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The Oakland Press wants to share book-related news with you, including updates on events and reviews. We want to talk books with you, so feel free to contribute.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Lake Orion author signs books this weekend

Local Author Sends Anti-Bullying Message with New Book
 What does it truly mean to be a hero?  
 Is a hero the player who wins the game, or the person who stands up for what he believes is right?
 Just in time for back to school reading , that is the question that local author Andrea Prostko hopes to get young people talking about after reading her thought provoking debut novel titled Strike One! 
 With a target audience of the mid to upper elementary/"tween" age group, the book tells the story of a fifth grade boy who must constantly struggle with the decision to go along with his best friend Jacob, who is a bully, or stand up to him.  Jacob, the bully, targets one specific character constantly, and in the end, circumstances lead the bully needing to turn to his victim for help.
 The story contains important lessons on bullying and choices, and the timing is perfect for back to school.  The author would like it to be used as a tool for both parents and teachers, and has included a reader's club guide at the end of the book to start the discussion.
 This book is a dream come true for the author, Andrea Prostko, who left the corporate world after twenty years to pursue her real dream of becoming a writer.  
 As a mother of two, including a young son, she wanted to write something  they could relate to.  "I wanted it to be something realistic, but something that would also entertain them and provide a valuable message," she commented.
 She also added that she created believable characters that she thinks everyone will identify with, whether they see the traits of the characters in themselves or their classmates.
 "Many children struggle to fit in at school, but in today's world the battle has reached a whole new level.  It breaks my heart that bullying has actually led to suicide – and it's a proven fact that even in minor cases it can cause anxiety, depression and social phobia.  My book can't solve this tremendous problem – but you can bet it will start a much needed conversation among students, teachers and parents."
 Prostko has a business degree from The Ohio State University and an MBA from Wayne State, but has always wanted to be a writer.
 She has spent the past year writing and rewriting her novel and is proud to finally see it in print. 
Strike One! is $13.95 and is available for sale at Barnes &, and at the publisher's website:
 Prostko will sign copies of the book at the Darci Seipke Benefit Fall Festival at Canterbury Village on October 2 and 3 from 10:00am – 5:00pm, and is also available to schedule interviews, signings and presentations to children.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Children's book author

Rhythm, Rhyme, Rattle and Roll

with author Denise Fleming at the Library

Picture book author/illustrator Denise Fleming will speak to audiences at both branches of the Farmington Community Library on Saturday, September 25, 2010.  Ms. Fleming will talk about creating lively books for young children using rhyming, rhythmic language, and energetic pictures that seem to rattle and roll.  She will also talk about her writing influences for her award-winning books, In the Small, Small Pond and her newest release, Sleepy, Oh, so Sleepy.
She will be at the Farmington Branch Library, 23500 Liberty Street, Farmington at 10:30 a.m., and at the Main Library, 32737 W. 12 Mile Rd. Farmington Hills at 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Ms. Fleming will describe how she makes her beautiful books and will read a book aloud.
Children love poring over Ms. Fleming's lush images that reflect their natural world in parks, on the sidewalk and at home. They also love the rich, dynamic language found in Mama Cat has Three Kittens, Alphabet Under Construction, Beetle Bop, and In the Tall, Tall Grass.  Ms. Fleming's unique illustrations are created using brightly colored paper images which she layers from paper pulp using a silk-screen that her husband David Powers constructs.
One book and one poster will be given away at each presentation. Those who register to attend the 2 p.m. or the 4 p.m. event at the Main Library and receive an additional raffle ticket.  Ms. Fleming will autograph her books which will be available for sale by Book Beat Bookstore. 
Please join us for these free programs which are intended for children ages 5 and up as well as interested adults.  These presentations are generously sponsored in memory of Barbara Novatis, noted Farmington Hills principal, teacher and library friend by her family and friends.
Register through the Library's Website at and use the Calendar/View Programs Calendar links, or call the Library's Children's Department at (248) 848-4315.

Contact:  Laura Scott, Head of Children's Services, Main Library
Farmington Community Library
(248) 848-4315
(248) 553-3228

Friday, September 17, 2010

Impossibly funky

Local author Mike White begins his upcoming book tour at 2 p.m.
Sunday at the Book Beat in Oak Park.

Book Beat will present an impossibly funky afternoon planned with
White, who is founding editor of Cashiers du Cinemart.

He will present his new anthology, which was years in the making,
filled with extremely witty and diverse film writings.

Readers of this wise and nitty-gritty book will obtain an education
of film-land impossible to find anywhere else on the planet.

This book is overflowing with insane delights, kooky interviews and
blinding revelations of the universe!

