Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Todd McCray, hero of A Dog Named Christmas, is now twenty-four years old and working at a local animal shelter, where he meets and quickly becomes best friends with Laura, a young volunteer. Laura, like Todd, has disabilities of her own, but her struggles are more physical than developmental. Their friendship is sealed when Todd—with the help of his trusted companion, the tenacious Labrador retriever named Christmas—trains a beautiful dog named Gracie to help Laura with the day-to-day life tasks that are difficult for her.

Life seems good for Todd, but all is not well in his hometown. Struggling families unable to make ends meet are abandoning more and more dogs, and the shelter is swelling to capacity. The local government is struggling to meet its obligations too, and in early December, on the cusp of another holiday season, Todd’s boss delivers the bad news. Due to funding problems, the shelter will close its doors before the end of the year. But what will happen to all the animals?

As the Christmas holiday approaches, Todd has limited time to find homes for all the dogs. Not to mention that he needs to secure a new job and figure out what to do when his friendship with Laura takes an unexpected romantic turn. All this seems overwhelming unless you’ve got a loving family, dedicated friends, and a couple of very special dogs behind you. In which case, nothing is impossible.

Come meet Greg Kincaid, the author of A Christmas Home, at 7 pm on Thursday, November 1, at Rainy Day Books, 2706 W 53 Street in Fairway. Read about Kincaid’s previous books, A Dog Named Christmas (madeinto a Hallmark movie) and Christmas with Tucker at

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Beth Lyon Barnett, author of Jazz Town, will discuss her book in a special event at the American Jazz Museum, 1616 East 18th, Kansas City, MO on Friday, November 30. A portion of proceeds will benefit the American Jazz Museum.

The evening will begin at 5 pm with a visit to the Historic Museum, followed by a reading by the author in the Atrium and an opportunity to meet the author and enjoy light refreshments. At 7 pm guests will celebrate with friends and family in the Blue Room featuring nationally known vocalist, Millie Edwards

Jazz Town, a novel, is the story of the free-and-easy days of prohibition, sex, the birth of the jazz age, and how Jews assimilated into Midwestern culture. Readers will recognize famous people like Jelly Roll Morton, Count Basie, Sigmund Harzfeld, and Rabbi Samuel Mayerberg, all of whom add to the true-to-life plot. "What really happened in Kansas City was just too good a story not to be told," says Barnett.

An Amazon reviewer wrote, "The characters, dialog, predicaments, surroundings, famous people, and familiar places all blend to make the book a super read." Jazz Town is available in book form at the American Jazz Museum and ebook at and Barnes and Noble.

Beth Lyon Barnett was born in Kansas City, Missouri. She and her husband live in Prairie Village with their rescued miniature schnauzer,"Too Tall" Looie. Beth's work has appeared in numerous magazines and periodicals including The Kansas City Star, The Jewish Chronicle and The Sun. She is a graduate of Mills College in Oakland CA. and a founding member of the Jackson and Johnson County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) projects. Beth is a member of the Kansas City Writer's Group, Write Brain Trust, and the board of directors of Whispering Prairie Press, publishers of Kansas City VOICES Magazine.

Barnett's blog is at


Three contributors have been confirmed as presenters for the launch of the tenth anniversary edition of Kansas City Voices: Natalie McAllister, prose; Jeff Tigchelaar, poetry, and Wood Dickinson, art. Additional presenters may be added to the schedule.

This very exciting event will take place from 4-5:30 pm on Sunday, November 11, at the Plaza Branch of the Kansas City, MO, Public Library, 4801 Main Street, Kansas Ciy, MO. Copies will be available for sale. Kansas City Voices is the annual literary and arts publication of not-for-profit Whispering Prairie Press.

The goal of each annual issue is to publish an “annual eclectic mix of fiction, essays, interviews, articles, poetry, and art.” Submission period opens on December 15 and closes March 15.

More about Whispering Prairie Press at

Monday, October 29, 2012


Come to the Raven Book Store at 7 pm on Tuesday, October 30, and hear the Trilogy Awareness Event, Martha Kehr, the author of The Adventures of Marcy and Sara.

And do those girls have adventures, in The Magic Mole, New Alliances and Journey to the Palace of Ice. The Raven is easy to find at 6 E. 7th in Lawrence.

For more, check out

Sunday, October 28, 2012


One's mind will play tricks.

There is a serious error in the blog post just below and the error is mine. I do apologize.

The name of the book by Chris Tabor should be Skirmish at Island Mound.

An Associated Press article on Friday reported:

"African-American troops engaged in combat as an organized fighting force for the first time this week 150 years ago in the Civil War. The 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry Regiment repelled a Confederate unit while skirmishing with the rebels at Island Mound in Missouri on Oct. 29, 1862. It was among the first of the black regiments to be organized."

Friday, October 26, 2012


Chris Tabor chronicled the event in his book, Skirmish at Battle Mound, and tomorrow the site will be memorialized with the dedication of farmland in Bates County, MO, as a state historic site.

Under the headline of UNHERALDED ROLE BY BLACK SOLDIERS IS SALUTED AT LAST, the Kansas City Star of Friday, October 26, reports that on October 27, 1862 (150 years ago) “these black men fought in the battle of Island Mound. They were the first former slaves and freed men to defeat Confederate forces in the Civil War.”

The soldiers were members of the First Kansas Colored Volunteers organized by Kansan Jim Lane.

Author Tabor has been researching the military unit since 1999. The Star quotes him as saying, “it affected his (President Abraham Lincoln) decision to officially muster black soldiers into the war. It affected his decision to sign the Emancipation Proclamantion.”

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Cul de Sac is a new book for your reading pleasure, by Edna Bell-Pearson.

Woodland Circle, a cul de sac in the retirement community, Paradise Village, is not Wisteria Lane. However, no household is without its secrets, concerns and agendas.

What our friends do not know is that a newcomer—an author who chose the peace and quiet of Paradise Village to write a book—is writing it all down.

Cul de Sac is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Edna Bell-Pearson is a widely published writer of short stories, articles, essays and poems. Her first book, Fragile Hopes, Transient Dreams And Other Stories, published in 2006, was chosen by the Kansas State Library as one of 150 Best Kansas Books—those considered the best books written by Kansans and/or about Kansas in the past 150 years.

Whereas Fragile Hopes, Transient Dreams is considered an in-depth fictional study of life on the Great Plains during the 20th Century, Cul de Sac — also written as a series of short stories — is a fictional study of retirement life.


Main Street Rag Poetry Showcase at Prospero's: This month's pit is going to be on Friday, October 26 (instead of the usual 4th Sunday) and our featured reader will be Houston Hughes from Fayetteville, AR.

There will also be a spooky, mind-bending performance by The Paranormal Fun House! Not for the faint of heart.

And for the moment (more news coming) Prospero's is located at 1800 W. 39th Street, in Kansas City, MO.


Writes Karen D. Graves: When my little sister was born, I learned a new word: fair. Everyone brought her a present. Everyone wanted to hold her. “But that’s not fair!”

In her playful book, But That’s Not Fair! Graves cleverly tackles the age-old question: does the oldest child or the youngest child in the family have life the easiest?

Graves will be at Hastings in Lawrence on Saturday, October 27 for a book-signing. Hastings is at 1900 W. 23rd Street. Sorry, I don’t have the time.


