Tom Nelson

40President253What’s a small town boy like me doing, publishing another book of stories about Fennimore, Wisconsin, the town I grew up in, then left a long time ago; but can’t quite ever leave in my mind? Thanks to an assignment from the Fennimore Times newspaper, in 2002, I have had the wonderful opportunity to recall friends, acquaintances, relatives, and events in a weekly newspaper column called “Fennimore… As I Remember.”

My latest book, That’s My Story, And I’m Still Movin’ on, is the sixth gathering of a number of yarns and tales from years past. The first book, That’s My Story, And I’m Sticking to It! was followed by, That’s My Story, And I’m Still Sticking to It! followed by third, fourth, and fifth. I trust readers will find this latest account to their liking and that my narratives of Fennimore, past and present, will give you similar affection for my favorite hometown and its history. I caution people that these too could be your stories, merely change the names and your friends may appear on every page.

I recently read that author, Studs Terkel, said, “People are hungry for stories––its part of our very being. Storytelling is a form of history, of immortality too. It goes from one generation to another.” Sounds good to me, for I’m a story teller, not an author.

As for my background, I was educated as a mining engineer, followed by a stint in an Arizona copper mine and then pursued a career in sales and management in mining and construction related industries. After living in eleven locations around the country my wife, Dorothy, and I have settled down in the Ft Myers Fl area. I can be reached at normsson@yahoo.com.

Tom Nelson’s books

Violet Niggl

P1210040Award-winning author Violet Niggl (pen name Violeta Barrett) has always written stories since she learned to write at the age of four. Subsequent to a forty-two year career, holding executive positions in both the public and private sectors, Barrett. a Brooklyn transplant, moved from Canada to Ft. Myers, Florida, after her husband’s death. She was encouraged to write a story on reinventing her life, which was published in an anthology of stories titled BEYOND COPING. A Valentine letter she wrote on a whim won a prize and was published in her local newspaper. She began writing articles for a political newsletter soon after, eventually becoming co-editor.
Inspired by a dream, Barrett published her debut book FIRST LOVE in 2011, a romantic memoir of a love she experienced over fifty years ago. It was later translated into Spanish titled PRIMER AMOR. Although her latest book ANGEL IN DISGUISE was inspired by her love for children and pets, “the underlying story of recuperation and the restoration of hope may resonate with readers who have also experienced loss..”* A Children’s Edition of ANGEL IN DISGUISE, with an upbeat ending, was published the same year.
Barrett graduated from the N.Y. Institute of Finance and the American Institute of Banking. She is also a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature and York University in Toronto, where she earned a B.A. in Humanities — Religious Studies and Sociology, at the age of sixty-one.
Her passions are classical music, writing, reading, travel, photography…and love.
*Excerpt from KIRKUS REVIEWS

Website: www.violetabarrett.com

Alice Oldford

AlicePhoto

I am a trail lover since childhood when riding my horse on the well-developed trails of the Watchung Reservation in NJ was a treat. Later when there was no longer a steed at hand, my own feet served me well. Then I learned about the benefits of exercise and endorphins and just kept walking.

My work life has centered on land use having been a legal secretary specializing in real estate and land use board administrator and now a Realtor.

My first book, You Can Get There from Here – Hiking Hunterdon County Trails, in collaboration with Sue Dziamara grew from our walking and exploring in Hunterdon County NJ and wishing to share the wealth. A sequel trail book, Hiking NJ Trails Hunterdon County and Beyond –You Can Get There from Here Too, broadens the quest.

As a transplant to sunny Florida, I added kayaking to my outdoor interests.  I have a new adventure book sharing the fun of Lee and Collier County trails and waterways — 10 Adventures and More in Lee and Collier Counties – Florida on Land and Water.

In the end, walking and paddling are my most fun land and water pursuits yet and writing about them a bonus.

Enjoy my award-winning memoir with kitchen tips and tricks and 50 recipes, Recipes and Life – Life is Too Short to be Stuck in the Kitchen.

Visit my website at: aliceoldford.com.

Alice Oldford’s books

Cris Pacetti

SCAN_20150129_1526282832Cris Pacetti is a native Floridian. Theatre found her at age fifteen. She staged plays in her carport promising friends the best roles in order to assume other characters in familiar tales. She graduated from University of South Florida in 1974 with a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication and earned a Master of Fine Arts from Florida State University’s School of Theatre in 1980. After acting in numerous roles in university and professional theatre she discovered her dream job was to raise two children, Liz and Nick. In addition to acting, a glance at Cris’ resume reveals employment as a puppeteer, director of a cultural center, theatre teacher for preschoolers, elementary, middle, high, and postgraduate levels. Cris started writing at age 13, but never finished anything until necessity provided an opportunity to write plays for her students. A retired teacher, Cris spends many hours walking through memories, (not necessarily her own), writing them down.

