We have been fortunate enough to support and host events for many fine local authors. The following list contains the last three years of book signings, readings & events, and is constantly being updated. If you would like more information on any of the following authors, or are interested in contacting them about an event, please e-mail email@example.com.
Gid B. Adkisson, III
Gid B. Adkisson, Jr., was one of eight million American men swept into the U.S. Army during the turbulence that was World War II. An earnest West Texas farm boy attending Texas A&M so he could be a better independent farmer, Gid Jr. found himself vying for a lieutenant’s commission a full year before he was scheduled to graduate, and fighting in France, Luxembourg, and Germany as an infantry company officer between August 1944 and the end of the war. He was recuperating from his third combat wound when peace finally settled on Europe. Gid Adkisson, Jr.’s book of war was written by the former lieutenant’s oldest child, Gid III, who made it his business to record the war memoir of a man whose preference was to speak and remember little of the war. Thus the book before you is more homage from a proud son than willful memoir from a modest, dutiful man who did his level best to live his life out of the limelight. Along the way, up to and beyond his father’s death in 2012, Gid III located and exchanged letters and phone calls with many of the men who served in battle with Gid Jr. in the 80th Infantry Division’s Able Company, 317th Infantry Regiment. It was heartwarming to both father and son to learn that Gid Jr. remained in so many good memories of an absolutely awful time of life now falling beyond the reach of memory.
James A. Ardaiz is the former presiding justice of the Fifth District Court of Appeals in California. Before that he served as a deputy district attorney in Fresno County, California. He was a key figure in both the investigation and prosecution of the notorious Clarence Ray Allen, the last man to be executed in the state of California. He lives in Fresno, California.
Paul H. Betancourt
Paul Betancourt farms with his family in California’s Central Valley. They currently grow Pima cotton, wheat and almonds. In addition to being active in the community, Betancourt is an instructor at the University of Phoenix in Fresno, California and Madera Center Community College. Betancourt’s observations on life and farming can be heard on 940ESPN radio every weekday in Fresno, California. You can also follow him on his blog, “This Week on the Farm”.
Beth Bridges is The Networking Motivator™ and has attended over 2,300 networking events in the last ten years. As the Chief Networking Officer of a large chamber of commerce, she has interacted with tens of thousands of people in person and online. She created the Five Part Networking Success Plan™ when she saw new and experienced business people struggling to network effectively. Beth is widely recognized by chamber of commerce executives across North America as a leading networking authority. She is an Expert Author on www.EzineArticles.com with over two hundred published articles and is a Top Author in the Business Networking category. Beth is a Summa Cum Laude and Dean’s Medalist graduate of CSU Fresno with a degree in Agricultural Economics. Beth has leveraged her in-person networking skills to build large social media networks on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Santiago Camarena grew up in the San Joaquin Valley of California during the 60′-80’s era. His grandparents had orchards of orange, avocado, lemon, grapefruit, pomegranate and olive. Working the land was a family part of life but it was his mother who taught him the value of work. Having good family values didn’t always equate to a good life style. His parents separating during various times of his life exposed him to foster-homes and juvenile facilities early on. This temporary alternative care meant to protect him inadvertently exposed him to law enforcement, the judicial system and correctional facilities throughout Calif. He spent approximately fourteen years incarcerated by his 33rd birthday. His desire to write developed during this time. He taught himself to write in calligraphy and would write short phrases in letters and cards for other inmates as a hustle for necessities. His audiences for his writing were his children who were too young to write back. His book Voir Dire mirrors his life style, hence the reason he was asked to write it. Aside the extremities in the book, he knows its story intimately.
Judi Charbonneau is a woman of faith, a woman of prayer, and a woman whose pursuit of love was not fully realized until she heard God whisper her name. Her passion is to bring hope and healing to generations of families who have suffered under the poor choices their ancestors made. She’s living roof that God wants to redeem the past and break destructive cycles. Judi lives in central California. Her eight grandchildren are her heart, and her three children are her life – for whom this book is written.
Hazel Dixon Cooper
Hazel Dixon-Cooper has been a professional astrologer for more than twenty-five years, and is the author of the internationally bestselling Rotten Day astrology book series. She is a research member of the American Federation of Astrologers and a member in good standing of the National Council of Geocosmic Research.
Retired high school science teacher Tim Desmond is an artist and author in Fresno. He has been writing since the 1970s and his first novel, For Thou Art With Me, published 2006, is a World War II love and war story. He was raised in Madera and on a rural California grain ranch. His scholarship to attend California College of Arts and Crafts, in Oakland, was the first art scholarship in the history of Madera. His influences were Heinz Kusel and Bob Trestrail. Later he received a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University Fresno, with a major in zoology, and has since taught at various middle school, high schools, and colleges throughout the Central Valley. The Doc is his second novel.
