What Happens in Sturgis is FREE! (and Has a New Cover I’m in Love With)

what-happens-in-sturgisIf you’re looking for a good read to curl up with, you don’t even have to put a dent in your Amazon gift card (or that credit card you put all your gifts on!) when you download What Happens in Sturgis. (And as an aside, I LOVE this new cover!!)

Yep, What Happens in Sturgis is just under 12K words of pure escapism for nada – zip – zilch. I don’t know about you, but I could really use some of that right now.

So what’s it about?

It’s a about a guy who prefers to avoid kissing.

Avoid kissing?

What kind of romance story would that be?!

Well, there’s a reason for Vince’s attitude, and when Tori finds out, she decides to do something about it. And that something turns out to be… a whole lot of kissing!

So grab it now and escape for a few hours. You’ll be glad you did!

P.S. Do me a favor and PLEASE leave a review when you finish. Reviews are really important for independent writers like me. Good or bad, it all matters!


Where to get it: Kindle / Nook / iBookstore Kobo

Check out a free excerpt here!

New “True Surrender” Cover in Time for Veteran’s Day

truesurrender_ebook_cover02Veteran’s Day 2011 was the original release date for True Surrender: a Military Romance. So it’s fitting that True Surrender should get a ‘makeover’ on another Veteran’s Day (2016)!

In the years since True Surrender was first published, more and more veterans have returned home as amputees. I think the time has come to put them front and center, loud and proud.

Certainly in my view, they are the heroes (see How Real-Life Veterans Inspire my Writing), with the strength, passion and courage to re-make their lives (as Aaron Bricewick, the hero in True Surrender, does).

This cover image is actually from the video shoot we did for the trailer (and music video) back in 2013. I’ve always wanted this cover, and I believe Aaron would approve.

“I fell for the hero from the first page. I promise you will keep turning the pages in this book. The characters’ intimate and personal and spiritual journeys converge and it is one heck of a ride!!” ~ Jennifer

(Check out the interviews with Aaron and Holly here.)

Purchase eBook: Kindle / Barnes & Noble/Nook / Apple iTunes/iBookstore / Kobo

After the Lights Go Down (Recuperate, Reflect… and Make a Video)

“Restless Beat” was performed on stage at the Southern Theater during Fringe Festival 2016. I’ve had 2+ months to recuperate and reflect, and yet I still find myself in awe of the entire experience.

“This show isn’t playing by the same rules as other Fringe musicals…drumming segments are so bombastic, so interesting, and so engaging…” 

“The actors have an intimate relationship with their drums, one that truly draws the audience in.”

group_sillyIt was my first-ever stage production, and it was a doozy. I often think I should have started with a simple play, but no… I had to start with a musical where the ‘songs’ were played on taiko drums (see more here)!

I was truly blessed to assemble a great group of actors (see their bios here) who never failed to give their all and pitch in with the many ‘extra’ chores a Fringe show demands. They even learned to play the drums so well (thanks to the amazing work of friend and co-conspirator Brett Diethert) that many in the audience couldn’t believe they had only been playing for a few months! From the bottom of my heart guys: you made my world a bigger place, and humbled me in the best way possible!

I could go on, but I think I’ll let this video tell the story instead…

“Restless Beat” Opening Night Coming Fast

It’s hard to believe that my show, “Restless Beat,” will take the stage in less than two weeks!

slider_RestlessBeat“Restless Beat” is a musical where the songs are played on drums. The characters are drum players who are struggling to let go of their past so they can embrace the possibilities in their future. You can read more about it – and watch the trailer and other sneak peeks – right here.

I’ve done other things in my life (on purpose no less!) to challenge and stretch myself… but, well, this is a doozy! I can’t even identify all the emotions I’ve experienced these last months: Frustration… anxiety… triumph… amazement… humility. And if I thought I was open to suggestion before, I’ve gained a whole new understanding of the word “flexibility”!!

So now it’s almost here (deep breath). And it’s going to be awesome (if I do say so myself)! If you want to support me in this crazy endeavor, here are some things you can do.

      1. Come to the show! Here’s the schedule and how to buy tickets.
      2. Tell everyone you know about it. Below, I’ve created a ready-made post (all you do is copy and paste!). You can also download the event postcard or one of the teasers (whichever appeals to you most!) and share them on your social media.
      1. Join the Facebook event. I’ll be posting lots of behind-the-scenes photos.
      2. If you can’t come to the show, you can still help defray the costs.  Let me be clear: this is not a money-maker. Everyone involved is spending hundreds of hours on this show. We have a terrific cast (read about them here) and getting them paid is my biggest expense. Donation link: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=2WUVK28AERZWN

Well, that’s it for me. I probably won’t know much about anything going on in the world until I emerge (victorious, I hope!) on the other side in mid-August. Hope to see you at a show!


Copy-n-Paste the below and post on your social media:
My friend Tracey is producing her first-ever musical at Fringe Festival! Check out the trailer: https://youtu.be/5dmzkHovSlY

Click and save to download the below:


Three Ways YOU can be Part of “Restless Beat”

It’s been a dream of mine for years. And now it’s really happening.

I’m producing my drum-playing musical “Restless Beat” at Fringe Festival 2016 (read about it here)!

slider_RestlessBeatThe process has not been without obstacles. The kind that have made me go “what was I thinking?!” at times.

First it was getting enough drums to do it the way I wanted to. Then it was finding the right actors. Then it was scheduling issues in the rehearsal space (to save money we are using a room in my church).

And now, the usual obstacle: money.

From the outset, I knew I wanted to pay my actors fairly (we have a cast of six awesome actors!), so that is the bulk of the expenses. But there’s also booking the theater (the awesome Southern Theatre), renting drums (and having some stands made), wardrobe and marketing.

Long story short, producing “Restless Beat” is more expensive than I thought.

And to be honest, it’s a LOT of work! I will put in hundreds of hours (as will the actors).

We all have dreams. I hope I’ve honored yours when and if you’ve shared them with me. If you’d like to support me in this dream, there are several things you can do:

  • Donate! You choose your own amount – simply use the button below. Any amount helps! (If you’d prefer the ‘old-school’ method of a check, get in touch with me.) All donators will be acknowledged in our official Show Program (and in my heart of hearts)!
  • Join the Facebook event and help spread the word (and if you’re not on my subscriber list, do that too at the upper right corner of this page!)
  • Come to the show! There are FIVE opportunities to do so, starting August 6 through August 13. It’s gonna be raw. And powerful. You won’t know what hit you! Ticket info will be found at fringefestival.org.

“Restless Beat” is going to challenge me in every way possible. We’re going to put on the best damn show we can! And after all, persevering only makes the end goal sweeter, doesn’t it?


Restless Beat Trailer & Cast

RestlessBeat_imageRestless Beat is a story of rivalry and relationships. A story of old versus new, of learning how to let the past go so you can embrace the possibilities in your future.

It’s a story about drum players and how they use the drums to find courage within themselves to overcome challenges in their past (and present).

Dialogue is interspersed with songs that communicate emotion – hope, anguish, shame, and so on. In Restless Beat, these emotions are communicated using large drums (taiko drums) – and, of course, the movement of the body.

The energy of the drums is raw and powerful, and I wanted to harness that – along with dramatic movement – to communicate emotion and tell a story.

Restless Beat is the story…

We need your help! See how you can be part of “Restless Beat” RIGHT NOW (click here)!

—> Join the Facebook Event!! <—


Come and see us at the Fringe Festival!

Saturday 8/6/2016 5:30 PM
Sunday 8/7/2016 8:30 PM
Monday 8/8/2016 10:00 PM
Friday 8/12/2016 5:30 PM
Saturday 8/13/2016 7:00 PM



fight_grant4Christopher Hager (Grant) is new to the Minneapolis area with “Restless Beat” being his first Fringe Festival production. He began acting in Mason City, Iowa and moved to New York where he studied at the Acting Studio. After being featured in A Sketch About New York, the SyFy network’s show The Internet Ruined My Life, and the film Hello Again, he returned to the Midwest to continue acting and be closer to loved ones. Growing up he was active in music performing in Jazz ensembles and area bands playing guitar, saxophone, piano, percussion and vocals. His enthusiasm for music continues in “Restless Beat,” allowing him to combine his passions in life.

brynnBrynn Berryhill (Maya) graduated from Bethel University with a B.A. in Elementary Education and a minor in Theatre. Since her discovery of theatre at age 10, she has done many childrens’ theatre productions and has been a core member of the drama ministry at Roseville Covenant Church. Her hobbies outside of theatre are quite eclectic, including many different styles of dance (swing,tap, Vietnamese lion, Armenian, etc), crafting, guitar playing, singing, parkour, and skill toys (poi, juggling, etc). IN her ‘day job’ she is a non-traditional school teacher, working at charter schools and specializing in arts and gaming. She has enjoyed taiko drumming immensely and hopes you enjoy the show!

samRestless Beat will be Sam Aanestad’s (Dietrich) 22nd production. Recent credits include a major supporting role as Steve in Cabin Fever; Clifford Anderson in Deathtrap; and Antipholus of Syracuse in A Comedy of Errors. Sam has also performed in the Minnesota Renaissance Festival with the improvisational commedia dell’arte troupe I’Arroganti. He is a Theatre Arts graduate from the University of Northern Colorado, and is glad to be a resident here in Minnesota since December of 2014. He enjoys practicing varieties of dance such as Ballroom and Jazz, hiking and of course playing drums (of all kinds).

kezia2Kezia Germ (Allie) is excited to be participating in her fourth Fringe Festival! Kezia was most recently seen in The Thermos Bottle by Ghoulish Delights in the 2015 Twin Cities Horror Festival, and as Maria McCormack in The Sound of Footloose with Snickt! Bamf! Thwip! at last year’s Fringe Festival. Kezia spends her summers working as an instructor at the Chanhassen Dinner Theater’s Kidstar Musical Theater Camp for children ages 5 through 7, and hopes to someday teach drama to children. She just completed her freshman year at the University of Minnesota Twin-Cities, where she studies Theater Arts.

ben_2Benjamin Mayo (Charlie & Taro) is an aspiring artist and musician. Growing up in southern Minnesota, Ben was involved in theater, choir, and speech. He is a self-taught musician playing instruments including the guitar, ukulele and mandolin. Ben has performed in various productions in high school and children’s theaters. He is very excited to take a part in this production because it gives him a chance to get back into acting – not to mention another instrument to learn!


brett_bio_picBrett Diethert (Director of Music) came to the planet with a full compliment of emotional and energetic expressions. After completing his Master’s degree in Human Development, he became an instructor in the Martial Arts, studied the art of story-telling with the followers of Joseph Campbell, then went on to teach himself guitar.  Expanding his expressive arena, he studied Taiko (Japanese drumming) with a local group and eventually landed  on Sado Island, Japan, where he practiced with the apprentices to the group Kodo, learning many traditional Taiko rhythms. He is the author of several percussion pieces, and has experienced the thrill of his songs from center stage. He seems to have a gift for finding the right people in his life at just the right time.


tt_chu_22Tracey Cramer-Kelly (Writer, Director & Producer) has published six romance novels/novellas (three of which are Indie Award finalists) and one audio book. Her writing draws from her experience as an Army Reserve paramedic and exposure to helicopter medevac (she obtained her helicopter pilot license in 2001). Her work increasingly fuses story, music and video/drama. She has released her own musical cover arrangements and produced several music videos, playing multiple roles including director, actor and video editor. She is an avid motorcyclist and owns a motorcycle accessories business (Leader Motorcycle Accessories). Her hobbies include music, Taiko drumming and outdoor activities of all kinds. She lives in small-town Minnesota with her husband and two young children.


Restless Beat: a BIG DRUM Musical



We are looking to cast several roles for a MN Fringe Festival production of Restless Beat (a musical with BIG drums instead of singing). The show revolves around several drum players who have left or been turned down by a rival group. Each player takes out their anger, shame, insecurities and pain on the drums – and for some, the club is more family than their own family!

Seeking strong character actors with a good sense of rhythm and body movement. (No singing required.) Don’t worry about playing a drum; we will teach you what you need to know. Drum players are 20 to 35 years old; one additional part is open to a range of ages. Enthusiasm and a talent for choreographed movement a plus!

Paid stipend TBD + percentage of box-office payout.


Sunday, May 1 (5-8pm)
Location: Horizons Community Church, Ham Lake (free parking)

Please send email to tracey (at) traceycramerkelly.com with your resume and headshot (which can be just a personal photo), along with your preferred audition time (if you have one). If you are unable to attend, please ask us about possible alternatives. Be prepared to read from the script and try a simple rhythm on a drum.

Rehearsals: to be held at Horizons Community Church (Ham Lake) one night/week, most likely Wednesday, beginning May 18 (generally, 6:30-9:00 PM) until the MN Fringe opening date of about August 4 with extra rehearsals in the week leading up to opening.

Performance Dates and Location: 5-6 performances during the MN Fringe Festival which runs August 4 to 14.

“Emergency Measures” (and 8 more installments) of Take Two Hollywood/Biker Novel

When Zac wakes in the hospital, the events of the night before come rushing back. Some of which he’d really rather not remember…


Carefully Zac brought his hand to his neck. It too had a bandage on it, but it was loose and he easily worked his fingers underneath it. Felt the smooth surface of a tube…or maybe two. Gingerly he followed the tubing until…it disappeared into his skin.

He yanked his hand away as if he’d touched fire. These tubes were…inside him??


Read “Emergency Measures” and “The Plan” on wattpad!

Free Read on Wattpad: “Falling into Darkness”

Last we left Zac and Gina (of Take Two: a Lady Biker Novel), Gina had made a startling (and scary) discovery in Zac’s hotel room. Now the race is on to figure out how that affects Zac…

Read it here.


“Sasha was in your room on Monday night, is that right?”

Monday night? Was that the day? “Yes.”

“She brought you some cookies.”

Where was she going with this? “How do you know…about the cookies?”

“Zac,” she said. “I need to know how many cookies you ate that night and each day after that.”

He closed his eyes as another wave of nausea washed over him. His fuzzy mind struggled to connect the questions. Was she implying…? “The cookies are making me sick?”