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Author Happy Hour

Join us each week on Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. EDT for our virtual happy hours.

 

 

Thursday, September 17 - 7:00 pm EDT

How to Host the Perfect Bourbon Tasting with Peggy Noe Stevens and Susan Reigler

Grab your favorite bourbon or beverage of choice and join Peggy Noe Stevens & Susan Reigler, authors of “Which Fork Do I Use with My Bourbon?” as they explore the nuances and tasty noshes that make for a successful bourbon tasting.  

You may join thess events weekly on Facebook Live @KyHumanities.
 
Susan Reigler
Susan Reigler



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.

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Peggy Noe Stevens
Peggy Noe Stevens



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.

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Thursday, September 24 - 7:00 pm EDT

Writing Strong Female Leads in Fiction, featuring authors Kimmery Martin, Meg Cabot, Colleen Oakley, and Sheila Williams

Learn how these four authors of contemporary fiction tackle writing dynamic leading ladies. Are they inspired by real women they've encountered, friendships they've experienced, or romantic entanglements they've witnessed? Tune in to find out. 
 
 
You can also join this event on Facebook Live @KyHumanities.
 
Kimmery Martin
Kimmery Martin



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.

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Meg Cabot
Meg Cabot



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.

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Colleen Oakley
Colleen Oakley



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?

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Sheila Williams
Sheila Williams



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.

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Thursday,  October 1 - 7:00 pm EDT

New Poetry, featuring authors Nana Lampton, Jeremy Paden, Caroline Randall Williams, and Leatha Kendrick

Inventive and illustrative with their words, learn how these talented poets craft powerful and compelling work.  
 
 
Nana Lampton
Nana Lampton



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.

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Jeremy Paden
Jeremy Paden



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.

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Caroline Randall Williams
Caroline Randall Williams



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.

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Leatha Kendrick
Leatha Kendrick



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

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Thursday,  October 8 - 7:00 pm EDT

How to Read with Your Kids, featuring Will Hillenbrand, Jessica Young, Carmen Oliver, and Rita Lorraine Hubbard 

Tune in to this fun, upbeat session, where children’s book author and illustrator Will Hillenbrand chats best tips and tricks to get kids of all ages excited about reading with these three talented picture book authors.
 
 
Will Hillenbrand
Will Hillenbrand



Will Hillenbrand, Snow Friends

WILL HILLENBRAND is a celebrated children's author and illustrator whose works include Snow Friends, his 70th book which will be published in October 2020. In his work, he uses mixed media to create his magical illustrations. He lives in Cincinnati. 

Book Description: Snow! Snow! And more snow! Oscar was itching to go outside and no one was awake, not even his boy Matt. When Oscar finally gets out to play, he can't resist the chance to run away and pursue his own wintry escapades- all with the help of his new friend Daisy. But the best part of this snow day comes when Oscar's boy and Daisy's girl join them.

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Jessica Young
Jessica Young



Jessica Young, A Wish is a Seed

Jessica Young is the author of the award-winning MY BLUE IS HAPPY, PLAY THIS BOOK and PET THIS BOOK, the HAGGIS AND TANK UNLEASHED series, the FINLEY FLOWERS series, SPY GUY THE NOT-SO-SECRET AGENT, A WISH IS A SEED, the FAIRYLIGHT FRIENDS series, and I'LL MEET YOU IN YOUR DREAMS.

Book Description: When a child makes a wish, where does it go? Like a tiny seed carried on the wind, a wish journeys through adversity, takes root, and grows. A Wish is a Seed is a celebration of the power and potential of hope often hidden in small packages and unexpected places.

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Carmen Oliver
Carmen Oliver



Carmen Oliver, Bears Make the Best Writing Buddies

Carmen Oliver is the author of the picture book series Bears Make the Best Buddies (Reading, Math, Writing, and Science) as well as the nonfiction picture book biography A Voice for the Spirit Bears: How One Boy Inspired Millions to Save a Rare Animal, a Junior Library Guild spring 2019 pick. She's also the author of the forthcoming picture books The Twilight Library (NorthSouth Books, 2022) and The Favio Chavez Story (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2022). Carmen's work has been shortlisted for the Rainforest of Reading Award, The Writers' League of Texas Awards and the CLEL Bell Picture Book Awards for Early Literacy. Growing up in Canada, she saw many bear species along the hiking trails but always kept a respectful distance. She and her family now call the wide-open spaces of Texas home.

