Twin Oaks Press Titles

Jesus; One Man, Two Faiths

Almost to Eden

Time and Tradition

When the Music Dies

Plum Orchard

Crossing the Bridge of Sighs

Middle Tennessee State University:

A Centennial Legacy

From Nashborough to the Nobel Prize: The Buchanans of Tennessee

From Nashborough to the Nobel Prize: The Buchanans of Tennessee

Rueben Kyle

Non Fiction/History



ISBN 978-1-937937-03-4



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ISBN 978-1-937937-04-1



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This book relates the story of the Buchanan family of Tennessee, a story that in many respects mirrors the history of the country but culminates in an accomplishment that few achieve. Like many of the European settlers of North America, the Buchanans’ story begins in Scotland, moves to Ireland, and crosses the Atlantic. It follows the family as it settles a dangerous and difficult new world, helps build a community and society in mid-19th century America, survives the brutal Civil War and the challenging years after that conflict, and thrives in the 20th century. The title From Nashborough to the Nobel Prize refers to the path leading to James McGill Buchanan Jr., who was not a political figure or a businessman like others of the family but a scholar and teacher. James Buchanan won the Nobel Prize for Economic Science in 1986 as the founder of the field of Public Choice, which applies the tools of economics to public decision making. Public choice has been described as “politics without romance.” James Buchanan was representative of the hard¬working, independent-minded family, even the prototypical American family, from which he came.


Reuben Kyle’s insightful new book on the Buchanan family of Tennessee brings long overdue attention to an almost forgotten but pivotal Tennessee governor and one of Tennessee’s handful of Nobel Prize laureates. Kyle deftly combines research in public sources with historical evidence from the family to put together a fascinating story of challenge and achievement. From Nashborough to the Nobel Prize belongs in the bookcase of every reader of Tennessee history and biography.

    Carroll Van West, Ph.D.

    Editor in Chief, Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture


From Nashborough to the Nobel Prize is a fascinating chronology of the Buchanan family, tracing its journey from 17th century ancestral Scotland to the 18th century Tennessee frontier, through Indian and Civil wars of the 19th century, to reconstruction, reformation, and modern-day politics. This band of farmers, soldiers, entrepreneurs, educators, politicians, and world-class scholars has made its mark on Tennessee, America, and indeed the world. From Major John Buchanan’s book of arithmetic to populist Tennessee governor John Price Buchanan’s politics and then his libertarian Nobel Laureate grandson James McGill Buchanan Jr.’s creation of the field of Public Choice, the family has made history with deeds and ideas. Economists will naturally be attracted to the book simply for the insights it provides regarding the forces that shaped the Nobel laureate. Historians will unfold a new leaf in the Scots-Irish migration and their role in the settling and development of Tennessee. And laymen, be they Tennesseans or not, will enjoy an epic story of hope, ambition, struggle, and success through dedication, discipline, and plain old hard work. Generations of Buchanans have led by example with those values and impressed them upon others with regularity. Their place in history is defined by the great contributions they have made to the lives of others.

    J.R. Clark, Probasco Chair of Free Enterprise

    The University of Tennessee / Chattanooga


When the

Music Dies

Ken Vanderpool



Trade paperback

ISBN 978-1937937003



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In a city famous for its southern hospitality and eclectic music, diversity is inviting disaster. When Nashville, Tennessee, becomes host to the Kurdish-American Conference, the affable city discovers that the arriving dignitaries are not the only visitors with their sights on making this gathering a momentous international event. Radical factions are equally prepared.


Two days before the launch of the conference, Homicide Detective Mike Neal is assigned the gruesome murder of a young Kurdish man who, only eight hours earlier, was sworn in as one of America’s newest citizens. Brutal murder provides ample incentive to arouse this detective’s instincts. But, factor in a band of homegrown white supremacists with a closed-border agenda, along with a deadly chemical weapon strapped to an Arab terrorist, and Detective Neal, along with the citizens of his serene hometown, discover they are in the midst of a Music City meltdown.


“Ken Vanderpool is a stellar writer.  He has created Detective Mike Neal, a cop whose emotional wounds make him refreshingly caring rather than hard-boiled cynical. Vanderpool’s knowledgeable and gripping cops-at-work descriptions will help you appreciate what the police do every day to keep our communities safe.”

    John DeDakis

    CNN Senior Copy Editor (“The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer”)

    Author, FAST TRACK and BLUFF (Mystery-suspense)


“An exciting … disturbing story ripped from the headlines.  A classic confrontation between good and evil - I loved it!”

    Marco Conelli

    Creator of The Matthew Livingston young adult mystery series

    and 20 year veteran detective with the New York City Police


Plum Orchard

June Hall McCash

Historical Fiction


Hard-cover first edition

ISBN 978-0984435487



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Trade paperback

ISBN 978-0984435494



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2013 Georgia Author of the Year Award for Best Novel.

