New Experiences, New Awards

Two New Experiences, One New Award

Being an author has its ups and downs, but it also has offered me so many new experiences. This week, I’ll be doing my first author event at a vineyard! What fun. Why? Because I used to be a “wine expert.” I worked for a few years at Surdyk’s in Minneapolis as a wine consultant. I look forward to sharing the stage with nine other MN authors for “Literary Harvest: A Minnesota Author Showcase,” at Painted Prairie Vineyards in Currie, MN.

Yes, it’s a long drive for me. Yes, the vineyard is literally in the middle of nowhere, and you have to work to find it. But we happened to be in the area last week on a camping trip to visit SW Minnesota state parks and decided to check it out. What an idyllic setting! Beautiful, quiet, overlooking a lake and lots of farm fields. The vineyard is right out the door of the winery/tasting room, and the owners host lots of special events like this author showcase.

If you are in the area on Thursday evening, June 13, stop in, meet some authors, buy a few books, taste some MN wines or craft beers, and enjoy some delicious food prepared in-house. It promises to be a memorable night.

Next up will be my first outdoor event in neighboring Faribault. I’ve done a few indoor gigs, but this Friday and Saturday I’ll have a booth in Central Park for Faribault Heritage Days, a community celebration of all things Faribault. For those who wonder about the pronunciation of “Faribault,” it’s “Fair’-i-bo.”

The Craft Fair in Central Park runs from 3 to 8 pm on Friday, June 14, and from 10 to 8 on Saturday, June 15. (Not sure I’ll last all day, but I’ll try.)

Award News

If you follow my blog or subscribe to my newsletter, you know that Little Mountain, Big Trouble has worked its way up the  various levels of competition for the CIBA Gertrude Warner Award for Middle-Grade Fiction. I’m proud to announce that LMBT reached the penultimate level by finishing in “First Place” with seven other MG novels. CIBA has an unusual grading system which allows(?) them to award first-place to eight books, of which one wins the Grand Prize. But hey, only that book was judged better than my effort. Whatever the name of the award, I’m so proud of LMBT for being recognized for its outstanding quality by several different contest judges in the various competitions I entered.


Thanks for keeping them trickling in for the trilogy.

But I could still use more for Little Mountain, Big Trouble. My goal is to get to 50 total combined reviews on all review sites, but especially and If you’ve read the book, loved it or hated it or anything in between, please consider posting an honest few sentences about LMBT. It’s the best way for readers to find the book other than word of mouth . . . so don’t stop doing that either! 🙂

Little Mountain, Big Trouble print cover

 I want more than anything to tell the world about Little Mountain, Big Trouble and get it into the hands of young readers who are at that age where they’re deciding if they’ll be lifelong readers or not. If even one young reader is inspired by LMBT to read more books for themselves, I’ll be able to call my writing career successful.

So please leave a star rating or a short review (One or two sentences is enough!) at your favorite online review sites. It only takes a few minutes, and I truly appreciate your effort. Thanks.

Upcoming Events

Heartfelt THANKS to a genuine hero and pillar of the community

Dr. Bob Wottreng is an avid reader, dedicated supporter of his community (Owatonna), and a true hero and inspiration to young people. He has purchased SEVENTY COPIES of Little Mountain, Big Trouble, and is offering them to his young patients for FREE throughout the year! (He won’t even allow me to give him a quantity discount!)

Any child for whom the book is readable may take a copy home with them after their dental visit. I hate using the adjective “awesome” because it is so overused. But Dr. Wottreng, you are truly an awesome human being! Thank you for your incredible generosity.


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