It was a great Sunday afternoon, Sept. 18, 2022 at the Fallasburg one-room schoolhouse. We enjoyed a steady stream of visitors, from far and near. Docent Tom Vaughn let the visitors ring the school bell in the bell tower, and lead them into the backroom with the Fallasburg village model in its late 1860s heyday. Old maps and photos attracted a lot of attention.
My new book The Lost Town set in the ghost town of Singapore continues its successful streak into the fall as we get closer to Halloween. Most people have never heard of Singapore in Michigan. Neither have I until I stumbled across the historic marker in front of the Singapore Village Hall sometime in the mid-1990s.
I would like to thank the @Fallasburg Historical Society for hosting another one of my book signings during the Fallasburg Fall Festival, which has become a tradition.
Copyright (c) 2022. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
Last minute notice: Lowell author and Lowell Ledger reporter Emma Palova will be at the Fallasburg one-room schoolhouse signing her new book The Lost Town this Sunday, Sept. 18 from 1 to 4 pm during the @Fallasburg Arts Festival. Stop by to get a signed copy of one of her books and meet the author.
The Lost Town
In the third book of the Shifting Sands series- “The Lost Town”- author Emma Palova of Lowell creates the protagonist, Miss Ida. The historical fiction novel is set in the ghost town of Singapore on the shores of Lake Michigan at the foot of the sand dunes adorned with white pines. Beautiful Ida is torn between her hometown of Chicago and her new home on the other side of the lake, and between two men.
Developed by New York investors, the once-thriving settlement of Singapore nurtured the dreams of adventurers like Oshea Wilder and pioneer settlers alike. Singapore would rival Chicago and Milwaukee. It almost did with its sawmills, hotels, boarding houses, stores, and a “wildcat” bank.
Entrepreneurial Ida struggles to adjust to the rough environment but finds more than support in her boss who invited her to Singapore to be the “Mistress” of the Big House. A “wildcat” bank was established in Singapore in 1837.
Who will win Ida’s heart?
The whimsical cover was designed by graphic artist Jeanne Boss of Rockford. The book was edited by Carol Briggs of Lowell.
More book signings
Emma’s book signings in October, November, and December
Oct. 1 & 2- Blue Coast Artists @Earth Stories Jewelry, south of Saugatuck/Douglas at 2742 68th St.
I am getting ready for a five-hour road trip to Paradise. And it is a true paradise surrounded by the shimmering waters of Lake Superior on one side and the big woods of the Tahquamenon Falls State Park on the other. If you continue further north on Whitefish Point Road you will hit Whitefish Point with its nationally acclaimed Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum and lighthouse.
The pristine magic of the Upper Peninsula (UP) has traditionally attracted authors, photographers, and filmmakers for at least one hundred years. Now, a new generation of authors writes from the UP or sets their stories in the UP. We are proud members of the Upper Peninsula Publishers and Authors Association. (UPPAA)
Many of them are my friends and we’ve met in person at several different authors’ events around the state of Michigan. We will meet again at the Wild Blueberry Festival in Paradise set for Aug. 19 through Aug. 21 this weekend. Here is a sampling of authors, who will be at the festival, including their podcasts. You can meet them in person in Paradise. They will sign your next favorite read. It really doesn’t get any better than that.
Author Mikel Classen is a true Yooper who makes his home in Sault Ste. Mary. His newest book True Tales: The Forgotten History of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is a treasure chest of eye-opening stories. Listen in to the podcast episode by clicking on the link below.
Author Mike Carrier will be on his home turf at the festival since he spends summers near Whitefish Point. Fourteen out of 15 Carrier’s murder mysteries with the main character Jack Handler are set in the UP.
“The festival has become one of my favorites,” Carrier said. “Beyond the proximity, I find those who attend to be more interesting. For instance, there is a biker group that usually comes through the festival, and they help make it a fun event.”
Listen in to the episode about To China with Love.
