A message from Kimberly Stuart regarding her February 7th Book Launch for OPERATION BONNET:
Hello, dear readers! Welcome to 2011!

A new year brings a new book and oh, boy, oh, boy, am I amped up about this one.Operation Bonnet is my favorite novel so far and I’m happy to tell you it has received great pre-publication buzz. (Click on the cover to read an excerpt!) The pre-orders are strong, Publishers Weekly liked it (yippee!), reviewers have been very kind, and we even got a request from a network production company to take a look at the manuscript for a possible television series. WHAT?!?
Clearly God is a God of grace because I certainly don’t know any famous people, and the only time I was on television was when I was on The Floppy Show with a few other four-year-old nose-pickers.
The release date is February 1, 2011, and if you’re in the area, I’d love to see you at our Book Launch Par-tay at the Des Moines Central Library. We’ll be there Monday, February 7, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. Please stop by, bring friends, and pick up a signed novel, which is a mighty fine Valentine’s gift.
Also, keep checking the blog for giveaways and such. And stop by my website to see the fresh look and lots of photos that airbrushed out my wrinkles!
Happy reading and Happy 2011~

Waukee residents Jan Blazanin and Wendy Delsol are participating in a Barnes & Noble Book on Sunday, December 5th to benefit the Waukee Public Library

Waukee Public Library Barnes & Noble Book Fair

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Sunday, Dec. 5, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Barnes & Noble, 4550 University Ave.

A percentage of your Barnes & Noble purchases will be used to purchase new items for the library!

Can’t attend our bookfair?
Visit, BN.com/bookfairs to support us online from 12/5/10 to 12/10/10 by entering Bookfair ID 10240877 at checkout.

Fun WPL events happening at B&N during the book fair:

1 p.m. Storytime with Maryann

2 p.m. Author Jan Blazanin will be signing her book, “Fairest of Them All.”

3 p.m. Author Wendy Delsol will be signing her book, “Stork.”

Kali VanBaale author of THE SPACE BETWEEN

PAL members Kali VanBaale, Kimberly Stuart, Rebecca Janni, Susan Maupin-Schmid, Jan Blazanin, Eileen Boggess, Mike Manno, Victor Verney, and Wendy Delsol took part yesterday in The Write Stuff: An Iowa Author Fair. The event is sponsored by the Iowa Center for the Book in conjunction with the Iowa Library Association‘s annual conference.

Kimberly Stuart author of STRETCH MARKS AND ACT TWO

Susan Maupin Schmid author of LOST TIME and Rebecca Janni author of EVERY COWGIRL NEEDS A HORSE

Jan Blazanin author of FAIREST OF THEM ALL and Eileen Boggess author of MIA THE MEEK, MIA THE MAGNIFICENT, and MIA THE MELODRAMATIC

Mike Manno author of MURDER MOST HOLY and END OF THE LINE

Victor Verney author of WARRIOR OF GOD

Wendy Delsol author of STORK

Exciting news. The ALA, American Library Association, included Wendy Delsol’s Stork in its nominations for Best Fiction for Young Adults. It’s among some impressive titles: Suzanne Collins’s Mockingjay, Alice Hoffman’s Green Witch, Carolyn Mackler’s Tangled, Rick Riordan’s The Red Pyramid, and the mysterious Pittacus Lore’s I am Number Four.

The final list will be determined at the ALA’s Midwinter Meeting in January of 2011.

by Kali VanBaale, Literary Advisor

In seemingly perfect harmony with September’s national Be Kind to Editors and Writers Month, I’m proud to announce the launch of the Modern Dickens Project.


Inspired by Charles Dickens’s serial novels of industrial London a century before (OLIVER TWIST, A TALE OF TWO CITIES, you may have heard of them…), The Modern Dickens Project is a serial novel contest designed to showcase untold Iowa stories by undiscovered Iowa writers. The novel itself is being written by a series of one-chapter contests held for 12 consecutive months.


At midnight of Sept. 1, 2010, an opening chapter, written by our guest Iowa author John Domini, was posted on The Modern Dickens Project website. Any writer who is an Iowa resident or has a strong connection to or interest in Iowa, is then challenged to continue the current story. Participants have until midnight of Oct. 21 to write and submit a chapter draft that builds on the previous chapter. (The Editorial Board is allowing extra time for the first contest.)

