Thursday, January 20, 2011

Wisconsin's own Marshall J Cook - "Coach"

Marshall J. Cook,
Professor emeritus, Division of Continuing Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison

I hold a BA in creative writing and an MA in communications from Stanford University. I’ve been married to the former Ellen Malloy since 1968, and we have one son, Jeremiah, who is married to the former Kimberly Zunker. When not writing or teaching, I like to read, exercise, play the piano, draw cartoons, listen to old time radio shows, and talk back to the television (not all at the same time). I’m a passionate baseball fan, drive the back roads (often taking the longest distance between two points, and eat in small town cafes.

I write both fiction and non-fiction, always have. I'm currently at work on a novel, The Second Kick of a Mule (about the shooting of a small-town Wisconsin high school principal in 1957) and a nonfiction book, How Writers Learn What They Really Need to Know. I've got ideas for stuff on old time radio and a novel about the bombing of the Los Angeles Times building in 1911 and all sorts of other stuff waiting for me to get to them.

I love to write and do so six days a week.

My books are available through and the other usual suspects. I edit Extra Innings, an online newsletter for writers, having for 20 years edited a print publication for writers called Creativity Connection. I’ve published articles and short stories in hundreds of regional and national magazines, and I’m a columnist for The Perspiring Writer, an online magazine for writers. I teach in the Odyssey Project for the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

(This link will take you the Amazon page where many of Marshall's books can be found for purchase online.
My 30 published books include:

Freeing Your Creativity: a writer’s guide, Writer’s Digest Books, 1991. (Pb 1995)

How to Write with the Skill of a Master and the Genius of a Child, WD, 1992

Slow Down and Get More Done, Betterway Books, 1993

Leads and Conclusions, Writer’s Digest Books, 1995

The Year of the Buffalo: a novel of love and minor league baseball, Savage Press, ‘97

Time Management: proven techniques for making the most of your valuable time,
Adams Media Corporation, 1998

Pack Your Bags: baseball’s trade secrets, with Jack Walsh, Masters Press, 1998

Effective Coaching, McGraw Hill Briefcase Books series, 1999

Your Novel Proposal: from creation to contract, with Blythe Camenson, WD, 1999

Handling Worry: a Catholic approach, St. Paul’s Books and Media, 2000

Off Season: a novel of love, faith, and minor league baseball, Savage Press, ‘02

Murder Over Easy: a Mo Quinn Mystery, Bleak House Press, ‘03

Baseball’s Good Guys (with Jack Walsh), Sports Publications, 2004

The Great Wisconsin Manhunt of 1961, Badger Books, 2004

Twin Killing, a Mo Quinn Mystery, Bleak House Books, 2007

Murder at Midnight, a Mo Quinn Mystery, Bleak House Press, 2005

Obsessions, a Mo Quinn Mystery, Bleak House Books, 2008

Give 'Em What They Want: the right way to pitch your novel to editors and agents, with Blythe
Camenson, Writer’s Digest Books, 2005

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators-Wisconsin chapter

Spring Luncheon

Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators-Wisconsin chapter

Date: April 9, 2011

Location: Oconomowoc Lake Club

Luncheon Speaker: Julie Scheina, Editor

Little, Brown Books For Young Readers

For registration information, e-mail: or

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2011 9:45 AM

Subject: Artist at Pine Needles Residency Announcement



Artist at Pine Needles, a residence program sponsored by the St. Croix

Watershed Research Station, seeks applications from artists and writers

for Summer 2011. The Artist at Pine Needles project invites natural

history artists or writers to spend 2 to 4 weeks in residence to immerse

themselves in a field experience, gather resource materials, and

interact with environmental scientists and the local community.

The St. Croix Watershed Research Station, the field research station of

the Science Museum of Minnesota, is located near Marine on St. Croix,

Minnesota. The setting for the Artist at Pine Needles project is the

James Taylor Dunn Pine Needles Cabin, located just north of the village

along the St. Croix River. In 2010, the artists selected were Dave Beck

of Potsdam, New York; Michael Eble of Morris, Minnesota; and Jeanne

Kosfeld of St. Paul, Minnesota.

Applications for 2011 will be accepted from writers and visual artists

who focus on environmental or natural history topics. Participants will

have an opportunity to interact with environmental scientists and to

create links between their art, the natural world and the sciences. As

part of the program, artists will be encouraged to design an outreach

project to share their work with the local community. In addition, the

residency requires that participants contribute an original work for the

benefit of the research station.

Housing and rustic studio space is provided for the artist’s choice of a

2, 3, or 4-week residency; up to three residencies will be awarded for

the summer of 2011. Application packets are available from the research

station or The application deadline

is February 25, 2011. For more information, contact Sharon Mallman at

the St. Croix Watershed Research Station, 651-433-5953, extension 13 or

Sharon Mallman

Assistant Director

St. Croix Watershed Research Station

16910 152nd St. N.

Marine on St. Croix MN 55047

651-433-5953 ext. 13

Fax: 651-433-5924

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Naomi D Musch

Naomi Dawn Musch was born and raised in central Wisconsin and now makes her home in Wisconsin's vast northwoods where the vistas are ripe to feed the imagination of anyone interested in history. She and husband Jeff have three grown children and two under wing on their150 acre farm where they dabble at raising a menagerie of animals.

