The latest on choosing a publisher for your independent work

gillen workshop feb 2018

For further information visit or call 301 654 8664. Thanks.


Vietnam arguments turn to murder


hopkins novel 2017

“Wanting to see more of the body, Paul took the flashlight form his carrying case. The strong LED light revealed a full skeleton partially covered with rotted clothes. The irregular bones’ shape could not be a plastic skeleton. He took several photos he thought might interest the police.”

Thus was started one of the strangest serial killer tales this editor has ever read, one which kept the midnight lights on until the last page.  The twists and turns alone tweaked my brain as in any good story.

Abandoned Homes: Vietnam Revenge Murders, Ocean View Publishing, 978-0998820002, 2017.  Frank E. Hopkins.

This book provides a blow by blow presentation of the sentiments of the anti-war movement of the 1960–1970 era and the hatred existing many years beyond. Hopkins has a careful method of writing which does not leave out any of the scents and scenes as his protagonist searches for the antagonists. A great romance is started between two wonderful characters and spices the events. It is easily Hopkins’ best novel yet. As a follower of his work, once again in this mystery he gets my attention, this time  with the theme of an unpopular war. As always he leads me thorough an exciting plot to a surprising ending.

frank hopkins eswa

Hopkins has published several stellar books including First Time, a selection of his best short stories about growing up and The Opportunity, a classic tale of government graft and double dealing,  He is a long time member of the writing groups on the Maryland literary scene and works with several bookstores to expand his market and fans.



Annie Crow Knoll revisited

“Drew cheered as his granddaughters barreled into view. He was surprised Jemma hadn’t dropped off after her sister sprinted. The crowd went wild when Breezy seemed to launch ahead. Drew studied the move carefully. Breezy was about to win because Jemma had backed off. While pondering this, Drew became aware of a man dashing onto the course and heading directly for the bleachers. Liam tore after the intruder and tackled him just as Breezy crossed the finish line. Drew heard no sound but saw the flash before the force of the bomb punched him back into the people and benches behind him.”

As editor of this blog I have my favorites, and without risking my friendship with any of my other writers on the site, I must say  Gail Priest ( Annie Crow Knoll, Moonrise, does seem to give all of us a warm feeling of the Eastern Shore of Maryland.  She has, in her series, developed a special place that all of us can carry in our memory where fictional almost real persons live and love and worry. This brings to us a memory of our past in our own family.

Moonrise takes as its subject the millennial and perhaps even Sixties through Nineties fascination with bicycling. It adds in the current unrest in our minds with the constant bombing of crowd places and mixes the two with a strong interest in the recovery  recovery and resetting of goals in our lives. All the aspects of family support of therapy after disaster are examined thoughtfully.

This is a good book for military personnel as it covers themes important to them also. Many come home with tortured bodies in the wars of today. From Vietnam to the Middle East soldiers get terrorist bombs that main and destroy life plans. This is a book to read.


More books please, Gail.






Ron Sauder, publisher

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The Eastern Shore’s Best Literary Friend: Ron Sauder’s Secant Publishing


While very few people know his name or his publishing company, Ron Sauder is gradually becoming the Eastern Shore’s literary best friend. From his small home office overlooking the Wicomico River, Sauder has not only committed himself to resurrecting the legacies of Chesapeake writers like Chestertown’s Gilbert Byron but also some of the Shore’s best contemporary authors through the recent establishment of Secant Publishing in Salisbury.

A native of Virginia, with a degree in English from the College of William and Mary, Ron had aspirations to become a writer after graduation, but very quickly found himself in leadership communications positions at Johns Hopkins and Emory University. In fact, it was only after his wife agreed to join the faculty at University of Maryland – Eastern Shore that Sauder found the opportunity to break away from higher education to follow his dream of starting a book publishing business focused on the literature and writers of his beloved Eastern Shore.

Perhaps even more impressive is the success story Secant has had since Sauder started his press. Over the last few years, Secant’s books, from the reprinting of Byron’s The Lord’s Oysters and Mission Boy to the best-selling to The Crab Cookbook by Whitey Schmidt, have met with remarkable commercial popularity. And the same hold true for his most current authors, like Easton’s Bill Peak’s award-winning The Oblate’s Confession and his most recent publication of Talbot County Librarian Karen Huston Karydes’s Hard-Boiled Anxiety, a psycho-literary analysis of “hard-boiled” detective novels in the 20th Century.

The Spy sat down with Ron to talk about his second life as publisher and his particular affection for Eastern Shore Writers.

This video is approximately six minutes in length 





About Dave Wheelan

Letters to Editor

    1. Thank you for airing this delightful video interview with Ron Sauder, whose work at Secant Publishing bucks the trend of disappearing small, regional publishers. Ron’s passion for producing literary and other important books is so beneficial to the regional writing community. His quest to discover the special “voices” of Delmarva authors should be celebrated across the Peninsula.

Oh for the love of Italy

Schisler whispering vines

“There’s more,” Peter said, and Alex gasped in surprise as Peter looked back down at the document. “…I also leave Alexandra one half of my family’s vineyard, Belle Uve, to be shared with my great-nephew, Nicolas Giordano.”

And so the great adventure in this young woman’s life begins. Written in the spirit of those time honored books and movies of wine growing and Italy such as A Walk in the Sun by Deborah chief or Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes, this novbel adds new depth top that wonderful concept. Alex learns wine but more thanb that she finds the truth in the Italian survival of the terror of World War Two. It’s a book not to be missed.


schisler book show

Her weekly blog is followed around the nation. Latest entry at

“In the meantime, I will let my mind drift to the other wonderful thing about fall – curling up in my favorite corner of the couch with a cup of hot tea and a good book while a fire blazes nearby.  What will you be reading this fall and winter?  A Place To Call Home is available, and every Wednesday, I will send you a thought or two about my writings and upcoming books.  Stay tuned and stay warm!”

A former librarian and teacher, she writes form the Eastern Shroe of Maryland where she lives with her husband, three daughters and two dogs. Her writing is “a verbal masterpiece of art.”