Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Gritty Small Town Baseball fiction from the 60s

January 2014, Black Rose Writing
ISBN: 978-1612963068
Print $15.95
E-book $6.99
Buy on Amazon

From the publisher:
From right field of the sparse Ashippun's Fireman's Park to the vacated County Stadium dugout of the Braves final Milwaukee home game in 1965, The Ashippun Trap takes readers on a wild nostalgic ride using a unique blend of baseball fiction and extensively-researched baseball fact. Parlee is an aging town baseball player who's just good enough to be able to hustle the game for his own financial gain during an era where large crowds blur the lines between amateur and pro players. With age and other factors waiting on deck, Parlee contemplates his limited baseball future from his dim and damp vantage point in Ashippun's right field. Forty miles to the east, under the bright Major League lights of Milwaukee's County Stadium, Braves backup catcher Gene Oliver, Parlee's childhood friend from a chance meeting on an Iowa farm years earlier, also considers life without baseball as he and his teammates play in front of thousands of empty seats each day while being forced to endure the Braves' final, lame duck season in Milwaukee. Parlee and his hand-picked crew of talented feral ballplayers jump in Parlee's 1959 Chevy Impala and head off on a 90-mile beer-fueled journey to a weekend tournament in Plymouth where the pay out attracts the best amateur players in Wisconsin. The trip eventually ends with Parlee and Gene Oliver narrating their view of the aftermath of the Brave's final game in Milwaukee from the vacated County Stadium dugout as they search each other's soul for a compass to guide their own baseball futures. Readers ride along but there's no sense in fastening their seatbelts because none exist on this carefree, nostalgic ride that puts the reader in the wooden grandstand's front row for a first-hand look at the dirty, salty side of baseball with a fresh look at the Braves' one-of-a-kind final season in Milwaukee

My review:
What an interesting concept - small town baseball during the height of the 60s craze before television eliminated small town camaraderie and made monsters of us. If you love really gritty baseball stories from the small town team perspective, you'll enjoy Doug Welch's book. An entertaining story, Welch tracks one fictional summer league set among real south central communities in Wisconsin, its ups and downs, during the final home league of the Milwaukee Braves. If you didn't know what it was like back then, you will after reading this book. All the color (and language), ins and dirty little secrets come to life.

Recommended for later high school age and up - told from the manager, Parlee's, perspective throughout. Uses real-time plays from the major league, listened to by the characters while on a road trip.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Upcoming Reader and Writers Delights - Conferences and Book Festivals

Spring is the time of delight to pick up your summer reading, meet your favorite authors and find a new one to love, for writers to connect and network!

Check out these events in and around Wisconsin:

April 20-26, Fox Cities Book Festival; some events beginning the 14th; Appleton area

May 8-9, Lakefly Writers Conference, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, with Michael Perry as a keynote speaker. Author Showcase Saturday May 9, 8 am to 3 pm.

Writing Day Workshop in Milwaukee, with Chuck Sambuchino of Writers Digest, Friday May 15. Plenty of openings.

Saturday May 16, Author Showcase II in West Bend, WI, at the Threshold, Inc. Scavenger hunt for prizes! 2380 W Washington St. 10 am - 2 pm

Novel in Progress Bookcamp is May 17-23 in West Bend, WI, featuring SJ Rozan. Lisa Lickel will be teaching too. Editors and agents pitching sessions.

June 6 & 7 - Printer's Row Lit Fest, Chicago, Illinois: The Midwest's largest free outdoor book event

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

More Summer Hiker Fare with Rob Bignell

DULUTH, Minn. (April 13, 2015) – A new hiking guidebook details more than 200 day hiking trails in Minnesota’s North Shore, Arrowhead and St. Croix River regions.

Headin’ to the Cabin: Day Hiking Trails of Northeast Minnesota, by Wisconsin author Rob Bignell, marks the second book in the “Headin’ to the Cabin” series. It was released Monday, April 13.

The new book “Headin’ to the Cabin: Day Hiking Trails of Northeast Minnesota” (Atiswinic Press) describes more than 200 trails along the North Shore and St. Croix River and in the Arrowhead.