Dr. Thomas Dickerson, DD
Tom experienced early life in Vevay Indiana; a small farming community entrenched in old traditions. His teenage years cultivated curiosities and explorations regarding fast cars, girls, and beer, interwoven with church and family. During these early years, he developed a driving desire to understand his world and choices. However, the inconsistencies between Sunday morning rhetoric and exhibited personal choices exhibited everywhere perplexed him. During the 1960s, he studied with multiple philosophical and spiritual teachers in America and overseas. His professional movements required attendance in several colleges and universities, and his formal education includes Registered Nurse, Health Care Management, Law, Finance, Business, and a Doctor of Divinity. He began writing in 1961, and during the 1990s authored a weekly newspaper column entitled ‘Pets Corner’ that educated the reader by combining pet issues with philosophical, legal inconsistencies, and social contradictions.
Amy Dixon grew up as one of seven siblings, so the only peace and quiet she ever got was inside a book. Once she had her own kids, she rediscovered her love for picture books at the public library. It was the one place she knew all four of her kids would be happy . . . and quiet. She writes from her home, where she lives with her four little inspirations and her marathon-running husband, Rob.
In Missing Dog Tags: An American GI in North Korea author Kenneth Eaton recounts what it was like to be a prisoner of war in North Korea. His story of his capture while surviving as a corporal in the 9th Tank Company of the 2nd division, U.S. Army, begins early in 1951 with a Chinese attack on his unit. After the tank he was in was severely disabled, he was forced to abandon it. In the confusion of battle and troop movement he was unable to get onboard another tank and was soon captured while on foot as were other soldiers. Captured by the Chinese soldiers he expected to be quickly executed along with the other men of his unit. Instead, they began a forced march that ultimately would result in a nightmarish captivity that would last over 30 months under brutal conditions. Despite three failed escape attempts, starvation, and various horrors he endured, Kenneth Eaton survived and came home to be reunited with friends and loved ones.
Margarita Engle is a Cuban American author. In 2009, she was awarded the first Newbery Honor ever awarded to a Latino for The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom. She was a botanist and professor at California State Polytechnic University. Engle is also the author of picture books Summer Birds, When You Wander, and middle grade novel in verse Mountain Dog. She lives in central California, where she enjoys helping her husband with his volunteer work for wilderness search and rescue dog training programs. Her picture book When You Wander, illustrated by Mary Morgan, is about search-and-rescue dogs. Her middle-grade novel Mountain Dog was released in August 2013.
Marcus Ruiz Evans
Marcus worked as a liaison between the State of California government and the Federal government for over 10 years, forcing him to develop a personal understanding of this federal and state relationship. During this time, he also had the opportunity to work on Goods Movement efficiency studies, looking at how the international freight system operates and especially California’s role in the World economy. He has traveled to Europe, Canada and Mexico, observing firsthand their domestic infrastructure and connection to the Global economy. In addition, he traveled to many states in America, comparing views on international trade, but with a California perspective. Evans lived throughout California, in Los Angeles, the Inland Empire, the San Francisco Bay area, Sacramento, and the Central Valley.
Lorenzo G. Flores, Ph. D.
Lawrence Flores, Ph.D. is the premiere speaker in the field of Career Advancement Dynamics. He has pioneered research into the Theory and Practice of Promotion Politics. He feels that Career Advancement skills are on the same level of importance as Leadership and Management skills. In addition to this book, he has designed a fun learning game The Multi cultural Promotion Track Game. The simulation has earned national recognition. He holds a Ph.D. in Urban Studies, Master of Public Administration and Master of Social Work from the University of Southern California. Undergraduate degree in Police Science/Corrections from San Jose State University. Background includes work as a Director of Social Work, probation officer and college instructor.
Gloria Getman grew up in Southern California and graduated from California State University, Bakersfield with a BSN in nursing. She lives in Exeter, California and began writing in 1994. She has been published in Yesterday’s Magazette and Reminisce Extra, won third place in the 2010 Lillian Dean First Page Competition for a novel at the Central Coast Writer’s Conference. She has three short stories in an anthology, Leaves from the Valley Oak, and recently released a mystery, Lottie’s Legacy, available through Amazon. She is a member of both Central Coast and San Joaquin Sisters in Crime, plus SLO NightWriters and the Tulare-Kings Writers.
