Local Author Showcase

SATURDAY, JUNE 3   |   1:00 PM TO 4:00 PM

Celebrate the work of local authors at our first Local Author Showcase! At the event, you will be able to talk with local authors, purchase their books, and enjoy readings! Light refreshments will be served. Free to attend.


Connie Blackwood

Connie Blackwood is a loving wife to her husband, Walter. They reside in Strathmore and have three charming cats Rylie, Zoey and Leo. She has mentored children, youth and adults for over 25 years, using her story to help others through traumatic experiences and tough times. She is currently pursuing opportunities to help people navigate these difficult life experiences.


BookUnlovable?: Transforming the Broken Heart from Embers to Radiance

Laura Burgoyne

Laura Burgoyne is a wife, mother of 6 children, entrepreneur, author, artist, and farmer at their 10-acre Hobby Farm located 15 min SW of Strathmore. She loves people and desires everyone to know their value and worth so they can live their lives with purpose.  Laura has mentored youth and young adults for the past 20 years. In 2021, Laura Founded the No One Stands Alone Foundation to help those struggling with mental health concerns find lasting healing.                                                                                                                                                                                               

Book - No One Stands Alone: True Stories of God's Intervention in Our Everyday Lives

Francine Cunningham

Francine Cunningham is an award-winning writer, artist, and educator who spends her summer days writing on the prairies and her winter months teaching in the north. Francine is a member of the Saddle Lake Cree Nation in Alberta but grew up in Calgary, Edmonton, and 100 Mile House, BC. Francine is also Metis and has settler family roots stretching from as far away as Ireland and Belgium. She currently resides in Alberta but previously spent over a decade calling Vancouver her home.

Her debut book of poems On/Me (Caitlin Press) was nominated for The BC and Yukon Book Prize, The Indigenous Voices Award, and The Vancouver Book Award. Her debut book of short stories God Isn’t Here Today (Invisible Publishing) is out now and is a book of speculative fiction and horror and was longlisted for The Inaugural Carol Shield’s Prize for Fiction and is a finalist for the 2023 Indigenous Voices Award. Her first children’s book What If Bedtime Didn’t Exist (Annick Press) will be out in 2024. Francine also writes for television with credits including the teen reality show THAT’S AWSM! among others and was a recipient of a Telus StoryHive grant. Her fiction, non-fiction, and poetry have also appeared in The Best Canadian Short Stories, The Best Canadian Non-Fiction, in Grain Magazine as the 2018 Short Prose Award winner, on The Malahat Review’s Far Horizon’s Prose shortlist, and on the 2022 CBC Poetry Prize longlist among others.

You can find out more about her at www.francinecunningham.ca

BooksOn/MeGod Isn't Here Today

Moira Darrell

MOIRA DARRELL WILEY is this author’s full name; however, she uses her first and middle name to write because, unbelievably, there is already an author named Moira Wiley!

Moira Darrell has been a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a legal secretary (22 years), a school admin secretary (12 years), a poet, a hand-sculpting potter in many techniques, dabbled in drawing, painting and, recently, is the writer of Selena and Her Mysteries. Upcoming within the next 12 months will be a totally different book, entitled, Two-Way Street.

Born in Saskatchewan, Canada, she has travelled to distant places – using modern modes of transportation. She loves nature and nurture, has had many pets – two closely resembling the animals in Selena and Her Mysteries, has loved them all, and she currently does have a kitty named Caylie Ceilidh Pretty Lady – really. Her English Springer Spaniel, Snickers, now passed away, knew the hand commands described in this book and in her forthcoming book. 

Moira now lives closer to the mountains in Alberta with her husband and kitty. Some family members are close by; others so far away that it brings tears to her eyes. Such is life. 

