Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Florida Romance Writers April Meeting

FRW April Meeting
April 14, 2018
10:00am to 12:00pm

Tigertail Lake Recreational Center
580 Gulf Stream Way
Dania Beach FL 33004

SPEAKER: John Dufresne – Flash Fiction
For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn.” This very short narrative is over quite suddenly, but continues to evoke an emotional story for the reader. John DuFresne will explain the basics of flash fiction (very short fiction), and the art of refining, concentrating, layering, and resonating your writing to fit the shrinking attention spans of our twenty-first century lives.
John Dufresne is the author of six novels, two short story collections, as well as three chapbooks. He has three books on writing including Flash!. He has also written a full-length play, which was produced at the Blue Heron Theatre in New York in 2005, and the screenplay for the award-winning short film The Freezer Jesus. John was a 2012-13 Guggenheim Fellow and teaches in the MFA program at Florida International University in Miami.
$10 for FRW members, $15 for nonmembers.

Paypal buttons on the bottom of the page at:

If paying by PayPal, please bring the receipt/confirmation number to the meeting. Checks made out to Florida Romance Writers are mailed to: c/o Tina Stitzer, 12600 SW 5th CT, # L207, Pembroke Pines, FL 33027-6734.  

Please RSVP janetfrankslittle@gmail.com by the Wednesday prior to the workshop so enough tables and chairs will be available.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Arlo Haskell Wins Florida Book Award for “The Jews of Key West”

Key West writer is first Keys native ever selected. 

Tallahassee, FL — Local writer Arlo Haskell has won the 2017 Florida Book Award, according to a statement from Florida State University this week. His debut work of nonfiction, The Jews of Key West: Smugglers, Cigar-Makers, & Revolutionaries (1823-1969), will receive the Phillip and Dana Zimmerman Gold Medal for Florida Nonfiction and a $500 cash prize at the annual awards banquet in the state capital next month.

Haskell joins other 2017 winners including Edwidge Danticat, whose Art of Death won gold in the general nonfiction category; and Randy Wayne White, whose Mangrove Lightning won a bronze medal in fiction. More than 200 books were considered across 11 categories of competition.

Established in 2006 and now the most comprehensive state book awards program in the nation, the Florida Book Awards celebrate the best Florida literature. Authors must be full-time Florida residents, except in the Florida nonfiction and visual arts categories, where the subject matter must focus on Florida.

Haskell is believed to be the first Keys native to receive the prestigious award. Born on Big Coppitt Key in 1977 and a graduate of Key West High School, he is also the executive director of the Key West Literary Seminar.
The winning authors from across the state will be honored at the Abitz Family Dinner, the annual awards banquet April 12 at Mission San Luis in Tallahassee. The public is invited to attend.

Southwest Florida Meeting of the Florida MWA in April

The next Southwest Florida meeting of the Florida MWA will be Saturday, April 14th and will feature author Suzi Weinert. She will discuss her Garage Sale mystery series, her dance with Hollywood, and having her books produced for the Hallmark Channel. 

 All meetings start at 1pm. They meet in room 108 of the L-building at Florida SouthWestern State College - adjacent to the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall. There will be signs to guide you.  Check the Lee Campus map here for more details <http://www.fsw.edu/about/maps

 Parking: You are allowed to park in Lot 7 next to the L-building (usually reserved for faculty) on Saturday, even if there is an event going on at BB Mann.

 You do not have to be an MWA member to attend this meeting - although MWA membership materials will be available - invite your fiction writing friends.

 They will meet for lunch before each meeting at 11:30 at Jason's Deli - 13550 Reflection Parkway, Fort Myers. It's off Cypress Lake Drive near the FSW campus.

 Contact Michael L. Joy with questions:

APRIL 2018 Monthly Meeting of FMWA

APRIL 2018 Monthly Meeting of FMWA

DATE: APRIL 21, 2018, Florida Chapter, Mystery Writers of America Lunch Meeting

GUEST SPEAKER: Jupiter Police Chief Frank Kitzerow

PROGRAM: The Challenges of Being a Police Chief in a Thriving South Florida Town

The job of Police Chief encompasses more than simply making sure that felons are brought to justice. It requires managing large scale events, crime scene management, media challenges, management of high profile cases, personnel related issues, future trends in criminality, and leveraging technology to prevent and solve crimes. If you want to lend some authenticity to your crime mysteries or police procedurals, you do not want to miss this special event!

