2021 SoCo Writers in Print

Sonoma County Writers Published in 2021

Stirling Kirkland—The New Protocol

The New Protocol. A Mike Black Thriller. By Stirling KirklandA Mike Black thriller. To his neighbors, he is known as Michael Stryker. A reclusive fantasy author who writes about witches and vampires. It’s the perfect cover story for his real life. Mike is a hitman. For the last eighteen years, he has worked for a shadow government agency known as the Alliance, specializing in eliminating people who are above the law. Mike considers it balancing the scales, picking up where the justice system leaves off. He only has two rules. No witnesses and no complications. When he is sent to kill an attorney in Virginia, Mike learns the man is connected to one of the most powerful politicians in Washington. A woman who many believe will soon occupy the White House. Together, they have been destroying anyone who stumbles across their illegal activities. When Mike meets the daughter of one of their victims, he is forced to make the most difficult decision of his life. Follow his rules or save her life.

Available in ebook and paperback on Amazon

Wray Cotterill—Scream Queen

Scream Queen Wray CotterillScream Queen is a thriller that rides the razor’s edge between horror and humor.

At 23, Vera Horowitz’s life is going nowhere until she stumbles into the path of a speeding tractor-trailer and screams for her life. Her otherworldly scream does not escape the attention of Jake, a Hollywood horror movie director. Thus begins Vera’s new life of playing the victim at Falchion Films. But Vera is no victim, as Jake sees when she stands up to Barry, the misogynistic producer. Jake falls for Vera, but her innocence makes him question why he makes movies that debase women. Barry and his cohorts, who envision themselves “apex predators,” become darker with each film. When Barry learns Vera is a virgin, his ultimate fantasy, to capture an actual virgin sacrifice on screen and sell the film on the dark web, is within reach. Will Jake win Vera’s love and save her, or will Vera become Barry’s fantasy come true? Buckle up!

Available on Amazon in paperback and kindle editions.

JL Jusaitis—Journey to Autremonde

i-Jusaitis-JourneyAutremondeAnother page-turning novel by JL Jusaitis, the author of Journey to Anderswelt.

It’s been a year or so since Lulu, Morey, Chloe and Greg have been in Austria. Now, they’re in Paris and a Matisse is stolen from the Musée D’Orsay. Could Chloe’s mother be the thief? In this new fantasy/adventure, Tour Director Walter Tanum sends the four teens on a mission that begins in Paris, sails through the French countryside, meanders into the supernatural Autremonde, and ends at the maison of a mad marquis.

Swan Lake Press, 2021
ISBN: 978-1941066515
374 pages, perfect bound, 5.5 x 8.5 inches
$14.99. This book may be purchased at:

Christopher Riebli—The Egg Man

i-Riebli-EggmanSet in the North Bay region of California in the late 19th and early decades of the 20th century, The Egg Man is the story of Arnold Bert Miller—poacher, teamster, drinker, dreamer—an Everyman of his day, “nose to nose with the hard truths about himself.” This novel is a prequel to The Body’s Perfect, (2012) and traces two earlier generations of the Miller family.

A former truck driver and community college English instructor, Chris Riebli is from a fifth-generation Sonoma County family. 

ISBN: 978-1-941066-52-5
680 pages, perfect bound, 6 x 9 inches
$22.00, available on Amazon

Karen Misuraca—Secret Sonoma: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure

Secret-SonomaCountless curiosities, icons and hidden treasures fill the pages of Secret Sonoma: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure. From hidden beaches on a world-famous coastline to wineries unknown even by oenophiles, from the tallest trees on the planet and NASCAR stars to rollicking tales of 18th and 19th century California, this is your ticket to adventure and surprises in the California Wine Country.

Karen Misuraca grew up in Sonoma County before vineyards replaced the apple orchards, and before daytrippers discovered the rugged coastline and the deep redwood forests, the early California historic sites, and all those welcoming wineries. Today an award-winning travel journalist and guidebook author, she writes about the nooks, crannies, and quirky curiosities of the state for magazines, newspapers, and online media.

