The Downtown Business Council and Council for the Arts of Chambersburg will feature local and regional authors inside downtown businesses at October’s First Friday from 5-8 PM on Friday October 7th, with sponsorship from Fitzgerald Auto Mall. For more details, call 717-263-8529 or check the Facebook page of the Downtown Business Council.
Authors and illustrators will be on hand to sign books, offer reading, and share their experiences. From fiction and local history to children’s books and poetry, the evening’s selections will be a diverse and entertaining mix. First Friday participants can complete a “scavenger hunt” quiz along the author’s trail for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to the choice of their participating downtown business. Quiz sheets and free bookmarks will be available at the DBC tent on the Courthouse Plaza.
Many business windows will feature a page from “Lucy Loves Life: A Fall Visit to the Farm,” by local author Susan Whitelock. Children can walk along Main Street and follow Lucy’s story, in a “Follow the Author Trail”. Designed to suit even book clubs and English classes, the First Friday events will please bibliophiles of all ages. For even more information, check out the Facebook Event page at
The 18 authors to be featured, in order of their location along Main Street:
Levi Walter (Boost Mobile, 166 S. Main St.) is a young author & entrepreneur born and raised in Chambersburg PA. He began writing at a very young age and wrote pieces of work that were never published for fun. His first published book however was Camo The Pup, an inspirational piece derived to helping kids or anyone struggling. He was recently featured in the Public Opinion and on WHAG news. “It’s very important to do what you can to help those struggling, you can’t change the world without the care of a single soul,” he explains.
Ronald Powers (Gartenberg Jewelry, 133 S. Main St.) will offer his book “One Man in Ten Million”, the story of his father’s service during WWII with the 104th Infantry Regiment, a part of the 26th Yankee Division attached to Patton’s infamous Third Army. Mr. Powers is also the author of 2 novels; “Wrong Bus,” and its recently released sequel “Full Circle.”
Have you or a loved one been touched by the tragedy of death or terminal illness? If so, you’ll want to pick up a copy of “Love Seeds” at The Merle Norman Studio. The author Judy Polidor (Merle Norman Cosmetics, 127 S. Main St.) walks with you through short stories about care, loss, coping, healing & dealing. She has included space for you to journal your thoughts and a little humor as well.
Native Chambersburg Author, Robin Wingerd Hurst (daughter of Jane and Robert “Dr. Bob” Wingerd) (Here’s Looking At You, 123 S. Main St.) will be signing her book, HOW CAN I CHOOSE? (ages 4-7) and reading it to the kids at 5:30 pm. She will also be giving away a FREE Coloring Book with each purchase of the book during the event on Friday. HOW CAN I CHOOSE? is a story about Gracie, her dog ENUF and an adventure with God. Planned as a Christmas gift, the story (with included Bible verses in the back) helps children, parents and loved ones engage in conversation with and about God. Robin will also be accepting pre-orders to reserve one of the very first copies for the next book of the “Gracie and ENUF” series planned for release the second half of 2017.
Marianne Marrone Weaver (The Garage Studios, 102/104 S. Main) is the author of “This is What Love Does”, a story about a humble little girl named Dubzee who lives in the Galaxy of Benevolence. It is a beautiful place, surrounded and filled with goodness, until one day, the goodness begins to slip away. Readers will travel with Dubzee on her adventure through the Galaxy of Benevolence, as she uses her gift of Selfless Love to restore the planets—Comfort, Generosity, Respect, Responsibility, Hope, and Kindness—to their natural order.
Mike Gavazzi (The Foundry, 100 S. Main St.) is a self-taught artist who, since childhood, has created work in pencil, charcoal, and ink. A teacher of American History, Michael has only begun to sell his work over the last two years. In 2012 he began creating what became his first graphic novel, Opaque, which he released in May of 2014. Opaque is the story an apprehensive soul’s quest to find purpose and meaning, while dealing with the physical constraints of Earth. Upon completing his first graphic novel, Michael immediately began to work on a sequel, entitled Translucent, which he hopes to release in 2017. Currently Michael sells prints of his art on his website ( and on the web markets Etsy and Fine Art America.
