Who We Are
17 Scribes are a group of Adult and New Adult Authors releasing our debut novels in 2017.
Mary Ann Marlowe
When not writing, Mary Ann takes karate with her kids (she has a second degree black belt) and works by day as a computer programmer/DBA. She spent ten years as a university-level French professor, and her resume includes stints as an au pair in Calais, a hotel intern in Paris, a German tutor, a college radio disc jockey, and a webmaster for several online musician fandoms. She has lived in twelve states and three countries and loves to travel. She now lives in central Virginia where she is hard at work on her second novel.
Her debut novel, SOME KIND OF MAGIC, is scheduled for release with Kensington in 2017 and can be pre-ordered now.
Kellye Garrett spent 8 years working in Hollywood, including a stint writing for the CBS drama Cold Case. People were always surprised to learn what she did for a living—probably because she seemed way too happy to be brainstorming ways to murder people. A former magazine editor, Kellye holds a B.S. in magazine writing from Florida A&M and an MFA in screenwriting from USC’s famed film school. Having moved back to her native New Jersey, she spends her mornings commuting to Manhattan for her job at a leading media company—while still happily brainstorming ways to commit murder.
Her first novel, HOLLYWOOD HOMICIDE, will be released by Midnight Ink on August 8, 2017. It’s the first book in the Detective by Day mystery series.
Sandi Ward is a native New Englander who now lives on the Jersey Shore with her husband, kids, dog and a big black cat named Winnie. She received her MA in Creative Writing from NYU. She is a copywriter at a medical advertising agency.
THE ASTONISHING THING, her debut novel, will be available October 31, 2017. Her agent is Stacy Testa at Writers House, and she has a 2-book deal with Kensington Books.
Cass Morris is a Virginia belle who currently works at the American Shakespeare Center, where she writes teaching guides, leads workshops and seminars, and develops educational resources and classroom materials. Cass completed her Master of Letters at Mary Baldwin College in 2010 and earned a BA in English with a minor in history from the College of William and Mary in 2007. She was accepted into the W&M Alpha Delta Gamma honor society for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and served on the boards of student theatrical production companies as an undergrad and graduate student. She reads voraciously, wears corsets voluntarily, and will beat you at MarioKart.
From Unseen Fire, a fantasy epic set in an alternate-history ancient Rome, will be released from DAW Books on 5 September 2017.
Annie Hartnett’s debut novel RABBIT CAKE is forthcoming from Tin House Books in March 2017. She was the 2013-2014 winner of the Writer in Residence Fellowship for the Associates of the Boston Public Library. She has an MFA in Fiction from the University of Alabama, and has received awards and honors from the Bread Loaf School of English, Indiana Review, and McSweeney’s. She teaches classes on the short story and the novel at Grub Street, an independent writing center in Boston. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island with her husband and their beloved border collie.
Adriana Anders has acted and sung, slung cocktails and corrected copy. She’s worked for start-ups, multinationals and small nonprofits, but it wasn’t until she returned to her first love—writing romance—that she finally felt like she’d come home. Today, she resides with her tall French husband, two small children and fat bastard of a French cat in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, where she writes the dark, gritty, emotional love stories of her heart.
Her debut novel, Under Her Skin, the first in the Blank Canvas series, won best unpublished contemporary romance with both the New Jersey Romance Writers and the Heartland Romance Writers.
Kristin Rockaway is a native New Yorker with an insatiable case of wanderlust. After working in the IT industry for far too many years, she finally traded the city for the surf and chased her dreams out to Southern California, where she spends her days happily writing stories instead of software. Her debut novel, The Wild Woman’s Guide to Traveling the World, will be released from Center Street Books in June 2017. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son, browsing the aisles of her neighborhood bookstores, and planning her next big vacation.
When K.D. finished her first year of college she took the ultimate summer job: summer camp counselor at a rustic Girl Scout camp (they left out the “rustic” part in the ad). Little did she know that one summer in the north woods of Minnesota would set her on a path of working with college students in the Office of Student Affairs. She’s joked for years that with all the student’s she’s worked with, she could write a shelf full of books. Never in her life, though, did she expect that to come true!
Her New Adult debut novel, IF YOU’RE EVER IN TOWN, is a finalist for the 2016 YARWA Rosemary Award in the New Adult category. It will be published in July 2017 from BookFish Books.
Leah DeCesare’s childhood dream was to become an author though she never expected her first book to be about parenting. The Naked Parenting series stemmed from her main gig as mother of three and she writes between car pools and laundry.
