2009 Festival of Reading Visiting Authors

The Lake County Library System and all member and branch libraries presented the 6th annual Festival of Reading March 25-28, 2009 and welcome the following authors.

Visiting Authors

Cynthia Barnett
Bill Belleville

James O. Born
Dr. Kristin Congdon
Stephen G. Craft
Lucienne Diver
Tim Dorsey
Mary Anna Evans
Karen Hawkins
Bruce Hunt
Dr. Gary Mormino
Bob Morris
Helen A. Rosburg
Cynthia Thomason
Elaine Viets

Visiting Authors

Marianne Berkes
Dr. Kevin Kremer
Victor DiGenti (Young Adult)

Cynthia Barnett Cynthia Barnett
Mirage

Cynthia Barnett has been a reporter and editor at newspapers and magazines for twenty years. Since 1998, she’s written for Florida Trend magazine, where she covers investigative, environmental, public policy and business stories. Her numerous journalism awards include seven Green Eyeshades, which recognize outstanding journalism in 11 southeastern states.

Ms. Barnett earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and master's in American history with a specialization in environmental history, both from the University of Florida. In 2004, she was awarded a Knight-Wallace Fellowship at the University of Michigan, where she spent a year studying freshwater supply.

Mirage (book cover)

Her first book, Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S., published in 2007 by the University of Michigan Press, won the Gold medal for best nonfiction in the Florida Book Awards. The St. Petersburg Times called Mirage "one of the most important books to hit our state in a very long time." "In the days before the Internet," the Times said in its review, "books like Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and Marjory Stoneman Douglas’ River of Grass were ground-breaking calls to action that made citizens and politicians take notice. Mirage is such a book.

www.cynthiabarnett.net

Festival Appearances
Saturday, March 28 at 10:30 a.m.
Meet the Author  The Blackwater Inn, Astor

Losing it All to Sprawl - Book CoverBill Belleville
River of Lakes: A Journey on Florida’s St. Johns River

Bill Belleville is an award-winning writer and documentary filmmaker specializing in environmental issues. His critically acclaimed River of Lakes: A Journey on Florida’s St. Johns River won the Michael J. Shaara Award for Excellence in Writing. He is also the author of Deep Cuba: The Inside Story of an American Oceanographic Expedition and Sunken Cities, Sacred Cenotes and Golden Sharks: Travels of a Water-Bound Adventurer. His film making credits include an Emmy award for Wekiva: Legacy or Loss. His book Losing it all to Sprawl was named one of "Best Books of 2006" by the Library Journal; was given the 1000 Friends of Florida's Al Burt Award for Excellence in Journalism; and was a Bronze Medal winner in the 2007 Florida Book Awards.

In his latest book Rediscovering Rawlings, a River and Time, Mr. Belleville takes us behind the scenes of a PBS documentary via kayak, boat, and hiking trail as he and his fellow filmmakers come to better understand how the St. Johns has historically shaped culture and "sense of place" over time. They do so by recreating a river journey that Pulitzer prize-winning author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings once made on the St. Johns in 1933. Chronicled in the "Hyacinth Drift" chapter of Cross Creek, the original sojourn took Rawlings and her cracker neighbor Dessie Smith out on the river for ten days.

Bill was a Writer-in-Residence for 2004-2005 at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, in its Florida Studies program.

For more information, visit www.billbelleville.com site.

Festival Appearances
Wednesday, March 25 at 3 p.m.
Meet the Author  Tavares Civic Center, Tavares

Wednesday, March 25 at 6:30 p.m.
Meet the Author  Cagan Crossings Community Library, Clermont

Friday, March 27 at 7 p.m.
Author Reception  W.T. Bland Public Library, Mount Dora

Over in the Ocean in a Coral Reef - Berkes book coverMarianne Berkes
Going Around the Sun: Some Planetary Fun

Marianne Berkes is the author of seven award-winning picture books, all inspired by her love of nature.  A former teacher, librarian and children's theater director, Marianne brings all those experiences to good use, as she combines fact and fiction. 

