2010 Festival of Reading Visiting Authors

The Lake County Library System and all member and branch libraries presented the 7th annual Festival of Reading March 17-20, 2010 and welcome the following authors.

Featured Authors

Nancy Cohen
Julie Compton
Victor DiGenti
Lucienne Diver
M.C. Finotti
John Henry Fleming
Jeffery Lamb
Tom Lowe
Steve Rajtar
Eric Reinhold
Jim Robison
Mark Schweizer
Elizabeth Sinclair
Cynthia Thomason
Elaine Viets
Dolores Wilson

Authors' Roundtable

Art Adkins
Colleen Avelli
Doris Bloodsworth
Sherry Boas
Brenna O'Shea Cagiano
Dara Edmondson
Darlene Funkhouser
Bob Grenier
Valerie Hart
Ronald Johnson
Ronald Johnson
Catherine Kean
Paul McElroy
David Carl Mielke
Mark Miller
Robert Compton Miller
Regina L. Peeples
Michelle Young

Nancy Cohen Nancy Cohen
Killer Knots
Florida-based Mystery Author

Nancy J. Cohen made her debut onto the publishing scene with futuristic romance novels written as Nancy Cane. Her first book, Circle of Light, won the Holt Medallion Award. The Bad Hair Day series from Kensington Press, features South Florida beauty salon owner and hairstylist Marla Shore, who untangles murder clues with sass and style under the sultry Florida sun. Nancy’s books have been nominated by the RT Book Club for a Reviewer’s Choice Award and have made the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association Bestseller List. Publisher’s Weekly calls this series “fast-paced and jaunty”. Watch for the release of Nancy's new futuristic romance titled Silver Serenade from The Wild Rose Press. Nancy is an active member of the Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Romance Writers of America, Novelists, Inc., and The Author’s Guild.

For more information, visit www.nancyjcohen.com

Festival Appearances
Friday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Gala Author Reception  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg

Saturday, March 20 at 9 a.m.
How to Get Published  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg

Saturday, March 20 at 2 p.m.
Murder, Love and Laughter  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg

Julie Compton Julie Compton

Julie was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, the setting for her first novel, Tell No Lies. Like most writers, she says she has always loved to write. Julie earned English literature and law degrees from Washington University in St. Louis, where she started dating husband Rick. After living in St. Louis so many years, they moved to the suburbs of Boston, Philly, and now Orlando. Julie wrote the first draft of Tell No Lies while living in Philly (thanks to her wonderful Monday night AWA-method workshop). It was also there that she went back to practicing law for a few years when her "dream job" became available – as a trial attorney with the United States Trustees office in Wilmington, Delaware (part of the U.S. Department of Justice). She says she was fortunate enough to work on some of the largest corporate bankruptcies in the nation during her time with the DOJ, and reluctantly gave up the position only when her family moved to Florida. The trade-off has been a good one. Julie now gets to spend her days doing what she loves best (writing), she's close to one of her favorite places (the beach), and the change in locales gives her new settings to work with (her newest novel, Rescuing Olivia, is set in Florida).

For more information, visit www.julie-compton.com

Festival Appearances
Wednesday, March 17 at 2 p.m.
Murder by the Book  Cooper Memorial Library, Clermont

Friday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Gala Author Reception  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg

Victor DiGenti Victor DiGenti
Windrusher series

Victor DiGenti spent thirty-five years working in public broadcasting and was responsible for special events, including acclaimed Jacksonville Jazz Festival. After 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 novels — Windrusher; Windrusher and the Cave of Tho-hoth; and Windrusher and the Trail of Fire (Ocean Publishing) — have won multiple awards and attracted readers of all ages. Vic’s unpublished mystery novel, Matanzas Bay, just won first place in the unpublished mystery novel category in the FWA's 2009 Royal Palm Literary Competition, and was selected as the "Book of the Year" in the Unpublished category.

