Write by the Rails

Prince William Chapter of the Virginia Writers Club

Children’s Author Belinda Miller releases 2nd book in Ragwort Chronicles series

The long awaited second book, titled Along the Way: Roscoe’s Journey,  of the Ragwort Chronicles, companion series to the popular Phillip’s Quest, was released in both Kindle and soft-cover format, just in time for summer reading.

This elementary level chapter book is filled with the colorful and whimsical illustrations done by Annie Wilkinson, as well as the traditional recipes associated with these and the Phillip’s Quest books. This book focuses on Roscoe Ragwort and his journey to find his fame and fortune in the abandoned Diamond Mines, by taking a “short-cut” through the treacherous Bandersnatch Swamp. He finds much more than his fortune during his journey which will forever change his life.

This book, as in all Miller’s children’s books, is more than just a gnome’s tale. A great read aloud or read to story, the characters come alive and are forever endearing.


Belinda Miller is scheduled to appear at Prospero’s Books in Historic Manassas, Virginia,  on July 3rd at 5:00pm signing copies of her published books.



About the Author

Belinda Miller, Author

Belinda Miller, Author

Belinda Miller is a native New Yorker and who has lived in Virginia for 29 years.  “In former lifetimes”,  she has worked as an elementary language arts/reading teacher, mortgage lending operations manager, underwriter and legal assistant. Now, in her Autumn, she proudly declares ‘ I am an “author” ‘.

Her recent publications include; Phillip’s Quest, Book 1: Winterfrost (2013) and  The Ragwort Chronicles, The Beginning (2014).  She professes a love for food-both eating and cooking it- and credits her “incredible” mother with this inherited passion.   She was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy at age 22.   A slowly degenerating disease , which gave her the opportunity to do a lot of living in a very short time.  “Now, I have time to do what I truly love. Write my books!” –Belinda Miller

Connect with Belinda Miller





Belinda Miller, Children's Book Author

Belinda Miller, Children’s Book Author

Prospero’s Books Welcomes Erika Walser as New Sales Manager

 Prospero’s Books , located in Historic Manassas, Virginia, has been a vocal advocate of local writers and “Shop Local” campaigns.
Write by the Rails would like to congratulate Erika Walser on her new position, and wish Bob Chase well in his retirement.
As the Prince William Chapter of the Virginia Writers Club, Write by the Rails and its members truly appreciate this community partnership.

Gary Belt, owner of Prospero’s Books in historic downtown Manassas, Va., has announced Erika Walser is the new sales manager of the independent bookstore. Walser takes over for long-time sales manager Bob Chase, who retired May 13.

Walser is a 2009 graduate of Osbourn High School and earned an associate’s degree from Northern Virginia Community College in 2010. She has worked alongside Chase at Prospero’s for nine years.

“Bob hired me at age 15,” said Walser. He taught me everything I know about books and much, much more. He has watched me grow up, go off to college at Virginia Tech, get married and become a mom. He has been much more than a boss, he is a great friend.”

Prospero’s sells, trades and consigns books in the 104-year-old Hibbs & Giddings building at the corner of Center and West Streets. The current inventory of about 85,000 volumes includes general hardback and paperback fiction and non-fiction, with extensive collections of military history, especially the American Civil War.

On-line book listings through AbeBooks make it easy for customers to purchase and send gifts of any book in the inventory anywhere in the world. Prospero’s has access to rare, collectible and out-of-print books, and offers a growing inventory of antique maps and prints.

“Being a specialty book shop in such an old and beautiful building, we have become a destination store for a lot of people,” explained Walser. “We have regulars who come in every week, and out-of-towners who shop whenever they’re visiting.”

Belt, who has owned the building since 2003, recently freshened the interior and exterior of the century-old building with the approval of the city’s architectural review board.

“No one loves this building more than Gary does,” said Walser. “He’s always saying he can’t imagine anything but a bookstore being here.”

Prospero’s is named after the character in Shakespeare’s The Tempest, a duke who valued his books more than his dukedom. The shop’s beloved and creatively aging cat, Pringles, passed away last year.

“Sometimes I think the Ghost of Pringles Past is following me around the store when no one else is around,” said Walser.

Bob Chase has been a well-known and vocal advocate for “Shop Local” campaigns. Walser plans to continue that advocacy, as well as support for local authors with book signings that complement Historic Manassas Inc. events, such as the upcoming First Friday on June 5 and the Railway Festival on June 6.

“I’m currently filling all our summer weekends with book signings. Any interested parties should give me a buzz!” invited Walser.

Walser will represent Prospero’s at meetings of the Washington Antiquarian Booksellers Association (WABA) and the Old Town Business Association (OTBA).

“We also belong to the exclusive, coveted, and absolutely non-official guild of independent bookstores,” she added. “Sadly, the last one loses members every year. We’re competing with smartphones, tablets and short attention spans.”

Bob Chase attended his last OTBA meeting May 13 at City Tavern in Manassas. He plans to travel and take advantage of a free schedule to pursue other projects and activities. His favorite quote is from Mark Twain: “The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.”

Virginia Living Magazine’s 2015 “Best of” Readers Poll recently named Prospero’s Books the Best Locally Owned Bookstore in Northern Virginia.

Prospero’s Books is located at 9129 Center Street in historic downtown Manassas, Virginia
For more information, Call 703-257-7895
Email: prosperosbooks@comcast.net or Visit: www.prosperosbooksva.com

Hours of Operation

SundayTuesday Noon to 6 pm

Wednesday and Thursday, 10 am to 7 pm

Friday and Saturday, 10 am to 8 pm


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