Past Winners

Previous Winners & Finalists:  


The 15th Chair Book 1: The Journey, by Matt Galeone was named a finalist for the Eric Hoffer, Da Vinci Eye Award for cover design. Congratulations to Matt and the illustrator, Tracie Schmidt!

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Years ago the United Territories was invaded and devastated by The Armada, an advanced alien empire. They genetically altered select humans to create warriors to fight against a rival empire. One of those altereds, Adam Darvin, rebelled. Adam led a band of rebels known as The Alliance against The Armada. They won the war, but it cost Adam his life.

Three years later, the Alliance has worked to rebuild their world and can see the possibility of a brighter future. However, threats to that future are emerging. Hate groups lurk in the shadows. Ruthless politicians within the fragile new government are plotting to overthrow the current Alliance-friendly administration. And now, this still re-building world must face the possible return of The Armada in a new bid to conquer their planet. With the return of the Armada, two mysterious groups each strives to train their own hero to save their world. Only one will emerge, but will they save their world or destroy their people?

Politics, prejudice, and the return of an old enemy drive The 15th Chair’s intricate plot as its compelling characters explore themes of bravery, fear, want, self-determination, and hope.



I12107223_930911003630442_7398269976825613931_nnto The Heat by Ray Locket was named a finalist for the The Next Generation Indie Award for Best Memoir.   

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A gripping and intriguing glimpse into the life of a career firefighter.  Pull on your turn-out boots and join 29-year veteran, Ray Lockett, as he recalls the most memorable experiences working in some of the busiest firehouses in Baltimore spanning the last three decades of the 20th century. 

Have you ever wondered what firefighters think and experience as they crawl down a smoke filled hallway or scale a 35-foot ladder to the roof of a burning building? In this memoir you will experience the heartbreak of unsuccessful rescues along with the elation of bringing a civilian back from the brink of death. Vividly written, this book brings to life the sights, sounds and smells of working in the most turbulent neighborhoods in West Baltimore and will help the reader appreciate the challenges that confront firefighters every day at work. And you will feel the pride as the book progresses and Ray’s two sons become third generation firefighters.
Into The Heat features not only the dramatic moments of fighting fires and saving lives, but also gives the reader a glimpse into the firehouse antics and range of personalities that coexist there. The pride and bravery of these heroes will inspire, inform, and awe both enthusiasts and readers who thought they knew what a firefighter’s job is.

Ray Lockett was born and raised in Baltimore City. He joined the Fire Department in 1972 and was assigned to one of the busiest companies in the city. He spent 29 years fighting fires in some of the worst neighborhoods in Baltimore. This book looks back on his career from a Firefighter’s perspective.


Helping_Hooves_&_Hum_Cover_for_KindleHelping Hooves & Humongous Hearts  by Beth Williams was named a finalist for The Next Generation Indie Award for best submission in the Animals / Pets Category

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Animals are incredible! They comfort us when we are upset, make us laugh when we are sad, and cuddle with us when we are sick. Some animals even have special jobs helping people!

Come explore the tales of Fred the horse, Bernie the dog, and Princess the cat as these heroic animals perform their special jobs to help people get stronger, be safer, and feel happier.

Who are the animal heroes in your life?

Helping Hooves and Humongous Hearts: Happy Tales of Therapy Animals is a wonderful story for children and their families that teaches us about companion animals and introduces them to important diversity concepts.




Withered Hosts, by Scott Bisig was the winner of The Next Generation Indie Award for Best First Novel and was named a finalist for The Library Association of Rockland County (LARC) Book of the Year award.  

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Brian and Alison Graham are already haunted when they move into their new apartment, and are almost ghosts themselves: cursed by the loss of a child, inhabiting a vacant marriage, doomed to cope in separate and destructive ways.

Almost immediately, three-year-old Emma begins losing sleep. Brian begins losing memories. Soon, there are dangers everywhere – figures in the shadows, ominous warnings from the apartment downstairs; the building itself, even the people in it, may not be what they seem. As Brian struggles to keep his sanity, his marriage, and to save his remaining child, he will come to realize that their pasts are not past at all.

The Grahams have no idea what it means to be really haunted – but they will. And, over twenty-three long days, it will take every last bit of their willpower – and the courage to face the truth – if there is any hope for their survival.