Channel 2 — February 2, 2023

Finalist of the Illinois Soon To Be Famous Author Manuscript Contest After the heartbreaking loss of her mother and a cruel attack by her drunken father, Ella Parker decides that dishonesty is fine when it serves her needs. At a time when wealthy young ladies do little more than embroidery, Ella escapes her luxurious but lonely life, and meets an eccentric ship surgeon who—once she impresses him with her quick-thinking and empathy—allows her to assist him during a surgery. Compelled by Ella’s intelligence and interest in medicine, the doctor prepares her for a medical career, but there’s a catch: in early 19th century England, women are not accepted into universities. To fulfil her dream of becoming a doctor, Ella must disguise herself as a young man with aspirations of becoming a doctor. After changing her look and name, Ella finds her footing as she performs dissections, conducts experiments, and cares for patients. She also tutors Oli, a kind but struggling fellow student, but she must take caution. Even in her loneliest moment, she cannot trust anyone or make friends. As Ella continues to excel in her studies, brilliantly saving the life of a patient, she becomes a top contender for the apprenticeship with a famed professor. Dogged by fear of discovery, she must choose between truth and lies, and distinguish between real and false friends, before her pretense is uncovered.

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Kimberly Dean speaking about “Dream Walker”

Research scientist Shea Caldwell has always had a thing for security consultant, Derek Oneiros. He’s smart, handsome, and built like a Greek god. As attracted as she is to him, though, she’s afraid to let him into her bed – because she’s dangerous when she sleeps. Derek is known among his brothers as “The Machine,” yet his carefully cultivated control is put to the test whenever he’s around Shea. The woman is as beautiful as she is intelligent, but they’ve always kept things professional – until Derek learns why. Shea is sleepwalking again, but what she doesn’t know is that he may be the only one who can help her. For he is a Greek daemon, and he’s charged with protecting her dreams. With Shea threatened, Derek makes things personal, and their nights together turn steamy and intimate. He’s ready to battle against the Somnambulist that’s been controlling his lover in her sleep, yet is the night creature really causing all the harm? When Shea’s groundbreaking research notes are stolen, it’s clear that other evil forces may be at work.

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Rocky Romanella speaking about “Tighten The Lug Nuts ”

Each and every day, we face choices.
It’s how we make those choices that determines the kind of leader we can be. In Tighten the Lug Nuts: The Principles of Balanced Leadership, Rocky Romanella uses his over forty years of experience in supply chain, logistics and transportation, retail, sales and operational management at UPS, and his CEO and Director roles, to explore the ways a true leader can add value as a trusted advisor, mentor, and visionary who uses a process approach to lead the organization and its people to new levels of success.

In an engaging, personal, and witty style, Rocky Romanella details how leaders must make their three major constituents equal priority by actively listening to their needs and building strong relationships. By following the steps Romanella lays out, you can truly learn the importance of Balanced Leadership.

Romanella believes the true measure of a great leader is someone who leaves things a little better than they found them. In Tighten the Lug Nuts, you’ll follow Joe Scafone as he demonstrates the importance of small acts of kindness, the power that comes with understanding your role, and the freedom that accepting responsibility affords. Learn how to tighten the lug nuts in your own life to keep from becoming overwhelmed and to take the steps to becoming a truly balanced and valuable leader.

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Kendall E. Williams, PhD speaking about “Visions, Values, and Corporate Hypocrisy ”

Dr. Kendall E Williams argues that hypocrisy occurs when leaders fail to align their actions with company values, resulting in widespread disillusionment that taints the entire organization. He makes a bold and compelling case for authentic leadership as a legitimate and profitable business incentive, where values are ethically informed and pioneered by diligent leaders. Now more than ever, companies have a duty, and an incentive to reverse the “profits before people” paradigm, focusing instead on a “people first” approach. Visions, Values, and Corporate Hypocrisy calls for greater transparency, accountability, and integrity within the business discourse, starting with leaders whose actions ultimately shape the culture and success of organizations.

