Monday, November 29, 2021

The Arizona Authors Association has a new website!

We are now in transition to our new website at The old website, currently at, is still up, but will soon be no more. By January, we will have both web addresses, .com and .org, pointing to the new website. We at Arizona Authors Association are excited about the new website and plan to add more features and capabilities in the new future. As we accomplish this time-consuming transition, please be patient with us if you do not see everything that was available on the old website. It will come, eventually! 

Kathleen Cook, editor of the newsletter, will be the first webmistress for the new site. Check out your own authors page and make sure all links are working and that everything is correct. If you find something amiss, please contact her directly at 

The new site has options available that the old site did not. Firstly, it is much more secure. You’ll notice that the address starts with https, not http as our old site does. The https encryption system means that your info is totally secure and the page is “unhackable” by any normal methods. Also, you cannot be misdirected to an unsafe site. It’s as close to hackproof as anyone currently makes websites, so we should be able to enjoy that new security for years to come. 

Secondly, the new platform offers options that we may take advantage of in the future, such as creating a forum for our members to network, start groups, or just chat online. It will take a good deal of time for Kathleen to study all the new capabilities and enhance the site, but at least the possibility is there, which we didn’t have in our old site. 

Lastly, the new site can be much more easily SEO optimized, which means we’ll be able to “get it out there” in cyberland, enhance our page ranking, and attract new members. 

As always, projects like this take many hundreds of hours to complete. Please be patient, but don’t hesitate to contact Kathleen if you find an error on your page. Those take priority over anything else! If you haven’t yet updated your web page on the old site, you may send Kathleen a photo and short biography. (200-500 words is ideal, but you may use more if you need to do so.) Please be sure to send a photo with “portrait” orientation (ie, taller and more narrow instead of shorter and wider). The dynamic pages in use on the new site do not handle “landscape” orientation pictures on the member pages, which are all uniform in appearance for a more professional look. If you must send a landscape-oriented picture of yourself, the Arizona Authors Association retains the right to edit as needed. However, you are the ultimate authority for your page, and anything you don’t like will be removed upon request. 

Enjoy the new website!

Monday, November 22, 2021

Pictures from the 2021 Arizona Literary Awards Banquet - November 6, 2021

Slowly the pictures are starting to surface from the November 6, 2021 Arizona Literary Awards Banquet. Here are the hosts, Toby Heathcotte, current President, and Vijaya Schartz, Former President and current Blogmistress.


The theme was 'Those were the days, my friend..." and many attendees, mostly nominees for the awards and their guests, chose to wear a costume. Here is the costume contest winner, Miss Butterfly in all her splendor. The costume is based on one of her published children's books.

Costume contest winner - Maureen Scanlon
Other notable costumes:

It was a wonderful event. The Mexican buffet was fantastic, and the deserts divine.

Then came the time for the awards, recognition, and speeches from the winners. On the left, Janet Crum, and on the right, Maureen Scanlon. 

More pictures of costumed guests: Here Marty Feess and guest.

And, of course, group pictures:

And don't forget to purchase the 2022 Arizona Literary Magazine, which features all the winning entries. Click on cover to purchase on Amazon.

Friday, November 19, 2021

The 2022 Arizona Literary Magazine is out!

Click on cover to get it from Amazon.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Tripping Trip to the Mall - We live in a changing world - by Vijaya Schartz

It had been a while since I last visited my favorite mall, my old stomping ground, the Arrowhead Mall in Peoria, the West Valley of Phoenix AZ. I used to walk there with a friend on weekend mornings, when the scorching heat didn’t allow hiking on the mountains.

On this particular Saturday morning, my Tai-Chi class in the park was cancelled, so I decided to revisit the Arrowhead mall before hours, and walk around to get some exercise. Lots of people do it to get their steps in the early morning.

To my surprise, many of the familiar stores were gone, sometimes showing shiny black walls or mall ads for the new upcoming stores.

But what surprised me the most was the kind of stores that replaced them. Instead of “Forever 21” was a very spooky Halloween store. Well, tis the season, and this is probably a seasonal opportunity. Unless this new store changes its theme for each season… Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, Mardi-gras, Easter, Weddings, Mothers’ Day, Father’s Day, Independence Day, etc.

