Idaho Library Association Authors' Reception

Idaho Library Association Authors’ Reception

IMAG5392-1-1 The Idaho Library Association Authors’ Reception was one of my favorite events this year. I met librarians from all over the Gem state. I even met one librarian from Athens, Georgia!

I think libraries are so important, especially for children. It is important to me that my book is available for kiddos to check out at the library. After this event, I am happy to say that Mama’s Purse will be available at many more libraries around Idaho. I am also excited about being invited to participate in preschool storytime.

Over 40 local authors were present at this event, including many members of the Idaho Authors’ Community (IAC). I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce you to the IAC members who attended the 2013 ILA Authors’ Reception.

Sandra Moore Bernsen
Sandra Moore Bernsen grew up in a remote town in western Montana, moving to Idaho in the early 1990s. Her life experiences led her to the study of intuition and meditation, learning the Berkley Psychic Institute method of clairvoyant reading and healing. She finds sharing and counseling a source of strength. She enjoys creative pursuits, whether it be soil and seed, needle and thread or wood and nails. She loves spending time with her husband, Rick, and her dog Anna. They enjoy the new experiences, places, friends, and lifestyle that RV-ing provides. Sandra knows that life can be short and change in an instant. Enjoy each and every day! Sandra is available for speaking engagements. Her book is entitled, Free My Heart of Grief to Love.

Robb Bolen
Robert D. Bolen, owner of the business & website, Fort Boise Bead has written many books about Native Americans including Blackfeet Raiders Nomads of the North. In this book, he has written about the Blackfeet Indians who came out of Canada into Montana, along the Upper Missouri River and dominated the tribes on the northern plains and the buffalo hunting in that area. They were a fierce tribe and raided the neighboring tribes in what is now present day Idaho. Bolen has also written Smoke Signals & Wagon Tracks, American Indian Tribes of Idaho, The Horse Indians, The Lakota Sioux Indians and The Medicine Crow Indians.

Danney Clark
I am a third generation Idaho native who lived first in eastern Idaho then moved to Boise in the 1st grade. Attended and graduated from Borah High in 1965 where I met and later married my wife in 1966. I attended Boise Junior College before joining the Navy to serve aboard ship during the Vietnam War. After discharge I worked at several jobs before beginning a career in ’73 in the insurance industry. I just recently retired to write full time after forty years with the same company. My wife and I have two married daughters and two lovely college-age granddaughters also living in the valley. My passion is for Christ and my writing style is dictated by Him. My current novel is Shield of Faith, one of three written about a character named Cady Miller, takes place in 1865 during the Idaho City gold rush and the Civil War. The second book of the series, Shield of Honor, has just completed edit and will be available on Amazon as an ebook prior to printing. Book three is written and will go to my editor after she has a few minutes to recollect herself.

Marilee Donivan
Marilee Donivan taught elementary school for many years, enjoying creative teaching and the resulting “aha” moments of students in their exciting discoveries. Her teaching won national awards. She now extends her love of teaching through her illustrated books for children and adults. Marilee uses vibrant colors and mixed media as she writes for a variety of genres—children’s picture books, Christian inspirational books, and illustrated art instruction. Her intention is to inspire and instruct, with emphasis on daily enrichment, appreciation, and encouragement. Marilee has lived in beautiful Idaho since 1970 and revels in the state’s varied landscapes, which are a constant source of inspiration for her artwork. Her current home is Boise. Some of her books include Springs of Hope, Faith Refined, Beginning Watercolor Painting, and Kandu and the Magic Meadow.

Judy Ferro
Author Judy Ferro is an Idaho native, a former secondary teacher, and a retired school librarian. An avid student of the Middle Ages, she has written two coming-of-age books about girls growing up in the court of Charlemagne. The title character of Desiderata is a Bavarian hostage who loathes Charlemagne and the prince she is to marry. In her new surroundings, she explores her feelings about friendship, social classes, and war. In Agnes the daughter of Charlemagne’s head cook learns to read and write Latin but finds her dreams for the future blocked because she is a female. She is forced to choose between following her heart and serving her King. Judy is available for readings and for talks on writing and on the Middle Ages. Desiderata and Agnes are available in print from Ingram, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and as e-books through Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Two other e-books, 9 Best Poems by Judy Ferro and Two for the Show: A Play in Three Acts, are available through Amazon.

