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2024 Book Fair

Authors and Vendors

KEYNOTE

 

David Bruns and J.R. Olson

 

A Decade of Co-writing: Lessons Learned about Friendship, Creative Pursuit, and Publishing

 

David Bruns and J.R. Olson, also known as the Two Navy Guys writing team, are former US Navy officers turned co-authors of best-selling national security thrillers. Over the course of their ten-year writing partnership, they have published with a Big Four traditional publishing house, released a series through a mid-sized press, crowdfunded novels, and independently published their work. For the past five years, they’ve authored the Two Navy Guys Debrief, a weekly column about the intersection of fiction and fact in the world of national security.

 

Ten years is a long time in the world of writing and publishing. If there’s a mistake to be made, they’ve probably made it. A success to be savored, they’ve celebrated it. Join the Two Navy Guys for a discussion about co-writing, marketing, and publishing in today’s book economy. davidbruns.com

 

 

 

SPONSORS

 

Calumet Editions is an author-focused publisher on the leading edge of the changes in the publishing industry. We seek authors who want to develop a strong presence in publishing and are willing to work hard to achieve that goal by author branding. We are not as interested in the single, seasonally published new book as in an author’s life work. We believe a book should be alive forever, not outdated once the next publishing season rolls around. We find the old model — acquisition, print, distribute, sell, return unsold copies, remainder, pulp, put the book out-of-print — disastrously unhelpful for authors; thus, in our new publishing model we seek authors who are willing to fully partner with us for shared risk and shared success. calumeteditions.com

 

Kirk House Publishers: Ann and Brian Aubitz acquired Kirk House Publishers on March 1, 2020. Kirk House Publishers is a hybrid publisher. A hybrid press or publisher is a publishing house that combines self-publishing and traditional publishing business models. Hybrid publishing is based on a contribution to be paid by the author. Kirk House offers a competitive royalty.  kirkhousepublishers.com
 

Friends of Robert Trail Library is a growing community of members whose mission is to share their excitement for literacy and lifelong learning through embracing library services and resources.  friendsofrt.org

Rosemount Area Arts Council (RAAC)  is committed to bringing a broad spectrum of Arts to the community. Founded in 2007, RAAC is a 100% volunteer-run, financially independent organization. rosemountarts.com

 

 

 

VENDORS

 

Calumet Editions is an author-focused publisher on the leading edge of the changes in the publishing industry. We seek authors who want to develop a strong presence in publishing and are willing to work hard to achieve that goal by author branding. We are not as interested in the single, seasonally published new book as in an author’s life work. We believe a book should be alive forever, not outdated once the next publishing season rolls around. We find the old model — acquisition, print, distribute, sell, return unsold copies, remainder, pulp, put the book out-of-print — disastrously unhelpful for authors; thus, in our new publishing model we seek authors who are willing to fully partner with us for shared risk and shared success. calumeteditions.com

 

Kirk House Publishers: Ann and Brian Aubitz acquired Kirk House Publishers on March 1, 2020. Kirk House Publishers is a hybrid publisher. A hybrid press or publisher is a publishing house that combines self-publishing and traditional publishing business models. Hybrid publishing is based on a contribution to be paid by the author. Kirk House offers a competitive royalty.  kirkhousepublishers.com

Midwest Independent Publishers Association:  Serving the Midwest publishing community with collaborative sharing of publishing, production, promotion, and marketing information. Meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month on Zoom from September-May and feature publishing experts on marketing, distribution, writing, editing, production, publishing law, and more. Publishers based in the Midwest are invited to enter the annual Midwest Book Awards competition for excellence in books. The awards recognize creativity in content and execution, overall book quality, and the book’s unique contribution to its subject area.    mipa.org

Alicia Schwab grew up in southern Wisconsin and is an award-winning illustrator and designer of more than ten books in multiple genres. Her debut middle-grade, LITE: The High Treason Incident, written by A. G. Roberts, was the recipient of the 2023 IPPY Bronze Award. She’s also illustrated Unicycle Dad, The Mukluk Ball, and The Forgotten Doorway. Today, she lives with her husband and daughter in Minneapolis, MN.  aliciaschwab.com

