28 South First Avenue - Mount Vernon, New York 10550 - (914) 668-1840

Mount Vernon Local Author Fair 2017

List of Mount Vernon Local Author Participant 2017

Local Author:

Karen Leahy — The Summer of Yes

Karen Leahy is the award winning author of The Summer of Yes, a memoir.
A Mount Vernon resident, Karen is a member of the International Women’s Writing Guild. She has taught a Senior Memoir Writing Class as well as a Creative Nonfiction class for the Mount Vernon Public Library and is also a skilled poet.

An ex-nun’s story—fascinating, beautifully told, memorable. Winner of Benjamin Franklin Award silver medal in memoir and Indie Book Awards finalist medals in both memoir and women’s issues. The Benjamin Franklin Award is regarded as one of the highest national honors in small and independent publishing. What is it like to spend 11 years of your young woman hood in the convent? Why would you feel you had to leave in order to save your soul? With no guide but her deepest intuition, and without rancor towards the order of nuns to which she belonged, Karen Leahy re-entered a world in the midst of the social upheaval of the 70’s. The search for a loving relationship and first sexual experiences are here, as well as marriage, tragic loss, acceptance and peace. The book tells also of her journey “across the theological sky” after leaving the convent and how the arts and nature have served as lifelong sources of inspiration and spiritual sustenance. Ms. Leahy’s book will appeal to anyone whose path of self-actualization requires them to make radical life changes. The book addresses the power of story, making sense of one’s past, hunger for a fuller life, intimacy, and exchanging a “good girl” role for authenticity. It is at once a spiritual journey and a very human one.

John Howard, Ph.D., J.D.

Dr. Howard retired as a Distinguished Service Professor from Purchase College, The State University of New York. He is retired also from the practice of law. FACES INTHE MIRROR: OSCAR MICHEAUX AND SPIKE LEE, his well-received book on African-Americans in film was published several years ago. He has also received grants from The National Endowment for the Humanities and from the New York Council on the Arts, and produced and directed a short documentary, IN SEARCH OF JUSTICE, selected for exhibition at a Milan, Italy film festival. Dr. Howard has done workshops at the Mount Vernon Public Library on James Baldwin’s America and Growing and Aging in partnershp with Humanities New York.

Georgia McDowell — Wake Up and Sing

Georgia M. McDowell is originally from Kannapolis, North Carolina. She now lives in Mount Vernon, New York.
Georgia was previously the Head of the Ministry of Music for the Mt.Vernon Missionary Alliance Church under Pastor Earnest Usher. It was at this church, that Georgia sang many of the songs she has written. Known by her artistic name “G. Mae”, Georgia is a “C.S.P.A.A.” (Composer, Songwriter, Poet, Author, Artist).

Wake Up and Sing G.M. Mcdowell
The purpose of this book is to bring hope. The goal of this book is to “serve” the reader (s). The destination for each work of poetry is to hit upon the hearts, souls, minds and bodies of all peoples of the world. The primary concern of each of the poems within this book is that they fall onto the “Spirit-ground” and then take root when planted in whatever grounds that they may be cast. May all of these POEM SEEDS help to encourage great, wonder-filled global imaginations. Imaginations that will allow beautiful picture-thoughts to expand, within the realms of every conscientious reader leader. So much so that “Divine Inspiration” will be able to flourish from the GOOD GROUND of the entire world community. Humanity demands that we all can strive . . . to keep hope alive! Wake Up And Sing is written for all the “ups & downs” days of life. Purpose . . . goal . . . and destination . . . of each poem, focuses on keeping a smooth pathway towards the direction of the GREAT DIVINE Author of all Mankind.
Other book written:

  • Before My Time– G.M. McDowell
  • Multiply My Joy and Divide My Pain– G.M. Mcdowell

Dr. Robert Baskerville Black Westchester

About Dr. Robert Baskerville (6 Articles)

