DJ Kristoff

DJ Kristoff

DJ Kristoff is a world traveler, adventurer, seeker of truth, and award-winning science teacher extraordinaire. The locations in her story are real. The science and history are real. She earned the nickname Dino Diane on a dinosaur dig with the Museum of the Rockies at Camposaur in Montana, the excavation site of the real Dr. Alan Grant of Jurassic Park, paleontologist John Horner.

Kristoff has backpacked and rafted the Grand Canyon, scuba-dived the Great Barrier Reef, ridden a camel around the Pyramids at Giza, cruised the Nile, and explored the tombs of the pharaohs. She’s trekked the outback of Australia and the tropical rainforests of Hawaii, ventured along volcanic lava flows, gone on photo safari in Tanzania, helicoptered over Victoria Falls, walked with lion cubs in the African bush, hot-air ballooned over the Maasai Mara, witnessed the male elephant gathering on the Zambezi River, and much more.

Currently living in Fort Myers, Florida, DJ Kristoff began her education career teaching eighth-grade science in Tempe, Arizona. There she founded and directed the Students for Environmental Awareness Club. Kristoff guided as many as 50 adventurous eighth graders hiking and backpacking into the deserts and wildernesses of Arizona and Utah, teaching  geology, biology, anthropology, paleontology, and ethnobotany. Now, as a children’s author, she inspires middle-grade students to love nature and science with her magical books.witnessed the male elephant gathering on the Zambesi River

Kristoff has inspired hundreds of adventurers to learn how to survive in the wilds, become self-reliant, and appreciate and respect nature, and each other. As a result of her years of teaching as a master educator, she was awarded the prestigious Silver Apple Award by Channel 3 and the Dial Corporation and was the recipient of the Science Teacher of the Year by the Salt River Project for the state of Arizona.

Dino Diane’s Adventures  is a magical science adventure cloaked in a historical fantasy that chronicles the author’s real-life experiences and fanciful inspirations. Saddlebags of Gold and The Secrets of the Five Rays of Light are the first two books in the Dino Diane’s Adventure series by the famous children’s author and educator. There are more adventures to come in Hawaii, Australia, Africa, and Egypt, with lots of new characters and amazing magic!

Diane’s books

Katharine Johnston

kate johnston

Katharine Johnston is an instructional designer, writer, and founder of Johnston Course Design, an instructional designer firm with an educational arm. She is also the author of the Stories from Strongsville children’s novel series. When teaching fourth grade, Katharine found it difficult to find books with low maturity and high readability for her students. Inspired by a lack of these types of books, Katharine created her own.

Raised in Santa Clarita, CA, Kate attended Florida State University obtaining a degree in Humanities in 2010. From 2011-2013 Kate obtained her teaching credentials in Elementary, Middle, and High School Education while maintaining a 4.0 and working full time in schools as a paraprofessional. In the fall of 2019, she graduated from Kennesaw State University in Georgia with her Master’s Degree and went back to school to get her instructional design certification from Georgia State University.

Kate taught elementary school in California and Georgia. Since obtaining her instructional design certificate, Kate became the Chief Learning Architect on The Ultimate Sales Manager’s Guide Online Course, as well as co-host “The Ladies of Learning” Podcast.

Kate currently resides in Southwest Florida. When she is not creating learning experiences, Kate enjoys hanging out with friends and family, taking barre classes, and traveling.

Kate’s website

Brian Sluga

brian sluga
My name is Brian Sluga. I am a change management consultant, author, avid bicyclist, and loving husband. I have a bachelor’s degree in communications from Bradley University.  I am in my last semester getting my MFA in creative writing program at Lindenwood University. I have a home in Pelican Bay Naples that I have been spending a few months a year at. I have self-published two Amazon books. My first book Not Just My Poetry It’s Your Life, Too was published in 2019. Other publications include the 2018 & 2019 Waco Word Fest Anthology, the Poetry Marathon and Texas’ Best Emerging Poets 2019. My new Amazon published book, From Now to The End of Time is my 2nd book.

Brian’s website: https://allpoetry.com/Gorun1

Brian’s books

Sarah Golden

Sarah Golden
Sarah has been writing short stories and picture books since 2019. She has a BS in Property Management and MS in Construction Management. She moved to SW Florida from Chicago in 2021 and is a hard working stay at home mom.

 

Xander Blue

xander blueMr. Blue is most recently from Vegas, and despite the rumors and photographic evidence, he did not work at Area 51 and has never met (several times) the aliens who reside there. Transition from desert to beach life has been a wonderful and welcome change for him. He finds that Krispy Kreme at dawn watching the waves meet the shore to be pretty inspiring.

Being a time traveler afforded Xander the opportunity to learn from various sources throughout multiple timelines. He has earned a couple degrees, and then there’s that Sumerian thing from 3142 BCE. It’s written in ancient Akkadian, and Mr. Blue just can’t figure out if it is a decree to vacate Sumer… or a degree. He would like to think it is the latter.

Creating / storytelling is something that just happens, Xander can’t stop it. He has been scribbling dialog and scenes in notebooks for many years. Many. It wasn’t until mid-1492 / early 2615 that he focused, allotted the time needed, and actually worked hard at finishing a book. His first novel, Whipping Up A New Past, was self-published thru Amazon in March, 2020.

Currently, Xander is working on two novels. The first is the tale of the daring-do of Janet, a futurepastian similar to Mr. Blue. She travels from the 23rd century to the American West of 1815 to live with a Native tribe. Some nights Xander just can’t sleep because he’s thinking about the trials Janet endures and the time traveling assassin that is plotting her demise.

The second is a romance based in 21st century Miami. It’s the typical modern Florida love story with murder, dark and light magic, a leprechaun bent on ruling the world, insane Fae, shifters, and a trip to Atlantis. Oh, and cereal. Lots of cereal.

