Meet the Authors

We cosponsor this event with The Black Horse Winery owner and winemaker Kiyoko Fiedler, who offers this and other cultural events featuring local musicians, poets, artists and writers. The winery is located at 420 Kingsley Avenue, a block west of Park Ave. (Hwy. 17) on the south side of the street.

“Meet the Authors” dates for 2013: January 23, February 27, March 27, April 25, May 21, June 11, July 9, Aug. 13, Sept. 10, and Oct. 8.

Contact Maureen Jung directly if you’d like to participate as an author.


August Authors

 Russ Kamradt, Treasures of a Servant

Oprah Winfrey calls Russ one of her favorite heroes, and honored him with a bright red VW Beetle to encourage his work. Russ overcame childhood poverty and a limited formal education to reach a high-level career with a Fortune 500 company. Inspired by his grandfather, he defines his life’s mission as helping others. He has volunteered for foreign missions, service nationwide, and local community efforts. The book tells the story of his rise to hard-earned success in a life filled with God-Moments. Memories from a childhood fraught with tragedy are tempered by touching emotionalism in far-flung places, from mud- strewn streets of the Dominican Republic, to the rain forests of Panama, and the earthquake ruins of Haiti. His writing is filled with humor, pathos and evidence of an all-encompassing faith that has guided Russ throughout life.

Proceeds from Treasures of a Servant will be donated to support the work Waste Not, Want Not, American Red Cross, and other causes.

Sandi Gordon, The Journal

This story opens with the funeral of a woman dead from breast cancer. Her sisters later find her journal, which reveals a tragic secret. It sends them on path through shock, betrayal, and death. Sisters Maggie and Jilli know the story must be told before their family can heal. The book explores a powerful subject with sensitivity, a journey enriched by the humor, joy, and affection expressed through vigorous, warm-hearted characters. Sandi moved to Jacksonville from rural South Georgia as a child. After high school, where she was yearbook editor, Sandi moved to New York City for 10 years before turning home. She began her career as a newspaper journalist and transitioned to writing for the corporate world. She now writes fulltime. The Journal is her first novel.

Sonserra V. Hayden, Reflections of Sonserra

“My poems are memories in words not everyone can see, but on some level, most find connections to their own lives.” Sonserra tells her life story in what could be a novel, rendered through the instrument of poetry, which helps her navigate the best and the worst life has to offer. Sonserra, Apache for “Morning Star,” is a professional caregiver who writes when the words erupt. Images from her husband, professional photographer Jim Rhoads, richly illuminate the book.

Tracy Maxwell, Torchlight for Change: My Story and Advice to At-Risk Youth

Tracy retired from U.S. Army Military Police Corps Regiment, having served with distinction. Now he dedicates his life to work with at-risk youth. He was First Com- mandant at Florida Youth Challenge Academy, where under his leadership, the pro- gram was voted “Best Challenge in the Nation” in 2005. He is CEO and co-founder of Rites of Passage II Manhood, Inc., a grassroots mentoring program for at-risk youth established in 2008. Tracy’s book reveals his character, faith, passion, persistence, and vision. Candid accounts of his life and career lead readers to ask, “What next?” He writes vividly of the power and consequences of choices. The book is intended as a beacon calling those who seek their purpose in life, especially young men. Tracy has mentored youth throughout Florida, including one fashion model who participated in “America’s Next Top Model.” He currently mentors student-athletes playing collegiate football across the country.

July’s Authors

Robert W. Lucas, MA, CPLP, Make Money Writing Books: Proven Profit-Making Strategies for Authors
Rodney L. Hurst, Sr., It Was Never about a Hot Dog and a Coke®!: A Personal Account of the 1960 Sit-in Demonstrations in Jacksonville, Florida and Ax Handle Saturday

April’s Authors:

Ron P Whittington

Ron P. Whittington, Second Strike

Ron’s 30-year communications career spans radio and print reporting and free-lance writing. In 2010 he penned his first Parker Glynn thriller, Second Strike, followed by a short story featuring Glynn, The Devil You Don’t later released as an e-book. The sequel, Doppelganged, was published last year. A native of Atlanta and proud former Texan, Ron and his family live in Jacksonville Beach.

Ron P Whittington book

In Second Strike corporate entrepreneur Parker Glynn loses his wife and daughter —and his will to live—when the Twin Towers fall on 9/11. Glynn leaves New York City to escape the memories of their deaths and guilt over his own infidelity. Then, seeing a man come ashore on a desolate Northeast Florida beach leads Glynn to discover a terror cell in Green Cove Springs. Fate gives him a final chance at revenge and redemption.