A winner will be selected and notified on Nov. 1st, and they will receive a $100 honorarium and an author spotlight on the MDP website. A lightly edited version of their winning chapter will be posted to the website on midnight of the same day and the contest will open again for Chapter 3, (with the standard 21 days to write and submit for the remainder of the contest) and so on and so forth, chapter by chapter, month by month, for twelve months, resulting in a collective thirteen chapter novel. Complete submission dates are outlined on the homepage of the website: www.moderndickens.org

 Any winning author who is interested and/or able is invited, but not required, to read portions of their winning chapter at various Des Moines bookstores and coffee shops, scheduled and hosted by the MDP team.

 There is no entry fee. I repeat, NO ENTRY FEE. We wanted this contest to be open to anyone with a vested interest in our state, without financial limitations or constraints.

After the yearlong project concludes, the Modern Dickens editors will work with the winner of each chapter to polish the pieces, with a release date for the completed novel December 2011. The team is currently working with several interested local publishers and also plans to release it first as an e-book.


The MDP is the true brainchild of creator Chris Draper, a Van Meter native and Des Moines businessman. Our editorial board is comprised of a very lovely and brilliant group of ladies who bring a wide-range of experiences and taste to the judging table. (And they work for free! But that’s not why I called them lovely…) First, we have Rachel Vogel, a recent Drake University grad from the journalism/magazines program. She is our Managing Editor and handles our day-to-day correspondences, questions, fires, etc…Tracey Kelley and Murl Pace round out our board, both of whom bring extensive editing and fiction writing backgrounds to the table when selecting a winning submission each month.

Chris will also read submissions and give input throughout the process, and the five of us have worked collectively on our aggressive project timeline, marketing, promotion and other odds and ends. I serve as Editorial Advisor and did most of my work leading up to the open of the contest.

Chris’s end goal of this project all along has been to eliminate the need for anyone to ask the question, “Why Iowa?” He believes that our product is our community’s ability to pull together, and his hope is for us to be one of those projects that embraces re-looking at how we think of things. And I speak from experience here, the man’s enthusiasm and vision is contagious.

THE WHERE: The opening chapter is an all-Iowa flavored whodunit with a mix of current social issues tailored to our state. The story opens in the Iowa State Capitol where a young female Iraq war veteran receives a death threat via text message. She’s in town for a controversial gay wedding of an acquaintance, and carries more than her share of baggage from her past. Right on the heels of the threat, she’s pulled into a murder in the East Village area. Where it goes from there is up to you undiscovered writers out there!

 As John Domini so perfectly said: “This is a mystery, but it’s not just a mystery. One hopes it’s somehow funny and a discovery on a level other than whodunit. The good mysteries all have that.”

 John’s opening chapter and complete submission guidelines can be found at www.moderndickens.org

Email any questions to Rachel Vogel, Managing Editor rachel@moderndickens.org


                                     Chris Draper, Executive Director  chris@moderndickens.org

This project supported in part byIowaArtsCouncilLogo

Wendy Delsol

reads from her debut YA novel:



6:30-7:30 p.m.


Des Moines Central Library

First floor meeting rooms 1 & 2

1000 Grand Avenue

Des Moines, IA

(515) 283-4000



Praise for Stork:


Skillfully written and quite engaging.” —Kirkus Reviews


“Mixing folklore with romance, humor and a gutsy heroine, Delsol has created a fresh new take on the YA Paranormal.” —Eileen Cook, author of What Would Emma Do? and Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood.


 “Unpredictable, masterfully put-together, and such fun.”—Nancy Werlin, author of Impossible and Extraordinary


“Mystical and moving – but full of laughter, too.” —Beth Fantaskey, author of Jessica’s Guide to Datingon the Dark Side and Jekel Loves Hyde


“Interesting myth use, enjoyable YA romance.  Norse lore & elementals in a contemporary world.” —Melissa Marr, author of the Wicked Lovely novels



Candlewick Press

ISBN-10: 0763648442

ISBN-13: 978-0763648442

Age 12 and up


*books available for purchase that evening.

What: Make plans to come to the 2010 Montezuma All-Iowa Writers’ Conference! Join us for an all-day event where you can learn writing tips, get advice on how to choose a publisher and learn new ways to market your work. Iowa authors scheduled to attend and inspire include: Donald Harstad, Shirley Damsgaard, Kathy Bacus, Leigh Michaels, Tamara Siler Jones and Kali Van Baale. Admission is only $25! If you have ever dreamed of writing a book, this is a must-attend event! Email debwrite@zumatel.net for more details or look us up on Facebook at Our Front Porch Books Publishing Company. Details and a registration form will soon be available at http://www.ourfrontporchbooks.com.

When: Saturday, Sept. 18, 2010    9am-5pm   Registration starts at 8:30am.

Where: Montezuma Community School, 504 North 4th St. , Montezuma, IA

Contact: Debbie Parker at 641-990-8026