BookFest 2015 Featured Authors

jonathan_auxier2 JONATHAN AUXIER writes strange stories for strange children. His first novel, Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes, was an ABA New Voices pick and a BookPage Magazine Best Book of 2011. His new book The Night Gardener ia a Junior Library Guild selection, an ABA IndieNext JonathanAuxier_NightGardenerpick, an Amazon Editor’s Pick of the Month, and a finalist for the Governor General’s Award, The Silver Birch Award, and the Texas Bluebonnet Award. He lives in Pittsburgh with his family and their adorable pet umbrella.


BruceFerberheadshot Before publishing his debut novel, Elevating Overman, in 2012, BRUCE FERBER built a long and successful career as a television comedy writer and producer. A multiple Emmy and Golden Globe nominee, his credits include Bosom Buddies, Growing Pains, Sabrina, The Teenage Witch, Coach, and Home Improvement, where he served as Executive Producer and showrunner. In addition to being recognized by the Television Academy, his work has received the People’s Choice, Kid’s Choice, and Environmental Media awards. BruceFerber_ElevatingOvermanElevating Overman was recently released on audiobook in 2014 and narrated by Jason Alexander, who played George Costanza on Seinfeld. The book is currently being developed for the big screen. Bruce’s second novel, Cascade Falls, was published in March 2015 by Rare Bird Books. He lives in southern California, with his wife, large dog, and assorted musical instruments.


Carol A. Briney: Author, and the CEO of Unlimited Possibilities at Carol A. Briney International. Carol will be joyfully selling and autographing her book Embracing your Unlimited Possibilities, an extraordinary handbook full of down-to-earth wisdom and useful insights that invite you to open your heart and mind to your authentic self. In this book, Carol A. Briney helps you to learn and truly understand that you are connected directly to Source and that your Spiritual path is something personal that should allow your soul to sing. The step-by-step exercises offer a road map that will help you realize your limitless potential for joy and happiness.

*****

Stephanie Keyes: Magick and romance intertwine in the YA series, The Star Child…Kellen St. James is just your average seventeen-year-old, but he’s got a secret. He’s been haunted every night for the past eleven years by a girl he met in Ireland—Calienta. When the death of Kellen’s beloved Gran brings him from the East Coast to the wilds of Ireland, he comes face to face with his own personal ghost and discovers she’s just as real as he is. As Kellen discovers the truth about who he really is, he’ll fight alongside Cali to save the world from darkness. But will they make it in time? Meet Amazon bestselling author and Pittsburgh native Stephanie Keyes and learn about this epic five-book series, which contains The Star Child, After Faerie, The Fallen Stars, The Last Protector, and The Star Catcher (recently named a Finalist for the 2014 Dante Rossetti Awards for Young Adult Novels).

*****

Joshua David Bellin has been writing novels since the age of eight (though the first few were admittedly very, very short). His debut, the YA science fiction adventure Survival Colony 9, was published in 2014, and will be followed by a sequel, Scavenger of Souls.

*****

Linda M. Au is an award-winning humor writer who’s been writing since third grade. Her two books of humor essays, Head in the Sand…and other unpopular positions and Fork in the Road…and other pointless discussions, will be available at BookFest, along with two of her novels (cozy mystery The Scarlet Letter Opener and women’s fiction Gray Area). Linda’s on several writing-related boards and is also a typesetter, proofreader, and junior high writing coach. In addition to her math-brain engineer husband and her prima donna guinea pigs, she’s also inexplicably fond of computers and gadgets, “Weird Al” Yankovic, the Outlander books, and the crazy deadlines of National Novel Writing Month. She takes an odd pride in the fact that she may be the only empty-nest mom who plays Minecraft. This is her third time acting as Author Liaison for BookFest.

*****

John Chamberlin: Everything “Pittsburgh” has fries on it…salads, sandwiches, whatever! This book is a culmination of silly, stupid and ign’ernt stories of jagoffery from the Pittsburgh blog, YaJagoff.com. For those who are not familiar with the term “Jagoff,” it refers to stupid politicians, awful sports officials, dumb criminals, bad drivers, ignorant people, and so on. However, it is not a swear word, and in fact, it is sometimes used as a term of endearment. Through this series of rants about “Jagoffs” from all walks of life, Chamberlin writes with passion about Pittsburgh and his love of “The Steel City,” and he has even developed a cadre of worldwide “YaJagoff Catchers” who submit their own rantings from wherever they live, which he posts on his site. If you live in Pittsburgh, lived in Pittsburgh, or just love anything Pittsburgh, this is the book for you!

