Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Joan Marie Verba - Deadly Danger

Deadly Danger! (a Thunderbirds™ novel)
by Joan Marie Verba
ISBN: 978-0-9653575-9-3

Jeff Tracy, his five sons, and their associates run an organization called International Rescue, which helps people beyond the aid of the usual first responders. Virgil Tracy, the second of Jeff Tracy’s sons, pilots the heavy-rescue craft, Thunderbird 2, which carries the specialized rescue equipment to the danger zone. In addition to his expertise as a pilot and engineer, Virgil is also a talented pianist and artist. Virgil’s calm disposition serves him well in the extreme hazards he faces as a member of International Rescue. In Deadly Danger, Virgil will have to draw on these skills to meet the challenges. Will they be enough to help him through the crises that threaten?

Thunderbirds ™ & © ITC Entertainment Group Limited 1964, 1999 and 2009. Licensed by Granada Ventures Ltd. All rights reserved.

Joan Marie Verba earned a bachelor of physics degree from the University of Minnesota Institute of Technology and attended the graduate school of astronomy at Indiana University, where she was an associate instructor of astronomy for one year. Her first career, as a computer programmer, lasted ten years. After being laid off twice from computer programming jobs, she retrained as an editor. An experienced writer, she is the author of the novels Action Alert! and Countdown to Action! (FTL Publications, 2008) and the nonfiction books Boldly Writing (FTL Publications, 1996), and Voyager: Exploring the Outer Planets (Lerner Books, 1991), as well as numerous short stories and articles. She co-wrote the novel Autumn World (Stone Dragon Press, 2000) with other members of her writing group. She is a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Her novel, Countdown to Action, is a Mom's Choice Awards® Silver Recipient, a National Best Books Award finalist, and a Foreword Magazine 2008 Book of the Year Award finalist.

Purchase from

Deadly Danger! (a Thunderbirds™ novel)
ISBN: 978-0-9653575-9-3
Publication date: October 2009

Action Alert! (a Thunderbirds™ novel)
ISBN: 978-0-9653575-8-6

Countdown to Action! (a Thunderbirds™ novel)
ISBN: 978-0-9653575-7-9

Autumn World
ISBN: 0-9653575-3-8

Boldly Writing: A Trekker Fan and Zine History, 1967-1987, Second Edition
ISBN: 0-9653575-4-6

Voyager: Exploring the Outer Planets
ISBN: 0-8225-1597-0


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Jack Salmela - Of Vikings and Voyageurs

Of Vikings and Voyageurs

by Jack Salmela

North Star Press

ISBN-10: 0-87839-288-2
ISBN-13: 978-0-87839-288-9

The voyageurs carried a lot of furs along the waterways of the north. At least at one point, they carried real treasure…and lost it. The rumor of treasure came down to the present, sparking a search that attracted both treasure hunters and historians alike. The key lay in runestones left by Vikings centuries before the voyageurs paddled their canoes on the wilderness lakes and rivers.

I’m 53 years old, live in Duluth, MN, and work as a Civil Engineer for MnDOT. I live with my wife, JoAnn, and my daughter, Annelise. JoAnn works as a physical therapist, and Anne will be a junior in high school this fall.

Of Vikings & Voyageurs,” my second novel, reflects two passions: the wilderness of the Boundary Waters / Quetico, and a strong interest in history. The first novel, “The Messiah Medallions,” was self-published in 2005, but is no longer in print. However, copies are still advertised as being available through Amazon. North Star Press has asked me to write a third book, which is now in progress.

Other writings include a collection of essays, some travel stories for the Duluth News Tribune, and one feature article for Lake Superior Magazine.

I've also presented a PowerPoint presentation on the book. The presentation is titled "European Land Claims in Central North America - the history behind the novel, OF VIKINGS & VOYAGEURS."

A clever and intriguing novel. The intelligent and memorable characters in this story endure a whitewater-like adventure dodging danger while trying to solve a mystery that crosses continents and cultures along the way to a startling climax!” – Scott F. Wolter P.G., “The Kensington Rune Stone: Compelling New Evidence”

Jack Salmela’s “Of Vikings and Voyageurs” takes readers on a two-pronged voyage of discovery: historical and geographical. The book starts 229 years ago, with voyageur Jean-Luc Trotin paddling like a madman through the notorious Hell’s Gate Rapids.

