Sonoma County Book Festival, Readers Circle, September 21, 2013

Sonoma BkFest Group

Osha Belle Hayden, Julie Ann Schrader, Ana Manwaring, Amber Lea Starfire, Kate Farrell, Jasmine Belen

Amber Lea Starfire, Kate Farrell

Amber Lea Starfire, Kate Farrell

Julie Ann Schrader

Julie Ann Schrader

A great reception for the first public reading of the anthology! Editors Amber Lea Starfire and Kate Farrell introduced the book and our four fabulous authors: Osha Belle Hayden, Julie Ann Schrader, Ana Manwaring, and Jasmine Belen. Even though the last day of summer turned unexpectedly stormy with a downpour of rain, Redwood Writers’ Reading Circle moved indoors to a cozy, open air circle. We competed with another stage and sounds from the exhibitors section, but our words were heard! Others in the audience had their own stories to tell. Some of our readers wore costumes from the ’60s!


Books, Inc., Berkeley Book Launch, September 29, 2013

SingalongIt all began with the guitar music, played and sung by Bill Polits: We sang along to “Times They Are A-Changing.” The crowd in the bookstore was larger than any they’d seen and it grew as the night went on.

All photos courtesy of Jonathan Hayden

Audience in Stitches

Audience in Stitches

We played to a full house of folks who wanted to remember those times and be entertained. We did not disappoint.

Full house

Edge of Their Seats

It was an attentive crowd with standing room only.


LInda Joy Myers, Kate Farrell, Amber Lea Starfire

 Proud editors hold their fabulous book for the first time!

Gaia’s Garden, October 20, 2013, Santa Rosa

A gala gathering at a community restaurant in Santa Rosa, near the Junior College, set up for live performances, music, poetry, and literature. We were welcomed by the manager, Ari Camarota, and Jeane Slone, Local Author Distributor. Both were amazed at the turnout, more reservations than ever. A record crowd packed the restaurant early and stayed to the last word spoken. Great participation from the audience in Q&A, as well as telling some of their own stories and impressions of the era.

Our hosts, Jeane Slone and Ari Camarota

Our hosts, Jeane Slone and Ari Camarota


And the program was about to begin…sound testing!

Amber arrives at the sparkling venue.

Amber Lea Starfire, Editor, arrives at the sparkling venue.








We were thrilled to see so many guests crowding at tables, each assigned to a given author. At each table, authors conversed with guests about the book displayed on each table.

Ana Manwaring, first reader, "Collage"

Ana Manwaring, first reader, “Collage”

Osha Belle Hayden reading "A Clean Glass Ceiling"

Osha Belle Hayden reading “A Clean Glass Ceiling”

Ana Manwaring was our first reader, outfitted in authentic ’60s garb. Soon followed by Osha Bell Hayden whose sunglasses were her own saved pair, worn with pride in the ’60s and in the story she told.


Julie Ann Schrader tells "Earth's Children"

Julie Ann Schrader tells “Earth’s Children”

Julie Ann Schrader’s presentation was a delight and brought us into a moment when her innocence as a songwriter challenged her courage as a friend.


Venus Ann Maher reads "Tripping on High"

Venus Ann Maher reads “Tripping on High”

Venus Ann Maher told us of her childhood experiences in a California commune, skillfully written.


Amber Lea Starfire reads "Altamont"

Editor, Amber Lea Starfire, reads “Altamont”

Amber Lea Starfire, a youth at Altamont, took us along dusty pathways and an encounter with the Hell’s Angels, to the brink of her own trip and left us at the edge of darkness.

[Not pictured here is Jasmine Belén, author of the poem, “Times Change,”  and the story, “Woodstock or Bust.” ]

It was an evening “for the books,” as Ari wrote on Facebook the next day. A note from Venus Ann Maher:

“What a wonderful experience! I throughly enjoyed the entire Sunday evening launch event: reading my piece, listening to others share their memories, and watching the audience respond. I am so grateful to you three editors, Kate, Linda and Amber. You took an idea and made it a reality. And what a sweet and amazing reality this book is turning out to be. It is a joy to be part of such an undertaking.”

What more could an editor want?