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72Episodes
Category: Society & Culture

Indie and small press authors speak about the writing craft and their support for each other’s work.

September 23, 2022

Author Franklin Wilson pens Hearts of Fire, fantasy novel

What happens when you mix humans, centaurs, war, relationship challenges with family friends, and magic in a fantasy land of forests, villages, and castles?

Hearts of Fire is an exciting and engaging fantasy especially written for young people that tells a beautiful story of a young girl who has to deal with the untimely death of her beloved father, a long and dangerous journey through unknown territory in search of her mother and brother, and encounters with soldiers of war and enemies out to capture her.

This fascinating book is filled with exquisitely detailed descriptions of the different landscapes and locales encountered by the heroine as she deals with her emotions and makes often difficult decisions about loyalties to family and friends past, present, and future.

All of the imaginative characters in the story are so very well thought out and described that readers can make a complete picture in their minds as they turn each page.

"You write what you read and I love fantasy and sci-fi," said Detroit author Frank Wilson about his Heart of Fire, book no. one in the three-part series. "Let the characters tell you what to do."

Listen in for a chance to win signed copies of all three books in the series.

Sponsored by Doc Chavent and The Lowell Ledger

 

September 15, 2022

Author Mark Love pens The Wayward Path

This is the third book in the Jefferson Chene mystery series, in which author Mark Love follows the case of the retired mobster Leo Agonasti based on popular demand. Love lived for many years in the metro Detroit area, where crime and corruption are always prevalent. Working as a freelance reporter, Love came across interesting situations and discrepancies between police agencies.

Victim Charity Gray was an intelligent, inquisitive teen who disappeared fifteen years earlier. When her body is discovered, it should be a typical cold case. Before the Detroit police can get started, the FBI commandeers the investigation, with a prime suspect in mind: retired mobster Agonasti.
When Agonasti slips through their grasp, he reaches out to Sergeant Jefferson Chene. Their unusual friendship draws Chene into the thick of the case. Burdened with two reluctant FBI agents, Chene is working against the clock and the feds to find the real killer.
Listen in for a chance to win a signed copy of The Wayward Path.

Sponsored by Doc Chavent and The Lowell Ledger

September 9, 2022

Lowell author Gladys Fletcher pens memoir My Garden of Stones

How would you respond if told by your parents you could not marry the love of your life… That special someone you had known since the age of seven?
 
 
Fletcher's book is an autobiography, a memoir, and a biography of her husband Al to whom she was a caregiver for 59 years. This is a journey of two determined people through their garden of stones overcoming hurdles that could have destroyed a marriage, but God was good, always, even performing miracles.
 

From eloping to living happily ever after with Al, the forbidden love of her life, Fletcher captures significant moments with a dose of nostalgia and a bit of humor.

At the age of 85, Gladys Fletcher published her first book after taking a few memoir writing classes at Calvin University in Grand Rapids.

"At 80, I decided to do something," she said. "At first I just wanted to leave a legacy for my children, but the instructor encouraged me to write a book."

"You've got more to share than just with your family," the instructor said.

Fletcher shut the door and meditated while sitting in front of the computer for hours. In two years, she had a book.

"I had to write it chronologically," she said. "I was honest. It's all true."

Listen in to Fletcher's great feats together with Al who was handicapped with rheumatoid arthritis and graduated from Lowell High School at Mary Free Bed in 1941.

Sponsored by Doc Chavent and The Lowell Ledger

August 4, 2022

Lioness: Mahlah’s Journey brings little-known Bible characters to light

In her Christian fiction novel Lioness: Mahlah's Journey, author Barbara M. Britton features five orphaned daughters of Zelophehad as the main characters with the eldest Mahlah taking the center stage in their fight for land.

"There's so much Scripture in the Bible devoted to them, but no one knows about them," Britton said.

Britton skillfully brings to life the characters of the orphaned daughters: Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. Their individualities are reflected in their age, and their skills based on the weapons they carry: brave and courageous Mahlah who faces off Moses carries a knife, Noah a whip for sheep tending and Hoglah cooks. Milcah is ethereal and the youngest Tirzah complains all the time.

The main storyline follows the Scripture right through as Mahlah approaches Moses with a request to inherit land to keep a promise to her dying mother.

In the Book of Numbers 27:1-11, the daughters say: "Our father died in the wilderness. He was not among Korah's followers, who banded together against the Lord, but he died for his own sin and left no sons."

