Penstemon Publications Authors

Nancy Burns

Nancy Burns has been an educator for more than 40 years and a fan of science fiction and fantasy books her entire life. She combines these two interests when writing picture books and chapter books for children. Look for her upcoming picture book, The Tumbleweed Gang and her upcoming middle-grade chapter book, The Source.

Penstemon Publications released Burns fantasy novel for young readers, The Dragon Speaker, in December, 2018.

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Barbara Fleming

A native of Fort Collins, Barbara Fleming has lived in her hometown most of her life. Her career spanned work as a journalist, as a teacher of English in high schools and colleges, and as a training coordinator at Region 8 of the Environmental Protection Agency. She and her late husband, Tom, returned to Fort Collins in 2000, when she began devoting her time to writing. Her first book, Fort Collins: A Pictorial History (The Donning Company) was published in 1984. She has since written or cowritten seven books for Arcadia Publishing/The History Press on the history of Fort Collins, as well as an historical novel, Journeying (Five Star Press). Most recently, she completed a sequel to the novel, titled My Name Is Meggie (Penstemon Publications), available on Amazon. She writes a weekly local history column for the Fort Collins Coloradoan newspaper.

Visit her web site at for more information.

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Judie Freeland

Judie Freeland inherited her life-long enthusiasm for murder mysteries from her mother. Her daughters got her hooked on science fiction and fantasy. As a college English professor, Freeland published academic essays and books, and wrote bad poetry.

After retiring, she started writing novels, drawing on a host of students, colleagues, and administrators to create fictional killers, victims, and supporting characters.

Freeland raised golden retrievers for many years, so canine characters also populate her novels.

Try to Remember is available on Kindle. Dickens Friends' was Freeland's first Penstemon book. Strike Vote, a campus murder mystery, came out in Fall, 2018.

For more about Judie Freeland and her writing Click Here

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Beverly Hadden

Bev has been reading and writing all her life. As a high school English teacher her writings appeared in both state and national professional publications. She also authored two books on school. Her feature articles of general interest include New Mexico Magazine, Cattle Country News, and The Denver Post's "Empire" magazine as well as personal essays in the Post's editorial pages.

In recent years she's focused on writing poetry (Stories from Where We Live: The Great North American Prairie, Milkweed Editions, and several Columbine Poets anthologies) as well as personal essays (Chicken Soup for the Caregiver's Soul, My Mom Is My Hero).

For Penstemon she has published the middle grade grade novel War Bonds and the poetry collections At the Edge of the Horizon and Where You Live.

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Libby James

Libby James has a background in freelance feature writing and editing and currently works as a reporter for North Forty News, a small rural newspaper in Northern Colorado. She is the author of Journey by Committee about her college friends; wrote Red Ribbons, a memoir with the Rev. Bob Geller, and drew on personal experience to write Muffin Magic, a picture book for 4-8 year-olds. Her newest work, Running Mates, is geared to middle schoolers and gently promotes the benefits of running and intergenerational friendship.

For more about Libby James and her writing Click Here

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Mim Neal

Mim Neal earned her living by writing for, among others, RotaryInternational (RI) and the 1999 Parliament of World Religions in Cape Town. Her articles were published by the World Health Organization and UNICEF as well as RI, and have appeared in newspapers around the globe. Her first book wasTree Lines, A Memoir. In it, she traces her spiritual evolution experienced as she transformed from suburban housewife, to single mom, to career woman, to author. Mim's first Penstemon Publications work, Family Time, is a 'fantasy memoir' in which her long-dead female ancestors return to help Mim deal with a deep emotional wound.

For more about Mim Neal and her writing Click Here

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Nancy Phillips

Nancy Phillips wrote fiction for over thirty years and has a closet full of manuscripts to prove it. In 2014 she published A Tardy Justice, a historical novel set in Leadville, Colorado, in 1880. She also adapted a short story by children's writer Bruce Coville for the stage. This play, "Am I Blue?", together with music and lyrics, was produced and performed at the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins, Colorado, in May 2003 and in Montreal, Canada, in July 2004.

Nancy died on November 1, 2016 after a nearly three and a half year battle with ovarian cancer. She is greatly missed by her colleagues at Penstemon Publications. Her latest novel, For the Duration, was published posthumously in January of 2019

For more about Nancy Phillips and her writing Click Here

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Susan Quinlan

A naturalist, artist, and author, Susan E. Quinlan brings a lifetime of nature exploration and research to all of her writing and illustrations.

Quinlan’s books for young readers have earned several prestigious awards including recognition from the National Science Teacher’s Association, the International Reading Association, and the Junior Library Guild. These include: TheCase of the Mummified Pigs and Other Mysteries in Nature, The Monkey Who Fell From the Trees and Other Mysteries in Tropical Nature, Puffins, and Caribou.

Quinlan trained as a wildlife biologist, obtaining degrees from Colorado State University (B.S.) and the University of Alaska (M.S.) She worked as a biologist for various federal and state wildlife agencies in Alaska. In these positions,she conducted wildlife research in several parts of the state and developed award-winning educational and curriculum materials about Alaska’s natural history. Quinlan went on to work several years as a naturalist guide for Lindblad Expeditions. In this position,she explored diverse environments around the world, from the high arctic tundra to neotropical rainforests, arid deserts to oceanic islands.

After 30 years of living in Alaska, Quinlan returned to her native Colorado. She now enjoys sharing her passion for nature and conservation with others through writing, artwork, school programs, and public speaking. Learn more at:

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Gary Raham

Author/illustrator/graphic artist, Gary Raham, loves to bring science alive through his writing and illustrating work. He has written (and often illustrated) 19 titles of science fact and/or science fiction. He writes science columns for adult audiences and a "Kids' Quarry" feature as Assistant Editor for Trilobite Tales, the newsletter of the Western Interior Paleontological Society.

Raham has written for children's/Ya markets, including Cricket, Highlights for Children, Discovery Channel Books, Marshall-Cavendish, Chelsea House and others. He has illustrated for Grolier, Inc., Oxford University Press, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the City of Fort Collins. His 35+ years experience in graphic design includes book and book cover designs and nearly every form of printed advertising.

Check out for more details.

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Clarice Rutherford

Clare combined her love of writing with her passion for dogs when she was employed at Colorado State University. She coauthored with David Neil a phamplet for Veterinarians to give to their puppy clients. This led to their first book How to Raise a Puppy You Can Live With, Alpine Publications, which went into four editions and sold 300,000 copies. She also authored Retriever Puppy Training for Hunting. Clares latest is a middle grade book, A Dog is a Dog and That's Why He's Special, which received a starred review in the School Library Journal. Prior publications include a column for both Labrador Retreier Journal and Portuguese Water Dog Magazine. Her current project is a middle grade fiction, Mitzi - My First and Worst Dog.

Claire died on September 23, 2020. She is greatly missed by her colleagues at Penstemon Publications.

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