Heidi Gill is a writer of multicultural childrens books. After coming up short in her search for bilingual/multicultural books for her kids, she decided to fill the void by producing her own children books. Inspired by her kids’ curiosity, she is determined to provide a basic introduction to children of five of the most common languages spoken in the world: Chinese, Hindi, Spanish, Arabic and French. To begin her educational children’s books, Heidi developed the brand 2 Kurious Kids. The series initially targets elementary aged children with a desire to enourage unity and wellness in children all around the world. From here she intends to incorporate other languages and expand to other age groups. She enjoys speaking at Elementary Schools all over California as well as organizing book making events and crafts at various bookstores and children stores.
Dorina Lazo Gilmore grew up in a Filipino-Italian family in the kitchen with her mama, aunties and grandmas. She loves to create healthy recipes and share stories in the kitchen with her friends and daughters. Dorina has a B.A. in English and Journalism and is completing an M.F.A. degree in Children s Literature at Hollins University. She is also the author of two other children s books, Children of the San Joaquin Valley and Stone Soup: A Hmong Girl’s Journey to the United States. Dorina is originally from Chicago and lives with her husband and two daughters in Fresno, California.
Che Gilson is the author of “Avigon” and “Avigon: Gods and Demons”, graphic novels published by Image Comics and illustrated by Jimmy Robinson. She went on to write “Dark Moon Diary volume 1 and 2” published by TOKYOPOP and illustrated by Brett Uher. Her short fiction has appeared in the e-zines “Drops of Crimson” and twice in “Luna Station Quarterly”. Most recently her urban fantasy novella “Carmine Rojas: Dog Fight” just came out from Black Opal Books.
George F. Gruner is the former executive editor of The Fresno Bee and a World War II combat veteran. Gruner saw action in France, Belgium, Holland, and Germany during World War II, including the Battle of the Bulge, as a member of the 440th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion, first with corps artillery and later attached to the 75th Infantry Division. He returned to Germany in 1952 to serve two years on the civilian staff of The Stars and Stripes, the newspaper delivered to Army, Navy, and Air Force personnel stationed at posts from the United Kingdom to North Africa and Turkey. He joined the news staff of The Fresno Bee in 1955 and retired as executive editor. Into the Night is his third book; his previous books are Blue Water Beat and The White Flyers.
Steven Hammond is a Sci-fi/fantasy author, artist and photographer from California’s Central Valley. His first book RISE OF THE PENGUINS has spent time on Amazon’s Top-Seller list in the U.S., U.K. and reached number 2 in Germany. At one point in his life he believed that his debut novel RISE OF THE PENGUINS would win the Pulitzer prize for best penguin fiction. Then he discovered there was no such category. Undeterred, he continued to write stories about penguins with the follow up novella THE WARLORD, THE WARRIOR, THE WAR. A lifelong fan of SciFi and fantasy, his earliest memories were that of reading Danny and the Dinosaur and Curious George. From there he took the next logical step and delved deeply into the world created by J.R.R. Tolkien. Watching television shows such as Lost in Space and Star Trek as a young child fueled his love for the genre. The art of Frank Frazetta adorned his walls as a youth and movies such as “The Giant Spider Invasion”, “Planet of the Apes”, “Sssssss”, just about any movie that involved Ray Harryhausen, a slew of Godzilla films and, of course Star Wars, left their ineradicable impressions upon his psyche and can be seen in his work. Life has taught him to never take himself too seriously because that just takes all of the fun out it.
Doug Hansen was born in Fresno, California, and is the eldest of six children in an artistic family. Doug has worked as a Fresno Bee newsroom artist, freelance illustrator, and cartoonist, and he illustrated David Mas Masumoto’s books Letters to the Valley: A Harvest of Memories and Heirlooms: Letters from a Peach Farmer, as well as Mother Goose in California. He teaches rendering and illustration at his alma mater, California State University, Fresno. More information on his work can be found at www.doughansenart.com.
C. G. Hanzlicek was born in Owatonna, Minnesota, in 1942. He received a B.A. from the University of Minnesota in 1964 and an M.F.A. from the Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa in 1966. He is the author of eight books of poetry: Living in It, Stars (winner of the 1977 Devins Award for Poetry), Calling the Dead, A Dozen for Leah, When There Are No Secrets, Mahler: Poems and Etchings, Against Dreaming, and, most recently, The Cave: Selected and New Poems, which appeared in 2001 from University of Pittsburgh Press. He has translated Native American Songs, A Bird’s Companion, and poems from the Czech, Mirroring: Selected Poems of Vladimir Holan, which won the Robert Payne Award from the Columbia University Translation Center in 1985. His work has appeared in over a dozen anthologies and in many journals, including Poetry, Kenyon Review, Southern Review, North American Review, Hudson Review, and Iowa Review. In the summer of 2001, he retired from California State University, Fresno, where he taught for 35 years and was for most of those years the Director of the Creative Writing Program.
