Category Archives: Military

Welcome, Diane Dettmann!

Welcome, Diane!  Tell us a little bit about yourself.


I have loved writing ever since I was a child. One of my earliest memories is sitting on the front porch steps when I was four, scribbling “stories” on a small tablet and reading them to my friends. Hand-written thank you notes to my grandparents and letters to cousins also played a special role in my enjoyment of writing and the ability to touch a reader in a personal way. In the years that followed, I jotted ideas and memories in journals, wrote poems, and short essays. During graduate school, I joined a writer’s group that often met in my home. We participated in local author events, read our writing at various venues, and eventually self-published a small fiction anthology, Tellin’ Lies: A Quick Anthology of Three Writers. Seeing my work in print sparked my energy and passion to follow my writing path. I have been on it ever since.


I enjoy reading and writing stories about real people’s lives, their challenges and successes. Miriam Daughter of Finnish Immigrants is the first book I co-authored with my aunt Miriam Dloniak Kaurala, a story about my grandparents leaving Finland and settling in northern Minnesota in the 1920s. Then in 2011, after seven years of writing and rewriting, I published my own memoir, Twenty-Eight Snow Angels: A Widow’s Story of Love, Loss and Renewal about the death of my husband and the process of rebuilding my life. The book is helping others in their dark days of grief. In 2015, I took the leap from memoir to historical fiction and published my award winning book, Courageous Footsteps: A WWII Novel. My readers enjoyed it so much they encouraged me to write the sequel. Yasu’s Quest: A Tale of Triumph was released in 2016. In between writing books, I am also a contributing author for the national Women’s Voices for Change organization in New York City and the Open to Hope Grief Foundation in Palo Alto, California. The international Women For One organization recognized me as a Truthteller for my memoir, Twenty-Eight Snow Angels. I have shared my writing at local events and international conferences in Finland and Canada. My author journey has been a rewarding trip. I am excited to see what adventures lie ahead!




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After several years imprisoned in a U.S. WWII Japanese interment camp in eastern California, eighteen-year-old Yasu Sakamoto cannot bear the hardships and injustices any longer. Overwhelmed with grief and the painful loss of the life she was forced to leave behind, Yasu seizes an unexpected opportunity for freedom. Terrified and alone, she longs to return to her parents, but knows she has no choice, but to push forward.
Yasu travels on foot into the unknown, her face covered with a scarf to conceal her Japanese identity. With the unexpected support from strangers, she manages to reach a train station in Omaha, Nebraska. On the train bound for Minneapolis, Minnesota, a woman professor befriends Yasu and ultimately becomes an intricate part of Yasu’s dream-seeking adventure. With the professor’s support, Yasu struggles to rebuild her life in a community filled with painful anti-Japanese racism and discrimination. Days of defeat drag her down, but giving up is not an option. With courage and determination, Yasu forges on.
Grounded in thorough research, this historical fiction novel, Yasu’s Quest: A Tale of Triumph, engages readers in a young Japanese woman’s life during one of the darkest times of America’s history. It reveals the injustices thousands of Japanese American’s were forced to endure during and after WWII. Readers feel Yasu’s pain and rejoice in her successes. Yasu’s Quest: A Tale of Triumph opens readers’ eyes to the damaging affects of prejudice and intolerance. At the same time it opens their hearts to the importance of accepting differences among us.




Book Trailer


What Readers Are Saying


While teens will be the likely readers of this novel, many an adult will find that Yasu’s Quest holds perspectives and details that are as enlightening as they are involving. It, along with its companion, Courageous Footsteps: A WWII Novel, are thus highly recommended picks for any reader interested in a powerful, ultimately hopeful, view of World War II’s lasting effects on the Japanese in America.”

-Diane Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

“Yasu’s Quest: A Tale of Triumph does exactly what historical fiction should do in that it raises meaningful issues while simultaneously staying historically accurate. More importantly, this book brings to light real history in a compelling way making it accessible to readers of all ages. Any young readers interested in or currently studying the events of World War II should consider reading Yasu’s Quest as a way to get a perspective on an often-overlooked part of U.S. history.”

