Friday, August 31, 2012


Don Carrel, Author of My Dream to Trample AIDS will be at Shawnee Books and Toys at 11 am.

From Carrell himself: "I was infected with HIV in 1981, and diagnosed with AIDS in 1995. After I became a person living with AIDS, I made the decision to dedicate myself to preventing HIV infection in the youth of America. Since 1996, I have been fortunate enough to speak with thousands of teenagers and young adults about how AIDS has affected my life and the lives of many of my dearest friends."

Shawnee Books and Toys is at 7311 Quivira in Shawnee. See their website, for other events and activities.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


“Grandpa Andrews says to know how another person feels, you have to walk a mile in his moccasins,” Jack said. “And the time machine will let people do that,” Mollie said.

Travel back in time with fourth grade twins, Jack and Mollie, in this illustrated chapter book and meet those who are now part of Kansas history. Go with the twins as they travel through time and find themselves “walking in the moccasins of others.” Among their experiences: living as Kanza Indians in 1620, riding an orphan train where new parents await the children, hiding with other scared runaway slaves in a dark cellar and meeting Abraham Lincoln, witnessing discrimination as first grade classmates of Langston Hughes in a non-integrated school, arriving at Fort Riley where they meet Comanche, the famous horse of the Battle of the Little Big Horn, again becoming Indian children in the harsh early days of the Haskell University, and attending a dance where they hear the first ever rendition of the state song, “Home on the Range.”

Echoes of Kansas Past: More than Just History in the Making, written by Eunice Boeve and published by Rowe Publishing, sounds like more than just a good way to introduce kids to Kansas history, it sounds like a read-along-with-the-parents book.

Check it out at Rowe Publishing, or at . Contact the author at roneun at ruraltel dot net.


September 29, 2012 marks the second annual global event of 100 Thousand Poets for Change, a grassroots organization that brings poets, artists, and musicians together to call for environmental, social, and political change, within the framework of peace and sustainability. The local focus is key to this global event as communities around the world raise their voices through concerts, readings, workshops, flash mobs and demonstrations that speak to the heart of their specific area of concerns, such as homelessness, ecocide, racism and censorship.

Look for events near you. If you know of a scheduled event, please let me know so I can post that information here. In the meantime, I'll be looking myself for information I can share with you.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


The history of Dodge City will soon be documented in a new book by George Laughead Jr. The book, Images of America: Dodge City, has been assembled using photographs from the collection of the Ford County Historical Society, of which Laughead is president.

"I only used photos from the historical society's archives — most of which have never been published before," Laughead said.

Read the rest of the article written by Don Steele in the


Kansas authors, Doris Imhof Johnson and Gloria Zachgo will share a booth at the 43rd annual Hillsboro Arts and Crafts Fair on Saturday, September 15. Doris Johnson is the author of Philippine Experiences of a Kansas Farm Girl, Apron Strings and Family Ties, As I Remember It, Gutsy Women, and Cookie Crumb Trail. Gloria Zachgo is the author of The Rocking Horse.

Can a family that has been savagely ripped apart find healing and redemption? Are the mysteries hidden in the human heart destined to reveal themselves? The Rocking Horse, Gloria Zachgo's spellbinding suspense novel, charts the harrowing emotional journey of one family that is torn asunder, then magically drawn together again.

The Hillsboro Arts and Crafts Festival is held annually in downtown Hillsboro, located just 30 minutes from Newton and McPherson, and 50 minutes north of Wichita. More at

Monday, August 27, 2012


Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Kansas' Poet Laureate, will be appearing for readings and signings for her first novel, The Divorce Girl.

At 7 pm on Thursday, August 30, Mirriam-Goldberg will be at Watermark Books and Cafe, 4701 E Douglas in Wichita.

On Friday, August 31, also at 7 pm, Mirriam-Goldberg will be at Room 303 of Plumb Hall, 1200 Commercial Street, on the campus of Emporia State University.

From the Emporia Gazette:

Mirriam-Goldberg grew up in a divorced household, and has written of her experiences through the character of Deborah Shapiro, a New Jersey teenager, who navigates her family’s dysfunction — at times quirky, outrageous and tender — through her art as a photographer and with the help of eccentric mentors found in all the wrong places.

More about Mirriam-Goldberg from her blog, "Blog of the Poet Laureate of Kansas" which you will find in the right-hand sidebar, under WRITERS ABOUT WRITING.


As the United States nears the sesquicentennial, books about the Civil War, engage the interest of the reader.

Opening as Sherman’s soldiers win the Battle of Atlanta, Of Love and War: 1864 follows Billy Leidig, a young Georgia Militia deserter, as he searches for Lenora Moffat, the escaped slave girl he loves. The graycoat private blunders into a firefight and gets captured by her. Now disguised as a man and enlisted as bluecoat sergeant in the U. S. Colored Infantry, Lenora leads a wildcat black squad on one flank of Sherman’s march from Atlanta to the sea.

Author Charles Hammer adds: "This novel opens in Georgia as Sherman's March is developing, but it actually ends in Kansas, in Lawrence, with some historically accurate names of Lawrence schools and businesses and newspapers being mentioned and the male protagonist getting arrested for cohabiting with a black girl, the one pictured on the book cover, to whom he was actually married."

More at, search on title or author.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Wednesday, September 5, is the early registration deadline for the you-don't-want-to-miss Kansas Authors' Club 2012 Convention, October 5-7 in Salina, "The Place Where North and South Meet East and West".

Find the registration form at, click on Convention, and click again on "registering" at the upper right hand. Make your choices for Full Registration (3 days) or Saturday Only. Make your meal choices, and drop it in the mail by September 5.

While you are on the "convention" page be sure to look over all the incredible workshops and events District 4 is planning for you.

Lodging should be booked directly with the Ramada Hotel and Conference Center, 1616 West Crawford Street, Salina, KS, 67401. Special block room pricing is $70 per night. Call 1-785-823-1739 by September 5th, and mention "Kansas Authors Club."


