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Story Tellers

Mike Kilroy's “Nine Meals” is a science fiction novel about the world after a sun flare fries the power grid.
Local authors craft new tales

Get ready for summer reading, because local authors are at it again, writing books about a postapocalyptic world, a coming-of-age story set in Butler, and meditations on life.

Mike Kilroy, a sports reporter for the Butler Eagle, has written a science fiction book called “Nine Meals.”In the novel, the character Billy “Shep” Shepard always thought the apocalypse would come from an asteroid with a funny name, or a super bug, or a nuclear war.Instead it was the sun in the form of the biggest coronal mass ejection mankind had ever seen, and it slapped the human race back a century.“Since I was a little kid, I've always wanted to write a book,” Kilroy said.“I saw a special about natural disasters and what would be terrible for the human race. Most of the scenarios involved meteors or viruses, but the one that I thought was really different was a coronal mass ejection, basically a massive sun flare that wouldn't cause damage itself but would fry the power grid.”Shep turns out to be a “prepper,” someone who stocks up on supplies for a worst-case scenario.“Shep's life in the book is pretty good post-disaster for awhile,” Kilroy said. “But then his life is thrown for a loop, and he must face the cruelties of this new world head on.”He and Antigone, a girl he rescues, are forced to take a perilous journey across an unyielding landscape toward the one place rumored to be unsullied by the disaster.A digital copy of “Nine Meals” is available online for $2.99. The book is estimated at 209 pages. Hard copy versions for $14.99 can be preordered at

Set in the fictional town of Harper, “Threads” tells the story of 14-year-old Ellis.After moving to a new town with her grandmother and starting classes at Ida May High School, Ellis learns of the accidental discovery that led to her parents' disappearance.As Ellis uses the device her parents invented to unravel the mystery behind their disappearance, she unexpectedly learns about life's fragile path and the necessity of choosing one's destination — a destination that may depend on a thread.As suggested in the book's acknowledgments, Butler was the inspiration behind the imaginary town of Harper.Butler readers, especially those who remember Woolworth's and the original Hot Dog Shop, will recognize fictional Harper restaurants.Cumming's Candy & Coffee, Fox's Pizza Den, and the former junior high school building inspired other Harper landmarks.Readers also might notice the book's historical references to a Jeep and a train since in the very early 1900s a trolley system was active between Butler and Pittsburgh.The author blends details from her imagination and experiences for the complete picture of Harper.The author, Beth Brown, is a Butler High School graduate. She went on to earn a Metrology degree from Butler County Community College before continuing her education in Florida where she received an engineering degree in computer science.Her experience in research and development, programming and teaching all played a role in the development of “Threads.”She is the author of more than 35 computer science and computer applications textbooks used worldwide in high schools and colleges. “Threads,” her first novel, is available in digital format for $9.98.Brown's son, Tristan, designed and produced the cover art for the novel.

Author Gary Warinner moved to Boyers to pastor Bell Memorial Church in 1982.He published the first volume of “Meditations from a Pumpkin Patch” in 2010.Subsequently, volumes one and two were published under the same title in December 2013.“Meditations from a Pumpkin Patch” is a non-fiction collection of essays with a touch of poetry, according to Warinner.Strongly Christian in philosophy, “Meditations” presents reflections on life's experiences.In the book, Warinner talks about two of his life experiences with electricity, one when he was struck by lightning and one when he inadvertently leaned an aluminum ladder against a feed line to a transformer.Other experiences have to do with more common events, such as raising four sons, working on construction crews and pastoring.The book was printed by Mechling Bookbindery, and is illustrated with pen and ink drawings by Amie Beard.

Mike Kilroy
Beth Brown

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