Start scanning the skies — the birds are back, and they want revenge.

Author Joe Moore will launch his latest suspense horror book, “Revenge of the Birds,” a sequel to “Return of the Birds,” July 5 and 6 at Gentry Mercantile’s Americana Christmas in July at Foothills Mall in Maryville. The books are Moore’s answers to the questions left after watching Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 horror-thriller film “The Birds,” which was loosely based on a short story by Daphne du Maurier. In both the film and the short story, birds begin violent attacks on people for no apparent reason.

Moore said he wrote his books because he was always intrigued by the movie. “I felt too many questions were left unanswered,” he said. “It niggled at me all my life, especially every time I watched the movie. I had to write the next chapters to the original story.”

Most of those questions are addressed, but in the process, more questions and concerns arise. As with any good suspense novel, Moore tosses in extra twists and turns to keep the reader interested.

“In both books, the birds have a problem in that they are constantly having to eat, which is why they started attacking people,” Moore said.

“Revenge of the Birds” contains 275 pages and is available in hardcover, softcover and as an ebook. Both books are quite a departure from Moore’s more commonly known offerings. He’s a professional Santa Claus known as “the Christmas author” for his books for children, young adults and adults that share the magic of Christmas all year long.

‘Christmas Eve Journey’

For readers who prefer Moore’s more uplifting books, his most recent work, “The Christmas Eve Journey,” also will have its debut July 5-6. Moore said this format is also a departure from his other books — a modern version of “A Visit From St. Nicholas,” also called “The Night Before Christmas.” The original poem was published anonymously in 1823 and later attributed to Clement Clarke Moore, who claimed authorship in 1837. As with all Joe Moore books, “Mrs. Claus,” his wife, Mary Moore, created the illustrations.

“Every other line rhymes,” Moore said. “What makes this different is that it’s written from Santa’s point of view.”

The book has Santa explaining to the dad, who espies him leaving gifts under the Christmas tree, why and how he does what he does on Christmas Eve. The 34-page book is available only in hardcover presented in a landscape

format, as an ebook and as an audio book.

Moore also will release the seventh in his Santa’s Elf series in late July, “Carol Joynote, Chief Music Coordinator.” Written for children, this and others in the series focus on a specific elf’s job at the North Pole and ends with a special message from Santa.

All Moore’s books are available wherever books are sold and also through Moore’s publishing company, The North Pole Press, at thenorthpolepress.com.

Americana Christmas in July

Gentry Mercantile is an indoor vendor market that gives mall shoppers an opportunity to support a number of small businesses based almost entirely in East Tennessee.

The store is owned by Barbara Gentry, whose products include goat milk lotions, body washes and liquid hand soaps handmade on the family farm near Greenback. In addition, artisans handpicked by Gentry sell a wide selection of merchandise — birdhouses, bath bombs, candles, goat milk bar soap, signs, baby items, pillows, dog bowls, lamps, jewelry, metal signs, dolls, T-shirts, Joe and Mary Moore’s books, and more.

For this second annual Americana Christmas in July, the store will be decorated with Christmas trees, and Christmas music will be played to get shoppers in the holiday mood. The Moores will be dressed in their Americana Santa and Mrs. Claus outfits to sign copies of the new books as well as previous releases. Vendors will have Christmas décor, ornaments and more in addition to their regular merchandise.

“We’re going to intermingle the Christmas decorations with Fourth of July Americana decorations, and we’ll have sales throughout the store,” Gentry said, adding that homemade food will be served to shoppers, free of charge.

In addition, vendor Heather Raines will bring her heat press on-site to decorate Christmas shirts for customers while they shop. “She has new designs that she didn’t have last

year,” Gentry said. “People can order a shirt, walk around for 10 or 15 minutes, then come back and pick up their order.”

Gentry described the store as having a country feel, a step back in time to quality, handmade items.

“Everything in here is handmade, and we have what I feel are some of the best art and crafters in East Tennessee,” she said. “We have new merchandise in here all the time, and we have some new vendors that we didn’t have last year.”

Americana Christmas in July will be held during regular store hours both days, although the Moores, Raines and the snacks will only be present from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

For more information, visit the store’s Facebook page.

Contact Linda Braden Albert with story ideas at LindasInkyfingers@comcast.net.

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