Prospero's Books, 1800 W. 39th in Kansas City, MO, announces:

This month's Pit will be held at 8 pm on Wednesday, August 29th (instead of the regular fourth Sunday) and will be featuring John Dorsey and Jeanette Powers. It will also be a release party for Jeanette's latest collection of poems Absolute Futility,(Spartan Press, 2012).

John Dorseyis an American poet, playwright, newspaper journalist and screenwriter; Since 2005, he has been a journalist for the Toledo Free Press.

Jeanette Powers is a poet and a painter with a website at

Cover charges and other information at or at 816-531-WORD.


Rainy Day Book Store invites Tessa Gratton fans to the launch of The Blood Keeper at 7 pm on Tuesday, August 28, at The Fairway Shops, 2706 W 53rd Street in Fairway.

From her website, Gratton writes: Despite having traveled all over the world, she settled in Kansas where the sunsets are all in Technicolor . . .

Admission tickets, prices, all that stuff at


The Kansas Book Festival, presented by Kansas' First Lady, Mary Brownback, on Saturday, September 15, "will be held outside in tents and inside at the Kansas Historical Society. It features published authors, illustrators, and poets participating in lectures, readings, interviews and book signings. The festival will also inlcude child-oriented attractions."

Scheduled authors include Thomas Fox Averill, Roy Bird, Elizabeth Bunce, Joshua Charles, Julie Courtright, Kelly Enright, Shane Evans, Greg Fox, Lisa Harkrader, Katherine Karlin, Louise Krug, James Leiker, Harriet Lerner, Diana Lambdin Meyer, Candice Millard, Judith Miller, Chester Nez, Mary O'Connell, Marci Penner, Matthew Polly, Ramon Powers, Deb Raney, Mary Doria Russell, Tracy Seeley, Molly Shapiro, Wade Sisson, Brad Sneed, Roderick Townley, Wyatt Townley, and Ralph Voss.

And more, Robert Collins, David Gerard, Jefferson Knapp, Mary Lake, Vivian Crosby, Gladys Hargis, Carol Galusha, Jim Baumgardner, Elizabeth Hageman, Tad Pritchett, Ken Berry, Phil Pasquini, Mary Alice Parmley, Linda Polly, Tom Mach, Lynn Bartel, Janice Ronald, Riki Wells, Nancy Anderson, Rhonda Fischer and Phil Quinn.

The Kansas Historical Society is located at 6425 SW 6th Avenue in Topeka. For (much) more information, go to


This 90-minute reading features writers who have participated in Kansas Poet Laureate Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg's writing workshops at Turning Point: The Center for Hope and Healing. Our writing celebrates life, and seeks meaning, humor, connection and hope. Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg will serve as emcee. Refreshments and a celebration follow. $3 members; $5 nonmembers.

That's 2 pm at The Writers' Place, 3607 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO.

Friday, August 24, 2012


Tom Mach sends this message:

I was interviewed on KKFI Radio, Kansas City this morning. Click on: The interview lasted from 10:15 am to 10:45 am on Friday, August 24, concerning my book Angels at Sunset.

UPDATE: Looks like the interview will be broadcast on the Every Woman show at 3 pm on Saturday, August 25.


Evel Knievel Days is Pauls Toutonghi's novel of a transition from Butte, Montana, to Cairo, Egypt -- in one great leap.

What he discovers, in Cairo, is much more startling than he’d imagined it could be. The city is a thrilling mix of contradictions — and locating his father turns out to be the easy part. Through mistaken identity, delicious food, and near tragedy, Khosi and his parents rediscover what it means to be connected to each other, to a family, and to a culture.

Toutonghi will be at Watermark Books and Cafe, 4701 E. Douglas in Wichita at 5 pm on Saturday, August 25.


Railroad historian Tom Lee's newest book, Union Pacific's M-1000: The Early Streamliner Era 1934-1941 has more than 300 photographs.

Elby Adamson writes in the Clay Center Dispatch, "Tom did a masterful job of keeping the narrative moving as he wove the year by year history of the operations of the M-10000 with introductions of the other U.P. Streamliners which were eventually named for their Western destinations. The M-10000 was named the ‘City of Salina’"

The book is available from the author or at The Clay Center Dispatch.


As Gabriel came of age in Kansas, chains of fear and resentment imprisoned him, keeping him from discovering all the treasures of The River-its powerful rapids, relentless gradients, and boulder-strewn sections of majestic splendor. He couldn't let go of the horrible event he witnessed on The River when he was four years old-something no child should ever see.

The River was written by Michael Neale. More descriptions at


The "Believe It or Not Railroad" ran four miles back and forth across the Nebraska/Kansas State Line. The railroad tale is told by Richard Schmeling, with the full title of America's Shortest Interstate Railroad: The Believe It or Not Railroad.

John Cutler writes in the Lincoln Journal Star "There’s the tale about being out on the railroad when Steamer No. 97 had started to descend the grade from the Kansas quarries to the Superior plant. Empty, it was a challenge for any engineer to hold back the train down the grade. But with loaded rock cars attached, engine No. 97 went swinging back and forth across the rails as it raged downhill, as Schmeling pictures it."

The book is published by South Platte Press, at

(Believe it or not, the illustration is supposed to be the "small" version of the bookcover -- obviously I still have a lot to learn about photo-editing.)


Along with his duties as an agronomy specialist at Kansas State University, Jim Shroyer has become an author. Shroyer has released his first children's book, The Adventures of Holly Holstein: Holly Greets the World.

"It's the tale of a Holstein calf born during a fierce snowstorm in the hills of eastern Oklahoma. The heifer is befriended by a little girl named Mika. The story was inspired by a real-life event in Shroyer's family."

The book is illustrated by Rita A. Kraushaar


Former University of Kansas point guard Sherron Collins will be in Hutchinson on Saturday, August 25, for a book signing at the Sports Shack, 119 N. Main Street.

