April 8

According to the Czech calendar, today is my name day. I named our daughter Emma, and coincidentally she was born on April 8. During my podcasts, I found out that Emma is also a popular name for female protagonists.

More on name days coming soon.

Copyright (c) 2022. Emma Blogs, LLC . All rights reserved.

U.P. author Elizabeth Fust pens ”The Hungry Kitten’s Tale”

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-cebvi-11f3fd3

As a little girl, Fust was distracted at church during the long readings, and maybe hungry as well. Many years later this distraction transpired into a delightful tale of a mischievous kitten based on Luke’s Gospel account of the feeding of the 5,000 in the Bible.

“I wondered about other characters,” she said. “I fleshed out a skeleton from the snippets of history.”

Illustrated by Mary MacArthur, the book is set in the town of Bethsaida.

Fust treated the tale of Kit from a historical perspective and did research on the location of the feeding of the 5,000.

“Luke gave a lot of details,” Fust said.

Protagonist Kit is always looking out where his next meal is going to come from when a man visits Bethsaida followed by 12 guys and 5,000 people.

Find out who this stranger was and what it takes to make a miracle in this Easter episode for a chance to win a signed copy of “The Hungry Kitten’s Tale.”

Copyright (c) 2022. Emma Blogs, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Easter episodes coming soon, updated interview with author Mikel Classen

Christian authors

This is an updated episode with author Mikel Classen with sound editing by author Erik Bean aka prof. Bean.

Stay tuned for the upcoming Easter episodes with Christian authors Elizabeth Fust “The Hungry Kitten’s Tale” and Lowell’s author Amanda Filkins “Be Still: God’s Grace is Bigger Than Worldly Deceit.”

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-f32qy-11eea36

Digging deep into the past, U.P. author & historian Mikel Classen uncovers hidden stories in his newest release “True Tales- The Forgotten History of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.”

Stories of piracy, lost gold mines, the origin of the Copper Boom, profiles of people of note, Starvation on Isle Royale, and one of the darkest periods of Michigan history, are all True Tales of the early days of the Upper Peninsula Frontier.

“Some subjects I’ve researched over the years as a journalist,” Classen said. “It’s been several years in the making.”

The tales are broken up into moments in U.P. history like Chapter 15- “Peter White: The Founding of Marquette” or the story about a native American woman marooned on Isle Royale with her husband facing starvation.

One story, in particular, captured Classen’s inquisitive mind and set him off on a wild chase across the rugged northern peninsula hunting down the truth to rectify myths. During his research, Classen visited the historical societies in 16 towns.

“The local communities and historians sometimes intentionally buried the stories,” Classen said.

In seven towns, he was able to confirm the unimaginable.

“I was shocked,” he said. “Some things you find out can creep you out.”

Find out what it was by listening to this intriguing episode with a true U.P. expert for a chance to win a signed copy of Classen’s “True Tales.”

Sound editing by author Erik Bean.

Copyright (c) 2022. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Author Mikel Classen digs out lost stories in ”True Tales” from the U.P.

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-wte2p-11e9af0

Digging deep into the past, U.P. author & historian Mikel Classen uncovers hidden stories in his newest release “True Tales- The Forgotten History of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.”

Stories of piracy, lost gold mines, the origin of the Copper Boom, profiles of people of note, Starvation on Isle Royale, and one of the darkest periods of Michigan history, are all True Tales of the early days of the Upper Peninsula Frontier.

“Some subjects I’ve researched over the years as a journalist,” Classen said. 

One story, in particular, captured Classen’s inquisitive mind and set him off on a wild chase across the rugged northern peninsula hunting down the truth to rectify myths. During his research, Classen visited the historical societies in 16 towns.

“The local communities and historians sometimes intentionally buried the stories,” Classen said.

In seven towns, he was able to confirm the unimaginable.

“I was shocked,” he said.

Find out what it was by listening to this intriguing episode with a true U.P. expert for a chance to win a signed copy of his “True Tales.”

 

 

 
 
 

 

 

 
 

 

 
 

Fallasburg @Lowell Community Expo

Explore the historic village of Fallasburg at the Lowell Community Expo this Saturday, March 26 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Fallasburg Today

Explore the 1850s Fallasburg pioneer village

Visit booth no. 49 in the Gymnazium of the Lowell High School on Saturday, March 26 2022 during the Lowell Community Expo.

“Our visitors to the Expo should stop by our booth to hear of the progress we have made over the last several years,” said Alan Rumbaugh, treasurer for the Fallasburg Historical Society ( FHS).

The FHS has been working on digitizing files and artifacts so anyone can access them in the future.

“We have a major event planned for July 30 and would like to tell everyone about it,” Rumbaugh said.

The 150th anniversary of the Covered Bridge commemorative coins and cookbooks will be available for purchase at the Expo on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Stay tuned for more news in a special spring newsletter coming to your inboxes.

