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.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the immense honor and congratulations to all nominees.
    Much obliged, Vali Benson