Friday, December 18, 2009

Robert Siqveland - The Wilderness of Time

The Wilderness of Time

by Bob Siqveland

ISBN: 978-0-9741109-1-2

That ambiguous chasm that separates justice from the law affects our lives constantly, more so than we are probably willing to admit.

There are fundamental and universal truths that one faces every day, emanating from classic conflicts between justice and the law, conscience and the law, the subtlety of innocence versus the law, and innocence versus evil. In the end, they are mostly interpretive, and each of us ultimately must own our interpretations and the behaviors they spawn.

Why do most people cheer vigilante justice when it’s illegal? Lines and boundaries. Individual and societal. Subjective and objective. Or, how about when who we are conflicts with who we think we are, or who others think we are, or even who we think others think we are?
Sean O’Dell, a decorated 63-year-old cop, plants evidence in order to protect his friend of 50 years from a murder conviction. He knows that his friend is the real victim and chooses to risk his oath, reputation, and even freedom to prove it. Does the end justify the means, and what price must he pay for a justice that may be veiled in a lifelong untruth?

Cops, lawyers, judges, and society will have different answers, but where those answers conflict with conscience, regardless of law, can there be a winner? You make the call.

Bob Siqveland graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1967. He enjoys many art endeavors and has recorded his music. He commanded an artillery battery while serving in the Army before spending 23 years as a venture capitalist. He is currently involved in the gaming industry and lives in Northern Minnesota.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Holiday Gift Giving


As you scurry through the store trying to find those ideal gifts for your loved ones, don’t forget the gift of words. Whether it’s a mystery, a cook book, poetry, a financial guide, history, children’s book, inspirational, travel, or folk lure, a book never goes out of style. Every turn of a page brings adventure.

I want to thank all the creative folks who participated in my Reading Minnesota Blog during 2009. Authors, illustrators, reviewers, bookstore owners, publishers, and editors—what a tremendous pool of talent!

I also want to thank those who dropped by to read the features and leave comments. I hope you enjoyed them. Maybe you found a new bookstore to visit, added an author or illustrator’s work to your list of books read, enjoyed the explanation of what editors and reviewers face on a weekly basis, or were as amazed as I was at the publishing enterprise in Minnesota.

What will 2010 bring to Reading Minnesota? I bet you’ll find new talent, new locations, and I know you’ll revisit old friends as they produce new works.

Have a joyous holiday season.

Beth Solheim
Reading Minnesota

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christina Rodriguez - Why Hands Off is Best!

I believe each of us has a secret desire to white a children’s book. Is it the child in us clamoring to get out, or is it the desire to bring happiness to children as they listen to your story? If I’m not an illustrator, should I write the book if I can’t illustrate?

Christina Rodriguez, award winning illustrator, has kindly agreed to answer my questions.

The Author-Illustrator Relationship: Why a Hands-off Approach is Best

As a children’s book illustrator, one of the questions I am frequently asked by aspiring children’s book authors is, “Do I need to find an illustrator for the story I want to submit to a publisher?” I actually love getting this question because at it’s so easy to answer: “No.”

Publishers, whose money is backing the production, a lot of the promotion, and ultimately the success or failure of the book, rightfully want to choose the illustrator themselves. As you trusted their judgment when they selected your story for publication, you should trust them as they choose an illustrator for your words. What happens next may not always match your vision, but it is the publisher’s vision - comprised by a team of hardened industry professionals - that ultimately sells your picture book.

Illustrators need freedom to impart their unique sensibilities into the work; the old adage “Too many cooks spoil the soup” is pretty applicable in children’s book illustration. As such, it is not unusual for the author and illustrator of a book to never meet and for the author to have little to no input on the art. You don’t need to write illustration cues into your manuscript. Explicit compositional directions, color palette suggestions, or other “pointers” from an author are often distracting and unnecessary. When I read a manuscript, the words envelop me and I let the images come to my mind as they may. Illustration cues totally break that vibe.

That’s not to say that you don’t have any control over some of the visual decisions. I personally don’t mind a little insight into what the author was imagining as he or she wrote the story, because I do find that fascinating. I also love being able to reach an author for clarification if I have some questions about the text. For these scenarios, the author and illustrator can always reach each other through the art director. It is the art director who works closely with the illustrator, receives the sketches, makes those tough editing calls, and gives the final approval on each stage of the art. A good art director still wants to see the illustrator’s take on the story, but will also provide needed guidance and structure.

