Meet the Authors

Robin Acton

Robin received more than a hundred awards from state and regional professional journalism organizations for her work in investigative projects, general news, features, business, health, and education writing.  A graduate of California University of Pennsylvania, she previously taught an introductory journalism class at the University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg campus. During her writing career, she participated as a panelist or guest speaker in numerous professional writing seminars and career day programs and served as a mentor to aspiring writers and journalists. Her debut novel, The Taker, was a finalist for the 2022 Silver Falchion Award in the mystery category in the annual competition sponsored by the Killer Nashville International Writers' Conference.

Mark Berkshire

Mark has been involved in ministry for almost 40 years. He has ministered in youth groups, in nursing homes, and has been the lead pastor of congregations. He has co-authored two books, 'Unwrapping Christ at Christmas' and 'Faith Responders Presents 21 Days of Spiritual Renewal.' He and Dawn have been married for 20 years and have a heart for teaching others about the Bible and about the persecuted Church. 

Barbara Brutt

Barbara Brutt, a born and raised Pittsburgher, spent her growing-up years with her nose in a book. After claiming her bachelor's degree in English, she did what most authors do – she juggled job, life, and writing. She published her young adult romance, Teal Paisley Tights; Christmas romance, Take A Right at the Mistletoe; and a collection of microfiction, Notes on Being Human. When she’s not writing, she’s eating ice cream, training in an aerial circus, or reading. 

Mary Frailey Calland

Mary Frailey Calland was born in Elmira, New York, and has always had a love of writing and history. She has a B.A. in American Studies from the University of Notre Dame and a Juris Doctor from Notre Dame Law School. Her books focus on American history as experienced, not by the famous, but by the common people of the period. Her previous works include the historical novels Barefoot in the Stubble Fields and Consecrated Dust, A Novel of the Civil War North. Mary lives with her husband, Dean, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Victoria Crall

All Victoria ever wanted growing up was to be a mom. After two years of struggling with infertility, she was given the greatest gift of all, a son. Since then, it's been nothing but laughter, chaos, and love. Watching her parents become grandparents has been an unbelievable joy. This book is dedicated to them.

Together, Victoria and Rob look forward to more traveling and introducing their son to their favorite destinations. She's also an infection preventionist and loves working to make healthcare a safer place for all.

Lisa Donovan

In between driving kids to activities and lending a hand to various non-profit groups, Lisa Donovan would gaze into the backyard for peaceful breaks. The more she looked, the more she appreciated the personalities of the birds in her backyard. And she also enjoys looking at birds at the beach!

Lisa grew up in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Grove City College. She received an M.A. in Professional Writing from Carnegie Mellon University. After working in communications for various companies and clients, she volunteers and looks out the window.

Melody Gatto

Pittsburgher and USA Today Bestselling Author Melody Heck Gatto was born and raised in the Steel City where she still resides with her husband, son, cats, and dog. The whole family are avid Pittsburgh Penguins fans and go to hockey games and practices when they get the chance. That's where lots of her ideas are born! Melody writes Steamy Hockey Romance and Sweet College Romance. She self-published her first hockey romance, Score On Me, in 2014. Her books are light on angst, because the world can be cruel enough and we can all use a little bit of light romance. 

J. V. Hilliard

BORN OF STEEL, fire, and black wind, J.V. Hilliard was raised as a highlander in the foothills of a once-great mountain chain on the confluence of the three mighty rivers that forged his realm's wealth and power for generations. Hilliard's training and education readied him to lift a quill that would scribe the tales of the realm of Warminster, filled with brave knights, harrowing adventures and legendary struggles.  He lives in the city of silver cups, hypocycloids and golden triangles with his wife, a ranger of the diamond. They built their castle not far into the countryside, guarded by his own two horsehounds, Thor and MacLeod, and resides there to this day.

Annette Hostoffer

Annette Hostoffer lives and works in Pittsburgh. She was inspired to write "Pittsburgh Dog & Frog" during COVID lockdown so that kids could have a creative outlet, and become engaged with learning about Pittsburgh. Annette's intent is for parents to read the book to their children and then visit all the sites referenced in the book. Annette has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Duquesne University and hold two master degrees from Point Park University; a master's degreee in journalism and a master's degree in organizational leadership.

