Board of Directors

Kris Tualla, President
EmailKris Tualla

Kris Tualla, a dynamic award-winning and internationally published author of historical romance and suspense, writes with a fast-paced and succinct style. Her plots are full of twists, passion, and very satisfying outcomes! Kris started in 2006 with nothing but a nugget of a character in mind, and has created a dynasty with The Hansen Series and its spin-off, The Discreet Gentleman Series. Norway is the new Scotland!

Kris is an active member of Romance Writers of America, the Historical Novel Society, and Sisters in Crime. She is an enthusiastic speaker and teacher, and created Arizona Dreamin' - Arizona's first romance-reader event: - and it's author-focused companion:


Valen Cox, Vice-President of Programs
Email: Valen Cox

As the daughter of a US Army Veteran, Valen Cox grew up around the world. Most of those years were spent in Germany with numerous opportunities to wander sites and ruins steeped in medieval history. She attended proms in the spectacular Heidelberg Castle begun in 1214 A.D. about which Mark Twain waxed loquacious in an 1880 travel book, and in the picturesque Strahlenburg Ruine, a fortress castle begun in 1235 A.D. with a commanding view of the Rhine lowlands. She even graduated in the majestic Worms Cathedral, an imperial Romanesque structure dating back to 614 A.D.

It is no wonder then that Valen writes Historical Romance. Published in short fiction and non-fiction, she is a multiple-contest winner in Historical Romance as well as Mystery Suspense, and she dabbles in Science Fiction as well. Her bachelor’s degree with an emphasis in English and American Literature provides a great foundation for her writing.

Valen has served as treasurer of the Pikes Peak Romance Writers Chapter and the Desert Rose Chapter Programs Chair. She also serves as the Choir Director of her church, enjoys traveling and interior decorating, and lives in Goodyear, Arizona with her husband and three soon-to-launch sons.


Julie Ellis, Vice-President of Communications
EmailJulie Ellis

Julie Ellis began creating characters and their worlds at a young age. Growing up in a small town, daydreaming was a fun way to pass the time on long car trips. Everywhere is a commute when you grow up in a town of 350 people. Today she writes glamorous contemporary romance with CEOs and pop stars as some of her favorite characters (not in the same books). With a bachelor’s degree in psychology and an MBA, Julie’s daytime career is in marketing and financial analysis. She has held the positions of Newsletter Editor and Treasurer for Desert Rose. She lives in Ahwatukee with her husband Kevin, son Andy and giant goldendoodle Teddy.


Aeon Igni, Secretary

I am a science fiction romance author who lives in Arizona. My first published novella is Salvation, available on


Deena Remiel Headshot

Deena Remiel, Treasurer
EmailDeena Remiel

Writing urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and suspense, Deena spends her days and nights playing in the Garden of Good and Evil. She’s been known to have downed a few beers with her angels and even put Satan in his place a time or two. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two teenagers. When she’s not writing, she’s teaching kids how to.

Committee Chairs 2015-2016

Communication Committee Chairs:

Arbitration: Kathryne Kennedy, Sandra Lee Smith, Conni Morabitio

Website: Heather Sandusky

Chapter Historian: Ann Narcisian Videan

PAN Representative: Vijaya Schartz

PRO Representative: Andrea Rittschof

VOS Liaison: Tina Swayzee McCright

Program Committee Chairs

Main Programs: Valen Cox

Table Topics: Terry Smith

Roses, Beads, & Quills: Andrea Rittschof

Raffle Baskets & Tickets: Alena Sarkis

Networking: Christina Gasser-Scotte

Scottsdale Library Workshops 2015: Andrea Rittschof

Member Appreciation Dinner 2016:

Golden Quill:

Mentor Program: Laurie Schnebly Campbell

Critique Groups: Connie Flynn