The votes are in! The winner of the 2020 Best Book of the Year is Whispers of Love!

Selecting the Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year is no small feat as all of our authors’ works deserves to be recognized. This year, Life in the Morgue by Lance Anderson, Musings from Cowboy Country by George Rhoades, and Whispers of Love by Gina Simone were our top three finalists and we are proud of them and their great achievements.

All three finalists already won 1st Place in their categories at this year’s Colorado Independent Publishers Association’s EVVY Awards, but only one can claim our highest honor as the Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year!

You’ve weighed your choices and voted for your favorites in a public poll on this blog.

And now, drum roll please. The 2020 Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year is… Whispers of Love by Gina Simone. Congratulations, Gina!

Whispers of Love

Death is never final — and you are never alone …From a young age, Gina knew she was different. She could never safely share her reality with her family — the reality that she could see and communicate with Spirit. But as she matured, she realized her life’s calling as a Spirit Medium was to help people connect with deceased loved ones. With warm, witty honesty, Gina shares landmark moments in her own life — from embracing the gift that was so misunderstood in her early life, to the devastating death of her 27-year-old son. Whispers of Love will introduce you to the messages, signs, and specific ways that Spirit and loved ones share their language of love. Are you struggling with storms in your life that you can’t overcome or has the weight of unbearable grief brought your life to a halt? With understanding messages from Spirit and your loved ones always around, finally hope can arise from heartbreak. Truly inspired, Whispers of Love compassionately introduces you to a deep exploration of why we are here, how to connect with Spirit, and how we can find meaning in life’s hardest challenges. Gina teaches us the impressive lesson that remaining frozen in pain is not the path to freedom. We must embrace our lives with Spirit on board so that every step can unfold in Divine order, with less drama and perhaps even a new found perspective on grief.

About Author Gina Simone

Gina Simone is a Spirit Medium certified through the Forever Family Foundation. At the age of 11, she began to notice and feel Spirit and energy around her. Not knowing what these gifts were, she always felt different and isolated. A traumatic pool accident with her toddler son catapulted her into finding the meaning behind life, Spirit, lessons, and karma. She left a comfortable corporate finance career to answer her calling to connect you with your loved ones and with your own innate intuition and higher consciousness. She has been a featured medium on Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP.com, has been voted Long Island Best Medium several years in a row, and is also a featured medium on WBLI 106.1 morning show.

Buy from Outskirts Press: https://outskirtspress.com/WhispersOfLoveSpiritMessages
Buy from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1977216250

Are you ready to publish your own award-winning book and perhaps find yourself in the running for next year’s Best Book of the Year award? Connect with Outskirts Press now in whatever manner is easiest for you:

Best Book of the Year Polls Close Tomorrow … Cast Your Vote Now For One of These Outskirts Press Authors

Last week, we were proud to announce the three finalists for the 2020 Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year award. Since then, the finalists have been showing us their impressive marketing chops – reaching out to fans on social media, and promoting their book like pros to win your votes.

We’re in the final hours, and we need your vote to determine which of these talented authors has proven they have the author platform and promotional muscle to take top honors as the Grand Prize winner, and take home the $1,500 Grand Prize for Best Book of the Year.

So, take one last look at these worthy contenders, and then scroll down to the poll to place your vote for the 2020 Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year!


FINALIST:  Life in the Morgue by Lance Anderson

Visit the blog posting to read the synopsis, learn more about the author, watch the video, and visit the author’s webpage. Opens in a new window.


FINALIST:  Musings from Cowboy Country by George Rhoades

Visit the blog posting to read the synopsis, learn more about the author, watch the video, and visit the author’s webpage. Opens in a new window.


FINALIST:  Whispers of Love by Gina Simone

Visit the blog posting to read the synopsis, learn more about the author, watch the video, and visit the author’s webpage. Opens in a new window.


The public poll for Best Book of the Year closes at 11:59 PM Mountain Time on Thursday, September 24th.

(If a survey poll is not displayed above, please open this page in another browser to vote.)