Floyd Hughes

Floyd Hughes was born and raised in New York City. He and his wife Christina live in Jefferson HIlls, a suburb of Pittsburgh, where Floyd has served as pastor of CrossRoads Community Church of Jefferson Hills since 2007. Floyd served 12 years in the US Army, worked in the telecom industry, and worked as a government consultant before becoming a full-time pastor. He is co-host of the Faith Responders Podcast and of the Naps or Nothing Moms Podcast. He has written 5 books, 2 of which are for children, and co-authored 2 other books. Floyd is a self-proclaimed geek and foodie, a social media over user, and an avid comic book and movie fan. 

Lori Jakiela

Lori Jakiela is an American author of memoirs and poetry. She won Stanford University's William Saroyan International Prize for Writing for non-fiction for her third memoir, Belief Is Its Own Kind of Truth Maybe, in 2016 .  Her work has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Quarterly, and more. Jakiela was featured locally in Rick Sebak's PBS documentary "People Who Write Books Around Here."  She is a professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh  at Greensburg, and lives in Trafford, PA, with her author/husband Dave Newman and their children.  

Nicole Leckenby

Nicole Leckenby graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Media Communications. While completing her degree, she started working for a local webzine, The New Yinzer before moving on to her own publication, The Holiday Cafe. After writing interviews and mommy articles for The Holiday Cafe, Nicole wrote her Summer Vacation series, rhyming books for kids about various holidays. Nicole and her husband Brian have two boys. During soccer season, you can find her cheering on her boys. She also enjoys taking dance classes, serves on borough council, started an inter-borough safety committee, and much more.

Alice Mader

Alice Mader (Addie Herrington) resides in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Jim, and their collie dog, Leo. She enjoys getting lost in a good book but craves getting into the "zone" when writing. Having the "empty nest" allows for a bunch of zoning. Addie has done everything from being a cabbie, to being a cashier, to working in a labor gang, to working on an aircraft, to being in the medical field in different capacities. She was an EMT, medical technician, a vet tech, and a caregiver. She has three adult children, Bryan, Brett, and Ashley. Now that her children are grown and have lives of their own, she is taking her turn to finish her books. 

Enrico Nicolo

Born in Italy in 1944, Nicoló was raised in a Catholic family and environment. His undergraduate degree in humanistic studies includes ancient Greek and Latin. He graduated from medical school at the University of Rome in 1972, completed his residency in surgery in Pittsburgh, and became a world-renowned surgeon. "Ecce Homo: Jesus the Man" is his  first religious book. 

Jim O'Brien

Pittsburgh sports author Jim O'Brien has written 32 books in his “Pittsburgh Proud” series. He is on the advisory board for the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, and has been inducted into the Western Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. He was given the Bob Prince Award for his journalism efforts and the David L. Lawrence Award for "promoting Pittsburgh in a positive manner on a national level" from Vectors. He was cited as a "Legend" by the Pittsburgh chapter of the Italian-American Sports Hall of Fame. 

Tammy Pasterick

A native of Western Pennsylvania, Tammy grew up in a family of steelworkers, coal miners, and Eastern European immigrants. She began her career as an investigator with the National Labor Relations Board and later worked as a paralegal and German teacher. She holds degrees in labor and industrial relations from Penn State University and German language and literature from the University of Delaware. She currently lives on Maryland's Eastern Shore with her husband, two children, and chocolate Labrador retriever.

Leah Pileggi

Leah Pileggi studied children's writing at Chatham University and professional writing at Carnegie Mellon. Awards for her middle-grade historical novel Prisoner 88 include: NCTE Notable Book in the Language Arts; The Charlie May Simon Honor Book for Arkansas (2016); and IndieBound Kids Next List. Her work has appeared in Hopscotch Magazine, Smarty Pants Magazine for, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Chautauquan Daily, and The New York Times Magazine. 

Lauren Reichenbach

Lauren Reichenbach is a children's book author from Canonsburg, PA.  She grew up in Bethel Park, PA. Her first book "Adventures with Keena and Kyley", was self-published in 2021. This became a series which now includes four books along with a coloring book.  Lauren's latest release is called "I am a Nut," a children's rhyming book that helps provide a positive message about self love and being proud of who you are. All books are written in rhyme.