Then it’s me who simply loves the UP. And like many other authors and artists, I’ve always been inspired by the rugged beauty and history of the land. I will have my brand new book “The Lost Town” on hand to sign.
Lowell author & reporter Emma Palova completed The Lost Town, a third book in the Shifting Sands series on the last day of June.
The historical fiction novel is set in Singapore, MI, a ghost town on the shores of Lake Michigan during the pioneer era of the 1830s.
Palova captured the spirit of the once thriving lumbering town in its main characters – beautiful Miss Ida, her boss lumber baron John Bosch, Singapore founder Oshea Wilder and supporting characters, Sir Artemas Wallace and housemaid Mrs. Fisch.
Miss Ida was torn between her hometown of Chicago and her new home Singapore, and between two men. Who will win her heart?
The story unravels as the greedy New York investors set their eyes on the undeveloped land at the Oxbow bend in the Kalamazoo River surrounded by sand dunes with much coveted white pines.
Wily Oshea established the New York & Michigan Co. in 1836 to facilitate the development of Singapore. The investors envisioned that Singapore would rival Chicago and Milwaukee. With its humming mills, boarding houses, hotels, and general stores at the height of its prosperity, Singapore almost outshone Chicago.
The name remains a mystery, as its famous counterpart island city in East Asia was only a fledgling town at the time.
“The mysterious name inspired me to write this novel,” Palova said.
According to one interpretation, the exotic name was used to honor the “singing sands” of the Lake Michigan shore. The shape of the grains and the moisture combine to make the sand sing or squeak when someone walks on it.
Always on the hunt for stories and inspiration, Palova walked into the general store on Butler Street in downtown Saugatuck in the mid- 1990s. She picked up a book about Singapore and checked out the historic marker in front of the Saugatuck Village Hall.
“The story just gripped my imagination and stayed with me throughout the years,” she said. “Then I forgot all about it for decades.”
It wasn’t until getting ready for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) last November, that Palova realized that what she had planned to write about Singapore would turn into a novel rather than just a short story.
“I wanted to do the fascinating story of Singapore its justice,” she said. “I knew a short story wouldn’t cut it.”
During her research for the novel, Palova came across Singapore’s ‘wildcat bank.’
“I knew this was big,” she said, “bigger than life.”
Singapore had a ‘wildcat bank’ that issued its own ornate bank notes that are still in the collection of the Saugatuck Douglas Historical Society in Douglas.
“I used their online collections catalog exclusively for research,” she said. “It’s an excellent tool for anyone who wants to write about history. Most historical societies in Michigan have online collections.”
The novel covers the entire span of Singapore’s existence from the 1830s to its demise in the 1870s. At one point the town was known as Ellis Island since it accepted immigrants from European countries like Norway and Holland. The town was the first stop for Hollanders before they moved further up north and established Holland. It came before Saugatuck which was smaller and known as Flats.
“I wove nautical stories into the novel because I love the seas,” Palova said. “I wish I was a sailor.”
It was not just a lumbering era, but also a time for steamers, schooners, and tugboats on the Great Lakes. Nautical transportation was just as dangerous as travel by land, and later by rail.
“Sometimes the story evolved all on its own to my surprise like in the chapter ‘Mail fraud at Oxbow’, she said. “I was really surprised at what Ida was capable of doing driven by secret love.”
Other chapters were meticulously planned with research usually showing up later in the novel.
“My previous research didn’t help me much, but the immediate research during the NaNoWriMo challenge helped,” she said. “I can easily say that this novel is a direct product of the challenge.”
During NaNoWriMo, Palova wrote a minimum of 1,750 words daily to reach the victory lane at 50,000 words by the end of November. After that came months of more writing, revisions, and editing.
Carol Briggs of Lowell edited The Lost Town. The whimsical cover was designed by graphic artist Jeanne Boss of Rockford. Beta readers include Nancy Price Stroosnyder and author Diana Kathryn Wolfe-Plopa.