-Reviewer Ben Green, Reader Views

About The Author



Diane Dettmann is the ward-winning author of Courageous Footsteps A WWII Novel. This debut novel earned Medalist Winner in the 2016 New Apple E-Book Awards and first place in the 2015 Pacific Rim Book Festival in the YA Category. The sequel, Yasu’s Quest: A Tale of Triumph, was released in July 2016. Her memoir, Twenty-Eight Snow Angels: A Widow’s Story of Love, Loss and Renewal, earned the Beach Book Festival Runner Up Award and is offering hope to others working through grief. She is also the co-author of Miriam Daughter of Finnish Immigrants. Diane is a contributing author for the national Women’s Voices for Change organization in New York City and the Open to Hope Grief Foundation in California. Dettmann’s writing has appeared in various national publications.







Welcome, Ann Gimple!



GenTech Rebellion Series

~Book 1 – Winning Glory~


Being a genetiWinningGlory-FJM_Mid_Res_1000x1500cally altered human without a name grew old, so Glory named herself. Surrounded by a maze of unpleasant alternatives, she makes a bold choice and ends up a fugitive in the midst of a Minnesota winter. Once she’s on the run, she discovers how unprepared she is for life outside her protected compound.

CIA agent, Roy Kincaid, devoted his career to hunting super humans who staged a rebellion seven years before. He’s not making much headway, so he goes deep undercover. One blustery night, a striking woman staggers into the café where he’s catching a late meal. Part waif, part runway model, the half-frozen woman arrows straight into his heart.

Glory’s flat out of alternatives, but death in the storm might be preferable to telling the tall stranger looming over her anything. Sensing Roy is dangerous, she pushes into his head seeking clues and discovers he hunts those like her. Maybe she can fool him, just for tonight. Get a hot meal and dry motel room out of the deal. If she’s lucky, he’ll never find out she’s on the run from the same group he’s targeted for death.

The thing she didn’t count on was falling in love.



~Book 2 – Honor Bound~


fb9d5fbe645e7b1ea0365dd320aa1b16Honor takes a huge chance and flees her compound one wintry night. A genetically altered woman, she has no memories from before her kin staged a rebellion seven years before. Because of her enhanced physiology, she finds a home working for the CIA alongside four other women just like her. There are still plenty of rules, but they’re different, and she’s figuring out how to blend in.

Milton Reins burns through women and marriages. After the third one implodes, he swears off hunting for a replacement. Running the CIA is a more than fulltime job. There’s no time for anything else in his life, which is fine until Honor comes along. Training in the gym throws their bodies together and makes him remember the feel of a woman in his arms. Milton aches for her, but she’s a freak—the CIA term for test tube humans designed by scientists.

Honor wants Milton with every bone in her body, but it’s a terrible idea, especially after she delves into his head and sees his ambivalence toward her kind. Need drives them together, but their differences create roadblocks every step of the way. Fueled by anger and fear, she shuts him out. So what if the sex was great, she’s done.

Or is she?



~Book 3 – Claiming Charity~


Claiming CharityEbookFinal-FJM_Mid_Res_1000x1500Charity’s luck never ran strong because her original configuration was unstable. Her handlers designed experiments to fix the problem, but only made it worse. Sick to death of living under their thumb, she jumps at a chance to escape her compound. She’s no sooner settled in as a CIA special operative—a role where she can put her augmented mind and body to use—when her wobbly genetics escalate.

Tony’s a freak—a genetically altered human waging war against the government. He snaps up an offer of amnesty, walking away from his role as a genetic researcher to work for the CIA. When Charity collapses in a severe seizure, he labors to save her life, but nothing’s working. In a last ditch effort, he joins his mind to hers and discovers he wants her more than he’s ever wanted anything. Only problem is she hates every single male freak for how they treated women in the compounds.

Charity recovers from her medical crisis, but all she can think about is Tony. Furious, determined to never let anyone like him near her, she blocks him from her mind, but he seeps back in anyway. Loving someone like Tony is a huge risk, a gamble that could throw her already precarious genes into a tailspin.

Knowing all that, why the hell is she considering it?



