The Pointe

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#TriviaTuesday - Can you “imagine” who is being honored with a commemorative Forever stamp on his birthday today?

John Lennon!

Imagine …

John Lennon never could have imagined that one day his image would appear on a postage stamp in the country that became his final home.

Not even if he tried.

John lennon stamp.jpeg


But today, on what would have been his 78th birthday, fans around the country are buying multiple copies of the US postage stamp adorned with Lennon’s iconic image.

It’s a small but unique way to savor the man, his music, and the memories he’s left behind.

We locals got our first, live taste of Beatlemania at a never-to-be-forgotten concert at Cincinnati Gardens on August  27, 1964. You may have been one of the lucky ones to attend.

Sensing its historical significance, the local press covered the event as if it was a visit by a world dignitary. Only world dignitaries usually don’t attract hordes of screaming teenage girls.

The Friday, August 28, 1964, Middletown Journal was no exception. It carried an Associated Press article describing the reaction to Lennon and his Beatle bandmates : Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.

“A crowd estimated at around 14,000 -- and not all of them teenagers -- crowded into the Cincinnati Gardens Thursday night to see and hear the mop-topped British quartet, but few if any of them got to hear ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’...The moment the Beatles stepped on the raised stage at the sports arena, the 14,000 leaped to their feet and started to jump up and down -- and scream. (1)

“More than 100 persons fainted during the performance and a few were treated for cuts and bruises they suffered when they fell, but on the whole the crowd was orderly. (1)

“Weary policeman said the noise was something else again. They’d never heard anything quite like it…” (1)

If you’ve ever followed the Beatles you know well the iconic looks and sounds, the personalities, and the controversies that surrounded the group.

John lennon books.jpg

Lennon was no stranger to the latter. His 1966 comment about the Beatles being “more popular than Jesus now” (2) and his romance with artist Yoko Ono while still married to wife, Cynthia, with whom he had a son, made headlines around the world. He eventually married Ono and settled with her and their son in the famous Dakota building across from Central Park in New York City.

The headlines screamed again on December 8, 1980, when Lennon suffered a horrific death in front of that home, shot by Mark David Chapman (3), whose name still lives in infamy among Lennon admirers around the world.

They just couldn’t have imagined life without Lennon.

Not even if they tried.

  1. https://access.newspaperarchive.com/us/ohio/middletown/middletown-journal/1964/08-28/page-3/beatles-in-cincinnati-august-28-1964?pci=7&psi=73

  2. Wikipedia. “More Popular Than Jesus”

  3. Wikipedia. “John Lennon”

MidPointe Library offers books, music, DVDs and more about and by John Lennon and the Beatles, as well as a massive selection of downloadable music and more via Hoopla, available at: https://www.midpointelibrary.org/page/music




#tbt Local History Blog - Four-Legged Hero was always Ready for the Call to Duty

This month MidPointe Library salutes the “Hometown Heroes” who have made our local communities even better places in which to live, work and play. Today’s first segment demonstrates that not all heroes are of the two-legged variety.

Not all “hometown heroes” have two legs.

In fact, some of those who are most deserving of the title have four.

Such was the case with the late Middletown, Ohio, canine police officer, Gunner the German Shepherd, whose memory is still cherished by the Middletown Police Department and the community he protected.

In February 2015 Gunner died in a barn fire in Madison Township on property belonging to his handler, Officer Dennis Jordan. Authorities said they believed the source of the fire was a heater used to keep the dog warm. He was 7-and-a-half years old. (1)

Gunner was memorialized in a service at Middletown’s canine training facility attended by over 20 police canine officers from surrounding cities and counties. (1)

The community had lost a hero. But memories of his remarkable tenure would remain.

gunner.jpg

Gunner’s public service began when he was purchased for the Middletown police department in 2009. The cost was $6,500, money that would be well spent. (1)

After 12 weeks of training Gunner was ready for duty. He was credited for “making several felony arrests throughout his six-year career, including tracking down two armed suspects who carjacked a vehicle in Montgomery County, then fled into Middletown. Gunner uncovered narcotics in the stolen car, then tracked down a second suspect…” (1)

The department’s canine supervisor praised Gunner’s effort as “outstanding police work.” (1)

Gunner’s prowess grew. In the summer before his death, he “was named the top detector in the narcotics division at the U.S. Police Canine Association Regional competition in Kentucky...He was set to compete in the nationals” the year he died. (1)

When he wasn’t fighting crime, Gunner no doubt became the most popular guy in the room when making his rounds or during community visits with his human partner.

