We stopped at the Glenbrook Square Barnes & Noble on the north side of Fort Wayne last week, and I was very surprised to find they still have our book in stock:

 I say "book" singular, because it's the only one of our nine that we've managed to get into a chain bookstore--the others are either through small publishers, or independently published, and it's not easy to find shelf space for those. In any case it was a suprise, because I've always heard that major book stores won't keep a book for longer than a couple of months before they return the unsold copies, to make room for new releases.

But that's not the only Noble County related book they had in their history section:


Yay for local history books! For those of you who don't know, Ligonier is indeed within Noble County. The author of that book, Daniel L. Replogle, was my high school science teacher, far enough back that we'd probably both rather not discuss how far back it was. As for the other author, John Martin Smith, I got a look at his vast historical photo collection while we were researching for Albion and Noble County.

Of course, it goes without saying that you can get all of our publications at Barnes and Noble online, as well as all your better online bookstores ... and some of the worst ones.

I just learned that Arcadia Publishing has discounted all their Central U.S. books until Sunday. It turns out Indiana's in the Central U.S., so my and Emily's book, Images of America: Albion and Noble County, is also discounted--by 35%, which is no slouch by discount standards. Check it out here:




It's the one with all the cool historical pictures about, you guessed it, Albion and Noble County. And it gives you a break from hearing me talk about Radio Red! I mean, for now.




Apparently this is the last couple of days you can order something and still be sure to get it before Christmas, which includes my books if you don’t buy them locally. I know … usually I try to hide my sales pitches behind humor, but honestly I’m exhausted.

A few days ago Noble Art Gallery asked for more copies of Images of America: Albion and Noble County, and I’m told Albion Village Foods has sent off for additional copies three times now. I don’t know how sales are going at Doc’s Hardware, Black Pine Animal Sanctuary, or the Old Jail Museum (which isn’t open this time of year), but as soon as I get medical clearance I’m going to do my happy dance.

Meanwhile I just finished another polishing of my newest book, now with the working title of Hoosier Hysterical: How the West Became the Midwest Without Moving at All. Emily has it for a fresh-eye review, and if we don’t get a bite from a publisher, we’ll probably self-publish in mid-Spring.

Also meanwhile, look for a free Christmas themed short story soon, as a present from us to you.

As always, check us out at www.markrhunter.com, because sometimes you just need a little book … or a big book. But most of mine skew shorter.



I suppose this would be a good time to remind all of you that books are, by far, the best Christmas gifts. Yes, even for non-readers: In fact, books owned by people who don’t read are not only great re-gifts, but when not re-gifted they’re among the books in the best condition. No dog-ears, no food stains, no bent pages … pristine. Two hundred years from now, you can resell books in such good condition for enough money to make up for inflation, if you should happen to still be alive.

In addition to that, books:

Require no batteries.

Almost never rot your brains.

In hardcover editions can be used for self-defense.

Can be hollowed out to hide all sorts of contraband and/or listening devices.

Make bookcases much more useful.

Never go offline during power outages, assuming you have backup lighting. If you don’t have that in case of power outages, are you really smart enough to read?

Also, should you go into a place like, say Albion Village Foods, Noble Art Gallery, Doc’s Hardware, Black Pine Animal Sanctuary, or the Old Jail Museum, you’re shopping locally. You might even pick up things other than, say, books with my name on them, and that would support local businesses, and if you mention I sent you they might stock more of my books. This makes me happy, and don’t you want to see me happy? I thought so.

But if you’ve heard horror stories about going out shopping this time of year, you could always go to our website at http://www.markrhunter.com/books.html. This gives you a choice of nine books in five or six different genres (because I just can’t seem to keep my mind on one thing), with prices ranging all the way down to free (for Strange Portals, anyway). It’s like Black Friday somehow turned into bright December.

So that’s my pitch, and if you spread the word I promise I’ll continue to be funny and entertaining. Okay, I’ll try.


What an interesting book signing season it’s been. Back in July, before our newest book came out, we visited the Noble Art Gallery. We even had books available at my daughter’s yard sale, in May. After Albion and Noble County was published, we went to the Kendallville Library, then the Stone’s Trace Pioneer Festival.


