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Gold Winners

What Lies Within was a Gold Winner in the 2016 Human Relations Indie Book Awards in the Self Reflection/Memoir category. The Spirit of Villarosa received honorable mention in this category. The Spirit of Villarosa was a Gold Winner in the 2016 Human Relations Indie Book Awards in the Historical Human Relations category.

Libby J. Atwater and Marc Ashton are honored to have received these accolades.

The Spirit of Villarosa Wins Coveted Royal Dragonfly Book Award

000spiritofvThe Spirit of Villarosa: A Father’s Extraordinary Adventures; A Son’s Challenge by Horace Dade Ashton, Marc Ashton, and SPAWN member Libby J. Atwater won first place in two Royal Dragonfly Book Award categories: biography and memoir, and historical nonfiction.

The book is a glorious account of Horace Ashton’s remarkable adventures juxtaposed with his son Marc’s 2001 kidnapping in Haiti by four armed thugs who clearly plan to kill him. While captive, Marc determines to survive and asks himself, “What would Dad do?” To find out how this true-life adventure culminates, read the book. It can be purchased at

SPAWN Board Member Speaks at 805 Writers’ Conference

Penny C. SansevieriPenny Sansevieri, SPAWN Board Member, best-selling author, NYU instructor, and CEO of Author Marketing Experts will teach her popular “Super Fans—The Secrets of Selling More Books” workshop at  the 805 Writers’ Conference on Saturday, November 5 at 2:15 pm at the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach.

At the end of the day, for all of the marketing we do, for all of the Tweeting, Facebook-ing, and blogging we really just want to know if it’s paying off. Does any of this sell books?

Penny Sansevieri, one of the top book marketers in America, returns to the conference after a huge session last year. She will show you ways to get the most out of your online marketing that produces book sales. Continue reading

Kathleen Kaiser Named “Publicist of the Year” by Book Publicists of Southern California

From the PresidentSPAWN president Kathleen Sexton Kaiser, president of Kathleen Kaiser & Associates, received notification that she has been named “Publicist of the Year” by the Book Publicists of Southern California (BPSC). The award will be given at a ceremony on October 13 at the Sportsman Lodge in Studio City, California. This is the 22nd year for the Irwin Awards.

“I was quite shocked by the phone call from Irwin Zucker of BPSC,” said Kaiser. “I’ve been doing publicity since the age of sixteen and have always stayed in the background. It’s quite a different sensation to be in the spotlight. I’m flattered by the award.” Continue reading

John Fulford Releases Sixth Book

7395017John Fulford releases his sixth book, My 60 Job Resume: How quitting sixty jobs in thirty years added up to an extraordinary life, a ‘must read’ for those thousands of wage earners stuck in a job they don’t particularly like. Read it next time you wonder if the grass is really greener on the other side of the fence. When he was fifteen, John Fulford walked out of school. He had never received one word of advice from his teachers or even from his parents. He had no skills and no idea what he wanted to do with his life. All he had was an eagerness to see the world and his insatiable curiosity.

For the next thirty years, he stumbled into an amazing series of jobs ranging from clerical and factory work to ditch digging and dish washing to making movies in Rome. Among other jobs he was the advertising manager of a magazine, a geologist, a forest fire fighter, a surveyor, and even a taster in a chocolate factory.

The book is a great ode to the mid-twentieth century industrial world, much of which vanished when the knowledge and digital revolution superseded the old-line jobs. The book will be available on Amazon July 22. Learn more at


The Spirit of Villarosa by Marc Ashton and Libby J. Atwater

spirit of villarosaMarc Ashton was kidnapped at gunpoint in his long-time home of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in 2001. The Spirit of Villarosa tells this story, but even more captivating is the interwoven tale of Marc’s deceased father, Horace Dade Ashton, a great adventurer, whose persevering spirit is the catalyst for Marc’s bold escape. Marc promised himself he would tell his father’s story if he made it out alive. The Spirit of Villarosa gloriously delivers on that promise. Ashton co-authored the book with SPAWN member Libby J. Atwater.

Spanning the globe and nearly a century, Horace Dade Ashton’s adventures are larger than life. All of the famous events he witnessed and fascinating people he met will astound readers. From being President Theodore Roosevelt’s personal photographer to witnessing the Wright brothers’ first flight to sleeping in the same room in a Tibetan monastery that Jesus did to becoming indoctrinated in Voodoo to meeting Rasputin and Mark Twain to capturing snakes and bank robbers, and so much more. Horace did it all. Continue reading

Alice Rene Receives Independent Publisher Book Award

246b788f-6979-4ca3-a505-b8b4197bcf04SPAWN member Alice Rene received word last week that her latest book, The Other Side of Him, won an Independent Publisher Book Awards‘ bronze medal in the fiction category. Nearly 8,000 entries came in from all fifty U.S. states and the District of Columbia, eight Canadian provinces, and thirty-four other countries around the globe. The award ceremony is May 12 in Chicago during BookExpoAmerica (BEA).

Ms Rene’s previous memoir, Becoming Alice, garnered ten awards.