Right when you’re wondering whether Trotin will live to see another day, Salmela transports you to modern-day Duluth and a slightly less exciting adventure, as Tim Malone’s car hits a patch of ice and he almost loses control.

Like “The Da Vinci Code,” this book is a mystery complete with ancient artifacts and symbols to decode, threatening characters descended from dead scoundrels and relics from the time of Christ. Unlike Dan Brown’s famous book, “Of Vikings and Voyageurs” takes place right here in the Northland.

Malone meets the eccentric Englishman Shelby Harrington in a room “the size of a small ballroom” at the Kitchi Gammi Club in Duluth. After their meeting, Harrington notes that he is going to brave the elements with his driver, Nigel, and walk down to a restaurant called the Pickwick. “We were intrigued by its English-sounding name,” Harrington tells Malone.
Malone and his friends visit the Kensington Rune Stone Museum in Alexandria, canoe North Hegman Lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA) and tour a mine north of Hibbing, all in an effort to find and decode signs left from the past pointing them to knowledge and treasure — and it’s hard to tell which is more valuable in the end.

Salmela, a born-and-bred Duluthian, said he did a lot of his research at Duluth’s public libraries and gives special credit to “The Kensington Rune Stone: Compelling New Evidence,” by Scott Wolter and Richard Nielsen.

“BWCA canoeing experience was of utmost importance, especially in terms of knowing the region, its major flowages and describing the beauty of the wilderness,” he added in an e-mail to the Budgeteer.

In short, it’s a book I’d recommend to any Northlander. A good plot with plenty of twists and lots of tidbits about the land we love and live on — what better to curl up with on a wintry day up north? – Jana Peterson - Budgeteer News


Friday, September 25, 2009

David Geister - Artist and Illustrator

David Geister is a Minnesota artist who specializes in paintings of early American history and the landscapes and people of the upper Mississippi River. His work is used by historical institutions, appears in magazines and children's books, and adorns the walls of numerous collectors.

David Geister is an artist whose love of the natural beauty of the land and fascination with his country's history is celebrated in his work. He creates landscapes, portraits and depictions of historic events in a variety of mediums . . . oil on canvas, pen and ink drawings and watercolor sketches done in a nineteenth century style.

As a child growing up at the confluence of the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers in Prescott, Wisconsin, Dave became immersed in the works of Mark Twain and Bruce Catton, and when he wasn't reading or reenacting battles with toy soldiers, he was drawing. Dave is a proud 1984 graduate of Dakota County Technical College, where he studied Applied Arts.
In addition, four years of service in the United States Marine Corps left him with a deep appreciation for the drama of American history and the desire to tell those stories.

Dave has worked for several years as a historical artist and illustrator and his paintings have been featured in The Military Collector and Historian, The Saturday Evening Post and several issues of The History Channel Magazine. His illustrations can be found in the Sleeping Bear Press children's books The Legend of Minnesota, The Voyageur's Paddle, The Legend of Wisconsin, Riding to Washington, and B is for Battle Cry: A Civil War Alphabet, written by his wife Pat Bauer.
The Minnesota Historical Society and many other state and county historical societies have called upon Dave's skills as a historical artist and interpreter for their sites. He can occasionally be glimpsed in costume portraying the frontier artists Seth Eastman or George Catlin. Dave appeared as Eastman in the award-winning Twin Cities Public Television documentary, "Seth Eastman: Painting the Dakotah." and even in an episode of Oregon Public Television's "History Detectives".

Dave lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his dear wife and stepdaughters, who share his love of history and art.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Patricia Bauer - B is for Battlecry-A Civil War Alphabet

A Civil War Alphabet

llustrated by David Geister

ISBN 978-1585363568

B is for Battle Cry: A Civil War Alphabet is a beautifully illustrated book that takes readers on a journey into the Civil War, which was one of the bloodiest, most divisive events to take place in America's history. For four years our young country's sense of self and citizenry was shaken to the core as North and South battled each other.