*****

Rich Bottles Jr.:  After an unillustrious print journalism career in southwestern Pennsylvania, Rich Bottles Jr. moved to West Virginia at the age of 32 to pursue a career in technical writing. He is a former sports editor and writer for the Sewickley Herald, Cranberry Eagle, and Butler Eagle newspapers. He now spends his free time visiting and hiking the many state parks in the Mountain State, which is also where he develops the concepts for his novels. Rich recently completed a trilogy of West Virginia-themed “humorrorotica,” which includes the novels Lumberjacked, Hellhole West Virginia, and The Manacled. In addition to editing and contributing to the Burning Bulb Publishing anthologies Westward Hoes and The Big Book of Bizarro, he has also written stories for many StrangeHouse Books anthologies. He is currently working on a horror novel set in West Virginia’s Amish country.

*****

Cathy Hester Seckman brings local history to BookFest with East Liverpool, an Arcadia Publishing title released on May 25. She’ll be signing and selling her illustrated chronicle of the one-time Pottery Capital of the World, which showcases 180 vintage photographs. Seckman will also be selling her young adult time travel fantasy, Weirdo World; and two books she co-authored with Darlene Torday and Debbie Schukert. Bad Moon Rising is a coming-of-age novel covering the period between Woodstock and the Kent State shootings; H2O Mysteries is an anthology of mysterious disappearances by water.

*****

Frederic S. Durbin will be signing copies of his novels The Star Shard (children’s fantasy, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) and Dragonfly (dark fantasy), as well as giving away preview samples of his forthcoming young-adult fantasy The Sacred Woods (Simon and Schuster). He is a frequent presenter of creative writing workshops for schools, libraries, and community groups. He can be contacted through his web site, http://www.fredericsdurbin.com.

*****

Gary Lee Vincent (www.GaryVincent.com) is the author of the award-winning vampire series Darkened, which includes the novels Darkened Hills, Darkened Hollows, Darkened Waters, and Darkened Souls. He is also co-creator of the zombie anthology Rise of the Dead.

*****

Larry Ivkovich’s short genre work has been published in various online and print publications. He has been a finalist in the L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future contest and was the 2010 recipient of the CZP/Rannu Fund award for fiction.  Larry’s published novels include the urban fantasy The Sixth Precept from IFWG Publishing, and fantasy novel Blood of the Daxas from Assent Publishing. Larry is a member of the Pittsburgh Worldrights and WorD, two local writing and critique groups, as well as the statewide group Pennwriters.

*****

Hana Haatainen Caye is a writer and voice-over talent. She is Agency Principal for SPEECHLESS, a company specializing in copywriting, editing, and voice-over services. Hana is also a professional speaker and writing coach and is available to speak to your group or organization or lead workshops on writing and/or green living.  She will be selling her book Vinegar Fridays, as well as various Chicken Soul for the Soul books in which her stories have appeared. She lives in Ross Township with her husband, Bill, their two cats, Vincent Van Gogh and Theo Van Gogh, and their parakeet, Gaughin. She can be reached at greengrandma@comcast.net.

*****

Hayley Harper is a lifelong reader, writer, and daydreamer. An avid fan of romance, she’s also a proponent of old-fashioned etiquette—a lady should indeed be ladylike. She writes smart, insightful romances for smart, insightful women, bringing a longtime fascination with social dynamics to her stories of complex but humorous relationships. At BookFest, Harper will be signing her debut novel, Never You.

*****

Grant A. Miller  has written two books on martial arts history and the usage of Samurai techniques that are found in modern-day martial arts.  In 2014, he won the Martial Arts Writer of the Year from Sidekick Publications in Los Angeles, Calif, as well as Martial Arts Historical Writer of the Year from the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame in New York City. He is currently writing the third book in the series. A fluent speaker of Japanese and a fifth degree black belt in karate, he teaches at his school in Monaca. Grant lives in Beaver with his wife and two children, as well as his beloved Pug.
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Jay Paisley  will be selling and signing his book of Civil War letters, The Huffman Letters. The book represents two years of research through family records, the Library of Congress, and various local historians and historical societies. These actual letters from Beaver County’s William Huffman to his family during the Civil War transport the reader to a tumultuous time in local history. Huffman was a Confederate prisoner for six months. The book is a celebration of the dedication and sacrifice of countless Americans throughout our history.

*****

Carol Moessinger was born and raised in central Pennsylvania. After high school graduation she worked for the Navy Department in Washington, D.C., married, and raised two children. She went back to school, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in English Literature, acquiring a master’s degree in Social Work, becoming a Licensed Social Worker (LSW). She worked with indigent clients, teens and young adults. After traveling to Poland in the summer of 2005, her interest in her Polish heritage came alive. In retirement she merged her enthusiasm for Polish culture, her knowledge of a working class coaling mining community, and her writing experience into her novel, A Woman’s Role.