Are you curious about The True Night Before Christmas? Be at Watermark Books and Cafe at 4 pm on Saturday, October 27, to hear the story from Vanessa and Robert Condreay. Watermark is at 4704 E Douglas in Wichita.


At the Raven Book Store tonight you’ll hear Hadara Bar-Nadav, author of A Glass of Milk to Kiss Goodnight, winner of the Margie Book Prize. Bar-Nadav’s chapbook, Show Me Yours, was awarded the 2009 Midwest Poets Series Award. Bar-Nadav is associate professor of English at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

You’ll also hear Kij Johnson, author of At the Mouth of the River of Bees. More about Johnson, assistant professor of fiction writing at the University of Kansas at

The Raven is at 6 E 7th in Lawrence. Program starts at 7 pm.


The Ottawa Public Library invites baseball fans to a presentation:

On Thursday Nov. 1st at from 6:30-8 pm please stop by the library and meet Jeremy Deckard, author of a new book about Chicago Cub players and their 2012 season.

Tales and Travels of a Kansas Cubs Fan, by Jeremy Deckard is a who’s who book covering Chicago Cubs players since 1986, Follow Deckard on a tour of the 2012 Cubs season with stops in Arizona, Missouri, Illinois and Pennsylvania.

Jeremy Deckard grew up in Marquette, Kansas and graduated from Pittsburg State University with a BSED in History and Social Studies. He worked as a sports writer for the Pittsburg Morning Sun from 1996-1999.

He currently serves as sports correspondent and baseball blogger for the Topeka Capital-Journal. As a correspondent he covers high school football, basketball, softball and baseball.

The Ottawa Library is at 105 S. Hickory. See


James N.Leiker and Ramon Powers, winners of the Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize will present a lecture on November 14 at the Great Plains Art Museum in Lincoln, NE. The prize was created to emphasize the interdisciplinary importance of the Great Plains in today’s publishing and educational market.Leiker is associate professor of history at Johnson County Community College. Powers is former executive director of the Kansas State Historical Society.

The story of the Northern Cheyennes' flight from Indian Territory toward their Montana homeland in 1878-79 has been told, retold, and relived by generations of historians, reformers, reenactors, literary figures like Mari Sandoz, filmmakers like John Ford, not to mention white homesteaders and Northern Cheyennes themselves. In assessing these retellings, two authors explore the relationship of history--an empirical science that attempts an objective understanding of the past--with memory, the stories that people of the Great Plains have used for cultural self-definition, and through them, their connection to a mythic western past.

The prize is awarded by the Center for Great Plains Studies by the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. The Northern Cheyenne Exodus in History and Memory was published by the University of Oklahoma Press.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Meet Rachel Hawkins and Brent Crawford at 7 pm Wednesday, October 24, at Watermark Books and Café, 4701 E. Douglas in Wichita. See what Watermark Books says below:

Watermark Books & Cafe is pleased to welcome back Rachel Hawkins and Brent Crawford. Rachel will be here for a reading and signing of Spell Bound, the third book in her Hex Hall series for teens (and adults who are honest about their reading habits.) And Brent will be here to sign Carter's Unfocused, One-Track Mind, the third book in his Carter series for teens.

Rachel Hawkins was born in Virginia and raised in Alabama. This means she uses words like "y'all" and "fixin'" a lot, and considers anything under 60 degrees to be borderline Arctic. Before deciding to write books about kissing and fire (and sometimes kissing while on fire), Rachel taught high school English for 3 years, and is still capable of teaching you The Canterbury Tales if you're into that kind of thing.

Brent Crawford is the author of the critically acclaimed Carter Finally Gets It and Carter’s Big Break. He has worked in theater, film, and television, and has written numerous plays and screenplays. To pay some pesky bills, he has also waited tables, worked construction, cleaned fish, bartended, and even dumped airplane toilets. He lives in Kansas City, Kansas.


Kate Morton’s The Secret Keeper begins this way:

“Rural England, a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere, a summer’s day at the start of the nineteen sixties. The house is unassuming: half-timbered, with white paint peeling gently on the western side and clematis scrambling up the plaster. The chimney pots are steaming and you know, just by looking, that there’s something tasty simmering on the stove top beneath. It’s something in the way the vegetable patch has been laid out, just so, at the back of the house; the proud gleam of the leadlight windows; the careful patching of the roofing tiles.”

Meet the author at Rainy Day hosted program at 7 pm on Wednesday, October 24, at Unity Temple on the Plaza, 707 W. 47th, Kansas City, MO. For ticket and admission information see


What Kansas poet Albert Goldbarth says about Eula Biss’s book, Notes From No Man’s Land:

“‘Gangs are real, but they are also conceptual,’ Eula Biss says, and the wide embrace of that observation speaks well for her essays, which are always ideologically alive even as they are grounded in fascinating details: children’s dolls, the history of telephone poles, the saga of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. But this book is no miscellany. All of Biss’s explorations finally address race in the United States, from someone whose life seems devoted to that great pondering...and so this is an essential (and quintessential) American book.”

Notes from No Man’s Land, the University of Kansas “Common Book” will be the topic of discussion at 12 noon on Wednesday, October 24, at the ECM Center, 1204 Oread Avenue, led by Sarah Crawford-Parker, assistant vice provost.


Diane Ott Whealy, author of Gathering: Memoir of a Seed Saver, will speak at 7 pm on Tuesday, October 23, at 11600 Johnson Drive, Shawnee Town.

Whealy, an expert gardener and co-founder of Seed Savers Exchange (SSE) – the nation’s premier nonprofit seed-saving organization – will discuss the ways that backyard gardeners protect the genetic diversity of our food supply through heirloom gardening. She will share her experience as a leader in the renaissance of heirloom gardening in North America, as well as tips for designing and planting the perfect combination of flowers, vegetables and herbs. Her lessons can be applied to gardens large or small and will emphasize self-seeding annuals, seed saving, and creating a sustainable as well as edible landscape. Her presentation will be illustrated by photographs from the founding of SSE over 37 years ago as well as her current cottage-style garden at SSE’s Heritage Farm near Decorah, IA. This event is sponsored by Family Tree Nursery of Shawnee and Overland Park.

Monday, October 22, 2012


Tom Mach, author of Angels at Sunset, will be speaking at 6:15 on Tuesday, October 23, at the Sunset Lions Club at the Branding Iron in Scranton.

That’s all I have, but I’ll bet everyone living within 50 miles of Scranton knows how to find the Branding Iron.

See all of Mach’s books at

P.S. Mach sends word that he “will not only talk about women’s suffrage but about the necessity to forgive even after decades of hatred.” The public is invited.


From a Dole Institute press release by Heather Anderson:

LAWRENCE — Sasha Issenberg, Slate journalist and author, will be at the Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas discussing his latest book, “The Victory Lab: The Secret Science to Winning Campaigns” in a Dole Forum event at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23. It is free and open to the public.

It’s been done in sports and now Issenberg presents the untold story of the analytical revolution upending the way political campaigns are run in the 21st century. “The Victory Lab,” dubbed “’Moneyball’ for politics” by “Politico,” uncovers the secret history of modern American politics, which helped to decide the 2004 and 2008 races and have become essential to the campaigns of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

Read the complete news release at


From the Wichita/Sedgwick County Historical Museum:

Tuesday, October 23rd, 7pm – Free and open to the public. Sponsored by our community partner, Watermark Books.