Are you ready to publish your own award-winning book and perhaps find yourself in the running for next year’s Best Book of the Year award? Connect with Outskirts Press now in whatever manner is easiest for you:

 

Hit the Polls! Vote for the 2020 Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year

Just days ago, we announced the three finalists in this year’s Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year awards. All three finalists were 1st place winners of a 2020 CIPA EVVY Award; those annual awards, sponsored by the Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA) and the CIPA Education and Literacy Foundation (ELF), were announced September 10th and recognize some of the finest works of independent authors in dozens of book categories.

The time has come to vote on which of these talented authors have built an author platform and worked up the promotional muscle to acquire Outskirts Press’ top honors through a head-to-head competition! The Best Book of the Year Grand Prize winner and $1,500 Grand Prize winnings will be awarded based on the results of a live public poll … which is where you come in!

Our three finalists couldn’t be more different, and you’ll find summaries of each book below. So, study your choices, order their books, visit their webpages and social media, watch their book trailer videos and cast your vote. Voting is easy! Simply scroll down to the poll, below, to place your vote for the book you think deserves our top honors in the 2020 Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year competition!


FINALIST: Life in the Morgue by Lance Anderson

Visit the blog posting to read the synopsis, learn more about the author, watch the video, and visit the author’s webpage. Opens in a new window.


FINALIST: Musings from Cowboy Country by George Rhoades

Visit the blog posting to read the synopsis, learn more about the author, watch the video, and visit the author’s webpage. Opens in a new window.


FINALIST: Whispers of Love by Gina Simone

Visit the blog posting to read the synopsis, learn more about the author, watch the video, and visit the author’s webpage. Opens in a new window.


Cast Your Vote!

The public poll for Best Book of the Year closes at 11:59 PM Mountain Time on Thursday, September 24th.

(If a survey poll is not displayed above, please open this page in another browser to vote.)

Are you ready to publish your own award-winning book and perhaps find yourself in the running for next year’s Best Book of the Year award? Connect with Outskirts Press now in whatever manner is easiest for you:

Your Third Finalist for the 2020 Best Book of the Year Award is … Gina Simone, Author of Whispers of Love!

Congratulations to our three finalists for the Outskirts Press 2020 Best Book of the Year award: Life in the Morgue by Lance Anderson, Musings from Cowboy Country by George Rhoades and Whispers of Love by Gina Simone. These works are impressive and it’s going to be an interesting sprint to the finish!

All three books took home first place awards from this year’s EVVY Awards, qualifying the authors for Outskirts Press highest honor! Remember, only one book can win — so look into your choices, order their books and cast your vote. Voting will begin Monday, September 21st on Self-Publishing News and will close promptly on Thursday, September 24th at 11:59 PM Mountain Time.

So, come back on Monday, Sept. 21st, to cast your vote for the book you believe to be the best of the three.

Meet Your Third Finalist

Whispers of Love

Death is never final — and you are never alone …From a young age, Gina knew she was different. She could never safely share her reality with her family — the reality that she could see and communicate with Spirit. But as she matured, she realized her life’s calling as a Spirit Medium was to help people connect with deceased loved ones. With warm, witty honesty, Gina shares landmark moments in her own life — from embracing the gift that was so misunderstood in her early life, to the devastating death of her 27-year-old son. Whispers of Love will introduce you to the messages, signs, and specific ways that Spirit and loved ones share their language of love. Are you struggling with storms in your life that you can’t overcome or has the weight of unbearable grief brought your life to a halt? With understanding messages from Spirit and your loved ones always around, finally hope can arise from heartbreak. Truly inspired, Whispers of Love compassionately introduces you to a deep exploration of why we are here, how to connect with Spirit, and how we can find meaning in life’s hardest challenges. Gina teaches us the impressive lesson that remaining frozen in pain is not the path to freedom. We must embrace our lives with Spirit on board so that every step can unfold in Divine order, with less drama and perhaps even a new found perspective on grief.

