AEP Welcomes Author Mary Jo Nickum

Mary Jo Nickum is a retired librarian and project manager, who is now an editor and freelance writer. Her primary focus is on science for the public, especially topics related to natural history. She has chosen to extend her science for the public outreach to children.

Mary earned a B.A. degree in English education at Northland College, Ashland, WI, a Masters in Librarianship (M. Lib.) at the University of Washington, Seattle, WA, and a Masters in Interdisciplinary Studies (MAIS) from Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR.

She worked as a science librarian at the US Environmental Protection Agency, National Water Quality Laboratory in Duluth, MN, as Oceanography/Zoology librarian at Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, as Project Manager of the Fish and Wildlife Reference Service in Rockville, MD, and as a Division Manager for the Maxima Corporation, a Washington, DC firm that specialized in information services for Federal and County governments. She is a former editor of The Progressive Fish-Culturist, Editor-in-Chief of the Intermountain Journal of Science, and currently edits the World Aquaculture magazine.

Mary’s articles on aquaculture topics are published in: Hatchery International, Aquaculture Magazine, Northern Aquaculture and Fish Farming News. She is currently working on several nonfiction books and articles for children. Her website for children is

Mary has been writing science for the public since 1995.


  • OWAA Excellence in Craft Award 2009 (Technical Contest, Magazine category)
  • OWAA Outstanding Board Member, 2010

The Path: A Literary Magazine by Mary Jo Nickum

A literary magazine produced semi-annually by The Path to Publication Group, Inc. It is a themed literary magazine available in paper and ezine formats featuring essays, short stories, poetry, humor, interviews and book reviews. The theme of this issue is ‘Wish upon a Star.


Coelacanth: The Greatest Fish Story Ever Told (The Aquitaine Reluctant Readers Series) (Volume 2) By Mary Jo Nickum

The primitive-looking coelacanth (pronounced SEEL-uh-kanth) was thought to have gone extinct with the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. But its discovery in 1938 by a South African museum curator on a local fishing trawler fascinated the world and ignited a debate about how this bizarre lobe-finned fish fits into the evolution of land animals. There are only two known species of coelacanths: one that lives near the Comoros Islands off the east coast of Africa, and one found in the waters of Sulawesi, Indonesia. Many scientists believe that the unique characteristics of the coelacanth represent an early step in the evolution of fish to terrestrial four-legged animals like amphibians.

Looking at the Cat: An Eye on Evolution (The Aquitaine Reluctant Reader Series) (Volume 1) by Mary Jo Nickum

“The history of the domestic cat may stretch back even further, as 8,000-year-old bones of humans and cats were found buried together on the island of Cyprus.”

The history of the cat goes back much further than the Egyptians, as the reader will find out when reading “Looking at the Cat, An Eye on Evolution”. This book is an overview of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution as it relates to the cat. The student not only is exposed to the concepts of evolution but, at the same time, is shown examples of how evolution has progressed and the timeframe during which these changes have taken place. The book contains 44 pictures, photos and graphs along with 10 sidebars to further supplement the text.


A Girl Named Mary by Mary Jo Nickum

A Girl Named Mary tells the story of Mary, the Mother of Jesus as a young girl. Though she has a much older sister, she’s raised as an only child. Her cousin, Rebekka, is her closet friend and confidant. Together they grow and learn how to maneuver in a culture that is steeped in tradition. One that looks backward instead of forward for solutions to problems. Mary cares about others, helps the sick and disadvantaged and is a voice, albeit a young voice, for women.

At twelve, Mary was betrothed to an older man who had sons her age. She resisted this arrangement strongly. She argued with her parents against the betrothal with every bit of logic and strength she had but found this tradition beyond her ability to fight. The marriage took place and she was rewarded by the birth of a beautiful baby boy, Jesus.

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Mom's Story: A Child Learns About MS by Mary Jo Nickum

Mom’s Story; A Child Learns About MS tells the story of a young girl who sees her mother with some frightening health problems and learns she has MS but she will not die from it. This book is a compassionate, accessible and easy to understand account of symptoms, search for help, diagnosis and adaptation to this heart-wrenching disease. Amy fears the worst, which is common when one is confronted by the unknown. Her best friend, Kayla, doesn’t quite understand why Amy is so worried. Amy’s older sister, Kelly is concerned and does her best to help, while older brother, Tony, tries to deny the whole situation. Information is the key to allaying much of her fear along with understanding from parents, adult friends and her older sister.