Rest in peace, Officer Gunner.

You were, and always will be, a hometown hero.

Source:

(1)“Memorial held for ‘one of a kind’ police dog” by Rick McCrabb, Dayton Daily News, February 4, 2015.

Photo from “Middletown K9 : A life well lived” by Jill Drury, “2 News wdtn.com”




#tbt Local History Blog - Todd Bell, Middletown's Two-Time All-American

It was a tribute you don’t see very often in a high school yearbook -- a personal salute to a fellow student by the yearbook’s sports staff.

But this was the 1977 Middletown, Ohio, High School “Optimist” yearbook. And the recipient was senior Todd Bell.

In time the sporting world would come to know the outstanding student-athlete who was the recipient of the yearbook staff’s praise :

“The OPTIMIST sports staff and the entire body of Middletown High School pay tribute to Todd Bell for the excitement and recognition that he has brought to MHS and wish him ‘Good Luck!” (1)

Todd bell optimist.jpg

Todd Bell really didn’t need the luck. He already possessed the talent and the drive to become a “two-time All-American...the first student in MHS history to be named a high school All-American in two sports, track and football…” (1)

“His long jump of 25’5” in 1976 not only set a new state record but also was the longest jump of the year by a high school student,” the yearbook continued. “Todd won the state title for the second straight year in the long jump and is expected to repeat as champion again in 1977.” (1)

“In football Todd was named by PARADE magazine as the top high school player in the country at his position,” the yearbook entry recounted. “The subject of intense recruiting by the major colleges, Todd will attend Ohio State University, where he hopes to play football, run track, and prepare for the 1980 Olympics…” (1)

The Optimist article also recognized Bell for his many non-athletic achievements such as his participation in Student Council. He is “respected by his teachers and peers,” the yearbook staff wrote. (1)

Todd Bell 1977.jpg

As the years passed Todd Bell lived up to his reputation as an exceptional student, athlete and humanitarian. Today residents of Bell’s hometown, Middletown, Ohio, remember the many highlights from his illustrious biography:

*His becoming a “a three-time state champion in the long jump, breaking the records set by Jesse Owens.” (2)

*His “game-winning touchdown” in the intense Ohio State Buckeyes-University of Michigan Wolverines rivalry football game in November 1979. After a blocked punt Bell  grabbed the ball and ran 18 yards for a final score of 18-15. The run sent the Buckeyes to the 1980 Rose Bowl game. Unfortunately for the Bucks, the University of Southern California Trojans emerged as Rose Bowl victors, 17-16. (3)

*His playing on the Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles football teams. (3)

*His earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Ohio State during football off-season in 1989. (2)

todd-bell.jpg

*His return to Ohio State as an alumnus, serving as Coordinator of Community Relations in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (formerly the Office of Minority Affairs). Bell was an “ambassador for the university and a mentor to many African-American male undergraduates.” He also “gave initial leadership” to the development of the Black Male Initiative and was part of the team that developed the African American Male Resource Center, now known as the Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male. (2)

*His work with youth and his church. (2)

Todd Bell was the son of Elder Archellus Bell and Mrs. Monaray Bell of Middletown. (4) He died at the age of 46 on March 16, 2005, after suffering a fatal heart attack while driving in Reynoldsburg, Ohio (3).

On November 28, 2018 (3), he would have been 60 years old.



Sources:



(1)1977 Middletown High School “Optimist” (yearbook) available for viewing in MidPointe Library-Middletown’s Ohio Room or online at http://www.midpointedigitalarchives.org/digital/collection/Midpoint01

(2)“Todd Anthony Bell,” from the Bell National Resource Center on the African American male (named after Todd Bell) at Ohio State University.

https://odi.osu.edu/bell-national-resource-center/about.html

(3) Wikipedia -- “Todd Bell,” “The 1980 Rose Bowl.

