The Great River Authors Group
Member Directory

The Great River Authors Group is a collection of authors who have joined together to find, investigate and share venues for selling their books. The group will share marketing information and knowledge that will help members realize ideas and opportunities common to the group. The group will invite local authors to join the organization, thereby increasing the group's collective knowledge.  The group will highlight the work of any member that is featured in any news media.  Finally, the group will function as a local social network to promote camaraderie and support for the well being of group members as they pursue any and all book related endeavors.

Barbara Bettenberg  
        Click here for Barb's most recent entry into the GRAG blog!  
  Barb Bettenberg was born and raised in North Minneapolis, MN.  She graduated from North High school in 1969 and went on to work for the City of Minneapolis.  In 1973, she married her husband, Doug and moved to Sartell, MN where she currently resides.
She has 3 children, Ryan, Roddy and Mirla.   She also has 2 grandchildren, Chase and Carmen.  Barb was a Realtor for 10 years and is now retired.   In the early 1970’s, Barb was assigned her own column for a small local newspaper titled “Out of the Blue.”  She wrote humorous articles about married life and raising children.  One of her articles appeared in The Big Apple Newspaper.  She decided to try her hand at writing children’s books after reading several fun books to her grandchildren. Thus, “Edgar, The Near-Sighted Eagle” was born.
Edgar, The Near-Sighted Eagle (2008)
“Edgar, The Near-Sighted Eagle” is a story about a baby eagle with vision problems.  He and his brother try their hand at flying when Edgar takes a wrong turn and ends up in the forest.  He is frightened and doesn’t know where he is.  He can’t see well enough to find his way back home.  Edgar makes several friends on his journey to find his family tree.  This book teaches children how important it is for all of us to help one another.  They will learn that friendship and caring are the cornerstones for creating strong, lasting friendships.  Humorous and wonderfully illustrated, Edgar’s adventures will have your child cheering Edgar on through all of his adventures.
To contact the author or purchase your copy, please email Barb at mombear777[AT]
Mary Jane Brewster  

Mary Jane Brewster grew up in Brainerd and has lived in Minnesota most of her life. She graduated with a Social Work degree from the College of St. Catherine and a Masters in School Counseling from St. Cloud State University. She and her husband Roger are both retired in rural St. Cloud and have three adult children.

In nearly 40 years of working with children and families, Mary Jane led thousands of support and friendship groups for children and parents. Her places of employment include Washburn Child Guidance Center, Central Minnesota Mental Health Center, Single Parents' Support Group, Boys and Girls Club, St. Cloud Hospital, Catholic Charities and St. Cloud School District 742. She collected, created and utilized countless activities, stories, materials and group techniques appropriate for the different goals and ages of children. She also supervised interns and students from local colleges. Her passion is promoting mental health for children through their positive experiences with peers and adults.

