Great Valley Bookfest 2022 Authors & Poets

Northern California Publishers and Authors


Sharon Darrow is an entrepreneur, author, speaker and publisher. A small business owner, vice president of NCPA, and now independent publisher of Samati Press, Sharon has completed the award-winning Laura’s Dash series of historical fiction based on her own family history. She is also the author of books on rescue animal care and continues to mentor kitten foster parents in the Sacramento area. Visit and for more details. 






ML.  Hamilton teaches high school English and journalism in Central California. Since her earliest memory, books have been an integral part of her life, so pursuing a career teaching what she loved came naturally. However, she always dreamed of publishing her own novel. That dream came true. Her first novel, Emerald, was published by Wild Wolf Publishing in 2010. Since that time, seven more books in the World of Samar series have been published. In 2013, the Peyton Brooks’ Mysteries were born, allowing her to branch into a new genre. After seven novels in that series, she moved the main character into the FBI. In 2014, she began the Avery Nolan Adventures, an urban fantasy series set in beautiful Lake Tahoe.

In addition to teaching and writing, she has three sons, two dogs, and a cat. And sometimes a stray rabbit living under her deck.





Yang Huang grew up in China and came to the U.S. to study computer science. While working as an engineer, she studied literature and pursued writing. Her novel MY GOOD SON won the gold medals in NCPA, Nautilus, IPPY, and IBPA Benjamin Franklin Book Awards. Her linked story collection, MY OLD FAITHFUL, won the Juniper Prize, and her debut novel, LIVING TREASURES, won the Nautilus Book Award silver medal. She works for the University of California, Berkeley and lives in the Bay Area with her family.





Jessica O’Dwyer is author of Mother Mother (National Indie Excellence Award finalist) and Mamalita: An Adoption Memoir (San Diego Book Award winner). Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, SF Chronicle, Scary Mommy and MUTHA. An alum of Squaw Valley and Bread Loaf, Jessica earned an MFA from Antioch Los Angeles. She’s an adoptive mother to two young adults and lives in Marin County.







Gold Country Writers


By day, Rebecca Inch-Partridge is the mild-mannered freelance editor. At night, she’s the ruler of Paraxous Star Cluster. For years, she entertained friends and family with tales from the Paraxous. Now, she’s excited to have her first Paraxous Cluster novel, Escaping the Dashia, coming out in March of 2023 from Black Rose Writing. Rebecca lives in Auburn, CA with her husband, their dog, two cats, four chickens, and one turkey. And when she is not editing or working on her young adult, science fiction novels, she can be found engaged in some activity related to Gold Country Writers where she serves as the director of break out critique groups.




Rev. Dr. Betsy Schwarzentraub is the author of four Christian nonfiction books about worship and stewardship, and a United Methodist minister (retired). She was a contributing author in thirteen other books, has published more than 1,000 articles in the U.S. and Canada, and was the Religion Editor for a secular newspaper as well as a stewardship consultant. Currently she is working on her fifth book, called Time to Forgive?









Frank Nissen grew up in the heart of the gold country, roaming the hills and canyons through which the American river flows. He worked in animation for over forty years doing visual and story development for projects such as Mulan, Treasure Planet and Tarzan. After retiring from Disney Studios, he returned to the landscape that inspired his first novel, Fortune’s Call, which was released in August, 2022. Frank, currently serves as the President of Gold Country Writers. 





Kathryn May Shields has authored, On the Point of a Star, an exciting  novel of two fourteen-year-old girls who must overcome peer bullying, jealousy, and family problems to follow their dream of performing on Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry.

For Mosby Publishing Company, Kathryn has written textbooks and video scripts.  She was their Technical Advisor on numerous nursing videos, winning an Academy Of Medical Films award for creative excellence in educational media.  She is a lifelong musician, who plays several instruments and has performed all styles of music.  Her enjoyment of photography and writing motivated her to start her venture, Wonder All Around, creating photos and books which encourage each of us to find beauty and magic in this world.  Kathryn is a Masters Degree, R.N., and lives in rural Northern California, surrounded by the shelter animals and wildlife she loves dearly.


Barbara Young writes to inspire wellbeing, creativity and empowerment using poetry, flash fiction, short story, nonfiction and in coffee table books featuring her photography. Her lifestyle, travel, hobbies and diverse career as a nurse, holistic consultant and mind-body skills educator inspired her first nonfiction book. The Heart that Rocks Health Care, received a Silver award for nonfiction and a Silver award for cover and internal design. It is an empowerment book for people suffering stress, particularly addressing nurses and their work environment. She has numerous stories published in NCPA anthologies and was awarded the Risk Taker Award for “On the Porch with Miss Lizzy” in their 2019 anthology More Birds of a Feather. Presently she is writing a gift book, Mother’s Pearls, planned for release in 2023. She is the vice-president of internal affairs for Gold Country Writers and a member of NCPA and SSWC. 