From New York Times bestselling author H. W. Brands, The Man Who Saved the Union: Ulysses Grant in War and Peace, a masterful biography of the Civil War general and two-term president who saved the Union twice, on the battlefield and in the White House, holding the country together at two critical turning points in our history.

Ulysses Grant rose from obscurity to discover he had a genius for battle, and he propelled the Union to victory in the Civil War. After Abraham Lincoln’s assassination and the disastrous brief presidency of Andrew Johnson, America turned to Grant again to unite the country, this time as president.



From a Johnson County Community College news release written by Anne Christiansen-Bullers:

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. –“An Evening with Clifton Taulbert: Building Community from Life to Job,” will showcase Pulitzer Prize-nominated author Clifton Taulbert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, at Johnson County Community College.

The interactive presentation will be in Hudson Auditorium at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art on the JCCC campus. Admission is free, and the public is invited to attend.

Taulbert is the author of “Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored” (available for signing), “Eight Habits of the Heart” (available for signing) and his most recent publication, “Who Owns the Ice House: Eight Life Lessons from an Unlikely Entrepreneur,” as well as 10 additional titles.

For the complete news release, go to

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Come celebrate the publication of Kansas City Voices 10th Anniversary Edition. Meet local artists and writers, and get your first glimpse of our latest publication. We're extremely proud and hope you will help us celebrate the talent and hard work of our local artists and writers. Can't wait to see you there!

When? Where? Sunday, November 11, 4 pm-5:30 pm at the Plaza Branch, Kansas City, MO, Public Library, 4801 Main Street, Kansas City, MO. See


Does your cat have a vendetta against you? Maybe you can figure it out by attending the appearance of Matt Inman, otherwise known as The Oatmeal, at 7 pm on Monday, October 22, hosted by Rainy Day Books at Unity Temple on the Plaza, 707 W. 47th Street, Kansas City, MO.

Inman is the author of How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You. All of you cat lovers/haters out there, this could be valuable crucial information. Ticket information at


More than one group of avid readers is reading Joe Drape's Our Boys: A Perfect Season on the Plains with the Smith Center Redmen.

The Louisburg Public Library has chosen Drape's book for their One Book, One Burg community reading program. Members of the Louisburg Wildcat football team, with a winning streak of their own in 2010, will return to share their experiences in a panel discussion with Coach Gary Griffin on Tuesday, October 23.

Members of the community are invited to share a book discussion with Louisburg high school students on Thursday, October 25. Copies of the book have been available at the library.


Readers of all ages, here's your chance to meet Skippyjon Jones through the creator, Judy Schachner, at 1 pm on Monday, October 22, at the Village Presbyterian Church, 6641 Mission Road, Prairie Village. Schachner's new chldren's picture book is Skippyjon Jones: Cirque de Ole.

Hosted by Rainy Day Books, information about tickets, admissions, etc., at


The sinking of the S.S. Sophia after grounding on Vanderbilt Reef in Lynn Canal near Juneau, Alaska, on October 25, 1918, was the setting for Gerald Kramer's novel, Vanderbilt Reef: Finding Daniel.

Kramer of Pittsburg, a retired college professor with a fascination for Alaska, writes:

Vanderbilt Reef: Finding Daniel is my first completed novel and involves an investigator from the Kansas City area seeking information on a passenger lost thirty years earlier on the Princess Sophia, a Canadian Pacific steamship that became grounded on Vanderbilt Reef near Juneau, Alaska, on October 24, 1918. It sank the next day killing all 343 people aboard. The investigator’s client wants to find out as much as she can before she dies, about her long-lost nephew, Daniel. The characters are fictional, but the tragedy is real.

Friday, October 19, 2012


Shawnee Books and Toys, 7311 Quivira, sends a reminder: Tomorrow we will have author Don Carrel, author of My Dream to Trample AIDS, from 11am-2pm!

Don Carrel has been living with AIDS since 1995. He suspects he was infected with HIV in 1981. Thirty years later, less than 2 percent of people with HIV have lived long enough to share their stories. In 1995, while lying in a hospital bed with Pneumocystis pneumonia, the most common form of death for someone with AIDS, Don had a riveting dream that dramatically altered his life and, perhaps the future lives of more than 100,000 teenagers. After making a full recovery, Don set out to teach young people what they needed to know about HIV prevention so that they wouldn’t wind up in his shoes. His lofty goal: to stomp out AIDS. After 16 years, Don has collected thousands of thank-you letters from teens and adults who have heard his compelling presentations.

Carrel was a International Books Winner in the category of Health and Sexuality. See Carrel’s website at


An invitation from the Topeka Shawnee County Public Library at 1515 SW 10th Street in Topeka:

On Sunday, October 21, 2:00-3:00pm in the Topeka Room (204) join Kansas Author Tom Mach as he talks about his newest book, Angels at Sunset, which concludes the award-winning historical trilogy about Jessica Radford.

The novel begins in 1920 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where Jessica Radford listens to the very first radio broadcast on KDKA, which broadcasts the presidential election returns. Because of the passage of the 19th Amendment, this is the first time she has ever voted. Many years earlier, she advocated against slavery and pushed for equal rights of the freed slaves. Later, she joined Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and other suffragists – not only for the right to vote but for other rights ought to have, such as the right to speak in public, the right to have a profession, the right to have property and the right to her own children if she got divorced, as well as many, many other rights denied to them simply because they were women. It was a hard-fought struggle and Jessica relives is as she reads her biography that her daughter had written about her. AND-all the while, unknown to her, a man is planning to kill her. How will it end?

Tom Mach’s two previous historical novels, Sissy! and All Parts Together, were listed by the Kansas State Library among the 150 best Kansas books in 2011. Sissy! won the J. Donald Coffin Memorial Book Award while All Parts Together was a viable entrant for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize Award. He also wrote a collection of short stories entitled Stories to Enjoy. His poetry collection, The Uni Verse, won the Nelson Poetry Book Award. In addition to several awards for his poetry, Writer’s Digest awarded him ninth place in a field of 3,000 entrants. His latest historical novel, Angels at Sunset, won praise from reviewers at Kirkus Reviews and the Midwest Book Review.

Books available for sale & signing after the talk. For more information please call the Topeka Room at 785-580-4510. See


If you wake up Saturday morning and realize that you really should be going to the Third Annual Whispering Prairie Press Creativity conference, you can walk right in and register in person. On site. At the door.

At the beautiful, easy- to-find Edwards Campus of the University of Kansas, right here in Johnson County at 127th Street and Quivira. Previous blog posts have described four of the workshops, here are the last two:

“Creating a Travel Guidebook” -- Lisa Waterman Gray-- Learn what it took to write An Explorer's Guide: Kansas, from proposal to 400-page book, including working with tourism officials, trip planning, organization of notes and photographs, some of Lisa's favorite destinations and more. Lisa Waterman Gray has ridden a Segway for Midwest Living and AAA Southern Traveler and attended an orchestrated prairie burn for AAA Midwest Traveler. She has described the morning meal at bed and breakfasts across the state, for KANSAS!, Durango brewing companies for Arts and Entertainment, and much more. An Explorer's Guide: Kansas released nationwide last summer.