Don't Miss This!! IMPOSSIBLY FUNKY SUNDAY--a once-in-a-lifetime
afternoon journey of fully mutated movie discussions and gonzo film
appreciation made for the true film maniac, but even the common
everyday Hollywood Joe-bystander is welcome and will come away with
wild tales and juicy gossip that is truly off-the-map.

Learn more at

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Royal Oak authors


Representing every genre from Michigan history to memoir, more than a dozen Royal Oak authors will be on hand to sign their books and discuss how they wrote, published, and marketed their titles on Saturday, October 9 (1:30 PM to 4:30 PM) at the Royal Oak Public Library. 

Moderated by Cindy La Ferle, the Library's first Writer in Residence, the Royal Oak Authors Book Fair will kick off at 1:30 with a public panel discussion with the local authors. 

La Ferle, a widely published columnist and author of Writing Home, sees the event as chance to celebrate the literary talent in her own community. "We have so many authors in Royal Oak -- and many have achieved national recognition. This event will represent a sampling of books published by gifted authors in our community," La Ferle says. "I also hope we'll provide encouragement for aspiring authors who want to learn more about writing and publishing books." 

Featured authors include Judy Davids, guitarist for the Mydols and author of the popular memoir, Rock Star Mommy, and Charles Hyde, Editor of the Great Lakes Books series at Wayne State University Press and author of several books on Michigan's automotive history, including Riding the Roller Coaster: A History of the Chrysler Corporation. 

Other highlights include Gerry Boylan, whose novel Getting There was released this summer. Boylan will talk about how he marketed his book with a widely publicized "hitchhiking tour" from Detroit to Atlanta. Longtime Royal Oak journalist John Schultz will also discuss the making of his new book on the history of Royal Oak. 

"The Library is delighted to host this event because a vital part of our mission is to promote reading and local authors," says Rosemary Mirsky, Adult Services librarian at the ROPL. "Finding and sustaining your voice as a writer is challenging, and the Library is eager to do anything it can to help."

Following the panel discussion, books will be available for purchase and all authors will be on hand to sign copies. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Juice Box Bully: Empowering Kids to Stand Up

Have you ever seen a bully in action and done nothing about it? The kids at Pete's new school get involved, instead of being bystanders. When the juice box  mess turns into more than a dirty shirt, Pete's classmates teach him about "The Promise"   Will Pete decide to shed his bullying habits and make "The Promise"?

In today's society, bullying is a growing epidemic.  Passionate about making a change in this area of education, Bob Sornson and Maria Dismondy team up in writing a book that teaches children to stand up for each other, as a community, and eliminate the number of Bystanders in schools!

 Bob Sornson, PhD, was a classroom teacher and school administrator for over thirty years and is the founder of the Early Learning Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping schools and parents give every child an opportunity to achieve early learning success. His implementation of programs and strategies for early learning success, the Early Learning Success Initiative, serves as a model for districts around the country. He is committed to the belief that practically every child can have a successful early learning experience. Bob is the author of numerous articles, books, and audio recordings. His most recent book is Creating Classrooms Where Teachers Love to Teach and Students Love to Learn (Love and Logic Press). To contact Bob or learn more about his books, please visit

About the Author: Maria Dismondy

Maria Dismondy is dedicated to inspiring and empowering those around her through her roles as author, teacher, community leader, and friend. She makes promises she can keep and enjoys working in her local community and beyond. Maria has a passion for life that radiates in everything she does. Maria earned her master's degree in education in 2002 and served as an elementary school teacher in the public schools for nearly ten years before transitioning into her current role as a Reading Interventionist. Outside of work, Maria enjoys working on projects that are centered around creativity. Maria tours the state presenting to schools on the timely topic of bullying. Her first book, Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun (Ferne Press), teaches children to have the courage to be themselves. Maria lives in southeast Michigan with her husband, Dave, and their little girl, Ruby. For more information about Maria, please visit

About the Illustrator:  Kim Shaw
Kimberly Shaw is an artist and published illustrator whose books include Darcy Daisy and the Firefly Festival, The Crayon Kids' Art Adventure, and Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun (Ferne Press). Kim developed a love of art at a very early age and has had the great fortune to have a family and community who foster that love through so many exciting outlets. She believes deeply in the value of arts education and community art programs that build self-esteem and promote self-expression. Kim lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan, with her daughter, Ella.

