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  • Writer's pictureBookstore1Sarasota

Local Author Book Fair Fall 2022

Updated: Oct 29, 2022

Not only do we love our local authors, but we know you'll love them, too. Let us introduce you! On Saturday, October 15 and Saturday, October 22 , local authors will be outside in the breezeway at our store at The Mark117 S. Pineapple Avenue. They will be signing books and spending a little time with you.

Here's how it works: Read their bios, check out their blurbs, and place an order online for whatever strikes your fancy. You can pick up your order in-store on the day of the book fair (or sooner), or you can have them delivered right to your home.

The Authors and Their Books

Rita Anand

October 15

Ritu Anand started writing when she could hold a pencil, but life kept getting in the way. For the past four years, she has chosen Writing as her career. She draws her inspiration from nature around her and her scripture – Sri Guru Granth Sahibjee.

When she sat down to write Kara’s Dreams, her pen flowed its ink onto paper, as a river floods its banks. All the elements – Wind, Water, Earth, Night and Day work in concert to enable creatures to play and enjoy this playground called Earth.

Ritu Anand lives in Sarasota, Florida with her loving husband. Her interests include reading, writing, singing Indian classical music, dancing to Bollywood music, traveling and playing golf.

Susan and Ann Anderson

October 22

Susan and her mother-in-law, Ann, teamed up to explain the story of Susan’s IVF experience in a way that her son one day would begin to understand. In publishing this book, they hope to introduce other young children to their unique beginnings in an understandable and positive way.

Carolyn Angiolillo

October 15

Carolyn Angiolillo was born and raised in the Italian section of Williamsburg Brooklyn, New York. A graduate of St. John's University in Queens, New York, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies and a Master of Arts degree in Government & Politics. Carolyn lives in Longboat Key, Florida. A Brooklyn Saga is her first published novel. Website:

Courtney Jo Barr

October 15

In 2020, Courtney found the time to immerse herself in inherited family memorabilia. This included her eighty-one-year-old Grandparents string tied Ohio based love letters that covered 1939-1946, Angel Flying on the Ground: Letters of A Gentleman’s Pursuit. A wonderful treasure that no one alive had read. First edition was a run of 34 and now the second edition is for public consumption with the hopes of it becoming a blockbuster movie! Our world needs a true fun old time love story, when family goals were local, simple and uncomplicated!

In 2021, Courtney published her Grandfathers short stories, Tales of a Buckeye Legal Eagle, along with three family cook books. Delectable Desserts, Divine Cuisine & Tasty Delights and The Dorothy M. Barr Cookbook. Website:

Jason Cannon

October 15

Jason Cannon is a best-selling author and publisher, as well as an award-winning director, actor, playwright, improviser, and teacher. He has an MFA in Directing, a Masters in Drama, and a quarter-century in professional theatre. Most recently he served 10 years as an Associate Artist at Florida Studio Theatre right here in Sarasota and was Producing Artistic Director of Ozark Actors Theatre in Rolla, MO, for four seasons. Jason has 100+ credits as an actor, 120+ as a director, and as a playwright he has had five plays produced. He now focuses primarily on writing and publishing. His first two thriller novels, Ghost Light and The Understudy, were published in 2021, and his newest book, This Above All: How to Live an Artistic Life, was just released by Ibis Books (check it out at He lives right down the road in Arlington Park with his beloved Rebecca and their two silly pups, Gaia and Odin. Proud member AEA and SDC.

R. C. Chizhov

October 22

R.C. Chizhov grew up in India, moved to New York in 2005 and spent fourteen years in the financial services industry, before pursuing her childhood dream of becoming an author. She now lives in Florida with my ever-supportive husband and my ever-energetic son.

When she’s not writing, you can catch her curled up with a book, dancing to Bollywood tunes, solving jigsaw puzzles, hiking, or by the beach. She has a master’s degree in Financial Engineering from Columbia University and loves all things numbers! She is an active member of SCBWI and the Making Room for Rhyme critique group.