We illustrators understand that your story is important to you; after all, it’s important to us too! Trust that it is foremost in our minds, even if we don’t always see it in the same way. The individual style, sensibilities, and artistic viewpoint that an illustrator brings to the table will, in due course, make your picture book a stronger piece of work.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ott Lukk - Poet

by Ott Lukk

A volatile mixture full of passions both requited and unrequited; that is the poetry of Love Or Lust.”

It’s one of the oldest dilemmas of all time: love versus lust. Sometimes the two elements are one and the same, sometimes they are not, and sometimes it doesn’t matter, as you find yourself enveloped in one, the other, or both of these intoxicating, powerful emotions. In Love Or Lust, author Ott Lukk takes you on a literary journey that passionately explores these familiar concepts in a magnificently rendered work.

In this volume of poetry, themes ranging from how to discern the ethereal nuances of love or lust, to how these two oftentimes dueling emotions merge seamlessly and unexpectedly into one, are brought to the surface in an achingly beautiful voice, filled with desire and yearning in every carefully chosen word.

The essence of beauty, the concept of death, the fleeting nature of time, gods, goddesses, and religion. The simple joys of childhood and parenthood. Lukk’s poetry brilliantly weaves through all of these themes and beyond to make this truly an extraordinary and unforgettable collection to be treasured and contemplated by all who come across it.

The twin themes of passion—love or lust—transcend the written word beautifully, flowing into lyrical song, another avenue through which Lukk’s creative voice can be heard. The sweetness of love and the boldness of lust—at times they both frame the romantic parameters of our richly complex and intertwined hearts and spirits.


Ott Lukk was born in Tübingen, Germany, shortly after the close of World War II to Estonian parents. He immigrated to the United States when he was three years old, and he and his family eventually settled in Minnesota. Ott has a Bachelor of Arts in English from St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN, and a Bachelor of Science in Business from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.

Ott writes both poetry and songs, and his songs have won awards such as the Billboard World Songwriting Contest, the Great American Songwriting Contest, and the Song of the Year Contest. Some of these lyrics are included in Love Or Lust, used with permission of his publishing firm, "Suspended Spider Songs." An artist also, Ott's original artwork appears on the book's front cover.

Ott lives in Minneapolis with his wife, Emily, daughter, Tiffany, and two Ragdoll cats, Fluffy and Ruby.


Monday, December 7, 2009

Whistling Shade Press

Whistling Shade Press

St. Paul, Minnesota

Owner: Joel Van Valin

Whistling Shade Press has four books published, with four more in the works. We are really more of a journal. Whistling Shade is a literary print newspaper that has been published since 2001. Until last year we were quarterly, but for the time being we are semi-annual (mainly because I have had to move temporarily to Los Angeles). We publish poetry, fiction, memoirs, literary essays and book reviews, and are distributed freely in cafes, book stores, and libraries in the Twin Cities area. About half of the authors we publish in any given issue are local. Our circulation is 2500.

The book publishing venture began as a sideline. We have always been a venue for local authors to reach a local audience. We wanted to extend that to book-length work as well. Our four books published so far are by Jarda Cervenka (Fausto's Afternoon, a collection of stories set in different countries around the world), Daniel Gabriel (Tales from the Tinker's Dam, a collection of stories surrounding a pub in Wales), Norita Dittberner-Jax (The Watch, a collection of poetry) and David McLean (Cadaver's Dance, a collection of poetry). In 2010 we will publish books by Sharon Chmielarz (poetry), Hanakia Zedek (poetry/philosophy), Jeff Vande Zande (novella) and Dylan Garcia-Wahl (poetry). All of the authors except for McLean and Vande Zande are local.

Staff pictured in the photo are left to right, top to bottom: Michael Ramberg, Rhonda Niola, Deanna Reiter, Justin Teerlinck, Lauren Bartel, Joel Van Valin, Sten Johnson.

