Sunday, March 19, 2023

Book Readings and Signings

 Four Book Events with Lilly Setterdahl and her two latest fiction books, both set in Sweden

Elisabeth and the Nobleman is a novel about class distinction and the gender gap of the 1960s. Paperback $15.00.

UNTIL THE LIGHTS COME BACK ON is a cyber-thriller about what could happen if a foreign power shuts off the national grid in our modern world. Paperback, $20.00.

1)      March 22 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Midwest Writing Center, Rock Island Public Library, 401 19th Street, Rock Island, ground floor.  Reading, signing. Light refreshments.

2)      March 24 from 10:00 a.m. to Noon. Dead Poet’s Espresso, 1525 3rd Avenue, Moline, IL. Reading, signing. Entrance and parking in the back of the building.

3)      April 1 from 10:00 a.m. until 4 p.m. Book Fair. The Commons, Bishop Hill, IL. All the establishments will be open.

4)      May 8 from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. East Moline Public Library, 745 16th Avenue, East Moline, IL. Reading, signing.


Friday, October 21, 2022

Christmas market appearances

On Sat. Nov. 26, I'll be at the Christmas market in Bishop Hill, IL, first at the Colony Store between 10:30  and Noon to sign books. In the afternoon, I'll be at the Vasa Archives, between 1 and 3 pm to highlight the exhibit "Documenting Swedish America" and talk about genealogy. 


Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Review: Until the lights come back on

 Book Review: Until the Lights Come Back On

Published in the newspaper Nordstjernan, Sep. 15, 2022

Renowned author and Vasa member Lilly Setterdahl has released yet another book, “Until the lights come back on." A cyber thriller- which probably is not what most of us expect from this writer. A wake-up call for us all!

This book really makes you think…. And very scary thoughts as we could easily be exposed to hackers and “cyber threats” at any given time. Just a disagreement (Or just evil – because someone can) between what we thought were friendly associates, to superpowers, and in the blink of an eye, the world, or your country, just your own little world goes dark. It’s not surprising that Lilly chose to have the catastrophe take place in Sweden, with Norway coming to the rescue and interactions by Finland and Estonia, and the superpower Russia as the “bad guys.” A story of interacting generations, support of families, and friends, along with extreme hardships for the ones affected the most. The hardship involves everything from darkness, to lack of resources, food, gas, and money. Closed factories and businesses, little to no interaction from the government, and death to follow in so many cases. We are following the family of incredibly talented offspring in the restoration of high-tech equipment, computers, and internet services. Major survivor skills and some great surprises in their day-to-day family life lift your spirits while reading. A hard book to put down. Your attention is constantly peaking.

This book was published by the Nordstjernan Förlag in New York and can be purchased through Amazon.

Read and reviewed with admiration by Liza Ekstrand

Monday, August 15, 2022

Until the lights come back on

 Until the lights come back on

a cyber thriller 

A word from the hacker

As a hacker, I love to observe the havoc I cause. One of the great benefits of working for a large government is that I can zoom in on people and see how they react to my cyber attack. There is a Swedish family that fascinates me. The eldest of three brothers, Toby, is a well-spoken good-looking fellow who likes to be in charge. He has a degree in geology and enjoys a good position at the University of Gothenburg on Sweden's west coast. He is married to a nurse and they have two children. His brother, Alex, is a married electrical engineer who works for a power company in the same city. The youngest brother, Kurt, is single and a doctoral candidate in computer science in Uppsala on the eastern seaboard. You will meet him first because I believe he will have a huge impact on how this story ends. 

The brothers' parents are farmers and not active on social media, but I can still find pictures of them posted by family members. Their medical records tell me they have been healthy so far. Anders looks strong and sturdy, but his wife Lena's body seems too frail for the work that awaits her. I'm trained not to have feelings for my victims, but I sympathize with Lena. She is going to need help.

Sweden's welfare system guarantees a secure cradle-to-grave life. The Swedes enjoy a high standard of living and six weeks of paid vacation, which they use to travel the world. They are in for a rude awakening. It was easy for me to shut down Sweden's large power grid that unfortunately includes Finland. Let's see how our Swedish family reacts to my handiwork. 


Friday, August 5, 2022

Elisabeth and the Nobleman

 Upcoming book:

Elisabeth and the Nobleman, Historical Romance

Here is the beginning:

Chapter 1. 

A large crowd had already gathered at Lundby Castle Park when Elisabeth and her best friend, Angret, both eighteen, arrived to enjoy the Midsummer Fest. The long sunny days of summer had tanned their faces, arms, and legs. As the band began to play, an incredibly handsome young man had his eyes on Elisabeth and asked her for the first dance. His narrow hips swung to the music. He had the bluest eyes Elisabeth had ever seen, wavy, blond hair that fell to his collar, and a bewitching smile. His medium height felt so right when they danced.

“My name is William,” he said. “What’s your name?”


“That’s a pretty name, and you’re a beautiful girl. You look great in your miniskirt.”

