Adele A. Roberts was born in a small town in Western Michigan. After graduating from high school she continued her education and received a B.A. in education, an M.A. in counseling and a CDA in early childhood development. She created the character of Sammy over forty years ago, and began telling her make-believe stories to her students.
She started writing the first story of Sammy when a young student asked if there was a book about the little skunk. Although it wasn’t a priority at the time to write stories, she finished part of the first story and set it aside. Years later she found the old cardboard box containing the aged, colored papers of her first story. It was at this time she realized she needed to complete the task she had begun so many years before.
Adele presently lives in Oliver Springs, TN with her husband. They have one son who is the founder and director of the Kids4truth International Bible Clubs that teach Bible doctrine to children K thru 6th grade. His website is kids4truth.com.
Billie J. “B. J.” Gillum was born in a tiny log cabin in the wooded hills of northeastern Kentucky in 1938. His family moved out of the hills to a small Fleming County dairy and tobacco farm seventy miles to the west. There he learned the value and necessity of hard work and enjoyed the freedom of rural life.
Bobbi Phelps Wolverton grew up in Darien, Connecticut, forty miles from New York City. She joined the airline industry after graduating from Pine Manor College and Katharine Gibbs Secretarial School. She joined World Airways after working as a secretary in San Francisco.
Cheryl was born and raised in Chicago. As a young child, she was introduced to the principles of good writing by her mother, a book editor and writer, who read to her from manuscripts, discussing with her subjects like character development, dialogue, and story arcs.
As an adult, Cheryl worked in widely diverse fields as an interior designer, a social worker, and a paralegal,getting to know people from all walks of life.
As a writer of mysteries, she has drawn from this breadth of experiences to create many unique characters and intricate plots.
Cheryl and her husband Jim retired to Loudon, Tennessee in 2003. She was inspired to write her first novel, SIX MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT, a thriller about an attack on a nuclear weapons convoy, when she learned that nearby Oak Ridge continues to be a center of the nuclear weapons industry, decades after their participation in the Manhattan Project in WWII.
Cindy Leihkauff graduated from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas, earning her degree in Elementary Education. Her experience includes twenty-three years as a classroom and music teacher in both private and public schools. Now retired from teaching, Cindy continues to design and perform programs utilizing singing, drama, and storytelling. She and her husband, Ken, reside in Clinton, Tennessee.
Darlene Underwood Featured
In 2008, Darlene Underwood had a near-death experience while undergoing open-heart surgery. During that time, Darlene entered into a new and exciting realm where she had never been before. While in this place, the Lord Jesus Christ spoke a message to her and she vowed to Him that she would tell others to help them in their earthly journey with the Lord.
The Lord Jesus has ministered to Darlene in many prophetic dreams and visions throughout her walk with Him. She is a born again, spirit-filled woman of God who has been on her journey with the Lord since 1971.
She is a minister who encourages and exhorts others through practical understanding and application of God's Word. She brings forth the Word of God with straight forwardness in love by building upon its principles with the compassion of Christ.
Darlene is a graduate of Rhema Bible College in Tulsa, Oklahoma and is currently seeking her Masters’ Degree in Biblical Studies through CES (Christ Exalted Seminary). She has held the positions of Bible Teacher, Co-Pastor and Associate Pastor in churches in Illinois and Wisconsin.
Darlene is currently working with Dr. Carol Elaine in iWOW!, Women of the Word, and CES (Christ Exalted Seminary). She is ordained with Melody of Life Ministry based in Chattanooga, Tennessee and is also a published Author of her auto-biography, Destiny’s Journey.
Darlene is a mother of three children and grandmother of seven, Great-grandmother of one and resides in Ooltewah, Tennessee with her husband, Joe.
Currently Living in Powell, Tennessee with his wife Lola, David Curran was born and raised in Pennsylvania until his family moved to Florida when he was 11. With a BA from Florida State University and a MA from the University of Kentucky, David worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) for 28 years in the Knoxville, Tennessee area.
Denise Sherriff Featured
Denise Sherriff lives in Ooltewah, Tennessee, and is married to Richard Sherriff. She lovingly supports him in all his endeavors. She is also a zealous mother to Anthony, her twenty-three-year-old son, a college student studying psychology and neuroscience.
Don Pardue grew up in a small town in East Tennessee. After completing a tour of duty in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War, he received his education at Tennessee Wesleyan College, Atlanta Art Institute, and The University of Tennessee, where he received a BFA degree and later taught courses in graphic design.
During his career he worked as creative director for a Knoxville design studio. He is now retired and spends his free time painting and writing in Lenoir City, Tennessee, where he and his wife Bobbie reside.