Each letter has a read-aloud poem accessible to younger children. The author wrote each poem to fit into Stephen Foster’s popular 19th century song “Hard Times Come Again No More." This song, as well as a Civil War parody and each poem set to the music can be downloaded from the illustrator’s website: The text that accompanies each letter is written at a higher level, and older children and adults will enjoy learning more about the historic battles, renowned leaders, inventions, and inspiring events and documents of the Civil War.

I am what is often referred to as a “veteran” teacher, which means that I’ve been around for a very long time!! My passions include history, music, art and literature, and I try to share those with my students.

I grew up in a loving family on the shores of Lake Waubesa near Madison, Wisconsin. Minnesota has been my home for most of my adult life and where I raised my two daughters. 1994 was a pivotal year because I completed my Master’s Degree in Liberal Studies from Hamline University, helped open a new middle school and began working as a seasonal costumed interpreter at Historic Fort Snelling. This is where I became fascinated with Minnesota history, as well as living history, and met the love of my life, artist David Geister, whom I married in 2002 in Civil War costume at Fort Snelling. I enjoy portraying nineteenth century characters such as Mary (Mrs. Seth) Eastman, Clara (Mrs. George) Catlin, Mary (Mrs. William) LeDuc and Abigail (Mrs. Josiah) Snelling. I am also an adjunct instructor for Hamline University, where we teach a course on Minnesota history, and I have given many workshops on using picture books to teach American history.

Though I have written for many years, B is for Battle Cry: A Civil War Alphabet is my first published children’s book. To be able to work with my husband on this book was a dream come.

Patricia is a member of the Children’s Literature Network

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Christine Columbus - Trust Your Heart

Trust Your Heart
A Short Story

by Christine Columbus

Michelle, a divorced mother of two preschool children living in a Minneapolis suburb, maintains her subscription to her hometown newspaper. So when she bumps into childhood friend David, who she already knew was a successful bachelor, she realizes the newspaper forgot to mention he had matured into a handsome man. Memories of their past resurface and once more she envisions playing house with him. Although this time it's the adult-rated version, where he's selling software that threatens her job, her co-workers refuse to play nice, her ex-husband is acting just plain weird and the hometown paper is in an uproar over who is sending her flowers and who she should date. Michelle doesn’t know whom to believe until she steps back and looks deep within and trusts her heart.

I’m Christine Columbus (yes, my real name), and I’ve lived forever in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I am a poet and a romance novelist for The Wild Rose Press with a number of short stories and a soon to be released novel (February 19, 2010) The Perfect Country and Western Story. My latest prose appeared in the Bloomington Art Center’s literary production Water September 11-13th.

I performed Flash Fiction Tween Seasons at the Ritz. My teacher, Patrick, at the University of Iowa, once said he looked forward to reading my work because it was like a glitter of gold in a box of sand. For some reason I’ve always visualized a kitty litter box when I think of it.

The Perfect Country and Western Story
(To be released in February 2010 by Wild Rose Press)

Alexandra has the Stetson hat, now all she needs is the cowboy. But with three days and over 50,000 faces to search, will she be able to find the man who stole her heart? Ben still can’t believe he was foolish enough to let the beautiful thief walk away with his autographed cowboy hat. If the heartbreaker dares to show up at Country Time again this year, he’ll not only be looking to get his hat back, but aiming for a little payback as well.



Christmas Mischief - Night Owl Romance Reviewer Top Pick
Coffee and Love To Go - Fallen Angel Reviews Recommended Read
Uncle Mike's Love
First Class Male
Drama Queen
A Hard Day On The Farm
Happy Meal

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Terri DeGezelle - The Real Deal Series

The Real Deal SeriesAlign Right

Children's Books

ILLNESS - The Real Deal

Why do people get illnesses? What is a diagnosis? How can you deal with an illness? This book will help you find the answers to these questions and others you may have.

MOVING - The Real Deal

Why do people move? What can you do to make new friends? How can you deal with moving? This book will help you find the answers to these questions and others you may have.

When I was a little girl there were two things in my bedroom that were very special to me; paper and books, I had a drawer full of notebooks, boxes of stationary, and lots of diaries. My bookcases were and still are full of Nancy Drew, Trixe Beldon and Anne Frank.