A week from today we’re putting in another appearance at the Noble Art Gallery. Then we have dual October 10th book signings, at Joanna’s Dealicious Treats in Kendallville and the Cupbearer Café in Auburn.  I thought that would be the climax of the season.


If I’ve covered everything and counted right, that’s seven author appearances, five of them in two months. And nobody can say they haven’t been eclectic!


But other people have been trying on my behalf, and the other day I got an e-mail from a member of the Arcadia Publishing team. If all goes well, I’ll have one more author appearance, probably around the first of November … at a Barnes and Noble.


Stay tuned!



I wasn’t sure if Arcadia Publishing would put out an electronic version of Albion and Noble County, but there it is. Could I have just looked at whether the many other Images of America stories were released as e-books? Yes. Yes, I could have. But never mind.




It’s also in this little nook:




I do believe all our books can be read on your tablet, phone, computer, or be projected on your living room wall. And remember: Every time you buy an e-book, a tree gives a sigh of relief, breathes in carbon monoxide, and saves the planet. Don’t take chances with the planet.

While we’ll be at the Stone’s Trace Pioneer Festival all day tomorrow (Saturday), don’t forget the event goes on the whole weekend, and offers a lot of attractions. It runs from 10-5 Saturday and Sunday (at the junction of US 33 and SR 5, south of Ligonier), and I’m told we’ll be set up at the Stone’s Trace Tavern with our books. But there’s a lot more going on than a book signing:

Johnny Appleseed will be wandering around telling stories, and the Stone family itself will be at the Tavern (as represented by the Theater 33 drama group).

There’ll be a bagpiper, Punch and Judy puppet show, pioneer games, and face painting, and continuous entertainment onstage. It’s all for an admission of only $5, with kids 12 and under free.

The Stone’s Trace Regulators will be showing off their skills with muzzle loading rifles, knife and tomahawk throwing, and old time archery. Not to be outdone, soldiers at the Civil War encampment will have a military field hospital that hopefully won’t be needed—even though they’ll be firing off cannon over the weekend.

The Village Blacksmith Shop will do their thing with iron forging, and you can find blanket traders in the rendezvous reenactment camp.

Handmade pre-1870 era wares will be for sale at the pioneer craft booths, while food vendors fill your belly and whet your whistle. Believe me, whistles are almost worthless if they don’t get whet from time to time. I’m thinking that Indian fry bread sounds awfully good, not to mention the pork burgers.

Just park at the West Noble Schools across the highway, and catch a free shuttle ride to the festival—and don’t forget to stop by and say hi to Emily and me. We’ll be the ones who won’t look very authentic compared to the people who know what they’re doing. Learn more on the Stone’s Trace Historical Society website:



Don’t forget, our appearance at the Kendallville Public Library tomorrow night isn’t just a book signing: We’ll give a short talk starting at 6:30 p.m., followed by a Q&A, and then a pop quiz. (Kidding, no pop quiz.) Sure, we’ll sign and sell books too, but when a person appears in front of a fireplace in the adult department of a library, they should dish out some information!


A fireplace, how cool is that? I mean, not literally.


So, please pass the word on to all your friends. If you don’t have friends, pass the word on to all your enemies. If you don’t have enemies, you really should get out more. We’d like to have so many people there that we could whip a crowd into a frenzy, maybe by having prizes taped under their seats or something. I could stand there like Oprah: “You get a toaster! You get a toaster! You all get a toaster!


But I don’t think I could sign a toaster. At least, not without some kind of metal engraving tool, and Emily won’t let me use power equipment.


Of course, everyone knows the Kendallville Library is at 221 S Park Avenue … if you have any questions for them, they’re at 260-343-2011. You already know where to find the authors.

It occurs to me that the Stone’s Trace Pioneer Festival starts a week from today, which means Emily and I have until next Saturday to find outfits that make us look more or less like pioneers. On a limited budget, just like the actual pioneers. We have it covered, as long as we don’t have to wear hats, and if people don’t look too closely at our footwear.