Book Description: Adelaide loves writing. Bear loves writing. But Theo does NOT love writing. Thankfully, Adelaide and Bear are ready to team up and persuade the entire class, including Mrs. Fitz-Pea, that Bears make the best writing buddies. After all, who better to teach you how to fish and forage for new ideas than a bear? This third picture book in Carmen Oliver's Bears Make the Best...series is sure to encourage even the most reluctant writer to write a story.

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Rita Lorraine Hubbard
Rita Lorraine Hubbard



Rita Lorraine Hubbard, The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read

Rita Lorraine Hubbard is the author of a number of nonfiction books for adults and runs the children's book review site Picture Book Depot. She is the author of Hammering for Freedom: The Story of William Lewis, which was awarded the New Voices Award by Lee & Low Books and has received three starred reviews. Ms. Hubbard lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee. You can find her online at ritahubbard.com.

Book Description: In 1848, Mary Walker was born into slavery. At age 15, she was freed, and by age 20, she was married and had her first child. By age 68, she had worked numerous jobs, including cooking, cleaning, babysitting, and selling sandwiches to raise money for her church. At 114, she was the last remaining member of her family. And at 116, she learned to read. From Rita Lorraine Hubbard and rising star Oge More comes the inspirational story of Mary Walker, a woman whose long life spanned from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement, and who--with perseverance and dedication--proved that you're never too old to learn.

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Thursday,  October 15 - 7:00 pm EDT

Writing for "Tweens" and Teens, featuring authors Mariama Lockington, Greg Howard, Ismee Williams, and Jason Lady in conversation with Molly McCaffrey

Writing books for middle and high schoolers takes empathy, insight, relatable characters, humor, a dash of drama, and a whole lot more. Learn from these authors of fiction for tweens and teens as they discuss the full recipe for writing with this age group in mind.

Mariama J. Lockington
Mariama J. Lockington



Mariama J. Lockington, For Black Girls Like Me

Mariama J. Lockington is an adoptee, author, and nonprofit educator. She has been telling stories and making her own books since the second grade, when she wore shortalls and flower leggings every day to school. Her debut middle grade novel For Black Girls Like Me (FSG 2019) is a Junior Library Guild selection and has earned five starred reviews from Shelf Awareness, Publisher's Weekly, BookPage, School Library Journal, and Booklist. Her second middle grade novel is forthcoming in 2021. Her work has appeared in a number of magazines and journals, including Buzzfeed News Reader, Bodega Magazine, and Prelude Magazine, and she is the author of the poetry chapbook The Lucky Daughter (Damaged Goods Press, 2016). Mariama is a Bread Loaf Writers' Conference Alum, a Voices of Our Nation Arts Alum, a Literary Death Match Champion and she holds a Masters in Education from Lesley University and a Masters in Fine Arts in Poetry from San Francisco State University. Mariama calls many places home, but currently lives in Kentucky with her partner and her little sausage dog, Henry.

Book description: In this lyrical coming-of-age story about family, sisterhood, music, race, and identity, Mariama J. Lockington draws on some of the emotional truths from her own experiences growing up with an adoptive white family. I am a girl but most days I feel like a question mark. Makeda June Kirkland is eleven years old, adopted, and black. Her parents and big sister are white, and even though she loves her family very much, Makeda often feels left out. When Makeda's family moves from Maryland to New Mexico, she leaves behind her best friend, Lena--the only other adopted black girl she knows--for a new life. In New Mexico, everything is different. At home, Makeda's sister is too cool to hang out with her anymore and at school, she can't seem to find one real friend. Through it all, Makeda can't help but wonder: What would it feel like to grow up with a family that looks like me? Through singing, dreaming, and writing secret messages back and forth with Lena, Makeda might just carve a small place for herself in the world. For Black Girls Like Me is for anyone who has ever asked themselves: How do you figure out where you are going if you don't know where you came from?

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Greg Howard
Greg Howard



Greg Howard, Middle School's a Drag, You Better Werk!