In Over in the Ocean, in a Coral Reef, she created a counting book with a musical element, using the familiar song, ”Over in the Meadow” as a literary technique—one that engages children actively and assists in the learning process.  This book, illustrated by Jeanette Canyon in clay art, has won numerous awards and is on many School and Library Best Picture Book Lists, including Bank Street College of Education. In 2007 it won a Florida Reading Association’s Children’s Book Award.

In March 2007, using the same technique, this author-illustrator team released
Over in the Jungle, a Rainforest Rhyme, which has been awarded an iParenting Media Award, a Mom’s Choice Award, the 2008 Benjamin Franklin Gold Award, and most recently, an IRA 2008 Teachers’ Choice Award

Going around the Sun, Some Planetary FunGoing Around the Sun, Some Planetary Fun was released in March 2008 and is illustrated by Janeen Mason, who is the featured artist for the 2009 Festival of Reading’s, “Fantastic Florida.”  Over in the Arctic, Where the Cold Winds Blow, illustrated by Jill Durbin, was released in Sept. 2008.  Both of these books received a 2008 iParenting Media Award and Mom’s Choice Award, as well a 2009 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award.  Scheduled for release in early 2010 is Berkes’ eighth book Going Home, about animal migration.

Ms. Berkes is a favorite presenter at schools, conferences and literary festivals, and lives on the east coast of Florida with her husband, Roger.  She is listed in “Something About the Author,” and “Who’s Who in American Education.”

For more information, visit www.marianneberkes.com.

Festival Appearances
Friday, March 27 from 10:30 a.m.
Storytime with Marianne Berkes  W.T. Bland Public Library, Mount Dora

Losing it All to Sprawl - Book CoverJames O. Born
Burn Zone
Florida Mystery Author
While Florida bulges with excellent mystery writers, each has found his or her own niche. Lake Worth author James O. Born has become the go-to guy for action-packed procedurals brimming with well-developed components of the thriller and the adventure novel.

In Burn Zone, Born's focus returns to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as he continues the story of agent Alex Duarte, who made his debut in last year's superb Field of Fire. Born ratchets up the suspense in an accelerated plot that takes hairpin curves at a breathless rate while also delivering a novel about power, greed and racism. Born also shows how not giving up and acknowledging emotions can make a person stronger.

Burn ZoneJames O. Born is a Special Agent with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). He has been involved in investigations in such areas as organized crime, violent crimes, economic crimes, drug cartels, and public corruption. Born draws on his insider's view of police work to create a realistic story. His first three novels featured FDLE agent Bill Tasker, who shares Alex's dedication. Escape Clause, the third novel in that series, won the 2007 Florida Book Award. www.jamesoborn.com

Festival Appearances
Thursday, March 26 at 7 p.m.
Mixing Laughs with Murder  Cagan Crossings Community Library, Clermont

Friday, March 27 at 2 p.m.
Florida Masters of Mystery  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg

Friday, March 27 at 7 p.m.
Author Reception  W.T. Bland Public Library, Mount Dora

Dr. Kristin Congdon Dr. Kristin Congdon
Uncle Monday and Other Florida Tales
Florida Folk Life Author

Dr. Kristin Congdon is a recent President of the Florida Folklore Society and former member of the Florida Folklife Council. She has a Ph.D. in art education from the University of Oregon and has published extensively on the study of folk arts, visual cultural, feminist criticism, and community arts. She is co-editor of Art in a Democracy and Pluralistic Approaches to Art Criticism, the anthology Evaluating Art Education Programs in Community Centers: International Perspectives on Problems of Conception and Practice; Histories of Community-Based Art Education and Remembering Others: Making Invisible Histories of Art Education Visible. She recently published Uncle Monday and Other Florida Tales, which won the Carolyn Washbon Award for best popular book in Florida history and the Dorothy Howard Prize from the Folklore and Education Section of the American Folklore Society. Her recent books include Just Above the Water: Florida Folk Art, co-authored with Tina Bucuvalas, and Twentieth Century Photographers from the United States, co-authored with Kara Hallmark.

