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Sweet Success for Darby Karchut

Congratulations to PPW’s Sweet Success Coordinator, Darby Karchut, who has a Sweet Success of her own!

Darby Karchut’s middle grade Western/fantasy mashup, DEL TORO MOON (2018 from Owl Hollow Press), recently won the 2019 Colorado Book Award. The book was also a 2018 Reading the West Longlist Pick and 2018 Moonbeam Children’s Book Silver Medalist. THE RED CASKET, Book Two in the Del Toro Tales series, releases late fall 2019.

DEL TORO MOON

Twelve year old Matt Del Toro is the greenest greenhorn in his family’s centuries-old business: riding down and destroying wolf-like monsters, known as skinners. Now, with those creatures multiplying, both in number and ferocity, Matt must saddle up and match his father’s skills at monster whacking.

Luckily, Matt has twelve hundred pounds of backup in his best friend—El Cid, an Andalusian war stallion with the ability of human speech, more fighting savvy than a medieval knight, and a heart as big and steadfast as the Rocky Mountains.

Serious horse power.  Those skinners don’t stand a chance.

DEL TORO MOON (Book One in the Del Toro Tales series)

978-1-945654-14-5; middle grade fantasy; 256 pages

Purchase: Barnes & NobleAmazonIndieBound, and independent booksellers world-wide

Darby Karchut

Darby Karchut is an author, dreamer, and compulsive dawn greeter. A proud native of New Mexico, she now lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, where she runs in blizzards and bikes in lightning storms. When not dodging death by Colorado, Darby is busy wrangling words. Her award-winning books include DEL TORO MOON and FINN FINNEGAN. Coolest thing ever: her YA debut novel, GRIFFIN RISING, has been optioned for film. Visit her at www.darbykarchut.com


Sweet Success is coordinated by Darby Karchut. If you have a success story to share please go to the Sweet Success form.

Sweet Success for Margena Holmes

by: Darby Karchut

Congratulations to Margena Adams Holmes on the release of EVALYCER’S WAR, (July 9, On The Line Press), a novella set in The Elixir Series.

Avalycer's War

As Evalycer gets more involved with a group wanting to change a corrupt government, she struggles between wanting change and doing the right thing. Part of The Elixir Series but can be read as a stand alone book.

photo of margin holmes

Margena has been writing ever since she can remember, writing her first poem in 1st grade. At her day job, when she’s not kicking young kids out of R-rated movies, she’s sweeping up spilled popcorn from the hallways and aisles (she’s not your mother, though, so please take your trash out). Her days off consist of writing science fiction, space opera, and more movie theater shenanigans. Reading is a close second to writing, and she normally has her nose buried in a book. Visit her website.

EVALYCER’S WAR: Novella in The Elixir Series.
E-book; Science Fiction; novella; 118 pages
Purchase at Amazon.com


Darby Karchut

Sweet Success is coordinated by Darby Karchut. If you have a success story to share please go to the Sweet Success form.

Sweet Success for Margaret Mizushima

by: Darby Karchut

Margaret Mizushima is thrilled to announce that BURNING RIDGE, fourth in her Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries (2018 from Crooked Lane Books), has earned the following: listed in Best Books of 2018, Kings River Life; Winner, Colorado Authors League Award for Ebook Fiction; Silver Award, IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards for mystery; Winner, Next Generation Indies for Action-Adventure; Bronze Award, Foreword Indie Book of the Year Awards for mystery; and Finalist, Colorado Book Awards for mystery. Margaret’s fifth book, TRACKING GAME, will release November 12, 2019, and she is busy writing a sixth episode in the series to be released fall of 2020.

Burning Ridge, cover

When a charred body is found on beautiful Redstone Ridge near Timber Creek, Deputy Mattie Cobb and her dog Robo are called to investigate. But Mattie discovers a close personal connection with the victim and soon finds herself the target of a killer.

BURNING RIDGE: A Timber Creek K-9 Mystery

978-1-68331-778-4; Mystery; Hardcover; 281 pages

Purchase: Online booksellers and bookstores near you.

