Bestselling Authors Discussing Their Works

Writers LIVE!, our flagship author event series, returns for another season of bringing the community together with authors and their books. The 2022 line-up of bestselling, critically acclaimed, and award-winning authors will be discussing their work in a combination of in-person and virtual events.

Seating at in-person events is limited. Preregistration is strongly suggested.

Local independent booksellers will have featured titles available for purchase at in-person events. A percentage of each sale will be donated to the Friends of the Palm Beach County Library — directly benefiting library services and activities, supporting local business, and encouraging the love of reading. Whether for your home library or giving a perfect gift, all purchases are greatly appreciated!

Thank you to our Writers LIVE! 2022 retailers:

This series is made possible through the generous support of the Friends of the Palm Beach County Library System, Inc.

Current Registrations

"One-Legged Mongoose: Secrets, Legacies, and Coming of Age in 1950s New York,"

Physician, art connoisseur and writer Marc J. Straus is the author of four poetry collections, nearly 50 articles on art, some 100 scientific papers, and the editor of three textbooks on lung cancer. He has received numerous awards including the Robert Penn Warren Award in the Humanities from Yale University and Boston’s Young Leader Award — an honor previously bestowed to John F. Kennedy. “One-Legged Mongoose: Secrets, Legacies, and Coming of Age in 1950s New York,” is his inspiring memoir about growing up on Long Island in the 1950s along with his siblings, immigrant Jewish father, and violent but brilliant mother. The book chronicles the complex relationships that shaped him, the challenges of growing up Jewish in post WWII America and his journey from boyhood to adolescent awareness that he was responsible for his own life. An avid contemporary art collector along with his wife Livia, the two founded Hudson Valley MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art), a public museum about one hour north of New York City in 2004. HVMOCA has been the spark for revitalization of the area. In 2011, Marc opened an art gallery on the Lower Eastside of Manhattan, MARC STRAUS, which represents 24 artists from 16 countries and is among the leading galleries today.

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"Black Girls Must Be Magic,"

Jayne Allen, in her life outside of writing, is a serial entrepreneur, Harvard-trained attorney and engineer. She dabbles in standup comedy, tries to learn one new thing a week, and relishes laughter and champagne bubbles with her girlfriends and family. Jayne writes fiction out of life experiences, calling every character “fragments of reality strung together by imagination” and strives to tell stories that stick to your bones. She calls her series Black Girls Must Die Exhausted “chocolate chick lit with a conscience,” touching upon contemporary women’s issues such as workplace womanhood, race, fertility, modern relationships and mental health awareness. Her writing echoes her desire to bring both multiculturalism and multidimensionality to contemporary women’s fiction with dynamic female protagonists who also happen to be black. The second installment in the series, “Black Girls Must Be Magic,” finds protagonist Tabitha Walker coping with more of life’s challenges and a happy surprise — a baby — with a little help and lots of love from friends old and new. The series has received praise from a range of outlets including The New York Times and Good Morning America. It is Jayne’s passion to help further the cause of increasing diversity in book publishing and to use her work to help people move past bias in the name of growth, connection and innovation.

Explore Jayne Allen’s Novels Back to the Open Registrations

"Eternal Night at the Nature Museum"

Tyler Barton‘s debut full-length book of fiction, “Eternal Night at the Nature Museum,” was published by Sarabande Books in November 2021. He’s also the author of “The Quiet Part Loud,” winner of the Turnbuckle Chapbook Contest from Split Lip Press. His short fiction has been published widely in journals and magazines such as Kenyon Review, Subtropics, The Iowa Review, Gulf Coast, Cincinnati Review, Copper Nickel and others. The 20 vivid, rowdy, buoyant stories in “Eternal Night at the Nature Museum,” are a collection of unforgettable safe havens perfect for crashing, even if only for a night. Stories from “Eternal Night at the Nature Museum” have been awarded prizes and honors from Kenyon Review, Phoebe Journal, The Chicago Review of Books, The Best of the Net, and Best Small Fictions 2020. He serves as the Communication Manager for the Adirondack Center for Writing in Saranac Lake, NY.

