Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A HIGHER COURT -John Betcher


by John L. Betcher

My name is William Kensey. I have a wife and two great kids. Until very recently, I was a well-respected and financially successful trial attorney.

I was also a man who was comfortable with his religion. I preferred it served at arm's length from the pulpit on Sunday morning. And would rather not discuss it the rest of the week.

The circumstances that led me to write A HIGHER COURT changed all that. The entire experience was both bizarre and unavoidable. You see, I was summoned to serve as a juror in an improbable trial -- a trial to determine whether God exists.

I know.

You think that sounds ludicrous. I did, too . . . until the trial began.

Witnesses buried me under mountains of scientific evidence. My own eyes forced me to confront
the reality of extreme human suffering. God seemed less and less relevant -- even absent -- as the trial progressed.

At the close of the trial, I had to render my verdict -- "God" or "No God." Affirm a new and
deeper faith in a Creator, or confess the triumph of science.

A HIGHER COURT is the story of how I discovered the ultimate truth. I invite you to join me in
this revelation. You won't be sorry.

John Betcher holds a Bachelor’s Degree, cum laude, in English from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Minnesota Law School in Minneapolis. He has practiced law for more than twenty-five years in the Mississippi River community of Red Wing, Minnesota. He has also been a long-time supporter and coach of youth volleyball there.

Mr. Betcher has published three feature articles in COACHING VOLLEYBALL, the Journal of the American Volleyball Coaches Association. His most recent article was the cover story for the April/May, 2009 Issue. His book on volleyball coaching philosophies entitled THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK OF VOLLEYBALL COACHING, Insights From the Trenches, has been selling nationwide and is currently available at

His thriller, The 19th Element, and its companion, a mystery/suspense novel, The Missing
, have both been featured in multiple print media and have been met with widespread
critical acclaim.

His blog at Self-Publishing Central has been selected to receive the 2010 Top Publishing Blog
Award from Online English Degree.



Thursday, December 23, 2010



by S. D. Hintz

Coren Raines has relocated to hell.

Six-month-old triplets vanish a block from his house. His backyard sprouts the dead like a cursed cemetery. His panic room is a haunted tomb. And the more secrets he unearths, the more evidence there is to hide from a sheriff hell-bent on framing him.

Summer 1993

Francine Heller fantasizes about prom dresses and romantic dances. Three bullies butcher her dreams into nightmares. When she is beaten and left for dead, vengeance bleeds from the town orchard to a barn of bottled screams. They say good things come in threes. They lied.

S.D. Hintz is a horror author and CEO of KHP Publishers. His recent publications include Blood Orchard, Death in Common: Poems from Unlikely Victims, The 4th Book of Terror Tales, and A Sea of Alone: Poems for Alfred Hitchcock.

He currently resides in Minnesota with his beautiful wife and two children.

Black Bed Sheet Books

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Blue Bells of Scotland - Laura Vosika

Blue Bells of Scotland

By Laura Vosika

Shawn Kleiner has it all: money, fame, a skyrocketing career as an international musical phenomenon, his beautiful girlfriend Amy, and all the women he wants, until the night Amy has enough and leaves him stranded in a Scottish castle tower.

He wakes up to find he is mistaken for Niall Campbell, medieval Highland warrior. Soon after, he is sent shimmying down a wind-torn castle wall into a dangerous cross-country trek with Niall's tempting, but knife-wielding fiancee. They are pursued by English soldiers and a Scottish traitor who want Niall dead.

Thrown forward in time, Niall learns history’s horrifying account of his own death, and of the Scots’ slaughter at Bannockburn. Undaunted, he navigates the roiled waters of Shawn’s life—pregnant girlfriend, amorous fans, enemies, and gambling debts—seeking a way to leap back across time to save his people, especially his beloved Allene. His growing fondness for Shawn’s life brings him face to face with his own weakness and teaches him the true meaning of faith.

Blue Bells of Scotland is both a historical adventure and a tale of redemption that will be remembered long after the last page has been turned.

Laura Vosika is the author of the Blue Bells Trilogy. In addition to the Trilogy, she is working on several other novels and a non-fiction book on raising a large family. Laura grew up in the military, visiting castles in England, pig fests in Germany, and the historic sites of America's east coast.

She earned a bachelor's degree in music, and worked for many years as a freelance musician, playing trombone for pit orchestras, ballets, and symphonies, and flute and harp for other venues. She spent three years as a member of the Buz Whiteley Big Band and Farragut Brass Band in Bremerton, WA.

After earning a masters degree in education, she took a job as a music teacher and band director. She has also taught private lessons on wind instruments, piano, and harp, for twenty years.

In her spare time, Laura likes to play piano, harp, and flute, do sudokus, and learn Gaelic. She currently lives in Minnesota with her nine children, and assorted menagerie.



Gabriel’s Horn Publishing

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Bedeviled Eggs - Laura Childs

Bedeviled Eggs

by New York Times
Bestselling Author Laura Childs
Berkley Prime Crime
ISBN 970-0-425-23155-5
$7.99 Paperback

Cozy up with the latest “thillzy”
in this Minnesota-based
Cackleberry Club Mystery series.

Laura Childs has filled Bedeviled Eggs, the third book in her bestselling Cackleberry Club Mystery series, with a raft of small-town Minnesota characters that make you yearn for simpler times. At the top of the list are Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, the wise-cracking (and egg cracking) entrepreneurial ladies of the Cackleberry Club café. Mornings they whip up Egg Strata and Slumbering Volcanoes, then work a double shift as amateur sleuths. Because in this go round, a “read dating” event ends badly when a mayoral candidate is lobotomized with a crossbow!

Two days later, a sheriff’s deputy is found murdered on the historical society’s Quilt Trail. Now Suzanne, the Cackleberry Club’s founder, along with Sheriff Doogie, must struggle to unravel clues even as they contend with rescued fighting dogs, a prison break, and some very dirty politics.