For more information, visit Congdon's Web site.

Festival Appearances
Friday, March 27 at 2 p.m.
Florida Folk Art and History  Clermont Woman's Club, Clermont

Friday, March 27 at 7 p.m.
Author Reception  W.T. Bland Public Library, Mount Dora

Embry Riddle At War: Aviation Training during World War II (book cover) by Stephen G. Craft Stephen G. Craft
Embry-Riddle at War: Aviation Training
during World War II

Florida History Author

Stephen G. Craft is an Associate Professor in the Humanities/Social Sciences Department at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. Craft mines archival sources and the rich treasure trove of personal memoirs produced by men who fought the greatest air war in history for his book Embry-Riddle at War: Aviation Training during World War II. (University of Florida Press) Additionally, interviews with men and women who instructed at or graduated from wartime Embry-Riddle bring the story to life with rich and telling detail.

Festival Appearances
Friday, March 27 at 7 p.m.
Author Reception  W.T. Bland Public Library, Mount Dora

Saturday, March 28 at 11 a.m.
Embry-Riddle At War  Paisley County Library, Paisley

Victor DiGenti Victor DiGenti
Windrusher
Adventure/Fanasy Author

Victor DiGenti spent more than thirty-five years working in public broadcasting as a director, public affairs producer, head of a two-station corporate communications department, and was responsible for special events, including producing the acclaimed Jacksonville Jazz Festival for eight years. During that time, he won national, regional and local awards, produced documentaries, and was a freelance writer. Vic wrote a so-called humor column for a community newspaper for over nine years. Prior to that, he worked as an announcer with a top 40 radio station, sold vacuum cleaners and attended the University of Florida.

Windrusher and the Trail of Fire (book cover) by Victor DiGentiAfter his retirement, Vic turned to his first love—writing. He found inspiration in his household of feline critters and wrote three adventure/fantasies with a feline protagonist. His first two novels, Windrusher and Windrusher and the Cave of Tho-hoth (Ocean Publishing), have won multiple awards and attracted readers of all ages. His third in the series, Windrusher and the Trail of Fire, was released in the spring of 2008. Vic is a regional director of the Florida Writers Association.

www.windrusher.com

Festival Appearances
Thursday, March 26 at 2 p.m.
Writing Workshop with Victor DiGenti  W.T. Bland Public Library, Mount Dora
Friday, March 27 at 7 p.m.
Author Reception  W.T. Bland Public Library, Mount Dora

Lucienne Diver Lucienne Diver
Literacy Agent/Author

Lucienne Diver is both a literary agent of over fifteen years experience and an author in her own right, with her debut young adult novel VAMPED forthcoming in May 2009. She represents over forty authors of commercial fiction, primarily in the areas of fantasy, romance, mystery and suspense. Her authors include such bestsellers as Marjorie M. Liu, Susan Krinard, Roberta Gellis and Rachel Caine. She's a member of the Association of Authors Representatives, Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

Agency Website: www.knightagency.net
Author Website: www.luciennediver.com
Blog: varkat.livejournal.com

Festival Appearances
Saturday, March 28 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Second Annual Fiction Writing Seminar  Clermont Woman's Club, Clermont

Tim Dorsey Tim Dorsey
Nuclear Jellyfish
Florida Fiction Author

Tim Dorsey was born in Indiana, moved to Florida at the age of 1, and grew up in a small town about an hour north of Miami called Riviera Beach. He graduated from Auburn University in 1983 with a B.S. in Transportation. While at Auburn, he was editor of the student newspaper, The Plainsman.

From 1983 to 1987, he was a police and courts reporter for The Alabama Journal, the now-defunct evening newspaper in Montgomery. He joined The Tampa Tribune in 1987 as a general assignment reporter. He also worked as a political reporter in the Tribune’s Tallahassee bureau and a copy desk editor. From 1994 to 1999, he was the Tribune’s night metro editor. He left the paper in August 1999 to write full time.

