Members' Books, Websites, & News


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Adams, Sandi

Hot off the press!  My new book BellyButton Bible Study is now in print.

During my 40 years as an RN in Rockford, I have labored on the side of Life:  protecting, healing, restoring and cheering Life into the world. Now I have written baby's first book: BellyButton Bible Study is a 9-chapter love conversation from the parents to the child growing within Mama. It walks parents through the baby's development and celebrates the amazing miracle changes happening within. It would make a perfect Baby Shower gift. One of my 80 year old friends said, "I wish I had had this book when I was carrying my sons!" It is tender and informative and gives parents a chance to celebrate that  Life and connect with their child right from the very beginning.
Purchase a personalized copy of BBBS ($9.99) from Sandi through her e-address (sndadams@yahoo.com) or website (www.sandiadamsauthor.com) or call 815-218-1443 to pick up a personalized copy.


Bellarosa, Jim

A Horse of a Different Color... by Jim Bellarosa

2006 - Book

A Horse of a Different Color:
And Other Tales of Conflict and Confrontation
106pp. - RWG Press
Price: $12.95 (includes shipping)

A Horse of a Different Color is a collection of short stories - fifteen in all - with a common theme of conflict and confrontation. Most of the stories appeared previously in literary magazines around the country, some have won prizes in writing contests. They're less "literary" (in the sense that most people use that term) than down-to-earth stories, I think - stories, settings and circumstances we can all relate to. And they're told with liberal doses of humor, compassion and quirkiness.

So, who will you find in this collection? Well, there are vamps and villans, heroes and hucksters, coquettes and curmudgeons, innocents and inebriates, seducers and sophisticates. And there are lots of couples - couples in love, in conflict, in delusion, and in confusion.

A Horse of a Different Color has charm, insight, drama, a fast pace. And it has so much dialogue that one of my friends told me he could still hear people talking after he closed the book. He thinks it may be the noisiest book ever written! (Jim Bellarosa)

To purchase this book, please send check or money order to:

Jim Bellarosa
24 Snow Road
North Grafton, MA 01536

For each book purchased by a RWG member I'll donate $1 to the Guild's general fund. (J.B.)



Buskohl, Esther E.

Apple Stars and Family Trees by Esther Buskohl

2005 - Book

Apple Stars and Family Trees
80 pp. - RWG Press
Price: $18.00 (plus shipping: $2.00 per book)

Apple Stars and Family Trees is a dramatization of East Freisen womens' stories in monologues and a three-act play. The book's characters tell of their journeys from Germany's North Sea Ostfriesland to Northern Illinois' prairie land.

The book shows out ancestors' determination and hope of a better life “for the children.”

The monologues can be used with permission for story-telling programs, cemetery walks, etc. The play involves the same women telling their experiences interspersed with this generation's frustrations in the search to complete family trees.

The play's setting is a library's genealogy books section. The cast is for four “mature” women, five women of current generation, one young man, and one optional small boy to run on the stage in the last scene.

Book orders and permission requests for monologue and play performances should be addressed to:

E. E. Buskohl
304 West First St.
Mount Morris, IL 61054



Coronetz, Melanie

Aug/08 - Book

In the Shadow of Mercury by Melanie Coronetz

In the Shadow of Mercury
165pp. - Xlibris
Price: $19.99

In the Shadow of Mercury explores one woman’s search for identity in her middle age. The book traces the author's missteps as she tries to learn the ins and outs of the purebred dog world, while her marriage slumps towards indifference.

What happens with Mercury and the subsequent dogs in the author’s life makes this memoir of mid-life a lively and touching read for dog lovers and anybody else interested in a good story that happens to be true.

Available at:




Coronetz, Melanie

2005 - Book

Letters from the Queen by Melanie Coronetz

Letters from the Queen
And Other Gems
42pp. - RWG Press
Price: $10.00 (includes shipping)

A collection of lively letters-to-the-editor published in The New York Times, The New York Post, and the Wall Street Journal among others. Melanie Coronetz, who used to write “junk mail” letters when she worked in advertising, was known among her peers as “The Queen of Letters.”