"It was challenging to keep them as separate individuals," Britton said.

The novel has its own villain Balaam according to the Book of Revelation and plenty of action such as God's parting of the Jordan River and Joshua assuming leadership.

In response to the question what did she do right in the novel, Britton said.

"I brought the story to Biblical fiction," she said. "You can get a lot of Scripture out of this."

As a Christian fiction author, Britton has to find balance when putting romance into her novels.

"As the series goes on, you get more romance with Noah," she said.

One of the most common responses Britton gets to her books is:

"I didn't realize the Bible could be so exciting."

Listen in to the episode for a chance to win a signed copy of Lioness: Mahlah's Journey.

Sponsored by author Barbara Britton, Doc Chavent, and The Lowell Ledger.

July 19, 2022

Author Emma Palova pens The Lost Town, a historical fiction novel

In the third book of the Shifting Sands series- "The Lost Town"- author Emma Palova of Lowell creates the protagonist, Miss Ida. The historical fiction novel is set in Singapore on the shores of Lake Michigan at the foot of the sand dunes adorned with white pines. Beautiful Ida is torn between her hometown of Chicago and her new home on the other side of the lake, and between two men.

The Lost Town

Developed by New York investors, the once-thriving settlement of Singapore nurtured the dreams of adventurers like Oshea Wilder and pioneer settlers alike. Singapore would rival Chicago and Milwaukee. It almost did with its sawmills, hotels, boarding houses, stores, and a "wildcat" bank.

Entrepreneurial Ida struggles to adjust to the rough environment but finds more than support in her boss who invited her to Singapore to be the "Mistress" of the Big House. A "wildcat" bank was established in Singapore in 1837.

Who will win Ida's heart?

 

Check out the review by Nancy Price Stroosnyder.

Emma's ease at mixing actual history into her stories is remarkable, and so entails Miss Ida's response to an invitation to a soon-to-be bustling "Singapore" on the shores of Lake Michigan.  She is transported away from Chicago, family, and friends.  She quickly learns the duties expected of her in maintaining a boarding house and warehouse in the rapidly growing community.  Soon she falls in love with one of the corrupt founders.  The many colorful characters weave a fantastic story of love, mystery, hope, and faith.  This is a quick, very worthwhile read!

Sponsored by Doc Chavent and The Lowell Ledger, bringing you homegrown stories for more than 100 years.

Palova will be signing her new book The Lost Town at Once Upon A Book in Frankenmuth on July 23 at the Bavarian Inn Lodge from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Fallasburg on July 30, in Holland on Aug. 6 and in Paradise from Aug.19 through Aug. 21.

 

 

July 3, 2022

Author Mackenzie Flohr pens The Rite of Wands

In The Rite of Wands, author Mackenzie Flohr has created a fantasy world of witches and warlocks set in 13th century Ireland. The main character Mierta, 12, has to earn his magic powers.

"It took me 20 years to write this," said Flohr. "I realized that I have a dead book."

But then the new character, originally Gerard, spoke to Flohr and said, "That's not how it happened."

Protagonist Mierta too is a neurodivergent like the author. Flohr used an entire disease layer in the story that reminded people of Covid, although the story was completed in 2017. Much like the black plague, she gave the disease a physical appearance.

The book was inspired by The Lord of The Rings trilogy, as Flohr visited a museum dedicated to the movie series.

"And there was my story," she said. "Mierta goes, we're going to tell that story."

Every character in the book has three layers to them.

"They all fit together at the end," she said. "There is a little bit of myself in both protagonists. I got the wizard language right."

Flohr is working toward TV series adaption of The Rite of Wands. Listen in for a chance to with an autographed copy.

Sponsored by Doc Chavent & The Lowell Ledger

Happy Fourth of July.

 

July 3, 2022

Victor Volkman publishes U.P. Reader Volume 6

Victor Volkman is the publisher of the U.P. Reader, senior editor at Modern History Press based in Ann Arbor, and president of the Upper Peninsula Publishers and Authors Association.

The U.P. Reader is the brainchild of author Mikel Classen. Volkman said he can't be a Yooper because Yoopers are born, not made. The hefty publication features thirty to 50 contributing writers, most are members of the UPPAA.

"People who live in the U.P are great writers, the U.P. Reader exposes their writings for other people to explore," said Volkman.