Lilian Brown

Lillian Kiernan Brown, Banned in Boston: Memoirs of a Stripper

At age 14, Lily followed her mother and aunts into the glittering and shady world of Burlesque. Banned in Boston tells the story. As Lily Ann Rose, she worked with some of the top talent of the time. She twirled tassels like Sally Keith, envied Sally Rand’s fabulous feathers, and emulated Ann Corio, Boston’s most beloved stripper. Totie Fields introduced Lily with body-beautiful jokes.

CCW Blog Lilian Brown pic

She worked with the top baggy-pants comics of the day, enchanting audiences and parading to the songs of boy tenors, includ-ing Robert Goulet. She knew mob bosses, boxing champs, and prominent politicians, including Jack Kennedy. After being banned in Boston after a wardrobe malfunction, Lily completed her education and built a career as a journalist and radio personality. In 2009, Cambridge, Mass. named April 10 “Lily Ann Rose Day,” for her role in Burlesque history.

Jack Orth, The Memory Bank

Unlike the financial institutions we’re all familiar with, The Memory Bank is open 24/7. Even when you’re sound asleep, you can make a withdrawal in the form of a dream. No minimum balances required. The interest rate never takes a hit. In fact, the older you get, the more valuable your deposits.

Jack Orth book

One memory Jack will share is his recollection of skipping school to see Lily Ann Rose perform. Those were the days! Born in Boston in 1931, Jack served in the U.S. Marine Corps and is a decorated Marine from the Korean War. He attended Boston University and enjoyed a long career in business-to-business publishing in advertising sales. For years, he wrote a column for New England Advertising Week called “Unorthodox by Jack,” and guest columns in Marine Corps publications. He also wrote I Can’t Hear You: A Marine’s Journey through Parris Island and the Korean War published in 2004.

Joyce DavidsonJoyce Davidson, Olivia’s Favorites

The 1898 graduates of Moss Grove, Penn., Olivia’s favorites, make unexpected life-choices. Justin fights in the Spanish American War. Ardith, a sultry beauty, heads to bustling New York City. The rascal of the class, Beebee, goes gold-mining in Alaska with Andy, and intelligent Elizabeth studies medicine. Joyce Davidson book In her sequel, Moss Grove, the group live through the Titanic disaster and World War I, and learn about heartbreak and love for home. Joyce is vice-president of North Florida Writers and graduated from Muskingum and Jacksonville universities. A 40-year resident of Florida, Davidson lives in Fleming Island with her husband and family and has been writing award-winning poetry, stories, and plays since age 14 in Sebring, Ohio.

March’s Authors:

Sohrab Homi FracisSohrab Homi Fracis, Ticket to Minto: Stories of India and America

Kirkus Reviews described Ticket to Minto as “12 finely crafted stories that evoke the tug of tradition all immigrants feel, as well as life in contemporary India….  Quiet, evocative tales illuminating India and the Indian experience in America.” A university student rushes to save the life of a servant in his homeland, only to find his own life threatened while at graduate school in America. A bullied schoolboy who draws strength from sacred fire in India grows up to breathe in independence from the winter cold of America. Alternating between the countries, interrelated across continents in both theme and content, the companion stories are bridges between East and West. Winner of the Iowa Short Fiction Award, Ticket to Minto has also been published in India and Germany. Sohrab is on the faculty of the UNF Writers Conference, was Florida individual artist fellow in fiction, and Yaddo artist in residence. In April, he reads from his upcoming book, Go Home, at the New School in New York. Homi Fracis book

Ticket to Minto is the first book by an Asian to win the Iowa Short Fiction Award, juried by the legendary Iowa Writers’ Workshop. An excerpt from Sohrab’s upcoming novel, Go Home, published in Slice (New York), was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Connie Davies, Flicks and Tricks

The year was 1912 in this historical fiction. Jacksonville’s silent filmindustry thrived. A beautiful heroine, movie seamstressEmma Martin, stands in for a no-show. As the director yells out sexy moves, Emma’s performance mesmerizes everyone on the set. The producerbelieves a star is born; his playboy friend vows to bed her. There hangs the tale. Her prologue won 1st place in a short fiction contest and was published in Kaliope. 

Connie DaviesConnie drew on family for several characters,including paternalgrandparents: she, a Tallassee debutant; he, a New YorkYankee and a lawyer to boot. Despite 37 years since the War Between the States, they waited to marry until after the bride’s parents died. Connie’s bitter maternal grandmother, seduced into a fake marriage, also takes a bow.