COMING SOON: Friendship Circles
Soon-to-be published “Friendship Circles” offer hundreds of examples for teaching and reinforcing positive self-esteem, relationships, healthy choices, and other relevant topics for use in group settings through twelve main themes. Each lesson is divided into age-appropriate ideas for younger, middle, and older elementary students. Lessons include a template for a parent-teacher letter. There are also anecdotes, book and story suggestions, and management tips.
Mary Willette Hughes  
Mary Willette Hughes, married to Mark, is a musician, teacher, poet, mother of seven, grandmother of twenty-two, and now great-grandmother of three. She has had three books of poetry published, Quilt Pieces, Flight on New Wings, and The Shadow Loom Poems. During the last eleven years, she has worked part-time for the Saint Cloud Hospital’s Recovery Plus program for addiction and recovery as a facilitator of poetry therapy and has given numerous presentations about poetry as therapy both locally and at national venues. In 2010, the National Association of Poetry Therapy presented her with a Public Service Award for her work at Recovery Plus. She has received two monetary Individual Artist Awards for her poetry, which were granted by the Central Minnesota Arts Board, the first in 1998, and again in 2010. She also has received the Mother Benedicta Riepp Award from the Monastery of St. Benedict in 2010 for “striving to exemplify Benedictine and Gospel values” in her life. It wasn’t until 1989, when her children were on their own, that Mary discovered the world of writing poetry. After careers as a music teacher and working as an instructor for eighteen years at the Family Life Bureau in Saint Cloud, Minnesota, a new vocation arrived. Poetry writing entered her world, bringing a new passion and zest to her life as she attended creative writing classes and worked at learning how to write, to speak, and to sing in this new voice.
The Shadow Loom Poems (2010)
In her third book of poetry,”The Shadow Loom Poems,” Hughes weaves poems around five central themes: Love, Sorrow, Poetry, Pain, and Joy. With each theme, the poet designs a tapestry of her life experiences and events which may resonate with readers, offering a universal application to their own lives.
Flight on New Wings (2003)
Mary Willette Hughes’ second book, “Flight on New Wings,” contains fifty therapeutic poems for those in a treatment program for addiction. It chronicles the true story of a son, his mother’s, father’s and family’s experiences related to the disease of active addiction. The son had been abused at a young age by an older man. The ramifications of that event and how it contributed to his journey into addiction are revealed through poetry, mostly through poems of memory that relate the events of his life before and after treatment at age seventeen. He is now in his thirty-first year of sobriety. An addendum following the poems is included in the book. It gives basic information about poetry therapy and how it can be used as well as related discussion questions pertaining to each poem.
Quilt Pieces (2001)
The poet’s first published book of poetry is a memoir of her life, beginning with her years growing up, along with five brothers, on a farm in southern Minnesota. Mary’s recollections on college, marriage, and parenting form the middle section of the book, followed by observations of her parents’ and loved ones’ journeys into death. This unique collection of poems brings together pieces of lived experiences, stitching them together like a story-quilt spanning the years between the poet’s birth in 1932 to the time of publication in 2001.
Jeff Falkingham  
        Click here for Jeff's most recent entry into the GRAG blog!  
Jeff Falkingham is a mystery lover and history buff who writes for readers of all ages who share those passions. His published works combine early Minnesota history and fictional murder mysteries. A Browns Valley, MN native, currently living in Eden Prairie, Jeff has communications degrees from St. Cloud State University and Augsburg College. His multimedia presentations to schools, libraries and historical societies have drawn rave reviews from audiences across Minnesota, the Dakotas and western Wisconsin.
Sherlock Holmes: In Search of the Source (2009)
It's December 1896 in the booming capital city of St. Paul, Minnesota. Amid the thousands of German, Irish and Swedish immigrants, Sherlock Holmes has returned to America to attend the wedding of Peter Smith, whom he'd befriended 10 years earlier in the case of the County Courthouse Caper. Suddenly, there are complications. An overnight fire. A life's work destroyed. And worse: a dead body. The only clues? A pair of boot prints. A mysterious fuel. A missing sword. Eventually, a member of Peter's bridal party is implicated in arson---and murder. Now, Sherlock Holms must race against time, and an overzealous police detective, to solve a crime, before the nuptials can proceed.
Sherlock Holmes and the County Courthouse Caper (2001)
It's November 1886 in the tiny frontier town of Browns Valley, Minnesota. A pioneer family's idyllic life is suddenly disrupted by a series of gruesome discoveries: six dead bodies, each hanging in a tree, with a letter burned into their forehead by a branding iron. What do the letters spell? And who is the killer? Even the great Sherlock Holmes is baffled---until a 12-year-old frontier lad named Petey Smith, and a pair of mixed-bloods called Iron Will and Muley, come to his aid. The history, geography and cultural diversity of the Minnesota River Valley are intertwined with tales of political corruption, deceit, vengeance and murder in this intriguing blend of fact and fiction.
Gary Fehring Author Page  
    gmfehring [AT] gmail [DOT] com  
Gary W. Fehring is a retired pastor who resides in Milaca, Minnesota. During nearly four decades of ministry, Fehring served Evangelical Lutheran Church in America parishes in Minnesota and Wisconsin. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and Luther Theological Seminary.
Maxwell's Ghost (2011)
Ghosts love to go camping.  It provides them a nice break from having to spend most of their ghostly lives alone in broken-down old houses waiting for anyone dumb enough to come in and get scared.  Taking an outing to a cemetery isn't much of an improvement.  Those places are just as lonely, especially at night.

Campgrounds, though, are filled with people, who, from the stories they tell around their campfires, seem to enjoy being scared.  The evening in a campground is when ghosts most like being ghosts.  In campsite after campsite, they listen to families telling stories about them.

The stories in this book are "ghost approved."  Should you make up your own ghost stories and share them around the campfire, make sure they are stories ghosts will like.  One of them could be listening.
A Laugh in the Dark
and Other Minnesota State Park Ghost Stories (2010)
If you were raised on campfire stories involving escaped serial killers with convenient barrels of sulfuric acid, or ghosts who are still searching for their stolen Golden Arms, then this volume of short fireside thrillers will be familiar in tone but not in content. Not content to merely re-write 'old faithfuls,' Fehring has instead spun up a batch of all-new terrors, each involving real and noteworthy camping locales chosen from Minnesota's plethora of fine State Parks.
Dinner with the King: Communion Dramas for Youth (2006)
Here's a set of six chancel dramas that will captivate young people (and the entire congregation) while helping them to learn the deeper significance of the sacramental meal at the heart of Christian worship -- and what it means to be invited guests at the Lord's Table. Originally conceived for middle-school age youth, these flexible pieces can be adapted for any size group; some can even be performed by adults. Minimal props and costumes are required, so the sketches are perfect for smaller churches -- yet they lend themselves to more elaborate presentation as well. These insightful dramas are excellent not only for presentation during worship, but also for congregational programs, youth nights, classroom instruction, or individual devotional reading.
Bob Fulton  
  Pickle Bump Press  
Bob Fulton is a Professor Emeritus at Saint John's University in Central Minnesota. He taught in the Saint John's University/College of Saint Benedict joint chemistry department for 39 years. His recent retirement allows him to spend more time traveling, visiting his children, and reading and telling stories to his grandchildren. He and his wife, Jackie, reside on Middle Spunk Lake in Avon, Minnesota.
Pickle Bumps For Baby Dill (2010)
Pickle Bumps for Baby Dill is a fun, colorful and beautifully illustrated story that encourages young children to accept and support those with differences (i.e., it's okay to be different). Baby Dill is a dill pickle who was born without pickle bumps [Bill Dill, holding their newborn Baby Dill, said to his wife Jill, "Did you know that Baby Dill does not have any pickle bumps? Not even one!"] As the story develops, the reader meets a diverse cast of pickle and olive characters (gherkins, dills, slices, stuffed olives, black olives, etc., with names like Gert and Mertin Gherkin, Olive Pitt and Karl Kalamata). These characters play important roles in helping Baby Dill find pickle bumps and the right kind of pickle bump glue. However, in the end Baby Dill finds the neighborhood friends to be accepting ["We are all different too. We like you just the way you are."] and Baby Dill decides that being different is okay after all. Baby Dill decides to go "bumpless!"
Dennis Herschbach  
Dennis was born and raised near Grand Rapids, Minnesota. After graduating from college, he resided in Two Harbors, Minnesota, for most of his adult life, where he taught high school biology. In 2005, his wife, Dorothy, died of cancer, and for the first time he began creative writing, poetry at first, then prose. His first book, Grief Journey, was published in 2007.
Because of that book, he became involved with various writing groups and expanded his horizons. In 2010 his memoir of growing up in northern Minnesota, Brown Sugar Syrup and Jack Pine Sand, was published by Red Step Press.