(4) Legacy.com

https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/hamilton/obituary.aspx?n=todd-bell&pid=3311393






Local Author's Message: "There is Always Hope"

Asked to describe her works of fiction, Dayton, Ohio, author Michelle Bolanger recalls a phrase she’d heard before.

michelle bollanger.jpg

“Someone coined the term ‘modern day parables’ for the kind of fiction I write,” she says. “I include themes that connect with our culture. It’s my way of trying to let the world know that there is always hope.”

A full-time administrative assistant who’s been thinking up stories “since I was old enough to do so,” Bolanger is the author of two stand-alone works she calls the “The Challenged Faith Novels” and three novels in her Cotiere Chronicles series.

“Saving Detroit” and “Safe Cages” comprise the “Challenged Faith Novels.” Each presents “real-life issues that Christians and non-Christians struggle with,” Bolanger explains.

safe cages.jpg

In “Saving Detroit” a young man named Luke is kidnapped and sold into human trafficking. “It is a story of his return to faith in the God he believed abandoned him,” Bolanger explains. “I call this one my ‘crusade book.’ I wrote it in response to the statistic that nearly 50 percent of human trafficking victims worldwide are male. A portion of the proceeds from my book sales go to an organization that operates a home for boys who are trafficking survivors here in the U.S. It is one of only two such homes in the world.” ***

The kiss.jpg

“‘Safe Cages’ is the story of two men desperately in love with each other who come face to face with God’s love and acceptance,” Bolanger says. “It is meant to be a bridge between the church and the LGBTQ community, or to at least help foster the kind of conversation that stresses love and acceptance rather than hatred and judgment -- from either side.”

Bolanger’s Cotiere Chronicles series, comprised of The Kiss, The Touch and The Light, is categorized as “Urban Fantasy Romance,” she says. “While it is based on Christian principles, there are no overtly religious themes in the books.”



The Cotiere Chronicles follow “an ancient race of people who have lived among ordinary humans for centuries,” she says. “They have been scattered and divided by an old rivalry that has left them on the brink of extinction. As a race, they are very loosely based on vampire folklore, but the only blood they drink is from their one true match, or their intended...

“The series follows the journey of four couples as they navigate their unique relationships as well as how each of them contributes to the re-unification of their people.”

How does this published author motivate herself to  begin the act of writing?

“It depends,” she replies. “There are times when I have to exercise discipline and simply remind myself that the only way to complete the story is to put words on a page, even if they are ‘bad.’ When I find myself stuck, I usually look for images or photographs of people or places that inspire a scene or a bit of dialogue that gets me unstuck.”

Bolanger says she writes “best in the afternoon...I don’t have a set pattern, but I do know I can’t write in a public place such as a coffeehouse or a restaurant, or when there is any kind of activity going on around me. I am too easily distracted.”

“The most challenging part” of the writing process, she adds, is “staying focused on one project at a time! I tend to have two or three stories in progress at any given time. I’m learning to ignore the shiny new ideas that demand my attention by jotting them down with a line or two, then going back to the project I’ve decided to finish first.”

“Deadlines are evil,” Bolanger says with a chuckle. “Not really, but I don’t do well with them, at least not when I am trying to get the first draft done. Once the story is complete, I set deadlines by scheduling edits and then a publish date.”

Once she’s completed her first draft, the author relies on “a team of what I call ‘alpha’ readers who read over most of the story and give their input for changes or sections that need work. Then it goes to my content -- or developmental -- editor, who zeroes in on the parts of the story that need to be re-written, removed or corrected,” she says.

On Publishing...

After writing and editing, Bolanger readies her materials for publishing. She uploads a book’s cover art to various sales platforms. After proofreading she formats files for e-books and paperbacks

“While all this is being done, I am also creating and publishing teasers and contacting bloggers and promotional companies who will promote and advertise the book,” she says. “Once all the files are ready, they are uploaded and verified before I set the release date.”