Collins, a 2010 All-American and contributing member of the Jayhawks' 2008 national championship team, will be accompanied by Jason King, the former Kansas City Star beat reporter who wrote Beyond the Phog: The Untold Stories from Kansas Basketball's Most Dominant Decade. From

Thursday, August 23, 2012


The Johnson County Library Foundation has announced the 2012 Pinnacle Awards:

Excellence in Advocacy and Public Engagement, Janis McMillen; Excellence in Business and Entrepreneurship, Stacy Jones and Dr. Joel Wiggins; Excellence in Literacy and Education, Ron Gier, and Excellence in the Arts, Chuck Haddix.

To read more about these individuals, go to

Nominations for the awards are accepted by the Pinnacle Award committee, appointed by the Johnson County Library Foundation. (PS - Don't have exact information, but nominations for 2013 will probably not be accepted until sometime in 2013.)


The Raven Book Store will host a reading and book signing at 7 p.m., Thursday, August 30, at The Raven, 6 E. 7th St, Lawrence. The event features Maggie Koerth-Baker.

Book: Before the Lights Go Out is about some of the big-picture nuance that gets left out of the day-to-day chatter about energy. What are the big trends that will shape what we can and can't do over the next 40 years? How does our electricity infrastructure work, and why is that infrastructure a lot more interesting (and a lot more complicated) than most laypeople realize? There's a lot of storytelling, and some fun and funny history of how our current infrastructure came to be. There's critical analysis explaining both why we have to solve our energy problem, and why solving it is going to be harder than many climate hawks want to believe. In general, the book is meant to make a confusing subject accessible and offer a more nuanced perspective on a topic that tends to be very ideology driven. At The Raven, Maggie will talk about the weird, messy history of electricity, and the ways that writing online can help build a better book.

Bio: Maggie Koerth-Baker is the author of Before the Lights Go Out, a book about electricity and the future of energy. She is a columnist for The New York Times Magazine, and the science editor at, one of the most widely read blogs in the world. A member of the board of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing, Maggie's work has appeared in magazines such as Discover and Popular Science, and online at sites like National Geographic News and Scientific American.

The Raven Book Store is located at 6 E. 7th St., in Lawrence, Kan. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information on Raven events, please visit the store’s website at

Koerth-Baker will be coming back to her college town for this event. See her website at


Rocinha, Brazil, a book of photography which will be launched at 3:30 pm on Saturday, August 23, at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hamshipre Street, will fund future art classses in Brazil.

Announcing the release of the new, highly-touted hardcover photography book by longtime Lawrence artists Sarah Stern and Gary Mark Smith. The book is about what life was like in the largest favela (slum) under gang control in Brazil, just before it was pacified and occupied by troops in November of 2011.

The public is invited and encouraged to see the portfolio of images from the book, enjoy a talented musical duo who will entertain with their infectious world rhythm, and taste scrumptious Brazilian delicacies. This event is the artist's way of celebrating a unique benefit project that has culturally linked Lawrence, Kansas to Favela Rocinha in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

This event is free and no purchase is required, however, all proceeds from the sale of the book (100% of the profit) will be donated back to the favela to fund a season of free art classes for teenagers living there during August of 2014.


A novel raising Thomas Jefferson’s slave mistress to “Founding Mother” is now a Kindle e-book on Amazon, soon to be available in paperback.

Author N.M. Ledgin said publishing Sally of Monticello grew from “historians’ misunderstanding Sally Hemings. ”They overlooked her mother Betty Hemings’s supervisory role at Monticello," Ledgin said, and Sally’s likely pressing advantages as half-sister to Jefferson’s late wife.

While in Paris employed at the American Ministry, she was a free woman who chose to return with Jefferson to bondage in Virginia. The one-quarter-black Sally was the only slave ever to room inside Monticello’s main house.

The book is based on Jefferson’s notes and letters, according to Ledgin, and tracks the 38-year relationship past family wars and scandal to Jefferson’s decline and bankruptcy. The author credits writer Annette Gordon-Reed with having unlocked the two centuries’ mystery surrounding the affair.

Buffalo Spirits author and journalist Elizabeth Black has called Sally of Monticello an “extraordinary accomplishment.”

Ledgin also wrote the nonfiction Diagnosing Jefferson, an examination of the Founding Father’s eccentricities. The writer lectures on the third president for the University of Kansas.

More information is available on and

Sally is available free online for review. Please e-mail


Meet the Merry Sisters of Fate at 2 pm on Saturday, August 25, at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont in Lawrence.

As individuals, Maggie Stiefvater is the author of the popular Shiver Trilogy, Tessa Gratton is the author of Blood Magic, and Brenna Yovanoff is the author of The Space Between. Together, they are The Merry Sisters of Fate. They will stop by the library to talk about the debut of their first joint collection, The Curiosities. Their novels appeal to all ages who enjoy the mythical and macabre, with a little angst-ridden romance on the side.

Signed copies will be available by the Raven Book Store.


From the Southern Literary Review:

"The concept of utopia—an ideal community composed of men and women living together in social and political harmony—has been a popular trope in literature since Plato first penned The Republic. Slant of Light, Steve Wiegenstein’s first novel, breathes new life into this genre, (re)imagining the possibility of utopia at a pivotal and precarious moment in American history. The novel is the first in Wiegenstein’s Daybreak series. It’s set in the Missouri Ozarks during the latter part of the 1850s, shortly before the outbreak of the Civil War."

Wiegenstein will be at Shawnee Books and Toy, 7311 Quivira in Shawnee, at noon on Saturday, August 25.

Wiegenstein's website at

Go to Shawnee Books and Toys for more details.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Come to the Raven Book Store, 6 E. 7th in Lawrence, at 7 pm on Thursday, August 23, to hear poetry from Zanath Caraza, fiction from Annie Fischer and a play by Alysha Griffin.

