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NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Life and cinema of legendary Ted V. Mikels in progress
I am currently working on the book “The Life and Cinema of Ted V.Mikels,” an iconic man who has made movies since 1963, with his first film, “Strike Me Deadly.” At 86 years old, Mikels is currently working on a new film for 2016. His horror films have become cult classics, and he has rubbed elbows with some of the most famous actors and actresses in Hollywood during its heyday, such as Milton Berle, Jack Benny, Lucille Ball, Kirk Douglas and hundreds more. Mr. Mikels is corresponding daily with me for the book, which will be published this Spring. Born the son of a butcher, Mikels created the grindhouse genre in the film industry, with his most popular films being “The Astro-Zombies,” “The Corpse Grinders,” and “The Doll Squad,” which Aaron Spelling ripped off to create “Charlie’s Angels.” The book will follow his entire life story, and detail all of his motion pictures, along with a bonus of exclusive interviews with many of the actors and actresses that appeared in his films over 60 years. The paperback book will likely run 100 pages, feature many photographs, and retail for under $15 on Amazon and Barnes and Noble booksellers. Visit Ted V. Mikels online here. Pictured at above left: Ted V. Mikels posing with an Astro-Zombie mask in hand.
Forgotten serial killer remembered in shocking new book
"Serial Killer from Grand Haven: The Frederick Hollman Story," is about one of our nation's first serial killers, Frederick William Hollman, who once lived in Grand Haven, Michigan. Hollman killed up to 17 women from 1895-1896, and was captured and put on trial in Ford County, Illinois in 1897, and executed by hanging. Included in the book is Hollman's bloody trail from Michigan, to Wisconsin, to Pennsylvania and Illinois, and current paranormal investigations at the Ford County jailhouse, where Hollman was executed. The book includes 9 pages of photographs from the era. The paperback, which runs 168 pages, is available online for mail delivery, and available locally at The Bookman and Hostetter's News Agency, on Washington Street, in downtown Grand Haven. A national version of the book titled "Serial Killer in Ford County," is also available online and at the Ford County Museum. For more information, visit the book webpage here. Pictured at left: the book's cover.
Only $14.95 plus postage
168 pages / Paperback / 9 Pages of Rare PhotosBook on President Garfield's inspirational brother Thomas
A new book about President James A Garfield's brother, Thomas Garfield, was published in October 2015. Thomas Garfield, the only brother of the assassinated President, lived in Jamestown, Ottawa County, Michigan, for 40 years. The book presents Thomas Garfield mostly in his own words, transcribed from old newspaper interviews from 1881 to the year he died in 1910. Thomas Garfield's father died when he was age ten, and the future U.S. President was 18 months old. Thomas went to work to help his mother keep the family together, which included two sisters. The book, "My Brother's Keeper: The Thomas Garfield Story," is a tale of sacrifice and how Thomas put his brother through college, while he remained a poor farmer all of his life. It is a tale of faith, as Thomas was a devout Christian, who never complained, and did everything for the benefit of others. President James A. Garfield, who died as a result of an assassin's bullet. Visit the Thomas Garfield book page.
Only $10.95 plus postage
50 pages / Paperback
50 pages / Paperback
Winsor McCay book reveals untold Spring Lake years
"Growing Up McKay," a new book about comic artist and pioneering animator Winsor McCay features what no other book about him has, a look at his 18 years growing up in Spring Lake, Michigan. The landmark book will trace the McKay family's arrival in Spring Lake in 1866, to the year they left the area, in 1885. With the help of the Winsor McCay committee, and the Spring Lake District Library, McCay's childhood is examined. Chapters include his friends, close association with his namesake Zenas G. Winsor, his school, his home, his illustration of the sinking of The Alpena (his first commercial work) and the history behind it, his father's jobs and position in the Village Council, and rare photographs that include images of his home, The Union schoolhouse where he was a student, and a reproduction of his sinking of The Alpena illustration. Visit the Growing Up McKay page here. Pictured: Winsor McCay.
