The judges gave our 20 semi-finalists a careful reading, we tallied up their scores, and we are proud and excited to announce the 2017 finalists in the Soon To Be Famous Illinois Author Project!

Meet the finalists (listed below), learn more about them, and mark your calendar to join us for the BIG announcement event on Wednesday, April 12, 1 PM at the Gail Borden Public Library District, 270 N Grove Ave, Elgin, IL.

   

The Towers Still Stand
Daniel Rosenberg

Publication Date: December 18, 2016
Sponsoring Library: Highland Park Public Library

What if the Sept. 11 attacks had failed, and Americans remained ignorant of the hijackers’ ultimate goals? In this alternate history, several hijackers and their leaders survive and escape a botched Sept. 11 plot and plan a second attempt on the towers. Only one man in the government and an aggressive journalist suspect what might be afoot, but how can they convince a skeptical nation that the World Trade Center is in danger? These two find themselves in a deadly battle against time and the complacent nature of the US government. If they fail, the World Trade Center towers could fall. The Towers Still Stand is a chilling alternate history thriller.

A professional journalist, Daniel Rosenberg’s career includes stints writing for the Wall Street Journal and Barron’s. He currently writes about financial markets for a major brokerage firm. Rosenberg is married, has two sons, and lives in Highland Park, Illinois. The Towers Still Stand is Rosenberg’s first novel, inspired by the events of Sept. 11. The book asks the question, what might have happened had the Sept. 11 plot failed and the hijackers remained at large with the country still ignorant about their intentions?

   

 

Take The Donut
Annie Hansen

Publication Date: November 1, 2016
Sponsoring Library: Big Rock Library

Like donuts, revenge is sweet. But is getting revenge worth the sweet thrill that comes with it? There’s been a jailbreak at Kelly Clark’s ex-husband’s prison. Kelly’s first impulse is to run from Steve, but once again she is drawn into solving the mystery of what made her ex-husband derail in the first place. With a new piece to the puzzle, Kelly is tempted to use it to finally get her revenge.
When Kelly suspects one of her close family members may have been involved in Steve’s fraudulent money schemes, she begins to doubt everyone around her. The third book in the Kelly Clark Mystery Series, Take the Donut, features an interesting heroine who is determined to make a new start. Take the Donut is a cozy mystery that centers on temptation, family drama, greed, and sweet revenge.

Annie Hansen is a graduate of the University of Illinois with a B.S. in Biology. She is a partner with Hansen Search Group, a staffing firm she cofounded with her husband and business partner, Brent Hansen, in 2001. She was named the winner of the Helen McCloy Mystery Writers of America Scholarship in 2011 for her submission of “Give Me Chocolate.” Annie is the author of The Kelly Clark Mystery Series and can be reached through her website: www.kellyclarkmystery.com. She lives with her family in the western suburbs of Chicago

   

The Bard
Karen Bedore

Publication Date: April 21, 2015

After losing her mother and fiancé, Alcinia and her father travel west to Turin in the Duchy of Savoy to begin a new life. Getting adjusted to a new way of living in Renaissance Italy, Alcinia falls in love with a mysterious bard, and through their secret rendezvous is beginning to find happiness once again. Until…she finds out that her small-town father isn’t who she thought he was.

Alcinia gets caught in a web of intrigue, and sets out to save her father from a scientific organization bent on using a biological weapon to destroy all men of the cloth. Her father’s life might be the only way to stop it…When she discovers the truth, it will change her life forever, for better and for worse.

Karen Bedore is a middle school Whovian band director who has always had a passion for writing, whether it be music, journaling, or stories. She enjoys running, spending time with her husband and son, and drinking lots of coffee. Lots.