Speaker: Chief Frank Kitzerow was appointed Chief of Police for the Jupiter Police Department in October, 2005. Chief Kitzerow began his career with the Fairfax County, Virginia Police Department where he worked for twenty-five years. He served in a variety of positions including patrol, aviation, paramedic, traffic, emergency communications, and district commander. He commanded the Criminal Investigations Bureau overseeing investigations relating to major crimes, organized crimes and narcotics, and money laundering.

After the September 11th terrorist attacks, Chief Kitzerow started a Criminal Intelligence Unit and collaborated with the FBI to establish a Regional Intelligence Center. During the DC Beltway area sniper shootings, Chief Kitzerow organized and commanded the Fairfax Multi-Jurisdictional Task Forces for investigating and prosecuting the criminals involved. Chief Kitzerow played a pivotal role in developing and implementing a collaborative and state-wide police information sharing consortium known as LEX, which involves more than twenty law enforcement agencies in Palm Beach County. He holds a B.S. in Management and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Phoenix. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

TIME: 11:30: Mingling; 12:00: Lunch; 12:30: Business Meeting; 1:00: Presentation
PLACE: Embassy Suites by Hilton Boca Raton, 661 NW 53rd Street, Boca Raton, Florida, 33487; Get Directions Here

COST: $25 for MWA members; $30 for non-members. Note: Prepayment is required to guarantee a reservation.

RESERVATIONS/PREPAYMENT: To reserve and pay online: go to website link www.mwaflorida.org and click on the “Monthly Meeting” tab under “Events”. Once you reach the page, click on the “Register for Monthly Meeting Here” link. Scroll down to the “Sign up for Luncheon Meeting” box and fill in your information, then click the “Pay Now” button and follow the instructions.

To reserve and pay via mail: Step 1–Email Harriet at harriet@ottenheimer.com with the subject line “FMWA Meeting” and the meeting date to reserve a spot. In the body of the email, please include your name, the name of any guest you have invited, your email address, and telephone number. Step 2– Write your check or money order payable to “Mystery Writers of America/Florida Chapter.” Step 3-Mail your payment to FMWA Treasurer, at 2301 S. Ocean Dr., #2005, Hollywood, FL 33019.

Please make your online reservation by APRIL 18 or mail your check at least 3 days prior to that date so that you will be included on the reservation list, and we can provide the hotel with an accurate headcount! Walk-ins are accommodated only if space allows.

Next Meeting Date: SATURDAY, MAY 19, 2018

Saturday, March 17, 2018


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Friday, March 16, 2018

5th Annual Mystery Fest Key West


Renowned mystery writers, aspiring authors, true crime experts and fans will infiltrate the island paradise where Hemingway and Tennessee Williams found their inspiration during the 5th Annual Mystery Fest Key West, set for June 22-24 at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Grand Key in Key West, Florida.
2018 headliners are Keynote Speaker Ace Atkins, the multi-award winning, New York Times bestselling author of twenty-one novels, including the recent Robert B. Parker “Spenser” mysteries; Special Guest of Honor, the multi-award winning editor and publisher Otto Penzler - proprietor of the famed The Mysterious Book Shop in New York City; and Special Guest Presenter, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham.
Fest highlights include panels, presentations and parties with some two-dozen high profile and award-winning authors, book signings, professional publishing and marketing discussions, presentation of the 2018 Whodunit Mystery Writing Competition and Award, a mini Conch Train tour, and social events at different landmark locations in the Southernmost City of the United States.
Sponsored by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, the Key West Citizen daily newspaper, Mystery Writers of America – Florida Chapter and the Florida Keys Council of the Arts.  Event registration is $195 and includes all panels, presentations, events, a luncheon and a brunch at Key West’s historic seaport. 
Contact: 305-587-9392
Email: info@mysteryfestkeywest.com


Mystery Fest Key West Announces 2018 Whodunit Mystery Writing Competition—Entry Deadline is April 15

Key West resident Lewis C. Haskell was the 2016 Whodunit Writing Competition winner for his entry titled "Tequila Mockingbird," and took Third Place in 2017 with “Kilimanjaro Snow.”

