Author Archives: sfhardytheauthor

About sfhardytheauthor

I'm a foodie at heart, but reading is my drug of choice. I'm founder and lead designer of Creative Junky Couture, where we create wearable art. Librarian by profession, and author of: The Empress' New Hair; I write to express, empower, share & uplift. I'm a writer, read me roar!

#MotownWriters Author Feature: E. Raye Turonek author of compelled to murder @RayeTuronek #michiganwriters #michlit

E. Raye Turonek

Purchase Compelled to Murder 

Where are you from? I am from Detroit, MI

Tell us your latest news?  Compelled to Murder was chosen for the book of the month of April by EyeCU Reading Network. I will also be participating in the Hustle&Grind book fair on May 19th hosted by Hood Book Headquarters.

When and why did you begin writing? I started writing in 2004. I was prompted to write by the vivid dreams I was experiencing.

Purchase Compelled to Murder 

When did you first consider yourself a writer? I considered myself a writer once I completed my first screenplay in 2004. 

What inspired you to write your first book? I sent my screenplay A Reason to Kill to a literary company. They responded, asking me to change it to book form. This is what ultimately made me convert my screenplay into a novel.

Do you have a specific writing style? I do not have a specific writing style. It just flows.

How did you come up with the title? I wanted the readers to feel a pull of interest toward my book, just from reading the title and viewing cover, so “Compelled to Murder” is what I came up with. I figured with the change from screenplay to novel it need a title change as well.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? I really want the readers to grasp the fact that everyone has faults, and understand how those faults can be played out. That actions have consequences…

How much of the book is realistic? The events are more realistic than not, but Compelled to Murder is fictitious. 

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? None of the events are based on a true story.

What books have most influenced your life most? I would say The Crucible influenced me the most. The chaos that ensued in the small town of Salem Massachusetts was unbelievable/shameful. I also loved “A Street Car Named Desire” and “Twelve Angry Men”.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? I’d be honored to have Stephen King as a mentor.
What book are you reading now? I am reading “Dark Mountain” by Richard Laymon.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? T.L. Criswell with the Peace Maker
What are your current projects? I’m currently working on a fantasy novel.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.The EyeCU Reading Network has been extremely supportive. The positivity of it’s members, the opportunities they spotlight, along with the information that they share with the literary community, are just a few things that make them a true gem. EyeCU Reading Network is an invaluable group of authors and readers!

Do you see writing as a career? I definitely see writing as a career.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? If I could go back, I wouldn’t change anything in my book, however going forward if I am afforded the opportunity to showcase  Compelled to Murder in a different form of art… I’d be open to changes. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I liked writing book reports on novels in high school.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? The editing is the hardest part for me.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? I don’t have a favorite author, however I love the way Richard Laymon pulls you into his stories. He tells a good story.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? I’ve not yet had the opportunity to travel because of my writing. That would be a dream come true.

Who designed the covers? I drew out the cover. My cousin, Amira Shaunice, author of Silence: The Complete Journey and creator/director of New York Girls TV, had it digitally made.
What was the hardest part of writing your book? The hardest part of writing my book was choosing my wording and sticking with it.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? Yes. I learned that the words you use have a great effect on people. Always write with emotion.
Do you have any advice for other writers? My advice is to choose your words wisely… don’t rush… let it come to you.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? want to thank my readers for allowing my work to be a part of their atmosphere. I can only hope I’ve provided them an experience that ran their emotions wild.

More From E. Raye Turonek at: http://erayeturonekbooks.us/more

Follow E. Raye Turonek at: https://www.facebook.com/ERayeTuronek/  

twitter.com/RayeTuronek 

Categories: Feature, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

MotownWriters Author Feature: Darren Kelly

 

Where are you from? Well I was born and raised in the city of Detroit, on the eastside.

Tell us your latest news? I do have some ideas for a new book for young adults. Also, I’m doing some author expos this summer.

When and why did you begin writing? I started writing when I was 17. I write to release emotions, energy, or when I have something to say about an issue. I kept a journal for 10 years and it helped me a great deal. When I got depressed I would write in my journal as a way to cope with pain. Plus I didn’t have a lot of friends in school; I kept to myself a lot. So writing in my journal was like talking to a best friend.

When did you first consider yourself a writer? After college (2013). I wanted to write a book about my college experience and what I got out of college to help others.

What inspired you to write your first book? After I finally graduated college in 2013 with a pre-law degree, I said to myself I wanted to help young people get through school and life in general. I got started on the book in September 2014.

Do you have a specific writing style? My writing style is conversational. I like to write as if I’m sitting down talking with the reader.

How did you come up with the title? I wanted to let people know you can accomplish your dreams with just 6 basic principles that are given in the book. And the book is based entirely in Detroit. So “6 Successful Things I Found in Detroit” was born.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Yes. I want readers to know you can do anything you set your mind too, that with the help of just 6 successful things you can be great.

How much of the book is realistic? The entire book is realistic. I have three brothers. Both of my parents worked in the auto plants. We moved to the East English Village area and stayed there for over 20 years. I graduated from Cass Tech high school in 2004. I entered WSU that same year and first majored in business. I spent years at WSU and loved the campus environment, the diverse student body, and curriculum.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? The events in my own life shape my book.

What books have most influenced your life most? I would say Michael Jackson’s book “Moonwalk” and Richard Wright’s “Black Boy.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? It’s a tie between Toni Morrison and Steven King. They’re both are good at writing.

What book are you reading now? I have taken a little break from reading at the moment. My favorite books though are non- fiction books and books by black authors: Toni Morrison, Richard Wright, James Baldwin, Malcolm X, ete.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Colson Whitehead author of Underground Railroad.