*****

Beth Ann Flowers is the mother of three and lives in Monaca with her supportive musician husband, fun-loving youngest daughter, and Stanza the cat. She loves writing chick lit/romantic comedy with the spotlight on the humor of everyday life and low-key on “the mushy stuff.” As she laughingly says, “In reality, if my husband acted like the male lead in the romance novels I love to read, I’d either get the giggles or be frightened and run away! But maybe that’s just me…” She will be signing her novel The Stuff of Ambrosia (chick-lit/romance/humor), which will be available for purchase. She is also signing and releasing Delusion Illusion (contemporary fantasy/humor/romance) for the first time in paperback at the BookFest! Copies will be available for purchase. She is currently working on her third book.

*****

Sheila Rae Myers is a lifelong resident of Beaver County. While employed in a full-time position with a growing printed plastics company, she does most of her writing in the evenings and on weekends. She also enjoys a variety of other activities, including reading, researching her family history, walking in the woods, camping, and bowling. One of her favorite things is the opportunity to watch the wildlife which often moves through the yard of her semi-rural home. As a novelist, she enjoys creating new characters and situations which reflect life in the real world. Unlike many of the novels in the crime and mystery genres, the novels in both the Detective Jake and Special Crimes Task Force series incorporate stories about the detectives that show what their lives are like beyond the limited scope of their jobs. These subplots relate the struggles and successes of the detectives and their families. In their entirety, her novels relay the process of solving the crimes as well as the personal lives of the main characters as a way to demonstrate there is more to the life of the detectives than catching the criminals—that there is a life beyond the badge.

*****

Anne Maro Slanina, Ph.D, is a professor of Elementary/Early Childhood Education at Slippery Rock University and the author of The Adventures of Annie Mouse children’s books. Her latest book, Annie Mouse’s Route 66 Family Vacation, is a chapter book that introduces children to the wonders Annie discovers while on a family road trip across the country. Her five picture books include: Annie Mouse Meets her Guardian Angel, Baby Brother goes to the Hospital, Annie Mouse Meets a New Friend, Where the Rainbow Touches Ground, Annie Mouse’s Route 66 Adventure: A Photo Journal. Each book serves to enhance children’s understanding of their world and nurture social-emotional development. You can learn more about the books, which will be available at BookFest, at www.anniemousebooks.com

*****

Cindy McDonald: For 26 years Cindy’s life whirled around a song and a dance. She was a professional dancer/choreographer for most of her adult life and never gave much thought to a writing career until 2005. She often notes: “Don’t ask me what happened, but suddenly I felt drawn to my computer to write about things that I have experienced with my husband’s Thoroughbreds and happenings at the racetrack.” Voila! Cindy’s first book series, Unbridled, was born. Currently there are five books in the series. Cindy is a huge fan of romantic suspense series, especially with a military ops theme. Although she isn’t one to make New Year’s resolutions, on New Year’s Day 2013 she made a commitment to write one. There are two books in her black ops series, First Force, at this time: Into the Crossfire and To the Breaking Pointe. Cindy resides on her 45-acre Thoroughbred farm with her husband, Bill, and her Cocker Spaniel, Allister, near Pittsburgh. For information on all of Cindy’s books, please go to:  www.cindymcwriter.com.

*****

C.S. McDonald: Yep, it’s true! George is a real pony! He came to live at C.S. McDonald’s Thoroughbred farm several years ago and he really did bully the Thoroughbreds in the pastures. George is about 23 years old and still as ornery as ever, but he visits children at libraries and elementary schools with his anti-bullying message. Catch up with all of George’s adventures in his upcoming book, George Goes to Camp! Soon C.S. will be adding books about her Cocker Spaniel, Allister, too! C.S., George and Allister live on their 45-acre Thoroughbred farm in Hookstown, Pa. Hey! Check out George’s website and print off coloring pages too! www.georgethepony.com.

