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Author to hold book signing

ALBANY -- The author of "Life, Love, and Death" will be available to sign copies of the book today at Robert Allen's hair salon located at 1217 Dawson Road.

Author Mary Tucker will discuss her book and sign copies of "Life, Love, and Death" from noon until 2 p.m. today.

"This is my first book, so I'm excited. I have another one coming out soon though," said Tucker during a telephone interview with The Herald.

"Life, Love and Death" tells the story of Tucker's mother, Vina Mealer James, as she grew up in Copperhill, Tenn.

"She was only 10 years old when her mother, my grandmother, died and then her stepfather put them (Vina and her brothers, Lawson and Jonathan) out of the house the day after her mother's funeral. He told them that he couldn't keep them anymore," said Tucker.

The author said after her mother was orphaned and shunned from her home, she began offering housekeeping services to neighbors in return for allowing herself and her younger brother to stay in the home.

"She was like a slave, anywhere anyone needed her, she would go. She had to learn to cook and clean just so she and her brother could have a place to stay," explained Tucker.

The book continues with Vina's journey into young adulthood and eventually into marriage.

Tucker said her mother was sexually assaulted and raped at a young age.

"It was unbelievable what she went through. She lived in hell from the day she was born until the day she died," said the author.

Tucker described her mother as an inspiration and a very strong woman.

"I loved my mother so much. I wanted to write a book in her honor.

"She had a hard life but she taught her children that God was what you had to put your trust in," Tucker said.