What are your current projects? I do have another book about Detroit in mind.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members. Co-workers.

Do you see writing as a career? Yes.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? No. I love the entire book.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I kept a journal for 10 years and it helped me a great deal. When I got depressed I would write in my journal as a way to cope with pain.

Can you share a little of your current work with us? Sure. 6 Successful Things I Found in Detroit, is a non-fiction book, a quick easy read about 6 ways to be successful. The text is autobiographical and details my journey growing up in the city of Detroit.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? The hardest part about writing this book is going back and revisiting some painful memories like the death of my brother. As a writer you may have to reflect on some painful memories to prove something to the reader.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? Stephen King. He is good at taking things from his personal life and making them into great stories.”

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? Yes.

Who designed the covers? I designed the cover. I wanted the book’s cover to convey the central theme, which is higher education so I decided to put my graduation picture on there. I wanted to show the reader that if I can do it, you can to.

What was the hardest part of writing your book? Writers’ block. I had a 3 month writers’ block.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? Yes. I learned how hard it is to write a book. It looks easy but the book writing process is hard and time consuming. It can take years to see a book through from start to finish.

Do you have any advice for other writers? Yes. I would tell authors to write about what you know and are passionate about.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? I want to say go out and buy the book on Amazon.com and I believe once you’re done, it will change your life. And thanks for the support!

More From The Author

www.darrenrobertkelly.com

Connect With The Author

Facebook Link: www.facebook.com/detroitauthor 

Twitter:@DarrenRKellyBS

 Purchase 6 Successful Things I Found in Detroit: https://amzn.to/2GF2SQh

 

Categories: Feature, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

#MotownWriters Author Feature: Storm Writer @Storm_TheWriter #Michlit #motownlit

Storm Writer

 

Where are you from?Detroit Michigan.

Tell us the latest news. I’ve currently signed to Major Key Publications and hoping for a great turn out.

When and why did you begin writing? I started writing at the age of 14. I’ve  always loved to write, mostly poetry.

When did you consider yourself a writer? At the age of 15.

What inspired you to write your first book?When I read Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree.

Do you have a specific writing style? No. I just let the flow come natural.

How did you come up with the title? The idea of a dollar bill came to mind and the words “In God We Trust” stuck out to me. Being that my book is about a brother and sister, I decided to name it In My Brother I Trust.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? To love your family. Family is the most important thing besides God, who will be there for you no matter what.

How much of your book is realistic? None.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? No.

What books have most influenced your life most? None have influenced me but Flyy Girl, True To The Game, The Coldest Winter Ever etc. 

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?  Joy Deja King and the power couple Ashley Antoinette & JaQuavis Coleman.

What book are you reading now? Got A Gangsta Catchin’ Feelings by Laconia Renee.

Are there any new authors that have grasp your interest? Yes. Britt Joni, Laconia Renee, Qiana Nicole, Que T. Kennedy and the rest of the Major Key Family!

What are your current projects? I’m currently working on my third of installment of In My Brother I Trust.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members. Author J. Brinkley.

Do you see writing as a career? Yes!

If you could do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? Not a thing!

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I was sitting in my sister’s apartment with my friends and we were making a joke about a guy we knew. I started thinking about my life and decided that I wanted to write a book on it. That didn’t turn out well lol. I was an amateur then, but the more I started to read, the more I wanted to create stories that reflected on others lives. 

Can you share a little of your current work with us? Part 3 of my novel “In My Brother I Trust “ centers around the lives of Monica, El and Robyn as they go through relationship battles, drug wars, lies, betrayal, and secrets! It’s definitely going to be a hit!

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? The most challenging part is to try to make sure you bring originality. Make stories that people haven’t heard yet. Although urban fiction sometimes touch on the same subjects, the challenging part is making sure you bring something that keeps the readers interested and wanting more!

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?Mr. & Mrs. Ashley & JaQuavis Coleman. Their style of writing makes you fall in love with the characters and make you feel as if  they’re real and you know them on a personal level lol. Love it!

 Do you have to travel much concerning your books? No but I’m hoping that I get that opportunity.

 Who designed your cover? I designed my first cover. My second cover was from the lovely, Tee Jai Em(Linpare Designs).

What was the hardest part of writing your book? Marketing it! It takes a lot of promoting to get to where you want to be in this industry.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? I’ve learned that you have to go hard and believe in your brand. You have to push for success.

 Do you have advise for other writers? Believe in yourself! You can do anything that you put your mind to. A beautiful mind is a terrible thing to waste, so use it to your advantage.

 Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? Thank you guys soooo much for the love and support! I love you guys like family! Keep rocking with me as I set the literary world on fire with my blazing hot novels! Peace & Love! XO -Storm.

Excerpt: In a world where there is only madness and mayhem there is no escaping the trenches of life. For Capone, nothing could stop him from rising to the top and his motto was ‘Get Money Or Die Trying’ but when his greedy ways catches up with him, there is no escaping his fate.

With a dead father, a drug addicted mother, and now a deceased brother, Monica felt as if she couldn’t go on and had no one that she could Trust. She soon finds out that the person who claimed to love him had a hand in his murder and something evil ignites inside of her. They say revenge is best served cold, but Monica was dishing out frozen dinners as she goes on a hunt murking anyone who played a part in her brother’s untimely demise.

Along the way she meet Joel ‘El’ Woods who shows her a life away from death and destruction, but when a ghost from her past comes back in the picture all hell breaks loose as she is forced to continue on a path that sends her world spiraling out of control.

Will El’s love be able to save her from herself? Or will Monica stop at nothing to end the madness once and for all?

Find out in this twisted tale where the only person you can trust is yourself.