“Birthing a Book Together” -- Bernadette Stankard and Amy Viets --Writing in one voice when there are two of you is difficult. This workshop presents strategies to make that one voice happen. Helpful hints on how to navigate the highs and lows of working together and how to produce that seamless manuscript are addressed. Bernadette Stankard and Amy Viets are the co-authors of books on coping with depression. They have books written both alone and together and have found that working together is a rewarding experience. They regularly speak on the topics of depression and creativity and are at present working together on yet another book on depression and the start of a mystery series.

Read all about it, and register on line at Or just walk in tomorrow morning. You’ll be in great company.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Mary A. Lake, author of Departings, will be signing at 10 am on Saturday, October 20, at Barnes and Noble, Country Club Plaza, 420 W 47th, Kansas City, MO.

Departings is a novel told in three parts, each detailing the life of one of the main characters. It speaks of lost hopes and the youth of the 1920s who started out with so much abundance. Oil and advancing technology propelled the average guy into a rich man. Women were coming into their own. They could vote, drive, speak out. It all seemed so fun and promising—it promised to never end. But it did. In this story of loss and redemption, each endearing character tells his own story and gives insight into the others.


A Topeka woman whose wallet was stolen canceled her credit cards, but did not report the loss of her library card.

The finder apparently used the card to check out a number of library books, but failed to return them, and now the woman has received a bill from the Topeka library for $1,000!

After negotiations, both parties agreed on a payment of $275 -- still a very painful expense. WARNING -- Don't let your library card get away from you.


Lowboy is a small squirrel with one big problem. He’s afraid of heights! The Adventures of Lowboy and Friski takes you on a delightful journey along Lowboy’s rise from small town squirrel to national hero.

Author Charles L. Kendrick will be at Barnes and Noble’s Country Club Plaza store, 420 W. 47th Street, Kansas City, MO, at 5 pm on Saturday, October 20, for a book signing.


Author Lynn Fountain will be talking about her book, Pathway of Angels, at 1 pm on Saturday, October 20, at Scooter’s Coffee House, 11106 Antioch Road, Overland Park.

When Lynn Fountain was diagnosed with a pancreatic tumor and told she may not have long to live, her life flashed before her eyes. Her doctors suggested she write letters to her young sons so they could have something to remember her by. It was in these moments that Lynn wondered what life’s purpose was; what was life’s pathway?


Doug Brush is the author of Northern Kansas Division, Missouri Pacific Lines, a book which chronicles 150 years of continuous service across northern Kansas. A book signing is scheduled for 6:30 pm on Thursday, October 25, at the Port Library, 311 W. Main, in Beloit.

Library Director Rachel Malay says “the book does a wonderful job of tracking the rail line and its impact on all of the small communities it services.”


Author Tom Mach will be signing copies of several of his books at the Author Roundup event, scheduled for Saturday, November 3 from 1 pm to 4 pm at the Abilene Civic Center at 201 W. Second Street in Abilene. The books he will be signing are Angels at Sunset, Sissy!, All Parts Together, and Stories To Enjoy. The public is invited.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Vicki Julian has just ePublished her third book, Simple Things to Make This World a Little Better Place. The book is filled with suggestions for random acts of kindness and practical suggestions for what you can do for others in special circumstances such as when someone loses a loved one, is hospitalized, experiences natural disaster, and more. There are also heartwarming stories about how others have seized the moment to make a difference for their fellowman, living life better for others, and what you can do each day to make this world a better place.

The book is now available on in the Kindle Store. Printed copies of the book will be available before Thanksgiving.


Gordon Kessler’s MASTER PLAN Free Seminar will be coming to the KCMetro area on Saturday, October 27, from 1-3:30 pm at Homer’s Coffee House, 7126 W 80th Street (just west of Metcalf) in Overland Park.

Kessler’s MASTER PLAN is a guide to promoting and marketing an EBook novel, and includes “What John Locke Convenientlly Left Out and Much More.” The MASTER PLAN outline is at, and includes:

1. Ten things you can control on your Amazon book’s page that will optimize its visibility and its reader attractability;

2. How to use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and not use up valuable writing/family time;

3. What’s the best price point for your work;

4. How to get reviews;

5. So very much more!

For a look at Kessler’s book titles, go to


Wichita is the new home for “Encounters, the ultimate fandom experience.” Robert Collins, author of Surgard and the Plague of Poets, as well as many other sci-fi novels and short stories, will have a table at the event, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 19-20 at the Wichita Holiday Inn East, 549 S. Rock Road. (Or, to make it simpler, Rock Road and US-54.)

So, what is Encounters? Read the mission statement: Our mission is to provide a high quality convention catering to fans of science fiction, comics, anime, steampunk and gaming. As an annual convention, we strive to be the premiere pop culture genre event in the Southern Midwest. We seek to provide our patrons the ultimate fan experience with access to exceptional panels, a multitude of first-class events, and notable guests

. More about Encounters at Collins' blog is at or you can get there directly by clicking on One Kansas Author in the blog roll on the right.


There will be a great variety of workshops to choose from this coming Saturday at the 3rd Annual Whispering Prairie Press Creativity Conference in Overland Park.

Linda Rodriguez’s workshop is titled “What On Earth Is Going To Happen Next? Getting the Reader To Turn the Page” Every story and novel needs suspense elements to keep the reader turning the page. At its simplest, suspense makes the reader want to know what happens next. At its best, suspense makes the reader worry that the protagonist will never reach his overpowering goal and what on earth is going to happen next! Learn 15 techniques to fill your writing with page-turning suspense.

Linda Rodriguez’s Every Last Secret won the Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel Competition. Her second novel Every Broken Trust will be released in Spring 2013. She is a founding board member of Latino Writers Collective and The Writers Place and a member of Wordcraft Circle of Native American Writers and Storytellers, Kansas City Cherokee Community, International Thriller Writers, and Sisters in Crime.

Olive Sullivan will be talking about "Image is Everything--Almost". Olive Sullivan talks about process in this presentation on all things poetic. Hear how she approaches a poem, and expect to take home a few useful tips for your own writing practice.

Olive L. Sullivan is a poet who currently makes her living teaching journalism at Missouri Southern State University--where she also advises the student group MOSO Poets. Her first published poems appeared in The Little Balkans Review in 1982, and her most recent work will appear in Ad Astra Per Astra, a renga edited by Kansas Poet Laureate Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, to be released in November 2012. Sullivan has also published short fiction and essays,and has won awards for scriptwriting.

The above are two of the six workshops that will be offered at the conference, to be held at the University of Kansas Edwards Campus, 12700th Street and Quivira. Click on the Events List to see other blog posts about the conference, or go to for all the details. SSTILL NOT TOO LATE TO REGISTER.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Three authors will be signing books from 10 am to noon on Saturday, November 3, at the Bookshelf at 206 N. Main in McPherson:

Bruce Behymer, author of Princess Pretty -- The heartwarming story of lost Princess Pretty and the many friends she meets along the way. Along with delightful illustrations of her adventures there are also lessons about boundaries, the importance of listening to your parents and the magic that happens when you open your heart to others.

