Judy Light Ayyildiz
After being diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, Judy Ayyildiz was determined not to let this setback limit her for life. Instead, she fought back with creativity—through her self-published memoir titled Nothing but Time: A Triumph over Trauma. The book tells the story of her struggles, with Appalachian flavors and dashes of humor. It was recently nominated for the College Bookstores Award and put on a required reading list in the Chapliancy Department of the University of Virginia.
Christopher H. K. Persaud
When the controversial book, The Da Vinci Code, was published, many rushed to challenge its implications, including self-taught religionist and Bible scholar Christopher Persaud. He drew from his extensive knowledge of the Christian Gospel to self-publish a counterargument, entitled The Da Vinci Code Revisited: A Conclusive Reputation of the Sinister, Widespread Lie. The book has since been recognized in both the literary and Christian community: it won first prize in the Theology category of the 2010 Christian Book Awards, it was chosen as a Critic’s Choice selection of Xlibris’s Indie Authors Roundup in 2012, and it has recently earned a silver medal in the Christian – General category of the 2014 Readers’ Favorite international book award contest.
As a certified hypnotherapist, Reiki master, and ordained nondenominational minister, Donna Corso has inspired many people to embrace life and their fear of dying. She channels this inspiration further in her self-published book,When the Wind Chimes Chime, which tells the story of a little boy who was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Her passion for spiritual guidance and exploration has not gone unnoticed, as her book won in the Death & Dying category of the National Indie Excellence Book Awards.
Alan E. Waite
Alan E. Waite fondly recalls his youth in his thought-provoking, self-published memoir, Hats: How Felt Can Save America. He tackles several experiences he believes are unique to baby boomers—the American golden age, dealing with authority, the “quiet magic” that is absent in today's fast-paced world—as well as stories that people of all eras encounter. This nostalgic book recently caught the attention of BlueInk Review, earning a spot on their July starred reviews list.
Graciana del Castillo
Economic expert Graciana del Castillo paints an exhaustive picture of the events leading up to the War in Afghanistan—along with its aftermath and implications—through her self-published book, Guilty Party: The International Community in Afghanistan. She draws from her personal experiences and Afghan history to write a comprehensive backdrop to modern-day Afghanistan. Her passionate and intelligent writing style has caught the attention of BlueInk Review, with her book included in the starred reviews list for the month of July.
Sixteen-year-old Jordan Walker definitely did not let her young age get in the way of her dreams. Her self-published book, Diary of an Aztec, is an insightful work of historical fiction that challenges people's presumptions of the Aztecs. Written from the perspective of an Aztec, the book raises intriguing questions such as the nature of their race and the truth of their infamous ways. This fascinating take on the great empire recently earned Jordan a starred review on BlueInk Review for the month of July.
Aside from her career in international management consulting, Nicky Dare has made a name for herself as a self-published author with her book, The Audacity of Veracity. The book chronicles her life experiences and personal insights, reflecting a powerful credo that she has faithfully followed throughout her life: iDARE (Integrity of Diversity, Adaptation, Resilience, and Empowerment). This captivating narrative was included in the July starred reviews list on BlueInk Review.
Self-published author Pete Delohery wrote an exciting novel, Lamb to the Slaughter, which is about two prizefighters and a fight that's set to change the lives of those involved. The book gained much praise and recognition, so much so that Shelf Unbound recently introduced a new category in their writing contest—the Pete Delohery Award for Best Sports Book.
Jack Shakely drew from his own experiences as a Peace Corps volunteer when he wrote about a rowdy, rambunctious bunch of volunteers in his award-winning book, Che Guevara's Marijuana & Baseball Savings & Loan: A Novel of the Early Days of the Peace Corps. The novel recently won the best fiction award and the Mid-West Regional Fiction Bronze Award in the 2014 Oklahoma Book Awards and the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Awards, respectively.