Connect With Storm Writer 

Facebook link: Shirley Jones

                                                              Twitter: @Storm_TheWriter 

For More From The Author and to Purchase In My Brother I Trust I & II Visit: https://amzn.to/2GoIxeL

 

Categories: Feature, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

MotownWriters Author Feature: Krystal Banks

Krystal Banks

Where are you from? Port Huron, Michigan.

Tell us your latest news? I’m excited about the new webinars and seminars we have added to the: Don’t Be A Dumb Criminal program.

When and why did you begin writing? I began writing last year. I started writing because I noticed in my profession of owning a bail bonds company, my clients and other people I encountered did not know or understand the law.

When did you first consider yourself a writer? When my book and programs became a demand.

What inspired you to write your first book? My clients. The fact that people are at their lowest point, were scared because they were about to go through a system that no one has prepared them for, is terrifying. When you’re going through the legal system this is not the time nor place to learn about how the system works.  Not to mention, you’re putting you life in some strangers hands that doesn’t know or care about you. You have to hope they will do the best for you.

Do you have a specific writing style? I have a descriptive writing style.

How did you come up with the title? A friend of mine who is also a writer and producer said that I say it all the time.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?  Yes that people think they know the law or how to avoid the law, but by simply reading my book and taking one of my programs they will be prepared for anything when it comes to the justice system. What is your freedom worth? You can buy my book for 15 dollars and take my seminar or you can pay for my bail bond service among other services while dealing with the justice system that will be as minimal as 100 plus dollars? And you still will need to purchase my book and program.

How much of the book is realistic? All of this book is realistic you can’t play with peoples lives in the system one mistake could cost me life.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? Yes all experiences are based on what has happened in my business and life.

What books have most influenced your life most? The 7 habits of highly effective people by Stephen Covey.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?  Michelle Alexander The New Jim Crow.

What book are you reading now? Reformed: Memoir of a Juvenile Killer by Mario Bueno.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Melvin Foreman: The best of you vs the rest of you.

What are your current projects? Making the Don’t Be A Dumb Criminal a movement. And Getting it in curriculum, globally.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members. The Educational System.

Do you see writing as a career? Yes. As long as I have information that can help people I will share it.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? Maybe the title people can take it several different ways.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I had friends who wrote books and they inspired me to.

Can you share a little of your current work with us? I am working with different states and departments on getting this book across the United States.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? It was difficult to explain to people why everyone needs to read this book no matter if there a criminal or not.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? I don’t have one.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? Yes.

Who designed the covers? Myself, Miles Dixon and Ollie Mitchell.

What was the hardest part of writing your book? Seeing from the Judicial System point of view while fact checking.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? Yes. Make sure I don’t do anything to be a statistic in the justice system.

Do you have any advice for other writers? Yes. Do your research. Most editors are over priced.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? Read this book and  get at least 10 other people to read it the knowledge in this book is priceless.

 

More From The Author: http://www.DONTBEADUMBCRIMINAL.COM 

Connect With The Author: 

https://www.facebook.com/Dontbeadumbcriminal/

Purchase Don’t Be A Dumbass Criminalalhttp://a.co/0VqWatx

Categories: Feature, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

MotownWriters Author Feature: Ryan R. Ennis

 

Ryan R. Ennis

Where are you from?
I was born in Royal Oak and raised in Canton Twp. Growing up, I lived in the second or third subdivision built in Canton. I remember when Canton still had farms and many wooded areas. My favorite wooded area to play as a kid is now Morton Taylor Road.

Tell us your latest news?
One of my short stories will be appearing in the latest Write to Meow Anthology, published by Grey Wolfe Publishing. It is community service anthology to support exotic and big cat rescue.

When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing as a teenager. In my high school English classes, I loved reading the short stories my teachers assigned. I decided I wanted to be a story writer. I still have the first short story I ever wrote, keeping it around as a reminder of how important determination is. My writing skills have come a long way since that first story.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Although in my early 30s I had had a few short stories published, I didn’t consider myself an actual writer until I began writing bimonthly articles for the Ferndale Friends newspaper. I wrote for that publication for over five years. At the time, I lived in Ferndale, and when I’d take a walk around town, people would stop me to give compliments about my latest article they had read. Their compliments were music to my ears: my articles were attracting a following.

What inspired you to write your first book?
The idea for my first book—The Thursday Surprise: A Story about Kids and Autism—came from children. As a progressive educator, I saw the benefits of when typical kids had interactions with the kids who were enrolled in the special education classrooms.  Consequently, I started a reading program at the school that the students and I called “buddy reading.” The Thursday Surprise is a story that shows the practice of using peer tutors in action. More generally, the book illustrates that even when students with autism spend their instructional day in self-contained or categorical classrooms, there are still options available for educators and parents wanting to include special needs children with their typical peers for at least part of the day.

Do you have a specific writing style?
I like to get into the mindset of the characters and focus on their thoughts, providing motivation for their actions. I’ve never cared for stories in which the characters seemed vague or underdeveloped. I want my readers to be engrossed in the actions of my characters.

How did you come up with the title?
The Thursday Surprise speaks to the day on which “buddy reading” occurred and on what the main character does to win over a peer who has special needs.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
There are multiple messages in my book The Thursday Surprise. One is about how trying and determination, like what beginning writers must do, can lead to success. Another is that there are great joys that come when children on the autism spectrum allow a peer into his or her world. Yet another is we all have things to learn from one another.

How much of the book is realistic?
My writing, whether fiction or nonfiction, is based on my experiences. All writing, in my opinion, is based on reality and the author’s experiences, when even an author writes fantasy fiction.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
In my opinion, good writers must engage in a lot of personal reflection as well as be keen observers of others.