Forks, Knives, and Spoons is her debut novel and Leah has also written articles for publication in the International Doula, The Key, The Huffington Post and other online outlets and local publications.
Married for over 21 years, Leah’s current parenting adventures revolve around kids, tween and teenagers, creating the basis for her Mother’s Circle parenting blog, www.motherscircle.net, where she shares perspectives on parenting from pregnancy through teens.
Her pre-baby professional experience was in public relations and event planning and for the past fifteen years, her career has focused on birth, babies, and early parenting as a certified childbirth educator, a birth and postpartum doula.
In 2013, Leah spearheaded the Campaign for Hope to build the Kampala Children’s Centre for Hope and Wellness in Uganda and co-founded the nonprofit, Doulas of Rhode Island, in 2008.
She parents, writes, teaches and volunteers in Rhode Island.
Photo credit: Erica Shea
Kristen Lepionka is the author of The Last Place You Look, forthcoming in Spring 2017 from St. Martin’s/Minotaur Books. She grew up mostly in a public library and could often be found in the adult mystery section well before she was out of middle school. Her writing has been selected for McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Grift, and Black Elephant. She lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her partner and two cats.
Kate Brandes is an environmental scientist with twenty years of experience and, more recently, a watercolor painter as well as a writer of women’s fiction with an environmental bent. Her short stories have been published in The Binnacle, Wilderness House Literary Review, and Grey Sparrow Journal.
Kate lives in a small town along the Delaware River with her husband, David, and their two sons. When she’s not working, she’s outside on the river or chasing wild flowers.
The Promise of Pierson Orchard, a finalist for the Eludia Award, is her first novel.
Crystal King is a writer, culinary enthusiast and marketing expert. Her writing is fueled by a love of history and an obsession with the food, language and culture of Italy. She has taught writing and social media management at GrubStreet creative writing center and several universities including Harvard Extension School and Boston University. Crystal received her master’s degree in critical and creative thinking from University of Massachusetts Boston. She lives in Massachusetts with her family.
Set amongst the scandal, wealth and upstairs-downstairs politics of a Roman family, Crystal King’s seminal debut, FEAST OF SORROW, features the man who inspired the world’s oldest cookbook and the ambition that led to his destruction. FEAST OF SORROW will be published by Touchstone Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, in April 2017.
Photo credit: Wayne Earl Chinnock
Laura Heffernan is living proof that watching too much TV can pay off: AMERICA’S NEXT REALITY STAR, the first book in the REALITY STAR series, is coming from Kensington’s Lyrical Press on March 7, 2017. When not watching total strangers participate in arranged marriages, drag racing queens, or cooking competitions, Laura enjoys travel, baking, board games, helping with writing contests, and seeking new experiences. She lives in the Northeast with her amazing husband and two furry little beasts.
Laura loves connecting with readers and other writers. Find her on her website or Facebook. She also spends far too much time tweeting about writing, junk food, and query contests.
Renee Macalino Rutledge
Renee Macalino Rutledge’s first novel, The Hour of Daydreams, will be published in March 2017 by Forest Avenue Press. Her essays are forthcoming in The Ford City Anthology and the 2017 Women of Color Anthology, and she has been published in Mutha Magazine, Filipinas Magazine, Oakland Magazine, Red Earth Review, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, ColorLines, and others. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she works as a nonfiction book editor, parents two daughters who are 10 years apart, and regularly explores both the cultural and natural landscape.
Kathleen A. Flynn
Kathleen A. Flynn holds a Bachelor of Arts from Barnard College and a Master of Arts from the University of North Carolina. She has taught English in Hong Kong, washed dishes on Nantucket, and is a life member of the Jane Austen Society of North America. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their shy fox terrier, Olive. Flynn is an editor at The New York Times, where she works at The Upshot.
Her first novel, THE JANE AUSTEN PROJECT, with elements of science fiction, historical fiction and English-major wonkery, will be published, god willing, by HarperCollins in May 2017 as a Harper Perennial paperback original.
Julie Pennell is an NYC-based writer from Louisiana—there’s still a crawfish-shaped place in her heart for her home state. A former editor at Seventeen, she’s currently a regular contributor to TODAY and Teen Vogue. Her work has also appeared in Refinery29, The Nest, and SELF, among other publications.
Her first novel THE YOUNG WIVES CLUB will be published February 2017 by Emily Bestler at Simon & Schuster in collaboration with Alloy Entertainment. The story follows four young wives in small-town Louisiana who bond over their marital woes and discover the redemptive power of friendship.