Margaret Mizushima

Margaret Mizushima is the award-winning author of the internationally published and critically acclaimed Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries, including Burning Ridge, named a Best Book of 2018 by Kings River Life. Active within the writing community, Margaret serves on the board for the Rocky Mountain chapter of Mystery Writers of America and was nominated for the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ Writer of the Year award. She lives in Colorado on a small ranch with her veterinarian husband where they raised two daughters and a multitude of animals. Visit her at www.margaretmizushima.com.


Sweet Success is coordinated by Darby Karchut. If you have a success story to share please got to the Sweet Success form.

Darby Karchut

Darby Karchut is an award-winning author, dreamer, and compulsive dawn greeter. A native of New Mexico, she now lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, where she runs in blizzards and bikes in lightning storms. When not dodging death by Colorado, Darby is busy wrangling words. Her thirteenth book, DEL TORO MOON, a middle grade western/fantasy mashup (Owl Hollow Press) is the 2019 Colorado Book Award Winner-Juvenile Literature
Visit the author at her website: www.darbykarchut.com.

Welcome to Sweet Success!

New Coordinator for Sweet Success Darby Karchut

Writing from the Peak is happy to welcome Darby Karchut as the new coordinator for the Sweet Success column. She is excited to get started and her first Sweet Success will post on Friday.

Darby Karchut

Darby Karchut is an award-winning author, dreamer, and compulsive dawn greeter. A native of New Mexico, she now lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, where she runs in blizzards and bikes in lightning storms. When not dodging death by Colorado, Darby is busy wrangling words. Her thirteenth book, DEL TORO MOON, a middle grade western/fantasy mashup (Owl Hollow Press) is the 2019 Colorado Book Award Winner-Juvenile Literature
Visit the author at her website: www.darbykarchut.com.

Do you have exciting news you want to share with the world? A book launch? Signing party? A Sweet Success? If so, hop over to the Sweet Success submission form to get started. Darby looks forward to hearing from you.

Sweet Success for Jason Henry Evans

Congratulations to Jason Evans! The Galloglass, a historical fiction, will release on July 10, 2019 by Grant Street Publishing.

Lt. Philip Williams thought his career as an English mercenary was over after surviving the sack of Calais by the Spanish in 1596. If only he knew his troubles were just beginning. While recovering in a hospital in Antwerp, a distant relative arrives to dangle an irresistible offer: The Royal Irish Army. All of Ireland is in open revolt and Queen Elizabeth is going to war. She needs experienced officers and Philip accepts. Once in Ireland, Philip meets two Irish women. Nualla asks for his aid while Colleen asks for his heart. Will he be able to protect either of them from the coming violence? Meanwhile Irish rebels and Scottish mercenaries raid and the survivors whisper the name of a monster: Solomon Red Beard O’Donnell. Will Philip and his friends have enough time to turn Irish peasants into soldiers? If they don’t, Solomon Red Beard will spread the rebellion and Ireland will be lost.

Jason Henry Evans
Jason Henry Evans

Jason always wanted to be a writer; he just didn’t know it. After attending college and working in education, Jason’s life changed when he fell in love with the Fetching Mrs. Evans. After over a decade as a teacher in public and private schools, he discovered the wonderful writing community in Colorado, where he still lives. Jason is an educator, and a historian (as well as a bon vivant,) who is active in the Colorado writing community as a teacher and speaker. Visit Jason’s website for more about Jason and his publication.

The Gallowglass: ISBN; 978-1-0730504-5-1, 129,000 words, Ages 15+, Pre-order your copy today! 


Do you have a Sweet Success you would like to share? Click here to get started, or send an email to: SweetSuccess@pikespeakwriters.com

Sweet Success is coordinated by Managing Editor, Kathie “KJ” Scrim.

Sweet Success for Becky Clark

Celebrations are happening at Becky Clark’s house! She is giggling with excitement with TWO Sweet Successes!

First, she can finally announce her new 3-book deal with Kensington Books for a cozy mystery series set in the world of crossword puzzles. The first one, PUZZLING INK, is scheduled for release in November 2020.