Allan G. Hedberg, Ph.D.
Dr. Allan G. Hedberg is a clinical psychologist and maintains a private practice in Fresno, California. He received his doctorate in 1969 from Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario. Hedberg is the founding principal of Avante Health, a managed care health insurance company. He and his wife, Bernice, live in Fresno and have three children.
Bonnie Hearn Hill
Bonnie Hearn Hill worked as a newspaper editor for 22 years, a job that, along with her natural nosiness, increased her interest in contemporary culture. Prior to her new Star Crossed series from Running Press/Perseus Books, she wrote six thrillers for MIRA Books, as well as numerous short stories, nonfiction books and articles. A national conference speaker, Bonnie founded The Tuesdays, a bonded and successful writing workshop in Fresno, California, and she also teaches an occasional online class. On Fridays she meets with her private critique group (humorous astrology author Hazel Dixon-Cooper, prescriptive nonfiction writer Dennis C. Lewis, and musician/thriller novelist Christopher Allan Poe). What happens in those groups ranges from spontaneous applause to “getting filleted,” as Bonnie’s students and colleagues call it.
Born and raised in a small town in Normandy, France, Evelyne Holingue spent her childhood buried in books when she wasn’t playing outside. Her writing was first published when she was 11, a poem about a man spending Christmas behind bars. In 1990, her husband decided to start a new career in the USA, and they and their new baby left their beloved Paris behind. Because of her husband’s career, they have moved from the West Coast to the East Coast twice and called both California and Massachusetts home. Maine is their summer getaway since the day they gave new life to a wooden cabin tucked on the shores of a sparkling lake, and they are now living in the Sierra foothills, in central California, a step away from the splendor of Yosemite National Park.
L. Marie Horton
Lisa Horton is an attorney practicing law in Fresno, California. After completing her degrees, she gave the left side of her brain a rest and became devoted to writing fiction. Now she can’t imagine a day when she is not writing. Lisa is also a photographer, avid speed-reader, and an obsessive fan of movie soundtracks. She has a supportive husband and two fur children, Scottie a.k.a. Daba D and Gunnar a.k.a. da Gun Gun’s.
Christian Johnson is a freelance writer, one-time online blogger, and now book author living out in a tiny slice of paradise known as Fresno, California. Born in 1981 and growing up with all of the classic 80′s cartoons, his imagination quickly took over as his dominating trait, drawing him into the world of science-fiction, on both the page and the big screen. When not rescuing those in need of technical support, he dabbles in video games, board games, card games, and watching sci-fi – Movies, TV shows, cartoons & anime – all of which has had an influence in his writing, and hopes that the end result is a blend of action, intrigue, and imagination that the reader finds enjoyable.
Kim Sherouse Krewson
Kim Sherouse Krewson, a long-time employee of the New York Times Company, developed a calling in the midpoint of her life. About five years ago, through a succession of supernatural events, the concept for the book began to reveal itself, and Kim intently sought for guidance and answers. By investigating the meanings of names and incorporating any words that the names happen to enunciate, she proves that there is a code written in the names which will ultimately become a human being’s divine destiny in life.
David Kulczyk is a historian and journalist whose work has appeared in the Chico News and Review, the East Bay Express, the Sacramento News and Review, and the San Francisco Guardian. He is the author of California Justice and Death in California. He lives in Sacramento, California. Born to first-generation Americans in Bay City, Michigan, David Kulczyk (pronounced Coal-check) is a Sacramento-based historian, freelance writer and award-winning author of short fiction. He entered college at the age of 40 after working as a factory worker, sous chef, musician, warehouseman, fish butcher, process server, barista and bike messenger. Kulczyk’s work has appeared in the SF Guardian, the East Bay Express, the Chico News and Review, Maximum Ink Music Magazine, The Isthmus, Madison Magazine, the Seattle Times, Pop Culture Press, Strange Magazine and the Sacramento News and Review. He is the author of Death in California: The Bizarre, Freakish, and Just Curious Ways People Die in the Golden State, and California Justice: Shootouts, Lynchings and Assassinations in the Golden State (available from Craven Street Books).
