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Category: Society & Culture

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

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

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

Authors’ Tent at Palmer Park Art Fair in Detroit presents variety of genres on June 4 & 5

The Authors' Tent no. 140 at the Palmer Park Art Fair in Detroit will feature 18 authors representing different genres plus poetry this weekend, June 4 & 5.

"Most of the authors will have readings," said Mark Loeb, Integrity Shows director said. "We'll have poets in between."

The Palmer Park Art Fair is a recreation of an event popular in the 70s & 80s.

"We will have a limited edition poster," he said. "It's stunning."

Palmer Park Art Fair

Signs from Woodward Street direct visitors into the huge park, one mile by 0.5 miles, surrounded by upscale historic district neighborhoods and low-income apartments.

"We are a great melting pot," Loeb said. "It's a joy to be there."

The unique event will have 135 to 140 vendors including food vendors such as Southern Heritage of Detroit.

"I expect a lot of people," Loeb said.

Author and podcast host and producer Emma Palova will be inside the Authors' Tent at 140e. Stop by. Emma will be signing her books including Greenwich Meridian Memoir about the Konecny family immigration saga from Czechoslovakia.

Sponsored by Doc Chavent and The Lowell Ledger




June 3, 2022

Author Jon Stott pens Summers at the Lake

Summers at the Lake is a delightful collection of essays centered around the author's beloved "Little cabin in the Big Woods" beside Crooked Lake in the Upper Peninsula.

Summers at the Lake

The humorous and meditative essays, that read like prose poetry, track the progression of the seasons. Stott aims to evoke for readers memories of similar incidents and feelings at other lakes and at other times.

Stott, a part-time Yooper, spends extended summers in the solitude of the northern woods where the closest community of Munising is 27 miles away from his cabin.

"I am the old hermit of the woods," he said in the podcast interview speaking directly from the Munising School Public library, 500 feet from Lake Superior.

In chapter 6 "Day Tripper", Stott takes us on a trip to Grand Marais which looks like a New England seaside village with a year-round population of 300.

Stott acts as a knowledgeable and funny tour guide as he writes about "Life in a Pickle Barrel" about the history of the Pickle Barrel House. 

Email Stott for a chance to win a signed copy of his new book at jstottuaalberta.ca

Special thanks to the Munising School Public Library.

Sponsored by Doc Chavent, the Lowell Ledger, Modern History Press

May 10, 2022

In Healing Childhood Trauma author Robin Marvel offers tools to heal

Author Robin Marvel of Hersey, MI is that girl who has survived mental, domestic, and drug abuse; homelessness, and kidnappings throughout her childhood. Being addicted to alcohol and partying at age 15 resulted in a sexual assault, and later she became a teen mother at age 16.

Since May is mental health awareness month, Marvel opened up to talk about her story captured in her book “Healing Childhood Trauma” from a PTSD standpoint of view.

“I didn’t want to repeat the cycle, and I started working on myself,” she said. “I realized I was in control of what happened to me.”

As a motivational speaker, Marvel talks about self-respect and determination. She strives to be a role model for her five daughters. She chose to grow through the trauma she had endured as a child.

“I didn’t have any role models,” she said witnessing how her mother was abused by her father with subsequent kidnappings of her.

“It was always the same,” she said. “He took me to his mother to get supplies and we slept in a car. I grabbed my blanket.”

But facing all these hardships, Marvel found the strength to overcome being a victim of circumstance.

"It doesn't happen at the flip of a switch," she said. "I had to work on myself."

Listen in for a chance to win a signed copy of Marvel's life-changing book.

April 22, 2022

Author Phil Bellfy pens UP Colony struck by contrast between twin cities

In his UP Colony, Author Phil Bellfy, P.h. D. poses the ultimate question: why has the Upper Peninsula's vast wealth, nearly unrivaled in the whole of the United States, left the area with poverty nearly unrivaled in the whole of the United States. "Where did the $1.5 billion earned from copper mining, $1 billion from logging, and nearly $4 billion in iron ore go?"



Struck by the contrast between two cities on different sides of the American Canadian border, Bellfy has published an update to his 1980s MA thesis, UP Colony.

It is the story of resource exploitation in Upper Michigan in one of the oldest US cities Sault Sainte Marie. The book was published on its 350th anniversary in 2018.

"Sault Michigan was clearly a city on the decline, while Sault Ontario shared none of the malaise that infected the Michigan half of these "Sister Cities," Bellfy writes in the new introduction. 

