Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Council Opens 2016 Contest


The Council for Wisconsin Writers announces that its awards contests are open for entries for work published in 2016.

From: Council for Wisconsin Writers  www.wiswriters.org

Contact: Jerrianne Hayslett jfarhsi@aol.com  414-766-9481

Release Date: now

The Council for Wisconsin Writers opens its Wisconsin Writers Awards contests on Nov. 1. Work published by Wisconsin writers in 2016 is eligible in seven categories, including book-length fiction, nonfiction and poetry; short fiction and nonfiction; a set of five poems two of which must have been published in the contest year, and children’s literature.

First-place winners receive $500 and a one-week writer's residency at Shake Rag Alley in Mineral Point WI. Honorable mention recipients receive $50  and a one-week writer's residency at the Painted Forest Study Center in Valton WI.

Entries for this year’s Wisconsin Writers Awards must be postmarked no later than Jan. 31, 2017. Authors who enter must be current Wisconsin residents.

The entry fee is $25. Membership in CWW is not required, but members are entitled to one free entry. Out-of-state judges will make the selections. Awards will be presented at a banquet in May 2017. The Major Achievement Award for 2016 will also be presented at the May banquet. That award, which includes a prize of $1,000, recognizes a Wisconsin writer for work of extraordinary literary merit.

CWW also sponsors an Essay Award for Young Writers (1,500 word maximum) for Wisconsin high school students; there is no entry fee. The award is $250 for the winning student. Members of the board will judge. Entries for the student essay contest must be postmarked no later than Jan. 31, 2017.

Specific guidelines, entry forms, and important additional information for each award category are available in the 2016 Entry Forms section of the website, wiswriters.org/2016-contest-entry-forms.

CWW is a nonprofit organization dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments of published Wisconsin writers and encouraging an appreciation of Wisconsin writing.

For more information about the Council for Wisconsin Writers and its Awards program, please go to www.wiswriters.org.


Monday, November 7, 2016

Barbara M Britton and Providence: Hannah's Journey

New from Barbara M. Britton
Providence: Hannah’s Journey”~ Harbourlight Books~ October 2016

As the sole daughter of the chief priest, Hannah is publicly shamed when the prophet of Israel refuses to heal her. Determined to restore her family's honor, she escapes Jerusalem in hopes of finding the prophet and convincing him to restore her deformities. Gilead, a young Hebrew guard sympathetic to her plight, willingly accompanies her. On their way, they are captured by a band of raiders and Hannah is forced to serve in the household of the commander of the Aramean army, an officer who is in need of healing himself. Meanwhile, Gilead is being used as sword practice for the Aramean soldiers. Hannah must act fast to save Gilead and herself, but survival will mean coaxing the prophet of Israel to heal an enemy commander.

$4.99 eBook
$15.99 Print
Buy on Amazon

Sample review from an Amazon reader, supplied by the author:
As an avid reader of fictional novels and daily bible reading I love this idea of bringing bible stories to life! Sometimes reading through the bible I wonder about lives and "the rest of the story". Barbara brings the story of in 2 Kings to life using a beautiful romance, faith and love. Both the heroin and her true love have the faith to believe all things are possible! It speaks truth to the fact that healing was a reality and is still a reality today for those who have the faith to believe. Sometimes we don't get what we want in our time but as this story reveals God always has perfect timing and there are reasons why sometimes he makes us wait as he made Hannah wait. I always love a story with a good ending too and I was extremely surprised but I wont be the spoiler. This book is what I will call a Biblical Harlequin romance! I am looking forward to her next book. Thank you Barbara Britton!

Enjoy the video trailer:


About the author:

Barbara M. Britton
Barbara M. Britton was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, but currently lives in Wisconsin and loves the snow—when it accumulates under three inches. She writes romantic adventures for teens and adults. Barb has a nutrition degree from Baylor University but loves to dip healthy strawberries in chocolate. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Wisconsin Romance Writers of America, Romance Writers of America and American Christian Fiction Writers. 



“Building Benjamin: Naomi’s Journey”~ Harbourlight Books~ February 2017

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Feta and Freeways by Susan Baganz

Feta and Freeways

Prism Book Group

ISBN 978-1537366043
eBook $3.99
Print $13.99

From the Back Cover

He’d never noticed her…till now.

Nikolos Acton is the lead singer of a Christian Band, Specific Gravity, struggling to make it in the industry after an unplanned break, touring the country with their manager, Tia.

Tia Bartel loved Niko for the longest time, but it wasn’t until she stepped in to save his life that he finally realizes what has been there all along. Is it too late for him? Could a relationship between them work after years of ignoring her? How would he ever convince her he’s worthy of her trust?