Sir Ernie Hamilton Boyette, Aviation Artist/Historian

Sir Ernie Hamilton BoyetteStoryteller, painter, and photographer, named a “Knight of Vision,” Ernie tells his story and others, including showcasing the great women pilots and fliers of :  Aviation Art Store.

Linda Wood Rondeau, It Really IS a Wonderful Life

Linda Wood RondeauLinda’s romance novel, It Really IS a Wonderful Life, Linda Wood Rondeau bookset in the Adirondack Mountains, features Dorie Fitzgerald, a war widow and Midville newcomer. After 20 failed job interviews, Dorie regrets moving to be close to her parents. Desperate to belong, she joins a local community-theater production of “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Jamey Sullivan put his life on hold to run the family business. He also signs on for the play, though he hopes for a Broadway casting call any day now. When the two meet, sparks fly. But ambition, children, and a romantic rival threaten their blossoming love. Linda’s other books include: a devotional book, I Prayed for Patience/God Gave Me Children. America the Second, and Rains of Terror.

Days of Vines and Roses is due out in March.

Linda’s book, The Other Side of Darkness, received the 2012 Selah Award for best first novel.

February’s Authors:

Jack Owen, Palm Beach: An Irreverent Guide

CCW MtA Jack Owen pic

Nautical British author Jack Owen is an internationally published journalist, author,sailor, and antiquarian bookseller. Long-time denizen of Palm Beach, Florida, Jack discovered murder, mystery and mores that sparked daily mayhem amid the abandoned millionaires’ club retreat on Jekyll Island. For decades he was on a first-name basis with many of the key players.

CCW MtA Jack Owen bookSome tales resurfaced as fiction. Others lie between these covers. This story began innocently enough in the 1970s, during an end-of-season motor-yacht delivery to Newport, via the Intracoastal Waterway. He’s been digging ever since. Jack’s research has unraveled many of the rumors, whispers, and legends surrounding the exclusive island. He promises a sequel. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, Jack is hard at work choosing nautical sketches and tweaking tales of boat-delivery disasters between Boca Raton and Newport. Anyone who’s navigated Up & Down the Ditch (the Intracoastal) will relate.

Herman “Doc” Harris, The Forest People

CCW MtA Herman Doc Harris pic

CCW MtA Herman Doc Harris book

“Doc” grew up in the eastern Canadian woods, where “Bigfoot” legends abounded.Fascinated since childhood, Doc spent years following up leads, including several treks to the North Carolina Mountains. A veteran magazine writer, TheForest People is Doc’s first book, with a sequel already in the works. As the story goes, Jim Barrett was an orphan, raised by his aunt and uncle. As a youth, he met the Chief, who taught him the Indian way. Then, on his sixteenth birthday, Jim discovered a special family in a hidden valley. His role, to keep their existence secret, became a life-long duty. Then after Number One Son is wounded, hunters start disappearing. With a cast of poachers, missing persons, and an unsettling woman, Sheriff Barrett has his hands full.

Chris Berman, Ace of Aces    CCW MtA Chris Berman pic

Chris grew up reading science fiction. He began writing in 2007, followinga bicycle accident. Like his earlier novels, The Hive, Red Moon, and Star Pirates, Ace of Aces combines hard science fiction, techno thrills, and alternate history. A military historian, Chris taught writing at UNF and has a broad background in spaceflight and astronomy. Aces happens on Earth, 2287. After thousands of years of bloodshed,

CCW MtA Chris Berman bookpeace has finally come. Genetics has banished war and tempered the need violence, but not the human desire to explore other suns. When an alien foe threatens, bent on earth’s destruction, five fighter aces must reach into the past to save the future. These sworn enemies from World War II are all that stand between the Earth and annihilation. Fact meets fiction in a story that weaves biographies of five WWII pilots: Douglas Bader-GB, GregoryBoyington-US, Adolf Galland-D, Lydia Litvyak-USSR and Saburo Sakai-J into this fast-paced tale of adventure.