I think it’s neat, the way they go to such lengths to give people a taste of what things were like a century and a half ago. It can’t be perfect, of course, especially in our case. This is the first time Stone’s Trace has hosted a book signing, but I don’t think they’ll ask me to use a quill pen, or only sell leather-bound books. On the other hand, I’m almost positive they won’t let me bring a jug of corn liquor, so it’ll all even out.

Hm … what did Hoosier pioneers drink? Paging Google …

It seems locally distilled whiskey was popular. I don’t drink much: A jigger of that stuff, and I’ll be signing my name “Mfcks Hinknickle”.

It’ll all work out. And preparing takes my mind off something much scarier: three days earlier, on September 9th, I have to give a talk at the Kendallville Public Library. Well, I don’t have to, but if somebody asks me to talk about my writing, I’m going to do it.

What happens after that is what they get for asking.

Now that I think on it, do you suppose people will show up hoping to witness a train wreck? Well, that’s fine—maybe they’ll feel so bad for me they’ll buy a book. But I’m actually not terrible at public speaking, as long as I have something of a script to go by. I’m a writer—so I write what I’m going to say, and it should work out fine. Guess I should get started on that.

We’ll be fine as long as I stay away from the moonshine.

Sales Specialist Sarah at Arcadia Publishing updated me on which local retailers are carrying Images of America: Albion and Noble County:

Albion Village Foods, 605 S. Orange Street in Albion

Black Pine Animal Sanctuary, 1426 W 300 N (west of Albion)

Doc’s Hardware, 122 N Orange Street on Albion’s courthouse square

The Noble County Historical Society, which operates the Old Jail Museum just west of the courthouse square

While my two book signings next week are onetime events, you can pick up a copy of Albion and Noble County at those locations during any normal business hours. Not after normal business hours.

The Old Jail Museum has limited hours, but I’m told the Historical Society will be selling the book at the Albion Harvest Fest, September 19-20 at the Saddle Club. Meanwhile, we’re hoping to get it into more retail establishments across Noble County, and it can be found at the usual online places and at least one Fort Wayne Barnes & Noble.

Remember, when you don’t buy history books, time travelers get stranded with their great grand-mothers-in-law. Don’t strand time travelers.

Two book signings next week—see you there! 


If you can’t make it that’s fine, but remember: Every time you don’t buy one of my books, Donald Trump’s hair strangles a pigeon. Think of the pigeons.


I realize Hoosiers don’t pay as much attention to book signing season as they do to high school football (and who blames them? Signings don’t have cheerleaders.) Still, I’ve got some upcoming dates to let you know about:


Sept. 9, 6:30 p.m. (Wed):  Emily and I will be at the Kendallville Public Library, which happens to be in Kendallville, at 221 S. Park Avenue. I’ll give a short talk about history, and writing, and stuff. Afterward, if you want more sensible conversation, Emily will also be available to answer questions. I’m talking professional questions, not “what did you ever see in him?” questions.

There will be books. Well, obviously there’ll be books—we’ll be in a library. But we’ll have copies of all of our books, too, not to mention you’re welcome to bring books you already have for us to sign. I mean, books we wrote.

The KPL event calendar is here:  https://in.evanced.info/kendallville/lib/eventcalendar.asp


Sept. 12, 9 a.m.—5 p.m. (Sat): We’ll make the trip to just south of Ligonier for the annual Stone’s Trace Pioneer Festival, which does indeed take place … well, you know. Stone’s Trace is rich in history and is mentioned more than once in our newest book, Images of America: Albion and Noble County. Located near the junction of US 33 and Indiana SR 5, the Pioneer Festival goes on all weekend.

We’ll be there all day Saturday—initial information was 1-5 p.m., but that was my fault for thinking too small. I understand that on Sunday, September 13th, Margaret Hobson will be there with her books, The Iron Men of Indiana 44th Regiment.

Now, we’ll have all of our books available there, but the non-historical ones will be low profile, as the Pioneer Festival concentrates on immersing visitors in the historical experience. This is also a good chance to pick up a copy of Smoky Days and Sleepless Nights: A Century or So with the Albion Fire Department.

