Duke Southard

Author, Educator, Lecturer

A Tale of Two Books

A Favor Returned, published in hard cover in May,2000 undergoes a complete rewrite/revision and the result is a “tale of two books” published fourteen years apart.


No, this is not about the demented killer of Stacey Burns.

A professional editor of my acquaintance suggested that my blog has been unbalanced. Approximately nine out ten posts have addressed my work on Murder in a Small Town: The Tragic Death of Stacey Burns. As regular readers know, the first draft of this book is written except for the “Arrest/Trial/Conviction” chapters. The first few chapters have even gone through a second and third draft and are fairly polished. As regular readers also know, the time, effort, and money spent on this project have so far… Continue reading

Book Reviews-Important?

In yesterday’s Arizona Star, A Favor Returned was reviewed. The reviewer effectively captured the essence of the story in only sixty five words! I did wonder whether the phrase “this unusual novel” was a compliment, however.

A Favor Returned - Duke SouthardI’ve always felt that reviews are critical to the success of a book. Obviously, if a book appears in the New York Times Book Reviews or Publisher’s Weekly or, for that matter, any nationally recognized periodical or newspaper, the book stands a chance of public acceptance, even if the review is less than favorable. Of course, without the influence of a major publisher or… Continue reading

“…no issues with resources . . .”

In the Granite State News article of February 17, 2011, prosecutor Jeff Strelzin is quoted as saying that ” (he) has no issues with resources in this case. If something needs to get done, it gets done.” During that discussion with the Wolfeboro Police Commission, he also indicated that homicide investigations are given the highest priority because they are rare (author’s note: especially in rural New Hampshire).

Three years later, one has to wonder if the resources in this case continue to “get it done” or if the police now feel that there is nothing more they can do.… Continue reading

Validation = Free Book

The new, revised edition of my novel, A Favor Returned, was named a finalist in the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards in the Fiction (Other) category.  The director of the awards informed me that at least three judges read the book and it earned it’s finalist designation based on the points awarded by these judges. Although the book did not win the top prize, I will confess to feeling that my writing was somewhat validated by these objective judges whom I did not know.  To celebrate that validation, I am offering a free hard-bound copy of my… Continue reading

Amazon.com Bargain!

I just noticed that my novel, A Favor Returned, is available at a reduced price on Amazon. I am never sure how the price thing works at Amazon but it is chance for readers to buy the novel for about 40% off. The Kindle version is also priced lower than many other Kindle books.

As a previous blog mentioned, an author’s best friend is a review or even just a rating (1-5 stars) in Amazon as that determines how much attention a book might receive.

Here is a hot link to the book. http://www.amazon.com/dp/1604949643  Hope you take advantage of… Continue reading

Albuquerque, Here We Come!

Tomorrow, my wife and I drive to Albuquerque for the New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards Banquet. The new and revised edition of A Favor Returned is a finalist in the Fiction-Other category of these awards. For those who are following this blog, I thank you and will certainly keep you informed if the book should receive any further awards although I am quite happy just to have it make the finals.

Watch this space for any news and please, if you have read the book, write a brief review on Amazon or give it a… Continue reading

Update- The Jersey Trip

Successful presentations of “A Tale of Two Books” at the Burlington County Library and “I Can’t Believe YOU Wrote That Book” at the Haddon Heights Public Library highlighted my week in New Jersey. A Favor Returned has been well received thus far. Can there be anything better than seeing old friends and colleagues who bring back a veritable catalog of happy memories?

In Burlington, the gathering included a model for one of the characters in Agent for Justice, a couple of former students from my first days of my teaching career, and a host of other friends from the… Continue reading


A Favor Returned - Duke Southard   GOOD NEWS- Yesterday, the finalists in the New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards 2013 were announced and A Favor Returned is among them in the Fiction (other) Category. This contest, sponsored by the New Mexico Book Coop, attracted over 1800 entries in all categories. The winners will be announced at a banquet on November 15th in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I’m pleased to just be “in the running” for this award.  The book is available in paperback and e-book formats on Amazon and other outlets.  Thanks for your support!   Duke

New Jersey Programs

Two literary programs will be presented next week in New Jersey. On Wednesday, September 25, at 7:00 p.m. at the Burlington County Library in Westhampton, “A Tale of Two Books” will feature a two part program. The first half will be a light and humorous look at how people who know a novelist personally approach his fiction. My two novels, A Favor Returned and Agent for Justice, will be the focus of the relationship between the author and his created characters and events. The second half will compare and contrast the two distinct editions… Continue reading

An Author’s Best Gift

After the original version of A Favor Returned was released in May, 2000, I desperately wanted it to be reviewed by a respected source, such as, of course, the New York Times. That did not happen. I contacted an old acquaintance who happened to work in a New Jersey newspaper office and actually edited the monthly book review section of the paper. I was told that they receive so many books to review that it impossible to handle all of them so he simply places all the books he receivesAgent for Justice - Duke SouthardFreeGiveawayTh on a table A Favor Returned - Duke Southardin the office… Continue reading

I'm Duke Southard, author, educator, and lecturer.

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