I come from a family of story-tellers and I am an author of novels and short stories in genres such as historical narrative, families history, and Native American fiction. Please enjoy my collection!
Reviews of My Novels
If your curious about my novels, and what readers and other authors think of my work, please check out my reviews page.
My Short Stories
Every great story deserves embellishment, and it’s a family tradition. Please enjoy my collection of short stories based on family lore, adventures with friends, cooking, dogs, and more!
Keep up to date with what’s going on at Clark Lake, how I tackle writing challenges, TV appearances, and what I have learned from life’s challenges.
- Dogs at Clark LakeIronically this Tale is about tails–dogs at Clark Lake that have an interesting story to tell. This story is by our own Laurice LaZebnik, who lives with her husband, Bob, on Kentucky Point. The story you’re about to read has some local historical and landmark references. It’s adapted from her book– Strongheart, A Dog Who Was a Coward, and is available from Amazon. Back story: Not long ago there was an accident along the north shore of Clark Lake. It happened during a blizzard. Two dogs were swept into a snow bank by a snow plough. They huddled inside their snow cave to wait out the storm. Walks Like a Bear, the cowardly sheepdog pup, questions Calle, the aging Irish Setter who lives next door, about their chances for survival. Calle attempts to calm the agitated pup by sharing a story of a similar situation involving a buffalo hunt during a snowstorm, but falls asleep before the story begins. The puppy’s imaginary spirit, Wolf, comes to his aide like he does when the young dog is stressed. Wolf soothes him by conveying the legend of the Potawatomi buffalo hunters caught in a blow-sideways storm, just like the storm still raging outside […]
- I’m Sorry Clark LakeI landed in London in a sleep-deprived blur, my lids heavy, my eyes shifting in sockets of sand. Three movies were too many. Two meals were too much. The Delta flight landed at Heathrow and I shuffled from the plane in low gear. This was not my first trip across the pond. I had been in England on business trips with my husband. Those junkets were a whirl of taxi rides, boardroom discussions, high-end restaurant meals and factory visits. This trip was different. It was personal. My Ancestry.com DNA results came back showing 33% UK. According to their records my ancestors’ exodus occurred between 1700 and 1750. I know that was a long time ago, but when I stepped onto British soil I felt like I was coming home. The second reason I came to the UK was because of my good friend Tracy. She lets me call her that because my Midwest tongue is not capable of forming her melodic Chinese name. We would be visiting her son, Chris, whom I’ve known since he was two. He is studying computer science and discreet mathematics in Southampton University. Chris met us at the airport. That’s when the first […]
- The Hotdog ChallengeMy husband of 45 years would rather have a hot dog for dinner than a home-cooked meal. He thinks of himself as a hot dog connoisseur and is convinced Coney Island hot dogs from Tommy Boadgieff’s former cart on Detroit Street are Jackson and Michigan’s finest. But it wasn’t always so. “When I was eight or nine,” Bob said, “I discovered hot dogs at the Tip Top.” This root beer stand, gone since the 60’s, was located at the end of Ganson Street where it joined E. Michigan Avenue. “I liked the experience of eating the sandwich because it was easy to hold, no forks or knives were required, and it was lip-smacking good. With each hotdog I had the option to add freshly chopped or grilled onions, relish, mustard and/or ketchup. Tip Top dogs were a nickel apiece, and if you took 20 they threw in an extra for free. When I was 13 or 14 I liked the Tip Top for reasons other than the cuisine. I liked watching the girls who came in to eat the hotdogs.’’ The July 16, 2017 insert in Parade magazine reported the origins of the American hot dog: “A German baker, Charles […]
- Donna Hartman’s Green Tomato(e) Mincemeat RecipeI found it! I found it in a pile of paper memories … Mom’s handwritten recipe for Mincemeat with the word tomato(e) misspelled, just like Dan Quayle misspelled potato(e) in the 1992 presidential campaign. My mother, another creative speller, taught me how to make a pie, how to peel thin skins from potatoes so some would be left to eat, and how to sanitize and shine our white porcelain sink after all the dinner dishes had been washed, dried and put away. Teaching me kitchen skills and sharing her recipes was a way my mom showed her love for me. And she was generous with that love, except when it came to the recipe for her signature Mincemeat made with the green tomatoes from her end-of-season garden. Based on the dates on newspaper clippings and outdated coupons in the same pile of papers, my guess is she gave it to me twenty years ago. When I prepare and eat the foods she taught me how to make, I think of her hovering over me, tasting the sauce, telling me I need more salt or advising me how to save the too salty sauce by adding a raw potato. These are […]
