“20 in 20″—CWC Berkeley Book Launch June 20th

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Get to Know the Lineup of New Bay Area Books and Meet Their Authors

Saturday, June 20th, we honor our 20 members who’ve published a new title in 2019 & 2020. A wide range of literary genres will be featured, including thriller, mystery, non-fiction, memoir, media criticism, fantasy, and poetry. 

The virtual celebration will take place at 2 p.m., and will include a variety of insights and ideas for readers and writers alike. Each author will present or read briefly from their book, and answer one question. Join us for an engaging experience and a list of new books to read during shelter-in-place!

Digital books and hard copies will be available for purchase online through bookshop.org. Special bundle packages of CWC titles will be available at a discounted price. Many of these titles will make great Father’s Day gifts.

President Kristen Caven, who will be moderating the event, says, “Our club has never published so many books of such high quality in one fiscal year. We’re so excited to be part of, and to showcase the vitality of the Bay Area literary scene.”   

This Is a Free Online Event, Register Below

To attend the event, register on Zoom at https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0ldumspjouGtEMwV2FL7RFzCi6P28iGM4b.

Authors & New Books Featured
at June 20th Book Launch

A Waltz in Tennessee

by Francine Howard (Andrew Benzie Publishing)

 Age Matters

by Peggy Dougherty (Big Hat Press)

Finding Venerable Mother

by Cindy Rasicot (SheWrites Press)

Freefall: A Divine Comedy

by Lily Iona MacKenzie (Pen-L Publishing)

How to Understand and Deal with Your Fear and Anxiety

by Gini Graham Scott (Changemakers Publishing) 

Oakland, I’m Not Dead

by Keith Mark Gaboury (The Pedestrian Press)

On A Road

by Jeff Kingman (Finishing Line Press)

People You’ve Been Before

by Tim Jollymore (Finns Way Books)

Private Investigations

by Victoria Zackheim (Seal Press/Hachette)

Squirrels in the Wall

by Henry Hitz (SheWrites Press)

Tell Me, Signora

by Ann Harleman (Elixir Press)

The Grating of America

by Judith Offer (Self Published)

The Poet’s Garage

by Terry Tierney (Unsolicited Press)

The Souls of Her Feet

by Kristen Caven (Uplift Press)

When I Killed My Father: An Assisted Suicide Family Thriller

by John Byrne Barry (Page-turners With a Conscience Press)

 Expect Betrayal

by JoAnn Smith Ainsworth (Draft2Digital)

Discovering Kubrick’s Symbolism: The Secrets of the Films

by Nicole Berg        (McFarland & Company)

These four titles will come out in the fall:

The Lines Between Us

by Rebecca D’Harlingue (SheWriters Press)

Dance of the Deities: Searching for Our Once and Future Egalitarian Society

by Patricia McBroom (Green Fire Press) 

Dispatches From The Swinging Door Saloon

by Randall McNair (Bits of Steak Press) 

Broke Bone Moon

by Paul Corman Roberts (Nomadic Press)

Be sure to like us on Facebook so you can hear about our latest events.

CWC Book Launch Party Sat. June 15th


Octopus Literary Salon on Saturday

June 15, 6:30-8:30 pm

The California Writer’s Club is hosting its annual launch party for member authors who were published in 2018-2019. Continuously operating since 1909, we are rich with Oakland history and writing for the future! Join us to hear seven excellent and diverse voices span genres from women’s fiction to thrillers, and self-help. A unique opportunity to absorb the vibrant local lit scene and get some great new books!

Featuring seven excellent and diverse voices spanning many genres, including literary fiction, magic realism, science fiction, thrillers, and timely non-fiction, the reading provides a unique opportunity to absorb and interact with the vibrant Bay Area literary scene.

Getting There

The Octopus Literary Salon is located at 2101 Webster Street in Oakland, not far from the 19th Street BART stop.


We are holding this event rather than our regular Sunday meeting. No meeting on June 16th!

There’s no charge for this event but please RSVP on Facebook

Readings Featured at the Book Launch Party

by Peggy Dougherty

Winner of the San Diego Book Award! A 60-something screenwriter convinces her thirty-year-old daughter to impersonate her. A smart and revealing romp through Hollywood ageism.

by M Verant

An action-packed political thriller built on ruthlessly factual criticism of the Trump presidency. Critics say: “A relentless thriller….”
“Put aside Patterson, Baldacci, Nelson DeMille and Grisham and give Verant a look….”
“Terrifyingly plausible…”
“I raced to the ending.”

by Henry Hitz

An interconnected series of stories about animals full of heartwarming and humorous experience.

by Kacey Carpenter

A roller coaster ride through inspirational stories about the people who are bringing enthusiasm and hope, leading a new political revolution.

by Gini Graham Scott

A series of inspiring ideas and images originally published on Instagram.  “Don’t just think about it. Act!” and “Good thoughts lead the way to wise actions.”

by Gary Durbin

A software super geek becomes unexpectedly embroiled in a murder case when he is hired to investigate the software at a Bay Area tech firm, and must work with his lover to to contain a dangerous AI.

by Kristen Caven

A playful reimagining of Cinderella as a teen with body image issues and a modern dysfunctional family. A delightful gift for romantics, shoe-lovers, and drag fans.