He is the author of six novels: Blossoms of Winter, Tom, Dick, and Harriet, Southern Sanctuary, Southern Storm, Maiden Harvest, and Random Reflections.
Donna J. Habib Featured
My mother was from Knoxville, TN and my father was from the country of Jordan in the Middle East. I was born at the Missionary Baptist Hospital in Ajloun, Jordan. I attended a Catholic school in a predominantly Muslim culture. Quite a combination for getting a perspective on life!
Art Stewart, of Lenoir City, Tennessee, is a scientist, science educator and poet. He earned his Ph.D. at Michigan State University in aquatic ecology, and worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Environmental Sciences Division) for 17 years as an ecologist and ecotoxicologist before becoming a science education program manager for Oak Ridge Associated Universities.
In addition to publishing numerous scientific articles, book chapters and technical reports, he has had literary essays published in Big Muddy, the Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America, and Breathing the Same Air. His poetry has been published in numerous literary magazines and more than a dozen anthologies, and he has authored four highly regarded books of “science-flavored” poems and essays, the most recent of which is The Ghost in the Word.
He is a 2013 inductee of the East Tennessee Writers’ Hall of Fame for poetry, and for his sustained efforts to help reduce the divide between the arts and the sciences he has been described as a “good-hearted provocateur within the culture of science”.
Carroll M. Helm spent over 40 years in the field of education most recently retiring as Associate Professor of Education at Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, North Carolina. Belmont is a private, Catholic undergraduate institution. Prior to coming to Belmont, he was Associate Professor in the graduate program at the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Kentucky; a private, Baptist college. Additionally, he taught graduate and undergraduate courses at Tusculum College in Greeneville, Tennessee and East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee.
Helm held positions as a teacher, principal, director of special education and director of pupil personnel in the area of public education, and served as dean of a community college off-campus center. He holds an earned doctorate from East Tennessee State University, a master’s in educational administration from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and a bachelor’s of science degree in psychology from Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tennessee.
Helm published articles in the Journal of Educational Research, Middle School Journal, The Clearing House for Educational Publications and The Journal of Educational Leadership. His current academic research interests focus on teacher dispositions and their effects on student self-esteem. Closely related is his interest in identifying and assessing leadership dispositions, and their possible effects on teacher effectiveness and morale. He is a prolific reader and researcher specializing in biographies, psychology, philosophy, history, theology and biblical studies.
Helm became a Christian at the age of twelve. Having an interest in history and biblical studies from his early college days at Lee and Carson-Newman College, he taught the men’s Bible class at his local church for many years. He has three children, Scott, Lucas and Lydia, and five grandchildren. Lucas was lost in a car accident in February of 2003, and that tragic event set in motion a deeper reflection on the paradoxical issues of life resulting in the writing of Divine Paradoxes: Looking Through the Glass, Darkly. He resides with his wife Edna in Mount Holly, North Carolina.
A retired Human Resources/Training professional, Gale is a fifth generation Floridian currently living in Knoxville, Tennessee. She has been married for 50 years to her incredibly supportive, understanding and patient husband, Dave Hickman. They have two amazing sons, one awesome daughter-in-law and one phenomenal grandson. Gale and her husband enjoy outdoor activities such as golf, hiking and fishing. They are also artisan craftsmen – Gale creates polymer clay sculptures and Dave is an artistic wood turner.
George A. Bove Featured
George Bove is one of the most exciting speakers who has led in both business and spiritual meetings. George continues to help others rather than help himself thru "Life by Joy" and "the little orange t".
George has assisted and directed hundreds of men and women to lifelong satisfying careers and has always been available to those struggling in life’s journey.
Jennifer Hultz grew up at the beach in Virginia and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. She spent weekends and summers enjoying all that its beauty had to offer. She is a lover of Labs and all things crafty. Jennifer currently lives in Knoxville, Tennessee, with her husband, three beautiful children, and Polar Bear Lab, Smokey.
Jerry grew up in a Coast Guard family who moved quite a bit, with the result that he attended 8 different public schools. These circumstances provided him with some unusual experiences and insights into the many subcultures that exist in the northern and midwestern states. Experiences in the south began for him when he attended Centre College of Kentucky.
Education associations include the University of Tennessee, University of Georgia, and the University of Kentucky. He is a Certified Instructor for the National Center for Construction, Education and Research (NCCER), a data base with the University of Florida in Gainsville.