About Author Gina Simone

Gina Simone is a Spirit Medium certified through the Forever Family Foundation. At the age of 11, she began to notice and feel Spirit and energy around her. Not knowing what these gifts were, she always felt different and isolated. A traumatic pool accident with her toddler son catapulted her into finding the meaning behind life, Spirit, lessons, and karma. She left a comfortable corporate finance career to answer her calling to connect you with your loved ones and with your own innate intuition and higher consciousness. She has been a featured medium on Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP.com, has been voted Long Island Best Medium several years in a row, and is also a featured medium on WBLI 106.1 morning show.

Buy from Outskirts Press: https://outskirtspress.com/WhispersOfLoveSpiritMessages
Buy from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1977216250


The Best Book of the Year winner will receive a Grand Prize of $1,500 as a direct result of your choice at the polls. So, come back on Monday, September 21st, to cast your vote!

Are you ready to publish your own award-winning book and perhaps find yourself in the running for next year’s Best Book of the Year award? Connect with Outskirts Press now in whatever manner is easiest for you:

 

Your Second Finalist for the 2020 Best Book of the Year Award is … George Rhoades, Author of Musings from Cowboy Country!

Congratulations to our three finalists for the Outskirts Press 2020 Best Book of the Year award: Life in the Morgue by Lance Anderson, Musings from Cowboy Country by George Rhoades and Whispers of Love by Gina Simone. These works are impressive and it’s going to be an interesting sprint to the finish!

All three books took home first place awards from this year’s EVVY Awards, qualifying the authors for Outskirts Press highest honor! Remember, only one book can win — so look into your choices, order their books and cast your vote. Voting will begin Monday, September 21st on Self-Publishing News and will close promptly on Thursday, September 24th at 11:59 PM Mountain Time.

So, come back on Monday, Sept. 21st, to cast your vote for the book you believe to be the best of the three.

Meet Your Second Finalist

Musings from Cowboy Country

Poetic musings from award-winning Western poet George Rhoades about cowboys, ranch and farm life and assorted subjects— some humorous, some philosophical, some serious and some not-so-serious.

About Author George Rhoades

Rhoades is the author of Along the Chisholm Trail and Other Poems and After the Chisholm. He is winner of numerous poetry awards, including the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award, Will Rogers Gold and Bronze Medallions, Readers View First Place Award, Indie Excellence Book Award Finalist and Western Music Assoc. Poetry Book Finalist, and other accolades. Born on a farm in Cotton County, Oklahoma, Rhoades has been a rancher, a reporter/editor for UPI and Oklahoma newspapers and a college journalism professor. He retired from UT-Arlington and moved to Duncan, Oklahoma, where he owned a hay farm.

Buy from Outskirts Press: https://outskirtspress.com/musingsfromcowboycountry
Buy from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1977209297

The Best Book of the Year winner will receive a Grand Prize of $1,500 as a direct result of your choice at the polls. So, come back on Monday, September 21st, to cast your vote!

Are you ready to publish your own award-winning book and perhaps find yourself in the running for next year’s Best Book of the Year award? Connect with Outskirts Press now in whatever manner is easiest for you:

 

Your First Finalist for the 2020 Best Book of the Year Award is … Lance Anderson, Author of Life in the Morgue!

Congratulations to our three finalists for the Outskirts Press 2020 Best Book of the Year award: Life in the Morgue by Lance Anderson, Musings from Cowboy Country by George Rhoades and Whispers of Love by Gina Simone. These works are impressive and it’s going to be an interesting sprint to the finish!

All three books took home first place awards from this year’s EVVY Awards, qualifying the authors for Outskirts Press highest honor! Remember, only one book can win — so look into your choices, order their books and cast your vote. Voting will begin Monday, September 21st on Self-Publishing News and will close promptly on Thursday, September 24th at 11:59 PM Mountain Time.

So, come back on Monday, Sept. 21st, to cast your vote for the book you believe to be the best of the three.

Meet Your First Finalist

Life in the Morgue

When Greg Benson took a job as a morgue technician, he was told on his first day, “You can’t make this stuff up.” What an understatement that turned out to be…From his first autopsy (a teenage girl), deaths by accident and homicide, dumpster removals, subway electrocutions, and ghostly activity, this job was anything but normal. Just when Greg thought he had seen it all, something else would take place-and it wasn’t only the cases being brought in… Take a rare peek into the life of a morgue technician in this fascinating foray into Life in the Morgue.

