Past Authors (2012)

Ken Albala is Professor of History at the University of the Pacific. He is the author or editor of sixteen books on food, including Eating Right in the Renaissance, Food in Early Modern Europe, Cooking in Europe 1250-1650, The Banquet: Dining in the Great Courts of Late Renaissance Europe, Beans: A History, and Pancake. He is currently researching a history of theological controversies surrounding fasting in the Reformation Era, and has co-authored two cookbooks: The Lost Art of Real Cooking and The Lost Arts of Hearth and Home.

Jennie Chadwick lives and writes in the central valley of California, which serves as the backdrop for The Peach Tree Kids, a series of action/adventure books for ages 6-10. She garnered her skill from telling funny stories to her daughters as they grew up. Jennie likes to say, “Life is an adventure, and imagination can take you anywhere,” and she carries that theme and philosophy through her books.

Dr. Gary F. Dei Rossi, the author of San Joaquin County from A to Z, is the Deputy Superintendent of Student Services at the San Joaquin County Office of Education in Stockton, California. Dr. Dei Rossi has been a classroom teacher, vice principal, principal, district office administrator, and a college adjunct professor. In 2002 he was honored by the California Council for the Social Studies, receiving the Diane Brooks award for outstanding leadership in the field of history-social science. In 2006 he was honored with the first CA County Superintendent’s Association’s STAR award for leadership in the area of statewide curriculum issues.

Rick Deutsch is also known as Mr. Half Dome. He’s the author of One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome - the only dedicated guidebook for this famous hike. It has sold over 10,000 copies and is now an e-book. Having topped Half Dome 33 times, he is uniquely qualified to write the definitive guide for all levels of hikers. Rick is also an enthusiastic speaker (member of the National Speakers Association) who gives talks at outfitters, libraries, health clubs, museums, colleges, cruise ships and bookstores.

Cherish A. Doll, author of The Enchanted Cloak series, was born in Modesto, California, and currently resides in Salida. With over two decades of experience teaching language arts and social studies, middle school students are her target audience, but her magical fiction books are enjoyed by many age groups. Over the years, she has traveled to a number of foreign countries, steadily compiling information for the historically accurate descriptions of castles and people’s stations that she incorporates into her books.

Jay Feldman’s most recent book is Manufacturing Hysteria: A History of Scapegoating, Surveillance, and Secrecy in Modern America. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed When The Mississippi Ran Backwards: Empire, Intrigue, Murder, and the New Madrid Earthquakes. His work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Smithsonian Magazine, Newsweek, The New York Times, Gourmet, and a wide variety of other national, regional and local publications.

Jacqueline Nider Graham is now a great-grandmother. In 1985, she became aware that her son was battling the HIV/AIDS virus. Her story is a personal journey, as a single mom, through her son’s illness and death.

Kerry Harris, author of “The Devoted Cook” blog, is the founder and original owner of Main Street Café & Catering. With no experience in the food industry, Kerry opened the Manteca café in 2004 with the vision of offering homemade food at affordable prices. After constant requests for her recipes, she compiled Something For Everyone, a new cookbook that includes traditional family recipes, café recipes, and new recipes developed in her journey toward healthful eating.

Peggy Howard’s first novel was based upon a dream, which resulted in the murder mystery Timing is Everything. After the traumatic loss of her older brother Brian, she spiraled through many stages of grief and penned the non-fiction memoir, Losing Brian. The diversity of her work and raw literary prose keeps readers turning pages well into the night. She is currently working on a book of poems.

Loretta Frances Ichord is a children’s author with five nonfiction books published for the middle-grades school and library market. Four are part of a series called Cooking Through Time; they’re a history of American food from the colonial period to the present. The fifth is a history of dentistry. Two of her books have been placed on the list of Notable Trade Books in the Field of Social Studies for Young People, and one is on children’s books list of the Bank Street College of Education.

Linda Kay is a noted speaker, feng shui consultant, and co-author of Instant Feng Shui – Just Add Wind and Water. The book has the honor of being the first feng shui book to be chosen for the celebrity Emmy Baskets (2003), and was also in the 2004 Grammy Baskets. Linda is an experienced workshop leader and speaker, and has presented for Macy’s interior designers at their annual meeting in San Francisco.

Elisa Kleven is the author and/or illustrator of over 30 children’s picture books, including The Friendship Wish; Welcome Home, Mouse; The Paper Princess; The Apple Doll; The Lion and the Little Red Bird; Sun Bread; Ernst; A Carousel Tale; The Puddle Pail; De Colores by Jose-Luis Orozco; Abuela and Isla by Arthur Dorros; and The Weaver by Thacher Hurd.

Linda Knoll is a lifelong resident of the San Joaquin Valley. She recently self-published a children’s picture book, Over In The Valley, based on a childhood song, and featuring animals that are native to Central California. It has received overwhelming approval by parents and teachers in Central California. As a speaker, she has also provided author/illustrator programs to numerous schools in the region.

Robert Kroese’s sense of irony was honed growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Now residing in Ripon, Kroese is known for his sharp, satirical humor and absurdist wit. He is best known for his apocalyptic trilogy that includes Mercury Falls, Mercury Rises, and Mercury Rests. Booklist critics describe the trilogy as a “hilarious romp” that has “cult favorite written all over it.”