Merri Halma
Merri Halma lives in Nampa, Idaho with her husband, Kevin, fifteen year-old son, James, and two cats, Clarence and Demon Lynx. Merri is originally from Sunnyside, Washington and has been a student of life, studying different forms of spiritual practices which she uses in her fantasy worlds. Merri has been writing since she was elven or twelve. It was a means to help her express herself and an outlet for her active imagination. Her books that are out are Indigo Traveler, it is available on, kindle, from Hastings in Nampa, Idaho, The Rubaiyat in Caldwell, from the Etsy store Idaho Authors’ Community, or from her directly. She owns Dreaming Lizard Press and wants to work with people who want to publish or need assistance to finish their manuscripts. She will be working on publishing a children’s picture book entitled Pancake Breakfast Surprise, a memoir, and there will be at least three more books on Indigo Travelers, with different main characters and griffins.

Janice Hildreth
Janice Hildreth has an elementary education degree from BSU and taught school for eight years. She lives in Boise and is currently a reviewer for the “Book Addicts” column in the Idaho Statesman newspaper. She published her first book, What Would the Bible Say? For Adams Media, Boston, in 2003. She currently writes inspirational romance for women. The author of the series, A new Day, set in Idaho and Washington, about the McKinnon family. The first three of the seven-book series are available today: Sunday’s Promise, Monday’s New Beginning, and Tuesday’s Child. You can pre-order Wednesday’s Rescue (release date Dec.2013). Each book addresses a societal issue women face today. Also under the pen name B.J. Parker, she co-writes chapter books for grades 4-6. The series titled What Would Jesus Do . . . . feature four mini-detectives in Florida. Also a public speaker, she is available for speaking engagements on raising readers, self-publishing, and the art of writing.

AJ Irving
AJ Irving is a mama who loves to write picture books. In 2011, she started her own children’s book publishing company. AJ’s Children’s Books LLC released Mama’s Purse, winner of five awards, in 2012. Irving received a B.A. in Journalism and Women’s Studies from the University of Oregon. She lives in Boise, Idaho, with her husband, two children, and a Weimaraner named Charlie Blue.

Bonnie Kloster
I’m Bonnie Kloster, grandma, retired educator, and a local author. I grew up under the shadow of the Sutter Buttes, about fifty miles North of Sacramento, CA. where summers were blistering hot and where winters were synonymous with tule fog. I’ve always loved words. I used to rip open grocery bags, scribble down my thoughts, climb up a tree and “read” to clucking hens, skittering cats or my faithful dog. Majoring in English, I graduated from Sacramento State with a lifetime teaching credential. I taught kindergarten-second grade for over thirty-four years in two large school districts at opposite ends of the state, Elk Grove U.S.D. and Ontario-Montclair U.S.D. Promoting literacy and the love of reading are passions of mine. RUFUS & FRIENDS, Books 1&2 are E-Z to read concept books, appropriate for ages 2-7. Books are designed to be read to the child (read-aloud), with the child (guided reading), and finally the child reads them by himself (independent reading). Illustrations enhance the text and promote critical thinking. RUFUS & FRIENDS deals with concepts taught in preschool and kindergarten, colors, days of the week, time to the hour and position words (prepositions). Books also promote friendship and good values.

Rebecca Carey Lyles
Rebecca Carey Lyles grew up in Wyoming, the setting for her Kate Neilson novels. She currently lives in Idaho, where she serves as an editor and mentor for aspiring authors and as a coach for women transitioning from prison to life on “the outside.” Winds of Freedom is the sequel to the award-winning first book in the Kate Neilson series, Winds of Wyoming. Her non-fiction books include It’s a God Thing! Inspiring Stories of Life-Changing Friendships and On a Wing and a Prayer: Stories from Freedom Fellowship, a Prison Ministry.

Wynette Mellen
Wynette Mellen has been married to her husband Shawn for 11 ½ years. They have three girls which includes fraternal twins. The Mellen family are active members in their church, Treasure Valley Baptist in Meridian, Idaho and are committed to schooling their girls in Wilder. Wynette has an amazing story of how God used her late grandmother to lead her into writing. Her books include Railroad Redemption, What do You See? and The Shortcut.

Lucinda Moebius
Lucinda Moebius grew up in the mountains of Idaho and Eastern Oregon. Her mother taught her to read when she was four years old and since that time books have been her constant companions. She has a Bachelors Degree in English Teaching, a Masters in Educational Leadership and is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Education. Lucinda supports her writing habit by teaching High School and College. She currently lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, stepson and their dog and cat. Her books include Echoes of Savanna, Raven’s Song, and Write Well Publish Right.

Rae Ann Norell
Rae Ann Norell is the author of Broke Hungry & Happy, and is a retired clinical social worker, former teacher, and violinist in the Boise Philharmonic. She is a facilitator for the local chapter of The Compassionate Friends, a support group for bereaved parents. She enjoys writing, reading, traveling, motorcycle road trips, and spending time with her daughter and her three grandchildren. She lives in Boise, Idaho.

