Virtual Local Author Showcase

Wednesday, June 9th at 7pm on Zoom

Register here:


The Ocean City Free Public Library invites you to a virtual local author showcase to celebrate and highlight the work of our local authors.

Join us for readings and a round table discussion about writing, publishing, and more, featuring:

Tina Kashian

Echezonachukwu Nduka

Laura J. Kaighn

Maryanne V. Scott

George Ingram

James Plousis

John Sweeder


Tina Kashian


Tina Kashian, also published as Tina Gabrielle, writes the best-selling Kebab Kitchen Mediterranean mystery series, and her first book, Hummus and Homicide, spent six weeks on the B&N bestseller list. Tina is an attorney and a mechanical engineer whose love of reading for pleasure helped her get through years of academia. Tina spent her childhood summers at the Jersey shore building sandcastles, boogie boarding, and riding the boardwalk Ferris wheel. She also grew up in the restaurant business, as her Armenian parents owned a restaurant for thirty years. Please visit her website at to join her newsletter, receive delicious recipes, enter contests, and more!

You can also connect with Tina at:






Echezonachukwu Nduka


Echezonachukwu Nduka, poet and classical pianist, is the author of Chrysanthemums for Wide-eyed Ghosts (Griots Lounge, 2018) and Waterman (Griots Lounge Publishing Canada, 2020). He holds a BA degree in Music from the University of Nigeria, and an MA degree in Music from Kingston University London, UK. His literary works have been published in The Indianapolis Review, Kissing Dynamite, Transition Magazine, Maple Tree Literary Supplement, First Wave: A Beach Bards Anthology, 20.35 Africa: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, among others. His writing often centers on memory, music, faith, history, and the quotidian. He can be found online on


Laura J. Kaighn


Laura J. Kaighn of Lady Hawke Storytelling has been a nature lover since childhood, a writer since age ten, and an educator since her teens. She became a professional storyteller in 1995 so that she might share her eclectic passions. Laura performs for audiences two through timeless. Her favorite stories to share include Native American, nature, celestial, spooky, urban legends, and pourquoi tales. She combines these with expressive showmanship, science, culture, props and fun for programs which run the gamut of sensory experiences.

Through her folklore studies, Laura has discovered our commonalities in culture. "Stories link us to our humanity. They tell us where we came from and enlighten us to our future. No matter what the packaging, we all hold gifts within us."

Laura holds a BA in Education/Early Childhood and MS in Library Science, both from Glassboro State College/Rowan College of NJ. Her memberships include: The New Jersey Storytelling Network, the Garden State Storytellers League, Patchwork: A Storytelling Guild, Voices From the Sand, the New Jersey Writers Resource Group, the South Jersey Writers Group, the Book Asylum Writers, and the Inkwell Writers Group. In 2013, she inherited and became the facilitator to two local writing groups (NJWRG, BAW). Her interactive workshop, Authorship 101: Writing Process and Publishing Basics, is a 90-minute, enthusiastic and interactive overview.

Laura Kaighn’s favorite writing genres include science fiction, mystical young adult and her original nature and family tales. In 2013, she independently published her first book. Her second came a year later. Recently, Laura has begun to welcome her latest (and oldest) word-children into the literary universe: her 10 volume science fiction series, the Vesar Warrior Legacy.

You can learn more about Laura J. Kaighn’s stories, books, writing projects, and storytelling programs and workshops by visiting:


Rabbit’s Tale & Other Rites of Passage: Parables for a Modern Age (February, 2014)

Earth Child: The E.D. Piper Chronicles (January, 2013)

Earth Child: Discoveries (March, 2017)

Warrior Heart: Book One of the Vesar Warrior Legacy (March, 2016)

Warrior Spirit: Book Two of the Vesar Warrior Legacy (August, 2016)

Warrior Ordeal: Book Three of the Vesar Warrior Legacy (December, 2017)

Next up: Warrior Fury: Book Four of the Vesar Warrior Legacy (Coming in 2022)


Maryanne V. Scott


Maryanne V. Scott was born in Pennsylvania to Italian American parents who stressed the importance of family and caring for one another.  She grew up in a middle-class household with her younger brother, Sam.  Life revolved around family get-togethers and enjoying the simple things that life has to offer.  Maryanne graduated from Temple University with a degree in business administration/marketing.  She worked for many years for Unisys Corporation until her husband's career brought them to Albany, New York for six years.  At that time, she decided to stay at home to raise her children and work part time as a Teacher's Aide in their school district.  Shortly upon returning to Pennsylvania, Maryanne's father developed Alzheimer's disease, and she became his caregiver for eight years while also working part time, raising her two children, and caring for her husband who had a spinal cord injury.  Upon her father's death from the disease, she decided to become involved in the crusade to fight this devastating illness.  Today she lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, with her husband, and works as an Educational Assistant in the local school district.  She continues to advocate for Alzheimer's disease research by participating in annual Walks to End Alzheimer's and writing to her congressmen, encouraging them to support efforts to fund Alzheimer's research at the National Institutes of Health.  It is her dream to see a world without Alzheimer's disease.