As they journey on the freeway of life and love, they encounter struggles as they are forced to rely on their faith, and friends, to make it through.

My Review
I’m a big fan of outside-the-box contemporary fiction, and the Orchard Hill series steps right in to fill a rut of genre-specific romance, suspense, or mystery. Yes, these are love stories, but tales with a purpose that don’t need to be formulaic.

This fourth story from Baganz follows her general true-to-life premise that everyone has issues, everyone is broken and everyone needs the Lord as Master of his or her life. Then we need each other, and it’s the dealing with each other part that always gets tricky, even for Christians. These very faith-oriented stories are all stand-alone, but draw on characters from the other books. In this book, the person who makes everything work for a rising contemporary Christian band, Tia, prefers the shadows of anonymity to worship her hero, the lead singer Niko, from afar. When Niko receives his wake-up call after Tia’s attack by a crazed not-fan, the spotlight shines on her—both the ugly and the good sides of what she’s made of. Coming into the light is a huge risk, yet one she’s willing to take with Niko’s enlightened promises and support.

Feta and Freeways is this story of what it takes to be committed to a higher purpose, a network of people who rely on each other through faith, family, and talent offered to the glory of God. It’s not perfect, it can be messy and twisted, but through it all there’s some giggles, a number of surprises and twists, revelations and a set up for the next adventure. A truly enjoyable read with a peek into life on the road, roots and wings, and the joy of camaraderie. For those who like faith-based stories of contemporary life in sometimes not so nice places and realistic decision-making.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

2016 Fall Book Festivals in Wisconsin

September 24 - The Peninsula Bookman will host its third annual Festival of Books and Authors 
This year five Wisconsin writers with more than a dozen of their works will attend the festival.
This year’s event will include:

Kathleen Ernst, author of the recently released seventh volume from her Chloe Ellefson mystery series, A Memory of Muskets and A Settler’s Year from the Wisconsin Historical Society Press.

J.F. Riordan will autograph The Audacity of Goats, the follow-up novel to her award-winning debut North of the Tension Line.

Patricia Skalka will sign copies of the brand-new third volume in her best-selling Dave Cubiak Door County mystery series, Death in Cold Water.

Virginia Maher and Paul Burton will present their brand new release Selected Artists of Door County, a series of profiles showcasing the area’s working artists.

The authors will be available throughout the day to sign books and discuss their work. Drop by at any time from 10 am 5 pm to meet these accomplished writers.

The Peninsula Bookman is located at 4083 Hwy 42, in the heart of Fish Creek, next door to The Oilerie. For more information, call 920.868.1467 or visit peninsulabookman.com.

October 7-9 Sheboygan Children's Book Festival

October 10 - 20 Chippewa Valley Book Festival
Eau Claire, WI

October 20 - 23 Wisconsin's Book Festival
Central Library, Madison, WI

November 4-5 Southeast Wisconsin Book Festival

November 5 Edgerton Sterling North Book & Film Festival
Edgerton High School

Monday, September 5, 2016

All Writers Celebrity Sat Oct 1 with poet Liam Callanan

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

All Writers Workplace Teen Workshops


From the desk of Kathie Giorgio, Director, AllWriters' Workplace & Workshop LLC:


WAUKESHA – By popular demand, AllWriters’ welcomes high school students into our creative writing community! Teen writing is an explosive new industry, both in the areas of teen work written for other teens, and written for the world at large. Whether it’s novels, poetry, short fiction or creative nonfiction, teen work should be taken as seriously as any other, and be as well written. AllWriters’ offers professional instruction covering all genres. A full staff of traditionally published authors provides feedback, guidance, help getting ready for real-world publication, and fosters a culture of encouragement and a sense of community. On September 29th, AllWriters’ is launching a THURSDAY NIGHT TEEN WRITERS WORKSHOP!

This ten-week workshop is a carbon copy of AllWriters’ most popular and enduring writing workshops, with one notable exception; we’re welcoming high school students into our creative community! This course encourages high school writers, grades 9 to 12, of all abilities and genres, but two things are required: a genuine interest in writing and a desire to write professionally for publication. Poets, novelists, short fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers are all welcome! If you write, this is where you should be. Each week in the workshop, students present their works-in-progress to the other students and the instructor for positive and constructive feedback. Students will also receive a line-by-line edit and a thematic critique of their work from the instructor, a traditionally published author with an extensive writing resume, including two novels.