Reedy Press: Available wherever books are sold.
ISBN: 9781681063386, softcover 6 x 9, 208 pages, $22.50

Dan Coshnear—Separation Anxiety

Coshnear-SeparationAnxietySeparation Anxiety is a stunning short story collection that shows how pervasive the disorder can be in everyday lives. In eighteen stories, Coshnear paints separation anxiety as an engine of change while being careful to tend to the delicateness of the disorder’s consequences. Readers become intimately acquainted with the captain of a SWAT (team), a mental health case worker who falls deeply in love, an elderly man who is driven to rage when his wife is buried in the wrong hole, and many more.

Though the eighteen stories in Separation Anxiety exhibit a wide range of tones and styles, all throw light on a condition as pervasive and invisible as the air we breathe.

Unsolicited Press. $20. Preorder here or on Amazon.

John Omaha—The Lodge

Omaha-TheLodgeShamanism drives The Lodge. The stories of the four characters led on a vision quest by the medicine man, Tathagita Jones, illustrate shamanic principles. Set in the majestic Marble Mountain Wilderness of Northern California, the questers transform as they transition from a culture of spectacle into the natural world of trees, hawks, Stone People, and water.

Through shamanic resonance mediated by power animals and spirit guides they experience integration with Every Living Thing. Carrying sacred space and sacred time from the domain of the sweat lodge into their daily lives, their experiences of love, sex, and death are expanded. Their final quest: can they transform society?

John Omaha, Ph.D., MFT lives in Northern California. His writing examines how early childhood experience affects adult spiritual, social, and political behavior. Omaha has been a practicing shaman for 30 years and regularly conducts sweat lodges in the Great Mystery Lodge of Humanity Rising. His ceremonies, like his books, emphasize a deep spiritual connection with the natural world, both animate and inanimate.

Available on Amazon

Nina Ayin Reimer—Artist as Healer: Stories of Transformation and Healing

Reimer-Artist-HealerDolls have contributed to the cultures of nations from Asia to Africa, from Europe to The Americas for centuries. Dolls have been unearthed from tombs of ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt… Nina’s exciting stories of healing will take you to unexplored realms. Read, enjoy and savor them!

“Nina’s stories are heartwarming and magical testaments to the many ways we are connected to each other. Her dolls have been healing to me and several of my friends, conveying mystery and truth on levels deeper than the ordinary. Her work is a blessing on the world.”
—Jan Phillips, author of Marry Your Muse, God Is At Eye Level

Novel/Weaver Press, 2021 (2nd edition), $12.99
Available on Amazon

Mark Tate—Beside the River

Tate-beside-riverBeside the River weaves the story of Mrs. Kazumi Matsuoka, an eighty-four-year-old winery owner and haiku master, with the thematic warp and woof of long-term effects of the internment of Japanese Americans while trying to honor her late husband, Senator Sam Matsuoka. “Mattie,” as her friends know her, dreams of transforming a portion of her vineyard property in Sonoma County, California, into a wildlife preserve connected to the Mexico-to-Canada coastal walk. To do this, she enlists an injured young Afghan war veteran and comes to terms with a nearby homeless group, some of whom had been co-opted into working in an illegal marijuana grow site in a state park on the other side of the Russian River.

Available on Amazon.

Mark Tate—River’s End

Tate-rivers-endKazumi Matsuoka haiku master and vineyard owner, having witnessed a vehicle crash on her property, learns that the young woman in the overturned van is the daughter of her friend, English professor Warren Clifton. Some of the characters we meet in the novel, Beside the River, return in this sequel to explore the reaches of their lives near the river. River’s End will immerse the reader in the struggles of drug addiction, homelessness, murder, bound in the whirl wind of climate change. It will present characters who search for friendship, love, freedom, and validation at the junction of the river and infinity.

Available on Amazon.

