Author with Local Ties Releases Third Book in His Tony Quarry Series

RJ McCarthy has released a new novel, "Quarry Steps To", the third in his Tony Quarry series.
RJ McCarthy has released a new novel, "Quarry Steps To", the third in his Tony Quarry series.

RJ McCarthy has released Quarry Steps To which is the third crime fiction novel in the Tony Quarry series. The novel is set in the Piedmont area of North Carolina’s tobacco country.

In Quarry Steps To, Tony Quarry faces the dilemma of his life — to use karate in a circumstance other than to defend himself or to help someone else, a key element of his morality.

Protecting a retired teacher from teenage vandals, Quarry runs afoul of their embittered parents. They’re residents of Sligoville, a rural hamlet eroded by lost jobs and governmental indifference. Filled with the resentment of whites left behind, survival mode has witnessed a fraying of their moral fiber. A turn toward criminality has been partially held in check by Tink Sputter, their self-anointed preacher with an Old Testament sense of justice. In turn, Sputter’s efforts are more than leveled by the vengeful Fireman Lowbridge whose weapon of choice is arson.

After several violent encounters with Quarry, Sputter demands satisfaction in the form of a duel. Quarry is to fight Country Blackstrop, a self-absorbed behemoth and a reflexive bully. Sputter threatens to harass Quarry and those he loves unless he accepts the challenge. Conversely, Sputter will regard the outcome as Divine judgment. But even as the tormented Quarry struggles toward his fateful decision, Lowbridge nurses his own version of justice.”

McCarthy has also published the novels Quarry Steps Up and Quarry Steps In in the Tony Quarry Carolina Mystery series. In addition, he has published Where Seldom Is Heard and Wilhelmina: An Imagined Memoir. All of McCarthy’s books are available online through Amazon and Barnes and Nobles’ official websites.

Raised in New York City and Kings Park, New York, fiction writer, RJ McCarthy, has lived in the South more than half his life.  He received his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1972 and worked as a Clinical Psychologist before retiring in 2006 to devote himself to writing full-time.

An athlete in high school and college, physical fitness has remained an integral part of his life – he earned a black belt in karate from Shotokan Karate of America at 34, placed second in the 90-kilo division of the Virginia State Olympic-style weightlifting meet at 39, and won the silver medal (shot put) in the North Carolina Senior Games at 60.  Physical prowess is often a key feature in his protagonists’ profiles.

McCarthy is a member of the Virginia Writer’s Group and Franklin County Arts Council’s Writers Guild.  He’s been writing fiction for almost 50 years and says he has a binder full of rejections to prove it. Married and the father of two adult children, he and his wife, Susan, reside with two dogs and three cats in Norfolk, Virginia.

McCarthy’s books may be found on

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Donna Campbell Smith, an author based in Franklinton NC, worked in the horse industry for over thirty years as an instructor, trainer, breeder, and writer. She has an AAS Degree in Equine Technology from Martin Community College and is a certified riding instructor. Smith has written four non-fiction books on equine management: The Book of Donkeys, (The Lyons Press 2016) The Book of Miniature Horses (The Lyons Press 2005), The Book of Draft Horses (The Lyons Press 2007), and The Book of Mules (The Lyons Press 2009). All her books are available at or ask for them at a bookstore near you. Donna is a member of Franklin County Arts Council. Visit her website at