Sigma’s Bookshelf is a free book publishing company that exclusively publishes the work of teenage authors (ages 13 – 19). All 23 titles currently available will be sold for $6, $10 or $14 (tax included) at the book festival, and our authors receive royalties for all books purchased. Stop by our table to meet and support some of our young authors, and pick up educational tip sheets on the publishing process. Sigma’s Bookshelf is a project of Springboard for the Arts, a nonprofit arts services organization.  Learn more about Sigma’s Bookshelf at sigmasbookshelf.com

Words and Deeds, Inc.  has offered book manuscript editing for many years—in a wide variety of genres. Clients appreciate the insights and honesty that Connie Anderson brings to her editing, and agree that the right editor can help make your book the best possible…so find one you can trust. She also makes sure authors write to their intended market, and that they know and avoid costly mistakes in the publishing process. Connie offers FREE sample edit of up to 8 manuscript pages.  wordsanddedsinc.com

 

 

 

 

AUTHORS

Connie Anderson's most recent book is Faces of Boys, Hearts of Men: An English Lad’s Stories Before, During and After WWII. She has published a collection of one-liners from a dog’s point of view, In My Next Life, I Want to be My Dog. Then, to fulfill a life-long desire—and as a tribute to her cousin, Ronny, who got polio at age 5, she compiled an anthology with stories from 42 people whose lives were changed by polio: When Polio Came Home: How Ordinary People Overcame Extraordinary Challenges. Other books are Man Overboard: Hubby’s Getting a New Boat; and The ‘I’ of a Woman.

connieanderson.com

Mary Berg’s freelance and creative essays have been published in The Phoenix Spirit, Art Quilting Studio, Open Rivers Journal, The Minnesota Women's Press, Belle Armoire: Art to Wear , and Threads Magazine. Her poetry has been published in The Daily Word, Artistic Antidote: UMN.Med.edu, Unity Magazine, The Whittier Globe, and Southwest Journal. She has an MA in Education from the University of Minnesota and has studied writing at the Loft Literary Center, the Madeline Island School of the Arts, the Split Rock Arts Program, and the University of Minnesota. She lives in Apple Valley, Minnesota.  marybergresumewriter.com

Margaret A. Blenkush writes from her childhood home in South St. Paul. A late bloomer, she penned her first book at the age of sixty-six. Her debut novel , The Doctor of Bellechester, won honorable mention for Best Catholic Fiction in 2023. Margaret holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in Theology from the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University and a M.L.I.S. degree from UW - Milwaukee. Her interests include playing card and board games with family and gardening.  margaretablenkush.com

 

Darren Boeck was born in St. Paul, MN. His love of fantasy and science fiction led him to write The FireNight Prophecies, his first YA/Adult epic fantasy series. He served four years in the US Navy, where some of his first book ideas emerged. He has a love for the natural world and an insatiable need to travel. Today, he lives with his wife, three of their four daughters, and two dogs.   darrenboeck.com

 

 

Lee Burtman served as an educator for 34 years, then began a second career advocating for people with disabilities in the U.S. and Ukraine. In her third career, Lee writes memoirs for military veterans. Fighting for Delphine honors a WWII veteran while her latest book, Waiting in the Wings, explains her father’s top-secret missions during the Korean War and their strained relationship. Lee and husband, Greg, enjoy four children and eight grandchildren.  facebook.com/lee.burtman

 

 

Blair Clinton is a reading interventionist in Minnesota and is a veteran of teaching for over twenty years in the subject area of English and, more recently, being a reading interventionist.  In Memoirs of a Mediocre Teacher, Blair drives you through the journey of what it takes to be not only a teacher, but a mediocre one. From childhood influences, through his college years of indecision, and finding his way through the winding career path of teaching, Blair gives a sense of what an average teacher experiences throughout a career. blairclintonbooks.com

Michael Dardis  sis a lifelong storyteller and traveler who specializes in twentieth-century European, America, and military history. He has degrees in history, geography, and business from the University of Minnesota. Michael is a Vietnam War combat veteran and has been awarded the Purple Heart and the US Army Commendation medal for valor. The Dark Side of the Sun is his first novel and is historical fiction. 