See You TOMORROW! End-of-year BOOK LAUNCH!


Our final meeting of the year will take place TOMORROW at 3pm at our Member Book Launch! Here is information on the event and links to purchase all the books!

  • Thank you to Fred Dodsworth for emcee-ing the event…
  • Welcome to new member, Jane Anne Staw, author of Small: The Little We Need for Happinesswho will be joining us last-minute…
  • Say you are coming on Facebook HERE! Please bring a friend!
  • Plan to come a little early to find parking… and stay after for another book event and/or some socializing!
And now a word from Laurel Bookstore:

CWC Author BOOK LAUNCH June 16th!


Instead of our regular meeting, this June we will celebrate all the Berkeley CWC authors who were published in 2017-2018 with an evening of readings at Laurel Bookstore. Come and celebrate our amazing members! The diversity of our writers gives a unique taste of the Bay Area publishing scene and nine creative, emerging authors.

The event is steps away from the 12th St. BART station in a charming local bookstore, Laurel Bookstore at 1423 Broadway St., Oakland, CA 94612.

We are holding this event from 3-5 on Saturday, rather than our regular Sunday meeting, so as not to conflict with Father’s Day. No meeting on June 17th!

Books by CWC Authors Featured Sat. June 16th:

51t-cfi3y3l-_sx322_bo1204203200_JoAnn Smith Ainsworth: Expect Deception

(She Writes Press)

Just when US WAVE Livvy Delacourt thinks she and her team of psychic Nazi hunters are ready for whatever The Reich can throw at them, Hitler adds to the mix a spy who also happens to be a wizard. Now dark magic is being used to attack US facilities, and Livvy must match wits with the evil wizard, whose objective is to destroy Operation Delphi and all her team. If she fails to ramp up her psychic powers, she may perish―and perhaps cause the US to lose the war with Germany while she’s at it.

An emotional journey through paranormal realms, Expect Deception is a fast-paced, suspenseful sequel to Expect Trouble, about what happens when US Navy psychics pit themselves against their Nazi counterparts.

cover1Kristen Caven (writing as Cosima Zanardi): The Vesuvian Affair

(Mystic Editions)

Carla White never expected to be climbing a volcano, and she never expected to be at Carnevale in Venice, much less swept up by romance. Had she been paying attention, she might have been prepared for the Italian *baci*. But no one ever expects to be possessed by a goddess.

The Vesuvian Affair is a limited edition art print only available at special events, exclusive venues and from the author at www.kristencaven.com. Kristen, who also writes psychology, poetry and personal essays,  will also give a sneak peek at her forthcoming travel memoir, Ten Days, Ten Pounds, which inspired this fantasy.

51hk42bn6igl-_sx326_bo1204203200_Tim Jollymore: Lake Stories and Other Tales

(Finns Way Books)

Comic, heartfelt, and mysterious, these stories charm the reader with good humor, affection for their natural settings, and the gentle, persistent seeking for a lasting place in the daily world of common folk.

Some tales cast moonlight over the solitary in us all who wander at dusk. Others haunt us with loss and evoke a certain sense of autumn, likely to press sighs from an ache in our breath. Still others fill us with the pride in a true hero.

Within, the reader finds young love, aged angst, bumbling travelers, the fogged memory, moon watchers, dog rescuers, lost and very-lost tourists, and long, sweet farewells.

The humorous among these engender wistful smiles, occasional smirks, and outright chuckles punctuated by a shaking of the cynical head.

9781631523106Christine Evelyn Volker: Venetian Blood, Murder in a Sensuous City

(She Writes Press)

Struggling to forget a crumbling marriage, forty-year-old Anna Lucia Lottol comes to Venice to visit an old friend—but instead of finding solace, she is dragged into the police station and accused of murdering a money-laundering count with whom she had a brief affair. A US Treasury officer with brains and athleticism, Anna fights to clear her name in a seductive city full of watery illusions. As she works to pry information from a cast of recalcitrant characters sometimes denying what she sees and hears, she succeeds in unleashing a powerful foe bent on destroying her. Will she save herself and vanquish her enemies, including her darkest fears?

A mysterious tapestry of murder, betrayal, and family, Venetian Blood is a story of one woman’s brave quest for the truth —before it’s too late.