*****

Angel M.: Data Entry Operator by day, Author by nights, weekends, and every chance she gets. Angel began dabbling with writing in the ’80s, but never took it seriously until February 2008 when she bought a computer and began The Keeper, Book 1 of The Maze Series, by writing the last paragraph of the book first. The Maze books are an adventure/fantasy series that will appeal to all ages, teen and up. She is currently in the process of publishing Underwater City, Book 2 of the series. Other genres she has written include a dark comedy titled Gold Dust and a fictional comedy for dog lovers titled Pawper to Pedigree, which she hopes to publish within the next three years. Angel says, “I would like to entertain the world with my stories. Once you have read one of my books, if you say ‘That was fun. I wonder what else she’s written,’ then I have done what I set out to do.”
*****
Susan Dexter’s first novel—The Ring of Allaire—was written longhand in a notebook, then typed on a portable typewriter. It appeared from Del Rey Books in 1981. The rest of the trilogy followed: The Sword of Calandra, The Mountains of Channadran. Now that trilogy, Wizard’s Destiny, is available for Kindle, Nook and for sale as trade paperbacks through Amazon.  Moonlight, a 2001 Wildside Press book, was reissued in 2014 under its original title, Moonshine. The Wandering Duke (the fourth Book of The Warhorse of Esdragon series) and Thistledown are available as e-books and trade paperbacks, in print for the first time ever. Visit Susan Dexter’s website www.CalandraEsdragon.com, or follow her blog there: Take Up the Quest.
*****
Frank Say  is the love child of Edgar Allan Poe and Jim Carrey. He is an author who began writing in 2002 and enjoys creating paranormal fiction, of which Nine Lives, his debut novel, came out in July of 2008. Frank is currently working on The Lake Pontchartrain Mystery Series. Over-indulging in late-night horror movies as a child, Frank has a love of all things dark and mysterious, and that is where you will find his writings. If you like your things that go bump in the night with a little twisted humor and sarcasm, you will most likely find comfort here. Recently listed in the 2010 edition of 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading, produced by The Author’s Show, Frank is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh. He currently lives in southwestern Pennsylvania with his wife and cat.
*****
Alicia Stankay is a local fiction writer and photographer. She has published two books of short stories: Between Two Bears: Short Stories on the Journey of Life, a series of paired stories with Bruce Midkiff, and Tales of Twenty Women: Reflections on Love. Inspired by a story from that book, she wrote her first novel, Beyond the Bridge, a story of young love lost when a family member commits a crime, and how the repercussions touch their lives until the crime is solved 19 years later. Alicia enjoys hiking and taking nature photos when she goes on “cabin adventures” to local state parks with her husband. These natural surroundings show up as settings in some of her stories. Her photography appears on the covers of her books, and in regional publications, such as Loyalhanna Review. She is available for readings and writing talks at aliciastankay@gmail.com.
*****
Steve Hallock is a longtime newspaper journalist, leaving the field to obtain his PhD in journalism from Ohio University in 2005, then entering academia as a journalism professor. He currently is director of the graduate program for the School of Communication at Point Park University. Steve has authored four previously published books, three of them academic and one of them a memoir of the 1960s detailing his relationship with a man who became a convicted rapist during the era of love and peace. Steve has published op-ed commentaries for newspapers that include the New York Times, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Philadelphia Inquirer.  Steve will be selling his true crime story, Justice Delayed: The Catherine Janet Walsh Story, fascinating book-length journalism published by The Artists’ Orchard.
*****
Lisa Harris writes magical stories about characters who employ courage and hope in the face of difficulty. Her first novel, ‘Geechee Girls, set in Coastal Georgia, tells the story of two best friends, Tessie and Annie, as they navigate racism, their families, and the ‘Geechee River. This novel has been described as “a tale of renewal and the price at which it is bought.” Her second novel, Allegheny Dream, set in Central Pennsylvania, features the protagonist, Eliza Schnable Friday, and her quest to discover the cause of her father’s death. Using fierce devotion and uncompromising integrity, she relies on her regional pride and history to guide and support her. This is a novel of secrets, mysteries and hope, and spans four generations. The geography of each place is as much a character in each book as the people who live there. Lisa has always been a writer, and she has worked as a public school administrator, a teacher, and a college professor. She currently teaches at Butler County Community College and is at work on three novels, THREAD, Stars Fell, and a sequel to ‘Geechee Girls.
*****

Wayne A. Cole is the author of 16 books dealing with abandoned railroads, streetcars, and steel mills in Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio. Everything is within a 40-mile radius of Beaver Falls. His most current book, Ghost Rails XII Seamless (320 pages / 32 color, over 700 photos) covers the history of B&W in Koppel, Ambridge, and Beaver Falls. He is a retired English teacher from Blackhawk High School.

*****

Cory Dugan loves to broadcast himself playing video games on Twitch.tv. He really enjoys movies, especially of the supernatural genre. From time to time he’s been known to binge watch television series. Bloodstone: Vampires Among Us is his first novel, but he looks forward to writing another. This supernatural novel is about predators that lurked in the night, the vampires. An ancient agenda has begun to unfold and if the group of vampire hunters can’t pull through, humanity may be lost. Sean, a young college student, is brought into this battle after he has a run-in with a vampire. From there he is thrust into a world of good versus evil, ancient prophecies, and creatures of myth.