Tim has since published ten novels in several languages: Florida Roadkill, Hammerhead Ranch Motel, Orange Crush, Triggerfish Twist, The Stingray Shuffle, Cadillac Beach, Torpedo Juice, The Big Bamboo, Hurricane Punch, and Atomic Lobster.

www.timdorsey.com

Festival Appearances
Friday, March 27 at 10:30 a.m.
Author Tim Dorsey  W.T. Bland Public Library, Mount Dora

Friday, March 27 at 2 p.m.
Florida Masters of Mystery  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg

Friday, March 27 at 7 p.m.
Author Reception  W.T. Bland Public Library, Mount Dora

Mary Anna Evans

Mary Anna Evans
Effigies
Florida Mystery Author

Mary Anna Evans has degrees in physics and engineering, but her heart is in the past.  Her series character, Faye Longchamp, lives the exciting life of an archaeologist, and Mary Anna envies her a little.  The first Faye Longchamp novel, Artifacts, won the Benjamin Franklin award for the best mystery novel published by a small press in 2003.  It also won the Florida Historical Society's Patrick D. Smith Florida Literature Award, and it was recognized by the Voice of Young America as an "Adult Mystery with Young Adult Appeal." 

Publishers Weekly quotes “Evans' second archeological mystery Relics is every bit as good as her debut, Artifacts (2003)....Faye makes a compelling heroine, and she's supported by an interesting array of suspects.” Her third is reviewed by Tony Hillerman, author of the Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee Mysteries:  "We mystery lovers who've enjoyed Artifacts and then decided that Relics was even better may not believe this, but Ms. Evans has done it again, and Effigies is the best one yet.  Again, she makes a lesson in our past a fascinating read."

Faye Longchamp’s fourth archeological mystery is a terrific combining of Florida history with a whodunit and a bit of romance. "Starred Review. This is a series that deserves more attention than it garners. Fans of archaeological mysteries by Lyn Hamilton, Sarah Andrews, and Aaron Elkins will enjoy." - Library Journal.

www.maryannaevans.com

Festival Appearances
Thursday, March 26 at 7 p.m.
Meet the Author  Tavares Civic Center, Tavares

Friday, March 27 at 2 p.m.
Florida Masters of Mystery  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg

Friday, March 27 at 7 p.m.
Author Reception  W.T. Bland Public Library, Mount Dora

Bob Grenier
Florida's Forgotten Pioneer: The Gallant Captain Melton Haynes

Bob is actively involved in the historical community, and belongs to several societies, including the North Lake County Civil War Roundtable, the 17th Connecticut Reenactors, the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the Pejepscot Historical Society in Brunswick, Maine, home of Civil War hero General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. His book  Florida's Forgotten Pioneer: The Gallant Captain Melton Haynes tells the story of a man who was beloved and respected by all those who knew him.

Festival Appearances
Wednesday, March 25 at 2 p.m.
Lake County History with Bob Grenier  East Lake County Library, Sorrento

Mary Anna Evans

Karen Hawkins
To Catch a Highlander
Florida Romance Author

Karen Hawkins is the USA Today and New York Times bestselling author of a dozen historical romance novels including 3 series, MacLean Curse; Ask Reeves; and Talisman Ring. When not stalking hot Australian actors, getting kicked out of West Virginia (thanks to the antics of her extended family), and adding to her considerable shoe collection, Karen spends her time warming her feet on her narcoleptic golden retriever while writing her next book.

Karen Hawkins won multiple pre-published awards for The Abduction of Julia including the prestigious Maggie Award from the Georgia Romance Writers. Karen has a Ph.D. in political science and spent time teaching political science at a small college in Georgia. She studied writing by joining the Romance Writers of Americaand attending their workshops and conferences.

