children’s books, including one on the first Thanksgiving held in Texas.

In 2003, O’Neal retired as a history professor at Panola College but continued to teach as an adjunct professor for many years. He is a member of the Western Writers of America, he has appeared in television documentaries on Turner Network Television, The History Channel, the British Broadcasting Corporation, the Discovery Channel, Turner Broadcasting System, and the Arts and Entertainment Channel. He recently completed his second term as the Texas State Historian and now serves as Texas State Historian Emeritus. O’Neal’s latest books to be featured include John Chisum: Frontier Cattle King, Frontier Forts of Texas, and a newly released reprint of War in East Texas: Regulators vs. Moderators.

Rusty Williams was threatened early in life by a multitude of debilitating health problems; he was not able to attend school on a regular basis until the fourth grade. Basic reading skills, with which most children had become accustomed, had not found their way to his ready use. It wasn’t until his Navy enlistment when he met a fellow sailor suffering the same handicap of dyslexia that he learned to read. He spent months at sea reading his Bible and gaining insights. Rusty has served in the roles of industrial electrician, college instructor, and college administrator. He and his wife LeAnn have two daughters, Laura and Julia. He will feature his book, Beware the Woodpecker, a tale of intrigue, romance, mystery, and comedy woven with twists and turns that take readers on an exciting adventure.

Gae-Lynn Woods is a Texan who has traveled the world, lived overseas, and come back home. She and her husband, British jazz guitarist Martyn Popey, share a ranch in East Texas with a herd of Black Angus cattle, one cranky donkey, and The Dude, a rescue kitty who now rules the world. When she’s not playing the roadie, tending to cows, fixing fence, or digging post holes, Gae-Lynn is working on the next Cass Elliot novel. Titles to be featured at this author event include The Devil of Light, Avengers of Blood, and A Case of Sour Grapes.

The casual event will give you an opportunity to visit with some of your own East Texas authors while hearing about their books. If you’ve ever thought of publishing work, this is a chance to learn about the process.  The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. For more information please contact the M.P. Baker Library (903-693-2052) or the Sammy Brown Library (903-693-6741)

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