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Book fair coming to Mt. Pleasant Public Library

| Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012, 9:09 p.m.

The Mt. Pleasant Public Library will hold a new event this weekend that its officials said will allow the community a chance to meet local authors and to pick up some unique holiday gifts.

The library — located at 120 S. Church St. in the borough — will offer its inaugural Book Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

The event will featuring at least eight local authors. The writers will have their works, the topics of which range from romance to history to mystery, available for sale.

“Many local authors are unknown in their own area. This lets the reading public in on the wealth of writers in this area,” said Barbara Miller, the facility's reference librarian, who is co-coordinating the event with local author Cassandra Vivian. “There's something special about having an author sign a book just for you.”

Miller said the response from the writing community has been so positive that all of the tables for the event have been filled.

“It's a bit of a fundraiser for the library since authors agreed to donate 10 percent of their profits or a book,” Miller said. “But the important function of the book fair will be to make connections between authors and readers and, perhaps, draft some new members into the writing groups.

“The Beanery Writers and Scottdale Writers Group will each have a table, but individual authors also will represent the Ligonier Valley Writers and Greensburg Writers' Group.”

Attendees will have opportunities to chat with authors and publishers while they browse an assortment of books.

Each author and publisher will give each guest a free raffle ticket. Those tickets can be entered to win either a “Kid's Story Basket” or a “Romance Book Basket.”

Attendees need not be present to win. Free refreshments will also be served.

“We're hoping we get a crowd which enjoys sitting around talking about books and who might find some treasures for holiday giving,” Miller said.

One author to attend the event will be Ed Kelemen of New Florence.

Kelemen, 68, said he has been writing since he was about 14.

The accomplished author writes two weekly columns called “At the End of the Line with Ed Kelemen,” and “Civil War Chronicles.”

He has written three books and he has three more scheduled for release in 2013.

His fictional works are mainly in the genres of mystery, horror and fantasy.

“I think it's great that the Mt. Pleasant Library is giving local authors this opportunity to promote their books and to allow people to meet these local authors,” Kelemen said. “Too often, people only think of famous people when they think of writers. This gives them the chance to find out that authors are just regular people like themselves.”

Mt. Pleasant's own Bill Potoka will sign copies of “Love in an Altered State — A Family Tested by Stroke,” a biography about his father, the late William Potoka Sr.

Potoka said he feels the exposure to the works by the local authors will benefit the community.

“I hope it gets some of the local history about the community out to the public. A lot of the people in Mt. Pleasant and Mt. Pleasant Township do not realize that our community has contributed greatly to our country,” Potoka said. “A lot of success has come out of this little town.”

Linda Harkcom is a freelance writer.

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