One of Santa Barbara’s more prolific authors is back with his 20th book. Steven Gilbar’s Compton, Kern, Truckee & Weed: The Men and Women Who Gave Their Names to Places in California is a series of stories about the folks whose names grace the Golden State’s cities, rivers, mountains, and more. He signs at Chaucer’s Books on the evening of July 21.


In March, English-born Santa Barbaran Simon Tolkien—yes, that Tolkien, as he’s the Lord of the Rings author’s grandson—released The King of Diamonds, a thriller set in England that pulls from his study of history and career as a criminal attorney in London. Visit


Don’t forget Randy Gross’s Mermaid Out of Water, about her daughter’s struggle with health crises; Terry Row’s Phyllis Marie: A Novel Based on a True Story, about how his 91-year-old mother met his father during World War II; and homeless advocate/Vietnam vet Ken Williams’s There Must Be Honor, a collection of individual essays on his life and work. For more on these titles, visit


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