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Heidi Komlofske-Rojek
President & CEO

When I met Ross back in May 2008, he told me of this crazy idea he had to create the perfect book review publication — something he (as a voracious book reader) couldn’t find on the market. I figured it would be the perfect combination of skill sets: Ross’s connection with the publishing industry and my 20 years of graphic design and marketing experience.

Having come from the world of static design for companies (advertising, marketing collateral, website), I rolled up my sleeves and taught myself how to do what I call “fluid design” in InDesign. What I can tell you is that there were a lot of tears when it came down to the deadline wire for getting those first issues to the press. It’s been a learning process for both of us — mostly Ross learning that, no, you can’t just move a book review from one page to the other an hour before the file is due to the printer, because it will create a hole.

Fast-forward to 6 years later, and we’ve managed to create a company that is not only surviving this horrible economy, but expanding into other cities. We went from having a virtual office in Sacramento (and working from home) to moving into a real, big-boy office in Midtown Sacramento in August 2011. (I still miss working in my pajamas, though!)

What is it that I do at City Book Review, you might ask? Well, it’s certainly not much to do with the books, which people find quite odd. I remember very early on after starting the business, I had to fill out a questionnaire for an article that a local newspaper was writing on Sacramento Book Review. Ross was reviewing my answers before I sent the file back, and said “You cannot say that your favorite book is The Da Vinci Code — you can’t tell that to anyone!”  So, here I am, confessing my book sin to everyone here. I am not the literary one of this partnership. I handle more of the organization of the publicists and communications to them and our reviewers. Of course, I’m the one who’s fingerprints is all over the company, as far as design, marketing, and of course, the publications. THAT’S what I do best.

You can reach me by email or at 855-741-8810.
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Ross Rojek

I’ve been a reader since before I can remember. From growing up in a family of teachers to skipping school to spend extra time at the library, books have always been a part of my life. For almost 15 years, I retailed comics and books in Midtown and Downtown Sacramento, and in 2008, we launched the Sacramento Book Review. Together, we created a new model of book review publications while the traditional newspapers downsized or canceled their coverage of books. Since then, we started publishing San Francisco Book Review and licensing to other cities.

I am the main contact for all-things-books here at the company — from requesting which books we’d like from the catalogs, maintaining the book database, to helping to decide contents of each publication issue.

You can reach me by email or at 855-741-8810.


Steph_Rodriguez_150Steph Rodriguez
Associate Editor

My passion will always be words. I’m proud to be an award-winning journalist with published work in the Sacramento News & Review, Submerge magazine, and more. I’m also a new mommy! My son Elliot is now nine months old and his bookshelf is already cluttered. My interests mirror the variety of articles I’ve written from book reviews, music and lifestyle features, to news and environment-focused pieces. I truly admire anyone who creates a body of work and then shares it with the world.

As associate editor of City Book Review, I plan to use the myriad skills I’ve gained throughout my professional and personal experiences to bring a fun and new perspective to the team. Follow me on Twitter, contact me at, or reach me by email or at 855-741-8810.


Christopher Hayden
Editorial Assistant

I attended CSU Sacramento where I got my BA in English (concentrated in Creative Writing), and a passion for writing. I work in the book room, where I connect books to reviewers—constantly learn more about the book industry than I thought existed, and enjoy a daily dose of Christmas; unwrapping piles of books each day. When I’m not in the office, I fill my days with writing, music, and gaming.

You can reach me by email or at 855-741-8810.

faith_150Faith Lewis
Editorial Assistant

I’ve spent most of my life with a book in one hand and a pen in the other. In high school, I was Editor in Chief of the school newspaper for three years and made leaps and bounds in my writing ability. I quickly went on to write for my local paper, first as an intern and then as a staff writer. I currently attend Sacramento State University, where I am majoring in English. As an avid reader and writer, I’ve always known my love for the written word would carry me to the publishing industry.

As editorial assistant for San Francisco Book Review, I am responsible for ordering books, communicating with publicists, and generally staying on top of the trends of the literary world. I hope to use my love of reading to bring to light new books with great potential.

You can reach me by email or at 855-741-8810.

Serena_VogelSerena Vogel
Editorial Assistant

I was brought on as a temporary replacement to fill in for Faith Lewis, who is doing a study-abroad semester in Oxford, England, until the end of this year.

I work part-time for San Francisco Book Review’s Sacramento office and the Sacramento Public Library, where I provide reference services to patrons & staff. I’m currently collaborating on launching and compiling data for a community resource database where patrons can find current information on services & contacts for local organizations where free or low-cost services are offered.