A CBD Emporium in the mall? You better believe it. It’s legal in Arizona, and apparently it has become mainstream. Maybe this new and very lucrative business will rescue the malls from impending bankruptcy.

A shooting gallery, with airsoft guns, 50 shots for $9.99. Camo walls, military videogame style décor, and realistic looking guns. There used to be arcades in the malls, not anymore. But this isn’t a store for young children (at least, I hope not). It’s just a fun and game shop at the heart of the mall to practice your targeting skills. What does it say about our society?

The Disney store is getting bigger. T-Mobile has a larger space. A new game shop popped up. Not that surprising since videogames are definitely popular. Some of my old favorites survived, like Charlotte Russe. The Apple store is not going anywhere soon. There was a line in front of it, hours before opening time.

In a clothing store window, I saw a pair of jeans with wide bell bottoms, like the ones I used to wear in the sixties. It was presented as the “brand new” style of jeans. Oookaaay… new? Really? Like the brand-new revolutionary way to remove your makeup with this fantastic and totally new product called witch-hazel? For real? Don’t laugh it was a big commercial on TV. Then, the original company that had launched witch-hazel a long time ago did a commercial of their own, advertising selling it for over 150 years. I guess young advertisers should research the history of the products they promote.

A Pangaea Dinosaur Grill in the food court. First, I thought it was a Halloween feature, but no. It’s a true food court franchise. With realistic dinosaur head sticking out of the serving counter, and a dedicated line for the kids to take selfies with the dinosaur head. I’m sure they love it. Very smart way to attract customers.

A Sunglass Hut Ray-Ban window, advertising first generation smart glasses that can film and record and transmit or upload everything you see to Facebook. Spy technology? Or an obsession to record every minutia of our lives?

Do you see a trend emerging? You are right. Here is the cherry on the cake.

There also was a new SELFIE STORE. I was curious. It’s a store where, for as low as $18, you may use one of their photography booths and cubicles to take your own selfies. The small cubicles offer different color backgrounds and settings to choose from, and a photo friendly lighting. Having your picture taken at the mall just took a completely different meaning. The last time I did it, the trend was glamor shots… but I’m dating myself. Oh well…

Other than that, I had my exercise. Life is never boring.

For out of this world entertainment, read my award-winning sci-fi novels with lots of action and romance. Find all the links on my website and retailer pages below.

Vijaya Schartz, author
Strong Heroines, Brave Heroes, cats

amazon - B&N - Smashwords - Kobo - FB 

Friday, November 12, 2021

Congratulations to the Winners of the 2021 Arizona Literary Awards in NONFICTION category

FIRST PLACE NONFICTION - Military Wives in Arizona Territory: A History of Women Who Shaped the Frontier - by Jan Cleere

When the U.S. Army ordered troops into Arizona Territory in the 19th century to protect and defend the new settlements established there, some of the military men brought their wives and families, particularly officers who might be stationed in the west for years. Most of the women were from refined, eastern-bred families with little knowledge of the territory they were entering. Their letters, diaries, and journals from their years on army posts reveal untold hardships and challenges faced by families on the frontier. These women were bold, brave, and compassionate. They were an integral part of military posts that peppered the West and played an important role in civilizing the Arizona frontier. Combining the words of these women with original research tracing their movements from camp to camp over the years they spent in the West, this collection explores the tragedies and triumphs they experienced.

Author, historian, and lecturer Jan Cleere writes extensively about the people who first settled in the desert southwest. Always on the lookout for the stories of early pioneering women, her books reflect her love of the west and her knowledge of western history.

Her monthly column, "Western Women," appears in Tucson's Arizona Daily Star newspaper, and she is a presenter for the Arizona Humanities program Arizona Speaks. The Arizona Newspapers Association honored Jan for a series of historical profiles she wrote for Phoenix Woman Magazine, and the Nevada Women's History Project names her to its Roll of Honor for her significant contribution in the preservation of Nevada women's history. Her freelance work appears innational and regional publications.


One Hundred Sixty Acres of Dirt tells the tales of remarkable people―farmers, cowboys, pioneer women and schoolmarms and their journey dealing with rustlers, droughts, Apaches, and straying husbands. It is the story of how they persevered and survived.