 

Best-selling author Nan Dixon spent her formative years as an actress, singer, dancer and competitive golfer, but the need to eat had her earning an accounting degree. Unfortunately, being a successful financial executive didn’t feed her passion to perform. When the pharmaceutical company she worked for was purchased, Nan got the chance of a lifetime—pursuing a writing career. She lives in the Midwest surrounded by her large boisterous family and one neurotic cat.  nandixon.com

Joyce K. Ellis is the award-winning author of eighteen books, including The 500 Hats of a Modern-Day Woman, The Fabulous World That God Made (picture book), and the humorous grammar book, Write with Excellence 201. Having also published hundreds of magazine articles and taught at many writers conferences, she received the Terry White Lifetime Achievement Award in 2023. She and her husband live in suburban Minneapolis, enjoy traveling, reading, and spending time with their grandchildren. joycekellis.com 

Lynn Garthwaite is the author of eleven books, and is a copy editor for three magazines. She has short stories in four anthologies, and is currently working with a producer on the pre-production of a limited series for her mystery/thriller novel Starless Midnight. Lynn is also a speaker, relaying interesting back stories behind how our states ended up with such crazy shapes, and has co-hosted and co-produced a local cable TV show called “That’s Odd.”  lynngarthwaite.com bluespectrumbooks.com

  

 

John Gaspard is an award-winning author of the Eli Marks and Como Lake Players mystery series. He's a screenwriter, filmmaker, and director of six low-budget features. His craft books for novelists include The Popcorn Principles and More Popcorn Principles: The Sequel. His recent books include the ninth installment of the Eli Marks series, The Professor's Nightmare, and a prequel, The Curious Mysteries of Eli Marks, exploring the origins of the protagonist. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife, two greyhounds, cats, and pet allergies.   elimarksmysteries.com  

 

Carla Hagen’s debut novel, Hand Me Down My Walking Cane, won the 2012 Midwest Independent Publishers Awards for literary fiction and historical fiction. Muskeg is the second book in her Minnesota-Canadian border trilogy. The Minnesota-Canadian border, where she grew up, and Mexico, where she came of age, inform her work. She is a retired attorney who practiced law as a public defender, then as a prosecutor. When not writing, she co-hosts a weekly Latin music radio show, swims, bicycles, hikes, travels, and studies languages. She lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota with her husband.  carlahagen.com

 

JJ Harrigan writes historical thrillers. He developed his taste for foreign intrigue as a soldier during the Cold War, later as a U.S. Foreign Service in Latin America, and subsequently as professor of Political Science at Hamline University in St. Paul where he chaired the department and served a term as assistant dean of Liberal Arts. He was also a popular speaker for the Foreign Policy Association’s Great Decisions program. His Cuban Missile Crisis thriller, Goodbye Cuba, has been nominated for the Eric Hoffer award. It will be followed by Goodbye Bobby (Robert Kennedy and the Vietnam War) and Goodbye Virtue (The Iranian Hostage Crisis). Today he writes his stories of intrigue on the banks of the St. Croix River near St. Paul where he lives happily with his wife Sandy.  harriganbooks.com

    

 

Gary Heyn is a former corporate executive who has refocused his research and analytic skills to genealogy, history, and writing with an emphasis on the Province of Posen. It is his belief that to understand the significance of history the stories need to be told with emotion felt at the time. Standing at the Grave: A Family’s Journey from the Grand Duchy of Posen to the Prairies of North Dakota is the result of that endeavor.     calumeteditions.com/gary-heyn

Dann Hurlbert has a BSED in English and Theater Education, an MFA in Digital Cinema, and has spent many years as an educator and professional actor and director. He currently serves as a Media and Design Specialist at Carleton College. Kennedy is his cheerful and creative teenager who inspired much of the his novel, Suddenly Rural Girl, and corrected all her dad’s teen lingo. Both enjoy spending time at the lake... Any lake. They love lakes. Especially the Boundary Waters. But any lake will do.  dannhurlbert.com

Joni Jensen A passion and drive for stories and drawing and a love for children, inspired Joni to create a series of children's books for early readers. With expressive pictures she adds dimension to the characters and how they see the world. She has been writing and drawing for as long as she can remember, but only entered the publishing field in the last year. She has worked with independent writers in the past to help bring their books to life with full color illustrations and she will continue to create books that make kids smile.