Copyright (c) 2022. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Books podcast one year anniversary

I’ve just found out from Facebook memories that it’s been one year since the first episode of For the Love of Books Podcast aired on major podcasting apps.

I was honored to have Diana Plopa of Pages Promotions as my first guest author, and a big-time supporter. And the support continued with founding authors Jean Davis, Luba Lesychyn, Ingar Rudholm, Andrew Smith, Joan Young, and countless others.

Our daughter Doc Chavent sponsored the show from the get-go, most recently joined by Modern History Press which supports its fine authors. So new horizons are opening for all of us as spring is in the air after the long winter.

I am pleased to welcome author guests from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula Mikel Classen, Phil Bellfy, Robin Marvel, Chris Stark, Deborah Frontiera and Sharon Kennedy, because who doesn’t love U.P. its magic and mysteries. Also in the line-up are Mike Carrier, Elizabeth Fust and Victor Volkman, president of L H Press Inc.

This will be an exciting time as we navigate upcoming big events like the Lakeshore Art Festival (LAF) in Muskegon and different Art in the Park events around the state of Michigan, as well as Expos.

In the special episodes, we offer tips like how to win and survive the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo.) Prior to major events, I chat with the show organizers.

Stop by at any of the events to pick up your next favorite read and chat with us. We care about our fans.

Copyright (c) 2022. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Author Mikel Classen on For the Love of Books Podcast

Mikel B. Classen has been writing and photographing northern Michigan in newspapers and magazines for over thirty-five years, creating feature articles about the life and culture of Michigan’s north country. A journalist, historian, photographer, and author with a fascination of the world around him, he enjoys researching and writing about lost stories from the past.

Currently, he is the managing editor of the U.P. Reader and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Upper Peninsula Publishers and Authors Association. In 2020, Mikel won the Historical Society of Michigan’s, George Follo Award for Upper Peninsula History. Classen makes his home in the oldest city in Michigan, historic Sault Ste. Marie. He is also a collector of out-of-print history books and historical photographs and prints of Upper Michigan. At Northern Michigan University, he studied English, history, journalism, and photography.

His book, Au Sable Point Lighthouse, Beacon on Lake Superior’s Shipwreck Coast; was published in 2014 and his book, Teddy Roosevelt and the Marquette Libel Trial; was published in 2015. Both by the History Press. He has a book of fiction called Lake Superior Tales published by Modern History Press, which won the 2020 U.P. Notable Book Award. His newest release is Points North a non-fiction travel book published in 2019 by Modern History Press. Points North has received the Historical Society of Michigan’s, “Outstanding Michigan History Publication,” along with the 2021 U.P. Notable Book Award.

True Tales

True Tales

True Tales – The Forgotten History of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Stories of piracy, lost gold mines, the origin of the Copper Boom, profiles of people of note, Starvation on Isle Royale, and one of the darkest periods of Michigan history, all True Tales of the early days of the Upper Peninsula Frontier. Penned by U.P. historian, Mikel B. Classen, years of research are culminated in a book that reveals history on the verge of being lost to time. The book collects stories from across the northern peninsula making this an essential book for any Michigan history enthusiast.

Copyright (c) 2022. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Great Lakes Writers at West Michigan Women’s Expo 2022

Visit with 17 Michigan authors this weekend to find your next favorite read at the West Michigan Women’s Expo in Grand Rapids through Sunday, March 20 inside DeVos Place at 303 Monroe Ave, NW. Most genres will be represented. The Great Lakes Writers are located inside booth 111 close to the Main Stage and restrooms.

The participating authors are Jean Davis, Janet Vormittag, Tracy Brogan, Norma Lewis, Sherry A. Burton, Melanie Hooyenga, Wendy Sara Thompson, Bob Muladore, Andrew Smith, Angela Rodgers, and Tina Derusha.

The Expo is back after a two-year hiatus due to Covid-19.
The West 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.

The hours are Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Unfortunately, I missed out on this event due to sickness, but I am recovering. Watch “For the Love of Books Podcast” episodes with authors Mikel Classen, Michael Carrier, Sharon Kennedy, Robin Marvel, Chris Stark, Phil Bellfy, Deborah Frontiera, and Joanna Walitalo as we move into spring.

I am excited to have these fine authors, many of them from the Upper Peninsula, on the podcast.

Make sure you find us at our different events scattered throughout the state of Michigan and beyond.

Copyright (c) 2022. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Writer’s retreat & an unplanned reunion

After a two-year hiatus due to Covid-19, I’ve returned to my annual winter writer’s retreat on the island of Venice in Florida.

I missed everything; from the turquoise waters, tropical flowers to Mahi Mahi and Mango Bango at Sharky’s.

This year’s stay was very special because we had an unplanned family reunion that just happened when Doc Chavent and Ludek decided to join us in “Paradise.”

Since it was sort of a reunion, mom Ella slaved in the kitchen and made some tropical goodies like open-faced sandwiches with mango chutney and blue cheese spread. We bought cold cuts at the International Food deli in nearby Northport owned by Ukraine owners.