As to how we got started ... well in 2001 I earned my pilot's license, and I decided to try something a bit different than flying Cesnas. I love literature and work in the newspaper industry, so my idea was to create a combination of the two. Local readers and writers responded with high spirits and enthusiasm, and so we are now in our ninth year and have a small staff of six or seven volunteers who run the journal and book publishing division.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Deanna Reiter - The Nine Scoundrels

The Nine Scoundrels
How to Recognize and Release Subtle Patterns of Sabotage

by Deanna Reiter

ISBN: 978-0-98003755-5

Whistling Shade Press

The Nine Scoundrels is a non-fiction personal-growth book that helps you become conscious of the nine dominant roles that exist to distract us from a life of joy, so we can dissolve the mind-set that has kept us locked in a world that is no longer ideal in one way or another. Discover the patterns that are blocking your joy and create the life you desire and deserve. This book offers the opportunity to move beyond the former parameters of your mind and The Nine Scoundrels lurking in your life.

Each of these scoundrels has a unique way of sabotaging our happiness. But again, it is our perception and our individual thoughts and actions that can get in our way in the presence of these scoundrels. We have invented and invited the scoundrels into our lives. It is simple and easy to release them, however. We need only become aware of them in order to be free.

Deanna Reiter, MA, is an expert in positive thinking and releasing sabotage. She is the author of Dancing with Divinity: Positive Affirmations for any Situation and The Nine Scoundrels: How to Recognize and Release Subtle Patterns of Sabotage. She is also the creator of two DVDs: Dancing with Divinity Yoga DVD and Reiki Affirmation Dance. Deanna is a Certified Yoga and Pilates Instructor, Personal Trainer, Rebirthing Breathworker, Reiki Practitioner and public speaker residing in Minneapolis. Deanna is a Master Trainer for the National Exercise Trainers Association, teaching yoga and pilates certification workshops nationwide.


Jan. 22-24
The Christine Center in Wisconsin

March 27-29
White Water State Park Group Lodge Zumbrota, MN

Contact for more information.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Yvonne Palka

Dragon Fire, Ocean Mist

By Yvonne Palka

ISBN: 13978-0-9817668-0-5

HeartRock Press

On the wild ocean coast of Washington State you’ll find enormous sea stacks at Point of Arches, Shi Shi Beach. The rocks loom high and dark over the water, like the backs of
ancient mythical creatures. When Jaxon and Allie encounter the Shi Shi dragons, they are quickly befriended by the whole family. But no one is safe from the thieving, temperamental dragon Zorg and his strange brood. Allie and Jaxon will need all the ingenuity they can muster––as well as the help of Niji, the dragon foundling––to defeat the dark-winged Zorg and restore peace to Shi Shi Beach.

Yvonne Palka is not your average grandmother. Part-time Twin Cities resident/part-time Whidbey Island, WA resident, a retired college professor and biologist, a sumi-e (Asian brush painting) artist, and now an award-winning children’s book author of Dragon Fire, Ocean Mist (HeartRock Press, 2009). And, believe me, Palka’s dragons are not your grandmother’s dragons!

When Palka became a grandmother she would often take the youngest of her brood to gaze upon the mile-long cavalcade of sea stacks and natural arches called the Point of Arches at Shi Shi Beach in Olympic National Park. She would ask the children, “Do you think these are just rocks? Or are they dragons asleep in the sand?” Thus began her affinity for creating dragon adventure stories and combining them with her talent as a sumi-e artist. Dragon Fire, Ocean Mist is a chapter book written and illustrated by Palka based on the stories she has been creating through the years as she watched her children and grandchildren grow.

Dragon Fire, Ocean Mist was recently awarded a bronze medal in the “Best First Chapter Book” category of the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards of the Jenkins Group Publishing service.

Palka will be in the Twin Cities for the next couple of months, and will be doing some presentations at the local Barnes and Noble in Maple Grove, MN and visiting several schools in the area for school book fairs. The kids will have the opportunity to try their hand at sumi-e painting. Palka will also be an author-in-residence with the 4th graders at Oakview Elementary School the week of December 14, 2009. For more information on the author and her Minnesota event lisText Colortings, please visit:



Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Laura Childs - Eggs Benedict Arnold

Eggs Benedict Arnold

by Laura Childs

Berkley Prime Crime

ISBN 978-0-425-23155-5

The Cackleberry Club?
Dan Brown it’s not!

