Trude Heller, Author of “Tell Them You Met Me”

Shelf Life

Time travel, a mother’s haunting words, food and inequality, and a new life in a new land.

Based on author submissions and promotional notes.



(Lulu Press)

Trude Heller tells her story of fleeing the oppression of Nazi-occupied Vienna, Austria, as a teenage girl. After escaping to Antwerp, Belgium, she came in 1940 to the United States, where she was reunited with Max Heller and two years later married him in Greenville, South Carolina. From her childhood in Vienna as a dancer to her devotion to the city of Greenville with her husband who served as its mayor, and the hardships and miracles in between, her story is told from the heart. She writes: “My heart is full of all the miracles that have happened. … I never get tired of telling my story. The world forgets. That’s why I speak.”

Heller, who died on May 11, 2021, and Max, who died in 2011 and had served on the Furman Board of Trustees, are the standard-bearers of Furman’s Heller Service Corps, known for the community spirit they nurtured in Furman students. The corps cultivates a culture of giving by providing students with diverse service opportunities on and off campus that build relationships between Furman and the city of Greenville.




(Giverny Press)

Nothing interesting ever happens in Diamond Falls, West Virginia, and that’s doubly true for local teenagers Emma and Brody. Little do they know that their neighbor, a famous geologist, is about to show them the wildest time of their lives. When Mr. M’s prized rock and mineral collection is destroyed before it can be displayed at the state museum, Emma and Brody jump at the chance to find new samples. The geologist accepts the offer, and promptly sends them back to the year 1775 to help.

Back in time and across the pond in Derbyshire, England, Emma and Brody team with a mysterious young girl to recover one of the rarest minerals in the world: Blue John Fluorite. Tapping into courage they never knew they had, the formerly ordinary West Virginians must protect a cave, avoid gun-toting soldiers and return to the present before they’re trapped in the past forever.

“Blue John’s Cavern” is the first book in the middle-grade adventure/sci-fi series “Crystal Cave Adventures.” Tracy Diane Jones was a geology major at Furman. She writes science-themed fiction for kids and owns Mini Me Geology, which designs and sells rock-and-mineral kits, books and activities.




Dottie Pepper’s “Letters to a Future Champion: My Time with Mr. Pulver,” is a loving tribute to the power a mentor can have in an athlete’s career.

George J. Pulver Sr. was a golf great in his own right –as a golfer, course designer and advocate for golfing throughout the Northeast. But he took on the mantle of mentor when he and Pepper, then 15, began a teacher-student relationship that would stretch into her college years.

In this beautifully crafted book, Pepper traces the influence “Mr. Pulver” had on her skills as well as her character both on the practice range –where Mr. Pulver dutifully watched every detail of her swing –and in the letters the two exchanged after. Mr. Pulver would sit down at his typewriter and carefully tap out a critique or a technique, or advise on the life lessons Pepper would need to rise to the top.

She compiled those letters into a binder and referred to them often … her Bible, of sorts, on her path to a future as a multiple winner and two-time major champion on the LPGA Tour.



(Pat Conroy’s Story River Books | University of South Carolina Press)

Set in early 1950s rural South Carolina, “One Good Mama Bone” chronicles Sarah Creamer’s quest to find her “mama bone” after she is left to care for a boy who is the product of an affair between her husband and her best friend and neighbor. When her husband drinks himself to death, Sarah, a dirt-poor homemaker with no family to rely on and the note on the farm long past due, must find a way for her and young Emerson Bridge to survive. But the more daunting obstacle is Sarah’s fear that her mother’s words, seared in her memory since she first heard them at age 6, were a prophesy –“You ain’t got you one good mama bone in you, girl.”

Bren McClain’s debut novel won the 2017 Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction, the 2018 Patricia Winn Award for Southern Literature, was named Pulpwood Queen 2017 Book of the Year, a 2017 Great Group Reads by the Women’s National Book Association, and a Southeastern Independent Booksellers Association Okra pick, and was longlisted for SIBA’s Southern Book Prize and selected as a finalist for the 2018 Crook’s Corner Prize. McClain was an English major at Furman.

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