General Nonfiction

McKamie, Rebekah

McKamie, Rebekah
Birth City: 
Colorado Springs
Birth State: 
CO
Current Location: 
Calhan, CO
Occupation(s): 
Christian Author
Biography: 

Rebekah Tyne McKamie is a Christian Author residing in Calhan, Colorado. She has lived in Colorado her entire life, only leaving the Colorado Springs area for three years to attend Adams State College (University) in Alamosa. Rebekah has been gathering up truth and adapting it into books for over a decade.

In February 2020, she launched Settings Christian Publishing, LLC, with the hope of making books more beautiful and inserting more Biblical truth into Christian literature. She believes:

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” Proverbs 25:11

Mrs. McKamie is a Youth Pastor’s wife and homeschool mother of three. She sings on the worship team and ministers to the youth of her community through her church, Rocky Mountain Calvary – Ellicott Campus. Above all, she is thankful to serve a loving, gracious God.

Education/Training: 
Bachelor of Arts in Music, Adams State University (2007)
Speaker Availability: 
No

MavaJoyce

Pseudonym: 
MavaJoyce
Birth City: 
Clay Center
Birth State: 
KS
Current Location: 
Colorado Springs, CO
Occupation(s): 
Retired - Volunteer with Finding Our Voices
Biography: 

Joyce Aubrey has been in Colorado Springs since 1995; an avid reader she has actively engaged PPLD. As a survivor of incest and family sharing, she advocated in the community using healing paintings to speak to various groups including military, faith, mental health, domestic violence/sexual assault and service clubs about the aftershocks of sexual abuse.

In October 2019 she published a memoir of hope and inspiration, Beyond Aftershocks, under the author name MavaJoyce. As founder of the non-profit Finding Our Voices, she continues to serve survivors of sexual violence through creative art events and supportive activities.

Awards/Honors: 
Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CCASA) - Excellence in Advocacy Award
Leadership Pikes Peak - Leading the Way in Community Service
Institute for Conflict Resolution & Creative Leadership - Servant Leader Award
First Congregation Micah 6 Award - Do Justice, Love Kindness, Walk Humbly
Education/Training: 
Kansas State University - Bachelor's and Master's degrees
Organizations: 
Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault - American Association of University Women - Finding Our Voices
Speaker Availability: 
Yes
Speaker Topics: 
Beyond Aftershocks: Resilience after Trauma - Navigating Post Traumatic Growth - Self-Compassion as a Doorway to Service

Koch, Cara

Koch, Cara
Birth City: 
Hot Springs
Birth State: 
CO
Current Location: 
Colorado Springs, CO
Occupation(s): 
Author - Child Development Specialist
Biography: 

Cara is the author of the upcoming book, From Heartbreak to Healing: Resolving Parental Alienation. After 43 years as an alienated parent with a professional background in child development and family relationships where she managed child development programs serving working parents and their children, plus a doctorate in children’s [innate] spirituality, she finds answers to her questions: “Why me? How did this happen? and What is the purpose?” Through a process of deep introspection, she overcame decades of depression, despite remaining unreconciled with her son. She has now discovered resources, formerly unavailable, that could have led to a different outcome.

Cara has lived in Colorado Springs with her husband, Harry, for the past 41 years. She developed her writing through participation in the American Association of University Women (AAUW) writing group, Women Who Write.

Awards/Honors: 
Participation Certificate for her presentation at the Third International Conference of the Parental Alienation Study Group, presented to her in Philadelphia in 2019.
Education/Training: 
Doctorate in Children's [Innate] Spirituality from United Theological Seminary, Dayton, OH - Master of Science degree in Childcare Administration from Wheelock College, Boston, MA - Bachelor or Science degree in Child Development and Family Relations from South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD
Organizations: 
American Association of University Women - World Affairs Council - Capital Sisters International (Founding sister)
Speaker Availability: 
Yes
Speaker Topics: 
Why Children Become the Weapon on Choice in a Divorce - What Happens When One Parent Turns Toxic - The World-Wide Effort to Prevent and Resolve Parental Alienation
Local Authors Genres: 

Jelks-Fragier, Ashley

Jelks-Fragier, Ashley
Birth City: 
Springfield
Birth State: 
IL
Current Location: 
Colorado Springs, CO
Biography: 

Ashley is the Managing Member/CEO of Koalatative Guided Solutions, LLC. She lives in Colorado where she enjoys spending a large amount of her budget on lotions and oils to battle with the dry climate. With over 10 years of experience educating, mentoring, and providing information to adults concerning the path to self-wellness, Ashley Jelks-Fragier has earned a reputation as a “compassionate leader and guide."