Ten percent of the net proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

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Wishing Makes It So by Marilyn Meredith

In an effort to make a change in a child's live, Alyse and Steven take in a four-year-old who has been thrown out of several homes prior to theirs. Because of their successful parenting of three children of their own and Steven's career as a counselor, they feel sure they can help Belinda and give her a loving home. However Belinda quickly proves to be a great challenge. She is often disobedient and trouble making, hurting the other children and vandalizing their possessions. At times she seems sweet and innocent, easily charming the unwary. Her desire to be the only child takes a deadly turn.

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Deadly Trail by Marilyn Meredith

Tempe Crabtree Mystery Series Prequel
The tranquility of the village of Bear Creek in the Southern Sierra is disrupted by the suspicious death of the owner of the local Inn. Investigating a murder case isn't Deputy Tempe Crabtree's job, but when the detectives don't look any further than Nick Two John as the primary suspect. Tempe begins asking questions. Putting the planning for her wedding to Pastor Hutch Hutchinson on hold, it doesn't take long for her to discover there are several more people who wanted the victim dead, including his wife. Tempe follows the trail of clues putting her job, her upcoming marriage and herself in peril.

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The Astral Gift by Marilyn Meredith

A victim of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of her stepfather, Elaine Brinsfield can't bear the thought of being touched by a man. The coping mechanism of astral projection she used as a child returns unbidden, accompanied by the threatening appearance of ghostly evil spectral beings. The gift-or curse-of astral projection enables Elaine to solve a vicious murder, but skeptical cops make her the number one suspect.

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The Happiness Option by Othello Bach

The Happiness Option is a step-by-step guide that reveals the connection between thought and emotion, and shows how to use this connection to overcome past pain and create happiness and success.


Marilyn Meredith Announces Release of Newest Tempe Crabtree Mystery

Tempe Crabtree MysteryBook 16

Deputy Tempe Crabtree is the resident deputy of the mountain community of Bear Creek and its nearby surroundings in the Southern Sierra.

A horrific snowstorm traps Tempe and her husband in the lodge of a summer camp along with the caretakers and seven most unpleasant people--one becomes a murder victim.

And to complicate matters, the ghost of a former camper makes contact with Tempe.

Meredith, who also writes under the pen name of F.M. Meredith, is currently working on the next book in the Rocky Bluff PD Series. In addition, she has just released a new edition of The Astral Gift, previously published by The Fiction Works in 2004. She is the author of over forty published novels.
Marilyn Meredith is a member of three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. She lives in the foothills of the Sierra. 

Visit her at or to learn more.

Three of the other latest books in the Tempe Crabtree Mystery series include Seldom Traveled, Not As It Seems, and River Spirits. The last three books in the Rocky Bluff series include Unresolved, A Crushing Death, and Violent Departures. A handful of her other books include Lingering Spirit, Kachima Spirit, Wishing Makes It So, and Guilt by Association.

Dr. Charles N. Toftoy Announces Third Psychological Thriller is in the works.....

When it comes to Chuck Toftoy, nothing slows him down. When he's not visiting local nursing homes with his therapy Yorkie, Zoe, or running in the Senior Olympics (and winning), he's working on yet another in his "EYES" series of thrillers. Reverse Pursuit has a unique twist when the serial killer goes after the Alpha Team, one by one. The Alpha Team is a group who usually helps track down the serial killer. "But not this time," states Toftoy.
Toftoy will be busy this winter polishing up his skillful plot, colorful characters, and devious serial killer. What we all want to know is.... will the Scorpion get to any of the team first? Or will they figure it out in time?

Once again, Toftoy chuckles as we all wait in anticipation for his newest, well-crafted novel, Reverse Pursuit.

Based on extensive research, Dr. Toftoy provides practical, rubber-meets-the-road thoughts to INSPIRE us. The ALPHA TEAM, characters from his first two novels, gathers weekly to discuss important topics of life. This book is written TO you and FOR you, the reader, providing insights to help you cope with personal difficulties, make self-improvements, and assist or care for others. It will be beneficial to teenagers, young adults, seniors, men and women.