He is a retired Vice President of a National Financial Corporation and was with the Dollywood Marketing Division for three seasons in the 1990′s. He is a former General Manager of the Woodson Bend Resort and Golfing Community on Lake Cumberland in Kentucky. Past member of the Somerset Pulaski County Tourist Commission and a member of the Industrial Development Board for Pulaski County Kentucky.
A long, long time resident of Knoxville, Tennessee. . . He served as MC for the Dogwood Arts Festival Band Competition during the first twenty five years. Past board member Community Design Center.
If you want to go way, way back . . . he is a lifetime member of the Junior Chamber International Senate, having served as a National Director and other local, state, and national programs.
His writing career began with the book The Long Tale Mouse. He is working on his eight book.
All my book cover art is by a good friend and well known Knoxville editorial cartoonist Charlie Daniel.
A career working with teenagers on the fringes of society has made me both sensitive to and appreciative of the complexities of character and the struggles, inner and outer, that we all wrestle with in one form or another. My writing emphasizes character development over action. Reading in a wide range of genres and working to develop what little musical talent I possess occupy my time and, I believe, serve as complements to my writing. As a lifelong Southerner, the rhythms and cadence of the Southeastern United States influence both my spoken and written voice.
As an inquisitive 4 year old, Joan began a life long needle arts career.
During her adult life, a nursing instructor, she also taught crocheting, Teneriffe Embroidery, candlewicking, twilling, rug braiding and shirret.
She was a designer/columnist for internationally circulated “Woman’s Circle Crochet” magazine (“Gems From Joan” column, over 200 designs featured - including two covers).
She has been sharing Teneriffe Embroidery with students since 1980.
Joan’s been honored in: “World Who’s Who Of Women”; “2000 Women of Achievement” (Internationally); “U.S. Congressional Record”; and, 9 other international/national reference books.
Jody is a mother, author, and speaker in East Tennessee. She has always written as a hobby, but her ambition to publish was born with her second child, Scotty.
After struggling to conceive for six years, then clumsily (yet successfully) adopting, to now navigating an open adoption with Scotty’s birth parents, Dyer felt compelled to write The Eye of Adoption. She felt that someone needed to “tell it like it is” so others would be better equipped to handle the turbulent and triumphant, burdensome blessing of adoption.
Jody is a “compassionate humorist” writer and natural storyteller. Readers laugh and think “outside the barn” weekly on Jody’s varietal humor blog, Theories: Size 12, Go on and get mad but you know I’m right.
Jody holds a finance degree from The University of Tennessee, a Post-Baccalaureate degree in business education and Masters Degrees in Curriculum and instruction from Lincoln Memorial University. She lives in Knoxville with her husband Jeff and their two children, Houston and Scotty.
As the former Chief Advancement Officer of Girl Scouts San Diego, Jody directed communications, media, and marketing. During more than 16 years of working with the Girl Scouts, Jody imagined, created, produced, and led numerous innovative programs, events, campaigns and initiatives. They included, among many others: G.E.M.M. (Girls Empowered to Make Movies), a groundbreaking program to help girls learn how to express themselves through the power of film; Healthy Girls Healthy Lives Symposiums designed to provide parents and adult volunteers with critical information on girls issues; P.H.I.Z. (Positive Healthy Image Zone) an interactive curriculum to help girls better understand their bodies, the dangers of dieting, and making healthy choices; R.A.N.T. (Revolt Against Negative Talk) a program to combat bullying; the Girl Scout Basketball League; Big & Little Golf Tournaments.
In 2010 in San Antonio, TX and in 2011 in Indianapolis, IN, Jody produced the Final Four Fling, an event staged during the women’s final four college basketball championships to raise awareness of the devastating impact of homophobia in women’s sports.
Laura Derr is a retired teacher and marketing professional living in East Tennessee. A graduate of the University of Kentucky with a Masters degree in English, she taught college English for fifteen years in Virginia, Texas, and Iowa. In 1980 she co-authored a textbook for an NPR radio course on The World of F. Scott Fitzgerald. While raising a family in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, she and her husband owned and operated a marketing research business for seventeen years. A native of the Bluegrass area of Kentucky, she has a unique perspective on the tobacco wars of the early 1900s and how they affected lives both then and now.
Marilyn spent her early years in Norris, Tennessee. After having lived in twelve different towns in the US, and two different countries overseas, she has returned to her East Tennessee roots and settled in Tellico Village with her husband John.
Nadine Richmond was born in Chicago but has lived in TN for 28 years. During that time she worked for over 20 years as a Food Service Director. From May 2014- December 2015 she was the Executive Director of the non-profit organization Jackson’s Empowerment and Enrichment Complex. However four years ago God called her out of that to focus on ministry full-time. She has studied the word of God extensively for over 30 years and she accepted the Lord as her savior and became a Christian at the age of 19.
