It's a grand day for Michigan authors, particularly Lara Zielin. Her new novel for teens, "The Implosion of Aggie Winchester" (Putnam Juvenile, $12.60), hit bookstores yesterday, and her book tour, "Girls Taking Over the World," starts today.
|Michigan author Lara Zielin|
"I feel like it's a literature fest, an embarrassment of riches," said Zielin, who resides in Ypsilanti with her husband and has been writing since the age of 7.
"I'm still growing and evolving, but happily I have some novels under my belt (including 'Donut Days' and 'Make Things Happen: The Key to Networking for Teens')."
One of the first stops along the GTOTW tour is a panel discussion and author signing at Barnes & Noble of Northville, 2 p.m. Aug. 7.
The event is for everyone, but it is the girls of the world who are most likely to be geeked about it. They not only get to meet one of their favorite authors (Lara Zielin), but three others who are part of the mega-woman tour. They include: Rhonda Stapleton ("Stupid Cupid, Flirting with Disaster, Pucker Up"); Christine Johnson (“Claire de Lune" and "Nocturne"); and Saundra Mitchell ("Shadowed Summer" and "The Verspertine").
|Author Rhonda Stapleton|
The authors organized the summer tour of bookstores and libraries in the Great Lakes area not just as a means of promoting their novels, but also to reach out to young women about important issues such as making good choices.
|Author Christine Johnson|
"Most of the young women in popular culture today, both real and fictionalized, seem to be popularizing really dangerous choices, from drug use to promiscuous sex to dropping out of high school and Botoxing their face into a plastic mask," said Zielin. "Now ... I'm no nun, so I get that girls do stuff and it's totally possible to recover after engaging in many of those activities. But I think the average girl out there might hear all these messages and think that risky behavior is what all girls do."
|Author Saundra Mitchell|
Zielin said she hopes to encourage girls to be more thoughtful when they come to forks in the road, to disregard what society says or what's portrayed as cool in magazines, and listen to the small voice inside telling you who you really are, instead.
Johnson wants girls to know they can do anything.
"I grew up hearing that," she said. "Now I'm doing what I want, writing. One of the best things about my job is that I get to create worlds and strong girls who live in them, too. There's no role a girl can't fill. Heroine, villain, love interest, they aren't nice or mean or strong or romantic or hateful, they're everything. All of it, in bits and pieces."
Stapleton said the GTOTW book tour is exciting.
"How often do we celebrate the strength and resilience that comes from being a girl? And where else is that strength and resilience tested more than in publishing?" Stapleton said. "I love supporting female writers. I love reading (about) female protagonists. Girls are hungry for stories featuring heroines who are flawed, realistic but grow into a sense of empowerment and inner beauty."
"If nothing else, I really hope that just one teen walks away from this tour believing that she can actually reach for her dreams," said Mitchell. "It may seem like you have to live in New York and wear black turtlenecks to be an author, but it's just not true."
Even the tour itself is an example of girl-power.
"No matter what movies and TV tell you, most authors don't get a book tour," said Mitchell, who is working on the final installment in her paranormal trilogy with Harcourt, "Aetherborne." "So we decided to put one together ourselves."
During the tour, special guests will be invited to stop by, including Aimee Carter, author of "The Goddess Test," who will attend the event in Northville, New York Times best-selling author of "The Iron Fey Series," Julie Kagawa and singer Sara Bennett Wealer.
Books by the authors will be available for purchase and signing at each stop.
"It's going to be a great," said Betsy Storrs, community relations manager for Barnes & Noble Booksellers.
Barnes & Noble is at 17111 Haggerty Road in Northville.
"Girls Taking Over The World" books
The Implosion of Aggie Winchester
(Putnam Juvenile, $16.99)
At the outset of the novel Aggie is angry and frustrated. She's dressing and acting in a way that makes her appear tough, but it's also self-protecting. She's got a boyfriend situation that's complicated and she’s not getting along with her parents. Just when Aggie is ready to implode, a sudden situation serves as a catalyst for change. Click here for more on Lara Zielin
Stupid Cupid (Simon Pulse, $9.99 paperback)
Felicity Walker, who believes in true love, applies for a gig at Cupid's Hollow, a matchmaking company. She gets the job and, to her surprise, not just the title of matchmaker, but a real cupid. Armed with all of today's techie tools, including a pink tricked-out PDA, she works to meet her quota of successful matches. However, when she bends the rules of cupidity by matching her best friend with three boys at once, disaster strikes. Can Felicity come up with a plan to fix things or will she lose her cupid title and best friend?