Janet Thompson
Award Winning Christian Non-Fiction Author and Speaker, Janet Thompson, is the founder of Woman to Woman Mentoring and About His Work Ministries, also known as AHW Ministries. Janet’s passion and focus is one about generation teaching and training God’s life lessons to the next generation: Sharing Life’s Experiences and God’s Faithfulness. After living in Southern California her entire life, Janet and her husband, Dave, moved to Garden Valley, Idaho, where the deer and the elk roam and they love their cozy home! Some of her books include: Woman to Woman Mentoring: How to Start, Grow, and Maintain a Mentoring Ministry DVD Leader Kit, The Team That Jesus Built: How to Develop, Equip, and Commission a Women’s Ministry Team, Face-to-Face Bible Study Series, God’s Best for Your Life First Place 4 Health Bible Study, Praying for Your Prodigal Daughter Hope, Help, & Encouragement for Hurting Parents, Dear God, They say it’s Cancer: A Companion Guide for Women on the Breast Cancer Journey, Dear God, Why Can’t I Have a Baby? A Companion Guide for Couples on the Infertility Journey, Dear God, He’s Home! A woman’s Guide to Her Stay-at-Home Man.

Linda Going Varnes
Linda Going Varnes is a college art instructor and stained glass window designer. She has collaborated with author Dottie Basye as illustrator for The Angel With Big Feet, published in English by WestBow Press and in Spanish by Lutheran Hour Ministries. Her designs have also appeared on 12 Lutheran Hour Floats in the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade. Her second book, The Donkey With Big Ears, was created for children with special needs. I know a Little Hebrew (and his name is David) was inspired by studying the Psalms in her grandfather’s 1912 Hebrew Bible. She is currently writing an accompanying Bible study. Each of these books are available in Nampa, Idaho at Northwest Nazarene University Bookstore, Artistblue Gallery in the Karcher Mall, the UPS Store on 12th and Greenhurst, and Hastings on the Boulevard. In Caldwell, they are sold in the TVCC Campus Bookstore, For Heaven’s Sake, Boot Hill Country Crafts, and The Rubaiyat Bookstore. On-line all three are listed on the ETSY site for the Idaho Authors’ Community. The Angel With Big Feet is also available through WestBow Press and Amazon. The Spanish version is offered at discount at

Virginia Williams (Stanley McShane)
I am the granddaughter of Patrick John Rose, who was born aboard his father’s ship, the Marguerite, off the coast of New York on January 29, 1872. Patrick claimed to have sailed for more than 30 years a professed to be a “sailor, prospector, miner, cowpoke, and oil worker.” He published one book (Bitter River Ranch in 1936 through Phoenix Press) during his lifetime using his pen name, Stanley McShane, and wrote many others as well as painted numerous illustrations for his manuscripts. In addition to local Hastings Bookstores and locations in Washington and Oregon, his books are available in print through and digital download through Kindle as well as Apple, Barnes & Noble, Nook, and most eReader applications. Posthumous publications are presented through Rose Point Publications and can be found on eBay and Etsy.

Victoria Young
Victoria M. Young is a veterinarian who practiced in Michigan and South Dakota prior to settling in Caldwell, Idaho in 1990 with her husband and two children. She juggled her career with family obligations and the desire to serve in her children’s classrooms. With that exposure, her quest began to find solutions to the problems she witnessed and experienced. Reading extensively for grant writing purposes about safe and disciplined schools as well as professional development in science education, she further expanded her pursuit of solutions and went beyond those topics to include education policy and history. Her book, Education’s Missing Ingredient: What Parents Can Tell Educators (2009), was accepted by Rowman & Littlefield Education Publishers. While continuing to advocate for the improvement of existing schools, Dr. Young stumbled upon historic evidence that the Community Education Concept was written into law in 1965 and that the original Effective Schools Research was based on Community Schools. This story for the vision of quality and equality in educational opportunity is told in the second addition of her book, now titled, The Crucial Voice of the People, Past and Present (2012).

Idaho Authors' Community Logo970299_10151620422880629_1916619334_n
Please visit The Idaho Authors’ Community Etsy shop and facebook page to learn about more members of the IAC and their books.

Founded in 2012, the Idaho Authors’ Community is an organization of Idaho authors and authors-to-be working together to help connect Idaho readers and authors. The core philosophy of the Idaho Authors’ Community is that a rising tide benefits all ships. Thus, the IAC encourages authors to be committed to their own success and that of their fellow authors.


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