Thursday, December 29, 2011

Eye of the Wolf - Marie Zhuikov

Eye of the Wolf

by Marie Zhuikov

Wolves have lived on Isle Royale for over half a century. But, because they have lived in isolation on the island national park surrounded by Lake Superior for so long, their genetic diversity has suffered. It's gotten so bad that pups are stillborn. In other words, the wolves of Isle Royale are slowly dying out.

The alpha wolves of the island's largest pack have decided to do something about it. They know what will save their pack -- they must escape from the island, mix their blood with other wolves -- and the only way to do this is by boat. Of course, wolves can't run boats. People can, though. How can the wolves communicate this to the humans? The alphas know a way, and lure key humans into supernatural bondage as werewolves.

All of this doesn't take into account that Isle Royale is replete with scientists and volunteers studying the island ecology, friends of the people turned to werewolves who are searching for them, odd boat schedules, the pack's own internal power dynamics, vagaries of wind and weather, and myriad other problems causing the balance between survival and extinction to teeter back and forth. Will the wolves escape? Will they survive?


Marie Zhuikov spent two memorable college summers as a waitress on Isle Royale National Park, which alerted her to the plight of the wolves. An award-winning writer specializing in environmental and medical topics, she has published hundreds of articles and publications, many about her beloved Lake Superior. Marie’s poems have appeared in several anthologies and community projects. She lives in Duluth, Minn.

    • Barnes and Noble in Duluth on January 28 (time to be determined)


    Amazon, Barnes & Noble, independent bookstores, and North Star Press of St. Cloud

    North Star Press of St. Cloud

    Thursday, December 22, 2011

    Ghellow Road - T. H. Waters

    Ghellow Road

    by T. H. Waters

    Ghellow Road is a literary diary of a young girl’s journey through the tangled labyrinth that is her life. Theresa’s story begins in a large midwestern city where she is born to loving parents in 1965. As time passes and Theresa grows, supernatural forces begin to shape her existence, no matter how carefully her father colors the empty spaces of her world. After a series of tragic events, Theresa and her family seek refuge in a small Minnesota town nestled near the shores of Rainy Lake. She creates a new life for herself there, sharing adventures with friends and riding the ups and downs of adolescence. Yet through it all, her mother remains forever lost in the prison of her own mind and forever lost to Theresa.

    This is a distinctive coming-of-age story that speaks to love, loss and the undeniable power of community.


    T. H. Waters (a.k.a. Tera Waters) was raised in the state of Minnesota and currently resides in Minneapolis with her significant other and two loving fur balls.  She has been a life-long lover of the written word.  She loves the magic and the mystique; she loves the breadth of it and how it can fortify one’s spirit. 

    Tera didn’t grow up imagining that she would one day become an author.  In fact, she had never even considered it until about 8 years ago when she received news that her brother had died suddenly.  He was only 39 years old.  It was one of the saddest days of her life. 

    Numb and in shock, Tera picked up a pen and some paper, sat down at her dining room table and with tears streaming down her face, wrote his eulogy.  A few more years would pass before Tera would take her passion for writing and use it to create her life’s story, Ghellow Road.





    Thursday, December 15, 2011

    Gus - Rose McClimon Hamlin


    by Rose McClimon Hamlin

    Rose McClimon Hamlin is a freelance writer and her YA nonfiction book Gus is now available for readers to enjoy. Rose also works on her family horse farm of rural Wykoff training horses and giving riding lessons.  Growing up on her family farm she competed with her horses in Rodeos and Horse Shows. She is also a mother of three boys and one little princess.Her horses and children are the inspiration for her words to write. Rose says, "Not that I become famous do I write, but that I write my best for God each day. Working to be better today than I was yesterday, then I'm successful." 


    A life-changing journey in a story of love, Gus was an appaloosa gelding that became a part of Rose's family when she was five years old. Full of mistrust fear gripped Gus' life making it hard to trust any human. He was dangerous, kicking and biting even bucking off most of his riders. Gus couldn’t be trusted. Slowly through the years a love grew. Gus and Rose shared a bond so strong it changed their lives forever. This is an adventurous story of learning to love, learning to give and learning how to say good-bye.   

    Gus is 181 pages with over 30 pictures of Rose and Gus, available as an e-book, paperback, and hard cover.  


    Gus can be purchased through Rose's website @

    This book is also available through your local book store.

    Author House

    Thursday, December 8, 2011

    Birds in Our Backyard - Adele Porter

    Birds in Our Backyard

    by Adele Porter

    A prairie chicken dancing to the beat, a Red-Winged blackbird flashing his snazzy wing patches to attract a female, a grouse growing its own “snowshoes,” and American robins traveling north in the spring share at least one characteristic—they all call Minnesota home at some point during the year. Birds in Our Backyard invites young ones into the lives of these winged wonders.

    Season by season, kids discover which birds they might see, how far they have traveled, where they build their homes, and what they like to eat. Able guide Adele Porter and award-winning nature photographer Bill Marchel bring to life the world of birds—the colors, the sounds, the wonder of flight. Learn about wild and urban habitats, clever practices in building nests and caching food, and migrating and mating rituals.

    Birds in Our Backyard is the perfect companion for a walk in the woods, a picnic in the park, or breakfast at the kitchen window, encouraging budding birders and naturalists to take a closer look at our feathered friends and the world we share with them.


    Adele Porter is a science educator and author fortunate to have a career that combines her curiosity and passion for science and dedication to children. The Wild About series of children and young adult books was inspired by the students of all ages that she has worked with during 20 years as an educator.