Mark Tate was born at Hamilton Air Force Base, Marin County, and at a young age lived in rural Japan  where his father was stationed. Mark graduated from San Francisco State College with a BA & MA in English Literature and Creative Writing. Mark has been a long-time resident of Sonoma County where he lives with his wife Lori and two cats, Buddy and Buster.

Andrea Granahan—The Wandering Widow

WanderingWidow-GranahanAndrea Granahan’s fifth and newest book is about her global travels. She traveled with eagerness to learn how many cultures handle the problems of ordinary life: coming of age, finding a mate, raising children, earning a living, caring for the helpless, finding meaning in life and facing death, one’s own or loved ones. Her newest book The Wandering Widow – a curious woman takes on the world is about those travels.

Granahan has a long history in Sonoma County. At various times she has worked as a craftswoman, nursery school director, resident Poet in the Schools, reporter, editor, investigative journalist, publisher, and in recent years as a freelance travel writer.

Available from Barnes & Noble or Amazon.

Rebecca Lawton—Swimming Grand Canyon and Other Poems

Swimming Grand Canyon and Other PoemsDespite its title, Lawton’s new book Swimming Grand Canyon and Other Poems isn’t just about swimming. It’s about immersion—in rivers, in life, in livelihoods.

“Truth flows through these poems like a cold deep river, and human love for hard things settles on that river like late sun, casting a steely sheen over all of it. Read Swimming Grand Canyon to be there—on the restless river, and deep in the knowing heart.”
–Kim Stafford, author of Singer Come from Afar

“Rebecca Lawton’s poems jump off the page. She is achingly alive and heartbreakingly present in Swimming Grand Canyon, “living mortgage free” in her life as a river guide. We travel with her, meeting the characters with whom she shares the risks of that life. I love the immediacy of her narratives, her lively verbs, and her open heart.”
—Elizabeth C. Herron, author of Insistent Grace

Finishing Line Press, 2021, $14.99

Scott Sibary—Adolescence: Book Two of Human Dilemma

Adolescence: Book Two of Human DilemmaHow do you generate your own identity, and how can you truly know when you’ve got it just right? Spanning the second half of this century, the story follows the life of half-Chinese, half-Norwegian Erling Deng, who from childhood is given free reign on figuring out how to develop himself and fit in. Erling gradually becomes the only confidant of his cousin Torvald, who also seeks to find his private self and private meaning, but in a life already scripted for him.

Erling goes to work for the agency maintaining the artificial general intelligence for the global World Council, an enhanced version of the former United Nations. Meanwhile, Erling’s mother, Solveig, has held a special position and performed highly confidential work for that agency since its inception. The artificial general intelligence also faces its own, eventual rite of passage. And from their separate positions both Erling and Solveig play key roles in how that drama unfolds.

The book is available at Levin & Company in Healdsburg, and print and kindle editions are available on Amazon
The ebook is also available at Smashwords.com and at almost all retailers of ebooks.

Jo Lauer—The Tooth Faerie

The Tooth FaerieThe Tooth Faerie, the 4th book in the Little Old Ladies Mystery series, is now available on Amazon.

This is not the tooth fairy of your childhood. Retired lesbian psychic sleuths Amanda and Marion are looking for some well-deserved R&R after their last adventure when Marion’s long-lost cousin offers her home in the Santa Fe desert while she’s in Europe. Too good to be true? Along the way, they meet a psychopathic mass murderer, stumble upon a human skull in the desert, and deal with a sheriff who’s skeptical of clues from the dead. They also meet her cousin’s secret lesbian lover, Gert, who pilots her own helicopter and gets sucked into their wild adventure.

Their oil-and-water styles and many splashes of humor keep this light enough to read at bedtime.

Please visit http://jolauer.com for information about the author and how to order her books.

Stephen Altschuler—Into the Woods…and Beyond

Into-the-Woods-...and-Beyond-120x190In 1977, after experiencing some tumultuous years, Altschuler decided to take “a road less traveled.” He left the comforts of city life and moved to a primitive cabin in the woods of New Hampshire. What followed for the next few years was a transformation of spirit that renewed his faith and hope that he could be happy in this life. Confronting his demons through meditation, therapy, and mindfulness practice, he discovered that, yes, he could put aside the past and future, and, for precious moments, live in the present. He literally took a “breather” from the anxious world he left behind, finding healing in this intimate contact with nature.

