Rolling into the first weekend of the Winter Virtual Book Festival organized by Pages Promotions, LLC, we’ve covered genre from action and adventure, non-fiction to memoir. The theme of this festival is “Blind Date with a Book.”
You pick an event by clicking on the caption below, and register on Zoom.
The participating authors read from their books without revealing the title. The screen shows scrambled covers, and it’s up to you to find the perfect fit.
If you match up the author with the book, you get the bragging rights on social media. Please use the hashtag #ppvirtualbookfestival.
Wheel of Happiness
Diana has given out a lot of prizes spinning the Wheel of Happiness, and a lot more is to come during the month of February. If you win a book, check it for the gold, silver or bronze ticket for major prizes.
If you don’t attend, you can’t win. Invite your friends, fans and family and cast the authors’ event on your TV.
PopUp Book Shop
Visit the festival PopUp Book Shop to meet your next favorite book. It will be up only during the festival month. So do not procrastinate.
Following are Emma’s author events for November and December. I will be signing books at LowellArts on Nov. 28 & Dec. 13 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on both days.
You can also order your books here by sending an email to Emma: email@example.com, calling or messaging on Facebook messenger. You can pick up your signed copies on the following dates at LowellArts: Nov. 28 and Dec. 13 from 12 to 2 p.m.
Emma’s Virtual Book Launch on Facebook on Sunday Nov. 15 at 5 p.m.
You can submit your questions in the comment section for a chance to win a free signed copy of the “Greenwich Meridian Memoir.”
Lowell, MI – Welcome “Blue Moon” October with your two full moons, pumpkins, candy, spooky characters, books, Girls Nites Out in ugly sweaters and paranormal investigations in the Fallasburg historic village.
The month started off strong with a full moon, a storm in the morning and a brainstorming session in the afternoon with Anthony Mora Communications for the PR of my upcoming book “Greenwich Meridian Memoir” about our family immigration saga from former Czechoslovakia to the USA. As part of the project, they will also be marketing my book no. 2 that never fully reached the market because of covid-19. Thank you Anthony and Lindsey for your work on this project.
While most of the events have been cancelled, the nature hasn’t canceled her show in hues of oranges, browns and yellows. Moreover, today was the Feast of the Guardian Angels. We each have a guardian angel, and this year we need more than one. As I drove to the Vergennes Township hall to pick up my absentee ballot, I noticed a sign on Bailey: “Jesus 2020.”
Just 10 minutes before the brainstorming session, I found out from my Romanian poet/publisher friend Valeriu Dg Barbu, that my book has already been translated into Italian. Thank you Valeriu. Valeriu owns a small publishing house Editura Minela at:
Plus my husband and I celebrate our wedding anniversary on Oct. 7. Happy anniversary Ludek.
The socially distant Lowell Harvest Celebration will take place on Main Street on Oct. 10. This year, the Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce is taking over the Larkin’s Chili Cook-Off. The chamber will be selling $5 wristbands for chili tastings at different venues.
Featured photo: Hannah Rietzema at the Springrove Variety, that is now closed.
Copyright (c)2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
Hooked on wild caught fish from the Straits of Mackinac at the local farmer’s markets
By Emma Palova
Ada, MI- It all started with a conversation, a few coolers and a canopy. And a brand-new enterprise was born 10 years ago.
But it took six generations of commercial fishermen, a passion for the great outdoors “Grizzly Adams” style and healthy eating to make the old trade work in new times.
Dan Sodini of DMS is the fishmonger, while his brother-in-law Jamie Massey is the fisherman of the Great Lakes based in St. Ignace.
“An opportunity to begin a small family business of taking wild caught fish from the U.P. to Farmer’s Markets around the state of Michigan came 10 years ago,” said Sodini. “We are celebrating our 10th year anniversary.”
The first market was in Midland, home to the DMS fish crew.
“We could drive to the U.P., stay with the family and get up and go to the market on Saturday morning,” Sodini said.
Rarely, do you see fish peddled at the local Farmer’s Markets. It’s mostly local home-grown produce spruced up sometimes with cheeses, breads and preserves.
“Some people were delighted and bought fish,” said Sodini. “Others took a little time.”
But after Sodini explained where, when and how the fish was caught, it all became easier.
“Once people tried it, they became customers and they’re still buying fish today,” he said.
Speaking about being hooked on genuine wild-caught fish taste.
I discovered the U.P. fish booth three years ago based on a word-of-mouth tip from a friend who lives in Ada.
“You know, there’s this fishmonger at the Ada Market and the fish is excellent,” she said. “Try it.”
Being a fish lover ever since I can remember buying trout at the “Rybena” deli in former Czechoslovakia, I didn’t need to be persuaded.
What first struck me unlike buying fresh fish at the stores, was that there was no fish smell around the booth. Everything was immaculately clean, and then Dan’s impeccable knowledge about the fish, surpassed the fish markets of Marseille.
The first time I bought all three “catch of the day”- fresh walleye, whitefish and trout, smoked whitefish and whitefish dip. It was an unsurpassed feast.
This is my favorite recipe: whitefish or trout baked with pesto and lemon. Bake for 20 minute at 350 F or on the grill.
In the beginning, DMS offered only fresh fillets which included: whitefish, walleye, lake trout, king salmon, yellow perch and smelt.
