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2021 Sunshine State Book Festival

January 30 – June 30, 2021

Bringing Readers and Writers Together – Digitally

Due to the pandemic, the 2021 Sunshine State Book Festival was held online, yet retained popular aspects of our 2020 festival such as author booths and free presentations by noted authors.

As you scroll down the page, imagine you are strolling an aisle. Meet authors via brief 2–15 minute videos they provided, and browse their books.

Click on an author’s video to play it. Browse a book by clicking on its cover. Then click on Amazon’s “Look inside” feature.

The booths are organized by genre, which are grouped into areas of similar genres. Looking for authors in a particular genre? Clicking a button in the Areas of Author Booths panel will take you to the area listed. For more direct access, click the ▼ button on the menu, click on a genre, and jump straight to those booths.

Historical Fiction

Meet Nancy Blanton

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Nancy Blanton, Amelia Island author, writes award-winning historical adventure novels based in seventeenth-century Ireland. Her latest, The Earl in Black Armor, tells a story of relentless loyalty, honor, and betrayal in the Stuart era. Her upcoming book focuses on the Irish Rebellion of 1641. Co-founder of Amelia Indie Authors co-op and former journalist and editor, she’s a member of the Historical Novel Society, the Florida Writers Association, and the International Book Publishers Association. Click to view Author’s website

The Earl in Black Armor The Prince of Glencurragh Sharavogue Brand Yourself Royally

Meet Richard Gartee

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Richard Gartee is an award-winning novelist who has authored five novels, a biography, five collections of poetry, and seven college textbooks. Two novels in his Ragtime Dudes series won Royal Palm Literary Awards. Click to view Author’s website

Ragtime Dudes at the World's Fair Ragtime Dudes in a Thin Place Ragtime Dudes Meet a Paris Flapper Lancelot's Grail Lancelot's Disciple Skating on Skim Ice Mountain Breathing Watching Waves Canyon Falls

Meet Lauren Gilbert

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Lauren Gilbert lives in Florida with her husband. She earned a B.A. degree in liberal arts English. She has presented programs for the South Floridaregion of JASNA. Her first book was Heyerwood: A Novel, and A Rational Attachment is out now. She has articles in both volumes of Castles, Customs and Kings: True Tales by English Historical Fiction Authors. She is currently working on a nonfiction book for Pen & Sword Books Limited. Click to view Author’s website


Meet Veronica Helen Hart

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Veronica Helen Hart is the CEO of Paranormalice Press, LLC, a publishing company dedicated to all things paranormal and mystery. She is also the award-winning author of The Blenders Series published by Champagne Book Group, as well as an independent publisher of several other award-winning novels. Through her workshops, editing, and individual coaching, she has helped many authors create marketable and prize-winning manuscripts. Click to view Author’s website

Elena-The Girl with the Piano The Prince of Keegan Bay Swimming Corpse Silent Autumn The Knife The Reluctant Daughters Escape from Iran Annie Karenina

Meet Mallory M. O’Connor

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Mallory M. O’Connor, award-winning author, holds degrees in art, art history, and American history from Ohio University. She taught art history at the University of Florida and Santa Fe College for over twenty years. Following retirement in 2005, she wrote the American River Trilogy (Tributaries, Currents, and Confluence) and started a series of paranormal/occult thrillers, Epiphany’s Gift (2019) and Key to Eternity (2020). O’Connor lives with her artist husband, John A. O’Connor, in Gainesville, Florida. Click to view Author’s website

American River: Tributaries American River: Currents American River: Confluence Epiphany's Gift Key to Eternity

Meet Gary G. Steele

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Gary Steele is of ethnic Gypsy descent and was raised in circuses. He tells tales heard from his elders about family adventures during the Great Depression—people, places, and animals—plus the challenges of keeping the show on the road long ago. He has lived and worked in various countries, but he is delighted to return to his early life and to offer readers a more balanced view of Gypsies and combat negative stereotypes.  