It was their dream to own their own land. The pioneer families traveled a thousand miles to claim their homesteads in Arizona Territory. It is a beautiful country, but a tough life. Those who persevered met the challenges, raised their families, and prospered. Their determination was inspiring. They were strong and they left a legacy of courage. The histories came from personal journals and scrapbooks. One Hundred Sixty Acres of Dirt is a carefully researched historical account of these stories that are filled with the emotions and passions of the people that lived them: their daily lives, joys, and tragedies.

Marsha Arzberger flies her Cessna Skylane when she travels from the ranch near Willcox, Arizona. She is a rancher, a cowgirl, a retired Arizona State Senator, a former Dean of a Junior College, and an author. She has a Bachelor's degree and a master's degree. She was an elected State Senator for four terms and Senate Minority Leader. She and her late husband flew search and rescue for Civil Air Patrol. Marsha published a historical romance novel in 1982, switched careers, and then came back to writing.
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Lia Woodall (she/her) is an award-winning essayist who experiments with form to explore her experiences of twin loss to suicide and the roles played in her family of origin. Her hybrid chapbook Remove to Play (The Cupboard Pamphlet, 2020) was the 2019 contest winner. Words published or forthcoming in Best American Experimental Writing 2020 (digital edition), under the gum tree, Literal Latté, Sonora Review, Crack the Spine, The Rumpus, and South Loop Review. She has been recognized with Pushcart Prize nominations and as notables in The Best American Essays series. She currently lives in Phoenix on territories of the O'odham Jewed, Akimen O'odham (Upper Pima) and Hohokam Peoples, where she is at work on a collection-across-genre called "Leaving Twinbrook: A Memoir of Duality."


Explore the answers to relationship questions no matter what stage of the love game you are in.

My Dog Is My Relationship Coach is a guide to relationships that takes its lead from the pets in our lives and the unconditional love they offer. In our search for love, companionship, and "the one"-as well as during our maintenance of a romantic relationship-we often lose sight of our true selves and what we deeply desire in a life partner.

This book will help you to see clearly what it takes to heal yourself, enhance your marriage or romantic relationships, and realize the whole person you were meant to be while in a relationship or searching for that perfect mate. With tips, examples, and anecdotes, this guide shares the meaning, clarity, and deep connections that enhance the journey of finding or loving "our person."

Author Maureen Scanlon, certified in life coaching, NLP practitioner training, is a relationship expert and spiritual coach who is passionate about teaching and guiding us to nurture our relationships. Through her books, workshops, and YouTube videos, Scanlon has found that following our furry friends' outlook on relationships adds warm and relatable clarity and inspiration to those who are stuck on the "relationship hamster wheel."

Maureen Scanlon is the founder and CEO of Maureen Scanlon Life Coaching. She is an author, relationship expert, motivational speaker, positive change integrator, and spiritual coach who has successfully helped many people, from experienced professionals to young adults, make positive changes to overcome past experiences and negative thinking. When Maureen is not working to change the world, you can find her at home relaxing in Mesa, Arizona, with her husband, Dennis, and her furry babies, Jade and Brodie. She is also the mother of three adult children and grandmother to three grandchildren whom she adores

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Congratulations to the 2021 Arizona Literary Awards winners in the "OLDIE BUT GOLDIE" category


The suspicious death of an esteemed professor thrusts biblical archaeologist, Michael Saunders, to the forefront of a rare antiquities auction. Coupled with an academic meeting in New York, he is beckoned from a Paris vacation to authenticate the priceless artifacts known as God's Gold. The objects, a candelabrum, silver trumpets and a sacrificial table, from Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem have traveled through the hands of barbarians and Vandals, to find their way into the Vatican for safe-keeping. Released onto the open market, world powers vie for the treasures. Impulsively, Michael returns with his Paris lamb to encounter the opposition. Michael's stance that the objects are authentic sparks confrontations with other archaeologists as well as a sinister cabal of Chinese investors. In defense of his research, his anger compounds what he feels about a revealed family secret. At the auction his life changes forever. A robust, satisfying read with a captivating love story that journeys from Paris to the Ivy League, New York, Miami and beyond.