In eighth grade, my English teacher presented my class with a challenge – Read 1,000 books by the time we graduated from high school. I took the challenge and began to read even more than I had been reading. I read Charlotte’s Web, To Kill A Mocking Bird, Swiss Family Robinson and every mystery in my school’s library. I read under the covers at night, in the camper when we went on vacation and my favorite place of all, in a big over stuffed chair.

When I was a teenager, I went to Good Counsel Academy, an all girl Catholic high school. The Sisters I had for English were great teachers. They expected all assignments written using proper grammar and encouraged creative writing. I was not always happy with all those assignments but now I realize it was good practice for my writing today.

I still love paper and books. I still have a drawer full of paper and books cases full of books. I write and read every day. The only way to get better at something is to practice, practice, and practice!

For a list of the 60 non-fiction books Terri has written, check her website at Terri DeGezelle.
Terri is a Full member of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators, a speaker, instructor and has received numerous awards for her writing.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Deb Mercier - The Adventures of Molly and Skunky

The Adventures of Molly & Skunky

by Deb Mercier (illustrated by Faythe Mills)

Minnewaska Press

ISBN-13: 978-0-9799410-4-7

When the kids are away, the cats will play!

What do your animals really do when you go to school? Find out with Molly and Skunky, two Siamese beanie cats who decide their day could use a little adventure. Together they explore their favorite places . . . but will they make it home in time?

A note from the author: "Molly and Skunky are real beanie cats that have been toted around, lost, found, lost and found again. They've been to southern Utah, Disneyland, Tom's Food Pride, and on countless car trips. But no matter where we go or what we do, these beanies always make their way home. In short, they're part of the family. The Adventures of Molly & Skunky began as a Christmas present for my kids when they were young. This year, backed by the incredible talent of illustrator Faythe Mills, Molly and Skunky have come to life in their own Minnewaska Press title."

In her professional life, Deb Mercier is a humor columnist and children's author. Her weekly column, "Back Space," is published in several Minnesota newspapers. Her books for children include "The Adventures of Molly & Skunky," "The Captain's Hat," and "The Cat and the Canvas." Deb is a graduate of the MFA in Creative Writing program at Minnesota State University Moorhead and lives in Glenwood, MN with her husband, two children, two dogs, and a gerbil named Dave. As the mother of two, Deb spends much of her non-writing time putting things away. For more information about Deb and her projects, visit

The Captain's Hat
(hardcover & softcover)
by Deb Mercier, illustrated by Faythe Mills
ISBN-13: 978-0-9799410-0-9 (hardcover)
SBN-13: 978-0-9799410-3-0 (softcover)
Minnewaska Press

The Cat and the Canvas
by Deb Mercier
ISBN-13: 978-0-595-38173-1
Available through Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iUniverse, & Books a Million

September 18-19 – Brandon, MN
Brandon Elementary school

October 2 – Rochester, MN
Minnesota Educational Media Organization
Conference and book signing

MyBook: a Back Space collection
October, 2009
Minnewaska Press.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

C. Hyytinen - Pattern of Vengeance


C. Hyytinen

Echelon Press

Someone is killing street kids in Minneapolis and Detective Maria Sanchez is determined to stop the evil menace responsible for pushing the drugs. As the investigation deepens, an undercover cop is executed and evidence points to a diabolical L.A. crime boss, who has picked up where his uncle left off.

Sanchez and her partner have their work cut out for them when they team up with the FBI and a beautiful Russian born agent masquerading as a troubled teen to end the nightmare. When the agent and a young accomplice find themselves too close to the "family" in more ways than one, time quickly expires. Out of options, Maria and her partner make a trip to California, one that could well prove fatal.

C. Hyytinen is a Wisconsin transplant and has been a Minnesotan for more than 20 years, embracing the land of 10,000 lakes as her home. Living in a male dominated household with her husband and two sons has proven to be a challenge at times, but has also given her insight into the finer qualities of life. With a demanding career in the fast-track computer world, she uses her writing as a form of escape. When she's not busy with her family or work, you’ll find her hunched over her laptop, pounding out another crime thriller.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Midnight Ink - Publisher

Midnight Ink

Mystery’s Finest Hour

Midnight Ink publishes the very best in popular mystery paperbacks, from English countryside cozies to big city thrillers, and is dedicated to sleuthing out criminally-talented new authors. Our diverse line-up includes award-winning cozies, amateur sleuth novels, soft and medium-boiled suspense novels, and more.