What books have most influenced your life most?
Daisy Miller by Henry James, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë, and the short stories of Joyce Carol Oates. These works feature one way or another in my current book,
The Unexpected Tales of Lust, Love & Longing . . .
 
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
The writers that have most influenced me are short story writers like Joyce Carol Oates, Truman Capote, and Raymond Carver. Like them, I try to write descriptive prose that delves into the psychology of my characters.

What book are you reading now?
I’m presently reading Murders in the Mist: Who Killed Dian Fossey? Dian Fossey was an American who went to Rwanda in the late 60s to study gorillas. In 1985, she was murdered at her mountain research site. Besides fiction, I also enjoy reading true crime.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I recently read a collection of short stories called Mrs. Somebody Somebody by Tracy Winn. I liked that several of the stories were set just after WW II and that the stories were connected in their setting of Lowell, Massachusetts. In my new work, The Unexpected Tales of Lust, Love & Longing, I also have connecting stories featuring the same town and characters.

What are your current projects?
I have written two children’s book: The Thursday Surprise: A Story about Kids and Autism and The September Surprise: A Story about Kids and Autism. My most recent published work is the story collection is The Unexpected Tales of Lust, Love & Longing . . . under the name R. R. Ennis.
 
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
For several years, I belonged to the Metro Detroit Creative Writers group. The members critiqued my work in ways that helped me write clear and engaging prose. I am indebted to them.

Do you see writing as a career?
Writing is in integral part of my multifaceted career. I’m also a teacher, librarian, as well as a writer.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I suppose all writers look back upon their work and say they would like to change this or that—that’s why well-established writers like Joyce Carol Oates and John Updike (now deceased) revisited some of their better novels and came out with new editions. Always seeking to improve, I may do the same at some point.
 

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Captivated by short stories and how they gave me a sense of reading a complete work without having to read an entire book, I decided in high school I wanted to be a short story writer along with being a teacher and/or journalist. I’ve spent many hours working on my craft while experiencing the progression of technology: from toiling away at a typewriter, to being amazed at the features of a word processor, and then to becoming a laptop computer pro.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Certainly. As stated in the book description of The Unexpected—my book is “a collection of nineteen tales about characters whose personal desires and notions of romantic fulfillment take them on journeys of self-discovery, often leading to unforeseen outcomes. Start a story, any story, in this volume, and you’ll recognize the characters—their needs and longings—and be compelled to read the story through to its conclusion.”

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Yes, time factor is a major issue. When you’re a home owner, teacher, and have a part-time job on the side, it can be a challenge to find writing opportunities. Consequently, I try to write each night, even if it’s only for a half-hour, to keep myself in what I call “writing shape”—able to write productively.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
My favorite author is Joyce Carol Oates. Her short stories are masterpieces. Even when one of stories is only a few pages long, I feel like I’ve inhabited a vast landscape. She manages to engage readers with her descriptions and her character’s emotional states. I strive to do just that.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not at present. With my children’s books on autism, I traveled throughout the state to promote them.

Who designed the covers?
Thecovercounts.com

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The editing process was a challenge in that it was time-consuming. Not only did I spend countless hours reading aloud each of my nineteen short stories to ensure my prose flowed, I relied on many friends as well as a professional editor to offer their feedback and check for spelling and grammatical errors. I incorporated their ideas or suggestions as much as possible because chances are that if even one person finds what you wrote unclear, others will feel the same.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned that despite the hard work, I found the process of creating a book very enjoyable. There’s nothing like exercising the power of your imagination and dwelling in a world with characters, plots, and scenes that you’ve created.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Often, I’ve heard from friends and others that they want to write, but after composing a few paragraphs, they get discouraged because their writing is not going as easily as they thought it would. There are very few writers out there that just sit down and write great prose for hours. I prescribe to the philosophy of finishing the story no matter how bad the writing or plotting seems at first. Revision is the natural progression of writing, but you can’t revise when you have little or nothing to work with.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
To keep reading. Reading everyday has so many benefits to it—improving your memory, increasing your vocabulary, and relieving stress. It can even help you to become a better writer.
My new book The Unexpected: Tales of Lust, Love & Longing . . . are available at Amazon (paperback and kindle), Barnes & Noble, and in a variety of electronic formats at smashwords.com. Please spread the word!
 