- Mother’s Day: Lessons in Oral HistoryMom sat near the end of the table at the assisted living center in Standish. Her shoulders slumped. Her eyelids were closed, her jaw was set. “She won’t talk or eat,” Dad said from across the table. “If she doesn’t eat she will die. Do something, Laurie,” he said, his voice cracking. I held the spoonful of mashed potatoes to her mouth. No response. I urged her to take a small bite. Nothing. “Open the barn door, Mom. The cows want to come in to eat,” I said, surprised that this childhood memory of her feeding me had popped out of my mouth. Her eyelids fluttered. A faint smile formed on her lips. They parted and she took the potatoes I offered. Flushed with excitement, I explained, “Mom, you must eat. Dad needs you. Mickey needs you. And I need you. I have some questions about family and I still need your recipe for your mincemeat pie. The one made from green tomatoes.” She smiled again and her lips formed words that were too soft for me to hear. I leaned in close. With great effort she repeated the words, “No time.” That was the last conversation I had with […]
- The Potato Soup Recipe: Minnie’s PotatoesWhen Brooklyn’s Exponent writer Monetta Harr interviewed Laurice LaZebnik about her new book Minnie’s Potatoes, she was treated to her great-grandmothers potato soup. The review: Delicious! Minnie’s Potato Soup (Kartoffelsuppe) 1 quart chicken broth 6-8 strips of bacon, cut into small pieces 1 small onion diced 4 potatoes (about the size of your palm), peeled and diced ½ cup milk or cream (optional) a pinch of salt Fry bacon until crisp and remove from pan with slotted spoon, leaving bacon grease. Add onion and cook until tender. Add chicken broth, diced potatoes and the fried bacon. Cook until potatoes are tender. Mash some potatoes to thicken the soup by pressing them to the side of the pan with a spoon. Add milk or cream (optional) and heat till warm again. Salt to taste. Serves 4. Corn Chowder Variation: Add a can of corn when you add the milk.
- THE EXPONENT Review: Minnie’s PotatoesNameless Headstone Leads to Novel Your LIFE your STYLE with Monetta Harr TUESDAY, APRIL 26, 2016 • THE EXPONENT • PAGE B3 It was anger, a deep sense of injustice, that prompted Laurie LaZebnik to write her third book, “Minnie’s Potatoes” from her great grandmother Minnie’s perspective. “I was at the cemetery and I found this big family stone with all these men’s names on it and all it said for Minnie was ‘mother.’ I thought, didn’t she deserve a name?” said LaZebnik, 71, of Clark Lake. “There were only two other stones in the entire cemetery that didn’t have names; one said ‘father,’ the other ‘mother’ next to a child’s stone.” “Did she do something wrong that her name wasn’t on the stone?” said LaZebnik, her eyes tearing out of frustration. “I decided right then that not only does she need a name but that she had to have her story told.” “Minnie’s Potatoes” is a historical romance novel that traces Minnie from Poland to Standish, north of Bay City near the Saginaw Bay, where lumbering brought hundreds of Europeans looking for work in the late 1800’s. “I wanted the characters to start one way and end another. Minnie started […]
- Thoughts While Scrubbing Skunk Scent From My DogsI should have learned from the last fragrance attack not to let our dogs outside alone after dark for that last pee of the night, even though it would save me from a cold nose on my cheek in the wee hours, a signal one of my sheepdogs needs to go out, a trip which results in my being grouchy in the morning when it’s time for their walk, but then, waiting out here in the freezing cold watching them pee might be worth it because this skunk bouquet is like burnt electrical wiring and kneeling out here in the freezing cold as I douse them from the garden hose is making me dizzy and sick to my stomach even after the first scrub with the peroxide, baking soda and liquid dish-washing soup concoction Bob found on the Internet before he graciously offered to drive to the drugstore to buy additional peroxide at midnight, an offer that didn’t fool me because I know the reason he volunteered was to avoid the aroma because he almost passed out after one whiff and he thinks the smell will be gone when he gets home but it won’t and I know I’ll have […]
- Bart Hawley Interview: Minnie’s PotatoesBart Hawley of JTV interviews Laurice about how she discovered her great-grandmother was a bootlegger and why she based a historical romance novel on her scandalous life. Meet the author in person and hear how to preserve your own family history on April 13 from 6:30 -7:30 at the Jackson Carnegie Library Auditorium.