Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sponsor highlight- WI Authors

I would like to spend a couple of posts highlighting titles that have been donated to our Banned Books Event. These posts will not only illustrate how diverse our silent auction baskets are for the event, but will also introduce you to some authors, books and publishers you may not know yet.

Today, I will focus on WI authors. Mostly because a donation from Liam Callanan just landed on my doorstep! Below are the authors and their titles that have some in so far. (Click on author name for full bio or cover image for a full book description) Have you read these authors or their books?

Dwight Allen
: moved to Madison, Wisconsin, in 1991, and for a couple of years wrote for Isthmus, Madison’s alternative newspaper, as well as other publications. In 2004, I was a visiting writer at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and taught a course in fiction writing.

A review in The New Yorker (May 19, 2003) described Judge this way: “Slight, dishevelled, almost totally without guile, eighty-two-year-old Judge William Dupree, of Louisville, departs this world leaving behind only the shimmer of his beneficence. His death leaves his family–his hypochondriac wife and his peripatetic sons–at a loss. Without the love that he steadily, but unobtrusively, supplied, his sons go haywire: the elder leaves his amiable wife for an aspiring ventriloquist, and the younger, a struggling writer, returns home, where he falls into the arms of his father’s law clerk. Allen’s preoccupation with ardor in all its forms brings Walker Percy to mind, and his lovely, elegiac book shows how easily even the most well-made life can unravel.”

The Typewriter Satyr: is about what happens when a fifty-two-year-old typewriter repairman named Oliver Poole meets a thirty-one-year-old community-radio deejay named Annelise Scharfenberg. The story is set in a small-townish, make-believe Wisconsin city called Midvale (”hilariously mirroring,” as one blogger has noted, “Madison’s blend of corporate pragmatism and pothead eccentricity”). Among the characters who move in and out of the lives of the two lovers are a homeless memoirist named Wade and a Buddhist monk who grew up in rural Wisconsin leading tours of the family cave.


Carole Barrowman: was born and raised in a small town just outside of Glasgow, Scotland, and is now an English Professor at Alverno College and crime fiction columnist for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

From his Glaswegian childhood and American adolescence to his starring role in the Doctor Who spinoff Torchwood, this memoir traces the life and career of actor John Barrowman. John made a name for himself with remarkable West End achievements, including an Olivier Award nomination and success in the movies The Producers and De-Lovely. Television success was also assured when Torchwood won a Best Drama BAFTA. John also lays bare his personal life: his emigration as a child, coming out to his family, turning down a job at Disney, and his civil partnership with long-term partner Scott Gill. Revelatory and insightful, told with real heart and characteristic Barrowman charm, this is a wonderful tale of how one boy achieved his dreams.

Intimately exploring aspects of John’s current life, this personal memoir is full of exclusive anecdotes from recent and ongoing projects, all told with John’s trademark charm and humor. Full of juicy tidbits from behind the scenes of Doctor Who and Torchwood, this memoir also offers heartwarming family anecdotes and personal revelations, including John’s perspective on fame and how it has affected him. With exclusive details about and opinions on talent shows, I Am What I Am allows intimate access to the multitalented man himself—an unmissable treat for any fan.


Liam Callanan:
teaches in the English department of UW-Milwaukee, and coordinates their Ph.D. program in creative writing.

All Saints: Set in a small, beachfront Catholic high school, narrated by a beautifully complex heroine—theology teacher Emily Hamilton—All Saints is at once a mystery, a love story, and a powerful rumination on secrets, temptation, and faith.

By life’s midpoint, Emily has seen three husbands, dozens of friends, and hundreds of students come and go. And now her classroom, long her refuge, is proving to be anything but.

Though her popular, occasionally irreverent church history course is rich with stories of long-dead saints, Emily uneasily discovers that it’s her own tumultuous life that fascinates certain students most. She, in turn, finds herself drawn into their world, their secrets, and the fateful choices they make.

