Leslie writes two national-bestselling light-hearted mystery series, the Seattle Spice Shop Mysteries, and the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries set in NW Montana. AS THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE CRUMBLES, the fifth Food Lovers’ Village Mystery, will be published in June 2018 by Midnight Ink, following TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST (June 2017). Erin Murphy, manager of a local foods market in Jewel Bay, Montana, investigates when a new friend is found dead, a string of Christmas lights around her neck, to protect the community she loves and keep the Christmas spirit shining.
DEATH AL DENTE, first in the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries, won the 2013 Agatha Award for Best First Novel, making Leslie the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. Set in a lakeside resort community in NW Montana and featuring Erin Murphy, the manager of Glacier Mercantile, a regional specialty food market, The series proves the old adage: it takes a village to catch a killer!
Leslie also writes the Spice Shop Mysteries, set in Seattle’s famed Pike Place Market. Pepper Reece never imagined that when her life fell apart, she’d find solace in nutmeg and bay leaves, but she proves herself a capable investigator in three books to date: ASSAULT & PEPPER, GUILTY AS CINNAMON, and KILLING THYME (all published by Penguin Random House).
Also a lawyer with more than 30 years of experience, Leslie is the author of BOOKS, CROOKS AND COUNSELORS: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law and Courtroom Procedure (Quill Driver Books), winner of the 2011 Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction. She blogs regularly for writers on how to use the law in their fiction.
Leslie has also published several short stories. Thicker than Blood” – Leslie’s contribution to FISH TALES: The Guppy Anthology – is the story of one weekend in the lives of two women, good friends, and how far each will go to protect her daughter. True to the theme of the anthology – short mysteries involving water and fish – it’s set on the shores of Montana’s Flathead Lake, a few miles from Leslie’s home. Other short stories appear in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, ThugLit, and The Whitefish Review.
Leslie served as 2015-16 president of Sisters in Crime, an international organization of more than 3,500 writers, readers, librarians, booksellers, and publishing pros, formed in 1987 to promote the ongoing advancement, recognition, and professional development of women crime writers.
Four Romantic Comedies
Kathy has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Montana, an encouraging husband, two creative daughters, and the ability to bring writing and life together with insight and humor. Her screenplays have placed in numerous competitions, and she was a recipient of a Zola Award for fiction from the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association.
Kathy lives in Northwest Montana where she is currently working on her next novel, screenplay, cup of tea, or writers’ conference.
For more, visit Kathy’s web page.
Born and raised in the Deep South, Deborah Epperson grew up during the era of the Civil Rights Movement, integration, and Vietnam. After receiving a BS degree in biology and English in Texas, Deborah moved to Atlanta to pursue post graduate studies in chemistry. She enjoys writing stories and characters steeped in the lyrical traditions and mystical surroundings of the Deep South where she grew up.
Deborah lives in Montana with her family and when not working on her next novel, she enjoys doing pet therapy work and volunteering in animal rescue.
Betty Kuffel MD
Medical school and years of experience in Emergency Medicine after a career in nursing provide a basis for many aspects of Betty’s writing. A willingness to participate in activities with some risk-taking like: sailing, climbing Mt. Rainier, obtaining a pilot’s license, flying a sail plane to 20,000 ft, aerobatic lessons, dog sled racing in Alaska and surviving a plane crash in the snowy mountains of Idaho with her husband and dog, all offer interesting experiences for story lines and characters.
Betty writes before dawn in many genres and watches the sun rise over the Rocky Mountains. Deer wandering through the yard and her dogs keep her company. You’ll find her Lipstick Logic monthly column in Montana Woman magazine with co-author, her sister, Bev Erickson. Visit Betty on: Facebook Author Page, Amazon Author Page
Marie F. Martin
Marie Martin lives in a fertile valley at the base of the Rocky Mountains. She enjoys a quiet life where laughter comes easy, love easier. Marie and her four siblings were raised on ten acres of clump grass and bull pine trees. They roamed nearby creeks, woods, and the cemetery. All places for good fun. Her father worked in a sawmill, and her mother was a librarian; an upbringing that fostered love for people and books. In her blog, Shady Nook, you may read stories of her exceptional childhood growing up in a rich, rural area filled with unique people and a magnanimous landscape known as the Big Sky County.
Marie is an avid golfer and the mother of four grown children. Links to her two blogs are available at her website.
Ann Minnett grew up in Denver and considered the Rocky Mountains as home. However, she spent the following decades in Dallas working as a Developmental Psychologist and Program Evaluator for social service agencies. She conducted research in child and family development and was affiliated with The University of Texas–Dallas, as researcher, lecturer and Adjunct Associate Professor. In that time Ann collaborated on one self-help book and published research reports in the fields of Education, Psychology, and Program Evaluation. Meanwhile, she quietly wrote stories for pleasure and self-expression.
