Meet The Pitch Week XXIII Finalists
Julie Warring Amos, Antonia’s Journey
A recently retired mother and new grandmother is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. This adult contemporary novel, Antonia’s Journey, is about her deterioration, which will include home care and a nursing home. Antonia takes on each step and each new challenge, with her friends and family by her side. She gets used to her new normal from walking with a cane, to using a walker, to using a wheelchair.
This is a story of personal experience with a disease that is relentless. A triumph of spirit, daily living, and life.
Julie Warring Amos is a mother and a grandmother. She started her working career as a secretary, which allowed her children and her to have a computer in their home long before it was fashionable and commonplace. After about eight years, Julie went to college for three years and became a registered nurse. She worked in nursing homes, home care, and hospitals for twenty years. She now specializes in foot care. She will sand and file your nails, corns, and callouses.
This allows Julie the time to write as much as possible. Antonia’s Journey is the first in a series of novels set in nursing homes.
Nancy Ferraro, When the Bough Breaks
Are there some things Mommy just cannot fix? When the Bough Breaks is a memoir of maternal heartbreak and redemption.
When Nancy Ferraro adopted a little boy from Romania, she was full of dreams for the life she would give a disadvantaged child and how he would complete her family. All the medical reports said that he was normal, except for a slight speech delay. George arrived a feral child, a wild animal in the body of a boy. With his host of conditions ranging from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome to Institutionally Acquired Autism, Nancy’s family came to call him “Hurricane George.”
This book takes the reader through the raw, painful, and funny moments that define the dark place where there seems to be no end to our children’s troubles. This book is for any caregiver who finds themselves in that bough-breaking moment, whether through alcohol or drug abuse, mental or physical challenges, or criminal behavior.
Nancy is a lawyer who stores her shoes in the oven, so her guests do not expect much. She is such a klutz that she knows she will die in a very embarrassing way and entertains herself by composing absurd headlines announcing her demise. She lives in Florida with her guard dog, Fluffy.
Susan Huff Gilley, Guardrails
In Guardrails, an adult contemporary novel, Kathleen Mallett and her siblings are abandoned by their mother and left with their father, who leads a Ku Klux Klan cell in fictional Hermitage, Louisiana.
In 1966, when thirteen-year-old Kathleen becomes pregnant, she moves in with her grandmother and remains with her through the birth of her second child. She graduates from high school and moves to New Orleans for nursing school, leaving her children in her grandmother’s care.
Kathleen’s fortunes rise as she graduates, reclaims her children, and meets a good man. She marries three times, but shame causes her to end each one.
This is a story of hardship and loss, with her grandmother’s steady love helping Kathleen through life.
Susan Huff Gilley debuted in Harrisonburg, Louisiana, the first of seven children. The family lived on a small cotton and soybean farm alongside the Ouachita River.
Susan worked as a reporter for newspapers in Louisiana and Arkansas and in public relations for companies in Louisiana and Texas. She also worked in customer service and as a project manager.
Susan and her husband, William, have four grown children, ten grandchildren, and one spoiled dog.
She enjoys writing most of all, but also takes pleasure in her greenhorn attempts to grow flowers and vegetables. A recent bumper crop of sweet potatoes caught her off guard. “Good dirt is everything,” she explains.
Joanne Jefferson, Pas de Trois
From friendship to courtship, marriage, divorce, and beyond, this memoir displays how three friends danced in and out of each other’s lives over the course of many years. The story begins with Joanne’s comment, “I knew from the moment I first saw him, that this was the man I was going to marry.” The dance began when Leigh introduced Joanne to Tom Jefferson, Leigh’s former boyfriend, now just her friend.
Throughout Joanne and Tom’s marriage, Leigh was friend, dog sitter, and confidant for both sides. Even during their basically amiable divorce, Leigh was the only friend who supported them both. And so, the dance continued for many years to come.
An avid freshwater fisherwoman, Joanne Jefferson is equally at home on the little local lake fishing for bass and catfish, or on a boat in Lake Ontario looking for big brown trout and salmon. Indeed, she and her husband used to compete for most fish and biggest fish. She frequently earned the honor of Spousal Superiority.
When she’s not fishing or working, she enjoys crocheting blankets for Sacramento Blankets for Sacramento Kids. Joanne resides in Somerset, New Jersey with her little dog, Happy, a rescue from a hoarder’s house in Tennessee.
Linda Presto, Where’s My W(h)ine Glass? Staying Sane While Prepping Your Kid for College
Where’s my W(h)ine Glass? Staying Sane While Prepping Your Kid for College is a frolicking collection of humorous essays for parents of children who are prepping for, leaving to, or attending college. As a long-time college coach, private tutor, and parent of two slow-to-launch college graduates, Linda Presto’s sarcastic voice and no-nonsense tone of experience deliver a much-needed respite from the insanity and competition of acceptance to college. Parents at this stage need a laugh and some straight talk about the process and its pitfalls. Linda is a self-deprecating, yet knowledgeable narrator, who takes parents on a journey through the highlight reel that they hope will end in smarter kids and less laundry.
Linda has been an English and Writing tutor for over 20 years and is a writer who coaches students preparing for college and beyond. Her business, College Coaching with Care, includes experience in SAT/ACT prep, college and scholarship searches, applications, essays, resumes, interview preparation, personal statements, strategy, as well as school and career planning.
Linda lives in rural New Jersey with her partner, her grown children, and her four-legged companion, Jackson, with whom she hikes, bikes, and scribbles ideas and jokes on scrap paper, which she promptly loses.