Spirituality abounds, too, along with pulse-pounding action and tasty recipes for breakfast egg pizza, crabby omelets, pumpkin pancakes, and hazelnut scones. And for readers on the lookout for stocking stuffers this holiday, there’s a $7.99 mass market price.

“A delicious platter of thrilling whodunit, with a side of friendship and humor for dessert.”Las Vegas Review-Journal

"Childs excels at creating comforting settings in which to place her characters and the Cackleberry Club is a place you’d like to visit."St. Paul Pioneer Press

“Rich details . . . another great series by the author of the Tea Shop Mysteries and Scrapbook Mysteries.”Romantic Times Book Reviews

“Another Grade A, fresh and yummy installment to this fantastic series.”Richmond Times-Dispatch

BIOGRAPHYLaura Childs is the author of the Scrapbook Mysteries, Tea Shop Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. Her books have been named to the USA Today and New York Times Bestseller Lists, and have been featured selections in the Literary Guild’s Mystery Book Club. She is a former Cleo Award-winning advertising writer and CEO of Mission Critical Marketing. She is currently co-executive producer of two reality television shows.

Tea Shop Mysteries
Death by Darjeeling
Gunpowder Green
Shades of Earl Grey
English Breakfast Club Murder
Jasmine Moon Murder
Chamomile Mourning
Blood Orange Brewing
Dragonwell Dead
The Silver Needle Murder
Oolong Dead
The Teaberry Strangler
Scones & Bones
Agony of the Leaves

Scrapbook Mysteries
Keepsake Crimes
Photo Finished
Bound for Murder
Motif for Murder
Frill Kill
Death Swatch
Tragic Magic
Fiber & Brimstone
Skeleton Letters
Postcards from the Dead

Cackleberry Club Mysteries
Eggs in Purgatory
Eggs Benedict Arnold
Bedeviled Eggs
Stake & Eggs
(December 2012)

BOOK SIGNINGOnce Upon a Crime – Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Bedeviled Eggs publication party and holiday cookie party will be held on Saturday, December 11, from Noon to 2:00 at Once Upon a Crime Mystery Bookstore. The store is located at 604 West 26th St., Mpls., MN 55405, phone is 612-870-3785.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Why Did Santa Leave A Body - Brian Landon

Why Did Santa Leave A Body

by Brian Landon

Yuletide Tales of Murder and Mayhem from eleven of Minnesota's established and upcoming mystery writers. From holly jolly capers to ho-ho-homicides, this selection of stories is sure to please even the Scrooge-iest of readers. So put on your fuzzy slippers, wrap up in a cozy blanket, lock the front door, and keep your Smith & Wesson by your side. After all, this isn't just Christmas. This is Christmas in Minnesota -- the land of 10,000 mystery writers.

Brian Landon is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, a member of the Loft Literary Center and the Midwest Heartless Murderers, a group of mystery writers formed under the guidance of mystery author Ellen Hart. His humorous essays have appeared in several regional publications including the Minnesota Daily, the Wake, and the Wayfarer. His first Doyle Malloy mystery, "A Grand Ol’ Murder," was nominated for the Minnesota Book Award and the Midwest Book Award. The follow-up, "The Case of the Unnecessary Sequel," was released in Spring, 2010. He lives with his wife Jaclyn in Blaine, Minnesota. Visit Brian at


Thursday, Dec. 2nd Once Upon a Crime, Minneapolis 7:00 PM

Saturday, Dec. 4th Barnes and Noble, Blaine 1:00 PM

Saturday, Dec. 11th Barnes and Noble, Apple Valley 1:00PM

Tuesday, Dec. 14th Common Good Books, St. Paul 7:30PM


For more information on the anthology and upcoming events, go to

For more information on North Star Press, go to

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Dogs and the Women Who Love Them

by Allen and Linda Anderson

When the nurturing nature of women meets the loyalty and unguarded affection of dogs, remarkable stories ensue. Dogs and the Women Who Love Them: Extraordinary True Stories of Loyalty, Healing, and Inspiration by Allen and Linda Anderson with a foreword by Rory Freedman, showcases amazing connections between women and their canine BFFs. The results are courageous and compassionate acts of love and healing for the dogs, the women, and all of the people whose lives they touch.

The stories in this book bring laughter, awe, and tears as they feature adorable shelter dogs, police canine handlers, dogs rescued from hurricanes, returning veterans united with service dogs (and the prison inmates who train them), and everyday mutts who transform lives just by providing an exuberant welcome at the end of the day. There’s even a dog that dazzled David Letterman on his Late Show. Ideal for anyone who loves a dog, or simply loves to be inspired, this book delivers a full dose of canine companionship. Betty White, Wendie Malick, Vanessa Williams, and American Humane Association, among others endorsed the book. It has been recommended in O Magazine and on the website.

In 1996, Allen and Linda Anderson founded the Angel Animals Network to use the power of stories to increase love and respect for all life. They have written a popular, award-winning series of thirteen animal books and have sold over a quarter-million books. In 2007 they won the American Society of Journalists & Authors Outstanding Book Award for Rescued: Saving Animals from Disaster. In 2004 they received a commendation from the Governor of Minnesota for their contributions, as authors, to the state. Their work has been featured in national wire service articles, NPR, ABC Nightly News, USA Today, the Washington Post, Animal Planet, the Montel Williams Show, the Today Show, and BBC radio. They donate a portion of proceeds from their books to animal welfare organizations. They are popular speakers at fundraisers for animal rescues and at community service organizations. Allen and Linda live in Minneapolis in controlled chaos with a rescued dog, 2 rescued cats, and a cockatiel who says, “I love you, sweet baby.”

*November 3, Barnes & Noble, St. Cloud, 7:00 p.m.
*November 4, Common Good Books, St. Paul, 7:30 p.m.
*November 6, Border’s Books & Music, Minnetonka, 2:00 p.m.
November 9, A Room of One’s Own Bookstore, Madison, WI, 6:30 p.m.
November 10, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI, 7:00 p.m.
November 11, Anderson’s Bookshop, Naperville, IL, 7:00 p.m.
*November 16, True Colors Bookstore, Minneapolis, 6:30 p.m.
*November 17, The Black Dog Café, St. Paul, 7:00 p.m.
*November 18, Valley Bookseller, Stillwater, 6:00 p.m.