Award-winning author and speaker Marcia Fine has written eight novels, including THE BLIND EYE—A Sephardic Journey, historical fiction chosen by the state library of Arizona for ONEBOOKAZ 2015. PAPER CHILDREN—An Immigrant’s Legacy has been a finalist for three national prizes. PARIS LAMB, her sixth novel, deals with anti-Semitism in the 1950s. She has also written the only satirical series about Scottsdale. Her novel, HIDDEN ONES—A Veil of Memories released in 2017, examines Sephardic Jews in Mexico during the Inquisition. With an interest in epigenetics she examines how trauma is passed on in families. Marcia has a BA from Florida State University and a Masters from Arizona State University.


Based on her hilarious solo show, Penny Orloff's novel is populated by an oddball immigrant family, on-again-off-again lovers, diets from Hell, and a Rogue's Gallery from the Showbiz underworld; and every scene has readers laughing out loud.Abigail Paine, born Miriam Rosen, has been in love with Show Business since childhood, perpetually fantasizing herself as the Little Trouper Who Finds Stardom and True Love by the end of the movie. After a hundred shows and a hundred one-night stands, love and fame still elude her, and she'd rather suck a tailpipe than face another audition.Complicating her search for the Busby Berkeley ending is her primitive alter-ego ¿ The Beast. This creature can track, kill, dismember and devour an entire cheesecake; can kick the sh-- out of smaller muggers on the sidewalks of New York; and can't say no to recreational sex with a famous director on the Third Ring of the New York State Theater while a public tour is in progress.When Abigail finds love at long last, she is faced with an agonizing choice: Showbiz or The Guy. As she laments, 'Breaking into this Business is like breaking into Fort Knox; breaking out, we're talking Alcatraz.'

Penny Orloff, LA actor/dancer and author, relocated to NYC with a Julliard scholarship. She sang 20 roles for NYC Opera and played featured roles on Broadway. Her solo show, "Jewish thighs on Broadway," toured the US for 10 years. Her new show, "Songs and Stories from a Not-Quite-Kosher Life," awaits reopening of theatres. Author of "Art as Lifework, Life as Artwork" and "Who Would You Be If You Had Nothing to Bitch About?" she also published 3 stories for Chicken Soup for the Soul, served as arts journalist for 10 years, and has read Taro cards professionally for decades.


A mysterious golden disc is found under the Coliseum. A journal surfaces purportedly written by Mary Magdalene. A lost Orb is discovered in Glastonbury under the legendary site of the church built by Jesus himself. Dr. Sydney Grace stands poised at the center of an earth-shaking mystery. One step ahead of the horrific duo--the Vatican and the Sicilian mafia--her success could validate the Mayan prophecies and bring a fateful collapse to the Vatican.

Jeri Castronova, PhD, spiritual psychologist, award-winning author, healer, artist, and world traveler, trained in traditional clinical psychology and did a mid-career leap due to life-changing experiences in Egypt, Greece, Britain, Ireland, and Italy. With 30 years' experience in the healing arts, rebirthing the Divine Feminine, past life regression, and Egyptology, her fiction and nonfiction books bring new understanding of ancient wisdom, hidden history, the Emerald Tablets, and the Atlantean Mastery Game Board. Her inspiring, original lectures and workshops are presented at local and international conferences.


This book series is about seven-year-old Lindsey, her family, friends and pets. The characters are consistent throughout the books, to help the reader establish a friendship with them. These short stories, some of which are mysteries, help the reader get involved in the life of this second grader. Incidents at school or home are shown from her perspective to enable the reader to relate to her. The positive ways shown to Lindsey by parents and teachers, will be examples to young readers.
In this story, Lindsey's second grade homework assignment is the best she's ever had! The whole class gets to imagine they have any kind of pet they want, and write a story about it. The catch is, the pet must come to life and have a job. Each student must explain what the job is, what they do, and where the job is located. They write a story using their imagination in ways they never have before. Every student amazes themselves with what they've created. This is a "must read" for any child that loves to make-believe, or for encouraging the development of their imagination. A dinosaur as a pet? Why not?