Ann is a mother of two, grandmother to two, and now lives with her husband in the Salish Mountains of NW Montana with views of the Whitefish and Swan Ranges—not to mention distant peaks of Glacier National Park—out her back door. She’s set aside her research career to incorporate what she learned into her fiction. Ann published her first novel, Burden of Breath, in 2013 and a second, Serita’s Shelf Life, in 2014. She’s currently working on a third set in Montana.
Find out more about Ann and her books on her official website.
A Navy brat, P.A. Moore (the author’s pen name) spent her early years traveling from one military post to the next before her family settled in Colorado. At 27, P.A. married her husband, a young prosecutor in the San Francisco Bay Area, who inspired her to enter U.C. Hastings law school when their daughter turned three. In the middle of her second year, P.A. gave birth to their son. After she passed the California bar exam, P.A. started her own career as a deputy district attorney, trying over 90 jury trials to verdict, mostly felonies, involving every conceivable crime against humanity. Still, spending 60 hours a week in the bowels of the criminal justice system while parenting two young children eventually took its toll. P.A. and Jack packed up the kids, sold their house, quit their jobs, and moved to Montana, where they knew no one. They opened a mom-and-pop law firm in the little town of Whitefish, then switched sides of the courtroom – from putting the ‘bad guys’ in jail to getting them out. In their new law practice, the couple rocked the boat down at the local courthouse, irritating the good old boy network in the process, but leveling the playing field, at least a bit.
The author of two books for young adults, Karen Wills practiced law and taught English at the college level. She also taught Lakota teens at an alternative school, and, most recently, Inupiaq Eskimo children in the remote village of Wales, Alaska. She has the distinction of experiencing a personal encounter with a polar bear. Her work has appeared in numerous publications. She has grown children and lives with her husband near Glacier National Park in Montana.
Her first novel, Remarkable Silence, was inspired by the need now, as never before, for religious tolerance.
Christine has an MA in English from the University of Montana and has honed her word-smith ability over 20 years. She taught writing, linguistics and literature courses at the college level for over a decade, and has worked as a professional technical writer for various companies. She is currently teaching in a different realm as the owner of a Pilates studio. When she’s not teaching, she’s writing and plotting her next psychological mystery or enjoying the Montana wilderness and life-style.
Marlette Bess was born and raised on the sunny southern California coast. By her early twenties she found herself alone with no family and fulfilled a lifelong desire for adventure and travel.
Her impetuous naïveté and shoe string budget lead her to Israel where she worked long hard hours on a kibbutz to save cash for further travel. On her own she ventured on to Europe, no longer innocent about the ways of the world.
With her travel mate/future husband the next big journey was to Africa. They crossed the Sahara Desert to West Africa from Nigeria to Senegal in the drought of 1973.
While others were celebrating the 1976 bicentennial, they were on a bus loaded with people, parcels and pigs, traveling through Central America.
Marlette has lived in California, Oregon and Montana. Her travels have taken her to any parts of the world: Thailand, Turkey, India, Burma, Botswana, Zambia, South Africa, and much of Europe. Through her many world travels, she has developed a renewed interest in the beauty and mystery of North America.
She writes Contemporary Fiction with a focus on relationships.
Gail made her first sale in 2001. Her current releases number ten historical novels and three anthologies. Another historical novel is scheduled for release in September, 2013. Her novels have been translated into Spanish, Italian, French, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Polish, Chechen, Portuguese, Greek, Japanese, Manga and English. Yes, English.
Gail is not allowed to discuss her early life due to the conditions imposed by the Witness Protection Program, and if anyone mentions Bubbles LaRue, she will deny that she does now or has ever owned two feather fans and a bubble machine. Lest you think she is paranoid, she has, in fact, been attacked by chimpanzees in Montana, accosted by a naked man in a ladies room, found rattlesnakes coiled outside her office door, dodged a swat team and survived a major earthquake in California, ducked Bonnie, Charlie, Francis, Ivan and Katrina in Northeast Florida, and has finally found rural peace in Northwest Montana, where the worst she has had to face are blizzards, forest fires, marauding grizzlies and tourists.
Gail enjoys hearing from readers, and you can visit her at www.gailranstrom.com, reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with her at https://www.facebook.com/GailRanstrom or https://www.facebook.com/gail.ranstrom1
Living in the most beautiful part of the country, North West Montana with her rescue dog, every day at the crack of dawn, Patti studies, researches the provenance of the law, writes and learns newness. She keeps spiritually fit by engaging in service work. Her passions include reading, design, law and the depths of our connectedness to all living things.
Spending most of her childhood in sunny California – her father an inventor, her mother an artist, and with the enrichment of older brothers, there was a great deal of freedom growing up.
As a child Patti remembers taking trips constantly with kids, dogs and new red convertibles along with ice cream fights in those convertibles.