Note: The book events include a dog-woman photo look-alike contest with prizes from pet supply stores. People are invited to bring photos of a woman, side-by-side, with her dog and winners will be drawn from people who submit photos at the event. We also invite people to bring photos of their dogs and share stories, if they wish. It’s a celebration of a relationship that is like no other.


Follow on Facebook @Linda-Allen Anderson, @Angel Animals, @Dogs and the Women Who Love Them. Follow on Twitter @angelanimals


Angel Animals (published twice in America and in Japanese)
God’s Messengers: What Animals Teach Us about the Divine (published in America and Italy)
Angel Animals Book of Inspiration
Angel Cats (published in America, United Kingdom, and Italy)
Angel Dogs (published in America, United Kingdom, and Brazil)
Angel Horses
Rainbows & Bridges: An Animal Companion Memorial Kit
Saying Goodbye to Your Angel Animals
Rescued: Saving Animals from Disaster
Angel Dogs with a Mission
Horses with a Mission
Dogs and the Women Who Love Them

There comes a time in everyone's life when they ask: What will I do with the rest of my time on earth? Allen and Linda Anderson, at mid-life, empty-nested, asked that question and decided to form a "golden team" to bring more love into the world. They used their love for each other and of animals combined with an interest in spirituality to become award-winning, best-selling authors. It has been a journey filled with highs and lows and everything in-between. Job losses, breast cancer, brain surgery -- can you believe it? Life tossed grenades but they kept going. They both believe that when you have passion for doing what you love, it fulfills your purpose.

New World Library

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Lucy's Hero: Remembering Paul Wellstone


By Karen Shragg
Illustrated by Bryan Klotz

Lucy's Hero: Remembering Paul Wellstone, is a children's picture book, written by Karen Shragg and illustrated by Bryan Klotz. It is published by Raven Productions. The story is told from the perspective of a fictional farm girl, named Lucy. Lucy’s family and community are helped by Paul Wellstone following a devastating flood which ruined their crops and threatened their livelihoods. Lucy and her family become strong supporters of Senator Wellstone and are greatly affected by the news of the crash of the Senator’s plane. The book leaves us with the comforting notion that while Paul and Sheila may be gone their work and ideals will live on through the efforts of those they have inspired. The thirty-two page book was illustrated in full-spread watercolor paintings.

Bryan Klotz is an illustrator and educator. He has lived and worked in Canada, the Bahamas, and Minnesota. Currently Bryan lives with his wife and two children in Plymouth, MN and he teaches in Eden Prairie. Lucy's Hero: Remembering Paul Wellstone is Bryan’s first children’s picture book.

Bryan can be reached at

Raven Productions, Inc.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Barefoot, Shoefoot - Children's Book

Barefoot, Shoefoot

By Mary Clare Lockman

Barefoot, Shoefoot came from an idea Mary Clare had when she was 21 years old. Years later she brought it to a children’s literature class. Their positive feedback inspired Mary Clare to continue with the story.

She decided to self-publish the book. It was a challenging and interesting learning experience putting the book together from start to finish. She was thrilled to find an illustrator and designer from the Twin Cities and a printing company from Superior, Wisconsin. It was a true local effort.

The book is written in a loose poetic style with strong verbs denoting the action of each image. Colorful pictures and whimsical animals capture the fun of squishing toes through the mud while barefoot, dancing through puddles after a summer storm in rain boots, and many other activities while barefoot or shoefoot.

Repeated phrases and words help children learn to read and make the book a favorite of kindergarten and first grade teachers.

Raising four daughters taught Mary Clare that children really love walking barefoot and wearing different kinds of shoes.

Barefoot or shoefoot, which do you like best?

Mary Clare’s stories have appeared in three Chicken Soup Books, Grit magazine, and U.S. Navy Cruisers Magazine. She is the self-published author of Warning! Family Vacations May Be Hazardous to Your Health and Barefoot, Shoefoot. Throughout the last five years while promoting the books, she has been interviewed on many radio programs and cable television. She enjoys selling the books at craft fairs because she meets and talks to so many interesting people.

She is currently working on a novel titled, They’re Always With You. Eleven and a half year old Colette is the narrator and catalyst of the story. The question “Who is Daniel” appears on the first page and propels the story events. It is a unique coming of age story as Colette realizes that the adults in her family have many people in their past who will always be part of them. In the process, she also realizes that her grandfather and others will always be part of her.

Mary Clare is a recently retired Oncology/Hospice RN. She also has a BA in Creative Writing. She has been married to Paul for 33 years. They have four daughters, three sons-in-law, and two grandsons.

Barefoot, Shoefoot sells for $8.95 in bookstores and gift shops. At craft fairs, Mary Clare sells it for $5.00. It can be ordered from her through e-mail.

She will be appearing at craft fairs every weekend this fall including Big Lake on November 6th and Duluth Festival of Trees on November 20th and 21st

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Environment at Risk Series - Children's Books

Series: Environment at Risk

by Christine Petersen

In Environment at Risk, readers will be led on a journey to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and human-made, evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and examine alternative solutions for resolving or preventing them. School Library Journal praised Environment at Risk as “comprehensive” and “valuable,”
recommending the books as part of a “rewarding series [that] provides extensive coverage of compelling environmental issues.”

Controlling Earth’s Pollutants explores the history of pollution, strategies to control it, and the current laws and policies put in place to protect our planet from the effects of pollution.

Earth’s Changing Climate reveals the factors—both natural and human-caused—that influence local and global climate. Delve into the science behind and the history of the phenomenon of climate change, and learn how our actions today can affect future outcomes.

Protecting Earth’s Food Supply

highlights the variety of hazards in our complex modern food chain. Discover how farmers, food companies, and governments address these risks and the measures used to protect the public from them. Renewing Earth’s Waters examines the roles of water in nature and our many uses—and abuses—of it in everyday life. Investigate the policies created to protect water, and begin to consider some of the ways in which we can all contribute to protect this most valuable natural resource.

