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Ronald E.  Pressley and Nancy P. Holder  were septuagenarians when they met in 2016.  Ron is a native of Knoxville.  Nancy grew up in the Washington, D.C. area, but has spent most of her adult life in East Tennessee.


Ron had retired from a successful career including both professional sales representation and church music ministry. 


Nancy began as a social worker and finished her career as a Human Resource Manager and Consultant.

Having found that they shared an interest in the power of the written word, they entered into the world of self-publishing with memoirs for their families. 

The results can be seen on the STORE PAGE.

Discovering the power of that process, they encourage others to take the time to leave a record of their life experiences and lessons of what they learned on the way.

BLOOD BROTHERS is their first journey into fiction and into a writing partnership. What began as a single novel evolved into a three book series.

They are continuing to write in several genres, both individually and as a team.

Follow them and share your feedback.



Ron was born in Knoxville, TN 10/18/41, in Lonsdale’s working-class neighborhood. His parents raised six children in a five-room house with minimal resources. The memoir, Straight Outta Lonsdale, paints a picture of his early family life before, during, and after WW II.

Always a top student, Ron was Valedictorian of his graduating class. His dreams of continuing his education at the college level were delayed initially by the requirement to find a full-time job. He persevered by taking evening classes at the University of Tennessee for two years until he married his high-school sweetheart. Together they raised their son and were married thirty-seven years before he lost her to cancer.

Through many ups and downs, Ron created a successful fifty-year career as a Sales Representative while simultaneously serving as a music minister for multiple Knoxville area churches. A high point of his love for music was taking a small choir to perform at the 1982 Knoxville World’s Fair.

Partially retired and single in the fall of 2016, Ron reached out with skepticism to an online service, he said, “just for fun.” There he made the initial contact with Nancy Holder.



Nancy was born in Washington, D.C., on 7/14/42, where she lived until the summer before entering the third grade. The Fourth Quarter memoir explains how and why she migrated to East Tennesse, where she completed college and has now lived the majority of her life.

Nancy was born in Washington, D.C., on 7/14/42, where she lived until the summer before entering the third grade. The Fourth Quarter memoir explains how and why she migrated to East Tennesse, where she completed college and has now lived the majority of her life.

Between her junior and senior years of college, Nancy took a break. She found a clerical job in D.C. 1963 was unexpectedly eventful as she became involved in the Civil Rights movement. As a new CORE member, she participated in protest marches and attended the March on Washington to hear MLK’s “I have a dream” speech.

Returning to college in Tennesse, Nancy married the man she met as her biology lab instructor. They raised a daughter and were married for 48 years before he passed away in 2012.

Various forks in the road redirected Nancy’s initial ambition of becoming a teacher. She spent fifteen years as a social worker, first with the State Department of Human Services, during which she completed a year of graduate school in Social Work at UT, then with a Community Action Agency. The next twenty-five years of her working life were spent as a Human Resource Manager followed by Consulting.

In 2016, Nancy relocated to Knoxville to be closer to her daughter in her “dotage.”

Online dating had been a very uncomfortable experience, and when she just reached the “I give up stage,” she met Ron Pressley.

Combined Story

Three weeks after they met in person on 11/22/16, Nancy received Ron’s early morning text message. It contained only two lines and a challenge, “You take the next two lines. With only one cup of coffee, they managed to compose the following by alternating lines of text jointly.

Aahhh, sweet nectar, our “true Love,”

Basking in its glory.

Reliving in our minds

The wonder of our story.

Living in the winter,

Loving as we go.

OUR winter holds a secret light,

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They were smitten and developed a close and growing relationship while exploring local attractions and opportunities. Ron introduced Nancy to parts of Knoxville she had never visited. As they shared their histories, philosophies, and interests, they realized that, although quite different, they were a perfect match. It did not seem necessary for them to marry again; although, they had a permanent commitment.


They discovered that they shared a desire to leave stories of our lives for their children. When they learned about the possibility of self-publishing a book through Create Space, they decided to give it a try. Ron completed his memoir, Straight Outta Lonsdale, in 2017, and Nancy published hers, The Fourth Quarter, in 2018. By request, he solicited stories from other Lonsdale alumni and published Straight Outta Lonsdale II – Voices from Lonsdale in 2019.


They joined the Knoxville Writers Guild and began reading everything they could find about the publishing industry. Quite a learning curve at this stage of life but very interesting and exciting.

Ron suggested that they try co-writing a novel based on an old legend in his family, brothers who chose different sides in the American Civil War. They were not confident that they could pull it off, and several friends advised against it. “It will ruin your relationship,” they warned.

Their writing partnership started with the development of a Presley family of characters. Much of 2019 was spent gathering research through reading and traveling.

Spring flowers in the snow.

You and I together,

Holding hands of love.

 Facing OUR future without fear,

Joined by MYS’TRYS from above.

Hearts and Minds unite as one

Until our days on earth are done.

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In May, they visited Harrisburg, PA, to the Civil War Museum and the battlefield at Gettysburg, PA. In October, they made a trip to Savannah, GA, the site of Sherman’s triumphant march to the sea.


Blood Brothers – A Family Divided was published in November of 2019. It was meant to be a stand-alone book; however, the epilogue seemed to demand a second.


Blood Brothers II – Reconstruction, Racism, Riots, Ratification was completed in the late fall of 2020 during the height of the pandemic. Nancy thought they were done, but Ron had other ideas.


Blood Brothers III – Jim Crow and the Gilded Age was wholly published in November 2021.


Contrary to the early warnings, the relationship cemented, and they married on 5/15/21.


Ron is currently working on Cotton Mill Man, a story in early twentieth-century Knoxville that includes his grandfather’s knowledge.


Nancy started a blog in 2020 under the title Beltway Baby. Episodes will appear on our website and eventually be compiled as a book. She is also working on a novel, December Love.


Ron celebrated his 80th birthday in October. Nancy will reach that milestone in July of 2022. They met and fell in love as septuagenarians and will continue to write together and independently with new handles – octogenarians.


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