CCW MtA Howard Denson picHoward Denson IIIMowbray and the Sharks

Mowbray and the Sharks follows bank robber Tommy-Gun Watson on a crime spree from the Midwest to New York City in 1936. He works hard to out shine better known crooks such as Dillinger and Bonnie and Clyde, but can’t get good media coverage. Meanwhile, he and his cousin Conrad “Bugsy” Blocker compete for a legacy in a “contest” rigged to fund a Nazi-front organization on the eve of World War II. Seeing ghosts becomes pivotal to the plot, as it races toward wedding or funeral bells. Lovers of Wilde’s Canterville Ghost, Wodelhouse’s Jeeves, and Runyon’s Colorful Bad Guys would do well to pay attention. CCW MtA Howard Denson book

Howard is a fixture in the First Coast writing community. Hailing from Jasper, AK, he grew up reading Mark Twain and James Thurber, and listening to his family tell stories about the Roaring ’20s and Great Depression of the ’30s. Earlier books include A Quandary of Fibbles (fantasy stories part-fable, part-fib) and Shoot-Out with a Wild-Eyed Moderate (humor and opinion, often coupled with political or educational overtones.)

Howard has worked for newspapers and taught Engish and Humanities at Florida State College Jacksonville for nearly 40 years. He’s edited or written for the State Review, Penchant, The Write Stuff (North Florida Writers), The International Journal of Elvisology, and Elvisian Era.

January’s authors:

Chris Hejmanowski, M.D., Collider

CCW MtA Chris Hejmanowski profile picDr. Hejmanowski draws on his experiences deployed with the U.S. Marines in Al Taqqadum, Iraq. The idea took form during “quiet moments” while leading a Shock Trauma Platoon along the Syrian border. His passion for the mysteries of science and religion plays a major role in how this story unfolds. It traces the adventures of characters whose lives collide and intertwine as they face off with an evil beyond their comprehension. You will never view science and religion the same again after reading this book.

CCW MtA Chris Hejmanowski book pic

Military trained in Emergency Medicine, Dr. Hejmanowski started out as a flight surgeon. He’s worked at the Naval Medical Station in Portsmouth, Virginia, and at NAS JAX. Following a decade in the military, he is an ER physician in the Jacksonville area. See the Charlie Patton profile on him, “Physician grapples with faith through science fiction novel.” (Florida Times Union, Jan. 15, 2013, Metro Section, p.1) His website includes a gold mine of links to sites for learning about the scientific behind his work.  **Be sure to share the science links with anyone (kids, teachers, parents) interested in learning about science in smart and engaging ways. Topics include “Fun Physics for Kids,” “Cool Universe Images,” and more.

Dr. Hejmanowski is writing his next science fiction thriller, Jesus Rock, set amid a devastating full-scale war in the Middle East. At 7 p.m. the 23rd, he speaks about writing Collider, his first full-length novel.

CCW MtA Barbara Stewart picBarbara Stewart, Rock and Roll Never Forgets

Barbara’s second book of romantic fiction is based on “the soundtrack of her life.” We learn the story of Beth Morgan, whose determination to meet her favorite band leads to a chance encounter with her idol, musician Andy Stevens.

CCW MtA Barbara Stewart book pic

The book follows Beth through the peaks, valleys, and plateaus of a relationship lived in the spotlight, caught between demands of the music business and her struggles to stay in the shadows. In the end, it’s all about what the heart can’t hold back. Barbara works in healthcare

and lives in Middleburg with her husband, Gene, and their cat, Kooky. A volunteer for the American Cancer Society, she received the Hope Award for volunteerism in 2009.

CCW MtA Mary Haynes picMary Jane Hayes, Emma’s House of Sound

A lifelong friendship with a deaf schoolmate inspired Mary Jane (“MJ”) to write this book. Geared toward early readers, the story shows how easily deaf children are misunderstood and explores the world of a profoundly deaf child. Emma was adapted as a stage play and performed at the Limelight Theater in St. Augustine and at the Cummer Arts and Gardens.

CCW MtA Mary Hayes book pic

The book is inspirational, promotes understanding, and motivates children without hearing impairments to understand the experiences a child with healing disability. MJ also wrote Emma’s Freaky Sneakers and other books.

CCW MtA Robin Montesano picRobin Montesano, M.S., Clues to the Cause Questions for a Cure:

The Poisons Causing Multiple Sclerosis Worldwide

Millions struggle with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), an incurable, debilitating disease. Robin’s MS diagnosis came in 1992. By 1995, she was wheelchair-bound and continued to deteriorate physically. Today she dances, sails, plays piano, and can even hold a child. The book expands on research conducted as part of her Master’s degree in Human Nutrition. It includes insights from her interviews with people with MS around the country.

CCW MtA Robin Montesano book pic

The book shows readers with MS and their families how to investigate their own personal environments to discover clues to the source of the condition, helping them get proactive instead of reactive—to create a healthier living environments for themselves and their loved ones. Robin was named MS Mother of the Year (2003). She presented her work at the Harvard Medical School Biomedical Careers Fair (2004).

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