James Ellenberger at Coffee With the Authors May 11

James Ellenberger, who co-wrote High Hand with two other authors, will speak at Sunset River Marketplace in Calabash as part of the art gallery’s ongoing Coffee With the Authors series. The event runs from 10 – 11  a.m. There is no charge to attend, but seating is limited so reservations are required. Call the gallery at 910. 575.5999 to hold your spot.

High Hand is an international thriller with a pseudonym, Curtis L. James, as the author. Curtis Harris, a world-renowned cancer scientist; James Rosen, the Washington correspondent for the Miami Herald, and James Ellenberger, a former official with the national AFL-CIO. Curtis J. James is an amalgam of their first names.

In the politically charged story, a bomb explodes at a campaign rally in Los Angeles seriously injuring Stuart Roberts, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. Fifteen years earlier, while serving as US ambassador to Russia, Roberts was one of the poker players in a group organized by Frank Adams, a Moscow correspondent and top investigative reporter for the Los Angeles Register. Today someone is trying to kill off the eclectic members of that poker group. Adams tries to get to the bottom of the mystery and is unknowingly helped by his former wife, Lisa Hawkes, a female “James Bond-type” clandestine agent.

Reviews of the book by a range of people working in the intelligence/security field, journalists, and others have been enthusiastic. Serge F. Kovaleski, culture & arts investigative report for the New York Times said, “As a journalist who has written about my father’s adventures as a CIA spy at the height of the Cold War, I can authoritatively say that the authors of High Hand totally grasp the complex craft of espionage and they have been able to turn that into an enthralling work of fiction that is high-voltage from the opening scene.”

Joby Warrick, Washington Post reporter and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Triple Agent and Black Flags: the Rise of ISIS, calls it “a ripping yarn told with verve and flair. Curtis J. James’ first  novel is a spy thriller in the tradition of Graham Greene, bristling with authentic detail and dizzying plot twists. High Hand grabs you by the throat on the first page and doesn’t let go.”

After Ellenberger’s presentation, there will be a question-and-answer session with the author.

Sunset River Marketplace showcases work by approximately 150 North and South Carolina artists, and houses some 10,000 square feet of art work in virtually every genre. Custom framing, painting and pottery classes and art workshops are also offered through the gallery. Since opening its doors in 2002, Sunset River Marketplace has supported not only the visual arts, but literary and performing arts, as well. It has become a popular community center and art hub for both NC’s Brunswick County and nearby Horry County, SC.

Sunset River Marketplace is located at 10283 Beach Drive SW, Calabash, NC. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information call 910-575-5999 or visit the website: www. sunsetrivermarketplace.com. For daily updates, “like” the gallery’s Facebook page.