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2012 Literary Dinners

  1. Author: Diana Abu-Jaber and N.M. Kelby
    Host: Julie Pabst and Tim Ingham
    Location: 1224 Seminole Drive

    Diana Abu-Jaber brings contemporary Miami alive in her lush new novel, Birds of Paradise, the story of a family that comes apart at the seams when its youngest daughter runs away from home - and then finds its way together again. In its review, calls the book "totally involving and deeply satisfying." Abu-Jaber, who lives part of the year in South Florida, is also the author of a culinary memoir, The Language of Baklava, and three previous novels, Arabian Jazz, Crescent and Origin.

    N.M. Kelby's White Truffles in Winter is an imaginative look at the life of legendary French chef Auguste Escoffier, his loves (actress Sarah Bernhardt and poet Delphine Daffis), his food and how to express love on a plate. Kelby's prose was described in Kirkus Reviews as "lusciously rich as the truffles and foie gras that dominate Escoffier's recipes." Raised in Florida, Kelby is the author of five previous novels, including Whale Season and Travel Guide for Reckless Hearts and a guide to writing fiction.

  2. Author: John U. Bacon
    Host: Laura and Gordon Devens
    Location: Riverside Hotel, 620 East Las Olas Boulevard

    John U. Bacon is a writer, speaker, and sports commentator. His latest in a string of books on Michigan sports is Three and Out; Rich Rodriguez and the Michigan Wolverines in the Crucible of College Football. This is the story of one of college football's star coaches who took over a winning team only to lose the next three seasons. He also is the author of books on the creativity that drives Cirque du Soleil and how Walgreen's became so successful.

  3. Author: Barry Barnes and Ann Hood
    Host: The Tower Club with Beth and Greg McGowan and Wine Watch
    Location: 100 Southeast 3rd Avenue

    Barry Barnes drew on his 20 years of corporate business experience and Grateful Dead expertise to write Everything I Know About Business I Learned from the Grateful Dead; The Ten Most Innovative Lessons from a Long, Strange Trip. Nova Southeastern University Professor Barnes explains how the Grateful Dead, one of the most profitable and enduring bands, were masters of improvisation, not only in their music but also in the way they ran their business.

    Ann Hood braids together the stories of Chinese birth mothers who give up their daughters in The Red Thread, a moving novel of fate and the red thread that binds these characters' lives. Author Jodi Picoult describes it as a "beautifully rendered piece of art." The author of ten books, including the bestsellers The Knitting Circle and Comfort, Hood has also written for The Paris Review, Tin House, and O, The Oprah Magazine. Actress Katherine Heigl is set to star in and produce an adaptation of The Knitting Circle for HBO.

  4. Author: Mary Jane Clark
    Host: Judy Stern
    Location: The Atlantic Resort & Spa, 5th Floor Ocean Terrace - 601 North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard

    Mary Jane Clark has used her three decades in network television as background for her dozen mystery titles. She's known for motive and plotting rather than bloodshed. She now has launched the Wedding Cake series featuring cake decorator Piper Donovan. The second of this series, The Look of Love, has just been published.

  5. Author: Leila Cobo and Jeffrey Kluger
    Host: Carol Harrison and Barbara Lefka / Janet and Jim Wolff
    Location: 1301 East Lake Drive

    Leila Cobo, Fulbright scholar, novelist, pianist, TV host and executive editor for Latin content and programming for Billboard magazine. Originally from Cali, Colombia, she has woven her roots and American life into two books, the acclaimed Tell Me Something True, and the just released The Second Time We Met, the story of the emotional tangle of an adored adopted son's search for his biological mother. Prior to Billboard, she was the pop music critic at The Miami Herald.

    Jeffrey Kluger, a veteran writer for Time magazine, has made his name by explaining things. His newest book, The Sibling Effect: What the Bonds Among Brothers and Sisters Reveal About Us, describes how this closest of relationships affects our lives. He was co-author of Lost Moon, the book behind the movie Apollo 13, and author of books on complexity and simplicity, the polio vaccine and space exploration.