Vivian Jack paints a harrowing picture of life growing up poor in the countryside of Toco through his self-published book, Toco. Vivian is well versed in the areas of printing, publishing, and business. This knowledge of the industry, coupled with his passion for writing, recently earned him the Kirkus Star Award from Kirkus Reviews. His book was also recognized as one of the Kirkus Best Books in 2013.
Born in the Sierra foothills of California, Ray Bilderback certainly knew how to write a convincing picture of California's hard-rock mining country. His book, Lawman's Dilemma: A Reuben Braddock Western, is the first in a series of books about Marshal Reuben Braddock and the dilemma of his occupation. The novel was awarded a Kirkus Star Award by Kirkus Reviews.
Alan W. Kennedy & Thomas E. Kennedy
Alan Kennedy and Thomas Kennedy are well versed in the business industry, and they have pooled their resources into the Gibson Kennedy & Company, a consulting firm that Alan founded. They have also chosen to share the Alpha Strategies methodology, which is the focus of their company, in their self-published book, The Alpha Strategies: Understanding Strategy, Risk and Values in Any Organization. The book was given a Kirkus Star Award by Kirkus Reviews and was also recognized as one of the Kirkus Best Books in 2013.
Bradley W. Patterson
Bradley W. Patterson is a neuropsychologist. He has a Ph.D in biological psychology and has published several journal articles in neuropsychology. He shares his extensive knowledge in the field through his self-published book, Redefining Reason: The Story of the Twentieth Century "Primitive" Mentality Debate, which tackles the debate surrounding human rationality and its equality across the species. The book was recognized as one of the Kirkus Best Books from 2013 by Kirkus Reviews.
Carl J. Keller
Poet Carl J. Keller's collection of verses, Widge Over Troubled Waters: The Language of Widge is now permanently ensconced as part of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. The museum was built to honor the memory of the people who died in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. It was formally dedicated last May 15, 2014 in a solemn ceremony with the 9/11 survivors, rescuers, and their families in attendance. President Barack Obama and his wife joined them for the occasion. The museum was opened to the general public on May 21, 2014.
Keller's book was entered into the collection last April 19, 2012, according to an acceptance letter from Assistant Curator of Collections for the National 9/11 Museum Alexandra Drakakis. Keller has been writing poetry most of his life, having been drawn to the rhythm and music of words. His life experiences allowed him know the pain of loss intimately-he was a Vietnam War veteran, and later a cancer survivor. It is these experiences as well as themes of peace, love, hope, and acceptance that Keller shares through his poetry.
Ann Morgan Taylor
History buff, antique collector and self-published author Ann Morgan Taylor spins an exciting tale about teenage detective Missey Wilcox and her high school adventures in the book, The Charelton Locket. This exhilarating depiction of the pre-teenage years has recently earned her the Finalist Award in the Pre-Teen category of the Beverly Hills International Book Awards. The book also received the Literary Classics Seal of Approval.
William A. Gonzalez
Gonzalez paints a harrowing picture of inner city life in his book entitled Black Bubblegum, published by Xlibris in 2013. His uncompromising accuracy and soulful poetry pieces were crafted to both uplift those still struggling with ghetto life as well as to give the world an unbiased look at the level of violence and pain people in the inner cities deal with on a daily basis.
Gonzalez's writing was finally recognized with a level of mastery that earned him a first place finish in the New England Book Festival's wild card category. Learn more about William Gonzalez and other winners of the festival on their website.
Sarah Kennedy is no stranger to success, having hosted numerous book signings and even winning an honorable mention at the Halloween Book Festival in 2013. Now she reaches even greater heights as her work, entitled Sgarrwrath, Prequel to Prophecy of Hope, has gained enough attention to put two more awards under her belt.
The New England Book Festival has awarded Sarah with an honorable mention in their Science Fiction category, and The London Book Festival has given her yet another honorable mention under their genre-based fiction category. The number of awards Sarah has received for her work is a testament to her excellence as a writer.