Lisa Duffy received her MFA in Creative Writing from The University of Massachusetts Boston. Her fiction and nonfiction can be found in the Drum Literary Journal, So To Speak, The Breakwater Review, Let the Bucket Down and elsewhere. Lisa is the founding editor of ROAR Magazine, a literary journal supporting women in the arts. She currently lives in the Boston area with her husband and three children.
Her debut novel, The Salt House, is forthcoming from Simon & Schuster/Touchstone in June 2017.
SJ Sindu’s debut novel, Marriage of a Thousand Lies, is forthcoming in 2017 from Soho Press. Her hybrid fiction and nonfiction chapbook, I Once Met You But You Were Dead, was the winner of the Split Lip Turnbuckle Chapbook Contest, and is forthcoming in early 2017. Sindu’s creative writing has appeared or is forthcoming inBrevity, The Normal School, The Los Angeles Review of Books, apt, Vinyl Poetry, PRISM International, VIDA, rkvry quarterly, and elsewhere.
Although a New Englander by birth (and at heart), Elise now lives with her husband and two young daughters in Seattle, where she also teaches literature and history. THE OTHER ALCOTT, her first novel, is forthcoming from William Morrow/Harper Collins in 2017.
Sara O. Thompson
Sara O. Thompson’s first attempt at a book was prepared on a Remington typewriter and bore a suspicious resemblance to a famous novel whose title rhymes with ‘Gourd of the Spies.’ Since then, she’s written diaries, advertising copy, and a lot of poetry, besides short and long fiction. In her spare time, she performs improv comedy, occasionally tells stories on stage, and loves ballroom dancing. Sara lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with her husband, an ICU nurse, and their twin sons.
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By day, Jessica Strawser is the editorial director of Writer’s Digest magazine, North America’s leading publication for aspiring and working writers since 1920. By night, she is a fiction writer with a debut novel, ALMOST MISSED YOU, forthcoming in March 2017 from St. Martin’s Press and another stand-alone novel to follow in 2018. And by the minute, she is a proud wife and mom to two super sweet and super young kids in Cincinnati, Ohio. A Pittsburgh native and Ohio University Scripps School of Journalism alum, she loves connecting with readers and fellow writers alike online. Visit her at jessicastrawser.com and Facebook.com/jessicastrawserauthor, and give her a shout on Twitter @jessicastrawser.
Becoming a published author has been a life-long goal that Heather has known she wanted since she was twelve. At that age, she wrote her first book and has been writing ever since. The path to where she is now as an author has been wrought with detours and road blocks, but she stayed the course and finally partnered with two agents and ultimately signed with one of them.
When she is not writing, editing, or designing book covers and websites, she can be found on the slopes, the hiking trails, or on horseback. As a native Oregonian, she enjoy the outdoors nearly as much as the worlds she creates on the pages. No need to travel to the Great Northwest though, you can find her on her personal blog and her many social networking sites. You can also find her the first Monday night of every month at 6:00 pm PT on the #WritersRoad chat on Twitter. She is the co-creator and moderator of the chat. Entertaining readers, protecting endangered species, and uncovering stories and points of view that haven’t been covered are her passions.
Kelly J. Ford
Kelly J. Ford completed GrubStreet Writing Center’s Novel Incubator program and is an editor and contributor for Dead Darlings, a website dedicated to discussing the craft of novel writing. Her fiction has appeared in Black Heart Magazine, Fried Chicken and Coffee, and Knee-Jerk Magazine. She is a freelance editor and project manager and lives near Boston with her girlfriend and two large cats.
Her debut novel, COTTONMOUTHS, will be published by Skyhorse in Spring 2017.
Photo credit: Sharona Jacobs Photography
May B. Bridges
May is a misplaced southerner. She is now living in Oregon where she writes romance for your dark side. When not writing, May can be found working on a new drawing covered in charcoal, or near baseball and softball fields. She is represented by Kim Lionetti at BookEnds Literary Agency. She has signed a three book deal with St. Martin’s Press – Swerve for her dark romance series, SAVED BY SIN. The first in the series, KILLING JUNE, is set to be released in 2017.
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Kari Lemor is a native New Englander who grew up devouring every book she could get her hands on, especially if it was romance. Now that her own children are grown and out of the house, she can concentrate on penning tales of dashing heroes who ride to the rescue and feisty heroines who have already saved themselves.
Her debut novel, WILD CARD UNDERCOVER, the first in the ‘Love on the Line’ series, won first place in the contemporary category of the Golden Rose contest for unpublished writers. It will be released in March 2017 by Kensington Publishing in the Lyrical Underground line.