About Author Lance Anderson

Lance Anderson spent most of his life as an ironworker until he decided it was time for a change. He took a job at the medical examiner’s office, where he worked for six years and assisted in more than two thousand cases until he was forced to retire due to vision problems. Life in the Morgue is his debut novel, but he has also written two movie scripts that are in the process of being produced.

Buy from Outskirts Press: https://outskirtspress.com/lifeinthemorgue
Buy from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1977216242

The Best Book of the Year winner will receive a Grand Prize of $1,500 as a direct result of your choice at the polls. So, come back on Monday, September 21st, to cast your vote!

Are you ready to publish your own award-winning book and perhaps find yourself in the running for next year’s Best Book of the Year award? Connect with Outskirts Press now in whatever manner is easiest for you:

 

Introducing the Finalists for the 2020 Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year

And the Winner of Best Book of the Year is… determined by YOU!

Congratulations to our three finalists for the Outskirts Press 2020 Best Book of the Year award: Life in the Morgue by Lance Anderson, Musings from Cowboy Country by George Rhoades and Whispers of Love by Gina Simone. All three books took home first place awards from this year’s EVVY Awards, qualifying the authors for Outskirts Press highest honor!

While each of these books has achieved great heights, the highest honor of Best Book of the Year is determined by… YOU! So, study your choices, order their books, visit their webpages and social media and cast your vote. Public voting will begin Monday, September 21st on Self-Publishing News and will close promptly on Thursday, September 24th at 11:59 PM Mountain Time.

These works are impressive and it’s going to be an interesting sprint to the finish! Here’s a recap of the finalists:

Life in the Morgue

When Greg Benson took a job as a morgue technician, he was told on his first day, “You can’t make this stuff up.” What an understatement that turned out to be…From his first autopsy (a teenage girl), deaths by accident and homicide, dumpster removals, subway electrocutions, and ghostly activity, this job was anything but normal. Just when Greg thought he had seen it all, something else would take place-and it wasn’t only the cases being brought in… Take a rare peek into the life of a morgue technician in this fascinating foray into Life in the Morgue.

About Author Lance Anderson

Lance Anderson spent most of his life as an ironworker until he decided it was time for a change. He took a job at the medical examiner’s office, where he worked for six years and assisted in more than two thousand cases until he was forced to retire due to vision problems. Life in the Morgue is his debut novel, but he has also written two movie scripts that are in the process of being produced.

Buy from Outskirts Press: https://outskirtspress.com/lifeinthemorgue
Buy from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1977216242


 

Musings from Cowboy Country

Poetic musings from award-winning Western poet George Rhoades about cowboys, ranch and farm life and assorted subjects— some humorous, some philosophical, some serious and some not-so-serious.

About Author George Rhoades

Rhoades is the author of Along the Chisholm Trail and Other Poems and After the Chisholm. He is winner of numerous poetry awards, including the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award, Will Rogers Gold and Bronze Medallions, Readers View First Place Award, Indie Excellence Book Award Finalist and Western Music Assoc. Poetry Book Finalist, and other accolades. Born on a farm in Cotton County, Oklahoma, Rhoades has been a rancher, a reporter/editor for UPI and Oklahoma newspapers and a college journalism professor. He retired from UT-Arlington and moved to Duncan, Oklahoma, where he owned a hay farm.

Buy from Outskirts Press: https://outskirtspress.com/musingsfromcowboycountry
Buy from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1977209297


 

Whispers of Love

Death is never final—and you are never alone …From a young age, Gina knew she was different. She could never safely share her reality with her family—the reality that she could see and communicate with Spirit. But as she matured, she realized her life’s calling as a Spirit Medium was to help people connect with deceased loved ones. With warm, witty honesty, Gina shares landmark moments in her own life—from embracing the gift that was so misunderstood in her early life, to the devastating death of her 27-year-old son. Whispers of Love will introduce you to the messages, signs, and specific ways that Spirit and loved ones share their language of love. Are you struggling with storms in your life that you can’t overcome or has the weight of unbearable grief brought your life to a halt? With understanding messages from Spirit and your loved ones always around, finally hope can arise from heartbreak. Truly inspired, Whispers of Love compassionately introduces you to a deep exploration of why we are here, how to connect with Spirit, and how we can find meaning in life’s hardest challenges. Gina teaches us the impressive lesson that remaining frozen in pain is not the path to freedom. We must embrace our lives with Spirit on board so that every step can unfold in Divine order, with less drama and perhaps even a new found perspective on grief.