San Joaquin Writers California Writers Club


John Britto is a Charter Member of the San Joaquin Valley Branch of the California Writers Club. His work has been published in The Caliope, the University of the Pacific anthology, and The Delta Breeze, a San Joaquin Delta College anthology. He was a Guest Columnist for The Stockton Record where he wrote on a variety of topics of local interest. He also served as the Editorial Committee Chairperson for the San Joaquin County Civil Grand Jury. John is the author of a yet-to-be-published collection of short stories.









Terry Wells Brown grew up in the deep south, chasing frogs (kissing one or two), catching crawdads from the local creek (much to her mother’s dismay), and traipsing through poison ivy (half her childhood was spent covered in calamine lotion). She now lives in the lush California Zinfandel wine country with the Love of Her Life and their two rescued pups. T Wells Brown is the author of the romantic suspense series; Women of Wine Country, the contemporary fantasy series; Earth Magic, and the international collaboration; Sisters of Sin. She is also the feature writer for Best Version Media; a community magazine.







Kimberly Ann Wiley, MD, is a San Francisco native, a graduate of University of San Francisco and UC, San Diego Med School. For the last 22 years, she’s practiced adult primary care at Kaiser Permanente, where it has been a privilege and joy, listening and hearing patients, helping them navigate their care. Preventive care and chronic disease management has been her focus, along with health disparities, cultural competency, and health literacy. She adores the diversity of the Sacramento region and the vibrant arts/writing community and has dabbled in crochet/knitting, golf, and portrait drawing, while reading murder mysteries for fun, and she’s penning her first novel, now turning a page and looking forward to the next chapter of her own story: retirement.


June Gillam: A native of the Central Valley, June lives cradled between California’s Coastal Range and the Sierra Nevada mountains. She writes the Hillary Broome social justice crime novel series, inspired by her obsession with what drives ordinary people mad enough to kill. She loves the company of writers and readers and was honored with a Jack London Award for her service to the writing community. June’s work is published by her imprint, Gorilla Girl Ink. She offers writing workshops through her website:







California Writers Club Sacramento


Linda Champion, a retired public-school teacher, writes original fairy tales suitable for family reading and enjoyment.  Her book titles include  Fairy Tales for Life and More Fairy Tales for Life.  Come by her booth and take a look at her lovely hard-back books complete with gilded fairies.









Bernard Wozny Je Suis un Ingénieur gives away my engineering background. In the English language, the word engineer, has its root in the word engine. In the French language, the word Ingénieur has its root in the word ingenuity.I am an engineer, but I do not invent engines. I am the ingenious one, who works with engines in new and novel ways. I have proved myself to be a ‘cunning artificer’, or person of unique ‘ingenuity’ in the world of software development. Therefore, I like to identify myself with the French root phrase of ingenuity. I have left my lucrative career of engineering behind me to explore the creation of stories. Being a new addition to the literary world, I bring fresh ideas to challenge the mind while portraying the story in a clean, stimulating manner. I am primarily writing Science Fiction, or dare I say Science Thrillers.

Christine L. Villa is a children’s book author, poet, publisher, speaker, photographer, and mixed media artist. Among the ten picture book titles she has published since 2014, seven have won awards in the Northern California Publishers and Authors Book Award Competitions, Royal Dragonfly Book Awards, Purple Dragonfly Book Awards, and Story Monsters Approved Book Awards. Her poems, photographs, and artwork have also won recognition and several awards. She is the founder of Purple Cotton Candy Arts, a business that offers publishing services. She teaches a workshop entitled “Essentials of Writing a Picture Book.”





Capitol Crimes


James L’Etoile uses his twenty-nine years behind bars as an associate warden in a maximum-security prison, a hostage negotiator, and director of California’s state parole system to influence his novels, short stories, and screenplays. His most recent novel, Dead Drop released in July 2022. Find out more at









Claire Booth is a former journalist who has reported on high-profile stories all over the country, including that of a California cult leader who became the subject of her nonfiction book The False Prophet. After spending so much time covering crimes so strange and convoluted they seemed more fiction than reality, she had enough of the real world and decided to write novels instead. Her Sheriff Hank Worth mysteries take place in Branson, Missouri, where small-town Ozark politics and big-city country music tourism clash in – yes – strange and convoluted ways. The latest, Dangerous Consequences, came out in May.


Jessica Arden (aka Jessica Cline) is the author of Once Ghosted, Twice Shy, the first in the Ghosted paranormal cozy mystery series. She’s stomped grapes in her native California, hiked 350 miles on an ancient pilgrimage route in Spain, had breakfast with a coatimundi in Costa Rica, and spent the night in a monastery. But wherever life takes her, her true north will always be with her husband and two energetic boys.

When she’s not writing, you can find Jessica teaching, crafting, or hyperfocusing on her latest research obsession. Jessica's short fiction has appeared in Woman's World as well as multiple anthologies.



Richard Meredith, a resident of Sacramento, is a retired marine scientist and wildlife biologist. His first thriller, Sky Dance, was based on his ecological restoration work in the oil fields of Ecuador. His second book, The Crow’s Nest, drew on his experience on commercial fishing boats in the Pacific, and won the Silver Falchion Award for the best Action-Adventure novel at the 2021 Killer Nashville Mystery and Thriller Writers Conference. His third book, Maskirovka—The Russian Art of Deception, is set for publication in early 2023.







Elk Grove Writers Guild & Others


Former middle school teacher Margaret Duarte lives on a California dairy farm with her family and a herd of “happy cows”, a constant reminder that the greenest pastures lie closest to home. Margaret earned her creative writing certificate through University of California Davis Extension and has since published four novels in her “Enter the Between” visionary fiction series.








Rae Rankin is an award-winning author who has always had a passion for reading and writing. In addition to writing, she has been in the marketing and graphic design field for nearly 30 years both in the corporate world and as an independent contractor.

She released her first book, Cowgirl Lessons in 2017 and has since written seven other books with her latest, Ten Little Chickadees, releasing this fall.

She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Northern California Publishers and Authors.




Pamela Atherstone began writing in 2009 following her retirement. She has written and published a historical fiction novel based on her ancestral history and two children’s picture books. She has been instrumental in the production of two cookbooks for non-profit entities. Additionally, she has had articles printed in national and international publications. She is currently working on a sequel to her novel, a compendium of her writings, and additional children’s books.








Nan Mahon is an award-winning journalist and novelist. Her works include Blind Buddy and MoJo’s Blues Band, Junkyard Blues, and Pink Pearls and Irish whiskey.  Her short stories appear in many anthologies and she has written and produced four large musical productions for the city of Elk Grove. As a writer, band agent and theater producer, she has learned a sense of the artist’s struggle and tells those stories. She also reaches back to her childhood in her family anthology Hard Times and Honeysuckle.

 Often gritty, her work gives voice to the disenfranchised and people living on the fringe of society. 



Stella Beratlis

Stella Beratlis is the author of Dust Bowl Venus (2021) and Alkali Sink, a nominee for the Northern California Book Award in 2016. Her poems have appeared in Harbor Review, In Posse Review, Penumbra, and Quercus Review, among others, and in the anthologies The Place That Inhabits Us: Poems from the San Francisco Bay Watershed and California Fire and Water: A Climate Crisis Anthology. Beratlis served as Modesto’s poet laureate from 2016-2020 and works as a community college librarian.








Lee Herrick

Lee Herrick is the author of three books of poems: Scar and Flower, finalist for the 2020
Northern California Book Award; Gardening Secrets of the Dead; and This Many Miles
from Desire. He co-edited The World I Leave You: Asian American Poets on Faith and
Spirit (Orison Books, 2020). His writing appears widely in literary magazines, textbooks,
and anthologies such as HERE: Poems for the Planet, with an introduction by the Dalai
Lama; Indivisible: Poems of Social Justice, with an introduction by Common; The Place
That Inhabits Us: Poems from the San Francisco Bay Watershed; Naming the Lost: The
Fresno Poets: Interviews and Essays; Dear America: Letters of Hope, Habitat,
Defiance, and Democracy, and on the Grammy-nominated album, The Poets Are
Gathering, among others. He served as Fresno Poet Laureate from 2015-2017. Born in
Daejeon, Korea and adopted to the United States at ten months, he teaches at Fresno
City College and the MFA program at the University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe.



Clay Hunt

Clay Hunt is the author of Domestic Calicos from Laughing Ronin Press as well as the author of several chapbooks. He has a Bachelors of Arts degree in English from Uc Berkely. He is from the Central Valley but currently lives in San Francisco.







Rooja Mohassessy

Rooja Mohassessy is an Iranian-born poet. She is a 2022 MacDowell Fellow and a recent graduate of the Pacific University MFA program in Oregon. Her debut collection, When Your Sky Runs Into Mine, was the winner of the 22nd Annual Elixir Poetry Prize and will be released by Elixir Press in January, 2023. Her poems and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in Narrative Magazine, Poet Lore, RHINO Poetry, Southern Humanities Review, CALYX Journal, Ninth Letter, Cream City Review, The Adroit Journal, New Letters, The Florida Review, Poetry Northwest, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. Rooja reads for the journal Prairie Schooner. Her new book, When Your Sky Runs into Mine, has just become available for pre-order on Amazon.  