For more information, visit www.windrusher.com

Festival Appearances
Wednesday, March 17 at 3 p.m.
Writing for Young Audiences  Tavares Civic Center, Tavares

Thursday, March 18 at 7 p.m.
Great Beginnings: The Importance of the First Page  Tavares City Hall, Tavares

Lucienne Diver Lucienne Diver
Vamped series

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. She started writing in her teens because talking back to the voices in her head wasn't socially acceptable - and she already had enough to deal with being a drama and AP English geek. Her credits include short stories and a romantic comedy written under the pseudonym Kit Daniels. With her young adult novel Vamped, she's taking off the mask and stepping into the full glare of ... indirect sunlight. Because as her heroine would tell you, anything else is hazardous to your health, especially once you've been Vamped. Ms. Diver, Literary Agent from The Knight Agency, represents over forty authors of commercial fiction, primarily in the areas of fantasy, romance, mystery and suspense including such bestsellers as Marjorie M. Liu, Susan Krinard, Roberta Gellis and Rachel Caine.

For more information, visit www.luciennediver.com

Festival Appearances
Friday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Gala Author Reception  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg

Saturday, March 20 at 10:30 a.m.
From an Agent's Perspective  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg

M.C. Finotti M.C. Finotti

M.C. Finotti is a pen name for Marisa Carbone Finotti.  Marisa is a journalist and a former high school teacher. She grew up imagining what it would be like to live in the “olden days” and The Treasure of Amelia Island is an outgrowth of those daydreams. It is a historical fiction children's book that takes you back in time to 1813. It tells the story of 11-year-old Mary Kingsley and the events that changed her life. Marisa is the co-author of The Insiders’ Guide to Jacksonville and she writes a weekly wedding column for The Florida Times-Union called “I do, I do.” Marisa lives in Atlantic Beach, Florida with her husband John and her two children Nick and Ana.

Festival Appearances
Wednesday, March 17 at 3 p.m.
Writing for Young Audiences  Tavares Civic Center, Tavares

John Henry Fleming John Henry Fleming
Fearsome Creatures of Florida

They're known as Storm Devils and Peat Fairies, Skunk Apes and Were-Panthers, and they're the wildly imaginative bestiary that populates John Henry Fleming's newest best seller, Fearsome Creatures of Florida. He is also the author of The Legend of the Barefoot Mailman, a mix of comedy, tragedy, and misdirected mail in a beautiful novel about a naive European immigrant who seeks his fortune in 1880s South Florida. His short stories have appeared in many literary journals, including McSweeney's, The North American Review, Mississippi Review, and Fourteen Hills. He grew up in Atlantis, Florida, and lived in seven other states before returning in 2001 to teach creative writing at the University of South Florida in Tampa. He lives in Temple Terrace with his wife and children and plays tournament disc golf in his spare time.

For more information, visit www.fearsomecreatures.com/fleming.html

Festival Appearances
Thursday, March 18 at 4 p.m.
Florida Adventures: History and Myth  Paisley County Library, Paisley

Friday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Gala Author Reception  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg

Jeffery Lamb

Jeffery Lamb

Jeffery Lamb is a Florida native and has a true passion for the Sunshine State.  He lives with his wife Sherri in Central Florida with their dog Bits. His son Justin is a Political Science major at the University of Kentucky. He loves to sail Southwind, their sailboat in their free time. Writing has become an outlet for his sense of humor and all proceeds from these efforts go directly to higher education for the son he loves at University of Kentucky, who was born with cerebral palsy in 1964. Fortunately, he has a mild case of the disease. Some children are not as lucky, and he has chosen to do a small part in helping make life better for them. Fifty cents of each book purchased goes to the UCP of Central Florida. In the past all money he raised went to the UCP school in Kissimmee. Most of his books are sold face to face at local schools and festivals. He hopes that through this website he can keep in touch with his readers, and also meet new ones.

www.jefferylamb.com

Festival Appearances
Wednesday, March 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Authors' Roundtable  Cooper Memorial Library, Clermont

Thursday, March 18 at 5 p.m.
Movie Adventure: The Old Livingston House  Fruitland Park Library, Fruitland Park

Friday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Gala Author Reception  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg

Tom Lowe Tom Lowe
The 24th Letter

Tom Lowe draws heavily on his varied jobs and experiences as a journalist, world traveler and PBS documentary filmmaker when he writes his novels. In 1980 he spent time in Mariel, Cuba documenting the “Cuban boatlift”. As a journalist he has traveled to Colombia reporting on the networks of cocaine distribution. He spent 15 years working in television news and did freelance feature reporting for CNN. Tom has written 7 screenplays and is an award winning documentary writer/director whose films have aired nationwide on PBS. The films include: The Sponge Divers of Tarpon Springs, River Into the New World, Feather Wars, The Last Cowboys and Zora’s Roots. A False Dawn is his first novel published by St. Martin’s Press. The 24th Letter will be released in March and his third, The Black Bullet is completed. Tom is a both a sailor and scuba diver. He once lived on a sailboat where he wrote his first book, Seas of Mariel.

