Illinois State is proud to be able to acknowledge the work of graduates who are successful authors.

If you’ve written a book that has been released by a publishing house within the past decade, submit it for review by Professor Emerita of English JoAnna Stephens Mink ’73, M.S. ’75, D.A. ’85. All books authored by alums will be added to a collection of work by other graduates on display in the Alumni Center. Autographed copies are especially appreciated.

Please send your book to Illinois State editor Susan Blystone at Illinois State Alumni Center, 1101 N. Main Street, Normal, IL 61790. Inquiries can be sent to

Druyor, Gwendolyn. Hardt’s Tale: A Mobious’ Trip Novel. Hendon, Virginia: Deep Sea Publishing, 2013. 314pp. 

Summary: The first page of Hardt’s Tale, entitled “The Landers: 88-90 frseason after the hike,” sets the tone for the remainder of this novel. “Hardt was an unlucky baby. He was born in a rainstorm with no midwife to a mother who cursed him for her pain. /p/ The hard winds had begun early on his birth day and his granddam had said aloud, ‘We should send for the healer. Nadi is near her time and the winds speak of a great event today.’ But her superstition was ignored.” Before too long, Hardt is spirited away from his family and taken to the tiny cottage of his aunt Vyck, to be loved and treasured.

Hardt’s Tale cover

“Hardt’s Tale” cover.

Hardt is raised in his aunt’s small village, where he is honored for protecting the settlers from the dTelfur and dragon. When the disappearance of two neighbors is blamed on the native dragons and their slaves, Hardt joins the fight against the dragons and to protect his way of life. Sophie is a curious dragon, and when she kills a dangerous beast to save the settler guarde, Hardt and Sophie meet. She doesn’t eat him, and he doesn’t attack her. Back in her village Sophie is forbidden from any interaction with the settlers, while in his village, Hardt is mistakenly praised for fighting off the natives.

But he is tortured by this acclaim because of a secret he harbors. He ponders what kind of redemption can the people who believe him a hero offer. Hardt leaves his home and travels the continent to meet Sophie again and find a way for the races to avoid destroying each other. During his quest, Hardt discovers important things about himself as well as his world. Druyor tackles timeless themes such as prejudice, morality, rebellion, family, and change in what starts out as a coming of age story but grows into an epic adventure, according to one reader.

Hardt’s Tale is one of three books which tell, from different angles, the one great tale of Mobious who, after ascending to the rule of the decimated dTelfur society, is forced to stumble through two worlds searching for the salvation of his species.

About the Author: Gwendolyn Druyor ’94 has traveled extensively since graduating from Illinois State. She spent a year in Amsterdam writing and performing sketch comedy at Boom Chicago. After returning to the states, Druyor spent a year touring with Shenandoah Shakespeare and five years touring with Sex Signals. She has written for and performed with various sketch groups, including The Future Dead, Improv International, and G2 Productions. She currently is working on the City Sidhe series of webisodes and pop novels. According to the back cover of Hardt’s Tale, where she lives now is anyone’s guess.

Lee, Margaret R. Leading Virtual Project Teams: Adapting Leadership Theories and Communications Techniques to 21st Century Organizations. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, 2014. 217pp.

Summary: Leading Virtual Project Teams is part of the Best Practices and Advances in Program Management Series. Lee explains in her Preface that today’s virtual project management environment poses challenges to traditional methods of leadership and communication because virtual teams are different from traditional teams in several ways. Successful managers recognize those differences, and this book can help them meet the needs of the modern global business world.

Leading Virtual Project Teams

“Leading Virtual Project Teams” cover.

Lee’s book is meticulously organized, making it useful for both classroom and individual users. The forematerial includes lists of figures, tables, case studies, as well as the customary Preface and Introduction. The Table of Contents provides detailed headings to material in individual chapters so that readers may quickly find material relevant to their interests. The Index, likewise, is detailed and complete. The body of the text is divided into five chapters: Overview, e-Leadership for Projects, Enhancing Virtual Project Communications, Cultural Communication Issues and Effective e-Leadership, and Virtual Project Leadership Competencies. Each chapter concludes with notes, references, and case study references.

Lee’s Overview chapter begins with some basic definitions. A project manager is responsible for leading the project team to conclusion by utilizing appropriate tools, skills, and techniques. The members of a virtual team communicate electronically, and these teams can be networked, parallel, service, action, or offshore. Lee explains that e-Leadership is necessary in the virtual business environment, where work is conducted through information technology instead of traditional teams of people.

Flexibility in leadership style is, according to Lee, key to successful virtual projects (42). Because different people react differently to this fairly new business model, the most important quality of an e-leader is effective communication with individuals. Lee’s case study of a social media site project, for example, describes how important the leader’s management style is for successful completion of the project’s goals.

Leading Virtual Project Teams should prove an important contribution to the field of business communication.

About the Author: Margaret (Peggy) Wilkins Lee ’93, M.S. ’97, specialized in project management for her Ph.D. at Capella University, Minneapolis. She has taught both online and traditional classroom courses at several universities, including Millikin in Decatur and Benedictine in Springfield. Her consulting experience includes assisting educational facilities in planning curriculum and providing basic project management training. Lee is a Registered Education Provider (REP) for the Project Management Institute (PMI), who has published many articles and given several presentations. She lives in Elkhart.