Captain Dave Leue’
As a very young man, Captain Leue’ prayed to be a fighter pilot. He cautions you be careful what you pray for. Instead of the promised peace after WWII, he flew a hundred missions in Corsairs and F9F Panthers from USS Boxer, Valley Forge and Philippine Sea, dodging red balls of fire over Korean. These tales are recorded in Volume 1, “Korean Combat.” Now, in Vietnam, you are in his A4C Skyhawk cockpit as he dives through flak and missiles, surviving over two hundred more combat missions. In this volume, he leads Navy Light Attack Squadron 153 as Executive Officer and Commanding Officer, flying from the carriers USS Coral Sea and Constellation. His Light Attack Squadron loses many of its aircraft and pilots, all close friends, to massed anti-aircraft fire and missiles. His tales of personal combat are masterfully woven into the political drama and tragedy of Vietnam.
Dennis C. Lewis, Ph. D.
Dr. Dennis Lewis is a practicing psychologist specializing in the treatment of family dysfunction. For more than twenty-five years, he has been on the clinical faculty of the University of California San Francisco. He serves as a national consultant, expert witness, and media spokesperson. He divides his time between clinical work and research on the effect of trauma. Dr. Lewis is a specialist in the effects of maternal drug use and the impact on their infants and children. He developed the PATHS Program, a perinatal treatment facility for substance-abusing women which combined traditional treatment with an early child development program for children ages zero-to-five. He has published research in the area of neurobehavioral problems with alcoholics. He also has an active psychotherapy consultation practice and leads a weekly stress reduction group.
Betsy Lumbye is a California-based writer who worked three decades in newspapers around the United States, most recently as executive editor of the Fresno Bee. Originally from Virginia, she’s an honors graduate of the University of Virginia. She counts dressage horses and rescue dogs among her immediate family.
David “Mas” Masumoto
A third generation farmer, David Mas Masumoto grows peaches, nectarines, grapes and raisins on an organic 80 acre farm south of Fresno, California. Masumoto is currently a columnist for and The Fresno Bee and a regular contributor to the Sacramento Bee. He was a Kellogg Foundation Food and Society Policy Fellow from 2006-2008. His writing awards include Commonwealth Club Silver medal, Julia Child Cookbook award, the James Clavell Literacy Award and a finalist in the James Beard Foundation awards. He received the “Award of Distinction” from UC Davis in 2003 and the California Central Valley “Excellence in Business” Award in 2007. He has served as chair of the California Council for the Humanities. He is currently a board member of the James Irvine Foundation and serves on the Statewide Leadership Council to the Public Policy Institute of California. In 2013 he also joined the National Council on the Arts through an appointment by President Obama. Masumoto is married to Marcy Masumoto, Ed.d., and they have a daughter, Nikiko, and a son, Korio.
Marilyn Meredith is the author of the Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series as well as the Rocky Bluff P.D. series. One of the first authors to embrace e-publishing, she has several books that are available in both e-format and trade paperback, and among them is the award winning mystery Guilt by Association. Christian horror is another of the genres she writes in, and she also has a chapter in the best seller, “THE PORTABLE WRITERS’ CONFERENCE” from Quill Driver Press. As a writing teacher, Marilyn has been a featured speaker at several writers’ conferences and is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, EPIC, and the Public Safety Writers Association. She has served as the Editor of the California Residential Services Association monthly newsletter, and a free-lance writer for the Tule River Times in Springville, CA.
Gina Meyers is best known for her popular culture television trivia and cooking expertise books related to the Twilight Saga and the iconic television show Bewitched and is the proud winner of the prestigious Gourmand International Cookbook Award for Best Charity Cookbook, Hope For Haiti. Gina’s Love at First Bite: The Unofficial Twilight Cookbook, first edition, has been listed in OK! Magazine’s top Twilight merchandise must-haves and featured on Comedian Alan Carr, Chatty Man’s late night show. From an early age, Gina has had a passion for the culinary arts, experimenting in the kitchen with baking breads, muffins, cookies and cakes. From 1997 to 2009, Meyers taught a plethora of entertaining and fun cooking classes for kids from Easy Meals in Minutes to Storybook Cooking and Crafts.
Tony Miller is a freelance writer, poet and internationally known hairstylist. He lives in Fresno, California with his wife. He has a passion for research, history and writing. His current venture is into quantum physics and its correlation to spirituality. It has inspired him to create his story, “I’ll See You In Your Dreams.” He is currently working on the sequel, “Dream Sleuth.”
Karen is a grandmother. She was a literacy tutor and, for many years, an instructional aide with the Sierra Unified School District. She has a deep desire to inspire parents and children to read, read, read.
