Superior Book Productions Newsletter

Welcome to Issue 60 of the SUPERIOR BOOK PRODUCTIONS newsletter!

Judith Briles - The Book Shepherd It’s spring, and that always means the annual U.P. Publishers and Authors Association conference. As President of UPPAA, this year I’m really excited to announce that our keynote speaker will be Judith Briles, known as The Book Shepherd. You can learn more about Judith at her website Judith will be hosting not one but three sessions at the conference on such topics as building your confidence as an author and what pitfalls to avoid in publishing. We will also have several other speakers who will discuss such topics as book marketing across the U.P., the legal issues authors deal with, living the creative writer’s life, and accounting 101 for authors. To view a full schedule of the conference and register, visit The conference is Saturday, June 18th at Peter White Public Library in Marquette, Michigan.

In addition, this year we will be having our U.P. Book Market on the library lawn the day before on Friday, June 17th. This will be one of the largest gatherings of U.P. authors ever held. We will have over twenty authors in attendance, including myself and authors from all over Upper Michigan. We will also have food, face painting and other children’s activities, and live music, so come on out to pick up some great summer reading and meet the authors who love the U.P. as much as you do (or should—if you’ve never been here, come visit us soon). Mark your calendars. The book market will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

And, of course, if you are looking for other great summer reading, several great books to choose from are listed below, including the winner of this year’s Tyler R. Tichelaar Historical Fiction Award. Enjoy!

This Month’s Great Book Quote:


h, yes, I always like books. I have given up trying not to accumulate them!”

— Constance Fenimore Woolson

When a Red Bird Flies by Karen EvancicCongratulations to Karen Evancic, winner of this year’s Tyler R. Tichelaar Historical Fiction Award in the Reader Views Literary Awards, with her debut novel, When a Red Bird Flies.

In a sleepy farm community in Kentucky, large families are common and most people continue farming the land like their parents and grandparents before them. That’s the case for Lillie, who despite years working in a dress shop in town, eventually marries Clay and settles down to being a farmer’s wife, thinking that she’s found a solid man like her father was. Her younger sister, Catherine, however, has the good fortune—sort of—to be farmed out to her aunt in Michigan with promises that she will receive a quality education. Her aunt’s promises, however, are a ruse to get Catherine to come north to work as an unpaid servant for her. Then one day, a man named Jack delivers a piece of furniture to her aunt’s house and Catherine becomes smitten with him. Soon Catherine is planning to marry Jack, but he will turn out not to be all he seems. And neither is Lillie’s Clay.

To read more, visit When a Red Bird Flies.

Hadrian’s Rage by Patricia Marie BuddPatricia Marie Budd’s Hadrian’s Rage, the sequel to her previous novel Hadrian’s Lover, is a fascinating upside-down look at a country in the twenty-second century in part of what was Canada. In the country of Hadrian, homosexuality is the norm and heterosexuality is frowned upon and, until recently, illegal. Hadrian was named for the gay Roman emperor, and its goal is population control and restoration of the environment. Heterosexuals are blamed both for gay bashing and for overpopulating the earth, so scientists have genetically altered humans to make them homosexual, although some still have straight or bisexual tendencies. While it is not illegal to be straight, anyone caught having heterosexual sex is sentenced to death because of the danger that overpopulation poses to the country and the world.

However, those with straight tendencies do exist and they are sent to reeducation camps so their heterosexual feelings can be erased.

To read more, visit Hadrian’s Rage.

Ghosts in the Park by Ray MelnikIn Ray Melnik’s mind-blowing scientific fiction, the plot centers around one or more scientists conducting an experiment that has surprising results, emotionally affects the characters, and changes their perspectives on life and love.

Melnik’s newest novella, Ghost in the Park, follows that similar pattern, but for me, the twist was more unexpected than even in his previous books. In his past works, such as The Room and Eyes in this World, Melnik has used concepts like string theory and alternate universes to influence the understanding of human relationships. This time, the paranormal is also at the center of the story’s scientific experiment. Ghosts are a topic most scientists shy away from, and Melnik, realizing that, allows a tone of skepticism to creep into his book in his scientific character’s mouth, but he also counterbalances that skepticism with other characters’ viewpoints. He then provides a stunning explanation for ghosts that merges both viewpoints, yet is completely original.

To read more, visit Ghost in the Park.

Stung! by Laura WhartonStung!, the latest thriller by mystery author Laura Wharton, continues the Sam McClellan series, but the title does not refer to a sting operation that former police detective McClellan is involved in. No, Sam is off sailing when he stops to visit his aunt in the coastal tourist town of Edenton, North Carolina, only to find out she’s wanted for murder—at least that’s how many of Edenton’s residents are seeing it. Aunt Lou’s next-door longtime boyfriend was recently found dead, and it’s believed he was stung to death by bees from Aunt Lou’s beehives. Aunt Lou, despite having had a recent fight with her boyfriend Harvey, denies any guilt in the matter, and Sam believes her, so he decides to stay in town to help clear his aunt’s name.

To read more, visit Stung!




In Julia's Garden by Laura Wharton

And finally, congratulations to authors Laura Wharton and Mary Flinn, both of whom won BRAG Medallions this year for their respective books In Julia’s Garden and A Girl Like That. The latter also won Honorable Mention in the Reader Views Literary Awards. These books were featured in previous SBP newsletters, so I’m delighted to see they are getting the recognition they deserve. Check them out if you haven’t already.

Happy Summer Reading!

A Girl Like That by Mary Flinn

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