Education/Training: 
Doctor of Philosophy degree in International Psychology with a Trauma Services concentration (in process) - Master of Arts degree in Psychology - Bachelor of Arts degree (dual) in International Relations and Sociology with a Criminal Justice emphasis
Speaker Availability: 
No

Jackson, Jene'

Jene' Jackson
Birth City: 
Oklahoma City
Birth State: 
OK
Current Location: 
Colorado Springs, CO
Occupation(s): 
Motivational Speaker - Author
Biography: 

Jené Jackson is the author of The Oat Project: How I Faced My Fear and Came of Age in One Wild Summer, a memoir about how she finally sowed her wild oats, doing 25 things her preacher’s daughter upbringing never allowed, like getting drunk, dancing, skinny dipping, smoking weed, and more…at the ripe age of 37 while a wife and mother of three. She was raised all over the U.S. as a preacher’s daughter before finally rebelling.

When she’s not working on her first novel and the sequels to her memoir, she’s photographing, belly laughing with friends, making art, singing jazz, or squeezing words from her teenage children while driving them home from school. She lives in Colorado Springs and even does yoga and hikes every now and then like a good Coloradan.

You can connect with her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JeneJ, on Instagram at www.instagram.com/spiralspiral, and at www.jenejackson.com.

Organizations: 
Pikes Peak Writers
Speaker Availability: 
Yes
Speaker Topics: 
Integrating the Wild into everyday life - The writing process - Writing memoir - How to finally, really love yourself
Local Authors Genres: 

Weilert, Benjamin

Birth City: 
Fort Collins
Birth State: 
CO
Current Location: 
Colorado Springs, CO
Occupation(s): 
Missile Defense - Civil Service
Biography: 

14er Climber, Rocket Scientist, Published Novelist, Movie Connoisseur, and Amateur Photographer, Benjamin M. Weilert was born in Colorado in 1985.

While he went to school for Mechanical Engineering (eventually earning a Master’s Degree), he has found science to be interesting enough to write fiction about it. He likes to classify his novels as “science fantasy,” wherein the science is real and (semi) accurate, but portrayed in a fantasy setting to make it accessible to non scientific readers. If you want stories that are surreptitiously educational, he’s your man.

He currently lives in Colorado Springs and his most recent book is Fourteener Father, a memoir of climbing all of Colorado's 14,000-foot mountains with his dad.

Education/Training: 
"Creative Fiction Writing" course at the Colorado School of Mines
Organizations: 
The Midnight Writers - National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), municipal liaison for the Colorado Springs region
Speaker Availability: 
Yes
Speaker Topics: 
Self-publishing (writing, editing, formatting, cover design, etc.) - National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) - Submitting to short story anthologies

Kimbrell, Judith

Kimbrell, Judith
Birth City: 
Princeton
Birth State: 
NJ
Current Location: 
Colorado Springs, CO
Occupation(s): 
Photographer - Author
Biography: 

Judith has specialized in capturing breathtaking scenic and nature images for over 20 years. She shares her vast knowledge through private and group photo tours of Garden of the Gods as well as other Colorado locations. You can also join her for photographic seminars and workshops. Visit her website to view portfolio images, fine art prints and see free instructional videos at www.mothernaturephotography.com.

Judith says, "Showing up at a location and photographing nature by literally recording the moment is different from capturing nature as an artist feels it should be viewed; using light, weather, equipment, and an artistic interpretation to show Mother Nature’s beauty and power. Both methods are useful in photography, but each has a distinct time and place. My goal is always to make each image intentional, represent my artistic vision, and create a piece of art that will be loved for a lifetime.

I have spent the majority of my life in Colorado Springs, moving here as a child. I remember my joy while climbing on the rocks of Garden of the Gods early in my life. Though I moved to Michigan for ten years, Colorado always echoed in my heart. Now that I have returned to “The Springs,” I often frequent Garden of the Gods, spending much time hiking and photographing this breathtaking open space with my loving husband and children."

Education/Training: 
Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art, Hillsdale College - Addition studies in photography at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI - Staff Photographer for R.J. Michael's, Inc. (an advertising agency in Jackson, MI) - Studio Manager and Second Shooter for Don Jones Photography (a commercial photography studio in Colorado Springs, CO) - Twelve years as both an art and photography faculty member and head of the Professional Photography department at Pikes Peak Community College.
Speaker Availability: 
Yes
Speaker Topics: 
General landscape and nature photography tips and techniques - Best practices to learn and study photography, and start a photography business - Local landmarks and parks including: photography site favorite locations around the city and tips to make amazing photos in each place; the history of Garden of the Gods; issues pertaining to the preservation of the land and wildlife.