 Happily, Elisabeth continued to dance with William. He smelled good and had no pimples. His fingernails were clean, and he acted like a man of the world. What girl wouldn’t be interested in him? She was the lucky one tonight.

They danced the twist, the Rock and Roll Waltz, and slow danced to If You Desire Me. There was no lack of desire between them when he nudged her off the dance floor and kissed her behind the castle. Elisabeth’s heart thumped. It thumped even harder, when he asked, “May I have the honor of escorting you home tonight?” 

“Not tonight. I came here with another girl in her car, and I want to go home with her.” 

“May I see you tomorrow then? I could take you for a ride in my car.” Elisabeth couldn’t say no to that.

He arrived at her home driving a sports car with the top down. Elisabeth watched him as he opened the passenger door for her and closed it while flashing a broad smile her way. She couldn’t remember what he said, but with a few long strides, he was back on his side of the car, leaping across the door and into his seat. Elisabeth was sure her parents watched from behind the curtains as he leaned over and kissed her on the cheek. “I’ll take you to the highest point in Scania,” he said. 

He drove with one hand on the steering wheel along the narrow, meandering road ascending one hill after the other while holding Elisabeth’s hand. When they came to the highest point, he explained what they saw.

“From here we can see beautiful hardwood forests and lakes in three directions. Do you see the cliff in the middle of the largest lake?” He came close to her, took her hand, and pointed.   

“Yes, what is it called?”

“It’s White Point. Scania is divided into two parts, the forested part, and the plains. From another hilltop, we can see Stone’s Head jutting out in the Baltic Sea. Next time we can go there.”

He planned to see her again. She was in awe of him but suspected that he had taken many girls to the outlook point.  

“How come you know so much about geography?”

“I love geography. I’m also interested in architecture. The latter is a hobby of mine since I live in a house dating back to 1639.” 

Elisabeth gasped “You’re William Steinborg! Then you are a baron!” 

“Well,” William squirmed looking uncomfortable. “I inherited the title when my father died about a year ago, but I don’t use it. The tenant farmers and workers call me William.”

Elisabeth drew away from his embrace. He was the forbidden fruit she had tasted and coveted. How could she resist him?

After he had driven her home, and they were standing by his car to say goodbye, he put his arms around her, looked very serious, and said, “I think I’m falling in love with you, Elisabeth.” He kissed her more passionately than she had ever been kissed before. 

“How can you be in love with me after one date?” She was skeptical but couldn’t deny her own feelings.  

“It’s meant to be.”

Elisabeth felt utterly bewildered. William could upset her life. The fact that he was a nobleman had changed everything. She wasn’t his equal in any sense of the word. She had so many questions but didn’t dare to put them into words. Her parents would forbid her to date him. Having thought about it down the twenty hills while he held his hand on her bare leg, she already felt a great sense of loss when she said, “I can’t see you anymore William.”

“Because I live at Lundby Castle?”

“And you saw where I live.”

“Nothing wrong with where you live. I was hoping you’d like me.”

“I like you William, but I’m too young for you anyways.”

“I still think… never mind.” He got in his car and drove away into the sunset, 

 “That’s the last I’ll see of him,” she said to herself. Her best friend, Margareta, told her she had done the right thing by dismissing him. 

“It would never work out. He’s destined to marry a woman of noble birth.” 

Elisabeth reluctantly agreed with the level-headed Margareta, whose curly brown hair, pretty face, and big boobs belied her intelligence. 

Elisabeth’s sun-bleached hair framed her dimpled face, lit up by blue eyes and a ready smile. At school, the boys gathered around her between classes and competed for the favor of taking her to a nearby café for a soda after the last class of the day. In the summertime, young and old flocked to the beaches and sometimes to the archipelago to swim.   

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Until the lights come back on

UNTIL THE LIGHTS COME BACK ON is a cyber-thriller that is focused on Sweden as it joins NATO 
and is more susceptible to cyber-attacks. 
Publisher Nordstjernan, New York  (Swedish News). Paper. $19.95. 

One reviewer wrote: "Setterdahl's intense thriller introduces a catastrophe all too conceivable in the post-pandemic 
world: Hackers immobilize Sweden by taking down the electrical grid, and people scramble to survive as 
infrastructure crumbles,, the economy collapses, and war looms. Setterdahl renders their emotional challenges as 
her characters raise children, find jobs, and try to repair their shattered country. An intriguing, imaginative glimpse 
at the breakdown of society and the tenacity of human hope -- Misty Urban

An electrifying thriller... follow brothers Alex and Kurt as they race across Scandinavia to undo what cyber attackers 
have done to the national electrical grids. Lilly Setterdahl has outdone herself in keeping readers to the edges
of their seats in suspense--Dan Moore 

Attachments area


Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Review of Bishop Hill Reframed by Nordstjernan Oct. 15, 2021

 Review of Bishop Hill Reframed by Nordstjernan publisher, Ulf Mårtensson, in the October 15, 2021 issue of Nordstjernan.