Bob Rynecki ( Lyons and Company, 83 S. Main St.) a registered nurse and an award-winning paramedic, wrote “The Art of the IV Start” to help nurses and paramedics establish peripheral intravenous lines easily and effectively. By reading the “Art of the IV Start,” your confidence and success rate will definitely soar as your will learn the fine details that are most often missed or forgotten during training. “You are better than you think, you just don’t know it yet.”
Jennifer Jamelli (The Gift Enclosure, 78 S. Main St.) has spent most of her life reading and writing; she holds both a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in English. An 8th grade English teacher, Jennifer also directs a musical production each school year; her most recent shows were “Footloose” and “Miss Saigon” (School Edition). Her books – “Checked, Checked Again, and Forever Checking” (Adult) & “Drama Unsung” (Young Adult) – feature main characters who, like herself, “has a rather hopeless case of OCD”! Jennifer lives with her husband and her seven-year-old son; more information can be found at
Sue James (CVAS Thrift Store, 66 S. Main St.), author of “My Bumblebee and Me”, has been a child-care provider for over seventeen years. Often, she tells stories to help the children in her care understand their world. A Waynesboro resident, she lives with her daughter and their three cats, and “My Bumblebee and Me” is her first children’s book. “What’s all the buzz about? Is there really a bumblebee wanting to be friends with Liz, or is it just her imagination? Come joint the fun as you read this beautifully illustrated book, and then decide what’s really happening between Liz and the Bumblebee.” Sue will be offering a gift with purchase that evening and will have coloring pages available for children. She hopes to inspire children and adults in their writing pursuits.
Sherri Maret (Olympia Candy Kitchen, 43 S. Main St.) is the author of “HELP ME!” and “The Gingerbread Man’s School Adventure”, both appropriate for ages 4-9. She was a librarian for the Chambersburg, Shippensburg, and Cumberland Valley School Districts before focusing on a full-time writing career. Her next book will be with a new publisher and available in May. The illustrators for her first two books were former Shippensburg High School students. To help parent and teachers she provides extensive follow-up activities for children to do after reading her books. Her website is Sherri is offering a free bonus with a hardback book purchase while supplies last.
Shawn Reilly Simmons (Teas & Such, 42 S. Main St.) is the author of The Red Carpet Catering Mysteries featuring Penelope Sutherland, an on-set movie caterer; cooking behind the scenes on movie sets perfectly combines two of her great loves, movies and food, and provides the inspiration for the Red Carpet Catering series, published by Henery Press. Shawn was born in Indiana, grew up in Florida, and began her professional career in New York City as a sales executive after graduating from the University of Maryland with a BA in English. Since then Shawn has worked as a bookstore manager, fiction editor, convention organizer, wine consultant and caterer. She has been on the Board of Directors of Malice Domestic since 2003, is a founding member of The Dames of Detection, and is an editor at Level Best Books, publishers of the Best New England Crime Stories Anthologies. Shawn is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and the Crime Writers’ Association in the UK.
“Leave It To The Heart”, recently released through StoryLine Publishing, is Gloria O’Donnell’s (Gardens by Grace, 33 S. Main St.) fourth book and her first inspirational romance. A writer for most of her life (and a story-teller for the rest) several of Gloria’s articles have appeared in various periodicals and in national publications. “I started telling stories as soon as I was old enough to form words. Then I wrote stories,” Gloria says. Gloria’s first book, an historical memoir titled, “Letters From Bill: 20 Years of Correspondence With Bill Clinton”, is a journal-like collection of letters and memories from 20-plus years as Bill Clinton’s pen pal. Other books by Gloria O’Donnell are: “Help! I’m Drowning In My Own Opinions”; and, “Unforgettable Bible Women: Wives With Real Attitude”.