Lynn Marie Lusch has been an Arizona resident since 2005, living in Chandler with her husband Tim, and their dogs. She is the mother of two daughters, faithful student of the Positive Thinking philosophy, and believer in the Law of Attraction. It wasn't until she was in her thirties that she discovered these teachings. There was one question she always asked herself when introduced to a new book on these subjects: Why wasn't I taught this as a child? Lynn's children's book series contains messages of positive thinking by facing a problem or issue from a different standpoint, on a child's level.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Congratulations to the winners of the 2021 Arizona Literary Awards in Published Fiction category


What is a twelve year old girl to do when she finds herself in the silver boom town of Tombstone, Arizona, in 1880, and her only home is a brothel and her only parent is a drug-addicted mother? If she is Carissa Beaumont, she outsmarts the evil madam and figures a way out.

After tricking the madam, Miss Lucille, into summoning a doctor for her mother, Lisette, she discovers that Miss Lucille has been drugging her. She and the kind doctor make a plan to try to save Lisette by dosing her down on the drug.

Doctor Henderson tells Carissa that the only source for the drug is a Chinese immigrant named China Mary, who lives in Hoptown, at the other end of Tombstone. Carissa has no choice but to go to the powerful woman for help. Many say that China Mary is the one who really controls Tombstone.

China Mary admires Carissa's brave spirit, and uses her influence to get her a job at the new Grand Hotel, which will free Carissa from her many duties at Miss Lucille's. She will work along with Mary's twelve year old niece, Mai-Lin. The two girls become fast friends.

Then, disaster strikes, and the two girls must work together to stay alive.

Vali grew up in the Midwest. She now lives in Tucson with her husband, two sons and grandchildren.

After graduating from the University of Illinois, Vali started and sold two successful businesses before she decided to pursue her real passion of writing. She published several articles in a variety of periodicals, including History Magazine before she decided to try her hand at fiction.

In April of 2020, Vali published her first novel, “Blood and Silver”. That same month, she was also made a member of the Western Writers of America.


Erica Winchat, a young writer overwhelmed by the stress of her first book contract, discovers thirteen curious items tangled in the flotsam on the Scottish beach of Tràigh Lar. Erica tells the intriguing story of the owner of each of these items, uncovering a series of dramatic events—from a Chicago widow’s inspiring visit to Quebec City to a shrimper’s daughter facing Tropical Storm Ruby in North Carolina.

Dianne Ebertt Beeaff has been a free-lance writer for many years, beginning in the area of magazine journalism. More recently she has had six books published, from memoir to poetry to historical fiction. Her latest book is the short story collection ON TRAIGH LAR BEACH (She Writes Press 2020)


Water spells life on the high desert: A migrant is found and rescued at the point of death; a village finds its supply failing; a rancher loses his water source in a drunken card game; a developer's reckless plan to build grandiose winter homes arouses a deadly protest; and an end-of-life experience inspires a hapless desert wanderer to find redemption through altruism and forgiveness.

About the author:

Robert Marak, writing as Marek Friedl, has lived a dozen years south of Tucson, where he has hiked many dozens of miles in the arid hill country near the border. He learned to cherish this spectacular landscape, both precious and precarious. He found time to work with a nonprofit charity and learned of the challenges presented by immigration, water scarcity, and development. The Groundwater Management Act of 1980 forms the underlying context of the novel. The writer has pursued interests in document conservation, the environment, woodworking, and public policy.


Billy Olson is an Arizona cactus cop on the hunt for a pair of misfit brothers on the run with a rare crested saguaro. The McFinneys leave a trail of assault and mayhem wherever they go. They're suspected in the murder of the man who stole the cactus from the estate of a dollar-store magnate. Olson is joined by Jane Fillmore, a sheriff's deputy who's fit and handy with firearms. Olson, not so much. It didn't help he abandoned the traditional Pima diet handed down by his grandmother. Instead, he dines on high carbs and beer. He can still follow a clue, as he and Fillmore chase the McFinneys to the desert sanctuary of one William Upchurch, leader of a cult of cactus worshippers. He awaits the crested, the cristate, hoping to tap into another dimension.