Today her passion is studying the Bible, she has a heartfelt desire for people to know who Jesus is and the relationship they have with him. She is a minister of the gospel and the Co-Founder of the organization The Church Readiness Ministries. She has a published book titled “The New Birth: Going Onto Perfection.”
In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her husband, reading and working puzzles. She also holds two degrees, a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Master of Business Administration from Ashford University. She resides in Tennessee with her husband.
Randall Carpenter Featured
Randall has been writing since he was young teenager. He has written over 1700 separate writings, nationally published four books and writes a daily inspirational writing read by several thousand people every day. Most of his writings are on deposit in the Library of Congress. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
He became a Stephen Minister several years ago and his insights have helped many people better understand themselves and the world around them. Lastly, he served for over 10 years as the Senior Lay Leader for one of the largest Methodist churches in the United States. His words, observations and insights will open your heart to the love of God.
Ray Strobo Featured
My wife, Winnie, and I grew up in Thomasville, GA. Following graduation from college, I had careers in Manufacturing and Recruiting. Upon retirement, I began dabbling as a freelance writer.
Winnie and I have been married 57 years. We moved to Knoxville in 1978 and this is now home. We have two daughters, and seven grandchildren.
My hobbies include hunting, fishing, church work, genealogy, reading, and writing.
Richard F. Cross, CPP has a degree in history and worked as security officer for the CIA prior to the Kennedy assassination. After the CIA he worked as a security expert and consultant with engagements at major financial institutions and Fortune 500 companies. He is author of two bank security reference manuals and past president of ASIS International.
Born in New Jersey. Grew up in a south suburb of Chicago. Joined the Army shortly after realizing a college degree in engineering was not for me. Spent the majority of my Army life in Phu Bai Vietnam, just south of Hue (not even a nice place to visit). After my time of service was up in 1970 I thought I would try the college scene again and attended Prairie State University in Chicago Heights, Ill. A major highlight of my writing career took place at that university. I was taking an English course, I think it was creative writing (or something like that).
Sam grew up in Roane County in East Tennessee, graduated from the University of North Carolina and then served in the Navy for four years. He was the Communications Officer aboard the USS Little Rock (CLG-4), flagship of the sixth fleet based in Gaeta, Italy. He later served as Communications Officer aboard the USS Frances Marion (LPA-249) based in Norfolk, Va.
Sharon L. Higa was born in Anaheim, CA, just three blocks from Disneyland. At six years old she became enthralled with anything to do with horror or the supernatural, compliments of an older cousin who held her imagination captive with stories of hauntings. Travelling the world with her family, the fascination simply grew; she found an outlet in creating her own tales and telling them to others. But it was her sophomore high school teacher who encouraged her to start writing down her stories. In 1975, she submitted a short story, “The Painter” to the Richard Reidel Writing Competition and took 2nd place.
After that, she wrote intermittently for a number of years however, it was after she moved to Tennessee that her family and friends really started pushing her to sit down and seriously look at publishing her works. She now writes full time, and since 2013, has been an established author with such up and coming publishers as JEA Press, Dark Chapter Press, Sirens Call Publications and Alucard Press.
She has four novels, three novellas, and over twenty-five short stories published in fourteen different anthologies. Sharon specializes in horror, supernatural thrillers, fantasy/action, dark mystery/drama. She lives in East Tennessee on 6.2 acres with an assortment of wildlife, her five spoiled rotten cats, and one rambunctious mutt named Bailey. Visit her Website at: www.leapingunicornliterary.com
Sharon L. Higa has been a published author since 2013, with One short story, Where the Dead Have Gone, published by Sirens Call Publications, as well as Four novels - #6, Rose & Steel, Desert Tracks, One Night in the Eternity Of…
three novellas, Horrors and Occupational Hazards, Z-REGEN, and The Dam, all published with JEA Press, as well as over twenty-five Short stories published with four publishers; JEA Press, Sirens Call Publications, Dark Chapter Press and Alucard Press.
She has received the ‘Editors Choice Award’ Title in two Anthologies published by JEA Press, “Autumn Burning: Dreadtime Stories for the Wicked Soul” And “All That Remains.”
She also won the ‘Males vs Females’ Competition by JEA Press against her estimable and noteworthy fellow author, Michael Fisher.
2015 -She received a Certificate Award from JEA Press for being very ‘Professional’ in her interactions with both fellow authors, and the Staff at JEA Press.
2016 – She received a Certificate Award from JEA Press for being the ‘Most Supportive Author’ for her fellow authors throughout the year.