The recently published 246-page non-fiction book, with photographs, about the history of Bishop Hill is a fascinating read about the history of the town and its first settlers. Written by Lilly Setterdahl and designed by Stephan Setterdahl this book provides an overview of the history and legacy through letters by members of the colony. It begins with a look at the principal founder, his beliefs and escape from Sweden’s unfree society in the 1840s. It continues with letters penned by colonists and other eyewitnesses, articles on specific subjects, conversations with descendants, Civil War letters, and a Roster of Officers of Men of the Company D. 57th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, 1861-1865. The struggles of the short-lived colony—of surviving the first winter and the role of and later loss of their leader—come alive through the words of those who left to seek religious freedom in the new world.

Books are available at the Colony Store or contact the Bishop Hill Heritage Association at (309) 927-3899 or through

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Review by Jean Larson

 I just finished reading Lilly's remarkable book, filled with extensive research, actual interviews, anecdotal stories, letters, and pertinent photos!!  Amazing!

I scanned through the Civil War section but read the letters written by the servicemen. 

Altogether, the history of Bishop Hill Colony was made more real, an honest story of the life & struggles of those early immigrants from Sweden.

Now I want to go to Bishop Hill!! Jean Larson`

Sunday, October 31, 2021



BISHOP HILL REFRAMED-VOICES FROM THE PAST written by Lilly Setterdahl and designed by Stephen Setterdahl; Introduction by Todd DeDecker, Bishop Hill Heritage Administrator; Published by the Bishop Hill Heritage Association, May 2021
Funds for the printing were provided by Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation
Review by Jordan H. Murray
It is an honor to write a review of this book. I was brought up in the nearby town of Galva and went to school with many of the Swedish descendants of the Bishop Hill pioneers. Throughout most of my life, I wondered about the development of Bishop Hill as I was given just a taste of its history in junior high school. During my childhood, I slowly picked up small details through books and documents of which I gradually put the pieces together. Having matured, I had more questions as I returned to my childhood home after 30 years. As Lilly points out, this book was written, not only to celebrate Bishop Hill’s 175th anniversary but also to shed light on why a large group of Swedish immigrants decided to pool their resources and leave their native country to found a new settlement in Henry County, Illinois. I continually re-read her book and find more details than before¬¬—too many interesting ones to list in this short review.
This 8-1/2” x 11” hardcover book’s front cover is a favorite, colored photograph of mine as it shows the Bishop Hill dugouts and related buildings that were painted by Olof Krans. The artist arrived in the colony in 1850 as a 12-year-old boy. Nonetheless, the dugouts were gone by then. With the help of an eyewitness, Olof was able to produce a large painting based on the old timer’s description. The back cover shows Krans’ stage curtain painting of Bishop Hill in 1855 as seen when entering the village from the north. Both paintings are on display in the state-owned art museum in Bishop Hill. In 1988, Sweden produced a postage stamp with both Olof’s portrait and the 1855 Bishop Hill image and this too is shown on the back cover.
An important section of this book gives some insight into the religious prophet’s life and gives the reader Eric Jansson’s Farewell Address (to Sweden). This translation explains why Jansson (in his words) left in haste as his purpose was to search for his New Jerusalem and to take the place of Jesus “to save everyone who was willing to accept the atonement” (a doctrine that describes how one can be reconciled (reunited) with God. Jansson thanked those who believed in him and wanted forgiveness for his departure. (At that time, he didn’t know where he was going.)
As with most endeavors, people make things happen and in the case of the founding of Bishop Hill in 1846, pioneering tenacity and grit made good things happen through grace, hard work, and faith. Even though there were deplorable conditions and untimely murder of the colony’s founder and leader, things gradually improved. After that the trustees had taken over the governing, corruption was uncovered which eventually led to more greed and collusions., resulting in dissolution and division of the property.
It was fascinating to learn how much the women’s work contributed to the development of the colony. There were many more women than men in the beginning but there was a period when the gender numbers somewhat evened out. Nonetheless, later there were still more women than men. Both women and men had left close family behind in Sweden in order to follow Eric Janson to save their souls. Their hard work helped Bishop Hill grow into an economic success story.
The book contains about 30 letters written by colonists to relatives in Sweden. Translated by Lilly, these letters describe “a better life” in America as compared to the life they had left in Sweden. Letters written by former colonists, who had left Bishop Hill, are critical of life in the colony. The book contains several articles describing living and visiting accommodations in the colony, as well as articles written by Lilly about Eric Jansson’s relatives and conversations with descendants. Pertinent high-quality photographs are sprinkled throughout the book for reference. This work was sorely needed because it proves that “a frenzy” of chain emigration of other Swedes followed.. (In my opinion, Eric Janson should be given credit for opening up immigration from Sweden that eventually turned into a mass migration. This event resulted in economic benefits for both America and Sweden.
The personal letters, including the Civil War letters, are important primary sources, which are highly collectible and sought after by scholars. Lilly Settedahl and the Bishop Hill Heritage Association have given us a remarkable gift. The author has written 24 previous books but BISHOP HILL REFRAMED has to be her Magnum Opus.
The book is available at the Colony Store in Bishop Hill.
Price $25.00.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Until the lights come back on