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Jody Sharpe speaking about “Town of Angels”

Angel vs. Bully in the town of Mystic Bay, California, where a well-kept secret lies. Angels live as humans there. After angels appeared to three children, all was blissful in the town full of psychics, and ordinary folk. But as brute, Klaus Waxman, comes to town, angel Ken Leighton, a storeowner, must carefully guide his flock of humans not to give in to the bully's efforts. As Klaus opens a store mocking the resident angel sightings, angel Ken guides psychic Justine Greer, and her family to thwart his efforts. And with the help of the indomitable oldest psychic in town, Madam Norma, the bully meets his match through the soft voices and intuitive minds of his neighbors.

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NJ Lujan speaking about “The Atropos Maker III: Awakening”

What is more terrifying than a covert mission to North Korea? Try raising a 12-year-old girl. Elina struggles with the countless rules in her life, especially when they keep her from a mysterious new boy who arrives at her school. What is Alexander Veurr to do? As the leader of Atropos-one of the government’s most elite tactical teams-Alexander assigns retired agent Xavier to guard his budding daughter. With Xavier’s skills and agency resources, what could possibly go wrong? A lot, it turns out. Elina goes missing and Alexander is exiled from the agency. Two things become clear. One- Someone in the agency is as crooked as a dog’s hind legs. Two- Elina may be someone’s unwitting secret weapon.

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Donna Fletcher Crow speaking about “The Vanquishers of Tyranny: Of Patriots and Priests”

Larger than life, perhaps the greatest patriot that ever breathed, William Wallace gives his life’s blood for Scotland’s freedom. A glorious victory at Stirling Bridge leads to heart-rending defeat at Falkirk and payment of the ultimate sacrifice at the Tower of London. And young, faithful Jamie Maclnnes experiences it all—even to paying a great personal price himself.
Though scarred—like Scotland—Jamie is unconquered. He rallies behind the dynamic Robert the Bruce and follows on the arduous odyssey of defeat, exile and humiliation until it leads finally to glorious victory on the fields of Bannockburn.
700 years later, three adventurous young people follow this spellbinding tale, seeking answers for their own lives and the solution to Scotland’s oldest riddle.

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Jody Sharpe speaking about “The Angel's Daughter”

A secret lies in Mystic Bay California and only two people know it. First there's Hannah O'Ryan, a tender, curly-headed half-angel. Then there's her father, Gabe an effervescent, teddy bear of a full-blooded angel. And it's up to Hannah to keep the secret safe. But she's made a colossal mistake telling her ex-boyfriend and writing Professor, Sam Blakley. Now he's written a book exposing the secret to the world.

What will happen to her angel father? What can Hannah really do to stop this? With her special tears, animal ESP and a surprising gift she doesn't know she has, will Hannah be able to thwart Sam's efforts? With her new love Josh and her beloved Mystic Bay behind her, Hannah finds her very angelness can make all the difference. Maybe she'll get to fly again like she does in all her dreams.

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Wendy Sand Eckel speaking about “Mystery at Windswept Farm”

In Wendy Sand Eckel’s much-anticipated third book in the Rosalie Hart Mystery Series, Rosalie’s hard-earned organic farm certification is threatened by a toxic neighbor who is about to crop dust his winter wheat. When their impulsive farm hand decides to confront him, she finds his lifeless body inside the door of his home on Windswept Farm. In the midst of the mayhem, Rosalie’s beloved Day Lily Café hosts a 5-day cooking school. Marco Giovanelli, a celebrated Italian chef, arrives in Cardigan and a sumptuous situation ensues. When one of the students falls ill with the same poison that killed the farmer, Rosalie and her best friend and head waiter, Glenn, take matters, and homemade pasta dough, into their own hands. With Mystery at Windswept Farm, Eckel once again brings the fictional town of Cardigan to life and delights with suspense, humor, and mouth-watering menus.

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Scott Allen Benkie speaking about “The Lawyer's Angel”

Attorney James Crosson is in the grips of despair, blaming himself for his wife’s death. A widow hires him to pursue a wrongful death case on behalf of her late husband who died in a seemingly ordinary car wreck. Crosson must confront his own tragic loss and gambling debts as he unravels the plot hatched by a deranged corporate tyrant who will stop at nothing to conceal the truth, take down the lawyer, and preserve his empire. With Vegas goons closing in and everything at stake, Crosson goes all in one last time with no realistic chance of winning the case or surviving the evil arrayed against him.