Key West, Florida Keys -- Mystery Fest Key West has announced a call for entries for this year’s Whodunit Mystery Writing Competition. The winner will claim a book-publishing contract with Absolutely Amazing eBooks, free Mystery Fest Key West 2018 registration, airfare, hotel accommodations for two nights, meals and a Whodunit Award trophy to be presented at the 5th Annual Mystery Fest Key West, set for June 22-24 in Key West, Florida.

Sponsored by Absolutely Amazing eBooks, candidates wishing to compete are invited to submit the first three pages (maximum 750 words) of a finished, but unpublished manuscript to whodunitaward@mysteryfestkeywest.com no later than April 15, 2018. There is no fee to enter, finalists will be notified by May 1, and will have until May 10 to submit full manuscripts.

“Why just the first three pages? That criterion is a nod to late author Jeremiah Healy, a terrific mystery writer and great judge of mysteries,” says Mystery Fest Key West co-founder Shirrel Rhoades. “Healy often said a book either captures a reader in the first three pages…or it doesn’t. The competition judges all agreed with that assessment, and decided to use it as a yardstick for the competition.”

The inaugural, 2015 award was called “The Jerry” in Healy’s honor and was won by J.E. Irvin of Springboro, Ohio, for her entry titled "The Dark End of the Rainbow." Lewis C. Haskell of Key West, Florida, took the 2016 Whodunit with “Tequila Mockingbird,” and in 2017 Mike Pettit of Gulf Breeze, Florida, for his entry, “Key West Flashpoint.”

Whodunit Writing Contest judges for 2018 are Dr. Toby Armour, a playwright, author, dancer and choreographer, whose credits include the murder mystery book “Blood Tells” and play, “Is This 24 Lily Pond Lane?”; Carol Lazar, an author, columnist, photojournalist and former senior editor for South Africa’s Independent Newspapers; Captain Reef Perkins, author of “Sex, Salvage and Secrets,” Screwed, Blu’d and Tattoed,” and the mystery novel “Deep Air”; Robin Robinson, an author, syndicated newspaper columnist, educator and horticulturist; and Rhoades, an author, film critic, media consultant and publisher of Absolutely Amazing eBooks.

The 2018 “Mystery and Intrigue in Paradise” themed Fest is to include multiple workshops, presentations, panel discussions and social events where attendees mingle with acclaimed mystery, suspense, crime fiction and true crime writers, including Keynote Speaker Ace Atkins, the multi-award winning, New York Times bestselling author of twenty-one novels, including continuation of the Robert B.

Parker “Spenser” series; the multi-award winning editor and publisher Otto Penzler - proprietor of the famed “The Mysterious Book Shop” in New York City; New York Times bestselling author Lisa Black; New York Times bestselling co-author, award-winning writer and Mystery Writers of America Florida Chapter past-President Charles Todd; bestselling and award-winning author Nancy J. Cohen; author and President of Mystery Writers of America, Florida Chapter, Diane A.S. Stuckart; author and two-time Whodunit prize winner Lewis C. Haskell and many others.

Complete Whodunit Writing Competition guidelines and submission details are available at mysteryfestkeywest.com.

The Spring Arts Boutique sponsored by The National League of American Pen Women - Cape Canaveral

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Creative New Children’s Book Debuts, Teaching a Strong Message on Environmental Awareness, Water Pollution, and Conservation of the Blue Planet

Written by Janet Balletta, ‘Mermaids on a Mission to Save the Oceans’ is an innovative new children’s book that explores water pollution in Florida and the Seven Continents. As an educator, Janet invites children to become world-class citizens and join these mermaids on a mission to preserve the lakes, rivers, and oceans of the blue planet.

The story begins in Miami Beach where Marlene is assigned as a guardian of the Atlantic Ocean by the Oceanic Council.

It continues in a brilliant new book by Janet Balletta, titled ‘Mermaids on a Mission to Save the Oceans.’ It’s the story of Marlene and her six mermaid sisters assigned to each of the Seven Continents to protect the surrounding oceans from mankind’s pollution. In this fictional work, Marlene and her mermaid sisters combat the natural elements with their super powers to increase awareness of water pollution, conservation, and recycling around the world.

With its colorful cast of characters and illustrations by Alyssa Figueroa and Alexander C. Appello, this book will captivate children and parents alike. It culminates with the mermaids being honored for their dedication to the mission followed by a whimsical mermaid celebration. The story motivates children to care about the oceans as a natural resource and habitat to many aquatic animals and plants in Florida and around the globe.