*****

Patty Luhovey, a native of southwestern Pennsylvania, will be selling her children’s book entitled Mr. Earl’s Missing Eyeglasses, the first installment in the Life in the Meadow with Madie series.  Initially motivated by the desire to write a pleasant and meaningful bedtime story for her young great nieces and nephew, Patty began writing by hand in a paper notebook in 2009. Over time, she more fully developed the content and themes of the book with the objective of providing parents a story to read to their children that is not only a safe and fun choice but one that offers numerous teaching opportunities through encouraging and fostering discussion around several spiritual and moral truths introduced in the storyline. Patty hopes that this will assist parents in teaching their children at a very young age to engage their minds and think for themselves so that they will be able to face the struggles and challenges of life with faith and perseverance. Patty later partnered with Bridget Dowty, a professional illustrator from the U.K., to bring the story to life visually. For more information on the book, please visit www.madiesmeadow.com.
*****
 Carrie Anne Noble: In the wake of her checkered past as a theatre student, restaurant hostess, certified nurse aide, and journalist, Carrie Anne Noble now writes fiction and the occasional blog. Her debut novel, The Mermaid’s Sister, won the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award for Young Adult Fiction. Published by Skyscape in March 2015, the novel has received over 800 five-star reviews on Amazon. Carrie lives in the mountains of Pennsylvania with her very tolerant husband and her strange but delightful children. Her next novel will contain leprechauns. Visit  http//:www.carrienoble.com to learn more about Carrie and her projects.
*****
 Kim Lehman writes about teenage social issues, high school drama, first loves, and friendships in her novels Righteous and First, Last, and Always. Her books have recently topped the Amazon Bestseller list in YA Contemporary Romance and have received five-star reviews from Readers’ Favorite. Currently she resides outside of Philadelphia with her husband and Cocker Spaniel. On the days she isn’t fiercely writing or developing imaginary characters in her head, she can be found trekking along the Schuylkill River Trail, laughing like silly with her nieces and nephew, or adventuring into the inspirational pages of a good book. Her next novel, Paper Cuts, a psychological thriller, is anticipated for release in 2016.
*****
 Melanie Atmore will be signing copies of her debut children’s book From A Butterfly’s Eye. A beginning reader for ages 0-6, Melanie’s book is based on something that happened to her son when he was young.  After 20 years, she turned this memory into a story. The book was beautifully illustrated and published by Tate Publishing and released in December 2014. Melanie has done several events since December but her favorite events have been appearances at preschools and day cares doing story time for the children. The book is dedicated to her son, as he was the inspiration for the story, but Melanie is close with her two stepdaughters and plans to write and dedicate a story to each of them as well. Originally from Ellwood City, Melanie resides in Center Township with her husband.  Visit www.msatmore.tateauthor.com for more information.
*****
Dee McKay is a local author and publisher of Applegate Books. When her friends were retiring, she began her literary career, and she has written and published six  “easy reader” children’s books, featuring grandparents doing fun things with their grandchildren. Her premise is that grandparents  everywhere are the vital link between the generations. Dee has been a resident of Monaca for fifty years, where she and Pap McKay enjoy seven grandchildren of their own. Visit her website at www.applegatebooks.com. Dee is available to read at libraries for story hour or to read at any of the local schools. She recently participated as a judge for a literary contest sponsored by the Beaver County Library system. Dee hopes to see you all in September at Beaver County BookFest!
*****

Grayce Presnar has been around for more decades than she cares  to acknowledge. She began her official writing career last year during the third year of her retirement from the USPS. It was a great time to get back into teaching—which was why she originally went to college many years ago—and an even greater time to start writing some of the stories that she created through the years for her grandchildren. Better late than never, she has been substituting in various school districts and writing and illustrating her children’s books. She blames her grandchildren for making her “tell stories.” All her books are loaded with her own illustrations, so her books are truly her creations! She has recently returned from the BEA 2015 in New York City where her books Being Boots and The Scout is Out were on display. Grayce and Being Boots, The Scout is Out, Sergio’s Dream, and Finding Tucker will be available at BookFest for signing. She can be found on Facebook and has her own website at www.graycepresnarbooks.com.

*****

Evie Adams is the author of a series of 14 books for children called Stories From Vic. The stories tell the history of Beaver County through the eyes of its storyteller Vic, a charming little gray mouse. In addition, he tells children about the history of the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York City’s Ground Zero. In his 14th book, Vic delves into the world of art and children learn about his favorite artist, Vincent Van Gogh.  Ms. Adams is an educator and speaker. She was named a Penn Ambassador for her work in promoting the history of Pennsylvania.