But the work doesn’t stop there. “After the book is released I usually focus completely on marketing and promoting the book for the month following -- before I start into writing my next book.”

What’s next?

Today the author is working on a “contemporary romance between a young orphaned and widowed woman and a gorgeous wealthy bachelor who owns and operates a private search and rescue company. The story is based on the Book of Ruth from the Bible so it will be inspirational fiction,” she says. “I anticipate publishing it next year.”

“I also have a short novella set in the same world as the Cotiere Chronicles but without the fantasy elements,” she adds. “The main character, Zane, was such an interesting personality I had to explore a bit of his history, and it turned into a fun little short story.”

What’s Bolanger’s advice for aspiring writers?

“Enjoy the process,” she states. “Learn all you can. Ask questions, and listen to the answers. Never stop reading, and if you write, no matter what genre or style, don’t let anyone tell you that you aren’t a writer…

“There is a difference between those who call themselves writers and those who actually write,” she continues. “Inspiration isn’t automatic, and sometimes it shows up only when you exercise discipline in front of a blank document and type one word after another.”

*** www.restoreonelife.org

For more on Michelle Bolanger visit www.michellebolanger.com

Michelle Bolanger is one of over 25 local independently published authors who are expected to attend the ReadLOCAL Indie Author Fair this Saturday, September 29, from 10 a.m. to noon at MidPointe Library 9363 Centre Pointe Drive, West Chester, Ohio.  ReadLOCAL gives readers a chance to meet authors from the immediate area, buy books and have them signed by the authors. There is no admission fee.

All ages are welcome!

#TriviaTuesday - What Fresh-Faced Middie Grew Up to be a Real Creep?

Don’t let his innocent looks fool you.

dr creep 2.jpg

The 1959 Middletown High School grad named Barry Hobart appears to be a nice guy in his senior photo.

But as the years passed he turned into a real creep.

And the world loved him for it.

To many Baby Boomers and others Barry Hobart was and forever will be the quirky, campy, late-night host of local horror show TV, “Dr. Creep.”

Indeed, Saturdays in the 1970s and early 1980s weren’t complete without a dose of Creep on “Shock Theater,” produced by Dayton TV station WKEF. His ghostly white face, crumpled top hat, blood-red lips above a full beard -- not to mention the corny ad-libs -- were the pièce de ré·sis·tance of the entire weekend.

But when the doctor felt like getting out in the sunshine he could often be found at a local charity event, raising money for a worthy cause, particularly those benefiting children.

dr Creep.jpg

His alter-ego, Barry Hobart, a Middletown native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 1963 with a degree in broadcasting always went along for the ride.

Like Dr. Creep, Hobart enjoyed performing before an audience. His Middie classmates may remember him in the school’s production of “Annie Get Your Gun,” “I Remember Mama,” and his participation in the Glee Club, Mixed Chorus, the National Forensic League and National Thespians. Hobart was also in the Science Club.

A career in television seemed to be his -- their -- destiny.

When both men died in 2011 in their late 60s Middletown and the entire Dayton area mourned.

They had lost a good man and a comical Creep, both with the same big heart.

Sources :

1959 Middletown High School yearbook, The Optimist, available for reading in the MidPointe Library Middletown Ohio Room or online at www.midpointelibrary.org > eLibrary > Digital Archives > The Optimist Middletown City School District High School Yearbooks.

Wikipedia : “Dr. Creep”

Photo of Dr. Creep from : “Shock Theatre” http://www.mediaprof.org/shock/


Local Authors Bring Many Talents, Interests to ReadLocal at MidPointe Library West Chester this Saturday

More than 25 local, independently published authors are expected to greet the public during the ReadLOCAL Indie Author Fair Saturday, September 29, at MidPointe Library, 9363 Centre Pointe Drive, West Chester.

Authors will welcome visitors from 10 a.m. to noon in the library’s Community Room, said Martha Matthews, Information/Reference Programming Librarian. There is no admission fee.