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Mentor Program. Dr. Toftoy is a Professor, Emeritus at the George Washington University, a disabled veteran, and the recipient of TWO purple hearts.

Lars Neilsen, a professor-sleuth, and his highly skilled Alpha Team put their lives on the line to catch the cold case killer of twenty victims. 

Taurus, nickname for the killer, has a track record of murders from Buffalo, Albany, and Philadelphia to the Washington, D.C. Metro area. His modus operandi is mostly strangulation---placing a plastic bag over the head of his victims. 

D.C.'s heightened restlessness is reminiscent of the post 9/11, snipers, and anthrax scares. Everyone is walking on pins and needles, particularly in the Northern Virginia region. The entire nation watches. 

It's spring in Washington, DC - a beautiful time of year in the nation's capital, yet its citizens are uneasy. Their heightened restlessness is reminiscent of the recent 9/11, sniper, and anthrax scares. But this time the enemy is a psychopathic killer responsible for the deaths of four local university co-eds - raping and murdering them using rituals practiced by the Thuggees, killers for the Goddess Kali who were responsible for the deaths of more than two million travelers in India in the 17th and 18th centuries.

It's up to Lars Neilsen, a college professor and part-time sleuth, and his highly skilled Alpha Team to find out who is committing these atrocious murders. But Lars and his team are in for a few nasty surprises along the way...

Dr. Toftoy has worked in three sectors: military (20 years), corporate (12 years), academic (17 years). He was a U.S. Army airborne – ranger, infantry officer. Toftoy is a highly decorated (wounded twice) Vietnam veteran (two tours). His Doctorate is in Strategic Planning and he was awarded an MBA from Tulane University, received his BS in Engineering from West Point. In the Corporate world he served as a General Manager for Raytheon Service Company, Director of Marketing for Lear Siegler, Inc., President of PATCH Associates, and others. At George Washington University, Charles Toftoy was the Director of the Entrepreneurial Small Business Program. He taught at the undergraduate and graduate level in The Business School. This included the Executive MBA Program. Retired as a professor emeritus in 2007.

Toftoy has provided hands-on management assistance to over 1,500 small-medium sized enterprises in the Greater Washington, D.C. area. He has conducted global programs for business people in Eastern Europe, South America, and other developing countries. He authored a business book about CEO Strategy. Dr. Toftoy has written numerous articles, presenting them formally at conferences in the United States and globally (such as: Russia, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Puerto Rico …). He appeared on many TV and radio shows and was heard on Voice of America throughout 32 countries. He ran the Boston Marathon, competed in triathlons for ten years, and still competes in the Senior Olympics at the state and national levels. Toftoy serves on several Board of Directors, such as the Restaurant Association of Metro Washington. He advises several local companies on business strategy. He has written three novels (two mystery/thrillers and a self-help motivational book). All novels have received national awards.

Military Decorations: Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Seven Bronze Stars (4-valor), Two Meritorious Service Medals, Eight Air Medal (1-valor), Four Army Commendation Medals (1-valor), Two Purple Hearts. Two Vietnamese Gallantry Crosses (Silver Stars), Vietnamese Medal of Honor (1st class), Vietnamese Fourragere (National Order), Vietnamese Wound Medal.

Deadly Omen by Marilyn Meredith

Tempe Crabtree Mystery Series 
Book 1

A candidate for Princess is murdered at a Native American Pow Wow while Tempe is working there in her capacity as deputy. Tempe's investigation takes her into the Yanduchi reservation, and Hutch has difficulty with Tempe's growing interest in her own native heritage as she seeks the identity of the killer.


Multi-Genre Pastor Releases Book of Devotions

Rev. Paul Zimmer is full of surprises when writing his books. From a "very real" trilogy memoir, depicting his troubled path leading him to his true calling, to a truck driver accused of murder, and now his latest release, a book of devotions. Gifted with many talents, the Reverend excels in crafting his words that include, brute honesty, "bust-your-gut" humor, and biblical truths all weaved beautifully into his books. Zimmer is also the recipient of "The Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award".

Rev. Zimmer and his wife, Shelly, write and sing Gospel music. They recorded an album in 1985. They have copyrighted numerous songs, and a book of poems that are set to popular songs from the 1960’s to the 80′s rock and roll generation. They have performed music all over the southern California area, including a Christian gathering at Knott’s Berry Farm.

