Today's Alaska author is our very own neighbor currently living in Sutton, Alaska Ms. Ingrid D. Shaginoff. Ms. Shaginoff's new book Chickaloon Wild is a memoir of an Athabascan family from the Chickaloon Village. The memoirs are from her husband's parents, Johnny and Mary Shaginoff. They were a very dynamic couple and some of the few elders in the 1990's remaining who spoke the original Athna language fluently, having grown up before the "white man" traveled the Talkkeetna Mountains. The Athna language is used in the book with a Athabascan-English translation list located in an index at the back, based on Dr. James A. Kari's work. Johnny Shaginoff was one of the elders Dr. Kari worked with to create the first Athna written language dictionary for the University of Alaska, Fairbanks' Alaska Native Language Center in 1990. Mrs. Shaginoff's use of Athna language in her book brings authentication to the conversations. The Shaginoff family's adventures in life are very interesting and will captivate readers who desire to know Alaska from an original history point of view. The Shaginoffs were some of the first guides assisting the US Army and US Geological Survey employees exploring the new frontier of Alaska from Anchorage to Copper Center along the Chickaloon-Knik-Nelchina Trail System. They lived wild before land claims, then in accordance with homesteading rules homesteaded at mile 89 of the Glenn Highway along the Purinton Creek Trail, part of the Chickaloon-Knik-Nelchina trail system. Later they lived in old Chickaloon, and eventually the family settled in Sutton, where Mrs. Shaginoff currently resides.
Book Synoposis: Chickaloon Wild
Imagine living deep in the Alaska wilderness where survival depends on your ability to hunt, fish, and gather. A place where as far as you can see is dense forest, rivers and sparkling lakes, set against a backdrop of majestic, snow covered mountains where the only sounds are those of nature; the caw of a raven, the lonesome howl of a wolf, or the sharp cry of the loon. In this place education means pulling the brush up around your snare to prevent the rabbit from going around it, or knowing to remove the scent glands from the beaver before you roast it. It means recognizing and following a track through thick brush. This is the ways of their Athabascan ancestors and the only way the Shaginoff family knew. With the Colonists moving into the Matanuska Valley as part of the New Deal their world is about to change forever.
This nationally recognized contest is for works of original short fiction. The contest is named in honor of the Chicago literary great Nelson Algren and has been held annually since 1981. The award has been presented to a number of distinguished authors, including Louise Erdrich and Stuart Dybek. All stories entered will be considered for publication in Printers Row, the Chicago Tribunes' digital literary journal.
Authors must be 18 years old or older.
Stories must be 8,000 words or less.
Deadline to enter is February 7, 2018
To Enter the contest see the website:
Shadowing Dizzy Gillespie by David G. Brown is today's Alaskan author spotlight. In celebration of Dizzy Gillespie’s 100th birthday, author David G. Brown (Deacon’s Crossbow) shares his intimate experiences and memoirs of this humanitarian, innovator, and magical musician. After a chance meeting in Georgetown, 1985, Brown had the opportunity to spend countless hours with Dizzy at performances, testimonials, all-night card-playing sessions, hotels, restaurants, and street corners. Mr. Brown said, “Without question, the most remarkable man I have ever met. We shared tears and gut-busting laughs that are etched in my mind forever.
God bless John Birks ‘Dizzy’ Gillespie, who, by the way, wasn’t dizzy at all.” Along with a book-load of anecdotes, there are select and unique photos spread throughout the pages of this memoir on one of Jazz's most famous musicians.
About the Author: David G. Brown grew up and worked in Woonsocket, RI. He is the father of two sons, has two grandchildren, and lives with his significant better half, Maureen Hanlon. An avid reader and writer, he credits the Creative Writing program at Cuesta College (CA) and the Alaska Writers Guild for advancing his writing career. Mr. Brown freelanced for The Woonsocket Call, Castro Valley Forum (CA), and Edible East Bay (CA). He is the author of a true crime book, Deacon’s Crossbow, and his current writing project is an historical novel, Return of the Free Faller. Extra curricular activities include disliking "politricks," sports (especially fishing), music, creative writing workshops, and spending as much time as possible with his dog, Kaya. He now resides in Anchorage, AK.
This month we introduced Alaskan author, Kellie Doherty and her book Finding Hekate. Ms. Doherty lives in Eagle River, just outside of Alaska’s largest city, Anchorage. Today we share her second book in the Cicatrix duology, Losing Hold. Readers will enjoy the conclusion of Mia Foley's adventures in Losing Hold. For an excellent blend of Sci-Fi, action, humor, and even a little romance consider exploring the complete Cicatrix duology with book 1 Finding Hekate.
Book Synopsis for Losing Hold:
In the sequel to Finding Hekate, after escaping Donavin’s grasp, Mia Foley and her crew crash on a prison planet and need to deal with its inhabitants, beasts, and criminals alike. Mia hears Donavin in her mind once again and knows the transformation into one of his drones isn’t far off. Trapped in her own body, lashing against Donavin each chance she gets, and fearful that she’ll lose it all, Mia has to rely on her crew—on Cassidy—to save her. But she’s not the only one transforming in her little group, and things never go as smoothly as they could out in the black.