I grew up clambering around the tidepools in a small town along the California coast. During after-dinner beach walks, I told my parents rambling stories about creatures I had found in the rocky pools and adventures that had almost become mishaps. Along the way, both nature and narrative became integral to my awareness of the world. This early imprinting led me to explore diverse careers as a bat biologist and middle school teacher before deciding to write full-time. My primary genre is educational non-fiction. I specialize in science and nature, but have also written on a wide variety of social studies and health topics. This year I particularly look forward to visiting schools, libraries, and nature centers, to help students and educators investigate the issues, choices, and solutions presented in the Environment at Risk series.


Marshall Cavendish Benchmark

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Silent Kill - David Fingerman

Silent Kill

by David Fingerman

Police must follow a labyrinth, leading into the darkest tunnel of a twisted mind. A mind that carries no value for human life... Minneapolis police officer Louise Miller has attitude. Not only does she have to deal with the good old boy mentality of the department, but she's also a gay police officer who has to deal with harassment on a higher level. When one of her few friends on the force goes missing Miller investigates, despite her captain's order to leave it to the detectives. As Miller scours the precinct for any sign of the missing officer, Elias Boughton is on a psychopathic rampage. Kidnapping and murder are games he plays, blindly obeying a voice from his past. As the body count rises, Miller is convinced the detectives are heading in the wrong direction. Trying to fit the puzzle together, each clue revolves around a particular Rottweiler. As the mystery unravels so does her life, and the case becomes more personal than she ever dared imagine.

I was born in St. Paul, but once out of the hospital I've lived my entire life in Minneapolis. During the summer months when the sun is shining and birds singing, I'm perfectly content to sit in my office, with blinds drawn, typing away at my computer. My favorite day of the year is the first day I pull a flannel shirt out of the closet. After 24 years of working in the court system, I walked away to write full time. "Edging Past Reality" is my first book of short stories. "Silent Kill" is my first novel.

L & L Dreamspell


Sunday, October 17, 2010

An Altar by the River - Christine Husom

An Altar by the River

by Christine Husom

A man phones the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department frantically reporting his brother is armed with a large dagger and on his way to the county, intent to sacrifice himself. Sergeant Corinne Aleckson takes the call, learning the alarming reasons behind the young man’s death wish. When the department investigates they plunge into the alleged criminal activities of a hidden cult and the disturbing cover-up of an old closed-case shooting death. The cult members have everything to lose and will do whatever it takes to prevent the truth coming to light. But will they find An Altar by the River in time to save the young man?

Christine Husom lives in Minnesota with her family. She is a small business owner and author of Murder in Winnebago County, Buried in Wolf Lake, and An Altar by the River, the first three books in the Winnebago County mystery thriller series. She has an undergraduate degree in business from Concordia University in St. Paul and a law enforcement certificate from Metropolitan State University in St. Paul. Husom is a former corrections officer, mental health practitioner, and deputy sheriff. Experience has taught her fact really is stranger than fiction. She enjoys reading, writing, family time, volunteer work, entertaining, gardening, traveling, and exercising, not necessarily in that order. She greatly appreciates all the wonderful people she has met since getting published and feels very blessed.



Author presentation and Book signing at Rosalie E Wahl Library
Thursday November 4, 2010 3:30-5:00 PM 3479 Lake Elmo Ave. N. Lake Elmo, MN
Presentation and book signing at Book Warehouse
Saturday, November 6, 2010, 2:00-4:00 PM
410 County Road 12 SW, Medford, MN

Presentation and book signing at Lake City Library
Saturday, November 13, 2010, 4:00-5:30
201 South High Street, Lake City, MN

Murder in Winnebago County, 2008
Buried in Wolf Lake, 2009

Second Wind Publishing

Books are available, both in print and in e-form on
publisher’s website and on

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Saturday, October 16, 2010
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Minneapolis Community Technical College
1501 Hennepin Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55403

I'll see you at the Book Festival...join me along with a host of other authors as we celebrate with book signings, panel discussions, a used book sale, readings, childrens' pavilion, etc.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

BIOGRAPHY - The Dutifiul Son

The Dutiful Son: Louis W. Hill
Life in the Shadow of the Empire Builder, James J. Hill

Biloine (Billie) Whiting Young
Eileen R. McCormack

The Ramsey County Historical Society

When James Norman, eldest son of James J. Hill, departed St. Paul for the brighter lights of New York City, it was second son Louis Warren who took his father’s place managing the portfolio of railroads that became today’s Burlington Northern Santa Fe. When James J. died without signing his will, it was Louis who executed his father’s vast estate, oversaw the welfare of his mother, and distributed their inheritance to his eight surviving siblings. When their mother, Mary Theresa Hill, died in 1921, their long-simmering family disputes broke out into the open and multiple lawsuits fractured the unity of the family.

Louis was a worthy successor to his empire-building father. He looked beyond railroads to the nation’s natural resources and identified the value of the iron ore deposits in northeastern Minnesota and the wealth inherent in the vast tracks of timber in Oregon. Louis’ efforts led to the establishment of Glacier National Park and the Great Northern Railway, under his leadership, became its developer. Louis oversaw the design of the historic hotels, and the location of many of the roads and trails. He was an artist who stole time from a hectic schedule to paint.

Louis rejuvenated St. Paul’s Winter Carnival and led his community in relieving the suffering brought on by the Great Depression. His example of leaving a major portion of his fortune to a foundation, today’s Northwest Area Foundation, inspired two of his sons’ philanthropic efforts—the Jerome and Grotto Foundations.

Author Biloine (Billie) W. Young and researcher Eileen R. McCormack, depended almost entirely on archival sources to produce this first full-length biography of Louis W. Hill. They reveal the complex personal and business influences on Louis as he succeeded his celebrated father in the management of a vast transportation empire and dealt with the dynamics surrounding his parents’ estates and his siblings’ disputes. In The Dutiful Son, Young and McCormack provide an insightful portrait of a conscientious, generous business leader who left a legacy of continued service to communities from the Mississippi to the Pacific along the route of the Great Northern Railway founded by his father.