Storytimewithjoni.com

You may have seen Holly Jorgensen’s photo/poetry exhibit at the Steeple Center last fall. She’s here at the Writers Festival with her award-winning book,  Enchanted – Reflections from a Joyfully Green and Frugally Rich Life, as well as her Dutch Birthday Calendars, and her hand-made art cards, including brand new photos from her recent trip to Africa! If you missed her on KARE 11’s Emmy-winning video with Greenie, her special wild sunfish friend of eight years, Google “Holly and Greenie”. You’ll smile!   hollyonthelake.com

Alexandra Kisitu is a home-birth mother of two wonderful children, a wife, a writer, an intuitive, and she holds a PhD from the University of Hawai’i. She became enamored with pregnancy and birth after the birth of her daughter, Isabella, and decided to uncover why women are not taught about the magic of home birth. She uncovered a world of complexity, culture, struggle, spirituality and reclamation, all of which led to the publication of her book, Back to the Womb.  alexandrakisitu.com

Evelyn D. Klein, M.S. in English, taught in public schools, at Century College, Loft Literary Center, and edited The Minnesota Scholar. She published in journals and anthologies, most recently in This Was 2020. Books published are, From Here Across the Bridge, illustrated by Wolfgang Klein; Once upon a Neighborhood, Seasons of Desire, Fear and Promise illustrated, by herself. The first three books are in the Minnesota Historical society’s permanent library.  evelynkleinauthor.com

 

Susan Koefod is the author of the Arvo Thorson mystery series. Her debut, Washed Up , was praised for its “gorgeous prose” by Library Journal. Other books in the series include Broken Down and Burnt Out. She has also widely published prose and poetry, including in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. She is a recipient of a 2013 McKnight Artist Fellowship for Writers.  susankoefod.com

Lynne M. Kolze spent many years as an environmental professional before to turning to writing books. Letter writing has been one of Lynne’s favorite past-times over most of her life. She admits that nice stationery and a beautiful pen can make her weak-in-the-knees. In addition to her love of writing and handwritten letters, Lynne enjoys spending time in nature and with friends and family. Lynne lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.   lynnmkolze.com

 

Dr. Steve Lansing, PhD is a licensed therapist specializing in trauma and PTSD with a focus on veterans and other victims of severe trauma and is a mental health specialist for the Minnesota Veteran’s Treatment Court. He is a Vietnam veteran 1968–1970, U.S. Air Force, and is in long-term PTSD recovery. Founder of the dual recovery program, Empower CTC, he also serves as the President of  Veterans Empowered, an organization devoted to ​​increasing awareness and knowledge of the societal impact of untreated PTSD in combat veterans. Dr. Lansing is the co-author of  Veterans in Crisis: Treating the Unique Needs of Those Who Served.  vetsempowered.org

 

David La Vaque has been a high school sports reporter for the Star Tribune newspaper in Minneapolis, Minnesota since 2004. He grew up playing hockey on St. Paul’s East Side and has produced hundreds of articles on Minnesota high school hockey. He lives with daughter Michaela in Woodbury, Minnesota.  Tourney Time: Stories from the Minnesota Boys State Hockey Tournament is his first book, co-authored with Loren Nelson.  legacy.hockey 

Mike Lein is an award-winning Minnesota author who has written five books revolving around life and adventures at his cabin and other outdoorsy locations. His five books include Firewood Happens, Cabin Fever, and Hunting Around.    mikelein.com

 

C. A .Lewis grew up reading stories filled with dragons, swords, and adventure. Her books transport readers to other worlds where magic and fantasy reign. Her debut series, The Chronicles of Kamore, highlights themes of found friendship, fighting for what you believe in, and the idea that everybody can contribute to a better society. She is based in the Twin Cities of Minnesota with her husband, Labrador retriever, and two cats.  authorcalewis.com

Brian Lutterman is the author of six suspense-filled novels featuring Pen Wilkinson, a sassy, whip-smart, paraplegic attorney, described by the St. Paul Pioneer Press as “...one of the most intriguing new characters on the Minnesota crime scene.” His other books include Incel and Bound to Die, a Minnesota Book Award runner-up. Lutterman, a former trial and corporate attorney, lives with his family in the Twin Cities.  brianlutterman.com

 

 

