Local Author Showcase 2024


John Leone

Inspired by his grandson and looking for a creative spark to his retirement, this Gloucester County author took a page from literature and a few aquarium trips with his grandson to develop a compelling and humorous storyline that centers around Sharklock Bones and Mike Hammer (head), aquatic detectives of sorts.

Based loosely on Sherlock Holmes, kids enjoy the story and puns and adults “get” the frequent references to the music and events of the 60s, 70s and 80s that are in the “Sharklock Bones”, “Beach Towns” and “History” series of books.

Next was “Memory Lane: the 60’s”, a comedy about growing up in those turbulent years. He has also published “Return to Memory Lane: the 60s”, another comedy on the 60s and just followed up with “Memory Lane (Again!): the 60s”.


Jerry Maginnis

I am a CPA and the Author of "Advice for a Successful Career in the Accounting Profession". I spent my career at KPMG, one of the "Big Four" Accounting Firms and served as the Managing Partner of the Philadelphia Office. Since retiring from KPMG, I have stayed active in the business world and serve on the Board of Directors of public and private entities.


Josephine B. Pasquarello

Josephine B. Pasquarello is the tenth child of an immigrant Italian woman who is the subject of this book. She is a wife, mother and grandmother, living in the suburbs of Philly. She graduated from West Philly Catholic Girls' High School in 1967. During her lifetime, Pasquarello worked in the restaurant business for twenty-five years. Later, she owned a house cleaning service and for thirteen years owned and operated a successful store in the Philadelphia area. In 2000, Pasquarello finally retired to devote time to her family. Her hobbies include traveling, working out, cooking the way she learned from her mother, and writing.


Jane Rubino

Author of a contemporary mystery series and Sherlockian pastiches (short stories, novellas, and a novel); coauthored with Caitlen Rubino-Bradway (author of Ordinary Magic) the novel Lady Vernon and Her Daughter, and the short story, What Would Austen Do? in the Jane Austen Made Me Do It anthology.


JJ Lair

JJ Lair is the author of 6 books of mystery, suspense, hypocrisy, and getting a chance to win. The latest novel, Murder in the Mirror is a paranormal mystery about a guy that buys a new mirror and bureau. He wakes up in the middle of the night and sees a murder happen in his mirror. Who is being murdered? Why can he see it?

JJ Lair participated in several writing and critique groups over the years. His writing desk is a mess of ideas, notes, history to explore and something to play music and podcasts. There are notebooks of ideas that don't get turned into stories and stories that aren't good enough yet.

All the books available take place in areas of New Jersey. There is a bit of history in every book.

Mickey Flagg

Always an avid reader, the realm of paranormal fiction is the perfect landing point for Mickey Flagg. After a successful career as a music teacher and an urban school administrator, she retired in 2020 and now continues to spin stories of passion, love and redemption.

Michael T. Bellinger

Despite having been declared legally blind for the past twenty years, Michael T. Bellinger has a Bachelor's degree in Accounting and a Master's in Education.  He has worked in public accounting as a CPA and in a parochial school as a volunteer classroom teacher, where he taught computers and technology to the K-thru-8 students.  Michael enjoys listening to music and audiobooks, and his tastes in both are eclectic.  He enjoys writing poetry when the inspiration hits him, and he is currently working on Book Five of the six-book series From Across the Pond.

Michael and his wife, Lisa, have been married for 31 years, and together they share two grown sons.  They live in a small town in NJ.

Karen Cino

Karen Cino is a multi-published author who has been writing since she was fourteen years old. She started her career by writing poetry, short stories and writing articles for her high school newspaper. After reading Jackie Collin’s Lovers and Gamblers and Jacqueline Susann’s, Valley of the Dolls, Karen found her niche. Karen loves writing about local places that people can relate to. Karen loves the summer, loves the beach. Her previous books were written and take place in various places across Staten Island. Karen relocated to Toms River, New Jersey in 2018. She traded in the Staten Island Boardwalk for the New Jersey Shore.  Her Cookie Cutter Cozy Mystery Series takes place in New Jersey. Karen has two adult children. Currently, Karen is working on a Cozy Mystery Series and Women’s Fiction Series.

Gail Baldwin

The memoir I wrote, "Mr. Brown Went to Boston," is a heartwarming story of the fun times I shared with my father. It includes memories of our entire family during the '50s and '60s in suburban Philadelphia.

Maria K. Alexander

Maria K. Alexander is an award-winning author of the Tangled Hearts series. Her new Pelican Bay series is set in a fictional beach town at the Jersey shore and reunites a group of friends struggling to overcome a tragic event from their past. Together, they’ll renew friendships, rekindle old love, find new love, and learn that it's time for forgiveness and new beginnings. Maria's contemporary romance stories have strong connections with family and friends, both important parts of her life. When not writing, she loves to read, bake, crochet, bike, visit the beach, and watch romantic comedies. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and juggles a full-time job, while dreaming of writing full-time by the Jersey shore. You can keep in touch with Maria at: www.mariakalexander.com.

Larry Schardt

Larry Schardt is a best-selling author, teacher, and professional speaker. In his writing, keynote talks, workshops, and uplifting and motivational “Success That Rocks!” presentations, Dr. Schardt illustrates that no matter how terrible your start, you can make your life rock.