Solid Stepping Stones by Brooks A. Bryan is our Alaskan author spotlight of the day. This book is a self-help, daily devotional designed to help you grow in your spiritual journey of faith. It was designed to be used with the Bible and is based on passages that contain imperative mode verbs selected from the New Testament epistles. Each devotional contains a Day Title which gives the reader a catchy mnemonic by which to hold on to the thought for the day. It also contains a prayer for each day to help seal the message in readers' hearts.
Mr. Bryan has been a songwriter/musician, followed by 25 years in ministry. Mr. Bryan is fluent in Modern Greek and spent three years as a missionary to Greece. After he retired from ministry, Mr. Bryan went into law-enforcement for seven years and retired as a police chief in 2010. In 2015, he and his wife Marlys, who is a Doctor of Physical Therapy, moved to Alaska. They currently reside in Ketchikan with their two Australian shepherds.
Book Synopsis: Solid Stepping Stones is intended as a spiritual growth tool and should be used in conjunction with time in the Word, regular fellowship with other believers, and council with spiritual mentors. We Christians are all on our way toward becoming like Jesus. This means that each day our Heavenly Father carves a little more of his Son's image into our character. I pray this book will be a tool the Holy Spirit can use to guide you through each day's challenges.
The scriptures in these meditations are verses that contain imperative mode verbs in the Greek New Testament epistles and letters. An imperative mode verb is a strong indicator of an author's purpose in a passage, so I give them special attention when I study the Word. Each passage has been chosen for its poignant application to our individual daily lives. The translation is my own and has been translated in a style that I hope will emphasize certain nuances of the Greek language pertinent to each day's meditation. It is not intended to be a new translation but rather a means to emphasize selected thoughts.
The Shadows in My Heart is a memoir based book exploring the life of trauma, abuse, and healing of Mary A. Havens. Born and raised on a small dairy farm in Wisconsin, Ms. Havens moved to Alaska after a 30-year career. Since 2012 when she began writing her memoir, Mary zigzagged across the country on the trails of the Lower 48 to and from Alaska. She continues her journey while promoting and speaking against domestic violence. Mary appeared on numerous TV talk shows, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, Minneapolis’ Twin Cities Live and The Mary Hanson Show. She was a Twitter contributor for Dr. Phil and The Doctors TV shows.
Book Synopsis: Big families cultivate chaos. Mary Havens knows this all too well. One of twelve children, she grew up on a picturesque Wisconsin dairy farm. Holidays, graduations, marriages, and newborns filled the farmhouse with the light of laughter and hugs. But for Mary, the unspoken eclipsed that light. Unresolved grief, abuse, religious dogma, and secrets left her in the shadows, lost and alone. Her profound story is one of determination, survival, and the ability to rise above the fray. It is a story that will be too familiar to some and unfamiliar to others, but will pull at the heartstrings of everyone.
By Mary A. Havens
Are you looking for personal gifts for Christmas? Consider giving the gift of reading and exploring a whole new world through literature. This season, we have combined a variety of Alaskan authors from other publishing houses with our very own authors and illustrators of Relevant Publishers LLC in a brief newsletter. On the front of the newsletter is our very own Mimsy Mouse Searches for a New Home by Linda N. Walz.
Today's Alaskan book is Clever Little Bird by Betty L. Hedstrand is a cute children's story for ages 3 to 8. Released in 2016, this story has five star reviews. Ms. Hedstrand writes, "Just like the moose, she prefers eating plants and being outdoors." Her inspiration to write this story came while on a walk along the Coastal Trail in Anchorage, Alaska. Betty has lived in Alaska for over four decades and has often stopped her car to let moose cross the road. Her background includes working as an substitute elementary school teacher and as proprietor of a retail art store. Betty combined her lifelong interest in reading, art and outdoor activities to create this story. A kid at heart, Betty loves to spend time with children especially reading or making art!
Clever Little Bird. The story begins at Kincaid Park in Anchorage, Alaska where Auggie, a bored bull moose lives. He meets a noisy magpie named Maggie who offers to eat his pesky mosquitoes. The two become friends. Maggie learns that Auggie feels lonely and thinks he looks weird. He misses his brother who ventured off to the Chugach Mountains. Maggie suggests a visit, and her clever behavior convinces Auggie to invite her to be his "eyes above." As lookout, Maggie leads him along city trails and finds ways to solve problems they encounter. Through their friendship Auggie discovers that Maggie is not the annoying birdbrain that her reputation suggests, but that she is actually quite clever. By the end of the story Auggie learns a valuable lesson about friendship. Maggie proves she is not a birdbrain!
Join these characters on a reading adventure that features the unique scenery of Anchorage, Alaska. Children will happily engage with the "bird talk" dialog throughout the book and take away lessons about first impressions and friendship. Everyone will delight in the whimsical and expressive art created by Chris Floyd.