As an editorial assistant for SFBR, I’m assisting with checking books into the database, posting book reviews to the website, interfacing with publicists, and helping out where needed.x

Perri ThawPerri Thaw
Editorial Assistant

I’m currently a Freshman at CK McClatchy High School, and work at San Francisco Book Review every day after school. My duties include listing books in a database, keeping the library of books for reviewers organized, and any miscellaneous assistance I can provide to the staff in the office.

My curriculum in school leans heavily to the sciences programs, because I would like to become a Veterinarian.  I’m currently taking molecular biology and trying hard not to blow up the lab. I’m also studying French and would someday love to visit Paris.



Joseph Arellano
Contributing Editor

I am a Contributing Editor for San Francisco Book Review (SFBR), and a Column Coordinator for the Portland Book Review (PBR). I began writing reviews, of music, rather than books, while attending the University of the Pacific (UOP); there, I wrote reviews for The Pacifican student paper and for the campus radio station, KUOP-FM. I went on to receive a Communication Arts degree from UOP and a law degree from the University of Southern California.

I have written book reviews for SFBR, PBR, San Antonio Book Review, the Tulsa Book Review, Blogcritics, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and an east coast-based online book review publication. I have maintained my own book review site, Joseph’s Reviews – recommended by the Midwest Review of Books, since June of 2009. I also write music and entertainment reviews, and conduct author and musician interviews, for Blogcritics and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

I live in Elk Grove, CA, with my wife Ruta and Sasha, the Russian Blue princess cat.


Heather Osborne

Heather Osborne
Copy Editor

Heather Osborne was born and raised in California. She has a Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Victimology, as well as coursework in Early Childhood Education. In 2009, she met her husband and moved to Scotland, very much a dream of hers since she was a small child. Heather has been writing short stories for as long as she can remember. She also has written and directed several plays. In her spare time, Heather enjoys reading, writing (of course!), theatre, as well as caring for her young son.



Michael JulianMichael Julian
Copy Editor

Michael Julian is a poet, writer, and editor. His work has appeared in Eunoia Review, Empty Mirror, Hark Magazine, The EEEL, and The Altar Collective. He enjoys reading poetry, literary fiction, history, and philosophy. Michael is currently working towards a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Pacific University of Oregon.




Michelle BakerMichelle Baker
Copy Editor

I have been an avid reader since I was very young, also writing poetry for many years. Since adulthood took over, I studied with the Open University gaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree with honours in Childhood and Youth Studies, as well as a diploma in Psychology and a certificate in Social Sciences, all whilst raising three children alone. I work as a Teaching Assistant, as well as running a successful website where I am often found interviewing, writing articles or reviewing albums and books. Therefore, when the opportunity arose to work for City Book Review, I could not pass it up.


kemberlee-shortland_bioheadshotKemberlee Shortland
Copy Editor

Kemberlee Shortland was an early starter so it was no surprise that once she could string a few words together, she picked up a crayon and started writing stories. While her interests varied growing up, writing was always there in the background. She studied graphic arts and law in school, but went on to work in the pet industry for some years before working in the hospitality where she worked for Clint Eastwood in Carmel, where she was also born and raised. When the opportunity arose to visit Ireland on a long-term visa, she couldn’t pass it up. Fast forward, and eighteen-plus years later, Kemberlee now lives and works in Ireland with her Corkonian husband. She spent her first 15 years as an Irish travel specialist and published dozens of travel articles. During that time, her fiction also saw publication and her writing career took off. Today, Kemberlee has nine books published, was the editor for the Just Desserts cookery book and has several novels currently being edited for publication. She served two terms as president for an international reviewers organization. She works as a freelance editor. And on Leap Day 2012, she and her Irish husband launched Tirgearr Publishing. Kemberlee doesn’t believe in sleep, so she fills her spare time (stop laughing) with several writing projects, and now copy editing for San Francisco Book Review. Kemberlee can be found at and

Dana Linda
Copy Editor

Dana 2Dana Linda brings to the SFBR a life-long love for the city by the bay and the local bookshops in Oakland, Berkeley, and San Leandro that sparked her childhood imagination with the world literary landscape. She is currently completing her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at UCLA, where she also earned an MA specializing in Caribbean and postcolonial literatures (2011) and a certificate in Gender Studies (2012).

For more information related to Dana’s scholarly work, see her featured profile on the UCLA Humanities Division website.


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