Festival Appearances
Wednesday, March 17 at 2 p.m.
Murder by the Book  Cooper Memorial Library, Clermont

Steve Rajtar

Steve Rajtar

Steve Rajtar has written 19 books, each dealing with history, particularly that of Florida. Among these works are Historic Photos of Florida Tourist Attractions and Historic Photos of Gainesville, both available from Turner Publishing. Rajtar grew up near Cleveland, Ohio, and after graduating from the University of Central Florida and the University of Florida, entered the practice of law. He continues in that profession today. A love of the outdoors and a fascination with local history inspired one of his hobbies: leading historical tours in the communities of Florida. Thousands of individuals have attended hundreds of tours he has conducted through historic neighborhoods, cemeteries, and downtown areas.

Festival Appearances
Thursday, March 18 at 4 p.m.
Florida Adventures: History and Myth  Paisley County Library, Paisley

Friday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Gala Author Reception  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg

Eric Reinhold

Eric Reinhold

Eric Reinhold was recruited to play football for the U.S. Naval Academy and graduated with a degree in Economics, going on to serve 5 years as an officer in the U.S. Navy. He is a Certified Financial Planner and currently owns his own investment firm, Academy Wealth Management. His desire as a writer is to combine his background at a service academy and as a Christian to provide safe books of high moral character and Christian principles to youth. His charitable foundation, Character-4-Kids, provides books to disadvantaged youth. Eric writes in the back room of his house, also known as "the cave," by his wife. He plans to have five books in the The Annals of Aeliana Series with Ryann Watters. The next one is slated to be Ryann Watters and the Belt of Truth. "In Ryann Watters and the King’s Sword, Eric Reinhold has delivered a fantastic adventure that clearly distinguishes right from wrong. It’s a great moral compass of a read!" Karl Holz, CEO Euro Disney

Learn more about Ryann Watters books at www.ryannwatters.com.

Festival Appearances
Wednesday, March 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Authors' Roundtable  Cooper Memorial Library, Clermont

Wednesday, March 17 at 3 p.m.
Writing for Young Audiences  Tavares Civic Center, Tavares

Friday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Gala Author Reception  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg

Jim Robison

Jim Robison
Kissimmee, Gateway to the Kissimmee River Valley

Jim Robison was a reporter and editor in Central Florida for 30 years. Since 1988, he has been writing a weekly history column called "Seminole's Past". In 1993, he added a weekly history of Osceola County. With colleague Mark Andrews, he published his first book, Flashbacks, the Story of Central Florida's Past, covering the stories of Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties from the first Floridians through the opening of Walt Disney World. Working with local historical societies and Arcadia's Images of America series, he published city photo histories on Longwood, Altamonte Springs and St. Cloud. The latest book, Along the Wekiva River, is a collaboration with creative nonfiction writer and filmmaker Bill Belleville to carry on the mission of the Friends of the Wekiva River, Inc. In 2004, he won the Golden Quill Award from the Florida Historical Society. In addition, the society also awarded its Hampton Dunn Award to the Orlando Sentinel for the history columns by Robison and colleague, Joy Wallace Dickinson.

Festival Appearances
Thursday, March 18 at 4 p.m.
Florida Adventures: History and Myth  Paisley County Library, Paisley

Friday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Gala Author Reception  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg

Mark Schweizer

Mark Schweizer
The Alto Wore Tweed
Florida-based Mystery Author

Mark Schweizer is a musician, composer, writer, and music professor. A native of Florida, Schweizer received music degrees from Stetson University in Deland and the University of Arizona including a doctorate in vocal performance. In the fall of 2001, Mark began what he hoped would be a funny little book about an Episcopal choir director/detective that had a flair for bad writing. Now, eight years later, that book, The Alto Wore Tweed, has had its sixth printing and the rest of the septet (bad writing aside) are winning awards and working hard to catch up. Thanks to his fans, the Hayden Konig adventures continue to make their way into the hands of mystery lovers and across church choirs, one reader and singer at a time.

