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Local Authors Tally Up Successes : Writers from Ojai to Newbury Park are finding celebrity in book topics ranging from finance to medieval mysteries.

August 25, 1994|FRANCES HALPERN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Next week we'll be turning the calendar to September and gearing up for school, football and a barrage of attack ads from political campaigners. Meanwhile, I'm flipping back through calendar pages to recall some books produced by local authors. It's an impressive list: romance, biography, finance, children and young adult, mysteries, true crime, war adventures, history and science.

Simi Valley author Margaret Brownley's "The Kissing Bandit" and "Rawhide and Lace" are romances with a western flavor. Ojai's Margaret Jones is getting great reviews for her "Patsy Cline" biography. Two really good financial guides are by Ojai authors Joline Godfrey's "Our Wildest Dreams," written for women entrepreneurs about making money and having fun, and "The First Time Investor" by Larry Chambers and Kenn Miller.

Kathryn Cocquyt, author of "Little Freddie's Legacy," has written her first historical novel, "The Celtic Heart," to be released in September. Ventura writer Reanne Singer's "The Storms Crossing" is a breakthrough young adult novel about incest.

Newbury Park's Sharan Newman is working on a third medieval mystery to follow "Death Comes as Epiphany" and "The Devil's Door." LAPD detective Paul Bishop's latest book is "Darling Kill Me Again." "Rancho Mirage" by Thousand Oaks' Aram Saroyan is a true-crime chiller.

"Combat He Wrote" was just released by Lt. Col. Charles Hudson and Ross Olney. "Shipwrecks, Smugglers and Maritime Mysteries" by Eugene Wheeler and Robert Kallman is one of my favorites. And finally, Ventura's Kathryn Phillips has sounded an alarm with her book about an ecological mystery, "Tracking the Vanishing Frogs."

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Barnes & Noble Bookstore is hosting a variety of events this week. At 7 tonight, Christopher Howard, author of "The Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica," will discuss how to budget, find housing and acquire proper residency in Costa Rica.

From 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Los Angeles resident Ellen Jones will sign "Beloved Enemy," her historical novel about Eleanor of Aquitaine, the medieval duchess who married two kings and was the mother of Richard the Lion-Hearted. Jones' first novel was "The Fatal Crown."

At 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, employee-poets of Barnes & Noble will be the featured readers at the monthly poetry night. An "open mike" session for anyone wanting to share work will follow. The bookstore is at 4360 E. Main St., Ventura.

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Gillian Roberts will sign her new Amanda Pepper mystery, "How I Spent My Summer Vacation," at 2 p.m. Saturday at Mysteries to Die For, 2940 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks.

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Arthur Braverman, who lived for eight years in a Zen Buddhist abbey in Japan, will discuss his book, "Warrior of Zen Diamond: Hard Wisdom of Shosan" at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Ventura Bookstore, 522 E. Main St. Braverman now teaches at the Krishnamurti School in Ojai.

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