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Books of Local Interest


Former Port Leyden resident Steve Newvine has self-published a novel centered at a small, fictional, community radio station in the north country.

Mr. Newvine worked part-time at Boonville station WBRV from 1976 to 1979.

“Sign On At Sunrise” follows a few years in the life of a young man who gets hired at a local radio station. He meets a number of people who shape his life in profound ways. Mixed into the story is the death of Elvis Presley in 1977. The author details how radio and television stations across the country reacted to the story as well as how it affected the central character.

“People who know me will see some of the similarities in the narrative,” Mr. Newvine said in a news release. “But I hope anyone fascinated by the decade of the seventies will find something to like from this story.”

Mr. Newvine, who has written several nonfiction books, lives in Merced, Calif. He was a television journalist for more than 10 years, a chamber of commerce executive for more than 10 years and was an adjunct college lecturer teaching writing and public speaking at SUNY Geneseo.

“Sign On at Sunrise” is available at online bookstores and sells for $10.99

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Exelsior Editions, an imprint of the State University of New York Press, has released “America’s First Crisis: The War of 1812” by Robert P. Watson.

Mr. Watson describes how anger in America over the harassment of its merchant ships by the British Royal Navy turned into an all-out effort to fend off a British invasion. The author shares stories of battles, leaders and “the most important blunders and victories of the war.”

Mr. Watson is a professor of American studies at Lynn University, Boca Raton, Fla.

“America’s First Crisis” sells for $24.95 and is available at the publisher’s website,, and at online bookstores.

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The History Press has released “St. Lawrence County in the War of 1812: Folly and Mischief” by John M. Austin of DeKalb.

The book examines how the fledgling United States struggled to keep its freedom from Great Britain during the War of 1812, and St. Lawrence County’s divided role.

The local region shared a border, as well as close personal and business associations, with British Canada and opposed the American embargo that disrupted these relationships. While some St. Lawrence County men fought for America, smuggling was a common way of life. Several small battles and skirmishes took place along the river, and a local wealthy landowner even influenced President James Madison’s decision-making.

Mr. Austin recounts these and other events, as well as some of the north country characters who influenced them.

Mr. Austin has researched and compiled lists of soldiers from St. Lawrence County in both the Civil War and the War of 1812. He is a member of the St. Lawrence County Historical Society and enjoys genealogical and historical research.

The book costs $21.99 and is available at St. Lawrence County college bookstores, the St. Lawrence County Historical Association, all Kinney drugstore outlets in St. Lawrence County and on the publisher’s website at

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Fonthill Media has released “Ogdensburg Through Time” by Ogdensburg resident David E. Martin.

The book contains color pictures of some of Ogdensburg’s most notable businesses, bridges, stately residences, churches and public buildings. Each picture is accompanied with a picture of what the subject and sites look like today.

The book sells for $20 and is available at the Ogdensburg Chamber of Commerce, 1 Bridge Plaza. It is also available at online bookstores.

Mr. Martin, a retired registered nurse, has written other books on Ogdensburg’s history that have been published by Arcadia Publishing.

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Seventeen Northern New York writers have had their creative writing works anthologized in “The Northbound Writers Anthology.”

Readers will find science fiction, personal memoirs, historical fiction, war stories, song lyrics, family stories, action and Christian faith-based writings. Some of the contributions are stand-alone pieces, while others are sneak previews of upcoming novels and series. Topics range from space travel, Santa Claus and to the tragic repercussions of suicide.

Before publishing, most members of the group went through a writers workshop from August through October, polishing drafts of their work for publication. Retired writing professor and Watertown native Robert Comenole spearheaded the anthology effort. This work represents the fourth book in a series of anthologies he has developed with more than 100 writers from across the state, with completed anthologies in Oswego, Binghamton and Auburn/Syracuse/Skaneateles.

Authors in the anthology: Brandon Amo, Cathy Anderson, Caitlin Beal, Charles Cirillo, Shari Culbertson, Paul Ferendzo, Holly Cordova Gaskin, Michael Paul Kiblin, Patrick Morgan, Darcy Moore, Mary Myers, Debbie Paine, Nanci Paroubek, Katie Stokes, Barbara Tifft, John Warakomski and Barbara Briggs Ward.

The book costs $10 and is available from its authors or at the front desk of the Watertown Daily Times, 260 Washington St.

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The recently released “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Positive for Kids” includes a story by Carina Lamendola of Massena.

The book, published by Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, is designed to start conversations with children about making good decisions and having the courage to do the right thing. It is geared toward children ages 7 to13.

The book contains 101 stories with topics ranging from bullying, disabilities, dealing with divorce and moving. It is part of the publisher’s “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series.

Ms. Lamendola’s story, “The Best Way To Get Even,” is about a girl who is criticized for her clothes but who “defeats” her critics without violence or insulting words.

The book sells for $14.95 at online bookstores or at

Compiled by Times staff writer Chris Brock

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