Fischer is a fiction writer and freelance journalist whose work has appeared in Canteen, New Letters, the Village Voice and the Kansas City Star. She lives in Kansas City, Mo., where she recently received her MFA in fiction from the University of MIssouri-Kansas City, and is teaching this fall at Rockhurst University and Park University.

Originally from Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico, Caraza has lived in Vermont and Kansas City. She has an M.A. in Romance Languages and lectures in Foreign Languages and Literatures at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Her chapbook Corazón Pintado: Ekphrastic Poems (2012) is from TL Press. She won the 2003 Ediciones Nuevo Espacio international short story contest in Spanish and was a 2008 finalist for the first international John Barry Award.

More about the Raven Book Store at


An invitation from Tom Mach:

I’ve got two events coming up soon and I hope you can attend at least one of them. As you probably know, I’ve got a book out that is creating quite a sensation. It’s called Angels at Sunset and it’s more than a historical novel about the suffrage movement of the 19th and early 20th century. It’s also a heart-rendering novel about compassion and forgiveness. A senior reviewer for Amazon said “I could only wish that all the books I read were as good as this one.” A senior reviewer for Midwest Book Review is quoted as saying “An exceptional read, great story and history, all wrapped up in one.”

I am doing a book signing at Barnes & Noble in Wichita on Saturday, August 25, from 1 pm to 3 pm (1920 N. Rock Road)

I am also giving a presentation about women’s suffrage and my book at the Dole Center for Politics in Lawrence on Wednesday, Sept. 5 at 2 pm (2350 Petefish Drive in Lawrence)

Read more about Angels at Sunset, and Mach's other books at

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Gregory Hospodor, associate professor in the Department of Military History at the Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, will discuss Mr. Polk's War: President James Polk and the Mexican War at 6:30 pm on Thursday, August 23, at the National Archives at Kansas City.

When he assumed office in 1845, James K. Polk, America’s first "dark-horse" President, was a man on a mission. His goal was territorial expansion or, as he put it in his inaugural address, the extension "of peace over additional territories and increasing millions." President Polk vigorously pursued his territorial ambitions in the present-day American Southwest and Northwest, peacefully when he could, but through military means when necessary. As a result, Polk added more territory to the national domain than any other President. He also led the nation to victory in a war with Mexico from 1846-1848. This talk assesses "Young Hickory’s" career as a war leader, focusing especially on his character, his policies, his actions, and, finally, the effect that his efforts had on the country.

The event is free, however, reservations should be made at 816-268-8010, or e-mail

Parking is free in front of the building at 400 W. Pershing, Kansas City, MO. A charge is made for additional parking at the Union Station.


The Fall 2012 Kansas Authors Club Newsletter just landed in my mailbox, full of news about what Kansas writers have been doing, getting published, talking on the radio, signing books.

Oh, you didn't get a copy?

You need to join KAC. Membership information at the official KAC website

If you are a wannabe writer, or luckily already established, you don't want to go it alone. Other writers can share writing tips and market news, be part of your cheerleading team.

Oh, and did I mention the 2012 Convention News? If you are a writer living in Kansas, and are not connected with any other writers, this is your chance to get acquainted.

You don't have to wait until October 5-7 for the convention, however. Join now, and I'll bet they'll still have copies of the KAC Newsletter.

You'll have to excuse me now, I want to read what Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg will be talking about as the keynote speaker.


A message from Kansas City Voices: Over the past decade your support has helped Kansas City Voices publish many new writers and artists. We are thankful for the opportunity we have to bring literature and art to the forefront of Kansas City. It’s your support that makes this possible.

We are excited to announce the upcoming 10th Anniversary edition of Kansas City Voices is headed to press shortly. We want to make sure we have enough copies for everyone, so this year we revamped our website to allow for pre-orders of the magazine. Pre-order your copies today and get free shipping and handling.

Kansas City Voices 10th Anniversary Edition packs in more prose, poetry, and art than ever before. The 80 page, advertisement free, glossy magazine is an excellent read, looks great on your coffee table, and is a memorable Kansas City keep sake.

Thank you for helping us make it to the ten-year mark. We’re very excited and proud of this milestone edition. Here's where to go

Monday, August 20, 2012


Just gotta share this with you, loyal readers (most of whom I suspect are writers).

Next to getting published, winning awards is what keeps us writers going, right?

I encourage you to read Nancy Julien Kopp"s blog, Writer Granny's World, in the side-bar on the right -- Writers about Writing -- about how exciting it is to win an award.

To win those awards, you've got to be persistent. Mary-Lane Kamberg advises writers to have ten pieces out in the marketplace at all times. If something comes back, rejected, rewrite and send it out again, or send another piece. For some of us, that's hard to do, but if/when you do get a rejection, you can think, "Ah well, that's only one out of ten" and you'll be energized to send something else out -- maybe the latest thing you've been working on.

I normally don't do short stories, but I did have one romantic little piece. Someone sent me a clue that a certain publisher was looking for romance stories. I had to lengthen my piece, and in the rewriting improved the story, and was elated beyond measure when the editor accepted the story.

My tale has an unhappy ending -- the book has yet to be published and for various reasons I have withdrawn my piece. But nothing will ever take away the joy and excitement I had felt when the editor liked my piece. Not only that, the editor said that if I was working on a full-length novel, they'd like to see that, too.

Read Nancy Julien Kopp's blog post -- titled something about a "good Friday". Read it very quickly and then get right back to work. At


Cliff Walk is my second hardboiled crime novel featuring Liam Mulligan, an investigative reporter at a dying Providence, RI, newspaper. The first, Rogue Island, won the Edgar Award and the Macavity Award and was a finalist for the Anthony, Barry, and Shamus Awards. Reviewers say Cliff Walk is even better.

Readers can meet Bruce Desilva from 1-3 pm on Wednesday, August 22, at Mysteryscape Bookstore, 7309 W. 80th in Overland Park. (That's 80th street south from the Overland Park Farmers' Market.)