Rick Mammoth is an independent author who writes action-adventure comedy novels. Enjoy the foils and fables in his first two books that follow inept spies across Europe in the Cid Radley Unclaimed Cargo series. The first book is Driving Unclaimed Cargo and book two is Sailing Unclaimed Cargo.  rickmammoth.com

Barbara Marshak is the author of four books and over 150 published pieces. A writer of both fiction and nonfiction, many of her essays and short stories have earned regional and national awards. She was granted a residency at Devils Tower National Monument (Wyoming), a “gift of time” for a writer, while working on the final draft of her novel, Seeds of Salton. Barbara loves the quietness of small-town living, especially spending time with friends and family in her charming she-shed, Studio 109. Her current Work-In-Progress is a novel inspired by a famous fugitive-from-justice who was arrested in St. Paul in 1999.   barbaramarshak.com

 

Timothy McDonnell is the author of three published books and specializes in nature writing.  His books are: The Whole Forest For A Backyard: A Gunflint Trail Wilderness Memoir ; The Contemplative Paddler’s Fireside Companion; 

and Where Water Collides With Stone.  This third book is an excellent murder mystery with a captivating wilderness setting.  Timothy is a retired teacher for deaf and hard-of-hearing students.  tmcdonnell.com

 

Alan Miller, an award-winning writer and media personality, has taught in colleges, universities, law schools, served in government, and has published his two political thrillers, Holding Court and A Reluctant Madonna. His love for writing began early in life, and carried through to serving as editor of his high school newspaper. For the last quarter century, he has been the host-producer of an award-winning local access TV program, "Access to Democracy," and recently created a new local access TV program entitled “Writer’s Corner”. He resides in Minnesota with his wife Sharon, and a springer spaniel rescue named Katie.   calumeteditions.com/authors/alan-miller

DeEtta Miller is a Minnesota native and local author. As one of six children raised in poverty and harsh circumstances in the 1950s, her childhood would act as the catalyst to a writing career centered around messages of social and familial kindness. DeEtta pursued a college degree in her fifties. In academia, she found her "voice" to share the power of the written word, particularly for children.  deetamiller.com

Linda Morrison was born and raised in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She lived there until her marriage to Allan Morrison in 1975. She loves reading novels, memoirs, and non-fiction, and she is an avid biker and walker. Her greatest joy is spending time with her young grandchildren. Her son, Mike, and his addiction and death by suicide in 2012, changed her world. A speaker and the author of Dear Heroin, A Memoir of Goodbyes, she is now an advocate for those caught in the circle of substance abuse, and she encourages and supports families walking this journey.  dearheroinbook.com

Maria Murad is a local author with several books on Amazon, including her series about Suzy the Detective.. She has a M.A. from the University of Minnesota in English/Creative Writing and has published extensively online and in literary publications.  mariamuradwebsite.com

 

John Noltner is an award-winning photographer and author and is the founder of A Peace of My Mind, a media arts project that uses portraits and personal stories to help a polarized world rediscover the common humanity that connects us. A gifted storyteller, Noltner has worked on four continents, gathering stories of human courage, grace, and resilience. He has produced projects for national magazines and Fortune 500 companies and is the author of four books.   opomm.net 

 

Chris Norbury is the award-winning author of the mystery-thrillers Straight River, Castle Danger, and Dangerous Straits. The stories feature a farm-kid-turned-professional-musician whose middle-class life is turned upside down when he uncovers a violent conspiracy headed by a ruthless real-estate magnate. His new middle-grade adventure novel, Little Mountain, Big Trouble, was published in 2023. Chris donates a portion of all his book sales to his local Big Brothers Big Sisters organization.  chrisnorbury.com

 

Daniel O’Brien, literature teacher, [MA Advanced Japanese Studies] created the Japan Series: Exploring Japanese Culture & History Through Mystery,  An active Minnesota author, high school teacher, and meditation facilitator who lived twelve years in Japan. Japanese Ghost in America , is first in a trilogy of interpersonal discover for Jimmy Swenson. Next in the Japan Series is Pilgrimage currently in editing stage. Resolution completes the trilogy. O'Brien's first novel, Star Points: Connections Old and New has sold out and is only available online at lulu.com.    japanseries.com