Trail Fixin's: Spiritual Snacks For Your Walk on the Narrow Path

This book of devotions is a result of his many years of ministry and service to the church and God’s people, and will be a blessing to you in many wonderful ways!

Convoy Murder
Jake was about to have it all. That is... until a dead body is discovered. This bright young man was truly destined for greatness, even before he finished his masters degree in Financial Management. However, like so many other Americans, his dreams and career burst when the recession bubble burst, forcing him to put his life on hold and take up driving big rigs. Somewhere between his college achievements and looking for his first job in Financial Management, he developed a deep, dark secret that no one, including his lovely young wife and adoring parents could have imagined. And it was partly due to the hidden lies and secret life that he ended up being charged with murder and imprisoned.

Once in prison, Jake was stalked by fear and danger with his every move. The reader will follow Jake on a journey that includes a pit of sexual liaisons, and a series of twists and turns in the plot; underscored by the greed of even those who Jake trusted the most. During his brief but deadly ride through the justice system, Jake discovers that he wasn't the only master of deception and deadly plans. Convoy Murder has its shares of laughter, chuckles and plenty of tears for you the reader, as the mystery and intrigue will grip and pull you along with Jakes journey. A journey building up to an ending that no one could have ever imagined or seen coming!

Final Daze: "God's Way, or the Highway!"
Book 3 in the Daze Series
In 2010, a poll showed that more than 80% of Americans claim to be Christians. At first glance that is one impressive figure. However, if we read what Jesus told His followers in Matthew 7:13-14, we see a serious contradiction between that poll finding and the Word of God. It is apparent, from what Jesus says, the gate and road to hell are “broad,” and flooded with “many.” Jesus taught in Matthew and Luke (13:24) that the gate to heaven is narrow like the path leading there. Furthermore, Jesus said that the narrow path has its difficulties, causing “few” to find and be able to enter the gate! Scriptures put the Bible at odds with the poll.

Final Daze: “God’s Way, or the Highway,” is an in depth examination of the narrow path, gate, and Romans 1:16-32 where Paul tells the people they have exchanged Biblical truths for their own understandings and wisdom. Not only do they believe their ways to be wiser than God’s way, but they worship their choices. Paul says God is close to turning them over to their error filled ways, lustful lifestyles, and degrading passions, once and for all! When God decides to turn mankind, individually and collectively, over to their own wickedness, it will be like a “spiritual fog, or daze” settling on and losing them to follow their sin, as they move ever closer to the final darkness and hell!

Thorn Daze: The Painful Truth About Prosperity Teaching
Book 2 in the Daze Series
If you are struggling to understand why God has not healed you, than Thorn Daze is a must-read book. Pastor Zimmer candidly shares his personal struggles with healing, and only after many years of trial and error does he come to accept, understand, and apply the teachings of the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 to his life. In a world that is filled with quick fixes for just about everything, the believer can easily lose faith when they are going through an emotional, spiritual, or physical storms. Too often, believers become so desperate to be rid of their physical and emotional struggles that they grasp at spiritual straws with the hope of discovering a God sent miracle and healing.

Pastor Zimmer examines the prosperity teaching movement in relation to 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, and discovers that he and other believers may be left to suffer in order to bring God glory. Through prayer, and His manifested grace, the believer can come to discover that His grace is more than sufficient in relieving pain and suffering. This is an open and honest look at the authors own pain and suffering over the years; his personal disappointment with God when it came to not being healed; and how he's grown to accept God's all sufficient grace and perfect will for his life.

Prodigal Daze: My Long Road Home
Book 1 in the Daze Series
Prodigal Daze is a very candid and at times, graphic portrayal of a young pastor's downward spiral into the dark world of pornography, failed marriages, and failed attempts at ministry. The willingness of the author to talk about the unthinkable should serve as a beacon of hope for any believer who is struggling with similar issues and hopelessly trapped in ungodly and unholy cravings and lifestyles. Prodigal Daze will lovingly and explicitly move the reader from Romans 7 (defeated by sin) to Romans 8 (victory over sin).

Prodigal Daze is a must-read book for all believers, because sin is something we are all subject to according to I John 1:5-10. The author shows us the patience of a loving Father who remains faithful to His promise to save us, even after we fall. Prodigal Daze speaks to every believer about the courage to move forward in midst of your trials.