Karen Hawkins was raised in Tennessee, a member of a huge extended family that included her brother and sister, an adopted sister, numerous foster siblings and various exchange students. In order to escape the chaos (and whilst hiding when it was her turn to do the dishes), she would huddle under the comforter on her bed with a flashlight and a book, a habit she still embraces to this day.

www.karenhawkins.com

Festival Appearances
Thursday, March 26 at 10:30 a.m.
Brunch with Author Karen Hawkins  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg

Florida Then & Now (book cover) - Bruce Hunt

Bruce Hunt
Florida Then & Now
Florida Travel Writer/Photographer

Bruce Hunt is a native Floridian author, photographer, and illustrator living in Tampa. He has authored six books about Florida, including his latest Florida Then & Now. He has also written and photographed numerous articles for newspapers and magazines, and for the last five years has been a regular feature writer and photographer for DuPont Registry Tampa Bay Magazine. His work has also appeared in numerous other publications, including the Tampa Tribune, the St. Petersburg Times, Backpacker Magazine, Rock & Ice Magazine, Skydiving Magazine, Parachutist Magazine, and Celebrity Car Magazine, among others. Currently Bruce is working on the 4th edition of his book Visiting Small-Town Florida.

He has written and photographed six books: Adventure Sports in Florida, Visiting Small-Town Florida, Visiting Small-Town Florida, Volume 2, Florida's Finest Inns and Bed & Breakfasts, Visiting Small-Town Florida, and Revised Edition. His latest, Florida Then & Now, won the 2007 Florida Book Awards Silver Medal for Nonfiction.

www.brucehuntimages.com

Festival Appearances
Wednesday, March 25 from 11 a.m.
A Celebration in Images with Bruce Hunt  Lady Lake Public Library

Dr. Kevin Kremer

Dr. Kevin Kremer
A Kremer Christmas Miracle

Kevin Kremer loves Christmas.  Many of his favorite memories involve Christmases while he was growing up in Mandan, North Dakota.  His first book, A Kremer Christmas Miracle, contains many of those memories.

Kremer has never met a Pittsburgh Steelers fan he didn’t like.  He enjoys writing books almost as much as watching the Steelers win Super Bowls.

Dr. Kremer has now started a writing/publishing company to help people with any aspect of their own book projects.

For more information about Dr. Kremer, visit www.snowinsarasota.com

Festival Appearances
Wednesday, March 25 at 3 p.m.
Children's Program with the Author  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg

Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams

Dr. Gary Mormino
Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams: A Social History of Modern Florida
Florida History Author

Dr. Gary Mormino holds the Frank E. Duckwell Professorship in Florida Studies at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, where he also co-directs the Florida Studies Program.  He is author of several award-winning books dealing with Florida, among them, The Immigrant World of Ybor City (1987; coauthored with George Pozzetta), and most recently, Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams:  A Social History of Modern Florida (2005), winner of the Charlton Tebeau Book Award in 2006 and the Choice Outstanding Academic Book in 2007 "This is the first comprehensive social history of Florida in any of its epochs. A brilliant compilation of data, it will be the standard against which all future such efforts in Florida will be measured."--Michael Gannon, professor emeritus, University of Florida. Dr. Mormino’s other books include: Spanish Pathways of Florida; The Immigrant World of Ybor City: Italians and Their Latin Neighbors in Tampa, 1885-1985

For more information, visit Mormino's Web site.

Festival Appearances
Saturday, March 28 at 2 p.m.
Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg

Bob Morris

Bob Morris
Bermuda Schwartz
Journalist and Florida-based Fiction Author

Bob Morris a former columnist for the Orlando Sentinel, Fort Myers News Press, and The New York Times regional newspapers, served as editor of Caribbean Travel & Life and Gulfshore Life magazines. His work regularly appears in National Geographic Traveler, Islands, Bon Appetit and other publications. Bob’s travels have inspired his series of mystery novels from St. Martin’s Press, each of which takes place on a different Caribbean island. The first one, Bahamarama, was released to wide acclaim in November 2004 and was a finalist for the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best First Mystery Novel and chosen by the Library Journal as one the year’s Top Five Mysteries. Morris’s second novel, Jamaica Me Dead, was released in 2005 and was a BookSense Pick by the American Booksellers Association. His latest book, Bermuda Schwartz won a 2007 Florida Book Award, a Bronze Medal for Popular Fiction.