Sam Pierstorff

Sam Pierstorff

Sam Pierstorff is 1/3rd of the Burn and Rave comedy podcast and a professor of English and poetry at Modesto Junior College. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing from CSU Long Beach and went on to become the youngest Poet Laureate ever appointed in the state of California when he was selected to the position in 2004 by the city of Modesto where he currently teaches English at Modesto Junior College. In 2019, the college honored him with The Purdy Award for Teaching Excellence. He is also the creator of The ILL LIST , California’s most prestigious annual poetry slam competition. As a performer, he won UC Merced’s Grand Slam championship in 2013 and the Rogue Festival Poetry Slam in 2014. He has published more than 200 poems in literary journals including Rattle, Clarion Review, Slipstream, and online at The Huffington Post, The Normal School, and The Good Men Project among others. His autobiographical story about growing up Muslim in America was selected as the opening piece the anthology Salaam, Love (Beacon Press) and he was subsequently invited to Harvard University to read his work and was later invited to do a TEDx Talk. He is the author of Growing Up in Someone Else’s Shoes, published by World Parade Books in 2010, and most recently, he co-edited More Than Soil, More Than Sky: The Modesto Poets, which launched to #1on Amazon’s Poetry Best Seller list upon its release, and most ridiculously, he is a two-time contestant on NBC’s American Ninja Warrior, certifying him as the world’s first #NinjaPoet. He can be found on TikTok, IG, & Twitter @njapoet.






Salvatore Salerno

Salvatore Salerno has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he was awarded the Academy of American Poets University Prize. He worked as a poet and playwright in the North Carolina Visiting Artist Program before coming to Modesto. Salvatore is retired from having taught English and drama at Grace M. Davis High School. He is the Poet Laureate of Modesto and the president of Stanislaus Audubon Society. His latest books are Hello, Posterity and Letters from Long Hazard Lane.









Linda Scheller

Linda Scheller is the author of two poetry collections, Wind & Children (Main Street Rag, 2022) and Fierce Light
(FutureCycle Press, 2017) as well as a chapbook, Halcyon. Her poetry is published in more than 80 international journals and anthologies, and her book reviews appear in publications including Colorado Review, On the Seawall, The Museum of Americana, Sugar House Review, and Terrain. Recent honors include finalist for the Barrow Street Book Award and the Word Works Washington Prize, Arkana Editor’s Choice Award, and Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominations. Her website is








Tamer Mostafa

Tamer Said Mostafa (he/him/his) is a poet and storyteller from Stockton, California. He is a Best of the Net and Pushcart nominee, and a graduate of the Creative Writing program at University of California, Davis. His debut, full length book of poetry, Where Will I Find America? was released in Summer, 2021. Tamer lives life through spirituality, community work, and the music of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony.










Louise Kantro

Louise Kantro, retired high school English teacher and cat-lover, volunteers as a CASA (court advocate for foster children). After receiving her MFA from Goddard College in 2003, she has published poetry (including a chapbook) and prose in such journals and anthologies as Quercus Review, Cloudbank, Oasis, The Chariton Review, the new renaissance, South Loop Review, Caesura, and Monterey Poetry Review.









Cristina Sandoval

Cristina Sandoval is a Modesto native and a Fresno transplant. She is currently working on her MFA in Creative Writing from Fresno State university. Her work centers around family, trauma, empowerment, and the painful forms of love and joy. She has been published in Penumbra, Exist(ir), Artifact Nouveau, Dystopian Dance Party, and most recently, Talon Review. She has two books of poetry on Amazon, Moon Ride, and We Need Bad Bitches.









Karen Hansis Baker

Karen Hansis Baker is a poet and editor based in Modesto, California. She writes with several local poetry groups. She serves on the board of the Modesto-Stanislaus Poetry Center and is a member of the National League of American Pen Women.





Melchor Sahagun III

Melchor Sahagun III is a lifelong lover of poetry. And cats. And probably other stuff, too. Oh, and You! He loves You. Unless you’re a Nazi. Find him on Instagram and Twitter (@smokerbuddy) or send him an email ( if you want some behind the scenes poetry content and/or random jokes. 












Aideed Medina

Aideed Medina is a poet and spoken word artist. She is a Certified California Naturalist, and practices flor y canto as part of her poetic process and exploration of California’s natural history. Her work has appeared in Fresno State’s Club Austral Literary Magazine, Chicano Writers and Artists Association Journal, La Bloga, Poets Responding, Art of the Commune, Split This Rock, Nueva York Poetry Review, Di-Lirio Revista Literaria, and as part of a collection of original art songs composed for The Opera Remix, Fresno Grand Opera.










Rhony Bhopla

Rhony Bhopla is a poet and visual artist. Her poems have appeared in Notre Dame Review, The Ekphrastic Review, and Cosumnes River Journal. Her book reviews can be read and are forthcoming in Northwest Review and Harvard Review. She recently presented her essay, The Blue Clerk: Bhāvika and the Literary Revolution, at the Popular Culture Association Conference. Rhony is a 2019 Rooted and Written fellow, and holds a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from Pacific University.












