Decatur Public Library

504 Cherry Street

Decatur, Al 35601

Saturday, June 10, 2023

10 am – 5pm


featured speaker Beverly Jenkins

The Heart of Dixie Fiction Writers

Local Author Meet & Greet

Writing Workshops

Books available for purchase on site from authors and local bookseller Brown Books  & More


Authors will be set up at the following times at tables throughout the library.  Some will have books available to buy, but all will be available to chat with readers. 


10:00 am – 1:00 pm 

Beverly Jenkins
10:00 am – 12:00 pm   1:45 pm – 3:45 pm
Linda Howard   Linda Winstead Jones
Peggy Allen Towns   Harry Moore
Alicia Hunter Pace   Bonnie Gardner
Jannette Spann   Georgina Cross
Becky Alexander   Carla Swafford
Jane Carroll   Betty Bolté
Nancy Owen Nelson   Leslie Scott
Jessica Lewis   Dani Wade
Elden Walseck   Ella Sheridan
Demetrius Purvis II
  Holly Gorman
Jameha Steele  

Tom Borcher


10:15 – 11

Training Center

“Poetry: What You Make of It”

with Harry Moore

10:15 – 11

Community Room

“In Search of Your Next Great Read”

with Betty Bolté


Youth Services

Wyoming Bones Story Time

with Elden Walseck


Training Center

“A Day in the Life of an Author”

with Dani Wade, Ella Sheridan, Tyann McGowan & Georgina Cross

11:15 – 12

Community Room

“Publishing Options”

with Linda Winstead Jones, Carla Swafford, & Bonnie Gardner

12 – 2

LUNCH BREAK  – Break for patrons & authors to have lunch (not provided at event)

2-3 Training Center “Research & Other Reasons Why You’re On the FBI’s Watch List”

Linda Howard

2-3 Community Room OVERFLOW to hear Linda Howard on TV


3:30-5 Main Area Featured speaker, followed by Q&A session Beverly Jenkins


Linda Howard

I’m never certain what to say in a biography. Should it be a list of accomplishments? If so, what should those accomplishments be? My educational credentials? I was salutatorian of my high school graduation class, but I dropped out of college in my freshman year because other things, such as eating, were more important. I still think that’s a good decision. I worked at a trucking company for seventeen years, where I learned a lot about human behavior. Working there was a good decision, too. I wrote for myself because I enjoyed it, then one day I decided to see if I was good enough to be published. I was; that too was a good decision. Since then I’ve written around sixty books that have been published. I don’t know the exact number, because that isn’t important.

 I’ve been married (to the same man!) for forty-two years. I love my family and friends, my dogs, and college football, which unfortunately has what seems like the shortest season of all sports. We live in beautiful northeast Alabama, with mountains and rivers and (also unfortunately) cows. I’m not a fan of cows. They’re mean, devious, and psychic. They know when I’m here alone, and that’s when they escape. We also have some llamas; they’re neither mean, devious, nor psychic, but they know a good thing when they see it and they always escape when the cows do. They’re faster than the cows, which isn’t a good thing.

 I’ve been to Canada and Europe, I’ve been zip-lining, I’ve been on cruises, and I’ve stood on the lip of an active volcano. I’ve held newborn babies. Life is good. That’s pretty much it about me, I guess. Oh – I also cook. I’m more adventurous than good, but I do make a great southern biscuit.

Linda Winstead Jones

Linda Winstead Jones is the bestselling author of more than eighty romance novels and novellas across several sub-genres. She’s easily distracted by new characters and ideas and writes the stories that speak to her in the moment.

Paranormal.  Romantic Suspense. Twisted Fairy Tales. Cowboys. Her books are for readers who want to escape from reality for a while, who don’t mind the occasional trip into another world for a laugh, a chill, the occasional heartwarming tear. Where will we go next?

You can find Linda on Facebook, Instagram, Linktree, and her website.

Georgina Cross

Georgina Cross is the author of One Night and Nanny Needed (Bantam, Penguin Random House) and the Amazon Bestselling author of The Stepdaughter, as well as The Missing Woman and The Niece (Bookouture, Hachette Publishing). Two more books are set for publication in 2023. Georgina is a member of International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Huntsville Literary Association, and the Founder & President of Susie’s Wish. Married to David, they enjoy time spent with their combined family of four sons.

 For more information about Georgina, visit her on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or her website.

Peggy Allen Towns

Peggy Allen Towns is an author and lecturer born in Decatur’s Old Town.  She lectures in African American Genealogy, facilitates various programs, including America’s Civil Rights Struggles (part of the Bridging Cultures initiative of the National Endowment of the Humanities), Civil War seminars and local African American history.

 A staunch advocate of local, inclusive history, Peggy’s efforts have been critical to historic sites throughout north Alabama. She was instrumental in getting the  Bell-Nebo and Magnolia-Sykes Cemeteries placed on Alabama’s Historic Cemetery Register; the former was the first Black Cemetery in Morgan County to be listed.  As an Old Town Committee member she worked to include Old Town on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage, researched and designed the African American Heritage Historical and Gateway markers for the District, and assisted with wording for way-faring signage and Alabama Historical markers.  In addition to Old Town, she led the effort for William Pomeroy Women’s Suffrage Marker that recognized first suffrage club in the State.  She has also consulted with Trinity School committee with historical markers project, Athens, Alabama.

Peggy co-designed the “Decatur, Alabama African American Pioneers” brochure and assisted with production of Decatur’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing” Video, portraying African American Pioneers in our city.  She spearheaded the listing of Carver Elementary School (current Horizon School) and the Morgan County Courthouse (as a site of the Scottsboro Boys trials) being listed on Alabama’ Register of Landmarks and Heritage.  She has applied for Fort Henderson, Trinity School, and the G. W. Braxdall Lodge Hall to be  added to Alabama’s “Places in Peril.”

In addition to all of her research and petitioning, Peggy also enjoys bringing history alive for people.  She has led Scottsboro Boys Walking Tours, presented at the State Archives, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and Learning QUEST.  She also dresses in costume and portrays a variety of local historic figures on cemetery strolls, schools, and other community events.   For all she has done to draw attention to our local history, she was selected a one of the 100 Women of the Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area, a group she’s consulted with regarding Northwest Decatur’s Hidden Spaces, Places and Faces and On Cell Tour project.   Most recently, she was the recipient of the Alabama Historical Association’s Virginia Van Deer Veer Hamilton Award.

Peggy Allen Towns is the author of three non-fiction books about the history of Decatur and North Alabama.  You can find her online at her Amazon author page.



Bonnie Gardner

Bonnie Gardner is a former army brat and air force wife.  She is a Master Gardener and loves growing her own mostly-organic vegetables.  She lives in northern Alabama where she can visit with her grandchildren as much as possible.  She is the author of more than 30 books.

Most are available at Amazon and many e-book venues.  You can email her at or visit her on Facebook.


Betty Bolté

Betty Bolté is an award-winning author and editor of fiction and nonfiction. She earned a Master’s Degree in English, emphasizing the study of literature. She’s authored 30+ books, including the Fury Falls Inn historical fantasy series, historical fiction novel Becoming Lady Washington, and Notes of Love and War, a  novel set during WWII in Baltimore. A Maryland native, she lives in Alabama with her husband.   

Learn more on her website, where you can also find book club discussion materials.  You can also visit her on Facebook or check out her Blog.

Harry Moore

A native of Tallapoosa County, Alabama, Harry Moore taught English in Alabama community colleges for four decades—more than 30 years at Calhoun Community College in Decatur.  He is the author of the poetry collections Bearing the Farm Away (Kelsay Books, 2018) and Broken and Blended: Love’s Alchemy (Kelsay Books, 2021), along with four chapbooks. His poems have appeared in Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Plainsongs, Xavier Review, Slipstream, Main Street Rag, South Carolina Review, Anglican Theological Review, and other journals.

In 2014 he was the recipient of the Writers Exchange Award from Poets & Writers. He lives with his wife, Cassandra, in Decatur, and serves as an assistant editor of POEM magazine.   For more info and a sampling of poems from all six books, visit his website

Jannette Spann

Jannette is an Alabama native. Her love of writing began when she was in the fourth grade, and she loves to write about friends and family—names are changed to keep the peace.  She’s an avid traveler, the beach is her favorite vacation place. When home, her idea of relaxation is sitting on the front porch swing while drinking an ice-cold glass of sweet tea. In winter, she’s willing to trade the swing for a rocker beside the fireplace and her tea for a cup of hot coffee with a lot of cream, of course.

You can find Jannette online at her Amazon author page, GoodreadsFacebook, Twitter, and her website.

Alicia Hunter Pace

USA Bestselling Author

 Stephanie Jones and Jean Hovey write together as Alicia Hunter Pace.

Stephanie lives in Tuscaloosa, AL, where she teaches school and wishes for a local hockey team. She is a native Alabamian who likes football, American history, and people who follow the rules. She is happy to provide a list of said rules to anyone who needs them.

