Tuesday, November 19, 2019

New humor fiction from Mark Snyder


A Dog of Few Words
Mark Synder
Orange Hat Publishing, October 2019
Humorous fiction
178 pp
$12.95 paperback
Buy on Amazon

About the Book
Does your dog talk? Do you communicate with your cat? Can you understand what your horse is trying to tell you? What would our furry companions say if they could truly speak? And what of the wild ones: the badger, the bird, the beaver, the bear?

You may just find out during this endearing, heart-warming tale of a man, his soft-spoken dog Abraham, and all the creatures they meet throughout their year-long journey, including a gabby woodchuck named Ada, Sunflower the badger, and Stella the starling.

So grab some kibble, a hot cup of coffee, and get ready to embark on the adventure-filled journey in A Dog of Few Words.

About the Author 
Mark Snyder, better known as Opa, grew up in Sauk County, Wisconsin. After college, he enlisted in the United States Air Force, where he met a beautiful young lady that lived across the hall from him in the barracks. Together, they supported the 69th Dragon Tactical Air Command (TAC) squadron at Moody Air Force Base near Valdosta, Georgia, supplying munitions for F-16 Falcon Jets. They have been married over thirty years and are blessed with six children and a quiver full of grandchildren. They own and operate a business in Wisconsin and are well known for their specialized work with computerized organs, pipe organs, and digital pianos. In their spare time, they operate a hobby farm in Jefferson County, Wisconsin, where they enjoy a plethora of wildlife. They have several pets that occupy their time and communicate with them on a daily basis.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Stephenie Hovland and Advent prayers


Cover of prayer booklet

Hope of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come
Daily Prayers for Advent
Stephenie Hovland

Celebrate the eternal gift of hope found in the past, present and future presence of our Lord and Savior, Jesus! This booklet of daily Advent prayers focuses on the long-ago promise of the coming Christ, the present coming of Christ into our daily lives and the hope of Christ’s glorious return and our eternal home. These prayers lift one’s spirit throughout the Advent season with a daily reminder of the infinite ways God has, is and will continue to bless us all.

October 7, 2019
37 pages
Creative Communications for the Parish
$1.99 ebook; or available in bulk

Buy on Amazon
Barnes and Noble 
in bulk from the publisher

Review
Book of Advent Prayers enlightens the season

Hovland’s advent prayer book is a wonderful family addition to her repertoire of Christian children’s Bible story learning books.

While the days are undated, they are specific to day of the week, such as Monday of the First Week of Advent, thus creating a perpetual Advent prayer book able to be used in other years.

Divided into three parts, Hovland helps us direct our prayers to focus first with several days of seeking forgiveness (Past). “We know you have saved us from eternal consequences. We have changed, but mercifully, you have not.” What joy to know and share! Part two is the Hope of Christmas Present, beginning on Tuesday of the second week of advent, and looking forward to the day we honor as Christ’s birth. As we prayed for forgiveness, we ask for transformation, renewal, and clean hearts. “Help us keep Christmas as you see fit,” is one of our prayers. The third section, Hope of Christmas Yet to Come, begins on the fourth Sunday of Advent, with a verse from 2 Corinthians, 4:17—we are being prepared for eternal glory. “Help us find the time to worship you, to connect with and support others, to prepare for Christ’s return.”

Let us not forget that Christmas doesn’t conclude with Christmas Day, but is a forever celebration. 
With lovingly and thoughtfully crated short prayers based on Bible verses, most well-known, Hovland weaves us through Scripture from the Gospels to the Prophets, the Epistles and the Revelation to show us the beauty of the Purpose of Christmas. Those who love finding a fresh way to approach Christmas through the celebration and meaning of Advent will find much to love in this short collection of daily verses and prayers.


Enjoy this video of Stephenie discussing her book:




About the author
Stephenie Hovland loves spending time reading books and playing with words. Even better, she loves to sit by a campfire to do her reading and writing. Stephenie enjoys seeing the spark of understanding in the classroom; an experienced educator, she's been teaching in K-8 Lutheran classrooms for several years. She also loves to fan the flames of faith by being a resource to Christian families and teachers (through speaking and writing resources.) https://stepheniehovland.com/


If you looked for Stephenie right now, you might find her camping, working in the school library, or, just maybe, curled up on the couch with a book and a cup of Earl Grey tea.










Monday, November 4, 2019

Meet Amy Laundrie

Laugh, Cry, Reflect: Stories from a Joyful Heart

Laugh, Cry, Reflect: Stories From a Joyful Heart
Amy Laundrie

HenschelHAUS publishing
June 1, 2018
200 pages
$9.98 Ebook
$14.95 Print

Buy on Amazon

About the Book
Amy shares:
A dear, elderly friend, Gisela Hamm, encouraged me to compile my favorite columns into a book. Sections include anecdotes about my family, my teaching career, and raising pet ducks.

