author jan bono

Welcome to JanBonoBooks!

After a 30-year teaching career, it’s time to fully embrace my second love—writing!

My short, humorous, personal experience stories appeared in Guidepost, Woman’s World, Byline, and Star, and then I discovered the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. This was such a good fit for my writing that I’ve been published in their books over 45 times, and I am now one of the top five contributors for Chicken Soup, worldwide!

I also write the Sylvia Avery Mystery Series, which are cozy mysteries set right where I live—right here on the Long Beach Peninsula—in the southwest corner of Washington state.

When I’m not writing, I’m available to do a variety of hands-on workshops for adults who’ve always wanted to write, and I love doing speaking engagements for any size group. Truly! I know many people do not enjoy public speaking, but I LOVE doing speaking gigs on a wide variety of topics, from open heart surgery to massive weight loss to how to write your memoirs!

October through December, I attend many holiday bazaars and craft fairs. Please check my CALENDAR page for specific details on where you can find me IN PERSON!!

Cozy Mysteries

A “cozy” mystery has NO graphic violence, NO obscene language, and NO explicit sex scenes. A cozy takes place in a small town, has an amateur sleuth who works with the police department, a quirky cast of characters, and, especially in my case, a LOT of humor!

The Sylvia Avery Mystery series is now complete with six books. I very much enjoy putting words in my imaginary characters’ mouths, and the ideas and plot lines just keep coming at me, so why quit now?!

Books 1 and 2, Bottom Feeders and Starfish, came out in 2015. Book 3, Crab Bait, was published in 2018, and Book 4, Hook, Line, & Sinker, in May, 2019. Oyster Spat made its debut in August, 2020 and Tsunami Warning was published 2021.

Featured Titles

Bottom Feeders

Drug runners are on the North Beach Peninsula, raising havoc from the tiny unsecured port of Unity on the southern end to the Spartina Point Casino and Resort up north.

Hook, Line, & Sinker

Some of those same belly dancers are trying out online dating, and the sheriff does his best to keep them safe, despite their efforts to disregard his suggestions.


A made-for-TV movie crew hasn’t shot the first scenes before two distinctly different murders occur, and the sheriff thinks there’s cause to believe they actually might be related.

Oyster Spat

Oyster Spat

A decades old murder and a very recent one take place among the oystermen, and women, in the tiny town of Willoopah along the northern tide flats of Shallowwater Bay.

Crab Bait

The members of a geriatric troupe of belly dancers, The Veiled Rainbow, are all under suspicion of murdering their husbands to collect the life insurance money.

Tsunami Warning

Tsunami Warning

A kidnapping sets the stage to bring the events of the previous 15 months full circle before it’s resolved and the series is concluded.


Bono’s stories have been featured in 45 “Chicken Soup” books, making her one of the series’ TOP FIVE CONTRIBUTORS, WORLD WIDE.  Her ten years writing an op-ed newspaper column garnered 11 Washington Newspaper Publisher Awards (WNPA). She has written 5 humorous, personal experience short story collections; two poetry chapbooks; a collection of short romances; a book about her 252-pound weight-loss journey; nine one-act plays as well as a dinner theater play. She also has been published in numerous magazines, including “Guiding Post,” “Star” and “Woman’s World.”  Winner of multiple regional writing competitions, Bono was the grand prize winner in the 2012 Coast Weekend serial mystery chapter contest. That experience inspired her to write her mystery series she describes as being like “Murder, She Wrote” –with a lot more humor.


Published Books

"chicken soup for the soul" book features

Newpaper Op-Eds

published plays

magazine articles

Washington Newspaper Publisher Awards


One of Bono’s more memorable columns was about putting tinsel on her Christmas tree while naked to keep the foil from clinging to her bathrobe.

- The Daily News


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