Born during the long hot summers of the 1960s, Dr. Baskerville life’s ambition is to help the up-and-coming activists, organizers and political leaders from the post-civil rights generation to recast the spirit of scholarship and activism that powered the 20th century Black Freedom struggle here in the United States into forms of struggle better suited to the complex social terrain of the Information Age. The recipient of a Ph.D. in sociology from The Graduate Center of CUNY, for the past two decades he has served as a professor of sociology at several public and private colleges in the New York City area, instructing students of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds in the philosophies, theories and research techniques that underpin the social sciences. His scholarship focuses on two principal areas of research: the intersection between race, education and social inequality, and the socio-historical dynamics by which integrationism became the dominat political philosophy of the 20th Century Black Freedom Movement. Raised in the city of Mount Vernon, where he’s affectionately known as “Brooklyn Bob,” after a brief stint spent dealing drugs on the streets of the city’s Southside, Baskerville began his career as an activist and organizers while he was a student at Bronx Community College (BCC). After helping to lead the CUNY student strike of 1991 at BCC, he went to serve in a number of activist formation, the most notable of which was the Black Radical Congress. More recently, Baskerville has been part of a loose coalition of activists and organizers who have undertaken several projects for civic empowerment in the city, including the 1,000 Man March, several Women’s Empowerment Expo.

Black to the Future Peter Sherrill

Every so often one emerges out of nowhere, like Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Barack Obama, and now Peter W. Sherrill with his explosive new book, Black to the Future From the Plantation to the Corporation, now bestowed with the unprecedented honor and prestige of being placed on the shelves at the Schomburg Museum,the most elite library of Black Literature in the world. This first time author/publisher has accomplished a feat never attained by any other author thus far in the field of Black Literature with this achievement with Black to the Future. Classified under the categories of African American Civil Rights, African American Race Identity, United States Race Relations along with Discrimination in the workplace State of New York based upon the Texaco Racial Discrimination Lawsuit where Sherrill worked for nearly twelve years, his story chronicles the untold undercurrent,backlash and betrayal which took place in Texaco against the Black employees, by the White Executives, facilitated by their so-called Black Leaders, one who is now the Governor of Massachusetts.

‘Til Green Card Do Us Part Seymour Horatio

Some will stop at nothing, sacrificing anything and anyone for a green card. A Jamaican student immigrant feels pressured into choosing between her love for an undocumented Jamaican immigrant and her growing affection for a Bosnian émigré. An exposé of deception, passion and conspiracy in the lives of determined immigrants striving to obtain permanent residency in post 9/11 New York, by any means necessary.

Vanessa Richardson Bagby Shattered In A Split Second

Vanessa Richardson Bagby was born and raised in Mount Vernon, New York. She is the author of the award-winning work of non-fiction memoir Shattered in A Split Second. Her inspiring true life account teaches us all that with the Lord’s good grace and the courage to stand tall, anything except death can be fixed. She is currently a Vocational Educator in one of Westchester County Educational School Districts. She is a graduate from University of Phoenix and holds a Master of Arts in Education, a Bachelor of Science in Human and Community Services, and an Associates of Arts in Human Ecology/Fashion Design. Presently, Vanessa resides in upstate New York with her family.

Black Mexico Lamont (Curry) Muhammad

Lamont (Curry) Muhammad, B.A., M.S., received a Master of Communication Studies degree from the College of New Rochelle; is an Adjunct Professor at Kean University, New Jersey; practiced journalism for over forty years and lived in Belize, Central America, for six years, which borders Mexico. Having been chided, as a Black journalist, to visit Cuajinicuilapa, Mexico, he one day hired a translator and headed to Africa in Mexico.

Black Mexico: The Greatest Story Never Told by author Lamont Muhammad opens the mummy’s tomb on the identity of the original owners of Mexico, the Americas, Asia, the Isles of the Pacific and Africa. The Aboriginal Black man was the first to inhabit the Americas in large numbers before other people knew the world was round according to modern archaeologists and anthropologist today as they continue to document their research.

It was written for the African and Indigenous people whom the author met in southwest Mexico in 1998 and learned that those people had been officially omitted from history books there, except for slight references to slavery. They expressed their yearning to want to know more about themselves for the sake of themselves and especially their children.

Black Mexico is a thumbnail sketch of world history, with an emphasis n African and Mexican history. It includes bibliographical notes from selected scholars on the subjects as well as also introducing the reader to the teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the theology of the Nation of Islam as a window through which to better examine human history and current affairs. An extreme eye opener for knowledge seekers.

Psalms for the 21st Century Reverend Leslie Booker

Psalms for the 21st Century is a book of poetry/psalsm written to encourage those who have struggled with life’s perplexities, emotions and pain searching for answers and solutions to their never ending struggles, Psalms for the 21st Century takes you through an extreme journey though the “Valley” to the “Mountaintop” and a joy that one can only find with a genuine relationship with the “Living God.”