Betty Brandt Passick returned to "Oxbow" during the Covid-19 pandemic to write her second historical crime novel in her Gangster Series, The Black Bag of Dr. Wiltse. The novel won a 2022 Notable Indie Book Award. Her debut novel, Gangster in Our Midst, won a 2019 Notable Indie Book Award. She wrote two significant memoriams prior to that. In 2023, she launched the 1st Annual Wapsie Writing Contest.  bettybrandtpassick.com 

When Mary Perrine was four, her mother revealed the rules of writing: “Watch people and tell their stories—just make them bigger.” Essentially, the woman taught her to lie. Since then, there hasn’t been a day she hasn’t authored something—on paper or in her head. Growing up in small-town Minnesota, she loves to include that homespun feel in the dramas and mysteries—with a major twist—she brings to life. With Mary, expect the unexpected.  maryperrine.com   

 

Forrest Peterson writes upmarket general fiction novels. He has attended workshops at The Loft in Minneapolis and the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. He has a BA in history from Bethel University in St. Paul, MN, and an MA in journalism and mass communication from the University of Minnesota. He was a newspaper reporter and editor for 20 years, and later worked in public information for the state of Minnesota. In 2017 and 2020 he received Individual Artist Career Grants from the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council to support his work through professional editing, research, and marketing. Beyond All That Matters will be his fourth novel. Previous novels include: Good Ice; Buffalo Ridge; and The Swineherd’s Angel.  forrestpeterson.com    

 

                                           

Mark Ristau is a lawyer and an award-winning author of visionary fiction. He finds inspiration in stories that dare to fill hearts with hope and minds with dreams of possibility. Born in Chicago, Mark currently lives in Rosemount, Minnesota. Beyond the Threshold is the second novel in the Hero’s Path series. markristau.com

 

Michael and Katie Rivera are co-founders of Focus and Vision Ministries. Michael has held multiple leadership positions. He holds a Master's of Divinity from Luther Seminary and is currently serving as a chaplain in the Army National Guard. Additionally, he is both a Clinically Certified Chaplain and a Chaplain Professional Educator. Katie holds a Master's in Counseling Psychology. After almost a decade in mental health, Katie now focuses on her life coaching business, Free to Be.  focusandvisionministries.com

 

 

Colonel B. Wayne Quist MS, holds advanced degrees in management, history, international relations, and psychology.  A Vietnam (1964–1968), Middle East (1968–1989) veteran, he is in long-term PTSD recovery and has published nine books on war trauma, history, and international relations. He is the Secretary/Treasurer of Veterans Empowered, in Rochester, Minnesota, an organization devoted to ​​increasing awareness and knowledge of the societal impact of untreated PTSD in combat veterans. Colonel Quist is the co-author of  Veterans in Crisis: Treating the Unique Needs of Those Who Served.  vetsempowered.org

 

 

Debbie Russell is a lawyer turned award winning author. She spent twenty-five years as an Assistant County Attorney in Minneapolis, prosecuting numerous high-profile cases and fighting off several nervous breakdowns. At age fifty-five, Debbie took early retirement, giving up a full pension for the freedom of time. She now spends that precious time writing, restoring her property to native prairie and wetlands, and training her rambunctious retrievers. 

debbie-russell.com

Ingrid Anderson Sampo has had 13 short stories published in literary magazines and in anthologies. Historical novels, A Woman to Reckon With: Priscilla of the Early Church and Lydia, Seller of Purple, From Darkness to Light have been published and are available on Amazon. Ingrid has studied writing under Faith Sullivan and Mary Sharratt at The Loft Literary Center, and has attended writing conferences, including Rosemount Writer’s Festival; and a Writers Digest Writers Conference.   ingridandersonsampo.com

 

Robin Sauerwein  is a Northeast Minneapolis writer who has been leading writing workshops in the community for more than 13 years. She coaches writers on how to develop a writing habit. Robin enjoys writing memoir and flash fiction. Her book, Mrs. Claus, was published in 2017.  A flash fiction piece was published last fall in St. Paul Almanac’s digital magazine. She is currently working on a memoir.  robinldyson.wordpress.com