Gary Thomas

Gary Thomas taught eighth grade language arts for thirty-one years, and junior college English for seven—sharing and discussing at least one poem each day with his students. He has presented poetry workshops for statewide organizations, festivals, and conferences. He has had poems published in In the Grove and The Comstock Review, among others, and in the anthology More Than Soil, More Than Sky: The Modesto Poets. He is currently vice president of the Modesto-Stanislaus Poetry Center, is a member of the Curriculum Study Commission and of the local writing group known as The Licensed Fools. A full-length collection, ALL THE CONNECTING LIGHTS, was released in August 2022 from Finishing Line Press.










Jenny Tang

Born in Oklahoma and raised in Phoenix, Beijing, and Berkeley, Jenny enjoys reaching beyond everyday discourse to capture life’s underbelly. She started writing spoken word in Beijing in 2015 and has been published in LoReLi China, Spittoon Magazine, and is a winner of the MoST Poets Corner contest. She was a sacrificial poet at the Chill List, and is an alumni of the Attic Institute in Portland and the Juniper Summer Writing Workshop at UMass Amherst. She is working on her longest project yet: a memoir.










Sheila D. Landre

Sheila D. Landre is a retired ELA and Spansh teacher and great-grandmother of eight. She has been writing poetry since age 7 and has kept a journal for most of her adult life. Her poetry has been published in Penumbra, Zam Bomba, In the Grove, Song of the San Joaquin, Stanislaus Connections, and Modern Bride Magazine. She has performed as featured reader or at open mics at The Barking Dog ,Queen Bean, the Carnegie Center, The Bookstore, Luna’s in Sacramento. She also writes essays She has self-published a book of poetry written during the Covid pandemic titled The Virus Years.







Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas

Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas lives in the Sierra Foothills (CA) and is a recent graduate of Vermont College of Fine Arts, MFA in Writing program, where she received a Merit Scholarship. She is an eleven-time Pushcart Prize nominee and a seven-time Best of the Net nominee. In 2012 she won the Red Ochre Chapbook Contest, with her manuscript, Before I Go to Sleep. In 2018 her book In the Making of Goodbyes was nominated for The CLMP Firecracker Award in Poetry, and her poem A Mall in California took 2nd place for the Jack Kerouac Poetry Prize. In 2019 her chapbook An Ode to Hope in the Midst of Pandemonium was a finalist in the Eric Hoffer Book Awards and Epitaph for the Beloved was nominated for The Northern California Book Award. Her latest collection of poems Alice in Ruby Slippers, was short-listed for the 2021 Eric Hoffer Grand Prize and awarded honorable mention in the Poetry category and was been featured in Sundress Publication’s, The Wardrobes Best Dressed. Her work can be found online and in print and has recently appeared in Mezzo Cammin and Verse Daily. She has served as the Editor-in-Chief for the Orchards Poetry Journal and Co-Editor-in-Chief for the Tule Review and is a former member of the Board of Directors for the Sacramento Poetry Center. Her work has been included in the Saratoga Authors Hall of Fame and according to family lore she is a direct descendant of Robert Louis Stevenson.







Tina Driskill

A passionate supporter of the Arts, Tina Arnopole Driskill has been drawn to writing poetry since childhood. She is a founding member of two exceptional poetry groups, the MeterMaids, now in its 31st year, and the Licensed Fools for 26 years. She and Karen Baker, original MeterMaid members, co-edited the MeterMaids Circle of Voices 30th Anniversary Anthology, available in the book tent and through Amazon.
She earned degrees in Journalism and English and honed her writing chops as a reporter for The Modesto Bee,  Stockton Record and two other Central Valley Papers. She has participated in several volunteer capacities, including as a writer for the Modesto Peace/Life Center publication, Stanislaus Connections, where she created the A Gathering of Voices poetry page and writes the Green Tips for a Green Planet environmental column. She also volunteered with the former Family Line hot line, served many years with the Modesto Community Concert Association Board of Directors, as an usher with the Gallo Center for the Arts when it first opened, and with a sub-committee of the Stanislaus Arts Council.  She also has served many positions with her religious community and is a founding committee member for the Yes You Can!  Modesto’s first Children’s Museum.

She is especially proud to have served 21 years as Director of the Sunday Afternoons at CBS concert series, and was recently chosen to serve with the Modesto Bee Editorial Advisory Committee.








Camille Norton

Camille Norton is the author of two books of poems, Corruption, which was a National Poetry Series (Harper Perennial 2005), and A Folio for the Dark (Sixteen Rivers Press 2019). She is a professor of English at University of the Pacific and lives in Stockton, CA.