The author, Biloine (Billie) Whiting Young, holds a B.A. degree in English and Journalism from the University of Kansas and an M.A. in Communications and Latin American History from the University of Illinois, Urbana. A resident of St. Paul, she is the author of numerous journal articles and more than a dozen books. Her books include A Dream for Gilberto: Mexican Odyssey; Minnesota Women in Politics with Nancy Ankeny; Grand Ave—The Renaissance of an Urban Street with Prof. David Lanegran; Cahokia: The Great Native American Metropolis with Prof. Melvin Fowler; Obsure Believers:The Mormon Schism of Alpheus Cutler; River of Conflict—River of Dreams: Three Hundred Years on the Upper Mississippi; My Heart, It Is Delicious: The Story of the Center for International Health; and A Noble Task: The Saint Paul Public Library Celebrates 125.
She is the recipient of the 2010 More Award given by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons for excellence in orthopedic reporting. Young agreed to write the Louis W. Hill biography when Eileen R. McCormack signed on to conduct the research in the vast archive of Hill family and Great Northern Railway papers. For fourteen years McCormack was the associate curator of the Hill Manuscript Collections in St. Paul. Her research in the papers, now housed at the Minnesota Historical Society, provided the documentary foundation for their account of Louis W. Hill’s life in the shadow of his celebrated father.

McCormack holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in American History, Museum Studies, Women’s Studies, and Historic Preservation from the University of Minnesota. She has published articles and presented public programs dealing with James J. Hill, Louis W. Hill, and Hill family history. McCormack lives in St. Paul where she operates a business that preserves history through archival services, research, and writing for a variety of national clients.

The Ramsey County Historical Society invites you to celebrate the publication of the book The Dutiful Son: Louis W. Hill, Life in the Shadow of the Empire Builder, James J. Hill on Saturday, November 13, 2010, at 2:00pm at Landmark Center.

Author Biloine (Billie) W. Young and researcher Eileen R. McCormack will present an illustrated talk exploring the extraordinary life and contributions of Louis W. Hill Sr. The new biography of Louis W. Hill will be available for purchase and signing at the event.

The event is free and open to public, but reservations are required call 651-222-0701 or email

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fiber & Brimstone - Laura Childs

Fiber & Brimstone

by Laura Childs
Berkley Prime Crime

Building a Halloween tale around the #1 craft in America today, author Laura Childs sets the stage with scrapbooking maven Carmela Bertrand and her friend Ava creating giant puppets for the French Quarter’s Monsters and Mayhem parade. But as blood-curdling screams pierce the night, they soon discover that the captain of the float den has been stabbed by the razor-sharp horns of a giant Minotaur head!

Police quickly cast blame on Carmela’s float-building friend, Jekyl, even though she’s convinced of his innocence and vows to find the real killer. But this is Halloween in New Orleans, an ethereal bewitched city where ghostly intruders are at work. Carmela soon finds herself pursued by a swamp monster, encounters a second gruesome murder at the Ballet Dracula, rubs shoulders with the mysterious Mr. Bones, and ends up an unwitting prisoner in a parade of hearses!

Fiber & Brimstone blends crafting, the vibrancy of New Orleans, spooky cemeteries, vampire crawls, scrapbook tips, and delicious Southern recipes into this 8th book in the bestselling Scrapbooking Mystery series.

With the book set in New Orleans, Childs is keenly aware of the BP oil spill and its destructive effect on wildlife. So she is donating a portion of the proceeds from each book sold at Twin Cities area bookstores during October to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to help in the rescue and rehabilitation of loggerhead, hawksbill and leatherback turtles.

Laura Childs is the author of the Scrapbook Mysteries, Tea Shop Mysteries and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. Her books have been named to the USA Today and New York Times Bestseller Lists, and have been featured selections in the Literary Guild’s Mystery Book Club. She is a former Cleo Award-winning ad writer and CEO of Mission Critical Marketing.

Tea Shop Mysteries
Death by Darjeeling
Gunpowder Green
Shades of Earl Grey
English Breakfast Club Murder
Jasmine Moon Murder
Chamomile Mourning
Blood Orange Brewing
Dragonwell Dead
The Silver Needle Murder
Oolong Dead
The Teaberry Strangler
Scones & Bones
Agony of the Leaves

Scrapbook Mysteries
Keepsake Crimes
Photo Finished
Bound for Murder
Motif for Murder
Frill Kill
Death Swatch
Tragic Magic
Fiber & Brimstone
Skeleton Letters
Postcards from the Dead

Cackleberry Club Mysteries
Eggs in Purgatory
Eggs Benedict Arnold
Bedeviled Eggs
Stake & Eggs
(December 2012)

Saturday, October 9, 2010
A Fiber & Brimstone publication party and tea party
Noon to 2:00 pm
Once Upon a Crime Mystery Bookstore604 West 26th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55405

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Marilyn Jax - Road to Omalos

Road to Omalos

by Marilyn Jax

After his family business goes up in flames, his son is murdered and his wife dies of a broken heart, Miami businessman Chadwick Otto knows who is to blame for his torment, but the legal system seems unable to redress the wrongs. So, he turns to one of the most highly respected private investigation firms in South Florida to bring the guilty party to justice.

What investigators Claire Caswell and Gaston Guy Lombard don’t know when they take the case is that they aren’t the only ones searching for the notorious criminal believed to have fled to the Greek island of Crete. A team of vigilantes with their own form of justice in mind is pursuing him too.

Marilyn Jax spent close to 20 years as a senior government enforcement investigator for the State of Minnesota. During that time she investigated multitudes of cases, including acting as a lead investigator on one of the largest real estate fraud cases in Minnesota history. She is also a retired Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE).