*****

Paul L. Gentile grew up in Aliquippa. He is a retired college dean who helped develop the program that re-trained over 12,000 unemployed steelworkers in Allegheny County when the mills collapsed; he decided to travel and write upon retirement. His second book, Salvatore and Maria: Finding Paradise, was just released this year. It is the story of his grandparents: Salvatore, who comes to America alone at the age of 13 in 1902 to work in the coal mines and eventually, J& L Steel mill in Aliquippa; and Maria, whom he marries in Colorado, and who makes a warm family life there, in West Aliquippa and in Monaca. They face insurmountable obstacles and challenges to raising a family through the Great Depression and Second World War, but persist. It is a story nearly everyone can relate to. Filled with fascinating historical facts, it is also a love story and a good family saga. The author will sell this book and his first, Dolce Far Niente: Sweet Doing Nothing, which is a travel memoir that takes the reader through the author’s adventures in Italy.

 

*****

 

Susan Lower is a creator of stories filled with horses, heroes, and hope. Growing up watching westerns and riding horses on a dairy farm gave Susan plenty of space for a roaming imagination that spurred the inspiration for many of her fictional adventures. This crafty mom has a heart for all things handmade. When she’s not writing, crafting, or being a farm girl, you can find her creating memories with her family. You can download her FREE short YA Romance ebook, Emma’s Dilemma, and check out her western steampunk ebook series, The Brides of Annie Creek, when you go behind the scenes with her at www.susanlower.com.

 

*****

 

Becky L. Stout has been writing poetry since her teen years and has published three books so far, Designing a Harvest Moon, Letters to My Stranger Loves, and the recently released The Heartening Voice. She also has novels, short story collections and songs waiting in the wings to be published. In the meantime, she regularly writes a blog, which mainly consists of posts pertaining to arts and entertainment.  Everything can be found through her website, http://www.beckylstout.com.

 

*****

D. Dominik Wickles has always loved reading, traveling and martial arts, so she combined those loves into her debut international romance novel, Hong Kong Treasure. “A deadly Philippines typhoon stole Annie’s memory. Now, can a handsome Chinese stranger save her from the danger she has forgotten?” At BookFest, Diane will be signing/selling her novel and handing out Chinese fortune cookies! Stop by and say hello. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for fun and be sure to check out her blog: ddominikwicklesromance.wordpress.com and website: romancebyddominikwickles.wordpress.com, too.
*****

Paula Johnston of Freedom, Pa., attained her business successes later in life; it was not an easy or typical path, which she writes about in her book, but it is what Paula feels led her to become the woman she is today. Paula is a successful and influential asset to the Beaver County business community. Paula and her daughter, Lee Ann, a talented professional photographer co-own Generations Photography and Specialty Gift Shoppe in Beaver, Pa. The shop showcases beautiful and unique gifts that are complemented by the photographs that Lee Ann shoots in the studio. Paula always wanted to pursue a childhood dream of writing a book that she felt most people could, on some level, relate to and find helpful and applicable to their life.  The 2½-year process was both inspiring and cathartic. The book is titled Embrace the Woman You Want to Become, Love the Woman You Are Now. Paula’s greatest joy is when a reader shares their own relatable story with her, upon reading her book, and they express gratitude for how much it helped them in their own situation. In her spare time, Paula enjoys spending quality time with family, especially her granddaughter, Addison Eunice, and grandson Gabriel, who make her laugh out loud every day.

 *****

Trisha Madley is an avid reader and lover of every romance genre. Her debut novel, Safer With You, is a romantic suspense novel featuring the journey of Nora Skye. When the unthinkable changes her life, Nora finds Jase Madsyn by her side. Will he be part of her future or will someone from her past come between them? Safer With You will be available for purchase as an early release at Beaver County BookFest. Trisha is currently working on the follow-up in the With You series. For more about the series and other works in progress, visit trishamadley.com.

*****

Megan Gaudino works in a high school library by day and on her own books by night. Her debut novel, Always Kiss Me Goodnight, has over 2 million reads on Wattpad and is being published by Evernight Teen. Megan lives in Beaver County where you can find her reading, writing, and Instagramming. 

*****

Susan Reith Swan is a writer, speaker, and former magazine editor. She has been published in newspapers, magazines, devotionals, and anthologies, including Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Power of Forgiveness, Prayers for Every Need Volumes 1 and 2 (Guideposts), a book, LifeSavers: 20 Quick and Easy-to-Use Bible Lessons for Kids (Judson Press), and many others. But her first love has always been writing for children. After being a regular contributor to the children’s magazine, Story Friends (Mennonite Publishing Network), Susan spent five years as its editor, overseeing the entire production process from beginning to end. She has a number of works in progress, including one about the miraculous healing she received in 2014 about which she speaks at local churches and other venues. Contact her through her website.

