At Yellow Lake-Midwest Connections

May 27, 2012

 ”A page turning story, which oozes menace… A fantastic debut and a treat for young adult
readers.” –Anne Cassidy, award-winning author of Looking for JJ

Three days at the lake will change their lives forever.

Etta, Peter and Jonah all find themselves at a cabin by the shore of Yellow Lake in northern Wisconsin, former strangers brought together in a terrifying series of events that follows. Jonah has come to Yellow Lake to try to get in touch with his Ojibwe roots. Peter is there to bury a lock of his mother’s hair — her final request before her death. Etta is on the run from her mother’s creepy boyfriend, Kyle, and his criminal friends. But as the three take shelter in the cabin and find surprising, if reluctant, solace in each other’s company, they soon realize that they have inadvertently stumbled onto the scene of a horrifying crime. And Kyle and his cronies have no intention of letting them escape the lake alive.

A sparkling debut from new YA author and Minnesota native Jane McLoughlin. At Yellow Lake will keep readers gripped until the final page, and is a perfect summertime cross-over read for parents and children to enjoy together.

Jane McLoughlin is an American from Minnesota who has lived in the U.K. for twenty years. She’s written screenplays, radio dramas, and has had several adult short stories published. McLoughlin lives in Brighton with her husband and teenage children, and teaches English in a secondary school. At Yellow Lake is her debut novel.



Boarded Windows-Midwest Connections

May 27, 2012

Boarded Windows

“Boarded Windows is a shrewd and soulful novel. References (high and low, familiar and obscure) abound in this eloquent and unusual story of not-quite innocence lost. Hicks uses his intimate knowledge of American music to give us a precise portrait of Wade Salem, a self-taught, fast-talking half-genius.” —Dana Spiotta, author of Stone Arabia

Wade Salem is a charismatic aesthete, drug dealer, and journeyman country musician.

He’s also a complicated father figure to this novel’s narrator, whose cloudy childhood becomes both clearer and more confusing through Wade’s stories, jokes, and lectures. Through the eyes of a keenly observant, underemployed record collector, Wade emerges as a sly, disruptive force, at once seductive and maddening.

Shifting between flashbacks from the seventies and nineties, Boarded Windows is a postmodern orphan story that explores the fallibility of memory and the weight of our social and cultural inheritance. Stylistically layered and searchingly lonesome, Dylan Hicks’s debut novel captures the music and mood of the fading embers of America’s boomer counterculture.

Dylan Hicks is a songwriter, musician, and writer. His work has appeared in the Village VoiceNew York TimesStar TribuneCity Pages, and Rain Taxi, and he has released three albums under his own name. A fourth, Sings Bolling Greene, is a companion album to his first novel Boarded Windows and will be released in May 2012. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife, Nina Hale, and his son, Jackson.

Making Sense of Social Media

May 14, 2012

Making Sense of Social Media: Northfield to Host University of Minnesota Extension Workshop Series

The Northfield Downtown Development Corp. (NDDC), in collaboration with its economic development partners the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce (Chamber), the Economic Development Authority (EDA), and the Northfield Enterprise Center (NEC), will host the second in a series of University of Minnesota Extension’s workshops. This one will focus on making sense of social media as part of a marketing and sales strategy.


The workshop will be Tuesday, May 15th at the Northfield High School Computer Lab from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. This workshop, titled simply “Making Sense of Social Media”, is a broad strategic review of how businesses can and are using “social media” on the Internet. Social media, FaceBook and Twitter for example, are being used by more and more people, especially young people. Understanding how to use social media is critical for businesses wanting to reach these new customers and leverage their Internet presence using the many available tools, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flicker, blogs, and Google Places.


With nearly 5,000 college students and their visiting parents, plus residents, Northfield businesses have many opportunities to use social media to reach these customers. Join us for a presentation by Hans Muessig, Program Director with the Extension’s Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities program, about how you can truly use social media to reach these customers.


This workshop will help you make informed decisions about how to use the social media most effectively for your business. It will provide both an overview and a detailed set of Internet strategies; you will walk away with some new ideas and online tools to help you have a successful 2012 and beyond.


For more information, contact Executive Director Ross Currier at (507) 663-0319 or

Louise: Amended Midwest Connections

May 14, 2012

“A  massive  brain  trauma  robbed  fashionable  young  Louise  of  the  shallow  currency  she’d   banked  on  all  her  life,  and  the  resulting  struggle  is  a  page‐turner  in  which  a  person’s  very   soul  deepens  before  your  eyes.  Louise:  Amended  rewards  a  reader’s  time-­‐a  must  read.” —Mary  Karr, New York Times bestselling author of The Liars’ Club

A  beautiful  young  woman  from  Kansas  is  about  to  embark  on  the  life  of  her  dreams (California! Glossy  journalism! French boyfriend!) only  to  suffer  a  brain  bleed  that  collapses   the  right  side  of  her  body,  leaving  her  with  double  vision,  facial  paralysis,  and  a  dragging   foot.  An  unflinching,  wise,  and  darkly  funny  portrait  of  sudden  disability  and  painstaking   recovery,  the  memoir  presents  not  only  Louise’s  perspective,  but  also  the  reaction  of  her   loved  ones–we  see,  in  fictional  interludes,  what  it  must  have  been  like  for  Louise’s   boyfriend  to  bathe  her,  or  for  her  mother  to  apply  lipstick  to  her  nearly  immobile  mouth. Now,  six  years   later,  Louise  has  astounded  doctors  and  loved  ones  by  recovering  not  only  much  of  her   vision  and  mobility,  but  a  ferocious  spirit  and  enviable  grace.

At age twenty-two, Louise Krug suffered a brain bleed and underwent an emergency craniotomy that disrupted her ability to walk, see, and move half her face. Now, six years later, Louise has astounded doctors and loved ones by recovering not only much of her vision and mobility, but a ferocious spirit and enviable grace. She currently lives with her husband Nick and daughter Olive in Lawrence, Kansas, where she’s a PhD candidate and teacher.


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