Friday, March 2, 2012

2012 UCF Book Festival Spotlight

This year, I and a handful of other bloggers (including Sandy, Jenny and Heather) have been invited to participate in and help promote the 2012 UCF Book Festival, which will be held on March 31st. We had an amazing time last year and got the chance to meet several new authors as well as a few old friends. Check out this post to see how it all went down. This year, the Festival is lucky to have snagged some great talent, and here today I give you a sample of some of the amazing authors and the works they’ll be highlighting. If you’re in the Orlando area March 31st, this is an event that you’re not going to want to miss


The Ballad of Tom Dooley by Sharyn Mc Crumb: The Ballad of Tom Dooley, the folk song made famous by the Kingston Trio, tells the story of a tragedy in the North Carolina mountains in the aftermath of the Civil War. Laura Foster, a simple country girl, was murdered and buried in a shallow grave on a mountain side, and her lover, Tom Dula, was hanged for the crime. The sensational elements in the case attracted national attention: a man and his beautiful married lover accused of murdering the other woman; the former governor of North Carolina spearheading the defense; and a noble gesture from the prisoner on the eve of his execution, saving the woman he really loved.

What seemed at first to be a sordid tale of adultery and betrayal was transformed by the new discoveries into an Appalachian Wuthering Heights. The Ballad of Tom Dooley brings to life the star-crossed lovers of this mountain tragedy with the understanding and compassion that Sharyn McCrumb brings to her compelling tales of Appalachia.


The Beach Trees by Karen White: Julie first knew loss at the age of twelve, when her younger sister disappeared from a local park—never to be found. As her once close-knit family grew apart, Julie’s mother obsessively searched for the girl, and when her mother died, Julie took up the search. Even as she went on with life, discovering a love for art that she attributed to her painter grandfather, she never let go of the hope that she might find her sister.

Then, working at an auction house in New York, Julie meets Morgan Guidry—a struggling artist and single mother who reminds Julie so much of her sister that she can’t help feeling drawn to her, and even a bit protective. Morgan paints a vivid picture of her southern family through stories, but never says why or how she lost contact with them. And she has another secret: a heart condition that will soon take her life.

Feeling as if she’s lost her sister a second time, Julie inherits from Morgan an antique portrait—as well as custody of her young son. Taking him to Biloxi, Mississippi, to meet the family he’s never known, Julie discovers a connection of her own. The portrait, of an old Guidry relative, was done by her grandfather—and unlocks a surprising family history…


A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson: When a long-hidden grave is unearthed in the backyard, headstrong young Mosey Slocumb is determined to investigate. What she learns could cost her family everything…

Every fifteen years, trouble comes after the Slocumb women. Now, as their youngest turns fifteen, a whole new kind of commotion is chasing all three generations. Mosey's desperate to know who used their yard as a make-shift cemetery, and why. The oldest, forty-five year old Ginny, fights to protect Mosey from the truth, a fight that could cost Ginny the love of her life. Between them is Liza, silenced by a stroke, with the answers trapped inside her. To survive Liza's secrets and Mosey's insistent adventures, Ginny must learn to trust the love that braids the strands of their past - and stop at nothing to defend their future.


Perfect by Ellen Hopkins: Everyone has something, someone, somewhere else that they’d rather be. For four high-school seniors, their goals of perfection are just as different as the paths they take to get there.

Cara’s parents’ unrealistic expectations have already sent her twin brother, Conner, spiraling toward suicide. For her, perfect means rejecting their ideals to take a chance on a new kind of love. Kendra covets the perfect face and body—no matter what surgeries and drugs she needs to get there. To score his perfect home run—on the field and off—Sean will sacrifice more than he can ever win back. And Andre realizes that to follow his heart and achieve his perfect performance, he’ll be living a life his ancestors would never have understood.

Everyone wants to be perfect, but when perfection loses its meaning, how far will you go? What would you give up to be perfect?


She Makes It Look Easy by Marybeth Whalen: Ariel Baxter has just moved into the neighborhood of her dreams. The chaos of domestic life and the loneliness of motherhood, however, moved with her. Then she meets her neighbor, Justine Miller. Justine ushers Ariel into a world of clutter-free houses, fresh-baked bread, homemade crafts, neighborhood playdates, and organization techniques designed to make marriage better and parenting manageable.