 
Categories: Feature, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

MotownWriters Author Feature: Beth Anne Niemela #Michlit #MotownLit

Beth Anne Niemela

Where are you from? Originally from Detroit, I now live in Dearborn
Tell us your latest news.
My book is now on a store shelf- Dearborn Novelty Art in Dearborn, and I will have a book reading/reception
there on July 22nd at 7:00 pm. I will also be at Detroit BookFest in Eastern Market on July 16th (Shed 5, table 40), and the Local Author
Book Sale at Sterling Heights Public Library on July 29th.
When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve written poetry since I was a child. I began writing fiction in 2011.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I completed my first novel. At that point, I told my daughter that if her friends ask her
what her mother does, tell them she’s a novelist.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I had expressed a desire to write a novel I had in my head to a friend, he encouraged me
to stop making excuses and do it.
Do you have a specific writing style?
Yes. My own.
How did you come up with the title?
That was the hardest part. I didn’t want something that sounded like a romance novel, or something trite. Halfway through the story, I had an image of the reader listening in on Lissy Porter’s story-her conversations. The title implies that rather than reading a book, you’re privy to a woman’s private story.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I leave it to the reader to find their own message.
How much of the book is realistic?
All of it.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Lissy Porter and I share similar life experiences, but I am not her and she is not me.
The character of Tom is based loosely on a person I know and love. Lissy’s husband
Jack is an amalgam of two old loves.
The story is completely fictional, except for the chapter when Lissy is in ninth grade. 
That happened to me exactly as written, and it was devastating. I can laugh about it now though.
What books have most influenced your life most?
Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy, Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh, Beloved by Toni Morrison, One Day by David Nicholls, The Last Letter from Your Lover by Jojo Moyes, and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith are some of them. There have been many.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I don’t feel like I’ve ever had a personal mentor, but I admire Jojo Moyes a great deal and try to follow her example.
What book are you reading now?
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. I am usually not a fan of fantasy stories, but his writing is an exception.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Not recently, no.
What are your current projects?
I have two actually. The first one has the working title The Happy Shelf. It’s a sequel to Overheard in Suki’s Diner. I won’t go into any detail for now, I don’t want to give spoilers to anyone who hasn’t read the first one. The other is a complete departure, a much darker story which I am calling Our Lady of Woodlawn, It’s about a girl whose life becomes inextricably entwined with a couple of delinquent brothers. In their neighborhood in The Bronx, they grow up together, separate, then reunite with tragic results.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My friend Keith.
Do you see writing as a career?
Absolutely. It’s who I am. I am committed to making it a successful career, too.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
From reading I suppose. My mother read me bedtime stories when I was a child. We
always had lots of books around the house, and I made frequent trips to the library.
I loved the Little House books as a child. I loved poetry too, and that’s what I first wrote.
I identify as a poet.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
{It wasn’t until Sean O’Connell was standing next to her, saying her name, that she realized—despite her much professed certainty that he would return— she didn’t really believe she would see him again.
But she was seeing him now.
In a coffee shop.
The mythical Sean O’Connell was no more than an arm’s length from her.
“It is you, isn’t it,angel?”
The words Neely were trying to form couldn’t quite make the trip from her head to her mouth.
“Can you talk?” Sean asked with a wink.
She managed a soft, “Yes.”
Without waiting to be asked, he pulled out the chair across the table from her and sat.
Neely set her toast on its plate and stared.
Finally, she said his name. 
“Sean.”
“Neely.” As if they were playing a game and it was his turn. 
Sean smiled at her and his eyes twinkled, challenging her to react to his miraculous-and unheralded- presence.
His eyes said— I’ve possessed you. I’ve touched every part of your body. You lay underneath me and quivered. I’ll sit here and pretend that we’re old friends. But I know and you know that there was much more between us. You can never get back what you gave to me. And no other man can ever have it. 
“I was afraid for a moment that you’d forgotten me.”
Neely coughed 
“Not if I tried.”
“Have you tried?”
“No.”
“I’m glad to hear that.”
He was teasing her and she knew it. Just as she knew that no matter how much she would like him to believe she wasn’t affected by his startling appearance,she was every bit as elated as he expected her to be.As difficult as it was, she did herself the favor of masking her excitement.
Except with her eyes. And the little grin that she couldn’t quite supress.}
 From Our Lady of Woodlawn by Beth Anne Niemela
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Remembering to trust that the what I want to read is what I should write. I spend a lot of
time wondering how the sentence I just wrote will be judged by others, when I should be
saying, “I like it, and that’s what matters.”
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I have two favorite contemporary authors. Dennis Lehane and Jojo Moyes. They write
very different kinds of books, but they both create characters who are easy to like. I want
to hang out with them. If I don’t like the characters, or care about them, I can’t enjoy the book.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not yet. For my project, Our Lady of Woodlawn, my daughter did some recon work for me in the Woodlawn neighborhood in The Bronx. She took pictures and talked to locals. I would like to spend some time there before I finish the story. If not, I’ll rely on my daughter’s research.
Who designed the covers?
On my first book, I did, with the help of CreateSpace Cover Creator. The photo was mine.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Making the time for it.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned not to dwell on errors in continuity or other mistakes in movies or books.
It’s humbling how easily a mistake can slip through.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write. Just write.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
My characters are my children, be kind to them. 

More From The Author: bethanneniemela.com

Connect With The Author:  

facebook.com/baniemela

Twitter: @beth_on_paper

Purchase Overheard in Suki’s Diner  amazon.com/author/baniemela

 

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MotownWriters Author Feature: Jaia Amoré #Michlit #MotownLit

Where are you from?
I am originally from New York but I have lived in the Metro Detroit since I was a toddler.
Tell us your latest news?
I recently published my first novel.  Right My Life:  A Quest to Find My True Self.
 
When and why did you begin writing?
In 2003, the spirit placed into my soul to begin writing which I did but after a few months I stopped writing due lack of motivation.
 
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I was laid-off from my job in 2009 I decided to return to school to obtain a second masters degree it was then when I realized I not only enjoyed writing but I was also pretty good at it.
What inspired you to write your first book?
With the motivation to heal my life and the hope to inspire others to heal their lives was the inspiration to write my first book.
 
Do you have a specific writing style?
No I don’t but for this particular novel I would say my writing style was more descriptive writing.   I wanted to extend to the reader the same or similar emotions as I felt as the writer.
How did you come up with the title?
I have always liked the play on words, so I decided to use the Right as in correct than to use the word Write, so while I was writing about my life I was in essence correcting it.
 
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes absolutely, despite one’s challenges there are always opportunities to move beyond those challenges to manifest happiness and self-love.
How much of the book is realistic?
I would say a good portion of the book is based on true life events.
 
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Some of the experiences in the book are my own.
What books have most influenced your life most?
Such books like “Value in the Valley:  A Black Woman’s Guide Through Life’s Dilemmas” and “Yesterday I Cried” by Iyanla Vanzant and most certainly “Know Thy Self “ By Dr. Venice Bloodworth.
 
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
It would be most definitely Iyanla Vanzant.  Through her readings I was able to grasp the concepts of what it meant to be my true authentic self.
 
