Buy Local + Support Michigan Authors this Holiday Season

Whether you’re looking to purchase some books for holiday gifts or you just want to add some new reads to your collection, check out this list of Michigan authors and support local this holiday season!

Support Local Authors Book 1: Bromance Book Club
By: Lyssa Kay Adams
Picture it. A bunch of bros reading romance novels to be better partners and lovers. Yes, please! Not only is it endearing but it’s wildly entertaining. You’ll have to be okay with some swears and some sexy time – but I promise you won’t want to put them down. With five books currently in the series – each book takes you through a different book club member’s story.

  • The Bromance Book Club
  • Undercover Bromance
  • Crazy Stupid Bromance
  • Isn’t it Bromantic?
  • A Very Merry Bromance

One of the things that impressed me from the first book was in addition to writing the book itself, Adams also wrote the romance novel they read in the book. And a fun fact, she is now in talks with her publisher about writing that actual book they “read” in the first book.

Buy this series immediately if you want to laugh out loud! And follow Lyssa Kay Adams on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for exciting news about a NetFlix deal in the works!

authorsSupport Local Authors Book 2: The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany
By: Lori Nelson – Spielman
You can’t go wrong with any of the books by Lori Nelson-Spielman, but The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany was my favorite. It probably helped that I was planning a trip to Italy while I was reading it – and then experienced some of the amazing scenery described throughout the book. The story follows three second-born daughters who are thought to be cursed in love. They set off on a trip of a lifetime to break the curse. Do they find love? I won’t ruin that for you – but I’ll tell you they definitely find themselves which is the most important love any of us can find.

Other great reads by Nelson-Speilman:

  • The Life List
  • Sweet Forgiveness

Support Local Authors Book 3: Things we didn’t say
By: Kristina Riggle
I had a hard time categorizing this one. It’s not romance, it’s not chic-lit, it’s not a murder mystery but it is complicated and so good! Telling the story of the “bonus mom” as they call them these days – coming into the lives of an overworked and underpaid fiancée, three unwelcoming kids, and a less than stable ex – it is messy, maddening, and relatable. The story is told from several different perspectives which kept my interest and made me wonder what the next person’s version would be. It’s such a good example of how we can go through the same exact situation as someone else, but our perceived experience or impact could be completely different. I liked that it didn’t wrap up in a perfect bow at the end. It ended well enough, but kept me wondering…like many things in life.

Support Local Authors Book 4: We Hope for Better Things
By: Erin Bartels
I had no expectations and little background on this book when I started, but I couldn’t put it down. Initially, I was pulled in by the storyline involving a Detroit Free Press journalist…because I’m married to one. But the emotional journey spanning from present-day Michigan to the Detroit riot in the 60s to the Underground Railroad during the Civil War, kept me captivated until the end. One house, three interracial couples, and hundreds of stories and secrets of love, heartbreak, and healing. It was non-fiction but felt very much like historical fiction due to all the actual events it referenced. While each storyline showed evidence of the progress we’ve made against racism in America, it also reinforced how far we still have to go. I appreciate how in the book Acknowledgements Bartels owned the risk of a white woman writing a book about racism in America and apologized for anything she might have gotten wrong. The storytelling in this novel is phenomenal and entertaining. And the themes that resonated with me – racism, love, forgiveness – have me not only hoping for better things but inspired to make them happen.  

Support Local Authors Book 5: Haunted Lansing
By: Jenn Carpenter
Hauntings, Murders, True-Crime, O My! You can get it all with Jen Carpenter. Her book Haunted Lansing takes you through the darker side of mid-Michigan. From the capitol building to a haunted road in Mason, to a hospital in Eaton Rapids, you’ll be looking twice the next time you travel through the area. If you want to pick up a copy of this book or countless other true-crime stories check out her store Deadtime Stories: True Crime and Other Books in Reo Town in Lansing. If podcasts are your thing check out So Dead: A true crime podcast where Jenn tells the tales of true crime, the paranormal, and other dark stories across Michigan.

Support Local Authors Book 6: Summer of ‘99
By: JL Hyde

A book set at a summer camp of the U.P.? What could be better? Only that it’s written by a CMU alum – Fire Up Chips! J.L. Hyde’s novel Summer of ’99 – definitely didn’t disappoint. The setting brought back my memories of the glory days of summer camps – swimming, campfires, ghost stories, and young love. While the main character has her eyes set on one love throughout the three summers spanned in the book, I remember my different years by the different summer loves {DJ, Rich and Froggy if you’re wondering.} The book – a murder mystery of sorts – will keep you interested and entertained throughout and if you’re like me…you’ll be a little surprised by the ending.

Authors + Books for all ages and stages:

Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen

Elementary School
The Ellie McDoodle Diaries by Ruth McNally Barshaw
Hair Like Mine by LaTashia M. Perry

Middle School
Michigan Chillers and American Chillers series by Johnathan Rand

Young Adult
Five Cousins: Secret of the Butterfly by Angela Cherniawski

Honorable Mentions by Mid-Michigan Moms
Contributors from Mid-Michigan Moms weighed in with some of their favorite books from local authors. Check them out:

Fire Keeper’s Daughter – Angeline Boulley

Chevy in the Hole – Kelsey Ronan

Two Widows – Laura Wolfe

All that we carried – Erin Bartels

Darker than Night – Tom Henderson

Shop Local
We know Michigan is filled with cool bookshops but one I’d love to give a shoutout to } and the location where I started writing this blog} is Hooked in East Lansing. From some of my suggestions, it’s probably obvious I’m located near Lansing, Michigan. But no matter where you live – this place is worth the drive. The only thing I don’t like about it is I didn’t think of it a first. I mean, coffee, books, wine, and games?! Who needs anything else? Not I! Located just down the street from MSU, Hooked has something for everyone, including outdoor seating I can’t wait to try out in the spring.

27th Letter Books – Detroit

The Book Farm – Williamston

Your Turn – we know we didn’t capture them all. Make sure to leave your Michigan author or local books store recommendations in the comments!

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Hi, I’m Jodie! I live in Williamston with my husband Chris and three girls: Francesca, and twins, Amelia and Annabelle. Since graduating from Central Michigan University (Fire Up, Chips!), I have worked full-time in the world of corporate communications, for 15 years. I also serve on the Galactosemia Foundation board, where I advocate for my two daughters living with the rare metabolic disease. I love Jesus, but I cuss a little and I drink coffee until wine is acceptable. When I can find a minute, I blog about my crazy, blessed life – often the hard stuff, but always with humor (and often a little sarcasm) at I can’t wait to start sharing my life and learnings with the Mid-Michigan Moms community!


  1. Another local author- Darci Hannah, she writes the Beacon Harbor cozy mystery series.

    Local bookstore – 2 Dandelions books in Brighton, MI.

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