Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Brogan's Island - Dave Gehrke

Brogan’s Island

by Dave Gehrke

When Sammy Jo Kendrick slips beneath the waves of Lake of the Woods, all hell breaks loose 500 miles away in Minneapolis. Sammy Jo is not the first young woman to vanish into the vast lake, but if her disappearance isn't solved, she won't be the last either. The Kendrick mystery threatens to drag down Minneapolis Detective Sergeant Will Danaher, the lead detective on the case. Despite his efforts, he has no suspect, no leads and no body. And the press and the politicians are putting Danaher at the top of the scapegoat list.

But just when things couldn’t get any worse, a bureaucrat in Personnel orders Danaher to take a vacation! The detective winds up vacationing on Lake of the Woods where he crosses paths with a lonely lake cabin housewife, a grumpy old sheriff with his own dark secrets, and a dead guy; all of whom help Danaher piece together the Kendrick case. There’s only one little problem; if Danaher reveals how he gained his evidence, he looks like a nut case. But if he doesn’t reveal how he solved the Kendrick case, he looks like the prime suspect. In the meantime, there's a real serial killer out there... and he's already stalking his next victim.

Dave has been a bartender, real estate broker, horse trainer, sheep farmer, newspaper publisher and columnist, high school economics teacher, school principal and superintendent. And then he “retired”. Although often described as the proverbial “jack of all trades, master of none”, Dave claims he has secretly spent his working years compiling characters and experiences for what he calls his ultimate career—novelist. Now that he’s completed what he refers to as his “training”, Dave has hunkered down with the sole purpose of grinding out novels until the Grim Reaper stabs a bony finger at the re-boot switch. Brogan’s Island reflects both Dave’s convoluted path through life as well as his character compilations. The story’s characters are life-like and fraught with frailties and misgivings and take an occasional sharp turn before reaching their final destination.



“A Shiver Runs Through It” A collection of Dave’s humorous anecdotes regarding his struggles to survive Minnesota winters from boyhood into adulthood.

Pipestone Public Library - April 30 - 1:00 p.m. Pipestone, MN

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Right Place - Dana Yost

The Right Place

by Dana Yost

The Right Place is a collection of essays and poems, largely about people and places in the rural Midwest, mostly southwest Minnesota — exploring and explaining how rural residents struggle to sustain amid rural decline. It includes essays on authors Bill Holm, Howard Mohr and Adrian Louis, essays on a small-town mayor, the Minnesota Machinery Museum, and on local veterans, among other topics. Most of the poems were published within the past year (one will be forthcoming) in literary journals and other magazines around the country. There are heroes and there are casualties in this book, and sometimes it may not be easy to tell them apart. At other times, both labels may fit the same person. Some of the essays and poems in the book may be uplifting or inspiring. Others may not. I write about accomplishments, artists, friends, nature, and faith, but I also write about death, illness, and economic failure.

“Why can't I pick one or the other— happy or downbeat? The reason is simple enough; life itself isn't about one or the other...A wholly engaged life is going to bring us all sorts of emotions, experiences, and lessons. What we make of them, and what they make of us, is what our lives end up being about." – DanaYost

"The Right Place shows how life is never easy in the Upper Midwest, and how there are people committed to the area."--Marshall Independent

"Dana has written a very nice, insightful book. Lee [Eggerstrom] and I are both struck by his understanding of people and place."--John Van Hecke, Minnesota 2020

Grace traces the journey from a wish for peace in the first poem to a calm communion with the moon in the last. The poems in between range from contemporary history (Iraq; the Cottonwood, Minnesota, school bus crash) to more personal matters, including a “bruised mind” or mental “murk.”

But Yost’s writing throughout is anything but murky; he writes clearly and affectingly of his various subjects, with the sharp images and American diction of a mid-western William Carlos Williams. As the title suggests, a religious or spiritual element runs throughout—at times specifically Christian, though not without wit (Jesus as hockey goalie). Plenty wins out over murk; Grace is about that triumph.

