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Literary liquid

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• Water, the life-blood of the planet -- the one thing that connects and sustains all forms of life. We are often told that we're taking it for granted, that any day now it could be gone, creating a devastating draught throughout the world. The Charlotte-based publishing company Main Street Rag has released Big Water ($14.95; www.mainstreetrag.com), a fiction anthology featuring short works about the precious liquid. The authors in the book are from all over the country, and the Carolinas are represented by Charlotte's Julie Townsend, Dunn's Anne C. Barnhill, Spartanburg's Sam Howie, and N.C. native Charles Edward Brooks (presently living in Switzerland).

• Charlotte resident and pastor Mark D. Harrell has had enough of the church being the same-old same-old. "I am in the process of equipping people to be the church, not just go to a church," he explains. In his book Secrets of the Spiritual Matrix (Xulon Press $23.99; www.xulonpress.com), he seeks to expose the truth of what he calls "reality living" (as in The Matrix trilogy of films); among other topics, he discusses angels, demons, spiritual growth, and his keys for unlocking spiritual enlightenment.

(Local Lit is a regular column showcasing book events involving the Carolinas.)

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