Greg Howard was born and raised in the South Carolina Lowcountry, where his love of words and stories blossomed at a young age. Originally set on becoming a songwriter, Greg followed that dream to the bright lights of Nashville, Tennessee, and spent years producing the music of others before eventually returning to his childhood passion of writing stories. Greg writes young-adult and middle-grade novels focusing on LGBTQ characters and issues. He has an unhealthy obsession with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and currently resides in Nashville with his three rescued fur babies--Molly, Toby, and Riley. 

Book description: In this heartfelt and hilarious new novel from Greg Howard, an enterprising boy starts his own junior talent agency and signs a thirteen-year-old aspiring drag queen as his first client. Twelve-year-old Mikey Pruitt--president, founder, and CEO of Anything, Inc.--has always been an entrepreneur at heart. Inspired by his grandfather Pap Pruitt, who successfully ran all sorts of businesses from a car wash to a roadside peanut stand, Mikey is still looking for his million-dollar idea. Unfortunately, most of his ideas so far have failed. A baby tornado ran off with his general store, and the kids in his neighborhood never did come back for their second croquet lesson. But Mikey is determined to keep at it. It isn't until kid drag queen Coco Caliente, Mistress of Madness and Mayhem (aka eighth-grader Julian Vasquez) walks into his office (aka his family's storage/laundry room) looking for an agent that Mikey thinks he's finally found his million-dollar idea, and the Anything Talent and Pizzazz Agency is born! Soon, Mikey has a whole roster of kid clients looking to hit it big or at least win the middle school talent show's hundred-dollar prize. As newly out Mikey prepares Julian for the gig of a lifetime, he realizes there's no rulebook for being gay--and if Julian can be openly gay at school, maybe Mikey can, too, and tell his crush, dreamy Colton Sanford, how he feels. Full of laughs, sass, and hijinks, this hilarious, heartfelt story shows that with a little effort and a lot of love, anything is possible.

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Ismée Williams
Ismée Williams



Ismée Williams, This Train is Being Held

Ismée Williams is a pediatric cardiologist by day and an accomplished author by night. Her first book with Abrams, Water in May, was released in 2017 to critical acclaim. She lives in New York City. 

Book description: Alex is a baseball player. A great one. His papi is pushing him to go pro, but Alex maybe wants to be a poet. Not that Papi would understand or allow that. Isa is a dancer. She'd love to go pro, if only her Havana-born mom weren't dead set against it...just like she's dead set against her daughter falling for a Latino. And Isa's privileged private-school life—with her dad losing his job and her older brother struggling with mental illness—is falling apart. Not that she'd ever tell that to Alex. Fate—and the New York City subway—bring Alex and Isa together. Is it enough to keep them together when they need each other most?

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Jason Lady
Jason Lady



Jason Lady, Monster Problems

Jason is an army brat who grew up moving around a total of seven times on military bases from Germany to Fort Knox, Kentucky, and made friends by writing stories starring the kids in each new school. In his free time Jason can be found enjoying 1980's music and popular culture, watching Marvel movies, and is working on visiting all the MLB baseball stadiums. He lives in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife and many great friends. His first novel, Monster Problems, is accepted to the 2020 Ohioana Library Association Book Festival, and the prequel, Super Problems, comes out December 2020. 

Book description: Sixth-grader Brad makes the mistake of drawing instead of paying attention in class. When Brad's parents ground him from drawing, his bratty little brother Daley rubs it in. Later that night, Brad is surprised when a mysterious crow delivers a pen to his bedroom window. Missing his beloved drawing and frustrated with his brother, Brad uses the pen to draw a Daley-Destroyer, a giant slimy green creature that he envisions "getting" Daley. To Brad's surprise, the pen is a magic pen, and the Daley-Destroyer comes to life, just as he imagined it, slime and all, and starts going after Daley! To makes things worse, only he and Daley can see it! Can Brad erase his monster problem before it's too late?

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Molly McCaffrey
Molly McCaffrey



Molly McCaffrey (moderator)

Molly McCaffrey is the Pushcart-Prize nominated author of How to Survive Graduate School & Other Disasters and You Belong to Us. Since earning her PhD, her work has appeared everywhere from The Independent to The Vestal Review. She lives in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

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Thursday,  October 22 - 7:00 pm EDT

An Evening with Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

The Pulitzer Prize-winning authors will discuss their latest book, Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope, with Deidra Dennie of Transylvania University.  
 