Naomi has been publishing a regional newsletter for home educators for the past thirteen years entitled Apples of Gold. See the page "Apples of Gold for Home Educators" for more information. She is also a staff writer for Living Stones News, a regional Christian newspaper; and a regular contributor to Home School Enrichment magazine.,

Besides writing, Naomi enjoys homeschooling her children, gardening, taking walks in the woods, a little basketball, and fellowshipping with friends.

The Green Veil - Book One of the NEW Empire in Pine Series

Colette loved Manason long before he came back into her life. But in Wisconsin's virgin pine country where lumber barons ruled private empires, her vow was to his enemy.

One is the man she missed. The other is the man she married.

Lumberman's daughter, Colette Palmer has understood the industry since her youth -- and she's always loved timber cruiser Manason Kade -- even though he only remembers her as a child. Leaving Michigan to settle with her family in the Wisconsin wilderness, and separated from him by miles and years, compassion compels her to marry another.

Manason longs to plant roots of his own in Wisconsin Territory. But when he stakes his claim and challenges the illegal log harvesting of a rival company, Colette's husband swears to ruin him. Then one day Manason and Colette meet again. Now, she will have to choose between her first love and her commitment to her marriage vows, while her faith and an empire in pine hang in the balance.

Read more:

Available now from Desert Breeze:

My review:

The Green Veil
Empire in Pine, Book One
By Naomi D Musch
c. Jan 2011
Desert Breeze Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-61252-013-1

The Green Veil satisfied my Wisconsin home historical, romantic suspense and thrill-seeking reader needs all in one beautifully written novel. Her characters were so captivating right from the opening scene, which is a preview from the middle of the story, that I couldn't stop reading. Thank goodness I was reading on my computer and could turn pages faster, although I have a blister on my thumb.

Musch's historical fiction is straight from early Wisconsin settlement times, with all the grit, romance, hardship and lore of the Great North Woods. Lumber barons took land and timber by right, by force and by theft. Colette "Lettie" Palmer is a young girl when her father follows Harris Eastman from Michigan to Wisconsin Territory in 1841.

When the Palmers and the Harrises settle in Grand Rapids, Colette becomes a companion to young Mrs. Harris, helping at her home and impressing Mr. Harris with her quick grasp of business. Colette has left behind dear friends in Michigan, including her childhood love, Manason Kade. Colette makes a new friend as soon as she and her family move in. Joe Gilbert will never be more than a dear friend to Colette, not that he doesn't wish more. A few years later, Colette's father suffers a terrible accident which causes him and Colette's mother to move to Milwaukee for medical care, leaving Colette with the Eastmans. Meantime, Manason follows his dream to the lumbering trade in Wisconsin and discovers underhanded practices in the timbering industry. When Mrs. Harris eventually carries a pregnancy almost to term, it's not hard to figure out what's going to happen. Through a series of miscommunication and missed connections, Colette makes life choices out of pity and the goodness of her heart, while never forgetting her longing for Manason. When Manason finally meets Colette again, he is too late to declare his true love. Eastman's jealousy plays out in his underhanded treatment of Manason.

Colette's marriage to an "exacting" man is trying on many fronts, but her faith is always a foundation no matter how difficult everything else becomes. When her circumstances take another life-altering change, she must choose again—but will she decide her fate for the right reasons this time?

This period of Americana is rare in historical fiction. It's a delight to explore the 1840s with Musch, who did an excellent job of putting the reader in time and place with rich detail.

I received an advanced reader copy from the author to review.

Review of Uncertain Heart by Andrea Boeshaar

Uncertain Heart

by Andrea Kuhn Boeshaar
ISBN: 978-1-61638-023-6
Reviewed by Lisa J Lickel
c. 2010 Realms Fiction, a division of Strang Book Group

Set a few years following the initial book of the series, Uncertain Heart follows the story of Sarah McCabe, younger sister of Ben, the hero in Unwilling Warrior. Immediately following the conclusion of the Civil War, Sarah sets out for adventure from her home in a small Missouri town to find work as a music teacher in Chicago, Illinois. When she arrives, the position has dried up, so Sarah finds work in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as a governess or nanny for the summer to a ship captain's four children.

From the first time I met the Captain, Brian Sinclair, I couldn't help comparing Boeshaar's tale with the Sound of Music. The Captain's serious treatment of his children, his tendencies to leave for extended periods of time and even his choice of friends reminded me a little of the Von Trapp family story. Sarah even brings the gift of music as she teaches piano lessons to the children.

Boeshaar wove a charming tale of big city life in the mid-1880s for historical romantic fiction lovers. Sarah's desire to experience independence before settling down in a home of her own draws the reader into her battle. Sarah's quest sometimes leads her down questionable paths as she struggles to maintain a life of faithfulness in the Sinclair home. She must also contend with a cantankerous housekeeper and the very friendly and too-likeable accounting assistant, Richard Nevis.

At the end of the summer, Sinclair vows to do anything to keep Sarah in Milwaukee instead of letting her return to Chicago as a music teacher. Just how far he's willing to go gets Sarah into plenty of trouble. When her big brothers come to her rescue, Sarah is determined to choose her own destiny. Will it be Missouri, life with Richard who wants a quiet life on the family farm or the luxury of the worldly captain? When fate intervenes, Sarah and Richard must make difficult choices.

Uncertain Heart is the second book in the Seasons of Redemption series, but can be read as a stand-alone story.

I received a copy of this book from Title Trakk for review.