Hannah Decker (Lotus Moon Gallery & Yoga, 27 N. Main St.) is the illustrator of “The Look Cookers”, a story to inspire children ages 6-10 to overcome their fears – and one that will delight children of all ages with its message and imaginative style. “The Look Cookers” was honored with a gold ribbon from the “Mom’s Choice Award” website. Hannah was signed with a literary agent last fall and is excited to give prospective writers an exclusive peek into how publishing works and what resources are available to them.
Katherine Amt Hanna (Chambersburg Heritage Center, 100 Lincoln Way East ) has lived in Chambersburg since 2003, and is the author of two books. Her novel “Breakdown” is a man’s journey to find lost friendship and love in a post-pandemic, post-technological-breakdown society. In her novella “The Work of the Devil” four young men journey into the wilderness to destroy an unknown evil that will test their strength and their faith. Katherine is working on two more books: one is a historical romance set in Chambersburg with the backdrop of World War 1 and the great influenza pandemic of 1918, and the other is a prequel to “The Work of the Devil”. Visit Katherine this evening for a chance to win a backpack full of “Breakdown” related items along with a signed copy of the book!
An evangelist, pastor, and teacher, Barry Robert Starliper (C&C Coffee, 15 North Main) has been in active ministry since the age of fifteen. By the time he graduated from high school he had preached in 36 states. Following seven years as a pastor, he served in youth ministry for two years with Youth for Christ/Campus Life. Reviewer Don Milam says, “As a seasoned student of the Scriptures, Barry writes with a deep understanding of the challenges facing the modern church and a clear presentation of insights into correcting the problem. He draws from his own experience, which keeps the book from becoming too theoretical in nature. Illustrations from the life and words of others corroborate his own experience and insight, with everything presented in a manner that is provocative, yet not preachy.”
St Thomas resident Susan Kimmel (Northwood Books, 59 N. Main St.) is a first time author who wishes to share her love of writing with those who love to read. Her book, “No Turning Back”, centers around Abby, who is forced to rethink her career and lifestyle after her husband’s mysterious, tragic accident. Harley, the country preacher accused by his congregation of embezzlement, is also seeking a path toward forgiveness so that he can find mercy for the true thief and those in his “flock” who did not trust him. “As he waits for God’s plan to come to fruition, he takes a job as a gardener at Abby’s Bed and Breakfast,” she explains. “The two unconsciously begin to cultivate a relationship that ultimately leads to romance. But will she be able to overcome his sarcastic behavior toward her? And will he be able to conquer his feelings of awkwardness when he is near her?”
Susan Whitelock (Council for the Arts, 81 North Main St.), is the author of 4 children’s books, written after her career as a teacher, counselor and educational consultant. With her last jobs being teaching 25 years at Cumberland Valley School of Music and 20 years supervising in the education department at Wilson College, she presently is enjoying reading her books to students in local school districts. Susan will sign her books: “Lucy Loves Life: A Summer Day at the Pond”, “Lucy Loves Life: A Fall Visit to the Farm”, “Lucy Loves Life: A Spring Stroll by the Stream” and “Lucy Loves Life: A Winter Walk in the Woods” at the October 7th event. “Lucy Loves Life: A Fall Visit to the Farm” will be featured as a “Follow the Author’s Trail” on Main Street windows, ending at the Council where youngsters can meet the book’s author.
Terry Fink (Best Laid Seams, 115 N. Main St.) is originally from Virginia (“As my accent will attest!”), having moved to Chambersburg when her late husband transferred to Letterkenny. She has recently retired in order to pursue a second career as a travel writer. “I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I could hold a pencil,” she explains. “SAD KING BENJAMIN is my first children’s book. I also write non-fiction, poetry, prose, and have been a contributor to several newspaper publications!”

Happy Reading!