Day Hiking Trails of Northeast Minnesota covers trails covers trails in or near Chisago, Pine, Carlton, St. Louis, Lake, and Cook counties. It includes Voyageurs and Isle Royale national parks, the Superior National Forest and Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area, and each state park in the region.

“Northeast Minnesota is a hiker’s Shangri-La,” Bignell said. “From rocky beaches along Lake Superior to waterfalls surrounded by luxuriant pine forests, from a mine 52 stories below ground to a hill nearly half-a-mile above sea level, from nearly 2-billion-year-old lava rock to lakes formed just a few thousand years ago, northeast Minnesota offers an incredible number of sights for day hikers to enjoy.”

The books provide a plethora of information about each featured trail, including:

  • Driving directions to the trail
  • Where to park and find the trailhead
  • Course the trail takes
  • Scenic points to look for on the trail
  • Wildlife and flora you might spot
  • Interesting tidbits about the area’s geology and history
  • Trailside amenities such as water fountains and bathrooms
  • Best times to hike the trail

Following each featured trail are brief descriptions of other nearby day hiking trails.

“These trails are perfect for families with children or anyone who wants to spend just a couple of hours outdoors enjoying and discovering nature,” Bignell said. The trails run from a third of a mile to 6 miles in length, with most only a mile to three miles long.

Book specs:
Headin’ to the Cabin: Day Hiking Trails of Northeast Minnesota
Publish date: April 13, 2015
Publisher: Atiswinic Press
ISBN: 978-0-9896723-5-1
Price: $11.95 (paperback), $1.99 (ebook)
Pages: 164 (paperback)
Cover: Paper (paperback)
Trim Size: 5.5 x 8.5 (paperback)
BUY: Paperback, KindleNookApple iPad/iBooksSony ReaderKoboe-reading apps

“Headin’ to the Cabin’ is the latest in several bestselling hiking guidebooks Bignell has authored. Last year, Day Hiking the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway reached No. 1 on’s bestsellers list for Travel>Midwest books. Day Hiking Trails of Northwest Wisconsin, the first book in the Headin’ to the Cabin series, was a bestselling travel e-book on two years ago.

An avid backpacker, long-time editor, and Wisconsin native, Bignell is uniquely qualified to write about hiking, especially for families. Bignell has served in the Army National Guard and taught middle school students in New Mexico and Wisconsin. His newspaper work has won several journalism awards, from editorial writing to sports reporting. In 2001, The Prescott Journal, which he served as managing editor of, was named Wisconsin’s Weekly Newspaper of the Year.

This is Bignell’s 15th hiking guidebook, almost all of which focus on Wisconsin and Minnesota. He now lives with his son in western Wisconsin.

Headin’ to the Cabin guidebook series author Rob Bignell

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Top Authors—Perry, Apps & Hildebrand—Join Literary Forces May 10, Eau Claire WI

 Wisconsin Historical Society Press 
March 2015

Top Authors—Perry, Apps & Hildebrand—Join Literary Forces
for Wisconsin Historical Society “Writers Forum” in Eau Claire

New York Times Bestselling Author Michael Perry, Celebrated Rural Historian Jerry Apps,
and Award-Winning Author John Hildebrand join literary forces for a special Wisconsin
Historical Society “Wisconsin Writers Forum” at 10 a.m. May 12 at the Eau Claire Regional
Arts Center (the State Theater) in downtown Eau Claire.

The Wisconsin Historical Society Press’s top-selling trio will discuss how to capture a “sense
of place” and how to write about personal history and experiences in captivating ways. The
panel discussion will include time for audience Q&A. Eau Claire’s The Local Store will host an
on-site book signing at the Regional Arts Center featuring each author’s Society Press and
other titles immediately following the Forum. The Writer’s Forum is free, but reservations 
are suggested through the Wisconsin Historical Foundation at the website by May 8. 