About Author Gina Simone

Gina Simone is a Spirit Medium certified through the Forever Family Foundation. At the age of 11, she began to notice and feel Spirit and energy around her. Not knowing what these gifts were, she always felt different and isolated. A traumatic pool accident with her toddler son catapulted her into finding the meaning behind life, Spirit, lessons, and karma. She left a comfortable corporate finance career to answer her calling to connect you with your loved ones and with your own innate intuition and higher consciousness. She has been a featured medium on Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP.com, has been voted Long Island Best Medium several years in a row, and is also a featured medium on WBLI 106.1 morning show.

Buy from Outskirts Press: https://outskirtspress.com/WhispersOfLoveSpiritMessages
Buy from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1977216250


The Best Book of the Year winner will receive a Grand Prize of $1,500 as a direct result of your choice at the polls. So, come back on Monday, September 21st, to cast your vote!

Are you ready to publish your own award-winning book and perhaps find yourself in the running for next year’s Best Book of the Year award? Connect with Outskirts Press now in whatever manner is easiest for you:

 

2019 Self-Publishing Retrospective. A Year in Review and a Look Ahead

2019 was another banner year for self-publishing and for Outskirts Press authors specifically. Thanks to the talents and determination of the writers who published with us in 2019, many were rewarded with multiple awards and recognitions, which as we all know can be next to priceless when it comes to marketing a book in this competitive industry, where once again, the quantity of self-published books overshadowed the 5 large publishing houses.

If our authors’ accomplishments in 2019 are any indication, 2020 will be an amazing year indeed.  With so many authors publishing so many stellar books, and receiving so many awards, selling so many copies of books, we can’t possibly identify them all. So if we aren’t able to name you personally, please know that we are equally impressed with all you’ve accomplished this year.

Outskirts Press Author Awards

The Colorado Independent Publishers Association holds the annual EVVY Awards every year and once again Outskirts Press was honored to receive the most finalist nominations and the most awards among participating publishers. Winning an EVVY Award is a prerequsitte to winning the Outskirts Press Book of the Year Award and claiming its $1500 Grand Prize.

Three First Place EVVY Award winners were in contention for the Book of the Year:

E.J. Gandolfo won a 1st Place EVVY Award in the Mystery/Crime/Detective fiction category and was one of three finalists for the Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year for her mystery To Paint a Murder. E. J. Gandolfo is a former advertising agency copywriter and sales executive. She is an artist, antique dealer and world traveler and resides in the Boston area.

Amy Jordan, author of Dance Because You Can, won a 1st Place EVVY Award on her way to becoming the second of three finalists in the Book of the Year contest. Her professional company, The Victory Dance Project, has honored legends of dance and stage including Chita Rivera. Jordan’s work has been featured in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, NY Post, and FORTUNE magazine among others. Amy is an in- demand motivational speaker and coach speaking for groups from ten to ten thousand, including corporations, organizations, youth programs, leadership development, health organizations, and schools.

The Third Finalist, Andrew Ceroni, is no stranger to 1st Place EVVY Wins, or Book of the Year awards, for that matter, having won both for his previous two books, Snow Men and Meridian., He completed his hat trick by claiming the 2019 Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year with The Red Shore. Andrew Ceroni served a distinguished career as a Senior Supervisory Special Agent in the conduct of global counterespionage and antiterrorism operations. He received his BS degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy; MA from Case Western Reserve University; and studied several foreign languages at the University of Maryland. He lives in Colorado with his family.

andyevvy2019
Outskirts Press President Brent Sampson joins Three Time Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year Winner Andrew Ceroni at the 2019 CIPA EVVY Awards Banquet where Andy picked up his 1st Place EVVY Award for The Red Shore in person.