Founded in 2005, the Twin Cities-based Midnight Ink has since published over 100 mysteries, including the 2009 Agatha Award-winning novel by G. M. Malliet, Death of a Cozy Writer.

The Murder-by-Month Mystery series by Jess Lourey
(St. Cloud, MN)
September Fair (September 2009)
August Moon (June 2008)
Knee High by the 4th of July (September 2007)
June Bug (March 2007)
May Day (March 2006)

The Otter Tail County Mystery series by Gerald Anderson (Moorhead , MN)
Murder Under the Loon (March 2008)
Death Before Dinner (April 2007)

Midnight Ink prefers agented submissions. While we also accept unsolicited submissions, our response time will increase significantly in such cases. Only those submissions sent as MS Word or PDF documents in an emailed attachment to will be accepted. Do not send by mail or fax.

Your submission must include the following:

* Cover letter containing a brief description of the project and the contents of the package.
* An outline and synopsis of the book.
* Brief summary of the author's background and credentials.
* Complete manuscript in the form of a Microsoft Word or PDF file.
* Your complete daytime contact information including telephone and email.
* Name, address, and phone number of agent (if applicable).
Please inform us if this is a multiple submission and include the number of current submissions.

The volume of submissions does not allow us to accept phone calls, e-mail, or other inquiries, or to provide comments or feedback on manuscripts. We will contact you only if we are interested in your proposal. Patience is a virtue—given the volume of submissions Midnight Ink receives, it can take up to six months for us to respond. If a manuscript requires a second read, it may take longer.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Christopher Valen - The Black Minute

The Black Minute

by Christoper Valen
North Star Press

ISBN: 978-0-87839-332-9

After his highly acclaimed debut, White Tombs, Christopher Valen brings St. Paul Homicide Detective John Santana back in a suspenseful novel filled with tension and action that doesn’t let up until the final, explosive ending.

The body of a young Hmong woman is found on Harriet Island near the Mississippi River. It appears to be a simple case of murder and revenge. But what begins as a routine investigation soon morphs into something far more sinister. Trusting his instincts and determined to find justice, Santana relentlessly follows clues through a maze of political intrigue and deadly secrets, all the while wondering who he can trust, and whether he can survive long enough to resolve the case, save the city from a catastrophe, and keep the woman he loves safe.

Christopher Valen’s first novel, White Tombs, featuring John Santana, won the Reader Views Choice Award for Best Mystery and the Garcia Award for Best Fiction.

Although I have traveled widely, I have primarily lived in and around the Twin Cities. I played a variety of sports growing up and was a junior Golden Gloves champion and an all-state and college baseball player. I also attained the rank of brown belt in Tae Kwon Do.

I got interested in reading as a child when a cousin gave me his old collection of Hardy Boys mysteries. I took a journalism course in high school and debated whether to major in journalism or teaching in college. I finally settled on teaching and acquired a B.A. in English, an M.A. in special education and an educational administration license. I worked with juvenile delinquents and as a teacher and principal before becoming a college professor.

I really didn’t get serious about writing until I took a course from Will Weaver, author of A Gravestone Made of Wheat, which was made into the very successful Hollywood movie, Sweet Land. I’ve published both non-fiction and fiction.

Valen lives in Minnesota with his wife, Martha.


“WHITE TOMBS is a superb police procedural starring a fascinating lead detective who has a history in his homeland. Santana is a wonderful new addition to the sub-genre as he cares about victims, even dead ones, but especially their grieving loved ones; in this case he pledges justice to Julio’s widow. Alcoholic Anderson is as dedicated in his own way. Readers will appreciate this strong whodunit with a stunning late twist that no one will see coming as Christopher Valen argues that a person’s collective past makes the person’s present as experiences lead to current actions and reactions”. —Harriet Klausner for Midwest Book Review

“John Santana of the St. Paul Police Department is a man you will not soon forget. The book is a great read and Santana is destined to become one of my favorite detectives. Truly a 5-star read from this author.” — Patricia Reid for Armchair Interviews

“Santana is an intriguing character. St. Paul readers will enjoy Valen’s sense of place.”
—Mary Ann Grossman, St. Paul Pioneer Press, (From 3-16-08 full page feature)

