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Popular Writers Live series marks 10 years in Palm Beach libraries


Writers Live celebrates its 10th anniversary as the flagship author series sponsored by the Friends of the Palm Beach County Library System. And as an anniversary present to readers who pack these events, the organizers have scheduled a bang-up schedule. Admission is free to all events, but reservations are required as the venues quickly fill. Information at Events this month include:

Feb. 5: Michael Tougias, a New York Times best-selling author and co-author of 24 books best known for his survival-at-sea books, will discuss his latest, “The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Most Daring Sea Rescue,” at 2 p.m. at the Palm Beach Gardens Library, 11303 Campus Drive.

Feb. 13: J.A. Jance returns with her popular series about Seattle detective J.P. Beaumont in “Proof of Life,” in which Beaumont follows his gut to outwit and survive a killer bent on revenge, at 2 p.m. at the West Boynton Branch Library, 9451 Jog Road.

Feb. 15: Andrew Gross’ latest historical novel, “The Saboteur,” is based on a true story in which a Norwegian soldier leads a mission to halt Germany’s march across Europe, at 2 p.m. at the Hagen Ranch Road Branch, 14350 Hagen Ranch Road, Delray Beach.

Read a review of "The Saboteur" »

Feb. 15: Sam Graham-Felsen has worked as chief blogger for Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, a journalist for “The Nation” and a peanut vendor at Fenway Park. His debut novel, “Green,” is about race and privilege in America and has been receiving enthusiastic reviews, at 6:30 p.m. at the Jupiter Branch Library, 705 Military Trail.

Feb. 18: The premier event of Writers LIVE! is the Palm Beach Peril panel, and this year’s takes a different approach. R.L. Stine, best known for his wildly popular Goosebumps series, will moderate a panel of young adult thriller and horror authors, offering an inside look at the craft and business of contemporary fiction and the creative process. Authors will include J.D. Fennell (“Sleeper”), Sheila Sobel (“Color Blind”), Jessica Bayliss (“Broken Chords”), Karen M. McManus (“One of Us Is Lying”) and Megan Miranda (“Fragments of the Lost”). Palm Beach Peril will be at 2 p.m. at the South County Civic Center, 16700 Jog Road, Delray Beach.

Feb. 27: Kate Alcott makes a splash with her latest novel, “The Hollywood Daughter,” a Hollywood coming-of-age novel in which Ingrid Bergman’s affair with Roberto Rossellini forces her biggest fan to reconsider everything she was raised to believe, at 2 p.m. at the West Boynton Branch Library, 9451 Jog Road.

Kristin Hannah in Davie

Kristin Hannah has amassed a strong fan base more than 20 best-selling novels, including “The Nightingale” and “Home Front.” Hannah returns with “The Great Alone,” a story that already has resonated with her readers. Set in Alaska during 1974, “The Great Alone” centers on 13-year-old Leni Allbright, whose father, Ernt, has returned home a volatile man following his years as a POW. But his undiagnosed PTSD puts his family at risk as Leni and her mother learn the dangers of isolation and paranoia. Hannah will discuss “The Great Alone” as part of the Diane & Barry Wilen Jewish Book Festival beginning at 7 p.m. Feb. 18 at the Orlove Auditorium, David Posnack Jewish Community Center, 5850 S. Pine Island Road, Davie. Cost is $36, which includes a copy of “The Great Alone.”

Paul Goldberg will discuss his humorous novel “The Chateau“ at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22 at the Orlove Auditorium. “The Chateau“ revolves around a retired Washington Post reporter who flies to Florida to investigate the “scandalous” death of his former college roommate and gets caught up in a condo board election and other Florida-centric situations. Tickets are $10 for members, $12 for nonmembers.

For information on either event, call 954-434-0499, ext. 336, or visit

Goldberg also will discuss “The Chateau” at 7 p.m. Feb. 21 at Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables, 305-442-4408; and at 7 p.m. Feb. 23 at Murder on the Beach, 273 Pineapple Grove Way, Delray Beach, 561-279-7790,

Spoken word

Want a chance to show your creativity? Lyricists, poets, performance artists and writers can sign up to perform at the Let’s Speak Truth Poetry & Spoken Word Night from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. March 2 in the Adolfo & Marisela Cotilla Gallery in the Alvin Sherman Library at Nova Southeastern University, 3301 College Ave., Davie. Deadline to sign up is Feb. 23. For more information, contact Christie Williams at or 954-262-2106, or LeThesha Harris at or 954-262-5476. Participants can perform an original piece or a favorite work. Performances will be limited to five minutes and must be “G” rated — no profanity or graphic language permitted.

No mystery to Sleuthfest’s success

March comes in like a lion, or rather with Sleuthfest, the nationally known writers’ conference, March 1-4 at the Embassy Suites, 661 NW 53rd St., Boca Raton. Best-selling author Andrew Gross is the guest of honor. Sponsored by the Florida chapter of the Mystery Writers of America, Sleuthfest will feature more than 30 authors, including Hallie Ephron, Hank Phillippi Ryan and James R. Benn, discussing the craft of writing. Agents and editors from G.P. Putnam’s Sons, St. Martin’s Press, Crooked Lane Books and Down & Out Books will be available for manuscript critiques and strategy appointments. For the Sunday Brunch, forensics expert Katherine Ramsland and certified hypnotist Glenn Miller will do a presentation about the upside and downside of using hypnosis as an investigative tool. For more information, call 561-716-3481, email, or visit

Mystery in the neighborhood

Lauren Doyle Owens’ debut “The Other Side of Everything” follows the murders of elderly women in a South Florida neighborhood on decline. Owens’ fictional town of Seven Springs, described as in the “dense suburban sprawl between Fort Lauderdale and Miami,” captures the atmosphere and feeling of South Florida, especially Broward County. Owens will discuss “The Other Side of Everything” at 6 p.m. Feb. 6 at the Florida Center for the Book, Main Library, 100 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale, rsvp to 954-357-7386.

Read a review of "The Other Side of Everything" »

Books and art

The Café Society Book Group at the NSU Art Museum is taking a different approach with its get-togethers. The monthly meetings will discuss a book relating to the museum’s exhibits, collections or other themes at 3 p.m. the second Thursday of each month, at the museum, One E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, For reservations call 954-262-0258. Upcoming discussions include Feb. 8: “The Little Paris Bookshop” by Nina George; March 8: “Slow Art: The Experience of Learning” by Arden Reed; April 12: “Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk” by Kathleen Rooney; May 10: “A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles.

Reading’s power

The Four Arts Museum in Palm Beach recently launched a Page Turners series to delve into literature. Best-selling author Ann Hood will discuss how and why she wrote “The Book That Matters Most” at 1:30 p.m. Feb. 12 in the Fitz Eugene Dixon Education Building on the Society of the Four Arts campus, 2 Four Arts Plaza, Hood’s presentation is free, but reservations are required. Call 561-655-2766 or email “The Book That Matters Most” revolves around a newly separated woman who joins a book club for companionship and discovers the power of reading.

Fantasy in thrillers

Author S.L. Menear will discuss “Melding Fantasy with Reality in Action Thrillers” beginning at 11:30 a.m. Feb. 17 during the meeting of the Florida chapter of Mystery Writers of America at the Embassy Suites, 661 NW 53rd St., Boca Raton. Cost is $25 for members; $30 for non-members. To register, email Harriet at

Deadline for the March column is Feb. 20.


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