The summer has been very busy.  We visited both Milwaukee and Chicago.

Both cities were great.  In Chicago, we visited the site of the SVDM, the Biograph, the Holy Name Cathedral, the Green Mill, the original John Barleycorn’s Pub (where Dillinger hung out), and the Red Lion Pub (where Al Capone used to hang out).  After visiting all these places on our own; we went on one of the best tours — The Untouchables Gangster Tour.  The bus tour was led by “Southside” and “Sloup” and they were both informative and entertaining.  The tour was great and we highly recommend it.  Check out their website in our LINKS.

In Milwaukee, we also visited many of the gangster haunts, most notably the Holy Cross Cemetery (where Frank Balistieri was laid to rest); the Shorecrest Hotel (home to one of Balistieri’s favorite bars — Snugs); and the Historic Third Ward area, which was the predominantly Italian neighborhood in Milwaukee in the 20’s and 30s.

The Milwaukee trip also gave us a chance to visit a lot of the streets and buildings that we’re using in the upcoming book, JOHNNY RICO.

We’ve been working hard over the past 6 months on the second book.  JOHNNY RICO will be the sequel to STOLEN LIVES, and should be the second in the trilogy.  (Hopefully, 2015 will see the third — MEAN STREETS come to fruition.)  Meanwhile, we’re hoping to have the second one finished before the end of the year.

BOOK SIGNING NEWS:  We’ll be doing a book signing at BOOK WORLD in Sturgeon Bay (in Door County) on Saturday, September 27, from 1:00 to 3:00PM.  If you’re in Wisconsin, and you can make it to Door County this weekend; we’d love to see you.

Take care, all you’se wiseguys, molls and flappers.

– – mary ellen



As our first full year comes to a close, we want to thank all of our readers and friends for a wonderful 2013.

Big news in the past couple months:
First, Central Wisconsin Scene Magazine wrote a feature on Mary Ellen in their November issue. Check it out under our Links section.
Second, our author was proposed to on a recent trip to Texas by her longtime boyfriend, Matt Marshal who popped the question at the Christmas tree in front of the Alamo on December 11. (She accepted, and hopefully 2014 will see Mary Ellen as a bride.)

The trip to Texas was great. We made a lot of new friends; sold several books; and discovered two new bars.
We visited a cool bar in Austin, called Speakeasy on the Avenue. It was built on the site of an old bar from the turn of the century that was destroyed in a 1916 fire. Supposedly, there are ghosts from the fire still there. Speakeasy is a tri-level bar — with the main level, an upstairs terrace with some of the most amazing views of the Capital City, and a basement with a true Prohibition-Era feel.
The second place was actually a bar/restaurant — a place called Capone’s Bar and Oven in Houston. We went there to see Matt’s friend Steve Gilbert — a very talented Houston Blues guitarist who plays there on Monday evenings. Capone’s also has a 1920s atmosphere. They also have some of the best pizza in Houston.
A copy of Stolen Lives should be prominently displayed at both bars. Both places are now listed as “Friends” under our Links section.

We want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and all the best for the Holiday Season and the New Year.

Again, thanks for all your support in 2013. And we hope that the upcoming year brings us even more good things.

Look for the sequel, JOHNNY RICO, to come out sometime in 2014

Nekoosa Giant Pumpkin Festival

We’ll be setting up a booth at the flea market for the Nekoosa Giant Pumpkin Festival next weekend. The festival will be open from 9am to 5pm Saturday (Oct 5), and 9am to 4pm Sunday (Oct 6). It will be at the business park in Nekoosa, at the intersection of Wood Avenue (173) and Cty Rd G. In addition to the flea market, there will be a farmer’s market, a crafts market, music, a ventriloquist, a classic car-motorcycle-truck show (Sunday), and — of course — lots of pumpkins; regular pumpkins, smaller pumpkins, and GIANT pumpkins (weighing in excess of 1,000 pounds). And, there couldn’t be a pumpkin fest without the obligatory Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest (Saturday at 1:00PM). BE THERE — We’ll be looking for you.