Read the rest of Moira's biography here:

Books: Selena and Her Mysteries, Two-Way Street (not yet published)

Matthew Gartner

My name is Matt Gartner, and I am a wretched human being who God saved from a life of folly, emptiness, anxiety, pain, and fear. I spent over 40 years of my life searching for fulfillment—in the admiration of others, in money, in possessions, and in sexual pursuits. In my search, I stole from, lied to, manipulated, and used others to get what I wanted. When I got what I wanted, I felt elated and believed I had received what I needed to be happy, but it never lasted. The next day only brought a new set of worries, about whether something or someone, would take away what I had built—my possessions, career, friends, respect, and self-esteem. At the same time, I believed I was a good person—that I was loving and better than the people who stole from me, lied to me, and used me. I couldn’t see how I was just like them. However, today I recognize that this is the human nature we are all born with—the inner desire to satisfy ourselves and to seek our own fulfillment.  My story, therefore, is little different from others.  It is only by the grace of God, the same grace that He wants to show you, that I now see the truth that never fails, that I now live the life that brings fulfillment, and that I now have the peace that eluded me so long. I am wretched human being who is thankful to be able to share this truth with you.

BookLiving with Babel: Understanding COVID-19 and Beyond

Kayla Gissing

Kayla is a yoga instructor, preschool teacher, children's book creator, mama, and essential oil lover with the goal of spreading love and positivity! Everything that Kayla creates is made with heartfelt love, and infused with the intention of nurturing peaceful play and equipping children with invaluable skills in yoga and mindfulness that will last a lifetime. When Kayla isn't teaching or crafting stories, she enjoys playing with her daughter, hiking with her husband, and cuddling with her dog. All Yogi Wilbert books and products are inspired by their family guinea pig who will always live in their hearts and memories as a zen and friendly furry friend. 

Book - Yogi Wilbert and the Wishing Tree: An Interactive Yoga Book About Inner Peace and Self Love

Barbara Gregory & Inkblots: A Red Deer Writers Group

How did it begin? In the fall of 2016, Lyle Meeres suggested starting a writing group through CARTA. After consulting with Robin Carson, the editor of ARTA’s news and views magazine, ten interested retired teachers met and discussed ways to incorporate Robin’s suggestions. Lyle set the plan in motion. 

Our first meeting on January 16, 2017, was attended by Mernie Alderson, Dianna Martin, Lyle Meeres, Darlene Shuya, Wayne Nylin and Edna Warriner. At first, we met in members’ homes to write and share what we’d written. We would each bring a piece we’d written and each of us would tell the author what we liked and what worked; or we would ask for clarification, if need be. Eventually, sharing reviews of novels we’d read became a part of the meetings and Lyle motivated members with writing exercises to challenge and improve each members' craft. 

Later, the group met at Timberlands Library and the meetings were opened to the general public. In spring 2020, when COVID put an end to in-person gatherings, weekly Google Meets were set up to support our writing. 

In spring 2022, we began to cautiously meet in person once again, dressed for the weather, under the trees on lawn chairs at the Red Deer Museum. 

Presently we meet on alternate Tuesdays at 2 pm at the MAG (Museum and Art Gallery). Over the years, Inkblots has published five books: 2 adult anthologies, 3 children’s anthologies, and a poetry chapbook.

Though members have come and gone over the years, our love of writing continues. Inkblots has remained a very caring, supportive group.   

Book - In Other Worlds: A Children's Anthology by Inkblots and friends

Christina Hatton-Fearnley

If you are looking for Christina, you can usually find her hanging out with her two children, taking photos, writing, hiking, camping, or hosting goat packing tours on her farm in Wheatland County, Alberta. Her love for her family, friends, and farm is easily seen through her love and dedication. To find out more about Climbing High Farms, visit their Facebook page or Instagram account. You can also reach them by email at climbinghighfarms@gmail.com

