Four local authors among 22 at Sunday’s Writers on the River


Keith Julius of Temperance had already self-published a thriller thriller when he embarked on a new series, a little closer to his heart.

“Catch a Falling Star” is a series of fictional books based on his eight years as a court-appointed pro bono special advocate in Lucas County. CASAs advocate for abused and neglected children and also work in Monroe County.

Julius is one of 22 local and regional authors attending Sunday’s Writers on the River event at the Ellis Library and Reference Center.

“I attended Writers on the River once before. It was a pleasure to attend,” said Julius. “It’s always great to have the opportunity to meet potential readers and connect with other writers in our community as well.”

Julius has published three books in the CASA-themed series and is working on a fourth for National Fiction Writers Month, which is this month. The works explore drug addiction, child abuse, mental illness and human trafficking. The new book is about teenage suicide.

Although the issues are serious, Julius said the stories also illustrate hope and perseverance.

“It’s amazing to me to think of how people can overcome adversities in their lives, persevere through hardships, and keep moving forward. Although these are works of fiction, they touch on some of the harsh realities of life,” he said. “People in our communities are dealing with these issues every day. Families are dealing with these issues. I would also like to see more people Know the CASA program Anyone can participate and make a difference in a young person’s life I have read many times in writing books that a writer should “write what you know” I think CASA Chronicles gives me the opportunity to do just that.


Northville author Rhonda Accardo is coming to Monroe for her first Writers of the River event on Sunday.

“I look forward to being a part of it. I met Jaclyn Young, a librarian with the Monroe County Library System. She was kind enough to update me on the event. I am thrilled and honored to participate,” Accardo said.

Accardo wrote “The Acorn & The Oak” with his daughter, illustrator Jessica Waterstradt.

The book is the story of a young girl, her mother and their love for an old oak tree. Although technically a children’s book, it has a wider appeal.

“We are often asked what age group the book is aimed at. Anyone who has read the story often tells us that it is written for the hearts of all ages. Little kids love all the painted details in the story. We offer it with a magnifying glass so they can find all the details my daughter brought to life in the pages,” Accardo said. “For older children, it’s a story about nature. We sell as many books to adults as they identify with the loss of a beloved old oak tree.

It has been well received since its release last year.

“My daughter’s illustrations sold the book on their own. His detailed watercolors bring the story to life. All of the positive feedback we have received is overwhelming. We often hear readers say the book is their child’s favorite new story. Adults have told us that the book has helped them find hope after loss more than any other book,” Accardo said. “The book allowed us to visit other communities that we might not have seen otherwise. Visiting so many new towns and getting to know the local people became a highlight of our trip. I can’t wait to add Monroe to this list.

Other authors coming to Sunday Writers on the River are:

  • Jim Abb is a self-published author from Monroe. His books are “Even Trolls Love Pasties”, “I Brake for Humans”, and “Huckleberry Finishes”.

All the books are about the Goode family.

“I’m currently working on a tale involving another member of the Goode family, Devin, a young reporter from Detroit who has just been revealed that the pixies and fairies are actually aliens who have washed up on Earth,” Abb said.

  • Rick Grassley of Monroe is a local genealogist, researcher and local historian. He has written about local history for the past five years and has published work in the Monroe County Genealogical Society newsletter, The Monroe News, and the Michigan Genealogical Council newsletter.
  • Shawna Lynn Mazur of Monroe wrote the recently published “Hidden History of Monroe County, Michigan.”

She also writes for local history publications and is working on a book for the National Park Service.

  • Rhonda Accardo of Michigan is the author of “The Acorn and the Oak”, based on her family’s story.
  • Sierra Carter is the author of the children’s book “Meet Carter,” which is the first book in a five-book series. The series is about her son who died six years ago.

“It’s a true story of a time when I took him to meet his big sister’s class and the beautiful outcome,” Carter said. “I write ‘The Carter Series’ in hopes of teaching the importance and beauty of inclusion and acceptance.”

  • Shelby Franks, 27, from Michigan, wrote “Project Yes.”
  • Mary J. Held is the author of “Ungeling Trauma: My Personal Journal of EMDR Recovery”.

Held, who suffers from debilitating seizures, has been seizure-free for four months after discovering eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy.

  • Issa M. Lewis of West Michigan wrote “Infinite Collisions” in 2017 and “Anchor” in 2022.

She was the recipient of the Lucille Clifton Poetry Prize in 2013 and a finalist for the Lois Cranston Memorial Poetry Prize in 2017.

  • Myra G. Love wrote “Davey Panda” in 2017, a series of Christian children’s books.

Love was born with fetal alcohol syndrome and dyslexia.

  • Ken MacGregor is a horror author who has written the storybooks “An Aberrant Mind”, “Sex, Gore and Millipedes”, and “Lions & Tigers & Weres”. His young adult novel is “Devil’s Bane,” and he co-wrote “Headcase.”
  • HH Miller is a Toledo native, graphic novelist and author of “Tower of DOGS”. The sequel will be released on November 12.

Miller also self-published several manga-style graphic novels and spent four years teaching in Japan.

  • Jim Mollenkopf of Toledo is a writer and photographer. His books tell stories in words and photos and include “The Great Black Swamp, Volumes I-IV”, “The Great Black Swamp: Woods & Wander”, and “One Summer Day in America”.
  • Carol Nickles of West Michigan is a sixth-generation German textile-loving family and author of the books “Beards, Brunscrackers, and Snowflake Kisses” and “Thumb Fire Desire.”
  • Kimberly Paulson is a freelance lawyer, writer and editor. She practiced law for 25 years, was an adjunct professor of law, and ran a free legal clinic.
  • Steampunk, urban fantasy writer and native of Canada, SW Raine is the author of “Rise of the Sky Pirate” and “The Techno Mage”.
  • Becky Robinson is the founder of a full-service marketing agency and the author of “Reach: Create the Biggest Possible Audience for Your Message, Book or Cause.”
  • Jordan Scavone is a Michigan-based freelance author of five children’s books and one urban fantasy novel.
  • Lannie Stabile is part of the LGBTQIA+ community and is the author of “Something Dead in Everything” and “Good Morning to Everyone Except Men Who Name Their Dogs Zeus”.

She has won several writing awards.

  • Merrill Wyatt of Northwest Ohio is the author of the children’s titles “Ernestine”, “Tangled Up in Luck”, and “Tangled Up in Nonsense”.
  • Christine A. Yared is a lawyer, educator, speaker, and author of “Private Love, Public Schools: Gay Teachers Under Fire.” The book was named a 2022 Notable Book by the Library of Michigan.

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