Juice Box Bully: Empowering Kids to Stand Up


Sex & Love at Midlife

Sex & Love at Midlife: It 's Better than Ever
Bernie Zilbergeld, Ph.D. with George Zilbergeld, Ph.D.
Foreword by Lonnie Barbach, Ph.D.
"If you think passion and sex fizzle after your forties, think again! This hopeful, eye-
opening book reveals what really goes on behind closed doors at midlife. Apparently,
the best is yet to come."
- Michele Weiner-Davis, author of The Sex-Starved Marriage


Bethel, CT - August 17, 2010 - Just because there's snow on the roof doesn't mean
there's no fire in the furnace.that's the old adage explored thoroughly in the new book,
Sex & Love at Midlife: It's Better than Ever by Bernie Zilbergeld, well-known sex
therapist and author of the widely quoted books, The New Male Sexuality and Male
Sexuality (over 100,000 copies sold). In this honest, down-to-earth volume, Dr.
Zilbergeld drew on his decades of clinical and life experience to explain why we should
be enjoying both our lovemaking and our intimacy even more as we mature.


Replete with stories and anecdotes that present a variety of tools and techniques to help
us all develop the kind of openness we desire, he honestly tells us why age is no barrier to
a better and more rewarding sex life...and assures those of us "of a certain age" that we
are by no means alone.


In Sex & love at Midlife, readers learn the advantages of mature sex:


- Mature women and men are more in sync
- Familiarity can breed arousal
- Practice makes better (if not perfect!)
- Control of emotion improves with age
- Mature lovers appreciate what they have and have more time to enjoy it!
- Sex is sex!


But is it really better than ever? Now that the children have grown and we have more
time on our hands, do we find that the love and intimacy may have gone from our lives?
It is a fact that as we mature, our sexual drives mature as well, but it is also a fact that
while we may slow down and our lovemaking may be different than it was in our youth,
that doesn't mean that the quality or pleasure has to wane. Meticulously researched,
based on 145 interviews with men and women ages 45 to 87, Sex & Love at Midlife
offers evidence that a good number of men and women are having great sex in both their
long- and short-term relationships.


So don't just sit there complaining about your love life, get started today to make it better than ever!


About the book:
Sex & love at Midlife by Bernie and George Zilbergeld
ISBN: 978-0982357392
Publisher: Crown House Publishing Company
Date of publish: July 1, 2010
Pages: 322
S.R.P.: $16.95
About the author:
Bernie Zilbergeld, Ph.D. received his doctorate in clinical psychology from the
University of California, Berkeley and was the former head of the Men's Program and
co-director of clinical training at the Human Sexuality Program at the
University of California, San Francisco. He passed away before this edition was


George Zilbergeld, Ph.D. is currently a professor at Montclair State University in New
Jersey. Bernie Zilbergeld was his brother.



Friday, September 10, 2010

Michigan author "Shades of Sin"

Michigan author Michele Vargo celebrates the nationwide release of "Shades of Sin," the harrowing new novel that explores the bonds of family, forgiveness, and second chances.


The book tells the story of Claire, who married the unfaithful and controlling Jack after an unwanted pregnancy in 1969. But in 2001, a sudden stroke claims Jack's life and sends Claire into a mental breakdown. Fueled by insecurity and fear, Claire makes the fateful decision to leave her family—three children and four grandchildren—believing they will be better off without her.


Four years later, just when her family is starting to heal, Claire comes back, healed and eager to make amends. The lives of her children—Sarah, Danni, and Joe—are turned upside down once again, as they must decide whether to forgive their mother and forge a new relationship or to move on with their lives as though she no longer exists.

Published by Tate Publishing and Enterprises, the book is available through bookstores nationwide, from the publisher at, or by visiting or This is also an eLIVE title, meaning each book contains a code redeemable for a free audio book version from

Vargo resides in Clio, Michigan, with her husband, David. She is a retired RN who still works per diem in the neonatal intensive unit. She and David enjoy traveling and spending time with their children and grandchildren.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Extreme Michigan Weather by Paul Gross of WDIV


first event in our fall University of Michigan Press Author Series coming up next week, and it's a big one: Paul Gross, meteorologist at WDIV-TV (the NBC affiliate in Detroit), will be speaking about his new book Extreme Michigan Weather: The Wild World of the Great Lakes State. His talk will be followed by a book sale and signing. Paul has been the team meteorologist for several of Detroit's professional sports teams, in addition to his many on-camera meteorologist duties.