To purchase this book, please send check or money order to:

Melanie Coronetz
9 East 96th Street (12-A)
New York, NY 10128
Contact Melanie at




Diamond, Olivia

2007 - Book

Novenas for Grandmother by Olivia Diamond

Novenas for Grandmother
16pp. - RWG Press
Price: $3.00 each, 5 or more copies, 10% discount (includes shipping)


A thematic series of 16 nine-stanza poems commemorating the immigrant experience of the poet's Polish grandmother. Dedicated to all the mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers in the world; this 16 page poetry chapbook makes a lovely gift for the special women in your life.

To purchase this book, please contact the author at:

Or by phone: (406) 862-3940




Epperson, Kelly  www.kellyepperson.com 

Oct/2007 - Book 

When Life Stinks... by Kelly Epperson

When Life Stinks, It’s Time to Wash the
Gym Clothes
140pp. - RWG Press
Price: $12.95 (plus shipping: $2.00)

Kelly’s weekly newspaper columns are a witty (and sometimes wise) take on the events that happen to all of us in everyday life. From the jobs hazards of parenting, to today’s fashion statements, to the mysteries of online IQ testing, Kelly tackles every topic with candor and humor. When Life Stinks, It’s Time to Wash the Gym Clothes is a collection of over forty reader-favorite columns. Some columns from the year that Kelly, the Man of the Place, and their boys lived in France are included, too. One reader states: “You are funny, down to earth, and not afraid to show your imperfections. Thanks for writing about real life.”

To purchase this book, please order directly from: www.kellyepperson.com,
or send check or money order to:

Kelly Epperson
 PO Box 2324
 Loves Park IL 61131




Fisher, Eunice

Christian and Lesbian: A Life in Progess by Eunice Fisher

2006 - Book

Christian AND Lesbian: A Life in Progress
234pp. - RWG Press
Price: $14.99 (plus $5 shipping)
  Aditional $5 for autographed copies.

RWG member and former President Eunice Fisher is the author of Christian AND Lesbian: A Life in Progress. The book is an anthology of reminiscences about growing up in Milwaukee; anecdotes about family, friends, and animals; poetry, especially about love (requited or not); and journal entries addressed to her partner. A lifelong Christian and in recent years a gay rights activist, the author includes insightful comments on issues relating to the church and the place of gays and lesbians in it. Illustrated by the author.

To purchase this book, please send check or money order to:

Eunice Fisher
P.O. Box 1559
St. Petersburg, FL 33731-1559



Flodin, Jeff - 

Jan/10 - News!

The 21st Annual Rhinoceros Theatre Festival presents a special reading performance of RWG member Jeff Flodin's "Cats Don't Like Fish (People Just Think They Do)".  The play, adapted for the stage from Jeff's memoir, features veteran Chicago actors Jim Tifft and Joe Mack.  "Cats Don't Like Fish (People Just Think they Do)" will commence at 2:00 pm on Sunday, January 31st, at the Prop Thtr, 3502 N. Elston Avenue, Chicago.  The Festival of performance art, music and visual art runs from January 22 through February 14, 2010.  Tickets are $15 or pay what you can at the door, $12 in advance online.  To peruse the full Festival program, visit the following address: http://www.rhinofest.com 



Gile, John  www.jgcunited.com

Dec/09 - News!