BooksKevin the Pack GoatThe Lost PhotographGirls Can Be Farmers Too

Illustrator: Emmeline Keeling

Emmeline's love for art started over 8 years ago when she received her first book about drawing. Since then, Emmeline's passion for art has led to many wonderful opportunities such as illustrating two children's books, illustrating a book cover, and displaying her art in galleries around Strathmore. She also expresses her creativity and imagination in numerous original artworks. Emmeline plans on continuing to pursue art by attending the Alberta University of Arts and teaching at the Wheatland Society of Arts. Emmeline can be reached at emmelinekeeling@gmail.com or on Instagram @emmelines.art

Marjorie Hembroff

Marjorie has been imaginative since early childhood. She grew up on a farm in Manitoba before television when there was lots of time and material for imagination. In school, Marjorie loved art and writing assignments, and after she married and moved to Alberta, she took art and writing classes, some by correspondence. Eventually, Marjorie joined an art club and took part in their shows.

It was then that she started to have strange dreams. In some, she held a book with blank pages and no cover. In other dreams, she saw a series of books with no covers. Marjorie told one of the art group members about the dreams because she’d learned to interpret dreams. She told Marjorie she was supposed to write the stories and draw the pictures for the covers. Shortly after that, Gramma Mouse Tells a Story was born. It wasn’t long before the idea for Bess’s Magical Garden surfaced.

Marjorie’s favorite author has always been L.M. Montgomery. In some ways, she always felt akin to Anne, the main character in the Anne of Green Gables series.

She now resides in Strathmore, Alberta. Her books are sold at local craft sales, The Vault in Strathmore, and on Amazon. She’s also written more stories. Some can be found on her website.

Website: www.mhembroff.wordpress.com

Email:mehembroff@hotmail.ca or margiesart@hotmail.com

Books: Bess's Magical Garden, The Mystery of the Hidden Cabin, The Island Mystery, Gramma Mouse Tells a Story, The Pen Inspector, The Giant and the Missing Lens, The Voices of Yesterday, Cherry Hill Farm

Devin-Leigh Hunter


Devin-Leigh Hunter is a 21 year old full-time student with a passion for helping others, science, art, and making the world a happier place. With a passion for many things, it is no shock that she is always going on new adventures and creating new stories. Her newest release, The Postage Bear, was a gift for her grandma Wendy, with all proceeds going to Landsdowne Children’s Centre in her home town of Brantford, Ontario. 


Books: Clark's Unorthodox Animal Park, The Postage Bear

Christine Magill

Christine Magill is an educator specializing in genocide studies. She has travelled to Rwanda five times over the last nine years. In 2015 Christine Magill received the Canadian Living Me to We Educator Award in recognition of her engagement and involvement in genocide education. She lives and teaches in Strathmore, Alberta.

Book - The Hope That Remains: Canadian Survivors of the Rwandan Genocide

Janice Olenick 

My name is Janice Olenick and I am a local self published author. I was born and raised in Calgary and have been writing most of my life. I am a mother of five and grandmother to one. I started reading to my kids from birth and on and have always strived to share the importance that reading makes in a child’s life. I hope to continue with my passion and publish more books in the series I’ve already done.


Book: The Secret Rainbow

Caroline Pearce

Caroline is the creator of Picturized Recipes and author/illustrator of the Squeak & Mouse children's book collection. She started creating and using Picturized Recipes (printable visual recipes that make it easy for everyone to "read" and follow along) when her little ones were only 1 and 2 years old as a way to keep them engaged and out of trouble while cooking in the kitchen. After a couple of years using the recipes, Caroline thought it would be a great idea to write a collection of entertaining stories based on the adventures her kids have had cooking with them.

As an attempt to make the Squeak & Mouse books inclusive, they are written with large dyslexia font and pastel coloured background.  As a former teacher, teaching life skills and giving children as many opportunities as possible to succeed is very important to her.

If you'd like to try a Picturized Recipe for free and to learn more about Caroline and the Squeak & Mouse collection you can go to picturizedrecipes.com.

Book: Squeak & Mouse Make a Muffin Mess

chat loading...