April (legal name Raya Fand) won first prize in PanGaia magazine's "Pagan Fiction Award" for her story, "A Valkyrie Among Jews." The awards were announced on February 17, 2008 at the annual PantheaCon, a gathering of Nature-worshipping Pagans in San Jose, CA. The story will be published in the Summer issue of PanGaia. Along with the other prize winners and finalists, it will also be published in Llewellyn's The Pagan Anthology of Short Fiction: 13 Prize-Winning Tales, scheduled for release in October 2008. The anthology is part of the rising genre of Pagan Fiction, which includes not only fantasy and romance but also stories of Pagan individuals in today's world, dealing with the real-life issues of belonging to a minority group of little-known, and often misunderstood, religions.
At PantheaCon, in her acceptance speech, April described how an extraordinary encounter with a resident at a nursing home, where she once worked as a housekeeper, provided the nucleus of her work. From that grew the fictional "A Valkyrie Among Jews."
Jane Candia Coleman's poetry collection dealing with the life of Father Kino, The White Dove, is a finalist for a Spur Award from Western Writers of America. Jane was also invited to Magdalena, Sonora March 15 to take part in a festival celebrating Father Kino's accomplishments. A Spanish translation of her poetry was presented, and the Cultural Institute of Sonora has plans to translate the book into Spanish. She has been invited back to Magdalena in May to participate in the international arts festival.
Also, Leisure Books is reprinting her Willa Award winning novel, Tombstone Travesty, under a new title, Tumbleweed. Available June 1, 2008.
Willma Gore, VOC resident, returned April 30 from a month-long book tour of California where she made eight appearances in five cities at writer clubs, retirement homes and a church, in the promotion of her latest book, Long Distance Grandparenting. Of the sixty plus grandparents interviewed for the wit and wisdom contained in the book, five are residents of Sedona and a number of these were the sources of additional contacts across the country.
Although Willma's five writer workshops that have been meeting with her at Sedona Winds, her current residence, were suspended during her absence, all groups resume meeting in May with two of the groups, Village Writers and Sedona High Hopes, scheduled to gather at 10 a.m. Thursdays at Worm Books and Music in the VOC Outlet Mall. Those interested are invited to contact Willma at 284-2703 or by e-mail, at firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S. to Writer Groups: I sold all the books taken to these appearances and brought home orders for additional copies.
Cynthia Henzel's new six-book series, On the Map, has been published by ABDO Publishing Company. The series is for upper-elementary students. The titles include: Mapping History, Creating Modern Maps, Measuring the World, Classifying Maps, Mapmaking, and Reading Maps. The series is available through Amazon and bookstores. Cynthia has also contracted to write a second series featuring UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Amy Lederman, Award winning author and syndicated columnist, has published her second book, One God, Many Paths: Finding Meaning and Inspiration in Jewish Teachings. This compilation of stories and vignettes celebrates the joy and wisdom that the teachings of Judaism can bring to everyday life.
Regardless of your age, religious background, or observance, One God, Many Paths will inspire and open your heart and mind to new insights about love, family, work, relationships, tradition, and God. Available at www.OneGod-ManyPaths.com, or Amazon.com and other online bookstores. If you would like to contact Amy, visit her website at www.amyhirshberglederman.com.
Sharon Poppen's Western novel, Hannah, that started as an eSerial at Virtual Tales www.virtualtales.com , has concluded and is now being offered as an eBook. Set in 1880, Hannah roams Texas searching for the man who killed her husband. Along the way she hooks up with a sidekick who watches her back. Before finding the killer, the duo manages to bring many outlaws to justice and find their partnership turning into something deeper.
Connie Spittler has been invited to read from her just released book The Desert Eternal at the Tucson Botanical Garden, at 7 p.m. on June 26th. Following the reading from her nature essays that are illustrated with over 100 of her husband Bob's photographs, Connie and the audience will share moments remembered from Southwestern gardens, yards and landscapes, noting the ants, geckos, bobcats and other desert creatures that pass through our lives. This event is part of the Tucson Botanical Garden's Twilight Thursdays when the Gardens located at 2150 Alvernon Way, will stay open each Thursday until 9:00 p.m. during the summer time.