Why Eggs Benedict Arnold, by Laura Childs, local author and New York Times bestselling author, may turn out to be the little book that could this holiday season.

When times are tough and money’s tight, a surprising number of readers turn to good old-fashioned cozy mysteries. The paper kind you can curl up with instead of a hard, impersonal e-book. The kind that costs just $7.99.

Laura Childs has filled Eggs Benedict Arnold, the second book in the Cackleberry Club Mystery series, with a raft of small-town Minnesota characters that make you yearn for simpler times. At the top of the list are Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, the wise-cracking (and egg cracking) entrepreneurial ladies of the Cackleberry Club café, who whip up Egg Strata and Slumbering Volcanoes in the morning, then work a double shift as amateur sleuths.

In between two murders, a car chase, and tromping through a deserted cemetery, they manage to hold a Knit-in for charity, serve afternoon tea, and stage a cake decorating contest. Author Laura Childs is betting that women (and a few men) will make this second book in the series a #1 bestseller just like the first one was. “We all crave a little comfort right now,” said Childs. “We want to return to basics like homemade breakfast, cake and cookie recipes, and neighbors who are quirky but pull together when they have to.”

Spirituality abounds, too, along with a surprising amount of pulse-pounding action. And for readers on a budget, there’s that mass market price.

Laura Childs (the pseudonym of Gerry Schmitt) is the author of three different mystery series, including the Tea Shop Mysteries, the Scrapbook Mysteries, and the Cackleberry Club Mysteries. Her books have made trips to the New York Times, USA Today and Independent Mystery Booksellers bestseller lists. She is the former founder and CEO of Mission Critical Marketing.

Tea Shop Mysteries
Death by Darjeeling
Gunpowder Green
Shades of Earl Grey
English Breakfast Club Murder
Jasmine Moon Murder
Chamomile Mourning
Blood Orange Brewing
Dragonwell Dead
The Silver Needle Murder
Oolong Dead
The Teaberry Strangler
Scones & Bones
Agony of the Leaves

Scrapbook Mysteries
Keepsake Crimes
Photo Finished
Bound for Murder
Motif for Murder
Frill Kill
Death Swatch
Tragic Magic
Fiber & Brimstone
Skeleton Letters
Postcards from the Dead

Cackleberry Club Mysteries
Eggs in Purgatory
Eggs Benedict Arnold
Bedeviled Eggs
Stake & Eggs
(December 2012)


BOOK SIGNINGOnce Upon a Crime - Saturday, December 5, 2009
An Eggs Benedict Arnold publication party with book signing and refreshments will be held Saturday, Dec. 5, from noon to 2:00pm at Once Upon a Crime Mystery Bookstore. The store is located at 604 West 26th St., Mpls., MN 55405, phone 612-870-3785.

Borders Books in Minnetonka – Saturday, December 12, 2009
A book signing and recipe giveaway will be held on Saturday, December 12, from noon to 2:00pm at Borders Books in Minnetonka. The store is located at 1501 Plymouth Road, Minnetonka, MN 55305 (adjacent to Ridgedale), phone is 952-595-0977.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Diane Keyes - The Spirit of the Snowpeople

The Spirit of the Snowpeople

By Diane Keyes

ISBN-10: 0892727101

Down East Books

The Spirit of the Snowpeople is the story of a small village of north woods folks who brighten the long gloomy days of winter for their children by building amazingly detailed and lifelike snow sculptures. Soon visitors come to see the snowpeople and find themselves touched by the villagers’ gentle goodwill and simple hospitality. But when warm spring winds melt the snowpeople the visitors must learn how to keep the spirit of the snowpeople alive in their hearts all year.

On the surface, Snowpeople is an entertaining and uplifting children’s book that captures young imaginations with its beautiful illustrations and joy-filled story. However, its deeper message reminds us how much easier life is when we surrender to the passing of each season and find ease in its gentle rhythms.

Diane Keyes has worked as a home stager, floral designer, lay minister, grief counselor and book reviewer. “ As a child, I always said I was going to be a writer,” she recalls, ”but I never pursued it until the day I was sitting at a stop light and every word for Spirit of the Snowpeople came to me in the short space between the red and green lights.