Bellfy grew up in the Detroit suburb of Livonia and moved to Sault Sainte Marie in the fall of 1970. "We were urban Indians growing up in Detroit, but Chippewa County is most native populated East of Mississippi," he said. "I was exposed to the native community."

"I was also struck by the raw beauty of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and perhaps, even more struck by the raw beauty of the landscape across the St. Marys River," he wrote.

However, just around the time of his arrival, all the major industries shut down, and Sault Michigan was little more than a "resource colony" or "Internal Colony" without any residuals left from the mining industries.

"My own personal history adds a lot to my perception of the situation up here," Bellfy said.

Listen in for a chance to win a signed copy of UP Colony.



April 13, 2022

Lowell author Amanda Filkins pens debut book ”Be Still”

Looking for answers to life's big questions like what do I want to do with my life?  Based on her individual experiences, author Amanda Filkins puts her heart out in her brand new book "Be Still: God's Grace is Bigger than Worldly Deceit."

"I wanted to be organic and stay away from preaching," she said. "This book is from my heart. It's very pure. I hope a fire is lit inside of the readers' hearts."

The book is meant for young women under the age of 30 who may be struggling with life's purpose. It is divided into 10 chapters with subjects such as sex, status, money, and more.

Filkins focuses heavily on body image and societal pressures.

Listen in for a chance to win a signed copy of her new book.

Sponsored by Doc Chavent, the Lowell Ledger, Modern History Press



April 5, 2022

Author Mikel Classen digs out lost stories in ”True Tales” from the U.P.

Digging deep into the past, U.P. author & historian Mikel Classen uncovers hidden stories in his newest release "True Tales- The Forgotten History of Michigan's Upper Peninsula."

Stories of piracy, lost gold mines, the origin of the Copper Boom, profiles of people of note, Starvation on Isle Royale, and one of the darkest periods of Michigan history, are all True Tales of the early days of the Upper Peninsula Frontier.

"Some subjects I've researched over the years as a journalist," Classen said. "It's been several years in the making."

The tales are broken up into moments in U.P. history like Chapter 15- "Peter White: The Founding of Marquette" or the story about a native American woman marooned on Isle Royale with her husband facing starvation.

One story, in particular, captured Classen's inquisitive mind and set him off on a wild chase across the rugged northern peninsula hunting down the truth to rectify myths. During his research, Classen visited the historical societies in 16 towns.

"The local communities and historians sometimes intentionally buried the stories," Classen said.

In seven towns, he was able to confirm the unimaginable.

"I was shocked," he said. "Some things you find out can creep you out."

Find out what it was by listening to this intriguing episode with a true U.P. expert for a chance to win a signed copy of Classen's "True Tales."

February 4, 2022

Author Erik Bean aka Professor Bean publishes ”Bias is All Around You”

In his Handbook for Inspecting Social Media & News Stories, author Erik Bean, Ed.D. guides us through the social media sharing maze on how to separate fact from fiction to safeguard our mental health.

Listen in for a chance to win a copy of this nifty handbook that shows you how to use the KLEMP method of assessing info before you share or post on social media.

For the latest amazing reviews from Kirkus Reviews, Midwest Book Review, and BookTrib among others, and where to buy "Bias is All Around You" please visit

Bias is All Around You

December 10, 2021

Author Andrew Allen Smith releases book ”Adam” in new series ”Eternal Forever”

Character Adam is edgier and author Andrew Allen Smith tells the story of the immortal in first person with the final fifth book in mind. "Adam" is a product of a dream, as often is the case with Smith's books.

"He's the first and only of his kind," Smith said. "I tried to stay away from the stereotype of immortals. I wanted to stay on the edge of it."

In this book, the author tackles the concept of death among many others from a different perspective.

“…here I am, cradling her in my arms. The cool breeze blowing across my face. I am looking down at a woman between life and death. I can save her, but at the cost of her being a little of me. I can watch her pass as I have seen so many pass before. The decision is mine. As I wrestle with it, the sirens scream in the background, closer and closer. Just a drop of my amazing blood will give her life, but how can I decide?”

Smith also talks about grieving during the holidays or at any time of the year in this special holiday episode.

"Don't go through it alone," he advises. "Be there for people who are grieving."

Smith penned his only non-fiction book "What Not to Say to People Who are Grieving" after the tragic death of his niece in 2020.

Listen in to the episode for a chance to win a signed copy of "Adam."