I admire these Ukrainian women who have been running the store sine 1989 with little knowledge of English, but with a lot of gusto for life and preserving the old country traditions by carrying foods such as sproty, smoked mackerels, Russian champagne, Alexander II black tea and loose tea packed in Russian nesting dolls.

Venice on the island with sandy beaches and pelicans is better known as “Paradise.” The temperature in the winter months is around mid 70F. We lucked out it was in the 80s all week long, and sunny.

We all met on Sunday, Feb. 20 by the beach at Sharky’s, the only restaurant on the beach in Venice. Ludek waited for us by the picnic bench and surprised Doc Emma and the grandkids, as well as Vincent by his unexpected presence. Our daughter didn’t recognize him in his beach attire and hat, and her new friend Vincent didn’t stand a chance, since they’ve never met.

However, the grands eventually realized that it was their own grandpa sitting underneath the palms drinking beer, even though they were jet-lagged after the long flight from Paris.

We all enjoyed the sunny tropical afternoon on the beach in February. Usually, we spend Sunday afternoons at home shopping after the Sunday mass.

This was a much-needed break from the winter drill of taking care of the house and our new business. But I also had to somewhat break away from my usual retreat routine except for the morning yoga on the beach with Elin.

My dad Vaclav gave me a ride every day for the 9 am yoga session on Venice Beach. The class is always well attended by close to 200 participants from all over the USA. But most of us are from either the Midwest or from New England.

I enjoyed the morning conversations about how many inches of snow was the northeast getting and how many flights have been canceled. The last yoga class before my departure was dedicated to Dotty of Michigan who was celebrating her 100th birthday and until two years ago did yoga with Elin on the beach, a definite testimonial to the overall benefits of yoga.

“Dotty wouldn’t want us to do any balances today,” said Elin holding a poster of Dotty. “ So we’re not going to do them.”

Elin offers plenty of tips on how to maintain balance, good posture, and fall correctly, if necessary. We often do executive stretches and airplane balances. Plus there’s a lot to do in town including Farmers Markets on Saturdays.

I love downtown Venice with palm-lined streets, boutiques, Ciao Gelato shop, Coffee and Wine Co., and restaurants. This year, colorful sculptures of mermaids and seahorses adorned the street corners and storefronts.

We only made it once to town for coffee with mom, and a few times to Jetty’s Jack for ice brewed latte with Ludek. However, we indulged in a fancy tropical lunch at Finn’s on an unlimited budget sponsored by the Docs from France.

You should never tell a Czech person that he or she can order whatever they want from the menu. Because they will. LOL

Mom ordered filet mignon, while dad went cheap and ordered fish and chips. We all shared octopus for appetizers. I have yet to acquire a taste for that.

The North and South Jetty located on the north side of Venice are wharves with marinas, kayaks, and boat rentals such as sailvenice.com and the Freedom Boat Club.

We enjoyed a sunset cruise with Captain Paul Aquaholic Charters starting at the Venice Marina by the Old Salt Dog. Marine patrol officer Paul for Sarasota County during the day turns into Captain Paul at night. Barefoot Paul took us out to sea via the Venice waterways past the dockside restaurants on the waterways.

We saw dolphins playing by the docks. They chased our small boat in the waterway and Paul even lent the Captain’s bridge to the grandkids to steer us toward the setting sun.

The journey into the sun that lit the gold and orange waters on fire to see the Gulf sunset lasted more than an hour, and created memories for a lifetime.

Copyright (c) 2022. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Dockside restaurants.

Author Caroline Topperman’s memoir ”Your Roots Cast A Shadow” slated for publication

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-3amgn-11a9bed

“Some stories need to be told in their original form so history is not forgotten. Those stories are slowly dying…….”

Memoir Your Roots Cast A Shadow is a shocking family history story spanning three generations and several continents from Europe to the Middle East countries of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Canadian author Caroline Topperman was born in Sweden, raised in Canada with a recent stint of living in Poland where she traced her roots and did the research for the memoir.

Listen in to the episode for a chance to win a signed copy of “Tell Me What You See,” an inspirational book of photographs to spark your imagination.”

In her memoir, Caroline tells the story of grandparents Paula and Fryderyck Toperman, Communist Jews, who fled Poland for Uzbekistan, returning to their homeland in 1944 to help rebuild their country. Their story is one that’s seldom told–they survived the Holocaust, and the war, by plunging eastward.

On the other hand, Franciszek and Wanda Wichrzycki were Polish Catholic Communists who had been living and working in Afghanistan. They too returned to Poland.

Their children, Caroline’s parents, fled Poland as political refugees, settling in Toronto by way of Baghdad, Paris, and Sweden. Caroline bailed from Vancouver to move to Poland in 2013, to find a new life. That journey led her to the capitals of Europe and deep into the maze of shocking family history.

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