I attended the book signing of Rose Bingham, happened to sit next to her editor, Kira Henschel, who happened to mention that she published memoirs. I thought, Gee, I have a memoir. I filled out her requested 16-page marketing plan and Laugh, Cry, Reflect: Stories From a Joyful Heart came out less than 8 months later.

Laugh, Cry, Reflect: Stories From a Joyful Heart is a collection of short yet powerful personal stories. Some will make you laugh—like when you find out why the author’s 12-year-old daughter requested a home pregnancy test. Other stories may tug at your heartstrings—like when you learn what item was placed on a beloved relative’s casket. Many of these poignant essays will prompt you to reflect on moments from your own life. All are offerings of hope, wonder, and joy.

About the Author
A retired fourth-grade teacher, Amy Laundrie began writing personal essays because of a desire share some of her favorite stories and connect with others. Readers have called her stories poignant, humorous, and heartfelt testimonials to a woman's life. They have universal truths and emotions that speak to a wide reading audience. She considers herself a goal setter and is proud of finishing a half-marathon, surviving two wilderness backpack trips, and earning a black belt. She enjoys playing tennis, cross country skiing, hiking with her dog Josie, and raising pet ducks.
to 

Amy continues to write a weekly column for her hometown newspaper, The Dells Events, and work on various children's books.

Enjoy these Reviews
June 11, 2018
These short essays each offer insights and emotional connections from daily life events. Details are compellingly specific while mirroring universal experiences and reminders of our own lives, even if starkly different from those of the author.
The compiled pieces fall into place with each other to reveal a lifetime lived well and thoughtfully.
Highly recommend this as a quick and easy read that will draw you back to read again, because the memoir it provides is so well named. Readers will laugh, cry, and reflect- perhaps even attempt to write their own life experiences.

August 5, 2018
Do yourself a huge favor (we ALL deserve one these days) and brighten and enrich your life by having this book on your nightstand or your coffee table or in your top drawer at work (for THOSE kind of days!). I have read this book 3 times--and my favorite chapters and passages many more times than that. It’s rare that one finds an author whose words and ideas on the page echo so clearly the essence of a person who has not only a “joyful heart” but a brilliantly curious mind that is constantly seeking to find a deeper meaning in life’s and nature’s happiest, saddest, and most humorous events. The chapters on nature (“Spring’s Promise” - “Silent Rock” - “Moth Lives on Tears”, e.g.), on special moments with her family and friends (“The Magical Little Cabin in the Woods”), and on her imaginative insights into the the history of the common in life (“A Dust Rag Rich with History”) are my favorites. But I also find much joy and much to reflect on in Ms. Laundrie’s wonderful stories about her children, her many happy and event-filled years as a 5th Grade teacher, and her loving and “suits her just right” husband, Frank. In short, get this book, treasure it, and share it. Where else can one find lines as authentic, insightful and beautifully written as these regarding her family’s magical little cabin in the woods: “How can four log walls hold such power? It’s not the walls, of course, but the foundation of a family, the mortar of wanting to share each other’s lives, the seasoned logs of an enduring future.” I rest my case. Oh, one addition to my case--lovely photos and paintings throughout the book (nature, family, Ms. Laundrie enjoying nature's beauty and, in one special photo, the company of her dog Josie).

July 7, 2018
I started reading this book one or two short stories a night but on the third night, I just kept reading until the end.

I found part of this memoir to be a delight. Little snippets from the author’s life that could make you Laugh, Cry, Reflect. A set of stories about 3 runner ducks named Huey, Duey, and Louey had me doing all three. I also enjoyed the little peeks into the author’s life as a 4th-grade teacher. The story about her “Magic Key” game with her grandaughters was my absolute favorite.

For very personal reasons, her Only One Life story had my tears flowing. You see, there are been two times in my life beyond my control, that objects that hold near and dear memories have been left behind or lost due to moves I wish we had never had to make. That story brought back feelings about the things I didn’t get to “weed through” myself and only learned sometime later precious ones were no longer with me. It is times like these that yes, I know we only have one life to live and I realize yet again how badly I have screwed this one life up. I think I was living my life to the max like this author and God threw a huge monkey wrench into it not once but twice. There are many days I still search for my purpose and wish I could go back in time.

I found Ms. Laundrie’s memoir sent me on a little emotional roller coaster of my own, but my story is not unique. Everyone has memories that make us Laugh – Cry – Reflect. Maybe this author’s book will help you reflect on your own life. Maybe you have a book in you that you would like to share with a precious few or the entire world.