Explore Tyler Barton’s Work Back to the Open Registrations

"Democracy Abroad, Lynching at Home: Racial Violence in Florida,"

Tameka Bradley-Hobbs is an author, commentator, educator, facilitator and consultant with expertise in African American history, public history and antiracism education. She is the author of “Democracy Abroad, Lynching at Home: Racial Violence in Florida,” which won the 2015 Florida Book Award for Florida Nonfiction and the 2016 Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore Award from the Florida Historical Society. In 2020, Hobbs founded the Social Justice Institute at Florida Memorial University. Hobbs also serves as chair of the board of directors for the South Florida People of Color, a nonprofit organization based in Miami Shores, Florida, dedicated to eradicating racism through education and advocacy. She earned her undergraduate degree from Florida A&M University, and her doctoral degree in United States History and Historical Administration and Public History from Florida State University. She has two sons, Will and Bryan, and lives in Miramar, Florida.

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Dr. Tameka Bradley-Hobbs’
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"The Inheritance,"

The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author JoAnn Ross is the author of over a hundred novels published in 27 countries. A member of the Romance Writers of America’s Honor Roll of bestselling authors, she has won several awards including Romantic Times’ Career Achievement Award for Contemporary Romance. Her latest release, “The Inheritance,” is a generational saga full of sisterly affection and rivalry with a dramatic WWII love story woven throughout. It is Joann’s first novel of women’s fiction and recommended for fans of Susan Wiggs, Mary Alice Monroe and Lisa Wingate. JoAnn lives with her husband and rescued Siamese cat — who pretty much rules the house — in the Pacific Northwest.

Explore JoAnn Ross’ Work Back to the Open Registrations

"Isaac’s Beacon,"

The New York Times bestselling author David L. Robbins has written 15 novels, four professionally-produced plays and in 2018, was named one of two most influential literary artists in the Commonwealth of Virginia for the past 50 years by the Virginia Commission for the Arts. His new historical fiction novel, “Isaac’s Beacon,” is a sweeping tale based on the real events of Israel’s founding, bringing alive the power and complexities of the birth of the Jewish state. David is the founder of the James River Writers, a nonprofit organization in his hometown of Richmond that helps aspiring writers and students work and learn together as a writing community. He also co-founded The Podium Foundation, a nonprofit which brings writing and critical reasoning programs to youth in the greater Richmond metropolitan area. In 2015, he founded The Mighty Pen Project, a writing program for Virginia’s military veterans. Robbins lives and writes in his hometown of Richmond, Virginia, and teaches advanced creative writing at Virginia Commonwealth University.

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"The Mandolin Lunch,"

Missouri Vaun is a two-time Golden Crown Literary Society award-winning lesbian romance writer published by Bold Strokes Books. Vaun spent a large part of her childhood in southern Mississippi, before attending high school in North Carolina and college in Tennessee. Strong connections to her roots in the rural South have been a grounding force throughout her life. Vaun spent 12 years finding her voice working as a journalist in places as disparate as Chicago, Atlanta and Jackson, Mississippi, all along filing away characters and their stories. Her novels are heartfelt and earthy; they speak of loyalty and our responsibility to others. “The Mandolin Lunch,” Vaun’s latest novel, is the gentle story of what happens when a cavalier art teacher and meticulous music teacher cross paths at a rural public school. Vaun and her wife live in California.

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"The Dowry Bride,"

Born and raised in India, award-winning author Shobhan Bantwal came to the United States as a young bride in an arranged marriage. Bantwal’s six novels of multicultural women’s fiction with romantic elements have been branded as “Bollywood in a Book.” They provide a fascinating glimpse into India’s contemporary culture and controversial social issues like arranged marriage, female feticide and the cross-cultural Indian-American experience. Her debut, “The Dowry Bride,” exposes the dowry abuse still present in modern-day India and went on to win the Golden Leaf Debut Novel award. “The Unexpected Son,” a captivating tale of one woman’s return to India — the place where she lost everything and now has everything to gain — earned the 2012 National Indie Excellence Award. “The Forbidden Daughter,” also set in India, deals with the issue of gender selective abortion. Bantwal’s articles and short stories have appeared in The Writer, Romantic Times, India Abroad, India Currents, Little India, and New Woman. Shobhan lives in Arizona with her husband.