“Because I believe it was sent to me, I feel a real passion to help the book find its way in the world. It took 12 years get an agent and find a publisher but it was finally released last fall by Down East books. It broke all presale records in their sixty-year history and sold out within 3 weeks of its publication.”


Diane Keyes is also the award winning author of This Sold House-Staging Your Home to Sell in Today’s Market.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ann Hinnenkamp - Dyad Quest

by Ann Hinnenkamp

ISBN: 9781419923005

Cerridwan Press

Aiden Rawlings has had centuries to perfect the art of staying unconnected. For over four hundred years, he’s served as human partner to one of the immortal Dyads, protecting mankind from their worst enemy—themselves. But all his carefully built emotional walls start to crumble when he finds Jude Kapfer dying from gunshot wounds and asks the Dyads to heal her. They agree on one condition, Aiden must protect Jude and discover who is behind the attempt on her life. He’s only got one problem with that—how can he protect her if he can’t take his eyes off her?

Jude is having a bad week. First, a masked madman shoots her, then, two insanely sexy men show up and heal her and she discovers humans are not alone on the planet. Now, in order to save her life, she must team up with Aiden and allow herself to be drawn deeper in to the mysterious, hidden world of the Dyads. Maybe she should take her chances with the masked gunman. At least he’s human.

Ann started writing at a young age, convinced she was staring in a movie that needed a better script. Decades later, her love for all things paranormal led her to write the Dyad books.

Her plan had been to accept aging with the same effortless grace as any movie star with the last name of Hepburn, but now that her forehead is sliding down around her nose, and her neck attracts every rooster in the yard, she’s given up on grace and put her faith in a good moisturizer and turtle neck sweaters

Besides writing, she freelances as an actor and director in Minneapolis where she’s played everything from Eleanor of Aquitaine, to the third extra on the right with the gap in her front teeth.

Like many actors, she never quit her day job. Her years in the courier business have taught her a few valuable lessons: When designing a floor plan, never put your own office across from the bathrooms. It’s impossible to pick up a monkey at the airport, look him in the eye, and then deliver him to a testing lab. And transporting caskets, even when they’re empty, is just plain scary.

Dyad Dreams


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Helen Brenna - Mirabelle Island Series

Mirabelle … an Island to Remember

by Helen Brenna

First Comes Twins

Next Comes Love

Then Comes Baby

Harlequin Enterprises

The seed for my Mirabelle Island series came from family vacations. We’ve camped for years in northern Wisconsin, taken the ferry numerous times to Madeline Island, one of Lake Superior’s Apostle Islands where I learned my favorite camp song, and watched Fourth of July fireworks over the water from Bayfield.

Then there’s our visit to Michigan’s Mackinac Island, the quaint idyllic location of the famous Grand Hotel. My daughter will tell you she spent one of the best days of her life on Mackinac, horseback riding, eating homemade taffy and getting her first ever horse-drawn carriage ride. Add Mackinac to Madeline, and you get Mirabelle, the fictitious setting for my new Superromance series.

Set amidst cobblestone streets, Victorian bed and breakfasts, and hundreds of acres of virgin forests, each Mirabelle Island book tells the story of a different hero and heroine. They are a mixture of straight romance and romantic suspense, and although each book stands alone, the stories of the secondary characters, the islanders, carries through.

Currently, there are four books in the series, three of which release in August, October and December of 2009. The fourth, ALONG CAME A HUSBAND will be released in June 2010, and there are three additional Mirabelle books in the works for 2011.

Mirabelle … visit once and you’ll fall in love for a lifetime.

Since her first book was published in 2007, Helen Brenna’s romances have won numerous writing awards, including Romance Writers of America’s most prestigious, the RITA, Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice, the HOLT Medallion, and Book Buyers Best.

Helen grew up in central Minnesota, the seventh of eight children. Although she never dreamed of writing books, she’s always been a voracious reader of romances. After taking a break from her accounting career, she tried her hand at writing the romances she loves to read. Helen currently writes full-time and lives with her family in the Twin Cities.