South First and Lakefront was published by Lost Hills Books in 2011. It is a poetry chapbook that incorporates the author’s observations of street life near a notorious bar several miles from where he lived.

Now, in early summer of 2012, North Star Press of St. Cloud has published a suspense novel, Convergence at Two Harbors.

When he speaks to grief support groups, Herschbach emphasizes that it is important for survivors to develop a passion for something to help them through their loss. His passion became writing, and although his situation has changed over the last year, his need to write continues. He has a sequel to his novel ready for editing.

Dennis has had several poems published in anthologies as well as many short stories. Healing in the Mourning, a short story about a young couple grieving in different ways, won first place in the 2009 Talking Stick competition. His memoir, Brown Sugar Syrup and Jack Pine Sand, won the 2010 Northeastern Minnesota Book Award. His poetry has won numerous awards through the League of Minnesota Poets and the National Federation of State Poetry Societies.

Dennis is a member of the Great River Authors Group, and is vice-president of the League of MN Poets. In 2010 he met Vicky Schaefer of Sartell, MN, and on June 25, 2011 they were married. The happy couple resides in Sartell.
Convergence at Two Harbors (2012)
Convergence at Two Harbors is a story of espionage on the ore docks in a small Great Lakes community. Zaim, an embittered young man of middle-eastern descent, has one objective in mind, revenge for his wife’s death. Deidre Johnson is the first woman sheriff of her county who must battle her way into the law enforcement profession, a territory that at one time was male dominated. David Craine is a retired school teacher whose loves are his boat and Lake Superior. The lives of these three characters collide at the ore docks in Two Harbors, Deidre trying to prevent their destruction, Zaim trying to bring them down, and David caught in the middle. The conclusion is a race between life and death along the rugged shore of the lake.
South First and Lakefront (2011)
Whenever I drove into a certain town near where I lived, I would go past a rather notorious tavern and observe the people who lingered around it. In 2009, I began writing poems about some of the characters I saw. The result was a chapbook, South First and Lakefront, that captures life on the streets in a non-judgmental way.
Brown Sugar Syrup and Jack Pine Sand (2010)
Dennis Herschbach grew up during the 1940s in Blackberry Township just east of Grand Rapids, Minnesota. In his book Brown Sugar Syrup and Jack Pine Sand he puts together a series of vignettes of life without indoor plumbing, rural electricity, or television. Having lived next to the Mississippi River, he lived an almost Huckleberry Finn life. From accounts of shooting fish with a shot gun to attending vacation Bible school led by missionaries, this is a tale filled with nostalgia for times when the pace of living was slower and a young boy could explore to his heart’s delight. Brown Sugar Syrup and Jack Pine Sand won the 2010 Northeast Minnesota Book Award.
Grief Journey (2007)
My wife died in 2005 after a year-long battle with melanoma. I was greatly affected by her death, and one night I decided to write a poem about our life together. Five days later I had produced a five page poem. I continued writing and after eighteen months of chronicling my emotions, I had published Grief Journey. That was the beginning of my writing career. I have spoken to grief support groups around the state of Minnesota and Wisconsin, using my book as a prop. Many people who have suffered loss tell me I captured the emotions of grief perfectly.
Matthew J. Krengel  
  MJK Books  
Matthew J Krengel grew up in rural Minnesota. He attended college in Pensacola, Florida, and returned to the St Cloud area after graduation. With a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and minors in history and English, he is an avid reader of science fiction, history, and fantasy books. He was published on North Star Press in 2012 with The Map Maker. In 2013 the sequel called The Map Maker’s Sister was released and in 2014 the epic conclusion to the series will be published called The Map Maker’s Quest.
The Map Maker’s Quest (2014)
The storms of war are gathering over the city of Duluth on both sides of the Divide. Jane has rescued her sister Jackie and saved Jacob, but now the Adherents are striking at the rest of her family and she is powerless to stop them. It seems the black robed minions of the vile Cain counter each move she makes and are waiting around every corner. With her mother kidnapped and Cain’s forces, led by the massive Iron Goliath, are on the offensive against the fledgling rebel cause Jane is thrust into the search for the only thing that can stop them. An artifact of such vast knowledge that it can change the balance of power forever on both sides of the magical Divide. Now she is faced with the impossible task of following a trail of clues laid down decades ago knowing that all she loves hangs in the balance.
The Map Maker’s Sister (2013)
Two worlds living besides each other, one filled with myth and legend and one of science. Many years ago a great Divide was put in place to protect both worlds, but the Divide will not last forever. Together Jane Timbrill and Jacob have taken the first steps in a great adventure, but suddenly Jacob’s life hangs in the balance. Poisoned by the black-robed Adherents and fleeing for their lives, Jane must find a way to save Jacob and her long-lost sister. If she fails, the war is lost and a great evil will spread through Duluth, Minnesota, and Beyond.