Jax enjoys sharing her experience with people interested in investigative work and hopes to inspire young people to pursue a career in fraud investigation. She is the highly acclaimed author of six-time national award winning novel, The Find. Her second book, Road to Omalos, was published in June 2010.

Marilyn Jax lives in Minnesota and the Caribbean and spends time in Montana and Miami.




The Find

Monday, September 27, 2010

Book Review Blog Session

Sheila DeChantal at Book Journey and Reagan Remmer's from Miss Remmers' Reviews plan to attend the Rain Tree Twin Cities Book Festival on Saturday October 16th. Currently they are working together to invite other Minnesota and Wisconsin area book reviewers to come and join in for a weekend book blogger meet up surrounding this event. They will gather the evening of the 15th and continue through the morning of the 17th.

Currently Sheila is connecting with Minnesota authors to see if any would like to talk with reviewers about their book and writing. They are developing a schedule of author interviews to be posted on Sheila's blog site throughout the next few months after the Book Festival event. Book reviewers are also invited to contribute posts regarding the Book Festival, the books, and attendees.

If there are any authors who would like to be considered for an interview, they are welcome to contact Sheila at If these authors are going to be at the Twin Cities Book Festival we can try to connect at that time or at least meet and then continue future discussions through email.

bloggers who live in the area and would like to join in this meet up, please feel free to contact Sheila at Reagan Remmers currently has a set of hotel rooms set aside for those who need them and once connected to the group you will be emailed a form with more information.
Sheila DeChantal has been reviewing books and authors for 18 months from her home in Central Minnesota. She enjoys reading a variety of genres and connecting with the book community whenever she has the chance.

*If the Book Blogger meet up is of interest to area bloggers we will try to put together future events a couple of times a year.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Colleen Baldrica - Tree Spirited Woman

Tree Spirited Woman

By Colleen Baldrica

Tree Spirited Woman takes you through one woman’s intimate transformation from the death of her maternal grandmother to the establishment of a new and guiding friendship with a wise and mystical woman. With Tree Spirited Woman as her guide, she learns to “let go and trust” in love, personal relationships, and ultimately, death.

Tree Spirited Woman will provide each reader with an abundant opportunity to grow alongside the book’s main character. The simple philosophies for living flow through each of the chapters. This is a book that can be read and reread, with deeper understanding and personal awakening culled from each visit to its pages.

Colleen Baldrica began her spiritual journey as a child. Inspired by the teachings of her Native American grandmother, she carried that wisdom forth into her career as an adult. She holds a Masters degree in Counseling and a PhD in the Philosophy of Education and she worked in public education for 28 years. As the author of Tree Spirited Woman (Beaver’s Pond Press 2006) she has begun a new quest - to share with others what experience has taught her about those simple truths she learned as a child. As she speaks to others, she continues to enjoy the path she has discovered, taking long walks in the woods, sharing meaningful conversations, and taking time to curl up with a good book


Beaver Pond Press

Check out this great press publication!
St. Croix Valley Press Article

Saturday, October 9 – 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Fall Festival Craft Show
Maple Grove Community Center
12951 Weaver Lake Rd 9:00-4:00

Saturday & Sunday, October 23 & 24
29th Annual Woman and Spirituality Conference
Mankato State University

Saturday & Sunday, November 20 & 21
Festival of Trees
DECC (Duluth Entertainment Convention Center
Duluth, MN

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Jim Proebstle - In the Absence of Honor

In the Absence of Honor

by Jim Proebstle

In the Absence of Honor weaves together the lives of a bewildered, downsized widower; a wealthy, aging megalomaniac; two corrupt members of the local Ojibwe tribal council, and a Department of Interior agent in their battle over a valuable piece of property in Northern Minnesota. Money, power and greed are weaving a new story of corruption as casinos take a grip over the economic lifeblood of the reservation.

The story of murder, conspiracy, sex, fraud and betrayal is set in northern Minnesota. It revolves around the conflict between two corrupt Ojibwe tribal council members and a wealthy brewery executive over an historically important piece of land. Ultimately, Jake, our hero, and Donna, the Department of Interior Agent, are caught up in the discovery of an Indian Mafia network skimming money from casinos throughout the United States. While corruption and greed fill the motivation for some; love and hope are the driving behavior for others. The tale whisks the reader from a small northern community and Indian reservation to powerful forces in Washington, DC.

Jim Proebstle is the founder and president of Prodyne, Inc., a management consulting firm. He has a BA and MBA from Michigan State University, where he played on a national championship football team in 1965 and earned academic honors.

Jim’s love for the wilderness and his fascination with Native American reservation life fueled his imagination for In the Absence of Honor. He and his wife, Carole, summer in northern Minnesota and live the rest of the year in Deer Park, Illinois, close to their two children and five grandchildren.

Sept. 21st – 7:00 p.m.
Barrington Area Library
Barrington, IL


The next book will be released in April, 2011

Emerald Book Company

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Jan Dunlap - A Bobwhite Killing

A Bobwhite Killing

by Jan Dunlap

Birders always hope for a rarity when they go on a Birding Weekend, but when Bob White finds the weekend leader sporting bullet holes in his chest, he realizes that more than an unusual bird is at stake. To make matters worse, Bob must contend with a lost love, big cats, ATV enthusiasts, and small-town intrigue as he sets out to find a killer, along with an elusive Northern Bobwhite, in Minnesota’s Fillmore County. In this third Birder Murder mystery, Bob discovers that the past and present can collide in surprising ways to shape the future…assuming he’ll survive the weekend and still be around to see it.