*****

Nathan Lindner is from Chippewa.  He is the author of The Purple Princess and The Rainbow Princess.  Both are children’s books that started as bedtime stories for his children. The Purple Princess is about Princess Sadie, who knows exactly what she wants for her birthday. After her present doesn’t turn out exactly how she wants, King Nate helps put a smile on her face  The Rainbow Princess is about a princess that never can decide her favorite thing. With a little help from the king and queen, Princess Zoey learns that she doesn’t always have to pick a favorite. Both books will be available at the Beaver County BookFest.

*****

Julie Long was born in Fairfield, Iowa, a typical Midwestern town (the kind with a bandstand in town square), which just happened to become the center of the Transcendental Meditation movement. For several years she lived in Southern California (where she never did find the center of town) before opting for the rural life in Western Pennsylvania. Today she lives on a farm with her husband, extended family, and an English bulldog. She co-authored BABY: An Owner’s Manual, A Mouthful of Truth, and Fat, Dumb & LazyRooville is her first novel. Visit her at JulieLongWrites.com.

*****

Cat Bruno The Girl from the North is Cat Bruno’s first full-length venture into fantasy writing, although she has been an avid and loyal reader of sci-fi/fantasy books for many years, especially traditional epic fantasy. For years, she waited (raising kids, living life) to have enough time to give voice to the characters she long dreamed of creating. Her focus has always been on imagining strong, if imperfect, female characters and bringing diversity to the fantasy genre. The Pathway of the Chosen as a series will most likely be a long one, just as long as the journeys of many of its characters. Expect the second book in the Pathway series, Daughter of the Wolf, in early Fall 2015.

*****

Joe Kaldon lives in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. His collection of poetry, Rust Belt, was described as “funny, honorable, and hard-working” by Tony Norman of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Visit his website at www.joekaldon.net.

*****

Karen Kotrba: Women. Horses. Babies. Mountains. Eastern Kentucky in the early 20th century. Karen Kotrba will be signing copies of her book about the nurses who rode Kentucky’s backroads delivering babies. Recipient of an American Journal of Nursing award, She Who is Like a Mare: Poems of Mary Breckinridge and the Frontier Nursing Service uses dramatic monologues to tell the stories of the midwives and mothers, community members and nay-sayers whose lives were transformed by this radical change in mother and infant care. Raised in Columbiana, Ohio, Kotrba’s interest in nursing history was sparked by her mother’s career in nursing. Karen has led writing workshops at the Cleveland Clinic and various community settings. An award-winning writer of short fiction and essays, she currently teaches writing at Kent State University – East Liverpool.

 

*****

 

Joy Givens is the author of the young adult novel Ugly Stick and its companion short story collection April’s Roots. Ugly Stick has been called “Judy Blume for a digital age.” Joy resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her fantastic husband, David, their remarkable son Joshua, and their impossibly lovable dog Riley. When she’s not writing, Joy can be found tutoring high school students, singing and listening to all kinds of music, and spending time with good friends, good books, and good coffee.

 

*****

Rosemary Macuga is the author and illustrator of The One That Counts, her first children’s picture book published by BatCat Press, Midland, Pa. A story that underlines the power of friendship… Two elephant friends, Tuki and Stu, are finding heart-shapes in the most unusual places until they discover not all hearts are visible to the eye. Every child will be filled with excitement to follow along and detect the hidden hearts throughout the book with their complimentary bookmark magnifier. Rosemary teaches visual arts and photography at Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center. As an involved member of the national organization Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Rosemary has designed an inventive workshop, Unblocking the Creative Mind, a conference icebreaker for artists and writers. She has been the visiting author at several local elementary schools, as well as Pittsburgh Story Walk, Seven Springs, Pa., where she has engaged children with her playful story The One That Counts and relative learning activities. Rosemary has established the brand name Row Press to represent her books, cards, and art online. You can learn more about Rosemary at www.rowpress.com.