Angela Drew

Angela Drew is a mother, dancer, author, poet and self-proclaimed linguistic artist who has
loved the rhythm of words for as long as she can remember. Born in Berkeley, CA, she began
writing at age eight and has always understood that words have the power to soothe, stir, or
solidify connection. Thus, her lifelong love affair with storytelling began. Angela is the winner
and first-place slam champion of Modesto’s 2021 ILL List 16 Poetry Slam. She has performed
at various venues throughout Northern CA, including the Gallo Center for the Arts, in a Sankofa
Community Theatre production of “The Journey —The African American Experience,” the
Hildegard Festival of Women in the Arts in Turlock and Expose Yourself to Art, a Mistlin/Central
California Art Association endeavor, to name a few. She is the author of ElderBerry Wine, a
children’s book written in poetic verse, that celebrates the beauty and majesty of our elders and
the richness they bring by simply being a part of our lives. To learn more about Angela and her
word artistry, visit her on IG @she_spits_fire, Facebook @Angela Drew and online at You can find her book at, at Amazon and
other retail outlets where books are sold.





Josslyn Turner


Josslyn Turner is a poet and abstract artist. She’s currently finishing her BA in English and plans to get an MA to become a librarian. Her poems have appeared in SWWIM Everyday, The Lily Poetry Review, The Vitni Review, and elsewhere. She lives in Waterford where she co-parents two teenaged boys.











Robin Shepard

Robin Shepard retired from a career in community college administration. He is a collector of mid-century art and design and has amassed a massive collection of music on vinyl. A self-taught drummer and keyboardist, he has seen more than 300 professional bands and musicians in five decades of attending concerts, often travelling great distances to follow a band on tour. He is also a classic car enthusiast, owner of museum quality 1953 Kaiser Dragon, member of the Kaiser Frazer and Studebaker international car clubs, and newsletter editor for the San Joaquin Valley Chapter of the Studebaker Drivers Club. He earned his MFA in Writing at Vermont College of Fine Arts and self-published his first book Quiet Stars Falling into Quicksand Memory in 2017 through the Merced College Press. His second book, The Restoration of Innocence was published this year. 



Stephanie Burrell-Hammer

Stephanie serves in the following capacities; Pastor (Ordained, February 2013), Praise/Worship Leader, Mentor and Empowerment Speaker. January 2017, she became a publish author, book entitled, “Reflections of Life” 60 Days of Inspirations. In her professional career she was a successful California Licensed Residential Real Estate Agent. In 2009 she launched a local Women’s Ministry, “Women with VisionSoul Society.” This ministry mentors and empowers women with the tools to realize who they are and how important they are to the plan of God and society. She currently hosts a weekly Women’s Bible Study. She loves family time, cooking, traveling and meeting new people.

Stephanie is involved in her community, supporting various organizations. She understands that ministry happens outside the four walls of the church, IT’S A LIFESTYLE!

Stephanie is the mother of five beautifully, talented children age ranging from 35 to 17 years old. She is the wife of the International Recording Artist, MC Hammer. They celebrated 36 years of marriage, December 2022. “All Glory to the Father!” She knows that she was called to the kingdom before the foundations of the world were established. And that she has been ordained to encourage the broken hearted, lift up the heads that hang down, bring strength to the feeble knees and to speak words of life that liberates the captives, by the power and authority of the Holy Spirit. She also believes that the chapters of her life are still being written, as she continues to seek the will, purpose and guidance for her life and Life’s Ministry. She has been commanded to preach that acceptable day of the Lord that will compel men, women, boys and girlsto come into “His Kingdom”.





Kimberly Biddle

I am an African American female who writes textbooks and children’sfiction. I am also a retired college educator. I am a traditionallypublished picture book author with three published books among the topten sellers at MacLaren-Cochrane publishing (MCP), before theyrestructured and changed their business model. MCP was a small independent, traditional press. I love music and singing, so all picture books have original sheet music as back matter. My first picture book was a finalist in the 2019 American Fiction Awards. My second and third picture books won Purple Dragonfly Awards in 2021. I have attended courses at the Institute for Children’s Literature. I have attended all of the Picture Book Summits. I am an active PAL-listed member of SCBWI, serving as E & I team lead for my region. I am also a member of these two twitter groups, BCHQ and MGHQ. I
graduated from the Children’s Book Academy Middle Grade Magic course in 2020.  I finished a Fiction Writing course with author Sylvia Liu and recently returned from Big Sur 2021. I am currently revising a MG manuscript. I am an Emeritus (retired) Professor of Child and Adolescent Development at Sacramento State. I also write college textbooks, with 3 finished. Both of my alma maters, University of Redlands and Stanford University GSE, have given me career awards.


Kristin Miller

Kristin Miller is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than thirty novels. In Her Shadow, a dark psychological suspense published with Random House/Ballantine Books, won the 2020 Daphne DuMaurier Award for mystery and suspense. Her books are available everywhere in print and e-book, as well as on Audible. She lives in Northern California with her husband and two children.