www.bobmorris.net

Festival Appearances
Thursday, March 26 at 7 p.m.
Mixing Laughs with Murder  Cagan Crossings Community Library, Clermont

Friday, March 27 at 2 p.m.
Florida Masters of Mystery  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg

Friday, March 27 at 7 p.m.
Author Reception  W.T. Bland Public Library, Mount Dora

Bob Morris

Helen A. Rosburg
Blaze of Lightning, Roar of Thunder
Romance Author/ Medallion Press Editor

Helen A. Rosburg is owner, President, and Executive Editor of Medallion Press, Inc., a non-fiction and genre fiction publishing company based in St. Charles, IL. Helen is also an award-winning author and a sponsor of Triple Threat Mentoring, a not-for-profit organization devoted to helping underprivileged urban youth gain confidence and life skills. She lives on a slightly dusty farm in Florida with her husband James, her daughter Ali, and zoo’s-worth of rescued or retired critters including horses, rabbits, dogs, cats, pigs, and chickens. When not running Medallion Press, writing, or showing horses and dogs Helen enjoys traveling to exotic locations across the world.

www.helenrosburg.com

Festival Appearances
Saturday, March 28 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Second Annual Fiction Writing Seminar  Clermont Woman's Club, Clermont

Cynthia Thomason

Cynthia Thomason
Christmas in Key West
Romance and Mystery Author

Romance and mystery author Cynthia Thomason's first book, River Song, was published in 1998, and since then she has published five historical romances, one time travel anthology, seven contemporary romances and two historical mysteries. At the 2000 Romance Writers of America® national conference, she received the National Readers' Choice Award for best long historical romance for Homespun Hearts. Her first Harlequin Superromance, The Men of Thorne Island, was nominated for the RT Bookclub Reviewer's Choice Award and the Golden Quill. She now has four Superromance novels either published or scheduled. One reviewer calls her contemporary stories "comedic romances with serious undertones," which suits her fine since she believes life's most memorable moments are those which make you laugh or bring you to tears.

The historical mystery series is The Jubilee Showboat Mysteries with amateur sleuth Gwen Barlow and a colorful cast of showboat actors. She and her husband own an auction company in Davie FL where she is a licensed auctioneer. Website: www.cynthiathomason.com www.cynthiathomason.com

Festival Appearances
Saturday, March 28 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Second Annual Fiction Writing Seminar  Clermont Woman's Club, Clermont

Friday, March 27 at 7 p.m.
Author Reception  W.T. Bland Public Library, Mount Dora

Bob Morris

Elaine Viets
Clubbed to Death
Florida-based Mystery Author

Elaine Viets writes two national bestselling mystery series and has won the Agatha, Anthony and Lefty Awards. Her Dead-End Job series is a satiric look at a serious subject – the minimum-wage world. Elaine and her character, Helen Hawthorne, work a different low-paying job each book, from  telemarketer to hotel maid. Publishers Weekly called her hardcover debut  “wry social commentary.” Clubbed to Death, set at a South Florida country club, is her seventh Dead-End Job.

Elaine’s second series features St. Louis mystery shopper Josie Marcus in Accessory to Murder. The debut, Dying in Style, tied with Stephen King on the Independent Mystery Booksellers bestseller list.

www.elaineviets.com

Festival Appearances
Thursday, March 26 at 7 p.m.
Mixing Laughs with Murder  Cagan Crossings Community Library, Clermont

Friday, March 27 at 2 p.m.
Florida Masters of Mystery  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg

Friday, March 27 at 7 p.m.
Author Reception  W.T. Bland Public Library, Mount Dora