The Map Maker (2012)
Another hot summer has arrived in the Twin Cities and Jane Timbrill is looking forward to her yearly trip to Duluth to visit her Grandparents. When her journey is interrupted by a strange man who gives her an old compass and an even older map, things start to spiral out of control around her very fast. When catastrophic events begin happening in Duluth and someone tries to kidnap her, she finds an ally in Jake, the boy of her dreams. Together they are offered the chance to find Jane’s sister who disappeared over a year ago and take part in the biggest adventure of their lives.
Pam Leonard  
  Look for her exclusive video at!  
Pam Leonard, a native Minnesotan, loves mystery and learning. Growing up in the Dinkytown neighborhood of Minneapolis, she remained to attend the University of Minnesota for degrees in Political Science, Public Health, and Medicine. Not content to live only one life, Pam discovered that writing excused such restlessness, taking her through studies of theology, architecture, handgun training, String Theory, even Krav Maga and Parkour, all of which she employs in her novels. As she says of her research… “What? It’s material.”
About "Shadowland", coming September, 2012:
Dr. Zoe Lawrence, a resident physician at Minneapolis General Hospital, is temporarily sidelined by pneumonia and a new physician working with Zoe’s lover, Dr. Kaj Parker, has her questioning his fidelity. But witnessing the prelude to a murder tempts her out of her sick bed and onto the trail of a killer. Sixteen year-old Lucy, temporarily assigned to care for Zoe during her illness, is drawn into Zoe’s surreptitious activities and both risk all as their quest takes them from homeless camps to prostitution dens.
Where Echoes Die (2011)
“Where Echoes Die” finds Dr. Zoe Lawrence juggling 36-hour shifts and her new love affair. She’s busy as hell, and that’s good –– it keeps at bay thoughts of her tortured past. But just as Zoe allows for some happiness in her life, history threatens a repeat. This time the echoes of her past come at her from all directions and it’s not only Zoe who’s in danger. With the life of a 15-year-old girl on the line, Zoe is forced to act –– but will she be in time?
Death's Imperfect Witness (2010) (Midwest Book Award Finalist)
Zoe Lawrence, a resident physician at Minneapolis General Hospital, is the central character in Pam's mystery novel, “Death’s Imperfect Witness”. As a former cop, Zoe finds herself drawn into the hunt for a serial killer and into a reckless relationship with a man who should have been off-limits. In the process, her own violent past looms. And while it causes her to question her own goodness, it also comes with a keen understanding of the killer’s mind. Ultimately, Zoe’s troubled past and present collide against a backdrop of sleep deprivation, hospital liaisons –– and murder.
Donna Lovitz  
       Click here for Donna's most recent entry into the GRAG blog!  
Donna Lovitz grew up close to Clear Lake Minnesota.  She graduated from St Cloud Technical High School in 1979.  She married Richard Lovitz in 1982 and moved to Sauk Rapids where the currently live.  She has a daughter, Katie, who lives in Wyoming.  Her son, Kevin, passed away from Muscular Dystrophy in 2008.  Since 1989, Donna has owned and operated a commercial and residential cleaning and organization business.  She has always had a dream to write romance novels, but raising a disabled child left little time or energy to make that dream possible.

She has had articles printed in the St. Cloud Times and poetry printed in the St. Cloud Unabridged newspapers.  She is the winner of several contest involving slogans.  Now she is embarking on her first romance novel, and feels she has found the missing link in her life.
Coming Soon: "Sewing Northern Fields"
Soon-to-be published "Sewing Northern Fields" is a romantic, but serious and sometime comical story that takes you back to 1973 in Montevideo, Minnesota.  Cheryl Langtree, a grieving young widow, is determined to carry out her husband's dying wish to stay on the family farm, a feat unheard of for a woman of that time.  She soon finds herself relentlessly by the two handsome Cameron brothers who live on the farm next door.  They compete for her heart as well as her land, and what they both forget is that too much fertilizer isn't always a good thing.  The whole Cameron family soon gets involved, and suddenly nothing is off limits, including church or using their own mother.  Meanwhile the church ladies are trying to piece together more than just a quilt.  The story goes to show you that "Love doesn't always grow where you plant it, sometimes it grows wild where you least expect it."
Mary Jo Mosher  
  Email address: mjmd32741[AT]  
        Click here for Mary Jo's most recent entry into the GRAG blog!  
Mary Jo Mosher is a retired jouralist with a newspaper background, co-founder of her home-town newspaper in Minnesota, and a free-lance writer, having written several stories for three national horse magazines. She and her daughter, Kristine Mosher, co-authored Hiking Minnesota II, a Falcon Guide pubished by Globe-Pequot Press in 2002. Mary Jo has a deep interest in astronomy, which she studies in her spare time. Possessing a great love for and appreciation of the out of doors, especially wilderness areas, Mary Jo and her husband, Robert Dingmann, have ridden horseback in many of Minnesota's state parks and the Big Horn National Forest. Their favorite place to ride is the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming where they have explored the backcountry for more than 20 years, 13 of those years working as volunteers for the U.S. Forest Service, Tongue District.
Penny's Tale (2011)