Alicia Schwab grew up in southern Wisconsin and is an award-winning illustrator and designer of more than ten books in multiple genres. Her debut middle-grade, LITE: The High Treason Incident, written by A. G. Roberts, was the recipient of the 2023 IPPY Bronze Award. She’s also illustrated Unicycle Dad, The Mukluk Ball, and The Forgotten Doorway. Today, she lives with her husband and daughter in Minneapolis, MN.  aliciaschwab.com

 

 

Mary Seifert is a Minnesota girl who can’t leave a brain teaser or puzzle go unchallenged. A former math teacher, she ties numbers and logic to her Katie and Maverick Cozy Mysteries. When she’s not writing, she’s making incredible memories with family and friends, walking her dog whose only speed is faster, carefully deleting references to murder from her web-browser, pretending to cook, and always nibbling chocolate.  maryseifertauthor.com

 

Lizbeth Selvig , an award-winning and No.1 Bestselling author, writes heartwarming contemporary romance. Whether set in the Scottish Highlands, a ranch in Wyoming, a small town in Minnesota, or a racetrack, her strong, fun characters never do the expected while finding their ways to family and love. Her novels have won RWA’s Golden Heart and been nominated for their RITA award. Lizbeth shares life in Minnesota with her husband, Jan, three human grandchildren, two horses, and over thirty grand-animals.   lizbethselvig.com

 

Amy Shomshak, drawing from lifelong ballet and travel experiences, writes about the challenges and triumphs of a young dancer, Gina, showcased in her books L'Esprit, Grand Jeté, and Arabesque. Holding degrees in Russian language and Kinesiology, Amy lives in Minneapolis with her husband, two greyhounds, and two cats.    albertsbridgebooks.com

 

 

Paul Simonson had his first novel, Murder on the Lake published in 2022 shortly after his eightieth birthday. After graduating from McGrath High School, the University of Minnesota with an accounting degree, and William Mitchell College of Law, cum laude, he practiced as a business lawyer, CPA, and tax accountant. A lifelong interest in books, including representing five used books sellers, led him to write his novel. The final influence resulting in completion of the book was joining the writers’ group at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church in Eagan, Minnesota. He is now about 80,000 words into his second novel.  

 

Angela and Eleanor Stephens, mother-daughter team, launched Cheetah Kid Company in 2023 with the aim of creating unique gratitude journals for children. They successfully introduced the Thankful Journal for Girls, Thankful Journal for Boys, and Thankful Journal for Kids. This series encourages daily gratitude, art, and writing. Their latest addition, the Cheetah Kid’s Journal & Sketchpad, provides an open-ended creative space for both writing and drawing, reflecting their commitment to empowering young minds and hearts.   Instagram: @cheetahkidcompany

 

 

Jonathan W. Sweet is an award-winning journalist and the author of eight books. Most of his work—both fiction and nonfiction—has a Minnesota slant. In 2020 he was named to the “Who’s Who in New Pulp” and he is a three-time finalist for the Pulp Factory Award, recognizing the best in modern noir/pulp writing. Jonathan lives in the Twin Cities with his wife, two exceptional children and one fairly dim-witted dog.   jonathanwsweet.com


Award-winning writer Susan Thurston-Hamerski has earned her living by her pen and is a tireless educator and communicator about the power of story. She relishes exploring the remnants that birth legends, from Bronze Age jewelry discovered in English sod to ancient, gnarled orchards abandoned on Greek islands. Hamerski is nurtured by words and art, the love of her children, and her community of creatives. She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. Sister of Grendel is her first published novel.  calumeteditions.com/authors/susan-thurston

 

Selma P. Verde is a Minnesota born and raised author whose dream as a teenager was to write and publish a novel. As an adult, watching the kids around her growing up and learning life’s lessons inspired her to write about some of the challenges teenagers face. That dream to publish a novel became a reality in 2017 with the first book in The Way Series, her coming-of-age novels for teen and young adult audiences.   selmapverde.com

Amy Zellmer is editor-in-chief of Midwest YOGA + life magazine, and is also an award-winning author, and keynote speaker. In 2014, Amy suffered a life-changing traumatic brain injury (TBI) after a slip and fall on black ice. Since then, she has published six books that focus on TBI issues, and began publishing The Brain Health Magazine in 2019.  Amy has a passion to spread the message that yoga is for every BODY, regardless of size or ability, and a mission to raise awareness about the devastating consequences of TBI.    midwestyogalife.com

 

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