The Wisconsin Writers Forum is part of the Wisconsin History Tour: Sharing Wisconsin’s
Stories One Community at a Time, a statewide outreach program conducted by the Wisconsin
Historical Society. The Tour offers a sampling of the history and stories the Wisconsin
Historical Society has been gathering since its founding in 1846 in a traveling exhibit and
history- related programming. The handcrafted exhibit will be displayed in Eau Claire
throughout the month of May at the L.E. Phillips Memorial Library. History-related
programming, including the Writer’s Forum and many other presentations and workshops,
runs from May 12-19. Check the Wisconsin History Tour web site at for updates and more Tour programming information.
For more about the Wisconsin Writers Forum, contact Society Press Marketing
Manager Kristin Gilpatrick at or Wisconsin History Tour
Coordinator Mary Jane Connor at 608-212-5497 or

Wisconsin Historical Society
816 State Street
Madison, WI 53706

Collecting, Preserving and Sharing Stories Since 1846

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Alice Allan writes Mrs. Ballou, Civil War-era reformer

~~Shedding new light on American history through the life of Addie L. Ballou (1838-1916), one story at a time~~

The biography (second edition) Addie L. Ballou
Spiritualist Reformer, Poet, and Artist 
ISBN-13: 978-1502496324 
LCCN: 2014917346
Published: September 2014
Buy on Amazon

The novel Mrs. Ballou
A novel inspired by actual people and events 
ISBN-13: 978-1499575538 
LCCN: 2014915144
Buy on Amazon

Her husband's Civil War diary He Said
Diary of a Civil War Hospital Steward

ISBN-13: 978-1475225068
Buy on Amazon

Sept. 24, 1861: At 33 years of age, A. D. Ballou enlisted in Company C of the 10th Reg't of Wisconsin Volunteers. He asked to serve in a hospital as a nurse, or somewhere suited to his tastes. Reflecting on his enlistment that day, he wrote, "It is a great step and I feel that my life is to change."

Indeed it did.

With no prior medical training, he started as a private and was promoted to a hospital steward (at times directed to be Acting Assistant Surgeon during battle).

His diary covers the Battles of Tunnel Hill, Hoovers Gap, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge; winter at Chattanooga and Tyner's Station; Sherman's campaign to Atlanta (Peachtree Creek, Kennesaw Mountain and more). Maps (by Hal Jespersen), genealogy connections of those appearing in the diary, annotations, and a comprehensive index have been added.

From the Author

For nearly fifteen years, I determinedly researched Addie Ballou's life and involvement in the Spiritualism movement that flourished in the second half of the nineteenth century. Doing so enriched not only my life, but other lives as well, in ways none of us could have foreseen.
     In particular, I was contacted by other descendants of Albert and Addie Ballou and offered pieces of history, including Addie's original diary from the year 1873. It was filled with names, observations, and beautifully written descriptions of her Spiritualist activities and family life. I spent the next two years deciphering her handwriting and determining which entries were meaningful and which ones were not.
     As I dug deeper into the Spiritualism movement and its connection to social reform in America, I realized the personal stories of women had been left untold and at a minimum misunderstood. Due to their inability to express what happened to them, and the lack of social acceptance if they had, unspeakable secrets went with them to their graves.
     That is, unless, a woman recorded just enough of those remembrances in a diary that somehow, miraculously, surfaced nearly 140 years later. Mrs. Ballou, as a historical novel, is the result.
Alice Allan holds a B. A. (Humanities) from Colorado State University and currently lives with her much-needed sense of humor in Denver, Colorado.

Visit my web page:

Friday, February 27, 2015

Bo Carter Memorial Contest from Waukesha Writer's Workshop

Waukesha Writer’s Workshop founded December 1951

BO CARTER MEMORIAL CONTEST – 2015                               RULES AND GUIDELINES

1. CATEGORIES:  Nonfiction: 1. Essay – not to exceed 2,000 words 
                                                   2.  Article – not to exceed 2,000 words
                                                   3. Nostalgia – not to exceed 1,500 words 
         Fiction:     4. Short Story – not to exceed 3,000 words (any genre)
                          5. Poetry – Up to 4 poems.  Total for all 4 poems inclusive not to exceed 90 lines.                                                                Enter as many of the four categories as you wish, but only ONE entry in any one category.


2.  ENTRY FEE:  Contest entrance is free to paid-up members of Waukesha Writer’s Workshop.      Nonmembers may either pay a $5.00 reading fee for EACH CATEGORY entered or opt to become a member by paying the annual dues of $15.00.  Make all checks payable for dues or reading fees to: Waukesha Writer’s Workshop.