Beverly Buller, author of The Story of Walter White -- William Allen White was a small-town newspaper editor who counted presidents and famous authors among his friends. He rose to world-wide fame before his death in 1944 but never left his hometown of Emporia.

Mary Rintol, author of Back in Ten Minutes -- This handbook of exercises, taking only ten minutes a day, can help anyone who suffers from back pain. It was originally compiled by a practising dentist who was a sufferer himself, and distributed amongst friends and colleagues, the object being to reduce work-induced tension and stress, to improve posture and reduce pain. No special equipment is needed, and many of the exercises can be done in the kitchen or at a desk.


“Join us Friday night, October 19 at 7:00 p.m., as Bryan Dietrich reads poems from his new book, Monstrance. Saturday the party continues (all day) and culminates in an evening of refreshment and festivity. Come early, stay late. Invite a friend. Buy a book. “ From the staff of Eighth Day Books, at 2838 E. Douglas in Wichita.

On Saturday, October 20, refreshments (both solid and liquid) will be plentiful until all hours. The occasion is the 24th year anniversary, with discounts on both new and used books. More about Dietrich at and more about Eighth Day Books at


The Lawrence Public Library is calling kids of all ages, from 8 to 88, for an appearance at 7 pm on Thursday, October 18, of Paul Miles Schneider, the guest of honor for Teen Read Week. Schneider is the author of The Powder of Life, a sequel to Silver Shoes, a Kansas Notable Book for 2010.

The library is at 707 Vermont. The authors website at


Washburn University invites:

Join us at Mabee Library on Thursday, October 18, at 4:00 p.m. for a Book Talk & Signing as we welcome Laura Moriarty, author of The Chaperone.

Laura's 2012 novel, The Chaperone, was on the New York Times Best Seller List, and has already been optioned as a film. The Washburn Bookstore will have copies for sale.

The author of The Center of Everything (2003) and two other novels, Laura teaches Creative Writing at the University of Kansas.


The Johnson County Library Foundation will recognize the honorees of the 2012 Pinnacle Awards at a special dinner on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012.

The 2012 honorees are Excellence in the Arts, Chuck Haddix; Excellence in Advocacy and Public Engagement, Janis McMillen; Excellence in Business and Entrepreneurship, Stacy Jones; Dr. Joel Wiggins; Excellence in Literacy and Education, Ron Gier.

Nominations for the Pinnacle Awards are sought each year. See , for information on the online nomination process.


Looks like Nancy Julien Kopp has done it again – been successful at submitting an essay to Chicken Soup. Her story, The Body Beautiful, is one of the 101 stories in Chicken Soup’s finding my faith, the newest book in the series.

Kopp is one of the most generous writers I know, sharing her tips and encouragement for her colleagues with her blog, . I’ve lost count of the number of stories Kopp has in the Chicken Soup series, but if you heed her writing advice, you’re certain to improve your chances of being published in the Chicken Soup books, or elsewhere for that matter. You’ll find the link to her blog in the right-hand sidebar under Writers About Writing.


Looking for opportunities to polish your writing skills and get your work published? You’ll find lots of help at the Whispering Prairie Press Creativity Writers Conference this Saturday at the KU Edwards campus, 127th and Quivira in Overland Park.

Just a taste of a couple of the workshops available --

Self-Publishing in an Electronic World by Mike Lance -- Discuss the changes to self-publishing enabled by technology, including a review some of the popular epublishing tools available such as Print-On-Demand, Mobipocket, and Calibre. Mike is the author of Wizard Dawning. Lance is one of the technical experts at

Writing for Children by Suzanne Lieurance -- If you’ve ever wanted to jump into freelance writing for children, or, if you’ve ever had a great story idea floating around in your head, then this workshop is for you! You’ll learn things you can do right now (this very minute) to start your own part-time or full-time career as a children’s writer. See or

More workshops and information on registration (you’re not too late) at

Monday, October 15, 2012


Josh Barkan, who recently joined the faculty at Wichita State University as assistant professor of creative writing, will be speaking at 7 pm on Wednesday, October 17, at Watermark Books and Café, 4701 E. Douglas, in Wichita, about his second book, Blind Speed.

Barkan’s first book, Before Hiroshima, includes a novella and a collection of short stories. See for more information.


Before Lamar Hunt, there was no Super Bowl, the annual football championship event that pits the American Football League against the National Football League. Michael MacCambridge, author of Lamar Hunt: A Life in Sports, will speak at a Rainy Day Book Store sponsored event at 7 pm on Wednesday, October 17, at Unity Temple on the Plaza, 707 W. 47th Street, Kansas City, MO.

MacCambridge, one of the nation's foremost authorities on pro and college football, is the author of America's Game: The Epic Story of How Pro Football Captured A Nation, named one of the most distinguished works of non-fiction by the Washington Post in 2004. He is an adjunct professor at Washington University in St. Louis.

See for information on admission tickets.


They’re back – that spineless crew that can’t help telling the Stories My Bartender Made Me Tell. The WTF Writing Group of Robert Chrisman, Jessica Conoley, Dawn Dawney, Teresa Vratil and Dane Zeller will be back to do a repeat of reading their essays and short stories at 7:30 on Friday, October 19, at the VALA Gallery, 5834 Johnson Drive, Mission. Doors open at 7 pm.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


It's crazy, but Blogger has a limit to the number of labels permissible with each post. Sometimes there's not room for everyone, hence this second post with the labels that got left off the first time. For details, read the post just below AUTHOR ROUNDUP IN ABILENE.


No, it’s not a round-up of cattle in old downtown Abilene on November 3, it’s a spectacular round-up of authors. You won’t want to miss this event, from 1-4 pm at the Abilene Civic Center (Visitor Center in the old railroad depot in downtown Abilene)at 201 NW 2nd Street.

The authors you’ll have a chance to meet are Todd Hunter, Tom Mach, Ann Parr, Phil Brown, Dr. Paul Barkey, Linda Laird, Joel Klaassen (publisher), Doris Johnson, Ray Imhof, Duane Hermann, Linda Born, Loretta Jackson, Vickie Britton, Gloria Zachgo, Terry Branick, and Jerry Engler.

The event is hosted by Roy Imhof and Doris Imhof Johnson. Come prepared to stay the afternoon.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


Linda Rodriguez and Jane Wood are the poets who will be heard at the Writers Place Poetry Reading Series at the Johnson County Central Resource Library at 7 pm on Tuesday, October 16.

Linda Rodriguez’s novel, Every Last Secret, won the St. Martin’s Press/Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel Competition, was selected by Las Comadres National Book Club, and was a Barnes & Noble mystery pick. Its sequel, Every Broken Trust, will be published May 7, 2013. Her book of poetry, Heart’s Migration, won the Thorpe Menn Award.

Jane Wood , Dean for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Park University, has published a collection of autobiographical essays with co-author Rev. Sue Dolquist, What Eve Didn’t Tell Us. She is the author of The Theme of Peace and War in Virginia Woolf’s War Writings.


Sheila Bair, a native of Independence who became the 19th chairperson of the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, traces the recent (not-quite unprecedented) collapse of the United States’ economy in Bull by the Horns: Fighting to Save Main Street from Wall Street and Wall Street from Itself.