~About The Author~


011_1Ann Gimpel is a mountaineer at heart. Recently retired from a long career as a psychologist, she remembers many hours at her desk where her body may have been stuck inside four walls, but her soul was planning yet one more trip to the backcountry. Around the turn of the last century (that would be 2000, not 1900!), she managed to finagle moving to the Eastern Sierra, a mecca for those in love with the mountains. It was during long backcountry treks that Ann’s writing evolved. Unlike some who see the backcountry as an excuse to drag friends and relatives along, Ann prefers solitude. Stories always ran around in her head on those journeys, sometimes as a hedge against abject terror when challenging conditions made her fear for her life, sometimes for company. Eventually, she returned from a trip and sat down at the computer. Three months later, a five hundred page novel emerged. Oh, it wasn’t very good, but it was a beginning. And, she learned a lot between writing that novel and its sequel.

Around that time, a friend of hers suggested she try her hand at short stories. It didn’t take long before that first story found its way into print and they’ve been accepted pretty regularly since then. One of Ann’s passions has always been ecology, so her tales often have a green twist.

In addition to writing, Ann enjoys wilderness photography. She lugs pounds of camera equipment in her backpack to distant locales every year. A standing joke is that over ten percent of her pack weight is camera gear which means someone else has to carry the food! That someone is her husband. They’ve shared a life together for a very long time. Children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out their family.


~Where To Find Ann~








Welcome To The Family, Jo Grafford!


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Charlene A. Wilson, Hostess

In November 2010, Highlighted Author was born. It grew quickly, many great authors having to wait nearly a year to be featured. By March 2011, it was clear the little blog spot just didn’t offer what was needed. In June 2011, we moved into our very own domain,

Highlighted Author has featured Best Selling authors from around the world, from Veterans’ Memorials to Paranormal Romance, Children’s Literature to Self Help Finance, and Poetry, with weekly Features filled with audio/video trailer and clips, beautiful cover art, and intriguing excerpts. This year, Highlighted Author had the honor of being voted 4th in the P&E Readers’ Poll for Best Promotional Firm, Site, or Resource . Rarely has a week gone by that a new author hasn’t been introduced for you to add to your Favorites list.

Three years after its inception, Highlighted Author added a special interest segment. In March 2013, Highlighted Author Special Interest was born. And just like its parent partner, this unique area, reserved for New Releases, Book Tours, and Giveaways, has boomed. Now, yet one year later, March 2014 brings us to another milestone. With the growth and love shown us by authors and readers alike, I’ve seen the need to add to the family. I’m so proud to introduce to you my new Co-Hostess, Jo Grafford.

Jo Grafford
Jo Grafford, Co-Hostess

As an mega reader of all genres, I am excited to join Charlene as Co-Hostess. It’s a privilege (and a whole lot of fun) to be a part of introducing you to new and established authors here on Highlighted Author. Charlene has done an amazing job of developing and growing this blog. I look forward to helping her continue to bring you the hottest promotions and newest releases of our diverse and growing lineup of authors.

Our regular features are booked out till June already, but please keep them coming. I have no will power to resist a good book and frequently stay up past my bedtime reading titles rich in period history, talented successful women and their strong alpha males, Native Americans, and an occasional creature from the otherworld – dragons, vampires, or time travelers.

From St. Louis, Missouri, I move a lot with my soldier husband. We’ve lived in the Midwest, the deep South, and now reside in Bavaria. Along the way, I’ve served as a banker, college finance instructor, and high school business teacher and am an active member in the Romance Writers of America and From the Heart Romance Writers RWA Chapter.

I write historical and paranormal romance. My current project is the Lost Colony Series, published by Astraea Press. It’s based on one of the world’s most intriguing unsolved mysteries, a missing persons report of epic proporations.

For excerpts, character lists, contests, newsletters, and more – visit the world of Jo Grafford at:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Google+

A cursed island, chilling betrayal, and unexpected encounter with love...
A cursed island, chilling betrayal, and unexpected encounter with love…

BREAKING TIES, first book in the Lost Colony Series is available at:

Amazon Barnes and Noble | Smashwords | iBooks | Astraea Press 


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