Over the 10 years, DMS has expanded both the fish selection and the farmer’s market locations.
“Once we realized that we could make a go of it, we expanded into other markets,” Sodini said.
DMS added smoked whitefish, lake trout, salmon and Laker bites, which are skinless, boneless bite size pieces of small lake trout.
“We have added our very popular smoked fish pate made with the fisherman’s recipe,” he said.
The pates include: smoked whitefish, salmon and lake trout. Brand new this year are the Laker patties, a fish burger or fish cake made with fresh lake trout, that can be grilled or sautéed in a skillet.
From August through mid- October, DMS has annual wild king salmon sales of the whole fish which averages 10 to 12 pounds. This yields approximately half to ¾ of the fish.
“With COVID we have experienced both a decrease and an increase in sales,” said Sodini.
The decrease mainly because of people not wanting to come out and take safety precautions while the increase is in direct access to wild caught fish vs. the limited high-priced beef and other meat products.
“From the beginning people chose fish for high quality protein,” Sodini said.
Backed by 150 years of Massey commercial fishing on the Great Lakes, Sodini, a former treatment specialist, found himself in the fish business. During his unemployment, the family had this important conversation about starting a fish distribution business.
“We are honored and proud to be a part of the family legacy,” he said. “We appreciate and are thankful for all of our customers from all over the state of Michigan, who are our friends and have supported us for 10 years.”
“I love what I do! Having the opportunity to offer wild caught fresh and smoked Great Lakes fish at local Farmers Markets is a privilege and a lot of work,” Mega said. But what I enjoy most is meeting each new customer and the friends that we have made over the 10 years we have been going to markets.”
On a Saturday market, DMS sells an average of 150 to 200 pounds of fish.
“The kids grew up on farmer’s markets,” he said. “They get paid and they love it.”
Today, the DMS crew does 12 markets a week:
Ada market on Tuesdays
Brighton on Saturday
East Lansing on Sunday
Flint on Saturdays
Frankenmuth on Wednesday
Holland on Wed.& Sat.
Meridian on Saturdays
Midland on Wed. & Sat.
Mt. Clemens on Sat.
Mt. Pleasant on Thursday
Northville on Thursday
The selling season is from May to October. From November through April, DMS does winter fish drops at the farmer’s markets locations.
“People can order frozen fish products biweekly or monthly,” Sodini said. “We deliver to each of the farmer’s markets location. The fisherman vacuum packs, blast freezes all of our fish fillets.”
You can find individual farmer’s locations at the DMS Facebook page at:
Big Rapids, MI – My mother, Ella Konecny, turns 83 on this beautiful summer day. We celebrated her birthday yesterday in Big Rapids with a cookout on the deck. Mom always puts on a feast: juicy ribs, coleslaw, mashed potatoes and her famous nutty cake roll, all preceded by a traditional Czech platter of cheese, salami and home-made pickles Znojmo style.
Together with my father Vaclav, they’ve been living in this small university town, home to Ferris State University, for more than four decades.
Mom was born Drabkova in former communist Czechoslovakia on Aug. 23, 1937 in Zlin to a working class family. My grandparents Anna and Joseph Drabek worked hard to get mom into the university so she could become the future pharmacist.
My mother has inspired the memoir Greenwich Meridian, where East meets west about the family immigration saga. She didn’t want to leave the communist country after the Soviet invasion on the night of August 20-21 in 1968.
The memoir, slated for Oct. 16, 2020 publication is dedicated to both of my parents because they have always inspired me both in hard and good times with their dedication and perseverance. It is available now on preorder on Amazon at:
Their journey from the Moravian hilly villages of Vizovice and Stipa to Big Rapids in Michigan was tumultuous with many twists and turns.
Some of the milestones included the 1973 return to hardline Czechoslovakia from Texas, and then the escape back into the New World for my dad in 1976. Mom joined him in 1980.
Dad landed the math professor job at the Ferris State University, and that finally anchored them permanently in their new home.
To this day, mom says she loved her bio lab technician job also at the university.
Their true story has also inspired my fiction in my first Shifting Sands Short Stories book. “The Temptation of Martin Duggan” contains some bits and pieces from the early years of immigration.
I wrote that story shortly after my immigration to the USA in 1989. When I compare some of the elements of the short story to the memoir, I consider them Visceral in character, coming from a gut feeling.
The main character in the story is professor Martin Duggan obsessed with his own quest for perfection.
May you both enjoy many more years of love, good health and optimism. Thank you for all your love and support.
For chapters “Prague Spring, Part I” & “Prague Spring, Part II from the memoir click on the following links:
Listen in today at 2:30 p.m. to radio WOES-FM 91.3- Ovid-Elsie Community radio- home of the polka palace.
Tom Bradley, one of the co-founders of the Czech Harvest Festival in Bannister, will be talking about the “Dozinky” festival. The festival always held on the first Sunday in August was cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We could not take the risk,” said co-founder Diane Bradley.
The festival takes place at the ZCBJ Lodge in Bannister. in Cenral Michigan. It features a parade, costumed dancers, a festive dinner consisting of ham, chicken, dumplings, saurkraut, cucumber salad, mashed potatoes and traditional Czech desserts. The dinner is followed by a dance.