    When not teaching or working on a book, Adele writes educational materials for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the US Forest Service, and various publications. Being a member of the National Science Teachers' Association and the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators helps to keep her informed.

    When asked what she enjoys the most about being an author, the answer is easy - meeting the readers of the Wild About books and hearing about their enthusiastic outdoor adventure stories! Another fun part of being an author is guiding readers to participate in citizen science projects.

    Minnesota is her favorite state and where she learned to canoe and kayak, cross-country ski, and roast marshmallows until they have crunchy brown bubbles on the outside and melted deliciousness inside. What she treasures most is spending time with her family and friends.


    Bill Marchel is a full-time wildlife and outdoor photographer and writer from Fort Ripley, Minnesota.  His photo files contain over 120,000 images that include over 100 magazine cover photos to such magazines as Audubon, Field & Stream, National Wildlife, and Ducks Unlimited.  His writing appears in a weekly column titled Afield for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. 


    Book signings: 
      • Saturday, March 24, 2012, 1:00 - 3:30 pm: Book Cliffs in Wabasha
      • March 2012, Date TBD: Red Balloon Bookshop
      • April 2012, Date TBD: Creative KidsStuff
      Author program information:

      Adele also offers a new set of winter classes via Skype - her take on Skype an Author. Since the great outdoors is her main "office", these will be done on location in a natural area.

      Blogs:  and



      Minnesota Historical Society Press
      Adventure Publications, Inc.


      Tuesday, December 6, 2011

      Review: Sky's Bridal Train by Margo Hansen

      Bottom line:

      Enjoyable Christian romance with plenty of mystery, suspense, and historical flair.


      A lovely young woman travels across frontier America in search of her twin.  However, she is pursued by a man who wants to marry her against her will. Can she evade her pursuer, find her twin, and discover true love?


      o Several plot twists that kept me guessing.
      o Just enough history to be educational and rooted me in the setting.
      o Pleasantly surprised by the elements of mystery and suspense in this romance.
      o Short chapters that made this book easy to read at night.
      o Cliffhanger endings at many of the chapter ends that made me wonder what would happen next (and admittedly often made me read an additional chapter at night).


      o Personally, I would have liked additional details from a historical fiction perspective, but this book is primarily a romance, and the author stayed true to that.
      o Strong promotion of Christianity starting about midway through the book.  I'd found this at a book fair and had mistaken it for a historical fiction novel (though it's clearly marked as a Christian novel on Amazon).  In a few places, I felt like it crossed the line of preaching to the reader, but lovers of Christian fiction will likely see this as a strength.  That said, the sections where this occurred were limited and seemed to remain mostly true to the time period and location.

      Would recommend to:

      I'd recommend this book to Christian audiences who enjoy romances, mysteries, and historical fiction. 

      Full disclosure:  How did I obtain this book?

      Review copy provided by author in exchange for honest review.

      Purchase link:

      Thursday, December 1, 2011

      Rudy's Incredible Kidney Machine - Stacy Raye Waibel

      Rudy's Incredible Kidney Machine

      by Stacy Raye Waibel

      Review by Laura Weber, National Kidney Foundation Patient & Family Council Executive Committee

      Stacy uses a very child friendly character, Rudy the dog, to introduce her reader to kidney failure. I thought it was good that she started with Rudy becoming symptomatic with the fatigue common to End Stage Renal Disease.  As Rudy goes to the doctor, the author uses this occasion to give a very good and child age appropriate basic description of what the kidneys are and what their function is “to clean our blood” along with a very basic diagram on the kidneys in relationship to the major internal organs. As the book progresses, Rudy goes to dialysis with a great illustration of the little dog hooked up to the dialysis machine with a rudimentary explanation of what dialysis does and what it is like. I thought it was great that the book addresses what kinds of food could or couldn’t be eaten, or eaten in moderation, and fluid restrictions. The book seems to present a pretty balanced accounting of the limitations of dialysis while still enjoying life on dialysis. The illustrations in this book are very good.


      Stacy Raye Waibel writes children's stories that star her poodle, Rudy, as the main character. Children of all ages, races, and genders can relate to Rudy.

      These stories are informative and educational as well as entertaining and heart-warming. Dealing with such subjects as blindness, going to the doctor, transplants, problem solving, and dialysis, Rudy's stories also include fun and humor so children aren't overwhelmed.

      Many of Stacy's stories are written from personal experience. Because of diabetes, she lost her sight at the age of 19 and had her first kidney transplant at 31. In 2009, she needed a second kidney transplant. Her husband Wayne donated one of his kidneys. Even with the many challenges in life, Stacy maintains a positive attitude. She believes that everything happens for a reason.

      Stacy graduated magna cum laude with a degree in speech communication and met her husband, Wayne - truly a blessing. They now live in Apple Valley, MN. with Rudy and his little brother, Boomer. Big brothers Kirby, Dito and Dexter, live in heaven.

      • Children's Program - Pleasant Hill Library - Wednesday December 7th @ 10:30am.


      • Rudy Gets A Transplant
      • Rudy's Check Up
      • What's On My Nose?
      • Rudy O'Tooty - Coming March 2012

      Purple Cow Press


      Using our books as educational tools, I speak to a variety of ages and group sizes in schools, libraries, clubs and organizations.  Subjects vary from blindness, transplants, going to the doctor and problem solving to writing, being an author, the importance of reading, dogs and anything else!

      I have done anything from after school workshops, and single classrooms (about 25 children) to large groups and full school assemblies (approximately 400 children).

      Many events and stories are profiled on our website  Please feel free to visit the site anytime.

      If you would like more details or have questions, please contact me at 952-322-1419 or