Wednesday, July 16, 2014

July Member News

Congratulations to all on your new publications!

Deanna Dickinson McCall’s “Desert Dreams,” is included in the anthology Broken Promises (La Frontera Publishing). The West was built on a handshake and a promise. But sometimes those promises were broken, and the consequences could be fearful. Whether it was the nation’s broken promises to tribal leaders, or a vow to revenge a wounded heart, the price would have to be paid in blood and tears.

Diane Sward Rapaport Home Sweet Jerome: Death andRebirth of Arizona’s Richest Copper Mining City. When mining left the town in the early 1950's most thought the town would close down all together. But Jerome was too stubborn to die and it has become Arizona's most famous ghost town and a notorious and loveable hippie hideout. A history of the inhabitants who stayed, or moved in and out during the 60's and 70's and the rebirth that took hold in the 80's and 90's making Jerome a celebrated art and history destination now visited by more than a million people each year.

Sarah Byrne Rickman, Flight to Destiny, Annie Gwynn joins fellow Tennessean Cornelia Fort flight instructing over Oahu the morning of December 7, 1941. Both are chased from the sky by the marauding Japanese Zeroes that arrive to wreak havoc on Pearl Harbor. Nine months later, Cornelia joins Nancy Love’s WAFS squadron to ferry Army airplanes. She sends word to Annie to apply. Former stunt pilot and flight instructor Clare Varsky joins her friend Nancy Love’s history-making squadron. And Jacqueline Cochran readies her administrative assistant, Midge Culpepper, to qualify for the WAFS, to spy on Love’s rival program. The three women pilots meet, share their joys, sorrows, loves, and lives, and come to rely on each other. Each, in turn, encounters her own flight to destiny. To purchase, email Sarah at

Carolyn Niethammer The PianoPlayer (Oak Tree Press) 
In 1882, Frisco Rosie, the saloon piano player, and Nellie, upstanding boarding house owner, form an improbable bond that takes them from Tombstones desert, to imprisonment in a Mexican jail and eventually to Dawson City's frozen creeks in the 1898 Klondike Gold Rush. Challenging society's norms for proper womanhood, they each pursue their own dreams for success, postponing romance with the men who love them, until for one, it becomes too late.


Teresa Lynn Little Lodges on the Prairie: Freemasonry& Laura Ingalls Wilder is now available on Kindle. Little Lodges on the Prairie: Freemasonry & Laura Ingalls Wilder is the first book to comprehensively detail the involvement of Laura Ingalls Wilder and each member of her family in the ancient fraternity of Freemasonry and the related Order of the Eastern Star. Complete with rarely seen and previously unpublished documents and photographs, this book offers a new and unique perspective on the beloved author of the Little House on the Prairie series of books.

Heather Buchanan, And Then You Fall. Ben Rice recognized her as soon as he saw her sitting at the bar. Liv, that was her name, and fate kept putting her in front of him. Used to getting what he wants, Ben pursues the reluctant Liv, who’s busy following her own dream of becoming a competitive barrel racer. When a devastating accident changes the course of her life, Ben is forced to choose between his band’s long-fought meteoric rise to international fame, and the woman he believes is the love of his life.

Susan Nunn, Song of the Earth has been called a journey into our consciousness, both as a people and a nation. It is the love story of Jessie and Clay, a journalist and a federal agent.  The story grows out of a flash flood that roars down a ravine to encompass many of the issues these historic Borderlands present to us today.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Eight Reasons to Come Home to Colorado

 by Carmen Peone
Why come home to Colorado? There are eight reasons why, but first let’s get acquainted with the what behind the why. Women Writing The West is a Non-profit organization for writers at all levels founded twenty years ago in Denver by two talented and driven writers who had a vision that included the Women’s West. West of the Mississippi that is. They gathered a flock of writers with dreams and inspiration who did not fear hard work and birthed this wondrous organization.

This year, the annual conference will be hosted forty-five miles from Denver in the town of Golden which is nestled against the majestic Rocky Mountains. The conference is October 16-19, 2014 with pre-conference sessions at The Table Mountain Inn and regular conference sessions held at The Golden Hotel.

So again, why come home to Colorado? Here are eight reasons to attend the 2014 WWW conference:
1.      This year there is a pre-conference on Thursday October 16th with three sessions to choose from: So You Want to Write and publish; Submit-in-Advance Critique; and On-the-Spot Critique feedback. Editors, writers, and teachers will be available to teach and coach works in progress. 