Eventually he left the cabin and returned to city life, needing more human contact than the woods could provide, but using his experience there to continue his close connection with nature. This is the story of that outer and inner journey.

Foreword by Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul

Sacajawea Press. Available on Amazon: www.amazon.com/Into-Woods-Beyond-Stephen-Altschuler/dp/B08YHXYM3P
More details at: www.stephenaltschuler.com/book/into-the-woods-and-beyond

Marlene Cullen, editor—The Write Spot: Musings and Ravings From a Pandemic Year

The Write Spot: Musings and Ravings From a Pandemic YearThe Write Spot: Musings and Ravings From a Pandemic Year, the seventh book in The Write Spot series, chronicles experiences during a tumultuous year. Whether you are a seasoned writer or just now beginning to capture your thoughts and feelings in words, the relatability and humor of this anthology provide a variety of heartfelt lessons in how to capture the essence of our times and emotions with encouragement and tips for writing. Contributing writers: Brenda Bellinger, Cheryl Moore, Christine Renaudin, Dave Seter, Deb Fenwick, Julie Wilder-Sherman, Karen Handyside Ely, Kathy Guthormsen, Lynn Levy, Mary Dooley, Nona Smith, Patricia Morris, Su Shafer, Susan Bono, Susie Moses

Available on Amazon.

Roger DeBeers Sr.—The Boy With The Broken Smile

The Boy With The Broken SmileThe Boy With the Broken Smile is a mid-twentieth century coming-of-age hero’s journey based on a true story. At first set in Nazi Germany, the boy helps his Nazi father rescue Jewish children from the death camps. The story begins in a Nazi Lebensborn near Dachau in 1937, moves to Lisbon, Portugal to escape the Nazis pursuing them, to Huntington Beach, California and then to the Mint Hill District of San Francisco.

The story of Rodney’s street life to his high school graduation in 1955 is a San Francisco story set among the working-class inhabitants of an overlooked area of the city by the bay. The story encompasses teen gangs such as the Waller Street Gang, The White Shoe Boys, and the Brown Shoe Boys, streetwalkers, thugs, pimps, playing stoop ball, and swimming in saltwater at Fleishhacker Pool and Crystal Plunge.

Readers will enjoy the riveting story of this young boy’s transition from Nazi Germany to a street kid in San Francisco. His adventures and losses strike the heart and are even more relevant because the truth holds this story together.

Available on Amazon in paperback and kindle editions: www.amazon.com/Boy-Broken-Smile-Roger-DeBeers/dp/B091WGH8CK

Redwood Writers Club—Beyond Distance


Redwood Writers’ poetry anthology for 2021, Beyond Distance, contains poems expressing the rich and varied aspects of life in Sonoma County. In this volume enhanced by our cover artist Christine MacDonald, you will find poems that deal with the full range of experiences we have all had during this unimaginable year. Poetry is the common factor in providing us and our readers with both insight and beauty as we chronicle our lives. Editors: Les Bernstein and Fran Claggett-Holland

Purchase on Amazon: www.amazon.com/gp/product/0997754494

Elizabeth Herron—Insistent Grace

Insistent Grace by Elizabeth HerronIn the time of global pandemic and climate crisis, Elizabeth Herron evokes Mother Nature’s insistent grace — a power that compels respect and can help us heal ourselves and our planet — if we are resolute. Like deep breaths drawn effortlessly in, the poems and images of Insistent Grace are satisfying to the core. Filled with the aromas of salt fog, summer grass, redwood creeks, eucalyptus, and bay, they weave together the human and the more-than-human worlds. In the time of global pandemic and climate crisis, Elizabeth Herron evokes Mother Nature’s insistent grace – a power that compels respect and can help us heal ourselves and our planet – if we are resolute.

