Our Foundation

Our company was founded in Durham, NC in 1998 by Wally, Betty, and Elizabeth Turnbull, a family of authors seeking to provide a better model than predatory vanity presses or self-publishing for emerging authors, especially in niche areas. They began by publishing books from their first-hand experience in Haiti, along with family biographies and memoirs, as Light Messages Publishing. They expanded the company in 2013 to include Torchflame Books, the hybrid publishing imprint.

Following the success of Torchflame Books, our founders realized there was such a thing as too much of a good thing, and made the decision to return to their deepest passion point, creating and publishing books centered on increasing literacy in Haiti. In 2024, they transferred leadership of the company to Teri Rider, and Torchflame Books became an imprint of Top Reads Publishing, also a family-run hybrid press.

And so, the original spirit of the family-run company lives on, though the Turnbulls have moved on to their own pursuits with Light Messages and Li Li Publishing. We are honored to carry on the torch and maintain the intimate feel and the family nature of our publishing relationships.

Today, we’ve published more than 200 titles for emerging, award-winning, and bestselling authors. We believe in the power of meaningful books to make a lasting impact in the lives of readers.


Our Philosophy

While we obviously aim to sell as many of each title as possible, we do not believe that the value of a book lies solely in the quantity of books sold. Many books that will only sell a few hundred copies are worth publishing for what they contain and the value of that information for those who need it. We also find that many titles that have limited initial sales will continue to sell year after year because of their specialized content.

We hold ourselves and our authors to the standards set forth by the industry. Submissions are evaluated by our editors based on literary quality, subject, and sales potential. We value freedom of expression and encourage creativity of ideas. We express no social or political bias in our selection process.


Learn more about working with us to publish your book

Teri Rider, CEO of Torchflame BooksTeri Rider

CEO and Acquisitions Manager

An early adopter of the hybrid publishing model, Teri has been highly sought after by authors of many genres thanks to her incomparable attention to detail and extensive knowledge of all the steps required to create, launch, and market extraordinary books. She maintains her sense of fun and curiosity with each new project and engages with her authors to challenge the established boundaries of the publishing world.

Teri’s enthusiasm for publishing stems from her dynamic experience in the publishing world. With over three decades spent working in marketing and design, collaborating with and leading creative teams, and designing award-winning covers even before she became an award-winning publisher, she is able to oversee the development of each manuscript from a multifaceted perspective.

Passionate about celebrating and elevating the status of independent publishing on a global scale, she’s an active member of the Independent Book Publishers Association. She currently serves on the Advocacy Committee and co-authored the criteria for hybrid publishing.

Teri founded Top Reads Publishing in 2015, and acquired the Torchflame Books imprint in 2024 with the goal of expanding a well-curated catalog filled with books from multiple genres and a mission to help confident, self-actualized authors publish books that matter. She believes strongly in taking a personal and integrated approach to each book, giving attention to each author as they become part of their publishing “family.”

Passionate about nature, dogs, and strong coffee, Teri enjoys reading multiple genres and takes special delight in literary fiction, savoring every word.

Jori Hanna

Director of Marketing and Public Relations

Jori Hanna is a bibliophile from Centennial, Colorado. She graduated from Taylor University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Professional Writing, and loves the publishing industry immensely. She is passionate about helping others reach their full potential through writing, design, marketing, and platform development, and has worked in the publishing industry in many different roles since 2019 as an author assistant, online marketing consultant, junior literary agent, acquisitions editor, developmental editor, cover designer, and more. She has settled into her marketing passion at Torchflame Books, and she’s thrilled to focus her efforts on helping authors sell more books.

In her free time, you can find her baking, working out, reading a new suspense novel, or drinking coffee. She loves anything that will give her an adrenaline rush, diving into mysteries and thrillers of all tones (cozy, psychological, thriller, high-action, humorous, it doesn’t matter as long as the mystery is compelling), and still hasn’t outgrown her love for middle grade and young adult fantasy and adventure. Percy Jackson and Emily Windsnap are held fondly in her heart. She loves retellings and fresh takes on old stories and is desperate to find stories like LeverageWhite Collar, or Suits in book form.

Chelsea Robinson

Senior Editor

Bringing a broad scope of life and work experiences to the table, Chelsea writes, develops, and implements in-house programs as well as works directly with authors to polish their manuscripts at many stages from developmental to copy editing.

She’s been an avid writer since grade school, thanks in part to encouragement from her teachers at the performing arts school she attended, but also because of the unique parenting techniques of Torchflame’s CEO, Teri Rider—her mother—who used to make her write an essay anytime she got into trouble. She grumbled through every one of those essays, but the exercise of writing them showed her that she could express her frustrations and work through her emotions in a productive way. Not only did she get to know herself better, she also sharpened her critical thinking and discourse skills.

In college, Chelsea explored many avenues of study including philosophy, social sciences, visual art, and writing before completing her B.A. in Communications at SFSU. She discovered her knack for editing when a few of her peers asked her for help with their writing assignments. Word spread quickly and she started spending a few afternoons a week leading informal writing workshops.

“Everyone has an important story to tell, but writing isn’t always an easy process. Whatever I can do to help someone bring their story to life, I’m here for them.”


Steven Wolff


Empowering Authors, Elevating Online Presence!

Hello, fellow authors and wordsmiths! I’m Steven Wolff, your dedicated ally in the digital realm. With a proven track record of creating captivating websites for numerous authors, I’m here to take your online presence to new heights.


What I Bring to the Table:

  • Tailored Website Solutions: As a seasoned Webmaster, I specialize in crafting unique and tailored websites that perfectly capture the essence of your literary work. Each website is a digital masterpiece designed to resonate with your audience.
  • Comprehensive Services:
    • Hosting: Providing a reliable and secure space for your authorial journey to unfold.
    • Maintenance: Ensuring your website remains sleek, functional, and up-to-date.
    • Online Classes and Instruction: Elevating your digital skills to effectively manage and promote your online presence.
    • Security Checking: Vigilantly safeguarding your website against potential threats, so you can focus on what you do best—writing.

Why Choose My Services:

  • Author-Centric Approach: I understand the unique needs of authors in the digital landscape. Your website is not just a platform; it’s an extension of your literary identity, and I’m committed to enhancing that identity.
  • Proven Success: Having created a multitude of websites for fellow authors, I have a deep understanding of the publishing industry’s dynamics and know what it takes to stand out in the crowded online space.
  • Collaborative Partnership: Let’s embark on a journey together! I offer more than just services; I offer a collaborative partnership aimed at ensuring your online presence aligns seamlessly with your literary aspirations.

Connect with Me:

Ready to embark on a digital journey that amplifies your literary voice? Whether you’re a seasoned author or just starting, I’m here to support and guide you through the digital realm. Contact me today, and let’s turn your online presence into a captivating narrative.

Where Words Meet the Web – Crafting Digital Narratives for Authors.