Friday, January 21, 2022

Story Round-Up: Features in The Herald-News, Jan. 14 through Jan. 21

Good morning!

I was pulled into a fairly large project this week that took up a good portion of Tuesday and Wednesday.

Neverthless, I do have fourteen features stories to share with you today. a few more will be posted over the weekend, so do watch for them.

I'm just re-reading what I wrote last Friday, and it is making me chuckle (in a sardonic, sarcastic way):

It's been a full week in terms of just about everything. I'm ready for a three-day weekend of rest and working on some fiction. At least, I hope that's how the weekend rolls.

So last weekend was challenging from its Friday night beginning all the way into its three-day end. Still, it had pockets of good moments and moments of creativity and moving forward with some fiction projects. 

Still, I'm hoping for a huge improvement this weekend over last weekend. And I hope yours is wonderful as well.

Speaking of fiction, here is an update on those projects.

I have slightly more than half of Call of the Siren (the second book in the BryonySeries Limbo trilogy) ready for editing, a pleasant surprise to me this week, when I started scrolling through the manuscript. This book has a different "vibe" from some of the other books in the BryonySeries (all of which have their own vibes, to), but I've struggled to get it where I wanted it. I'm anticipating a late spring publication date. 

That may still be an ambitious goal, but publishing the book at some point in 2022 seems very possible. Rebekah has the cover ready to go. Nancy Calkins created the gorgeous cover art.

Sue Midlock has completed the art for Cornell Dyer and the "Mistical Being" (cover looks great, by the way) and is touching up the art for Cornell Dyer and the Calcium Deficient Bones. Rebekah will format the release them as soon as she can make the time. She has been very busy lately with work and side projects. 

Timothy has nearly completed the outline for the next book in the series, a Sherlock Holmes parody (the main character is Sherman Homes). We were hoping to make some time for a "Cornell Breakfast" over the holidays, but that didn't happen. Maybe later this month. Maybe February? Here's hoping!

Sarah also had a crazy dream that sounded perfect for An Adventure of Cornell Dyer mystery. But she wants time to draw some sketches, a map, and write the "rules." It's called Cornell Dyer and the House of Broken Portals.

Bertrand the Mouse has "returned," and you can read about it herehere, and here

Jennifer Wainright (frontispiece artist for Lycanthropic Summer) has completed two portraits for  "Girls of the BryonySeries" series for tween girls and is currently working on a third. The portraits are beautiful and it shows that artist Jennifer Wainright can draw anything from werewolves to portraits! 

Rebekah Baran has completed cover art for two of "Girls of the BryonySeries" books. They are beautiful! One book in this series of eight books is completely written, a second is halfway written, and the rest are outlined. 

Now back to the fourteen stories. Simply click on the link of the story that looks interesting to you. Happy scrolling!

But before the stories, I have a list of additional resources and information. Please check them out, too -

Finally, if you'd like to find more kindness in your life, consider this book.

And have a great Friday!


Sue's Diner is a fictional restaurant in the fictional Munsonville that only exists in the BryonySeries.

Each Sunday, we post a new recipe. The recipe is either featured in one of our cookbooks or will be featured in an upcoming cookbook.

Check out the recipe here.


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

If you'd like to officially join WriteOn Joliet, we have two tiers of dues. We also have a marketing arm that's getting longer every year, well, except this year. Check us out at

I also suggest this book: Little Book of Revision: A Checklist for Fiction Writers. It's exactly as it says. Each page some with one suggestion for revision. The rest of the page is blank, so you can add your own notes. All proceeds benefit WriteOn Joliet.

If you need support in your writing, I highly recommend this Twitter group: #5amwritersclub. I  joined it last year. Writers support each other on Twitter and meet every three weeks at 5 a.m. (4 a.m. CST - needless to say, I am often late!) on Zoom.

If you need editing or help with self-publishing, check out


If you need an artist for a project, I offer these recommendations.


Sign up for the Will County Go Guide and Sign up for the LocalLit Short Story and Book Review Newsletter at

Sign up for The Munsonville Times by emailing us at The newsletter still isn't official yet, so we don't have an actual link on the website - but we are working on it! 


Daily updates: I do post the briefs 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.


For books and more information about the series, visit


A full month of virtual events can be found at


Email me 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.


Despite COVID, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is still a day of service: Here are some suggestions for making a difference in the Will County community

Catholic Charities reschedules last Wednesday’s job fair due to rise in COVID cases: The Joliet agency apologizes for any inconvenience

How Daybreak Center is keeping its homeless clients safe during a pandemic: The Joliet shelter has a number of mitigations in place to help prevent the transmission of COVID

JJC hosting COVID-19 vaccine clinic Sunday for 1st, 2nd and booster doses on Sunday: Schedule an appointment at Joliet Junior College or walk in

Should you ditch the face masks for N95 or K95 respirators?: Dr. Christopher Udovich, medical director at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox, provides some insight

'She was the employee every employer wished they had’: Crest Hill deputy city clerk retired Jan. 7 after 35 years of service

Pets of the Week: Jan. 10: Will County rescues have dogs and cats for adoption

Pets of the Week: Jan. 17: Will County rescues have dogs and cats for adoption

Morris Hospital to offer Heartsaver CPR AED and first aid training in February: This is an American Heart Association course. Materials are provided.

Deadline for Plainfield’s Alumni Hall of Fame nominations extended: Nominations for the #Plainfield Foundation for Excellence Alumni Hall of Fame are due Jan. 19

USF’s 65th Caritas Scholarship Ball on Jan. 29 is now going virtual; No in-person event for 2022 due to rising COVID cases in the Will County area 

An Extraordinary Life: ‘I don’t think there’s a musician in Joliet who didn’t know Jeff’: Jeff McMillin of Channahon didn’t turn down opportunities to blow his own horn

17 students at Plainfield high schools to participate in all-state music program: The ILMEA program will take place from Jan. 26 to Jan. 29 in Peoria.

5 Things to do in Will County: outdoor hike, virtualscavenger hunt, local history: Plus, check out the Country Grill chicken truck and get somewalking done indoors

And finally, please read this update from The Herald-News' publisher on our annual holiday campaign to raise money for the community.

I've been part of writing stories to help promote going back to the late 1990s, and I'm very humbled to be part of it.

"2021 Herald Angels Campaign Sets Another Record" by Steve Vanisko

Illustration by Matt Coundiff for "Visage."

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