What book are you reading now?
I am not currently reading any books but I plan to purchase a few of Tumika Patrice’s books.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Yes, a close friend of mine wrote a book called “Somewhere Over the Rainbow:  A Quest to Find Love.
 
What are your current projects?
I haven’t started any new projects yet but I look forward to writing a spin-off novel based on a couple character from Right My Life: A Quest to Find My True Self.
 
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Besides my two good friends Demetria Hoskins and Starr Burton, I would say the Motown Writer’s Network has been a good support group.
Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, I want to be a career writer with many writing facets from writing children books to screenplays.
 
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I would choose a different printing company, the firm wasn’t able to provide me with the interior layout that I wanted nor did the front cover look the same as the digital image.
 
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
According to my mother I was praised by my elementary school teachers for my creative readings but I never really considered writing until a few years ago.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
The story is based on the character Noel, she’s a world renowned author/publisher living her dream life, she reflects on her childhood pain, the impact it had on her life and how she managed to heal her life to become whole again.
 
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Writing my thoughts in a way the reader can understand can be challenging.  
 
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I have few favorite authors one of them is Beverly Jenkins I like how she incorporates historical Detroit facts in her writings.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
No not yet.
 
Who designed the covers?
Tai Bollen of Unique Designs
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Finding the time to write was one of my major challenges. 
 
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned the true concept of perseverance, I was able to muster up enough of it to go beyond my comfort zone to write about a subject matter that is not easy to have with others.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
I would like to advise other writers to stay encouraged and not be swayed by others to abandon their passion for writing.
 
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
We all have moments or events that shape our lives; they, in essence, create the people we become some of those events however may have damaged us in some way and if that is the case than I press upon you not allow those events to continue to destroy and/or control your life.  It is my hope that along your journey you find your own path to your true self for it the pathway to emotional healing and self-love.  be illumined, be victorious, be love!
 

More From The Author:  Jaiaamore.com

Connect With The Author:  facebook.com/illuminedeagle

 

Purchase Right My Life:  A Quest to Find My True Self 

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MotownWriters Author Feature: Francine L.Houston #Michlit #MotownLit

Francine L.Houston

Where are you from? I was born in Flint, MI, but I was raised in Mount Morris, MI.

Tell us your latest news?  I am doing a radio interview  Sunday, August 13, 2017 at 3pm.

When and why did you begin writing? I’ve  written most of my life, even in school. My first poem was called Funny How Things Changed. I wanted to express how I feel especially dealing with tough times.

What inspired you to write your first book? I wanted to write about my experience with Lupus because I could not find one to read at the time I was diagnosed.

Do you have a specific writing style? I do freestyle writing, journal writing, poetry, non-fiction and fictional.

How did you come up with the title? I wanted the title to say “Lupus” so readers would know what I was talking about. I included “journey ” so readers would know that life is a journey.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? That your heath is important. Taking care of yourself is important.

How much of the book is realistic? It’s non-fiction, fictional books will be published later.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? Events in my own life

What books have most influenced your life most? I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Eva Demson, Dr. Norman Booker, Craig Samuels,  Dr. Eddie Connor, James Williams, Esoa and Shereena Osai, Denisha Shelene, Felicia McGee.

What are your current projects? Life After Lupus, Everyday Heros (learning to cope), poetry and short story book.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members. Lupus Detroit, Michigan Lupus Foundation

Do you see writing as a career? Yes, also as an outlet.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? I would have made it longer.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? Freshman year in college to express myself.

Can you share a little of your current work with us? My second book talks about my life after dealing with my first flare-up.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? Time management.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? Maya Angelou. She is one of the best poets I know. She is realistic,personal, and really good with words.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? I have traveled to a few cities but want to travel more.

Who designed the covers? I designed my book cover.

What was the hardest part of writing your book? With writing memoirs it is remembering everything. All of the other types of books making sure I grasp the reader’s attention.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

Writing is therapy; it’s healing.

Do you have any advice for other writers? Don’t give up, let your voice be heard and be yourself.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? I wrote this book for readers to see what it is like dealing with an auto-immune disease, first hand.

More From The Author: www.francinelhouston.com
Connect With The Author:
Purchase Lupus Journey
 
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#MotownWriters Author Feature: Jean Davis #Michlit #MotownLit

Jean Davis

Jean Davis lives in West Michigan. When not ruining lives from the comfort of her writing chair, she can be found playing in her garden, enjoying a glass of wine, or lost a good book. Her novels include The Last God, Sahmara, and A Broken Race. Her short fiction has appeared in Theian Journal, Bards and Sages Quarterly, Acidic Fiction, Tales of The Talisman, The First Line, Allegory, Isotropic Fiction, Liquid Imagination, Brewed Awakenings II Anthology, and The 3288 Review.

 About the book

The General of the Unlata Kai has decreed that the time of her people is over. Jane’s race of god-like beings has caused enough chaos, leaving floundering hybrid races and war-ravaged planets throughout the universe. Kaldara, their home, is about to fulfill her wishes. When the planet goes, it will take her and the last of the Unlata Kai with it.

Logan Klevo sets out with the crew of the Maxim on a mission to warn the leaders of Kaldara of their imminent demise. Their announcement triggers a violent battle between gods. One of them holds knowledge that could restore the Maxim to its full strength. The possibility of a defense against the ruthless army of Matouk that destroyed Logan’s homeworld fills him with something he’s been missing, hope.

Abducting an angry and suicidal god might not be a wise choice, but if the god of war can learn to love

they both might discover a future worth living for.