August 5, 2018
Do yourself a huge favor (we ALL deserve one these days) and brighten and enrich your life by having this book on your nightstand or your coffee table or in your top drawer at work (for THOSE kind of days!). I have read this book 3 times--and my favorite chapters and passages many more times than that. It’s rare that one finds an author whose words and ideas on the page echo so clearly the essence of a person who has not only a “joyful heart” but a brilliantly curious mind that is constantly seeking to find a deeper meaning in life’s and nature’s happiest, saddest, and most humorous events. The chapters on nature (“Spring’s Promise” - “Silent Rock” - “Moth Lives on Tears”, e.g.), on special moments with her family and friends (“The Magical Little Cabin in the Woods”), and on her imaginative insights into the the history of the common in life (“A Dust Rag Rich with History”) are my favorites. But I also find much joy and much to reflect on in Ms. Laundrie’s wonderful stories about her children, her many happy and event-filled years as a 5th Grade teacher, and her loving and “suits her just right” husband, Frank. In short, get this book, treasure it, and share it. Where else can one find lines as authentic, insightful and beautifully written as these regarding her family’s magical little cabin in the woods: “How can four log walls hold such power? It’s not the walls, of course, but the foundation of a family, the mortar of wanting to share each other’s lives, the seasoned logs of an enduring future.” I rest my case. Oh, one addition to my case--lovely photos and paintings throughout the book (nature, family, Ms. Laundrie enjoying nature's beauty and, in one special photo, the company of her dog Josie).


Thursday, October 31, 2019

SE Wisconsin Festival of Books Nov 1 and 2



Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books
Exhibits, Workshops, Signings and Readings at UW-Waukesha Campus
See the program

Friday, November 1, 7:00 pm
Keynote Novelist
Ticketed Event $11.49 – Purchase Tickets


Andre Dubus III is the author of The Cage Keeper and Other Stories, Bluesman, and the New York Times bestsellers, House of Sand and Fog, The Garden of Last Days (soon to be a major motion picture) and his memoir, Townie, a #4 New York Times bestseller and a New York Times “Editors Choice.” His work has been included in The Best American Essays and The Best Spiritual Writing anthologies, and his novel, House of Sand and Fog was a finalist for the National Book Award, a #1 New York Times Bestseller, and was made into an Academy Award-nominated film starring Ben Kingsley and Jennifer Connelly.


Keynote Poet

Margaret Rozga


Wisconsin Poet Laureate

Saturday, November 2, 1:00 pm

Free Event

Margaret Rozga, current Wisconsin Poet Laureate, brings to that role an active and activist’s voice. Her poems draw on her interest in history, the environment, women’s roles and social justice issues. She writes about this poetic bent in her Pushcart Prize nominated essay, “Community Inclusive: A Poetics to Move Us Forward.”

A participant in Milwaukee’s 1967-68 fair housing marches, she turned that action into words in her book 200 Nights and One Day. This book earned a bronze medal in poetry in the 2009 Independent Publishers Book Awards and was named an outstanding achievement in poetry for 2009 by the Wisconsin Library Association. The Wisconsin Library Association also named another of her books, Though I Haven’t Been to Baghdad, to this honor in 2012. Her most recent book, Pestiferous Questions: A Life in Poems, was written with support from the American Antiquarian Society. She has been a resident at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, the Ragdale Foundation, and Sundress Academy for the Arts.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Wisconsin Festival of the Book Oct 17-20

Wisconsin Book Festival logo


Something for everyone during this event. Click here for more information.
Madison, Wisconsin
October 17-20, 2019


Thursday, October 3, 2019

Saturday Oct 5 Wisconsin Writers Event






 When
Sat, October 05, 2019
 Location
Holy Wisdom Monastery, 4200 Co Hwy M, Middleton, WI 53562, 
https://benedictinewomen.org/
(608) 836-1631

Not too late to register! $55
Poet Laureate Margaret Rozga
Mystery writing
Publishing panels
& much more
Lunch
Jade Ring winners

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Sheboygan Childrens Book Festival returns this October

Company Logo

From the website, celebrate ten years of Children's Book Fest

October 11-13, 2019

10 YEARS...NOW THAT'S OUT OF THIS WORLD!

Sheboygan County Reads!, the non-profit organization which promotes the love of books and reading among local youngsters and teens, is celebrating its 10th Anniversary.

To commemorate this special occasion, we needed to think outside of the box for this year's theme. A theme that felt "Out of This World." This year we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Sheboygan Children & Teen’s Book Festival and the power of books to transport us beyond our known world to explore other places, people, and ideas -- whether they be real or imaginary.

This three-day children and teen's book festival provides an opportunity for area youth and their families to explore and discover stories by interacting with the authors, illustrators, and musicians who create them.

Events taking place throughout the weekend include author readings, art making with illustrators, writing workshops, costumed book characters, book signings, a bedtime pajama concert, a magic show, and author trading cards.