Publishers Simon and Schuster write:

Sheila Bair is widely acknowledged in government circles and the media as one of the first people to identify and accurately assess the subprime crisis. Appointed by George W. Bush as the chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in 2006, she witnessed the origins of the financial crisis and in 2008 became—along with Hank Paulson, Ben Bernanke, and Timothy Geithner—one of the key players trying to repair the damage to our economy. Bull by the Horns is her remarkable and refreshingly honest account of that contentious time and the struggle for reform that followed and continues to this day.


Dr. Timothy J. Kloberdanz, a native of Sterling, is the co-author of a comprehensive book of folklore, Sundogs and Sunflowers: Folklore and Folk Art of the Northern Great Plains. Co-author is Troyd A.Geist, a folklorist. Dr. Kloberdanz is professor emeritus at North Dakota State University.

Described as a groundbreaking compilation thirty years in the making, the volume includes materials and photographs from northern plains states and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. It has recently received a “Notable Award” designation from the American Library Association.

Friday, October 12, 2012


From Wyandotte Daily News:

There’s a new pictorial history book out about Kansas City (Kansas, that is) according to an article written by Mary Rupert.

“Published by Arcadia Publishing in its Images of America series, the paperback book Kansas City, Kansas came out this week. On the cover is a photo of cattle in the stockyards.” Author Joe Vaughan “said the 128-page book starts with Lewis and Clark’s visit to Kansas City, Kan., in 1804 by including a photo of their statue at Kaw Point Park, and ends with photos of 2012, including the Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway. Almost 200 photos are included.”

More of Rupert’s article at


With a background both in music (a member of the Sweet Adelines) and writing, Diane Bailey’s first novel for adults is Murder a Cappella. Bailey will present the program at 7 pm on Tuesday, October 16, at the Raven Book Store, 6 E 7th Street, in Lawrence. The experience of competing in a Sweet Adelines event provided the setting and the backdrop for Bailey’s book.


Meet the author, J Robert Lennon, at 7 pm on Tuesday, October 16, at the Lawrence Public Library, still at 707 Vermont Street (but moving soon to temporary quarters as a year-long remodeling gets underway).

Lennon is the critically acclaimed, award-winning author of The light of Falling Stars and Mailman. His new novel, Familiar, is a haunting, enigmatic novel about a woman who is given a second chance – but is not sure she wants it.


Dr. John C. Goodman, author of Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis, will be speaking at 3 pm on Tuesday, October 16, at the Dole Institute, 2350 Petefish Drive, Lawrence.

Dr. Goodman, a research fellow at the Independent Institute, has been called the father of health savings accounts. He will discuss his latest book that proposes dozens of bold and crucial innovations that could enable caregivers, entrepreneurs, and patients to use knowledge and creativity to create access to low-cost, high-quality healthcare. The event includes a book sale and signing.


An invitation from Kevin Rabas and the Flint Hills Review:

Come listen to Kellie Wells read from her book, Fat Girl, Terrestrial -- at 5:30 pm on Monday, October 15, Plumb Hall at Emporia State University. This event, free and open to the public. is sponsored by the ESU Creative Writing Program; the Department of English, Modern Languages, and Journalism; Special Events Board; and Performing Arts Board.

Wells is the author of a collection of short fiction, Compression Scars, winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award, and a novel, Skin. She teaches in the Program in Creative Writing at the University of Alabama.


“There will be cupcakes.”

That’s the tempting description of the release party at Rainy Day Books for Gennifer Albin’s young-adult novel, Crewel, at 7 pm on Monday, October 15. More specifically, treats by Pin-Up Pastries. The conversation with Albin will be at Unity Temple on the Plaza, 707 W 47th Street, Kansas City, MO. Admission ticket information at

For generations, girls known as Spinsters have been called by Arras' Manipulation Services to work the looms and control what people eat, where they live, how many children they have, and even when they die. Gifted with the unusual ability to weave time with matter, sixteen-year-old Adelice Lewys is exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen as a Spinster is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to embroider the very fabric of life. But Adelice isn’t interested. Because once you become a Spinster, there’s no turning back.


The final 'Sundays on the Porch' (at the Red Rocks State Historic Site, home of the William Allen White family) of the fall season will be at 2 pm on Sunday, October 14.

Steve Hanschu will discuss the organization of the Lyon County Historical Society on its 75th Anniversary.

Directions, ticket information, at


Carolyn Barber will be signing her book, Of God and Women: A Common Memoir at 2 pm on Saturday, October 13, at the Vala Gallery, 5815 Johnson Drive in Mission.


This compelling autobiographical story, based on family letters and journals, opens against the backdrop of the Vietnam War and Midwestern Bible Belt and spans over three decades. Both men and women born in mid-twentieth century America will identify with the sisters’ journeys. Students of the feminine movement and the struggle of women in the church hierarchy for equal opportunity will find enlightening, if disturbing, material. Most important, those just looking for an entertaining book liberally sprinkled with humor certainly won't be disappointed by this down to earth, engaging work.


From Barnes and Noble:

Meet author Steve Goreham! Steve is a speaker, author, and researcher on environmental issue and a frequently invited guest on radio and television. The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism is Steve's second book on climate change.

Goreham will be at the Oak Park Barnes and Noble, 11323 W. 95th Street, Overland Park, at 1 pm on Saturday October 13. Goreham's desmog blog at

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


The Distinguished Visiting Writers Series welcomes novelist and short story writer Kevin Brockmeier to Pittsburg State University on Thursday, October 11. Brockmeier will read from his work at 8 pm in the Governors Room of the Overman Student Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Brockmeier is the author of eight books, including the novels The Truth About Celia and The Brief History of the Dead, and the story collection Things That Fall from the Sky. He has been awarded the Nelson Algren Award for Short Fiction, three O. Henry Awards, and a fiction fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Following the reading, there will be a reception in the Heritage Room of the student center, where Brockmeier’s books will be available for purchase. The Distinguished Visiting Writers Series is sponsored by the PSU English Department and the Student Fee Council.


What do the above names have in common?

Those folks are the talented writers you'll meet at the Third Annual Creativity Conference of Whispering Prairie Press a week from Saturday, October 20. At the Edwards Campus of the University of Kansas, 127th Street and Quivira, in Overland Park.

And the line-up is: Mike Lance, Self-Publishing in an Electronic World; Suzanne Lieurance, Writing for Children; Linda Rodriguez, What On Earth Is Going To Happen Next?; Olive Sullivan, Image is Everything–Almost; Amy Viets and Bernadette Stankard, Birthing A Book Together, and Lisa Waterman Gray, Creating A Travel Guidebook.

Registration information at Whispering Prairie Press, click on conference.


Flint Hills Review invites the public to a program presented by Penny Weiner, published playwright and Washburn professor, at 7 pm on Friday, October 12, in Plumb Hall on the Emporia State University campus.

From an article in the Washburn Review written by Tess Wilson:

Each year, Emporia State University offers a class regarding playwriting and screenwriting, in which students have the chance to meet a playwright or a screenwriter at a scheduled reading and talk.

“We try to bring in a playwright or a screenwriter to help enlarge our students’ view of the art and trade of writing for stage and screen,” said Kevin Rabas, Associate Professor and Co-Director of ESU’s Creative Writing program.