Volkman said he's especially proud of the inclusion of Cottage Dandelion winners, young writers who receive a traveling trophy for their school, kind of like the Stanley Cup.

"We're making the next generation of writers," he said. "We provide training wheels for young writers. We're able to accept 90 percent of writing."

The all-inclusive publication, which is distributed to all the libraries in the U.P.,  features contemporary fiction, short stories, humor, history, memoir, poetry, and much more.

"I am a publisher, and this helped me build a relationship with writers," he said. "We work hard to keep the price reasonable."

Some of the highlights of the UPPAA are the spring conference in Marquette in June and the picnic on the first Saturday after Labor Day in Marquette.

Submissions for the U.P. Reader Volume 7 will be accepted until November.

"It's a lot of fun," he said. "I love the sense of community in the U.P."

To become a member of the association go to https://www.uppaa.org/

Sponsored by Doc Chavent, The Lowell Ledger, and Modern History Press

Listen in for a chance to win an autographed copy of the U.P. Reader.

Have an awesome Fourth of July.

 

 

June 21, 2022

Author Nikki Mitchell pens Nighshade Forest

Enter the fairy world through a magic portal that Eleanor has received as a gift in a book. She turns into a fairy joined by Elfie and Milo to find the magic crystal that will restore order to the kingdom that went bonkers.

Nightshade Forest

It even started snowing in the enchanted purple and blue glowing forest and in the village with gargoyles, goblins, and magicians. Salmon started turning lime green.

Mitchell penned this middle-grade book during the pandemic with its limitations.

"Eleanor is much like I was as a kid," she said. "I've always wished I could travel into all these stories."

The book is set in 1945 without any technology; Eleanor doesn't have a cell phone, a computer, or a TV.

"Books and libraries are magical places that people should visit often," Mitchell said.

Among the insights, she gained from her writing journey was the fact not to put away your writing projects.

"I shouldn't have put my creative writing on the backburner," Mitchell said. "Nightshade Forest helped me get my voice out there."

Listen to the episode for a chance to win a signed copy of Mitchell's book.

Sponsored by Doc Chavent, the Lowell Ledger and Nikki Mitchell

 

June 21, 2022

Author Deborah Frontiera pens Superior Tapestry

In Superior Tapestry, author Deborah Frontiera combines fiction with non-fiction to create a fun fact read for adults and children. Frontiera picked 27 artifacts from UP history and gave them personality.

"The stories are told from the point of view of objects," she said. "I had a lot of fun with it."

In the first story Birch Bark (B. B.) Canoe, Frontiera portrays the canoe as a female traveling from St. Ignace across Soo to Duluth. The objective was to show how native Americans used a canoe for travel. 

Frontiera aimed to strike a balance between the genders of the objects in her personification of artifacts such as the cliffs and the stone in Portrait of Pictured Rocks.

Superior Tapestry

Bishop Baraga appears in several different stories thus weaving a tapestry throughout the book. The idea for personification of objects occurred to Frontiera while writing the article Estabad Pines from the POV of a pine tree.

For details of the book giveaway visit Frontiera's website www.SuperiorTapestry.com www.SuperiorTapestry.com

June 3, 2022

Author Kristoffer Gair pens The Beautiful Moment

The Beautiful Moment is a paranormal romance inspired by Covid-19 set in the UP.

"I wanted to make it current so people can relate to it," author Kristoffer Gair said.

Gair switched gears from comedy to serious writing during a difficult time in his life. Protagonist Wesley is a bright bubbly guy, but his uncle is making his life miserable.

And then there is Dr. Clark Matsuda.

"I've never met anyone whose name was Clark, so I put it in the story," Gair said.

The decade from hell.
First, Wesley Traylor lost his father and grandmother, then COVID took his mother. His sole remaining family member will stop at nothing to steal his inheritance. In desperation, Wesley escapes to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where no one knows him and he can exist without fear of his uncle’s brutality.

Circumstances force Wesley to the emergency room and face to face with the beguiling Dr. Clark Matsuda. The last thing Wesley needs—between dealing with strange occurrences at his new house and emergency surgery—is a doctor who’s made it his personal mission to get to know Wesley.

Listen in for a chance to win a signed copy of The Beautiful Moment.

Sponsored by Doc Chavent and The Lowell Ledger