For add’l info, please check out their website: http://www.nekoosagiantpumpkinfest.com

WISCONSIN DELLS Book Signing – August 31

Mary Ellen will be hosting her next Book Signing Event in the Wisconsin Dells on August 31. She will be at the Book World Store at 317 Broadway from ll:00AM to 4:00PM on the Saturday before Labor Day. It will be a fun weekend in the Dells. Try to make it out early. The Book World Store is only a block away from Capone’s Original Old Time Picture Studio (check out their website under “Our Friends” below). So, maybe before or after you visit us at Book World, you can get your picture taken in full gangster garb (with machine guns) in front of a vintage antique 1930’s era gangster car. Hope to see you there.


STOLEN LIVES will soon be available in three different Book World Stores. Already on the shelves at the Book World Stores in Stevens Point and in Mary Ellen’s hometown of Wisconsin Rapids; we will be available this weekend at the Book World in Marshfield. Look for a book signing event sometime in the next month or so at that store.

Also, the book was featured in an article about local Wisconsin authors in Central Wisconsin Hoopla magazine. Check out page 23 of the May edition. (http://jsonline.p2ionline.com/Hoopla/sitebase/index.aspx?adgroupid=211942&view=single&pageno=23&webstoryid=22555546)

We are currently available on Kindle.

And, you can order STOLEN LIVES through BarnesAndNoble.com or Amazon.com.

Or, to save shipping and handling charges, you can order directly from the author by pressing the “BUY NOW” key in this website.

We’re exploding throughout Central Wisconsin like machine gun fire.


Hey all you’se flappers and gangsters. March has been a good month, so far — even though we may have to send Bucky the Wisconsin Badger to Pennsylvania to pay a call on that Punxsutawney Phil gopher or hedgehog or whatever he is. We’re not too happy with that groundhog — Last Wednesday was supposedly the first day of Spring; and so far, we haven’t seen the mercury rise above 30 degrees. Some spring, huh?
We had our book signing at Stevens Point a couple weeks ago and did alright. The Book World in Point now has STOLEN LIVES in stock — and they even have a couple signed copies.
Then, we went back to Point for a “Solar Speakeasy” party put on by the Midwest Renewable Energy Association. This morning, thanks to our good friend Aimee Wetmore (of the MREA), we went back to Point to pick up a gift from that organization: Aimee arranged for us to get these plywood cut-outs that they had used as decorations for the party. One of them is a very cool-looking silhouette of a gangster, which we will be able to use at future events. Thanks Aimee. Please check out the MREA website under our friends.
And, speaking of friends — please note we’ve added two more links to our “Friends”: Polito’s Pizza and Florida Gulf Coast University. We went to the new Polito’s location here in Rapids, and it was really good New York Style Pizza. Mary Ellen is from New York — so she KNOWS NY Pizza. Also, we’ve been following the NCAA tournament, and we’ve adopted a new favorite team (even though, being here in Wisconsin, we should be Marquette fans). Mary Ellen spent a few years in Venice Beach, Florida, and she lived a few miles from Fort Myers, home of the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles, so we’ve added FGCU to our Friends. Wishing the boys from Fort Myers all the best in their coming games. GO EAGLES.
Other big news — as of last week, STOLEN LIVES is available on Kindle. So, if you have access to Kindle, please download the book. Thanks.
Wishing all our friends a very Blessed Easter and Passover. Hopefully Spring WILL get here soon.
See you’se next month.


Tonight, we went to a “Solar Speakeasy” party at Bernard’s Restaurant in Steven’s Point. It was a blast. The whole restaurant was full of flappers and gangsters. Thanks to the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) for a wonderful event. For this one evening, they transported us right back into the 1920’s.

Also, we need to thank Lisa Lickel of the Wisconsin Writers Association (WWA) for doing a big write-up of Mary Ellen in her Wisconsin Author Review.

Please visit both websites (See them listed under our “LINKS”).

Also, please remember the date : Next Saturday (March 16), we will be having our book signing event at Book World in Stevens Point (1136 Main Street). Hope to see you there.



Today we visited Stevens Point and put up flyers at area grocery stores, restaurants, and convenience stores. Unfortunately, it wasn’t til we were down to the last couple places that we realized that we had fogot to put down a time for the book signing.
It will be from NOON to 2:00PM on Sat, March 16 at the Book World on Main Street in Stevens Point. Hope to see you there ! !