Emma’s ease at mixing actual history into her stories is remarkable, and so entails Miss Ida’s response to an invitation to a soon-to-be bustling “Singapore” on the shores of Lake Michigan. She is transported away from Chicago, family, and friends. She quickly learns the duties expected of her in maintaining a boarding house and warehouse in the rapidly growing community. Soon she falls in love with one of the corrupt founders. The many colorful characters weave a fantastic story of love, mystery, hope, and faith. This is a quick, very worthwhile read!
Palova will be signing her new book at the following locations: Fallasburg Summer Celebration on July 30, Englehardt Library in Lowell TBA, Holland, Aug. 6, and Paradise, Aug. 19-20. Listen in to an upcoming podcast about The Lost Town on http://emmapalova123.podbean.com
The cover of The Lost Town was designed by graphic artist Jeanne Boss or Rockford.
Illustrators and caricaturists at the Palmer Park Art Fair last weekend. I love this show in Detroit for its diversity. I met new authors from Ghana, Jamaica and some great visitors to the show. Stay tuned for full story.
Copyright (c) 2022. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
Words can be weapons. That is my horoscope for the first day in June. As an author and journalist I find this to be very true, but also motivating to reach higher and go farther in everything I do.
The horoscope is basically warning me to watch what I write or say today. As I always I will speak my heart.
I am looking forward to the upcoming release of my new book “Shifting Sands: The Lost Town” in the Shifting Sands franchise and my first event of the season Palmer Park Art Fair in Detroit this weekend.
GREENWICH MERIDIAN MEMOIR, PALMER PARK ART FAIR, DETROIT
For all the Czechs living in the greater Detroit area organized around Sokol & other groups, stop by at booth no. 140e in the authors’ tent at the Palmer Park Art Fair.
I will be signing my Greenwich Meridian Memoir about our family immigration saga from former Czechoslovakia to the USA. The book is set on the backdrop of two major political events: 1968 Prague Spring and 1989 Velvet Revolution.
The protagonist is my father professor Vaclav Konecny whose ambition took us across three continents and back to Czechoslovakia for the presidential amnesty in 1973. Will he make it back to the USA?
Summer is finally here and I am getting ready for several road trips. My first event of the year is the Palmer Park Art Fair on June 4 & 5 located at 910 Merrill Plaisance St. in Detroit. I am very excited since I’ve never been to this event. I tried to avoid big-city gigs but because of the nature of Greenwich Meridian Memoir which describes our life in communist Czechoslovakia and our travels across three continents, Detroit with a large Czech community is a must-stop.
Palmer Park Art Fair is a premier event on Lake Frances with an authors’ tent with 13 authors, and 120 other art vendors selling original artworks of various media, including painting, sculpture, music, mixed media, and more. In addition, the event will have a music stage and specialty booths.
The hours are on June 4 from 10 to 7 p.m. and June 5 from 11 to 5 p.m.
Next weekend I will be at GIZZARD FEST, POTTERVILLE, JUNE 10& 11Gizzard Fest is not your ordinary festival. Thousands of people stream into Potterville for this unique event and good old-fashioned fun! The small-town atmosphere, live music, carnival, and great food (including plenty of gizzards) bring people from across the Midwest.
The hours are on June 10 from 9 a.m. to DARK, June 11 from 8 a.m. to DARK
LAKESHORE ART FESTIVAL, MUSKEGON, JUNE 25 & 26
This event is held in downtown Muskegon with more than 20 authors representing all genres. The LAF features a unique blend of fine art, handcrafted goods, music, food, and fun. Experience over 300 juried fine art and specialty craft exhibitors, a Children’s Lane, an artisan food market, street performers, multiple interactive art stations and so much more.
