Saturday, April 21, 2018 – 10:30 am – General Meeting

Topic:  “Understanding the Hero’s Journey in Today’s Terms” by Guest Speaker Christine Ashworth, author of sweet, sexy, SIZZLING romance! Are you in need of a hug? Read on!

About Our Speaker

Christine says that she’s still 17 at heart, and we believe her! As author of the StarTide contemporary romance series, Christine has also penned the paranormal romance series based on The Caine Brothers, leaving her quite well-versed on the Hero’s Journey. “I grew up in San Diego, fell in love with another dancer, and married him. We’ve got two tall sons and live in Ventura County, California. But probably one of the most important things to know about me is, I’m a hugger. I hug. I touch. It’s one of the ways I process people. So if you see me coming, know I’ll reach out and give you a hug.


Past Meetings:

Saturday, March 17, 2018 – 10:30 am – General Meeting

Topic:  “Story Beats — Your Story’s Heartbeat” by Guest Speaker Ara Grigorian, who says that, “anyone can become a better storyteller. The best way to learn from story masters is to decompose and analyze your favorite work (books, movies, etc) like a surgeon until you see the inherent patterns that makes all stories flow. Story Beats are the heartbeat of a story…”

About Our Speaker

Fascinated by the human species, Ara writes about choices, relationships, and second chances. Always a sucker for a hopeful ending, he writes contem-porary romance stories. He is an alumnus of both the Santa Barbara Writers Conference and Southern California Writers’ Conference (where he also serves as a workshop leader). Ara is an active member of the Romance Writers of America and its Los Angeles chapter.


Saturday, February 17, 2018 – 10:30 am – General Meeting

Topic:  “Beginnings and Other Stuff About Writing” by Guest Speaker Sheila Lowe! Who better to talk about the subject matter than Sheila, who has an impressive list of writing credits including seven entries within her Forensic Handwriting Suspense series, the latest of which is is WRITTEN OFF. 

About Our Speaker:

British-born Sheila Lowe is a real-life forensic handwriting examiner who testifies in court cases. The mother of a tattoo artist and a former rock star, she lives in Ventura, CA with Lexie the Very Bad Cat. Despite sharing living space with a feline, however, her Forensic Handwriting mystery suspense series is definitely not cozy. But if you enjoy psychological suspense and in-depth exploration of characters, they may be for you. Sheila has also published nonfiction books about handwriting analysis and a standalone novel of suspense about a young woman with amnesia.

Sheila has lived in the United States since she was a young teen. She resides in Southern California with the aforementioned Very Bad (sometimes Evil) Cat.

For information about her handwriting analysis services and products, please visit Sheila’s business website 

Saturday, January 20, 2018 – 10:30 am – General Meeting

Topic:  “What You Need to Know About Contracts”  with Guest Speaker:  Maggie Marr!

About Our Speaker

Maggie Marr is the author of contemporary romance and women’s fiction. She writes smart, sexy, women and the men they love.

She got her start in Hollywood pushing the mail cart at ICM, but quickly rose through the ranks to become a motion picture literary agent. As well as writing, she maintains a boutique legal practice dedicated to the needs of creatives & entrepreneurs.

She is the current President of Los Angeles Romance Authors (LARA) and legal adviser to the Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA).

Maggie loves all things pop culture and when she isn’t taking care of her clients or writing she can be found reading, chasing kids, or exercising her rescue pup. You can email Maggie at: maggiemarrbooks [at] gmail [dot] com

Saturday, October 21 – 10:30 am – General Meeting

Topic:  “Author Meets Readers:  Engaging In A Real-Life Love Affair” by Guest Speaker Liz Donatelli of Liz D Publicity and Promotions.

About Our Speaker

Liz D Publicity & Promotions connects traditionally published and self-published fiction and non-fiction authors with enthusiastic readers by providing professional, budget-friendly services.

Liz is also the founder/coordinator of Book’d “The Ultimate Bibliophiles’ Night Out” in Los Angeles.

Welcome, Liz!


Saturday, September 16 – 10:30 am – General Meeting

Topic:  “Taking Your Book from Okay to Great!” by Guest Speaker Susan Squires

About Our Speaker

Susan Squires grew up among the giant redwoods of California, but now researches and writes her books at the beach in Southern California, supported by three Belgian Sheepdogs and a wonderful husband named Harry who writes occult mysteries as H.R. Knight.

While an executive in a Fortune 500 company, Susan’s love of writing grew; she continued to hold her day-job, much to the amusement of her fellow executives. Her novel Danegeld, had already been purchased by Dorchester by the time she accepted a Golden Heart for Best Unpublished Paranormal Manuscript from Romance Writers of America. It was the first of an eclectic group of historical and contemporary paranormal stories known for their intensity.

Susan’s Companion Series for St. Martin’s Press, continued to garner attention with admiring reviews and several visits to the New York Times Bestseller List. Publishers Weekly named One with the Shadows a Best Book of the Year, and several of the series received starred reviews. Her books have won the many regional contests for published works of paranormal romantic fiction.

