Book Clubs

I love meeting my readers so I am open to meet with Book Clubs. If you are located away from Minnesota feel free to send me your questions and I will get the answers to you as quickly as I can. On this section I have discussion questions for each book and if you want to be creative, I have included recipes of food that are part of the stories.


Loon Child for Book Clubs

Loon Child introduces a variety of the cuisine from the northern lake region of Wisconsin and Minnesota. If you create an outdoors” menu for your gathering check out the recipes below to try the recipes introduced in this story.

Discussion Questions

  1. Imagine yourself in Tom’s shoes as he discovers Joseph, abandoned in the wild. What strategy would you have chosen to convince Joseph to leave with you? Tom was able to keep calm and tried not to frighten Joseph, how difficult would that have been? Do you feel Tom took the appropriate steps after he found Joseph?
  2. Tom made a difficult decision when he chose to take a leave from his job to take in Joseph as a foster child. If Tom chose to go in the opposite direction and had turned down taking in Joseph, do you think he would have been haunted with not knowing Joseph’s future?
  3. A loon guided Tom to Joseph. Was it a coincidence the loon went to the island? Samuel believed it was a spirit of a person who passed that returned in a form of the loon to rescue Joseph. If you believe in Samuel’s analogy, whose spirit do you believe it was?
  4. Lily, having in her possession Tom’s family Christmas card mystified Tom and Roy. What was your first reaction as you read this?
  5. Have you ever lived or visited a Native American reservation? If not, what surprised you with the Author’s description of the Lac Coutre Oreilles Reservation?
  6. The Ojibwe Nation migrated from the east coast along the great lakes searching for the grass that grew on water”. When they found wild rice they knew they had found the land they were meant to live on. When reading about Tom’s first visit to the reservation were you surprised on how wild rice was harvest? Have you ever tasted wild rice? If so, in what form and did you like it?
  7. Lily’s parents were more concerned of their status in their community than the welfare of their daughter or grandchild. Do you think Lily’s parents ever regretted their actions? If Lily grew up in a large city versus the small town, do you think her parents would have reacted the same way?
  8. Lily’s behavior was far from acceptable parenting at the end of her life. What do you believe her thoughts were as she decided to leave Joseph on the island? Judy felt it was due to her desperation, combined with her medication and illness that clouded her judgement. How would you describe Lily’s behavior? Would you have been able to forgive her for her actions as Tom did?
  9. Samuel had spent his life evaluating and listening to nature’s unique teachings. His ancestry of reading nature’s behavior was taught to him as a child. He had a spiritual connection with nature. His stories were partly tales from generations before him combined with observations he personally experienced. With the author’s description could you imagine yourself listening to one of Samuel’s stories? Have you ever met a true storyteller that resembles traits of Samuel?
  10. Were you surprised Tom and Samuel finally made peace? Do you feel either’s animosity towards each other was warranted?
  11. Do you actually believe loons make calls at night that circle around the perimeter of a lake?

Summer of Elves For Book Clubs

Discussion Questions

  1. Could you imagine yourself watching an elf appear in your garden? What would you say to it?
  2. How would you react if you woke up to a creature standing next to your bed? Could you feel comfortable sleeping in your room afterwards?
  3. Were you familiar with all the creatures in this story? Did you expect them to be portrayed the way they were? Which creature would you want to meet and which one would you want to avoid? 
  4. Would you risk your life for your pet? Do you think Aly was wise in her decision to save Chica?
  5. Which of Aly’s powers would you want? Why did you pick that one? Would you want more than one of her powers?
  6. Which of Aly’s powers would you want? Why? And what would you do with it?
  7. Which creature fits your personality the most? Why did you choose that one?
  8. Will you look differently at large burrs in trees now? Did you ever think nature would come to Aly’s rescue? 
  9. How do you think Emily will handle seeing creatures? Do you think she will get some of Aly’s other powers? 

Autumn of Elves for Book Clubs

Discussion Questions

    1. Were you surprised on how Aly handled the troll as they departed from the State Fair Grounds? Could you have kept so calm to not alarm either the troll or Emily? What do you think would have happened if they didn’t get Emily out of there as quickly as they did?
    2. Would you say Aly was a good teacher/mentor to Emily? If so why?
    3. Did you think Emily was too young to get the magical powers of seeing the creatures? How would you have handled her training?
    4. How frightened for your little sister would you be if she came home and told you about the creatures in the ceiling of the school?
    5. Would you have taken it on yourself like Aly did to remove the sprites from the school yard? Do you think having Silver close by gave her strength to accomplish the job?
    6. When Aly and Emily met Alvit in the park what was your first reaction to the swan maiden? Could you have stayed calm when your sister was being taken by a giant swan as Emily did?
    7. Did the new colony of light elves surprise you? Were you shocked Silver had a sister? Do you think Aly is ready to be in charge of a village of light elves?
    8. When Alvit’s sisters arrived looking for her did you expect they would find her injured? Do you think Aly did the right thing by leading them to her grandma’s house? How shocked were you when you found out who hurt Alvit?
    9. At first did you think Koppor was just as guilty as Fredek when you found out Agda and Beck’s story?
    10. How scary would have it had been to be in the twin tomtes role for setting the trap for Fredek?
    11. Do you think Agda and Beck were good choices to lead the new village? Was it right to keep Koppor part of the village?

