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John Caligiuri

John Caligiuri is a novelist with Guardian Tree Publishing who has a lifelong passion for literature and pens primarily Science Fiction and Fantasy. He blends his fascination with history and his professional background in software engineering to come up with some unusual story twists. His stories emerged from his curiosity about historical watershed events and asking, “what if”.

Originally from Buffalo, John lives in Rochester, New York, with his wife Linda. She’s been married to him for over forty years and has supported his writing from the beginning. They have three grown children scattered around the country, along with their grandchildren. For relaxation, John enjoys gardening (which stretches his intellect attempting to outwit the rabbits and deer) and distance running. He is a member of the Lilac City Rochester Writers, Greece Writers and B&N (Greece) writing group.

John is an award-winning author who has published the Cocytus series of Science Fiction novels: “Sanctuary in Hell”, “Planet of the Damned”, “Deal with the Devil”, and “Face One’s Demons”. He also published the Red Fist Chronicles Alternative History series, “The Red Fist of Rome” and “The Last Roman’s Prayer”, and numerous short stories.  He can be contacted at johndcaligiuri@gmail.com . For more information, visit his website:guardiantreepublishing.com

Kimberly Gore

Kimberly Gore’s stories have appeared in CicadaBeginningsA Hint of HalloweenHorrid Halloween and other anthologies. She’s won numerous awards for her writing, including first place in the Write On Con/Reading Room 2012 Aspiring Writer’s Competition and first place in the 2018 Next Generation Indie Book Award for YA Authors. She facilitates a writer’s workshop at the Greece, NY, Barnes & Noble bookstore and teaches creative writing through local community education courses. Besides selling books, she peddles her artwork and paintings through Redbubble and other venues. You can find her on Redbubble as Angelrabbits, and her novels and short stories can be found under the pseudonyms K.L. Gore and Katrina Kissinger.

Mary Lou Heilman

In the past, the distant past, I had sold non-fiction articles to American Baby, Women’s Circle, and AARP’s Modern Maturity, which was picked up by Woman’s World.  Then life got in the way.

I’ve always been interested in reading and writing. Mostly reading, telling myself that reading is how you learn to be a writer. Whether true or not, it is also a way of procrastinating, instead of actually creating words. It was only after creating a lot of those words that I learned things like character development and story arc.

I had created an earlier novel about Sasha Garibova that lies buried in a drawer. I mainly use it as a resource for my present work, which is a mystery novel about Sasha, a young Russian scientist at a DNA conference in Washington, D.C.  She is at a reception when she sees the fabled Blue Madonna icon that put her in danger in the past. Then she hears a voice she’d rather not hear again, that of Hong Kong resident, Dr. Liu, the unwitting father of her five-month-old baby, Cara. Sasha wants to immediately return to her home, St. Petersburg, Russia, but she and Cara are stopped at the airport. Dr. Liu has been found dead, and the Blue Madonna icon is missing.

Rick Iekel

        Rick Iekel – husband, father of four, and grandfather of ten, is retired and writing. During a 35-year career in aviation as an airline agent, assistant airport manager, director of aviation, and trainer/facilitator, writing was a pastime for quiet Sunday afternoons and summer vacations in the Adirondack Mountains.

        The peace that comes from giving birth to a story that needs telling or from committing some poetic thought to paper cannot be overstated.  With a folder full of literary starts, Rick is most comfortable with stories in the genre of history and historical fiction. Four published books and an active blog offering a variety of writings – expressions from head and from heart made over the years are among his literary accomplishments.

Rick and his wife have made Rochester, New York their home – a wonderful place to live and have raised their four children. More about his published works can be found at: www.flyingwithrick.wordpress.com

Terry LeFeber

Terry Le Feber was bitten by the writer’s bug when he was nine years old and has been writing and telling stories ever since. He writes in all genres, including poetry. His stories, which seem to always end “with a hook”, have appeared in nine anthologies as well as newsprint. A Western New York native, he currently resides in the Rochester area with his cat.