More from DeSilva's blog at . Or,

Sunday, August 19, 2012


Eleanor Sullivan, autor of Cover Her Body, will speak at 7 pm on Tuesday, August 21, at the Raven Book Store, 6 East 7th in Lawrence.

In a strict, religious society in 1830s rural Ohio, a 16-year-old girl is murdered because she’s pregnant, but the only person who suspects it wasn’t an accident is Adelaide, a young, midwife, who worries that the remedy she gave the girl for a “woman’s ailment” caused her death. Adelaide’s husband, Benjamin, fearful that they’ll be banned from the prosperous community, forbids her from questioning the girl’s death. But a mistake she made years ago cost the life of a mother and her unborn babe, and Adelaide vowed to never let another mother die.

More at and


"On Tuesday, August 21, the Writers Place Poetry Reading Series – which Thomas Zvi Wilson co-founded with his wife, Jeanie Wilson – celebrates his memory and his talent with a special edition of the series featuring eleven area writers, most of whom will read from Wilson’s work." The public is invited to join them at 7 pm at the Johnson County Central Resource Library, 9875 W 87th Street, Overland Park.

John Mark Eberhart will host the event. Eberhart, author of the poetry collections Night Watch and Broken Time and formerly the book review editor of The Kansas City Star, currently serves as Readers’ Advisory Coordinator for Johnson County Library.

Participating readers include Maryfrances Wagner and New Letters editor Robert Stewart (Thorpe Menn Award winners for their respective books Red Silk and Outside Language); former Kansas Poet Laureate Denise Low; Jo McDougall, author of Daddy's Money and Satisfied With Havoc; and Dan Jaffe, author of Playing the Word.

Books will be available for purchase, and selections from Wilson's artworks will be displayed.

Wilson was born in New York City, and moved to the Kansas City area when he was fifty. He was a painter and sculptor with 14 one-person exhibits to his credit, including seven in Manhattan galleries. His first poetry book, Deliberate and Accidental Acts, was published in 1996 and was a runner-up for the Thorpe Menn Award. In 2000, he co-authored The Door Into the Dream with Jeanie Wilson. Wilson died this March after a long struggle with a rare neurological condition that greatly affected his language abilities.

Information at

Friday, August 17, 2012


“The Novelist: EBook Writing 2012 Seminar” will be held Saturday, September 8 at the Crown Plaza Hotel, 12601 West 95th Street in Overland Park/Lenexa, Kansas (I-35 and W. 95th St).

Morning session topics include “The Seven Secrets to Great Storytelling” (9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon). Afternoon topics will include “Product, Image and Platform: Simple Strategies Proven to Maximize EBook Sales NOW!” (1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.). $20 for single session or $35 for both. Lunch NOT included. Seating is limited.

Contact writing coach, indie editor and thriller author Gordon Kessler at: for more information. Register online at: or


That's what we do. We help inspire, motivate, encourage, cheerlead each other. Have you used a book on the writing craft that you are willing to share with your colleagues?

Bring it to the KAC 2012 Convention October 5-7 in Salina. There will be a sharing table for books about writing.

Don't forget, early registration ends September 5. Go to the official Kansas Authors Club website at for registration and hotel information.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


I had the pleasure of beta reading this little gem. And to be honest, I've read a few debut novels that were good, but never came close to this!

The story is from the point of view of Violet, an escaped convict who finds out she's from a long line of heroes and she's next in line to play the role. Something she really wants to avoid at all costs, preferring a life of solitude with her one and only best friend of the four-legged furry variety. But when Ethan and soon there after Aurora join her and she's coerced into the role of hero. But don't worry, Violet's got a plan and playing hero isn't apart of it. Well, maybe just until it pads her pockets enough to disappear.

Set in the world of steam punk fantasy, Makayla Yokley has woven a thrilling tale of adventure with complex characters that bring the story to life and makes you forget that you are reading the story instead of watching it unfold before you.

Yokley's The Ruby Curse earned a five-star review in Goodreads from Samantha Lafantasie.


Dan Kendrick says: I would be overwhelmed with joy if my writings could drive just one point home; that humans are people and people are significant as individuals, as well as a whole. A single person can make or break, a single person can change the face of a business, a family, or organization overnight. People are what drives a business, also the buses, subway trains, and sanitation trucks.

Meet Kendrick, the author of Sex Sells, but I'm Ugly on Saturday, August 18, at Shawnee Books and Toys, 7311 Quivira in Shawnee. (WOW, look at that picture -- I think the photographer caught Kendrick in a rare serious mode.) For more about Kendrick, visit his website at

(Drat! Forgot to write down the time, but I'll get it and add to the post later.)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Literary Contributions due October 6, 2012, electronic receipt or postmark.

1. Every member having paid current dues is invited to submit one literary contribution for the yearbook. That submission can be either prose or poetry. Prose is limited to one printed page (no more than 500 words). Poetry is limited to one printed page (no more than 40 lines including spaces between verses).

2. Include with your submission: author's name, district number, and publishing credit for specific piece (if any) to be placed at the end of the selection. Members may also include a personal website address if space permits.

3. Submissions should be sent in the body of an email or as an attachment to an email. Attachments of prose or poetry must be in the format of MSWord or an RTF file. Original images (photos or artwork) are permitted as long as your entire submission does not fill more than one printed page of the yearbook. A photo, for instance, could accompany a short poem or prose. Prose of 500 words, however, would not leave room for an illustration.

4. Send submissions to with the following text in the subject line: "KAC Yearbook Submission." Email confirmation of receipt will be returned within 10 days. If confirmation is not received, please resubmit.

5. All literary contributions remain the property of the individual authors. Authors may continue to use or distribute their work without requesting permission from the Kansas Authors Club. No work printed in the KAC Yearbook may be copied or distributed in any form without explicit permission from the author.

Postal Mail Submissions must be typed, double spaced, on 8-1/2 x 11 paper. May be folded for mailing. Postal mail: Tracy Million Simmons, KAC Yearbook Submission, 206 Rural Street, Emporia, KS, 66801.