William Kent Krueger graduated from Manteca High School in California and briefly attended Stanford University. Kent writes the New York Times bestselling Cork O’Connor Mystery Series which is set in the north woods of Minnesota. His work has received numerous awards including the Minnesota Book Award, the Loft-McKnight Fiction Award, the Anthony Award, the Barry Award, and the Friends of American Writers Prize.

Scott Lankford was raised in Colorado. He got lost en route to Stanford University and spent much of the next ten years as a maintenance man, musician, and mountaineering guide at Lake Tahoe. After joining the 1985 American Everest West Ridge Expedition, he completed a PhD in Modern Thought and Literature with a dissertation on John Muir. He is currently a professor of English at Foothill College in California’s Silicon Valley.

John Mangelos and Ella Mangelos-Velthoen have been cooking and laughing together since they were children. Patrons of their Barnwood Restaurant regularly asked them for recipes, so the two decided to write and publish The Greek Gourmet, their first cookbook. It was so successful that they published a second cookbook, The Culinary Adventures of The Greek Gourmets.

Michelle A.B. McKenzie is an attorney-turned-children’s-author with a passion for children’s literacy. She is the author of Beavers’ Big Problem, a lighthearted book full of vocabulary and zany fun which is sure to delight preschoolers, young readers, and parents alike. Her second book, a sequel, is expected to be released by Christmas 2012. Beavers’ Big Problem has received rave reviews by “Children’s Bookwatch” and RAM book reviews.

Maureen Minnehan Jones is a registered nurse, guided imagery practitioner, holistic healer, author, and speaker. This Oakdale resident has been writing for over fourteen years. Her book Wisdom to Wellness: Healing Your Emotional Sufferings so the Physical Healing Can Follow recently won the 2012 International Book Awards in the Self-Help Category. Maureen’s target audience includes clients from all walks of life and every age group, people dealing with health challenges, coping with stress or emotional blocks, and those deepening their mind-body-soul connection.

Major Mitchell is the author of eight novels and two children’s books. A member of The Western Writers of America, this northern California resident is a frequent guest speaker at historical meetings and schools on the west coast. He has also written several songs, and will soon release a CD of traditional folk music. On rare occasions he will take the stage as a singer. More information may be found on his website.

Don Moyer began writing his outdoor column, “Tight Lines,” at the Tracy Press in 1979. As a freelance fishing writer, his work appeared in Angler and Flyfishing the West magazines. Don’s book, Tight Lines, Observations of an Outdoor Philosopher, is a collection of his most memorable columns and magazine articles from the past 30 years. The diverse collection covers fishing, hunting, and various other outdoor pursuits.

Valerie Murphy has had a passion for storytelling since she was a little girl. She writes screenplays, children’s stories and poetry. For the past ten years, she has focused on raising her three children with her husband in Oakdale, California. In her spare time, she fundraises for The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Her son was diagnosed with the devastating disease in 2006. She recently finished writing her second book, The Gumshoes.

Claudia Newcorn is the award-winning author of the fantasy fiction Krisálys Féyree Chronicles, which include Crossover, Dark Fire, and Firestar. She is the host of Central Valley Writers Workshop on KAZV-TV, a public speaker, and a Modesto Bee Community Columnist. Claudia owns the marketing and communications agency Acorn Enterprises, and has enjoyed being a freelance writer and editor for over 15 years.

Amy Elizabeth Smith is originally from western Pennsylvania. She teaches professional writing, creative writing, and literature at the University of the Pacific in Stockton. This summer she published a nonfiction travel memoir entitled All Roads Lead to Austen: A Year’s Journey with Jane. The book describes a year spent traveling and hosting Jane Austen reading groups in Guatemala, Mexico, Ecuador, Chile, Paraguay, and Argentina.

Steve Sonntag is the author of two non-fiction books: Learning, The Hardest Job You’ll Ever Love! and Teaching, The Hardest Job You’ll Ever Love! He recently published The Ill-Fated Earthlings, a science fiction e-book. His books are representative of the human condition with the understanding that people can improve when they are given direction, encouragement, and praise.

Linda Abbott Trapp has lived and worked throughout the United States, as well as in Ethiopia, Siberia, and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. She is the author of seven books, including the award- winning Letters to My Granddaughters; Insights and Inspiration for a Life Journey. In addition, she’s written numerous articles and columns in psychology, business, writing, gardening, and the arts. She is widely known as a speaker and consultant.

Melinda Reynolds Tripp is a teacher, writer, mentor, speaker, and child advocate who resides in central California. Since 1995, she has provided abduction prevention education at safety assemblies; over 100,000 children have been touched by her message of awareness and empowerment. Her 201o book, What Should You Do?: Helping Children Protect Themselves in the Twenty-First Century, is a guide for parents, teachers, and students.

Kimberly Van Meter wrote her first book at sixteen and finally achieved publication in 2006. She writes for Harlequin Superromance and Harlequin Romantic Suspense, and she recently self-published several novellas and short stories. She also writes erotica under a pseudonym.