Saturday, August 19  – 10:30 am – General Meeting

Topic:  “The Pros and Cons of Writing in Multiple Genres” by Guest Speaker Linda O. Johnson

About Our Speaker

She calls herself a “born romantic;” she also loves to solve puzzles. What better combo for a career in (among other genres) romantic suspense!  And what a career.

“My first published fiction consisted of several short stories in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. The first, “Different Drummers,” won the Robert L. Fish Memorial Award for best first mystery short story of 1988.

“My first novel was the 1995 Love Spell time travel romance A Glimpse of Forever.  Since then, I have had 42 additional novels published–mysteries and romances, including paranormal romance and romantic suspense.” Linda is a member of OCRWA, LARA, Sisters-in-Crime and Mystery Writers of America! Visit her website here.

NOTE:  Linda is now a member of Santa Clarita Romance Writers!!!

Saturday, June 17 – 10:30 am – General Meeting

Topic:  “I’M WRITING A BOOK… NO, WAIT.  IT’S A SERIES” by Guest Speaker Judy Duarte. Ever been a little confused about where your book is going? Judy will clear up the mystery about whether or not your book has a future as part of a series!

About Our Speaker

JudyPhotoIn the course of writing our stories, many secondary characters become so distinct and likable that they begin to demand a book of their own.   As authors, it’s hard to ignore their voices, so the idea of creating a series will strike before we get a chance to type The End.  But then there are other times when a series idea will come to life before we write the opening scene.  In this workshop, multi-published author Judy Duarte will address plotting, proposing, and writing a 3-book series.

Since 2002, USA Today bestselling author Judy Duarte has written more than fifty books for both Harlequin and Kensington Publishing, earned two Rita® finals, won two Maggies and received a National Reader’s Choice Award.

IWhen she’s not cooped up in her writing cave, she enjoys traveling with her husband and spending quality time with her grandchildren.  You can learn more about Judy and her books at her website:   Or on Facebook at:

Saturday, May 20 – 10:30 am – General Meeting

Topic:  “SELF-EDITING” by Guest Speaker Mia Hopkins! Can self-editing really be a thing? When do you turn it on, and off, in order to get through your book? Bring your blue pencil and join us as Mia explains what self-editing is all about!

About Our Speaker

Mia Hopkins writes lush romances starring fun, sexy characters who love to get down and dirty. She’s a sucker for working class heroes, brainy heroines and wisecracking best friends. She lives in Los Angeles with her roguish husband and waggish dog.

Mia is the author of the Cowboy Cocktail series and the Kings of California series, as well as a number of short story collections.

She is a member of Los Angeles Romance Authors (LARA-RWA).

Click here for her /now page for a list of current projects and interests.

Saturday, April 15 – 10:30 am – General Meeting

Topic:  “The Query Letter” by Guest Speaker Meghan Farrell, Executive Editor for Tule Publishing, San Clemente, California.

About Our Speaker

A native Texan, Meghan Farrell graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a BA in Psychology. She packed her bags and moved to the Golden State, where she joined Tule Publishing Group in Southern California. Meghan became the Managing Editor for Tule in 2014 and oversees and coordinates the development of the company’s imprints, production, subrights, editorial and marketing departments. She has had the pleasure of speaking at national and international romance conferences and looks forward to more in the future. Meghan enjoys sharing her enthusiasm for travel, a good cup of coffee and, of course, a great book! Visit Tule Publishing.

Saturday, March 18 – 10:30 am – General Meeting

Topic:  “Romantic Tension in the First Five Pages” by Guest Speakers Martina Boone and Lisa Gail Green. So, who needs romantic tension? You do! In your book! Join us to hear how to get that magical, chemical intensity into those important first five pages.

About Our Speakers

MartinaMartina Boone was born in Prague and spoke several languages before learning English. She’s the acclaimed author of the romantic southern gothic Heirs of Watson Island series, including Compulsion (Oct ’14), Persuasion (Oct ’15), and Illusion (Oct ’16), from Simon & Schuster, Simon Pulse. She’s also the founder of, a three-time Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers Site, and, a site dedicated to encouraging literacy and reader engagement through a celebration of series literature. She’s on the Board of the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia and runs the program to distribute books to underfunded schools and libraries.

She lives with her husband, children, and a lopsided cat, she enjoys writing contemporary fantasy set in the kinds of magical places she’d love to visit. When she isn’t writing, she’s addicted to travel, horses, skiing, chocolate flavored tea, and anything with Nutella on it. Want to know more? Check out

Lisa Gail Green lives with her husband the rocket scientist and their three junior mad scientists Lisa Gail Greenin Southern California. Romantic Times very kindly referred to SOUL CROSSED, the first book in her YA paranormal romance series, OF DEMONS AND ANGELS, as, “The Mortal Instruments meets Romeo and Juliet.” Lisa loves other authors and co-founded Adventures in YA Publishing’s First Five Pages Workshop, which now runs independently online with a slew of award winning and best-selling author mentors as well as monthly agent or editor guests — all as a free service for aspiring authors. She has a parrot but would most definitely get a werewolf for a pet if she weren’t allergic.