For more information, visitwww.sjmpbooks.com/author.html

Festival Appearances
Friday, March 19 at 1 p.m.
The Power of Laughter  W.T. Bland Public Library, Mount Dora

Friday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Gala Author Reception  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg

Saturday, March 20 at 2 p.m.
Murder, Love and Laughter  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg

Elizabeth Sinclair

Elizabeth Sinclair
Garden of the Moon
Romance Author

Elizabeth has been a member of Romance Writers of America since 1988 as well as The Author’s Guild. Since the thing Elizabeth loves most, next to writing, is teaching, she has given seminars and workshops locally and nationally on the craft of writing for over twelve years.

A founding member of several critique groups, Elizabeth strongly advocates finding a group of friends with like dreams and meeting as often as you can to discuss those dreams and work toward realizing them.

Aside from writing romances, Elizabeth is also the author of the widely-acclaimed instructional books The Dreaded Synopsis and First Chapters — Book #1 in the Building a Novel Series, as well as several romances for Silhouette Intimate Moments, Harlequin American, Kensington Precious Gems and Medallion Press. Elizabeth’s latest release is Garden of the Moon, a paranormal romance from Medallion Press. Writing as TL Abbott, her first straight thriller, Hell Bent, will be released from Medallion Press in December 2010.

Visit Elizabeth Sinclair's website at www.elizabethsinclair.com

Festival Appearances
Friday, March 19 at 1 p.m.
The Power of Laughter  W.T. Bland Public Library, Mount Dora

Friday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Murder, Love and Laughter  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg

Cynthia Thomason

Cynthia Thomason
Grave Review
Romance and Mystery Author

Cynthia Thomason has published sixteen historical and contemporary romances for Kensington and Harlequin as well as The Jubilee Showboat historical mystery series. She has received the National Readers' Choice and Golden Quill Awards, nominations for the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, the Book Buyer’s Best, and three times for the prestigious Maggie Award. In 2009 she won the HOLT Medallion Award, Honoring Outstanding Literary Talent, for her 2008 long contemporary romance, Return of the Wild Son. Over a million copies of her books are in print in the U.S. and several foreign countries. Cynthia loves to travel the continental U.S. and sets many of her stories in Florida. She is a licensed auctioneer and lover of antiques and oddities. Visit Cynthia at www.cynthiathomason.com

Festival Appearances
Friday, March 19 at 2:30 p.m.
Not Your Mother's Romance Novel: The Basics of Writing Romance  W.T. Bland Public Library, Mount Dora

Friday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Gala Author Reception  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg

Elaine Viets

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. The Fashion Hound Murders the new Josie Marcus mystery novel, will be published Nov. 3. It is fun, funny, and calorie-free, a cozy read for mystery lovers and animal fans. You can check out the first chapter at www.elaineviets.com. The debut, Dying in Style, tied with Stephen King on the Independent Mystery Booksellers bestseller list. 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." Helen's latest dead-end job in Killer Cuts, is in Miguel Angel's Fort Lauderdale hair salon, where a trim can cost as much as a car payment and a blowout can wipe you out. Elaine has served on the national boards of the Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

www.elaineviets.com

Festival Appearances
Friday, March 19 at 10 a.m.
Everything You Wanted to Know About Writing but Were Afraid to Ask  W.T. Bland Public Library, Mount Dora

Friday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Gala Author Reception  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg

Saturday, March 20 at 2 p.m.
Murder, Love and Laughter  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg

Dolores Wilson

Dolores Wilson
Big Hair And Flying Cows
Florida-based Suspense Author

Dolores J. Wilson was born in Morgantown, West Virginia. At age eleven, she was transplanted to Tampa, Florida. She and her husband, Richard, love traveling in their motor home, where Dolores enjoys one of her favorite pastimes, visiting and researching historical sites, but she says it's always nice to come back home, where she can spend time with her grown children and grandchildren. She is an avid reader, but also enjoys bluegrass music and a multitude of crafts. Big Hair And Flying Cows was the Anne Bonney Reader’s Choice Award Winner for Most Humorous Book and a Quill Award Nominee. Her latest is a suspense novel, Dark Secrets of the Old Oak Tree is due out in March 2010.

www.doloresjwilson.com

Festival Appearances
Friday, March 19 at 1 p.m.
The Power of Laughter  W.T. Bland Public Library, Mount Dora

Friday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Gala Author Reception  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg

Saturday, March 20 at 2 p.m.
Murder, Love and Laughter  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg

Local Authors @ the Cooper Memorial Library

Art Adkins

Art Adkins

Arthur "Art" Adkins is currently a lieutenant on the Gainesville Police Department, Gainesville, Florida.  Art started his law enforcement career in 1980 on the Ft. Lauderdale Police Department.  Seeking more diversity, he moved to Los Angeles and joined the Los Angeles Police Department in 1982 and it is his experience with the LAPD which he called upon to create his main character in The Oasis Project.  He currently oversees the crime analysis unit and crime prevention program. His law enforcement career has been peppered with fascinating jobs and excitement, elements which he weaves into his work.  The police procedural aspect in his novels is flawless, and his work draws the reader to explore the events surrounding the story as it is topical to issues happening today.  In 2008, he won Detective Suspense of the Year from Books-and-authors.net for The Oasis Project.  His first novel, it also garnered rave reviews from Midwest Book Review, Page One Lit, and Linda Fasulo, WGCU, Southwest Florida NPR.  He has currently finished Power Grid, the sequel, and is already working on the third in the Lockwood series, Mind Games

For more information about Art, please visit his web site at www.artadkins.com.

Festival Appearances
Wednesday, March 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Authors' Roundtable  Cooper Memorial Library, Clermont

Friday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Gala Author Reception  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg

Colleen Avelli

Colleen Avelli

Colleen Avelli was born and raised on Long Island, New York. Graduating from the State University of New York at Stony Brook with a B.A. in English, Avelli taught English Literature for many years before pursuing a career as an author.  Today she and her family reside in Florida where she continues to write, sketch and paint. An active member of the community, Avelli volunteers in various social and church organizations. Author of In Mother’s Hands, From the Well and A Spell too Far, Avelli mingles poetic expression and mysticism. Her works infuse legend, lore, and romance; where the folds of time are thin and fragile and often the past, present and future, meld into one. Colleen’s upcoming works include The Pendragon,a tale of Arthurian Legend and Who Will Come for Me, the tale of an aged woman, her enduring love and the coastal town that calls to her. 

For more information about Colleen, please visit her web site at www.colleenavelli.com.

Festival Appearances
Wednesday, March 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Authors' Roundtable  Cooper Memorial Library, Clermont

Friday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Gala Author Reception  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg

Doris Bloodsworth

Doris Bloodsworth

Doris Bloodsworth is a Pulitzer-nominated writer and the author of Images of America: GROVELAND from Arcadia Publishing.   She won awards for her reporting for The Wall Street Journal and the Orlando Sentinel. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications, including Lake magazine, The Gainesville Sun and the 2010 edition of Songwriter’s Market. She currently covers the Florida federal courts for Bloomberg News and is president of Crosswords Communications Co., which provides writing, editing, public relations and marketing services. Her background includes teaching writing at the college level and an extensive business career in the insurance, sports and aviation industries. Bloodsworth was born in West Virginia and moved with her family to South Lake county in 1959. She graduated with highest honors from the University of Florida, majoring in journalism with a minor in creative writing. She is active in several South Lake charities and is busy working on Images of America: Clermont scheduled to be released in June 2010. Bloodsworth is a member of the Florida Writers Association.

For more information about Doris, please visit her web site at www.crosswordscommunications.com.  

