Past Festivals

Home button returns to the main festival webpages.

2021 Sunshine State Book Festival

January 30 – June 30, 2021

Bringing Readers and Writers Together – Digitally

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.


Meet Suzzette Dawes

play video

Suzzette Dawes has written poetry since she was a teen and has hosted poetry open mic at various venues in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She has published five books including a co-edited poetry book that featured other poets. She enjoys the versatility of poetry and its various moods. Click to view Author’s website

The Collection Tortured Souls Adventures In The Courtyard Seventieth Avenue Bards of Broward: The Courtyard Chronicles

Meet Lola Haskins

play video

Lola Haskins’ most recent of thirteen poetry collections is Asylum: Improvisations on John Clare (U Pittsburgh) Her prose works include a poetry advice book, Not Feathers Yet (U Nebraska) and Fifteen Florida Cemeteries: Strange Tales Unearthed (U Florida). Among her honors are the Iowa Poetry Prize, two NEAs, four Florida DOS fellowships, two Florida Book Awards, and recognition from Florida’s Eden for her environmental writing. She serves as Honorary Chancellor for the FSPA. Click to view Author’s website

Asylum How Small, Confronting Moring The Grace to Leave Fifteen Florida Cemeteries Not Feathers Yet Desire Lines The Rim Benders

Meet K.E. Mullins

play video

K.E. Mullins, a Florida native, began her writing career while in the Navy. Her poem, “My One Last Cent,” was published in Amistad, a literary journal at Howard University. Currently, Mullins has published a book of poetry, Thinking Aloud: Dimensions of Free-Verse. Her fiction novels, The Friends and Family Connection: Get Unplugged,In the Company of Strangers, Murder: Another Name for Revenge, and 7475 Samona Drive, are on Amazon. She is also a regular contributor to Harness magazine. Click to view Author’s website

Thinking Aloud: Dimensions of Free-Verse The Friends and Family Connection: Get Unplugged In the Company of Strangers Murder: Another Name for Revenge 7475 Samona Drive

Meet E. Stanley Richardson

play video

E. Stanley Richardson is an American poet, actor, playwright, social/political commentator, and lecturer. The inaugural Poet Laureate of Alachua County, Florida (2020–2022), he wrote the award-winning book of poetry, Hip Hop Is Dead — Long Live Hip Hop: The Birth, Death and Resurrection of Hip Hop Activism . He is Founder/Director of ARTSPEAKSgnv: "Bringing Poetry & People Together" and Director of the Alachua County/North Central Florida, Youth Poet Laureate Program. Richardson resides in Alachua County. Click to view Author’s website

Hip Hop Is Dead - Long Live Hip Hop

Meet Susie Howell Baxter

play video

Susie H. Baxter is the author of C. G. & Ethel, A Family History; Pumping Sunshine, A Memoir of My Rural Childhood; and Write Your Memoir, One Story at a Time. She has served as president of the Writers Alliance of Gainesville, as creative nonfiction editor for the print journal, Bacopa, A Literary Review, and she teaches a memoir-writing course at Santa Fe College. She is working on a coming-of-age memoir for publication in 2021. Click to view Author’s website

Pumping Sunshine: A Memoir of My Rural Childhood C. G. and Ethel: A Family History Write Your Memoir: One Story at a Time

Meet Debi Tolbert Duggar

play video

Debi Tolbert Duggar is an avid motorcycle enthusiast, an educator, and a writer who lives and works in Central Florida. Riding Soul-O is a compilation of her travel blog and her gut-wrenching honesty about love, loss, challenges, and triumph over adversity. She and her motorcycle Bessie have traveled forty-nine states and seven Canadian provinces together. Click to view Author’s website

Riding Soul-O

Meet Arielle Haughee

play video

Arielle Haughee (Hoy), previously an elementary teacher, is a five-time RPLA-winning author and the owner of Orange Blossom Publishing. She is an editor, speaker, writing coach, and the marketing chair for the Florida Writers Association. She is the author of The Complete Revision Workbook for Writers, the children’s books Grumbler, Joyride, and Pling’s Party, as well as the editor of the How I Met My Other anthology series. Click to view Author’s website