Diana Morales is an energy medicine practitioner, Certified Massage Therapist, Neuro Linguistic Practitioner, and accountant. She is a successful accountant for more than twenty years until some life-changing events forced her to search for a different way of thinking and living. Diana holds workshops that have helped many people to tap into their inner power. Diana will walk you through her struggles and insight of living with a sex addict. This is a story of a sex addict out of control and crossing that line of no return into molestation. Learn how she survived lies, deceit, and betrayal.
L. Garcia Muro
L. Garcia Muro has been married for almost thirty-seven years, has three children, Christine, Gina and Brian, and enjoys spending time with three grandchildren, James, Rayleen and Samantha. She currently lives in Fresno, California, with her husband, Raymond and has a career with the State of California. This is her first book.
Patricia Newman is the author of several fiction and nonfiction trade books, school and library titles, and magazine articles for children, including Jingle the Brass, a Junior Library Guild Selection and a Smithsonian-recommended book; Nugget on the Flight Deck, a California Reading Association Eureka! Silver Honor Book for Nonfiction; Navy SEALs: Elite Operations and Army Special Forces: Elite Operations; Energy Lab: Water Power and Energy Lab: Biofuels. Upcoming spring 2014 releases include Plastic, Ahoy! Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (a Junior Library Guild Selection) and Surviving Animal Attacks. She is a frequent speaker at schools, libraries, and conferences and volunteers as a regional advisor for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
Tanya Nichols is the author of the novel, The Barber’s Wife. Her work has appeared in North Carolina Literary Review, Sycamore Review, In the Grove, and San Joaquin Review. Nichols received her MFA in fiction writing in 2004 at Fresno State University where she won creative writing awards in both fiction and creative non-fiction. For the past eleven years, Nichols has taught writing and literature at Fresno State. She also serves as the coordinator of the Young Writers’ Conference and editor-in-chief of San Joaquin Review. As a child, her family moved often, up and down the state of California. Frequent moves and new homes fueled her love for stories as constant companions. Tanya is also a musician who plays mandolin and sings in a folk band. As a writer, she is naturally drawn to music with lyrics that tell a story. Tanya has one daughter, Mary Kate Monahan-Zolin, a video producer living in San Francisco with her husband, Maksim Zolin.
Garner Scott Odell
Garner Scott Odell, retired after fifty years as a clergyman, therapist, and chaplain on cruise ships. He and his wife have traveled over a million ocean miles to 175 countries, and now turns his passion to writing. After writing a successful historical novel, Sir David: The Life and Loves of a Welsh Knight, his written pages now open to thrillers surrounding the lust and intrigue that surround beautiful “rocks”. The first novel in this series, Emerald, is just off the presses. Garner lives in California with his wife Grace, also a published writer, surrounded far and wide with children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. In between pounding away on his computer he eats Hagen Daz ice cream, prunes his roses and thinks up more chaos to commit to print.
Robert’s first book was launched in Las Vegas this year. Possum Belly Queen is set on carnival midways in Virginia where Andy Zartanian spirals into the carnie culture and collides with a syndicate of human traffickers. With over twenty years in the amusement business, selling rides to carnivals and parks worldwide, he writes what he knows: the amusement business and his Armenian heritage. He and his wife Carol wrote BLOODY SOIL, a historical fiction novel that captures the pain of the Armenian Genocide. Though never published, portions of it were read on Fresno’s NPR station. Capturing tense moments during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Robert wrote INSIDE THE SILOS OF DOOMSDAY, an article that was published in Military History Magazine. As one of two men responsible for launching megatons of nuclear weapons, he tells what it was like as a young man to serve in that position when the U.S. and Russia were at the brink of a nuclear war. This native Californian was born in San Francisco and later moved to Santa Clara Valley at a time when the major product was agriculture and not computer chips. He now resides in Modesto with his wife Carol.
Gene Perret has been a comedy writer since the early 1960’s working for comedians such as Slappy White and Phyllis Diller. He’s been a television comedy writer and producer since 1968. Perret has earned 7 Emmy nominations, including one for original music, and 2 Writer’s Guild Award nominations. He has captured three Emmy awards and one Writer’s Guild Award as part of the Carol Burnett Show writing staff. Gene produced “Welcome Back, Kotter,” “Three’s Company,” and “The Tim Conway Show.” Gene also worked on Bob Hope’s writing staff for 28 years, from 1969 until the comic’s retirement -many of those years as Hope’s head writer. During that time, Gene wrote for all of Bob’s personal appearances and TV Specials. traveling with the Bob Hope troupe to the war zones of Beirut, the Persian Gulf, Saudi Arabia, and on a peace time military jaunt around the world that featured stops at the Berlin Wall and in Moscow. Besides his humorous books and how-to books on the craft of comedy, Gene teaches comedy writing through various avenues, including via e-mail.