$17, available on Amazon

Mara Lynn Johnstone, editor—We’re the Weird Aliens 

We're the Weird Aliens, editor Mara Lynn JohnstoneIn science fiction, humans are usually boring compared to other spacefaring races: small, weak, with no claws or tentacles, and no special abilities to speak of. If we’re lucky, humans have an indomitable spirit when the chips are down. Not much more than that. But we don’t have to be boring. We can be the impressive ones, the unsettling ones, the ones talked about by all the other aliens. We can be weird.

If this sounds like your kind of story, then come take a look! Over two dozen authors have contributed to make sure you never think of humans as boring again.

Now available everywhere books are sold: Amazon, brick-and-mortar stores, or directly from the publisher.

Thonnie Hevron—Felony Murder Rule

Felony Murder Rule by Thonnie HevronIn this fast-paced story, Sonoma Sheriff’s detective Meredith Ryan surprises an intruder leaning over her baby’s crib in the middle of the night. Unable to catch him, she launches a dangerous journey to protect her family. The death of her father the next day leads her to look into his past where she discovers her father was involved in a robbery and homicide many years ago. Working through a web of deceit, she discovers the robbery and homicide are connected to the mysterious man in her nursery. With Nick, her husband, they unravel her father’s involvement in the robbery/homicide. The loot from the robbery has been long sought by competing crime rivals who are trying to use her family as bargaining chips. Meredith and Nick must find the truth in the next 24 hours before the criminals close in on her family.

Purchase on Amazon

Iris Jamahl Dunkle—West : Fire : Archive

West: Fire: Archive (Iris Dunkle)West : Fire : Archive is a poetry collection that challenges preconceived, androcentric ideas about biography, autobiography, and history fueled by the western myth of progress presented in Frederick Jackson Turner’s “frontier thesis.” The first section focuses on mending the erasure of the life of Charmian Kittredge London, the wife of the famous author Jack London, a woman who broke gender norms, traveled the world, and wrote about it. The second section examines the act of autobiography (or what defines the author). In it, Dunkle writes through the complex grief of losing her mother and her community when it is devastated by wildfires and reflects on how these disasters echo the one that brought her family to California, the Dust Bowl. The final section questions the authenticity of the definition of recorded history as it relates to the American West.

West : Fire : Archive will be published by CLP and Mountain/West Poetry Series and is now available for pre-order: https://upcolorado.com/university-press-of-colorado/item/3984-west-fire-archive


RWC Author Launch Books

Books marked* are featured at the Redwood Writers Club 2021 Author Launch (February 20). They were published in 2019 or 2020. Announcements of publication of Brenda Bellinger, Taking Root; Marlene Cullen, editor, The Write Spot: Writing as a Path to Healing; and Ida Rae Egli, Krisanthi’s War: in Hitler’s Greece were previously posted on these pages.

Must Like Dogs: Sky Blaine*Sky Blaine—Must Like Dogs (The Pensing Connection)

Rowan and her dog Zephyr have deepened their mind communication. This connection becomes important during her mom’s challenging pregnancy. Must Like Dogs is a story of obstacles, anguish, and love. Readers of Unleashed will be reconnected with the Westburys, now struggling to find their way through a complicated time without being torn apart.

Available on Amazon

*Ilene English—Hippie Chick: Coming of Age in the ’60s

Hippie Chick by Ilene English

A deeply personal story about a young girl thrust by the death of her mother into a lifestyle that challenged all previous notions of how one behaves. It is 1963, and we are brought along as she becomes completely immersed in the unfolding of the Sixties during the earliest days of sexual freedom, psychedelic drugs, jazz and rock n’ roll. This is a deeply personal story of how one young woman manages to survive and even to thrive in the face of the whirlwind of experiences coming at her. It is filled with a rich tapestry of moments that run the gamut from the sublime to the ridiculous, and everything in between.