Xander’s website

Xander’s books

Stephen J. McGuire

stephen j mcguireSteve is a native of Louisville, Kentucky, and had a 30+ year legal career serving as an attorney and a federal judge in Washington, DC.  Steve retired in 2008 as the Chief Judge of the Federal Trade Commission, where he received the FTC’s Distinguished Service Award and was honored by President George W. Bush for his service to the nation’s judiciary. He has two certifications from Harvard University, one from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, and the other from Harvard Law School. Subsequently, he became Vice President for Corporate Compliance at the University of Louisville Hospital.

He has traveled to over 65 foreign countries, including 10 communist countries. Among his more memorable trips were those to Cuba (where his letter about the culture and lifestyle of Havana was published by Cigar Aficionado magazine), Africa, India, Vietnam, and Japan. In July 2019, he taught English to high school students in the Fujian Province of China.

Steve is scheduled for over 40 speaking engagements (May 2021-March 2022) at bookstores, libraries, country clubs, civic associations, art center and radio shows. Steve has been interviewed on the following radio shows: Beach Talk Radio, Fort Myers, FL; The Mike Boyle Show, Colorado Springs and Denver, CO; and Lars Larson, nationally syndicated. Steve is a member of the Gulf Coast Writers Association, Inc. and The Authors Guild. He lives in Naples, Florida, with his wife, Doris, and their golden retriever and goldendoodle, Henry and Alfie.

Steve’s website

Steve’s books

Ginger Griffin Wakem

Ginger Griffin Wakem’s writing career up until now has been in the world of business and non-fiction filled with product and marketing materials, website content, magazine articles, company manuals and a successful book on City and Well Water printed in English and Spanish that’s in its third printing with over 6,000 copies out.

Her debut novel, TRUST NO ONE, PROMISE NOTHING (91K words) is a story with crime/thriller elements, a sense of humor, and a romantic subplot, inspired by real mafia families and well-known Florida criminals—about a man with a dark past, two careers (one legitimate and one illegitimate), three families (one being the mafia), and the woman who exposes him. The book has cinematic appeal, and it’s both plot- and character-driven, exploring the long-lasting effects of childhood experiences: how they shape us—for better or worse—and our ability to change. This novel appeals to both adult men and women readers who prefer mystery, crime, suspense, and action thrillers containing a bit of psychology, some religion, and swirls of romance.​

Ginger is a well-known landscape photographer and has created several photo books. Over a period of twenty plus years she documented the lifestyle of a sixteen-acre island located at Mile Marker 63 in the Florida Keys. The scenes from her photography book, Conch Key, can be found on her photography website at ggwakem.photos. Dedicated to family, she takes the viewer on a day’s walk about the small island, returning at cocktail hour to witness its glorious sunset.

In Griffin’s Story Ginger documented her son’s journey with Tourette’s Syndrome, spoke at the TSA national convention on Alternative Therapies and was interviewed by the BBC Discovery Health Channel, for their 2001 Medical Mysteries documentary series. The book Tics and Tourette’s, Breakthrough Discoveries in Natural Treatments by author Sheila Rogers was dedicated to Ginger and her son, Griffin for Ginger’s pioneering efforts that inspired Ms. Rogers to create the Association for Comprehensive Neuro Therapy resulting in the Latitudes website.

When Ginger and her husband were offered the part of the “Nosy Neighbors” in the 2020 movie, Marcus, they jumped at the chance. Pictures can be found on her website, www.ggwakem.com and Facebook page. Marcus has gone on to win 16 awards and was nominated for 8 more.

Theresa Siller

Theresa SillerTheresa Corbley Siller has been a teacher in public schools and dance studios for 35 years. She has been published in two national magazines, Dance Studio Life and Guideposts. Her creative non-fiction essay, “Another Get-Together?” will be in The Magnolia Review Literary Journal, July 2021. Theresa has written articles for The Fairfax County Times and The Chambersburg Public Opinion, and her column, “Rising Stars,” appeared in the Cape Coral Daily Breeze Newspaper.

Theresa published From Torment to Triumph, A Story of Hope, in 2013, about her husband’s struggle with obesity, and the miracle of how he lost over 105 pounds and ran The Marine Corps Marathon on two titanium hips! She then published a story about Forgiveness, in 2019. Meredith’s Triumph, and What Happened at Soaring High Dance Academy? God Happened., were just released on Amazon, in 2021. Currently she is working on a new adult novel about standing up for yourself, and a children’s book about empathy, featuring Southwest Florida Wildlife and How They Feel. Theresa is grateful to God for her husband, Dan, their son-in-law Jesse, and their daughters, Michelle, Caroline and Christyanne.

Dan, Theresa’s husband, was the inspiration for two of her books. Dan was obese and miserable for decades. His bloodwork made his doctors howl. His triglycerides were 1600 (normal is 160). He had already had one heart attack. Finally, things would change. Theresa spotted a book, Overeaters Anonymous, and brought it home to her husband. The personal stories within resonated completely with Dan, and he began the journey that would change his life. He attended meetings and found a sponsor. The spiritual piece was what had been missing in all of the diets he tried and failed. Today with God’s help, Theresa’s husband is accountable about his calories in and exercise out, and has kept the weight off for 10 years. Nothing is impossible with God!

 

Claudia Volkman

Claudia VolkmanClaudia Volkman has more than thirty-five years of experience in acquisitions, product development, editing, and typesetting, and has worked full-time for several trade publishing houses. Now, as the owner of Creative Editorial Solutions, she assists publishers, authors, entrepreneurs, and speakers with their editorial needs. A Chicago native, Claudia and her husband reside in Southwest Florida with their two charming Corgis.

Claudia Volkman Resume