Wilma Davidson Ed.D. & Diana de Avila, M.S.Ed.

October 15

Digital artist Diana de Avila, M.S.Ed., discovered her artistic gifts following an exacerbation of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and the worsening of Multiple Sclerosis. De Avila has led a life filled with mystery and dramatic changes from her time in the Army, to a Convent, to her work in web design before becoming an artist. De Avila is one of very few people worldwide to have what is known as Acquired Savant Syndrome. She recently co-authored her multi-platform, art journey memoir Soldier, Sister, Savant.

Wilma Davidson, Ed.D., is a former faculty member at the University of South Florida and the president of a communications consulting firm. In her consulting work, Davidson advises clients how to put their “best foot forward—in writing and in person.” Davidson is the author or co-author of five published books on writing and co-author of the new book on de Avila and her art, Soldier, Sister, Savant. The two women met through their professional organization, the National League of American Pen Women (NLAPW).

Terry Gans

October 22

Terry Gans has lived with Bob Dylan’s music and twists and turns since 1962. He began writing in college—first a term paper and then a Master’s Thesis. The Department Chair didn’t think it an appropriate subject. Through jobs in journalism, management, finance, and finally elected office (Longboat Key Commissioner and Mayor). He always kept his keyboard in the game writing serious and humorous articles and finally the first book to make use of the Bob Dylan Archives: Surviving in a Ruthless World: Bob Dylan’s Voyage to Infidels.

Julie C. Henry

October 15

Julie C. Henry is an outdoor explorer and animal lover at heart who is continually learning and sharing leadership lessons inspired by wildlife and wild places. A former zoo and aquarium senior leader, Julie is president of Finish Line Leadership, a strategic facilitation and panel moderation services company, and has worked with over fifty-five organizations across corporate, nonprofit, government, association, and community sectors. She is author of Wisdom from the Wild: The Nine Unbreakable Laws of Leadership from the Animal Kingdom and was selected as a Fellow of the Toyota Together Green Program of the National Audubon Society, chosen for the Disney’s Animal Kingdom / World Wildlife Fund Biodiversity Leadership Institute, and a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar to New Zealand. Julie lives in Sarasota, Florida with her two children, whom she lovingly describes as her “zoo animal” and her “wild animal” due to each child’s natural inclination toward life. Website: IG @juliechenry

Marilyn Howard

October 22

Marilyn Howard’s determination to not wind up a housewife led to breaking through a glass ceiling of seventy men at Grey Advertising and launching an innovative startup. Her company, the first to central agency to connect business with freelance artists and writers, thrived for over twenty-five years in the center of Manhattan. In1983, she was profiled by ADWEEK Magazine of New York in a feature called the Dynamic Dozen¬–and placed first on their list of the top twelve women in advertising, under age forty, identified as most likely to succeed. Her pioneering company became first on the internet in 1997. Website

Sara Jonas

October 15

Sara Jonas’ passion for expression manifests in many mediums, including sculpture, writing, and painting. Sara has earned degrees in Studio Art and Advertising at Florida State University. She currently works full-time as a graphic designer for a software firm and continues pursuing her passion for the arts in her spare time. IG @hams.big.adventure

Kerry Kriseman

October 22

Kerry Kriseman is a St. Petersburg native and a graduate of University of South Florida with a B.A. in Mass Communications/Broadcasting. Her professional career spans 30 years with a 10-year stint in between, raising her two children (Jordan, 24, and Samuel, 19), volunteering in the community and serving on multiple non-profit boards.

Kerry worked in print media for the St. Petersburg Times (now Tampa Bay Times) in various positions in the Newsroom and Marketing Department. Since 2008, she has been the public relations manager at Creative Clay, a St. Petersburg non-profit that creates equality through art with programs for individuals with neuro-differences.

Volunteering at various local organizations, historical dramas, traveling, scratch cooking, drinking wine, daily walks, and long bike rides on the Pinellas Trail fill Kerry’s free time.