Books available through your favorite independent bookstore, mystery bookstore, bookstore chains, and

Saturday, September 19, 10 a.m. – Noon
Book Signing
A Novel Place
202 County Rd 81

Osseo, MN 55369

Sunday, September 20, 2-4 p.m.
Meet & Greet, Signing
Borders Books & Music
8472 Tamarack Bay Wood

Woodbury, MN 55125

Thursday, September 24, 7-9 p.m.
Killer Cocktails @ Midwest Booksellers Association (Not open to the public)
Common Good Books
165 Western Ave N, Ste. 14
St. Paul MN 55102

Saturday, Sept. 26, 1:00 p.m.
Midwest Booksellers Association
Trade Show (Not open to the public)Christopher Valen appearance at North Star Press booth
St. Paul, Minnesota

Tuesday, September 29, 7:30 p.m.
Meet & Greet, Signing
Common Good Books
165 Western Ave N, Ste. 14,
St. Paul MN 55102

Saturday, October 3, 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Meet & Greet, Signing
Lake Country Booksellers
4766 Washington Square,
White Bear Lake MN 55110

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bookin' It Bookstore - Little Falls

Bookin' It Bookstore

104B Second Street SE
Little Falls, MN 56345

Laura Hansen, along with Jackson, her Schipperke Schnauzer-mix dog, welcome you to Bookin’ It, her bookstore in downtown Little Falls, Minnesota.For relaxation, small town charm, historic details and great book recommendations, Bookin' It is the place.Our store, located on Second Street SE, faces the Historic Morrison County Courthouse and has all the charm and character of a country cottage. Washed in pale greens and yellows with bold berry red accents, visitors rave about the cozy rooms. A favorite is the kid's room with its original tin ceiling and barn wood walls.

Bookin' It - we call ourselves the small town bookstore with big ideas. Some call us a haven or retreat. Our regulars just call us friends. How about stopping in on your next day off or trip north? We are conveniently located on the way to just about anywhere.

We are currently featuring Minnesota authors Matt Goldman, Brian Duren, Brian Freeman, and Jess Lourey.

Did you know?

**Nationally recognized author, Louise Erdrich, was born in Little Falls?

**Did you know that mystery writer Joanne Fluke was originally from Swanville?

**How about this? Romance writer Maureen McKade is a native of Royalton!

**And Harlequin author Helen Brenna (Twomey) is a graduate of Little Falls High School.


Saturday, September 12 from Noon - 4:00 PM
Matt Goldman
Dingeltrot and the People of the Mill Juvenile Fiction
Alas, a last minute update, Matt Goldman will not be able to be with us this weekend because he has been nominated for an EMMY Award for co-direction of the Disney TV Series The Wizards of Waverly Place and he'll be in California instead for the Awards Ceremony. He did stop in this week to supply us with some signed books (first come first served!) and some of the biggest promotional bookmarks you've ever seen.

Saturday, September 12 from Noon - 4:00 PM
Brian Duren
Whiteout Debut Literary Thriller set in Northern MN

Sunday September 13 from 2:00 - 3:30 PM
Jess Lourey
September Fair Murder-By Month Mystery Series set in Battle Lake, MN
Winner of a Lefty Award

November 8th for our Holiday Open House
Nora Murphy
Knitting the Threads of Time - Casting Back to the Heart of Our Craft

Visit the Bookin’ It website at

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Laurie Purdie Salas-Stampede

Stampede! Poems to Celebrate
the Wild Side of School

by Laura Purdie Salas
Illustrated by Steven Salerno

Clarion Books

ISBN 9780618914883

These 18 funny and imaginative poems observe students in their natural habitat and reveal their unusual behavior, crazy communication, and very healthy appetites. Whether they’re in the classroom, on the playground, or in the cafeteria, school brings out the animal in all of them. And if you look carefully as you turn the pages, you may even glimpse some of the wild side in yourself!