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Perennial EVVY favorite and prolific novelist Gabriel F.W. Koch learned that he was once again a finalist in the Colorado Independent Publishers Association EVVY Awards when he scored a Merit Award for his latest novel And Comes Day’s End.  He walked away with a 2nd Place EVVY Award a few years ago for his science fiction novel Paradox Effect (not to mention an Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year nomination). Last year he picked up an EVVY Merit Award for Emma and the Dragon Tooth Sword

Speaking of repeat EVVY Winners, Jeanne Blanchet discovered that she won 3rd Place in the Science Fiction category at the EVVY Awards, for her book Forger of Empire. She won last year for her book, Cursed.

What’s Coming in 2020?

With global distribution through Ingram and worldwide availability through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and elsewhere, it’s easy to think your Outskirts Press publication is everywhere (because it is!). But sometimes the most loyal readers and most engaged customers will be right on your street, at your church, on your softball team, or listening to a local radio program.  One of our most exciting marketing services in years launches in 2020 and focuses specific, surgical targeting on the full gamut of local media like newscasts, morning shows, radio programs, newspapers and magazines. But that’s not all. We’ll also locate influential bloggers who write about the same subject matter as you and pitch your book for an article, feature, review, or interview. Playing a big role in the Media Marketing Blitz is a new series of webinars and videos. Consider it a master class on publishing and marketing. Keep an eye out for the launch of the Media Marketing Blitz coming soon.

We will be attending the annual CIPA EVVY Awards, of course, and holding our own Best Book of the Year Awards.  Once again, many of our books will be on display and represented at the world’s leading book fairs and events including London, BEA, Bologna, Frankurt, and Beijing.

Come and join us! And to our growing family of writers, thank you for an amazing 2019!

How would it feel to publish in 2020 with the A+ Rated and 1-Rated self-publishing company according to the Better Business Bureau and Top Consumer Reviews, respectively? Find out more about publishing, marketing, promoting and submitting your book for publication, reviews, and awards.

Self-Publishing Author Spotlight on T.D. Arkenberg

At Outskirts Press we take great pride in celebrating the work of our successful self-publishing authors, and we do so in many ways, including through our Self-Publishing Author Spotlight blog series. Today we shine the spotlight on T.D. Arkenberg, the 2018 Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year Winner for his memoir, Two Towers.

Two Towers is the fourth book and first memoir from award-winning author T.D. Arkenberg. Independent Publisher Book Awards, Next Generation Indie Book Awards, National Indie Excellence Awards, and Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society have recognized his work. T.D. studied at The University of Chicago, London Business School, and Northwestern University. He lives with his spouse, Jim, and their cat outside Chicago. Visit www.TDArkenberg.com. Keep reading below to learn more about all the books he has published (so far) with Outskirts Press.

TWO TOWERS – In his poignant memoir, Two Towers, T.D. Arkenberg navigates readers through a personal perfect storm. A resurgence of his father’s long-dormant cancer and chaos at his job in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks serve as the backdrop for a private struggle with a secret hidden for thirty-seven years. The story opens on Christmas Eve, 2001. Alone, he stands in his empty childhood home. Two months earlier, his father succumbed to cancer after a lengthy struggle. Five weeks after that painful loss, his mother’s unexpected death shattered his world. The double-barreled blast toppled his towers of strength and unconditional love at a time he was barely treading water. Only weeks before his parents’ deaths, his professional life descended into turmoil. Nineteen hijackers commandeered four commercial jets, unleashing unspeakable terror on US soil. Two towers collapsed into piles of twisted steel, a dusty grave for thousands of innocent souls. Two of the planes belonged to his employer. Eighteen colleagues were killed and thousands of others were soon without jobs. His leadership would never be more severely tested. Friends don’t know how he survives. Neither does he, especially with the added burden of a dark secret. As his world starts to crumble, fate offers a lifeline. Jim, a facilitator of a men’s coming-out group guides him through the process of accepting his sexuality. With towers collapsing around him, Jim might be able to save him from becoming another casualty. Two Towers stands as testament to duty and the power of love. Visit the Two Towers Author Webpage for more details or to order.