Saturday, February 18 – 10:30 am – General Meeting

Topic:  “How to Get the Dang Book Written!” by Guest Speaker Margaret Brownley. The number one excuse for not writing is lack of time.   “Horse feathers!” says N.Y. Times bestselling author Margaret Brownley.  An author of more than forty books, she should know. She wrote four books in three years while caring for three children, an elderly relative, and working full time.  “You don’t find time for writing,” she says.  “You make time.”  During the February meeting, Margaret will share her hard-earned secrets on how to turn a lack of time into writing time.

About Our Speaker


MARGARET BROWNLEY is best known for her self-named genre, “Love and Laughter in the Old West.” Her books have won numerous awards, including Readers’ Choice and Award of Excellence. She’s a former Romance Writers of America RITA® finalist and has written for a TV soap.  She is currently working on a new series.  Not bad for someone who flunked eighth grade English.  Just don’t ask her to diagram a sentence.

Margaret makes her home in Southern California and is a member of the newly formed RWA chapter, Santa Clarita Romance Writers.

Saturday, January 21 – 10:30 am – General Meeting

Topic:  “First Time for Everything” by Guest Speaker Tessa Dare!  Romances are all about the “first times”:  first meet, first kiss, first argument, and first confessions of love, to name a few.

About Our Speaker


In this workshop, best-selling and RITA-winning author Tessa Dare will share strategies for taking the emotion in your manuscripts to the next level by setting unique hurdles for your characters.

Tessa is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of fourteen historical romance novels and five novellas. Her books have won numerous accolades, including Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® award (twice) and the RT Book Reviews Seal of Excellence. Booklist magazine named her one of the “new stars of historical romance,” and her books have been contracted for translation in more than a dozen languages.

A librarian by training and a booklover at heart, Tessa makes her home in Southern California, where she lives with her husband, their two children, and a trio of cosmic kitties.

Saturday, November 19 – 10:30 am – General Meeting

Topic:  “A Journey to Success” by Guest Speaker Debra Holland, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of historical-Western and fantasy romance!

about-debraAbout Our Speaker

Debra Holland is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of the award-winning Montana Sky Series (sweet, historical Western romance) and The Gods’ Dream Trilogy (fantasy romance.)

Debra is a three-time Romance Writers of America Golden Heart finalist and one-time winner. In 2013, Amazon selected Starry Montana Sky as one of the Top 50 Greatest Love Stories.

When she’s not writing, Dr. Debra works as a psychotherapist and corporate crisis/grief counselor. She’s the author of The Essential Guide to Grief and Grieving, a book about helping people cope with all kinds of loss, and Cultivating an Attitude about Gratitude, a Ten Minute Ebook. She’s also a contributing author to The Naked Truth About Self-Publishing.

Saturday, October 15 – 10:30 am – General Meeting

Topic:  “Hooks: Who, What, When, Where and Why the hell should I care?” by Guest Speaker Debbie Decker, author of contemporary romances – big love in small towns!

About Our Speaker


Debbie is the author of Room at the Inn, from the “Key to Her Heart” series. Debbie writes, “Home is where my story starts. There is nothing more important than my family and friends. That’s why I write love stories… all kinds of love. I look at my life and appreciate how blessed I’ve been with amazing relationships. That’s another thing you’ll find in my stories – family and friends you can count on when the going gets tough.

“After all, LOVE is what makes the world go ‘round.

Happy reading! – Debbie”


Saturday, September 17 – 10:30 AM – General Meeting

“Visual Content creation for promotion and marketing in your writing business” by Guest Speaker Elena Dillon, author of the “Breathe” series!

About Our Speaker

Professional-Picture-MK2-268x300Elena lives and writes in a suburb North of Los Angeles.  She has never lived anywhere besides California which is probably a good thing since she hates being cold and is terrified to drive in the snow. She loves being a wife and a mother to her three kids and two dogs, although really the bulldog is the fourth child who has never matured beyond the toddler stage.

A self-proclaimed nerd, she has been writing since she was a child. She has only recently, however, come out of the closet about this to her family and friends.  They now understand better, but not completely, why she talks about characters in stories as if they are real people.

Saturday, June 18 – 10:30 AM  – General Meeting

“Making Your 60 Seconds Count!” – Write-in Workshop on Perfecting Your Elevator Speech

Old Town Newhall Library, 22704 9th Street, Newhall, CA  91321

How do you make them care? Leave them wanting more? Inspire a call to action? Let’s talk about the other meaning for “Perfect Pitch” when talking to an agent or editor. Bring your blurb, your shortest synopsis and a sharp pencil! (There’s even an elevator to practice in!)