The Gypsy Family Circus of 1933 The Gypsy Family Circus of 1934 The Gypsy Family Circus of 1935

Meet Lacey Dancer

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Lacey Dancer is one of the more popular pen names for Sydney Clary. She is an international award-winning fiction writer who has published thirty-seven books so far in her career spanning over thirty years. Her latest books are self-published. They include three series books (romance/suspense and thriller) and one nonfiction. Click to view Author’s website

Chase the Fire Playing With Fire Strike the Fire Catch the Fire Truth Kills Truth Tells Choices Diamond and Ice Care Giving: Real Life Answers

Meet Darlene Marshall

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Darlene Marshall writes historical romance featuring pirates, privateers, smugglers, and the occasional possum. She lives in North Central Florida, a convenient location for putting the convertible top down and researching sites of great historical significance, which also happen to be at beaches that serve mojitos. Marshall’s books have been published in English, German, French, and Estonian, and she’s Section Leader of Erotic Writing at the LitForum.com. Represented by Barbara Collins Rosenberg of The Rosenberg Group. Click to view Author’s website

Sea Change Castaway Dreams The Pirate's Secret Baby What the Parrot Saw The Bride and the Buccaneer Smuggler's Bride Captain Sinister's Lady A la merci du corsaire Cœurs au large

Meet Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar

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Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar, a South Asian American, has lived in Qatar since 2005. Moving to the Arabian Desert was fortuitous since that’s where she met her husband, had two sons, and became a novelist, comic, and playwright. Her coming-of-age novel, An Unlikely Goddess, won the SheWrites New Novelist competition. Rajakumar produced three of her short plays, This is Not a Drill, Our Sons, and The Piano Lesson while a Dimmitt Fellow at Morningside College. Click to view Author’s website

Love Comes Later Pearls of the Past The Migrant Report No Place for Women From Dunes to Dior Coloured and Other Stories An Unlikely Goddess The Opposite of Hate The Dohmestics
Women’s Fiction

Meet Terri Depue

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Terri Depue is the author of two novels and is currently working on her third. The author has lived in a variety of cities and small towns in the U.S. and currently makes her home in Gainesville, Florida. Her experiences and adventures, in starting over in a new place and eventually returning to the familiar, form the basis of this series of books set in the fictitious yet somehow familiar setting of Magnolia Creek, Virginia. Click to view Author’s website

Blooms, A Magnolia Creek Novel Beginnings, A Magnolia Creek Novel

Meet William Hatfield

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William Hatfield was born in a small town in northern Michigan and attended Western Michigan University, earning a degree in history and communications. Musical engagements led him to Gainesville, Florida, where he continues to live with his wife Karen and their two feline daughters. Rumor is, he may have grown up, but it seems unlikely. He loves to travel via writing fiction, whether it be science fiction in outer space or LGBTQ+ in Key West. Click to view Author’s website

Menu for Murder TNT #1 Blown Choices TNT #2 Bare Soles TNT #3 Cheating Deaths TNT #4 Captive Audience FOE #1 Duel Roles FOE #2 Tough Crowd FOE #3 Key Notes

Meet Dorothy Staley

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Dorothy Staley—writer, editor, teacher, wife and mother—left the Arctic years ago, but it never left her. As the Naval Arctic Research Laboratory’s first science writer, she interviewed nearly 800 scientists. After five years, when family responsibilities and job opportunities took her on a trajectory from the far north to the Deep South, she never stopped writing about the Arctic in her diaries, poems, short stories, and now, this novel, Bear Woman Rising. Click to view Author’s website

Bear Woman Rising
Fiction (general)

Meet Ginny Brinkley

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Ginny Brinkley, a native of Virginia, is a lifelong writer. Goddess is the culmination of her work—a stirring tale for anyone who’s ever had a first love. “Goddess is fiction” Brinkley explains, despite claims from several of her classmates that they recognize themselves in the book. “Autobiographical fiction perhaps,” Brinkley adds. Goddess is a true-to-life love story with delicately handled sexual content. Readers from ages 22 to 82 “couldn’t put it down!” Click to view Author’s website