Victoria De La O
After 22 years of teaching high school and college students to write, Karen Sargent transformed from a teacher of writing to a student of writing and completed her debut novel, WAITING FOR BUTTERFLIES, forthcoming from Walrus Publishing in April 2017. She blogs at The MOM Journey…and Confessions Along the Way, where she reflects on her mom experience with a little wisdom and a lot of laughter. Karen lives in a beautiful valley in the Missouri Ozarks with her husband and two daughters.
Callie Bates is a writer, harpist and certified harp therapist, sometimes artist and nature nerd. When she’s not creating things, she’s hitting the trails or streets and exploring new places. She lives in the Upper Midwest. Her debut fantasy novel, THE WAKING LAND, is forthcoming from Del Rey Books in Summer 2017.
J.J. Montgomery has moved thirteen times in the last seventeen years, sometimes down the block, sometimes around the world. J.J. starting writing her first novel during her ninth move, when a coup d’etat shut down the streets and J.J. was trapped alone with nothing but cheap wine and frozen dinners for company. Three moves, one husband, two children and one dog later, and J.J. developed a love for writing about heroines who are as smart as they are smart-mouthed and the men who try to keep up with them.
J.J. currently lives in Bogota, Colombia and is gearing up for move number fourteen. J.J.’s debut novel, Gun for Hire, will be release in early 2017.
Jenny D. Williams
Jenny D. Williams has lived and worked in the U.S., Uganda, and Germany. She holds an MFA in fiction from Brooklyn College and a BA in English literature from UC Berkeley, and her award-winning fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and illustrations have been published in The Sun Magazine, Vela, and Ethical Traveler as well as several anthologies. She has received a Teachers & Writers Collaborative fellowship for emerging writers and an Elizabeth George Foundation grant. Her debut novel, THE ATLAS OF FORGOTTEN PLACES, will be published by Thomas Dunne/St. Martin’s Press in 2017.
Darly Jamison is a Midwestern girl who lived as a Southern Belle in a previous life. She has an incurable addiction to John Hughes movies and is possibly the only person in the history of the world to be fired from the library for reading on the job.
When not writing, Darly can be found hanging out with her husband and children or trying to perfect her chocolate cheesecake recipe. Her debut novel, STRAWBERRY WINE, will be released through Kensington Publishing January 31st, 2017.
Kevin Catalano was born in Chittenango, NY — the birthplace of Oz author L. Frank Baum — and met all of the surviving Munchkin actors as a child. He is the author of The Word Made Flesh (Queen’s Ferry Press), a collection of flash and short stories. His fiction has appeared in PANK, storySouth, Atticus Review, Gargoyle Magazine, and many others. His stories have also been anthologized in Press 53’s Surreal South ’13, Fiddleblack Annuals #1 and #2, and in Dark House Press’s Shirley Jackson Award nominated Exigencies. He received his MFA from Rutgers University-Newark, where he also teaches writing. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and two children.
Born to an Air Force JAG father and an artist mother, Adriana learned from an early age there are at least two sides to every story, and each deserves to be told. After a nomadic upbringing, she married a southern charmer and settled down permanently in his home state of Virginia. To satisfy her enduring wanderlust, she transports herself to the sometimes scary, sometimes beautiful, but always interesting worlds of beautifully crafted novels. Formerly an IT consultant to the DoD, she now writes the stories banging around in her head.
Clarissa Goenawan is an Indonesian-born Singaporean writer. She studied novel-writing with the Curtis Brown Creative and was formerly a mentee on the WoMentoring Project. She is the winner of the 2015 Bath Novel Award. Her short stories have won several awards and been published in various literary magazines and anthologies. She loves rainy days, pretty books, and hot green tea.
RAINBIRDS, her debut novel, is forthcoming from Soho Press in 2018.
Steven Peters is miscreant who snuck Fantasy into Canadian Literature. He earned his MA in English from the University of Calgary, probably because they grew tired of seeing his name on creative writing class enrolment sheets.
Now, he lives with his partner in Calgary, Alberta where he works as a copywriter. He drinks too much coffee, looks great in a sweater vest, and his biggest regret is not meeting Sir Patrick Stewart.
His debut novel, 59 GLASS BRIDGES, is forthcoming from NeWest Press in early 2017.
Kathleen Barber was raised in Galesburg, Illinois. She graduated from the University of Illinois and Northwestern University School of Law, and previously practiced bankruptcy law at large firms in Chicago and New York. When she’s not writing, Kathleen enjoys traveling the world with her husband. Her debut novel, ARE YOU SLEEPING, will be published by Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, in April 2017.