This true story is a must read for anyone who has been touched by adoption, whether you’re an adoptee, adoptive parent or grandparent, birth mother, or you have someone in your extended family that was adopted.

Penny's Tale is a memoir about the author’s experience as a child born to a mother on welfare who, from Penny’s birth, can’t decide whether to keep her or to give her up. Her birth father, famous in the boxing world and from whom her mother is off and on separated, denies paternity. As a result, Penny is passed from foster home to foster home during her first 10 years. An elderly aunt and uncle adopt her temporarily until the county removes Penny from their abusive home and places her in an orphanage in Minneapolis. She is later adopted at age 10. But the story doesn’t end there. Turmoil brews in the adoptive home, separations occur, and Penny searches for her birth family, the truth about her past, and a lost sister.
Hiking Minnesota, 2nd Edition:
A Guide to the State's Greatest Hiking Adventures
Describes over 40 great hikes, highlighting the history and geography of each route. The book includes exhaustively detailed trail descriptions, mile-by-mile directional cues, trail contacts, elevation profiles, and GPS-quality maps.
One Man Against the Mountain (2009)
This story isn't just about a man's struggle to survive an unforgiving Walker Prairie winter in a canvas tent. It's also about Danny Longwell's struggles within himself; his feelings about his overly strict father; his feelings about death; his lack of self-confidence; and his battles with loneliness. Through the unrelenting northern-Wyoming winter atop the Bighorn Mountains that nearly succeed in killing him, as he labors to keep warm and meditates on his life and his sanity for this undertaking, he slowly comes to an understanding regarding himself and others.
Jimmy Olsen  
        Click here for Jimmy's most recent entry into the GRAG blog!  
Jimmy Olsen didn't start writing fiction until he was well past 40. In the tradition of American writers like Jack London and Louis L'Amour, Olsen spent much of his life seeking adventure. He began scuba diving in 1961 at age 13 and continues today. A machine-gunner in Vietnam, after two tours he settled down awhile, married, started a family and graduated college with a BS in English. Still at college, he published his first national story in a diving magazine. A year later he moved his family to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic where he taught at a private American school and started the Republic's first professional diving school, Scuba Dominican, C por A. Hearing rumors of shipwrecks and gold, Olsen and a small group of adventurers discovered the site of the French Man-O-War Imperial and several other vessels. After five years in the Caribbean, Olsen completed his MA at the University of Alabama and returned to writing, taking a job with a daily newspaper in Athens, Alabama for a year before becoming an editor back home in Minnesota. This lasted four years before the thirst for adventure overtook him again and he was back in the diving business, traveling to dive destinations from the Caribbean to the South Pacific. The snorkeling scene in Thing In Ditches comes directly from the author's own rich experiences. Jimmy Olsen has written two additional novels, Scuba, due to be released next year and YR-71, a Vietnam seafaring adventure set near Da Nang. In addition, he's completed 20 short stories, some set in his native Minnesota and others from around the globe. Several of these have recently been sold and will soon be in print. Olsen continues to travel extensively, returning to the Dominican Republic to dive his old haunts only hours before Hurricane Georges. Equally at home at the keyboard of a computer or his ancient Royal, Olsen spends his writing days in a north woods setting without even the basic comforts such as running water or electricity and at his modern office in the city. He has three children, now grown, and lives with his wife in Minnesota.
The Hero of Blind Pig Island and Other Island Stories (2012)
This collection of island stories carries the reader from daring adventures beneath the Caribbean Sea to tense conflict on a deserted island near the Canadian border. Love stories and private eyes, a boy living on a lonely salt cay and a girl's dream of freedom at sea, hurricanes and heroes - all told with humor and the insight that comes from firsthand experience.
Poison Makers (2011)
In Poison Makers, Jimmy Olsen once again turns the traditional mystery on its head and shakes out stories of diplomats run amuck, deadly Cuban lovers, Caribbean voodoo and New York City car chases. Not a drug dealer, terrorist or serial killer in sight, but a protagonist, Edgar Espinosa-Jones (EJ), a reader can root for. A story that can be dark, but with uncontrived thrills that provoke both laughter and apprehension. Characters appear from the depth of Haitian Vodoun and Catholic Santo Domingo, and are little different from those who live next door to us, even if some are zombies. EJ accepts an assignment from his enigmatic mentor Garrett Yancy to investigate the seemly innocent death of U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic, Adam Quist. His first job is to interview one of the Ambassador s daughters at a secret rendezvous in Port-au-Prince, Haiti where he is drawn to her by an uncanny intensity as they travel dark streets toward a forbidden voodoo ceremony. Soon after, EJ is in terror for his life, running and hiding until he can find nowhere safe and is forced to make his last stand. Live or die. Poison Makers is anything but the usual mystery. Set in the turbulent 1970s, the Caribbean seethes with political intrigue, revolutionaries, superstition, violence and EJ s own tangled love affairs. With the help of his best friend, a crooked Dominican cop, EJ s split nationality (Dominican/American) and quirky view of life combine to solve the mysteries at whatever cost.
Things in Ditches (2000)
A murder mystery novel. The story of Phillip "Dutch" Cleland, a man with a hidden past and a future about to explode in his face. A seemingly average man whose love for two women drives him to such extremes that deception, even murder and suicide are not longer unthinkable. When a lovely corpse is discovered near Dutch's home town, the nearby ditches begin to yield a harvest of secrets, none of them comforting for Dutch. Soon he is forced to flee for his life, before his past and the police slip a noose around his neck. Things In Ditches is peopled with small town characters that are so humorous and eccentric, their oddball antics enliven every paragraph and page. A reader can't help but be reeled in by the strange citizens of Willow River, until soon discovering they're really not so different from all of us and Dutch's story is the oldest story on earth; good and evil, betrayal and laughter. And finally, the power of love and friendship, forging one man's determination to overcome all odds, even death.
Visit for additional Kindle books by Jimmy Olsen
"Wormwood" Kindle Edition (2010)
"The Private Eye" Kindle Edition (2010)
Mike Roberts  
    Email address: mike.roberts41[AT] Author Page  
  Mike Roberts, the author of the book "The Last Keeper at Split Rock" is a four-year veteran of the United States Coast Guard, serving during the Vietnam War era from 1966 to 1970.  He retired in 2007, and in his retirement, he wrote a book about his military service on the north shore of Lake Superior.  He enlisted in the Coast Guard in April 1966 and was sent to boot camp in Cape May, New Jersey for training.  He was transferred to the Duluth Lifeboat Station and served as a small boat crewman on 'Search and Rescue' as well as 'Aids to Navigation' while there.  He went to the Split Rock Lighthouse in December 1966 and was stationed there for 27 months until it was permanently closed and decommissioned in January 1969.  He was the last Coastguardsman and military lighthouse keeper at the Split Rock Light House.  When the lighthouse was shut down and went dark, Mike and his family were transferred to North Superior Life Boat Station in Grand Marais, MN, where he again was on 'Search and Rescue.' 
When his four-year enlistment was up in April 1970, he went back home to Ely, Mn. and resumed his life as before going into the service.

