Area authors tell their stories through books

Kathy Soukup tells the story of her family’s experiences after her son was diagnosed with cancer in “Standing Tall: On One Leg.” The journey began in 2005 with Joel Soukup’s initial diagnosis, followed by treatment and later, a return of the disease and more treatment. Joel has now been cancer-free for more than five years. Pictured are Joel, left, and Kathy of Pine River.

Kathy Soukup tells the story of her family’s experiences after her son was diagnosed with cancer in “Standing Tall: On One Leg.” The journey began in 2005 with Joel Soukup’s initial diagnosis, followed by treatment and later, a return of the disease and more treatment. Joel has now been cancer-free for more than five years. Pictured are Joel, left, and Kathy of Pine River. Photo courtesy of Echo Publishing and Travis Grimler

Several authors will sign books during Holiday Open House

by Jennie Zeitler, Staff Writer

Kathy Soukup and her family, of Pine River started a journey in 2005, when her youngest son, Joel, was diagnosed with cancer. He was 16. She always felt that one day she would write a book about her family’s experiences.

“In our family, we talked about someday writing a book, but I hadn’t planned it,” she said. “I’m just a plain old person.”

Joel’s right leg and the right side of his pelvis was removed as part of his initial cancer treatment, along with chemotherapy and radiation. The cancer returned a couple years later, and his tailbone was then removed.

“Standing Tall: On One Leg” chronicles Joel’s story, one of faith and courage in the midst of severe trials.

“What means the most to people reading the book is that they are crying one minute and laughing the next,” Soukup said. “I’ve always enjoyed writing, but never thought I had the ability to write a book. I can’t help but think that God’s hand was over my hand the whole time.”

Ag pilot Ken Peterson of Staples wrote his book, “A walk with God,” retelling the story of his life’s faith journey.

Peterson tells how he came to terms with his shortcomings, strengthened his relationship with God and saved his marriage. He describes encounters with God and how they shaped his life, how he survived more than one ag-aircraft crash and the challenges of running an ag-spraying service in the graces of God.

“The Ruth Experience” was written by three women from the Brainerd area. Social worker Kendra Roehl, attorney Julie Fisk and journalist Kristin Demery wanted to encourage people during the difficult times of life through modern-day testimonies from women who experienced God during their trials and triumphs.

“We are Christ-followers, wives, mothers, sisters, daughters and friends. We believe we are called to love God and love those around us,” they wrote on their blog. “Join us as we walk together through life, just as Ruth and Naomi walked together through great loss, great faith and, in the end, great joy.”

Kris Marxhausen of Milaca wrote “Faith the Flower Friend” to show children how God’s love can be seen in the beauty of a flower, on a little girl’s face and in the message she shared.

Millie Moran of Sartell, along with her husband, Don, was diagnosed with memory loss consistent with Alzheimer’s in 2010. She wrote “Socially Challenged” to remember her life and to let people know more about memory loss and early diagnosis.

These authors will all be available to sign their books at the Good Book and Gift Store, 120 First Street S.E., Little Falls during the Holiday Open House Sunday, Nov. 10 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information, call (320) 632-8770.

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