Laura Purdie Salas is the author of more than 50 books for kids and teens, including STAMPEDE! POEMS ABOUT THE WILD SIDE OF SCHOOL and SHRINKING DAYS, FROSTY NIGHTS: POEMS ABOUT FALL. She loves to introduce kids to poetry and help them find poems they can relate to, no matter what their age, mood, and personality. She has also written many nonfiction books. See more about Laura and her work at



For a list of other books, visit Laura's website at

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Laura Childs

by Laura Childs

Berkley Hardcover

ISBN-10: 0425229890
ISBN-13: 978-0425229897

Tragic Magic by Laura Childs is the 7th installment in the bestselling Scrapbooking Mystery series featuring scrapbook shop owner Carmela Bertrand. Asked to convert an old mansion into Medusa Manor, a new haunted house attraction in New Orleans, Carmela and her best friend Ava are amped and ready to create spooky set decorations. But their first evening on the job yields a flaming body hurled from the third-floor tower.

As they reluctantly continue the project, Carmela is drawn into a hunt for the killer and finds herself in a haunted asylum, investigating cremation jewelry, and taking part in a séance. This fast-paced book veers between cozy and thriller (thrillzy?) and includes scrapbooking tips and New Orleans recipes. If you like a little fright in your life, Tragic Magic is the perfect Halloween read!

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

Scrapbook Mysteries
Keepsake Crimes
Photo Finished
Bound for Murder
Motif for Murder
Frill Kill
Death Swatch
Tragic Magic (Oct. 2010)

Cackleberry Club Mysteries
Eggs in Purgatory
Eggs Benedict Arnold (Dec. 2010)


Tragic Magic will be released October 6, 2009

Bookcase of Wayzata - Thursday, Oct. 8, 2009, 7:00 pm
Tragic Magic talk and book signing
The Bookcase of Wayzata
607 Lake Street E.
Wayzata, MN 55391

Once Upon a Crime - Saturday, Oct. 10, 2009
Book launch, signing and refreshments will be held Saturday, Oct. 10, from noon to 2:00 pm
Once Upon a Crime Mystery Bookstore
604 West 26th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55405

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Jan Dunlap - Murder on Warbler Weekend

A Bob White Birder Murder Mystery

by Jan Dunlap

ISBN-13: 978-0878393213

For birder Bob White, May in Minnesota means three things: counseling high school students with spring fever, coaching the girls' tenth grade softball team, and finding every warbler species during spring migration. But when his mother discovers a body while they bird together on Mother's Day, disturbing items get added to Bob's seasonal list, among them murder, gambling addictions, dirty politics and controversial land deals. And then there's that possibility - thanks to one of his students - that he might be wearing an orange jumpsuit while he makes license plates in the state pen. In this second outing of the Bob White Birder Murder Mystery series, Bob quickly finds himself chasing more than warblers as he searches for a killer who's even closer to home than he realizes.

Thursday, Sept. 10, 2009 at 7 pm
Once Upon a Crime in Minneapolis

Jan Dunlap is a writer, teacher and birdwatcher, who crafts her Bob White Birder Murder Mystery series with humor and realistic detail. A mother of five grown children, she holds two master's degrees - one in English Studies and one in Theology - and teaches college English online for two universities. She lives in Chaska, Minnesota with her husband Tom.

Borders bookstore
Barnes& Noble bookstores
Select independent stores

The Boreal Owl Murder
(first novel in Bob White Birder Murder Mystery series).

Dunlap’s debut The Boreal Owl Murder received a silver medal in the 2008 Midwest Book Awards, along with nominations for the Minnesota Book Awards and the Northeast Minnesota Book Awards. said that “Dunlap’s quick wit and quick pace makes this book a delight to read,” and gave it a four-star rating. Midwest Book Review gave the book five stars, and noted “The plot is fast paced, the denouement fun.” North Star Press reports that book sales have been brisk to birders and mystery lovers alike.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Camela's Cucina - Southern Italian Cooking

Carmela’s Cucina
by Carmela Tursi Hobbins

ISBN-13: 978-1932472356

The warmth and subtlety of Southern Italian cooking comes to life on every page of Carmela Hobbins’ new collection of recipes and reminiscences. The recipes are easy to follow and the ingredients are far from exotic, but the results remind us how delicious Southern Italian cooking at its best can be. Home-made pasta, delectable seafood appetizers, ricotta torts, and a remarkable array of wedding cookies are only a few of the heirloom treats to be found here. The book is enlivened by full-color photos of the dishes that have made Carmela’s cooking classes so popular and picturesque scenes from the Italian towns where Carmela holds her overseas classes.