Marlene and her six mermaid sisters are on a mission to save the oceans from mankind's pollution. One mermaid is assigned to each of the Seven Continents to protect the surrounding oceans. Together the seven mermaid sisters take care of the sea animals and raise awareness on water pollution, conservation, and recycling around the world. The story is fiction but builds an important bridge for young children to connect with real environmental issues occurring in Florida and around the world.
With years of experience in working with children, Balletta is committed to education and helping kids understand the importance of the planet’s sustainability for the future. Books like this can be a great resource for teachers to teach children about water pollution, the interdependence of living things, and environmental awareness. “It’s our responsibility to build a better tomorrow for our children, grandchildren, and generations to come. Education is the key to raising mindful leaders for the future.” says Balletta.

Janet’s launching her new book on Earth Day, Sunday, April 22, 2018, at the Authors for Authors Spring Conference at the Rialto Hilton Hotel, 200 Rialto Way, Melbourne, FL 32910 between 10 am & 5:00 pm. She’s looking forward to celebrating Earth Day with local authors and speakers.

‘Mermaids on a Mission to Save the Oceans’ published by WRB Publishing, is available now on Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ycvhzd9j
Official website: http://www.janetballetta.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Janet-Balletta/1442783465945743

About the Author:

Janet Balletta is a bilingual second-grade teacher in Florida. She is also the author of two award-winning bilingual children's books, The Legend of the Colombian Mermaid and The Legend of Roberto Cofresi – A Puerto Rican Hero. Originally from New York, Janet and her family now enjoy living in the Sunshine State. Janet hopes this book inspires children to care about the environment, make positive changes where they live and around the globe, and become world-class citizens. To learn more about Janet's books and free learning activities, visit her website: Janetballetta.com.

Writers Block Bookstore and Quantum Leap Winery present a book launch for Kristin Harmel

Wine, Wisdom and Words Reading Series
Location: Quantum Leap Winery
1300 Wilfred Drive, Orlando FL
Date: March 29th, 2018
Time: 6:00 PM
Contact: lauren@writersblockbookstore.com
Writer’s Block Bookstore
124 East Welbourne Avenue
Winter Park, FL 32789
The Room on Rue Amélie

Writer’s Block Bookstore is delighted to partner with Quantum Leap Winery and present the first in a series of book talks called Wine ◊ Wisdom ◊ Words. On March 29th, 2018 at 6:00PM, Kristin Harmel will be at Quantum Leap Winery to celebrate the launch of her newest book The Room on Rue Amelie, signing copies of her work with a customized wine created by the only sustainable winery in Orlando. Writer’s Block Bookstore is also proud to announce that we are the exclusive seller of signed copies of The Room on Rue Amelie in the nation.
“Set against all the danger and drama of WWII Paris, this heartfelt novel will keep you turning the pages until the very last word.” –New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe
“The strong and courageous inhabitants of The Room on Rue Amélie occupied all my time until the tender and powerful final pages. Beautifully written, Kristin Harmel’s latest is an unforgettable exploration of love and hope during the darkest of moments.” –Amy E. Reichert, author of The Optimist’s Guide to Letting Go
“Richly detailed and yet fast-paced, Harmel’s story flows at remarkable depth, as ordinary citizens rise to the challenge of extraordinary circumstances in occupied France. A fascinating exploration of the escape routes set up for downed Allied pilots, readers will be swept up in this heart-wrenching drama.” –Juliette Fay, author of The Tumbling Turner Sisters
About the author: Kristin Harmel is the international bestselling author of The Sweetness of ForgettingThe Life Intended, and When We Meet Again, along with several other novels. Her work has been featured in PeopleWoman’s DayMen’s HealthRunner’s World, and Ladies’ Home Journal, among many other media outlets. She lives in Orlando, Florida.
About Writer’s Block Bookstore: We are Central Florida’s only full-service, independent community bookstore, located just one block east of Park Avenue in beautiful downtown Winter Park. Serving the Orlando area since 2014, we have all your favorites, New York Times bestsellers, and Indie Next picks. We host author events, monthly book clubs, coordinate author school visits, and offer discounts for educators and loyalty club members.