This blog is NOT an official KAC website. For information about KAC, including membership, go to, or read the post below: MILESTONE FOR KAC YEARBOOK.


Although the Kansas Authors Club is going into its 108th year of existence, 2013 will mark a significant milestone for the Yearbook.

It was in 1913, during the presidency of Margaret Hill McCarter, the first woman to hold the office, that KAC published the first "Annual Handbook" of Club information.

The tradition is still going strong, as I was reminded when I read a facebook notice that member contributions to the 2013 year book are due by October 6, 2012. Every member having paid current dues is invited to submit one literary contribution for the yearbook. Complete guidelines will be included in a follow-up post.

Membership information at To read more about the history of KAC go to

This blog is NOT an official website of KAC, but I have been a member for several years and am proud of the history of KAC in its representation of Kansas authors.

Monday, August 13, 2012


Eunice Boeve of Phillipsburg has followed up her success with Ride a Shadowed Trail with the publication of the sequel, Crossed Trails. Boeve writes:

Crossed Trails was released from the publisher in July and is now on the market. The print book can be ordered from me, from who also has it on Kindle, and the publisher, Whiskey Creek Press, who also offers a PDF and two other electronic versions at Eventually Barnes and Noble and Fictionwise will also have it in stock. If you wish to order from me, simply e-mail me at and I’ll send the book(s) with a bill enclosed.

Crossed Trails is a sequel to Ride a Shadowed Trail and carries the main character, Joshua Ryder, into the next phase of his life. The book is a stand- alone book, but if you haven’t read Ride a Shadowed Trail, you may want to read it first.

A Synopsis: Joshua Ryder ashamed of his lineage and escaping past memories believes he will never go back to Texas. Having arrived in Montana in the fall with a trail herd, he’s wintered over and in this summer of 1877, he heads for the west coast where he plans to live out his life in isolation with just his books and his horses for company. But fate intervenes in the form of a woman of the Nez Perce people and her baby and he ends up in Virginia City, Montana. There his sense of responsibility gets him involved, not just with the woman and her baby, but also an old washerwoman, and a small girl of Chinese and white ancestry and all have an influence on him. But the real changes in his life come when he meets a young woman with red curls, the local newspaper editor, and a murderer.

Ride A Shadowed Trail won the Kansas Authors Club 2009 J. Donald Coffin Award

Sunday, August 12, 2012


For James B. Steele, appearing at the Kansas City Central Library this week, to talk about his book, The Betrayal of the American Dream, it's a return to his roots.

Writes Steele:

"I’m very much looking forward to being back in Kansas City. I’ve kept in touch with friends from the Kansas City area since my days at The Times and consider the training I received at The Times and the friendships I made these to be among the most formative influences of my life."

Twenty years ago James B. Steele co-authored America: What Went Wrong, which argued that the middle class was shrinking, guaranteed pensions would become a thing of the past, and millions would be without health insurance. His new book asserts that “We grossly underestimated how fast the economic ruling class would pull the rug out from under everyone else.”

Steele and his writing partner Donald Bartlett are the only reporting team ever to have received two Pulitzer Prizes and two National Magazine Awards.

Steele will be speaking at the Central Library 14 W 10th Street, Kansas City, MO, at 6 pm on Wednesday, August 15. No admission charge, but see to make reservations.

For more about this remarkable writing team, check them out at


I didn't know that Mary-Lane Kamberg knew knew how to fish! You better believe it.

Kamberg's Saltwater Fishing: Tips and Techniques for Grades 5-8 has been published by Rosen Publishing.

This book is an entertaining introduction to the exciting sport of saltwater fishing. Chapters provide helpful tips about fishing and boating safety, choosing gear, finding fish, and handling the catch. The author introduces a variety of saltwater fishing methods, including surf fishing, fly fishing, trolling, and spear fishing. The book also teaches aspiring anglers to show care and concern for wildlife and the marine and coastal environment.

Ordering information at .


When Grandmama Sings an eight-year-old granddaughter, who accompanies her on a singing tour of the segregated South, knows the songs have the power to bring people together.

Margaree King Mitchell will sign copies of her book, When Grandmama Sings, at noon on Saturday, August 18, at Books-A-Million in the Legends Shopping Center, 1859 W. Village Parkway, Kansas City.

KANSAS IN THE 1920-30s

Coming this fall, The View from Poplar Street, written by Ruth Elaine Soelter Lethem, of life in Wamego in the 1920-30s. Lethem was born in Wamego, and lived in a house on Poplar street until she was graduated from Kansas State University.

Penny Wika, a freelance journalist for The Wamego Times of August 9, 2012, writes about Lethem’s view of Wamego in those times:

“The Columbia Theatre offered three different movies each week, children and adults went sledding on the Sixth Street hill, doctors made house calls, and Fort Riley soldiers were invited for Sunday dinner.”

Although living her adult life elsewhere, Lethem never lost touch with Wamego. Writes Wika:

“Lethem’s book is limited to her early life in Wamego and is significant because it describes this community through the eyes of a young person. Moreover, readers don’t need to have ever lived in Wamego to enjoy the book. It’s a slice of Kansas life preserved for future generations.”


Some Kansas winners in the 2012 Whispering Prairie Press Writers Contest:

Dana Bowman of Lindsborg took Second Place in Essay with More Today Than Yesterday. Mike Turvey of Shawnee received an honorable mention in Poetry with Poetic, and Jamie Lynn Heller of Lenexa also received honorable mention for Memories of Color.

Whispering Prairie Press will host a Writers Conference on October 20 at the University of Kansas Edwards campus at 127 and Quivira in Johnson County. Hop on over to for details.

Watch for the TENTH volume of KC Voices in November!

Friday, August 10, 2012


Debra McArthur, author of A Voice for Kanzas, will be speaking at 2 pm on Saturday, August 11, at the Westport Branch, Kansas City, MO, Public Library, 118 Westport Road, for the Westport Historical Society Second Saturday Speaker Series.