Linda Rettstatt

Linda Rettstatt began her writing career at the tender age of eighteen while working as a classified ad clerk for her hometown newspaper. In 2002, she sat at a computer determined to find out if she could write a novel. That novel and three more were contracted by a small press. She now has forty-plus novels and novellas and several short stories in her bibliography. Six of her novels were finalists for the prestigious EPIC eBook Award, and two novels, Love, Sam and Ladies in Waiting, won the award in 2012 and 2016 respectively.

In April of 2021, Linda retired and relocated back to her home state of Pennsylvania where she continues to write and to offer services as an editor and writing consultant.

Dale Saller

A native of Jefferson Hills and Large, PA, Dale Saller graduated from TJ High School. He attended College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA, Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle, PA and John Marshall Law School in Chicago, IL. After developing a career in sales and marketing with Sperry Univac and Digital Equipment Corp., he "retired" as an on-air radio personality with the Frankie Day "oldies show" on WKFB770 in McKeesport, PA. He started writing and was inspired to tell the stories of U.S. men and women who sacrificed their lives to protect their country, specifically a band of 23 young men from the Mon Valley who served - and died - during the Vietnam War.  His writing came to life when the book, Did You Know That Boy? was published in the summer of 2019. He has five adult children and sixteen grandchildren and resides with his wife, Antonette, in the Pittsburgh suburb of Bethel Park, PA.


Jennifer Silbaugh

Jennifer Silbaugh is a first time author. "A Dove in the Shadows: A mental health recovery journey from patient to professional" is a memoir about her 20 year journey in the mental health system and the 10 years she dedicated her life to helping others as a Certified Peer Specialist. Jennifer challenges the stigma surrounding mental health struggles by using her pain as her power to inspire others to choose recovery.  Jennifer loves looking for beach glass on the shores of Lake Erie and making creations from what she finds. She shares her adventures with her poodle Petey and her husband Scott.

Tawni Suchy

Tawni Suchy is first and foremost a wife and mom. She weaves together her love for Jesus and storytelling into Christian romance novels full of swoon-filled kisses, sassy heroines, and lovable heroes. Her debut novel "Secrets, Lies, and Deadly Ties" has been called an edge-of-your-seat romantic thriller. She's active on TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook where she loves connecting with her readers.

Julie Travaglini

Julie has been an avid nature lover since birth. In fact, she's made a career out of teaching children and adults alike about the wonders of our natural world.  She is the Senior Director of Education and Curriculum for Allegheny land Trust and the President Elect of the PA Association of Environmental Educators. She also sits on the Board of Directors of the Western PA Mushroom Club and Beverly's Birthdays. When not engaging in non profit leadership, you can find her kayaking, reading, looking for mushrooms, or tending her gardens. She is looking forward to writing her next book about mushrooms!

Jimmy & Dee Trick

Jimmy & Dee Trick are the founders of Goosebumps Paranormal Society, and together wrote "Weird, Spooky, Bizarre" about some of their best paranormal cases.  Jimmy has also written two other books, one fictional adventure story and the other about his hilarious backpacking adventures. Dee also love writing and edits their works before publication.  The husband and wife team are excited about additional books on the horizon. 

Kailyn Walters
(Ariel Dawn)

USA Today Best-selling author Ariel Dawn writes plot-driven paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and reverse harem, as well as contemporary romance and sci-fi romance. When she isn't writing, she can be found in costume at conventions, reading, hanging out with family and friends, and playing video games and board games with her retro-gamer husband.  

Cori Wamsley

Cori Wamsley is the author of nine books, CEO and owner of Aurora Corialis Publishing, and a writing coach. She primarily writes women's fiction. Her most recent novel, Braving the Shore, was released in June 2022, and her tenth book, The Treasures We Seek, will be available in November 2023. Before starting he own company, Cori spent ten years as a writer for the Departments of Justice and Energy. She is the former executive editor for Inspiring Live Magazine. Cori holds a bachelor's and master's in English and a bachelor's in biology.

Jim Wexell

Jim was born in Chicago and raised primarily in Irwin, Pennsylvania. He graduated Norwin High School in 1979 and the University of Pittsburgh in 1983 with a degree in English Writing. His writing career began at Irwin Standard Observer where he became sports editor in 1995. In 1998 he resigned to become a full-time beat reporter of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Currently on his 28th year on the beat, he is publisher of CBS Sports' Steel City Insider. He is the author of 5 sports books with 5 more in mind.