Nancy Pantone

tulips-keukenhof-20150426-10A freelance ghost writer, Nancy helps high tech companies promote products by writing white papers, blogs, articles, webpages, manuals and other collaterals. Nancy is writing on her first two books; a cancer memoir and a woman’s fiction story. She splits her time between Denver and Ft Myers Beach. Nancy is passionate about traveling, enjoying different cultures and seeing wildlife. She has visited more than 50 countries and went trekking to see mountain gorillas in 2015.

Visit her website at: http://objectech.com

John Patralia

DSC01781Born on Broad Street not far from where the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers and Sixers ply their trades, a graduate of three local schools (Bishop Neumann High, the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, and Temple University), it’s hard for me to imagine anyone being more Philadelphian than I.

Nonetheless, during the 40s and 50s, if you asked me or my buddies what’s your nationality, to a man we’d say, we’re Italians. A badge of honor, we knew Italian was the way we could distinguish ourselves from other ethnic groups that surrounded our little world, our little Italy, known to us simply as South Philly. Filled with immigrants from Naples, Sicily and Calabria, we grew up eating the best Italian food, listening to the best music sung by the likes of Como, Bennett, Sinatra, and Deano; rooting for great athletes like Graziano, Marciano and DiMaggio; going to the same schools with other South Philly Italians, Frankie Avalon, Jimmy Darren, Buddy Greco, Bobby Rydell and Mario Lanza.

While growing up Italian, few if any of us kids ever aspired to visiting Italy let alone having the chance to live there for a year. Well, I did live in Italy. More accurately, Nancy and I did. The experience changed our lives. What we learned could fill a book. So, we wrote one. When you read it, we hope it will inspire you to do something exciting, something adventuresome. For us, it was Italy. For you, it might be something else. Climb a mountain. Write a book. Ask for that raise. Life is short. Find your Italy and do it. Avanti.

Visit Nancy and John at: http://NotInATuscanVilla.com

John Petralia’s books

Larry Stiles

Larry-03Larry Stiles was trained as an engineer and recently retired after a long career in higher education administration. He is trying to spend his “second childhood” catching up on some of the interests that were set aside for a demanding career. These include playing around with ham radio, volunteering with the Red Cross, taking classes unrelated to a degree and, in a break with the engineer stereotype, attempting some creative writing. So far the writing has been limited to poetry, some short stories and a couple of non-fiction pieces. The next Great American Novel is still in the future.

Ronnie Walter

2014-Ronnie1-BFrom the first time she was handed a blank piece of paper and a crayon, Ronnie Walter knew what she wanted to do for a living–draw pictures and tell stories! After a rambling education at art school, a state university and a stint in England, she finally figured out how to do just that! She has been freelancing for over twenty years with her words and illustrations licensed on fabric, home accessories, gift items and more greeting cards than she can count.

In License to Draw–How I Built a FUN career in Art Licensing–and you can too! Ronnie writes about the business of how Art Licensing works. It’s chock full of personal experiences, tons of solid information and an arm around the shoulder message of “you can do this!”.

Ronnie’s cozy mystery, Gruesome Greetings- A Georgie Hardtman Mystery is a fun romp through the halls of an art and design trade show! Georgie, a greeting card illustrator, had high expectations for an exciting trip but she never expected to be in the middle of a murder case!

And if Ronnie wasn’t busy enough, she has taken the adult coloring world by storm with the publication of four new coloring books! The Coloring Cafe™ series is a challenging yet fun collection of illustrations, sayings and patterns to color and paint–just right for stress relief and just plain fun!

Ronnie and husband Jim Marcotte live in Cape Coral with their shelter dog, Larry.

Visit her website at: http://ronniewalter.com

Ronnie Walter’s books

Monika Wilbanks

Monikas-profileI was born in Schwenningen, Germany. After my fathers died in Stalingrad, Russia, my mother moved back to her hometown in Breitenfeld, Kreis Waldshut. She remarried and toke me with her to Grimmelshofen( Blackforest).

I became the oldest of 7 girls. After High School I moved to Mannheim Germany. There I meet my husband Jerry Wilbanks. He was a Soldier in the U.S, Army. We married in Mannheim. my first daughter was born in Heidelberg.

After 2 years we moved to Benton, Arkansas. There I had 2 more children, Donna Wilbanks and Scott Wilbanks. After the Children were teenagers we moved to Dallas, Texas. I worked at the Holiday Inn as manager for 14 years.

As my retirement came around I moved to Naples, Florida, later Cape Coral, Florida. My husband died in 2002, followed by my daughter Donna. Since I went to Africa 5 times for missionary work, I finally settled down to write books .My 5th book called Rise Brother Rise became a Bestseller in November 2004. That is why I ended up at the Gulf Coast Writers Meetings.

Visit her website at: http://mkwilbanks.com

Monika Wilbanks’ books

Al York

Al York

A five year Florida resident I spent much of my adult life near Seattle, Washington. I’ve lived and worked in Panama, Kenya and Rwanda, traveling to 52 countries. After a career in the nonprofit sector, international humanitarian aid and community development, I spent the last 12 years as a consultant. A large part of my work is technical writing: grants, proposals, reports, evaluations, and program descriptions.

This past year I tried my hand at creative writing and I am in the editing stage of a crime novel.