Carmela Hobbins developed a love of cooking as a child in Des Moines, Iowa, watching her Italian grandmothers produce the pasta, sauces, breads, and desserts that the family would enjoy during the evening meal, and as an adult she has explored the remarkable offerings of the region with heightened interest. Her experience preparing hearty family meals and elaborate dinner parties, augmented by extended studies in Italy, served as a foundation for a successful catering business. In recent years Carmela has taught classes in many Twin Cities area cooking schools and hosted annual culinary tours of Tuscany and Liguria. In Carmela’s Cucina she shares both the warmth of her Italian-American Inspired by her travels and studies at La Quercia in Chianti and IL Mulino in Tuscany, Carmela Tursi Hobbins has created Carmela’s Cucina to offer small group, private lessons in the art of Italian cooking and entertaining. Carmela also teaches at, Byerly’s, Cooks of Crocus Hill, Nordic Ware, Sopra-Sotto in Rochester, MN., Acorn Pantry in WI. and in many Community Education programs through out the Twin Cities area.
Buon appetito,

Being of Italian heritage, her experience blends years as co-owner of a successful catering business and her background as a classroom teacher. She is currently expanding her travel in Italy to include small group culinary tours and she is working on her second cookbook. Her first cookbook, Carmela’s Cucina is now available for purchase. Her family has been in involved in the food business for over 50 years and her enthusiasm for the tastes of Italy is energizing. Carmela is a member of the Italian Table Club, Women Who Really Cook and the International Association of Culinary Professionals.

Carmela will also come and speak to your group about her experiences of growing up in Italian American family, traveling throughout Italy and can do a short cooking demonstration for your club or organization.



The book can be purchased through my web site at
or at Byerly's Grocery Store in St. Louis Park, Mn. or at Cook's of Crocus Hill.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Michele Hauf - Three Books Released in September

Nocturne (#2 in Wicked Games series)
by Michele Hauf
ISBN-13: 978-0373618194

Escaping from bloodthirsty vampires, Belladonna Reynolds ran straight into the arms of a werewolf. As a man, Severo drew her in with his dark good looks; as a beast, he astounded her with his insatiable sensual appetite. Whether afraid or aroused, Bella fled to his lair when threatened by an evil monster of the night…. Severo tried to keep Bella—his mate—safe from the vampiress who held a malicious desire for revenge against him, but he alone wasn't enough. Now Bella had taken the form of his most cursed enemy. How could he desire the very thing he'd spent his life destroying? And even if he did, what would the werewolf do to Bella on the next full moon?

Michele Hauf is a contributing author
ISBN: 978-0-09841258-2-1

Springtime brings thoughts of love to people all over the world, and Creekites are no exception. Although love to Creekites isn’t necessarily romantic. Take, for example, how they feel about their pets. Dogs, cats, birds, and fish take center stage as we once again see how the Southern half lives. Your favorites are back and in just as much trouble as ever. Amos and Ida are still circling each other’s wagons. Sandy Crane has a little Faith.
Jayne Reynolds emerges from widowhood to take a long lingering look at Mossy Creek’s Bubba Rice. Ed Bailey and his beloved dog Possum, Lil Ida Hamilton, Peggy Caldwell and others will make you laugh and cry at human and animal antics. Cat heists. Fish ponds. Bird nappings. Don t miss the fun with Critters of Mossy Creek!

Nocturne Bites
electronic book available at eHarlequin and Amazon)

He kissed her. They married. Now all she asks is that he let her bite him.
A ‘what happened next’ story featuring the hero and heroine of Moon Kissed.

Michele has been writing romance, action-adventure and fantasy stories for over fifteen years. Her first published novel was DARK RAPTURE. France, musketeers, vampires and faeries populate her stories. And if she followed the adage 'write what you know', all her stories would have snow in them. Fortunately, she steps beyond her comfort zone and writes about countries she has never visited and of creatures she has never seen.

If you like Vamps, check out the Vampire Vixens! We are a group of 16 authors who have all written about vampires, and love our vamp heroes with a little bite!

Contact me at


She also participates in a group author blog. Find them at: RidingWithTheTopDown

For entire list of Michele’s other books, visit her website at