Claire de Lune (Simon Pulse, $9.99 paperback)
Claire is turning sweet 16 but everything in her life is going sour. The town is in a panic over its sudden werewolf problem, and just when her high school's soccer god and son of world-renowned lycanthropy expert takes notice of her existence, she learns that all werewolves are female. Worse yet, she's the latest in the long line of wolfies that have inhabited her town for centuries, but have, until recently, been tame. Now Claire has to figure out a way to keep her lupine identity a secret from best-friend, love interest and his father, who is leading the hunt for the rogue werewolf.
The Vespertine (Harcourt Children's Books, $16.99)
It's the summer of 1889 and Amelia van den Broek is on the verge of womanhood when she is sent to live in Baltimore with a stylish cousin, Zora, who has been asked to show her the pleasures of city life and help her seek a suitable husband. She's having a great time when the gaiety is interrupted by disturbing, dreamlike visions that turn out to be glimpses of the future. When people learn of her gift, she becomes the sought-after prophet of the community. Then, just when she's getting used to her new life as "Maine's Own Mystic" she becomes intrigued by a young artist with his own powers. While she has no trouble seeing the future of others, she cannot predict whether there's a future for the two of them. Just when things could not be at their worse, one of Amelia's darkest visions comes to pass and those around her start to question whether she's the seer of dark portents or the source of them.
Looking for other family-friendly events going on in the Detroit area? Check out our listing here:
Mount Clemens car cruise still hoppin’ after 20 years
It’s the 20th anniversary of the Annual Bud Light Classic Car Cruise in downtown Mount Clemens. Hosted by The Friends of Mount Clemens, it is considered by some to be the granddaddy of all municipal cruises – even predating the founding of the Woodward Dream Cruise by three years. It runs from 2 to 10 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 6.
Shown here is an updated map of the participants and where to find them along the route.
The children’s area was organized by ABC Magic Shop of Mount Clemens and can be found on Macomb Place between Main and Walnut Street. It will be a fun zone featuring everything from inflatables to a motorized ride. Be sure your child enters ABC Magic store’s Car Cruise Coloring Contest.
This event attracts cars of every make, model and year. “Starting at 2 p.m. North Main Street will be open to northbound traffic only, but it is narrowed to one lane of traffic. Car owners are encouraged to take their rolling steel babies out for an actual cruise… so the cars on display are always changing,” according to organizers of the cruise.
Michigan movie classic
The Redford Theatre's presentation of "Somewhere In Time," starring Christopher Reeve, Jane Seymour and Christopher Plummer, will feature a guest appearance by Jo Addie. Addie had a role in the film and is the president of the International Somewhere In Time Fan Club. Tonight's showing begins at 8 p.m., doors open at 7 p.m. Saturday shows are a 2 and 8 p.m. General admission tickets: $5
The Redford Theatre is at 17360 Lahser Road (just north of Grand River), Detroit. For more information visit Redford Theatre
Summer Discovery Cruises explore Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair Flats, departing from Metro Beach Metropark; 13 different educational cruises around such themes as fisheries, wildlife, wetlands, shipwrecks, lighthouses, weather and shipping. Selected times and dates through Sept. 10; fees for 2-1/2 cruises $20 adults, $10 ages 6-17, for longer cruises, $25 adults, $15 ages 6-17. Vehicle entry permit, daily or annual, required for Metropark entry. Click here for Metropark news or call (800) 47-PARKS.
Fine art and crafts show with works by 100 artists from around the country, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Aug. 6, noon-6 p.m. Aug. 7, at The Village of Rochester Hills shopping center, 104 N. Adams Road at Walton. Free parking, admission, entertainment, children's activities. Outdoor food court available.
