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.”


A book you can’t stop reading

gillen moments of truth

“The President (Johnson) , before I could lead him to Dr. Horn, pulled me aside to say, “Boy, you couldn’t find your ass with both hands.” This embarrassing remark was clearly heard by Dr. Horn, who up to that moment considered me to be an important person”

Oh, how those of us who have worked in government can sympathize with the author on this one.  Sometimes working with the great reminds us over and over just how un- great these people are. The book is fearless in telling just how the author experienced the times and people of that Vietnam era, reported honestly and thoughtfully. It’s a read we can’t put down as it will constantly remind us of ourselves, the mark of good literature.

You’ll want to make your own index of the pages too as you go along. Some of these comments and recollections are so juicy you’ll want ot refer back again and again.

Buy at Createspace at

neal gillen eswa

Gillen’s reputation in law and management provides a ready market for his books of which there are many. He’s a well known teacher of the art of the writing too as he assists in various workshops throughout the Maryland area. Check into the Eastern Shore Writers Association news to find his next workshop.

Frank Hopkins book signings

frank hopkins eswa


I would like to invite you to three book signings I will hold in July, where I will be signing my new collection of short stories, First Time as well as my two novels: Unplanned Choices and The Opportunity. 

Bethany Beach Books, Bethany Beach, DE

Sunday July 17, 2016 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. 99 Garfield Parkway, Bethany Beach, DE 19930

The Den, Bear Trap Dunes, Ocean View, DE

Saturday July 23, 2016 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Bear Trap Dunes, 7 Clubhouse Dr. Ocean View, DE 19970

Touch of Italy, Ocean City, MD

Sunday July 24, 2016 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Touch of Italy, Holiday Inn at 67 St. Oceanside, Ocean City, MD 21842


The book signings at Bear Trap Dunes and Touch of Italy will include three members of my RBWG Critique group. Jackson Coppley, Walt Curran and myself. Appetizers will be served at both locations. Cash bar at happy hour prices available at both locations. A summary of the author’s books is presented below. The attached PDF file replicates the book summaries, including thumbnail copies of each book cover.




Tales From Our Near Future What happens when the age of high technology encountered the human need for love? Read Jackson Coppley’s compilation of three short stories to learn the answer. Science Fiction – Anthologies


Leaving Lisa What if a device could capture everything imaginable about one person, that person dies and you could ask it anything…especially the questions you neglected to ask when alive? Jason Chamberlain’s wife, Lisa, dies and the machine, in her voice, sends him on a journey around the world to spread her ashes. Leaving Lisa is a story of loss, transformation, and new love. Literature & Fiction – Contemporary Fiction





Young Mariner is a coming of age novel circa 1966. The protagonist, William Connolly is a street smart kid from South Boston. A recent graduate of Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Connolly starts his first job as Third Mate on the cargo ship MorMacPride and runs afoul of larcenous officers, led by a nefarious captain. Young Mariner is the first of a trilogy of Connolly’s exploits. Coming of Age


Slices of Life – Cerebral spasms of the soul is a book of poems. Riding the 5:00 AM train from New Carrollton station in Washington to Penn Station in Philadelphia gave Walter many interesting characters and topics to convert into poetry. Poetry




First Time is a collection of ten short stories by Frank E Hopkins. Each story has separate characters but are linked by the theme that each story exposes the main character to the first time they experience an event participated in by all. The stories include anticipation of the happiness they expect; the dismay and wonder they feel during the event; and the surprising ending. Fiction – Short Stories


Unplanned Choices is a coming-of-age historical romantic drama, set in the late 1960s and early 1970s in the New York City area during the sexual revolution and the struggle for legalizing abortion. Crime – Coming of Age


The Opportunity is a suspenseful crime novel set in the competitive environment of Federal governmental contracting in Washington DC and the professional networking social life of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Crime, Corruption in Federal Government Contracting.


The author’s contact information:

Jackson Coppley

Walter F. Curran

Frank E. Hopkins


I hope to see you at one of my book signings.


Frank E Hopkins