Prior to his going into the Service, Mike worked as a fishing guide in what is now known as the Boundary Water Canoe Area wilderness.  He also worked in the early 1960's at Ford Motor Company's Rouge Plant in Dearborn, MI. as a Pipe Fitter.  After getting out of the Service in April, 1970, Mike went back to the Peter Mitchell Taconite Mine in Babbitt, MN as a Diesel Mechanic and then as a Pipe Fitter. In 1976, when continuous rumors persisted of the mine closing down due to pollution issues, he took a job teaching Plumbing and Pipefitting at the Technical College in Jackson, MN.  He is a 1980 graduate of Mankato State University and is a Minnesota Journeyman and Master Plumber.  After teaching at Jackson for 13 years, the State of Minnesota changed the way they financed vocational education which caused a ratio imbalance between students and teachers, causing Mike, who was the junior instructor in a two-man department, to be laid off.

He accepted a job in Delaware, where he was the warehouse and distribution manager and a lumber buyer for a specialty (cedar and redwood) lumber company.  After working three years on the east coast, a job opened in Red Wing, MN., so he and his family moved back to Minnesota.  Mike then worked for a mechanical contractor as a project manager for three years, until a job teaching plumbing opened up in Saint Cloud.  Mike taught at the Technical College there for 13 years and retired in 2007.