Adding to his list of publication accomplishments, John Guile has sent to press his newest book Never Vote for a Lawyer. This book is collaboration with attorney Tony Lamia. According to jgc/united publishing, this book “blends humor with thought-provoking recommendations for greater citizen control of government of all levels.” They share their assessment “of a legal profession that has run amok and in the process has corrupted our government, undermined our creative pursuits, debased our legal system, and damaged our medical profession, all with media collaboration. A book that entertains, motivates, inspires, and edifies. A book that readers will want to share with all those who are wondering what went wrong with America.” Visit John’s website to check out his work and to order Never Vote for a Lawyer. www.johngile.com



Hardesty, Michael

January, 2012

Michael Hardesty lives in Louisville, Kentucky and is a new member of The Rockford Writers' Guild. His short-short, "Ashes To Ashes", appears in the 2012 Winter Spring edition of The Rockford Review and is excerpted from his coming novel, "The Grace Of The Ginkgo."

Honey Bun And chip

"Honey Bun and Chip" is his second children's picture book and is due out in early January.

Honey Bun And Chip
by michael hardesty
illustrated by Jane Eckles
Rennaissance House
32 pages
Ages 2 through five

See more here:




Johnson, Joyce Sandeen

Aug/05 - Book

Beginnings and Endings
40pp. 35 poems - RWG Press
Price: $7.00 (includes shipping)

The flow of life and the seasons of the year with a bit of philosophy here and there.

To purchase this book, please send check or money order to:

Joyce Sandeen Johnson
101 West Windsor Road #6203
Urbana, IL 61802-6663


Marie Krohn

October/2011 - Book

Portrait of a Chair
224pp. Trade Paperback - Fithian Press
Price: $14.95

Harriet, a middle-aged, warm-hearted widow, owns an antique store on Main Street in Elm Grove, Nebraska. Into her life walks a young recently-divorced artist named Rachel. Harriet displays Rachel's work in the shop and also rents her the apartment above the store. But when a treasured vase disappears from the store, Harriet has reason to suspect her new friend. This is a story about small-town gossip and small-town charity; about love of antiques and love of people; and about what it means to be an independent and strong-minded woman.


McCanse, Jude  www.judemccanse.com

Jan/10 - News!

Jude McCanse will be signing her children's book The Disappearance of Dawn at Stone's Crown Hallmark, 5901 E. Riverside Blvd. Rockford, IL on Saturday, February 13th from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. She will also be speaking to the Young Authors group and signing books at the Byron Library on Saturday, March 10th, 2010 at 10:00 am.


Dec/09 - Book

The Disappearance of Dawn by Jude McCanse

The Disappearance of Dawn
62pp. - RWG Press
Price: $14.95 (plus $3.50 shipping)

Jude has published her first children’s book, The Disappearance of Dawn. The book is an illustrated poem that asks the question, “What would happen if wizards steal the dawn?”

McCanse was inspired by her interest in nature and classic mythology. She utilized her experience as a mother of five and as a speech pathologist at Dorothy Simon Elementary School in Winnebago, IL to accomplish five goals: 1. engage imagination; 2. introduce figurative language; 3. nurture curiosity; 4. enrich vocabulary; 5. foster critical thinking.

The author, and her husband, Don, a general surgeon, live in Rockford. The book’s illustrator, Liz Wolf, formerly of Rockford, is currently a painter, printer and paper maker in Chicago (see www.elizwolf.com).

With The Disappearance of Dawn Jude McCanse has won the RWG Press & A Plus Book Contest of 2009.

To purchase this book, please visit and place your order at:


Morris, Wilda  http://wildamorris.blogspot.com/

April/10 - News!
  • Wilda Morris has updated her blog with a poetry challenge contest for April; and two of her poems and one photo have been accepted for publication on A Prairie Journal, one for the spring issue and another for fall.
Dec/09  - News! 
  • And, she announced today (12/21/09): 

"Frostwriting   e-mailed me that they have nominated me for a Pushcart Prize. The chance of my winning is slight, but it is an honor to be nominated. "

A RWG member nominated for a Pushcart is awsome! 

Congratulations, Wilda!!  

Contact Wilda at:wem@ameritech.net

Morris, Wilda 

Nov/09  - News!