Learning early that your power in life lies in the choosing, she made the choice to continue traveling, learning about the world and how to live life on life’s terms while having fun at the same time. Her jobs took her to places she never even heard of before and left her wondering if she would ever return…She spent more on suitcases and shoes than most people spend on houses.
Patti is subject to a daughter and a grandson whom force her to forge paths into regions where she dares to go – to try to illuminate experiences that are somehow familiar to us yet may remain just beyond the reach of expression.
Brand new to the publishing world and almost finished with her first novel, a thriller, the book came about by enjoying the fellowship of Montana Women Writers and Authors of the Flathead, for which Patti is eternally grateful.
Anne B. Howard
Anne grew up in the same small Kansas town where she and her husband were born. At the age of forty she packed up the family’s belongings, auctioned what wouldn’t be needed in the move, and with more pioneer courage than common sense, realized her life-long dream—a home in the mountains of northwest Montana. “It wasn’t always easy, sometimes downright terrifying, but we knew from the start we were meant to be here.”
Memoirist and Narrative Nonfiction writer, Anne B. Howard, is a retired twenty five year veteran Psychiatric and Mental Health RNC. She is an avid advocate for abused children, an autism spectrum activist, a cancer survivor, a paranormal witness and most recently, Montana Supreme Court appellant in a disturbing case involving an abused boy with Asperger Syndrome unfairly sentenced to adult prison. Writing what she knows, Anne translates her long lifetime of extraordinary experiences into vivid, memorable nonfiction prose. A member of the National Association of Memoir Writers, she echoes the battle cry: “Be Brave—Write Your Story.”
Araphel Grace-In the Presence of Evil, her first full length Memoir, will be out sometime in 2014, followed by When the Bough Breaks, Our Failure to Protect, a work of narrative nonfiction depicting the tragic failures of mental health, social and legal services to protect an abused child with autism.
Ina Albert’s newest book, Granny Greeny Says Listen Louder is an intergenerational picture book for children of all ages. She is co-author of Write Yourself Well: Journal Yourself to Health (Mountain Greenery Press, 2003) a journal/workbook written for people suffering from illness and stress based on research demonstrating the health benefits of expressive writing. As a healthcare public relations professional, trainer, workshop facilitator and consultant, Ina has written numerous articles for healthcare publications during her 40-year career. She has been interviewed by print and radio media, including NPR stations in Chicago and Missoula, MT. Her work is included in The Art of Grief (Routledge Press) and her short stories for children and adults have appeared in various print and Internet publications including Chicago Parent Magazine, Beliefnet, Second Journey and Conscious Choice. She also has a chapter in Disquiet Time, an anthology edited by Cathleen Falsani and Jennifer Grant. Ina also writes a monthly Age-ing to Sage-ing® column for Montana Woman Magazine.
Today, she lives and writes in Whitefish, Montana with her husband, Rabbi Allen Secher, where she is a Certified Age-ing to Sage-ing Seminar Leader for the Sage-ing International, a Life Transitions coach and an adjunct instructor at Flathead Valley Community College.
Her most recent presentation at the Sage-ing International Conference in October, 2012 entitled Listen Louder: Communication As An Energetic Connection, traces the history of the theory of an energetic universe and the role energy plays in human communication and relationship.
Ina is a founder of the Flathead Valley Multi-Faith Coalition and a founder and co-chair of Love Lives Here, an affiliate of the Montana Human Rights Network, organizations that support open, caring and inclusive community action in the Flathead Valley of Montana. She also serves on the board of Share Your Voice Foundation, Org., an organization dedicated to helping at-risk teens find their voice through theatrical and life coaching experiences.
Ina can be contacted by email at Inaalbert@me.com, by phone at (406) 249-4642 or at http://www.AgingGloriously.com
Nan McKenzie is spinning new romantic adventures, one of which is self-published on Amazon as Twin Jeopardy by Nancy McKenzie, an erotic romance. She is a real estate broker/teacher who also works on home renovations. She lives in Northwest Montana and has a few Bigfoot stories of her own to tell. She can be reached at email@example.com or 406-892-0055, 20 Darlene Road, Columbia Falls, MT 59912
Maggie Plummer is a writer who works from her home in Polson, Montana.
Along the lengthy, winding trail to becoming a novelist, she has worked as a journalist, book publicist, book editor, census enumerator, school bus driver, field interviewer, waitress, post office clerk, fish processor, library clerk, retail salesperson, Good Humor girl, fishing boat first mate, race horse hot walker, apple picker, and bus girl.
Maggie is the author of Spirited Away: A Novel of the Stolen Irish (2012, CreateSpace Independent Publishing) and its much-awaited sequel, Daring Passage: Book 2 of the Spirited Away Saga (2014, CreateSpace Independent Publishing). She is also the author of Passing it on: Voices of the Flathead Indian Reservation (2008, Salish Kootenai College Press, Pablo, Montana). She is currently tackling a new work of fiction.