3.  MANUSCRIPT PREPARATION:  Entries must be typed on one side, only, of 8 1/2 by 11 inch white paper, DOUBLE SPACED with standard one-inch margins.  ALL SINGLE SPACED NON POEM ENTRIES WILL BE DISQUALIFIED. Poems may be either double or single spaced.
TITLE, CATEGORY, PAGE NUMBER, and NUMBER OF WORDS OR LINES must be at the top of the FIRST PAGE of the manuscript.  Each page of the Manuscript must contain the TITLE and PAGE NUMBER.  DO NOT PUT YOUR NAME ON THE MANUSCRIPT PAGES.  Paperclip the manuscript – DO NOT STAPLE.

Prepare a COVER SHEET  FOR EACH CATEGORY, with your name, address, e-mail address, telephone number, name of the manuscript, category and number of words or lines ON IT.

4. DEADLINE:  Monday, April 20, 2015, 10:30 a.m. at the regular meeting of the Waukesha Writer’s Workshop at Brookfield Highland Senior Apartments, Community Room, 20825 George Hunt Circle , Waukesha , Wisconsin .  If you are unable to attend the April meeting, MAIL or DELIVER manuscript (s) to Mickey Burgermeister, S69 W17349 Kirkwood Dr., Muskego, WI 53150, with check for dues or reading fee (s), to be received PRIOR to meeting date.

5. PRIZES:  In each CATEGORY –    First Prize       $25.00
                                                              Second Prize   $15.00
                                                              Third Prize      $10.00

If the judge/judges do not think the manuscripts merit awards, they are not obligated to select winners for each prize.  Judges to be announced.

MAY 18,  2015 MEETING.

If you have any questions, contact Mickey Burgermeister (262-679-0862) or Ramon Klitzke (262-547-3570) or Don Schambow –  

               PLEASE NOTE:  Failure to follow ANY of the above guidelines will automatically disqualify your entry.

Essay – 1. Begins with a premise.  2. Cites examples and data supporting premise. (allow reader to view issue or situation through author’s eyes)  3. Reveals author’s conclusion and an invites reader to reach same conclusion.  Author’s opinion. (Subjective – author personally involved)  Purpose: to convince

Article – Nonfictional prose.  An idea is honed into a theme that becomes the precise subject.  Four part structure – 1. lead (capture readers attention) 2. Theme paragraph   3. Body (develops the theme using quotes and anecdotes)   4. Conclusion (answers questions raised at beginning or summarizes main points)  Factual (objective – author not personally  involved, based upon research) – Purpose: to inform

Nostalgia – relates personal experiences intended to evoke an emotional response.  Most effective if has universal appeal, focusing on commonly shared experiences. Author’s remembrances.  Purpose:  to share life’s experiences.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Introducing a new Self-Publisher Service

Welcome to Loralee Olson-Arcand and her company.

Loralee says:

I currently specialize in self-publishing and have helped clients to publish over 20 different books.

I have a tab on my website which shows samples of some of the books I’ve done:
I work directly with clients from the start to the finish…taking their written manuscript and any images, if applicable, for layout, to proofing and revising, to working with the printer on the final printed piece.

I am a small entity, but I am very time- & cost-efficient, as well as highly detail-oriented.
Her Services INCLUDE:
Word Services Unlimited is a one-stop shop specializing in self-publishing paperback books. Customers provide their manuscript and pictures, which are used to design a complete layout (cover and inside pages) for printing. I can even handle the printing for you.

The end result:  A beautiful paperback book–a well-received and enjoyed product of each customer's hard work and endeavors.

I welcome the opportunity to assist in making YOUR book "come to life".

There is an extensive variety of printed pieces a customer may need to have typeset, edited, proofed, and/or designed. Types of projects may include (but are not limited to):

Advertisements  •  Books  •  Booklets  • Brochures  •  Business Cards  •  Catalogs
Forms  •    Letterhead/Envelopes  •  Pocket Folders  • Postcards
Religious Devotionals & Tracts  •  Sell Sheets  •  Show Programs

Word Services Unlimited is capable of servicing these types of documents, plus more!

Search through my books portfolio or my design portfolio or you can also contact me directly.

Loralee L. Olson-Arcand
Word Services Unlimited
N9034 Lanetta Drive
Brillion, WI 54110