Goddess--A Child of the Sixties
Literary Fiction

Meet Laura Lee Smith

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Laura Lee Smith is the author of the novels The Ice House (Gold Medal for Fiction and Florida Book Awards) and Heart of Palm. Her work has appeared in Best American Short Stories,New Stories from the South, The New York Times, New England Review, and other journals. Smith has been praised for “intelligence, heart, and wit” (Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Empire Falls), and her work has been translated into German and French. Click to view Author’s website

The Ice House Heart of Palm Best American Short Stories 2015 Steinway & Sons Natural Writer: A Story about Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

Meet Dave J. Andrae

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Dave J. Andrae is an author and multidisciplinary artist with a background in film. He drew heavily on his experiences living in Florida while writing his debut novel, The Friends of Allan Renner, a fully fleshed-out narrative that ties together such disparate interests as the paranormal, high-brow storytelling, romance, wry humor, and social commentary. It was released in hardcover and eBook by Southwest Florida’s Kaji-Pup Press in late 2020. Click to view Author’s website

The Friends of Allan Renner
Religious Fiction

Meet Lisa Washington

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Lisa Washington is a Christian fiction author and the winner of the 2020 Author Elite Award for her novel Love Lifted Me and the winner of the 2018 African-American Literary Show Award for best Christian fiction for her debut novel When You Least Expect It. Washington is a U.S. Navy veteran and a graduate of Wayne State University, Averett University, and Butler University. She resides in Georgia with her family. Click to view Author’s website

When You Least Expect It More Than You Know Love Lifted Me Karleigh Kaleigh A Story of Patience
Young Adult

Meet Cheryl Denise Bannerman

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Cheryl Denise Bannerman is a multi-genre author of six self-published books and winner of the 2018 Book Excellence Award for her book of poetry, Words Never Spoken, which highlights a woman’s escape from an abusive relationship. Also semi-finalist of the MLC Audiobook Award for her cozy mystery series, which critics call “a laugh-out-loud adventure full of tasty Italian dishes and adorable cats,” she resides in Orlando where she runs her twenty-four-year-old Training & Development company. Click to view Author’s website

Cats, Cannolis and a Curious Kidnapping (An Anna Romano Mystery Series Book 1) Black Child to Black Woman: An African-American Woman Coming-of-Age Story A Killer's Reflection A Bloody Stiletto, Cold Lasagna, and a Bestseller: An Anna Romano Mystery Series Family Ties_Missing Organs_and_Champagne Words Never Spoken

Meet Natalie Decker

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Natalie Decker is the author of the bestselling YA series Offsides. She’s a huge Denver Broncos fan and loves football, fuzzy blankets, and books. If she’s not writing, reading, or spending time with her awesome family and super sweet dog, then she’s off to Target or Starbucks or having an adventure. Because Decker believes in a saying: Your life is your own journey, so make it amazing! Click to view Author’s website

Dateable Right Text Wrong Number Right Kiss Wrong Guy Right Girl Wrong Timing

Meet L L Eadie

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L. L. Eadie is passionate about writing and reading—especially for young adults. Before she was published, her works earned her Florida Writers Association’s Royal Palm Literary Awards. She has written and published several historical fiction and young-adult fiction books, and two children’s books. She is working on an adult fiction book now, as a change of pace. She has become an independent publisher and is enjoying the experience and freedom. Click to view Author’s website

My Mistaken Identity Yearning for the Unattainable Don't Kiss and Tell Jenniferology Alligator Warrior: Halpatter Tustenuggee Pedro Menendez: The Adelantado of Florida Momma Alligator Goes to School That's Impossible, Cluckiepunkle

Meet Clifford L. Gionet

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Clifford L. Gionet earned a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Florida and served as a managing partner of a public accounting firm. Now retired, he is working on the next books in his whale series and has plans for two more animal-related series. An avid cyclist and reader, he also volunteers for and promotes organ and tissue donation with LifeQuest. Click to view Author’s website

Angel in Peril Argonaut The Inua Humpback

Meet Cynthia W Hammer

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Cynthia W. Hammer is a bestselling author, actress, editor, and radio host of the “Hammer Away Show.” Hammer is a native of Baltimore, Maryland, and lives bicoastal in California. Her first book, Iceburg, propelled her from obscurity into movie roles, and she has won several awards. Hammer has made front-page headlines across the U.S. for her miraculous cross-country book tour. She is currently on tour for her third novel, The Seven Rivers. Click to view Author’s website

The Seven Rivers A Good Case Iceburg

Meet Kimberly Jones

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Kimberly Jones, a prolific, African-American novelist, director, and human rights activist, is a change agent within the literary world and in the Black Lives Matter movement. She's co-founder of Super Woman Squad, talented women who are directors, writers, and producers who write the vision and make it plain. Jones has played a pivotal role in the film industry, influencing productions with Tyler Perry Studios’ Madea Family Reunion and I Can Do Bad All by Myself. Click to view Author’s website

I'm Not Dying with You Tonight Grandma's Hands

Meet Gabi Justice

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Gabi Justice is the mom to three dogs and one cat. She calls Florida home. You’d be hard-pressed to find a tennis court in the state that she hasn’t visited, having three competitive junior players in the family. After graduating from the University of South Florida, she wrote editorial copy for local magazines. Florida provides the settings for all her coming-of-age stories that highlight bullying, misjudgment, acceptance, and teen anxiety. Click to view Author’s website

Dog Girl

Meet Lemoy M Malden

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Lemoy Malden has always had an ardent love for writing, but it was not until she retired that she found the time to write. Malden grew up in the Caribbean island of Trinidad and writes about her childhood memories in her Gunnar adventure series. She has a Montessori teaching diploma, AS and AA degrees, and a certificate in business studies from the University of the West Indies.  

In & Out The Dragon's Mouth Coming Out The Serpent's Mouth

Meet Marie Q Rogers

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Marie Q Rogers, when not traveling, has nothing better to do than wander in the woods of North Florida and think about curious things. Her young adult novel, Trials by Fire, won the Royal Palm Literary Award, and she is currently juggling three or four other novels in various stages of completion. Her work has appeared in Bacopa Literary Review and Pilcrow & Dagger, and she posts creative nonfiction on her weblog. Click to view Author’s website

Trials by Fire

Meet Gilly Segal

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Gilly Segal grew up in Florida, came of age in Israel where she served in the IDF and graduated from Hebrew University, and finally decided to call Decatur, Georgia, home. By day, she is a lawyer for an advertising agency. By night, she is a caped crusader! (She wishes.) Her real identity is writer. She’s been writing in one form or another since she wrote her first young adult novel, a Sunfire YA romance fiction. Click to view Author’s website

I'm Not Dying with You Tonight

Meet Jenne Vermes

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Jenne Vermes is a writer and an author of multiple genres from Young Adult superhero novels to suspense series. She published her first book with her dad, John Vermes, and while he is no longer with her today, she continues to publish his works as well as her own. Jenne is also an accomplished dancer and musician, and she brings those creative angles to her literary work as much as she can. Click to view Author’s website

Pathways Standardized People Letters From Camp Noise

Meet A.C. Ward

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A. C. Ward is a little worried that her internet search history is on some sort of watch list. For the Abyss Trilogy, she researched demonic rituals, exorcism, and lethal stab wounds. Her next work in process is only making it worse. Ward lives with her husband, daughter, and various pets—dog, cat, gecko, fish, and tarantula. When she’s not writing she’s watching Netflix or rereading her favorite manga. Click to view Author’s website

Avoiding the Abyss Approaching the Abysss Accepting the Abyss Death Daydreams The Potential of Forgetting

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The 2021 Sunshine State Book Festival

was made possible with the assistance of these gracious sponsors:

Shea’s Glass and The Opinionated Ladies Book Club.

Please consider becoming one of our corporate sponsors. Download an information packet.

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WAG is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and your donation is tax deductible.