Learn all about the Stone’s Trace Historical Society here: http://www.stonestrace.com/


October 10th, 10 a.m.—2 p.m. (Sat): Six authors will gather for two book signings: The first starts at 10 a.m. at Joanna’s Dealicious Treats, 201 S. Main Street in Kendallville.

(They have great cookies … but never mind that, I’m anxious to try the moosetracks ice cream.)

Really, can you get a better place than a book store/coffee shop/restaurant? I think not. And they’ve got those cool rolling ladders to use when searching for books, so it’s worth stopping in to see your local authors … even if we talk with our mouths full.

More info on the other authors later (one is Emily and another is my fellow Kendallville Mall writer, Rita Robbins), but for now here’s the Facebook page:



October 10th, 3 p.m.—7 p.m.: Emily and I haven’t confirmed for this one yet due to scheduling stuff, but as of this writing the other authors plan to head from Joanna’s over to the Cupbearer Café, at 138 E. 7th Street in Auburn. Imagine how caffeinated everyone will be by the end of that day! More importantly, the Cupbearer also is an ice cream parlor, so maybe I’ll take that night off work and loosen my belt.

We haven’t visited yet ourselves, but from the photos the place looks inviting and comfortable. Their website is here:



More info to come … and more signings? Remember, if you pick up one of our books elsewhere, you can drop by any time to have it signed. Whether it adds or subtracts from the book’s value is the chance you take.

As part of the book release for Images of America: Albion and Noble County, we’ve decided to include some extras—bonus materials, especially for people who like history and/or local people. I mean for local people, not for people who like local people. This is going to be a separate website from www.markrhunter.com, although each has a link to the other. This is because the regular website can be a little challenging to update, and the male half of this writing team is a notorious Luddite.

There were three things we wanted to bring you:

More photos: historical ones that wouldn’t fit or that weren’t quite good enough quality, and modern pictures of historic localities. There are places with historical significance that aren’t represented in the book, and we hope to fix that. Also, you might see photos here of events at historical locations.

More information about historical places mentioned in the book. It’s so photo heavy, and the only place to write was chapter openings and captions—and you all know how wordy Mark can be.

Additions and corrections pointed out by readers. For instance, we’ve already learned more about one photo in the book, information that didn’t come until after it went to press.

So we now have a website called, to avoid confusion, Images of America: Albion and Noble County. It can be found here:


We’ve already put up a few photos, with more to come. Word will go out via blog whenever there’s an update—let us know what you think.

ozma914: new novel cover art by Kelly Martin (Default)
( Aug. 24th, 2015 08:03 pm)

It didn’t work out, thanks partially to the chiropractor … but wasn’t it a great idea?


It’s a big day today, a day worthy of celebration. I decided that on this particular Monday, I’ll do whatever the heck I want.

I want sleep.

This says less about me than about the fact that I worked overtime this weekend, and events left me with about half my normal snooze time. I wish I could say I was one of those people who could go on for days without sleep. In truth, I’m jealous of those people—I could sure get a lot more done, getting by on three hours a night. But I can barely go hours without sleep.

Today (early Monday, as I write this) is book launch day. It’s my seventh book, or ninth if you count the anthologies I’ve been in, but it’s as exciting as the first one. Maybe more: This is the first time I’ve had a solid, definite book release date. Whiskey Creek Press only gave me an approximate date for my three works with them, and in those cases the books went up for sale before I expected them to. With our self-published works I could just announce the launch whenever the order was ready, which cut down on the anticipation. Just the same,  having a new book come out never gets old.

You know what gets old? Sleep apnea. Insomnia. Twelve hour shifts.

(Not insomnia during twelve hour shifts, mind you.)

Anyway, Arcadia gave me a concrete launch date: It says in my contract that any book in a customer’s hands before then will spontaneously combust. Customers hate that.

But thanks to preorders, early Monday Amazon rankings had me at #215 in state and local history books, which is really good, right? Right? So I think I deserve a solid nine hour sleep, followed by maybe a five hour nap.


Let’s face it, I was never a party animal. The music that gets my heart beating was composed by John Williams. My best-ever all-nighter was when I read Arthur C. Clark’s Rendezvous with Rama in one sitting. I get a hangover after drinking cough syrup.