FINDING MR RIGHT, October 2008
DAD FOR LIFE, June 2007
TREASURE, February 2007

"Highlighting the eternal tension between safety and risk and the familiar and the unknown, this poignant, sweet, gently humorous story focuses on a pair of deeply conflicted protagonists and nicely sets the stage for the Mirabelle Island books to come."
Library Journal

"A talented storyteller, Brenna has a gift for writing category romance. She understands how to create intimate, heart-touching stories with the kind of vigorous writing that makes a series romance a satisfying little peak into the lives and loves of unique people and families. If you don't know her work, NEXT COMES LOVE is a nice place to start."
Michelle Buonfiglio, Barnes and Noble



Harlequin Enterprises

Friday, November 20, 2009

Carl Brookins - Devils Island

Devils Island

By Carl Brookins

ISBN: 978-1-59080-643-2

Echelon Press

Lake Superior has called Mary Whitney once more to its shores. While her husband, Michael Tanner, finishes several projects in Seattle, Mary flies alone to settle into her chartered sailboat in Bayfield, Wisconsin. She is looking forward to a relaxing solo sail and a few days communing with the lake. Neither she nor Michael are aware that Edwin Tobias, a wealthy and determined hedge fund operator and corporate raider–not to mention Mary's twisted ex husband–has been tracking her movements.

With a yen for intrigue, Mary intends to visit most of the Apostle Islands and being on her own allows her that blissful freedom. Shrouded in mystery, the island that draws her highest interest, aptly named Devils Island, is isolated and lacking a protected anchorage. No one lives on the island and it is rarely visited. Its dramatic history and unceasing wave action has left the formation of great caves that emit sonorous moans and booming sounds. It is there, off that rocky coast, Mary meets the ultimate challenge of her life. Will all her mental and physical resources be enough to save her life and protect her boat?

Brookins writes three series; a sailing adventure series featuring Michael Tanner and Mary Whitney. The Sean Sean private investigator series set in Minneapolis, and has introduced a new protagonist, Jack Marston, an administrator at an urban college for working adults. His short work appears in anthologies, "Silence of the Loons," and "Resort to Murder," "Heat of the Moment," and "Out of the Gutter." Before he became a mystery writer and reviewer, Brookins was a freelance photographer, a Public Television program director and producer, a Cable TV administrator, and a counselor and faculty member at Metropolitan State University in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

He has reviewed mystery fiction for the Saint Paul Pioneer Press and for Mystery Scene Magazine. His reviews appear on his own web site, and on Internet review sites, including Books n' Bytes and The Mystery Morgue. Brookins is an avid recreational sailor. With his wife and friends he has sailed in many locations across the world. He is a member of Sisters in Crime, Private Eye Writers of America, MWA, and EPIC. He can frequently be found touring bookstores and libraries with his companions-in-crime, The Minnesota Crime Wave.

He lives in Roseville, Minnesota, with his wife Jean, a retired publisher and editor.



Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Michele DeVille - The Path To Forgiveness

The Path to Forgiveness

by Michelle Deville

illustrated by Shawn McCann

ISBN-10: 1592982980

The Path To Forgiveness is an inspirational journey of the heart to a place where one can discover the power of forgiveness, peace and hope. This beautifully illustrated book offers a gentle but powerful message to all ages on the importance of forgiveness and brings hope and comfort to those struggling with past hurts and regret.

The heart-felt and moving words make The Path To Forgiveness an excellent gift book for anyone seeking the inspiration to forgive.

The Path To Forgiveness is a gentle and insistent reminder to let go of our wounds and forgive. It provides nicely illustrated exhortations to move on with kindness and love and does so in an open hearted and sweet way…”—Frederic Luskin, Ph.D., director of Stanford Forgiveness Projects, author of Forgive for Good

Michele DeVille has a wealth of experience with over 20 years in business development and inspires change in others through her work as a life coach and motivational speaker. She has a passion for volunteering and has worked as a youth grief counselor, as well as speaking for the SAVE organization. Michele is the author of the newly released book The Path To Forgiveness and a second book that is planned for release in 2010.

The Path To Forgiveness is a direct result of DeVille’s own life experiences and it is her hope that the simple but powerful message in this timeless piece for all ages will inspire people to celebrate the most important things in life, promote healing and truly help others to forgive and face the tough challenges in life.