The hours are on June 25 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and June 26 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Detroit Virtual Book Fest July 15-July 17 see the link at the bottom
COMING SOON The Lost Town is a historical fiction novel set in a ghost town. Protagonist Ida is torn between her hometown of Chicago and her new home across Lake Michigan, and between two men. Who will win her heart- her husband or her lover?Shifting Sands is a growing anthology of short stories and a brand new novel Shifting Sands: The Lost Town coming soon. The novel was edited by Carol Briggs of Lowell with the cover designed by graphic artist Jeanne Boss of Rockford. The first book is a collection of 13 stories divided into three circles based on my life experiences: retail, journalism, and immigration. The second book Secrets is a collection of 15 short stories with the main historical fiction story Silk Nora set in Belding, MI. There are other stories as well such as the Chief about a corrupt small-town police chief and 40 Hunks exploring cheap labor from Mexico. FOR THE LOVE OF BOOKS PODCAST with host EMMA PALOVA Listen in for a chance to win a signed copy in the podcast book giveaway. http://emmapalova123.podbean.com and major podcasting apps.
June Schedule Jon Stott, Summers at the Lake, June 2 Mark Loeb, special guest at Palmer Park Art Fair, June 3 Kris Gair, The Beautiful Moment, June 3 Nikki Mitchell, Nightshade Forest, June 17 Deborah Frontiera, Superior Tapestry, June 17 Victor Volkman, U.P. Reader, June 24 Sponsored by Doc Chavent, The Lowell Ledger, Modern History Press, Nikki Mitchell Find Out More
Detroit Virtual Book Fair, July 15-17, link to the catalog of my books in my virtual booth coming soon.
Copyright (c) 2022. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
After a rocky start-up of shows in 2021, this year looks promising for in-person author shows in Michigan. Last year, some shows were canceled again due to Covid, but some were a go or a hybrid, depending on the organizers and their boards. It was like playing the roulette or opening a box of chocolates because you never knew what you were going to get.
One of the first shows of the season is the upcoming Mid Michigan Women’s Expo in Lansing set for February 18 through February 20 at the Lansing Center.
The 22nd annual Mid-Michigan Women’s Expo features hundreds of exhibits, seminars, shopping, and fun that aim to provide a weekend of entertainment, education, and enjoyment tailored to women and their families.
Michigan Authors Area – signing and selling books
Meet and Greet Authors! Various local Michigan Authors at the expo! Find your next book to read and relax with, both fiction and non-fiction books to purchase. Speak to the Author onsite and discover their inspiration for writing their book.
Pictured below are a few participating authors at the Mid Michigan Women’s Expo in Lansing.
Eleven Michigan authors will be signing and selling their books at this premier Expo with hundreds of exhibits, seminars, shopping, and fun.
The participating authors for the Mid Michigan Expo are Jean Davis, Judith Wade, G.S. Scott, Norma Lewis, Melinda Clark, Mikel Classen, Sylvia Hubbard, Kristine Brickey, Jules Nelson, Rod Sadler, and Sara Shanning.
Their genres range from fantasy to historical fiction. You can listen to some of them on my podcast show “For the Love of Books Podcast.”
Click on the link below to listen to your favorite episode.
I have embarked on my fall author adventures through west and central Michigan. After an exceptional summer with crowds flocking to community events, autumn promises are in the fresh air painting a colorful palette.
I am so grateful that the in person events are making a comeback, they are a lifeline for artists, artisans and crafters. After year-long hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I finally get to introduce my new book “Greenwich Meridian Memoir” to the public at large.
I will be at the Charlotte Frontier Days Arts & Crafts Show in booth 101 from Sept. 10 through Sept. 12 . The arts show is located on the lawn of the Old County Courthouse. Stop by to pick up a book or two.
I will be in the one-room schoolhouse located at 14029 Covered Bridge Rd. NE in the historic village of Fallasburg signing my books and serving as a museum guide. Cross the Covered Bridge and step back some 150 years ago, when the bridge was built. The bridge is celebrating its 150th anniversary next weekend.
Saturday, Sept. 18 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 19 noon – 5p.m.
Feature photo: Emma Palova signs her book no. 1 “Shifting Sands Short Stories” for Jeanne Vandersloot.
Copyright (c) 2021. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.