2.    Friday and Saturday, October 17 and 18, will be filled with more than twenty breakout sessions to kindle and spark all things writing. Sessions touch on: place and character, fiction craft, collaboration through writing communities, social media, marketing swap and shop, women’s fiction, ePublishing, research, personal experience, and self-publishing.   

3.      Editors and Agents. Here is an opportunity to pitch a complete fiction manuscript or non-fiction proposal face to face with a warm body. You may be trembling at the thought of climbing in the wagon with a live human and sharing your work. But trust me, this is where most authors put flint to rock and spark a connection. 

4.      Founders luncheon honoring the original founding members of Women Writing the West.  This will be an opportunity to meet and thank those who breathed life into this remarkable organization. 

5.      Special Screening of the feature film Cherokee Word for Water based on a book written by the late Wilma Mankiller, the first woman chief of the Cherokee Nation. 

6.      LAURA Awards Dinner and WILLA Awards Banquet to honor contest winners. Keynote speakers include Sandra Dallas, founding member, and Susan Witting Albert, author of A Wilder Rose

7.      Sunday will conclude the conference with High Tea at the Briarwood Inn in Golden where historical dress is encouraged.

8.      Book signing event featuring Women Writing the West published authors and the WILLA Award winners and finalists.

I have been in WWW for almost two years and have already gleaned mounds of inspiration, advice, and connections. I will be in Golden and hope to meet you there for the 20th Anniversary Coming Home WWW conference—an event you won’t want to miss. See you there!

Wednesday, July 02, 2014


by Janet Fisher
With the release of my new book, I wanted the world, at least my corner of it, to know about this story which is so special to me. I share a bit of the wanderlust my ancestors had, and have lived in many places over the years, including quite a few towns and cities in Oregon, the book’s primary setting. So I could be considered a “local author” up and down the state from Portland to Ashland.

In most of these I planned signing and reading events. And while I believed the hometown would come out for me, what about the larger towns?

I decided I wanted to do something special in Eugene, Oregon’s second-largest city. I had lived in this Lane County city, but a long time ago. Did I still have enough Eugene connections? An idea began to brew. The venue, Tsunami Books, was made for it. They often bring in musical entertainment. They have a stage, an old piano, and space large enough to hold the sound of a trumpet. And I happen to have a cousin, Don Fisher, who plays trumpet professionally. I wanted my reading for this event to be a reading set to music—Don on trumpet, backed up with piano.

Don agreed to do it, and a friend Patty Wilgus agreed to play piano. We started practicing, and it looked like a go.

My book follows my great-great-grandmother Martha’s trek west to Oregon in 1850 and portrays the struggles she faced on that raw frontier. The Civil War played heavily in Martha’s life during her years in Lane County, a hotbed of North-South rivalry despite the distance from the troubles back in the States.

So for this Lane County event, I wanted to bring a touch of that Civil War era into my presentation. Using the two great songs from opposing sides of the conflict, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” for the North, and “Dixie” for the South, Don and Patty would surround my spoken lines with song, sometimes cheerful, sometimes melancholy, as we dramatized a thread of story from the book.

On the evening of the event the rich sounds of trumpet and piano added a sweet blend with words, wine, and welcoming conversation. Before and after the reading, Don and Patty provided background music, offering some easy-listening tunes and revving it up a little from time to time for something a little sassier.

And the reading set to music? Folks seemed to enjoy it a lot. And we did have fun—which tends to be  contagious.

Did it add to the buzz? I think so. We got some mentions on it in the press. Besides the positive reaction from people who attended, traffic picked up nicely on Facebook and my blog when I posted about it. My son-in-law Robin Loznak took a video and posted on You Tube. And there’s word of mouth. People talk about something that’s different. Booksellers notice. And readers. And that’s what it’s ultimately about. Readers.

Janet Fisher grew up on the farm her great-great-grandmother Martha bought almost 150 years ago. Janet’s first published book, A Place of Her Own: The Legacy of Oregon Pioneer Martha Poindexter Maupin (Globe Pequot Press/TwoDot imprint), portrays Martha’s daring decision to buy that farm when her husband died, leaving her alone on the Oregon frontier with their many children. After Janet earned a master’s in journalism with honors from the University of Oregon, she taught college writing and wrote freelance for newspapers. Two of her historical novels were Pacific Northwest Writers Association literary contest finalists. Now back on Martha’s farm, she’s the second woman to own and operate this family treasure—one of the few Century Farms in Oregon named for a woman.