Michele resides in Minneapolis with her family and enjoys travel, writing, speaking, movies and spending time with family and friends up north. She lives with intention, plays with abandon, continues to learn and does what she loves!

DeVille is championing The Path To Forgiveness message with organizations, churches and groups through her writing, coaching and a variety of workshops and is dedicated to fulfilling her life’s purpose to helping others discover a joy filled and extraordinary life at any age!

Monday, November 16, 2009

New York Times Best Seller - Cindy Gerard

Feel The Heat

by Cindy Gerard


Pocket Books

Bold, blond Defense Intelligence officer B. J. Chase isn’t exactly thrilled when she’s summoned from personal leave to investigate an alarming national security breach—until the suspicious death of a government official blows her covert mission sky high.

Gorgeous Black Ops bad boy Raphael Mendoza always feared his family’s dark history would haunt him. But he never expected it might hold the key to dismantling a rogue weapons system. Now with cool B.J. Chase posing as his hot babe fiancée, he returns to his uncle in Colombia to convince him he can be trusted with the family’s dirtiest business secrets.

Carrying out a deception among ruthless killers brings Rafe and B.J. too close to ignore the heat between them. Now, they must work together as the closest of partners as the countdown to international catastrophe closes in.

Since her first Loveswept hit the Waldenbooks National Number 1 bestseller slot in 1991, Cindy Gerard has made 6 back to back appearances on the New Times Best-seller list. She's also appeared on the Publisher’s Weekly and USA Today Bestseller lists and her work has twice been featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine. She’s a 6 time Rita finalist and is proud to display 2 RITAs in her office along with a National Reader’s Choice Award. Cindy writes fast, sexy action adventure romantic suspense featuring former Spec Ops warriors and is proud to count many military families among her readers.

While Cindy lives in Iowa on a mini ranch with a spoiled dog, two equally spoiled cats and her hubby, Tom, who raises quarter horses, she spends as much time as possible in the family's cabin on Lake Kabetogama, in northern Minnesota. and considers Minnesota her second home. When she can find the time, she loves to read and travel and spend time with her family and friends. Catch up on Cindy’s news at

TO THE EDGE - 5-05

RISK NO SECRETS – Release date May 18, 2010



“Ms. Gerard artfully reveals the secret, previously known only to wives, girlfriends and lovers of our military special-operations warriors: these men are as wildly passionate and loving as they are watchful and stealthy. Her stories are richly colored and textured, drawing you in from page one, and not simply behind the scenes of the warrior life, but into its very heart and soul.” –William Dean A. Garner, Former US Army Airborne Ranger and Corporate Mercenary, NY Times bestselling ghostwriter and editor

“Cindy Gerard’s Black Ops series kicks romantic adventure into high gear. Dark, dangerous, and sexy, it’s a winner.”—Allison Brennan, New York Times bestselling author

Sunday, November 15, 2009

David LaRochelle - Author - Illustrator


written by David LaRochelle
illustrated by Richard Egielski

ISBN - 13: 978-0-439-64011-4

Arthur A. Levine Books / Scholastic

And they all lived happily ever after. That's how most fairy tales end, but in this story, that's how the tale begins. Starting with the festive marriage between a clever princess and a soggy knight, this fairy tale winds backwards past a frightened dragon, one hundred bunny rabbits, a runaway tomato, and a hungry giant, until finally reaching the beginning where a bowl of lemonade triggers all the wild events about to come. Illustrated by Caldecott-winning artist Richard Egielski, THE END has received starred reviews in School Library Journal, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist.

A former elementary school teacher, David has been writing and illustrating children's books for over twenty years. He is the recipient of the Minnesota Book Award for THE BEST PET OF ALL, a picture book illustrated by Hanako Wakiyama. His first young adult novel, ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY NOT, began as a short story about a teenager who takes his friend's golden retriever to prom rather than admit to his parents that he's gay. The book went on to win the SCBWI Sid Fleischman Award for young people's humor writing. His next picture book, 1 + 1 = 5, is scheduled to be released in September, 2010. When he is not writing, illustrating, or visiting schools to talk to kids about creating books, he enjoys carving fancy pumpkins, which you can view at his website.