William Butler Yeats said, “Rhetoricians would deceive their neighbors, sentimentalists themselves,” but Yost would deceive no one; like the outstanding journalist he has long been, he aims to undeceive by means of honesty, integrity, gritty realism, and a command of the language. In one poem he hears a phone-like ringing and can’t find the source, but by the end of the book he has found that source—he’s no doubt been calling himself—and answered. His answer is this very collection, and we are privileged to be listening in on the conversation embodied by these urgent and necessary poems.



Dana Yost is the author of two books, 2008’s poetry collection Grace, and 2010’s collection of essays and poems The Right Place. For 29 years, he was an award-winning daily newspaper reporter and editor. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in such publications as Wolf Head Quarterly, Awakenings Review, Relief, Open Minds Quarterly, Turtle Quarterly, Time of Singing, South Dakota Magazine, Stone’s Throw Magazine and online on Minnesota Public Radio. Minnesota 2020 posted three excerpts from The Right Place, along with on-camera interviews of Yost, in February on its Web site

Ellis Press

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Even In Stillness There is Rhythm

by Deborah Krider

After the death of her mother, 22-year-old Julie Silvers grapples with the unfairness and anger at a life taken too soon. A forced vacation from her boss brings her to Minnesota where she spends the summer healing. There she meets Johnny Salinas. No stranger to death, he lost his parents four years earlier in a senseless automobile crash. With time, strength and courage, Johnny and his kid brother overcome their grief. Julie leans on and learns from the brothers and as the summer unfolds, she mends and falls in love with Johnny. Their relationship intensifies, but it’s a fire Johnny’s jealous ex-girlfriend, Teresa, is determined to extinguish. Even In Stillness There is Rhythm is a tender story about friendship, love, and making peace with the past.

Deborah Krider was born and raised in Minneapolis. Interested in people and what makes them tick, she uses her observations to shape the characters in her stories, bringing them to life and making them relatable and likeable. She enjoys writing drama fiction as well as horror and suspense. In the summer she spends time at her cabin in central Minnesota with her dog, Scully. Even In Stillness There is Rhythm is her first novel. Free short stories are available at – see link below



Mill City Press

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Back to the Source - Dr. Mic Hunter

Back to the Source – The Spiritual Principles of Jesus

by Dr. Mic Hunter

Written for readers from every faith tradition as well as those from none, this book will challenge you to think about the teachings of Jesus in a new way. Rather than focusing on the miracles usually associated with the story of Jesus, Back To The Source concentrates on the original principles Jesus taught and applies them to the issues we currently face such as war, sexuality, wealth, and the treatment of women and gays. Regardless of your background, you will find applying these principles to your life will change the way you view problems, and improve your relationships with other people, God, and yourself.

BIOGRAPHY Dr. Mic Hunter holds Minnesota licenses as a Psychologist, and Marriage and Family Therapist. He has been sought out by the print and broadcast media for interviews over 150 times including Oprah, CNN, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. He has spoken throughout North America to professional audiences and the general public over 300 times. He has served as a reviewer for The Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, The Journal of Men's Studies, The Journal of Interpersonal Violence, and Violence Against Women. He is a recipient of the Fay Honey Knopp Memorial Award, given by the National Organization on Male Sexual Victimization, "For recognition of his contributions to the field of male sexual victimization treatment and knowledge." In 2007 the Board of Directors of Male Survivor announced the creation of The Mic Hunter Award For Research Advances. Dr. Hunter, for whom the award was named, became the first recipient. It was given to him for his, “ceaseless pursuit of knowledge about male sexual abuse in all its occurrences, of the eloquent dissemination of new knowledge in this area, and of the stimulation for further study and concern about revealing, treating and preventing male sexual abuse.