The new THURSDAY NIGHT TEEN WRITERS WORKSHOP begins Thursday, September 29th and goes through Thursday, December 8th. Classes meet each week in the AllWriters’ classroom from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. For more information, and to sign up, visit www.allwritersworkshop.com and select On Site Courses from the drop down menu under Courses, or call (262) 446-0284. Space in this course is limited to 15 students! AllWriters’ Workplace and Workshop offers on-site and online writing courses in all genres and abilities of creative writing, as well as coaching, editing, and marketing services. A schedule of all classes, with online registration, is available online or by calling (262) 446-0284. AllWriters’ is located at 234 Brook Street, Unit 2, in historic downtown Waukesha, as featured in Milwaukee’s Journal Sentinel.

Summer Hanford
AllWriters’ Assistant

234 Brook St., Unit 2
Waukesha WI 53188
Phone: (262) 446-0284
Please "like" Author Kathie Giorgio on Facebook, and follow KathieGiorgio on Twitter!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Rex Owens, Contemporary Irish Fiction

Murphy’s Troubles
Rex Owens

ISBN: 978-0615895048
eBook: $2.99
Print: $14.99
Buy on Amazon

Ian Padraic Murphy harbors a scandalous secret. To avenge the death of his best friend in a Belfast raid, Ian joins the Provisional IRA which he conceals for 30 years. He meets investigative reporter Eileen Donohue and friendship blossoms into a love affair. Eileen inadvertently discovers the man she thought was a reclusive novelist is actually the brain trust for the IRA. Eileen betrays her lover by disclosing his secret in Ireland's leading newspaper. Driven by guilt and remorse, Ian atones for his years in the IRA by working with Sinn Fein to negotiate the 1998 Peace Accord which ended The Troubles in Ireland. After deserting the IRA Ian's own troubles are far from over when they order his assassination. The assignment is given to his friend, IRA Commander, Kieran Fitzpatrick. Will Ian pay the supreme price for disloyalty to the IRA?

My review:
Owens has a passionate voice for the historical extremist movement in contemporary Ireland. Told mostly through alternating viewpoints, the reader is carried along with Ian Murphy, who as a young university student, is recruited and serves the next thirty years in the Irish Republican Army.

With loving exacted scenery and dialect, the author transports his readers to the Ireland of the sixties, to the underlying despair of prejudice, anger, and inequality due not to outward characteristics, but to devotion and heritage according to faith. Allegiance to a culture of religion causes sides to be taken and lines to be drawn. Owens’ fictional account of the inner workings of what it might have been like for principal players in the movement, unable to trust anyone, not even the people you grew up with, called brother, or confessed to or shared a bed with, provides a rich and satisfying read.

25904502Out of Darkness, book 2
Rex Owens

ISBN: 978-0983298489

Buy on Amazon

Author Ian Murphy battles lifelong alcoholism and chronic depression. Desperate to cleanse his soul, Ian dedicates himself to finding redemption. To confront his demons, he spends a summer hiking on Dingle Peninsula. He meets Mairin McCarthy, and finds unconditional love but still succumbs to the shadows within.

In the fall of 1998 the British government is determined to build walls in Belfast to separate Catholics and Protestants. The only peace citizens of the city can have requires walls. Murphy dedicates himself to stopping more walls from being built. He's convinced the challenge is his path to redemption.

While living in Belfast Ian learns that distrust and hatred divide the city's residents as much as the walls do. Both Catholics and Protestants accept the walls as the price of peace. The walls will be built. How will Ian Murphy find redemption and crawl out of the darkness?

My review:
Owens slips into first person for this second book of his trilogy about contemporary Ireland and the violence of religious extremism. We left Ian Murphy at the end of book one still alive after his friend is ordered to execute him. Realizing his entire life was one of self-imposed seclusion and layers of lies, Murphy tries to reach out and grasp a spark of life before he has nothing left but darkness. In the first book, Murphy wants to end it all; in this book, he’s coming out to meet the life he’s missed.

Told in on-the-spot scenery and dialog, Owens transports readers into a vicarious visit in Ireland of today, with all the nuances, smells, and sights that hide the brewing troubles. The authors has a fine voice with a message of hope that any reader in any era can grasp.

About the Author:
Rex OwensIn 1997 novelist Rex Owens attended the first of many UW Madison Writers Institutes. The featured speaker was author was Robert Moss who talked about conscious dreaming as a way to explore the writing life. The die was cast to be a writer. In 1999 he joined a critique group led by Dr. Laurel Yourke where he learned craft the old fashioned way – by writing. 

His son brought him newspapers from Ireland. He read a story of children injured in the Peace Zone in Belfast in 1998 which became the inspiration for MURPHY’S TROUBLES. By 2003 Dr. Yourke suggested he had enough material to consider writing a novel.