"McArthur, author of several non-fiction books for young readers, tells how she created an authentic setting of 1855 Kansas Territory for her novel, A Voice for Kanzas."


Do you recognize anyone in this line-up? They're all presenters for the 2012 convention October 5-7 in Salina.

Mark Bouton, Let's Write a Novel; Judy Entz, In the KNow Concerning Self-Publishing; Jim Hoy, Serendipity, the Writer's Best Friend, and Finding Gold in the Flint Hills or Wherever You Live; Nancy Julien Kopp, Creative Nonfiction and Writing for Anthologies; Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, These Are the Materials; the Transformative Power of Fiction, and Keynote Speaker; Kevin Rabas, Writing Flash Fiction and Narrative Poems; and Ann Zimmerman, Songwriting Should Not be Left to the Pros.

What a line-up! Registration information and other good stuff at (hosted by Blue Skyways).


You know the old chestnut, be careful what you wish for . . .

Updated advice to writers: When you sit down to your typewriter, be careful what you create. A writer named Calvin, struggling to repeat his early successes, creates a person with his typewriter. Her name is Ruby Sparks, and one day she just shows up in his kitchen and starts making breakfast.

Calvin at first assumed she is an hallucination, until he takes her out in public, and other people can see her as well. Then he discovers that by going back to his typewriter, he can tweak her character.

Christy Lemire, writing for the Associated Press in The Kansas City Star, claims that Calvin discovers "he can make her speak French. He can make her depressed. He can make her worship him". All by going back to his typewriter.

The whole story is currently being shown at movie houses, under the title "Ruby Sparks", in a script written by Zoe Kazan.

I'm going to see if this really works. I'm going to sit down at my typewriter (apparently computer keyboards don't work, and I still have a manual typewriter) and create something to fulfill my wishes. Let's see, what shall I start with? A Mr. Clean type, who will wash all my windows and hose off the patio, or a computer IT guy who can sit down at my desk with me and fix all my computer problems?

So, writers, just beware what you create -- it may all come true.

Thursday, August 9, 2012


Save the date for the 3rd Annual Whispering Prairie Press Writers Conference: Saturday, Oct. 20 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Kansas University Edwards Campus, 12600 Quivira Road, Overland Park, KS 66213.

Featuring workshops by: Mike Lance | Self-publishing in an Electronic World; Suzanne Lieurance | Making the Leap: How To Jump into Freelance Writing for Children; Linda Rodriguez | Fiction: What on Earth is Going To Happen Next?; Olive Sullivan | Poetry: Image Is Everything – Almost; Lisa Waterman Gray | Creating A Travel Guidebook; Bernadette Stankard/Amy Viets Birthing a Book Together.

Cost $75. Reserve your spot by visiting or mailing check or money order to: Whispering Prairie Press, PO Box 410661, Kansas City, MO 64141. Whispering Prairie Press is the publishing arm of the Kansas City Writers Group. It annually publishes Kansas City Voices magazine.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Glass and Steel explores how people make mistakes in life, but often get a second chance to redeem themselves and how they make use of this opportunity. Beautifully written, with appealing and sympathetic characters, Glass and Steel offers readers important and profound insights into the human condition by forcefully examining three young friends and their struggles not only against the destructive forces of society and their own internal flaws, but against the whims of fate. Among these fascinating characters are a man struggling to lead a normal and rewarding life despite the specter of a hideous crime he has committed, an innovative but frustrated teacher who is battling her own demons, and a timid, troubled woman thrust into a sordid world which sorely tests her resolve to live a virtuous and productive life.

Under the pen name of A.C. Kent, Topeka resident William Short's Glass and Steel is available on Amazon Kindle.


The second book in the series of Father Damien stories, Restitution, has been released by Terry W. Drake. Father Damien's adventures began with Drake's Sanctuary.

A compelling novel set before the final days of World War II which tackles crimes and atrocities committed by German military officers and the pursuit of looted treasures in an Italian community, Restitution follows the life of Father Damien in Bergamo, Italy towards the end of World War II. He inherits the responsibilities of the underground leadership through the death of his best friend Mathew Gillespie. He attempts to reconcile his faith with the obligations of war in his struggle to protect his community. Members of his alliance are called on to destroy the supply headquarters at the Bergamo airfields controlled by the German army.

A native of Pittsburg, former General Manager for the Board of Public Utility in Kansas City, Drake now lives in Kansas City (KS).

Monday, August 6, 2012


You'll be saving some $$$$ if you register for the 2012 Kansas Authors Club Convention by September 5. Go to the official KAC website at

Save $$$$$$$ on your hotel, too, by September. For that, make your reservations directly with the Ramada Hotel and Conference Center, 1616 West Crawford Street in Salina. Call 1-785-823-1739. Ask for the Kansas Authors Club special rate of $70 per night.


The Writers' Place Riverfront Readings Series will present Susan Carman and Jason M. Vaugh at 8 pm on Friday, August 10.

Susan Carman is a Pushcart Prize nominee, and served as poetry co-editor for Kansas City Voices. Her poetry and essays have appeared in various publications, including Coal City Review, Catholic Digest, St. Anthony Messenger, Imagination and Place and Kalliope, in which she was a finalist for the Sue Saniel Elkind Poetry Award. Her essay "An Extra Helping of Grace" won a national competition sponsored by Penguin Press.

Jason M. Vaughn lives on a farm in Kansas City, KS. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Same, Naugatuck River Review, Green Hills Literary Lantern, The 2River View and In the Black/In the Red: Poems of Profit and Loss.

The Writers' Place is located at 3607 Pennsylvania in Kansas City, MO. For news of more Writers' Place events, go to


Hi Peg,

Just a quick note to let you know that our book, Pendergast's Retaliation, a True Cold Case File, is now available at the Airdrie Branch of the North Lanarkshire Library in Airdrie, Scotland.