Following on the heels of her critically acclaimed Almost to Eden, 2011 Georgia Author of the Year June Hall McCash once again delivers a story of hope and renewal with Plum Orchard. The saga is set on Cumberland Island during plantation era Georgia and centers around a remarkable woman known as Elisabeth Bernardey. Zabette as she is called was born the illegitimate daughter of a planter and a slave and was raised as the planter’s daughter, so she finds herself neither completely free nor totally in bondage. Plum Orchard chronicles her journey through the Antebellum South as she strives to live in two worlds while belonging totally to neither. June Hall McCash gives us an epic tale that spans a large portion of the nineteenth century, a narrative that explores both the darkness that was slavery and the light that lives within the human heart.

    Raymond Atkins,  Award-winning author of The Front Porch

    Prophet and Sorrow Wood



[T]he American South has been one of the world’s most fertile sources for fascinating stories and great literature. The tale of Robert Stafford, his slave mistress Zabette and their six children is one of the most compelling sagas ever to come out of the region…a deeply intriguing story of human nature. …Even those who have never heard of Cumberland Island will find it compelling.

    Charles Seabrook, author of Cumberland Island: Strong

    Women, Wild Horses and a columnist for the

    Atlanta Journal-Constitution


Crossing the

Bridge of Sighs

Susan Ashley Michael



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ISBN 978-0-9844354-7-0



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When Claire finds her husband in the arms of a handsome Parisian, her life has reached a turning point. She believed that, along with her profession as an established travel writer, she would have a perfect marriage and a beautiful baby. With her biological clock ticking and her world newly shattered, she travels to Venice where she seeks the comfort of her quirky friend, Josie. Unprepared for love’s unpredictable itinerary, Claire finds herself wooed by two men, only to discover that Josie has run a personal ad without her permission. Kismet evaporates and a comedy of errors ensues, magnified by advice from the unbidden spirits Byron, Tintoretto, and other artistic and literary shades that continue to linger in Venice. For Claire, love remains as precarious as life in this watery city.


Susan Ashley Michael captures the allure of Venice with Claire, a brokenhearted, 5-star travel writer, who crosses her own Bridge of Sighs and finds, like Proust, that her dream has become her address. Chock full of romance, recipes and pithy proverbs.

    Award-winning author Cat Bauer

    Venice, Italy


“In Crossing the Bridge of Sighs Susan Michael offers vivid characters, an intricate plot and a wonderful portrait of the mysterious and romantic city of Venice. I fell in love with her heroine, Claire, and wanted only the best for her. Michael kept me hanging until almost the last page to discover exactly what - or should I say who? - that might be.”

    Margot Livesey,

    author of Eva Moves the Furniture

Middle Tennessee State University: A Centennial Legacy

Janice W. Leone, Editor

Non Fiction/History


Hard-cover first edition

ISBN 978-0984435463



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This collection of essays relates the story of the dynamic growth of Tennessee’s largest undergraduate institution, Middle Tennessee State University. Founded in1911 as a Normal School for teacher preparation, MTSU has gone through several incarnations in the last hundred years. Not so much a chronological history as an exploration of the institution’s intriguing past, the book is divided into four sections. The first essays showcase the school’s founding, the growth of its architectural landscape, the changing campus culture for women, and the often contentious identity search, influenced by the image of Confederate general, Nathan Bedford Forrest. The second section begins with student life in the 1930s, then details the history of campus athletics, and finally looks at MTSU during the turbulent year 1968. The third section opens with English professor Philip Mankin’s firing that became a cause célèbre, continues with an essay about the growth of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) at MTSU, and finishes with the impact of the Geier decision, an attempt to bring racial balance to Tennessee universities. The final section examines the pilot training program in the 1940s and the University Honors College. Taken as a whole, these essays promise to entertain and enlighten not only members of the MTSU family but also those seeking to learn about this fine school located in the heart of Tennessee.

Time and Tradition

A Poetry Anthology

Philip M. Mathis, Editor



Trade paperback

ISBN 978-0984435456



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Time and Tradition: A Poetry Anthology is a creative work of the University Honors College published in conjunction with the celebration of Middle Tennessee State University’s 2011 Centennial.  Its wonderfully evocative poems include many that are linked to the title themes of time and tradition.  The graphically appealing 100-page volume encompasses sixty poems, many previously unpublished, and all authored by present or former faculty members and students of the Honors College.  Contributing authors include D. Michelle Adkerson, Ronald Bombardi, Taffeta Chime, Philip M. Mathis, June Hall McCash, John R. Vile, and Kory G. Wells.


The philosopher Plato wrote, “Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history.” It is with great pride that I commend this compilation of poetry entitled Time and Tradition, penned by alumni and faculty of MTSU’s University Honors College. These poems celebrate the many achievements made at this remarkable institution—now in its centennial year—and foretell a bright future as we move into our next century. I have read these poems with great attention, reflection, and gratification. I believe you will find the same enjoyment as you read this collection.