Jennie Chadwick

Jennie Chadwick grew up in California’s Central Valley. Her funny kids stories are based on her own memories of growing up around peach orchards and grape vineyards. She has been writing for 10 years and there are 5 books in The Peach Tree Kids series. She has done many presentations in school classrooms and libraries. Jennie has traveled to Europe to share her books with the children of US Army families stationed there, for which she received an award in appreciation from the United States Army. She is the current President of the Modesto Chapter of The National League of American PenWomen. Jennie is currently working on the next book in the series and … THERE BE PIRATES THERE!





Claudia Hagen

After a nursing career spanning just over 40 yrs. along with 12 yrs. as a commercially rated hot air balloon pilot, Claudia is now retired and enjoying her new career as an author. During the Covid pandemic she published three new nonfiction books: “America’s Top Secret Rosies During WWII”, “Never Let A Ginger Snap! Life as a Redhead – Imparting Knowledge – Dispelling Myths,” and “Will Death Be Our Next Adventure – A Nurse’s Look at Near-Death & Out-of-Body Experiences.” She has published thirteen nonfiction books covering a variety of topics and has begun research on book #14. “I enjoy the research it takes to create an interesting look at history and other topics that peak the readers’ attention,” she states.
Claudia has received multiple 5 Star reviews from a variety of sources including an Honorable Mention award from Reader’s Choice for her ballooning autobiography, “The Mystic High Adventures of Fannie Flame & Crew.” “Never Let A Ginger Snap…” is receiving world wide attention in the redhead community.

When not researching or writing, she enjoys reading, gardening, and trying to keep up with her grand and great-grand kids. Visit her website at



Kathy Howell

Kathy Goosev Howell lives in Clovis, California with her husband, Pete. She is the daughter of Russian immigrant parents. English is Kathy’s second language. During her college years she had two passions, teaching and writing. She was an elementary school teacher for over 25 years, then began her writing career. She has published five children’s books. She also enjoys traveling, hiking, and riding her purple bike. 








Jon Latham

I am from the central valley, currently. Worked most of my life in Minnesota. I grew up bouncing between Las Vegas and Sanger, ca. as my parents attempted to gain better employment. I am a Viet Nam veteran, and ex-police officer, and have 40 years of experience in marketing. I started writing as a hobby due to the death of my wife, which was weighing too heavily upon me. I am a multi genre author of 3 Willow and Birch murder mysteries, a 7 book syfy/fantasy series of which 5 are published, and a straight fantasy novel and one childrens book.







Karen Moore

As a former Title 1 Instructional Aide and Literacy Tutor, Karen understands the critical role good picture books play in students learning to read and comprehend. She is the author of six picture books, including the award winning, CAR SHOW COUNTDOWN. Her newest title, GRACIE AND THE RADAR GIRLS, is a historical nonfiction picture book for independent readers. Karen loves a good mystery, traveling, learning new things and anything dark chocolate.








Bubba Paris

William “Bubba” Paris former, Three time Super Bowl Champion with the San Francisco 49ers; an All-American at the University of Michigan. A motivational speaker, columnist and an evangelist. This is the story of my journey from a confused, misunderstood child-in search of normal, to a young man facing one of my most challenging moments, starting in Super Bowl XIX. Using hindsight I look over defining events of my life to understand the significance that they had on that Super Bowl  moment. I dissect the mindset I had when I made crucial decisions, knowing now the result of those decisions.

The knowledge that I learned as I navigated through the obstacles of my life can help you navigate through yours. Even though you may be at a different place along your journey, this book will help you understand the significance of your decisions and actions. It is a road map with instructions and proven advice that can be picked up at anytime you may seem lost on your journey to discovering your purpose in life.




Alba Arango

Alba Arango writes books that are “imaginative and a lot of fun to sleuth around with.” (Readers’ Favorite) Alba is a retired high school teacher turned full-time children’s author. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, where she loves coffee and chocolate…especially together (white chocolate mocha is the best!). Join her monthly newsletter at to receive a once-a-month entertaining newsletter full of event info, monthly highlights, middle grade/YA recommendations, crazy laws, and all-around mischief. She can also be found on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok at @AlbaArango007, and on Facebook at Alba Arango Author Page.







Major Mitchell

SPUR award finalist Major Mitchell loves writing, singing and playing the guitar, but the real joys of his life are his
family and his faith. He says spending time with his grandchildren is the most fun anyone could ever hope to have. He
has always been active in his church and at one time was a pastor in Southern California. We are confident that, after
reading any of his historical Western novels, contemporary Christian romances, or children’s books, you will also
become a member of his ever-growing fan base.





