John G. Hartness, Winner of the Manly Wade Wellman Award

On July 16, 2016, the Manly Wade Wellman Award was given at Con-Gregate to John G. Hartness, an author from Charlotte, North Carolina (and member of Broad Universe). The award, now in its third year, is given by the North Carolina Speculative Fiction Foundation and seeks to "recognize outstanding achievement in science fiction and fantasy novels written by North Carolina authors."withfinalists-noursula

The 2016 award was given for a work of speculative fiction published by a North Carolina writer in 2015. The primary eligibility list was announced in January 2016 at Illogicon and included more than 115 titles. This year there were six finalists, since three titles were by the same author (Gail Z. Martin, also of Broad Universe):

Raising Hell by John G. Hartness (Falstaff Books)
The Mussorgsky Riddle by Darin Kennedy (Curiosity Quills)
Iron and Blood by Gail Z. Martin and Larry N. Martin (Solaris Books)
Vendetta by Gail Z. Martin (Solaris Books)
War of Shadows by Gail Z. Martin (Orbit Books)
Castle Hangnail by Ursula Vernon (Dial Books)

Hartness's winning title, Raising Hell, features his newest creation, Quincy Harker, the immortal magic-wielding child of Mina Murray and Jonathan Harker from Dracula. You can find more about John and his works on his amazon page: or his website:

Southern Voices Book Launch Party



At Con-Gregate in High Point, NC on Friday, July 15th, three members of Broad Universe, along with other southern writers, joined together for a Book Launch Party.

Samantha Bryant, Gail Z Martin, and John G Hartness launched Change of Life, The Shadowed Path, and Quincy Harker, Year One, respectively. It was a gala event with raffle prizes and an opportunity to buy books and get them signed for fans.

Con-Gregate is a small, family-oriented convention, beloved by many in the community. This year's special guests included Steven Barnes, Lindsey Look, AJ Hartley and Valentine Wolfe.

Christie Maurer

Christie Maurer Obituary
Christie Maurer
Mar. 5, 1937 - Apr. 4, 2016
Scotts Valley, CAChristieMaurer

Christie Elisabeth Maurer passed away on April 4 after a prolonged illness. She was 79 years old. Christie was born in New Hampshire, the only child of Willard and Clarissa McKinstry. Her father was a Unitarian minister. Due to challenging health conditions, Christie spent most of her childhood alone, escaping into the world of fiction books. She joined the Rainbow Girls after her mother passed away.

Christie graduated from Goddard College with a BA in Creative Writing. An adventurer at heart, she left the East Coast and moved to Los Angeles where she found work at UCLA and USC. Christie traveled to Mexico and overseas, eventually migrating north to work at UC Santa Cruz. After UCSC, she was hired by Santa Cruz County where she worked as a high-level administrative assistant for over twenty years. She particularly enjoyed working with Betsy McCarty in the Public Health department. In 1985, Christie married Peter Maurer and they resided in Scotts Valley. The couple enjoyed traveling to Switzerland to visit Peter's family whenever they could.

Writing was a vital part of Christie's life and she continually developed her fiction writing, achieving an MA from Cal State Hayward. The Starbucks on Scotts Valley Drive was her preferred creative locale and she rode her wheelchair there on an almost daily basis to work on her laptop. She was a member of Broad Universe - a group for women writing science fiction, fantasy, and horror; she also served as newsletter editor for Monterey Bay Chapter of Romance Writers of America and Monterey Bay Fiction Writers. Christie won first prize in the WIN-WIN Conference 2004 Persie contest for best first chapter of a novel, "Masquerade". Her alternate fairytale short stories, "A Maiden's Heart" (2003) and "Gormlo the Green" (2005) appeared in Her short story "Heritage" came out in the Fall 2012 issue of White Cat Magazine.

In 2013, she published a fantasy novel, "The Dark Lady's Stone", about the quest of troubadour Loriano to destroy Death's standing stone on the deadly shores of Lake Illia in the far north. (currently available on Amazon). Christie was working on several additional books in this series at the time of her death. She was also a fine artist and designed covers for her forthcoming books.

Services are being planned by her spiritual community, Subud Center, 3800 Old San Jose Rd, Soquel. The memorial will be Sunday, June 12th at 3pm. She is survived by her husband Peter, her two stepsons Daniel and Stefan, as well as her grandsons Kevin and Philip and many family members in Switzerland.

New Release: Angel’s Messiah

AM-3D-Cover-300px20wideWritten by Melanie Tomlin, Angel's Messiah is the third book in the urban / dark fantasy 'Angel Series'.

Helena -- part earth-bound angel, part vampire -- is pregnant, and it's playing havoc with her unique abilities. Her usual diet of vampire blood makes her physically ill, one minute she's visible the next she's not, and she's suffering from blackouts.

After yet another blackout, Helena finds herself back in Satan's clutches. This time there is no way for her to escape on her own, and a dangerous rescue mission ends with Helena going into labour prematurely.

Helena's child is born and all too soon must leave her to deliver a message to the mortal world. But the last time someone was sent with a message, it didn't end well ...

"Overall? 5 Shiny crystallized stars for Angel's Messiah. I am very much sitting on the edge of my seat for the next installment! Thank you Melanie Tomlin for the great journey and the copy! As for you guys? I am totally recommending this book, please go and grab a copy and start the series asap if you haven't. Like right now." -- The Four Eyed Cat Reviews

Amazon (print and ebook):
Author website (print):

Tumblr Blog Hop

Are you an author on Tumblr? Would you like to grow your list of friends, meet authors and readers, and make connections?

Please consider joining the Tumblr blog hop:

From July 5th-15th, one-two authors will be featured. We are requesting that people consider giving away a prize in order to encourage re-blogs of your post so that you reach more people.

Feel free to ask me any questions, you can reach me through tumblr. 🙂

Thank you!

Cindy Lynn Speer