She also received ‘First Place’ Title with the submission and acceptance of her short story, I C U, published by Sirens Call Publications in their October, 2014 E-Zine.
Her short story, The Black Cat, was one of seven stories chosen and accepted by Dark Chapter Press for their anthology, “Eight Deadly Kisses.” The proceeds for this anthology are committed to CAMFED, a charity providing education for girls and young women in Africa.
S. M. McElligott has had a varied and interesting life. Holding a BA in history from St. Bonaventure University, she has also been a student of law, nursing, and human resources. Throughout it all, biblical history has held a special appeal for her.
An avid reader, chef, and traveler who recently celebrated her fortieth wedding anniversary, she is a proud wife, mother, and grandmother currently residing in Tennessee.
Susan Kite is an Army brat; which means she grew up everywhere. She didn't begin to settle down until her dad did. She earned two degrees at Utah State University, and began dabbling in writing. However, she didn't get serious until her children were grown. Now it is a contagious disease and she doesn't want to be cured!
Her first novel, My House of Dreams was written after several visits to the Mission San Luis Rey. A fantasy short story was included in an anthology published in 2013 called aMUSEing Tales. Another short story won second place in an online contest. A science-fiction novel, The Mendel Experiment, was published in April, 2015 by World Castle Publishing.
Tilmer Wright, Jr was born in 1965 in Kingsport, Tennessee. His mother was a dedicated homemaker and incredible loving mother of three - of which Tilmer was the youngest and the only boy. His father, Tilmer Sr., worked at a glass manufacturing facility and was just the best dad a kid could have.
Wayne Zurl grew up on Long Island and retired after twenty years with the Suffolk County Police Department, one of the largest municipal law enforcement agencies in New York and the nation. For thirteen of those years he served as a section commander supervising investigators.
He is a graduate of SUNY, Empire State College and served on active duty in the US Army during the Vietnam War and later in the reserves.
Zurl left New York to live in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee with his wife, Barbara—not far from Prospect PD.
Books by BJ Gillum
Interview with Author
Although there is romance and humor woven throughout the story there was always the question of an unpunished murder committed by ruthless men who manipulated the innocent to serve their purposes. That wouldn’t end satisfactorily until it was solved and justice served.
This story allows the reader to feel the inner motivations of the victims and villains equally.
I think all human characteristics and motivations are very similar and are molded by circumstances and environmental factors largely uncontrollable by themselves. My protagonist is motivated by fear and a need for justice. She is able to achieve her goals by associating with people who befriend her. Believe in her cause and eventually facilitate her success. I’m not sure this deviates from the norm.
Colette is a cub reporter beginning her first real job. She is ambitious and willing to work hard to prove she is more than capable. Her ambition burns within her and she is anxious to prove herself when through no fault of her own she feels her life threatened and must flee to survive.
There certainly could be because she is still young and just reaching her peak professionally when the book ends. Funny, I’ve never looked at it as a candidate for a sequel.
My Latest Blogs
A thriller is a story about a large poisonous spider you’ve been trying to kill for weeks (nobody believes there actually is one) that suddenly drops onto your face in the middle of a dark night; you lose control of bodily functions and scream uncontrollably because you’re alone and you can’t defend yourself since you are a quadriplegic from Afghanistan war wounds. Your new Medal of Honor still hangs around your neck where President Obama placed it earlier today in a tearful ceremony before TV cameras and a sobbing audience. Tension is made higher because you are now in a sound-proofed dressing room and a noisy Mick Jagger concert is in full swing in the next room beyond the one-way mirrored wall of the White House theater. With your remaining one good eye, you notice there are young spiders clinging all over the back of the large one that is now devouring your face. That is a thriller.
A mystery is a story about discovering how it got into the room by using clever techniques as employed by detectives or forensic pathologists, or as in the case of the spider attack, exterminators. A grinding, painstaking process that progresses like molasses in December until finally the obvious is observed. A badge of honor for the passionately detail-oriented late-night reader. NEVER read the last two pages of one of these before reading the entire book from front to back!
There are many authors who write novels that are cross-genre. For example, combine the two examples above and voila – cross genre! Even Mother Goose rhymes like Little Miss Muffett. It was a short biography until the spider came along and changed it to a thriller. That is cross-genre! If it had bitten her that would have become a Horror genre. If it had tried to take liberties with her, it would have become an erotica genre, depending on how the writer explained the details of the attack. -By BJ Gillum – Author of a series of humorous books
Cautionary Note: These are the opinions of this writer only and should not be taken as arachnophobic views nor are they authentic or representative of the official view of the Authors Guild of TN.