  • Wilda Morris won third place for Religious Poetry in the 2009 contest held by Poets and Patrons of Chicago, and honorable mention for her Formal Verse (a sonnet) and her poem of Social Conscience. 


Morris, Wilda 

2008 - Book

Szechwan Shrimp and Fortune Cookies: Poems from a Chinese Restaurant
80pp. 67 poems - RWG Press
Price: $14.00 (plus shipping: $2.00)

"The zodiac on the placemat before you predicts a delectable aesthetic experience and Wilda Morris's book delivers just that. There are sweet and sour delights. 'Leftovers' mirrors a troubled relationship; 'Crab Rangoon,' a blossoming romance. In 'Shrimp Kow' we reminisce with a white-haired woman who taught young children in Chinatown. 'The Embittered Veteran Orders His Meal' confronts the ravages of war at its most visceral level. Each poem is a subtle delight. Ten years ago Wilda observed a Chinese grandfather feed an icy treat to a young boy by the Ming tombs. Years from now you will remember the poetic delicacies Wilda Morris offers in this wonderful book." (John Lehman, Poetry Editor, Wisconsin People and Ideas and founder and original publisher of Rosebud.)

"In these delightful, overheard voices, poet Wilda Morris takes us to a back booth at a Chinese restaurant, reports the sweet and the sour of the lives that go on there, lonely or gregarious, the secrets shared over Szechwan shrimp, the fortunes and Zodiac signs read." (Robin Chapman, author of The Dreamer Who Counted the Dead and Smoke and Strong Whiskey.)

To purchase this book, please send check or money order to:

Wilda Morris
499 Falconridge Way
Bolingbrook IL 60440-2242



Muench, Bruce

Feb/10 - News!

  • Bruce received the good news from   Imago Dei of Kansas City that his poem "Wrong Side of the Table" is being published in their next issue of Imagine.  
  • Bruce also shares with us that he went to Chicago last Sunday and saw the play adapted from Jeff Flodin's memoir, "Cats Don't Like Fish (People Just Think They Do)".  He comments, "I enjoyed it very much, as I had already read Jeff'manuscript." 


Murrow, Candace    www.candacemurrow.com

The Day Mel Quit Dreaming

Oct/10 - Book

The Day Mel Quit Dreaming and Other Stories
68 pp. – RWG Press
Price:  $10.00 (plus $2.50 S&H)

The Day Mel Quite Dreaming and Other Stories is an eclectic group of eight stories dealing with the disappointment of lost hopes and dreams. In coping, some of the characters move on, hoping for better times ahead; some face difficult challenges; and some simply accept their fate. Several of the stories are edgy, but all are spirited and entertaining.

To purchase a copy and view Candace’s other work, visit www.candacemurrow.com


Feb/11 - Book

Visions of Hope
317 pp. – Singing Tree Publishing
Price:  $15.00 (plus $3.50 S&H)

Laced with romance, mystery, suspense, and the paranormal,Visions of Hope is an intriguing yet touching story about two people with opposite viewpoints learning to open their minds and hearts to unlimited possibilities. Below is a short synopsis:
Left with emotional and physical scars from an abusive marriage and breast cancer, psychic Libby McGraw has no desire to opt into another relationship, especially a relationship with a skeptic of the paranormal, a way of life quite normal to Libby.

As fate would have it, mysterious visions draw Libby into the life of Kipp Reed, a skeptic who has moved back to the Pacific Northwest to quell the memory of his young daughter’s disappearance. Once it becomes clear that Libby holds the keys to finding his daughter, Kipp is drawn to Libby for answers, and together they embark on an unpredictable journey of the heart.

To read an excerpt or purchase a copy visit www.candacemurrow.com



Noel, Patricia  http://www.patricianoel.com

Dec/09 - Website

Check out Pat's inspirational words and the way she lives her Writer's Life! Share your thoughts with her and what brightens your world! After all, we are all part of the same community!