Mike and Mary Roberts have been married for 47 years, live in rural Saint Cloud, MN, and have 3 sons.  They have 7 grandchildren, all presently under the age of 12, who live in Albertville MN.  Being retired, Mike and Mary enjoy doing anything that catches their fancy, which includes going to their granchildren's many sports and school activities.  Mike spends his summers gardening, doing yard work, going to rummage and yard sales with Mary, looking for old books, bluegrass records, and anything else they absolutely can't live without.  He golfs with his 3 sons and is presently trying to start a vineyard with his son, Tim.  Life is good and retirement is the job he has been looking for all his life.  He also sells his autographed book via mail order and can be contacted at mike.roberts41[AT]
The Last Keeper at Split Rock - A Memoir (2010)
In 1969, Mike Roberts turned off the light at Split Rock Lighthouse. He was the last duty officer to serve at the iconic landmark. These are his stories of life at Split Rock, of the great Superior, and of making ends meet on the North Shore.
John Roscoe  
John’s writing and historical research has developed from his educational career, teaching literature and writing for the Aitkin and Albany, Minnesota school districts. His education includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from St. Cloud State University with a major in English as well as graduate studies at St. Cloud State and the University of Minnesota. The research involved in writing this book has led him to an even greater appreciation of the immigrant experience and how it produced the remarkable outcomes embodied in its churches.
Legacies of Faith:
The Catholic Churches of Stearns County (2009)
Scores of remarkable brick Gothic and Romanesque style Catholic churches, perhaps the most significant religious architecture in rural Minnesota, are clustered within the rural core of Stearns County, seeming to be hidden in the wide open spaces of central Minnesota prairie. These remarkably designed churches form the basis of the recently published book Legacies of Faith – the Catholic Churches of Stearns County, written by John Roscoe and Robert Roscoe, and published by North Star Press of Saint Cloud. Renowned Minnesota photographer Doug Ohman’s 180 color images illustrate their magnificent interiors and richly ornamented details. Stearns County’s culturally distinct rural hamlets, many only five miles apart, are similar to their European counterparts. These iconic structures came into form by German and Polish immigrant farm communities in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Legacies of Faith – the Catholic Churches of Stearns County brings to light the history of how these magnificent churches came into being from extraordinary circumstances of historical, social and ethnic forces, and why these communities created such great works of architecture.
Mary Schenten  
  Email Address: mschent[AT]  
Although Mary Schenten had a love of reading since she was a little girl growing up in Wisconsin, she didn’t give a thought to writing until she reached her mid-40s. Now living in St. Cloud, Minnesota, she is a member of Midwest Fiction Writers and Mystery Writers of America. She has been published in the anthology Aleatory Junction and was a finalist for the Derringer Award for Flash Fiction in 2006. She won first prize in the Christmas Theme Fan Contest from the Armchair Interviews website and first place for a flash fiction entry in the Writers Post Journal magazine. She’s had stories published in Northern Reader, mysterical-e, Flashshots, Mouth Full of Bullets, Coffee Cramp Ezine and FMAM. She had a personal essay published in the journal Talking Stick in 2009.
Love in the Land of Lakes (2013)
Seventeen members of Midwest Fiction Writers have created stories of romance in the Land of 10,000 lakes.
Mary’s contribution is entitled Lake Secrets - A weekend getaway at the scene of the crime has Elly struggling to keep a secret from her best friend.
Available in digital and paperback by Valentine’s Day 2013.
Ann Scherer  
  Email Address: annie0853[AT]  
I am the second eldest of ten children raised by my parents, Lawrence and Isabel Gertken, on a large farm south of Cold Spring, MN. I began my education in a one room country school house before going to Catholic school in town where I attended mass every morning before class. I am a graduate of Rocori High School in Cold Spring, MN and The St. Cloud Beauty College. I lived and worked in the Twin Cities for a few years before settling with my husband, Mike Scherer in St. Joseph, MN. We are co-owners of Scherer Trucking, which was started by Mike’s parents, Gene and Myra Scherer in the 1950’s. Mike and I have raised three daughters, Joy, Angela and Michelle and are the proud grandparents of four wonderful grandsons, Jack, Mason, Jake and the newest addition, Devon. Mike and I enjoy traveling, socializing and spending time with our friends and family. Much of our summer is dedicated to camping all over Minnesota with a great group of friends. I also enjoy golfing, reading, and crocheting. Oh, and did I mention I like to write?
Memories Not Forgotten (2010)
Have you ever wondered about your family history? Well I sure have and every time I remembered a story or shared one with my daughters I became more intrigued and interested in where the stories originated. In 2009, I started writing about these stories and it turned into the story of my life. From how my ancestors came to America, to growing up on a farm with nine siblings in central Minnesota to trucking with my husband and raising a family of my own. We all have a story to tell and I hope mine is one you will enjoy. Through the struggles, family traditions, heartache, tears, laughs and hilarious moments my siblings and I lived through. I encourage you to remember a time that was simple, but filled with more depth and hard work than many people can understand now-a-days. I know you will find something to relate to, giggle at and maybe you’ll even shed a tear. All families are special, unique and filled with a unity that cannot be found outside the ties that bind. I welcome you into my world for a short time along the path of, Memories not Forgotten.
To order my book, call me at 320-980-6648 or E-MAIL me at annie0853[AT] The cost of the book is $15.00 + mailing
Cindy Frank-Stupnik  

Cindy decided in third grade that she was going to be a teacher and writer, maybe even a journalist. She realized that young dream. For ten years, she taught high school English, advising both oral interpretation and the school newspaper. She rounded out her career by teaching Composition and Introduction to Literature for a local university and technical college.
Over the years, through all her researching, reflecting, and writing, she realized that she had ties, more like spurts of DNA, throughout the Midwest--Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota. Like Hamlin Garland's homestead journeys around some of these same areas, her maternal and paternal families left their footprints.

After researching and compiling family histories about Dakota Territory, the land her German-Russian ancestors claimed in the 1870s, she wrote her first book, Steppes to Neu-Odessa: Germans from Russia Who Settled in Odessa Township, Dakota Territory, 1872-1876.
When she pursued her master's degree in English, she developed an interest in women's history. Her thesis, Harvesting Their Stories: South Dakota's Writers' Perspectives on Pioneering Women, 1870-1900, draws from a collection of female protagonists who exhibit the strength and resilience needed to help settle the west.

Her next project will be about Jesse Maude Porter, first girl child born in Wright County. She lived to be 103 and led quite a life in this small community.