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"The Water Defenders: How Ordinary People Save a Country from Corporate Greed,"

Robin Broad and John Cavanagh, authors of “The Water Defenders: How Ordinary People Saved a Country from Corporate Greed,” are a husband-and-wife team who have been involved in the Salvadoran gold mining saga since 2009. Broad is an expert in international development, winning a prestigious Guggenheim fellowship for her work on this project, as well as two previous MacArthur fellowships. A professor at American University, she served as an international economist in the US Treasury Department, in the US Congress and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Cavanagh is director of the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Policy Studies, an organization that collaborates with the Poor People’s Campaign and other dynamic social movements to turn ideas into action for peace, justice and the environment. Previously, he worked with the United Nations to research corporate power. With Broad, he helped build the network of international allies that spearheaded the global fight against mining in El Salvador. “The Water Defenders: How Ordinary People Save a Country from Corporate Greed,” tells the David and Goliath story of community groups in El Salvador and their international allies rallying together to prevent a global mining corporation from poisoning the country’s main water source while providing valuable lessons for those fighting against destructive corporations in the United States and across the world.

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Thrity Umrigar is an award-winning journalist and the bestselling author of numerous novels including, “Bombay Time,” “The Space Between Us,” “If Today Be Sweet,” “The Weight of Heaven,” and “The Secrets Between Us.” Umrigar is also the author of the memoir, “First Darling of the Morning: Selected Memories of an Indian Childhood,” and three children’s picture books. Her books have been translated into several languages and published in over 15 countries. Her new novel, “Honor,” is a tender and evocative novel that tells the story of two couples and the sometimes dangerous and heartbreaking challenges of love across a cultural divide. It has been selected as an Indie Next List Pick for January 2022. Thrity is the winner of the Cleveland Arts Prize, a Lambda Literary award and the Seth Rosenberg prize. She is also the recipient of the Nieman Fellowship to Harvard. Thrity currently lives in Cleveland and is a Distinguished University Professor of English at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

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"Escape!: The Story of the Confederacy’s Infamous Libby Prison and the Civil War’s Largest Jail Break,"
“George Washington’s Final Battle: The Epic Struggle to Build a Capital City and a Nation,”

Dr. Robert Watson is an award-winning author, historian and professor who has published over 40 books and 200 scholarly articles and essays on topics in history and politics, as well as two multi-edition, multi-volume encyclopedia sets on the presidents and first ladies. A frequent media commentator, Watson has been interviewed thousands of times by news outlets around the world including CNN, MSNBC, USA Today, The New York Times, NPR and the BBC, and he has appeared on Hardball, The Daily Show, and C-SPAN’s American History TV. He holds the titles Distinguished Professor of American History, Avron Fogelman Research Professor, and Director of Project Civitas at Lynn University and Senior Fellow with Senator Bob Graham’s Florida Joint Center for Citizenship. Two of Watson’s recent works, “Escape!: The Story of the Confederacy’s Infamous Libby Prison and the Civil War’s Largest Jail Break” and “George Washington’s Final Battle: The Epic Struggle to Build a Capital City and a Nation” will be the focus of this presentation. He is the proud father of Alexander and Isabella.

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"Answers in the Form of Questions: A Definitive History and Insider’s Guide to Jeopardy!,"

Claire McNear writes about sports and culture at The Ringer, where she has covered everything from a Property Brothers cruise to the Washington Nationals’ World Series run to the cult of the famed (and feared) Chicago-born liquor Malört. Like so many others, she was brought up watching Jeopardy! each and every weeknight with her family. This served as inspiration for her regular Jeopardy! column at The Ringer which led to the book, “Answers in the Form of Questions: A Definitive History and Insider’s Guide to Jeopardy!,” — an attempt to realize her lifelong quest of finally shouting out the answers before her parents. Formerly of SB Nation, her work has also appeared in Sports Illustrated and Vice. She lives in Washington, D.C.

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"All the Feels,"

Olivia Dade grew up an undeniable nerd, prone to ignoring the world around her as she read any book she could find. Her favorites, though, were always, romances. As an adult, she earned an M.A. in American history and worked in a variety of jobs that required the donning of actual pants: Colonial Williamsburg interpreter, high school teacher, academic tutor and librarian. Now, however, she has finally achieved her lifelong goal of wearing pajamas all day as a hermit-like writer and enthusiastic hag. “All the Feels,” the second installment of her Spoiler Alert series is a charming romantic comedy about a devil-may-care actor who actually cares more than anyone knows and the no-nonsense women hired to keep him in line. Olivia currently lives outside Stockholm with her patient Swedish husband, their whip-smart daughter, and the family’s ever-burgeoning collection of books.

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