April 6, 2017

Hackettstown, N.J., April 6, 2017 – Author Michael Callahan will conduct a launch party with a book reading and signing of his new novel titled “The Night She Won Miss America” as part of the 150th anniversary celebration at Centenary University. This event will take place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at the Taylor Memorial Library. This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be available to guests and books will be available for purchase that evening.


The book, which is published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, was inspired by the true story of Bette Cooper, a Centenary student, who won Miss America in 1937. “The Night She Won Miss America” explores the post-war euphoria and glamour of the social expectation and inner lives of young women.

“I cannot think of anywhere else where I would want to have my launch party,” says Callahan. “My book will be published the day before, so there will be a lot to celebrate.”

The heroine of this fictional work is Betty Jane Welch. Betty reluctantly enters the Miss Delaware contest to make her mother happy, only to surprisingly find herself the judges’ choice. Just like that, she’s catapulted into the big time, the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City.

Luckily, her pageant-approved escort for the week is the dashing but mercurial Griffin McAllister, and she falls for him hard. But when the spirited Betty unexpectedly wins the crown and sash, she finds she may lose what she wants most: Griff’s love. To keep him, she recklessly agrees to run away together. But who exactly is this man Betty trusted with her future? From the flashy carnival of the Boardwalk to the shadowy streets of Manhattan to a cliffside mansion in gilded Newport, the chase is on as the cops and a scrappy reporter secretly in love with the beauty queen threaten to unravel everything- -and expose Griff’s darkest secret.

“A heady whirl of gowns, gloves, chaperones, lipstick, escorts, cocktails, and romance. This engaging tale points an evocative picture of a bygone era and the post-war ideal of a young American womanhood,” says Helen Bryan, author of the international bestseller “War Brides.”

For more information contact (908) 852-1400, ext. 2345.

For more information about 150th anniversary celebrations visit CentenaryUniversity.edu/2017events.

Founded in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary University’s academic program integrates a solid liberal arts foundation with a strong career orientation. This mix is designed to provide an educational experience that prepares students to succeed in the increasingly global and interdependent world.

Centenary University’s main campus is located in Hackettstown, N.J., with its equestrian facility in Washington Township (Morris County). The Centenary School of Professional Studies offers degree programs online and in two locations: Parsippany and Edison, online, as well as corporate sites throughout New Jersey.



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