Winter of Elves For Book Clubs

Discussion Questions

  1. Have you ever heard the howl of a wolf in the wild? Could it be mistaken for a bay of a bloodhound?
  2. Would you have gone after a wounded wolf by yourself? Did Aly’s abilities surprise you on how talented she had become being a guardian?
  3. If you had a wolf who Lunt thought was a descendent of Fenrir in your back yard how would you handle it?
    Were you surprised Aly and her grandmother could send the wolf’s scents away from the neighborhood her grandma lived in?
  4. Emily’s disappearance surprised everyone. Did you have any idea she went to Murkwood? Was the description of Murkwood what you expected?
  5. How did you imagine the swan maidens homes and home life to be like?
  6. Did you think so many creatures from Norse Mythology were still alive? Which ones would you like to meet and which ones would you fear the most?
  7. Would hearing a wolf speak in your head surprise you? Is that a power you would like to have?
  8. Was it a shock to know there was another light elf queen out there? Can you imagine having Odin upset with you? Do you wonder how she survived his wrath?
  9. When Koppor’s powers were shown were you amazed she could transfer rock elves back to light elves? How do you think this power will change the direction of the story?
  10. Why do you think the dwarfs want the wolf so badly?
  11. Did you ever think they would friend two wolves?
  12. Dwarfs arrived at Aly’s house how would you have protected your home and creatures?
  13. How long will it take for King Helmar to learn he is losing rock elves?
  14. Saying goodbye is always difficult. What would you say to a wolf friend before you sent him home?

Spring of Elves for Book Clubs

Discussion Questions

  1. Were you surprised with the arrival of Queen Elin? I have to admit she was one of my favorite characters. 
  2. Do you think Aly was surprised to find out the reason Fen was found by Agda and Beck’s village?
  3. With rock elves and crows all over the area causing havoc, how would the human population explain it? Have you seen the movie, The Birds?”  If you have, did the crow action remind you of it?
  4. So many rock elves were transformed. What do you think the reaction was for the rock elves that couldn’t be changed when they woke up alone in a different place?
  5. King Helmar must have wondered what happened to his rock elves when they started disappearing. Do you think he thought they were captured, transported, or just ran off on their own?
  6. How many of you would have wanted the ability to change the weather? Have you ever experienced a blizzard?
  7. Each book had Aly’s hockey games included within the story. In Minnesota, hockey is played by both girls and boys. Have you ever played hockey and did you know there are state tournaments for both girls and boys hockey? How lucky are the guardians to have healing powers?
  8. Who do you think King Helmar wanted more Queen Elin or the hidden prince?
  9. Would you have felt comfortable walking through a group of giant wolves? Aly saved Queen Elin from the lindorms do you think that instantly made the wolves trust her?
  10. How did you picture the giants?
  11. Were you surprised to know who the young prince was? Why do you think Koppor did not protect him more?
  12. The cover of Spring of Elves book was taken in Sweden, have you ever traveled there? What were your thoughts on King Klas’ and Queen Astrid’s behavior towards the guardians, Silver, and Koppor?
  13. Which were your favorite characters in the Seasons of Elves series? 


Loon Child

Susan’s Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup soften butter
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
Cream sugars, butter, and peanut butter together. Add egg and mix together. Combine flour and baking soda together in a separate bowl. Once mixed, add to the other ingredients and thoroughly mix. Roll dough into one inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Flour a fork and make a crisscross pattern on each ball. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Recipe makes 3 1/2 cookies.

Wild Rice Recipes

Wild Rice Casserole (our family favorite

Wild Rice Casserole (Our family favorite)
1 cup wild rice
1/2 lb. sliced mushrooms
3 Tbsp minced onion
1/2 cup sliced almonds or water chestnuts
3 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup butter
Rinse wild rice in a strainer under running water. Combine rice, mushrooms, onion, and almonds or water chestnuts in a 2 quart casserole dish or dutch oven pan. Add broth. Dot with butter. Cover and bake in a 325 degree oven until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 1 1/2hours.

Wild Rice Bread

6 cups all-purpose flour
1package of dry yeast
1 cup water
1cup fat free milk
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup honey 
2 cups cooked wild rice (follow directions on package)
In a large bowl combine 1 cup flour and yeast. In a small saucepan heat water, milk, butter, and honey until the butter has melted, do not allow to boil. Let it cool for 2 minutes and then add to dry ingredients. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Add wild rice and remaining flour to form a stiff dough. Knead dough on a floured surface. Place in a bowl coated with cooking spray. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled. Punch dough down and divide in half. Coat two 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pans with cooking spray. Cover with damp cloth and let it rise until doubled. Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown.

Samuel’s Wild Rice Pancakes

1 1/4 cup wild rice
5 cups water
3 eggs
3 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoon butter, melted
Bring wild rice and water to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer covered for 30-40 minutes until rice is tender but not mushy. Drain off any excess liquid. Mix eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk in large bowl. Slowly mix in sugar, baking powder, flour, and cinnamon. Mix until batter is smooth. Add wild rice and melted butter. Heat on medium high a skillet that is lightly oiled. Pour in 1/4 cup of batter, cook until lightly brown on both sides. Serve with maple syrup or cooked apples.

Recipe for Seasons of Elves Series

Grandma Johnson Cookies

1 cup sugar
1 cup shortening 
1/2 cup molasses
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp ginger
3 cups flour
Mix first 4 ingredients together. Add rest of ingredients. Make dough into a 1-inch diameter roll and lay it diagonally across 2 cookie sheets. Wet hands and flatten down dough. Sprinkle with sugar, Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Cut diagonally while warm which makes the cookies diamond shape.