Written for readers from every faith tradition as well as those from none, this book will challenge you to think about the teachings of Jesus in a new way. Rather than focusing on the miracles usually associated with the story of Jesus, Back To The Source concentrates on the original principles Jesus taught and applies them to the issues we currently face such as war, sexuality, wealth, and the treatment of women and gays. Regardless of your background, you will find applying these principles to your life will change the way you view problems, and improve your relationships with other people, God, and yourself. Back To The Source: The Spiritual Principles Of Jesus was written by Dr. Mic Hunter, a licensed psychologist and marriage and family therapist, who has spent many years assisting people recovering from addictive disorders and sexual abuse to develop and utilize their own practical spirituality regardless of their previous relationship to religion. Best known for his many books, including Abused Boys: The Neglected Victims Of Sexual Abuse and Honor Betrayed: Sexual Abuse In America’s Military, Dr. Hunter has taken the wisdom he has gained from his decades of study and experience and put it into this new book in a way that is assessable to readers at all stages of faith.

Readers Who Will Benefit From Back To The Source
People of any background who are seeking straightforward advice on how to further develop their spirituality will find what they are seeking. Those who are members of Twelve Step-based fellowships, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, will relate to the examples recounted from the experiences of other members that are used to illustrate the principles taught by Jesus. Dr. Hunter is clear about his belief that one of the places where these principles are being practiced is in Twelve Step meetings. Christians who are interested in taking the principles taught by Jesus and putting them into practice in their daily lives will appreciate Dr. Hunter’s focus on the here and now, rather than on the life here after.

Praise For Back To The Source: The Spiritual Principles Of Jesus
“Dr. Mic Hunter offers a provocative and inspiring book that breaths life into the well-known stories of Jesus, illuminating the universal wisdom and power of his original teachings. Back To The Source is a must read for those who choose to cross the bridge from the important teachings of conventional religion to the deep and life transforming spiritual wisdom of Jesus, the Rabbi. This is a book that both individuals and many teachers can use in their courses and retreats.” Mark Umbreit, Ph.D. Dr. Umbreit is a professor at the University of Minnesota's Center for Restorative Justice and Peacemaking. He travels throughout the world providing training on forgiveness and other spiritual issues. His book Pathways to Spirituality and Healing that he wrote with his wife won the Minnesota Book Award in 2002 and he has published six other books.

“Mic Hunter’s Back To The Source is the right book at the right time. Informed by years of compassionate care for people working their way back from addiction and abuse, Dr. Hunter helps us come to know a Jesus unencumbered by his followers’ disputes. He manages to weave together lessons from the gospel with a deep understanding of the 12-step process. In plain, accessible language he invites us to consider how the ministry of Jesus can take root and change our lives for the better.” Rob Eller-Isaacs. Rob Eller-Isaacs is co-leader, along with his wife, of Unity Church-Unitarian a large long established congregation in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

“Back To The Source zeros in on what it important about Jesus, and caught his spirit very well. It is easy to read and full of valuable information. It will be very helpful in guiding people to grow beyond seeing religion from the perspective of a child. I look forward to using it.” Father John Clay. Father John Clay is the long time beloved spiritual leader of Saint Stanislaus Roman Catholic Church in Saint Paul, Minnesota. 4.0 out of 5 stars A "sublime and benevolent code of morals". Discuss., February 4, 2011 By Matt Boisen "hounddoc" (MN USA) - See all my reviews

"This review is from: Back to the Source: The Spiritual Principles Of Jesus (Paperback) Thomas Jefferson, known to turn a good phrase once in awhile, said: "...I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus." "In extracting the pure principles which he taught, we should have to strip off the artificial vestments in which they have been muffled by priests, who have travestied them into various forms, as instruments of riches and power to themselves... There will be found remaining the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man." True to form, Jefferson took apart his New Testament and created his "wee book" of what he believed were the actual teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Dr. Hunter, in his forthright way, has also lifted these teachings from the Bible and set them alongside the Twelve Step program, Swift, Locke, Twain, the Dalai Lama and even Dwight D. Eisenhower to produce a powerful and contemplative essay on the lessons of Jesus for 21st century readers. He uses humor and examples from his professional and private life to illustrate these ideals for everyday use. Written in textbook fashion with discussion questions at the end of each chapter, Back to the Source invites one to dip in and discover the "sublime code" and better yet, to discuss these revelations with friends and loved ones with whom we share this world."