Schardt’s publications include:  “My Runaway Summer: Escape to the Jersey Shore,” his best-selling memoir, “James Conner: The Triumphs of a Football Hero” rated “One of the Best Sports Biography Books of All Time” (BookAuthority), and stories in “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books and several anthologies.

In speaking, writing, and everyday pursuits, Schardt’s passion for people, positive spirit, and zest for life shines through. Schardt’s mission in life is to share joy and plant seeds of love everywhere he goes.  http://www.larryschardt.com/

Tom Minder

Tom Minder lives in southern New Jersey with his wife Paula. He is a member of the South Jersey Writers' Group and The Writers’ Coffeehouse. His story Burning for Rehoboth won a judges award in the Beach Nights anthology from Cat & Mouse Press, 2016.

His initial novel, The Long Harbor Testament, was published January 2017. His second, The House Always Wins, came out in October 2018. His latest, The Ferret, was released in April 2021, all through Black Rose Writing.


Jenna Regan

This is a book inspired by my daughter. She was born with a limb difference! I work with a nonprofit called Lucky Fin Project! We love to spread kindness and awareness all throughout the world!


Chrysa Smith

I’ve been writing for both adults and children for decades. My children’s books are for those in grades K-3, and include zany stories about a posse of mini-poos and their slightly unaware human mom, and stories of one determined, baseball-playing city girl who likes to shake things up wherever she’s planted.’  Winner of several excellence awards in Juvenile Fiction.


Donna P. Breland

Over 20 years ago, I sat down and put into words an idea of a children’s book inspired from an elementary school project that my son, Ryan had in 3rd grade.  We worked on this amazing project together that caught the attention of many around the world.

At that time, I created hand-made teddy bears, which were sold nationwide (Breland Bears, of course).  I created “Travis - The Traveling Bear”.  Travis became very popular and traveled throughout the United States, Canada and to many other countries, including Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa and Germany.  Travis’ story even made the newspaper in Timaru, New Zealand  (1999-2000).  

Now 23 years later, I have recently made contact with many of those from around the world who had shared in Travis’ journey so long ago, including some who were children at that time and are now adults.   Travis and his adventures are still remembered even after so many years! 

Be on the lookout for the release of “Travis - The Traveling Bear”.  An educational book for children of all ages.  Adults will love Travis too!  

Deirdre Palm Adams

Deirdre Palm Adams was born and raised in New Jersey and remains a Jersey Shore Girl at heart, with fond memories of summers on the beach in Ocean City. Today she enjoys the beach life with her husband, Joe, along with her loving extended family including her parents, siblings, nieces, and nephews.

Rocky the Poodle is a real dog. Deirdre was inspired to write Don’t Worry Rocky while walking Rocky on the beach, watching the early morning sunrise. Rocky has reinforced Deirdre’s belief that people can learn a lot from their dogs; after all, they are our best friends, and it feels good to celebrate them for all the joy and love they give us!

Her next book, Don’t Be Bullied Rocky, will be released in May and is the third story in The Adventures of Rocky series, following Don’t Be Afraid Rocky and Don’t Worry Rocky .

You can learn more about Deirdre and The Adventures of Rocky on www.deirdrepalmadams.com


Ree Augustine

Ree has always loved to read. It wasn’t until she started reading stories to her children that she discovered a love of writing. Quiet things inspire her: a word, a child’s desire, a tug in her heart. She pens her stories in Eastern PA at her kitchen table with a sleepy greyhound by her side.


Rhonnie Jones

Rhonnie Jones is a proud graduate from the home of the Institute of Children's Literature located in West Redding, Connecticut. He is a dedicated children's writer. He helps our formal educators entertain and educate our students simultaneously. He believes that educated children make better grownups. Better grownups make better parents. Better parents make better families, which make better communities. This collectively makes better countries, which altogether makes a better world in which we have to live, Love.

Karen Ann Kennedy

Karen Ann Kennedy is the woman who has had every job you can think of. A former human resources director, pastry chef, health coach, and magician's assistant, Kennedy's past experiences have given her plenty of material to fuel her most favorite job title - author. Kennedy is the author of three books, "Your Best Year Yet," "Salvation by the Sea," and "The Stinky Cheese." Kennedy, a decorated Army Veteran, resides in Egg Harbor Township, NJ. She enjoys cooking, gardening, reading, and of course, writing.


Jacqueline E. Souders 

As a native of Southern New Jersey, I live four miles from the Pine Valley Golf Club.  I had heard many stories from locals throughout the years and from that I did years of  research and interviews to self publish the coffee table book on Pine Valley. The books title is  Pine Valley Golf Club, 100 Years of Mystery at the World's No. 1 Golf Course in Pine Valley, NJ.  I have a B.A. in sociology and has been selling real estate for the past forty years.  As a local historian and artist, I have always been intriqued by secrets and mysteries.  My second book is a children's book and is bi-lingual.  It is based on the life of Emilio Carranza, the Mexican Lindbergh pilot that crashed in the Pine Barrens in NJ in 1928.  

Samantha Wilezol

Samantha Wilezol is an Ocean City, New Jersey, resident, a recent graduate in the Social Sciences from Stockton University in New Jersey, is a local author, was featured on the Great American Speak Off show, and is the founder of a missionary team getting ready for international travel. She is also the granddaughter of Captain Ronald Reit, who was the President of the Ocean City Municipal Airport from the late 1980’s into the early 2000’s.