Bill Coates was born at St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix, August 1950. His mother had struggled to lift a gate to irrigate the lawn. She slipped and fell into the irrigation ditch. She went into labor. So began Bill's first day. He attended high school and college in Phoenix and Tempe. Later, in Tucson, he received a master's in journalism. Coates worked for a number of newspapers in the years since. They included a monthly that covered Arizona Indian tribes, the Phoenix Gazette, the Arizona Capitol Times and lastly, the Casa Grande Dispatch. He has written three books, including Needles Arizona.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

New Book Release: Racist, Sexist, and Politically Incorrect Advertising: The Early Years - by Mike Rothmiller

Racist, Sexist, and Politically Incorrect Advertising: The Early Years

by Mike Rothmiller
Find it on Amazon HERE

Advertising has been part of the human experience since the first people walked the earth. It comes in many forms; visual, written, spoken, illustrated, and via the five human senses. All advertising is designed to elicit a particular response in the viewer, listener, or reader. In politics, it's to garner votes. If it's a nation alleging misconduct by another nation or denying their wrongdoing, it's generally known as propaganda.

One of the best-known purveyors of government propaganda was Joseph Goebbels in Nazi Germany. Goebbels controlled the message and the media, thereby assuring the German people and the world only heard what the Nazis wished. Today, some U.S. media outlets follow Goebbels's basic premise of news presentation. They report half-truths or spin complete lies. As Goebbels’s preached, “make the lie big, tell it often, and soon people will believe it.” It's the most despicable form of advertising, but it works. In nearly all cases of the U.S., media broadcasting known lies and never correcting them involves politics. The news should be free of politics and personal beliefs. They should ONLY report the story accurately without the newscaster or media outlet incorporating their personal political or personal agenda into the story. Their conduct is considered news media propaganda.

Regarding the ads I present in this book, please remember the time frame of the advertising to fully understand their value and why they were appealing at that time in history. Effective advertising must stimulate one of the human five senses. When two or more senses are stimulated, they reinforce each other within the brain and help provide the reaction sought by the advertisement. As an example, the use of free food tastings at a store hits all five senses: visual, taste, smell, touch, and hearing the person providing the sample verbally pitching the product. It works; that is why it is done.

The politically incorrect, racist, and sexist ads are offensive. To illustrate the history of advertising in the educational realm, all ads must be considered for discussion. At the time, these ads were deemed to be non-offensive to the masses. But others would undoubtedly thought otherwise. These ads also demonstrate societal changes through the years. People then did not see these ads as offensive. Today, viewed through a contemporary window, they are. What we see today as non-offensive and acceptable advertising will undoubtedly be viewed differently by future generations. The first political cartoons in England were considered works of art and sold in shops. In some countries, it was the primary method an artist or writer could editorialize on the state of political affairs without facing civil or criminal liability. The cartoon is a combination of satire and exaggeration. Politicians, societal problems, violence, and corruption of all types were the targets
Some of the captions are not politically correct by current standards and could not be used today. I have not changed the captions since that would severely reduce their educational value. Sadly, there are countries where a cartoonist will suffer severe consequences or even death for satirizing a powerful politician, dictator, or religious icon.

In closing, delivery systems for advertising will change with advances in technology. Today, there are multiple methods to direct ads to a targeted audience.

Remember that the basic rules of advertising remain constant. The book contains hundreds of images with little or no commentary required. Some are shocking.

Mike Rothmiller is a New York Times Bestselling Author, nominee for the Pulitzer Prize, historian, former cop and Army medic. He's also served as a TV reporter, an award winning documentary producer and television host for ESPN, PBS and other international television markets. He's written and produced over 25 television documentaries, numerous TV and radio ads and has authored movie scripts. His nonfiction book, My Hero. Military Kids Write About Their Moms and Dads (St. Martin's Press) received international acclaim and holds the honor of being the only book in history to have forwards written by three living Presidents and General Norman Schwarzkopf. He's authored 23 books and his Secrets, Lies and Deception and Other Amazing Pieces of History was featured on Fox News and over 40 Television News Stations across America. Readers of his books include three Presidents, former First Lady Laura Bush, the late Charlton Heston and Queen Elizabeth II.