Available on Amazon

Diary of a Mad Poet: Poems by Robin Gabbert

*Robin Gabbert—Diary of a Mad Poet: Poems

Diary of a Mad Poet comes out of pain, loss, fire and cancer, but they are also poems of healing and joy, family ties and friendships. Gabbert’s individual poems add up to a portrait of a life lived fully. They offer hope to readers who have come through troubles and those who delight in the powers of memory and the rigors of the English language.

Available on Amazon

*Laura McHale Holland—The Kiminee Dream

The Kiminee Dream by Laura McHale Holland

A deeply poetic, riveting debut novel. Influenced by folklore and magic realism, “The Kiminee Dream” is a lyrical work of fiction with characters equally charmed and challenged while living where the ordinary and miraculous coexist seamlessly. It is also a multi-generational Midwest tale about a family torn apart by tragedy and secrets, and how they come together again to heal. With depth, whimsy and arresting twists, it also offers an eloquent exploration of acceptance in a tender tribute to the people of Illinois.

Publisher: WordForest
Available on Amazon

*Marty Malin—Grandmother’s Devil & Other Tempting Tales

randmother's Devil & Other Tempting Tales by Marty Malin

Grandmother’s Devil & Other Tempting Tales is a collection of six unconventional stories about imaginary grandmothers doing what they do best. These are not the author’s grandmothers. Perhaps they are yours. Perhaps not. It doesn’t really matter. Their stories will capture your imagination. The grandmothers will steal your heart!

Available on Amazon

*Nancy Martin—From the Summer of Love to the Valley of the Moon

From the Summer of Love to the Valley of the Moon by Nancy Martin

San Francisco, 1967. A teenager comes of age during the Summer of Love at her rock & roll wedding. Her story relates the saga of life and relationships from then until the present , until when, in 2005 she transitioned into yet another challenging marriage to the founder of an iconic winery in the Valley of the Moon. An inspirational narrative of one woman’s perseverance, creativity and stamina to overcome the cultural norms of patriarchy through years of controlling abuse and moving on through the learning curve of personal growth.

Available on Amazon

*Mark Scott Piper—The Old Block: A Novel

The Old Block by Mark Scott Piper

Shortly after his father dies, 24-year-old Nick Castle discovers what seems to be a draft of the novel his father had always hoped to write. But a clue at the end causes Nick to fear that this story of a serious federal crime and escape from the U.S. may not be fiction at all. What would YOU do if your father wasn’t who you’d always thought he was? The Old Block is the latest contemporary fiction by Mark Scott Piper, the author of the award-winning crossover YA novel, You Wish. It takes you on an emotional journey with young Nick Castle, as he sets off on a cross-cultural adventure to unfurl the mystery of his father’s true identity. Along the way, Nick’s quest to discover the truth about his father becomes a journey of self-discovery.

Available on Amazon

Hey Mr. Ballerino Man*Joan F. Prebilich—Hey, Mr. Ballerino Man!

A homeless British ballet dancer finds new life and love on the streets of San Francisco. Through no fault of his own, when ballet dancer Stanley Pinkerton and San Francisco social worker Susan Flowers meet at Aquatic Park, there is an instant attraction. In this fast-paced, comedic tale, both have reasons to be cautious about engaging in a new relationship, but their lives become entwined as Stanley helps Susan establish a ballet program for underprivileged children.

Available for purchase at Copperfields Montgomery Village in Santa Rosa by February 13, 2021.

*Brittany Sweeting—Bubbly By The Sea

Brittany Sweeting—Bubbly By The Sea

Bubbly By The Sea is a pithy collection of short poems. Consisting of two parts; Head and Heart. Like floating in the ocean, these pages will rock you in and out of hot topics. Shedding overdue sunlight on diverse love, sustainability, equality, modern dating to loss. Then back up to the surface with self-love and encouragement. The philosophy of Wabi Sabi is also emphasized within, it is about the aesthetic of things in existence, that are “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.” If you are looking to explore a sea of simple and strong messages, dive right in!

Available on Amazon and Book Baby.

    Sonoma County Literary Update logo

    %d bloggers like this: