Upper Peninsula of MI Adventure Continues in Second Edition of ‘Lake Superior Tales’

Pirates and treasure, the timeless theme in adventurous fiction, takes center stage in Mikel B. Classen’s second edition of Lake Superior Tales: Stories of Humor and Adventure in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Published by the Modern History Press (November 2018), the book includes ten stories that span the 19th century through present day, each tale packed with action, adventure, humor, and suspense. Written for the general adult audience, these stories have something of interest to offer every reader. For those who know or have a fondness for the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, this is perhaps the perfect winter read of all.

Mikel B. Classen is a veteran writer and editor with three decades of experience in journalism, writing, and photography. But more than anything else, it’s the author’s own living experience in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan that enriches his word with regional flavor. In his words:

“Many places have maritime history, logging history and mining history, but the Upper Peninsula has them all, thrown together in a cultural clash that makes the region unique.”

Classen contends that as a writer it is impossible to not be inspired by a place not only steeped in beauty, but its rich history is evident throughout the peninsula.

By its content, the second edition of Lake Superior Tales is mostly adventure and part humor. The latter, at times, draws from characters based on real residents of the region. And it has its quirky side, like the main character in the story “Bullets Shine Silver in the Moonlight” that remains unnamed throughout the story.

Of the adventurous stories, the author tells that these tales are the results of ideas that periodically popped into his head. Yet, in one way or the other, the regional history reflected in their development. For instance, he tells about the history of gold mining in the Upper Peninsula and how it influenced the narrative of story “The Wreck of the Marie Jenny.”

“I had finished writing Bullets Shine Silver in the Moonlight and I started wondering where the gold in that story came from and what the story of the shipwreck was. The only places in the U.P. where gold was actually found was north of Ishpeming and Marquette. There were two mines north of Marquette and the Ropes north of Ishpeming. If any gold was going to sail out on Lake Superior it would have come from Marquette and the Iron Bay. The real mover and shaker of those days in Marquette was Peter White, one of Marquette’s founding fathers, hence his appearance in the story.”

Classen’s ingenious weaving of history and legend creates a tapestry of folklore as varied as the peninsula itself.

To learn more about Mikel B. Classen and to see more of his work, go to his website at www.mikelclassen.com.


MBR Reviews “Attorney-At-Paw”

Diane Wing & Chrissy
Diane Wing & Chrissy

Diane Wing
Modern History Press
c/o Loving Healing Press
5145 Pontiac Trail, Ann Arbor, MI 48105
9781615993970, $27.95, HC, 186pp

Synopsis: Autumn Clarke survived the car crash that killed her parents. To help her cope with PTSD, she adopts Chrissy, a Shih Tzu with a remarkable secret. Chrissy is also the only witness to the mysterious death of her pet parent.Autumn vows to find the truth behind his death with the help of Chrissy, the neighbors and an attractive detective. Can Autumn unravel the clues while trying to heal Chrissy’s trauma and overcome her own devastating emotional wounds in the midst of a dangerous murder investigation?

Critique: A wonderfully entertaining and deftly written mystery, “Attorney-At-Paw” is the first of what will hopefully be a long term series starring one of mystery’s most unique canine sleuths! Certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs that “Attorney-At-Paw” is also available in a paperback edition (9781615993963, $18.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.95).

Mary Cowper reviews “Sanchita Karma”

Cowper’s Bookshelf

Sanchita Karma and Other Tales of Ethics and Choice from India
K. V. Dominic
Modern History Press
9781615993949, $25.95, HC, 146pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: K.V. Dominic is one of India’s leading contemporary English poets. In “Sanchita Karma and Other Tales of Ethics and Choice from India” he takes his readers on a trip to India in an anthology of his original short stories.

Dominic’s love for his native country is exposed through stories that cover a range of humanistic concerns, including women’s empowerment, the natural environment, government and corruption, the education system, crime, the power of compassion and the question of how much influence we have in our own destinies.

Critique: Each of these twenty carefully crafted and thoroughly engaging short stories is a true literary gem. Of special note is the unusual step of including four reviews collected in a section called ‘Commentary and Criticism’. While very highly recommended for community, college, and university library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that “Sanchita Karma and Other Tales of Ethics and Choice from India” is also available in a paperback edition (9781615993932, $15.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.03).

Mary Cowper, Reviewer

Sweta Srivastava Vikram – Voice of the Year 2018!

Modern History Press is proud to announce that its latest fiction title Louisiana Catch by author and speaker Sweta Srivastava Vikram has been nominated for a Voices of the Year (VOTY) Award at BlogHer.- Sweta S. Vikram's 'Louisiana Catch' Nominated for Voices of the Year Award

With its Women-Inspiring-Women mission, BlogHer is a women-centered movement of both the written and the spoken word by women from different walks of life. They honor women of extraordinary talent and inspirational potential at their annual BlogHer18 Creators Summit, taking place this year on the evening of August 8th at Pier 17 in New York City.

Sweta Srivastava Vikram’s previous books with Modern History Press have attracted attention for their female-empowerment themes. Her novel Louisiana Catch features an abuse survivor, Ahana, who is on a run from her dark past and finds an emotional sanctuary in an online support group.

How the Author Sees Her Work

What was the writing experience of this novel like?

There were some parts in Louisiana Catch that were easy and fun to write, especially the rapport between Ahana and Rohan Brady. But the part about marital rape and cat fishing were definitely emotionally draining and such strong reminders of the darkness in our society.

And how do you relate to the main character?

Ahana, the female protagonist, is very different from me. Yes, we are both South Asian women who are well educated and have strong careers. But Ahana is inherently dependent on others for emotional well-being and decision making and she is an introvert, quite the opposite of me. But we both do have a common agenda: raise awareness and join the fight to end violence against women.

Editorial Opinion from Modern History Press

Victor Volkman, Senior Editor at Modern History Press, opined:

Louisiana Catch is a remarkable book on several fronts. Foremost, bringing the extremely difficult topic of recovery from marital rape to the mainstream conversation in America makes this book significant. It also excels at portraying Ahana as someone who happens to work in New York but was born in New Delhi: that she can be an immigrant, without being defined by that as her sole relevant characteristic is an important message for the readers of 2018. Last, it is the tale of a modern woman struggling mid-career whose number one priority is not romance, but love happens anyways despite her hard-earned wariness of the male sex.”


How Mindfulness Can Help You Enjoy Your Book Release Day

By Sweta Vikram

Sweta Srivastava Vikram
Sweta Srivastava Vikram

It’s 5 am on Saturday, April 7. My head is ready to explode. I am supposed to speak at a wellness conference in Pennsylvania in a few hours and on Tuesday, April 10, my debut U.S. novel, “Louisiana Catch,” comes out. That very evening, I am doing an intimate wine and reading celebration with a fellow author at Bluestockings bookstore in downtown Manhattan.

Louisiana Catch is my 12th book. The book is about Ahana, a 33-year-old grieving daughter and sexual abuse survivor from New Delhi who must summon the courage to run a feminist conference in New Orleans, trust a man she meets over the Internet, and unravel the mystery of an online predator in order to find her power. It wasn’t an easy book to write. Though the book’s release happens to coincide with the #MeToo movement and the media attention has been heart-warming, none of it has been a cake walk.

To an outsider, this is all good stress, right? What you dreamed about. What you worked towards. But, you know within—that the creative life is a gift, but it is also full of ups and downs. Exhilarating and nerve-wracking in the same breath. Of course, then there are elements outside of our control. How will our book be welcomed into the world? Will anyone read it? What if no one shows up to the book launch events? The list of anxiety triggers can be endless.   ….Read the rest of the story….