Festival Appearances
Wednesday, March 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Authors' Roundtable  Cooper Memorial Library, Clermont

Friday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Gala Author Reception  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg

Sherry Boas

Sherry Boas

From her Central Florida homestead surrounding a 12-acre lake, "Simply Living" columnist Sherry Boas writes about what she knows best - her family, lakeside living and the world of nature. Against a backdrop of forests, gardens, bamboo and wildlife, her intimate observations express passion and concern for life's everyday treasures.

Sherry Boas is a mother of four and grandmother of one. She lives with her husband Ralph in Groveland, Florida, where they own and operate a bamboo nursery. Her weekly "Simply Living" column has appeared in the Orlando Sentinel newspaper since 2006. You can find her online at www.BeautifulBamboo.com or visit her Simply Living blog: www.sherry-simplyliving.blogspot.com

Festival Appearances
Wednesday, March 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Authors' Roundtable  Cooper Memorial Library, Clermont

Brenna O’Shea Cagiano

Brenna O’Shea Cagiano

Brenna O’Shea Cagiano has lovingly recorded her father’s life story and transformed it into this book in his memory and like her parents loved to travel. She was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and lived there from 1946-1954. She has traveled through all the states except Alaska and Vermont. She’s been in the majority of the Canadian Provinces, Mexico, Virgin Islands, Greece, England, and of course, Ireland. She enjoys sharing these experiences of other cultures with people. As and educator she received a B.S. degree from the University of Tampa in Tampa, Florida in 1969. She taught in Hillsborough and Polk Counties, Florida, public schools for 31 years, the last 8 years as a Title I Program Facilitator. She retired from Polk County Schools in 2008. She lived in Tampa, Florida from 1963-1971 and now resides in Polk County with her husband of 42 years, her son and her two wonderful grandchildren.

Festival Appearances
Wednesday, March 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Authors' Roundtable  Cooper Memorial Library, Clermont

Friday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Gala Author Reception  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg

Dara Edmondson

Dara Edmondson

Dara Edmondson began making up stories as soon as she could speak.  She started working on her first novel in college - a mystery.  But she soon realized the collegiate life involved way more than books, so she spent the rest of her time there partying.  When the writing bug bit her again years later, she tried her hand at many different fiction genres from Young Adult to comedy to erotic romance.   She has authored books for several publishers, most recently Red Sage Captured and the forthcoming Can’t Stand the Heat and The Wild Rose Press The Kitten Club, Compromising Positions and Falling Star.  Now married with two nearly grown children and two spoiled cats, she writes full time.  She sincerely hopes her stories are as much fun for you to read as they were for her to write.  You can find her on the web at: www.DaraEdmondson.com, www.SlaveToRomance.Blogspot.com and on Twitter, Facebook and MySpace.

Festival Appearances
Wednesday, March 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Authors' Roundtable  Cooper Memorial Library, Clermont

Friday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Gala Author Reception  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg

Darlene Funkhouser

Darlene Funkhouser

Darlene Funkhouser holds degrees in Law Enforcement and in Business Management from the University of Maryland. She is a former police reserve officer, and she worked briefly both with rape victims and with juvenile delinquents. She went to Hollywood in the mid-1990s to meet her screenplay agent. While little came of that event, it was exciting for her to chase the dream of a career in the motion picture industry. She is the author of Women of the Civil War – Soldiers, Spies and Nurses, Think Like a Man, Grab What You Deserve From Life and a Florida mystery entitled Widow's Windfall.

Festival Appearances
Wednesday, March 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Authors' Roundtable  Cooper Memorial Library, Clermont

Friday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Gala Author Reception  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg

Bob Grenier

Bob Grenier

Mr. Grenier is the author of The Gallant Captain Melton Haynes and Woodlea: Life on the Lake of the Dancing Sunbeams which has been updated and reprinted since the fire that destroyed the historic home. His latest, an inspiring novel of courage and faith set in the Florida frontier of the 1800s, is due for release in March. Bob currently serves as Council Member for the City of Tavares. He is actively involved in the historical community, and belongs to several organizations including the North Lake County Civil War Roundtable, the 17th Connecticut Vol. Inf. Re-enactors, and the Sons of Confederate Veterans, where he was the first recipient of the "Distinguished Legionnaires Award". Bob is the immediate Past President of the Lake County Historical Society and is the current President of the Historical Society of Tavares. He is involved in many historical preservation and restoration projects including the saving of the Capt. Haynes Woodlea house.

You may contact Mr. Grenier directly at bobbyg22@comcast.net

Festival Appearances
Wednesday, March 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Authors' Roundtable  Cooper Memorial Library, Clermont

Friday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Gala Author Reception  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg

Valerie Hart

Valerie Hart

Valerie Hart, foremost committed to community and charitable obligations was Outstanding Woman of the Year in Miami, 1985. She has served as the President of the Friends of the W.T. Bland Public Library from 2002 to the present. Valerie is a free-lance writer, a Guest Informant, food writer, culinary teacher and restaurant critic. She was the editor of the South Florida Zagat Restaurant Survey and Florida and Michigan Resort/Spa/Hotel Surveys and has penned several children’s stories and short stories. Her popular books include The New Tradition Cookbook and The Bounty of Central Florida. She is the host of the television program, The Back of the House.

www.cookingandtips.com

Festival Appearances
Wednesday, March 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Authors' Roundtable  Cooper Memorial Library, Clermont

Friday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Gala Author Reception  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg

Ronald Johnson

Ronald Johnson

Ronald Johnson grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida. He received a B.A. from the University of South Florida and an M.B.A. from the University of Southern California. During the early part of his career he was Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Florida Institute of Technology and Senior Consultant to NASA on the Saturn V/Apollo spacecraft computer checkout system. After leaving FIT, he climbed the corporate ladder and held top management positions with several major corporations. Several years ago he fulfilled a lifelong dream and became an author. He has written five books. His most recent books are Assertive Management: The Key to Effective Leadership and Assert Yourself & Get What You Want. Ron currently lives in Clermont, Florida.

www.ronaldjohnson.org

Festival Appearances
Wednesday, March 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Authors' Roundtable  Cooper Memorial Library, Clermont

Friday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Gala Author Reception  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg

Catherine Kean

Catherine Kean

Catherine Kean has always loved tales of heroic Knights and stubborn damsels. She penned her first novella at age twelve and her first full-length manuscript at sixteen. After completing a B.A., double major (first class), in English and History from the University of Victoria, B.C., Canada, she was accepted into the post-graduate Works of Art Course run by Sotheby’s auctioneers in London, England, where she studied centuries of history, antiques, and fine art. She worked in Canada for several years as an antique and fine art appraiser. Her debut medieval historical romance, Dance of Desire, was the launch title of Medallion Press’s Sapphire Jewel Imprint. Dance of Desire won two Reviewer’s Choice Awards, Best Medieval in industry review magazine Affaire de Coeur’s 2006 Reader-Writer’s poll, and finaled in four contests for published romance novelists. Her other medieval romances have also garnered accolades. Among them, My Lady’s Treasure and A Knight’s Reward. Catherine is currently working on her next novel while mulling over exciting new story ideas. She lives in Central Florida with her husband, daughter, and two spoiled cats. For excerpts and more book details, visit Catherine’s website at www.catherinekean.com.

Festival Appearances
Wednesday, March 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Authors' Roundtable  Cooper Memorial Library, Clermont

Friday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Gala Author Reception  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg

Paul McElroy

Paul McElroy

Paul McElroy is president of Charter Industry Services, Inc., headquartered in Stuart, Florida. The company specializes in conducting professional maritime training courses from Alaska to the Virgin Islands. Mr. McElroy founded Charter Industry magazine, a trade journal for professionals in the marine charter industry, in 1985. The magazine was published from 1985 to 1995. He has extensive writing experience in magazines and newspapers with more than one hundred published articles to his credit. Captain McElroy holds a United States Coast Guard Merchant Marine Officer Masters' license. He received his first Coast Guard license in 1983, operated a sport fishing charter business in the Chicago area for several years, and operates a guide service in South Florida. He served in the United States Air Force and spent a two year tour of duty in the Far East. He specialized in electronics, communications and intelligence. He speaks both Japanese and Spanish. Mr. McElroy received his B.S. in Business Administration from Florida State University. He lives with his wife Michiko in South Florida. He is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and the National Association of Maritime Educators.

Visit Paul's web site at www.treasurecoastmysteries.com.

Festival Appearances
Wednesday, March 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Authors' Roundtable  Cooper Memorial Library, Clermont

Friday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Gala Author Reception  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg

David Carl Mielke

David Carl Mielke
What's Good About It?

David Carl Mielke lives just outside the thriving metropolis of Mount Dora. He has a BA degree from the University of Michigan with a minor in Creative Writing, and has done graduate work at FSU. What's Good About It?, his first novel, is a humorous autobiography (AuthorHouse 2007); A Dish Best Served Cold is a novel of creative revenge with a 1970s Central Florida setting (Mill City Press 2009). Mr. Mielke has just completed a sequel to titled: A Nation Best Served Hot, scheduled for release this spring. A Dish Best Served Cold has received very favorable reviews. "A solid book; original adventures; Central Florida setting has authentic feel; extremely likeable characters; use of humor successfully balances darker aspects of the plot" – Christine DeZelar Tiedman, The Library Journal - 2008.

Mark Miller

Mark Miller

Much of Mark Miller’s background comes from the movies. He graduated from the University of Kansas with a Bachelor's Degree in Film. He’s worked both at movie theatres and on movie sets. He co-wrote two scripts that were both made into movies starring TV's Jerry "the Beav" Mathers. He feels influenced by both George Lucas and Steven Spielberg along with a list of too many other film-makers to name here. When he created the world of Empyrean, he wanted it to be both new and familiar, to have children see what he saw. Even since high school he has written short stories and has been an avid reader. There are eight stories that complete the Empyrical Tales: The Fourth Queen; The Lost Queen; The Secret Queen; The First Queen; The Sea Queen; The Passing Queen; The Perfect Queen; and The Last Queen.

Visit Mark's web site at www.millerwords.com.

Festival Appearances
Wednesday, March 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Authors' Roundtable  Cooper Memorial Library, Clermont

Friday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Gala Author Reception  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg

Robert Compton Miller

Robert Compton Miller

Mr. Miller is a Korean War veteran and retired newspaper man, lives near Orlando, Florida, with his wife and numerous cats. He published two children’s fiction books, The French Drum and Hang Tight, Lori in 2009. He is scheduled to publish The Life and Times of Ace Matthews and a fourth book titled Korea, the Last Memoir in 2010.

Festival Appearances
Wednesday, March 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Authors' Roundtable  Cooper Memorial Library, Clermont

Friday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Gala Author Reception  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg

Regina L. Peeples

Regina L. Peeples

Regina L. Peeples is a wife, mother, author, and Purchasing Manager for LSCC. She is the Owner/Operator of Kidz on Wheels which is a subsidiary of Help Enterprises, Inc. Her vision for Help Enterprises is to "Help Everyone Live Prosperously." She is also the founder of "I Aministries", a ministry designed to empower and encourage young girls and women to fulfill their purpose and destinies. Regina is a member of Christian Worship Center of Leesburg, Florida where she serves as the Prayer Coordinator. She keeps quite active in her church and throughout her local community by serving others. In her spare time, she also works part-time as a writer and photographer for New Life News & Vision magazine and local Christian publications. She also enjoys writing, traveling, reading, inspiring others, and exploring the beauty of nature.

Learn more about Regina's work at www.myspace.com/janngle.

Festival Appearances
Wednesday, March 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Authors' Roundtable  Cooper Memorial Library, Clermont

Friday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Gala Author Reception  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg

Michelle Young

Michelle Young

Michelle Young is the author of the critically acclaimed romance novel, Dragonstone. This romantic, medieval-fantasy also won the title "Book of the Year, 2008," from Writers and Readers of Distinctive Fiction. Michelle graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in Speech-Language Pathology and has worked in the field for 15 years. Thanks to the encouragement of her supportive family, she turned her love of writing from hobby into a part-time career. She is an active member of the Central Florida Romance Writers Association and is looking forward to the release of Dragonstone, Book II: The Dragon’s Heart later in 2010.

Visit Michelle's web site at www.michelleyoung.org.

Festival Appearances
Wednesday, March 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Authors' Roundtable  Cooper Memorial Library, Clermont

Friday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Gala Author Reception  Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg