About the Authors

Peter Cruikshank

Writing has been Peter Cruikshank’s destiny since his early teens. At an early age, he was introduced to Robert Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land and has been an avid reader ever since. As a preteen he picked up a copy of Lord of the Rings and expanded his love of reading to include Medieval Fantasy. By 18 years of age, he knew he wanted to be an author. It remained a dream until 2012 when he turned his energy full-time to writing.

During his journey to become an author, he earned a MS Information Systems, and held positions in government, business, academia, and the ministry field. He transfers these experiences into his writing, creating interesting, believable characters involved in dire situations. Peter now resides in Southern California with his beautiful and fetching wife, an exceedingly talkative cat and. of course, his overly assertive and sarcastic Muse, Willow.

His epic Fantasy series, Dragon-Called, and his other stories are a tribute his to childhood readings and to the classic authors of the genre like J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. You can join Peter on his journey at PeterCruikshank.com where you can read additional short stories, view maps, and more. Also follow him on Twitter.com/petercruikshank.


Marlys Collom

Marlys Collom attended SDSU where she pursued a major in Journalism and polished her creative writing under the instruction of Jay Linthicum and Simon Ortiz.  Her narrative poems lay naked on the page her deepest emotions and memorialize her life experiences.  Her poetry has appeared in The San Diego Times Review, the Journal of Contemporary Poets, The San Diego Poetry Annual, Baseball Bard, and Classifieds, An Anthology of Prose Poems.

One of Marlys’ dreams was to travel the world, another was to share her life with a horse – both have been realized and both appear in her poems.  You will also meet her husband, children and grandchildren in her writing, as well as her friends and the animals who shared their lives with her family.   Her work experiences range from card-room dealer to corporate executive and those worlds make an appearance in her written creations.

Marlys may be reached through the website Contact page. http://il-fennore-pub.com/contact/


John E. (Gene) Michals

After five decades of work, and three college degrees, John Michals is now semi-retired — meaning he’s as busy as ever, doing things that don’t pay well. The upside is that much of his effort is his own choice and schedule.

He’s currently doing more reading than writing, and also more editing than content creation. But, it’s all fun — except for the stuff that isn’t. (Much like real life.) His experience includes about 20 years each of newspaper writing/editing and technical writing/editing (mostly in the computer/electronics industry).

Most of his professional writing life involved non-fiction (he’s sure that his writings included some fiction, but that wasn’t intentional). To counterpoint the non-fiction mindset, John’s retirement goal was to write mostly fiction. Including at least one novel. Not a Great American Novel, just a check-off-that-box ambition.

He has produced some short stories — of various theme — but his fiction career has not gone as envisioned. It turns out that a novel isn’t as much an obsession as he expected. (“Too much work for too little economic return” — that’s the MBA part of his education speaking.) Equally important, John’s editor persona now is more dominant than his create-it-from-scratch enthusiasm. So his writing energies are directed more toward helping others improve their prose than writing his own. (This partly appeases his “I should have been a college prof” alter ego.)

Anyhow, in this anthology, John enjoys exercising his Dark Side.


Michele Ivy Davis

Michele Ivy Davis went to nine different schools before she graduated from high school. As the child of a Foreign Service Officer, she spent her junior high years at a missionary-run boarding school in south India, 400 miles from her home in Madras. When she moved to Bombay, she rode a bus to an all-girl’s school located on the Arabian Sea in a former maharaja’s palace.

Most of her stories and essays are based on events in her life, but others spring purely from her imagination. They have been published in numerous Chicken Soup for the Soul books, in magazines ranging from Baby Talk to Mature Living, and in newspapers such as the Tampa Tribune and the St. Petersburg Times. Under the name “Mickey Davis,” she and writing partner, Jim Weiss, have had over 400 of their articles and accompanying photographs appear in law enforcement publications.

Michele’s middle grade/young adult novel, Evangeline Brown and the Cadillac Motel, won national and international awards. It is the story of an eleven-year- old girl who struggles to find love as she lives in her father’s rundown Florida motel– a motel that has the embarrassing butt end of a pink Cadillac sticking out of the wall.

You can learn more about her writing and novel by visiting www.MicheleIvyDavis.com.


Pete Peterson

Pete Peterson was in Marine Corps boot camp when his short story appeared in Seventeen Magazine. This earned him $35.00, and many hours of extra PT. He served at American Embassies in Teheran, Iran, Lebanon and the Belgian Congo – now the Democratic Republic of the Congo – and as a military liaison to the White House.

He is the author of the evergreen Selling With a Purpose – A Hard Skills Development Program (and the With a Purpose series.) He volunteers at his local library, and is an avid baseball fan, who played until he was old enough to know better. He often attends local high school and college games, lamenting what might have been.

His work has or will appear, in publications such as the Hunter’s Horn, Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Stoneslide Corrective, Raven’s Perch, Collateral, Planters and Gatherers, Infusion, Charles Carter – A Working Anthology, Audible and Ozark Review. The father of three fearless children, he empty nests in Southern California with his Bride of Many Summers.


Gerry Strong

Gerry Strong has always had a love for art and books. As an only child, when she wasn’t reading, she would be drawing or designing clothes for her dolls. As an adult she followed her creative instincts. First a small greeting card business, then a custom picture framing business. Winning a creative framing award from the Professional Picture Framers Association was a proud moment for her. She also taught art and picture framing for her community’s adult education program.

When she and her husband moved from Minnesota to California, it meant leaving behind her business of 20 years.But writing and designing books replaced picture framing when her grandchildren began to read..”I wanted to share my love of books with them.”I kept in touch using their dog Charlotte as a heroine Detective traveling around the world.”
I love writing for children.”I felt honored when a child showed what he’d learned in Kindergarten by reading from one of my picture books at his class Graduation.”

When she is not illustrating, writing, and publishing books, she teaches yoga in the hills of San Diego, California.


Charlie Wyatt
  (Publicity photo of James Dean
circa 1953 — Public Domain)

Charlie Wyatt was born and grew up in Birmingham, Alabama. He spent virtually all the summers at his parent’s cabin on the Warrior River—the setting for many of his stories. He graduated from Auburn University on the NROTC program and was commissioned an ensign in the U.S. Navy. He reported to San Diego where he served two and a half years on the USS Saint Paul, a heavy cruiser. Following that he went to Vietnam for a year as skipper of a PCF (Swift boat), mostly patrolling  the rivers of the Mekong delta.

After serving his country, he spent the next few years working for minimum wages—saving up to travel across Europe. Over four years, he toured in this manner six or seven times. He later spent several years in the rare coin and precious metals business. After that dealt in “used” books, where he owned and managed his own bookstore for 20 years. He is now semi-retired and writing full time in mostly sunny Southern California.


  1. tribute his to childhood

    tribute to his childhood

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