 
 
This program is sponsored by Transylvania University.
 
 
 
Nicholas D. Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn
Nicholas D. Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn



Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope

Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, the first husband and wife to share a Pulitzer Prize for journalism, have coauthored four previous books: A Path Appears, Half the Sky, Thunder from the East, and China Wakes. They were awarded a Pulitzer in 1990 for their coverage of China, as well as the 2009 Dayton Literary Peace Prize Lifetime Achievement Award. Now an op-ed columnist for The New York Times, Kristof was previously bureau chief in Hong Kong, Beijing, and Tokyo. He won his second Pulitzer in 2006 for his columns on Darfur. WuDunn worked at the Times as a business editor and foreign correspondent in Tokyo and Beijing, and now works in finance and consulting. They live near New York City.

Book Description: Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, the best-selling authors of Half the Sky and A Path Appears, have returned with a deeply personal new book: Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope. Looking with clear eyes at our nation’s governmental failures over the past half century, the authors examine the contemporary crisis in working-class America through the lens of the families Nick grew up with in the rural, working class town of Yamhill, Oregon. Yamhill prospered for much of the twentieth century but, like many working class towns, has been devastated as blue collar jobs disappeared. About one-quarter of the kids Nick grew up with have died in adulthood from drugs, alcohol, suicide, or reckless accidents. “We wanted to understand more deeply what had happened to Nick’s friends on the school bus,” they write, and “how our country could have let tens of millions of people suffer an excruciating loss of jobs, dignity, lives, hopes and children.” Some of the stories are of the kids whom Nick had crushes on, passed notes to in class, danced with, or competed against on the high school track. As they explain: “together we’ve covered massacres, genocide, sex trafficking and other tragedy and heartbreak around the globe, but these struggles hit so close to home because Yamhill and America are home.” Reporting for the book took the authors to all fifty states, and they tell stories of struggling Americans across the country, ranging from the Dakotas and Oklahoma to New York and Virginia. Altogether, there emerges a picture of working-class families needlessly but profoundly damaged as a result of decades of policy mistakes. “Wiser policy requires our country to possess a richer understanding of why people fall behind,” they argue, and “a deeper comprehension of how many children grow up with the odds stacked against them.” With their superb, nuanced reportage, Kristof and WuDunn have given us a book that is both riveting and impossible to ignore.

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Deidra Dennie
Deidra Dennie



Deidra Dennie (moderator), Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion at Transylvania University 

Dennie has worked in the field of diversity, equity and inclusion in higher education and private industry for the past 17 years. She most recently served as chief diversity officer at Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland. After completing her bachelor’s degree at the University of Louisville, she earned a master’s in human resources development from Webster University and a Doctor of Public Administration from Valdosta State University.

Thursday,  October 29 - 7:00 pm EDT

Writing the Perfect Crime, featuring David Bell, Rea Frey, Andrew Welsh-Huggins, and Dana Ridenour 

Whether writing a thrilling, plot-twisting mystery or an agent-on-the-case, these authors truly know how to keep readers on the edge of their seats. Tune in to hear them talk about key elements in writing the perfect crime. 
 
David Bell
David Bell



David Bell (moderator), The Request 

David Bell is the USA Today-bestselling author of ten novels from Berkley/Penguin, including THE REQUEST, LAYOVER, SOMEBODY'S DAUGHTER, BRING HER HOME, SINCE SHE WENT AWAY, SOMEBODY I USED TO KNOW, THE FORGOTTEN GIRL, NEVER COME BACK, THE HIDING PLACE, and CEMETERY GIRL. His work has been translated into numerous foreign languages, and in 2013, he won the prestigious Prix Polar International de Cognac for best crime novel by an international author. He is a professor of English at Western Kentucky University where he directs the MFA program in creative writing. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, he spends his free time rooting for the Reds and Bengals, watching movies, and walking in the cemetery near his house. He lives in Bowling Green, Kentucky, with his wife, writer Molly McCaffrey.

