Meet: Judith Redline Coopey was born the youngest of eight children in Altoona, PA, a gritty railroad town at the base of the Allegheny Mountains. She grew up there and in nearby Williamsburg, PA, earned her bachelor’s degree from Penn State and became a teacher, but deep in her heart was the desire to write. She married, raised two children and earned her master’s degree from Arizona State University, always putting writing on the back burner, but never giving up the dream. As author, historian and teacher Ms Coopey is a particular student of history which she taught in public schools for more than twenty years. Research on her books has taken her all over the country to libraries, historical societies and archives and revealed the human stories that didn’t make the history books, but mattered nonetheless. She weaves these stories into her historical novels, always authentic and human due to her dedication to thorough and accurate research.
After a twenty-two year teaching career, she returned to her life-long passion, writing. The result has been a series of five historical novels, each a unique story in itself. The first, Redfield Farm, a Novel of the Underground Railroad, tells the story of Ann Redfield, a young Quaker women lured into the clandestine world of the Underground Railroad by her brother. The second, Waterproof, a Novel of the Johnstown Flood, examines the traumatic effects of the 1889 flood that nearly wiped out the city of Johnstown, PA. In the third novel, Looking For Jane, the lead character, Nell, is a foundling left at a convent as a baby. Driven by a need to find out who she is, Nell reads a dime novel about Calamity Jane, heroine of the west, and decides that Jane is her mother. She sets out on a cross-country quest from Pennsylvania to South Dakota, looking for Jane. Ms Coopey is now working on a trilogy, a three generation family saga set against the background of the iron industry in 19th century Pennsylvania. Volumes one and two, The Furnace and Brothers are now on the market with volume three to follow soon.
Meet Ali Bierman
My life took a dramatic change following nerve damage during brain surgery nearly four years ago. Consequently I have become known as the THRIVE! Expert and also the Queen of Overcoming.
Since regaining my ability to speak I have done a number of radio interviews and live speaking engagements. My new direction shows people that healing is not about being how you used to be. Healing is accepting your life as it is NOW and doing what it takes to move forward every day in some way. My best selling book (one of thirteen best sellers) is THRIVE! Don’t Just Survive.
I devote my life to supporting people with special needs, those of us flying under the radar because we look fine yet work super hard in each moment simply to appear normal and go on with our lives – making a difference. I use my book and talks to raise awareness and funds for causes including Down Syndrome, the blind, those in rehab and prisoners making the transition to freedom.