Soon Ariel realizes there is hope for peace, friendship, and clean kitchen counters. But when rumors start to circulate about Justine’s real home life, Ariel must choose whether to believe the best about the friend she admires or consider the possibility that "perfection" isn't always what it seems to be.

A novel for every woman who has looked at another woman’s life and said, "I want what she has," She Makes It Look Easy reminds us of the danger of pedestals and the beauty of authentic friendship.


Praying for Strangers by River Jordan: As 2009 approached, New Year’s resolutions were the last thing on River Jordan’s mind. Her sons were both about to go off to war—one to Iraq and the other to Afghanistan—and she was planning a family reunion to see them off. All River could do was pray for her sons’ safety and hope to maintain her strength, until she unexpectedly came upon the perfect New Year’s resolution—one that focused on others instead of herself. She would pray for a complete stranger every single day of the year. In Praying for Strangers, River Jordan tells of her amazing personal journey of uncovering the needs of the human heart as she prayed her way through the year for people she had never met before. The discovery that Jordan made along the journey was not simply that her prayers touched the lives of these strangers (in often astounding ways), but that the unexpected connections she made with other people would be a profound experience that would change her own life forever.


As you can see, this event is going to be chock full of fantastic authors, and I'm already getting very excited to be a part of this year’s festival. Stay tuned for more information and book reviews as the festival continues to approach!

23 comments:

bermudaonion said...

Y'all are going to have a blast! I wish I could join you there!

Wall-to-wall books said...

Oh some good looking books there!
I love Joshilyn Jackson, she is one of my favorite Authors!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I too wish I could be there! Maybe next year! Because Orlando, you know, maybe I could go to that other place in Orlando too! LOL

Jenna said...

What an awesome event. Sounds like a lot of fun. Can't wait to read your recap posts!

Suko said...

This sounds incredible! I look forward to your posts about this!!

Jenny said...

I agree, it's not to be missed if anyone is in the area!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

It sounds like lots of fun. I am sure you will all have a wonderful time. Enjoy

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Oooooo I do miss this. I went the first year but then moved in 2010. I do hope you gals have fun.

I can't wait to try A Grown Up Kind of Pretty and Praying for Strangers.

Ti said...

You will have such a blast. So jealous.

Harvee said...

Wow! What a great opportunity to meet authors and discuss books! Have loads of fun!

Aths said...

You are right! Those are some amazing authors there. I hope you have a blast!

Darlyn (Your Move, Dickens) said...

I hope you have a lot of fun at the festival, and I sure wish we had events like that around here. :)

Darlene said...

Oh how I wish I could be there! I'd love to meet a few of these authors.

Lisa said...

Oh my goodness, that is really quite a line up!

Jenners said...

It is so awesome you get to participate in this. I'd love to see Joshilyn Jackson!

Mrs Q Book Addict said...

This sounds like so much fun. I really want to try a Joshilyn Jackson book.

softdrink said...

It sounds amazing! And I need to keep an eye out for Tom Dooley...that sounds like a great book.

kay - Infinite Shelf said...

Sounds like an event not to miss for the people around! I wish I could go, but it's a bit far from home. Will you be posting a recap of your experience this year too?

Beth F said...

Wow -- what an event. I wish I could attend such a festival. I haven't read anything by Sharyn McCrumb in years, and Tom Dooley sounds like a great book for me.

Amy said...

Lucky you! Congratulations and what fun I know you'll have again! Those authors are fantastic, I'd love to meet Joshilyn Jackson and Karen White and so many others. I can't wait to read about the 'goodies' you bring home and your adventures!

I admit ti a little jealousy and a huge wish to join you...maybe next year!

Literary Feline said...

I am excited for you! It sounds like they've got a good line up this year. Wish I could go. :-(

Amy said...

Wow congratulations! Great opportunity, hope you have a blast.

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

I enjoyed your recap of last year's fest, and am intrigued by the titles you've spotlighted. The only one I've read is A GROWN-UP KIND OF PRETTY (loved it!) ... will look forward to your thoughts on the festival itself - have a great time!

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