Author Maryanne V. Scott’s book “An Eight Year Goodbye: A Memoir” is a heartrending depiction of the author’s experience with her father’s battle with Alzheimer’s.

Published by Page Publishing, Maryanne V. Scott tells the story of Samuel Valenti, the author’s father, an unpretentious, humble man who required very little in life to make him happy. Sam grew up during the Great Depression, working on the family farm in New Jersey, growing tomatoes to sell to Campbell Soup Company. Seeing the Hindenburg fly over his farm, receiving visits to the farm from his cousin, Anne Bancroft, and serving his country in World War II were a few of the highlights of his young adult life that he spoke of often. However, marrying the love of his life and having his daughter and son were the basis of what sustained him every day as he lived the American dream of working hard and prospering.

Life had always been wonderful for Sam until later in his life when he started to lose his precious memories and abilities to Alzheimer’s disease. His slow cognitive decline lasted for eight long years with his children by his side, helping him to navigate through the stages of the disease. This book is the story of Sam’s journey through this debilitating illness with some helpful suggestions from the author on how to handle some of the heartbreaking challenges that Alzheimer’s presents. It is also a touching story of love and compassion as Sam’s children watch their father go from the vital, independent, vibrant man that they grew up with to the feeble, confused man who was no longer able to communicate with his family. This story will touch the heart of anyone whose loved one has experienced or is experiencing the long, slow deterioration that Alzheimer’s disease brings.


George Ingram & James Plousis

Authors James Plousis and George Ingram will discuss “Jersey Lawman: Life on the Right Side of Crime”, a memoir of former U.S. marshal James Plousis’s 40 years in law enforcement. 

The book won second place for nonfiction in the Public Safety Writers Association’s national competition for 2020. The award, which PSWA announced on July 12, recognizes a book whose proceeds go to the U.S. Marshals Survivors Benefit Fund. Freelance writer George Ingram collaborated with Plousis on “Jersey Lawman.”

The first-person narrative tells the story of Plousis and his career in law enforcement--from rookie cop in a rough New Jersey Pine Barrens town to the youngest elected county sheriff in America at that time; and from his appointment as U.S. marshal for New Jersey to his assignment as chairman of the New Jersey Parole Board.

Plousis was a police officer in Ocean City, NJ, before being elected sheriff of Cape May County at age 32. He served in that post for five terms, earning national recognition for his innovative approaches to law enforcement, public safety, and incarceration.

In 2002, President George W. Bush appointed Plousis as U.S. marshal. In this position he fought to bring the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Safe Surrender program to the Garden State and worked on high-profile cases here and abroad. For seven years afterward he was chairman of the New Jersey Parole Board. He now chairs the Casino Control Commission in Atlantic City.

In the book Plousis also relates many personal efforts, including a humanitarian mission to earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

When they began working on the book, the two Ocean City, NJ, residents agreed that proceeds from “Jersey Lawman” would go to the U.S. Marshals Survivors Benefit Fund. It is a private, non-profit corporation formed “exclusively for charitable and educational disbursements of its funds to the surviving family members of active United States Marshals, Deputy U.S. Marshals, Marshals Service Employees, and Special Deputy U.S. Marshals who are killed in the line of duty.”

 More information can be found at


John Sweeder


John Sweeder is a retired professor from La Salle University in Philadelphia, PA. A poet and memoirist, John has had his work published in Adelaide Literary Magazine, Burningword Literary Journal, Shantih, Better Than Starbucks, Haiku Journal, River Poets Journal, Ancient Paths Online, and The Opening Line Literary 'Zine, among other venues. A Finalist of the Adelaide Literary Award for Poetry 2018 and 2019 and Finalist in the 2019 Willow Run Poetry Book Award, John is listed in Poets & Writers Directory of Poet & Writers and is a member of the Poetry Society of America. He has self-published Breathing through a Straw: A Memoir for Baby Boomers and Neurotic Catholics at as well as Faith Genes for the Blue Jean Generation: A Self-help Memoir at (2018). His first book of poetry, Untethered Balloons, was published in March of 2021 by Adelaide Books, New York/Lisbon and is readily available on