Monday, February 28, 2022

New Release: The Dust Never Settles - by Stacey Goodman


The Dust Never Settles is a riveting, first-hand account from inside Ground Zero. Stacey Goodman was a female police officer with federal disaster training who was pulled out of the suburbs of Long Island and thrust into the heart of the 9/11 mayhem of the World Trade Center devastation.

With high security clearance, she worked at the very center of the rescue and recovery efforts on the Pile for 23 days, and witnessed firsthand the horrific details of the terror attacks that decimated the world's financial center.

Stacey relives her experience on the Pile in her 20-Year Anniversary book commemorating the event, and shares aspects of her life and career that prepared her for the grueling episode. 

About the author:

Stacey was a police patrol officer on Long Island on 9/11. What many didn’t realize was that she had been receiving ongoing and extensive training in disaster response and was a member of a federal disaster response team that was always ready to deploy in the event of a major disaster. On the morning of September 11, 2001, Stacey had just finished a shift and was getting ready to run some errands as she heard chatter about a an airplane hitting the Twin Towers in lower Manhattan. Stacey was immediately activated for duty with the federal government and reported to the heart of chaos, right in the middle of Ground Zero, where she spent the next 23 days. For more on Stacey, visit her website at  

Monday, February 21, 2022

New Release - Boca by Moon Light - by Brad Graber

Boca by Moonlight:
A Funeral. Three Friends. Starting Over.

George Elden had it all. A lovely wife. Two beautiful adult children. A condo on the grounds of the Boca Raton Resort & Club. But when his wife dies, he's suddenly alone in retirement. A lost man. Sure, he has his golf buddies to console him, but when his friend Willy dies, George is caught off-guard. Why did Willy's family stay away from the funeral? Why did the check to the mortuary bounce? And why did George and his buddies have to pay to bury him? More importantly, what can George learn from Willy's life to escape making the same foolish mistakes? 

From the award-winning author of The Intersect, After the Fall, and What's That Growing in My Sour Cream? comes a tale of redemption. The story of a man coming to grips with his mortality and the complications of human relationships. Told with the wit, humor, and emotional power that Brad Graber brings to his novels.

You can find Boca by Moon Light on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, FoxTale Book Shoppe, and other outlets.  

Monday, February 14, 2022

Science fiction predicted it. Space exploration is our only chance of survival as a race - by Vijaya Schartz


Recently I saw a French documentary on the state of the agriculture in Europe that got me thinking. In it, a chemical expert for the study of soil and crops (in this case wheat) was explaining that all the chemicals we use to grow crops are killing the ground, interrupting the cycle of renewal through natural decay of vegetal and animal origin.

The elimination of weeds and insects has made the soil sterile. The ground is too compact due to lack of animal and vegetal decay, and doesn’t absorb water. If tomorrow the various chemicals used to grow crops were no longer available, the soil is incapable of sustaining any kind of growth, and could be sterile for decades.

Furthermore, the crops themselves, in this case wheat, have been genetically modified (GMO) to adapt to the new farming style. For example, the stems are much shorter and the harvested grain larger. Which is dandy, except that if we stop using chemicals and pesticides, the new species of grain will not be able to survive a natural environment. After all, mother nature made the stems high to protect the growing grain from natural predators, worms, crickets, floods, etc.

As a sci-fi writer, I can see how this could bring instant famine in a post-apocalyptic scenario, with radical weather changes, or even in a pandemic scenario, where the flow of chemicals is interrupted due to crippled manufacturing or interrupted shipping.

But traditional farming failed to produce enough reliable and bountiful harvests, and there are 8 billion mouths to feed in this world. When I was a child, the world population was only 1.5 billion. Think about it… and the numbers keep climbing exponentially.

The problem mankind refuses to face is that there are too many people on this planet and we are killing it to fulfill our needs, whether for food or with plastic waste in the name of practicality. As the population grows, the Earth will eventually die. But killing mother Earth will not help our survival. So, what’s the solution?

If you are familiar with the Avenger movies, Thanos had a simple solution. Instantly kill half the population of every planet. But he was a supervillain, at least in our minds. So, let’s not do that.

China tried restricting the number of children per couple to two, but it only led to selective breeding. They ended up with an overwhelmingly male population and a steep decline. Now, they allow three children per couple.

Of course, as a sci-fi writer, I also have a solution. Let’s colonize Mars and terraform it. Have you seen the movie THE MARTIAN? It is possible. Let’s build and develop autonomous human habitats on the moon and on Mars. Oh, wait, we are already working on that project.

Let’s build space stations the size of a small country and grow artificial crops in orbit, while preserving natural life on this planet.

Let’s explore the universe in search of Earth-like planets to settle. Let’s look toward the stars for our salvation.

