Local writers have a lot to say in a flurry of recent releases

James Rollins is a New York Times best-selling author who lives in El Dorado Hills.
James Rollins is a New York Times best-selling author who lives in El Dorado Hills.

The Sacramento area has no shortage of authors, who become especially visible at meetings of the local branch of the California Writers Club and at the annual Authors on the Move soiree, the literary fundraiser for the Sacramento Public Library Foundation.

Here’s a sampling of some of their recent titles:

James Rollins of El Dorado Hills is a New York Times best-selling author of 33 novels in six series that encompass thriller, fantasy and adventure. “There’s a little bit of Clive Cussler, Tom Clancy and Michael Crichton in my novels, and a little Conan the Barbarian in me,” he has said.

His latest, and the 12th in his “Sigma Force” series, is “The Seventh Plague,” which poses the question, “If the biblical plagues of Egypt truly happened, could they happen again, but on a global scale?” (William Morrow, $28, 448 pages). The usual Sigma Force cast of characters must dodge bullets and twisted plots while racing against time to literally save humankind. Factual history and well-researched science are part of what lifts Rollins’ novels above the fray. He has appeared for the Bee Book Club. Visit him at

Steve Liddick’s third book, “Old Heroes,” is a story that shows there’s much more to older people than society sees (Top Cat, $15, 208 pages). In his own words, the book “begins with two elderly WW II veterans in an assisted-living home. The two escape to attend a reunion of their old comrades in the Philippines. There, they find themselves in a battle with modern-day guerillas, and must call on their fighting skills to survive.” Visit him at

Patti Palamidessi spent her life battling the painful “auras” – petite mal seizures – of epilepsy, and by age 38 had to undergo three brain surgeries as her condition worsened. When she awoke “my memory was gone, I couldn’t even write my name,” she said. “I had to reteach myself everything. Now I have a life again, compared to what it used to be.” She wrote her inspirational memoir “The Other Four-Letter Word,” “to help others find their strength and keep going, no matter what life throws their way” (Balboa Press, $14, 184 pages). Palamidessi is a third-generation co-owner of the Club Pheasant restaurant in West Sacramento.

Actor-playwright Jennifer Provenza is a professor of theater in the Los Rios Community College District, and now a novelist with “Life Is But a Dream” (Calabria Press, $12, 206 pages). Angela has a secret: She lives in parallel universes – one in Sacramento, where she’s a wife and mother; the other in New York City, where she’s single professional on the verge of a serious romance. Questions arise: Which life is real? Will she ultimately choose one? Then there’s that twist ending … Visit Provenza at

In “Blood Transparencies,” an “autobiography in verse,” retired educator and poet Randy White of Rocklin reveals the intimate story of his life and his family’s in vignettes from special moments and situations (Blue Oak Press, $10, 128 pages). The Manhattan Book Review notes the poems teach “the importance of imagination, stories and family, and how innocence becomes experience.”

Though Sam Silvas now lives in Southern California, his collection of short stories, “Stanton, California,” is set in the area where he grew up – Lincoln and the Sacramento Delta (Silver Birch, $12, 174 pages). The fictional small town of Stanton is both “a sanctuary and a prison to its inhabitants,” who plot to escape their personal histories linked to it, or to return home, changed from the outside world.

Allen Pierleoni: 916-321-1128, @apierleonisacbe