Who: Paul Gross, local weather celebrity
What: Free talk, sale, and signing
When: Tuesday, September 14, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Hatcher Graduate Library Galley/Room 100 on central campus (facing the Diag), University of Michigan; map at
More information on the talk: 734-615-6477 or
More information on the book:

From brrrr to hothothot! New book by meteorologist Paul Gross
Michigan's weather, record-breaking storms and temperatures, and how they happen
described in new title from The University of Michigan Press
Extreme Michigan Weather
The Wild World of the Great Lakes State
By Paul Gross
Paper: 978-0-472-03413-0/ $24.95
Publication Date: June 2010



Michigan's weather is a notoriously fickle, dramatic phenomenon, ranging from 100+ degrees and drought, to wildly swinging temperatures and hail, to a dozen degrees below zero and blizzards. No other topic dominates conversation in the Great Lakes State more than what's going on outside the window, and no book better describes how it happens than Extreme Michigan Weather.


Paul Gross, meteorologist for the NBC affiliate in Detroit, describes some of the state's most dramatic storms, record-breaking days, and general weather trends. He touches on everything from tornadoes to global warming, and gives record highs, lows, and precipitation for each day of the year for 22 Michigan cities, making this not only an entertaining read but a reference book you'll want to keep handy.
Extreme Michigan Weather goes on sale in June 2010 in paperback for $24.95. It was entirely written, published, and printed in the state of Michigan. For a full press kit on the book, or for interviews with the author, please contact Heather Newman (below).

Friday, September 3, 2010

Royal Oak chef cookbook


George Vutetakis, former chef and proprietor of the Inn Season Café in Royal Oak, Mich. who now lives in San Diego, returns to metro Detroit Sept. 10-19 for appearances, events and to sign copies of his recently published book, Vegetarian Traditions: Favorite Recipes from My Years at the Legendary Inn Season Café.
Vutetakis will be at the following events; all are free and open to the public:


Friday, Sept. 10
7-9 pm
Book Signing & Talk - "Spice Up Your Life with Chef George: Secrets of Using Spices & Masalas"
The Health Oasis
1120 N. Washington, Royal Oak
Info and to register:  248-544-2022


Saturday, Sept. 11
8 am-1 pm
Book Signing/Meet & Greet
Royal Oak Farmers Market
316 E. 11 Mile Rd., Royal Oak


2-3 pm
Wellness Training Institute 1st Anniversary/
Vegetarian Dish Cookoff Judging & Talk with Dr. Michael Dangovian - "Food as the Key to Inner Healing" 
Complimentary appetizers provided by Inn Season Café
39242 Dequindre, Suite 104, Sterling Heights
Info and to register: 586-795-3600


Sunday, Sept. 12
9 am-1 pm
Book Signing/Meet & Greet
Birmingham Farmers Market
Parking Lot #6 off Woodward, Birmingham


Thursday, Sept. 16
Book Signing & Talk - "Vegan & Vegetarian: How to Make It Work for You"
Wayne County Community College District, Northwest Campus Welcome Center
8200 W. Outer Dr., Detroit
Info and to register:  313-496-2704


Saturday, Sept. 18
11 am-2 pm
Book Signing/Meet & Greet
Royal Oak Farmers Market
316 E. 11 Mile Rd., Royal Oak


5-7 pm
Book Signing
Inn Season Café
500 E. Fourth St., Royal Oak


Sunday, Sept. 19
9 am-1 pm
Birmingham Farmers Market
Parking Lot #6 off Woodward, Birmingham


Vegetarian Traditions reveals recipes for many of the dishes that established the Inn Season Café as a favorite Midwest destination for natural, vegetarian and vegan dining. During the 20 years that Vutetakis was chef/proprietor (until 2002), he introduced metro Detroiters to creative, fresh and healthy dishes inspired by his travels to Greece and India. 


More than 150 vegan entrees, soups, salads and desserts in an easy-to-follow format are accompanied by color photos. The 200-page hardcover retails for $29.99 and is available on, at select bookstores and at the Inn Season Café, located at 500 E. Fourth St. in Royal Oak. Signed copies can be purchased on the author's website,, where he shares recipes, videos and stories. 


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Troy author

PublishAmerica is proud to present The Thistle Seed by D.J. Lane from

Sylvia, an attractive young woman in her mid-twenties with a good job
at the local newspaper writing an advice column, has the world at her
feet until some of her advice brings a terrifyingly unexpected

"At age 78 it was a surprise to find myself writing a book," D.J.
Lane said. "It made me wish I'd had the incentive when I was much
younger. My advice is to take a chance, and give it a try. You may be
surprised at the outcome."

PublishAmerica is the home of 40,000 talented authors.
PublishAmerica is a traditional publishing company whose primary goal
is to encourage and promote the works of new, previously undiscovered
writers. Like more mainstream publishers, PublishAmerica pays its
authors advances and royalties and makes its books available through
all bookstores. PublishAmerica offers a distinctly personal,
supportive alternative to vanity presses and less accessible publishers.