A novel of mystery and illumination, calling and choice, All Saints explores lives lived in a fragile sanctuary—from Emily and her many saints, to a priest facing his own mortality and a teenager tormented by desire. Told with grace and compassion, this is a spellbinding novel of provocative storytelling.


Alison Chambers: majored in political science and history, earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the UW-Milwaukee. She enjoys keeping her hero and heroine in dangerous and exciting situations against a backdrop of exotic settings, lost treasure and unsolved historical mysteries and conspiracies.

The Secret Sentinel: Three lost keys to untold riches. Three cryptic rhymes. A secret society's deadly plot.When museum curator Savannah Rutledge steals her father's treasure map to impress her boss, Winston Gale, and his handsome son Eric, she unleashes a Pandora's box of horror. Her father is killed and she is framed for murder. To atone for her father's death, she sets off on a cross-country chase for the treasure that ends with a dangerous showdown in the Superstition Mountains near Phoenix. To get there she and a sexy stranger, Antonio Desada, follow a perplexing trail of clues that lead them to the keys that will unlock the mystery. This action packed thriller will leave you breathless!


Susan Firer: is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at UW-Milwaukee. Her teaching interests are in Creative Writing, Twentieth-Century Women Writers, Whitman's Tradition and Contemporary American Poetry.

Milwaukee Does Strange Things to People: Wild and freely imaginative poems by this Whitman- and Neruda-influenced poet who celebrates the life of the Milwaukee area where she lives and grew up.

The Laugh We Make When We Fall: The Backwaters Prize winner for 2001, by Wisconsin poet Susan Firer, was chosen from more than 300 entries by the noted poet CarolAnn Russell. In the Judge's Statement, Ms. Russell said " A wild generosity of spirit and vision characterizes this collection. The language marries the elemental and worldly with aplomb, and the effect is sacramental. The subject of the book is humble even as it is universal, hovering as it does over and within that great oxymoron, human love..."

The Lives of the Saints and Everything: 1993 winner fo the CSU Poetry Center Prize, is Susan Firer's third book of poems. Her poetry has also appeared in such places as the Chicago Review, Cream City Review, Iowa Review, Ms., and Best American Poetry of 1992. In this latest collection, by turns reverent, sardonic, and hilarious, she continues to experience and re-experience the rituals, feelings, and language of a Catholic childhood, probing the mysterious images of her own history - parents, children, music, the seasons, and the curious lives of the saints.


Martin Hintz:
has been a freelance writer since 1975, after seven years with The Milwaukee Sentinel as an editor and reporter. He and his wife, Pam Percy, also write the bi-monthly Boris & Doris On the Town column for the Shepherd Express.

Italian Milwaukee: Milwaukee’s Italian families have a distinguished heritage, one that began in a great rush to the city shortly before the turn of the 19th century. Seeking a way out of the economic misery of their homeland, tens of thousands of Italians made their way to the Midwest, lured by the promise of Milwaukee’s well-paying factory and service industry jobs. The émigrés brought their colorful traditions and culture with them, making themselves at home in close-knit neighborhoods. Arrivals from various villages settled into specific blocks, with a widespread Sicilian contingent living in the old Third Ward, while Italians from the north settled in Bay View. Others moved into the Brady Street area.

Got Murder? The Shocking Story of Wisconsin's Notorious Killers: Ah, Wisconsin . . . land of beer, cows, and the Green Bay Packers. And also the home of Ed Gein, Jeffrey Dahmer, and a host of other bloodthirsty maniacs. Got Murder? goes behind the bucolic Dairy State image to reveal shocking acts of mayhem in the dark corners of Wisconsin history, and asks the troubling question: Is it something in the cheese?


Jeff & Chad Koser: Jeff has more than thirty years of experience in consulting, executive sales management, business strategy, and business development in various industries. Chad analyzes his clients' solution offerings to identify how they drive value for their customers.