Don’t get me wrong: I might still run uptown for a celebratory pizza. Sure, it could put me into a food coma—but that’s exactly what I’m going for.

The books are here! 50 copies of Images of America: Albion and Noble County came in the mail Saturday, in time for the official release date tomorrow. 

I did some checking, and the pre-order price at Barnes and Noble and Amazon  look good through the end of the release day—so you should be able to get it at 46-47% off the list price until midnight Monday. If you want an autographed copy, I’ll be happy to add my John Hancock later. 

After all, the deal is worth close to half off, and the signature is worth nothing!





We’re putting in a stressful weekend, with Emily and I both working all the way through, and me putting in some overtime … there’s already sleep deprivation going on. 

Maybe it’s best to keep busy, since book launching time is always stressful for me. I’m curious about how many people will take advantage of the pre-release sale on the Amazon and Barnes & Noble websites … it takes from my income, but at this point I’d still rather sell more books then make more money. (Although both would be nice.) I’m glad Emily noticed the price reduction; just wish I’d found out about it earlier. 

I think Monday I’ll sleep for about 16 hours straight. Well, it’s a nice thought, but for now—back to caffeine.

Images of America: Albion and Noble County is officially for sale—and on sale. The release date remains August 24th, but it can be ordered on your usual online suspects—and it appears those usual suspects are giving a pre-release price guarantee of close to 50%.

 (I’d have announced this earlier, but I didn’t know!)

 Here are ways you can order Albion and Noble County at a discount—if you act fast:






I’ve ordered 50 copies from Arcadia Publishing (ahem—I get an author’s discount), which should arrive Monday … which happens to be the release date. (I also ordered 20 more copies of The No-Campfire Girls, so we should have enough of all our books on hand.)

 Emily is setting up a special website for the book, where we’ll have extra photos and related historical information—more about that toward the end of the weekend. We’ll also be talking more about upcoming book signings soon … but meanwhile, take advantage of this deal!



ozma914: new novel cover art by Kelly Martin (Default)
( Aug. 16th, 2015 08:22 am)

I normally send out a press announcement ahead of each book release. This one might not show up in newspapers, because Arcadia Publishing has a publicist, and I haven’t heard back yet on whether it fits with what they’re doing.

(I know, right? We have a publicist!)


  A husband and wife writing team have produced a book that will give Noble County area residents a photo-filled walk through local history.

Images of America: Albion and Noble County will be released on August 24th by Arcadia Publishing, a South Carolina based publishing house with a catalog of more than 9,000 local history titles. The books are heavily illustrated with historical photos, which challenged authors Mark R. Hunter and Emily Hunter.

The Hunters spent months gathering old photos from numerous sources, including historical organizations, collectors, and residents with scrapbooks or boxes of black and white pictures. But that was only the beginning of the job: They picked out and organized the photos to best represent various Noble County communities and the county seat, Albion; researched local history; then wrote chapter openings and captions for all the photos.

The result is well over 200 images of towns, locations, and people in Albion and Noble County, the latest in Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America line. The book retails for $21.99, and is available for preorder on Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com. More information can be found on the publisher’s website at http://www.arcadiapublishing.com/9781467114516/Albion-and-Noble-County, or at the author’s website at www.markrhunter.com.

As part of the book launch, Mark and Emily will give a presentation at 6:30 p.m. September 9th at the Kendallville Public Library, and will also have a book signing from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. September 12th at the Stone’s Trace Pioneer Festival, near Ligonier.

             The Hunters previously collaborated on another history book, Smoky Days and Sleepless Nights: A Century or so With the Albion Fire Department, along with a humor book, Slightly off the Mark, and a young adult novel, The No-Campfire Girls. Mark R. Hunter’s other books include the romantic comedies Storm Chaser and The Notorious Ian Grant, and the story collection Storm Chaser Shorts.

Mark and Emily live a few blocks from the historical Noble County Courthouse in Albion along with their loving but scary dog, Beowulf, and a cowardly ball python named Lucius.



Thanks to Indiana State Rep. Dave Ober​ for preordering Images of America: Albion and Noble County. I take back everything I ever said about politicians. Well, state politicians ….


ozma914: new novel cover art by Kelly Martin (Default)


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