Jean, a former public librarian, lives in Decatur, AL, with her husband in a hundred-year-old house that always wants something from her. She likes to cook but has discovered the joy of Mrs. Paul’s fish fillets since becoming a writer.

 You can find Alicia Hunter Pace on Facebook and Twitter.


Dani Wade

Dani Wade astonished her local librarians as a teenager when she carried home 10 books every week – and actually read them all. Now she writes her own characters who clamor for attention in the midst of the chaos that is her life. Residing in the southern U.S. with one husband, two kids, and ten cats, she stays busy until she can closet herself away with her characters once more.

You can find Dani online at Facebook, Twitter, her Amazon author page, Goodreads, and her website.  On Instagram, look for

Ella Sheridan 

Born and raised in the Deep South, Ella Sheridan spent years telling herself stories before finally writing her own. Romantic suspense, paranormal

romance, sexy contemporaries—she can’t seem to stick to just one. Her goal in life is to finish every series she begins (if only she’d stop adding new series so that would be possible!).

Now Ella calls North Alabama home. Spending time cuddling with her sweet tabby, Oliver, is her number one priority, followed closely by writing, working, and writing some more. You can find her online at her website, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Goodreads, and Bookbub. You can also join her Facebook Reader Group and find her on Instagram.

Carla Swafford

Alabama author Carla Swafford loves romance novels, action/adventure movies, and men, and her books reflect that. And on top of all that, she’s crazy about hockey, and thankfully, no one has made her turn in her Southern Belle card.

So, it’s no surprise she writes spicy romantic suspense filled with mercenaries, motorcycle one-percenters, and southern criminals. And in the last few years, she’s included sexy hockey players in books without suspense, except for the kind that asks, how will they ever find their happily ever after?

You can find her online at Facebook, her website, or Instagram.


Leslie Scott

Spunky, award winning author of the Black Water Magic series, Leslie Scott has been writing stories for as long as she can
remember. Sexy, Spooky, action packed adventure has always called to her — and now, that’s what she spends her time writing. Currently, she lives and writes amidst her own happily ever after with her soul mate, son, and domestic zoo.

You can find her online at her website, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Holly Gorman

Holly J. Gorman is a wife, a mother and grandmother. She holds a B.S. from Purdue University. Married to a handicapped retired Army veteran, she has traveled to and lived many places all over the world exposing her to a variety of cultures and peoples. She has also had many different jobs and suffered a variety of medical issues of her own. This equipped her to be creative in problem-solving. Writing Musing My Way To Peace is another step in her life’s journey.

You can email her at or listen to her appearance on the podcast “Between the Stacks” from Athens-Limestone County Public Library.

Tom Borcher 

For thirty-five years Tom Borcher argued his clients’ cases before juries in the courts of California and Georgia. He retired in 2014 and moved to
Huntsville, Alabama. In Justice in Your Court he translates the excitement and drama of the courtroom to the written page.

His live program, You Be the Judge, has entertained and educated audiences, including adult continuing education classes, high school students, church groups and even a yearly presentation at the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas. The live program follows the same format as the case studies included in Justice in Your Court.

He served on the Board of Directors of the Southern California affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union for many years, and was the president of its Hollywood Chapter at one time. He was a member of the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States.

You can email him at or visit his website.

Nancy Owen Nelson

Nancy Owen Nelson’s poems have been published in The South Dakota Review, Graffiti Rag, What Wildness is This: Women Write About the Southwest, The MacGuffin, This/That Lit (online), and Oberon. Book publications include her memoirs, Searching for Nannie B, 2015, and Divine Aphasia: A Woman’s Search for Her Father (2021), her poetry chapbook, My Heart Wears No Colors, 2018, and Portals: A Memoir in Verse, 2019. A poetry chapbook, Five Points South: Poems from an Alabama Pilgrimage, was published in December 2022 by Kelsay Books.

 Nelson earned her BA in English and French at Birmingham Southern, and her master’s and PhD degrees in English at Auburn University. Her first memoir, Searching for Nannie B, explores the impacts on of her grandmother’s death at childbirth in 1905, and it draws upon Decatur local history.

Becky Alexander

Becky Alexander leads tours across the U.S. and Canada. Before her travel adventures, she was a children’s minister for twenty-five years. Now, she volunteers with Operation Christmas Child.  Becky’s devotions appear in Guideposts’ Mornings with Jesus and Pray a Word a Day. “Connected by Kindness” in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miracles & Divine Intervention received first-place awards from the Carolina Christian Writers Conference and Southern Christian Writers Conference. Becky collaborated with her biologist brother and teacher sister to write Clover’s Wildflower Field Trip, a colorful children’s book filled with scientific facts and vocabulary words.

