Charley Valera

Charley ValeraAuthor Charley Valera has always had a fascination with WWII and its effects on the soldiers and their families. Valera’s father was a WWII veteran and, like most of us, he never asked what life was like during the war. Years after his father passed away, forever taking his stories with him, Valera was determined to document the lives of other WWII veterans. My Father’s War: Memories from Our Honored WWII Soldiers covers both theaters and all branches of war during WWII.  This book features more than a hundred personal photos and stories from WWII veterans. These are their firsthand accounts. How they beat back the bile in their throats to complete their dangerous missions. Finally, one source to learn about their lives and why WWII was my father’s war. Now an award-winning documentary. 

 Charley Valera has appeared on NBC/NECN, WPRI and other TV outlets. He’s been featured in magazines, newspapers and radio throughout the country. Valera writes articles and blogs for various media on topics from WWII, real estate and aviation. A licensed commercial pilot, Realtor, author, filmmaker, public speaker, father of two boys and husband to Cheryl, they live in southwest Florida. He can be reached through

Charley’s books

Rick Pullen

Rick PullenRick Pullen is a thriller novelist, an award-winning investigative reporter and magazine editor. He is a member of the FOLIO 100—the 100 most influential people in magazine publishing. He was a finalist for EDITOR OF THE YEAR in 2015 and spent most of his journalism career navigating the swamp in Washington, D.C.

He is a resident of Florida and Virginia. Rick is an ardent Parrothead. He likes nothing more than a cold beer, sunshine, sand between his toes and a great Padron cigar.

He started writing fiction in 2011. NAKED AMBITION, published in May 2016, immediately became a bestseller. NAKED TRUTH, a sequel, was release September 2018. Volume one of THE APPRENTICE, a fast-paced serial about a rookie reporter thrust into the Washington political nightmare, was released in December 2017.

Rick is a member of the International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, The Author’s Guild and the National Press Club, where he can be found on occasion at the bar downing an Amstel Light. He has started two writer critique groups and an author’s dinner group.

For more information visit

Rick’s books

Diana McDonough

Diana wrote her first novel, “Stuck in the Onesies,” over a ten-year period while working full time for Ecolab, Inc. She retired from Ecolab to pursue writing full time. My Mother’s Apprentice  (the sequel to Stuck in the Onesies) is due to be released in early 2019.

Diana writes historical fiction, humor, and women’s fiction. You can visit her website at and sign up for her blog.

Diana’s books.

Marjorie Appleby

Marjorie ApplebyNational Award Winning Author – ​Speaker
Brain Injury Awareness Advocate
M. A. Appleby is an artist, avid reader, and retired Certified Landscape Designer. She is a mystery buff who enjoys traveling and lives in Southwest Florida with her husband and son. The concept for her books came from a journal written the day her son suffered a TBI (traumatic brain injury). This tragedy threw their family into turmoil as they tried to understand what lay ahead for them.

As a caregiver, it is important not to lose your ‘sense of self’ and that’s where writing became cathartic for her. She thought they would wake up from the nightmare and their lives would go back to ‘normal’, but that didn’t happen. That ‘recovery’ journal was the impetus Ms. Appleby needed to write The Ancient Whisper, Whispered Dreams, and Journey of a Thousand Steps that comprise A Whisper of a Mystery Trilogy. Each chapter starts with an inspirational saying, uplifting quote, or a prayer sent or given to her throughout the recovery phase of her son’s ordeal.

After the third book in the series was published, Ms. Appleby realized she finally had closure. She was then able to write her son’s story, RAISING DAVID AGAIN. As a brain injury advocate, she now lectures to support and caregiver groups where they share their stories of encouragement and hope as they move forward in this ever-changing and ever-evolving situation.

Marjorie’s books.

DL Havlin


DL Havlin is an eclectic author whose novels, novellas, and short stories mirror his rich, varied background. He has packed three lifetimes of experiences into one brim full existence. He believes, “The one big advantage writing at an advanced age provides is that life is what you know and not what you project it might be.” An avid lover of the outdoors and sports enthusiast, his passion for fishing, hunting and camping are frequently included in his writing. A deep love for nature and especially wild Florida often furnish settings for his work, but his travels make places such as Kiev, Singapore, London, New York, Modena, or Saxonhausen backgrounds for his stories as well . His unique combination of a vivid imagination and his ability to weave intricate plot lines, seasoned by his life-time exposure to fascinating story possibilities and his knowledge of human nature, provides the heart-felt, enjoyable reading his novels provide. He answers, “Why do you write?” by saying, “To entertain—that’s first, but to provoke thought is a close second. I firmly believe both are done through the heart, for the mind is seldom opened until it is emotionally conditioned to respond.” Come by and see me at and

Jill Jennings

Jill Jennings was awarded the 2013 United States Congressional Commendation for poetry and teaching, and a 2013 International Merit Award in poetry from Atlanta Review. Dozens of her award- winning poems have been widely published every year for ten years in Reach of Song, the anthology of the Georgia Poetry Society; in several issues of Encore, the anthology of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies; in both editions of the anthology Poetry of the Golden Age, by Kennesaw State University; in The Atlanta Review, Oberlin Review, The Georgia Bulletin, and the Cherokee Tribune Newspaper ( Georgia).