“Until the lights come back on  (a cyber-thriller), is an international, character-driven novel set in Sweden, Norway, Estonia, and Finland. It focuses on three brothers and their parents residing in Sweden, how they react to the attack in the cold month of October, and what they will do to survive. Set to be published by Nordstjernan förlag, New York, 2022.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

New book about Bishop Hill



As we celebrate the 175th anniversary of the founding of the Bishop Hill Colony, we are proud to present this new book that sheds light on why a large group of Swedish immigrants decided to pool their resources and leave their native country to found a new settlement in Henry County, Illinois. They worked hard for their common good, but like most religious colonies, the Bishop Hill Colony was short-lived. Its sons and daughters became successful farmers of the land that the colony had owned or elsewhere in the American Midwest.
Todd DeDecker, Bishop Hill Heritage Association
Author-editor-translator: Lilly Setterdahl
Design: Stephan Setterdahl
Publisher: Bishop Hill Heritage Association, Bishop Hill, IL

Bishop Hill Reframed presents an honest description of the Bishop Hill Colony. It begins with a look at
the principal founder, his beliefs, and escape from Sweden’s unfree society in the 1840s. It continues
with letters penned by colonists and other eyewitnesses, articles on specific subjects, conversations
with descendants, Civil War letters, and a Roster of Officers and Men of Company D, 57th Illinois
Volunteer Infantry, 1861-1865. The book’s cover shows the primitive housing in 1846 and the
prosperous town in 1855, both scenes painted by the colony’s own artist Olof Krans.
The colonists’ willingness to work side by side to create a town in the wilderness—despite the cholera
epidemic and the murder of “the prophet” in 1850—continued unabated until disputes about dogma led
to dissension. Hard economic times and other problems made it necessary to sell large tracts of land to
satisfy the lenders, resulting in the dissolution of the colony in 1860-61. The book is illustrated with
photographs from Sweden and Bishop Hill, the historic buildings in the village, past activities, and
images of the stoic pioneers, men, and women, who built this town.


Thursday, February 25, 2021

55 works in 75 publications

According to this author has 55 works in 75 publications in 2 languages and 406 libraries.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Cyberattack video

A new manuscript for a novel

 Elisabeth and the Nobleman, a historical romance


Eighteen-year-old Elisabeth is falling for William, but when she finds out he is a nobleman and lives in a castle, she sends him off into the sunset. Her parents would never allow her to date him. She dates other boys but no one measures up to William. Their complicated relationship is wrapped in secrecy, intrigue, deceit, and erotic moments. The castle with the scary Madam looms in the background. The class distinction gets in the way of love. This romantic saga filled with drama plays out in the 1960s, a decade of women’s liberation, the emergence of sexual freedom, miniskirts, long hair, and rock-n-roll, all in collision with the ethics of the past. There are no cell phones and the Internet has not been invented. This book gives the reader a refreshing historical view of our parents’ time and other cultures.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Swedish-American Portraits

 Note that the book Swedish-American Portraits, 1972-1994: Photographed by Lennart Setterdahl and reviewed in Nordstjernan Sep. 15 2020 is available in the Bishop Hill Colony Store, Bishop Hill, Illinois, the Swedish-American Museum, Chicago, and the Vasa National Archives in Bishop Hill, Illinois

It can also be purchased from the author directly. Please message me on facebook.


Friday, August 21, 2020

Review of Swedish-American Portraits 1972-1994

REVIEW: “Swedish-American Portraits 1972-1994: Photographed by Lennart Setterdahl",
by Lilly Setterdahl and Stephen Setterdahl. 2020.
Swedish migration researcher Lennart Setterdahl (1928-1995) arrived in USA in 1959
and found a Swedish-American immigrant community in transition. He became deeply
interested in that remarkable population group, and as early as 1962 began documenting it with camera and tape recorder. The results became an highly valuable source for future researchers. Lennart rescued nearly 1,855 church archives, and perhaps 1,000 organizational archives, 140 newspaper archives, and made 3,000 tape recorded interviews of immigrants, both well-known and less-known, along with their descendants. It got devoted support of the whole Setterdahl family, wife and author Lilly, and their three sons Stephan, Christer and Michael. Lilly’s editorial work with Lennart led to her own remarkable writing career, beginning in the mid-1970’s as author of many books on Swedish America, plus later fiction works of high quality. Sweden’s Emigrant Institute in Växjö became Lennart’s primary sponsor from 1969. In 1990 Lennart was awarded an honorary doctorate by Gothenburg University in Sweden in recognition of his devoted work.