New Orleans-inspired Frog Masquerade benefit for Detroit's Matrix Theatre Company, 9 p.m. Aug. 5, at The Magic Stick Lounge, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Party features music, street performances including tarot readings, fortune telling and circus acts; cover $5. Proceeds benefit theater's environment youth festival. Call (313) 967-0999.
Vanguard Trout Unlimited for fishing enthusiasts meets 7:30 p.m. second Thursday monthly at Rochester's Dinosaur Hill. Also, Fishing Buddies Fishing Club gathers 6:30 p.m. third Tuesdays at Rochester Hills OPC, 650 Leticia Drive. Call (248) 375-1931.
Lake St. Clair Symphony Orchestra string player Lindsey Reich performs 7 p.m. today at Wahby Park at Blossom Heath Inn on Jefferson south of 10 Mile Road, St. Clair Shores. Free; guests should bring own chairs and/or blankets.
Warren Cultural Commission presents Thomas H. Carey "Concerts at the Square," 7 p.m. Sundays, at Warren City Square, east of Van Dyke and north of 12 Mile Road. Schedule includes: Aug. 7, Motor City Brass Band; Aug. 14, The Under Pressure Band; Aug. 21, Warren Concert Band. Bring lawn chair or blanket. Call (586) 264-0959.
St. John Hospital and Medical Center's The Plaza Jazz Concert Series, continues 7 p.m. today at The Village Festival Plaza, Kercheval and St. Clair, Grosse Pointe. Free. Call (313) 886-7474 or visit www.thevillagegp.com.
Uptown Friday Night Concert Series at The Fountain Stage, on Macomb Place between N. Walnut and Pine streets, in downtown Mount Clemens, 9:30-11 p.m., Aug. 5, The Allies. For details, www.DowntownMountClemens.com or (586) 469-4168.
Concerts by live bands and dancing at Thomas S. Welsh Activity Center at Metro Beach Metropark, 6:30-10 p.m. Sundays through August at the Harrison Township park. Music, dancing free, vehicle entry permit required. Information, (800) 477-3172 or www.metroparks.com.
Rockin' on Riverfront
Free Chevy Rockin' on the Riverfront concert series continues 8-10 p.m. Fridays through Aug. 12 at Riverfront Plaza in downtown Detroit. Schedule: Aug. 5, Leon Russell and Mitch Ryder; and Aug. 12, Bachman Turner. Parking available $5 at GM surface lot at St. Antoine and Atwater adjacent to GM Renaissance Center. Viewing space on first-come, first-serve basis, with own lawn chairs or blankets. Food concessions available; coolers not permitted.
Annual Harsens Island Bluegrass Festival, noon-9 p.m., Aug. 13, at Harsens Island Schoolhouse Grille, 2669 Columbine Road. Tickets $20, roundtrip ferry ride $7. Festival benefits local charities. Visit www.2011harsensislandbluegrassfestival.eventbrite.com.
|Go Comedy's PJ Jacokes and Tommy LeRoy|
"ROGOCOP! The Musical," a parody of the movie "Robocop," presented 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays through Aug. 26, at Go Comedy! Improv Theater, 261 Nine Mile Road, Ferndale. Tickets, $5-$15, available at Go Comedy! or by calling (248) 327-0575 after 6 p.m. Wednesdays-Sundays.
Regular Base Ball Club of Mount Clemens plays 2 p.m. at field on east side of Romeo Plank Road north of Clinton River Road: Aug. 21 vs. Midland Mighty River Hogs. Visit Mount Clemens Regular Base Ball Club
Rochester Grangers Vintage Base Ball Club plays at 1 p.m. Aug. 28, at Halbach Field in Rochester. Free admission. Visit www.rochesterhills.org or call (248) 656-4663.
Wild Summer Nights concert series at Detroit Zoo, 6:30-8 p.m. Wednesdays, through Aug. 31, free with zoo admission or $5 after 5 p.m.; animal habitats and Dinosauria open until 8 p.m. For schedule, visit or (248) 541-5717.
When it comes to advice on raising girls: I don't have advice so much as I have reassurance. The news is full of stories about how mothers are ruining their children by doing X or not doing Y. I feel confident in saying that if your kids are clothed, fed, surrounded by books and people who love them, you're doing it exactly right -- Saundra Mitchell, author and mom.