Connect with Becky on her website.

Demetrius Purvis II

Demetrius Purvis II was born in Charlotte, NC.  He is a skilled athlete, entrepreneur, and author.  He plays football for Georgia Elite Sports Academy, better known as GESA.  Demetrius also plays basketball and runs track for Henry County Parks & Rec.  He was introduced to the game of football at the age of the four.  At age five, he scored five touchdowns in a single game and was given the name “DTHEBEAST.”  Football is Demetrius’ favorite sport, and he trains four days a week and completes 200 push-ups every day.  He is also the creator of a clothing line named DTHEBEAST APPAREL and the co-owner of K-FRESH AIR FRESHENER.  

 You can find him on Twitter.

Jessica Lewis

Jessica Lewis is a Black author and receptionist. She has a degree in English Literature and Animal Science (the veterinarian plan did not work out). She lives with her way-funnier-than-her grandmother in Alabama. When she isn’t writing or working, she enjoys watching cooking or HGTV-type home shows. She writes both young adult and middle grade fiction, the latter  under her pen name Jazz Taylor. Her forthcoming 2023 titles are Monstrous (YA) and Starting from Scratch (MG).

You can find her online at Twitter, Instagram and her website.

Jameha Steele

I am the founder of SteeleJoy, LLC.  I am also the author or co-author of all Tori children’s books. I am a firm believer that all children can learn. I also believe that learning should be fun. Two things I love are reading and writing. I have been an educator for over 20 years. I am a proud graduate of East Lawrence High School, Alabama State University, and Alabama A&M University. I hold a BS degree and Master’s degree in Elementary Education. I have an Education Specialist degree, an Administration degree, a Reading Specialist Certification, a Dyslexia certification, and a Ph.D in Reading & Literacy. I am a lifelong learner.

Not only is education important, family is too. I enjoy spending time with family and friends. I love making memories with my son, Jordan, my nephew Tristan, and my niece, Tori.

You can find me online at my website.

Jane Carroll

Jane Carroll, RN has always been interested in various ways of healing, especially for women. After becoming a certified life coach, her life was taken over by a zany character named… Bertha. Bertha quickly became the focus of three Amazon Bestsellers, dispensing wisdom and giggles from her mysteriously available soapbox. Jane hosted Loving Life Radio Show on By, For, and About Women for two years where she interviewed authors on many topics but always ended with the question, “Why do you love your life?” Jane is a Reiki Master, Certified Law of Attraction Practitioner, certified yoga instructor, and Access Bars Facilitator. She is a mother and grandmother… and doesn’t color her gray hair. Jane currently lives in the Albany district of Decatur with her two cats, Thelma and Louise. And yes, they are just as wild as their namesakes.

You can email her at or find her online at her website, Facebook, or Instagram.

Elden Walseck

Children’s book author Elden Walseck is a rocket scientist working in a rocket factory in Rocket City, Alabama. But it was his four children who inspired him to pursue penning a book series for chapter and middle-grade readers that they could read together. Wyoming Bones is an Indiana Jones meets Minecraft adventure series full of ancient tombs, explorations, and challenges against evil-doers.

For Elden, writing the Wyoming Bones series has been a family affair between bouncing rough drafts off his kids, discussing themes and characters with his wife, and having his own parents read the final books. What Elden loves most is that the exciting adventures he creates are enjoyed not only by Minecraft fans, but all readers who love a rousing story.

Elden believes a great book is one with plenty of adventure, a dose of humor, and relatable characters. He hopes his young readers come away from his stories feeling as if they were part of an adventure, long after the book is closed, and enjoy some familiar Minecraft tropes along the way.

Elden lives in Alabama with his wife, four kids, two cats, and varying numbers of rabbits and chickens.  You can find him online at his website, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

featuring USA Today Bestselling Author & NAACP Image Award Nominee

Beverly Jenkins

Beverly Jenkins is the recipient of the 2017 Romance Writers of America Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as the 2016 Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for historical romance.

She has been nominated for the NAACP Image Award in Literature, was featured both in the documentary “Love Between the Covers” and on CBS Sunday Morning.  Since the publication of Night Song in 1994, she has been leading the charge for  multicultural romance, and has been a constant darling of reviewers, fans, and her peers alike, garnering accolades for her work from the likes of The Wall Street JournalPeople Magazine, and NPR.

CLICK HERE for her website.

CLICK HERE for her Facebook page

CLICK HERE for her Twitter page.