Lennart died in 1995, but his work remains an important research source. His author-wife Lilly and son Stephan, (designer and photo editor) together published in 2020 Swedish-American Portraits 1972-1994: Photographed by Lennart Setterdahl, with 262 of Lennart’s remarkable photos from 20 different states, accompanied by segments of those interviews.
Both this impressive new illustrated book, and Lilly ́s welcome background story of the
Setterdahl family’s pathbreaking research, Documenting America ́s Swedish Immigrants:
Lennart Setterdahl ́s Life and Work, complement each other. They are fascinating reading, and
are available by contacting Lilly at email address:
John E. Norton, ed., Augustana Historical Society Newsletter, Augustana College

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Outdoor book signing by Lilly Setterdahl

Outdoor book signing by Lilly Setterdahl in Bishop Hill

Aug. 22, 2020, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the entrance to the Steeple Building in historic Bishop Hill, Illinois.

Featured book: Swedish-American Portraits 1972-1994: Photographed by Lennart Setterdahl. Released on August 1, 2020. 
Text: Lilly Setterdahl
Design: Stephan Setterdahl
High-quality hardback coffee table book, 10x12 inch. Price $29.95. Contains 262 unique images and descriptive texts.
The black and white portraits in this book show Swedish Americans as they appeared in daily life at the time they were interviewed. Their faces give a candid, honest, and genuine glimpse of hardworking individuals, most of them at retirement age. The photos were taken in 20 different states, with Minnesota, Illinois, and Nebraska having the largest representation. The landscapes and small post-office buildings show a disappearing small-town America.
The author has 54 works in 73 publications in 2 languages deposited in 407 libraries to her credit. This is her 19th nonfiction book about Swedish America. She is also a novelist. 
Other books by the same author will be available at the signing, as for instance, Documenting America's Swedish Immigrants, which describes Lennart and Lilly Setterdahl's travels across the United States and into Canada to preserve documents and memories of the Swedish ethnic group. 
See for programs in the village park on the same date as the signing. Outdoor dining is available. The boutiques and the museums are open.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Swedish-American Portraits

Swedish-American Portraits 1972-1994: Photographed by Lennart Setterdahl by Lilly Setterdahl and Stephan Setterdahl, is a coffee table book, published in 2020.
The portraits in this book show Swedish Americans as they appeared in daily life at the time they were interviewed by the photographer. Their faces give a candid, honest, and genuine glimpse of hardworking individuals, most of them at retirement age.
The photos were taken in 20 different states, with Minnesota, Illinois, and Nebraska having the largest representation. The landscapes and small post-office buildings show a disappearing small-town America.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Book Fair in Bishop Hill

Outdoor book fair at Bishop Hill Creative Commons, 309 N. Street, Bishop Hill, IL July 11 from 10 a.m. to ? I'll be there with my latest books.

10 am until 5 pm BOOK FAIR! Readings & Workshops
5 pm - 6 pm Authors Happy Hour & Round Robin Conversation
6 pm Potluck with Community
7pm Concert with Musicians & Author

All Proceeds to Benefit a Community Orchard for Bishop Hill

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Books published

Lilly Setterdahl Books


Swedish-American Newspapers: A Guide to the microfilms held by Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center (1981)

Bror Johansson’s Chicago. Co-authored (1985)

A Pioneer Lutheran Ministry: L. P. Esbjorn and his Family in Andover, Illinois (1988)

Memories Preserved: The Inventing Bostroms and Guide to Interviews with Swedish Americans. Coauthored (1988)

Memories Preserved, Vol. II. Scandinavians in Alabama and Guide to Interviews with Swedish Americans. Coauthored. (1992)

A Century of Song: American Union of Swedish Singers 1892-1992 (1992)

Rockford Swedes: American Stories. Coauthored (1993).

Rockford Swedes: American Stories, republished, 2016 with a new cover. Also published as E-Book

Minnesota Swedes: The Emigration from Trolle Ljungby to Goodhue County 1855-1912 (1996)

Minnesota Swedes, Vol I: The Emigration from Trolle Ljungby to Goodhue County 1955-1912. Second edition revised published as a printed book and E-Book (2015)

Minnesota Swedes: Volume II: Trolle Ljungby Families in Goodhue County 1855-1912 (1999)

I Emigranternas spår: Människor vi mött, 1959-1995. (In Swedish, 2002)

Swedes in Moline, Illinois: 1847-2002 (2003).

Growing up in Sweden: In the Shadow of World War II (2008). Also, as E-Book, 2015

Chicago Swedes: They spoke from the heart (2010). Also, as E-Book, 2016

Not my time to die: Titanic and the Swedes on board (2012)

True Immigrant Stories. The Swedes of Cleveland, Ohio 1873-2013 (2014)

Documenting America’s Swedish Immigrants: Lennart Setterdahl’s Life and Work, 2019.


Maiden of the Titanic (2007) out-of-print. Republished as E-book.

