New local lit hits the stands

Check out these recently released titles from Sandpoint area authors

By Zach Hagadone
Reader Staff

The novels of Hope writer Bill Percy center on the kinds of issues you’d find in the news: school shootings, tax evasion conspiracies, sex trafficking in rural America and political infighting. His “Monastery Valley Series,” which with the addition of Standing Our Ground now stands at four installments, is a dramatic, hard-bitten journey through the underbelly of a small town in southwestern Montana. 

As its title suggests, the new novel focuses on the “stand your ground” defense as it relates to the shooting death of a 14-year-old boy. As with Percy’s other “Monastery Valley” books, the central characters are Sheriff’s Deputy Andi Pelton and Ed Northrup, the town psychologist, whose romantic relationship provides the lens through which to view the narrative arc. 

With Standing Our Ground, however, Pelton is thrust into local politics, as she’s forced by circumstance to run for the office of sheriff while her investigation into the real motives behind the shooting collide with a concerted — and shady — smear campaign controlled by a mysterious outsider.

Percy, a retired psychologist, grapples with difficult questions about the emotional justification for murder and how to portray those inner struggles without succumbing to stereotypes. 

Catch a reading of Standing Our Ground by the author Wednesday, Feb. 19 at a fundraiser for the Hope Memorial Community Center (415 Wellington Place in Hope). Scheduled for 4 p.m., the first 20 reading attendees who donate at least $20 to the community center will receive a free copy of the book. 

Learn more about Percy and his work at billpercybooks.com.

In a lighter vein, J.J. West — the nom de plume of two local writers — recently released Fiddlesticks! Tales From A Country Ghetto, a compilation of 36 short, humorous stories revolving around a retired farmer whose boarders are anything but boring.

As described by various press releases and reviews, Fiddlesticks! is a raucous, raunchy, rollicking ride through the off-kilter lives of rural Idahoans who range from grifters and drifters, to stoners and strippers, wanna-be cowboys and country thugs, religious zealots and “chainsaw jihadists” — all revolving around “bumbling old George himself.”

Called “Patrick McManus and Mark Twain gone bad,” other summaries include “a modern-day Cannery Row of North Idaho” and a theoretical “Little Politically-Incorrect House on the Drunken Prairie,” according to the author(s).

Published by Sandpoint-based Bonner Media in November 2019, these tales of “life, liquor and lewd conduct” live up to the fledgling publishing company’s mission of encouraging “everyone to lighten up and laugh a little at the world around them.”

Find Fiddlesticks! at local booksellers and major online retailers, where paperbacks go for $15 and the ebook sells for $4. Get more info by emailing [email protected]

While we have you ...

... if you appreciate that access to the news, opinion, humor, entertainment and cultural reporting in the Sandpoint Reader is freely available in our print newspaper as well as here on our website, we have a favor to ask. The Reader is locally owned and free of the large corporate, big-money influence that affects so much of the media today. We're supported entirely by our valued advertisers and readers. We're committed to continued free access to our paper and our website here with NO PAYWALL - period. But of course, it does cost money to produce the Reader. If you're a reader who appreciates the value of an independent, local news source, we hope you'll consider a voluntary contribution. You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.

You can contribute at either Paypal or Patreon.

Contribute at Patreon Contribute at Paypal

You may also like...

Close [x]

Want to support independent local journalism?

The Sandpoint Reader is our town's local, independent weekly newspaper. "Independent" means that the Reader is locally owned, in a partnership between Publisher Ben Olson and Keokee Co. Publishing, the media company owned by Chris Bessler that also publishes Sandpoint Magazine and Sandpoint Online. Sandpoint Reader LLC is a completely independent business unit; no big newspaper group or corporate conglomerate or billionaire owner dictates our editorial policy. And we want the news, opinion and lifestyle stories we report to be freely available to all interested readers - so unlike many other newspapers and media websites, we have NO PAYWALL on our website. The Reader relies wholly on the support of our valued advertisers, as well as readers who voluntarily contribute. Want to ensure that local, independent journalism survives in our town? You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.