Book Description: Ryan Francis has it all--great job, wonderful wife, beautiful child--and he loves posting photos of his perfect life on social media. Until the night his friend Blake asks him to break into a woman's home to retrieve incriminating items that implicate Blake in an affair. Ryan refuses to help, but when Blake threatens to reveal Ryan's darkest secret--which could jeopardize everything in Ryan's life--Ryan has no choice but to honor Blake's request. When he arrives at the woman's home, Ryan is shocked to find her dead--and just as shocked to realize he knows her. Then his phone chimes, revealing a Facebook friend request from the woman. With police sirens rapidly approaching, Ryan flees, wondering why his friend was setting him up for murder. Determined to keep his life intact and to clear his name, Ryan must find the real murderer--but solving the crime may lead him closer to home than he ever could have imagined.

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Rea Frey
Rea Frey



Rea Frey, Until I Find You

Rea Frey is the multi-published, award-winning bestselling author of three suspense novels and four nonfiction books. She’s been featured in US Weekly, Entertainment Weekly, Popsugar, Hello Sunshine, Marie Claire, Parade, Shape, Hello Giggles, CrimeReads, Writer’s Digest, WGN, Fox News, Today in Nashville, Talk of the Town, and more. She also recently founded and scaled her six-figure business Writeway™, where aspiring writers become published authors. On her weekly Writeway™ podcast, she cuts through the B.S. of the publishing industry and gives writers the exact information they need to make informed decisions about their careers. When she’s not busy running a business, meeting book deadlines, or homeschooling her daughter, you can find her alternating between meditating, exercising, and trying not to lose her mind in the process. To learn more, visit reafrey.com or writewayco.com.

Book Description: In Until I Find You, celebrated author Rea Frey brings you her most explosive, emotional, taut domestic drama yet about the powerful bond between mothers and children...and how far one woman will go to bring her son home. 2 floors. 55 steps to go up. 40 more to the crib. Since Rebecca Gray was diagnosed with a degenerative eye disease, everything in her life consists of numbers. Each day her world grows a little darker and each step becomes a little more dangerous. Following days of feeling like someone's watching her, Bec awakes at home to the cries of her son in his nursery. When it's clear he's not going to settle, Bec goes to check on him. She reaches in. Picks him up. But he's not her son. And no one believes her. One woman's desperate search for her son . . .In a world where seeing is believing, Bec must rely on her own conviction and a mother's instinct to uncover the truth about what happened to her baby and bring him home for good.

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Andrew Welsh-Huggins
Andrew Welsh-Huggins



Andrew Welsh-Huggins, Columbus Noir (editor)

Andrew Welsh-Huggins is the author of six mysteries featuring Andy Hayes, a former Ohio State and Cleveland Browns quarterback turned private eye. Andrew is also the editor of Columbus Noir from Akashic Books. Andrew's nonfiction book, No Winners Here Tonight, is the definitive history of the death penalty in Ohio.

Book Description: An anthology of 14 mystery stories, each by a different writer, each set in a different central Ohio neighborhood. It's the 101st release in Akashic Books' award-winning noir series.

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Dana Ridenour
Dana Ridenour



Dana Ridenour, Below the Radar

Dana Ridenour is the award-winning author of the Lexie Montgomery FBI series. She is a retired FBI agent who spent most of her career as an FBI undercover operative. Born and raised in Kentucky, she now lives in Beaufort, South Carolina, but still cheers for her beloved Wildcats.  

Book Description: After her last assignment went horribly wrong, everyone tells FBI Special Agent Lexie Montgomery she needs a break. But Lexie is determined to keep going with her undercover work-so when a Dutch constable goes missing, she jumps at the chance. Along with Blake Bennett, her unfamiliar new partner, Lexie is thrown into the Gathering, a haven for environmental activists planning illegal activity. It's a dangerous situation, but she blends right in-a little too well, Blake thinks. As the pair of them try to get closer to the vanished constable, he begins to suspect that Lexie may be hiding an affinity for the eco-extremists' cause. With her loyalties in question from both sides, Lexie will be forced to prove herself as an undercover agent and as a new recruit for the terrorists' cause. But as time starts to run out, staying below the radar may prove harder than she'd planned.

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