Jan Dunlap is the author of the Bob White Birder Murder Mystery series, which combines serious bird watching, dead bodies, environmental issues, and humorous complications! The first two novels in the series, The Boreal Owl Murder and Murder on Warbler Weekend, have attracted a wide range of readers, from birders to mystery lovers of all ages. While she is pleased to have received numerous accolades and Minnesota Book Award nominations for the novels, Jan thinks her greatest accomplishment is juggling – she is an author, speaker, adjunct professor, and mother of five children. A former high school career center manager, she often finds bits of real life sneaking into her Bob White books. She lives in Chaska, Minnesota, and welcomes visitors to her website at

Saturday, Sept. 18, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Once Upon a Crime
604 W. 26th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55404

Tuesday, Oct. 12, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Book talk
Minnetonka High School
Minnetonka Community Ed

Thursday, Oct. 21, 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Book signing
Wild Birds Unlimited
Duluth, MN 1:30-2:30 pm


The Boreal Owl Murder (2008)
Murder on Warbler Weekend (2009)
A Bobwhite Killing (2010)

North Star Press, Inc. of St. Cloud

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Laurie Hertzel - NEWS TO ME

News to Me: Adventure of an Accidental Journalist

by Laurie Hertzel

The story of how Laurie Hertzel fell into journalism, starting as the newsroom clerk at the Duluth News-Tribune in the 1970s and becoming a reporter almost against her will. It's a sort of coming-of-age story, and a look at newsrooms back in the days of fedoras and typewriters, and the experiences of a woman in a man's world. Parts of it are pretty funny--hopefully, the parts the author intended.

Laurie Hertzel is the Senior Editor for Books and Special Projects at the Star Tribune, where she has worked for 14 years. Previously, she was a senior editor of Minnesota Monthly magazine, and a reporter and editor at the Duluth News-Tribune for nearly 20 years. She has had Fellowships at Duke University and the James Thurber House, and has been a speaker and faculty member at the Nieman Conferences on Narrative Writing and Editing at Harvard

September 7
The Loft Literary Center

7 p.m. Aug. 31
Write-On Radio, KFAI-FM

7:30 p.m., Sept. 13
Magers & Quinn, Minneapolis

7 p.m. Sept. 16, book launch
Fitger's, Duluth

6:30 p.m., Sept. 20
Talk on memoir and creative nonfiction
Mounds View Public Library

7 p.m. Sept. 28
Talk on book clubs
Grand Rapids Public Library

4 p.m. Sept. 29
Talk, Tower Hall
College of St. Scholastica

7 p.m. Oct. 6
Micawber's Books
St. Paul

2 p.m. Oct. 16
Cross River Heritage Society
Schroeder, Minn.



They Took My Father: American Finns in Stalin's Russia
UM Press, 2004

Real Feature Writing
(contributed one chapter) 2006.

University of Minnesota Press

Indie Bound



Thursday, August 26, 2010

Leslie Peterson - Redshift Blueshift

REDSHIFT BLUESHIFT: The Pendulum of Time

by Leslie Peterson

The first aliens to arrive on planet Earth were the Dorts. They were amoebalike and frighteningly large, but they did favor us with the Theory of Transformation—a brilliant advance over prior attempts by theoretical and particle physicists to create the ultimate, Unified Theory of Everything; but like all great theories, even theirs had limitations.

Centuries after the first Dorts arrived, Laura Shane was born. She reinterpreted the Dort Theory by giving it the “finishing touch” of her genius. It led to the faster than light removal of miles-deep, cone-shaped plugs from planet Earth. The latest and largest such Cone carried a crew of thousands. It was named the Great Cone of Transformation.

Through his 3T Corporation, Ned Keller directed the creation of Cones. Despite Laura’s unease about her first voyage into space, she and Ned went together on the Great Cone’s maiden mission.

Two weeks later they were light years from home when Ned’s “boss,” Jack Lewis, arrived to inform them of an event on Earth with implications for their mission. Unfortunately his concern did not include awareness of what those implications might be; but they were already in peril. It was sabotage—the first in a series of calamities.

Before the final calamity began to close in on them (the “Big Rip,” set to destroy the entire local multiverse) and before Jack’s recent arrival, it was still teatime on the Great Cone. Laura and Ned were having a pleasant morning beside her pool. The story begins there, with our attractive young genius sipping tea and deep in thought about her bewildering circumstances and the unchanged perception of all the things around her. Ned was reading comfortably in a nearby lounge chair. Now and then he’d look up to speak of love, while shamelessly admiring her long and lovely legs.

Leslie Peterson lives in Plymouth Minnesota. He received his undergraduate degree from the U of Minnesota and began a varied social work career in NYC after his MSW degree from the U of Utah. That was followed by several years working in therapeutic community settings within the Utah State Hospital. He later taught for six years (Associate Professor at Mankato State U, in MN), and then four years as program director for a large state hospital. There were many other professional activities during his thirty-seven years in that field. He likes to travel, write, read popular works on cosmology and particle physics, enjoys most forms of adventure and science fiction, and delights in visits with his daughters and grandchildren. REDSHIFT BLUESHIFT: The Pendulum of Time is his first novel.

Trafford Publishing

Friday, August 20, 2010

Papa - Figuring Out What Matters by Brent Olson

Figuring Out What Matters

by Brent Olson

“The book reads like a novel, each essay a short chapter in the life and wisdom-quest of this farmer turned professional writer. I enjoyed the writer’s range of tone and his clever creativeness; for just one example: the Christmas story of the birth of a baby in a barn, retold by a man who has served as midwife to animals, is sheer genius.” Bridget Connelly, Emerita Professor of Rhetoric, University of California, Berkeley

The American Agricultural Editors Association, at their National Convention in St. Paul, awarded Brent Olson ( of Otrey Township, Big Stone County, the 2010 Award for Best Regular Column, for his work in Living the Country Life. The column that won the award is the last essay in his recently released book, Papa, Figuring Out What Matters.

Brent's second book of essays, Letters from a Peasant, won a Merit Award for Best Regional Book from the Midwest Independent Publishers Association. The AAEA is a professional organization of writers, editors, and photojournalists who work in the field of agricultural media. This is his second AAEA Award.

Brent is also the recipient of the 2010 Upper Minnesota River Arts Meander Tributary Award. He is the first ever recipient of this award.

BIOGRAPHY (If you ask Brent Olson who he is, this is what he’d say:)

-When someone offers me help my instinctive response is to say, “No thanks, I can do anything.” It has gotten me in a lot of trouble over the years.

-I still say it.

