Introducing the Finalists for the 2021 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 2021 Best Book of the Year award: In the Black by ANDREW CERONI , Profiles in Kindness: Stories of Inspiration & Everyday Leadership by Paul E. Kotz, and Whale of Wonder by Marie-Paule Mahoney. 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 13th on Self-Publishing News and will close promptly on Friday, September 17th at 12:01 AM 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:

In the Black

CIA’s most valuable foreign agents are being methodically assassinated. With its intelligence network shattering, the Agency begins a desperate search to uncover the traitor within its ranks!

The CIA’s most valued Russian double agents are being assassinated one by one. In Langley Center itself, Jack Barrett, Director of Central Intelligence, barely escapes assassination. When the Agency discovers the attacks originate from a Russian top secret cyberwarfare program called Chernyy Almaz, or Black Diamond, they must respond swiftly to shut down the attacks and extract their top prized agents before they’re lost forever. Chief among them is Dr. Armand Mishenkov, the head of Russia’s research and development for cold fusion weaponry. Pursued by Russian assassins and Spetsnaz teams, Agent Dave McClure must find Mishenkov and smuggle him across Europe and to the United States—but can they make it alive?

About the Author

Award-winning author Andrew Ceroni served a distinguished career as a Senior Supervisory Special Agent focused on global counterespionage and antiterrorism operations. He received his BS degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy and an MA from Case Western Reserve University, and he studied the German and French languages at the University of Maryland. Andrew is a member of the Authors Guild.

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Profiles in Kindness: Stories of Inspiration & Everyday Leadership

Leadership. You know it when you see it.

Those who make an impact – leave a mark on us. Hopefully, it is a positive one, grounded in those who bring us joy, and those who inspire us. They give us examples of how we can live our own lives, and also push us to be better.

You have so much time. There are plenty of people who have opened my eyes. Often it comes on unexpectedly. You can give back to society. You can bring your community together. You have relevance.

I am not going to tell anyone in this collection of stories of servant leadership, combining unexpected surprises, and lessons learned exactly what to do. I am going to give you examples of those who do make an impact, observations of people who can help us to realize our gifts and those who assist us in consciously or unknowingly changing for the better.

About the Author

Paul E. Kotz wrote the CIPA Award winning – Something Happened Today (2018), featuring stories of mentorship, advocating keeping eyes and ears open to the present and the positive. It addresses seeing the good each day – facing difficulties and adversity with hope and compassion. Dr. Kotz is a lifelong learner with education and business expertise. This includes working as faculty and advisor with undergraduate, graduate students and since 2013, in a doctoral program in leadership. Kotz has taught and served as an executive/life coach to graduate students and business professionals; and has assisted high school students in navigating adolescence. Teaching Ethics, Organizational Effectiveness, Strategies for Adult Learning Theory, and Statistical Research Methods, Kotz brings practical decision tools and discussion to assist in creating opportunities, facing situations that arise in our own lives and organizations. Some of his work in leadership practice includes – Teaching Examples of Extraordinary Leadership – Influence and Inspiration – An Ethnographic Study; Women Who Have Run for President – An Examination of Leadership Qualities; and Reaching Millennials in the Classroom. In addition, he continues to give motivational talks on examples of influence and inspiration. He is a resident of Saint Paul, Minnesota and continues to collect new experiences that shape and challenge his perspectives. Feel free to contact Paul at pkotz@smumn.edu or paulekotz@yahoo.com.

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Whale of Wonder

An educational tale of love, grief, and resilience.

On a radiant summer day in 2018, an orca named Tahlequah gave birth to a female calf off the coast of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada. The calf was emaciated, lacking enough blubber to stay afloat, and she only lived for 30 minutes. Tahlequah placed the baby on her head, and with the members of her pod, she swam for 17 days, covering 1,000 miles before releasing her into the sea.

Whale of Wonder is the dramatized story of this true-life odyssey, told through a dialogue between the mother orca and her curious son, who keeps asking, “Why, Mama?” Young readers will discover how Tahlequah expresses her maternal love, her grief, and slowly overcomes her loss to celebrate life again. This unique story opens a window to the majestic orcas and their complex emotional lives.

The Afterword presents information about orcas in general and the specific culture of the Southern Residents. It unveils Tahlequah’s life with the members of her pod in the Salish Sea, emphasizing the plight these orcas—close to extinction—are facing.

About the Author

Marie-Paule Mahoney was born and grew up in Brittany, France, and now lives in the foothills of New York State. Before retirement, she taught French in a Waldorf School for over 20 years, as well as at the State University of New York. Her professional career includes the publication of The French Connection and as a co-author of En Français. In the last few years, she has taken a greater interest in nature, wildlife, and conservation. She co-authored Molly and Babou, and wrote Coco. Tahlequah’s heroic journey inspired her to write Whale of Wonder.

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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 13th, 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:

The Polls Are Closing … Vote for the 2017 Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year

On Monday, we were proud to announce to you the three finalists for this year’s Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year awards. Since then, the finalists have been showing us their impressive marketing chops — reaching out to fans on social media, making appearances and promoting their book like pros to win your votes.

Now it is time to pick a winner. We’re in the final hours, and we need your vote today 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 2017 Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year!

Finalist: Gramma Darling by Lissa Schroeder
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Finalist: When a Woman Is in Love with God by Darnelle Wilson
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Finalist: The Thundering Herd by John E. Peltier
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VOTE NOW!

The public poll for Best Book of the Year ends tomorrow, Sept. 15 at 12:00 PM Noon, Mountain Time, so make your voice heard!