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American Association of University Women will host author’s tea to raise scholarship funds

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Posted: Thursday, March 31, 2011 7:13 am

The American Association of University Women will be hosting an author’s tea as a scholarship fundraiser on April 9 from 2 to 5 p.m. at Morton Hall, St. Paul Lutheran Church, on the corner of Tokay and Lee Streets. Several local authors will present their books, talk a little about themselves and tell how they began writing.

The following authors from a variety of genres will be represented:

Susan Crosby, romance: Crosby started writing contemporary romance stories to entertain her when her children were small. When they entered school, she returned to college to receive her Bachelor of Arts in English. She then began writing as a career. Crosby has been published since 1994 and has garnered many awards as well as appearances on the USA Today and Waldenbooks bestseller lists. Her new book, “Mendoza’s Return,” is being released in March, and three other books will be released in May, September and December respectively.

Robin Burcell, mystery: Burcell retired from her position as a criminal investigator in Sacramento County and is pursuing a full-time writing career. She is an FBI-trained forensic artist and has worked as a detective, hostage negotiator and police officer for the city of Lodi for 18 years. In 1999, she started a series of Anthony Award-winning novels about SFPD Homicide-Inspector Kate Gillespie. Her next series of novels has centered on FBI forensic artist Sydney Fitzpatrick in “Face of a Killer” and “The Bone Chamber.” The working title on her next novel about Sydney Fitzpatrick is “The Bone Mantle.”

Nancy Claus, children’s stories: Claus, or Mrs. Claus as she is known, writes stories that give all of us insight into the activities that take place at the North Pole. Her books propel you on an adventure with all the excitement, the surprises, and of course, all the magic of Christmas. Claus had always written for her own enjoyment, but when her grandchildren were born she began seeing life through a child’s eyes and she started writing children’s stories.

Danna Smith, children’s stories: Writing for children is Smith’s passion. She wrote her first poem when she was five and never stopped. She took her notebook with her everywhere she went. After college, she married, had a family and a full-time job. Of course, she was always practicing her writing. She finally decided it was time to learn all she could about writing for publication. In stores now is her first book, “Two at the Zoo,” a counting book. It is now in its second printing. It has received several awards and was reviewed in the March 2009 issue of Parenting magazine. A new book, “Pirate Nap,” will be released in September.

Debra Ann Ristau, Lodi wine: Ristau has had varied life experiences, from raising cattle, training horses and riders, working as a photojournalist in the Army National Guard, and experiencing life in many more ways too numerous to list. Her first book, “Horse Whispers and Lies,” was published in 1999. Two golf history books followed and her fourth book, “Lodi On the Label,” was published in 2010. After a delicious day of wine tasting in 2008, the idea took hold to write this book, a tribute to the wine and winemakers of Lodi.

Autographed books will be available for sale. AAUW members will decorate tables with their own tea services and will provide cookies and tea for the enjoyment of those in attendance. Tickets are $20 each and are available from members, at the door or by contacting Joanne Hildenbrand at 369-1707. Seating is limited. All proceeds will go towards scholarships, which are given yearly to each of the four high schools.

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