Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Tom Michael Steele  

Pen Name: Tom Steele

Genre: Fiction History Mystery Romance

Born: 1944 in Moline, Illinois

Sites:


Illinois Connection

I was born and raised in the Quad-Cities. I graduated from Rock Island High School, Augustana College, and the University of Illinois. I served in Vietnam from 1968-1969. I am a retired high school teacher. I taught at Geneseo High School for 31 years, and I was the chairman of the social studies department. During my teaching career, I was recognized with the PTA ''Educator of the Year Award'', a ''Western Illinois Master Teacher Award'', an ''Illinois State Board of Education Award of Excellence'', a ''USA Today Teacher Team Award'', and the ''U. S. State Department's American Councils Excellence in Teaching Award''. I have written three books, all centered in Illinois: Henry County, Wicker Park - Chicago, and Bishop Hill. My current historical novel is about Erik Jansson, the founder of the Bishop Hill Swedish settlement.

Biographical and Professional Information

Tom Steele is a retired high school teacher. During his career in education, Tom’s teaching abilities were recognized with the following honors: the ''PTA Educator of the Year Award'', the ''Western Illinois Master Teacher Award'', the ''Illinois Board of Education’s Award of Excellence'', the ''Channel One Teacher Award'', a ''USA Today Teacher Team Award'', the ''American Councils Excellence in Teaching Award'', the ''U.S. State Department Russian-American Art Exchange Award'', a ''University of Chicago Most Inspirational Teacher Award'', and four ''Western Illinois University’s Most Inspirational Teacher Awards''. Tom served as a Staff Sergeant in Cu Chi, Vietnam and is the recipient of two Army Commendation Medals and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. He resides in Illinois with his wife, Linda and their three children. Tom is the author of ''Muddy Water: Romance and Murder in Henry County'', ''Perish: Murder in Wicker Park'', and ''The Pied Piper of Sweden''.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Muddy Water
ISBN: 1595268200

Aeon Publishing Inc.. 2007

What lies below the waters of the abandoned Hennepin Canal? The canal has been turned into a bike trail, stretching thirty-two miles through the center of rural Henry County. The best time to enjoy the trail is September, when the weather is moderate and the landscape ablaze with color. People from all over Illinois travel the pathway and enjoy the beautiful fall countryside. But county residents ride the trail with apprehension, for they believe the scattered remains of Katie Karver lie somewhere beneath the canal's murky waters. Amid the splendor of autumn colors and the apprehensions of the citizenry, freshman Sheriff Mike Armstrong plans his political campaign and aspires to become the county's longest-serving law officer. But with startling abruptness, unresolved questions of Katie's murder rise to torment the sheriff. Her ghost becomes a major obstacle to the sheriff's re-election dream.and more. As the mystery engulfs Mike and seven others in tragedy, he must reopen a case long grown cold. About the Author: Tom Steele is a retired high school teacher. During his career in education, Tom's teaching abilities were recognized with the following honors: the PTA Educator of the Year Award, the Western Illinois Master Teacher Award, the Illinois State Board of Education Award of Excellence, the Channel One Teacher Award, a USA Today Teacher Team Award, the American Councils Excellence in Teaching Award, the U.S. State Department Russian-American Art Exchange Award, and four Western Illinois University's Most Inspirational Teacher Awards. Tom served as a Staff Sergeant in Cu Chi, Vietnam and is the recipient of two Army Accommodation Medals and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. He has resided in Henry County with his wife, Linda, for thirty years and has been a member of the Henry County Board for seven years. He is currently the Chairman of Henry County Administration Committee.

Perish: Murder in Wicker Park
ISBN: 1605941743

Llumina Press. 2008

At forty-one years of age, University of Chicago Associate Professor Robert Bradford finds himself trapped in a world not of his own making. Manipulated into pursuing an academic career by a domineering mother, emasculated by the financial success of his wife, and pressured by the university to publish, his discontent grows. Seeking answers for the perplexities in his life, Bradford reexamines his existence and engages in an extramarital affair, pushing himself further and further away from his UC colleagues and his Wicker Park family. Unable to connect with his creative core and believing he is powerless to break away from his past, Professor Bradford compromises his principles in order to fulfill the demands of publish or perish. In the end, the reckless compromise costs him his life, and sends his wife and his student lover on a common mission to uncover the mystery of who killed Professor Robert Bradford. About the Author: Tom Steele is a retired high school teacher. During his career in education, Tom's teaching abilities were recognized with the following honors: the PTA Educator of the Year Award, the Western Illinois Master Teacher Award, the Illinois Board of Education's Award of Excellence, the Channel One Teacher Award, a USA Today Teacher Team Award, the American Councils Excellence in Teaching Award, the U.S. State Department Russian-American Art Exchange Award, and four Western Illinois University's Most Inspirational Teacher Awards. Tom served as a Staff Sergeant in Cu Chi, Vietnam. He is the recipient of two Army Commendation Medals and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. He resides in Illinois with his wife, Linda. Tom is the author of Muddy Water: Romance and Murder in Henry County.

The Pied Piper of Sweden
ISBN: 1605942804

Aeon Publishing Inc.. 2009

In 1846, Erik Jansson founded a religious colony in western Illinois. Using the collective resources of fellow Swedish immigrants, Jansson established a settlement called Bishop Hill. Under Jansson's leadership, Swedish pioneers endured individual hardship, communal prosperity, pestilence, and disillusionment, while Jansson recklessly promoted the belief that he was the Second Coming of Christ. At Bishop Hill, a personal struggle raged between Erik Jansson and John Root, a Swedish adventurer, over which man would secure the allegiance of a young woman named Charlotta Jansdotter. The competition for Charlotta's loyalty forced her to choose between spiritual commitment and physical desire, and determined the future fate of the colony. Years of suppressed romantic need drew Charlotta to John Root, but Charlotta's dilemma was complicated by the fear instilled in every Bishop Hill colonist: The cost of departure from the colony and rejection of Erik Jansson would be eternal damnation. Tom Steele is a retired high school teacher. During his career in education, Tom's teaching abilities were recognized with the following honors: the PTA Educator of the Year Award, the Western Illinois Master Teacher Award, the Illinois Board of Education's Award of Excellence, the Channel One Teacher Award, a USA Today Teacher Team Award, the American Councils Excellence in Teaching Award, the U.S. State Department Russian-American Art Exchange Award, and four Western Illinois University's Most Inspirational Teacher Awards. Tom served as a Staff Sergeant in Cu Chi, Vietnam and is the recipient of two Army Commendation Medals and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. He resides in Illinois with his wife, Linda and their three children. Tom is the author of Muddy Water, Romance and Murder in Henry County and Perish, Murder in Wicker Park.