Christopher Allen Poe
Christopher Allan Poe (a southern California author with local ties) is an author and touring musician from Los Angeles, CA. He writes paranormal fiction, with an emphasis in themes that shed light on social problems for women and children. His award-winning novel, THE PORTAL, is now available on Black Opal Books. On Fridays, he meets with his private critique group, featuring best-selling thriller and YA author Bonnie Hearn Hill, humorous astrology author Hazel Dixon-Cooper, and prescriptive non-fiction author Dr. Dennis Lewis.
Dot J.B. Powell
Dot Powell, after retirement as an elementary school principal, served as Executive Director of the nonprofit, READFresno, which focused on community-wide literacy in a region of high poverty and illiteracy. Dot saw dire consequences in the lives of non-readers and the “hometown hardships” due to the lack of reading. She wanted to do something about it and recruited hundreds of volunteers to read to young students. Dot Powell’s influence in education has had a significant impact on teachers and students throughout Fresno County. She mentored nine Hmong girls in developing life skills and building academic success from primary grades through college. Dot is co-founder and Executive Director of the nonprofit, SALT Fresno, based on Matthew 5:13-16. Her purpose is to inspire Christ-followers to go public with their faith through good deeds. She is a magazine publisher, author, and co-founder of a Central California Christian writer’s critique group, Twinklings.
Cora J. Ramos
Cora J. Ramos is a writer of short stories of mystery and suspense that have won awards and been published in the anthology “Valley Fever, Where Murder is Contagious”, and outside the United States in the German anthology “Murder Between Knife and Fork”. Retired from teaching elementary students with learning disabilities, she now gives her full attention to writing, family, pet dogs and her garden. She is a trained artist and loves to paint for her own pleasure. Her first novel is a result of a paranormal incident that happened to her while vacationing on the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. The seeds of inspiration from that trip lay dormant until she had to do a writing exercise during a teacher training seminar. The seeds sprouted into a story idea that she decided to write about seriously. She has always kept journals of her dreams, poems and inspirations for paintings and stories, and always knew she would write.
Karlene Kay Ryan
Karlene Kay Ryan celebrates self-expression as an accomplished Writer, Artist, and Interior Designer. A mother of four and grandmother of eight. Karlene and her husband make their home in the San Joaquin Valley and the Carmel Coastal area of California.
California artist Dixie Salazar is a talented artist, author, activist, and educator. She has been a working artist and writer for more than forty years. Her work is alive with the passion of life, and rich in the color and iconography of her Spanish heritage. Her paintings are a delightful combination of flowing forms, vivid color, and provocative abstraction, tempting fantasies that stimulate the imagination, and leave the viewer hungry for more. Salazar works in many media including oil painting, acrylics, watercolor, collage, and photography. Her work has been shown extensively on the West Coast, including exhibits in San Francisco, Las Vegas, New York, the Merced Multicultural Art Museum, and Fresno City Hall. Dixie is a successful poet and published author, publishing her first novel, LIMBO in 1995, and three volumes of poetry, HOTEL FRESNO, REINCARNATION OF THE COMMONPLACE, and BLOOD MYSTERIES by University of Arizona Press.
Joan Schoettler grew up in the San Francisco area and now lives in the Central Valley. Her first children’s picture book is Good Fortune in a Wrapping Cloth. Joan received the Asian/Pacific American Literature Award for Best Picture Book for 2013 for Good Fortune in a Wrapping Cloth. She won the 2010 Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award for her middle grade novel, ON THE RUN.
Jude Slack is a native of Northern California who has also resided in Alaska. She graduated with an A.A. in Interior Design from Modesto Junior College and B.A. in Fine Art from California State University, Stanislaus, thereafter-earning certification in Graphic Design thru an awarded University of California, Davis Scholarship. She possesses two California Teaching Credentials (Multiple and Single Subject) and has been employed in many fields of retail, and public and private education, teaching both children and adults. With a passion of freelance work in illustration, Bet Borgeson, author/artist of several art books such as, “Basic Colored Pencil Techniques,” has influenced Judy’s artistic ability through workshops in Monterey, California. Judy’s inspiration for writing a nutritional picture book for kids came to her as she witnessed the dreadful eating habits of our youth in the public school system. With a great commitment for healthy living and a desire to make a contribution to help all children, Judy concluded that now is the time to take immediate action. She combined her skill of illustration and a desire to research and write, and as a result “Crunching Carrots, Not Candy” has culminated into a compelling reality. While she researched information for CCNC, she learned that 40% of all children are overweight in the state of California. In addition, she discovered that the Hispanic population is suffering from alarming diabetic problems related to obesity. But she sympathetically comprehends that all people are exposed to this eating condition so language has also become an important element in writing“Crunching Carrots, NOT Candy.” Although CCNC is formatted in English/Spanish, she invites multiple language translations to serve all people.
James R. Smith
James R. Smith is a California historian and the author of The California Snatch Racket, San Francisco’s Lost Landmarks, and San Francisco’s Playland at the Beach: The Early Years, as well as a number of historical articles. He is a member of the California Historical Society, the San Francisco History Association, the San Francisco Museum & Historical Society, and the Library Fund at the University of California, Berkeley and is active in the preservation and promotion of history and historical lore. A well-respected authority in California history, he has spent years chronicling the stories of San Francisco and California, and is a frequent lecturer and discussion leader at universities, historical societies, libraries, and bookstores. Smith is a fourth-generation native of San Francisco and a sixth-generation Californian. He is often found haunting the libraries and archives of his native city and enjoying its social life with his wife Liberty.
Janice Stevens is a Fresno, California, based author and instructor since 1993 who has been associated with State Center Community College, most recently at the Willow International College, as well as Clovis Unified School District. She has co-authored with watercolorist, Pat Hunter, her business partner at Gallery II, Fresno’s Architectural Past, Volumes I and II ; William Saroyan: Places in Time, and Remembering the California Missions. In 2006, Janice compiled Stories of Service, Valley Veterans Remember WII primarily from the veterans’ military experiences shared in a class co-sponsored by Clovis Memorial District and Clovis Adult Education. A second volume of Stories of Service was published in 2011. Janice holds an MA and BA from California State University Fresno in English Composition and Literature. She also holds a State of California Clear Teaching Credential in the designated subjects of Gerontology and Communication. Janice was a former staff writer for the Business Journal, a freelance writer for The Fresno Bee/Central Valley Magazine and other community publications, and is a frequent contributor to KVPR Valley Writers Read, sharing her memoirs and creative nonfiction writing. As a result of Janice’s collaboration with veterans and subsequent publication of Stories of Service, Valley Veterans Remember WWII, in 2007, she received the prestigious Crystal Award from the Clovis Unified School District, and in 2008, the Certificate of Award for Women in American History from the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Janice was also nominated to the Clovis Hall of Fame in 2010.
Gary Wayne Walker
Gary Wayne Walker was born in Los Angeles in 1941; the third of three sons, Gary grew up in North Hollywood where he attended public schools through the eighth grade. Following the death of his father in 1955, Gary was awarded a competitive four-year scholarship to Black-Foxe Military Institute in Hollywood, from which he graduated with honors in 1959. In 1963, he graduated from Occidental College with a BA degree in political science. Now retired in Fresno and writing full-time, Gary is a member of the Valley Writers and Artists Association. Gary’s debut novel, Vengeance Is Mine, has been available on Amazon.com since July, 2013 as a trade paperback and Kindle download. He is currently writing a sequel, Vengeance Unbound, which is scheduled for publication in November, 2016.
Kasie West is the author of four books with Harper Teen: Pivot Point, it’s sequel Split Second, The Distance Between Us, and On The Fence. She graduated from Fresno State University with a degree that has nothing to do with writing. She lives with her family in Central California where the summers try to kill her with their 110 degree stretches.
Betty Winter grew up in Kingsburg, California, and later moved to Fresno and Clovis while attending California State University, Fresno., where she earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree. Betty began her career as a Home Economics teacher in the Clovis Unified School District. Later, while raising two children, she worked in several school libraries in the Fresno Unified School District. It was there she developed an appreciation for the children’s literature that was enhanced as she studied with Dr. Arne Nixon at CSU Fresno. Eventually, she returned to the classroom as a kindergarten and second grade teacher in Fresno at Wilson & Viking schools. In these roles, she was able to use her background and interest in children’s literature to make learning both fun and productive for students. Now retired, Betty and her husband currently divide their time between Fresno and Cambria, California. In both settings, she continues to pursue her interest in children’s literature by developing a variety of stories and poems.
Nzong Xiong was born in a refugee camp in Nam Phong, Thailand. She immigrated as an infant to the United States with her parents and older brother in March 1976. She spent her childhood in Omaha, Neb., and her teenager years in Detroit. In 1997, she earned a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the Missouri School of Journalism. She has been a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Kentucky and The Fresno Bee in California. She continues to live in the Central Valley with her husband, four children and a dog.