Website IG @kerry720

Kevin Kuhens

October 15

During an international career spanning three decades, Kevin Kuhens served as a civilian supervisory special agent for two agencies of the US Department of Defense — the Office of Naval Intelligence, Naval Investigative Service (now known as NCIS) and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS). Throughout his career, Kevin operated in the trenches alongside other dedicated law enforcement, intelligence, and military professionals united in a single goal: defending and protecting America. Website

Cooper Levey-Baker

October 15

Cooper Levey-Baker is a writer and journalist. His fiction has appeared in the Sierra Nevada Review and Burrow Press's Fantastic Florida series, and his journalism has won multiple awards from the Florida Magazine Association and the Florida Society of Professional Journalists. Dead Fish Wind, his first novel, tells the story of a young woman trying to escape a life of drudgery in a Florida city stricken with a catastrophic outbreak of red tide.

Michael Lortz

October 22

Michael Lortz received his BA in Creative Writing from Florida State University. After getting a day job in the defense industry, he started writing about sports and music in his spare time on his personal blog. He has now written for many of the most popular baseball sites and covered music for local news media. His baseball writing and research has been quoted in USAToday, on, and at local county commissioner meetings. Michael lives in Tampa, Florida and Curveball at the Crossroads is his first novel. Website: IG @JordiScrubbings

Ashley Marie

October 15

Ashley Marie lives in sunny Sarasota, FL with her husband and their toddler son. Her life is centered on making the world a better place. She has been writing since she can remember; this book observations of a hummingbird has been a long time coming. She was first published at the age of 11 in The Anthology of Poetry by Young Americans (2005). Ashley Marie holds a Bachelor of Science in Journalism with a minor in History as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Anthropology from West Virginia University where she graduated cum laude in 2016. She is currently obtaining a Masters of Social Work from the same institution. Ashley Marie is also a crisis worker, answering calls to provide emotional support and safety assessments for people experiencing emotional crisis and/or struggles with mental health. In her spare time, she likes to play guitar, sing and create art. IG @ashleymariebooksofficial

Monica Medina

October 22

Monica M. Medina was born and raised in Illinois where she received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Northern Illinois University in 2014. By twenty-seven years old, she has served as a targeted case manager, domestic violence advocate and volunteer in her hometown of Sarasota, FL.

Monica began her writing career as a production assistant for the vibrant South Florida magazine, Venice Gulf Coast Living, and now continues to write as well as offering public speaking and life coaching through her women's empowerment program, You Beautiful Life. IG @ShiningMon and @YBLifeCoaching

Lucille Messina

October 15

What if your child could never say “momma” or “daddy"? It is a road many parents are forced to undertake in their lifetime. Lucille Messina, the author of Waiting to Hear “Momma”: A Mother’s Memoir asks this question. After graduating from college, she worked for a transportation company, during that time frame she gave birth and cared for her medically fragile child. She is from Brooklyn and Garden City, New York and now Lakewood Ranch, Florida where she continues to be an advocate for people with disabilities.

If you are a counselor, therapist, psychologist, or anyone dealing with special needs families, her book will have you walk in the shoes of those you are treating. If you are a parent, relative or caregiver you may find similar correlations that are raw and gut-wrenching. She wrote Waiting to Hear “Momma”: A Mother’s Memoir and the struggles she encountered to help troubled individuals survive their adversity. To let them know they are not alone. Website

Glenn Erick Miller

October 22

Glenn Erick Miller grew up near the Adirondack Mountains of northern New York state. He earned his MA in Creative Writing from Binghamton University and has worked as a youth counselor, community program director, and a college professor. He is the author of two award-winning books: Camper Girl, a young-adult novel, and Red’s First Snow, a picture book. Glenn lives in Naples with his wife and two children.

Website IG @gmillerwriter

Dr. Joy S. Pedersen, L.S.H.