    Sidney A McPhee, President

    Middle Tennessee State University


The poems in this collection [are] …an eclectic assemblage that is sure to evoke not only memories but also new ways of thinking.  Proceeds from Time and Traditon benefit student scholarships in the Honors College. Purchase a copy for personal use or as a gift, and recommend it to others.

    Philip M. Mathis, Editor

    Time and Tradition: A Poetry Anthology


As it looks toward the next hundred years of MTSU, the University Honors College is pleased to join in the commemoration of the centennial by offering this collection of poems.

    John R. Vile, Dean

    University Honors College


One Man,

Two Faiths

Ron Messier

Non Fiction/Religion



Hard-cover first edition

ISBN 978-0-9844354-3-2



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ISBN 978-0-9844354-4-9



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In his search for channels of dialogue between Christians and Muslims, the author proposes Jesus as a potentially pivotal figure. As the title suggests, he explores the views of Jesus within the two faiths, pointing out not only similarities, some of which are quite surprising, but also differences that are more often complementary than contradictory. This thought-provoking book invites believers in each faith to reflect on their own images of Jesus and perhaps to expand those images in light of what the other has to offer.


The need to know one another and to respect one another as well as the ability to coexist peacefully in a pluralistic world has become imperative.  Ron Messier expresses this connection between Muslims and Christians through the life of Jesus (peace be upon him); a man revered in both faiths.  His book invites us to explore how we live and how we will be remembered in this multicultural world, in a way that encourages and promotes tolerance and respect for the other.

    Dr. Awadh Binhazim,

    Professor of Pathology at Meharry Medical College

    and Muslim Chaplain at Vanderbilt University


In an age when religion is increasingly portrayed by extremism, and Islam and Christianity are defined by their differences, Jesus: One Man, Two Faiths offers a thoughtful conversation between two faith traditions about the person, prophet, and Holy deity, Jesus. With great depth and seriousness, Messier, a committed Christian and teacher of Islam, engages scripture, tradition, and theology, clearly defining the topic historically, speaking from each tradition’s holy scripture, and illustrating his understanding through personal stories.  In an accessible and engaging fashion, Messier discovers through his academic study and varied friendships that the path that leads to a deeper relationship with God and our neighbor,

Christian and Muslim, is easier and more thought-filled when we embrace serious and honest dialogue. Jesus: One Man, Two Faiths is an excellent resource for reading groups and personal study.

    Rev. Dr. Jeff Carter, pastor

    Manassas Church of the Brethren


In a world aflame with religious misunderstanding and battling gods, Ron Messier’s Jesus: One Man, Two Faiths offers a moving, insightful,and potentially healing balm. His command of Christian and Islamic teachings is strong, and his ability to facilitate dialogue betweenthese two faiths masterful. Read, share, and talk about this book.

    Rabbi Rami Shapiro,

    author of Guide to Forgiveness: 

    Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler


Dr. Ron Messier’s broad knowledge of history, theology, Islam, the Qur’an, Holy Scripture and his deep personal faith are the basis of this amazing book on Jesus’ many faceted connections to Christians and Muslims. He skillfully uses his knowledge and experience to clarify who Jesus is to the descendants of Abraham and how we share much in our understanding of Jesus.  It is a must read for everyone in these troubled times.

    The Rev. James K. Polk Van Zandt

    Rector, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Murfreesboro, TN

Almost to Eden

June Hall McCash

Historical Fiction



Hard-cover first edition

ISBN 978-0-9844354-0-1



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ISBN 978-0-9844354-1-8



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2011 Georgia Writer of the Year: First Novel

Almost to Eden is the captivating fictional narrative of an Irish immigrant, Maggie O’Brien, whose life intertwines with members and workers of the historic Jekyll Island Club. Seeking a new Eden in America, she discovers that freedom and justice, even in the new world, do not always triumph over wealth and power. In the process of her journey, Maggie finds and loses the things she loves most, but grace and courage lead her toward a fulfillment she never

thought to find.


Almost to Eden is a sumptuous trip into the past and a deeply affecting exploration of how that past is forever a part of who we are. McCash weaves a tale of love and heartbreak out of the day-to-day struggle to live a life of decency and honor. Her writing reminds one of Colleen McCullough at her most rewarding.

    Brian Jay Corrigan, award-winning

    author of The Poet of Loch Ness


McCash's evocative novel could well have been envisioned by Edith Wharton or Henry James. This Upstairs Downstairs tale weaves fact and fiction and the result is a delightful and moving read both for serious students of history as well as the casual reader.

    Rick Hutto, author of

    The Gilded Cage and Crowning Glory


June McCash…has done it again – this time in fiction.  She’s blended her love of history and storytelling into a heart-rending novel … a soul-stirring, spirit-moving saga that spans the Atlantic and three generations.

Reading requirements – a hot mug of something and a box of hankies.

    Stephen Doster, author of Voices from St.Simons

    and Lord Baltimore


June McCash's debut novel spins an intricate and compelling tale with unfolding events worthy of Dickens.

    Darnell Arnoult, author of Sufficient Grace