51fwyiqriol-_sx326_bo1204203200_Alice Jurow: Vamps of ’29

(Deco Vamp)

In the darker corners of the City of Light, three fashionable young women revel in the glamor of late-1920s Paris nightlife. They model cutting-edge styles at a couture house on the rue Cambon. And, they are vampires. “Vamps of ’29” follows their piquant and picaresque adventures as they seek to define for themselves what it means to be a modern vamp. Jazz-mad and fashion-obsessed, this debut novel is period fiction with a touch of urban fantasy.

Alice Jurow, as “Ms Mhoon” is a bit of a cult figure in the Art Deco Society and it’s worth coming out just to see what she will wear.  She is working on the sequel, Vamps of ’39.

Kymberlie Ingalls: 43

(Rainfall Press)

“Like the Fool, I began this life feeling strangely empty and profoundly sad as if I had already lost something. I have no prediction to how it will end, but do believe my truth will be found when I get there. I am a hoarder of moments, of words and photos and status updates. I’m not sure if I’m letting go so that I can move forward, or so that I can finally be at rest. Death has taken hold and isn’t letting go – 12 people in 12 months was only the beginning. I’m tired of the fight, of the grieving and the recovery that never has a chance to happen.

I’m ready for it to be over.

My life was to expire at 43 years of age. My Intuition said so, and she’s never wrong.

Interpretation is everything.”

51k52uhmz4lSheryl J. Bize-Boutte: Running For The 2:10


This book of autobiographical short stories follows Sheryl J. Bize-Boutte’s 2014 publication of “A Dollar Five: Stories From a Baby Boomer’s Ongoing Journey.” In “Running For The 2:10: More Stories From a Baby Boomer’s Ongoing Journey,” the discord of skin tone often seeps in to color the path, playing like an ever present low hum in the background of these coming of age tales. Set in Oakland, California, the road winds from family shopping trips to the local hardware store that activate the writer, to near derailing losses and finding alternative ways back to joy. In these stories, Bize-Boutte deftly describes how heartbreak can give way to hilarity and loss can make room for celebration. Be prepared to laugh, cry and gasp out loud, in no particular order.

61xtw43yw1lGary Durbin: Nano-Uncertainty

(Amazon Digital Services)

Nano-Uncertainty brings to life the strange world of high-tech in the Bay Area while presenting the real danger of an unconstrained artificial intelligence.
Software super geek James Forrest becomes unexpectedly embroiled in a murder case when he is hired to investigate the software at Distributed Nanotech Inc., a Berkeley supercomputer software company. James tells Susanne Anderson, the CEO, that DNI’s murdered Chief Scientist copied his code from an artificial intelligence project; this makes her life even more complex. While she struggles to keep the company’s venture financing on track and James struggles to understand the software, they become murder suspects.
James builds a visual tool to see inside the supercomputer. Even though the Visualizer is hypnotic and painful, it helps him unlock a hidden AI. The DNI system breaks, and when James figures out how to fix it, the murderer is enraged and comes after James. Pulled together by their romantic attraction for each other, James and Susanne join forces to contain the dangerous AI.

51de6m0tggl-_sx322_bo1204203200_Henry Hitz (writing as KM Lovejoy): Supremacy

(Wordrunner Press)

Peter Graves, a longtime activist, with inoperable brain cancer, is desperate to have a meaningful death. The Supreme Court is about to forbid the use of the stem cells that could save his life. Someone needs to arrange the assassination of one of the reactionary Supreme Court Justices, and it might as well be him…

This “kinky political thriller with a big heart” is written pseudonymously by an author of White Knight, another political thriller about an activist caught in the secret and tragic connection between the Harvey Milk and Jonestown massacres.




Member Book Launch: The Vesuvian Affair

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Long-time member Kristen Caven has published four books since she joined the CWC. One of her measures of creative success is a great launch party, and her next one promises to be unforgettable. On February 11th, she will be debuting a limited-print edition of an erotic/paranormal/spiritual romance at an elegant and extravagant costume party.  

The Vesuvian Affair (Mystic Editions) takes place at a sci-fi-themed Carnevale party in Venice, where flickering lights, outrageous costumes, and flowing alcohol create a beautiful but unsteady reality.  An American schoolteacher has become possessed by a nature spirit, and a Wiccan priestess tries to protect her from the psychological toll of consummation.

cover2As in most of Caven’s fiction, the narrator becomes real and the author becomes a character. The lines will blur even further when this award-winning playwright appears as Cosima Zanardi, international woman of mystery. The Prosecco (not Champagne) reception at the finale of a private Carnevale-themed party, is open to the public. Costumes and masks are admired but not required.

When: Saturday, February 11th, 2017, 5-6p.m. 

Where: The Bellevue Club in Oakland, 525 Bellevue Avenue (across from the playground at Lake Merritt)

How much: $20 in advance covers admission, a collectible book, and a glass of bubbly.  Purchase the “Venetian Affair” package at www.generousmuse.org. (If you love dressing up, then get the “Venetian Adventure” package and come at 2pm.) Please note you are coming and invite a friend on the Facebook Event page!

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