Podemski, Kristin - News!


Kristin Podemski’s article Great Moments in Homeschooling will be published in Home Education Magazine, May/June edition. This is Kristin’s fourth article submission to the magazine and her fourth acceptance for publication.


Portolano,  Charles 

Dec/09 - Book

Storytelling by Charles Portolano

Storytelling, 87 Thought-Provoking Poems
90pp. - RWG Press
Price: $13.95 (plus $2 shipping)

Charles Portolano has published his new collection of poetry, Storytelling, 87 Thought-Provoking Poems and you can purchased a signed copy.

To purchase this book contact Charles Portolano at angeldec24@hotmail.com 
or send him your order with payment to:

Charles Portolano
P.O. Box 19673
Fountain Hills , AZ 


Portolano,  Charles 

Sep/05 - Book

The Devil's Advocate by Charles Portolano

The Devil’s Advocate
40pp. 28 poems
Price: $5.00 (includes shipping)

"Poet Charles Portolano wrote to me: 'I believe this is a book for all Americans, who love what the country should and could be.' Portolano should be commended for desiring to make a political statement with his work. And in some cases he artfully does, as in his lead poem: The Bald Eagle. Here he describes the imperialistic swoop of this majestic bird; only to be silenced by a resounding shot: 'with one swoop/ of those wondrous wings/ diving down/ descending upon its prey/ talons poised/ for the kill/ a sudden, single gunshot/ shatters the silence.' This poem's allusion to our national bird, and the shattering of this mandarin myth of American invincibility is well done.

There are more poetry books needed to decry the direction in which this country is going. I am sure The Devil's Advocate will be just the tip-of-the-iceberg in the world of the small press." (Douglas Holder / Mass./Sep.05)

"These 28 poems very provocative." (Ed Grosek, former Editor of Write Away)

"Poet Charles Portolano waste no words. He exposes human endeavors, nature, religion and a host of other matters. He uses very little internal and external punctuation, which in turn, creates a rhythmic and kind of enjambment of short verses. The reader can get comfortable enough to complete the entire book non-stop. (Arthur C. Ford of The Poet Band Co.)

To purchase this book, please send check or money order to:

Charles Portolano
P.O. Box 19673
Fountain Hills , AZ 


Pulfer, Richard  http://www.zeros2heroes.com/property/bat-and-wolf

Dec/09 - Online Book

Check out Richard's comic book online. The story is about the rebellious teenager Carla Shepherd who is slowly starting to suspect that her mailman father, with his night-shift hours and imposing stature, isn't really a mailman at all. Unfortunately, the clues to her father's true purpose lie with the unlikely pair of an overweight vampire and a balding werewolf. But the closer Carla gets to unlocking her family's supernatural secret, the closer she comes to an ancient adversary thirsty for Shepherd family blood.



Schaefer, Nancy A.

2012 – poetry chapbook                                                 

In Search of Lode
42 pp. 18 poems - 918studio
Price: $8. (plus $2. shipping)

“With lean and lyrical poems, Nancy Schaefer encourages the reader to consider the art of digging, to mine the poems for their infinite essence. We sift through everyday moments and events looking for meaning. And the work is worth the effort: there are little gems and poetic jewels in this collection.” ~Don Cellini,  Translate into English

“With her In Search of Lode, Nancy Ann Schaefer shows us that poetry is indeed a universal language by offering verses in English, Spanish, and Dutch that cross the United States but traverse the world. She makes the common and simple sublime, and the sublime simple to understand with verse that is lyrical yet familiar, as if the lode were the depths of our communal heart songs.” ~Ellen Tsagaris, Sappho, I should have listened

“Through the mining of mineral and personal depths, Nancy Ann Schaefer’s poems recover ‘artifacts of concord […] tangible reminders of our conjoined / past.’ In Search of Lode beautifully reclaims the ironies of finding the pure and infinite in things ‘preserved like ants in amber—forever young.’” ~Stephen Frech

To purchase this book, please send check or money order to:

Nancy A. Schaefer
4343 16th St. #153
Moline, IL 61265

Oct/12  - News! 