Sue Savard

            As one of five children reared in a loving, but financially struggling household, the choice to attend college was never an option. After graduating from high school at age 17, I took a secretarial position at Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome, NY. Six months later, I quit and headed for Albany State to become a business teacher, supporting myself by working as a legal secretary.  In three years, at age 20, marriage to the love of my life and a teaching position in Brockport, NY, followed. The idea of ever writing anything but lesson plans never occurred to me. But, when our four children left the nest and my husband passed away, I became obsessed with the need to document his story. It took three years, several college classes, and numerous writing groups to complete Autumn Leaves.  That started me on a new and interesting hobby I share with fascinating people. As the director of the Knapp Museum in Brockport, I transcribed multiple notebooks of local artist, Helen Hastings’s studies at PAFA, 1899-1904, and Joseph Tozier’s diary, 1858-1866. For me, writing has become an interest – not a way to support myself. Although my three books were non-fiction, I’m now embarking on writing fictional short stories. I love a new challenge, and this is definitely one.  Let’s see where it goes!

Kathryn Shay

                A NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling author, Kathryn Shay has been a lifelong writer and teacher. She has written dozens of self-published original romance titles, print books with the Berkley Publishing Group and Harlequin Enterprises and mainstream women’ s fiction with Bold Stroke Books.  

               She has won many awards for her work: five RT Book Reviews awards, the Bookseller’s Best Award, Forward Magazine’s Book of the Year and several “Starred Reviews.” One of her firefighter books hit #20 on the NEW YORK TIMES list. 

               Her novels have been serialized in COSMOPOLITAN magazine and featured in USA TODAY, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL and PEOPLE magazine. There are over ten million copies of her books in print and downloaded online. Reviewers have caller her work “emotional and heart-wrenching.”

BarbaraHelene Smith

BarbaraHelene Smith is a woman of mystery. Like most writers, she has a story to tell. She uses her experience from academia, government, and private industry to plot suspense stories. The Connie Murphy Mysteries are based on her experience as an FDA investigator.

Her short stories and poetry have been published in Horrendous Halloween Anthology, Howling Halloween Anthology, IdeaGems Magazine, The Storyteller, Adventures of the Average Woman, and Crusin’ Style Magazine. Merry Christmas to You” won the May 2006 International Library of Poetry Editor’s Choice Award.

When not writing, BarbaraHelene travels, hikes with friends, works on genealogy and volunteers at the local animal shelter.

The Connie Murphy Mystery series and Assume Nothing, four short mysteries about ordinary women who find themselves in extraordinary situations, are available at Amazon.com.

Sue Carmichael Spitulnik

Sue is the current president of Lilac City Rochester Writers and has a short story published in their No Page Left Unturned anthology.

In 2015, Sue, having been an Air Force wife in the past, joined the Rochester Veterans Writing Group RVWG.wordpress.com  She has a memoir essay published in the group’s first book, United in Service, United in Sacrifice.

Sue also creates 99-word flash fiction stories based on a weekly prompt presented at Carrot Ranch Literary, an international online writing group. She has added each scene to a serial entitled “Michael’s Circle” about an Army double-leg amputee and his close family and friends for three years on her blog at suespitulnik.com. Both books mentioned are available on Amazon.

Sally Steele

Sally Steele is a novice writer, now recently retired from her job.  She has had an essay published in the local newspaper and won a prize in a poetry contest in the Genesee Valley Pennysaver many years ago.  She has stories in the  Halloween Anthologies published by the Barnes & Noble Critique Group that meets in Greece, NY.  She writes short stories on almost any subject and continues to hone her skills with the help of 3 cats who sit on the keyboard, rub on her pencil and sleep on her writing pad.  Her supportive husband of 46 years also belongs to LCRW and encourages her in all her endeavors.

Sally Valentine

Sally Valentine is a native Rochesterian, who has been both a student and a teacher in the Rochester City School District. After teaching math for 25 years, she is now off on a tangent of writing. Her love for kids, books, and Rochester led her to write a series of novels for intermediate-grade kids, which are each set in a different Rochester landmark. The titles thus far are The Ghost of the Charlotte Lighthouse, Theft at George Eastman House, What Stinks? An Adventure in Highland Park, Lost at Seabreeze, and STORMED. She loves to do school visits.

Sally is also the author of an award-winning book of poems entitled There Are No Buffalo in Buffalo. Her latest book is Martha the Hairpreneur, the true story of a Rochester woman who turned $60, a formula for hair tonic, and her own floor-length hair into an empire of 500 salons worldwide. Sally feels blessed to be a part of the rich Rochester writing community. You may contact her through her website at www.RochesterAuthor.com.

Steve Yates

Steven Yates (writing under S. Arthur Yates) follows the mantra, “If it’s reality, I didn’t write it.”  He only writes short fiction (and a few poems.)  In fact, he sees short as a challenge. And if you give him a writing prompt, he will take it to a place you never imagined. He has been published in International as well as domestic markets.