Layla was raised in North Carolina and now resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. Growing up surrounded by generations of southern storytellers and at the knee of her soap opera loving grandmother (and her grandfather too, though he’d never admit it), she began writing at an early age. Now writing romantic suspense and contemporary romance, Layla is inspired by her coast-to-coast experiences and delights in weaving the people and places she’s met and been into her stories for readers everywhere to enjoy. Layla is a member of Romance Writers of America and its Silicon Valley, Kiss of Death, Golden Network and Rainbow Romance Writers chapters. She is a 2016 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist and is represented by Laura Bradford of the Bradford Literary Agency.
Her debut novel, SINGLE MALT, a male-male romantic suspense, will be published by Carina Press on February 27, 2017.
Orly Konig is an escapee from the corporate world where she spent roughly sixteen (cough) years working in the space industry. Now she spends her days chatting up imaginary friends, drinking entirely too much coffee, and negotiating writing space around two over-fed cats.
She is the founding president of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association and an active member of Writers In The Storm blog and Tall Poppy Writers.
Her debut women’s fiction The Distance Home will be released from Forge in 2017.
Haley Harrigan is a progressive Southern belle with a deep affinity for words and an unapologetic potty mouth. She holds degrees in Creative Writing and Public Relations from the University of Georgia, and she lives in Athens, Georgia with her teacher husband and their unreasonably spoiled Yorkie child. In addition to writing novels, she has also followed some less-writerly career paths, including opening a small business, baking cupcakes, and managing real estate. Haley obsesses over fanfiction and all things Joss Whedon, but also loves college football, brunching, and a good HGTV binge. She believes most problems can be solved with a notebook, a pen, and the right glass of wine.
Haley’s debut novel, SECRETS OF SOUTHERN GIRLS, is forthcoming from Sourcebooks in June 2017. She is represented by Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary & Media.
Jenni L. Walsh
Jenni L. Walsh spent her early years chasing around cats, dogs, and chickens in Philadelphia’s countryside, before dividing time between a soccer field and a classroom at Villanova University. She put her marketing degree to good use as an advertising copywriter, zip-code hopping with her husband to DC, NYC, NJ, and not surprisingly, back to Philly. There, Jenni’s passion for words continued, adding author to her resume. She now balances her laptop with a kid on each hip, and a four-legged child at her feet.
For the mamas, BECOMING BONNIE is her debut novel that tells the untold story of how church-going Bonnelyn Parker becomes half of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde duo during the 1920s.
For the kiddos, the BRAVE LIKE ME series is her middle grade debut that features true stories from heroic women who, at a young age, accomplished daring feats of perseverance and bravery.
Devin Murphy’s debut novel, THE BOAT RUNNER, is due out with Harper Perennial/Harper Collins in the Fall of 2017. His short fiction appears in The Chicago Tribune, Glimmer Train, and The Missouri Review, The Michigan Quarterly Review, and New Stories From the Midwest as well as many others. He’s been a winner of The Atlantic Monthly’s Student Writing Contests in fiction and nonfiction. He holds an BA/MA from St. Bonaventure University, and MFA from Colorado State University, and a PhD from the University of Nebraska—Lincoln. He is now an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Bradley University and lives in Chicago with his wife and kids.
R.S. Kovach is slightly obsessed with Pachelbel’s Canon, but not so much with splitting infinitives. An art historian by training and a senior financial administrator by trade, she has worked at universities across three continents. Her native language of Hungarian has been only slightly more useful than her other obscure skill of quoting THE PRINCESS BRIDE, but being a Wattpad Featured author with over 3 million combined reads across various genres has given her the opportunity to write commissioned shorts for both THE GALLOWS and CRIMSON PEAK movie promotional campaigns.
A Simon & Schuster author, she’s a featured in the ONCE UPON NOW collection of modern fairytale retellings out October 11, 2016 from Gallery Books. As the winner of the first XOXO After Dark flash fiction contest, her debut, full-length contemporary romance THE LAST RESORT will be published on March 20, 2017 by Pocket Star Books. She lives with her husband and three boys in the greater Washington, D.C. area and is currently seeking representation.
Jamie Raintree is voracious student of life, which is why she became a writer, where she could put all that acquired information to good use. She is a mother of two, a wife, a businesswoman, a nature-lover, and a wannabe yogi. She also teaches writers about business and productivity. Since the setting is always an important part of her books, she is happy to call the Rocky Mountains of Northern Colorado her home and inspiration.