The popular program, the second of its kind at the West Chester location, gives readers a chance to meet authors from the immediate area and around Ohio and ask about their writing processes and backgrounds. Visitors can also buy books and have them signed by the authors.

This year’s contingent represents a wide variety of genres in fiction and non-fiction and includes a 13-year-old eighth grader from Mason.

Authors expected to attend include:

Paige Addams of Columbus, whose genre is adult romance. She is the author of “Tales of Ejoma.”

 Timothy B. Barner

Timothy B. Barner

Timothy B. Barner of Trenton hails from Upstate New York. A widower with two young boys, Timothy is the author of Eyes of God, a novel that reveals a day in the life of a community as seen through God’s eyes. He is also the author of The Sasquatch Diaries, a Christian humor novel for young adults. Timothy is currently working on a play, “Tying Up the Tomatoes,” that follows a family during their visits to a favorite Dayton restaurant and the changing semantics that ensue along the way. His writing goal is to reveal a fresh, realistic perspective on today’s world.

 Michelle Bollanger

Michelle Bollanger

Michelle Bolanger of Dayton is the author of the “Cotiere Chronicles” : “The Kiss”, “The Touch” and “The Light” as well as the contemporary Christian stand-alones, “Saving Detroit” and “Safe Cages” (both part of the “Challenged Faith Novels”). At times her subjects revolve around issues in the news such as human trafficking and homosexuality as well as man-woman relationships and families. She is currently working on a story based on the Bible’s Book of Ruth. When she’s not writing, Michelle works full-time as an administrative assistant.





 Carol Cartaino

Carol Cartaino

Carol Cartaino of Seamon, Ohio, has more than forty years of professional experience in the book world. She was a trade book editor for Prentice-Hall Inc. in New Jersey for ten years and spent the next decade as editor-in-chief of Writer’s Digest Books in Cincinnati. Since that time she’s been a freelance editor, ghostwriter and adviser to authors all over the country from her small farm in Adams County. She has written or co-authored “Myths and Truths About Coyotes,” “Get Organized, Get Published!”, “It Happened in Ohio,” and “Clutter’s Last Stand.”

 Stacy Dickman

Stacy Dickman

Stacy Dickman of Fairfield Township is the author of “Labeled : Redefining the Woman God Made You to Be.” The full-time mom and part-time blogger gets her inspiration and opportunities for creativity from her husband and three children. She has a bachelor’s degree in health and sports studies from Miami University and a master’s degree in biblical studies from Liberty University. She writes to encourage women of all ages to find beauty in the everyday.


 Richard L. Dumont

Richard L. Dumont

Richard L. DuMont of Cincinnati has a lifelong interest in Native Americans and their culture. He’s been writing since high school, producing short stories, poems and novels. A graduate of Xavier University, Richard took creative writing courses at the University of Cincinnati and wrote the novel, “Hunkpapa Sioux,” in which he combined the two passions of his life. His second novel, Johnny Hunter, was published in May. He’s currently working on a sequel. Richard is a Vietnam veteran.





  Tammi Ector

Tammi Ector

Tammi Ector of Hamilton is a writer, a blogger, a speaker, a fitness instructor and a life coach. Pink Collar Savvy & Chic, her holistic coaching agency, enables her to serve as a powerful change agent for women who face challenges that negatively impact their personal and professional lives. “Having transitioned from domestic violence mess to sustained success,” she tells her own story of transformation to encourage, inspire and support other women. Her first novel is “Seasons of Her Soul.”


  Linda Riesenberg Fisler

Linda Riesenberg Fisler

Linda Riesenberg Fisler of Middletown is the author of the Blind series (Blind Influence, Blind Persuasion, and Blind Alliance) that follows a senator, an MI6 agent, and a star female attorney, asking the question : “Can three people change the course of history averting the dysfunctional divide we face today?” Linda is also an award-winning artist, teacher of oil painting and the producer/host of two podcasts. She recently launched The Blind Series Network in which she presents author readings of her work and discussions about the series.