 

*****

 

Peter Milligan: From Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises in 1926, the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, has captured the imagination of millions of adventurers. The Pamplonicans have been hosting the Fiesta de San Fermín for centuries. Yet, few know what to expect when the bulls and sharp horns first appear from around the corner. Bulls Before Breakfast recounts how Peter and his adoptive brother Ari run with the bulls in Pamplona every July. It is the definitive (and a humorous) guide to Pamplona, its famed fiesta, and the surrounding Kingdom of Navarre. Peter weaves a hybrid memoir of his and Ari’s brotherly bonding while running, along with guidance, anecdotes, and advice from his exploration of every corner of the city, the countryside, the mountains, the beaches, and the famed restaurants of the Basque hinterland. Focusing on local knowledge, and the hidden mysteries of this closed, private culture and community, Peter has slowly pried open this treasure trove of secrets, all while refining the daily art of getting between the horns of a massive, perfect Spanish killing machine and running for his life.  Author Peter N. Milligan has run with the bulls 77 times, sometimes safely, in Pamplona, Spain, and has spent the last decade climbing around the Pyrénées, investigating the Basque beaches, and interrogating locals (not tourists) on where they eat. The annual fiesta de San Fermín (or in Basque, “Sanferminak”) is his all-consuming passion. Every July 6 through 14, for the rest of his life, you will know where to find him: on the cobblestoned streets of Pamplona. The foreword to Bulls Before Breakfast is written by John Hemingway, the grandson of Ernest Hemingway.

 

*****

 

 

Joseph Max Lewis served as a member of an Operational Detachment in the U.S. Army’s Seventh Special Forces Group, the storied Green Berets. During his service Lewis received antiterrorist training and his detachment was tasked to “Special Projects.” Afterward, he served as an instructor at the Special Forces Qualification Course. Lewis attended the Pennsylvania State University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, the University of Tel Aviv in Israel, and the University of Pittsburgh, receiving degrees in International Politics and Law while being certified in Middle East Studies. After living and studying abroad, first in the Middle East and then Southeast Asia, Lewis returned home to practice law.  He’s a columnist in the New Bethlehem Leader-Vindicator and currently lives, writes, and practices law in and around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He will be selling and signing his thrillers The Diaries of Pontius Pilate and Separation of Church and State, as well as Just Verdicts (literary short stories) at Beaver County BookFest.

*****

Ed Prence’s first novel, The Last Perfect Summer, was the winner of the 2014 Independent Book Publishers Association’s (IBPA) Benjamin Franklin Award for the Best Historical Fiction of 2013, and also won the Pittsburgh Authors Award as the Best General Fiction in the Pittsburgh Market from The Authors’ Zone. Ed grew up in the tiny town of Koppel, Pa. An amateur baseball player, Ed played for a powerhouse high school team in Ellwood City, and then became a Division I shortstop at Duquesne University of the Atlantic 10 Conference. He trained for a career in journalism at Duquesne, but made the leap into advertising sales, where he quickly became one of the leading media account executives in the northeast. In 2010, he retired from Comcast Spotlight in Pittsburgh, having authored more than 1,000 radio and television commercials. He won the prestigious Telly Award in 2000 for his work in Pittsburgh market advertising. Now, retired at age 61, Ed has turned his talents back to his first love—creative writing. In The Last Perfect Summer, an inspiring sports and nostalgia novel, the author draws upon his experiences as a life-long amateur player and his boyhood growing up in a small western Pennsylvania steel town, where baseball was everything. Ed makes his home in Ellwood City and also in Clearwater, Florida.
*****
Lisa McClinsey is a bad influence. She sits in the back and makes fun of everything. Nothing is sacred, and she’s saved a seat for you. Sit there long enough, your sides will hurt, because she’s that funny—and she just keeps going and going. Her first novel, Punkin, is a rollicking romp about a narcissistic wizard, Dariel, who accidentally becomes powerless, trapped in the body of a six-week-old kitten, and must rely on the resourcefulness of his unhappy ex, Serpentina, and her mysterious friend Bel to get back into his own body. Her second novel, Good Bones, follows the adventures of Penny Bowman and The Berryfield Paranormal Society, as she buys a haunted house against the advice of her concerned friend Sean, who’s certain that something sinister is trying to lure her into its clutches. Both Punkin and Good Bones will be available later this year. Read her blog (it’s hilarious) for ridiculously funny posts and information about release dates. https://authorlisamcclinsey.wordpress.com/
*****
Kathy Jean Bingle has dreamed of writing children’s books since earning her degree in Child Development/Child Care at the University of Pittsburgh.  However, marriage, children, and a career took her on a 30+ year journey that kept her pretty busy. When Kathy became a grandmother three years ago her fond memories of her own “Gran” started stirring around ideas for a special book for children to love with their grandmas. Grandma Jeanie Beanie and the Love Names was written from the heart in hopes that all who read it feel the love, nurturing, and warmth between a grandparent and grandchild. Terri Steppe, the book’s illustrator, and Kathy have been friends since the first grade and had a lifelong promise “to do something” together. Though it took 50 years to collaborate, Kathy and Terri share many fond memories of their grandmas that will last a lifetime. More Grandma Jeanie Beanie books are in development as Kathy continues to pursue her dream.

 

2016-04-27T01:12:17+00:00

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