Selling to Zebras: How would it feel if you could spend more time pursuing prospects that you knew you could win? How would it feel to spend time with those prospects where it matters most—at an executive level? How would it feel if you could get home on time at night and be more involved with family and friends?

If you are like most salespeople and you waste 85 percent of your energy on prospects that are poor fits for your product or service, company, or sales strategy, your best chance to improve your sales, build a stable of happy customers, and have a life outside of work is to find your Zebra and develop a method for selling to it. We will show you how!


Larry Watson: taught writing and literature at the University of Wisconsin/​Stevens Point for 25 years before joining the faculty at Marquette University in 2003 as a Visiting Professor.

Sundown, Yellow Moon: On an icy day in January, 1961, in Bismarck, North Dakota, a sixteen-year-old boy walks home from high school with his best friend, Gene. The sudden sound of sirens startles and excites them, but they don't have long to wonder what the sound could mean. Soon after seeing police cars parked on their street, the boys learn the shocking truth: hours before, Gene's father, Raymond Stoddard, walked calmly and purposefully into the state capitol and shot to death a charismatic state senator. Raymond then drove home and hanged himself in his garage.

The horrific murder and suicide leave the community reeling. Speculation about Raymond's motives run rampant. Political scandal, workplace corruption, financial ruin, adultery, and jealousy are all cited as possible catalysts. But in the end, the truth behind the day's events died with those two men. And for Gene and his friend, the tragedy is a turning point, both in their lives and in their friendship.

Nearly forty years later, Gene's friend, a writer, revisits the tragedy and tries to unravel the mystery behind one man's inexplicable actions. Through his own recollections and his fiction--sometimes impossible to separate--he attempts to make sense of a senseless act and, in the process, to examine his youth, his friendship with Gene, and the love they both had for a beautiful girl named Marie.

Spare, haunting, lyrical,
Sundown, Yellow Moon is a piercing study of love and betrayal, grief and desire, youth and remembrance. Using a brilliant evocative fiction-within-fiction structure, Larry Watson not only brings to life a distinct period in history but, most affectingly, reveals the interplay of memory, secrets, and the passage of time.

Orchard: From the bestselling author of Montana 1948 comes the explosive story of an artist, his muse, and the staggering price they pay for their chance at immortality.

Ned Weaver, an internationally acclaimed painter, is famous in Door County, Wisconsin, for his luminous work—and for his affairs with his models. His wife, Harriet, has learned to accept these dalliances in the belief that his immense talent will ultimately make up for his shortcomings as a husband.

Sonja Skordahl, a Norwegian immigrant, came to America looking for a new life. Instead, she married Henry House, only to find herself defined, like so many other mid-twentieth-century women, by her roles as wife and mother. As circumstances and destiny land Sonja in Ned’s studio, she becomes more than his model and more than an object of desire—she becomes the most inspiring muse Ned has ever known. When both Ned and Henry insist on possessing her, their jealousies threaten to erupt into violence, and Sonja must find a way to placate both men without sacrificing her hard-won sense of self.

With the stark, lyrical prose that Larry Watson is known for (“as fresh and clear as [a] trout stream” —The Washington Post Book World) and vivid characters who seem to breathe on the page, Orchard explores the lives of four very different people bound together by beauty, art, obsession, and betrayal.

Justice: In Montana, the Hayden name is law. It carries an aura of privilege and power that doesn't stop at the Montana border. When the Hayden boys, Wesley and Frank, take an ill-fated hunting trip, they learn the implications of the Hayden name, even outside the jurisdiction and on the wrong side of the law.

In a series of episodes dating from 1899, Watson invites us to get to know the Hayden family intimately. From the story of patriarch Julian Hayden as he carves a new life out of the Montana wilderness, to the struggles of Gail Hayden, Sheriff Wesley Hayden's spirited wife and moral compass, we learn the stories behind the story of Montana 1948.

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