 Upcoming Authors Appearances:

June 24 – Blue Water Author Event
Port Huron, MI
July 7 & 8 Michigan Authors at the Lakeshore
Muskegon, MI
July 16 – Detroit Eastern Book Market
Detroit, MI
Sept. 10 – Kerrytown Book Fest
Ann Arbor, MI
Sept. 23 – Alpena Book Festival
Alpena, MI

 

More From The Author: http://jeanddavis.blogspot.com/

Connect With The Author:

Twitter: @JeanDDavis        

Facebook: Jean Davis Author

Purchase The Last God 

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#MotownWriters Author Feature: Carol Paukstis #Michlit #MotownLit

Carol Paukstis

Carol Paukstis has over 25 years experience as an Elementary Teacher, reading consultant, Adult Ed.Instructor in several school districts in Michigan: Farmington, Ludington, Okemos, Flushing, Flint-Mott HS, Genesee County Sheriff Dept.  She is now retired and is a Literacy Coach.  Carol enjoys reading and playing scrabble, freighter watching and steam engines, agate hunting on the shores of Lake Superior, taking photos of lighthouses, listening to music, and traveling- especially visiting family and having her grandsons spend the night.  Carol is a member of the American Business Women’s Association and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and the Blue Water Area Chamber of Commerce.  She and her husband, Carleton, live in Port Huron.  Carol has one daughter Catherine, son-in-law Jason, and two grandsons, Avery and Mitchell.
About the book:
Treasured moments at grandmother’s house and unconditional love for her grandson is portrayed in this culturally diverse book.  He tells us about his overnight stay and how he and his grandmother play with trains, play outside, eat his favorite foods, and play shadow games. It is a loving, heartwarming story written from the author’s heart, encouraging all grandparents world wide to spend time with their grandchildren, thus spreading sunshine in their lives while creating a legacy.
The author will be participating Saturday, June 24 at the First Blue Water Author’s Event at the Convention Center in Port Huron. She will also be reviewing her book Monday, June 26 , at the AAUW Book Club in Ludington, MI.  She will also be participating at the Kerrytown Authors Fair this fall in Ann Arbor.
Connect With The Author:
Purchase The Sun Is Awake
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#MotownWriters Author Feature: Andrew Lark #Michlit #MotownLit

Andrew Lark

Andrew Lark graduated from Wayne State University, receiving his Bachelor of Arts Degree in English. His play, Stop Up Your Ears!, a farcical month in the life of Florence Foster Jenkins won Wayne State University’s Heck-Rabi award and was produced at the Hilbery Studio Theatre in Detroit, Michigan. Other plays – The Embrace of Redemption received several readings, and Ask Me! Tell Me! – professionally produced at the Ringwald Theatre’s GPS in Ferndale, Michigan, and also the Hudson Theatre’s Play by Play Festival in Hudson, New York. Better Boxed and Forgotten is his first novel. Andrew is working on book two of the Archive Series. He lives in St. Clair Shores, Michigan with his wife Karen.

About The Book:

In the capitol of all rust-belt urban wastelands, Daniel Lintz inherits the family mansion, a rundown, ramshackle assembly of boards, located in a once tony neighborhood where rot and decay have taken hold. While inventorying the mansion’s contents with the mysterious family lawyer, Mr. DuMichelle, Daniel discovers his great-grandfather’s life’s work: a meticulously archived treasure trove of lost papers, secret military hardware, and fantastic inventions, all locked away and hidden in exile for a century. But why were these fantastic and world-changing inventions boxed-up and forgotten in a dusty old archive? Daniel quickly falls under the spell of the mansion’s allure and sets about restoring it to its original splendor. He becomes possessed by the strange and fantastic powers hidden in the archive’s hundreds of crates. One fateful night Daniel is visited by a malevolent entity that leads him to one crate tucked away in a far off corner of the archivea crate containing perhaps the most important invention in the history of the worldan invention however, with a fatal and deadly flaw.

Upcoming Appearances:

2017 Blue Water Author Event in Port Huron, MI

Connect With The Author:

Twitter: @AndrewLark1

Facebook: Better Boxed and Forgotten

Purchase Better Boxed and Forgotten

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#MotownWriters Author Feature: EA Comiskey #Michlit #MotownLit

EA Comiskey

 

E.A. Comiskey is an award-winning writer and nationally syndicated blogger. Her debut novel, More Things in Heaven and Earth (2016, Nuff Said Publishing) has been a best-seller in its category on Amazon and the sequel, Dwelling in Heaven and Earth (June 30, 2017 – Nuff Said Publishing) is the winner of the Wattpad Fic Awards for Best Supernatural/Paranormal Novel. Her work is broadly described as “speculative fiction” and often includes elements of mythology, fantasy, horror, and romance.

She lives in southeast Michigan with her husband, children, and a veritable zoo of creatures.

About the book: MORE THINGS IN HEAVEN AND EARTH

“The veil is coming down. What will be revealed about you?”

Simone Fitzgerald battles for a normal life against voices no one else hears. She seems to be succeeding, until an angel appears, asking her to embrace the voices as a gift and stand as The Prophet.

When demons mobilize the beings of legend against mankind, Divine Wrath burns hot against creation. Simone must find the strength to embrace The Light and bring peace to the universe, but she may be crushed under the weight of the burden she’s been asked to bear.

Follow an epic journey that takes the earth you know through a time when fairy tale creatures rule and into realms undreamed of.

 DWELLING IN HEAVEN AND EARTH

Book Two in the Heaven and Earth Series.

In the name of safety, the elders have shut out the outside world and demanded a culture of strict conformity. Shifrah’s differences create a mental prison from which she cannot escape–until Donovan rides into town.

The Blood Drinker, Donovan, son of the ancient Prophetess, has come to warn that the demon queen has rallied her army to attack the city. He implores them to disperse across the land, trusting in That Which Is to protect them. The city’s leaders remain adamant that safety is found in the fortress they have built, but, as tensions rise, Shifrah uncovers the gruesome truth of their secret attempts to appease the Bloodless.