Swanson, Richard

Jan/10 - News!

Richard Swanson has had poems accepted recently in Hummingbird, Why Are We In Iraq (online), and Verse Wisconsin. One of his earlier poems, Baghdad Email, will be part of a song and recitation production of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London.


Swanson, Richard

Oct/06 - Book

Men in the Nude in Socks by Richard Swanson

Men in the Nude in Socks
and other poems
70 pp. Fireweed Press
Price: $13.00 (includes shipping)

The poems in this collection are often comic, frequently with a satirical edge. But many of the works tackle very serious subjects: war and peace, nature's complexities, and human relationships. As one of my reviewers noted, "there's plenty of meat on these funny bones."

I love to delve into pop culture, and there are poems about Ted Williams and Barbie and Ken, for example. I also have a love for commonplace, so there are pieces about cats in bookstores, teenage girls not being able to say goodbye to one another, people at farmers' markets, and do-it-yourself homeowners.

My poems have architecture, frequently based in conventional forms. When they're successful, I believe, readers should barely notice that they're reading a sonnet or villanelle.

"Possessed of a warm sensibility and dry wit, Swanson's poems crackle with humor and humanity." (Ian Morris, Associate Editor, TriQuarterly)

To purchase this book, please send check or money order to:

Richard Swanson
7320 Cedar Creek Trail
Madison, WI 53717



Tresemer, Kathleen D.

April/10 - News!

Children's story The Magic Trick - written by RWG member Kathleen D. Tresemer of Rockton, IL - has been chosen from hundreds of submissions from all over the world as a finalist in the first international competition for Smories.com.
The Magic Trick will be filmed being read aloud by a young reader, then the video will be published online in that format. To help Kathleen win in the final phase of competition, log on to www.smories.com during the month of May and vote for her video book! You may only log on once per email address for voting purposes.
Smories.com is an exciting, independent and free online channel for kids (3 - 8 years old) to watch great new stories being read by other kids.
Children's writers take note:  Smories awards $1,500 US in prize-money for the best story submitted during the first month (viewing during May 2010), and $1,500 US in prizes divided by the top five submissions every month thereafter. Authors submit per guidelines (see site) and the top 50 for that month are selected. Those are filmed and will be available for viewing and voting for 30 days - winners will be determined by number of viewings plus viewing scores. Being chosen in the top fifty, however, gives your story a video publication credit - a nice credential for your writing resume!



Woito, Linda N.

 Jan/08 - Book

Restless Bird, by Linda N. Woito

Restless Bird
64pp. 53 poems - RWG Press
Price: $10 each (plus shipping: $2.00 for singles, $2.50 for multiples)

Restless Bird is a collection of 53 poems designed to take the reader on a journey through peoples' storied lives, real and imagined, leading you on wild rides, joyful epiphanies, and sad endings with those who've lived the Iowa farm life, driven the German Autobahn, and walked the streets of Istanbul. Though the stories range in subject, they all spring from that same well we drew from while seated at our grandma's knee: the desire to hear stories told aloud. Linda's poems take you to new and old neighborhoods, riverbanks, woods, living rooms, hospitals, porches, even prisons - but most notably to kitchens, which is where most good stories are traded. So "what is poetry?" Linda's grandsons ask. Poetry is words gathered together in a way that makes music . . . and speaks some truth. Linda hopes your travels through this collection will be read as music to your ears, even the more cacophonous ones which may be difficult to hear but for the musician. (Linda N. Woito)

To purchase this book, please send check or money order to:

Linda Newman Woito
28 Heritage Circle, No. 6
Madison, WI 53711


rwg@rockfordwritersguild.com ●The Rockford Writers' Guild P.O. Box 858 Rockford, Illinois 61105