Lindsey has been writing since she was nine years old, when she discovered the awesomeness that is Harriet the Spy. Her books always include a romance, though sometimes there’s an added sci-fi or magical realism twist. She lives in Columbus, Ohio (where the weather is never quite right). Her BFA in Photography and Graphic Design has granted her a wide assortment of creative knowledge that serves as inspiration (and not much else). When she’s not crafting YA and NA stories, you’ll likely find her spending waaay too much time on Pinterest, playing a video game, singing show-tunes, or performing in a burlesque show—because she enjoys giving her introversion a worthy adversary. (Plus, it’s the closest to Broadway she’ll ever get.) Lindsey was a proud 2016 Pitch Wars Mentee and thoroughly adores being a part of the wonderful writing community. THE HEARTBEAT HYPOTHESIS is her debut novel.
Michael Shou-Yung Shum
Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Michael Shou-Yung Shum eventually found himself dealing poker in a dead-end casino in Lake Stevens, Washington. Two doctorates bookend this strange turn of events: the first in Psychology from Northwestern, and the second in English from University of Tennessee. Along the way, Michael spent a dozen years in Chicago, touring the country as a rave DJ. He currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia, with his spouse and three cats. Queen of Spades is his first novel.
Caroline Woods has taught fiction writing and composition to undergraduates at the Boston Conservatory and Boston University. In 2008 she completed an MFA in Creative Writing at BU, where she studied with Leslie Epstein, Ha Jin, and Allegra Goodman. Her short fiction has been published in Slice Magazine (which nominated her for a Pushcart Prize), LEMON, and 236, BU Creative Writing’s Literary Journal.
Abby Fabiaschi is a human rights advocate and the Director of the Her Future Coalition, an international nonprofit organization with a unique prosperity model that uplifts victims from sex trafficking and extreme abuse. In 2012 Abby resigned from her executive post in high tech to pursue a career in writing. I Liked My Life is her first novel. She and her family divide their time between West Hartford, Connecticut, and Park City, Utah. Learn more at www.abbyfabiaschi.com.
Sharon Hart-Green’s debut novel COME BACK FOR ME is a gripping story of trauma, loss, and the redemptive power of love set in the aftermath of World War II. It was chosen as the inaugural fiction offering of The New Jewish Press and is forthcoming in March, 2017.
Sharon received her PhD in Judaic Studies from Brandeis University and has taught Hebrew and Yiddish literature at the University of Toronto. Her first book NOT A SIMPLE STORY (Lexington Books) was a study of the work of Hebrew novelist S. Y. Agnon. Her second book, BRIDGING THE DIVIDE (Syracuse University Press), is a compilation of her translations of the Hebrew poems of Hava Pinhas-Cohen.
In addition, Sharon’s short stories, poems, translations, and reviews have appeared in a number of publications, including Midstream, The Jewish Review of Books, and JewishFiction.net. She is currently at work on a second novel, about the mystical inclinations of a young man in search of love.
Emily Cavanagh is a writer, teacher, and mother. Her work has been published in Red Rock Review, Grain Magazine, Transfer, The Vineyard Gazette, and Martha’s Vineyard Arts and Ideas. Emily lives on the island of Martha’s Vineyard with her husband, two daughters, and their Australian Shepard. She’s currently at work on a novel that takes place on a fictional island very similar to Martha’s Vineyard. Her first novel, The Bloom Girls, will be released in March of 2017 by Lake Union Publishing.
PRISCILLA OLIVERAS is a four-time Golden Heart® finalist who writes contemporary romance with a Latino flavor. Proud of her Puerto Rican-Mexican heritage, she strives to bring authenticity to her novels by sharing her Latino-American culture with her readers. Since earning an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, she also teaches an on-line continuing education course titled “Romance Writing” for ed2go. Priscilla is a sports fan, a beach lover, a half-marathon runner and a consummate traveler who often practices the art of napping in her backyard hammock. To follow along on her fun-filled and hectic life, visit her on the web at www.prisoliveras.com or on Twitter via @prisoliveras.
Erica Ferencik’s debut novel, The River at Night, will be published by Simon & Schuster, Scout Press/Gallery Books, on Jan 10, 2017. Her work has appeared in Salonand The Boston Globe, as well as on National Public Radio. Find out more at EricaFerencik.com and follow her on Twitter @EricaFerencik.