Too farfetched? Not at all. Several countries are already developing such programs. China has a very active space program and is already on the moon. Other countries have their own space program as well. 

And with the privatization of space technology, many companies see profit in space mining and are considering space tourism as a profitable venture. Soon, our news will be broadcasting from space, the new frontier, where pioneers will inspire young people to explore new worlds.

amazon B&N - Smashwords - Kobo

All this has already happened in my science fiction novels. But despite scientific advancements, the fundamental needs of mankind remain the same. Food, shelter, friendship, love, recreation, happiness.

amazon B&N - Smashwords - Kobo

Happy Reading!

Vijaya Schartz, author
Strong Heroines, Brave Heroes, cats

Monday, February 7, 2022

New Year Resolutions - by Kathleen Cook

February … my favorite time of the year! I love the energy I experience in tackling my New Years' resolutions with gusto. By May, I'll be tired of them, but February? I'm just getting started!

My biggest goal this year revolves around the Arizona Authors Association. It's such a thrill to see the website coming together, and knowing that I have a role in making it happen. The site is humming along … if you haven't checked out your authors' page on Arizona or .com, please do so. If there are any typos or errors, email me at and I'll get to them pronto!

While the new members' pages only allow for one book cover, I think you'll find that the website is more inviting now, and will attract more visitors to your webpage. Overall, it's a more professional look for you as you grow your reputation as an author. All of the text links to your books are clickable, so visitors may easily see all of your books, not just the one pictured. Please check out the site and let me know what you think. I welcome your input. 

Last month, I added all of the newsletters from 2019 and 2020 to the website. Now you may easily peruse the archive of old issues. There is even an issue from 2015 on the resources page, for those who wax nostalgic for the old days. (Okay, not so old for us fogies, lol, but fun to look at anyway. Ah, for the good old, pre-pandemic days!) I will be updating the archive at least twice yearly, so that we will have a record of our progress as an association in the years to come. I'm sure a decade from now, some of us will look back at the current issues and think, "Wow, we've come a long way since then!” I hope to be around to make that observation along with the rest of you. 

Another of my New Year's resolutions is to finish the series of historical puzzle books that I'm working on with my son, Kevin Gundlach. He conceived the idea when he was working in a Glendale high school as a math teacher. He discovered that in order to teach any subject, whether math or history or language skills, you first had to ensure that your students knew how to logically tackle the subject. Without honing their logic skills, all other subjects proved difficult. He designed logic puzzles geared toward that end, to first teach a teen to reason, and then to teach them the other necessary skills. 

He broached his idea with me, and I came up with a storyline to mesh with his historical puzzles. Together, we created Tryn, a superhero, alien, time traveling, high school teacher. Tryn travels through earth's history to fix the little messes that his rebellious, genius students make, in their desire to perfect the present by tinkering with the past. The books combine real history with language and logic skills, geared toward thinkers from 12 to 92. (I've done the puzzles and I love them; other seniors might get a kick out of them, too.) So far two are finished, The Altered Alphabet and Alexander the Late, and I'm currently taking up my pen again to create the third. 

Have you started on your New Year's resolutions yet? February's a great time to start! What books will you write, or at least start, within the next couple of months? What will you leave behind in 2022 that, in ten years, will make you smile and say, "My, I've come so far since then!"? 

It doesn't have to be big, but it should be significant. It must be something that you can look back on with pride. What stirs your fancy? Make a list, check it twice, cross out things until you get to that one doable, special, wonderful thing, and then do it. Finish that resolution, move forward, and grab your star. You'll be stepping into the future not with merely a sack full of excess baggage, but with a portfolio full of accomplishments. That's what New Year's resolutions, and Februarys, are for! 

Kathleen Cook is a retired editor and the author of more than twenty books. A former copy writer/editor for Demand Studios, she also served as the Fictional Religion Editor for the ODP (Open Directory Project) in the internet’s early days. She is currently the Arizona Authors Association Editor as well as the new Secretary and Webmistress. 

Thursday, February 3, 2022


Since 1978, the Arizona Literary Magazine has launched the careers of many authors - Enter our contest for a chance at cash prizes and recognition. Find the entry form HERE

Recent winners:

Unpublished Categories


Short Story/Essay/Personal, 


Novel /Novella

Published Categories




Children’s Picture Book 

Juvenile/Young Adult

First Prize 

$100 & publication or feature in Arizona Literary Magazine 

Second Prize 

$50 & publication or feature in Arizona Literary Magazine 

Third Prize 

$25 & publication or feature in Arizona Literary Magazine 

Honorable Mention 

Publication or feature in Arizona Literary Magazine 

1st and 2nd Prize Winners in Poetry, Essay & Short Story get nominated for the National Pushcart Prize (value: PRICELESS)