By Barb Howell
Winter’s cold, gray days give book lovers the perfect excuse to stay inside and dust off the stack of books they’ve been accumulating since summertime. If you’re a reader you relish these days, knowing that curling up with a good book is one of life’s simplest pleasures.
As your reading list starts to dwindle or you love the thought of more books to explore, we have just the solution for you. In the next few pages, we’re featuring recently published books written by authors who have a connection to the Geneva Lakes area.
This talented group of writers gathered this fall at a “Soup & Signing” event at Horticultural Hall hosted by the American Association of University Women. The books cover a variety of genres from award-winning adult fiction and non-fiction titles to a delightful children’s book and a nostalgic Christmas title.
GETTING TO HEAVEN BY GOING THROUGH HELL
BY DR. SCOT HODKIEWICZ
About the Book: As much as we try to plan our lives, we really have no control over what God has in store for us. Dr. Scot Hodkiewicz was a successful veterinarian living the American dream with his wife and three children until the day they were all nearly killed by a drunk driver. Left with a mangled body and broken spirit, Hodkiewicz would come to understand the power of forgiveness and that his struggles were ultimately the path to salvation. Available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Lake Geneva’s Breadloaf Bookstore, and at Lake Geneva Animal Hospital and Geneva Lakes Animal Hospital in Walworth.
About the Author: Dr. Scot Hodkiewicz and his wife Dr. Mona Hodkiewicz are both veterinarians and owners of Lake Geneva Animal Hospital, Lake Geneva and Geneva Lakes Animal Hospital, Walworth. They live on a farm with their three children, where they raise horses and a menagerie of other animals. When not working, Hodkiewicz volunteers for youth mission trips and Fellow Mortals Wildlife Hospital.
LOVE STORY (INSTRUMENTAL)
BY LISA MCLUCKIE
About the Book: McLuckie introduces us to songwriter Callie James, whose band is about to make it big. Her hit songs are playing on the radio, but her personal life is in a shambles. She’s lost her voice and the only place
that feels right is home. As she rediscovers familiar places, Callie rediscovers lost love and a purpose that makes her wonder if celebrity and fame are worth the price. The touching and tender story takes place in locations that are recognizable to many familiar with Geneva Lake. The book is available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo and your local bookseller (by special order).
About the Author: The oldest of five siblings, Lisa McLuckie grew up on Geneva Lake. After heading off to college, she spent more than twenty years exploring the world. Now married and a mother of three sons, McLuckie once again calls Geneva Lake home.
ONE FOR THE ARK
BY MARY HUTCHINGS REED
About the Book: In this touching, amusing and poignant novel, the characters in this idyllic, small Wisconsin town are forced to deal with thorny problems that put politics, principles and personalities on a collision course. The conservative mayor Thomas Donaldson and his activist wife, Daphne are a mature, well-matched couple with ideological differences who must find a way to understand their new family situation while navigating small town politics, hurt feelings, and a few minor miracles. The book is available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
About the Author: Although she practiced intellectual property law in Chicago for almost 39 years, Mary Hutchings Reed has always wanted to be a writer. After retiring in February 2015, Mary has devoted much of her time to writing fiction. One for the Ark is her seventh novel and the fourth to find its way to print. Mary and her husband, William R. Reed split their time between their homes in Chicago and Walworth.
THE GREAT HOUSE OF RAÚL RODRIGUEZ
BY SONETTE TIPPENS
About the Book: The author’s story of her adventures in Mexico, beginning as a young college student in 1963, gives a revealing look at Mexican traditions, unsuspected tragedy, and surprising customs. Tippens tale includes her unknowingly accepting a marriage proposal during a midnight serenade, the murder of her “fiancé,” and then living as a part of this cherished son’s family in a house built centuries ago: The Great House of Raúl Rodriguez. The book is available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
About the Author: Sonette Tippens grew up in Rockford, Illinois but spent her summers on Geneva Lake in Buena Vista Club. She attended Beloit College and later became a teacher of Spanish and art in Michigan and New York City. She returned to the Midwest and taught at Big Foot High School in Walworth as well as Elkhorn High School. Tippens lives with her husband, Richard Salter on the south shore of Geneva Lake.