Melissa Volker is a self-employed beauty therapist and she works from my home, so she can arrange her hours to fit in writing and blogging. She lives almost as far South in Africa that you could go if you tried, in Cape Town. The mountain she sees from her home has the Atlantic Ocean on the other side, and she lives on the Indian Ocean side. If you drive up over the top you can see both oceans at once, which is pretty cool, she thinks. She surfs a stand-up paddle board when she needs to clear her head and work out problems in the narrative. Her debut novel, an Adult eco romantic suspense story, A Fractured Land, Is coming out in 2017.
Lorena Hughes was born and raised in Ecuador until moving to the United States at eighteen, where she received a degree in Fine Arts and Mass Communication & Journalism. In the last decade, she’s developed a passion for storytelling and writes novels set in South America, seasoned with mystery and family secrets. Her first unpublished novel, The Black Letter, took first place in the 2011 Southwest Writers International Writing Contest (historical fiction category), an honorable mention at the 2012 Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition and was a quarter finalist at the 2014 Amazon Breakout Novel Award.
Her debut novel, The Sisters of Alameda Street, releases July 2017 from Skyhorse Publishing.
Robinne Lee is a Los Angeles-based actress, writer and producer. A graduate of Yale University and Columbia Law School, Robinne was born and raised in Westchester County, New York. As the daughter of Jamaican parents of African, Chinese, British and Arawak Indian descent, Robinne has long had an affinity for travel and the arts. Her past endeavors include working as an Editorial Assistant for ELLE Magazine, both in New York and Paris, writing celebrity profiles for the now defunct youth culture magazine, TELL, and running a music management company.
Robinne has numerous acting credits in both television and film, most notably opposite Will Smith in both Hitch and Seven Pounds, Don Cheadle in Hotel for Dogs, and Jennifer Garner in 13 Going on 30. She recently completed shooting Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, playing Christian Grey’s trusted COO, Ros Bailey.
An inactive member of the New York Bar, Robinne has served as a producer on various independent films and regularly speaks on panels regarding the roles of women and actors of color in the industry. She is an avid runner, a mediocre ballet dancer, and a huge fan of cheese.
Robinne currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.
Her debut novel, The Idea of You, will be published by St. Martin’s Press in June, 2017.
Brian Platzer has an MFA from the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars, and a BA from Columbia University. His writing has appeared often in the New Yorker’s Shouts and Murmurs and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, as well as in the New York Times, The New Republic, Salon, and elsewhere. He lives with his wife and two young sons in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, and teaches middle school English in Manhattan.
A graduate of the Crane School of Music in Potsdam, NY, Susan (S.M.) Nystoriak teaches music to Middle School students by day, and creates stories by night. Her writing blends together her passion for music and her love of speculative fiction. Always trying to “Build A Better Mousetrap”, so to speak, she often searches for new and creative ways to catch more writing time.
Along with writing novels, Susan co-wrote a screenplay, and has discovered beauty of writing short stories. At S.M. Nystoriak’s Writer’s Block, she posts personal perspectives about writing, and features interviews with authors and other “writerly” types.
Susan is represented by Jessica Schmeidler of Golden Wheat Literary. Her first novel, WORDS IN THE WINDOWSILL, releases in the Summer, 2017 from REUTS Publications. ECHOES OF LILY, a short story thriller, is included in the anthology Summer Nights, produced by Sarah Kettles and The Great Noveling Adventure.
Claire Marti started writing stories as soon as she was old enough to pick up pencil and paper. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a BA in English Literature, Claire was sidetracked by other careers, including practicing law, selling software for legal publishers, and managing a non-profit animal rescue for a Hollywood actress.
Finally, Claire followed her heart and now focuses on two of her true passions: writing romance and teaching yoga. She teaches at studios, online for the international website www.yogadownload.com and also has a Yoga for Cancer Recovery DVD. Claire is a sought-after speaker on the power of yoga and meditation for cancer survivors. She’s been published in numerous magazines with articles on wellness and has written a memoir on her experience as a breast cancer survivor.
Her debut novel, Second Chance in Laguna, won best unpublished contemporary romance in the Molly and third place in the Maggie and will be published by The Wild Rose Press in March 2017. She’s hard at work on the second and third novels in the Finding Forever in Laguna series.
Jill Hannah Anderson
Voted “Most Imaginative” in high school, Jill assumed everyone else looked at life with “what-if” questions. She’s often told that she asks too many questions, but finds it a great way to learn about people.
Jill lives on a lake in a small town in Minnesota with her husband and their empty nest. It is rarely a quiet nest though, as they enjoy their six adult children and ever-increasing number of grandchildren when they come to visit.