 Beth Gully

Beth Gully

Beth Gully of Lebanon is the author of the children’s picture book, “The Other Side of Christmas,” an upside-down book that blends the Santa story with the birth of Jesus. She began BT Graphics in 1990 with a strong focus on logo design and branding, has won many prestigious awards for her trend-setting designs and recognition from fellow designers, peers and clients.









  Piper Hawkins

Piper Hawkins

Piper Hawkins, age 13, of Mason, is an eighth grader who published her first book at age 9 and her second book at age 12. Piper had created more than 400 “homemade” books and dreamed of one day writing and publishing a book at a young age. A chance meeting with children’s author Barney Saltzberg at the 2011 Books by the Banks inspired Piper. Her dream was fulfilled before her 10th birthday with the 2014 release of her first book, “Visions of Light: A Christmas Story.” Her latest book is “The Puppy Tooth Fairy.”




 Janet Kassalen

Janet Kassalen

Janet Kassalen is a new local author, having published her first book, “Flip Flap Try...A Cardinal’s Journey” in July 2017. Janet’s stories aim to encourage and bring joy to children of all ages. Her second children’s book will be about a penguin named Squeaky who can’t talk like other penguins but who becomes a hero. Janet and her husband live in Morrow, Ohio. She spends lots of time with volunteer organizations and serves as principal violist for the Cincinnati Civic Orchestra.





  Mike Kunze

Mike Kunze

Mike Kunze of West Chester has been an illustrator, a designer, a video producer, a web programmer, a digital marketer, and a creative director, all of which came in handy when it came to self-publishing. All his life, Mike wanted to be an author. He has written two Park Hacks amusement park guidebooks. He helped his mom create new editions of her Christian fiction adventure books when her first publisher closed. Now he is building a company and a membership site that will help others realize the dream of self-publishing their own books.

 Frank M. Lee

Frank M. Lee

Frank M. Lee (1943-2012) is the author of “Nekkid,” a memoir. Lee had a positive attitude and humor that enabled him to live a successful life despite suffering from polio as an impoverished child in rural Tennessee and enduring abuse from a family member after the death of his mother. He spent years in the hospital but eventually recovered sufficiently to rise above his station to become a successful radio and TV personality. Lee’s positive attitude helped him live his life with determination and humor. His memoir will be presented at ReadLOCAL by his partner, Connie Breitbeil.

 Heather Lester

Heather Lester

Heather Lester of Cincinnati uses her writing ability to encourage young readers to celebrate their individuality. For literary inspiration she draws upon the adventures she and her husband share in raising three children. Heather’sfirst book, “I Love You For You,” was released in February and won an IndieReader Discovery Award. She has two new books due out this fall, “I Can Be Kind” and “The Green Scarf,” both for children. The latter book is the first in her Everyday Imagination series.





  Bryan W. Marshall

Bryan W. Marshall

Bryan W. Marshall of West Chester is professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at Miami University. He is the co-author of “The Committee : A Study of Policy, Power, Politics and Obama’s Historic Legislative Agenda on Capitol Hill” based on a political journal kept by Bruce Wolpe, who was senior adviser to Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Ca), Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. (Photo from Miami University website)


Rock Neelly of Lebanon is the author of the adult mystery, “The Babylon Blues.”

  M. Tambura Omoeile

M. Tambura Omoeile

M. Tambura Omoeile of Monroe is a retired college professor who taught several years in Nairobi, Kenya, nine years in Wisconsin and many years at local colleges and universities in Kansas and Ohio. She is currently a library associate at MidPointe Library Monroe. Tambura has worked in criminal justice institutions in the areas of local probation and state parole. Her background in criminal justice led her to write “A Gift For Daddy Gone Wrong!” She has a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a concentration in criminal justice from Wright State University, a master’s in criminal justice from Xavier University and a doctorate in sociology from Union Institute and University in Cincinnati.


  Kristen Otte

Kristen Otte

Kristen Otte of Dayton writes funny books for kids that parents can trust. She is the author of “The Adventures of Zelda” chapter book series about a pug who can’t say no to adventure. Her new, hilarious middle-grade series, Alien Kid, tells the story of Charlie, a mind-reading alien trying to fit in at middle school.







