Brian Freeman's newest psychological suspense novel, "Spilled Blood," will be available at bookstores across the country starting Tuesday, and it's already receiving rave reviews.

The Woodbury author's seventh thriller centers on two teenage girls who play Russian roulette. Both are somehow linked to a feud between two towns and a chemical company that has brought jobs and prosperity to one town and a cancer cluster to the other.

"'Spilled Blood' is everything a great suspense novel should be: gripping, shocking and moving," wrote New York Times bestselling author Lisa Gardner. "Freeman proves once again he's a master of psychological suspense, as he layers one family's crisis with an entire town's drama, building to an epic crescendo of rage, revenge and redemption."

Freeman is on tour this week promoting his book in Dallas, Houston and Vero Beach, Fla., and next week in Portland, Ore., Seattle and Dayton, Ohio.

Freeman is to appear at the "Totally Criminal Cocktail Hour" June 6 at the Dock Cafe in Stillwater.


Historical Society holds breakfast fundraiser

The White Bear Lake Historical Society is looking to raise $50,000 this year to preserve and expand its collection, offer educational programs and continue telling the stories of White Bear Lake, White Bear Township, Dellwood, Birchwood and Mahtomedi.

On Thursday, the society will hold its "Connecting Our Community To Its Past" breakfast and program from 7:30-8:30 a.m. at the White Bear Country Inn, 4940 N. Hwy. 61. For more information, call 651-407-5327.


Artists open up studios, galleries

An eclectic mix of contemporary and fine art will be on view during the 10th annual St. Croix Valley Studio Tour from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and next Sunday.

The tour will feature open houses at 10 studios and galleries where nationally and regionally known artists, along with eight guest artists, will show jewelry, glass, paintings, pottery and sculpture. The artists will visit with those who drop in at the studios in Stillwater and Bayport, and the Wisconsin towns of Hudson and River Falls. Maps are available at


SPCO plays at Trinity Lutheran Church

In a program celebrating the works of Felix Mendelssohn, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra will tackle the composer's "Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage" overture based on poems by German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and his Scottish Symphony.

Conductor Roberto Abbado also will lead the orchestra in the world premiere of "Mystery Play" by Italian composer Giorgio Battistelli.

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Trinity Lutheran Church, 114 N. 4th St. For tickets, call 651-291-1144.


Cinco de Mayo dinner cruise set for Friday

The Afton House will celebrate the Mexican army's 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War with a Cinco de Mayo Dinner Cruise Fiesta at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

Latin Fusion will provide the music. Tickets are $54.95 per person, and that includes a taco bar. Call 651-436-8883.


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