The full article is Washburn Review


Anyone know where the town of Kingdom Come is located in the state of Kansas? Not sure I know, either, but that’s where Kellie Wells’ protagonist, Wallis Armstrong, lives. Wells will be at Watermark Books and Cafe, 4701 E. Douglas in Wichita, to talk about her new book, Fat Girl, Terrestrial at 7 pm on Friday, October 12. See more at


Rainy Day Books and The Midwest Innocence Project are co-sponsoring a conversation with Damien Echols, author of Life After Death, at 7 pm on Friday, October 12, at the Unity Temple on the Plaza, 707 W. 47th Street, Kansas City, MO.

A private fundraising reception benefitting The Midwest Innocence Project will be held prior to Echols’ program. For information, including admission tickets, go to the Rainy Day Books website at


Charles Holt, actor, singer, inspirationist, the author of Intuitive Rebel: Tuning in to the Voice that Matters, will speak at 7 pm on Thursday, October 11, at Watermark Books and Café, 4701 E Douglas in Wichita. Holt is on Wichita in connection with a Gordon Parks exhibition at the Ulrich Museum.


The love letters of the philosophers Abelard and Heloise are among the masterpieces of medieval literature, known for their passionate emotion, intellectual brilliance, and intense psychological drama. William Levitan’s critically acclaimed Abelard & Heloise: The Letters and Other Writings is the first complete translation of the letters in more than eighty years and the most comprehensive compilation of the works of Abelard and Heloise ever presented in a single volume in English.

A classicist and translator, Levitan is Professor in the Department of Classics and the Honors College at Grand Valley State University, Okemos, Michigan. He will be speaking at 7 pm on Thursday, October 11, at the Raven Book Store, 6 E 7th, Lawrence.


Joe Drape, author of A Perfect Season on the Plains with the Smith Center Redmen, is back with a new book about another legendary football team. Drape will be at Watermark Books and Café, 4701 E. Douglas in Wichita at 7 pm on Wednesday, October 10, to talk about Soldiers First: Duty, Honor, Country, and Football at West Point. See


If you were looking for a walking dictionary of Kansas' basketball history, you'd find it in Steve Farney.

A high school player himself for the Wilson Dragons, Farney has penned three books --thus far -- on the history of Kansas basketball. He began with Title Towns: Class BB Boys Basketball Champions of Kansas (1952-68) and It's Time to Play: Jack Gardner, Basketball, and Kansas State University. His latest is Club 50, the story of players who scoared fifty or more points in one game. Here's more Steven M Farney.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Lloyd Zimmer says:

Just off the press...The Bottoms: A Place We Once Called Home. Here is Thomas Rodriquez' account of this Topeka neighborhood bordered by 6th St. on the South; Kansas Ave. on the West; the Kansas River on the North; and Adams St. on the East. New copies while available for $20.00 each at Lloyd Zimmer's Books and Maps, 117 SW 6th Street.

Rodriguez' previous book was Americano, My Journey to the Dream. Both books were designed and published by Jack Cobos Design and Publishing of Topeka.


About Horizon's Lens: My Time on the Turning World:

In a lyrical memoir and meditation on the nature of time and place, Elizabeth Dodd explores a variety of landscapes, reading the records left by inhabitants and by time itself. In spring in the Yucátan peninsula, she marks the equinox among the ruins of the Maya. In summer in the Orkney Islands, she considers linguistic and historic connections with Icelandic sagas. In tallgrass country in the fall, she observes bison and black-footed ferrets returning to their ancestral landscape. In winter in the canyons of the Ancestral Puebloans, she notes the standstill positions of the sun and the moon. Ranging across continents and millennia, Dodd examines how people have inscribed the concept of time into their physical environments, through rock art, standing stones, and the alignment of buildings on the landscape. (From )

A Kansas State University professor, Dodd is a University Distinguished Professor. She will be reading from Horizon's Lens and signing at 5:30-7 pm on Wednesday, October 10 at Claflin Books and Copies, 1814 Claflin Road.


A University of Kansas professor has co-authored a book about raising children while seeking tenure. Academic Motherhood: How Faculty Manage Work and Family tells the story of more than 100 women in a range of academic disciplines and institutions.

Lisa Wolf-Wendel is a professor of educational leadership and policy studies professor at the University of Kansas. Her co-author, Kelly Ward, chairs the department of educational leadership and counseling psychology at Washington State University. Wolf-Wendel says one issue that makes academia unique is that faculty members only have a certain amount of time in their career to attain tenure. And that time often occurs as they are starting families. The book offers ways for institutions to help, including affordable day care and tenure stop clock policies.

From The Sacramento Bee.


Kansas City: Where East and West collide, where naked ambition meets broken dreams, where blues and the night go together like rye whiskey, vermouth, and bitters. Yes, Kansas City is a surprising place of grit, gore, and betrayal, at least in the imaginations of our diverse lineup of contributors. Kansas City Noir, another in Akashic Books’ series of geographically specific anthologies, peels back the aura of civility and captures the raw truths of the human condition as lived in this heartland, third-coast city.

Among the collection’s contributors are Daniel Woodrell, author of the modern classic Winter’s Bone and the recent, much lauded story collection, The Outlaw Album; Matthew Eck, author of the noted war novel The Farther Shore; veteran short-fiction writer Catherine Browder; Edgar Award–winning mystery novelists Nancy Pickard and John Lutz; and J. Malcolm Garcia, whose reporting from the war in Afghanistan informs a disturbing tale of restless angst and dislocation. Kansas City Noir takes a compelling tour of the streets of a vibrant American city, complete with accents of jazz, barbecue, and the deeply rooted blues. Edited by Steve Paul.

Authors will present the program at 7 pm on Wednesday, October 10, at the Raven Book Store, 6 E 7th in Lawrence.


Greensburg, Kansas, was destroyed by an EF5 tornado on May 4, 2007. In the desperate days immediately after the catastrophe, town leaders decided to rebuild green, constructing its public buildings to the highest level of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. Now the town boasts the title of "greenest city in America", with the highest level of concentration of LEED certified buildings.

Robert Fraga, author of The Greening of Oz, will speak about his extensive research into the town's mission to go green at 7 pm on Wednesday, October 10, at the Topeka Shawnee County Public Library, 1515 SW 10th Street.

Monday, October 8, 2012


Come to the Whispering Prairie Press 3rd Annual Creativity Writers Conference on Saturday, October 20 and you'll have the opportunity to learn from experts in their writing fields.

Such as Lisa Waterman Gray, Bernadette Stankard and Amy Viets, Linda Rodriguez, Olive Sullivan, Mike Lance and Suzanne Lieurance.

All this at the University of Kansas Edwards Campus, 127th and Quivira in Overland Park.

All the details you need at, click on Conference.


Anything But Ordinary, a novel by Topeka native Lara Avery, was released in September by Hyperion Entertainment.

Bryce remembers it like it was yesterday. The scent of chlorine. The blinding crack and flash of pain. Blood in the water.

When she wakes up in the hospital, all Bryce can think of is her disastrous Olympic diving trial. But everything is different now. Bryce still feels seventeen, so how can her little sister be seventeen, too? Life went on without her while Bryce lay in a coma for five years. Her best friend and boyfriend have just graduated from college. Her parents barely speak. And everything she once dreamed of doing—winning a gold medal, traveling the world, falling in love—seems beyond her reach.