Donovan decides to change Shifrah into a Blood Drinker. Combined with her Gifts, she’ll be as powerful as the gods, but she can’t save her people until she learns to overcome her own dark appetites by embracing her dark nature.

Upcoming Authors Appearances:

Blue Water Author Event: June 24, 2017, Port Huron, MI

Kerrytown BookFest: September 10, 2017, Ann Arbor, MI

Twitter: @eacomiskey

Facebook: LazzyHippieMama

Purchase MORE THINGS IN HEAVEN AND EARTH

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#MotownWriters Author Feature: Cassandra Scherer @authorCassS #Michlit #MotownLit

 

Cassie Scherer

Cassandra Scherer is a mother of two and wife of one who has been writing her whole life. I’m third grade she wrote a story called Time Stone which would eventually become what is now The Stone Doorway. Cassandra loves to sing, camp and dirt bike with her family. She is in the process of completing her masters degree in early childhood education in the hopes of one day opening a nature-based preschool and daycare center where children can connect with nature. 

 About the book:

Tori’s life was no fairy tale. Abused, abandoned and forgotten she had lost herself inside of her own fear. But on the night of the meteor shower, her whole world will change. Suddenly, she is thrust into a world where nothing makes sense and humans are hunted and enslaved and she must become her own hero. She must fight to find her inner strength to not only save herself, but the others trapped there with her. She must become what she never thought she never could… Brave.

Upcoming Authors Appearances:

Blue Water Author Event June 24th

Once Upon A Book Signing August 11-12th

For other appearances please visit Line by Lion Publications

More From The Author: www.beyondthedragonflies.com

Connect With The Author:

Twitter: @authorCassS

Facebook: The Stone Doorway

 

Purchase The Stone Doorway

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#MotownWriters Author Feature:Melanie Moreland #Michlit #MotownLit

New York Times bestselling author Melanie Moreland, lives a happy and content life in a quiet area of Ontario with her beloved husband of twenty-seven-plus years and their rescue cat, Amber.

While seriously addicted to coffee, and highly challenged with all things computer-related and technical, she relishes baking, cooking, and trying new recipes for people to sample. She loves to throw dinner parties, and also enjoys traveling, here and abroad, but finds coming home is always the best part of any trip.

Melanie delights in a good romance story with some bumps along the way, but is a true believer in happily ever after.

 

About the book

A tyrant by day, a playboy by night. That is the reputation that precedes Richard VanRyan. He lives life the way he wants, no concern for the opinion of others. He cares for no one, is completely unrepentant, and he has no desire to change his ways.

Katharine Elliott works under Richard as his PA. She despises him and his questionable ethics, but endures all the garbage he sends her way, because she needs the job. Her end goal is far more important than the daily abuse and demands she tolerates from her nasty tyrant of a boss.

Until the day, he asks her for something she never expected. A new role with a personal contract— fiancée instead of PA.

What happens when two people who loathe each other, have to live together and act as though they are madly in love? Sparks. That’s what happens.

Can the power of love really change a person?

Will they survive the contract?

What do you do when the one person you hate the most becomes the one person you can’t live without?

Upcoming Authors Appearances:

Kiss and Tell, Allentown, PA July 29, Books in Vacationland, Portland, Maine Oct 14

Connect With The Author:

Twitter: @MorelandMelanie

Facebook: authormoreland

 

 

 

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#MotownWriters Author Feature: Amy L. Johnson #Michlit #MotownLit

Amy L. Johnson

A Grand Rapids, MI native, Amy L. Johnson is a student of life striving to do the next right (or left) thing depending on what inspires her. Amy’s BFA in Graphic Design favors her being curious, creative, considerate, and clever. She loves a good laugh and generally believes that dogs are better than people. This is her first published book.

 

About the book:

You are about to eavesdrop on a conversation between two brothers from 1942 to 1945. LETTERS Lost Then Found features letters exchanged between 19-year-old Freddie, a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Forces who flew over 120 combat missions, and his 30-year-old brother Willie, Circulation Manager of the Michigan-based Saginaw News. The letters reveal the drama of battle, the daily life that goes on for both brothers, and the vital importance of family connections. Includes a “Day in History” section on each page that provides a glimpse of what was happening in World War II at the time each letter was written. Finally, “LETTERS Lost Then Found” hones in on the China Burma India Theatre, often referred to as the war’s “forgotten” theatre, where Freddie served. A ticker tape reminiscent of the Western Union Telegram runs across the bottom of each page that explains why this theatre was such an important part of the larger conflict.

Awards & Honors:

2017 International Book Awards

Finalist HISTORY & MILITARY Category

2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards

Winner

BEST OVERALL DESIGN NON-FICTION Category
Finalist
HISTORICAL NON-FICTION Category

2016 Foreword INDIES Book Awards
Finalist War & Military NON-FICTION Category

2014 Publication Design Awards
National AAF Gold Student ADDY Award
District Six AAF Gold Student ADDY Award
West Michigan AAF Student Best of Show Award
West Michigan AAF Gold Student ADDY Award

 

Upcoming Authors Appearances:

Blue Water Author Event
June 24th, 2017
11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Blue Water Convention Center
800 Harker Street
Port Huron, MI 48060

Stories Among Us July 1st, 2017 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM The Bookman  715 Washington Ave. Grand Haven, MI 49417

Michigan Authors at the Lakeshore
Friday, July 7 (10-6) to Saturday, July 8 (10-6).
The Frauenthal Center for Performing Arts
425 W Western Ave.
Muskegon, MI 49440

Connect With The Author: letterslostthenfound.com

 

Purchase, LETTERS Lost Then Found 

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