How I Met My Other: True Stories, True Love How I Met My Other: Furry Friends, True Tails The Complete Revision Workbook for Writers Falling Into You Grumbler Joyride Pling's Party: An Exclamation Point's Story

Meet Simone Knego

play video

Simone Knego leads an ordinary life filled with extraordinary moments. As a wife, mother to six children (and three dogs), and an entrepreneur, she splits her time between family, businesses, and personal growth. She’s realized the small choices she makes every day to do good actually have the power to inspire others. With her book, she hopes to inspire you to embrace life’s ups and downs and realize the impact you’re making on the world. Click to view Author’s website

The Extraordinary UnOrdinary You

Meet Dion Leonard

play video

Dion Leonard is an Australian/British ultra runner, motivational speaker, and author. Leonard’s amazing true story and incredible journey ofFinding Gobi has since become a New York Times bestseller, Sunday Times (UK) bestseller, and international bestseller printed in more than twenty-one languages. It has resulted in an upcoming movie. Leonard has also written a Finding Gobi young readers edition, a children's picture book, and a book about his cat, Lara the Runaway Cat. Click to view Author’s website

Finding Gobi Finding Gobi Young Readers Gobi: A Little Dog with a big heart Lara the Runaway Cat

Meet Jo Ann Lordahl

play video

Jo Ann Lordahl, PhD, lives in Gainesville, Florida. Author, poet, and workshop leader, her published works include prize-winning poetry, a lyric play Four Women Speak, a three-part memoir My Unveiled Face, and twenty-six other books (nine nonfiction, five novels, six romances, and six poetry). She has a finished collection of poetry and an in-progress nonfiction work on aging. Additional titles are available on her website. For fun she walks, writes poetry, and creates fabric collages. Click to view Author’s website

My Unveiled Face Book 1 My Unveiled Face Book 2 My Unveiled Face Book 3 Princess Ruth: Love & Tragedy in Hawaii A Secret Kept in Hawaii Reconnecting the Healing Circle The End of Motherhood Finding A Partner and It May Be You Money Meditations for Women

Meet Pattie Martin Macurdy

play video

Pattie Martin Macurdy published her memoir, Sunsets and Buzzards, at age ninety. Her stories describe growing up in rural Tennessee without electricity or indoor plumbing in a community called Standing Rock Creek, losing a brother in world War II, living in Japan and Spain as a military wife, losing a son to HIV contracted through a blood transfusion, and pursuing interests in birding, art, music, literature, and photography. She lives and writes in Gainesville, Florida. Click to view Author’s website

Sunsets and Buzzards

Meet Ann~Marie Magné

play video

Ann~Marie Magné, past vice-president of the Writers Alliance of Gainesville, is a current critique-pod leader. In another life she worked in sales and customer service. She also became a hypnotist, and she still practices. She is the mother of one daughter, step-mom to two sons, and Grammy to seven. She loves living in Gainesville, Florida, with her husband. Almost Ticked Off, a memoir, is her first book.  

Almost Ticked Off

Meet Nicole Morton-Howard

play video

Nicole Morton-Howard holds a bachelor degree in business. She’s a wife and mother, and works fulltime for a global-wide firm. She is a former first lady of a church, where she assisted in church initiatives and outreach activities, and she planned women’s ministry events. In addition to becoming a first-time author, she recently launched a business, Respect My Royalty, LLC., where she empowers and equips ladies to reach their full divine potential. Click to view Author’s website


Meet Lorilyn Roberts

play video

Lorilyn Roberts is the author of twelve books, including the award-winning Young Adult Seventh Dimension Series and her memoir Children of Dreams. After scuba diving around the world and earning her college degree abroad, she settled into single motherhood, adopting two daughters from Nepal and Vietnam. She later earned a Master’s in Creative Writing and is currently president of the Gainesville, Florida, Chapter of Word Weavers International. Roberts has rescued many orphaned dogs and cats. Click to view Author’s website

Tails and Purrs for the Heart and Soul Children of Dreams Seventh Dimension - The Door:  A Young Adult Fantasy Seventh Dimension - The King: A Young Adult Fantasy Seventh Dimension - The Casle: A Young Adult Fantasy Seventh Dimension - The City: A Young Adult Fantasy Seventh Dimension - The Prescience: A Young Adult Fantasy Seventh Dimension - The Howling: A Young Adult Fantasy Am I Okay, God?

Meet Gail Rose Thompson

play video

Gail Rose Thompson grew up on a horse farm in Ontario, Canada. After graduating from Hamilton Teachers’ College, she taught school for several years. She lived in Iran during the 1970s where she was the trainer of the Shah’s Imperial Stables and the Iranian show-jumping team. Upon arriving in Richmond, Virginia, she opened a school of equitation, now a renowned training facility. In retirement, she follows her passion for writing. She lives in Ocala, Florida. Click to view Author’s website

All the Shah's Horses All the Shah's Men Iran from Cown to Turbans Two Worlds Apart

Meet Cynthia D. Bertelsen

play video

Cynthia D. Bertelsen’s books include Mushroom: A Global History, A Hastiness of Cooks: A Handbook for Deciphering Historic Recipes and Cookbooks, In the Shadow of Ravens: A Novel, Wisdom Soaked in Palm Oil: Journeying Through the Food and Flavors of Africa, and Meatballs & Lefse: Memories and Recipes from a Scandinavian-American Farming Life. A Hastiness of Cooks won Gourmand World Cookbooks Awards 2020 for Best in Culinary History category for the U.S. and the world. Click to view Author’s website

Mushroom A Global History A Hastiness of Cooks In the Shadow of Ravens Wisdom Soaked in Palm Oil Meatballs & Lefse

Meet John M. Bros

play video

John M. Bros was born and raised in Stuart, Florida, where he grew up with a love for exploration and fishing. He graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2013 with a bachelor's degree in social science education, followed by a year in Thailand teaching English. Since August 2015, he has taught world history at Jensen Beach High School. John is passionate about music, education, history, farming, traveling, and homesteading. Click to view Author’s website

The Personal Wellness Principles: Simple Steps to Create a Happy, Healthy, and Fulfilling Life

Meet Shivaji Das

play video

Shivaji Das is the author of four travel memoirs and photography books. His latest book is The ‘Other’ Shangri-La. Shivaji’s work has been featured in Time, The Economist, BBC, Asian Geographic, etc. He is the conceptualizer of Global Migrant Festival and Migrant and Refugee Poetry Contests and is the Managing Director-APAC for Frost & Sullivan, a research and consulting company. Click to view Author’s website

The 'Other' Shangri-La Journeys with the caterpillar Angels by the Murky River Sacred Love: Erotic Arts in the temples of Nepal

Meet Jack E. Davis

play video

Jack E. Davis, a professor of history and Rothman Family Chair in the Humanities, specializing in environmental history and sustainability studies, won the Pulitzer Prize for The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea. His Race Against Time: Culture and Separation in Natchez Since 1930 won the Charles S. Sydnor Prize for best book in southern history. His An Everglades Providence: Marjory Stoneman Douglas and the American Environmental Century received Florida Book Awards’ gold medal. Click to view Author’s website

The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea Race Against Time An Everglades Providence The Wilder Heart of Florida Paradise Lost? Making Waves The Civil Rights Movement

Meet George R. Dekle

play video

George R. (Bob) Dekle, Sr. directed the Prosecution Clinic at the University of Florida Law School for ten years. He retired in 2006. Before that, Dekle served for thirty years as an Assistant State Attorney and for two years as an Assistant Public Defender in Lake City, Florida, where he prosecuted and defended hundreds of jury trials. Dekle keeps busy in retirement writing books on trial advocacy and historic criminal cases. Click to view Author’s website


Meet Teresia Dulaney

play video

Teresia Dulaney is a wife and mother of two sons on the autism spectrum. She was a stay-at-home mom, but after raising her sons, she went back to school and finished her teaching degree in Elementary/Special Ed. She and her family are active in their church. Dulaney wrote How to Train a Superhero: A Story of Autism, in hopes that sharing their story would encourage and uplift others. Click to view Author’s website

How to train a Superhero: A story of Autism

Meet John M Dunn

play video

John M. Dunn has written over 400 articles for numerous periodicals, 16 nonfiction YA books, audio visual scripts, and a children’s play. He edited a Civil War series for young readers. One title received a starred review, and two were included on recommended YA book lists. In 2019, Dunn’s Drying Up: The Fresh Water Crisis in Florida won the Florida Historical Society’s Stetson Kennedy Award and the Florida Book Awards’ Bronze Medal for Florida Nonfiction. Click to view Author’s website

Drying Up The Fresh Water Crisis in Florida Jose Marti Cubas' Greatest Hero Modern-Day Pirates The Relocation of the North American Indian The Spread of Islam The Civil Rights Movement Life in Castro's Cuba The French Revolution: The Fall of the Monarchy Life During the Black Death

Meet Michael T. Gengler

play video

Michael T. Gengler graduated from Gainesville High School in 1962. He received his A.B., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Columbia College in New York in 1966, and his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1969. He was a USAF JAG lawyer from 1970 to 1974. For most of his career, he was a corporate lawyer in Boston and Chicago. He lives in Gainesville, Florida, and advocates for public education. Click to view Author’s website

We Can Do It, A Community Takes on the Challenge of School Desegregation

Meet Harriet Hunter

play video

Harriet Hunter, award-winning author of Miracles of Recovery, works with women behind bars and with women in recovery. She is the training developer who wrote “Journaling with a Purpose” and delivered it to friends in various institutions and organizations. Harriet has worked in the field of recovery now for over twenty-one years, helping others find their authentic selves and enough self-esteem to change their addiction behaviors and move forward in their lives, clean and sober. Click to view Author’s website

Miracles of Recovery Daily Meditations of Hope, Courage and Faith

Meet Bob H. Lee

play video

Bob H. Lee retired as a lieutenant after 30 years with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. As a freelance writer, Lee has been published in Florida Sportsman, Flamingo, International Game Warden, and other publications. He is the author of two nonfiction books, Backcountry Lawman and Bad Guys, Bullets, and Boat Chases (University Press of Florida). In 2014, Lee won the Florida Outdoor Writers Association Award for Excellence-in-Craft for Backcountry Lawman. Click to view Author’s website

Backcountry Lawman Bad Guys, Bullets, and Boat Chases

Meet Jolene MacFadden

play video

Jolene MacFadden, when not writing more books, makes her living by creating websites and helping other writers self-publish and market their books. She also writes blog articles on a variety of subjects for all of her websites. She enjoys reading mystery books of all types as well as science fiction/fantasy stories and has been an avid reader all of her life. Click to view Author’s website

Insiders Guide to Campground Hosting in Florida Parks Top Ten Ways to Market Your Book for Free: And Other Tidbits of Information for Writers

Meet Shamrock McShane

play video

Shamrock McShane is a graduate of the University of Florida Creative Writing Program where he studied with Donald Justice, Harry Crews, and Padgett Powell. He is the author of the novel Rock Beauty and the non-fiction novel Hall of Fools. As a screenwriter, collaborating with his son, the director Mike McShane, his films includeThe Votive Pit, You Are Not Frank Sinatra, and It's All Good. He lives in Gainesville, Florida. Click to view Author’s website

Hall of Fools

Meet Martha Aunty Marcella Joseph Watts

play video

Martha Joseph Watts, Ed.D., aka "Aunty Marcella," is an educator and author of fiction and nonfiction. In addition to her Adventures of Iyani series, she has published educational resources to support writing in schools. These include books, workbooks, charts, and wheels. Most recently, she co-authored Homeschooling in Times of Covid-19 with Karen White Porter. Watts has taught on all levels: at home, in Dominica, in the US Virgin Islands, and in Florida where she lives. Click to view Author’s website

Writing to Respond: Practice and Assessment Grades 3-5 (Wkbk) Homeschooling in Times of Covid-19 Writing to Respond to Text and Tests Adventures of Iyani: The Voyage West Adventure of Iyani : The Incredible Beginning

Click to continue to authors of children’s books

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.

Make a Donation

Personal donations make a difference, too. Support the Sunshine State Book Festival by clicking the button below.


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