- I once shot myself in the hand with a rifle while preparing for a Norwegian-Philippine-French Independence Day Celebration.

-I once took a group of other people’s children to stay in the ghetto of a third world country where our body-guard was a fourteen year old girl named Lauri.

-One of my books is in Pete Seeger’s bathroom.

-I know all of “Silver Tongued Devil" by Kris Kristofferson .

-I once harvested 235 acres of soybeans in 17 and 1/2 hours. It snowed that night and I
had three cups of coffee the next morning before I put my shoes on.

-I know that what Henry V really said at Agincourt was most likely "Let's get 'em boys." but Shakespeare's version always makes me cry.

-I can castrate thirty pound pigs by myself, 45 seconds per pig.

-I am fond of every Caterpillar mechanic I've ever met.

-I know what the ground temperature has to be to germinate a corn seed.

-I cry very easily when I’m alone.

-I spend most of my time alone.

-I once spent the night in a motel bathroom in Brainerd with a baby with the shower running and the light off. The baby had croup and the light switch also turned on the fan

-I once was locked in a church with twenty-five teenagers and at three in the morning told them a story that made eight of them cry.

-I cannot sing, but can prove that either "Thunder Road" or "Kisses Sweeter than Wine" is the best song in the world.

-I've buried four dogs.

-I can cope.

-I love my family.


“Brent Olson is a sneaky writer. These little essays are like dried tomatoes mysteriously hydrated; they keep expanding to be about the United States, the human condition, and how to live a just life.” Bill Holm

"Brent Olson has the rare gift of being able to see metaphors for life in the more mundane facts of his existence. These he presents with a type of humor and insight laced with deeply rooted integrity most often found in people who live close to the land by choice. He is a thoughtful, quiet person who ekes out an existence through farming while spending every moment walking in a form of schooled, yet wide eyed awe at creation and humanity. His essays center on the life he knows, but they are steeped in an understanding that there is a greater world around him and a greater purpose in everything he does. Brent is a man who enjoys the journey as much as he enjoys arriving, a person who deeply feels the ancestral vibrations of the land he farms, and one who finds overwhelming joy in the remarkably unremarkable day to day life in his small town. His writings reflect all of this and offer parables for living any person can relate to."
Cheryl Rainford, editor, Meredith Corporation

“I love it: from the front cover title and photograph to the last page where I’m laughing and crying with a farmer-philosopher who has written the best book of essays I have read in decades.

I love Brent Olson and his new book of essays, and not just because the cover picture of him with his granddaughter could be mistaken for a photo of my husband and our granddaughter walking down a dusty road, or even because Meron calls her grampa Papa, just as Felice does. I like the human being who shines through the pages.

Get me straight, Brent Olson and I have never met, I know him only through his essays since I am a faithful reader of his newspaper columns which appear in the Northern Star, my hometown paper sent from Big Stone County to my house in Berkeley, Ca. If I were still teaching rhetoric classes at the university, I would put this book on the syllabus. His mastery of the essay form made me recall my pleasure in reading Montaigne, who first used the term in 1580 when he titled his informal musings on himself and mankind, Essais. Brent writes firmly in this fine old tradition, and he’s a lot more profound than some of the other prairie philosophers I’ve read recently (e.g., Robert Bly, Kathleen Norris, even Meridel Lesueur and Garrison Keillor).

As I write these comments, the Sunday New York Times on the kitchen table has a front page headline piece (with a two-page spread inside) about meat production and sanitary handling through the whole global process of getting a piece of e-coli free protein to the table. Brent Olson’s juxtapositions of city v. rural ways makes for great comedy and biting satire in his essays. Beneath the humor, he offers serious cultural criticism and commentary. And I think that our whole country--largely disconnected from the barns and gardens and fields that Brent writes about with such intimate knowledge—needs to read and heed the words of a philosopher pig-farmer and to get in touch with the rural life he shares in all its gritty glory, redolent with the smells of life.

The book reads like a novel, each essay a short chapter in the life and wisdom-quest of this farmer turned professional writer. I enjoyed the writer’s range of tone and his clever creativeness; for just one example: the Christmas story of the birth of a baby in a barn, retold by a man who has served as midwife to animals, is sheer genius.”

Bridget Connelly
Emerita Professor of Rhetoric
University of California, Berkeley


-Big Stone County Commissioner

-On the first Board of Directors Northern Growers LLC, a forty million gallon ethanol plant

-First Board of Directors Little Rock Wind, a community based wind turbine development

-Leader of four international work teams, United Methodist Church

-Twelve years on Board of Directors, six as Chair, Holy Trinity Hospital

-Chair, Administrative Council, Ortonville United Methodist Church

-Eleven years as leader of youth program, Ortonville United Methodist Church

-Ten years on advisory committee, West Central Experiment Station, University of
Minnesota, Morris

-Married for 34 years, three children (all with college educations and no student loans)

-Columnist for “Living the Country Life”

-Correspondent for Successful Farming’s online magazine

-Columnist for DTN/FarmDayta Satellite News Service

-Syndicated Column, Independently Speaking

-Author of Letters from a Peasant, The Lay of the Land, A View from the Prairie, Still Whistling, the Only Sane Response to a Complicated World, and Papa, Figuring Out What Matters

-Merit Award, Best Regional Book, Midwest Independent Publishers Association 2001

-Second place prize in competition for best team story, American Association of Agricultural Editors, 2001

-Books used as curriculum at Moorhead State University and at Southwest State.

-Columnist for Agrologisk, the Journal for Danish Agriculture

-Keynote Speaker 2002 Rural Health Seminar

-Presented two manuscripts at White Nights Writer’s Conference, Hofsos, Iceland. 2001

-Board of Directors, Southwest Minnesota Arts and Humanities Council

-Minnesota Committee on Episcopacy, United Methodist Church

-Keynote Speaker National Convention of Rural Mental Health Professionals

-Instructor at the Sinclair Lewis Writer’s conference

-On the first Board of Directors and past president, Big Stone County Pork Producers

-Farmed in Big Stone County for 30 years