Hero of the Titanic (2011) Sequel to Maiden of the Titanic. Republished as E-book.

Second Love After 50 (Paper, 2015). E-book, 2016.

Katrin, almost American, a Swedish-American Immigration Novel (2017)

Titanic Sailing Again, an epic novel, sequel to Hero of the Titanic. (Short stories), 2019.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Titanic Talk with Titanic Tea

Saturday, April 18, 2-4 p.m.
Midwest Writing Center, Rock Island, Public Library, 401 19th Street, Rock Island, IL. Ground Floor.

Lilly Setterdahl, local author, will talk about the world's most famous ship, Titanic, that sank on its maiden voyage in 1912, and read from her book, Titanic Sailing Again, published in 2019. Refreshments will be served with Titanic-inspired treats. Titanic attire encouraged. A native of Sweden, Lilly Setterdahl has authored 23 books with four of them being about the Titanic. She will offer book for sale and autograph them. Free and open to the public.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Titanic Sailing Again Review

Titanic Sailing Again a book review

Anyone who has been following author and Vasa member Lilly Setterdahl may know she released a new “Titanic” book this year. Titled “Titanic Sailing Again” the novel portrays many of the passengers as offspring of the survivors of the original Titanic, the ship that so devastatingly sank on its maiden voyage in 1912.

As the original passenger list included many Swedes or Scandinavians, so did the list for this voyage as well. It is a great read, easy to follow, and interesting as it took generation after generation to form connections in their lives and as current passengers. The passenger list included several generations of the same families, intertwining and enjoying the trip together. It takes you back to the timeframe of 1912 on the first leg of the trip, then a bit more relaxed, but still with passengers in classes I, II or III. There is romance aboard, and young couples and not-so-young couples find love with partners that had ancestors surviving the tragedy. There were also some interesting surprises along the trip—courtesy and good manners, fancy dances, elaborate meals, as well as storms or other threats. In true Setterdahl fashion, the characters and their surroundings are described in a way that make you feel you know the people and can relate to them, or have been to their hometowns.

I found this book so well written that I had to google to see if in fact it was a true story. I had heard there was a Titanic II to be built but didn’t think it was ready yet, and yes, in fact, it won’t be ready to sail until 2022. So, while it’s a fictional story at this point, it’s still a possible reality in a few years. I’m wondering if Lilly is planning on being a passenger on the maiden voyage of Titanic II….

Reviewed by Liza Ekstrand

Titanic Sailing Again,6x9,” softcover

Available at Amazon or through Nordstjernan. 
Nordstjernan/The Vasa Star, Vol. 147, No. 17, December 01, 2019. 

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Documenting America's Swedish Immigrants: The Life and Work of Lennart Setterdahl

This biography is published by Swedish American Museum in Chicago, Illinois.
The Swedish immigration to the United States began in earnest in the 1840s and ebbed out in the 1930s when about one million Swedes had arrived in search of better opportunities. This book highlights 35 years of travels in North America to microfilm historical records and tape personal memories of Swedish immigrants and their descendants, an accomplishment which has greatly benefited genealogical researchers.

Read about the man behind this unprecedented effort, Lennart Setterdahl, and his family. It begins in 1959 in Cleveland, Ohio, and the voluntary recording of interviews in the 1960s in northeastern Ohio and the western parts of Pennsylvania and New York. The story continues in 1969 when Mr. Setterdahl was engaged by the Swedish Emigrant Institute, Växjö, Sweden, to locate, inventory, and microfilm Swedish-American church records, a project which was later expanded to include secular societies, periodicals, not-for-profit organizations, and companies founded by Swedes, newspaper holdings, as well as private collections. The work necessitated travels by car through every state in the continental United States and some Canadian provinces. From 1971, the Setterdahl home base was East Moline, Illinois. During the years 1985-1994, Mr. Setterdahl devoted his time to recording oral history. The story ends with Mr. and Mrs. Setterdahl working on a project in Sydney, Australia, in the beginning of 1995.

The author presents a colorful story of the first-hand travel experiences, tribulations, and rewards connected with the work, placing it in a geographical and historical context. Of the thousands of Swedish Americans whom the Setterdahls met during their travels, the author sketches vignettes of more than one hundred individuals. But perhaps foremost, the book is the story of the author's own immigrant family that constantly had to adjust and pull together to achieve extraordinary results.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Every novelist's dream

It has happened! One of my readers of Titanic Sailing Again thought that my novel was a true story. I just realize that it's the best review I can ever get.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Book signing the author of Titanic Sailing Again, Katrin, almost American and 20 other books.  Book signing Sunday July 28 at The Commons 309 N. Bishop Hill Road, Bishop Hill, Illinois, between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. 