For nearly two decades, Jill has worked at a communications company. She also has written part-time for a Minnesota women’s magazine for over ten years. Her first women’s fiction novel, The To-Hell-And-Back Club, will be published in May, 2017.
She is a member of Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA), and is currently at work on her second women’s fiction novel, Crazy Little Town Called Love. When she isn’t working, writing, or reading, you’ll find her running, curling, biking, and enjoying the great outdoors.
Isabella Maldonado is a retired police captain. Her last position on the department was Commander of Special Investigations and Forensics. During her long career, she was recognized with a Meritorious Service Award and a Lifesaving Award, and she was selected to attend executive management training at the FBI’s National Academy. Isabella is a past president of the Phoenix chapter of Sisters in Crime and currently sits on the board. She lives in the greater Phoenix area. You can visit her at www.IsabellaMaldonado.com.
Renée Dahlia is an unabashed romance reader who loves feisty women and strong, clever men. Her books reflect this, with a side-note of dark humour. Renée has a science degree in physics. When not distracted by the characters fighting for attention in her brain, she works in the horse racing industry doing data analysis. She writes for two racing publications, churning out feature articles, interviews and advertorials. When she isn’t reading or writing, Renée wrangles a husband, four children, and volunteers on the local cricket club committee.
Her debut novel, TO CHARM A BLUESTOCKING, was released with Escape in March 2017.
After graduating from Brown University with a degree in art history, Barbara Lynn-Davis worked at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice and began a life-long love affair with the lagoon city. She returned to Venice for a year while completing her Ph.D. in Renaissance art at Princeton University. Along the way, she discovered the memoirs of famed lover Giacomo Casanova, and found the story she wanted to tell. Lynn-Davis teaches art history and writing at Wellesley College, and lives outside Boston with her family.
Michele Arris is a RWA Golden Heart® award-winning author in multicultural contemporary romance. Her work is edgy and downright steamy with a melting pot of strong, diverse characters.
“It’s enjoyable to write stories where two people are guaranteed their happy ending.”
When she isn’t stationed in front of her laptop spilling her wayward imagination onto the page, she’s jotting scenes in her head or re-watching a Jane Austen movie, or just relaxing in her backyard hammock while watching the baby frogs in her water garden.
Michele’s debut novel, DEVIL’S DEAL, Book one in her Tarnished Billionaires Series will be published May 22, 2017 by Simon & Schuster/Crimson Romance.
Anna was born in Montreal and now lives in Toronto, where she has too many cats. She’s been a reporter, a college lecturer, and a horticultural advisor, as well as other things she’s forgotten. She was a semi finalist for the Katherine Paterson Prize for Young Adult Literature, as well as for Canada’s Arthur Ellis Award (Unhanged Arthur category). She reads obscure fiction in English and French, and doesn’t know why Quebec isn’t more often a mise en scène for romantic suspense. After the Winter is her first published novel.
Heidi Chiavaroli is a writer, runner, and grace-clinger who could spend hours exploring Boston’s Freedom Trail. She writes Women’s Fiction and won the 2014 ACFW Genesis contest in the historical category. She makes her home in Massachusetts with her husband, two sons, and Howie, her standard poodle.
Sara Portman is an award-winning author of historical romance. Her debut novel, THE REUNION, was named the 2015 winner in the Historical Category of the Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® contest.
A daughter of the Midwest, Sara was born in Illinois, grew up in Michigan, and currently lives in Ohio. In addition to her writing endeavors, Sara is a wife and mother in a large, blended family.
When not reading or dreaming up romantic fiction, Sara works in corporate finance by day and holds a B.B.A. in Accounting. As part of her academic experience, Sara spent a semester in London, UK through a study abroad program. Her anglophile tendencies continue today.
Cheryl Low might be an Evil Queen, sipping tea and peeping on everyone from high up in her posh tower——a job she got only after being fired from her gig as Wicked Witch for eating half the gingerbread house.
…Or she might be a relatively mundane human with a love for all things sugary and soap opera slaps.
Find out by following her on social media @cherylwlow or check her webpage, cheryllow.com. The answer might surprise you! But it probably won’t.
V.M. Burns was born and raised in northwestern Indiana, but is now thawing out in eastern Tennessee with her two poodles. She has a BA from Northwestern University, a Masters from the University of Notre Dame and an MFA from Seton Hill University in Writing Popular Fiction. She spent many years working as a trainer and now works as a training manager for an appliance manufacturer.
THE PLOT IS MURDER is the first book in the Mystery Bookshop Mystery series will be released from Kensington on November 28, 2017 and is currently available for pre-order.