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D.C. Lyons speaking about “With Worn Out Tools: Navigating the Rituals of Midlife”

With Worn-Out Tools is the story of a fiftyish black call center executive who, at the height of his career, in one year is struck down with a series of serious health issues, a career transition, and a shift in family dynamics. Take his journey with him as he navigates through these midlife rites of passage that challenges his resolve, strains his resources, and reconfigures his paradigm. You will root for him, laugh with him, and cry with him as he works his way through his path which may be much like your path.

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JoDee Neathery speaking about “A Kind of Hush”

In the wake of recovering from an unspeakable tragedy, the Mackie family is enjoying a June outing at a rugged park near their Buffalo, New York home when their life is once again thrown into turmoil. One parent survives along with their teenage daughter and seven-year-old son found hiding in the woods. Was this a horrendous accident or something more heinous, and if so, whodunnit and whydunit? The setting switches to a fictional town in the heart of the Big Bend area of Texas as the families follow their journey to a different life even as they hunger to return to the one they once had. A mantle of ambiguity – a kind of hush – hangs between the survivors like a live grenade without its pin as each one deals with the circumstances and revelations surrounding the incident. This literary mystery is “about a moment in time that changes a family forever…its special brand of intrigue and soul-searching engages readers from the beginning…” – Midwest Book Review.

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L. Andrew Cooper speaking about “Crazy Time: A Bizarre Battle with Darkness and the Divine”

Crazy Time: A Bizarre Battle with Darkness and the Divine is a literary horror novel, a dark, surreal, contemporary supernatural fantasy that offers scares and suspense but seeks to terrify more on the level of concept, filling your head with thoughts and images that don’t fit right and perhaps shouldn’t even be. Bright, independent Lily Henshaw rides home with her friends Kris, Eric, and Mia after an evening of celebration and ends up in a nightmare. Two men in a pickup truck stalk them on the road. The truck sideswipes them, and they pull over—where the two men subdue them with a gun and a tire iron. One of the men announces that it's "crazy time," and a game of violence and murder begins. Lily barely escapes with her life. Months later, she is still traumatized, and her religious coworker Vince's attempt to comfort her with claims that everything happens for a reason only leads to a panic attack. Her boss and the owner of the printing company where they work, Burt—who has always had feelings for her but has never acted on them—offers more solace, but he also shows her posters ordered by MFS, a corporation with offices at the nearby 1500 Spring Street skyscraper, posters that feature disturbing, apocalyptic Biblical images coupled with bizarre motivational taglines. Lily is agnostic, Burt is an atheist, and they're both amused... and a little creeped out. The small levity Lily finds vanishes when her family calls to tell her that her brother David has killed himself, apparently part of a "cluster suicide" phenomenon that she and David had heard about on the news at a recent family gathering. While she mourns, Lily can't get the apocalyptic posters out of her head. Soon she gets a new, much larger dose of religious creepiness when a swarm of locusts invades her apartment. Unsure about whether the affliction is real, she calls Burt for help and waits for him outside. During the wait, a man attacks her. She is on the ground bleeding when Burt and other witnesses arrive. The other witnesses, seeing Burt, a black man, and Lily, an injured white woman, assume Burt is to blame and have him arrested. Lily testifies to Burt's innocence, but he nevertheless spends a night in jail, where a cellmate kills himself, part of another suicide cluster. Meanwhile, Lily has a vision of Kris, Eric, and Mia sounding less like themselves than like Biblical prophets, warning her about opposing God. The experience sparks an idea: Lily begins to believe that she might be cursed, and in high Biblical fashion, the curse is affecting people around her, too, especially Burt. Lily adopts "curse logic" and looks for answers. Burt, though skeptical, joins her. They visit an "extreme" psychic. Lily has an interview with a Satanist. While searching for answers, tragedies and traumas keep piling up: Lily's family suffers more losses, Lily and Burt witness a murder in Lily's bedroom as well as a suicide on the street, and Lily experiences further financial catastrophe. Lily concludes that her curse is reminiscent of the Book of Job. God, if He exists, is out to get her, and unlike the pious Job, she decides that she's out to get God, too. Her Satanist advisor points her toward a freelancer in the world of dark deeds, Tobias Centurion, who performs a ritual that points to answers at 1500 Spring Street. Armed with nothing but portents and vague advice, Lily and Burt approach the skyscraper intending to face off with God's corporate cronies and possibly God Himself.