About the Author

The Reverend Leslie L. Booker is an Ordained Christian Minister who has worked in such international churches like the Washington Cathedral in Washington D.C. to the General Board of Global Ministries headquarted in New York City. Reverend Booker, currently attends New Life Fellowship in the City of Mount Vernon as an Elder, and has written poetry all her life. Psalms for the 21st Century is her first published work that will bless all who read these unique psalms.

“In the Beginning God Created New York ” Malcolm Rowe

Malcolm Rowe is Jamaican by birth but presently reside in Mount Vernon New York in the USA. He has a Masters degree in law as well as certification and experience in many other areas including education, security and economics. “In the Beginning God Created New York ” is a novel about the drug trade in Jamaica. It’s about New York as a market for the illegal drugs while being a refuge for the people trying to escape the clutches of the Jamaican drug kingpins . God is not partial. He provides for both good and bad people. That is why he created New York.
This is the first of Malcolm’s books but he has many others at different stages of readiness including the anthology “Miss Vagina Speaks Her Mind”.

Kadian Thomas Sparks Fly

Kadian Thomas is the author of the, Light in the Dark Young Adult trilogy series. Her debut novel Sparks Fly is set to be released in 2017, (June 21st), Lightning and Fire (DATE TBA), and A Flash of Darkness (DATE TBA). Kadian has been living in Mount Vernon, New York for the past five years, but grew up in Jamaica.
Kadian graduated from the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, with a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Biology, intent on getting into the field of scientific research. Kadian however fell into a different career path in retail where she fulfills her need to help others and learn about new and interesting technology. Kadian now writes on her days off and every spare time she gets. When she’s not writing, Kadian can be found reading a book or binge watching TV shows on Netflix and Hulu, also bowling with friends.

Kadian also blogs under the pen name Annabelle Helen Jones, where she provides writing tips for aspiring authors, passing on useful information that she’s learnt so far. Also find Kadian on Twitter and Instagram @authorkadian, be sure to say hi when you stop by.


Author Elly Blanco-Rowe is a mom and educator who is passionate about empowering women and girls to be their best selves. She combined her educator and coaching skills to help younger girls create a practice of self-love and self-kindness.

While coloring with this book, girls from age 6-11 experience the positive benefits of affirmations and learn about meditation. The book is filled with images of girls from various cultures, speaking messages of self-love and acceptance,which can help girls become more confident and ready to tackle different challenges. All while coloring!Elly will also lead the girls through a short meditation activity and show them how to practice  affirmations. When girls start using positive self-talk, they are kinder to themselves, are more confident and feel capable to do more.

Good Catholic Girls – Angela Bonavoglia

Angela Bonavoglia is an author, journalist and blogger who focuses on women’s issues, health, politics, film, television, and all things Catholic. Her feature articles, investigative reports, reviews, op-eds, personal essays, and profiles have appeared in such outlets as Ms. (longtime contributing editor), the New York Daily News, the Chicago Tribune, The Nation, Salon, Women and Hollywood, Redbook, Cosmopolitan, New York Newsday and the New York Times. Her books include the classic oral history, The Choices We Made: 25 Women and Men Speak Out About Abortion, and most recently, Good Catholic Girls: How Women Are Leading the Fight to Change the Church. She is a past recipient of an Exceptional Merit Media Award (sponsored by Radcliffe College and the National Women’s Political Caucus) for magazine health reporting.

Tracking Good Catholic Girls

Bonavoglia’s article “The Church’s Tug of War,” about women as an invisible force for reform in the Roman Catholic Church, was a lead article in The Nation in the wake of the clergy sex abuse scandals that broke in the US in 2002. It provided a fresh analysis of the role of women in the progressive Church reform movement at an unprecedented moment in American Church history and became the basis for her writing Good Catholic Girls: How Women Are Leading the Fight to Change the Church (Harper-Collins). Since the book was published, Bonavoglia has spoken to hundreds of people around the country about women and Catholic Church reform. She has been a guest on more than 60 television and radio shows in the U.S. and Canada, including shows carried by various NPR affiliates, the Laura Flanders Show, and Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now.

The Impact of Choices

Bonavoglia also authored The Choices We Made: 25 Women and Men Speak Out About Abortion, a classic oral history spanning seven decades, from the 1920s through the 1980s. With a foreword by Gloria Steinem, it features Bonavoglia’s interviews with such public personalities as Whoopi Goldberg, Kathy Najimy, Grace Paley, Rita Moreno, and Jill Clayburgh, as well as with activists, clerics and medical providers about their experiences with illegal and legal abortion (Random House, Seal Press). The Choices We Made was featured on “Oprah” and NPR’s “Lenny Lopate Show.” The book was widely discussed, including in the New York Times (Anna Quindlen’s column), Newsday, the New York Daily News, the Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Weekly, Mirabella, and Mother Jones. Excerpts have appeared in Cosmopolitan and Ms., and most recently, in beloved author Grace Paley’s memoir, Just As I Thought.

Social Worker with Pen

Bonavoglia is a communications and development specialist who has written for leading foundations, public agencies, and nonprofit institutions, including: the Planned Parenthood Federation, Planned Parenthood affiliates, the Ford Foundation, the Ms. Foundation for Women, the Coalition of 100 Black Women, the International Women’s Health Coalition, the New York Community Trust, the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, Women and Philanthropy, Independence Care System, and the New York City Health Department. She currently is a strategic planning consultant to progressive nonprofits with Geoffrey Knox Associates. She holds an MSW from New York University.

For A Ghetto Child: An Anthology of Poems and Art — Jennifer V. Matthews

Ms. Jennifer V. Matthews was a Library Media Specialist with the New York City Board of Education before becoming the Library Media Specialist for Lincoln Elementary School in the city of Mount Vernon. She is a member of the Academy of American Poets, the American Library Association and the United Federation of Teachers. Ms. Matthews has a Master of Science degree in Literacy from Alfred University.
This is her first poetry book.

Mz. Brenessa David

We can be inspired in our daily lives by people and things that touch us in the way we listen and view our experience that motivate and encourage us to see beauty in life’s simple pleasures and its profound moments. Writing can be a cathartic stress reliever, as a mother of four plus a few more you get use to talking to yourself writing is a bridge to that communication gap. You leave notes, send text and when all else fails write a book. I would encourage everyone to write if have started continue. If you have not started it’s worth the effort. You will be amazed at how written thoughts jump right off the page giving you analysis and insight. The conversation you have in print can be life altering. The two people on the planet that it never benefits you to hide from or lie to is yourself and your mother. State the facts tell the truth free yourself. My writing is an extension of being a mother, a nurse, a friend, a sister, and an aunt to be encouraging, uplifting and giving people hope can be life changing. You want to motivate people to be the best of who they are. A kind word a smile and hug can make the world of difference in a person’s day. We can all find ourselves on any given day in these subtitles: “Everybody needs a hug” “The comfort zone” “Sound Off” and “Get out of your own way” When you can lift someone’s spirit, make someone laugh, encourage, inspire and motivate them, the world is a better place. “Don’t give up on your dreams” Mz. Brenessa

Lauren J. Wynn

Lauren J. Wynn is a native of Mount Vernon, NY. She holds a Masters Degree in Early Childhood and Special Education. At present, she is an educator. Lauren has been a proud member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Delta Nu Sigma chapter since 2013.

Lauren has authored and published two children’s books, I’ll Be There in 2000, which was a collection of short children stories and, in 2010, Hugs Talks Fire Safety. Hugs is the first in a series of books on the adventures of an imaginative bear. Along with her stories for children, many of Lauren’s poems, including ones about fire safety, have been posted on safety websites. During the annual Fire Safety Month in October, she can be found reading her books to children in elementary schools.

According to Lauren, “One of the most rewarding things is to watch children reading. The goal when writing is to have a story that a child can either relate to or can leave them with something to foster their creativity and imagination. Children have and will always be the inspirations for my stories.”

Lauren currently resides in Westchester County, NY.

Contact information: email: wynnreads@aol.com
914-668-4377 (h) 914-819-3668 (c)
Hugs and the Firefighters is available on Amazon.

David Rocco

David Rocco retired from an eighteen-year career with the New York Housing Authority. Since then, he has been actively involved as a volunteer for many cultural and environmental initiatives in the Hudson Valley and New York City area. He has played a major role in the successful development and eventual success of the “Walkway Over the Hudson” project.

Additionally, Rocco has worked with the Mount. Beacon Fire Tower restoration project, the Beacon Sloop Club’s “Woody Guthrie” vessel, “Friends of FDR State Park,” the Yorktown Community Dog Park, the Yorktown Depot in Yorktown Heights, NY, and Westchester County’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Briarcliff Manor, NY.

He has been a consistent donor of whole blood for more than thirty years.

Rocco is a highly honored scenic photographer. His photography has been published in many magazines and newspapers, in calendars and on various web sites and displayed in many venues.

His photos showcasing the damage and destruction of Hurricane Sandy have been on exhibit at the Arts Westchester Gallery in White Plains, NY, at the Mt. Vernon, NY, city hall, and in The Museum of the City of New York.

In January 2015, he was one of the founding members of the “Friends of the Mount Beacon Eight” organization, working to increase public awareness of the eight Navy veterans killed in two separate plane crashes on Mount Beacon.

The Indestructible Man: The True Story of World War II Hero “Captain Dixie”
By Don Keith and David Rocco (Contributor)
Dixie Kiefer was a true World War II hero. He was the first man to fly an airplane off a ship at night, Executive Officer on the carrier USS Yorktown at the battles of the Coral Sea and Midway, and skipper of USS Ticonderoga when she came under brutal attack by Japanese kamikaze planes. Through it all, he performed coolly and heroically, leading his men through hell and back. But “Captain Dixie” was much more. He was a sailor’s skipper. A man who would not ask his men to do anything he would not do. He referred to his crew as “Dixie’s kids.” His regular “cocktail club” meetings aboard his ships were legendary. And he even had a key role in an Academy Award-winning movie. When his big aircraft carrier was hit by suicide planes, he remained on the bridge overseeing defenses and damage control for twelve hours even though he had suffered more than sixty serious shrapnel wounds and a badly broken right arm. It was not the first time he had been injured in battle but carried on performing amazing feats. His men joked their skipper had so much shrapnel in his body that the ship’s compass followed him. When the Secretary of the Navy awarded Dixie a medal for his amazing valor, he proclaimed Kiefer to be “The Indestructible Man.” But nobody could have foreseen the end to “Captain Dixie’s” story. Now, for the first time, Don Keith and David Rocco tell the full story of this pioneering hero who inspired not only the men with whom he served but an entire nation at war.

Henry A. May

About the Author
Henry A. May is a retired New York City educator and curriculum specialist.  First Black Autos is his first book, chronicling the struggles and successes of his distant relatives, Greenfield, Ohio’s Patterson family, credited as America’s first African-American automotive pioneers.

A graduate of New York University, Mr. May is active in his community of Mount Vernon, NY, and serves as a Board Member of the Audubon-BRASS society.  He is also a founding member of the Mount Vernon Parent and Community Forum on Education – a grassroots parent involvement organization.

His second book, Walk Awhile With Me, a memoir on the life of Sweethearts of Rhythm swing band pianist and composer Ernestine May, will be published in 2009.

First Black Autos
The Charles Richard “C.R.” Patterson & Sons Company / African American Automobile Manufacturer of Patterson-Greenfield Motor Cars, Buses and Trucks

First Black Autos examines the life of Charles Richard “C.R.” Patterson, a slave who escaped from a West Virginia plantation and traveled to the “free state” of Ohio in search of freedom and opportunity.

C.R.’s blacksmithing skills brought him financial success and he eventually launched his own company, C.R. Patterson & Sons, manufacturing carriages and horse-drawn vehicles.

His son Frederick Douglas Patterson led the company
into a new era after C.R.’s death with the design and manufacturing of a “horseless carriage” the first
Patterson-Greenfield sports coupe in 1915.

Author Henry May describes the Patterson family’s efforts to operate a racially diverse business during segregation, and the difficulties they endured from evolving national automotive standards and by competition from automaker Henry Ford.  Mr. May takes existing documentation and facts regarding that era and creates a cohesive picture for the reader.

Joseph Thompson

Joseph Thompson has over 10 years of experience working as a front-end web designer, graphic designer and as a Marketing Consultant. As a graphic designer I am well versed in Photoshop, Abode Illustrator and Cinema 4D. As a result with my experience and knowledge I decided to write books for children and adults alike. I would like to inspire kids to reach for higher heights and for my books to help them to gain more knowledge. You can see more of my work via www.digitalstudiosx.com

Here are a few titles that are available on amazon; Counting to 10 with BABA, learning the solar system,
Learn to Rhyme one Word at a Time, Crossing the Street Safely, A Kids Guide, Bee on Time,  Learning how to spell with Patty the iPad, and much more.