We have book reviews scheduled for Pages Books & Coffee in Newton, Kansas on August 11th at Noon. Stratford Place Book Club on August 22 at 7pm. Tallgrass Creek Retirement Community Book Club, The Forum and Claridge Court are on the calendar for September.

Enjoy your day!

Carolyn Clyde Dolan

Pendergast's Retaliation was written by Carolyn Clyde Dolan and her sister, Shirley Clyde McCullough, after finding old family memorabilia about their Uncle Reid, originally reported to have committed suicide


Tim O'Brien, whose book, The Things They Carried, was the Wichita BIG READ book in 2011, has been honored with receipt of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.

The Dayton awards are meant to recognize the power of literature in promoting peace and global understanding, and the achievement award goes to a writer for body of work.

O'Brien's writings "have shown war and its long-term impacts through a regular soldier's eyes."

Sunday, August 5, 2012


Dale Vaughn, author of The Chance, recently took part in ceremonies honoring the 150th anniversary of the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry at Mount Auburn Cemetery, California and 10th Streets in Topeka.

Vaughn said "the unit . . . had the highest casualty rate of any Kansas regiment."

Senator James H. Lane, recruiting commissioner for Kansas territory north of the Kansas River, on August 4, 1862 authorized raising the regiment. It was the first African-American regiment to fight in combat with white soldiers during the Civil War. (Wikipedia)


Edinburgh, 1698. Scotland's crops had failed again, and starvation was building in the cities. A plan was hatched to colonize Panama, ship goods overland, and hence shorten the voyage to India. Half the available cash in Scotland was raised to support the project. Five ships and three thousand souls set off on the venture to be the salvation of an ailing nation—a four thousand mile journey into the unknown. Jamie Leith, a young street-wise teenager, inadvertently stows away, and wakes, a prisoner of the venture and manacled to its success or failure.

Determined to survive at all costs, Jamie faces enemies, storms, and sickness, with optimism and a ‘ne'er say die’ attitude. With the courage of youth, and endurance and instincts learned from the streets, he confronts all obstacles to give his all in the success of the venture. ‘Opportunities’ is the story of the Darién Venture seen through the eyes of this precocious youngster, and is a roller-coaster adventure set within Scotland’s ‘last chance’ at survival. Jamie Leith embodies the positive spirit that lies in all Scots; the rampant strength of character that sailed the seven seas and drove a population to the four corners of a rapidly growing world.

Ian Hall, author of Opportunities: Jamie Leith in Darien, will present a reading and signing at 7 pm on Thursday, August 9, at the Raven Book Store, 6 E 7th, in Lawrence. Hall's webpage at

Saturday, August 4, 2012


Sweet Talk.

Now, think a minute. Where would you have a book event for a book with the title of Sweet Talk? In a candy shop, right?

That's the name of Julie Garwood's new book, and you can chat with her at 6:30 pm on Tuesday, August 7 at Andres's Confiserie Suisse, 5018 Main Street, Kansas City, MO.

Tickets and admission tickets information at


Stealing, Shannon Bateman learns, is bad for one's health. As an Illinois cavalry officer during the Civil War, he purloins a fortune in gold, then struggles almost thirty years to elude its "rightful owners." The treasure remains cleverly hidden while both sides employ guile, murder, and mordant humor. Dickensian characters appear, disappear, and rematerialize in various guises. Disconsolate after his wife dies, "Shan" abandons his daughter and thriving business and takes refuge in a roadshow. An unexpected meeting brings him back to family, including his resentful daughter. Both she and his new "wife" become strong, resilient persons who wage their own wars against him. They all end up in Kansas, where Shan again succeeds in business, survives an encounter with hundreds of Cheyenne warriors, and experiences more family troubles. His oldest and most persistent enemy pays a visit and makes him an offer. By the mid-1880s, Shan's spiraling dementia heightens a longtime animosity toward the Negroes he helped free during the war. He is committed to an insane asylum, where he and his assembled enemies, including a young black orderly, wage wars of a different sort. Overseeing the drama is a Civil War surgeon-cum psychiatrist who has his own troubles. Who is insane and who is not? Where's the gold? And who is the "winner"? A sprawling novel spanning four generations, Wars Unwon reveals the humanity in even the basest of its characters, along with the interwoven consequences of their actions.

Shannon Bateman is the hero/unhero of John R. Finger’s new novel, Wars Unwon. Now retired, Kansas native John S. Finger taught for 30 years at the University of Tennesse. His other books, non-fiction, are Cherokee Americans: The Eastern Band of Cherokees in the Twentieth Century, Eastern Band of Cherokees: 1819-1900, and Tenessee Frontiers: Three Regions in Transition.


"At age twenty-two, Louise Krug suffered a brain bleed and underwent an emergency craniotomy that disrupted her ability to walk, see, and move half her face. Now, six years later, Louise has astounded doctors and loved ones by recovering not only much of her vision and mobility, but a ferocious spirit and enviable grace. She currently lives with her husband Nick and daughter Olive in Lawrence, Kansas, where she's a PhD candidate and teacher."

Krug will present a reading and a signing of her book, Louise: Amended, at 7 pm on Tuesday, August 7, at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont, in an event sponsored by the Raven Book Store,


How’s this for a starter:

I know what they say about secrets. I've heard it all. That they can haunt and govern you. That they can poison relationships and divide families. That in the end, only the truth will set you free. Maybe that's the case for some secrets. But I truly believed I was the exception to such portents, and never once breathed the smallest mention of my nearly two decadelong secret to anyone. Not to my closest friends in my most intoxicated moments or to my boyfriend Peter in our most intimate ones. I didn't even discuss it with my mother, the only person who was there when it all went down, almost as if we took an unspoken vow of silence, willing ourselves to let go, move on. I never forgot what happened, not for a single day, yet I was also convinced that sometimes, the past really was the past.

Emily Giffin will be at Unity Temple on the Plaza, 707 W 47th Street, Kansas City, MO, at 7 pm on Monday, August 6, to tell you more about her new book, Where We Belong. Ticket and admission information at