A BELGIAN ASSORTMENT – Travel to Belgium, One Tale at a Time

A Belgian Assortment transports readers to contemporary Belgium, a vibrant and multifaceted nation in the heart of Europe. The country plays host to legions of expatriates. Award-winning author T.D. Arkenberg draws on his own experience as an expat in Brussels to craft this collection of twelve vivid and enticing short stories. The characters who populate the stories are as unique and as diverse as the inhabitants of Belgium. Among these is Sabine, an idealistic Flemish woman. Relocating to Brussels to teach young immigrants, she soon finds her broad-minded ideals compromised. An unexpected lover revives her wounded spirit, but can the couple escape the bias and terror that grip the city? Brothers Hasan and Kadar, transplants from Lebanon, struggle to assimilate. A dark secret threatens to isolate them even further, this time from each other. American Jack Ramsey, free of the fetters of his Catholic upbringing, lives openly as a gay man in Brussels. But a visit from his mother could push him back into the closet. Marion is a shop clerk who finds refuge from her lonely, drab life in the carnival atmosphere of Chatelain, one of Brussels’ afternoon markets. A chance encounter offers her a lifeline, but will she grab it? Then there’s Marguerite, a charming octogenarian whose quest to recreate the lavish dinner where she first met her late husband inspires an unexpected detour. These are just a few of the colorful and complex characters who await readers in the pages of A Belgian Assortment. 

NONE SHALL SLEEP – Opera is Life!

And life is opera. None Shall Sleep parts the curtain to reveal lives drawn together by one woman’s dream to sing. Isabella Fabrini, a discouraged Argentine-bred consultant living in London, has little to show for her forty years but a sputtering career, a string of unsatisfying relationships, and layers of cynicism. Her bold plan to reinvent herself as an opera singer has unintended consequences even before the reluctant diva sings her first note. “Every Italian town worth its weight in pasta has an opera house,” Isa says as she plans her debut. San Benedetto is no exception. The faded spa town of Isa’s birth, with its nineteenth-century theater, provides the setting for concert weekend, when anything can happen. Those gathered to hear Isa sing are as colorful as characters created by Puccini or Verdi. Their mirth and mayhem rival any opera libretto. There’s Telma Rossi. The fiery temptress stole Isa’s fiancé but wants more—a chance to steal the spotlight and maybe crush Isa again. Luca Caruso, a dashing restaurateur who fell in love with Isa at the start of her musical journey but harbors a painful secret, which sabotages their relationship. Can concert weekend liberate him from his tragic past? None Shall Sleep is a story of hope, perseverance, friendship, and love that will captivate anyone who’s ever dared to dream big. The novel was a 2014 semifinalist in the prestigious Faulkner-Wisdom competition.

JELL-O AND JACKIE O – Jet Set Dreams

Greek Isles, Capri, the Riviera, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Andy Warhol, Twiggy; people and places that conjure up the chic world of the jet set. To Tad Aldenburg, a child who discovers Jackie Kennedy on the cover of LIFE magazine, beautiful people provide escape from a world of canned soup, bickering parents, and Jell-O. Tad’s fascination with Jackie begins just as his mother announces the return of her younger sister. His aunt’s free spirit and globetrotting lifestyle open old wounds while secrets promise to cut even deeper. When Tad greets his aunt, he can’t believe his eyes. She’s torn from the same magazine pages as Jackie. The uncanny likeness sparks his imagination. We first meet Tad as an adult approaching his thirty-ninth birthday. After years of running from love, he may have found romance with Mike, a handsome CPA. But a ten-year age difference and suspicions planted by his over-protective mother and petulant brother stir anxieties. Can he accept the love that Mike offers? Temptation and doubt threaten his happiness, testing lessons learned in childhood. Tad awakens to news that a plane piloted by John F. Kennedy Jr. is missing. Stung by the recent deaths of his father and aunt, the unfolding Kennedy tragedy catapults Tad back to his youth. Could that turbulent journey help him find a path forward? Capturing the glamour and calamity of an era that includes the rise of Jackie Onassis into an international icon, Jell-O and Jackie O was a 2013 semifinalist in the prestigious Faulkner-Wisdom literary competition.

