Meet The Pitch Week XVI Finalists

Meet The Pitch Week XVI Finalists

Micah C. Brown, Jasmine

Jasmine Trask is your everyday “Amazon,” according to classmates who look up to meet the eyes of the six foot two inches tall young woman as she leaves the ninth grade. That night, however, the first in a series of deaths that will reshape her whole existence occurs when Allison, the girlfriend of her best friend, kills herself. As Mike reels from the emotional impact of Allison’s death, Jasmine is pulled into a whirlwind when she discovers she is pregnant while being drawn into a brewing conflict between her gay friend Wesley and another student named David.

Meeting both the Angel of Death and Lucifer, Jasmine finds her life becoming one where the supernatural and strange are everyday occurrences.

Micah C. Brown is a Maine-based writer of supernatural and horror fiction who, when he was twelve years old, once saw Stephen King out walking his dog. He’s married to a CPA who tries to keep him in line, and has two young daughters, who try to make certain he’s out of line as much as they are. An animal lover, and constant clutter-bug, Micah spends as much time writing as he can when not spending time with his family, reading books, or watching horror movies. Keep an eye out for additional titles.

Deborah S. Greenhut, Recollections of the Hoarder’s Wife

Nearly everyone collects things. Their choices make sense to them, and sometimes to us. Hoarders keep things in the extreme. They do not choose because they cannot; they may keep everything. For 35 years, the author, Deborah S. Greenhut, remained married to Victor, a brilliant man who hoarded even the things she tried to discard. Their life together became a battle until his rage and disappointment made it impossible for her to live in his ocean of things. Deborah wrote Recollections of the Hoarder’s Wife to understand why he was the only part of her life that she could not let go of. The book forms an answer to her question: What suited her for this world?

Deborah is a cultural writer and photographer who wants to live as many lives as she can enjoy in retirement. During her 45 years as an educator, Deborah taught writing at Rutgers University, New Jersey City University, various community colleges, and Fortune 500 corporations in addition to serving as Associate Dean for Humanities and Social Sciences at Hudson County Community College. Deborah has created a children’s series for Kindle, Granny on the Road Books. She has published a scholarly book on Tudor poetry, a play about date rape, and numerous theatre and cultural reviews and poems. Her photographs have appeared in juried shows by New Jersey and California galleries.

Jane M. Hardin, In Lieu of Flowers

In Lieu of Flowers is a novel about Myla O’Grady, happily ensconced in the mountains of Colorado and immersed in a Doctoral studies program on ancient artifacts. Her orderly life is thrown into upheaval by a call late at night from her mother in Boston. Her father, who has always appeared to be in the peak of good cheer, health and vitality (despite his profession as a funeral home director), has been sidelined by a serious heart attack. As a dutiful if somewhat resentful daughter, Myla flies home to what she imagines will be a relatively brief visit. Much to her dismay, she is asked by both her mother and father to stay for “a while” to help in the day-to-day operations of the funeral home. Little did she know she would be dealing with everything from FBI most-wanted criminals to outlandish themed funerals and perhaps to a new relationship.

Jane M. Hardin is a lifelong educator who has worked in both public schools as a special education teacher and in higher education training future educators for the last 23 years. Jane also works as an educational consultant and has co-authored two nonfiction books, Social-Emotional Learning in the Classroom and Social-Emotional Learning in the Home.

Jane is the mother of three adult children and, despite the topic, loves life!

Leah Moore, Loving You Big: Celebrating the Everyday Family Behind a Rare Diagnosis

The birth of Leah Moore’s daughter, Jordan, revealed she may never walk or talk due to her rare chromosomal disorder, Cri Du Chat. Four years later, Leah’s twins, Oliver and Austin, were born, and Leah and her husband were soon faced with a neurosurgeon for one and an oncologist for the other. She felt very alone trying to figure out how to keep her children safe, healthy, and happy while remembering she deserved the same. Loving You Big: Celebrating the Everyday Family Behind a Rare Diagnosis is a perfect model for other parents trying to find joy in the odyssey of parenting.

Leah has taught English and Theatre in New York for more than a decade. She premiered her writing on the parenting blog, In its infancy stage, there have been 20,000 views, reaching an international audience. Leah’s writing has been featured on the “Erma Bombeck Humor Writers” website, in addition to popular parenting websites such as Scary Mommy, Kveller, The Mighty, and Mamapedia.

Her book connects the comedy of David Sedaris, the simplicity of Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul, and the candid voice of Vicki Iovine’s “Girlfriends’ Guides” series. The stories provide company and a reminder that parenting is not a solitary act.

Barbara Newman, The Dreamcatcher Codes

The Dreamcatcher Codes is an eco-fantasy novel about love, believing in the heart print of trees and rock, rivers and wind, sun, stars and sky; and how the archetype of the cowgirl becomes a rich metaphor for living more courageously and authentically in the world.

Four cowgirl superheroes — ordinary girls chosen for their steadfast strength, perseverance, and deep connection to the natural world — have a mission is to find a missing piece of the coveted Crystal Horseshoe, snatched by a giant raven in a raging storm. This crystal is an ancient artifact that holds the Codes of Nature and the very secret to Nature’s survival. Guided by sacred geometry, messages from dreamcatchers, animals, Native American myths and mystics, their powers are ignited by the elements Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. We’re taken into the power of sisterhood, belonging, and the healing forces of nature within ourselves.

Barbara Newman always wanted to be a cowgirl. She grew up in New York, but not having roots on a ranch didn’t stop her. She took that “can-do” spirit and became an award-winning Creative Director/Writer in the New York advertising world. After filming commercials and short films around the globe, from peanut butter to perfume, the country” called and she moved to the Berkshires to raise her kids.

A fierce advocate for empowering girls, Barbara has led leadership workshops around the principles of cowgirl spirit. She is proud of being part of the think tank that inspired The Fred Rogers Institute for Children’s Media and Education. As much she loves Mr. Rogers, she’s not a fan of cardigan sweaters.

Lauren Sevier, The Dragon’s Prophecy

In Young Adult fantasy novel The Dragon’s Prophecy, Liz knew from birth she was destined to die. The oracles spoke her fate into existence over a thousand years ago. When tragedy strikes the royal court, she has the opportunity to flee from her grim fate. If she leaves, she’ll be sentencing the entire kingdom of Aegis to an eternal winter. Is her life worth those of her people?

Mat thought he knew what he wanted from his simple soldier’s life. He enjoyed pretty girls, good ale, and the camaraderie of his fellow soldiers. Perhaps a little too much.

Liz discovers what it means to truly live while Mat finds out what’s worth dying for. They are thrown together in a desperate adventure to outrun an evil sorcerer, find answers to the past, and bring magick back to the realm.

Lauren Sevier lives a simple life in small town Walker, Louisiana with her family and two mischievous dogs. She works full-time for a non-profit hospital in Cardiology caring for the elderly and low-income families all over the state in satellite and outreach clinics.

Lauren is determined to set a specific example for her son: to live simply, to work hard, and to never stop chasing her dreams. Because, one day, you just might catch them.