  Lisa Powell

Lisa Powell

Lisa Powell of Hamilton spent fifteen years in the restaurant business before realizing her dreams of becoming an author. She now puts her dreams to paper while playing butler, valet, chief cook-and-bottle-washer to a super, always-hungry husband, two rescue kitties, two pound puppies, a school of inherited guppies and two amazing horses. She is the author of the CatSkill Trilogy,

“IOU a Horse” and “Road to Fearless.” Her works have been recognized by the international Cat Writers Association. Lisa’s first published story was a finalist for a Muse Medallion, along with those of long-standing published authors.


 Helen Rogers

Helen Rogers

Helen Rogers of Oxford is an author of five books who has served as a teacher for Seasons Of Life and as a speaker for Christian and professional organizations around the country for over 30 years. Her message recalls the Scripture : “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Helen has published the following inspirational works : For Just A Time As This, Inspirations: From the Heart, Hospitality: Sharing Our Love, Global Opportunities: My Space of Employment, Impacting the WORLD through the WORD, 68 Inspirational Promises of God for This Generation, and Impacting the WORLD through Hospitality (2019). Helen has also served as an advocate for victims of domestic violence through the Young Women’s Christian Association of Hamilton.

Tom Sakmyster of Mason is the author of “The Last Shaker Apostate: Augustus Wager and Union Village, Ohio.”


 Mike Sherer

Mike Sherer

Mike Sherer of West Chester wrote a screenplay, “Hamal_18” that was produced in Los Angeles and released directly to DVD. His mystery/fantasy novel, “A Cold Dish,” published by James Ward Kirk Fiction, is available in paperback and digital format. He has published thirteen short stories and three novellas, with another short story and novella under contract to be published. Mike has completed a novel titled “Shadytown” and is working on the novel “Souls of Nod”. He is the author of two blogs, “Flanging,” and a travel blog called  “American Locations.”

 J.T. Townsend

J.T. Townsend

J.T. Townsend of Wyoming, Ohio, is a “True Crime Historian,” freelance writer and lifelong resident of Cincinnati, according to his website. Formerly with Snitch Magazine, J.T.’s work has appeared in the Cincinnati Enquirer, Cincinnati Magazine, Word Magazine and Clews. His work has also appeared in the 2008 British documentary, “Conversations with a Serial Killer.” His first book, “Queen City Gothic” is a regional bestseller that  showcased thirteen of Cincinnati’s most gripping, unsolved, cold cases. His new book, Queen City

Notorious, features Cincinnati’s most scandalous gothic murders.


  Eleanor Tremayne

Eleanor Tremayne

Eleanor Tremayne is a California native now residing in Liberty Township. Eleanor has a master’s degree in literature and has taught Advanced Placement English and Creative Writing on the high school and college levels. Upon retirement she started writing her first novel, “Destiny Revisited,” a realistic romantic fiction. This year the sequel, “Destiny Revealed,” was released. Eleanor is currently writing “Seven Days in Lebanon” based on her grandmother’s exile from St. Petersburg in 1917 and her marriage to the last Prince of Kiva.




  Celeste Walker

Celeste Walker

Celeste Walker of West Chester is a mystery writer who became a published author in 2015. A Cincinnati, Ohio, native, she received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Cincinnati and holds a certification in volunteer administration. She and her family live in West Chester, where she is a licensed social worker.



  Rebecca Waters

Rebecca Waters

Rebecca Waters of West Chester draws on the many roles she’s had in her life as the inspiration for her writing.  She has been the wife of one, the mother of three and is now a grandmother of eight. An educator, Rebecca moved to Europe this past school year and served as fourth-grade teacher and elementary school principal in a small school in Prishtina, Kosovo. Her writing has appeared in professional education journals, the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and in Lookout Magazine. Her first novel was “Breathing On Her Own.” Her second, “Libby’s Cuppa Joe,” is to be released in March 2019. Her novella, “Courtesy Turn,” based on her experiences as an avid square dancer, appears in the Buckeye Christian Fiction Anthology 2018: From the Lake to the River. She maintains a blog and has written an e-book series for writers.