FINAL DESCENT – First Class Betrayal

Everyone hates the airlines, and Intercontinental’s no exception. Economic headwinds, executive infighting, and a concession-weary workforce generate turbulence, feeding the media and Congress a diet of sensational service failures. Richard Weston, Chairman and CEO, will use any means to crush dissent. His goal? Keep the company airborne long enough to sell it. Leaks of his scheme could send the airline into a graveyard spiral. Charting a course of deception, Weston enlists the aid of diabolical, Ingrid Shattenworter. The pair tap grizzled company veteran, Hap Sweeny to polish the airline. And Sweeny’s got just the guy to calm employees, Jim Abernathy, a young idealist who loves Intercontinental as much as Sweeny – perhaps more. Jim has an adoring wife, Julie and a satisfying job. One thing’s missing – a baby. Getting pregnant is their top priority, but Julie fears Jim’s job will make him an absentee parent, or worse, send him to an early grave like his father. Ignoring his wife’s warnings, Jim accepts Sweeny’s offer, pulling away just when the couple’s goal is within reach. At work, forces conspire; the current culture won’t surrender without a fight. And rather than pacifying employees, Jim stirs them up. Weston commands Sweeny, torn between love of the airline and loyalty to his boss, to rein in the maverick before the place ignites. A flight to Frankfurt provides the stunning climax. A story of love and betrayal, the book appeals to anyone who’s toiled in the corporate world, juggled home and work, or stepped onboard a commercial airliner. Visit the Final Descent Author Webpage here.

Andrew Ceroni is the 2019 Best Book of the Year Author

The votes are in and for the third time in nine years the winner of the 2019 Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year is Andrew Ceroni, author of the CIA thriller, The Red Shore!

The three finalists in our annual Best Book of the Year contest all won First Place EVVY Awards during the Colorado Independent Book Awards Gala in their respective categories, so they’re all winners in our book; but only one can claim our highest honor: The Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year!

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As all the finalists will no doubt attest, winning the Best Book of the Year is no small feat, so to accomplish it three times with three different books (Snow Men, Meridian, and The Red Shore) is truly a remarkable achievement. Andrew earned 70% of the votes in the public poll last week at SelfPublishingNews.com.

Congratulations, Andrew! Please enjoy the kudos and the $1,500 Grand Prize that accompanies it.

About the Author:

Andrew Ceroni served a distinguished career as a Senior Supervisory Special Agent in the conduct of global counterespionage and antiterrorism operations. He received his BS degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy; MA from Case Western Reserve University; and studied several foreign languages at the University of Maryland. He lives in Colorado with his family.

About the Book:

Dave McClure arrives in Bar Harbor, Maine, for some rest and relaxation before returning to the CIA-a world he left behind years ago. But he is unaware of the danger he’ll face in the days ahead as he discovers the secrets that lie in the deep ocean trenches of the Atlantic. Deadly secrets.

McClure is unexpectedly thrust into the middle of a vicious Russian plot and a harbor town’s lethal intrigue, each as perilous as they are startling, and struggles to make sense of all the jumbled pieces in this deadly puzzle. Is there a connection between Russian drone submarines probing the U.S. coastline, a Top-Secret, advanced technology Navy torpedo program, and the sinister secret behind Tamarack Harbor’s missing boys? Another brutal murder is the catalyst that finally leads McClure to the juncture of high-stakes espionage and an impending attack on American soil. As the CIA and the U.S. Navy race against time and the Russian threat, the powerful pull of emotion will test the limits of Dave McClure’s skill, strength, and courage.

Watch the book video on YouTube at: https://youtu.be/tBJERz2_QRc

Buy from Outskirts Press for up to a 55% discount at: https://outskirtspress.com/bookstore/details/9781977207005

Buy the Paperback or Kindle Edition at Amazon at: https://amzn.com/B07MF3R68V