Waitress Quinn Carr wishes her life was more like a crossword puzzle — orderly, one correct answer, no chaos. She loves her side gig creating the puzzles for the local paper, but when she finds a dead man at her table in the diner, she knows chaos has found her once again. Her boss is arrested, but she wonders if he’ll get a fair shake from a police chief who isn’t interested in pursuing any other leads. Luckily, Chief loves crosswords as much as Quinn does so she designs one with specific entries to get him to look at certain other suspects. But will he get a clue before the wrong person is sent to prison?

Second, Becky Clark’s FICTION CAN BE MURDER, the first in her Mystery Writer’s Mysteries series, won 1st Place in the Mystery & Mayhem Awards, given by the Chanticleer International Book Awards in May 2019.

Fiction Can Be Murder (A Mystery Writer's Mystery Book 1) by [Clark, Becky]

Mystery author Charlemagne “Charlee” Russo thinks the twisty plots and peculiar murders in her books are only the product of her imagination—until her agent is found dead exactly as described in Charlee’s new, unpublished manuscript. Suspicion now swirls around her and her critique group, making her confidence drop as severely and unexpectedly as her royalty payments.

The police care more about Charlee’s feeble alibi and financial problems than they do her panicky claims of innocence. To clear her name and revive her career, she must figure out which of her friends is a murderer. Easier said than done, even for an author who’s skilled at creating tidy endings for her mysteries. And as her sleuthing grows dangerous, Charlee’s imagination starts working overtime. Is she being targeted, too?


A highly functioning chocoholic, Becky Clark (Denver, CO) is the seventh of eight kids, which explains both her insatiable need for attention and her atrocious table manners. She likes to read funny books so it felt natural to write them, too. She published her first novel in 2001, and is a sought after speaker. Visit her online at Becky Clark Books.


Do you have a Sweet Success you would like to share? Click here to get started, or send an email to: SweetSuccess@pikespeakwriters.com

Sweet Success is coordinated by Managing Editor, Kathie “KJ” Scrim.

Sweet Success for DeAnna Knippling

Congratulations to DeAnna Knippling on the release of her new book, Alice’s Adventures in Underland: The Knight of Shattered Dreams from Wonderland Press on May 28, 2019 (ASIN: B07SFYQS45, 192 pages, for older teens and up). This finishes the story from book 1, Alice’s Adventures in Underland: The Queen of Stilled Hearts.  

Alice's Adventures in Underland: The Knight of Shattered Dreams by [Knippling, DeAnna]

One thing was certain, that the zombies had everything to do with it…

Almost nine years have passed since that golden afternoon when gentleman zombie Charles Dodgson told Alice Liddell and her two sisters the story of Alice’s Adventures in Underland, the story of how Alice goes to the land of the zombies and what she finds there–and how she escapes.

The real Alice is no longer a little girl, but a young woman on the cusp of adulthood, troubled by the restricted life ahead of her as an upper-class woman in Victorian Britain.  Soon she will have to look for a husband…whom she hopes to find in a younger son of Queen Victoria, her old friend and playmate, Prince Leopold.

Queen Victoria has other ideas.

Then another, more virulent outbreak of the zombie virus spreads across Britain, leaving nowhere untouched…with Alice’s only hope being, once again, Mr. Dodgson and one of his wonderful stories, this time on the other side of a looking glass…

DeAnna Knippling

DeAnna Knippling has two minor superpowers: speed-reading and babble. She types at over 10,000 words per minute and can make things up even faster than that. Her first job was hunting snipe for her father at twenty-five cents per head, with which she paid her way through college; her latest job involves a non-disclosure agreement, a dozen hitmen, a ballerina, a snowblower, three very small robots, and a disposable dictator in South America.  Her cover job is that of freelance writer, editor, and designer living in Littleton, Colorado, with her husband, daughter, cat, more than one cupboard full of various condiments, and many shelves full of the very best books. She has her own indie small press, www.WonderlandPress.com, and her website is www.DeAnnaKnippling.com

PPWC2019 – Reflections

Although PPWC2019 fell into the history books almost a month ago, the buzz is still electrifying. Here are just a few things people had to say:

“There’s a reason PPWC is one of the longest-standing and productive writing conferences in the country. The level of talent, professionalism, access to both industry leaders and Mother Nature create the ideal opportunity for writers at all levels to move ahead in craft and career.” ~~Susan Wiggs, New York Times best-selling author