Only $10.95 plus postage
60 pages / Paperback
Area history of Spiritualism and seances becomes a book
"The Talking Dead: The Modern Spiritualist Movement and the Supernatural in Ottawa County, Michigan 1850-1920" has been published The book explores the many faces and techniques of those who claimed they could communicate with the dead. The book also highlights seances, witchcraft, and seances in Ottawa County. Many of these spiritual mediums were con artists preying off those who had lost loved ones, but some conducted practices that were difficult to explain. Included is Spring Lake spiritualist Charles Orchardson, who wrote a book that he claimed was all written by the dead, some of which were famous, like Charles Darwin. There were also claims of witchcraft in Ottawa County, and black magic, and rumors of voodoo. The book covers the most outrageous to the unexplained examples published in Ottawa County and Michigan newspapers. It will be available on Amazon and at The Bookman in Grand Haven. Visit The Talking Dead homepage here.
Only $11.95 plus postage
60 pages / Paperback
Strange Grand Haven now available in paperback
BUY NOW FROM AMAZON
Only $12.00 plus postage
100 pages / Paperback
Picture book of Grand Haven vaudeville stars published
A new large size book, 8.5x11 inch format, about Grand Haven's twins who went on to become major vaudeville stars from 1897-1911, has been published and is available. The book is a memoir, and includes rare Lyman family photos, news items and reviews about featuring Herbert and Howard Lyman. The book features a history of their lives and career, presents over 30 rare photos, with newspaper clippings and ads published about them during their lifetime. Due to the oversize dimension and high quality printing on superior white stock, the book retails for $16.00. One historical aspect in the book concerning comedy sketches, is the twins pioneered the mirror illusion routine, that appeared in the Marx Brothers' movie, "Duck Soup." A big thank you to descendants who provided rare content for this tribute publication. Locally the book is available at The Bookman in Grand Haven. Visit the Lyman Twins homepage here.
Only $15.95 plus postage
52 pages / Large Size Paperback / Over 30 Rare Photos
RECOMMENDED BOOKS FOR READERS
My chapter books for tweens and teens
I have written several chapter books over the years and the four I would recommend to readers 9-15 would be the titles pictured above. Each can be purchased online by clicking on the book title. Barthpenn@heaven.org follows an inspirational communication via email between an angel in heaven and a boy who has only a short time left on earth. The second title is Esther's Channel, presented much like the works of C. S. Lewis, where creatures mirror humans and their emotions, a turtle named Esther must find forgiveness for others after her mother dies. The third title is Natalie's Ark, written by my wife and I. It tells the tale of a young girl lost in a flood, and how through faith, and the encouragement of animals that speak, finds her way back home. The fourth book I recommend is Dreamchaser, also written by my wife and I. It presents the tale of an urban youth who dreams of playing professional basketball, but discovers he is an all-star to those who love him most.
My picture books for children
I have written and illustrated several picture books over the years and the four I would recommend to readers 4-8 would be the titles pictured above. Each can be purchased online by clicking on the book title. Whispering Wally follows the inspirational tale of a large blue whale, and reveals the secret why he speaks in a whisper. The second title is Professor Horace, Cryptozoologist, which explores the unusual and amusing world of creatures of fable and legend. An elderly professor not only finds the creatures, but befriends them and promises to keep secret their existence. The third title is The Jumbo Shrimp of Dire Straits, written by my wife and I, illustrated by me, which tells the tale of a crusty sea captain who falls on hard times but does not give up on finding a place called Hope. The fourth book I recommend is Hope the Angelfish, which is a written collection of fables with biblical meaning. One illustration accompanies each of the 10 stories included.
Browse all of my titles
To browse all of my book titles available on Amazon, click here to visit my author page online.
I illustrate many books for authors each year and my illustration services are available upon request. I also edit and produce videos for books and other entertainment media at reasonable cost. Inquire how I can help you with your project. Check out examples of my artwork here: ART GALLERY 1, ART GALLERY 2.