  6. Author: Lauren Groff
    Host: Mary and Robert Daniels with Samuel F. Morrison
    Location: 2047 Northeast 14th Court

    Lauren Groff appeared at Literary Feast after the 2008 publication of her acclaimed Monsters of Templeton, an exhilarating blend of history and ghosts set in a fictionalized version of her hometown, Cooperstown, N.Y. She since has published a collection of short stories, Delicate Edible Birds. Her second novel, Arcadia, will come out mid-March 2012.

  7. Author:Julia Spencer-Fleming
    Host: Irvin Lippman and Mitchell Kaplan
    Location: Books & Books at Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale, Nova Southeastern University - 1 East Las Olas Boulevard

    Julia Spencer-Fleming has just published the seventh in her novels of faith, murder and romance that feature The Rev. Claire Fergusson, who has just returned from service as combat helicopter pilot, and small-town Police Chief Russ Van Alstyne. One Was a Soldier focuses on the issues of the re-entry of veterans after war. She is one of a growing number of mystery writers based in Maine.

  8. Author: Bernice L. McFadden
    Host: Urban League of Broward County with Sheryl Dickey
    Location: African-American Research Library and Cultural Center - 2650 Sistrunk Boulevard

    Bernice McFadden brings a fresh vision in her new novel, Gathering of Waters, to the horrific 1955 story of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African-American boy killed in Mississippi supposedly for flirting with a white woman. Her previous books include Glorious, This Bitter Earth, The Warmest December and Sugar. She also writes humorous fiction under the pen name of Geneva Holliday.

  9. Author: Andrew S. Rosen
    Host: Kaplan University
    Location: Morton's The Steakhouse - 500 East Broward Boulevard

    Andrew S. Rosen in his new book Rebooting for the New Talent Economy, details how far the American higher education system has strayed from the goals of access, quality, affordability and accountability. He then offers a prescription to restore American educational pre-eminence. He is CEO of Kaplan, Inc., the educational conglomerate.

  10. Author: David Rosenfelt
    Host: Neil Ellenoff
    Location: The Secret Garden at The Pillars Hotel - 111 North Birch Road

    David Rosenfelt has made his name in thrillers with a series starring lawyer Andy Carpenter and his dog, Tara. His newest, Heart of a Killer, joins his other stand-alone mysteries and is a tale of an ordinary man facing an impossible situation. A former marketing executive in the film industry, he and his wife devote their time to rescuing dogs.

  11. Author: Sally Bedell Smith
    Host: Raquel and Ray Ferrero, Jr. / Mary Copeland and Jose A. Gonzalez, Jr. / Margaret and Carlos Sires
    Location: Mariner Room, Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six - 2301 Southeast 17th Street

    Sally Bedell Smith has written best-selling biographies of personalities as diverse as William S. Paley, Princess Diana, the Clintons and the Kennedys. Her newest book is Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of the Modern Monarch, an up-close look at the reign that fascinates people on both sides of The Pond. She is a contributing editor of Vanity Fair.

  12. Author: Kate White
    Host: Susanne and Allan Migdall with Joi Freeman
    Location: Lauderdale Yacht Club - 1725 Southeast 12th Street

    Kate White is the veteran editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, author of three career books for women, and eight mystery novels. Her newest books are The Sixes: A Novel, an eerie tale of a secret society of mean girls and the evil that they cause on a college campus, and So Pretty It Hurts, the latest in the Bailey Weggins mystery series about the death of a glamorous supermodel. Kate's writer's eye has been described by the New York Times as "scathingly observant," capturing "the mood...with a verisimilitude some of her peers might recognize."

  13. Author: Doc Hendley
    Host: U.S. Trust, hosted by Sal Ferradas and Penelope Blair
    Location: Lago Mar Resort & Club - 1700 South Ocean Lane

    Doc is Founder and President of Wine To Water, a non-profit aid organization focused on providing clean water to people in need around the world. Hendley was a top-10 finalist for CNN's 2009 Hero of the Year and was featured on AC 360 with Anderson Cooper during the Haiti earthquake coverage as he provided and installed clean water filters for Haitian orphanages in Port-au-Prince. In his book, Wine to Water: A Bartender's Quest to Bring Clean Water to the World, Doc tells the story of how an ordinary guy can help change the world. Told in his unique renegade style, this gripping tale of braving tribal warfare in far-flung regions of the world draws attention to one of the largest and yet most under-reported humanitarian crises.


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