Friday, April 27, 2018

Story Round-Up: Features in The Herald-News, April 22 through April 27

For those of you following Bertrand on Instagram (and if you haven't met Bertrand, you can find him by scrolling down to "social media"), I apologize for the scarcity of posts lately.

Systems and processes are being changed up at work, so things have been a little topsy-turvy. For once, Bertrand has been patient and understanding about my lack of photos (which proves even a pretend mouse can learn), but we should be back in business shortly. Stay tuned!

Also, I'm back in the features-writing saddle, so please check out my stories (links at the bottom of this post).


Tomorrow: A post by Ed Calkins, Steward of Tara. Topic: beer.

This week: The first BryonySeries blog tour. A blog tour is just like a regular tour, except the "venues" are all virtual. In this case, they are mainly blogs, but I'll also be a guest on one YouTube channel and one LinkedIn page.

I have seven stops in May with posts to reflect the themes of the host blogs. Tour schedule and post themes should be up on the website this weekend. Be sure to check it out! (Yes, I will post a link).

Also this week: WriteOn Joliet will host an open mic from 6 to 8 p.m. May 3 at the Book and Bean Cafe in Joliet. If you live in the area, come out for some great coffee and some Chicago-style, poetry-room type entertainment. And if you write, come to read, too!

Have a great Friday, readers, writers, and vampire fans! :)

Non-bylined features:

Monday through Saturday I assembled my non-bylined works - brief posts and calendar listings - into one convenient file and posting them on Facebook in the evening, so readers can easily choose the ones they want to read.

 One can also find those event listings, the Gotta Do It calendar, as well as the pets, health, faith, and arts and entertainment calendars, under the sections tab on the left hand side of Click on "features" and the topics drop down.  Gotta Do It runs under "people."

Community news? Again, under the sections tab, under features, and by topic. Updates are posted on these days in print and web (and some only on web on other days as I have the time): Monday (pets), Tuesday (health), Thursday (faith), Friday (arts and entertainment), and Sunday (people).

Social media:

Daily updates: I do post the briefs and calendars on Twitter during the week, so you're welcome to follow me at @Denise_Unland61.

BryonySeries stuff: I post curated content relating to the BryonySeries at @BryonySeries. And assorted related content at And of course, please follow the adventures of Bertrand the Mouse on Instagram at bertrand_bryonyseries.

If you're a writer anywhere in the world, you're welcome to jon WriteOn Joliet's Facebook page at We're based in Joliet, Illinois, but we love to meet and interact with writers outside our area, too.

Books and Such

Information on my books (including where to buy) along with upcoming events is at

Thank you for reading The Herald-News. And for reading this blog. And if you've read (or plan to read) any of my books. Your support is greatly appreciated.

An Extraordinary Life: Joliet woman was a living sermon 

“She probably had a fourth-grade reading level,” Warren Dorris Jr., Margaret Dorris' son, said. “But she taught herself how to read and be a student of the Bible. Back then, people had very few things they could put their faith in. They couldn’t have faith in their jobs or the economy. But people have to have faith in something, and she chose to put her faith in God.”

MysteryDiner: Plainfield's Front Street Cantina offers affordable Mexican cuisines 

 As you would expect, I had chips and salsa before ordering my meal. While the salsa seemed to have a lot of tomatoes, it was deceptively spicy. You can also order guacamole, nachos grande, pizza and stuffed jalapeño peppers for appetizers.

The last we'll see of Victorian Tea
Joliet women 'put their heart and soul' into annual event 

"Somehow, word got around," Marlene Jones, food committee chairman, said. "It seems like there is a lot of women who like to get dressed up in their finest and come to something that is elegant. And some women came year after year."

A legacy of great music

Joliet American Legion Band to play spring concert May 5

Lois Henning, the band’s first woman president (Henning was elected in August), is hoping to fill all 850 seats.

Lockport's Roxy theater gets vintage marquee, upgrades

The goal was to return the sign to a 1960s facade, or as Joe Osborne, president of Image360 Signs in Mokena, said, “We had this crazy idea of restoring it to its former glory.”

LocalLit author spotlight: Norm Cowie of Chicago

The written story always fascinated me, and then about a dozen years ago I got my first laptop, and I realized I could finally put my mad typing skills to the test. It took me two years to write my first manuscript – a horror story that I couldn’t get publishers interested in. Then I wrote a thriller, and it didn’t sell, either.

Illustration by Matt Coundiff for "Visage." Follow him at or @MattCoundiff on Twitter.

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