Marie Sutro

Marie Sutro is an award-winning and bestselling crime thriller author. In 2018, she
won the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award for the Best New Voice in Fiction for her
debut novel, Dark Associations. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, her
writing is inspired by three generations of family service in the San Francisco Police
department (including her father, grandfather, and great-grandfather).
Marie resides in Northern California with her husband and three well-loved felines.
Her newest novel, Dark Obsessions, was released in April of 2022. She is currently at
work on her next novel.





Cynthia Ruth

Cynthia A. Ruth has been a resident of San Joaquin County in California for several years, where she lives with her husband. She grew up in the Sierra foothills along the middle fork of the Cosumnes River in El Dorado County, Ca. She enjoyed years of exploring the sparsely populated countryside on horseback.
     She currently enjoys training and competing with her Australian Shepherds in various dog sporting events and loves writing and gardening. She is also a Rally Obedience Judge for the Australian Shepherd Club of America. She is a member of the San Joaquin Dog Training Club and serves as Vice President of the Western Australian Shepherd Obedience Club and is a member of the Gold Country Writers and Capital Crimes, Sacramento Chapter of Sisters in Crime.






Angie Quitasol

Entrepreneur, keynote speaker and coach, and roller skating enthusiast Angie Quitasol has been inspiring others since she was little. It’s probably in her DNA, considering her mom used to secretly place Dale Carnegie recordings in her room as she slept. Angie loves to help others live a life without limits. In a past life, she was an educator for 12 years, inspiring young minds as their energetic and stylish 5th grade teacher. Her natural love of style morphed into the role of fashion stylist, where she helped women find their groove and self-confidence through their own personal style. Today, Angie is a professional speaker and social media producer and coach, motivating businesses, schools, and other entrepreneurs to increase their performance, profits, and possibilities. Aficionado of Mondays, a good cup of coffee, a kick-butt workout, and a sassy outfit, Angie lives in Northern California with her husband, two children, and killer pink heels.






Meera Klein

Meera Ekkanath Klein has combined her love of cooking and story-telling in her latest award-
winning novel, Seeing Ceremony (Homebound 2020), a sequel to the award-winning My Mother’s
Kitchen: A Novel with Recipes (Homebound 2014). When she is not in the kitchen or at her
computer, she can be found picking out the freshest produce and ripest fruit at the local Farmers’
Klein’s short stories and poems have been published in online and print magazines and she is a
reviewer for the New York Journal of Book. She is also an editor for the online magazine FEMASIA.
She lives in northern California with her husband and has two grown sons.
Check out her website at; follow her on Twitter @meeraklein, or find her on
Facebook or on Instagram



Crystal Patterson

Crystel is a mother to two beautiful boys, a Technology Consultant, and a self-published author.

In January 2021, she published her first children’s book, which kicked off her “Inspired to Be…” children’s book series. The “Inspired to be…” book series seeks to spread Black inspiration to ALL children through stories based on the culture, experiences, and dreams of Black people. Each story in the series delivers a universal message that any child can relate to and is inspired by a real person so that children will have a point of reference and can say, “If they can do that, then so can I”.  Crystel received her Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at UC Berkeley, but her outlook and experience around inspirational children’s literature for children comes solely from being a mother and a seeker of inspiration.  To learn more about the “Inspired to be…” series visit




Allie Kat

Allie Kat has grown a lot from self-publishing her first book in 2017. Taking her first steps into the thriller genre with Shoelaces Don’t Tell Of Midnight Horrors in 2021 and now releasing her very first novel with Britt Nunes. But one thing remains, her love for building entire worlds through her own keyboard.











Kathleen Gorman


Kathleen Gorman is a retired reading specialist teacher. She lives in Madera with her husband
Bill, and their three dogs. Growing up in Central California, many afternoons were spent
listening to the embellished stories of family history told by her dad and a variety of uncles. Her
picture books include: How Far is Heaven? Twisty Green Monster, Why So Many Rules? The
Mystery Hidden in a Name, and A Curriculum Guide: Remembering the California Missions.










Brittney Nunes

Britt Nunes never expected to be a writer. Coming from a past where she always struggled academically, to the point where she was held back in grammar school, the idea of completing a novel was utterly intangible. But falling in love with reading was what ultimately helped her excel. She now considers herself a dork with an overactive imagination. Being Britt is addicted to rich words, suspenseful stories, a touch of romance, and massive amounts of coffee, becoming a writer not just became possible but enviable. Nunes’ credits include her dystopian YA novel Etched, initially published by Martin Sisters Publishing. Nunes was a finalist in the 10th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards for her sci-fi YA novel, Neon. She holds an associate degree in English from San Joaquin Delta College. Nunes is the author of The Etched TalesNautical Crusade DynastyA Dark So Bright, and GOOD air. Britt currently writes for young adults.



Also Appearing:

Krystaelynne Diggs

Nick Hanson

Edna Lau






Subject to change.