POST TRAUMATIC BRAZILIAN WAX SYNDROME
BY TAMARA LYON
About the Book: This “chick- lit” novel focuses on Bristow Sparks, a Lake Geneva interior designer, who has a high-stress job, working around-the-clock to please a high maintenance client.
For her twenty-ninth birthday, Bristow leaves her comfort zone and gets a makeover at an elite spa. Post-Brazilian wax and in excruciating pain, Bristow realizes that she’s been in a post-traumatic state for years. She vows to start taking risks again, and when she finally goes after what she wants, tragedy strikes again. The book is available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
About the Author: Tamara Schmidt, writing under the pen name Tamara Lyon, is the author of five titles and the recipient of several national and regional awards for her books. She makes her home in Lake Geneva with her husband, son and golden retriever. She recently started her own interior decorating firm called, Novel Interiors.
IMAGES OF AMERICA: CAMPS OF GENEVA LAKE
BY CAROLYN HOPE SMELTZER AND JILL WESTBERG
About the Book: This photo-heavy book provides a historical record of the 18 camps on the shores of Geneva Lake, which provided education, activities, spirituality, and community in a healthy environment away from the city. The stories in Camps of Geneva Lake were collected from the camps’ archives, staff, and campers. The book is available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and several local retailers.
About the Authors: Jill Westberg, a resident of Geneva Lake’s south shore, has written books about the relationship of faith and health, but this is her first book about history. She is passionate about the positive influence of camps around Geneva Lake and wants others to see why we are so fortunate to have them. Carolyn Hope Smeltzer is founding partner, CHS: Consulting Healthcare Service. Dr. Smeltzer has had been a nurse, held teaching positions and served in leadership roles in large healthcare institutions around the country. Smeltzer has enjoyed the Geneva Lakes area since 1995, and she and her husband, Bob enjoy the natural beauty and resources of the Geneva Lake.
AN OLD- FASHIONED CHRISTMAS: TINSEL, GINGERBREAD MEN & RAGGEDY ANN
BY ROCHELLE PENNINGTON & NICHOLAS PENNINGTON
About the Book: An Old-Fashioned Christmas combines authentic photographs, vintage artwork, and period advertisements, which transport readers to a simpler time, beckoning remembrances of a bygone era. Anyone interested in Christmas in America during the 1930s, 40s, 50s and early 60s will appreciate this lighthearted book. Along with the book, a CD with a sample of the original broadcast from the old-time radio program, The Billie-the-Brownie Show is included.
About the Authors: Rochelle Pennington is a bestselling author of ten books and an award-winning newspaper columnist. In addition, her work has been included in several series such as Chicken Soup for the Soul and Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff. She resides in southeastern Wisconsin. Nicholas Pennington, Rochelle’s eldest son, holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in business administration.
THERE’S A MOUSE IN MY MASHED POTATOES
BY MARY ELLEN SCHULZ (ILLUSTRATED BY JOSHUA ALLEN)
About the Book: This delightful children’s book documents the adventures of Ryan and the small mouse he finds in his mashed potatoes. In Ryan’s quest to keep the mouse as a pet, humor and chaos ensues. With rich vocabulary, rhythmic language and colorful illustration, the story unfolds with a surprise ending. An extended activities page is included for teachers and parents with suggestions for use at home or in the classroom. Available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble
About the Author: Having taught elementary school near Lake Geneva for twenty eight years, Mary Ellen Schulz learned firsthand what children find exciting, dramatic and funny. For Mar y, writing poetr y and stories has been a lifelong pastime. Retired, Mary enjoys writing at her northern Wisconsin lake cabin. There, she cherishes time with her husband along with their black lab and cockatiel.