Friday, May 25, 2018

Story Round-Up: Features in The Herald-News, May 20 through May 25

Good bleary Friday morning!

So determined was I to (FINALLY) have a long stretch to work on the fifth and last novel in Before the Blood (and finish editing the first book and maybe the second, too, because I've overly optimistic), I stayed up until this morning working and jumped back on it early (although not at 4 a.m., nope!)

I love coffee, yes, I do.

Heading downstairs to refill my cup. While I'm gone, feel free to check out where you can find me in the online world and see what I wrote this past week (along with this week's Mystery Diner feature, received a lot of comments in The Herald-News' Facebook group Joliet Connect and is still receiving comments).

For those of you following the inaugural BryonySeries blog tour, the last two stops of the tour will be Monday and Tuesday. The Turnabout Tour will be on the Mondays and Tuesdays in June.

If you're late to the tour, no worries! Use this guide HERE to catch-up! And while you're catching-up, PLEASE stick around and browse through the other links on the hosting sites. Everyone kindly opened his/her virtual doors for this party; stay and enjoy the refreshments and chat a bit (in the comments sections of the hosting blogs).

Have a safe and blessed Memorial Weekend!

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. And for those who came out to WriteOn Joliet's open mic night last night. Your support is greatly appreciated.

It’s more than a cleaning
St. John’s residents build community while beautifying neighborhood

A group of about 40 volunteers of all ages came together at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Will and Grundy Counties at 10 a.m. to spend two hours raking and picking up litter around the areas near the Cathedral of St. Raymond and St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.

A go-getter who 'truly cared about children'
Bolingbrook school to host memorial for its LMC head on May 25

“She would get a good idea and I’d think, ‘Oh, yeah? Let me see if I can top that,’ ” HeatherJarmusz of Naperville said about her sister Erin Preder. "And I knew she felt the same way. She pushed me out of my comfort zone. I was one of her biggest fans. She was very inspiring. She did not let anything get in her away. If she had an idea about something, she had the attitude of, ‘I’m going to make this happen.’ ”

Pets of the Week: May 21

Read the caption of each photo to find out about that pet, including where he or she can be adopted.

Finding a cancer cure is not enough
Event lead for Joliet's Relay for Life wants to eliminate cancer

Julie Sterr has had breast cancer twice, anal cancer once and in between bouts lost her mother to breast cancer and her father to bladder cancer. But she's used these challenges to help others.

Crest Hill's Southern Cafe offers a pleasant and reliable experience

Despite its name, Crest Hill’s Southern Cafe, wasn’t the hokey-themed restaurant with lackluster southern knick-nacks that I thought it was.

To the contrary, it offered a modern, clean and pleasant dining experience for a bargain price. The restaurant, which opened in 2008 at 1819 Knapp Road in Crest Hill, describes itself as “a mix of good old home cooking and a dash of culinary genius.”

Artworks: Painting with great purpose
Joliet Central High School alumnus raffing artist proof to establish scholarship in his name

Charles Carman Pierce spent 1,000 hours over two years to create the painting, which will hang at Central, Mark Turk, foundation president said. The proof is signed, dated, matted and ready for framing, Turk said. Turk called the original piece "exquisite" and praised its "great artistry."

Raffling the proof will help establish the annual Mr. and Mrs. Charles Carman Pierce Memorial Art Scholarship for gifted visual arts students at Joliet Township High School, Turk said.

Learn to barbecue from experts at Smokin' Z BBQ in New Lenox will host the next one July 1

Attendees will learn how to select, prepare, smoke and serve a wide variety of meats. This includes pork butts, pork loins, ribs, beef brisket, whole chickens and chicken wings), as well as traditional barbecue sides and desserts: barbecue beans, mac and cheese and smoked apple crisp.

LocalLit author spotlight: Joshua Henderson of Joliet 

Henderson said: I wrote and illustrated stories as a kid, though mostly for arts and crafts. Years later, I read Lois Lowry's "The Giver" and other dystopian novels in eighth grade; all inspired me to pursue writing more seriously than before.

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

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