But Bryce has changed too, in seemingly impossible ways. She knows things she shouldn’t. Things that happened while she was asleep. Things that haven’t even happened yet. During one luminous summer, as she comes to understand that her dreams have changed forever, Bryce learns to see life for what it truly is: extraordinary.

You'll find Avery on that fascinating Map of Kansas Literature.


Finally, a sports novel for girls!

Release Point, a fast pitch softball sports novel for girls, was recently released by Barringer Publishing of Naples, Florida. The author, Phil E. Quinn, helped coach the Wamego High School varsity softball team to a 23-0 regular season finish and a berth in the State Championship Tournament in 2012. “Male athletes in every sport are well represented in literature of all kinds – but female athletes are not, despite the number of girls participating in athletics at all levels continues to grow each year in this country and around the world,” Coach Quinn observes. Release Point is an attempt to highlight the dedication, skill and achievements of female athletes as they push the standard higher for excellence in competitive sports,” Quinn said. “It’s a story that will appeal to both genders, all ages, and especially to parents, coaches, fans and participants in all female youth athletics.” (Rossville Library website)

More about the author and the book at


Former Lawrence resident Tina Connolly returns tonight for a reading at the Raven from her debut fantasy novel Ironskin.

Jane Eliot wears an iron mask. It's the only way to contain the fey curse that scars her cheek. The Great War is five years gone, but its scattered victims remain -- the ironskin.

When a carefully worded listing appears for a governess to assist with a "delicate situation" -- a child born during the Great War -- Jane is certain the child is fey-cursed, and that she can help.

Teaching the unruly Dorie suppress her curse is hard enough; she certainly didn't expect to fall for the girl's father, the enigmatic artist Edward Rochart. But her blossoming crush is stifled by her own scars, and by his parade of women. Ugly women, who enter his closed studio...and come out as beautiful as the fey.

At 7 pm tonight, Monday, October 8, at 6 E 7th Street in Lawrence.


It took me a long time to arrive at the Kansas Authors Club convention last weekend, because I stopped at several bookstores along the way.

First stop was the Raven Book Store, 6 E. 7th in Lawrence, with an emphasis on mystery, but a few other select catgories as well, including a cozy children's area.

Zimmer's at 117 SW 6th in Topeka is, well, Zimmer's. On the day I was there books were piled everywhere, undoubtedly new acquisitions from some collector's library. I'm sure Lloyd knew where everything was, and if you're looking for anything along the lines of Kansas memorabilia, Zimmer's is the place to start. Lots of MAPS, too.

Claflin's, 1814 Claflin Road in Manhattan, just off the K-State campus, provides services to students as well as hosting off-site book events, a couple of which I'll be posting about in a later blog.

Ah, Rivendell's! At 212 N. Broadway in Abilene, a lot bigger than I thought from its web presence. You could stand outside and window shop at the attractive, eye-catching displays, but I suggest you step on inside. Rivendell's often hosts book signing and other events, which I hope to keep you posted about.

Last stop, Ad Astra's Coffee and Books in Salina on Santa Fe. I took the short cut off I-70 into down and did not get lost. You can have coffee and other goodies (including bierocks) while you browse and decide what you want to read. Ad Astra also does frequent readings.

I know my relatively short trip did not allow me to visit ALL the bookstores in Kansas. What is your favorite bookstore? Send me an e-mail at onefreenation at yahoo dot come and I'll share with other blog readers.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Poetry on the historic porch of the William Allen White home in Emporia, that is.

The Flint Hills Review invites writers to "come read your poems and listen to your friends read some of their own, too!"

Poetry on the Porch is scheduled for 2-3 pm on Sunday, October 7 at the White Historical Site, 927 Exchange Street in Emporia. The event is sponsored by the Emporia State University Creative Writing Program, the Department of English, Modern Languages and Journalism, the Special Events Board and the Performing Arts Board.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


William J. Karnowski tells his facebook friends:

I will be heading to the Kansas Authors Club Convention this weekend held at the Ramada Inn at Salina, Kansas. Our District is sponsoring the event and would like to remind the college students they can attend the workshops free by presenting a student I.D. For more information go to the Kansas Authors Club website and click on the Convention tab.

OR, go straight to the blog of Nancy Julien Kopp, one of the workshop presenters at


Here's a real bargain for you college kids looking for something to do this weekend -- and it's FREE!

The Saturday workshops of the Kansas Authors Club in Salina will be FREE to college students who bring a valid ID. Read the details at the blog of one of the presenters, Nancy Julien Kopp, at

We'd love to see you there. The official KAC website is


I always like to receive e-mails like this from Doris Johnson:

Hi Peg,

Ray Imhof, brother, and I are hosting an author event called Author Roundup in Abilene. It will be Saturday, November 3, 1-4 pm at the Civic Center (Vistor Center in the old depot) in downtown Abilene. The address is 201 NW 2nd St. Many authors are signed up to come including Gloria Zachgo (The Rocking Horse). The event provides an opportunity for authors to showcase their work, meet and greet the public, and sell their books. Would you please put this event on your blog?

Thanks, Doris

(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

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Robert Collins, author of Kansas: 1874, will be reading and signing at 7 pm on Thursday, October 4, at the Raven Book Store, 6 E 7th Street in Lawrence

Kansas, 1874 recounts the interesting and important events of that tumultous year. 1874 in the Sunflower State was a time of the Wild West and of Indian attacks, but also of a rising poet and debates on temperance. It was the year the Mennonites first arrived, and when Abilene’s T. C. Henry began to promote winter wheat as a good crop for Kansas farmers. Few other years in state history show Kansas in its transition from part of the frontier to its own identity so clearly.


Only a few years before becoming a famous actress and an icon for her generation, a fifteen-year-old Louise Brooks leaves Wichita to make it big in New York. Much to her annoyance, she is accompanied by a thirty-six-year-old chaperone who is neither mother nor friend. Cora Carlisle is a complicated but traditional woman with her own reasons for making the trip. She has no idea what she’s in for: Young Louise, already stunningly beautiful and sporting her famous blunt bangs and black bob, is known for her arrogance and her lack of respect for convention. Ultimately, the five weeks they spend together will change their lives forever.

Laura Moriarty, author of The Chaperone, will present a program at 7 pm Thursday, October 4, at the Johnson County Central Resource Library, 9875 W. 87th Street, Overland Park.

More about Moriarty's other books at www.


Time to clean out your personal library. Do you have some books that you aren't going to read again? Maybe someone else would be happy to have them. How about bringing books about writing or writers to the Kansas Authors Club Convention this coming week-end? There'll be a Sharing Table. Go home with some "Encouraging Words" you'll find in those books.

Too late to register? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Go to, click on the convention tab and make plans to meet us in Salina.

Monday, October 1, 2012


Author Sam Walker will discuss his new book, Presidents and Civil Liberties from Wilson to Obama: A Story of Poor Custodians, examining the civil liberties record of American presidents from Woodrow Wilson to Barack Obama at 3 pm on Tuesday, October 2, at the Dole Institute of Politics, 2350 Petefish Drive in Lawrence.

Walker explores the full range of civil liberties issues from First Amendment rights of freedom of speech to national security issues, and how some presidents have not protected or advanced these liberties. Walker's appearance is co­sponsored by ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri.