Susan Reigler, Speaker, Author, Bourbon Authority
Award-winning writer Susan Reigler, author of Kentucky Bourbon Country: The Essential Travel Guide, The Complete Guide to Kentucky State Parks, and co-author of The Kentucky Bourbon Cocktail Book, was born in Louisville. From 1992 to 2007, Reigler was a restaurant critic, beverage columnist and travel writer for the Louisville Courier-Journal and has been a judge for the James Beard Foundation Restaurant Awards since 1997. She also currently writes Kentucky restaurant reviews for the international travel and entertainment website, Gayot.com. She is the current president of the Bourbon Women Association.
Peggy Noe Stevens, Founder and President of Peggy Noe Stevens & Associates
Peggy is a woman of many firsts. She founded PNSA and The Bourbon Women Association. She is the first woman in the world to receive the title of Master Bourbon Taster. Formerly of Brown-Forman, Peggy was their Global Event Planner for iconic brands such as Woodford Reserve. She brings her decades of experiential marketing and professional presence development to PNSA designing and building brand architecture for places and people. In 2019 Peggy was inducted into the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame by the Kentucky Distillers Association and in 2020 she was inducted into the Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame.
Kimmery Martin (moderator), The Antidote for Everything
Kimmery Martin is an emergency medicine doctor-turned novelist whose works of medical fiction have been praised by The Harvard Crimson, Southern Living, and The New York Times, among others. A lifelong literary nerd, she promotes reading, interviews authors, and teaches writing seminars. She lives with her husband and three children in Charlotte, North Carolina. For the last two years, she’s been working on a novel about an infectious disease specialist whose children become ill during an emerging viral pandemic; it will be released from Penguin Random House in November 2021. Her latest novel, The Antidote for Everything, is available now.
Book Description: In this whip-smart and timely novel from acclaimed author Kimmery Martin, two doctors travel a surprising path when they must choose between treating their patients and keeping their jobs. Georgia Brown's profession as a urologist requires her to interact with plenty of naked men, but her romantic prospects have fizzled. The most important person in her life is her friend Jonah Tsukada, a funny, empathetic family medicine doctor who works at the same hospital in Charleston, South Carolina and who has become as close as family to her. Just after Georgia leaves the country for a medical conference, Jonah shares startling news. The hospital is instructing doctors to stop providing medical care for transgender patients. Jonah, a gay man, is the first to be fired when he refuses to abandon his patients. Stunned by the predicament of her closest friend, Georgia's natural instinct is to fight alongside him. But when her attempts to address the situation result in incalculable harm, both Georgia and Jonah find themselves facing the loss of much more than their careers.
Meg Cabot, No Offense
Meg Cabot was born in Bloomington, Indiana during the Chinese astrological year of the Fire Horse, a notoriously unlucky sign, but learned at an early age that a good storyteller can always give herself a happy ending. Her 80+ books for both adults and tweens/teens have included multiple #1 New York Times bestsellers, selling over twenty-five million copies worldwide. Her Princess Diaries series has been published in more than 38 countries and was made into two hit films by Disney. Meg’s numerous other award-winning books include the Mediator series, the Heather Wells mystery series, and Avalon High, the later of which was made into a film for Disney Channel. Meg Cabot (her last name rhymes with habit, as in “her books can be habit forming”) currently lives in Key West with her husband and various cats.
Book Description: He’s by the book. But she’s read all the books. Welcome to Little Bridge, one of the smallest, most beautiful islands in the Florida Keys, home to sandy white beaches, salt-rimmed margaritas, and stunning sunsets—a place where nothing goes under the radar and love has a way of sneaking up when least expected…A broken engagement only gave Molly Montgomery additional incentive to follow her dream job from the Colorado Rockies to the Florida Keys. Now, as Little Bridge Island Public Library’s head of children’s services, Molly hopes the messiest thing in her life will be her sticky-note covered desk. But fate—in the form of a newborn left in the restroom—has other ideas. So does the sheriff who comes to investigate the “abandonment.” When John Hartwell folds all six-feet-three of himself into a tiny chair and insists that whoever left the baby is a criminal, Molly begs to differ and asks what he’s doing about the Island’s real crime wave (if thefts of items from homes that have been left unlocked could be called that). Not the best of starts, but the man’s arrogance is almost as distracting as his blue eyes. Almost…John would be pretty irritated if one of his deputies had a desk as disorderly as Molly’s. Good thing she doesn’t work for him, considering how attracted he is to her. Molly’s lilting librarian voice makes even the saltiest remarks go down sweeter, which is bad as long as she’s a witness but might be good once the case is solved—provided he hasn’t gotten on her last nerve by then. Recently divorced, John has been having trouble adjusting to single life as well as single parenthood. But something in Molly’s beautiful smile gives John hope that his old life on Little Bridge might suddenly hold new promise—if only they can get over their differences. Clever, hilarious, and fun, No Offense will tug at readers’ heartstrings and make them fall in love with Little Bridge Island and its unique characters once again.
Colleen Oakley, You Were There Too
Colleen Oakley is the critically acclaimed author of Before I Go, Close Enough to Touch, You Were There Too and the forthcoming The Invisible Husband of Frick Island (May 2021). Colleen's novels have been longlisted for the Southern Book Prize twice and Close Enough to Touch won the French Reader's Prize. Her books have been translated into 21 languages, optioned for film and have received numerous accolades. A former magazine editor for Marie Claire and Women's Health & Fitness, Colleen's articles and essays have been featured in The New York Times, Ladies' Home Journal, Women's Health, Redbook, Parade, Woman's Day, Fitness, Health, Marie Claire and Martha Stewart Weddings. A proud graduate of the University of Georgia's school of journalism, Colleen currently lives in Atlanta with her husband, four kids and the world's biggest lapdog, Bailey.
Book Description: Acclaimed author Colleen Oakley delivers a heart-wrenching and unforgettable love story about a woman who must choose between the man she loves and the man fate has chosen for her, in a novel that reminds us that the best life is one led by the heart. Mia Graydon's life looks picket-fence perfect; she has the house, her loving husband, and dreams of starting a family. But she has other dreams too--unexplained, recurring ones starring the same man. Still, she doesn't think much of it, until a relocation to small-town Pennsylvania brings her face to face with the stranger she has been dreaming about for years. And this man harbors a jaw-dropping secret of his own--he's been dreaming of her too. Determined to understand, Mia and this not-so-stranger search for answers. But when diving into their pasts begin to unravel her life in the present, Mia emerges with a single question: what if?
Sheila Williams, The Secret Women
Sheila Williams is the author of Dancing on the Edge of the Roof (2002, Ballantine/OneWorld) and three other novels. An avid reader, traveler and family historian, Sheila is a graduate of The University of Louisville and worked as a corporate legal assistant before prioritizing her writing activity. In addition to fiction, Sheila has written the libretto for the opera Fierce which was commissioned by The Cincinnati Opera with music composed by William Menefield. Due to Covid-19, Fierce will premiere in Summer, 2021. In March 2019, Netflix released the film Juanita starring Alfre Woodard and based on Dancing on the Edge of the Roof.
Book Description: Three women meet in yoga class and discover that they have one thing in common: their mothers have recently passed away. As friendship blooms, the trio makes a pact to help each other sort through the belongings their mothers' left behind. They are astonished to discover that their mothers hid secrets that transform their lives.
Nana Lampton, The Turtle with Seven Eyes
Nana Lampton is a life-long resident of Louisville, Kentucky and a graduate of both Wellesley College, B.A., and the University of Virginia, M.A. She started working in 1966 with the company, which her grandfather founded in 1906. She is the current chairman of Hardscuffle, Inc., holding company for American Life and Accident Insurance Company of Kentucky, Sterling Thompson Company, and Hornbeam Insurance. Lampton’s interests include downtown development, land conservation, and the arts. She is a Trustee at Berea College and has served on two national corporate boards and more than thirty non-profit boards, including Yaddo, University Press of Kentucky, KET, and Fons Vitae. She is a painter and poet. Her books of poetry include The Turtle with Seven Eyes (2020, Larkspur Press); Wash the Dust From My Eyes inspired by her grandfather’s diary as he trained for duty for World War I (2016, Accents Publishing); The Moon with the Sun in Her Eye (2007, Fleur-de-Lis Press); Snowy Owl Gathers in Her Trove, an art book (2009, Julius Friedman), and a Spalding Series chapbook Bloom on a Split Board (2011, Accents Publishing). Ms. Lampton lives on a farm in Goshen, Kentucky.
Jeremy Paden, Under the Ocelot Sun
Jeremy D. Paden is a poet and professor at the Transylvania University and he is on the faculty in Spalding University's low-residence MFA. He was born in Milan, Italy and raised in Central America and the Caribbean. He is the author of Prison Recipes and ruina montium, the co-editor of Black Bone, and co-winner of the first Poeta en Nueva York prize for poets in the US who write in Spanish.
Book Description: Under the Ocelot Sun is an illustrated poem for all ages in which a parent tells a daughter the story of who she is and why they have left Honduras to walk to the US border in search of asylum.
Caroline Randall Williams, Lucy Negro, Redux: The Bard, a Book, and a Ballet
Caroline Randall Williams is a multi-genre writer and educator in Nashville, Tennessee. She is co-author of the Phyllis Wheatley Award-winning young adult novel The Diary of B.B. Bright, and the NAACP Image Award-winning cookbook Soul Food Love. Named by Southern Living as "One of the 50 People changing the South," the Cave Canem fellow has been published in multiple journals, essay collections and news outlets, including The Iowa Review, The Massachusetts Review, CherryBombe and the New York Times. Her debut collection of poetry, Lucy Negro, Redux was recently adapted by the Nashville Ballet featuring an original score by Grammy award winning artist Rhiannon Giddens. Caroline Randall Williams is currently the Medicine, Health and Society Writer-In-Residence at Vanderbilt University.
Book Description: Part Savvy Lit Crit, part Blues chart, part hip revenge-femme-lyric, part imagined Interracial Romance Saga disguised as poems, In Lucy Negro, Redux: The Bard, a Book, and a Ballet, poet Caroline Randall Williams plays the literary Race Card and cuts the whole deck, moving backwards in time in and forward in mind, archeologically offering a precise and seductive command performance of the hidden temperament of a specific and beautiful "Dark Lady," both used and loved. Williams unearths Lucy by working her own mojo of intelligent vengeance and a dual aesthetic of inquiry and minimal, tour de force exegesis. Travel with Williams through the sublime racial moments of famous sonnets to a cultural critique of the work of Mr. Whiteness Him Bad Bard Self, William Shakespeare. Lucy as radical muse. Lucy as newly-freed verse news. Move over Othello, no more easy getting ovah, Lucy Negro aka Black Luce has, double-brilliantly and double inventively, fully arrived on fire! To add more heat, Williams' book has been adapted to the ballet stage by Nashville Ballet's Artistic Director, Paul Vasterling.
Leatha Kendrick, And Luckier
Recipient of two Al Smith Fellowships and the Sallie Bingham Award, Leatha Kendrick’s fifth collection of poems is And Luckier (Accents Publishing, 2020). Her poems appear widely, including in Tar River Poetry, Appalachian Heritage, New Madrid Review, The Southern Poetry Anthology, and What Comes Down to Us – 25 Contemporary Kentucky Poets.
Book Description: In her new collection And Luckier, poet Leatha Kendrick offers us an unflinching and holistic look at our world. Her poems are full of humanity, honestly set in that place where it is "impossible to separate / misery and joy—the living edge of mystery." Kendrick's work is complex and masterfully figurative, always allowing for two things to be said at once, two things to be true at once. —Kathleen Driskell