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Cliffhanger for Batavia mystery author gunning for award

BATAVIA – And then there were three. Suspense mounts as Batavia mystery writer Annie Hansen waits to hear the April outcome of the Soon to be Famous Illinois Author Project for 2017.

She has been nominated twice in the statewide contest, in which librarians judge fiction authors to select and promote a winner. They had 66 nominees, who were winnowed to 20 seminfinalists and then three finalists.

"I didn't even know I was in the semifinals," Hansen said. "Then I got a call on Monday [March 6] that I was a finalist. It was a total shock. I'm so excited."

For the contest, librarians judge self-published fiction. Hansen's nominated work is the third in her Kelly Clark mystery series, which sets the action in Geneva and launched in 2013. The book is "Take the Donut."

Also in the running is an alternate history thriller by Daniel Rosenberg titled "The Towers Still Stand," and a historical novel set in Renaissance Italy, "The Bard," by Karen Bedore.

The winner will be announced at 1 p.m. April 12, at the Gail Borden Public Library, 270 N. Grove Ave., Elgin.

Among a variety of promotional perks, the winner will receive statewide recognition by libraries as the top self-published book; a $1,000 cash prize; print book sales to Illinois libraries; a book review in Library Journal; and a book tour of Illinois libraries.

Hansen said her book is available at Town House Books in St. Charles, Anderson's Bookshop in Downers Grove and major outlets. The Geneva History Museum currently carries the first two titles.

Hansen said she plans to write two more installments in the series.

"I am on a little break," she said. "I'm going to start writing again this summer."

To learn more, visit

Note to readers: On April 12, the award went to Daniel Rosenberg.

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