Besides longer works, she has published short stories, creative non-fiction, and poems. She is proud that some of her writing has earned first place awards and has been recognized for a few literary awards along the way. And, at heart, even though she is now retired, she considers herself a researcher, a history lover, and overall, a teacher.

Scruples and Drams, First in the Main Street Women of Clearwater, Minnesota, (May, 2015)
Women's strength, their ability to adapt to harsh conditions and nearly impossible situations is the focus of much of her writing, from poetry to short story to her new novel, Scruples and Drams, First in the Main Street Women of Clearwater, Minnesota (North Star Press, May 2015)
Passages (July 2014)
A book of poems, Passages, about her faith and how it has grown and reshaped itself over the years.
Postcards from the Old Man and Other Correspondence from Clearwater, Minnesota (2006)
A memoir of mixed genre, poetry and creative non-fiction, Postcards from the Old Man and Other Correspondence from Clearwater, Minnesota follows her early years in this little town huddled between the Clearwater and Mississippi rivers.
Steppes to Neu-Odessa: Germans from Russia Who Settled in Odessa Township, Dakota Territory, 1872-1876 (1996; 2002)
The latest edition of this biographical and genealogical sketchbook of Plains pioneers includes many new family connections made available in part by the Odessa German-Russian Genealogical Library. In the late 1700s and 1800s, the Russian government encouraged hardworking people from Western Europe, including Germany, to settle Russia in a number of locations. Many of the Germans eventually decided to relocate. They found rich homestead land in the Dakota Territory that was similar to the farmlands they had left in Russia. They sent encouraging letters back to family and friends in Russia, which resulted in a flood of German-Russians to America. Their numbers were estimated at one hundred thousand by the end of the century. The biographical sketches include the settler's date of settlement, occupation, place of birth, death, and burial, and names of parents, spouse, and children. Sometimes the biography is supplemented with newspaper excerpts.
Eve Wallinga  
Eve Christensen Wallinga was born and raised in Racine, Wisconsin. She lives and writes in St. Cloud, Minnesota, with her husband, Gary. She has two grown children—a daughter and son. Wallinga holds master’s degrees in clinical psychology and business administration. She is a citizen activist concerned with environmental issues, especially those relating to preservation of natural areas, and she has won state-wide recognition for her efforts. She is also an advocate for women’s health issues, specifically those dealing with breast cancer. She co-founded and blogs for Breastoration, a foundation headquartered in New Orleans, dedicated to educating women about their reconstructive options following breast cancer surgery and providing funding for those undergoing breast reconstruction. In 2014, she received the Spirit of Women Award from CentraCare Health Foundation in St. Cloud.
The Voodoo Breast: A Novel of Healing (2014)
“…a story not only of identity and femininity, but of magic…The Big Easy stars in this affecting novel about a couple’s unusual route to redemption.”
     – Kirkus Reviews

“Wallinga has penned a fascinating story of healing and recovery…as a couple deals with the wounds, both psychological and physical, left by a battle with cancer… Wallinga has a talent for evoking just the right emotions with her word choice.”
     – Foreword Reviews
Allie is drawn to post-Katrina New Orleans for restorative surgery after breast cancer. Unusual events and curious coincidences begin to occur—ghostly music, disembodied whistling, and a realistic dream in which she meets a mysterious man who promises her a future journey, if she dares. Allie and her husband find their love and faith tested, as they struggle in a relationship strained by time, illness, and diverging views of reality.
Waterfalls of Minnesota’s North Shore: A Guide for Sightseers, Hikers and Romantics (2006) Reviews
Join Eve and Gary Wallinga on the scenic pathways that lead to the magnificent waterfalls of Lake Superior's North Shore. Maps and directions to over 130 waterfalls are included in this unique guide, many not found in any other book! From the St. Louis River in Jay Cooke State Park to the Pigeon River on the Canadian border, the Wallingas offer waterfall experiences ranging from highway wayside to invigorating day-hikes. Let the Wallingas be your guides to new North Shore adventures!
Harold Zosel Author Page  
  HAROLD ZOSEL (rhymes with proposal) is a fifty year resident of St Cloud, MN, where he has spent the past 48 years in the Financial Services business. He is a veteran of the Navy, and has a Masters degree in Financial Sciences. His hobby is Deltiology (the collecting and research of postcards). Acadia Publishing recently published his book, ST CLOUD, as one of the postcard history series of books. Harold is a very active member of the Stearns History Museum where he did most of the research on the 240 photo postcards that are pictured and described in the book.
St. Cloud (Postcards of America) (2010)
St. Cloud, located on the Mississippi River and in the center of Minnesota, was incorporated on April 2, 1856, by merging three towns together. Through the magic of vintage postcards, travel through time to early in the last century. Readers can see buildings and street scenes that are long gone or changed so much they are unrecognizable today. Explore the granite industry, here since the early 1860s. Meet Samuel Pandolfo, who decided to build an automobile here in 1917. Learn about the man who developed a tin can chair, as well as the St. Cloud Reformatory, which has the largest wall in the United States.
R.I.P.  Sharon Schutle  
  Sharon Schutle, a founding member of the Great River Authors Group, passed away in March of 2014. She will be missed by the group.