After fourteen years teaching Latin, English and SAT Prep classes, Jill Jennings launched a career in poetry beginning in 2008 with her debut book, The Poetry Alarm Clock. Four years later a second book, Dead Man’s Flower, followed. Pineapple Wine, her third full-length collection of poetry, is completed and ready for publication.

How did a high school teacher suddenly decide to retire early and devote her time and energy to
poetry? A chance encounter with a classmate from graduate school galvanized her. A mere 52 years of age, her friend was already experiencing health problems. He lamented that he could not memorize vocabulary anymore, a major disappointment for a man who had taught modern foreign languages. At that moment, she realized that this might happen to her. What about the book of poetry she had wanted to write since age 9? What about becoming fluent in French? What about all the dreams that were put on hold while teaching high school? How much time was left ? As if awakened from a deep sleep, she dragged these goals out of the attic where she’d stored them, forgotten. Fourteen years later, her biography includes having served as Vice President, Secretary, and Interim President of the Georgia Poetry Society; Coordinator for Johns Creek Poetry group; having dozens of her poems published, most after winning cash prizes, completing two full-length books of poetry, with a third ready for publication and another, Mercy Heart, in the works,

Jill holds B.A. and M.A.degrees in Classics from the University of Georgia, knows Latin and Ancient Greek, is fluent in French, and reads Spanish. Her poetry and memoir writing workshops have been presented in various venues, most recently for the Lee Library System. In April, 2018 she wrote and produced the first ever LeHigh Acres Teen Poetry Slam, held at the East County Library. It was such a success that another one is already planned for September. She is also the Coordinator for the upcoming Teen Writers Workshop to be held twice monthly at the library. In addition to poetry, Jill writes flash fiction and humor. She relocated from Georgia to Fort Myers in October of 2016 with her husband of 29 years, Paul Cheng, who shares her passion for travel and foreign language, without whose support much less of her writing would have seen the light of day. follow Jill at

Writing interests: poetry, humor, flash fiction, memoirs

Jill’s books

Eduardo Mitchell

Eduardo Mitchell hails from southwest Virginia, spent four years overseas gathering intelligence for Uncle Sam, did another four working for IBM, and then several decades as a software consultant in Washington DC. After completing his master’s in psychology during his late 30’s, he was a counselor and personal trainer. In the mid 80’s he completed a two-year post-graduate program in creative writing at Lynchburg College. Along the way he flew charters and freight part-time for Air Virginia until it was acquired by a larger airline.

While overseas in a harrowing job, he learned Zen meditation from a Tibetan monk, a practice he continues to this day. Since the mid-90’s he has taught meditation and written three books (so far) about Zen, all available on amazon.

Having been interested in photography all of his adult life, after retirement he began shooting weddings and bridal portraits. Now, he pursues artistic portraiture as a hobby. Ed works part-time as a copyeditor and proofreader, and has the reputation of being an incorrigible grammar nazi. His favorite pastimes are movies, reading, writing, and riding his bike.

Eduardo’s website is

Sloan Jordan

As a young girl, Sloan discovered and excelled at writing assignments in school but never considered writing as part of a career.  After school, Sloan spent over thirty years in the field of real estate property management, specializing in low income and affordable housing.   Over the years, Sloan applied her writing skills to creating resource material for the rental housing industry, and eventually her own property management company.  Producing technical documents geared to advanced property management tactics led to writing projects for  Housing and Urban Development and Public Housing Authorities throughout the United States and its territories over the past two decades.   The majority of the deliverables were focused on “how to” subjects relating to property management.  Although still writing for HUD and its partners, Sloan decided to try to use that writing skill to take the time to tell some of her personal stories in a nonfiction format and memoir.  A short time after “retiring” and relocating to Sanibel, Florida, Sloan joined the Sanibel writing group for feedback from other writers on a memoir project.  Two years later, Sloan joined the Gulf Coast Writers Association after relocating to the Ft. Myers area.  Sloan brings both strong business skills and technical writing skills to GCWA as a current executive committee board member.

Arlyn Euken

Born and raised in Iowa. After college and working several years, fulfilled military obligation. Then moved to Cincinnati , Ohio, and spent his working career as small business owner/partner.

Retired to SW Florida. 1st wife deceased; married widow Edi Pollaert in 2010 & resides in Cape Coral.

Hobbies and activities include volunteering, community gardens, antique/classic cars,

Writing interests – mainly History & Humor.

Gianni Franco

Gianni PetittiI wrote my first short story when I was nine or ten based on the video game Asteroids from Atari. I have an English Lit degree and have taken multiple creative writing courses. I wrote Editorials for the Democrat & Chronicle during my early twenties and for the Rochester Magazine until it closed. Once that happened, I purchased an AB-Dick printing press and started a mini-periodical called The American Register. As the editor, I worked with four writers, as well as writing articles myself. I then went online at the and advertised on our local radio in Rochester, NY. After a few years, the funding faded and I shut down the site. Although I did not stop writing, I did take a break from the industry.

Moving to Florida three years ago rejuvenated my mind, and I began to write feverishly and created a blog as well. Currently completing Draft IV 80K words, The Diary of Sergeant Stark, a psychological thriller. A story about a veteran cop who wants to do good but finds himself covering up a slew of his own murders. I will self-publish if it does not get picked up by an agent. The story-line has purposely placed options for a prequel, sequel, and interlude. Additional books have been shelved in order to focus on this one since I work full time at a bank.

Gianni’s blog