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Titanic Sailing Again

Author: Lilly Setterdahl
Publisher: Nordstjernan Förlag, New York. Can be ordered from,, or Barnes and Noble.
Paperback, 322 pages.
The passengers dress in period clothing, dance, flirt, and fall in love on the maiden voyage of the newly-built "Titanic Princess" sailing from Jiangsu, China, to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in 2018. But will the ship reach Southampton, England, and New York without serious threats?
True to her tradition, the author creates Scandinavian characters and fits them into the story. Whether you are a Titanic fan or not, you will love reading about the surprise meeting on board of the grandsons of two Titanic survivors, the lady’s maid, Anna, and her rescuer, Roberto, both featured in Setterdahl’s earlier Titanic novels.  

A replica of the Titanic may never be built, but now you don't have to wait for it. You can already read about the three first voyages in this epic novel. The author prepares you for the adventure by going back to the tragic Titanic Maiden voyage in 1912 and singling out two survivors featured in her first two Titanic novels (Maiden of the Titanic and Hero of the Titanic). You will enjoy the short stories about them and their descendants, learn about their interest in the original Titanic and the excitement of third-generation members Bill Whitmore and Ron Cosentino when they learn that a replica will be built. They are ready to book passage for themselves and their families. The author sprinkles actual Titanic stories throughout the book. Imagine yourself standing by the railing and viewing the sunset at sea. Be ready for the adventure.

This is Lilly Setterdahl's fourth book about the Titanic, one of them is the nonfiction book, Not my time to die: The Swedes on board.   

Book signing Sunday July 28, 2019 at Creative Commons, Bishop Hill, IL between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Rare copies of  Swedes in Moline, Illinois (2002) will be available as will other titles.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Hero of the Titanic for Kindle

My Hero of the Titanic, first published by the Midwest Writing Center Press in 2011, is now available as an eBook.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Article published in Göteborg, Sweden

"Kvinnornas roll i  byggandet av Bishop Hill," av Lilly Setterdahl, Sverigekontakt, No. 2 juni 2018. (The women's role in the building av Bishop Hill). 

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Swedish American Portraits

My son, Stephan, and I are working on a new nonfiction book, Portraits of Swedish Americans, based on my husband's interviews and portraits taken by him across North America. My Christer has scanned the pictures in high resolution, Stephan is the illustrator and I am writing the texts. It will be fabulous!

Documenting America's Swedish Immigrants to be published

Swedish American Museum, Chicago, will publish this book that has the subtitle: Lennart Setterdahl's Life and Work. 

Novel in Swedish

Having written many articles in Swedish through the years, I thought it would be fun to see if I could write a novel in Swedish. Well, I started and it was going very well, so I finished it. Now, it remains to be seen if I can get it published. It's about a cyberattack on the Swedish and Finnish power grids, which throws both countries into darkness in the month of October. It was not difficult to imagine the consequences. 

Eftersom jag skrivit många artiklar på svenska genom åren, prövade jag om jag kunde skriva en roman på svenska. Det gick riktigt bra, så jag skrev den färdig. Nu återstår det att se om jag kan få den publicerad. Den handlar om en cyberattack på de svenska och  finska elnäten. Båda länderna hamnar i mörker i oktober månad. Det är inte svårt att tänka sig vad konsekvenserna blir. 

Friday, January 5, 2018

Reader's review of Katrin, almost American

Dear Lilly,

I just finished reading Katrin, almost American and just loved it. I hope a movie will be made from it. What an information and loving story. My sister, Nancy, bought it from you at Bishop Hill for me at Christmas. Thank you for your note in it. 

She included information about her father who came to Nebraska in 1920 with his parents and says that she has been to Sweden several times and has seen where he was born and baptized...

She finished her letter with these words:  I loved visiting Sweden. I plan to get some of your other books.
Janet Nelson

Friday, November 17, 2017

Price promotion

Starting Dec. 1, 2017, I'm running a price promotion of my Maiden of the Titanic on Kindle. See First 24 hours $1.99, second 24 hours, $2.99, third 24 hours, $3.99. On the fourth day, the price goes back up to $4.99.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Adio sample

I have created an audio file of chapter 1 of my latest manuscript, Titanic Sails Again, and will forward it to potential publishers, whose eyes are worn out from reading manuscripts.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Books and Quilts

Book Signing
The Quilt Shop in the Village Smithy, 309 N. Bishop Hill, IL, next to the Filling Station.
Friday, Nov. 24, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Books: Katrin Almost American, a Swedish Immigration novel (2017).
Second Love After 50, a contemporary Illinois novel
Maiden of the Titanic, a historical novel
Hero of the Titanic, the sequel to the Maiden of the Titanic.
Not my time to die, nonfiction about survivors and victims of the Titanic.
Books Signing

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Titanic Sails Again, a manuscript for a novel

In 2013, mining billionaire Clive Palmer of Brisbane, Australia, proposed to build a replica of the Titanic and call it Titanic II. He said it would sail from Jiangsu in Eastern China to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. My manuscript is a work of fiction based on facts about the Titanic. It would be my fourth Titanic book, my fifth novel, and my 21st book.  

"Titanic Sailing Again" takes the reader on an exciting global journey spanning more than one hundred years between 1912 and the time Titanic II sails. I have chosen to write the novel as a collection of related short stories. The first part begins with the fictional survivor story of Anna Olson Whitmore. The second part begins with her rescuer Roberto Cosentino ’s letters from his deathbed to his wife and son. The reader will get to follow the adventures of the eldest son in each generation and learn why some family members feel compelled to sail on the new Titanic. In the third part, the Whitmore and Cosentino descendants meet on Titanic II and sail together on its maiden voyage. I have sprinkled Titanic facts about survivors and victims throughout the manuscript. (If you have read my Maiden of the Titanic and Hero of the Titanic, both published by the Midwest Writing Center, you know that my main characters are Roberto Cosentino and Anna Olson Whitmore.)   

The Whitmore boys are rich, carefree, and adventurous.   
Henry loves to fly and crash-lands a small plane in Canada.  
Bill loves sailing and travels to Europe on a passenger liner before working his way on smaller ships to Sweden, where he connects with both his past and his future.   
William flies to England, Australia, and China, and encounters life-changing situations. 
Henrik Whitmore tours Europe and remains a lady’s man, single and available.   
The Cosentino boys have to work for a living. Through luck and pluck, they eventually become owners of a newspaper enterprise. 
Joshua serves as a war correspondent in London during World War II.
Ronald serves as a war correspondent in Saigon during the Vietnam War. On the day of his departure, he rescues a Vietnamese orphan and brings him to Boston.
Sean serves as a captain in the Afghanistan War and is killed in action.  

The two main characters are Bill Whitmore and Ronald Cosentino. The patriarch of his family, Bill Whitmore, sails on Titanic Princess with his wife and two grandsons, Henrik and Michael. Bill’s son, David, chief officer, brings his son Matthew. Ronald Cosentino sails with his wife and three daughters.

Henrik Whitmore romances Ronald’s daughter, Lynn. Bill’s other grandsons, Matthew and Michael, compete for Ronald’s daughter, Laurie. Ronald’s eldest daughter, Michelle, dates the First Officer, and Michelle’s friend Vicky, gets an unexpected chance to date Chief Officer David Whitmore. The possibilities abound.

The book has a thought-provoking ending about why Titanic sank.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Book review: Katrin, Almost American

A few excerpts from a review written by Liza Ekstrand and published in Nordstjernan, Sep. 15, 2017:

Katrin, Almost American... is very illustrative in describing the Chicago area of her settlement. The book is easy to read and follow as it covers Katrin, her family, her love stories, and also her return to Sweden and her own establishment of her family. Her life as a spouse, parent, and business owner, all come together with interesting and educational geographical and historical description, intermingled with love, children, family, and travel....

Her (the author's) detailed explanations are inspiring, thorough and colorful. The clever start of the book at the entrance of heaven, the story, and then reuniting with her love at the end makes it a true love story as well as a source of information and intricate details.
(The book can be purchased directly from the publisher, Nordstjernan, by calling  1.800.827.9333, ext. 10, or at ($15.95 plus postage).

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Book Signing at Barnes & Noble

Saturday, Sep. 30, between 1 a.m. and 4 p.m.,  East Moline author Lilly Setterdahl and four other local Midwest Writing Center authors will be signing books at the Barnes & Noble Book Store, North Park Mall, 320 Kimberly Road, Davenport, Iowa. Lilly Setterdahl will be signing her 20th and latest book, Katrin, Almost American, a Swedish immigration novel that plays like a movie. The story begins in Sweden after World War II when Katrin assumes her first job. The young girl turns down a marriage proposal because she wants to see the world. She pulls us into a life of longing for both the unknown and the familiar, conflicts and elusive love until she decides where she belongs.
 Historical fiction, published by Nordstjernan/Swedish News, New York, Paperback, $15.95.

Book Signing in Bishop Hill

Sep. 23, 2017, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. during Ag Days, Steeple Building. Lilly Setterdahl will sign her latest book, Katrin, Almost American, a Swedish immigration novel that plays like a movie. Katrin turns down a proposal from a good man because she has her mind set on going to America. Published by Nordstjernan/Swedish News, New York. Paperback,  $15.95. Some of Lilly's other books will also be available.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Made the news

A reporter from Beacon News, Aurora, interviewed me while I was signing books at the Gift Box in Geneva, IL June 21st. Two days later, she included me in an article about the Swedish Days in Geneva and featured my latest book, Katrin, Almost American, a Swedish-American immigration novel from the 1920s. She also wrote that I stayed in America to preserve my husband's legacy, and I appreciate that very much. (Denise Linke, Beacon News, June 23, 2017.)

Monday, July 10, 2017

Book signing, Frau Blucker's Bishop Hill

Saturday Aug. 12, 2017, at Frau Blucker's, Bishop Hill, IL, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the Arts and Crafts Festival. Various titles of Lilly Setterdahl's books will be available, including her 20th and latest, Katrin, almost American.