October 22

Joy S. Pedersen, a Doctor of Divinity, Intuitive Licensed Spiritual Healer, Certified Spiritual Health Coach, Certified Law of Attraction Practitioner, ordained minister, International Best-Selling Author, Founder of Express Success LLC serving an international clientele. Her practice identifies and releases the hidden causes of people’s challenges, including negative emotions, energy, memories, and limiting beliefs, and has specialties in clearing darkness and past lives of persecution. She works directly for Source as a global healer and helps her clients receive direct guidance from God. Website IG @drjoypedersen

Meredith Ritchie

October 22

Meredith Ritchie has made a career in business communications and wrote her first novel, Poster Girls, as a cure for acute empty nest syndrome. Along with her husband and two cats, she lives in North Carolina with strong family ties to Sarasota. Told from two perspectives, Poster Girls is driven by the true but forgotten events and accomplishments of a diverse group of American women in WWII, both relevant and necessary to stop modern cycles of misunderstanding. Website:

Joel Shulkin, MD

October 22

Joel Shulkin, MD, is the author of Adverse Effects and Toxic Effects, the first two novels in the Memory Thieves series, and he has penned award-winning short stories and poetry. A pediatrician and United States Air Force veteran with a master’s in public health, Joel lives in Florida with his wife and two daughters. Website: IG @drjoelshulkin

Lucy Tobias

October 22

Lucy Beebe Tobias is an award-winning author and blogger who looks at life and finds humor, beauty, and reasons for hope.

She is a former newspaper reporter for the New York Times Regional Group. Tobias writes narrative non-fiction – taking readers on a guided tour to undiscovered parts of Florida and beyond, adventures augmented with photographs and illustrations.

Tobias is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association, and ABC Books Inc.

She lives in Sarasota, Florida, sharing space with one dog and two cats, all rescues. Lucy is addicted to iced lattes and masters swimming. Website

Michelle Van Loon

October 15

Michelle Van Loon is the author of 7 books including Translating Your Past: Finding Meaning in Family Ancestry, Genetic Clues, and Generational Trauma. She has written for a variety of publications including Christianity Today magazine and PBS's Next Avenue. She is the co-founder of, a website serving women at midlife and beyond. She and her husband Bill have made Sarasota their home for the last three years. Website

Alan S. Votta

October 15

Alan Votta grew up in Yonkers, NY, and spent almost twenty-four years in the United States Nuclear Submarine Force, which is the topic of his first book, "Real Stories From a Nuclear Submariner." Mr. Votta's life changed considerably in 2009, when he reunited with his high school sweetheart who broke his heart so many years ago. They were married in 2010 and embarked a new life adventure together, which has included travel, and fun times with family and friends. Together they have created AV Publishing LLC and now have three books in print between them. Ann Votta wrote a book about their love story, Reunited: When the Past Becomes a Present and another about her Italian heritage. In fact, they both hold dual citizenship and have traveled to Italy together to the home of their ancestors. They both enjoy full retirement and love the life they live in

Sarasota, Florida.

Ann Votta

October 15

Ann Patavino Vincola Votta was born in Mount Vernon, NY in 1943 and spent most of her childhood in Yonkers, NY. She began her career as a junior high school English teacher in the mid-60s, and then moved on to consulting; first as an educational consultant and then as a nationally recognized work/life and human resource consultant. Her life changed dramatically in 2009 when she reunited with her high school sweetheart, Alan Votta. They were wed in 2010 and their story is the subject of her first book, Reunited: When the Past Becomes a Present. She is now focusing on memoir and travel writing and helping others as a life coach. Her second book, From Italy & Back: Coming Full Circle was published in October 2018. Website

Frank J. Young

October 22

Frank J. Young is a retired foreign service officer having spent over 35 years with the US Agency for International Development. In addition to occupying senior positions in Washington DC, he has worked in Asia and Africa serving in USAID missions in the Philippines, India, Bangladesh, and Ghana where he was Director. In the latter part of his career he has devoted more time to teaching and lecturing about development and the importance of a strong diplomacy. Frank and his wife, Patricia Oxley, live in Sarasota, Florida. IG @frank_young_author

Schedule Saturday, October 15

Schedule Saturday, October 22

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