What really stood out at PPWC was the clear affection that attendees felt for each other.  Clearly, many were experienced veterans of the conference, and they were so happy to see each other again.  And still, they were very inclusive of new people.  Plus, present company notwithstanding, I thought the programming and the level of instruction to be phenomenal. ~~John Gilstrap, New York Times bestselling author

I’ve attended the Southern California Writers Conference a couple of times, and while the workshops are on par with PPWC, they don’t include meals into the conference (except for the Saturday night banquet), so I’m very happy PPWC does that! It’s nice to be able to talk with authors and faculty there in an informal setting. They’re pretty normal, in a nerdy sort of way–like us! ~Margena Holmes, Author

PPWC has long been my favorite conference to attend. It was the first writers conference I ever went to–as an attendee in 2007–and it set the bar high for others. I’m always thrilled when I get to come back as faculty and reunite with so many familiar faces, be part of the top-notch presentations you offer (one of the many reasons I adore PPWC), and be around such an enthusiastic, supportive, focused group of writers. This past year, as I always do, I filled my days when I wasn’t presenting attending the presentations of others–I learn so much there every time. And I am inspired and charged up every time I come by the authors I get to work with in my workshops–everyone is so fully engaged, dedicated to their craft, and wonderfully interactive. It’s also one of my favorite places to lead workshops. Coming to PPWC is like coming home, every time. ~Tiffany Yates Martin, Editor/Owner, FoxPrint Editorial

PPWC 2019 was my first time teaching at a writers conference, a longtime goal of mine. I was a little nervous, until I realized just how friendly and enthusiastic all the attendees were. Everyone at PPWC came with an open mind, ready to learn new things and build their writing skills. I was so impressed by the knowledge and curiosity of everyone who attended my classes–I think I learned more from them than they learned from me! ~Rachel Craft, Author

As I sit at home, drinking a hot mug of coffee, I like to reflect on the things I’ve learned, the people I’ve met and the knowledge I’ve acquired. I try to process it all and allow it to motivate my writing. By the end of that first cup of Joe, I want to write all the things. I want to finish my manuscript, edit another and submit to every anthology. ~Jason Henry Evans, Author

I thoroughly enjoyed the presentations and workshops I was able to attend; the faculty was top-notch. And who can leave out the networking benefits of Barcon?  But ultimately, the very best part of PPWC was the friendships I made.  Writing can be such a lonely thing, but I have now gathered my tribe!  ~Kate V. Conway, Author

PPWC2019 met all of my expectations. My favorite quote from the weekend came from John Gilstrap when he said, “Don’t write a book – tell a story.” My favorite class was…ALL of them. So much information filled my notebook with knowledge and my mind with ideas. My favorite thing to do? Volunteer. I have been on the Query team since my first conference in 2012. It is a great way to contribute to this amazing event. These reasons (and many more) are why I return year after year. ~K.J. Scrim, Editor PPW Blog and Author

For the six years I’ve been attending PPWC, I’ve heard how the Pikes Peak Writer’s Conference is one of the best, friendliest, and most respected conferences in the country, and while I believed my astute fellow conference volunteers, I am bred from the school of trust but verify. So, this year, when I was approached by many editors/agents, as well as all of the keynotes, I requested details when they told me how happy they were to attend a PPW Conference.

In summary, this is what I was told:
–The variety of material, genre, and skill levels catered to by the workshops, invited guests, and keynotes. A little something for everyone.

–The amount of coordination and organization conducted prior to and during conference by the conference volunteers.  “I can’t believe this is all done by volunteers”.

–The overall vibe of the conference is positive and light. We are able to maintain a joviality throughout the days and nights, something that is rare as time presses on.
~Kameron Claire, PPW President and Author

Non Conference Events (NCE) Committee Meeting

The conference comes but once a year, but we also put on four free events EVERY MONTH! Would love to get some input and some help with scheduling, brainstorming, and hosting events. Lend us your big, beautiful, brilliant brains while helping Pikes Peak Writers reach even more of the local writing community! If you’d like to attend, please send a brief email to Workshops@PikesPeakWriters.com and we’ll send you the location as soon as it is finalized!

Meeting will be held on Sunday, May 19, from 1-3 p.m.