Walton, Vikki

Birth City: 
Colorado Springs
Birth State: 
CO
Current Location: 
Colorado Springs, CO
Occupation(s): 
Author - Designer - Nonprofit Consultant - Speaker/Trainer - #workquilter
Biography: 

I have lived in Colorado Springs for the last seventeen years. I was born in Chicago, later moved to France (father in the military), returned and moved to Kansas before spending most of my time in Texas (San Antonio area). I have held myriad positions in my life. I like to undertake more than one thing at a time, thus I refer to myself as a #workquilter combining various avenues of income. These include:
-Author of nonfiction and fiction.
-Certified permaculture designer and previously worked as a registered interior designer.
-Suburban Homesteader (have gardens, chickens, bees).
-Speaker/trainer on myriad topics.
-Global house- and pet-sitter.
-Nonprofit consultant, certified grants specialist (proposal writer, donor communications, fundraising strategy)

Awards/Honors: 
Honor of Community Trustee (Leadership Pikes Peak)
Education/Training: 
Bachelor of Science, Organizational Management in Christian Leadership, GCU (magna cum laude) - Associate's degree, Registered Interior Designer, St. Philips College in San Antonio, TX - Certified Grants Specialist - Certified Grants Reviewer
Organizations: 
Colorado Springs CDBG Board Member
Speaker Availability: 
Yes
Speaker Topics: 
Writing - Creative writing - Self-publishing - Backyard farming (permaculture principles, food forest, perennial gardening, lasagna gardening) - Travel - House/pet sitting - Getting what you really want in life - Work quilting - Nonprofit topics (e.g. Fundraising 101) - Entrepreneurship - Design (Interior Design, Landscape design using permaculture zones)

Cook, Doug

Cook, Doug
Birth City: 
Dayton
Birth State: 
OH
Current Location: 
Colorado Springs, CO
Occupation(s): 
Author - Chair AAPG Astrogeology Committee - Sr. Geophysical Consultant (ret.)
Biography: 

Doug Cook has spent over two thousand hours underwater exploring and photographing life in the oceans. He is retired from a thirty-four year career as a petroleum geophysicist. This career allowed him to explore five of the world’s continents and live in Saudi Arabia for eighteen years. A career highlight in petroleum exploration was participating in ten years of deep-water submersible oil seep studies in the Gulf of Mexico. These seeps have associated chemosynthetic communities of life. As extremophiles, these organisms relate to Doug’s interest in astrogeology and exobiology.

Doug has always had a passion for astronomy and space exploration. He now pursues this passion as an author. The beauty of the mountains and geology lured Doug to retire in Colorado. He has two daughters and lives in Colorado Springs
with his wife Elizabeth.

Education/Training: 
BS Oceanography, University of Michigan, 1976 - MS in Carbonate Sedimentology, University of Florida, 1984 - Exploration Geophysics (Conoco, BHP Americas, Saudi Aramco)
Organizations: 
Member, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) - Chair AAPG Astrogeology Committee, Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) - Member-at-Large Colorado Springs Astronomical Society - Member of the Planetary Society, National Space Society, and Adjunct Astronomy Professor PPCC.
Speaker Availability: 
Yes
Speaker Topics: 
1) The Aquila Mission- It’s 2023. Our crew enters deep space to study asteroid Bennu and comet 125P- a step to mankind’s first voyage to Mars. A rigorously scientific yet thrilling story of man’s first journey beyond the Moon. (2018 print and eBook) - 2) Earth Impacts and the Threat from Near Earth Asteroids - 3) Research Submersible Exploration on Chemosynthetic Communities that Eat Oil and Gas, 2600 feet Down in the Gulf of Mexico - 4) Discovering Ancient Ship Wrecks in the Red Sea, Saudi Arabia.

McConnaughey, Janyne

McConnaughey, Janyne
Birth City: 
Albuquerque
Birth State: 
NM
Occupation(s): 
Educator - Retired faculty Emeritus
Biography: 

Janyne McConnaughey, PhD, retired from a career in education that spanned forty years—from early-childhood educator to college professor—in order to heal from the effects of the childhood abuse she had suffered. During therapy, Janyne wrote her way to healing and now is redeeming her story by helping others to understand and heal from childhood trauma.

Along with Brave: A Personal Story of Healing Childhood Trauma, Janyne is working on two forthcoming sequels. She also keeps busy blogging at Janyne.org, and guest blogging for other organizations that address childhood trauma.

Janyne enjoys full-time RV living with her husband, Scott, at the edge of Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and treasures the time she spends in the Seattle area with her children and grandchildren.

Awards/Honors: 
2009 - Lawrence E. and Verna A. Vredvoe Award for Distinguished Scholarship and Christian Leadership in Education
Organizations: 
PhD University of Colorado, Denver, Department of Education (Educational Leadership and Innovation) - M.S. Southwest Missouri State University, Education - B.A. Point Loma Nazarene University, Child Development and Christian Education
Speaker Availability: 
Yes
Speaker Topics: 
The Effects of Childhood Trauma - Behavior through the Lens of Childhood Trauma - Trauma Sensitive Schools - Personal Story of Healing from Childhood Trauma/Dissociative Disorders
Local Authors Genres: 

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