Friday, November 13, 2009

Mark Johnson - Triangle Top - The Tale of a Troubled Tribe

Triangle Top: The Tale of a Troubled Tribe

by Mark Johnson

ISBN 13: 978-1-59020-040-7

Penelope Press

Triangle Top: The Tale of a Troubled Tribe is a tale that tracks a tribe of Trylicans as they traverse the tremendous triangular territory known as Triangle Top. Seeking trumples, the tasty treat of the trumple tree, Trylicans triumph over tenuous talents by working in tandem. The tale takes a turn when Travis, a tenacious Tweeble, trounces ahead of the tribe where he targets terrain that is quite troubling.

Mark Johnson is a Twin Cities native and graduate of St. Olaf College where he earned a degree in music composition. He honed his writing skills editing technical manuals for Finale music notation software. This is his first picture book. He currently resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Born of a multicultural military family overseas, Christina Rodriguez is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and an award-winning children's book illustrator. She enjoys cooking, hula-hooping, and spending time outdoors with her husband and rescued dog. She lives and works out of a renovated 19th century church in Stillwater, Minnesota.

Christina Rodriguez's Website

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Susan Runholt - Rescuing Seneca Crane


by Susan Runholt

Viking Children’s Books

ISBN-10: 067006291X
ISBN-13: 978-0670062911

When Kari and Lucas first see Seneca Crane up on stage, playing the piano in front of hundreds of people, they are in awe. She is beautiful. She is amazingly talented. And she is only thirteen! But then they get to know her at the Edinburgh Arts Festival and realize that she envies them. Soon the three are becoming friends . . .until Seneca disappears. There’s no stopping Kari and Lucas from jumping on the trail and tracking her down. Even when it leads to the heart of the Scottish highlands!

Following in the spine-tingling tracks of The Mystery of the Third Lucretia, Susan Runholt’s second book featuring super sleuths Kari and Lucas is just as smart and fast-paced as the first!

Susan Runholt shares her teenage heroines' love of art and travel and commitment to feminism. She has traveled extensively in Europe, Asia and Africa, and lived in Amsterdam and Paris, working as a bank clerk and an au pair. She's also been a waitress, a maid, a motel desk clerk, a laundress, a caterer, and director of programming for South Dakota Public Television.

For the past two decades she has lived in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where she serves as a fundraising consultant for social service and arts organizations. She was named runner-up for the Debut Dagger Award by the Crime Writers' Association of Great Britain for The Mystery of the Third Lucretia.

The Mystery of the Third Lucretia



Sunday, November 15, 10:00-11:15 am

Workshop presentation
Writing Suspense for Kids
Loft Mystery Festival
Open Book
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Friday, November 20, 4:00 pm
Benefit reading and signing for
St. David's Center
Barnes and Noble
Minnetonka, Minnesota

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

David Fingerman - Edging Past Reality

Edging Past Reality

by David A. Fingerman

Two Harbors Press

ISBN: 1-935097-07-5

Edging Past Reality is a book of twenty-two short stories of speculative fiction. A number of reviewers have compared them to "Twilight Zone" episodes. As the forward states ". . . be ready to walk through a world of unhinged assumptions." Imagine a mirror that holds more than mere reflections, a lush meadow that thrives while drought kills everything around it, or a pocket watch that can bring back the dead. Some stories will frighten, others will fill you with wonder (maybe an uneasy wonder, but wonder none the less). All the stories will keep you guessing up to the last page.

David Fingerman was born in St. Paul and presently lives in Minneapolis. He graduated with a BA from the University of Minnesota. With a Journalism degree almost certain, he realized that if he switched his major to Speech, he could graduate a quarter earlier. He has no regrets. After working over twenty years in the Hennepin County Court system, he walked away to do what he loves to do - write. Again, no regrets.

He has published over twenty short stories appearing in magazines and anthologies, and recently published "Edging Past Reality" a book of speculative fiction short stories. His novels, "Silent Kill" and "Spyder" have been accepted by L & L Dreamspell and are expected to be released in 2010. He is currently working on a sequel to "Silent Kill."