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A Stone's Throw: Look who's written a book


Betty Stone



A fortunate modern development is the option of several different means to have one's book published, if, as I suspect, there is at least one book in each of us. Two such local authors have books hot off the press, and I hereby congratulate them. Both will have book signings this week, one tomorrow and one Tuesday. 


First is Dr. Selden Lambert, who will be signing and selling "The Yellow Ribbon Murders" tomorrow at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library from noon to 1 p.m. The book is $12. It is also available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Books-A-Million for $12.95, and Kindle for $2.95, published by Outskirts Press. 


The book apparently takes its name from the yellow tape with which officers isolate a crime scene. Selden draws on her considerable experience as a counselor and criminologist. She says she has been interested in crime since she was 7 years old; she was the first female auxiliary policewoman in Columbus. 


"Women were not exactly welcome in that role," she states. "So I went back to school and into private practice with both victims and criminals." She adds, laughing, "I have been in and out of prisons a lot." 


The book is fiction, a chilling tale of serial murders in a town much like Columbus. The perpetrators are a duo pulled together by very different needs. One has been damaged by his loveless upbringing that makes him especially vulnerable to the influence of the second, a predatory, genetic sociopath. The victims are diverse and puzzling. The story leads the reader into many directions and cultures. 


It is difficult to reconcile such brutal tales with the charming psychologist. In doing a lot of work with addictions, she became aware of the addiction of sex offenders who had been treated by a program developed at Johns-Hopkins Hospital where therapists, comparing that addiction to alcohol or drug addiction, had had some success in curing it. She says, "If the patient was sufficiently motivated, if he cared enough about his loved ones, he would stay with the program. Addictive perpetrators of abuse are usually generational victims of abuse themselves." She blames television for a large part of the prevalence of that particular addiction. 


The author's experience gives validity to the characters in her book. 




Of home 


On a much lighter note, Jane Hunt's book, "Farview, Then and Now," about her antebellum family home in Sumter County, Alabama, is a history of both the home and the area. It is pretty enough for a coffee table volume. She will be autographing her $40 book Tuesday from 2 to 4 p.m. at a book signing hosted by Carol Boggess (Mrs. Joe) at her Columbus antebellum home, Whitehall. 


Farview was built in 1835, and Jane has documents that date back to 1837. It was built by her great-great grandfather, who came to the area from South Carolina through Tennessee at a time when Indians still lived there. After the signing of the treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, her ancestor got and cleared the land, living at first in a log cabin before the house was built. He had 10 surviving children by four wives. 


Jane's great-grandfather remained close to his father and inherited the property. During the Civil War they raised food for the Confederate Army. Before the Civil War, as early as 1850, he began selling off the land, apparently anticipating the coming conflict. Jane has copies of receipts from the army for corn, cotton, horses and mules. 


Farview survived two tornadoes, one of which just peeled off the roof back when no one lived there. The floors rotted. The extensive renovation revealed many things, including walls filled with bottles. No one knows why they were there. 


The book attempts to answer many questions, among them being: How did the family obtain land formerly the home to a tribe of Indians? What brought the Fulton family to Sumter County? How did the family survive during the Civil War? Why did they move away after the Civil War and where did they go? How did one family line acquire the property? How many generations of the family have lived there? 


Jane's sons assisted with the publication of the book, Dean Stewart with editing and Lawrence Stewart with the design. 


It seems there is a mystery along with all the documents and anecdotes. Every antebellum house needs its ghost. What is the story about the three-eyed woman who still resides upstairs?


Betty Boyls Stone is a freelance writer, who grew up in Columbus.


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